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Suggested revision to Parry and Reflect values are calculated.


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#1 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 06:13 PM

Mentioned this in a thread in the General Forum, but making a separate topic here.

 

I really do like the way that Parry and Reflect function, reducing damage instead of jacking the PC's defense scores up.  However, I can't help but feel that the current formula is being used as a way to pack the Lightsaber Form specializations by simply adding additional ranks of Parry and Reflect until the tree is full.

 

To that end, i suggest that the damage mitigation value be changed in one of two ways:

 

Option 1: Start at base 1 and that each additional rank provides a +2 bonus to that value.  So if an Ataru Striker has Parry 2 and Reflect 1, then the could negate 5 damage from a melee attack or 3 damage from a ranged attack.

 

Option 2: Keep the +1/rank progression, but up the starting value to 3 instead of 2.  To use the Ataru Striker example with Parry 2 and Reflect 1, they'd be able to reduce the damage from a melee attack by 5 and ranged attacks by 4.

 

In the long run, Option 2 would be the least problems with balance, as it provides an early bonus but scales at a sensible rate once a PC starts taking other LS Form specializations.

 

Now if either of these is implemented, in order to keep the Parry/Reflect damage mitigation values from getting too big, simply replace an instance of Parry and/or Reflect as follows:

 

Soresu Defender

Column 1/Row 4 - replace Parry with Reflect

Column 2/Row 4 - replace Reflect with Improved Reflect

Reasoning: Obi-Wan Kenobi is pretty much the icon of Soresu, having been noted as a master of the Form in the RotS novelization.  Given that Soresu itself was developed out of both basic blaster deflection training and the idea of turning a foe's attack against them, it seems odd that they don't have the ability to redirect blaster fire, particularly as we do see Obi-Wan doing just that, and as far as the current lore goes, he never touched Shien as a Form, being versed in Shii-Cho, Ataru (Qui-Gon's influence), and then Soresu (adopted after Episode 1 in the wake of Qui-Gon's death and acknowledgement of Ataru's lack of prolonged defense).

 

Makashi Duelist

Column 1/Row 3 - replace Parry with Defensive Training or Defensive Stance

Reasoning: 5 ranks of Parry under the revision suggested above makes a Makashi Duelist a bit too potent in terms of damage negation, so at least one rank of Parry would need to go otherwise they'd be stopping 11 points of melee damage, where 4 ranks of Parry would let them negate 9 points of melee damage under the revised formula.  Also, a fair bit of the fluff on Makashi is that it's about controlling the space between you and the attacker, fitting given that the Form has it's basis on classic fencing styles.

 

Ataru Striker

Column 1/Row 5 - replace Parry with Improved Reflect, also remove the link between Row 4 and Row 5 in Column 1.

Reasoning: Ataru's not known for prolonged defensive strategy, and was developed as one response to address the problem of Soresu's "turtle tactics" causing fights to drag on and put both the Jedi and those around them in greater danger, but it does incorporate a fair portion of blaster deflection/reflection training, enabling the user to bounce an attack back as a means of resolving a fight that much faster.  And with equal ranks of Parry and Reflect, an Ataru Striker is fairly equal on both defensive options.  Also, in doing some more reading, it took Qui-Gon some degree of effort to overcome Ataru's inability to properly reflect blaster fire; in other words, it took Dedication prior to gaining Improved Reflect ;)

 

Shien Expert

Column 2/Row 4 - replace Defensive Stance with Improved Parry

Column 4/Row 4 - replace Reflect with Side Step

Reasoning: One of the big tenets of Form V (which covers both Djem So and Shien) is to win the fight through overwhelming power, particularly by turning your opponent's attacks back upon them.  To again draw from the RotS novelization, Dooku begins to realize he's in trouble when Anakin starts to turn the older warrior's own 'saber attacks back on him, leading the Count to admit that Anakin was perhaps one of the finest Djem So practitioners he'd ever seen.  Improved Parry is in keeping with that mindset of crushing outright instead of fighting defensively; Form V was the other response to Soresu's "turtle tactics."  As for adding Side Step, this gives the Shien Expert better odds of their opponent rolling a Despair and thus enabling them to use Improved Reflect.

 

Shii-Cho Knight

Column 1/Row 1 - replace Parry with Reflect

Column 4/Row 5 - replace Parry with Reflect

Reasoning: Shii-Cho is the foundation on which all the other Forms were built, so it seems odd that it has no means of dealing with blaster fire when that was one of the things it was initially developed to deal with.  It's considered something of an archaic Form, but still viable in more modern times, a contrast to Makashi which fell out of favor/use given its focus on melee combat.

