Donovan Morningfire

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About Donovan Morningfire

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    Looking for a saint? Look elsewhere.
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  1. The thing to bear in mind is that the holocron that can be chosen as a starting group resource is something of a "watered down" version of a proper holocron, and thus doesn't provide all the same juicy perks. Think of a starting group holocron as being similar to the holocron Kanan had in his possession at the start of Star Wars Rebels. While it was a handy resource (likely providing Astrogation as one of its two bonus skills), it can't really do a whole lot else beyond qualifying for "right tools for the job" for Astrogation (due to the star charts it contains) and Knowledge (Lore) checks. And that's pretty much it. The holocrons described in the Equipment chapter are the full-fledged versions, able to do a whole lot more, such as providing multiple boost dice on any Knowledge check, or even counting as skilled assistance with having multiple ranks in every Knowledge skill, or providing instruction on Force powers the PCs might have never heard of or even be aware of.
  2. An Ilum crystal's main strength is that it's a generalist in terms of what it can offer to the wielder, making it suitable for a wide variety of builds. Though given one is looking at 7 successful Mechanics checks to fully modify the crystal, that can be a tall order, especially for PC builds that don't focus on Mechanics or don't have a high Force Rating. The other crystals are more specialized, and better suited to some builds than others. The Etaan crystal in Endless Vigil is great for a Sentry or Shien Expert since it makes their Improved Reflect talent all the more effective, while the Lorrdian Gemstone is good for a PC that really wants to focus more on defense, and Sapith is good for cutting through Armor. Dantari crystals are solid for Ataru Striker builds, since it's an easy way to help recover strain once you gain access to Hawkbat Swoop. Even a corrupted crystal is useful for certain builds, especially those that have or intend to go dark side, since it's an automatic dark side Force point and two ranks of Vicious for free. Of course, having that temptation of an easy Force point (especially when you're only rolling 1 Force die) can be fun as well, both in terms of mechanics and character progression if the PC is intending to angle for LS Paragon.
  3. Yeah, there were a few forums I simply stopped visiting because of all the vitrol aimed at Disney for taking the most sensible approach to the tangled state of the EU and going clean slate. You know it's bad when people are sincerely defending the existence of Dark Saber, The Crystal Star, and The New Rebellion trilogy which are generally held to be some of the absolute worst the EU has had to offer in most circles.
  4. Regarding the concern about PCs under a career-free system not ever taking any of the Knowledge skills, perhaps one approach would be to consolidate them? Either into a single Knowledge skill (which is how the Beginner Box pre-gens handled it), or simply compacting the list into two or three Knowledge skills, making them more appealing to players to purchase by making them broader. Granted, you then might have to do some tweaking to the list of bonus career skills that a specialization offers for those specs that offer specific Knowledge skills, but it's a thought.
  5. Going by the old EU lore, a corusca gem that was used in a lightsaber gave it better cutting ability, so instead of the Ilum crystal perhaps instead use the Sapith crystal's stats. Given how rare corusca gems generally are, a lightsaber using one of these as the focusing crystal it probably shouldn't have the same default stats as a basic lightsaber.
  6. Yeah, Star Wars names have not always been the best or most creative of things. And as much as I appreciate and enjoy puns, some of the ones that have cropped up in Star Wars names are fairly cringe-worthy. Though I think it's been said that at one point during the filming of the prequels Lucas was letting his kids come up with names, with some of the more atrocious ones being thought up by his son.
  7. Hypothetically, there's no cap on how a Force Rating can go in this system. Realistically, you're not going to need a Force Rating greater than a 3 for most things, less if you're willing to make use of dark side pips. Anything above a Force Rating 5 is pretty much overkill, and I believe that when Keith Kappel ran his Jedi Council adventure at GamerNationCon a couple years ago, Yoda's build only had a Force Rating 5, and it was plenty effective to make Yoda a beast when it came to wielding the Force.
  8. I would say if anything, the chart is useful as a metric as to what sort of Force Rating would you need to be able to use powers without having to use pips of the opposing color. So for a Padawan to reliably use basic Force powers and only using light side pips, they'd need FR 2 to up the odds of getting roughly 2 light side pips to work with. But if you're willing to delve into using dark side pips, then what you can accomplish increases, so long as you're willing to pay the piper.
