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Hack n' Slash
A critical hit…With the ladies!
On the joys of being a Gungan...

     All the Star Wars related gaming goodness of late has got me in a hankering for some saber swinging, force mind trickin', D20 action.

     Wizards of the Coast has just the thing for me and I'm looking forward to starting up the campaign my group had going. Of course, before I go in, I have to steel myself for the typical barbs I'll get. See, I have a little problem. My problem is, well, I like Gungans…and my character will be one.

    I know what you're thinking. It's something along the lines of "What the hell? Did George Lucas punt you in the head one too many times? You like Jar Jar?" And the answer is a vehement "NO". Jar-Jar was an atrocity. He brought a fart joke into Star Wars that cannot be forgiven. However judging Gungans based on Jar Jar is like judging Humans based on Dan Quayle. He's an idiotic example, not a definitive icon, of his entire species. Oh how people forget this. Oh the pain I have endured because I like the Gungan race. And oh how when I role-play I want to be a member of this noble species.

     Did you know that the Gungans are a very advanced race? Centuries ago they took their amphibious habitat under the water. They then developed the Osmotic membrane technology that allows them to live in enclosed bubbles under the water. These shields allow only slow moving objects to move through. They allow a Gungan to walk through, but hold back the immense pressure of the oceans around them. Modified slightly this is the technology we see in Episode One that so effectively stops blaster bolts. The energy balls used to disable the battle droids? Another Gungan innovation. The Gungans also have their own version of the life debt. It obligates them to submit to a life debt owed to whoever has saved their life. They are an honorable species containing both warriors and politicians. Although they began as fairly aloof, even from their neighbors on Naboo, they are a friendly enough species. We can even see that they are welcomed into the Galactic Republic.

     Okay, now you're probably thinking "That's great, but I'm trying to play Star Wars here, and what's that stupid Gungan gonna do for me?" The answer is tons. Just starting off the Gungans get a + 2 to their constitution scores. This means they are healthy buggers. My Gungan started with a 20 constitution (I'd like to thank my lucky dice for that 18). That means he's getting an extra five hit points a level. A level four soldier with perfect health rolls is looking at 60 hit points. When some weapons are doing 3d8 Damage on a hit, that's a lifesaver. That high Con also means that I've got a lot of wound points and don't need to worry about a critical hit as much. Just the other day, my Gungan took a vibro-shiv critical to the gut for 15 damage and I laughed it off. Just a flesh wound! Not to mention, in all this, let's remember the Gungan ability to hold its breath. A Gungan can hold its breath for 25 times its constitution score in rounds. My Gungan can hold his breath for nearly an hour. Not only does this mean he can swim for ages, but it means any attack which depends on him breathing in said attack (like knockout gas) will have to be affecting the area for an hour to get to him. Moving away from constitution, huge Gungan ears mean Listening check bonus, even in spite of the low wisdom they're subject to. A plus one on reflex saves can keep your ass out of danger more times than you know. If all that wasn't enough for you, they've got low light vision for better range at night. To top it all off, they've got long frog like tongues, which have a myriad of creative uses from disarming opponents to impressing the Twi'lek dancers. Okay, that last bit isn't in the rules, but you've gotta admit it's kind of cool.

     But, unfortunately, things aren't all tongues and Twi'leks for the Gungans. The -2 they receive on wisdom will be a detriment to several useful skills. Listening isn't as much of a problem, however treat injury, sense motive, and survival will prove a little more difficult if you don't roll well. Not to mention several force skills based on Wisdom as well. Of course this just means that the Gungans are best suited as ass kickin' soldiers. Sure the Gungans don't get Wookie rage, but people can understand a Gungan when he talks. Even if he does sound a bit like a bad Jamaican/Creole mix.

     Just remember that we have seen that the Gungans can be very cool. They were willing to put their lives on the line there to protect Naboo. They are a noble race which doesn't really deserve the bad rap they seem to have received from the likes of Boss Nass and Jar Jar (what was up with the flying spittle on Boss Nass anyway?). In your local Star Wars campaign just consider all the benefits the Gungan abilities can net you in game. A healthy soldier is an effective soldier. Which was especially true in the original release of the Star Wars rules, but still holds true today. And can I say enough good things about a prehensile tongue? Can I? I'm not saying you need to go make out with the nearest Gungan (although it would definitely be an interesting experience), just give them the chance that they deserve as a cool species to be.

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