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 Post subject: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 7:16 am 
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As a few of you might know, I've been working on a set of expanded material regarding the Force for quite some time (since September actually).

Well, seeing as how today is May the Fourth, I thought this would be as good a time as any to publish that material.

Ways of the Force at Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

You'll find the link to the document on my blog. I also ask that you please do not host this document elsewhere or as part of an online resource collection.

I'm curious to know what folks think I got right, what they feel I got wrong, and what might be done to fine-tune things. I already know I'm looking at doing at least one major update once the actual Edge of the Empire corebook comes out.

Enjoy and May the Fourth be with you.

Edit 03/22/14: Newest version has been posted.
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/2014/03/ways-of-force-version-13.html

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Last edited by Donovan Morningfire on Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 1:48 pm 
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Very, very nicely done! I think you've captured the feel of the setting, the game mechanics, and the Force! One thing I noticed is there's a Light Side Force Point missing where it says,
"...enabling the Force-user to activate most powers and up to two upgrades without much difficulty or needing to convert z to very often."

Beautifully done and much-anticipated. Can't wait to try some of it out!

I also like the compact feel of the talent trees, and the candid nature of the introductions and warnings on balance issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:50 pm 
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First off, nice work! I like it.

Then some questions and observations.

1) Build lightsaber - at first I reacted by going "whuut?", and then it settled in and I though "ok". I feel the guidelines are somewhat vague - which I guess is intended Personally I wouldn't make it a talent, but that's me.

2) Dark Side's embrace - making a talent of this turn of events could make sense, I'd keep it out of a specialisation though. 20 xp is fair price I guess, could be 15 too though.

3) Deflect Blasters - I assume the threats/despair result also assumes a miss? The wording is not clear, but it could be interpreted that even a hit - with a few threats (I think 2 might be a bit cheap) or a despair - is negated, in addition to receiving up to a potential 5 upgrades. It costs nothing - and the once per round limit is a nerf that perhaps justifies this, but I'm still uncertain on how this treats a successful attack on the deflecter.

4) Force talisman and Strong in the force - I like these talents very much.

5) Fortified Body - very powerful, even if it doesn't come into play that often (in my group at least, not yet anyway).

6) Lightsaber Defence - I like this, although I have been wondering about the use of skill or talent ranks for these defensive ligthsaber abilities - why not use Force Rating? Its more limiting yes, but I think it could make sense... still, I like it.


About the lightsaber skill description: you specifically state the relationship between lighsaber skill and force ability. I think this could further affect the difficulty of using lightsabers, although I know you're not a subscriber to such notions, so I won't venture further into it here, just saying you're alluding to it in a way.

Force Power: Injure
The critical injury control upgrade - this might be a silly question, but do you roll on the critical table, or does the target only count as having a critical injury suddenly - so any weapon attack resulting in a critical hit would receive +10 on the roll?

That's it.

I like it. There are some minor issues I have, but that is mainly due to my limited grasp of how the force mechanic works in this game still, I believe.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 5:50 pm 
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Glad the opening response has been generally positive.

Awayputyrwpn,
Thanks for the catch on that. I've added into my soft copy of the file so that it'll be there going forward. Guess I got too busy focusing on the mechanics later in the file that I forgot about that section.

Jegergryte,
Don't know if it will help or even fully address your concerns, but here's a bit of my thought processes on the points you raised.

Build Lightsaber
This is kind of a d20 carry-over, particularly the cost in parts and the time requirement, both of which were never really covered in the D6 version of the game, while the time commitment is a nod to RCR and to old Star Wars lore that Jedi Masters were capable of building a lightsaber in a couple days. I was looking to provide a means for a Jedi PC to procure a lightsaber without having to pay a Hutt's ransom or hope the GM opts to either have them "stumble" across a discarded lightsaber or get one as a gift from an older Jedi. Tricky part was where to put it in the Jedi Initiate tree, as I didn't want this to be something that a player could very easily acquire at character creation. And at the same time, it's easily skippable should the player already have a lightsaber for whatever reason, or simply don't care to procure an ever-glowin' beatstick o' doom of their very own. And at the same time, once the Jedi PC has the talent, all they need are the credits and the time and they can replace a lost lightsaber. Earlier versions had text that restricted the PC to only building a single lightsaber at any given time, mostly to avoid power-gamers from equipping their entire party with the weapons, but I opted to put that into the purview of the GM to keep things in balance. It also permits a would-be Jedi to build and dual-wield lightsabers if they really want to ;)