  9. The FaD specs don't give you a Force Rating at all. Force Rating is only provided by starting out with a FaD career. So if you started out with an EotE or AoR career, then you'll need to purchase either Force Sensitive Exile or Force Sensitive Emergent to get to Force Rating 1.
  10. Even pre-3.X versions of D&D had guidelines on encounter structure. Nothing specific, but then D&D didn't get super-heavy on specific rules until 3rd edition. They were just for the most part ignored, especially by those GMs that opted for the Gygaxian mindset of a "DM vs. Players" sort of games, or worse yet took Tomb of Horrors as the how-to of designing a "fun" adventure.
  11. Depends on the players and the game. D&D and its assorted clones with it's notion of balanced encounters are notorious for this, with the game designed under the vary assumption that the PCs are generally going to have at least a fair chance of winning. OTOH, Deadlands Classic is a game where that sort of attitude can and will get PCs killed if they don't bother with any sort of tactics; I had one player during a long-running campaign go through several characters before it finally sunk in that this wasn't D&D and that as the GM I was under zero obligation to "play fair" where the monsters were concerned (it's amazing the amount of sheer terror that a simple werewolf can cause for a group of experienced PCs when used right). I've been in a number of games where the players wisely retreated in the face of a threat once they clued in that they're outgunned. Even had one encounter with an Inquisitor end very quickly when the PCs (all at about 250 earned XP) simply turned tail and fled, with only one PC making a combat check and that was more of a delaying action to ensure the rest of the party got a running start on what they assumed would be a chase. On paper, the PCs probably could have taken this guy and his squad of stormtroopers in a straight-up fight, but as I'd taken the time to give this foe a bit of build up, they were so paranoid that all he had to do was step into view to cause the players to freak and decide they wanted no part of him. Of course, if the GM has a habit of constantly treating their players with kid gloves, that only reinforces the attitude of the PCs can tackle anything thrown at them. So if your players never consider backing down from a fight, perhaps you as the GM should ask themselves how much of that is their own fault for coddling the players and building an expectation that tabletop RPGs are more akin to video game RPGs where the challenges scale to a point the PCs are never really in any danger of losing. Plus, if the GM never has their bad guys fall back, then the players get reinforced on the notion that combats are "all or nothing" affairs where you either win or you die, with no middle ground, making it a two-edged sword.
  12. That's correct, and it's fully intentional on the part of the designers as a means of keeping the Force user crowd, especially the Jedi wannabes, from completely dominating the game as they've had an annoying habit of doing in just about every prior Star Wars RPGs but at the same time not being so excessively nerfed that they're underpowered compared to the muggles. Lightsabers don't start out super-potent (though they're certainly more impressive than they were in prior Star Wars RPGs), but as Ghostofman noted, they can be fairly easily modified to be a lot more impressive. A standard Ilum crystal can, over time and a fair bit of luck, be modded to have Damage 10, Crit 1, Vicious 2, meaning that when your PC hits, it's gonna hurt and has a very good chance of dealing a very painful critical injury. Even just getting an Ilum crystal to Damage 8, Crit 1, Vicious 1 makes for a very impressive weapon.
  13. As Lareg noted above, from Wookieepedia.
  14. At most, use the Training Exercises section of Disciples of Harmony as a rough guideline. But for the most part, it'd really just be a narrative thing of the PC justifying an increase in their Lightsaber skill, with no extra mechanical benefit.
  15. It's amazing how many GMs have their bad guys stay and fight to the bitter, bloody end, when truthfully many of them would indeed say "screw it, I'm outta here!" or at the very least make a tactical withdrawal to regroup and fight another day. About the only time bad guys might well stay to be killed is if the PCs are attacking them on their home turf, and even that can vary for the rank and file goons. Iron Man 3 had a great example with one of the goons at Killians' compound pretty much giving up and walking out after Tony had trounced his buddies, saying that he didn't even like these guys as he left the scene.