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 Post subject: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Wed May 01, 2013 9:13 pm 
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Okay, since I'm simply not willing to wait until 2015, here's my initial attempt at Lightsaber Forms Specialization (v.2.0). I've only assembled forms I through IV at this time; the remaining two forms are to follow, when I have time. Since this is my first swing at this (pun intended), any feedback would be most appreciated. But keep in mind that this is intended for a Jedi only campaign. I have strived to keep it balanced/unbroken. So most of the homebrew talents are either once per encounter, or situation specific. My goal was to give the trees the flavor of the forms themselves. Also, each 'tree' is really just a single column, but costs the same as a full-fledged specialization. My hope is that this will also be a balancing factor. Enjoy!

**05/08/2013 EDIT: Updated the link to include all 6 forms.
**05/09/2013 EDIT: Version 2.4; Adjusted Makashi Riposte to only be used when engaged with only one opponent.
**07/31/2013 EDIT: The linked document now includes the updated lightsaber forms as a universal specialization (including fluff and instructions for how to use the forms). It also includes the Force Devotee talent tree as well (since the Art of Movement talent is listed as a prerequisite for Form IV).

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Last edited by GM Jedi-Scoundrel on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 4:28 am 
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Unfortunately, I don't have time right now to go into it, but I'm seeing a lot of problems with this. I'll try to provide a more in-depth critique later in the day, but the big one that's raising red flags at first glance is that these look to be an excuse to pick up a bunch of cool talents without having to deal too much with the existing specialization talent trees.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 6:00 am 
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I've been eyeballing my own take on Lightsaber forms, built on the concept that the early forms unlock the more advanced forms.

Interesting concept with each line counting as it's own specialization, meaning that somoene with one career has to spend 20, 30, then 40 XP just to get access to each path. Not sure I'd pay that as a character, but it's a creative balance point.

I also like how you've made talents based on lightsaber strike names and the old Lightsaber Form powers.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 6:52 am 
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I like this idea.

Although some pointers:
Defensive Stance per the beta update supplies upgrades not setback dice. (Minor detail, but important difference). Same goes for Side-step.

Precise Aim is now ranked, improved precise aim no longer exists (not a biggie).

Sun Djem - I mean this is basically the Sunder quality, no? The lightsaber already innately has this - at the same cost as a critical.

Reposte - its pretty beard I think, a free attack? I mean it does happen in a critical result too that this is granted, so I guess there is room for it. Once per encounter is also a good cap, plus the need for a missed attack and only one opponent. Still pretty powerful I think. The Counter Strike talent is even more powerful in one way. The cap limits these though.

Shiak - Now, I like the idea and the limitation, but it is still very powerful I think. I guess an additional cost of a setback dice-aim manoeuvre is too expensive... and the cap is important I think.

Form IV is ... I think, kind of too powerful. Even with the required talent from your devotee specialisation. The third and fourth talents gives a huge bonus in damage, 1 destiny point for adding agility to damage (for an agility focused character that is at least 3 more damage on top of 10 [or 11 for a successful hit at minimum]), 2 strain for number of ranks in quite useful, and for such a build definite choice skill. The frenzied attack also boosts this somewhat, with the extra proficiency upgrade (or extra ability die if ranks/characteristic constellation allows), I'm not against this talent on the list though, it makes sense - the the third and fourth I'm wondering about, I mean, does it need both? I'd drop the Acrobatic Strike talent. This is then topped off by the Way of the Hawk Bat which allows you to move from medium to engaged, and roll force die/dice as part of attack, where both black and white pips supply successes? I mean, its 4 strain sure and only once per encounter, but still I think its too powerful. Drop the force rating bonus on attack at least.


When it comes to the deflection talent - I notice the absence of a defensive quality talent. I have nothing against this, but I have some thoughts on the matter inspired by others.

