|The Five Chi Elements|
Unlike Western Elements which stand in contrast to one another (“Fire is the opposite of Water”), Daoist elements flow into one another. Wood promotes Fire (Fire burns wood), Fire promotes Earth (fire burns down to ashes), Earth promotes Metal (Metal can be extracted from Earth), Metal promotes Water (Metal melts down into water) and Water promotes Wood (Water nourishes Wood).
We also have counter-positions, where elements defeat or control other elements. Wood consumes Earth, Fire melts Metal, Earth dams Water, Water extinguishes flame, and Metal cuts Wood. The elements also have Yin and Yang associations: Wood is lesser Yang, Fire greater Yang, Metal lesser Yin, Water greater Yin, and Earth is balanced.
This means that all elements interact with other elements in more than one way. This principle of fives and trying to create balance still exists in China (for example, five spice powder, and how Chinese cuisine tries to balance “Yang” flavors like heat and sour with “Yin” flavors like sweet and savory).
Chi Elements in Star WarsHow do these elements interact with Star Wars? Chinese Elemental Powers implies that different worlds have their own chi. We can also connect those worlds to the five elements without too much trouble:
- Tattoine, being a desert, is
strongly aspected towards Earth.
- Urban worlds, like
Coruscant, or artificial worlds, like the Death Star, are aspected
- Water worlds, or ice worlds like Hoth, are aspected towards Water.
- Lush worlds like Dagobah are
aspected towards Wood.
- Lava worlds, like Mustafar,
are aspected towards Fire.
|Five Elemental Planets|
Anakin, broadly speaking, goes through a similar cycle: From the Earth of Tatooine to the Metal of Coruscant to the Water of Naboo to the Wood of Geonosis to the Fire of Mustafar, where he completes his cycle by metaphorically dying (both Anakin and Luke face their final choice for Light or Dark-Side on Fire worlds, suggesting their Trial by Fire). The next time that Anakin makes a major appearance, it's on a starship over Tatooine as Darth Vader in a New Hope.
Chi Elements in Psi WarsThe above depiction works, but mostly in an abstract fashion. In practice, if you flip through the Elemental Powers, you'll note most of them are highly inappropriate. Jedi don't typically breath flames, or exude metal, or shoot blasts of water at people. Instead, they control lightning and the minds of animals or they short out technology. In short, the day-to-day elements of a Jedi is different than the day-to-day elements of a wuxia warrior.
We can analyze the structure of Chi Elements all day and propose alternates, but I propose the following as simple replacements.
We can even leave them in place, but then weird things start to pop out. Energy gives rise to Worlds (I suppose that makes sense: The Sun “gave birth” to the Earth), Worlds give rise to Technology (I suppose technology is built from things hewn out of the Earth), Technology gives rise to Void (I suppose technology leads to Death?), Void gives rise to Life (???) and Life gives rise to Energy (...I guess we carry light in our hearts?)
So we could re-arrange the elements, I spent a few days doing so, and you can honestly justify a lot of configurations. Here's what I came up with, mostly based on actually working the powers out.
Energy gives rise to the Void (Supernovas clear out space). Void gives rise to worlds (Void gives worlds space to form). Worlds give rise to Life (self-explanatory, I think), Life gives rise to Technology (also self-explanatory), and Technology gives rise to Energy (it generates Energy). This also means that Energy controls (burns?) Worlds, that Void controls (destroys) Life, that Worlds control (Ruins) Technology, Technology controls Void (gives one the capacity to bridge that distance), and Life controls (consumes) Energy.
It's not a perfect fit, but it worked out pretty well when designing powers.
Designing New Chi PowersI know I said I didn't want to design powers, but what I meant was that I didn't want to design a new framework. I don't mind designing new powers within a framework, and Chi Elemental Powers provides that framework.
It does so in more ways than just the Chi Elements and the Cycle through which they flow. It also discusses the consequences of the Chi modifier, the rules behind Extra-Effort, and the effects of a Crippled Power, all of which we can port in.
Furthermore, it provides a structure for how individual Chi powers work. Namely, it breaks them down into Internal and External Powers, similar to our Cinematic Skills, and then directly connects the Elements to Cinematic Skills by associating Elemental Talents with Cinematic Skills. It doesn't allow those talents to add to Cinematic Skills, but for this first draft, I'm going to waive that and allow Elemental Talents to add to associated Cinematic Skills and I'm also going to allow Inner Balance and Forceful Chi to add to Chi Powers, the former to Internal Powers and the latter to External Powers. This creates a hard connection between the Cinematic Skills of yesterday's post, and the Chi Elements of today's post.
Finally, it discusses how Internal and External powers work. I'm going to modify them a little to more closely fit our expectations of Jedi powers:
- Adapt to the environment
- Self-Empower/Take on Qualities
- Attack/Control/Neutralize another
- Create/Nourish another Element
- Senses its element
- Command Own Element
- Attack with Element
Psi Wars Elemental Powers
Below is a modest selection of powers meant to give one an idea of what a more fully fleshed out version of this might look like.
This void controls light and creates worlds (but is defeated by
worlds in return). It defeats life and is defeated by Tech.