 

Niman Disciple

Column 2/Row 4 - replace Reflect with Researcher

Column 4/Row 2 - replace Parry with either Well-Rounded or Nobody's Fool

Reasoning: Niman is also know as the "Diplomat's Form" due to providing basic competence with various aspects of lightsaber combat, but at the same time not requiring intense study as the other Forms did, thus permitting the student to study other topics, with diplomacy and lore frequently being common choices.  The specialization already does represent this by providing Leadership and Negotiation as additional career skills, but adding the suggested talents would further strengthen this notion, particularly the Well-Rounded talent to account the for "other areas of study" angle.
 

Edit: Made some changes to the proposal of how the damage mitigation value of Parry and Reflect should be tweaked, as well as adding some possible revisions to Niman Disciple.


Edited by Donovan Morningfire, 03 September 2014 - 03:20 PM.

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#2 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 06:44 PM

On a related note, I feel there's come concern with the usefulness of Improved Parry and Improved Reflect as they require the usage of 3 Threat or a Despair to trigger, results that aren't going to be as likely to happen as the PCs square off against foes of greater competency (i.e. the times when they'd really like to make use of those talents rather than when facing off against minions or other scrubs).

 

One alternative solution is that instead of requiring Threat/Despair, the PC instead rolls a number of Force dice equal to their Force Rating, and need to generate 2 Force Points to activate Improved Parry/Reflect.  This puts the activation of said talents more into the player's hands than leaving it entirely to chance while keeping their core functionality intact.


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#3 Gigerstreak

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:10 PM

Mentioned this in a thread in the General Forum, but making a separate topic here.

 

I really do like the way that Parry and Reflect function, reducing damage instead of jacking the PC's defense scores up.  However, I can't help but feel that the current formula is being used as a way to pack the Lightsaber Form specializations by simply adding additional ranks of Parry and Reflect until the tree is full.

 

To that end, i suggest that the damage reduction value be calculated as base 3 when taking your first rank in Parry/Reflect, and that each additional rank provides a +2 bonus to that value.  So if an Ataru Striker has Parry 2 and Reflect 1, then the could negate 5 damage from a melee attack or 3 damage from a ranged attack.

 

Now if implemented, in order to keep the Parry/Reflect damage reduction values from getting too big, simply replace an instance of Parry and/or Reflect as follows:

 

Soresu Defender

Column 1/Row 4 - replace Parry with Reflect

Column 2/Row 4 - replace Reflect with Improved Reflect

Reasoning: Obi-Wan Kenobi is pretty much the icon of Soresu, having been noted as a master of the Form in the RotS novelization.  Given that Soresu itself was developed out of both basic blaster deflection training and the idea of turning a foe's attack against them, it seems odd that they don't have the ability to redirect blaster fire, particularly as we do see Obi-Wan doing just that, and as far as the current lore goes, he never touched Shien as a Form, being versed in Shii-Cho, Ataru (Qui-Gon's influence), and then Soresu (adopted after Episode 1 in the wake of Qui-Gon's death and acknowledgement of Ataru's lack of prolonged defense).

 

Makashi Duelist

Column 1/Row 3 - replace Parry with Defensive Training or Defensive Stance

Reasoning: 5 ranks of Parry under the revision suggested above makes a Makashi Duelist a bit too potent in terms of damage negation, so at least one rank of Parry would need to go otherwise they'd be stopping 11 points of melee damage, where 4 ranks of Parry would let them negate 9 points of melee damage under the revised formula.  Also, a fair bit of the fluff on Makashi is that it's about controlling the space between you and the attacker, fitting given that the Form has it's basis on classic fencing styles.

 

Ataru Striker

Column 1/Row 5 - replace Parry with Improved Reflect

Reasoning: Ataru's not known for prolonged defensive strategy, and was developed as one response to address the problem of Soresu's "turtle tactics" causing fights to drag on and put both the Jedi and those around them in greater danger, but it does incorporate a fair portion of blaster deflection/reflection training, enabling the user to bounce an attack back as a means of resolving a fight that much faster.  And with equal ranks of Parry and Reflect, an Ataru Striker is fairly equal on both defensive options.

 

Shien Expert

Column 2/Row 4 - replace Defensive Stance with Improved Parry

Reasoning: One of the big tenets of Form V (which covers both Djem So and Shien) is to win the fight through overwhelming power, particularly by turning your opponent's attacks back upon them.  To again draw from the RotS novelization, Dooku begins to realize he's in trouble when Anakin starts to turn the older warrior's own 'saber attacks back on him, leading the Count to admit that Anakin was perhaps one of the finest Djem So practitioners he'd ever seen.  Improved Parry is in keeping with that mindset of crushing outright instead of fighting defensively; Form V was the other response to Soresu's "turtle tactics."