Theo had a suggestion on my blog about allowing anyone trained with a lightsaber to gain qualities on their lightsaber ranked up to their force rating. So for instance a FR 2 could add deflection 2, or deflection 1 and defensive 1 - he also suggested the accurate quality, I'm not so sure about that though. I'd even take it one step further - require an investment of force dice to gain these defensive qualities. So by investing 1 force die you could gain deflection 1 or defensive 1, by investing 2 ... you get the picture. This mirrors the defensive sense upgrade somewhat, but I don't think it warrants an entirely new power or upgrade - perhaps require that sense upgrade for that talent/specialisation? Or just stick to the solution you have, which I think is more than good enough :)

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 8:41 am 
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DarthGM wrote:
I've been eyeballing my own take on Lightsaber forms, built on the concept that the early forms unlock the more advanced forms.


As I put them together I thought about making completion of all of Form I a prerequisite to start any of the others, since that's the one most Jedi start with. I'm still thinking about it, but one of the things I wanted for this was for non-Jedi to be able to take the forms as well. And some non-Jedi might not start with Form I.

DarthGM wrote:
Interesting concept with each line counting as it's own specialization, meaning that somoene with one career has to spend 20, 30, then 40 XP just to get access to each path. Not sure I'd pay that as a character, but it's a creative balance point.


Yeah - it was intentional. And it's costly, not just for these trees, but for any future additional specializations the character might pursue, since they would have to pay for a full specialization, yet only gain access to 5 talents. To me it's representative of the amount of training and focus needed to master lightsaber forms.

@Donno: This is why I didn't mind making each tree have somewhat better powers (though I'm not sure that's generally the case - there are plenty of talents in here that would be less costly if taken from other specializations.)

DarthGM wrote:
I also like how you've made talents based on lightsaber strike names and the old Lightsaber Form powers.


Thanks. I did this where I could, though not all of the forms have a specific strike associated with it (as near as I could tell from Wookieepedia). Basically, my approach was to read through the form description there and look for existing talents that seemed to capture the flavor. Then if no talent existed for a particular aspect, I did my best to come up with one that (hopefully) wasn't too broken.

Jegergryte wrote:
I like this idea.

Although some pointers:
Defensive Stance per the beta update supplies upgrades not setback dice. (Minor detail, but important difference). Same goes for Side-step.

Precise Aim is now ranked, improved precise aim no longer exists (not a biggie).


Ummm....I feel a little sheepish for not checking the errata... :oops: Thanks for spotting these. I'll make corrections as soon as I can.

Jegergryte wrote:
Sun Djem - I mean this is basically the Sunder quality, no? The lightsaber already innately has this - at the same cost as a critical.


Oooohhh...you are correct sir. See, this is why it's good that I'm not in charge of the world. Hmmmm....what do you think about the talent instead allowing extra successes to be spent to activate Sunder as well as advantage? Being able to attack a foe's weapon is very much part of the flavor of Form I, so I hate to just ignore it.

Jegergryte wrote:
Reposte - its pretty beard I think, a free attack? I mean it does happen in a critical result too that this is granted, so I guess there is room for it. Once per encounter is also a good cap, plus the need for a missed attack and only one opponent. Still pretty powerful I think. The Counter Strike talent is even more powerful in one way. The cap limits these though.


Yeah. The flavor of Form II is that it is mostly useful against only one foe (that's its primary weakness). I thought it also needed a little nerfing beyond that, which is why the 1/encounter.

Counter strike is more powerful since it can be done with either a missed ranged or melee attack. The description of this on Wookieepedia says that it uses the momentum gained from blocking/deflecting an attack to counter attack, so that was the inspiration.

Jegergryte wrote:
Shiak - Now, I like the idea and the limitation, but it is still very powerful I think. I guess an additional cost of a setback dice-aim manoeuvre is too expensive... and the cap is important I think.


This was a tough one to figure out how to handle in game. At first, I thought to just use Crippling Blow. But that didn't seem powerful enough. My original version also had the Death crit result as an option, but I decided that was just too powerful (even though a killing strike, like Maul on Qui-Gon is part of this). As it stands, it seeks to simulate Dooku's hits on Obi-Wan in the hangar on Geonosis (which is also specifically called out as an example of Shiak - note that Dooku made sure he was just fighting one of them at a time).