Associated Cinematic Skills: Flying Leap, Invisibility Art, Blind Fighting
Internal PowersLighten Body: Super Jump 1 (Chi -10%, Lighter-than-Air -10%) 
Void Walker: Does Not Breath (Chi -10%, Accessibility: while conscious -5%, link +10%), Vacuum Support (Chi -10%, Link+10%) + Flight (Space Flight Only -25%, Chi -10%)  for total of 
Dark-Sight: Dark Vision (Chi -10%) 
External PowersEmpty Lungs: Innate Attack (1 fatigue)  (+100% malediction, Hazard (Suffocating) +0%, No Signature +20%, Cyclic (Resistable, Persuade the Jedi to relent or kill him, 20 cycles, once per second) +1000%, Resistable (HT-5) -5%, Chi -10%, costs 1 fatigue -5%) 
Veil of Darkness: Obscure (Vision) 5 (Chi -10%, Extended +20%) 
Singularity: Crushing Attack 1d+2 (Chi -10%, Elemental Storm +190%, No Wounding -50%, Double Knock-Back +20%) 
Associated Cinematic Skills: Immovable Stance, Sensitivity, Breaking Blow
Internal PowersMass Perception: Detect Matter (Chi -10%) 
Mountain Stance: Resist Knockback +3 (Common; Chi -10%, Accessibly, only while Conscious -5%) 
Sense Tremors: Vibration Sense (Universal +50%, Accessibly, only while conscious -5%, Chi -10%) 
External PowersEarthquake (Shake the Ground, TCEP 28) 
Summoning Fog: (TCEP 33) 
Storm of Rain: (TCEP 33)[21 points]
Ruin: Innate Attack Corrosion 1d (Machines only -20%, Malediction +100%, Chi -10%, costs 1 fatigue -5%, Resistable HT-2 -15%) 
Associated Cinematic Skills: Body Control, Hypnotism, Breath Control
Internal PowersAbsorb Energy: DR 2 (Energy Only -20%, Absorb, heals FP +40%, Chi -10%, Accessibly, only while conscious -5%) 
Draw Life: Regeneration (Regular; Chi -10%, Accessibility, only while conscious -5%, only in natural environment -20%) 
Forest-Walking: (TCEP page 22) 
Sense Life: Sense Life (Chi -10%) 
External PowersCommand Beasts: Mind Control (Animals only -20%, Chi -10%, Suggestion Only -40%) 
Adaption of Form: Injury Tolerance (Environmental Adaption; Terrestrial Only -50%, Chi -10%, Accessibility, only while conscious -5%) 
Give Life: Healing (Chi -10%, Contact-Agent -30%, Immediate Preparation Required, 1 Minute -40%, Xenohealing, Familiar Galactic Life +60%) 
Associated Cinematic Skills: Precognitive Parry, Mental Strength, Autohypnosis
Internal PowersTireless: Idefatigable 10 (Chi -10%, Accessibility, only while conscious -5%, Temporary Disadvantage, Electrical -20%) 
Flesh of Iron: Immunity to Metabolic Hazards (Chi -10%, Accessibility, only while conscious -5%, Temporary Disadvantage, Electrical -20%) 
Sense Technology: Detect (Technology) (Chi -10%) 
Digital Eyes: Scanning Sense (Active Radar) (Chi -10%) 
External PowersControl Technology: Mind Control (Cybernetic Only +0%, Chi -10%, Puppet -40%) 
Digital Ghost: Invisibility (Machines Only -50%, Chi -10%, Accessibility, only while conscious -5%) 
Sanitize: 1d toxic (Chi -10%, Elemental Storm +190%, Resistible (HT+1) -30%) 
Generate Energy (perk?)
Associated Cinematic Skills: Power-Blow, Meditation, Dreaming
Internal PowersBright Vision: Protected Vision (Chi -10%, Accessibility, only while conscious -5% link +10%) [4.5], Hyperspectral Vision (Chi -10%, Accessibility, only while conscious -5%, link +10%) 
Light-Speed Vision: Enhanced Time Sense (Chi -10%, Costs 1 fatigue per second -10%) 
Detect Energy: Detect (Energy) (Chi -10%) 
External PowersLightning Surge: Burning 1d (Surge, Arcing +100%, Side-Effect, Stunning +50%, Chi -10%, Costs 1 fatigue -5%, increased range x2 (½ only) +5%) 
Lightning Storm: BurningAttack 1d (Chi -10%, Elemental Storm +190%, Surge, Arcing +100%, Side-Effect, Stunning +50%, Elemental, Requires power/energy or a storm -10%) 
Draw Power: Leech (Mechanical) 1 (Chi -10%, Hazard, Starvation +40%, Heals FP only +0%) 
Building Chi-Powered Space KnightsThis process becomes a bit more complicated. We have the External vs Internal dimension, both with skills and with Chi powers, and we have to consider the elements we're using, thus things can get very dynamic. A Void Space Knight might look something like this:
The Shadow Knight
Void Talent +1 
Forceful Chi +1 
Lighten Body 
Veil of Shadows 
Invisibility Art (H) IQ* -12
Blind Fighting (VH) Per+2* -14
This gives us a Space Knight who makes an excellent assassin, able to vanish or, failing that, draw starry-shadows down around her, leap high into the air and fight very well in darkness. She can further expand into both External Chi skills (like Power-Blow) and Void Powers (like Empty Lungs, which is almost ideal for her).
We can also make Space Knights with a focus on multiple Chi Elements, especially ones that work well together:
The Weather Knight
World Talent +1 
Energy Talent +1 
Storm of Rain 
Storm of Lightning 
Mountain Stance 
Meditation (H) Will+1 -13
This gives us a quietly contemplative character who is unmoved, and once a day can create a massive storm of rain or a massive storm of electricity, or both given that the storm of rain facilitates the storm of lightning. Not exactly the best representation of the relationship, but good enough.