Protective Amulet in Unlimited Power

Hey peepz.

I have a Star Wars rules question.

The Protective Talisman in Unlimited Power. This nice trinket has all kinds of nice bonuses (ignore vacuum and corrosive atmo, attacks with weapons having the Burn quality count as not having the Burn quality), it is cheap and Easy to craft, and has seemingly few limitations - it is not explicitly stated that it has a duration or is one-time use.

What is your lot’s take on this?

The alchemy system in general has some issues, how good the protective amulet is with no downsides (depending on the roll to make it) is the biggest broken thing. I’ve seen a lot of people house rule it in various ways. I let a player find one once, but it had some of the negative traits built in to balance it a little better, and it’s still a very powerful item.

How about each use (to ward off corrosion, burn, etc) causes the amulet to receive a damage level like a piece of gear in the core rules. Once it has too many damage levels, it’s destroyed. You could allow repairs as in the core rules if there is a chance between uses and the character has the materials.


When one of my players showed me the amulet stuff in Unlimited Power, my initial thoughts were that the book was aptly named. We watered things down for use at our table. Talisman-crafting was a serious, highly-focused affair, where there needed to by a kyber crystal and it needed to be attuned to the person who would be using the amulet. And the amulet would only have one particular ward on it. My players were most concerned with resisting the influence of mind-trick type Force Powers, so they made amulets to help them with that, as well as for some NPC allies. Acquiring the materials and attuning the crystals were narrative beats for us.

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This I like, and fits with my ongoing campaign and homebrew stuff.

My main concern with the Protective Amulet is the cost and difficulty creating it.

Despite its power, it is quite circumstantial, but I would still like to adjust it. So I was thinking Hard or Daunting difficulty, and increase the cost - perhaps not to Kyber crystal levels … but to kyber shards and scraping levels … so multiply current cost by 10 or something.

Attunement it also a thing, but I’d say you must make it yourself to use it - so no one can make it for you (at least not easily).

I was also thinking of activation cost, without making it too DnD … but have not found a good solution there. Strain cost could be a thing, but that seems off also.

The narrative and story beats is a good way in, then it feels more earned, and not something like crafting a stimpack or toolkit.

Thanks jendefer, for readjusting my focus to what may be the only thing that ultimately matter - at least with my group. They’re very little interested in min-maxing or mechanical doodaahs. They’re in it for the drama, the story, the experience so to speak. Which can be quite daunting …

Yes, we increased the difficulty for making it for someone else. Narratively speaking, there were also some amusing scenes of our crafter trying to lead leary NPCs in meditation activities to try to help them attune to crystals. And I do think just shards or scrapings would make sense here. We were not concerned about the credit cost because of the roleplay involved in acquiring materials.

Regarding mechanics, I could see there being a strain cost to activate, but if you went with that, I would make it an incidental to do so. Or, riffing on what @Sturn has suggested, another option would be that the talisman “absorbs” so much bad mojo each time it does its job, and after X uses it needs to be “cleared out” by meditation with a Discipline check. (Like Mechanics to fix a damaged weapon.)

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My thoughts are that it’s circumstantial, but also quite powerful.
Because it is so cheap and easy to make, it’s not hard to have an entire party kitted out with it, which removes multiple useful tools from the GM’s toolbox, as now certain environments that would be obstacles are now pretty much irrelevant, except as an advantage for the PCs.

Here’re my thoughts on how I’d treat it:

  1. It must be activated with an Incidental, deactivated with an Incidental. When activated, its effects last until the end of the encounter.
  2. When preventing an environmental effect (corrosive atmosphere, vacuum) it operates like Vacuum Sealed, lasting for a short time before the effects fail: the talisman is destroyed, and the protection ends.
  3. If the talisman is deactivated before the clock runs out, it is damaged a number of steps proportional to the time used.
  4. When protecting against something like the Burn quality, it is damaged one step.

I’d say only use the damage levels as repair guides, and the effects (like +1 Setback, +1 Difficulty, unusable) don’t apply.

Maybe that’s a bit fiddly, but I think it makes sense. The alternative is to put a set limit on the number of rounds (or just 1 encounter) the amulet lasts once activated. That’s the simplest solution, and my original thought on the topic.