Jegergryte wrote:
Form IV is ... I think, kind of too powerful. Even with the required talent from your devotee specialisation. The third and fourth talents gives a huge bonus in damage, 1 destiny point for adding agility to damage (for an agility focused character that is at least 3 more damage on top of 10 [or 11 for a successful hit at minimum]), 2 strain for number of ranks in quite useful, and for such a build definite choice skill. The frenzied attack also boosts this somewhat, with the extra proficiency upgrade (or extra ability die if ranks/characteristic constellation allows), I'm not against this talent on the list though, it makes sense - the the third and fourth I'm wondering about, I mean, does it need both? I'd drop the Acrobatic Strike talent. This is then topped off by the Way of the Hawk Bat which allows you to move from medium to engaged, and roll force die/dice as part of attack, where both black and white pips supply successes? I mean, its 4 strain sure and only once per encounter, but still I think its too powerful. Drop the force rating bonus on attack at least.


Yeah, I was worried a little about the power-creep issues, especially with this one. The description of Form IV says that it is acrobatic, offensive, powerful, draining, and lethal (maybe too much). So that was my motivation behind these. I'm not too worried about Way of the Hawk Bat, since it's only 1/encounter; yes, it might end a fight quickly (maybe), but I think that's what it was designed to do. Also, as you pointed out, the buy for this is pretty costly. Also, the Acrobatic Strike talent really is just a re-hash of Barrage or Deadly Accuracy; actually it's worse, since it causes strain. But that's in the flavor of Form IV. So I don't really think this is too broken in and of itself (at least not any more than those existing talents).

So if a character buys into all of Form IV, they can use it all in one attack; this was intentional - representing the initial long jumping in all-out attack at the beginning of a lightsaber duel that we see in the movies. So for 7 strain and a destiny point (a significant investment), they can engage from Medium range, make an attack that is upgraded once, and deals increased damage depending on the number of Force dice they want to contribute to it, thus possibly neglecting their own defensive bonuses like Sense/Control (note that the dark pips increasing successes is lifted directly from the Overwhelm Emotions talent; and using dark pips causes strain/DP use as well, as is normal for Dark Side use). If they decide to do this, they better hit (and hope their target doesn't have friends around) or they may be hurting real soon. But that was kind of the point. It might be a little overpowered, but I'm not sure yet. This might require some play testing to see if it's just too broketastic.

Jegergryte wrote:
When it comes to the deflection talent - I notice the absence of a defensive quality talent. I have nothing against this, but I have some thoughts on the matter inspired by others.


I lifted Deflection directly from Awaypt's Jedi talent trees. I didn't mind including additional ranks in it since Form III practitioners are supposed to be very difficult to hit. And I wanted to separate ranged from melee since that's the way these things are described in the descriptions of the forms.

Jegergryte wrote:
Theo had a suggestion on my blog about allowing anyone trained with a lightsaber to gain qualities on their lightsaber ranked up to their force rating. So for instance a FR 2 could add deflection 2, or deflection 1 and defensive 1 - he also suggested the accurate quality, I'm not so sure about that though. I'd even take it one step further - require an investment of force dice to gain these defensive qualities. So by investing 1 force die you could gain deflection 1 or defensive 1, by investing 2 ... you get the picture. This mirrors the defensive sense upgrade somewhat, but I don't think it warrants an entirely new power or upgrade - perhaps require that sense upgrade for that talent/specialisation? Or just stick to the solution you have, which I think is more than good enough :)


Interesting idea here. I like the Force interaction. I have to think on this some...

Thanks for the comments/suggestions!!! I appreciate them greatly!!

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:30 am 
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I kinda like the idea of a talent that lets you convert successes into advantage to activate a specific weapon quality; as long as it's clear that you can only do that after all failures are cancelled out. (That is, you can't roll 4 fail + 2 succ + 2 advantage and convert those two successes; they cancel out first.)

Also not sure if you should be able to convert the last success. Can you trigger sunder when you missed but got lots of advantage, or do you have to hit with the attack first?

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:47 am 
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I'm just thinking, on the Form IV...

If you had 5 ranks in coordiantion - that's 5 extra damage for 2 strain, of course deadly assault is "free", and pressure point ignores soak (but causes only strain), its in the spirit of the game I guess, I mean I have a similar talent for my martial arts doodles.

