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About BCGaius

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  1. The proposed mechanics have been discussed pretty thoroughly, so I don't have anything to add there. Instead, since I see the Grey Jedi gundark has risen its ugly ears once more, I wanted to post this video. It's long, and a little unnecessarily esoteric at times, but it is in my estimation the absolute definitive discussion on the Grey Jedi concept. Folks are free to play the game however they want, of course, but FFG was quite correct to build the Morality system the way they did with "neutral" characters defaulting to Light Pips, and the video explains why it doesn't make sense to have a "Grey" zone in the middle of the Morality scale.
  2. My interpretation is that if you're a GM running a FAD Jedi/lightsaber-focused campaign, acquiring a lightsaber crystal can very easily be a big centerpiece adventure. Unless your group has specifically decided to brush over that aspect of Jedi lore in your gaming (which is fine if you want to focus on other stuff, of course), then each player's lightsaber crystal ought to be rather unique just from the intrinsic value of it built into the adventure you run for them. For example, in the SWTOR-era campaign I ran, I had the players (a group of padawans) journey to Ilum, having been tasked with a ritual rite of passage of seeking out "their" crystal in communion with the Force, without assistance from their masters. While it necessitated a little group-splitting as I focused on each individual player's mystical-spirit-quest juju, I built challenges around their Moralities and motivations, and used their performance and actions to narrate the crystal they eventually found before asking each in turn what color the crystal before them was. Combining that all together, I then gave them "their" crystal with one of the statlines out of the core FAD book (which was all we had at the time, I think). I think one guy had a Krayt Dragon Pearl or something, but it wasn't a Krayt Dragon Pearl, it was their crystal, I just fed them the stats for a Krayt Dragon Pearl.
  3. I think you guys are selling Lucas short. Near the top of any prequel hater's list of things to hate about the prequels is "Too much space politics! Wah!" One of the most underappreciated things about the prequels is that parallel to the central character arc of Anakin Skywalker's fall is also a broader moral tale about the corruption and collapse of democracy itself. That tale starts, very deliberately, in TPM even if one can (justifiably) argue that Jar-Jar hogged a little too much screen time instead (but then the "Wah, space politics!" people would complain about that too, so you can't win, really). While Anakin's story is personal and emotional in many respects, he also serves as an on-going barometer for the health of the Republic (or, more allegorically, democracy and republicanism in the abstract). The Padme-Anakin scenes on Naboo in AotC are admittedly insufferable, but one of the key discussions they have is about the role of the democratic process and the rule of law, with Anakin clearly and blatantly supporting an authoritarian vision. Despite his good intentions at the time, the theme of a huge part of his arc throughout the prequels is the inherent corruptibility and inevitable descent into tyranny he represents through his views, in parallel with the more immediately salient metaphor of the Dark Side. Just as he becomes twisted into an evil Sith Lord in a personal sense, so too does his Republic turn into an evil Empire, and I cannot praise Lucas enough for giving us a trilogy of movies exploring a far, far too neglected facet of civic philosophy. A significant amount of thought very clearly went into the backstory of the collapse of the Republic. Say what you will about his ability to direct an actor (nonexistent, by all accounts), but the man can craft a beautifully relevant fairy tale world and the prequels don't miss a beat on this note.
  4. They are often not much different than any other diplomat or ambassador - someone with plenipotentiary power to negotiate. While the Republic can and does send regular old diplomats, the Jedi Order has a reputation for being mediators and fair-minded interlocutors, and tend to be pretty measured and, well, zen in their dealings. So of course, not only do they have a diplomat's primary skillset in spades... they're also excellent at a diplomat's #2 skillset: espionage. They can sense emotion and intent, read between lines no one else can see, and get in and out of places a normal diplomat or spy would have trouble with. This in turn can not only provide leverage and information useful in negotiations (which is the purpose of a great deal of espionage in the first place, as opposed to nefarious poisonings or Mission Impossible heists), but also accomplish parallel goals or provide the Republic (and the Jedi diplomat) with more tools and options in a crisis. A Jedi Knight can simultaneously negotiate for the release of hostages while also acting as the guy to go in there and rescue them if things go bad. As for Qui-Gon in TPM, that mission had a lot of things going on. It's possible that Valorum sent Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in 100% good faith, but unlikely. Real-world international negotiations almost always have more going on than appears at first glance, and it's not just about purely transactional "this lifted sanction for that concession" dealmaking. Even the act of meeting for a negotiation can itself be a diplomatic victory for one side or the other, or a ploy or a feint never intended to be followed through with. Valorum and his advisors probably suspected that the Trade Federation would fold at the mere "shock and awe" of two Jedi Knights showing up, and thus sent the Jedi as a diplomatic show of force to intimidate the Federation into backing down. However, this is further complicated by all of this very likely being part of Palpatine's manipulations, even if not everything went exactly as he planned. Palpatine was nothing if not arrogant, but he was prepared for the eventuality that his Federation stooges would fail to kill the Jedi. He probably wanted Valorum to send the Jedi to further brew up a crisis for him to pin on Valorum and seize the chancellorship for himself.