As a side note (and not directed at anyone in particular), it is possible for a starting PC to begin play with a lightsaber, but it's going to be very costly. It'd require a +10 Obligation to have the money for the parts, and then the majority of the character's starting XP budget (20XP for the spec + 55XP to get the talent = 75XP), leaving little room to increase starting Characteristics or much of anything else, especially if playing a species that only has 90XP to start with. And that's not including prowess (re: Proficiency dice) with the lightsaber either, which would add at least another 10XP, either for one rank at the non-career rate or the Jedi Training talent and one rank as a career skill.

Dark Side's Embrace
The rules that FFG provided are pretty nebulous about how exactly a Force-user goes dark; it just sorta "happens" at some point by the whim of the GM. Some GMs and players are okay with things being so up in the air, others aren't. I included the talent so that for the folks that wanted it, there was a means to say "Yes, this character has truly gone Dark."

But at the same time, it's in a "dead-end" slot in the tree, so that if a player doesn't want to buy it, they don't have to. The 20XP cost was based on the fact that a Dark Side result is more likely to come up, making it easier for the newly-minted dark sider to get at least some result when using their powers without having to suffer Strain and flip Destiny Points.

Now, should FFG provide more detailed rules on falling to the dark side in the EotE corebook, then I might very well remove that talent and replace it, either with a different set of mechanics or with a pre-existing talent.

Deflect Blasters
Originally, it was triggered on a miss without any Threat/Despair cost, but with now requiring 2 Threat or a Despair, I opted to remove the "attack has to miss" part. Granted, since most Jedi Initiates would have at least 4 ranks in Lightsaber by the time the pick up this talent, the attacker is probably going to fail the roll anyway, since it'd turn a 2 Difficulty die shot into a 3 Challenge die shot, to say nothing of the Setback dice or other defensive talents like Side Step or Dodge, making it likely the shooter is going to miss anyway. Depending on the feedback provided, I may put the "attack has to miss" verbiage back in as well as having the Threat/Despair cost.

Lightsaber Defense
I wanted to avoid a direct link between Force Rating and defense bonus, since the EU's got examples of powerful Force-users that aren't so good with a lightsaber (either to attack or defend), and lightsaber pros that aren't so hot at using the Force (first example that comes to my mind is the character of Scout). Since the talent's exclusive to the Jedi Initiate, in a way one could say that Force ability and being able to defend with a lightsaber are already linked ;)

Lightsaber skill description
A lot of that is ultimately fluff text. Though similar to my remark above, Force-sensitivity and lightsaber proficiency do have a psuedo-link in this document by way of the Jedi Training talent; everyone else has to settle for buying ranks in Lightsaber at the non-career rate, while the Jedi Initiate can pay 5 XP and get it as a career skill.

Force Power: Injure
The intent was that the Force-user would roll on the Critical Injury chart, thus the use of "trigger" as opposed to inflict. It'd be a straight roll on the chart, and you wouldn't be able to trigger this upgrade multiple times on the same roll, so it's just straight percentile unless the target is already suffering from prior Critical Injuries; this could make prolonged use of Injure's base power with just this Control Upgrade a rather sadistic means of slowly torturing someone to death.

It's a good observation/question, and the text could stand to be a bit clearer as to what happens when a Force-user gets their Force choke on.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 5:13 am 
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I see the point about force rating and lightsaber defence.

Another question about the critical injury then, for the injure power. I guess at least EU has some examples of torn off limbs and the like from force attacks, but I wonder. Would Lethal Blows add to that roll?

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 6:44 am 
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Jegergryte wrote:
Another question about the critical injury then, for the injure power. I guess at least EU has some examples of torn off limbs and the like from force attacks, but I wonder. Would Lethal Blows add to that roll?