Agility for this character would at least be 3 if not 4, I can only assume of course, but I think its fairly obvious that someone would invest either lots of starting xp and/or a dedication talent or two on agility with a build including this.

That's 9 extra damage just there; granted not a starting character, but a starting character can't have this form anyway. At the "mere" cost of 2 strain and a destiny point. So with just 1 success on the attack that is 20 damage which ignores 10 soak/1 armour. You need some of those soak monsters moaned about on the FFG forum to even try to meet that - or of course a platoon of cortosis clad troopers, not that those would slow you down much either.

Now, the character would also have some other specialisation, two rather since you need a FR 1 to get your devotee specialisation, which you need to get the talent required for the form IV. So, fastest route is starting specialisation (0 xp), force exile (20 xp), devotee (30 xp) - both of which can be bought at character creation if need be - plus 85 XP worth of talent from the devotee spec to get to form IV (40 xp), a grand total of 175 to get there without spending any xp on anything else. Of course if spending starting XP to at least get to force exile you cut down time slightly, if not by much, and get to invest in some characteristic (agility anyone?). So that's an investment.

Now, consider the character also might have access to deadly assault through the starting specialisation (unless you're using a homebrewed jedi career which does not contain any of these damage enhancing talents), that would add further 5 damage (in time)... or some other starting career and you get to add on another frenzied attack and feral strength just for fun. Meeh.


Sun Djem - Perhaps that is a good idea, per 2 uncancelled successes beyond the first can be spent to activate Sunder. Dunno if that's a good or bad idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:16 am 
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Darth Pseudonym wrote:
I kinda like the idea of a talent that lets you convert successes into advantage to activate a specific weapon quality; as long as it's clear that you can only do that after all failures are cancelled out. (That is, you can't roll 4 fail + 2 succ + 2 advantage and convert those two successes; they cancel out first.)

Also not sure if you should be able to convert the last success. Can you trigger sunder when you missed but got lots of advantage, or do you have to hit with the attack first?


Yes, my intent was that it would be success left over after subtraction of fails.

My understanding is that a hit is actually not necessary to activate Sunder. So that would suggest that any excess success might be allowed to activate Sunder. Hmmm....the more I think about this, the more I like it.

Jegergryte wrote:
If you had 5 ranks in coordiantion - that's 5 extra damage for 2 strain, of course deadly assault is "free", and pressure point ignores soak (but causes only strain), its in the spirit of the game I guess, I mean I have a similar talent for my martial arts doodles.

Agility for this character would at least be 3 if not 4, I can only assume of course, but I think its fairly obvious that someone would invest either lots of starting xp and/or a dedication talent or two on agility with a build including this.

That's 9 extra damage just there; granted not a starting character, but a starting character can't have this form anyway. At the "mere" cost of 2 strain and a destiny point. So with just 1 success on the attack that is 20 damage which ignores 10 soak/1 armour. You need some of those soak monsters moaned about on the FFG forum to even try to meet that - or of course a platoon of cortosis clad troopers, not that those would slow you down much either.

Now, the character would also have some other specialisation, two rather since you need a FR 1 to get your devotee specialisation, which you need to get the talent required for the form IV. So, fastest route is starting specialisation (0 xp), force exile (20 xp), devotee (30 xp) - both of which can be bought at character creation if need be - plus 85 XP worth of talent from the devotee spec to get to form IV (40 xp), a grand total of 175 to get there without spending any xp on anything else. Of course if spending starting XP to at least get to force exile you cut down time slightly, if not by much, and get to invest in some characteristic (agility anyone?). So that's an investment.

Now, consider the character also might have access to deadly assault through the starting specialisation (unless you're using a homebrewed jedi career which does not contain any of these damage enhancing talents), that would add further 5 damage (in time)... or some other starting career and you get to add on another frenzied attack and feral strength just for fun. Meeh.


All very true. The most broken aspect to me is that it ignores soak. Also, with the XP count, don't forget that your example would require additional XP to increase ranks in Coordination as well as Lightsaber (that is, if they want to be able to hit with this).