  5. First, I should clarify my post. The OP asked about how many forms "Jedi Mook 27" would know, and I answered in a weird, skewed sort of GM's Worldbuilding Mentality that translated everything into a simulated model of the Star Wars galaxy that uses this game's mechanics. So, I should qualify that my post about Jedi Mook 27's lightsaber specs should be taken non-literally, because Jedi Mook 27 would be a Rival NPC and not actually have any spec per se. I wrote from the perspective of a GM building a world populated with NPCs, simulating those NPCs with the available ruleset as accurately as possible, and only then taking the (implied) action of distilling them down into a theoretical NPC statline from there. As to your point, no, I can't really agree. Whether Juyo is strictly regulated to any degree during this time isn't totally clear, but the Order itself is relatively structured and orderly during this time, including having an official Battlemaster, and that does imply both a more regulated Order as well as tie the Order's practices and orthodoxy pretty closely to the style presented in The Jedi Path (which explicitly states training in Juyo is restricted). So there's wiggle room here that I think mostly comes down to one's GM/table and how you want to run the era, but my interpretation is to veer toward The Jedi Path when in doubt. As for the other forms, yes, the Sith and other galactic threats have the Jedi on a more war-like footing than they are at the start of the Clone Wars, but that doesn't mean they've abandoned all of their orthodoxy and stricter dogma. Quite the opposite, in fact: fear over mass defections in the wake of Revan made a lot of Jedi (e.g., Master Vrook) very conservative and even reactionary in terms of Jedi teachings and doctrine. Others have pointed out that most Jedi likely got at least a basic course in how most of the forms work, but that doesn't mean that they have any serious specialization or in-depth training on more than one form. Indeed, such a thing would entirely defeat the purpose of Niman, whose whole existence is predicated on the other forms being too intensive and focused for many Jedi to have time for (ergo, a simplified, practical self-defense martial art in the form of Niman). Remember, the OP asked about Jedi Mook 27 - not your hero and not Mr. Boss NPC. The very existence of Niman at all is proof positive that a huge percentage of the Jedi Mook community practices Niman and nothing else, because that's the whole point of Niman. This fact above all others guarantees that, regardless of era, a lot of Jedi Mooks will only have a serious investment in Niman as their sole lightsaber form of consequence. Investing in a lightsaber form is a serious undertaking, both from a player's mechanical point of view (buying specs and then investing in them quickly becomes prohibitively expensive) and from an in-universe standpoint of training. While yes, many Jedi hew more toward warrior than consular (and Jedi Mooks of such persuasion would be more likely to train in the more war-like forms), we're still talking about Mooks, not the Big Heroes, and Jedi Mooks tend to get gunned down by battle droids and clonetroopers. I stand by my statement that even in the SWTOR era, most Jedi Mooks probably only seriously specialize in either Niman or the Order's Politburo-Approved Sufficiently Non-Aggressive Soresu, with the more warrior-minded occasionally being seen with Makashi, Ataru, or Shien (or Djem So if one absolutely insists upon differentiating Form V). It takes a lot of work to claim expertise in a martial art at the level of intensity and focus of a Jedi Knight, and almost anyone who is devoting the time and energy into expertise in more than one such art is almost certainly dedicating most of their life to that practice. Hence Niman: Lightsaber Skills for Jedi in a Hurry (or just Jedi who like to do things other than hit other things with a laser sword, which is quite a few of them).