It would, since the talent simply adds a bonus whenever you're rolling on the Critical Injury table to mess someone up. Meaning that specializations which offer multiple instances of Lethal Blows, such as Assassin or Marauder, or even just a Nemesis with a rank or two of the talent, could use that Control Upgrade to a pretty devastating effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 8:36 am 
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I have decided. I will use some of these talents - and particularly the injure force power - in my campaign. The current main villain, a manic bothan crime lord with a death stick problem has proven to be force sensitive. Giving him this power, in addition to Move and perhaps influence? I will cause havoc on my players once they try to take him out. And perhaps I can corrupt my one force sensitive player (my cohabitant) too? Mmyeees.

Once I have had the opportunity to test I will come with feedback - it might take a while.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:16 pm 
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After taking a quick look at it, here are a few thoughts.


Build Lightsaber: Honestly, I don’t like the idea of a talent for this. To me building a lightsaber isn’t something that needs a specific mechanic in this system – which has a low ‘crunch’ index, as mentioned by many on these forums. To me, if a character is to build a lightsaber, it should be a remarkable activity with a much larger investment than 2,000 cr and 7 days (perhaps an adventure built into it?) Also, if it is to be included, I think it’s too early in the tree. It should be a 4th tier at least IMHO.

Burst of Speed: I’m not sure what this talent is supposed to simulate. It most closely simulates Force Jump (I think). It really doesn’t simulate Force Speed very well – it might give you a better chance of getting additional advantage which you can spend on a free maneuver, but it still has the 2 maneuver limit. So the Jedi with this talent still can’t really out-run anyone over short distance anyway.

Force Talisman: I like the idea (I’m basically allowing this for a character in our PbP game – but the one I wrote up is more complex and more powerful). It seems to me that it should at least require a maneuver to accomplish, if not strain as well (requires some time and effort to ‘commune’ with the talisman, etc.)

Jedi Training: I like this better as giving career skills upon buy in to the specialization (as per Awaypt's Jedi Career) rather than taking a talent to do this. It seems to be more in agreement with how the other specialties work.

Lightsaber Expert: This seems like a very anemic talent – especially for a 5th tier position. This is mainly because it basically spends a triumph to give the same result as rolling 4 advantage for lightsaber attacks, either in one round or over several rounds. Honestly, as a GM, I would likely allow this even without the talent on a triumph roll, especially if it fit with the narration of what was going on. Maybe (as was suggested somewhere in the discussion of my Sun Djem talent, IIRC) it could be boosted by instead allowing each advantage to activate 2 Sunders? [**EDIT: Also, it might include wording that doesn't allow Sunder on one of the many LS-resitant materials out there. As written, it could destroy a Cortosis Weave object, etc. Or maybe just trust the GM to properly adjudicate such a thing.]

Strong in the Force: I like this one a lot.

Force Power:Healing
I don’t think this warrants an entire Force Power. It just doesn’t seem to play that big of a role in the movies. Yes, there are Jedi/Force healers in the EU, but I still don’t think it warrants an additional power – even those healers still used medical equipment. Instead, I might just use a talent that goes the Overwhelm Emotions route, but with Medicine (where a PC can add force dice to a normal pool). The talent (or an additional one) might also include the ability to give the equivalent of a stim without actually having a stim (and gain strain or something like that to limit it). That would seem to cover most of what we see, and it has the advantage of basically using the existing mechanic. Maybe something like this could be in the Force Mystic tree as a 2-talent dead end?

Minor Force Powers
I like the idea of these and might use them in some form. Though I was planning on just house-ruling narration for most of this (as you – I think – and others suggested in my thread on the topic). One thing though: If a PC uses Search Your Feelings and rolls only one white pip, this means that they don’t have a very strong feeling about the result, but they still learn whether it’s good or bad. However, it’s not clear to me how the GM would handle this. If the expected result is either good or bad, just telling them how strongly they feel about it doesn’t really change the result of being good or bad. In other words, two white pips really won’t provide any more benefit than one white pip since they will already know whether it’s good or bad – the only difference is how strongly their characters feel it, which the players knew already based on the roll. This is unless the GM might mislead them somehow, for only rolling one pip, which would be bad.