Other than that, I think similar results (if not even more broken ones) can be attained via other build routes with similar build totals. Heck, in our PbP game, my much lower XP lowly pilot dealt 40 damage with a couple of autofire hits with a heavy repeating blaster on the same poor target...wasn't much left of him, and soak wasn't going to help. And he has the potential to do that every round. Give him the 175 XP to invest in Gunnery ranks, Deadly Accuracy, Targeted Blow, etc., etc. and suddenly Form IV doesn't seem so broken (to me anyway).

I might see not allowing it to stack with something like Deadly Accuracy. I don't have difficulty with addition of more Frenzied Attack or Feral Strength, since those cost more XP, and Frenzied Attack also costs more strain.

I really appreciate your comments on this. I hope you don't think I'm arguing, just discussing. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 11:21 am 
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Nah, I'm just making observations - no need for arguing :)

I only calculated the need to get access to the Form, after that its only a matter of a few sessions (and/or a generous GM) and you have all you need to one-kill most opponents ;) 5 ranks in a skill requires as much as getting all the talents in that Form, so some mixing and matching must happen. And of course by going the quick route, you won't have an insanely high agility (yet) as you would have spent it all on gaining access, so by starting as a Rodian, spending only starting xp on force exile you could get your agility to 4, but no higher. Which I guess is a "fair" extra damage for a destiny point? ;)

To me it just seems like a very powerful, straightforward column to get all you need to basically mess up anyone more or less at once (not "at once" as in straight away after character generation, but in the sense that this one column gives you all you need to mess up almost anyone in the first round of combat). While it takes some time to get there and get access, that column of 5 talents is pretty powerful and you can get it all pretty quickly once access has been gained. There is no circuitous route to collect, there is only these really beardy talents all for (once you have access) the mere sum of 75 xp. Still as you say, I'm sure more broken builds can be conjured by looking up in the beta book alone - not to mention looking at the martial arts stuff I've been dabbling with; hence I stopped while my pride was almost still intact and decided to try and focus on psy-disciplines being constitutive of western liberal democracies and how that relates to forensic psychiatry. Good fun.

While I like this idea, and it sure is more ... accessible and useful in some ways than a full talent tree filled with loads of talents, I'm not sure its the best solution, simply because there's too few talents, they're all really good, and ... well. It just feel "off". Not that that means anything really, feelings being what they are (whatever they are).

I might test it, but I'm not running an all jedi group (no jedi in fact, but a force exile with a non-functioning lighsaber) - so this would really mess up the power balance within the group, and probably kill the group quite quickly if used against them. I mean, I gather that this is not the perspective they (the Forms) are made to consider really, as its for a Jedi group if I understand correctly. This could make for fun as long as no one player decided to go all out Technician or Colonist and try to keep up ;) So in that sense its out of the question for me and my group, but then again its not intended for my group - and perhaps not a mixed-career group? It lends itself well to power gaming, which is fun if all are in on it - and opponents with access to these talents would be a serious crazy threat even to PCs with these talents, particularly if you're not a very forgiving GM :twisted: my players suffered badly from a Ghest attack, a Master bounty hunter and a Borhek... and they felt almost cheated when I used move against them (throwing one player on the other) during an earlier session.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:20 pm 
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GM Jedi-Scoundrel wrote:
Yes, my intent was that it would be success left over after subtraction of fails.

My understanding is that a hit is actually not necessary to activate Sunder. So that would suggest that any excess success might be allowed to activate Sunder. Hmmm....the more I think about this, the more I like it.

I do too. Reducing successes means reducing the damage you're dealing, and I think it really fits with both the Jedi mindset and the Shii-cho style to go for a less damaging (or even non-damaging) blow in order to take away your opponent's ability to fight. You don't have to kill, in most cases, if you can disarm instead.

It does need to be very, very specific, though -- the fact that EotE tends to produce "mixed bag" results (success with threat or failure with advantage) is a major assumption of the game, so a talent that messes with that should be tied down pretty tightly. In this case, I think it works so long as it's only with lightsabers and only the Sunder ability; you can't take the talent and use it to, say, activate a grenade's Blast, trigger an unarmed Disorient effect, or even do other lightsaber advantage-based effects like a crit.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 1:34 pm 
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Darth Pseudonym wrote:
GM Jedi-Scoundrel wrote:
Yes, my intent was that it would be success left over after subtraction of fails.