 

Shii-Cho Knight

Column 1/Row 1 - replace Parry with Reflect

Column 4/Row 5 - replace Parry with Reflect

Reasoning: Shii-Cho is the foundation on which all the other Forms were built, so it seems odd that it has no means of dealing with blaster fire when that was one of the things it was initially developed to deal with.  It's considered something of an archaic Form, but still viable in more modern times, a contrast to Makashi which fell out of favor/use given its focus on melee combat.

This


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#4 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:21 PM

I had thought about how to fit Improved Parry and/or Improved Reflect into Niman Disciple, but felt that the Form had enough going for it in terms of Draw Closer and Force Assault.

 

However, if one wanted to add those talents to Niman Disciple, you could probably replace  the Column 2/Row 4 instance of Reflect with Improved Reflect and the Column 4/Row 2 instance of Parry with Improved Parry (it's a bit cheaper at 10 XP, but you've got to weave through the talent tree a bit to reach it),  Personally I'd put this on the bottom of the list for suggested updates in lieu of my proposed change to how Parry and Reflect operate, as Niman has been seen as something of a "jack of all trades" Form that covered all the basics but never really excelled at lightsaber combat.


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#5 Split Light

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:20 PM

I like your ideas.  Would definetly add more diversity to the light saber trees.



#6 khaine1969

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 01:14 AM

Another option would be to have the improved and superior version of each talent count as a rank and add plus one to the total mitigated.

Improved reflect needs to be touch more common too, there are a lot of Jedi seen using this even you only take the films and the clone wars into account.

 

T

 

After some thought my fix would be as follows

Rename improved parry to Reposte... that's what it is and it would work as written.

Remove improved reflect and replace it in the one tree its in with another rank of reflect.

 

Change reflect to include the ability of improved reflect ..however it requires the shooter to roll 4 threat (or possibly 5) minus your ranks in reflect. So if you stack 4 (or 5) ranks of reflect, anytime you spend the strain you bounce the shot whether or not they roll threat. You are after all spending 3 strain and that would make the shi'en expert with superior reflect that much more interesting.

Just a thought, and I might do this even if they don't change it. There are a lot of Jedi in all the source material that use this power, so it should be more common and the better you get at it the easier it is to bounce the shot.

One more thought for those who feel that the talents don't absorb enough damage.... you could say the amount mitigated for parry is brawn plus ranks, and reflect is agility plus ranks. No offense to Donovans system but it reworks every form tree and to be blunt just isn't worth the effort, although I agree with the 3 plus 2 per idea if you don't like the brawn/agility idea here.


Edited by khaine1969, 21 August 2014 - 02:45 AM.

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#7 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 03:37 AM

I wouldn't suggest that in regards to having the Improved and Supreme versions count as a rank, as they already do plenty enough on their own (free attack and greatly reduced Strain cost).  Also, we've got plenty of precedent in that Improved and Supreme versions of a talent (such as Hard-Headed and Healing Trance) don't count as ranks of the base talent.


Edited by Donovan Morningfire, 21 August 2014 - 03:37 AM.

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#8 Lorne

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 07:49 AM

What would be the maximum parry or reflect value from any one spec?  any two?

 

Maybe instead of 2p+1, it should just be 2p?  (I haven't playtested yet, so don't know if spending 3 strain to soak 2 wounds is worth it.)

 

Ima little concerned about the mitigation values going too high.



#9 Alderaan Crumbs

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 08:04 AM

I found it odd that every saber form doesn't allow you to block/redirect bolts. As has been mentioned a TON of Jedi do it and it makes sense as a part of everyone's training (hard to be peacekeepers if you're constantly shot!). I have the feeling this is one of the aspects FFG is looking pretty closely at, but I could be wrong, of course.

I'd also love to get their thinking as to why they chose to do it the way they did. Not as a critique but so I can have a "theory springboard" for my own stuff, if I homebrew.

#10 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 10:19 AM

I found it odd that every saber form doesn't allow you to block/redirect bolts. As has been mentioned a TON of Jedi do it and it makes sense as a part of everyone's training (hard to be peacekeepers if you're constantly shot!). I have the feeling this is one of the aspects FFG is looking pretty closely at, but I could be wrong, of course.

I'd also love to get their thinking as to why they chose to do it the way they did. Not as a critique but so I can have a "theory springboard" for my own stuff, if I homebrew.

Well, I can see that some forms (such as Makashi and Niman) don't have it because the former is a dueling style that focuses entirely on melee combat (and is noted to be horrible at blaster deflection) and the later is a "jack of all trades" Form that adds a little bit of everything but doesn't excel in combat; it's also been dubbed the "Diplomat's Form" simply for the fact that a practitioner is able to spend time on other studies than just lightsaber combat.  As well as the fact that most of the Jedi that died at Geonosis at the start of the Clone Wars were Niman practitioners, thus proving that while the Form was fine for when Jedi were simply keepers of the peace, it was sorely lacking when forced into intense combat situations.