That's all i have for now.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 7:04 pm 
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Just starting to look through this, and it looks great so far. I actually agree with the Build Lightsaber talent, but I might also consider adding in something like in Saga where using your own lightsaber is better—maybe add a [_] when you upgrade the check with a Destiny Point ( on top of the upgrade)?

I don't get Embrace of the Dark Side. Seems like "hey, look ma! I spent some XP and now I'm evil allathe sudden!" You need to fall to the Dark Side. And honestly, from a pure metagame, optimizing view, there's no point to taking a talent when you could just RP to become evil. Also by RAW once you take that Talent you are irreversibly evil, because you can't get rid of a talent. I dunno, I just feel that's unnecessary.

(Also my grammar OCD requires that I mention "they" is not a generic, gender-less singular pronoun. It's actually plural. The grammatically proper way is to say "he", "she", or "it" and stick with that pronoun. Used to make that mistake all the time. Now it bugs the living snot out of me).

But again, overall it looks great. Excellent job, sir.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 7:58 pm 
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GM Jedi-Scoundrel wrote:
After taking a quick look at it, here are a few thoughts.

And if you don't mind, here are a few answers :D

Build Lightsaber: One thing I disliked about WEG & lightsabers was that it didn't have mechanics for building, pretty much boiling down the GM deciding "okay, you've learned enough that you can build your lightsaber, ho-hum." As I said in my response to Jegergryte, the talents there more to provide a means for a Jedi PC to get a lightsaber without being reliant on GM mercy. You as a GM might be fine and peachy with arranging for a Jedi-in-training to be able to build their lightsaber. Other GMs, not so much. I played in one WEG game where the GM deliberately didn't let my Young Jedi figure out how to build a lightsaber for free that I'd steal some of the spotlight from his boyfriend's overpowered Terminator knock-off, so I wanted to avoid that by providing at least a guideline. As for placement, seeing as how it has a cost and time requirement involved compared to every other talent providing an instant benefit (case in point, Jury Rigged, available in the 2nd row of the Gadgeteer spec and very easy for a PC to begin play with), 10 XP sounds about right; it provides access to a powerful weapon, but it's not instant access, and a credit-started Jedi-in-training might have trouble getting the money together for those parts. To say nothing of the GM building an adventure around procuring some of the more uncommon parts if they so choose. But, if for your games you'd prefer to follow the Saga Edition model of the PC automatically gaining this knowledge a certain point, I might suggest that the talent be reworked so that upon being taken, the Jedi gets a free Boost die when using their personal lightsaber.

Burst of Speed: I tried to stick more to the OT in regards to what Force-based effects we see, and we never saw Luke running at superhuman speeds, just making some pretty crazy leaps, which was the effect I was ultimately aiming for. I might very well rename the talent in the next revision to Force Leap or something similar.

Force Talisman: It is powerful, and why I put in the 5th Row as well as added the "once per session" restriction. I was tempted to make it "once per adventure," but that felt too restrictive, and I already had a DP-fueled effect in place with Strong in the Force.

Jedi Training: The fact that F/S Exile kind of set the tone for this sort of thing with the Insight talent was why I included Path to the Dark Side, Jedi Initiate, and Student of Mysteries, giving players a way to pick up Discipline for their Force-using PCs. For Away's method, he's using Jedi as a career, so his Jedi specializations having their own bonus career skills makes sense, as that's how the core careers operated. A bit of apples and oranges I guess.

Lightsaber Expert: Well, here's the thing, and it got brought up on the FFG boards... you don't have to hit the target to activate Sunder. And the fact you can trade on Triumph and still have those Advantage to do something else makes it a pretty good saving, especially since per the RAW, spending a Triumph to trigger an Active Quality only counts as the minimum number of Advantages require to do so. So per RAW, spending a Triumph to activate Sunder is the same as spending 1 Advantage. And a lot of this material was written with the RAW in mind. Allowing a Triumph to count as 4 Advantage without the talent is a house-rule, and not one that every GM is going to subscribe to.

Strong in the Force: I like this one a lot.

Force Power:Healing
Don't like it, don't use it. I think there's enough EU lore to warrant having a Force-user that's focused on healing to do some pretty incredible things, and healing with just the Force has been a staple of the Star Wars RPGs since the earliest days of WEG, with no medical gear required. Like I said with the power, it's a pretty uncommon effect, so you probably won't see a lot of NPC Force-users with it, particularly in light of flashier or cooler powers like Move or Influence.

