Donovan Morningfire

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About Donovan Morningfire

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    Looking for a saint? Look elsewhere.
  • Birthday August 12

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  1. My current group is largely comprised of traditionalists when it comes to lightsaber hilts (myself included), with the furthest we've gone being a Nautolan Makashi Duelist with a Double-Bladed Lightsaber (Beta PC back when the weapon only had Unwieldy 2) and a Mystic/Seer/Niman Disciple that's recently picked up a Lightsaber Pike. Personally, I'm very much a traditionalist when it comes to lightsaber designs, and prefer a single-bladed hilt (duel-wielding isn't off the table, but it's a rare PC of mine that indulges) as that better evokes the "lone samurai" aesthetic that a classic Jedi can evoke. I'm sure someone can find it, but there's an animated clip that was made not long after the TFA teaser trailer that mocked Kylo's crossguard lightsaber by having a bunch of random goobers stepping out with even crazier alternate lightsaber designs, all of which ended horribly for their users.
  2. At this point, I just want the book in my hands. Mechanics-wise, I'm mostly keen on the new universal specializations, just to see what new directions are available to characters. I'm kinda hoping for something Jedi-themed to reflect Ezra's progression or perhaps tie into a PC being a Jedi refugee much like Kanan and Ahsoka, but I'm not holding my breath.
  3. Well, that's the nifty thing about conspiracy theories, is that many of them revolve around the out-and-out denial of facts. Moon landing being a hoax and "The Earth is flat!" as well "Aliens are responsible for everything!" are just few real-world instances of conspiracy theories that exist to this day in spite of facts that contradict if not outright disprove such claims.
  4. Apart from Endless Vigil in the afore-mentioned chart, those types of hilts don't have stats as of yet. Those are given just as examples of a precision-style hilt.
  5. Except that for a specialization to be useful, it really shouldn't be reliant upon buying into other specializations or be required to buy things outside the spec in order to be generally useful. This was an issue with Shien Expert during the Beta, having zero talents to help trigger the Improved Reflect, with the "solution" being "well just buy the Sense power and buy up the left side of the tree." The final version wound up adding Side Step to the spec, which fixed that issue.
  6. Short Answer: per the last dev answer/ruling on the topic, no defensive bonuses do not stack. You simply take the best one offered. Long: The Defensive Training talent flat out says that its effects completely override any existing Defensive effects from a weapon. So the bonus Defensive quality from the Lorrdian gemstone would be overridden, but you'd still get the Deflection quality, so it's not a total loss. As for Supreme Parry, that falls more in line with Soresu in how Form III is all about turtling up and going all defensive, letting your enemy's attacks wash over you while waiting for that perfect moment to strike. Makashi isn't nearly as defensive, and the user of Form II is generally on the offensive (though not to the extent of Form V/Djem So). Plus, there's the fact that Supreme Parry only takes effect if you're not made a combat check, and the bulk of Makashi Duelist's talents require a Lightsaber combat check in order to work, so they generally wouldn't get much of a chance to benefit from Supreme Parry. Conversely, Soresu Defender has talents that don't require combat checks, and play very well into the defensive element that Supreme Parry offers; add in Supreme Reflect (either from Shien Expert or Sentinel) and you've got a PC that can literally just turtle up, boosting up their defense with Defensive Circle and relying upon Improved Parry and Improved Reflect to damage enemies while reducing the bulk of the damage suffered by a substantial amount; Soresu + Shien offers 6 ranks of Parry and Reflect all told, which means stopping 8 points of damage on each attack, and at 1 strain per usage that means most PCs of that build are going to be a right royal pain the hindquarters to actually deal substantial harm to while each attack runs a substantial risk of invoking a counterattack courtesy of Improved Parry/Reflect.
  7. I think the quirk with Makashi Duelist is that it relies very heavily upon Feint for upgrades to your defense, but but said talent only triggers if you miss. I had a Makashi Duelist PC in a Beta campaign I ran, and he never got to use Feint because he always managed to succeed on his combat checks, meanwhile his adversaries had an easy chance of hitting him, and even with multiple ranks of Parry, those hits mattered while also depriving the PC of chances to use Improved Parry since the only upgrade he had was from Sense (which was only one upgrade instead of the two additional he should have been getting from Feint). I think if Feint were tweaked so that it could be triggered hit or miss, it'd quite adequately address the current flukiness of Makashi Duelist.
  8. It's not really come up in any of the games I've run long-term, but I'd probably just treat Teras Kasi as being no different from unarmed attacks using the Brawl skill. If a PC really wants to be a devoted/dedicated student of Teras Kasi, then they should probably pick up the Martial Artist specialization from No Disintegrations, as that would cover the sort of heavy training required to truly become an expert practitioner of Teras Kasi.
  9. My suggestion would be to run the Beginner Box adventure, but do so using characters that the players have made instead of the pre-gens. I've done this with both the EotE and F&D Beginner Boxes, and it's worked out pretty well each time. As others have said, the Beginner Box adventures are designed with new players completely unfamiliar with these "funny custom dice" to get them up to speed fairly quickly while not overwhelming them with the game's various mechanics in one go, so I wouldn't poo-poo it just because your group of players don't want to use the pre-gens. As for the fifth player not always being able to make it, the system can accommodate that, but it's a question of can the adventures you devise and plan accommodate it, especially if that player covers a niche role in the group that the other PCs aren't so good at. After all, if your fifth player is the party's slicing and stealth expert, then an adventure focusing heavily on slicing and stealth is going to be a lot more difficult if none of the other PCs are good at slicing or being stealthy.
  10. Blame the jerks that in days past filed a bunch of frivolous lawsuits, or decided to take advantage of an RPG company's good will in the hopes of an easy payday.