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#11 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 10:25 AM

What would be the maximum parry or reflect value from any one spec?  any two?

 

Maybe instead of 2p+1, it should just be 2p?  (I haven't playtested yet, so don't know if spending 3 strain to soak 2 wounds is worth it.)

 

Ima little concerned about the mitigation values going too high.

Well, as currently written in the Beta rules, Makashi Duelist can get up to a 7 point mitigation of melee damage (5 instances of Parry in the tree), and the Soresue Defender and Shii-Cho Knight can reduce melee damage it by 6 (4 instances of Parry).  The others seem to hover around 5 points of damage mitigation for melee and ranged damage.

 

I think starting at 3 is a good baseline, as it makes it so the character is suffering an equal amount of Strain to avoid Wound damage.  It seems the main benefit of Parry is a way to avoid getting clobbered by a lightsaber (even at the reduced damage) since they still have Breach 1, making Soak Value useless in a 'saber duel.

 

As for the ranks getting to be too much, remember that aside from the Niman Disciple, none of the Form specs get the Force Rating talent, so the character is making a willing trade-off to be better at damage mitigation at the cost of not being able to increase their Force Rating.


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#12 Lorne

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 10:45 AM

Sorry, Dono, but to clarify:  what would be the max parry and reflects (of, say, the two highest forms) with your changes?



#13 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 11:17 AM

Sorry, Dono, but to clarify:  what would be the max parry and reflects (of, say, the two highest forms) with your changes?

No problem.

 

Makashi Duelist - 9 points vs. melee, 0 points vs. ranged

Ataru Striker - 5 points vs. melee, 5 points. vs ranged

Soresu Defender - 7 points vs. melee, 7 points. vs ranged

Shien Expert - 5 points vs. melee, 7 points. vs ranged

Shii-Cho Knight - 5 points vs. melee, 5 points. vs ranged

Niman Disciple (if implemented) - 5 points vs. melee, 5 points. vs ranged

 

For some of these, there's not a huge change in replacing a rank of Parry or Reflect, such as Ataru and Niman, though Shii-Cho is a bit more balanced instead of being all about melee.


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#14 Lorne

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 11:51 AM

That looks good.  I approve, both mechanically and thematically.  Get Sam on the phone. Make this happen. :)



#15 Jedi Ronin

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 01:23 PM

I like your ideas and would like to subscribe to your publication.



#16 Rakaydos

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 01:29 PM

Could still be a problem once players start expanding into multiple trees- being able to stop 13 or more points of damage for 3 strain could cause the system to break down earlier than it otherwise would.



#17 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 02:34 PM

Could still be a problem once players start expanding into multiple trees- being able to stop 13 or more points of damage for 3 strain could cause the system to break down earlier than it otherwise would.

But those same players would be making the deliberate choice to not increase their Force Rating, thus cutting their access to various Force powers or ability to successfully activate them.  We're also taking non-career costs, which start adding up to the point you'd need to wait two or three sessions just to buy that new career, while other PCs are instead exploring other character options, such as boosting up their Force skills.

 

It's also not an entirely new concern, as there was a lot of worry during the EotE Beta of players simply grabbing multiple specializations to grab new career skills or ranks of Toughened and Grit from the first couple rows of a spec.  Neither of those really seem to have come to fruition as the type of folks that would engage in that behavior are the same types of folks that hate how the dice system makes it impossible to attain "assured success" at a task.

 

And to be clear, the values I listed at Lorne's request are what each specialization offers after all the instances of Parry and Reflect that the spec offers have been purchased, some of which are tucked away into pockets of the tree and thus can't be quickly reached.


Edited by Donovan Morningfire, 21 August 2014 - 02:38 PM.

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#18 Lorne

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 04:55 PM

Could still be a problem once players start expanding into multiple trees- being able to stop 13 or more points of damage for 3 strain could cause the system to break down earlier than it otherwise would.

 

It's worth pointing out that spreading around some of the more basic saber talents actually gives less incentive to double-up on saber specs and more incentive to branch out and boost FR instead.


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#19 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:01 PM

 

Could still be a problem once players start expanding into multiple trees- being able to stop 13 or more points of damage for 3 strain could cause the system to break down earlier than it otherwise would.

 

It's worth pointing out that spreading around some of the more basic saber talents actually gives less incentive to double-up on saber specs and more incentive to branch out and boost FR instead.

 

That too.


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#20 Rakaydos

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:13 PM

True, but speaking as devil's advocate, by changing the scaling by talent, higher values are possible with enough XP.

 

Also, I havent plotted out the replacement talents, but do you put any duplicated (between specialties) unranked talents in "gateway" positions? I'm wondering if, should PCs reach the XP levels of filling multiple trees, they would be "forced" to get duplicate talents that wont do anything for them.