My understanding is that a hit is actually not necessary to activate Sunder. So that would suggest that any excess success might be allowed to activate Sunder. Hmmm....the more I think about this, the more I like it.

I do too. Reducing successes means reducing the damage you're dealing, and I think it really fits with both the Jedi mindset and the Shii-cho style to go for a less damaging (or even non-damaging) blow in order to take away your opponent's ability to fight. You don't have to kill, in most cases, if you can disarm instead.

It does need to be very, very specific, though -- the fact that EotE tends to produce "mixed bag" results (success with threat or failure with advantage) is a major assumption of the game, so a talent that messes with that should be tied down pretty tightly. In this case, I think it works so long as it's only with lightsabers and only the Sunder ability; you can't take the talent and use it to, say, activate a grenade's Blast, trigger an unarmed Disorient effect, or even do other lightsaber advantage-based effects like a crit.


I think under normal rules it's possible to Sunder as well as deal normal damage on a hit. For my upcoming revision of this talent, I think it would have to include the stipulation that you can activate Sunder with excess successes, as long as you deal no damage to the foe (i.e. use all the successes to activate Sunders). Since weapons basically only require 4 Sunders to be destroyed (i.e. be taken beyond Major damage), and multiple Sunders can be dealt in a single blow, this could be really handy - especially if you want to be non-lethal.

And yes, for this talent, I think it should ONLY allow activation of the Sunder quality.

I like this one too, exactly because it allows for more non-lethal combats; very Jedi-ish. It also allows for a Jedi who's atoning for too much use of Dark Side points, or for their back story, etc. to refrain from killing. I think this captures the flavor of Soresu very nicely.

Now just to make sure that Ataru isn't too broken. :D

**EDIT: Just realized I'm over 1000 posts. And I didn't even notice!

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 1:53 pm 
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What about for Sun Djem, instead of just using Success to activate Sunder, you make it so that your Sunder damages a weapon by 2 steps instead of 1? Makes a little more in keeping with the mechanics, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Okay, I updated it for the errata as well as a few other changes based on the discussion (updated version is in the original link). Also, I changed Sun Djem to allow Sunder to be activated via successes (@Awaypt: I liked your suggestion, and it might be changed to that after some play testing, but for now I like the idea of making it less lethal to Sunder - very much in the spirit of the form). I also changed Acrobatic Strike due to Jegergryte's worries. Now it requires a maneuver, and it causes 1 strain per damage increase (which is done before the attack, so the strain is suffered whether the attack hits or not). So that nerfs it a bit.

I'm also thinking that a de-facto prerequisite might be the GM granting access to a form. So when the characters have opportunity to train with a master skilled in one of these forms, then they can start to learn the form (of course, they still have to pay for it!) But I suppose this could be for any career - it just depends on the GM and players.

Again, I greatly appreciate the suggestions! Now I'm on to Forms V and VI!

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:57 pm 
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I'm still not convinced that "mini career tree" is the way to go for Lightsaber Forms. Honestly, this isn't a crunch-heavy system like d20 where everything needs to be stated out in exacting detail. I honestly think these really are little more than grab-bags of goodies, but I'll return to that point later.

Looking at the branches themselves, here's the problems I see.

First is that each person who follows a given Form is going to wind up looking pretty similar to any other Form user, as they're all just a straight-line progression from one talent to the next. I honestly think that a single talent that provides a bonus ability in line with the core tenet of the Form would be the best approach, perhaps a "[Form Name] Expert" with maybe, maybe a "[Form Name] Master" down the road.

Now on to the talents themselves.

Deflection is kind of weak given how much XP has to be paid to get it, especially if a defense-orientated PC wants to pick up both instances, paying at least 60 XP (assuming that Form I and Form III are their 2nd & 3rd 'careers' plus the 5 XP cost).