  11. All depends on company policy. And even then, it's possible that someone could still file a lawsuit claiming they were not properly compensated for their work, or that the RPG company didn't negotiate in "good faith" regarding use of the material, or that the person who did get credit swiped the material and submitted as theirs. Even if the case is ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant, that's still time lost and money spent on legal fees, and generally one gigantic headache for a miniscule gain. Thus, most companies prefer to avoid the chance of such legal hassles entirely and not accept such things unless they've put out a specific call for it; case in point is Keith Baker and the Eberron setting, which as the result of WotC actively soliciting campaign setting ideas from their customer base. And even then there was a lot of legal legwork, not only for Mr. Baker but also for other entrants (such as Rich Burlew of the Order of the Stick webcomic) to ensure they understood that WotC owned those submissions lock, stock, and barrel, and that an entrant whose submission got rejected couldn't then take it to another company or attempt to self-publish it after the fact, else there would be dire legal consequences.
  12. It depends on what you want out of the beta. Are you looking to GM a long-running campaign, or are you simply running sessions to test the mechanics? FFG is after feedback on the second, since the whole point of the beta is to test the mechanics that they've written as much as possible, and while running campaigns is nice, they're more keen on seeing if their shiny new mechanics do the job they want said mechanics to do. But if you're looking to run a campaign of any length (more than a handful of sessions), then there's no harm in using homebrew mechanics for your campaign. As for the second one, from FFG's perspective sharing homebrew material, especially stuff that total revamps the rules as outlined in the beta, is utterly useless. They're not looking for alternate ways to do things, and it's dicey from a legal perspective for them as there's nothing stopping folks from trying to sue FFG for theft of material (such things have happened in the industry and thus why RPG publishers cannot and will not accept unsolicited material from fans). If your homebrew ideas are simply tweaks to the existing beta rather than wholesale revisions, it might be useful to FFG. But if you're going to such a length as to completely re-write large swaths of the entire system, then you may well be better off simply using a prior edition that you're more comfortable with.
  13. One method to have the Imperial bounty reduced (if maybe not removed entirely) is that the PCs are indeed captured and imprisoned by the Empire. The Empire's not going to spend resources tracking down fugitives that they know are incarcerated in a "secure" Imperial detention facility or penal colony, especially if the bounty was collected by a registered bounty hunter. In terms of how to run such a thing, just have a time skip where the PCs have been jailed for anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months, with the assumption that during this "downtime" they've been working on a means to escape. It also depends on who put the Imperial bounty on their heads on the first place. Going by the lore (especially Legends) Palpatine built the Imperial bureaucracy to be rather adversarial, with various government figures jockeying against each other for favor and influence. So if it was a specific Moff, Governor, or even a high-ranking officer, odds are that person as enemies within the Imperial hierarchy that might be willing to help the PCs out if it means making their rival look bad. It might even just be a flat exchange of Bounty Obligation for Favor Obligation, with the Imperial that got their bounty rescinded having the PCs do little side jobs "off the books" for them. There is always slicing the Imperial data records, either to remove the bounty or alter the PCs' own files so that the bounty data is no longer applicable. There's also exchanging the Bounty Obligation for Favor Obligation by going to a major criminal figure with the means and influence to have Imperial bounties rescinded or modified, and again doing one or more jobs for that criminal figure to pay off the debt. After all, it's the rare Imperial official that has a perfectly clean record, and the Imperial official that issued the bounty might be 'convinced' to rescind it to avoid shady details about their own illegal doings coming to light. Of course, the PCs could do the dirt digging themselves, and simply have the Bounty Obligation reduced or removed by threatening the Imperial who issued it that if they don't rescind that bounty contract, then the PCs are going to release the dirt (whatever form it might take) to the various media outlets and most importantly to that Imperial official's own rivals.
  14. The process that Cyril and myself used for the Unofficial Species Menagerie was to use the existing species (of which there were only 8 from the EotE Beta) as a general guideline, and try not to get too crazy with species special abilities, generally keeping it within the realm of a free skill rank in one or choice of two skills, a free talent, one characteristic at a 3 offset by one characteristic at a 1. For the most part, it worked out pretty well, with none of the species being inherently overpowered, though we did get a fair amount of complaints about how some species were "underpowered" but the bulk of that was due to those species (Noghri especially) being almost hilariously over-powered in prior RPGs. Granted, in the years since then FFG has gotten a whole lot more diverse in their species' write-ups and abilities, but they also have the benefit of playtesters to try out these species to see if they radically unbalance the game or not. Since you're not likely to have anyone outside of your own group, my own suggestion is to play it cautious so that you don't inadvertently create an "uber" species that outclasses all the rest; a good metric to keep in mind would be "would this species be my go-to instead of a Human for the majority of character builds?" It's okay for a homebrew species to excel in a certain mold over Humans, such as Wookiees being better at melee-focused combatants or Twi'leks being better at social-focused characters or Bothans being sneaky gits in comparison to a Human, but if your homebrew species is mechanically a better option than choosing a Human for most concepts, then you need to dial down the homebrew species.
  15. We might see a second/revised edition at some point down the road, but I wouldn't expect there to be any major sweeping changes, such as dispatching with careers or the way the Force works. Instead, they'd probably use such a thing (if done) as a way to tidy up bits of the rules that don't quite work the way they wanted and/or to clarify aspects of the rules. It's possible (though not likely) that some of the specializations might get tweaked to account for updated material (Bodyguard is a prime candidate as it's probably one of the worst choices if you want a PC that literally guards the bodies of their clients/allies). It might be some time after Genesys has been on the shelves, so that they can see what elements of Genesys do and don't work out as intended, and see if the elements that do are worth rolling into the Star Wars line or not.