About the "Search Your Feelings," it's pretty much a riff of the Saga Edition aspect of Use the Force of the same name. I deliberately left it nebulous, with a sort of unspoken intent that a single pip is "I think we'll be okay if we do this" and several pips leading "Yeah, I'm abso-friggin-lutely certain that should do this." The Saga Edition version was also very prone to abuse, so I wanted to be careful to avoid that. It's not as potent as a Farseeing effect would be, since it's a limited time frame. That said, I might very well deep-six Search Your Feelings in place of Darth GM's suggestion for Farseeing.

Ailowynn,
As I mentioned above, Dark Side's Embrace isn't going to be needed in every campaign. Again, there's no RAW to say what the threshold is for when a PC goes Dark Side, and there's been several attempts to shoehorn a "dark side meter" into the game on these boards to rectify that. Buying the talent is a choice on the part of the player, that they are committing themselves to being a servant of the dark side. After all, Palpatine certainly never went looking for redemption, nor did Dooku or Maul.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 7:10 am 
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Ahh I gotcha. Sorry I didn't see that above.

Still, I'd find a way to make Build Lightsaber cooler. In the canon, the best lightsaber is usually the self-built one. But again, I do like the idea of that talent.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 10:06 am 
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[joke]
you could pair it with the "find Corusca gem" talent...
[/joke]

I like the build lightsaber talent; for me it's like having that 7th-level "build lightsaber" quality for a Saga Edition PC. Yeah, the mechanics are there, but the story is completely and utterly up to the PCs and the GM. It's something that, IMO, should have a fair amount of build-up and resolution in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 3:24 pm 
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Ailowynn wrote:
Still, I'd find a way to make Build Lightsaber cooler. In the canon, the best lightsaber is usually the self-built one. But again, I do like the idea of that talent.

See, I'm not convinced it needs to be anything spectacular. Back in the WEG days, a ligthsaber functioned the same whether it was a hand-me-down or something the Jedi built themselves; it's only with the d20 system that a self-built lightsaber provided any sort of bonus.

By the RAW, there's no way to build a lightsaber, and getting one either requires GM mercy or an astronomical amount of credits to buy it on the black market. Remember also that most EotE campaigns are going to take place during the Dark Times and Rebellion Era, when a lot of Jedi knowledge has been lost or destroyed. So while Build Lightsaber is no big deal in an era where Jedi are prevalent, it's more valuable in EotE's default time frame (early Rebellion Era) as a way to put a pretty kick-ass weapon in the hands of a player without the GM having to show favoritism to one PC in allowing them to get what is by far the most powerful melee weapon in the game.

Just because Luke was fortunate enough to have the plot hand him a lightsaber with a minimum of fuss, not every PC should have that same degree of luck.

Now, I am considering a Jedi Knight "advanced specialization" as a possibility some point down the road (probably not until well after the EotE corebook comes out), and if I were to include mechanics for a self-built lightsaber, that's the specialization I'd put it, and I'd simply have it mimic the Tinkerer talent in providing either a free hard point or more likely have the talent provide the Superior weapon quality. But that's not something I'm looking to incorporate into a specialization that at it's core is "Jedi 101" aka the stuff that most Jedi Knights picked up prior to becoming even becoming a Padawan.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Tue May 07, 2013 6:20 am 
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Donovan Morningfire wrote:
Now, I am considering a Jedi Knight "advanced specialization" as a possibility some point down the road (probably not until well after the EotE corebook comes out), and if I were to include mechanics for a self-built lightsaber, that's the specialization I'd put it, and I'd simply have it mimic the Tinkerer talent in providing either a free hard point or more likely have the talent provide the Superior weapon quality...


OUCH; a lightsaber that automatically produces an Advantage with every roll? On a weapon that crits with 1 Advantage?

That's nasty...
:wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Ways of the Force - an unofficial supplment for EotE
 Post Posted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:31 am 
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Yeah, I'd rather add a boost die, or the weapon produces an automatic success due to force affinity and attunement... the Tinkerer talent might be a better way? or Jury Rigged?

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