Random Velocities is pretty much just Precise Aim, and frankly is redundant when you've got Precise Aim itself in the next tree over. They're the same thing, function the same way, so ditch one and keep the other.

Sweeping Defense reads like a nerfed version of the Defensive quality. If you're already using a talent to provide Deflection, might as well give the buyer the full Defensive quality for their lightsaber, especially at a cost of 15 XP.

Sun Djem feels a bit too potent, especially since those uncancelled successes don't need to be put towards damage in a lot of cases given how easily a lightsaber can chew through a target's Soak Value. I'd suggest changing the cost to a Triumph or limiting the increase to one additional activation per two successes instead of a one-to-one conversion.

Sweeping Attack, 2 Strain feels too inexpensive, especially for something as powerful as autofire has proven to be, and that's with weapons that don't pretty much ignore a target's Soak Value. The rules for minion groups already permits a lightsaber wielder to mow thru a bunch of mooks simply given the way damage carries over from one minion to the next; a basic success on a lightsaber attack already guarantees two defeated minions per attack, three if you also trigger a critical hit. Plowing through multiple foes in one swing is something that should be left to the minion group rules, which handles that ability quite well already.

Reposte (aside from being spelled wrong) is again too powerful. Free attack roll when it's not your turn? That should at least require a Destiny Point to activate, even if it's only a Brawl or Melee attack that allows the talent to be triggered. Stacked with other defensive talents (especially if also taking the Soresu tree) makes the "foe has to miss you" requirement nearly a non-issue.

Shiak is again too powerful, even for a once-per-encounter effect, especially given how easy it is for a lightsaber to score a critical hit. Frankly, I'd re-word it to simply double the Vicious quality of the lightsaber, allowing for a nastier critical hit without going too crazy, which the current version (two separate critical hit effects on a single attack) most certainly is.

The entire Soresu tree is a defense-monkey's wet dream, providing just about every defensive talent in the game, which stacked on top of the "danger sense" upgrade for the Sense power will lead to a Jedi with this tree being incredibly difficult to hit under any circumstance, and makes the "missed attack" requirement to use Counter Strike pretty damn laughable, with Counter Strike's only saving grace being the "once per encounter" restriction.

Ataru tree has a big problem in that given how the talent is written, Frenzied Attack is worthless since it only works with Brawl or Melee attacks, and Lightsaber is a different skill. This was actually noted for the Forsaken Jedi stat block in the Adversaries chapter of the Beta, and Frenzied Attack removed. Targeted Blow has a similar problem in that it only applies to ranged attacks. Acrobatic Strike is too potent, as lightsabers already deal tremendous damage per swing (see GM Chris' thread about how lightsaber fights already tend to resolve themselves too quickly), so adding a talent that's based on something fairly easy to increase (a skill vs. a characteristic) borders on game-breaking, especially as Strain can be a very easily recoverable resource. Way of the Hawk Bat has some potential, but as written it's in contention for one of the most broke-tastic talents you've created. My suggestion is that instead of the movement bonus and damage boost (which this tree has enough of already), limit it to a "Suffer 2 Strain to move from Short Range to Engaged as an Incidental, does not count as character's maneuver this turn."

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 Post subject: Re: Lightsaber Forms
 Post Posted: Fri May 03, 2013 1:00 pm 
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Okay, now that I'm done ripping the talents apart, here's my thoughts on how to actually incorporate Lightsaber Forms into EotE. Instead of each Form being it's own tree, make them part of "advanced" Jedi specializations, akin to how SW:TOR MMO has them set up. A Shii-Cho Form talent would be part of a basic Jedi specialization, as it's the foundation for all the other Forms, but Makashi, Soresu, Niman, Ataru, Djem So and the rest would be split out amidst a Jedi Consular (Niman), Sentinel (Ataru, Makashi, Trakata, maybe Jar'Kai), and Guardian (Soresu, Shien, Djem So, maybe share Ataru). Juyo would be the domain of a Jedi Master career, and Vaapad would largely be an NPC ability since it was largely unique to Mace Windu.

As for the talents themselves, I've got a few notions on how to handle them mechanically in a way that's not as prone to breaking the game, but nothing concrete enough that I'm willing to post just yet.

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