  6. It also depends on the time period. In Clone Wars era, Random Jedi #312 is probably only going to have Soresu or Niman as their sole lightsaber spec, with the underlying Shii-cho fundamentals likely represented by the new Padawan/Knight universal specs. Makashi, Ataru, Shien, or even Shii-cho specialists would be very rare, and probably very warrior-minded "Jedi Guardian" types (in the classic sense, not necessarily the Career). In the Old Republic eras, things get a lot more loosey-goosey and vary drastically depending on when exactly your game is set. KotOR/SWTOR-era is relatively codified and rigid, albeit not quite as much as the Clone Wars, and you can expect similarly standardized Random Jedi lightsaber proficiency, with only one true spec being the most common. The other standard (non-Juyo) styles would be more common than in Clone Wars, since the Sith are an ever-present, extant threat and a lightsaber dueling ethos is thus more in vogue rather than the complacent Jedi of the Clone Wars. More serious warrior Jedi might have two saber specs, but more than that would probably be reserved for big-time PCs and NPCs, such as lightsaber instructors and the current Battlemaster of the Order (who should have all 7 specs). Other Old Republic eras (such as New Sith Wars) tend to be less rigid, and you're probably less likely to see any kind of standard form, though I'd still be wary of giving more than one to Average Random Jedi. Though it should be noted that the immediate aftermath of the New Sith Wars resulted in the Jedi Path-style Clone Wars Jedi coming into vogue again, so if your game is set in that era you might want to think about incorporating the seeds of that branch of Jedi philosophy. More ancient eras, if that's your cup of blue milk, are going to be the most wacky of all, and might not even have more modern forms like Shien and Niman at all. The earlier you go, the more Makashi and increasingly-archaic Shii-cho you'll find, and it's my interpretation that very early Jedi would have been more warrior-like and more focused on their swords and later, lightsabers in clashes with Dark Jedi and the nascent Sith. Random Jedi having both Shii-cho and Makashi specs seems more likely in this era, with Soresu coming into fashion between Sith Wars and Ataru during them. Though I should stress this last paragraph is mostly my own speculation and interpretation, and should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt.
  7. A) That's not what I'm arguing. I think a few blasters and other bits and bobs shouldn't be locked to some gamey, rigid interpretation of faction identity, not "every faction has the exact same weapon configuration." Do you get upset that both factions have access to Impact Grenades? Because that's all I'm looking for, some minor duplication of hardware between the two extant factions. If these Clone Wars rumors are true, are you going to get bent out of shape that Republic Clonetroopers will get the Rebels' AT-RT? B) Even if that was my argument, what you say would still be categorically untrue. A huge amount of the faction differentiation in this game exists in the keyword themes of the different units. Rebels could get E-11s, DLT-19s, flamethrowers, HH-12s, and so on, but they still wouldn't have an analog for Snowtroopers. Likewise, Imperials could get DH-17s, scatterguns, and grenade launchers, but they still wouldn't have Fleet Troopers. They still wouldn't have Han, Luke, Leia, Jyn, or Chewie. They still wouldn't have Wookiees. And they still wouldn't have Rebel command cards. And so on and so forth. The factions are plenty different, even if you magically duplicate every single weapon option in the game, which, again, is not what I'm arguing for.
  8. Yodhrin nailed it. It's a minor frustration I have with both Armada and Legion; the practical 'reality' of Rebel equipment and hardware is that they're using anything they can get their hands on, including tons of stuff just straight-up stolen from the Empire. But both games have sacrificed a bit of that classic GCW feel in the name of stark, diametric, factional opposition. It always bugged me that Empire never got its own Nebulon-B in Armada, and the particularly frustrating, arbitrary case of what was traditionally the Alliance escort carrier being made an Imperial ship (which it is, but like the Nebulon it's always been more associated with Rebel usage), and the classically Imperial Ton Falk-class carrier being nowhere to be seen. This is made even more perplexing by X-Wing, which has had no problem duplicating the same hardware in other factions' hands, correctly nodding to the fact that Rebels are using stuff that is also used by pirates and crime-lords, and that Boba Fett isn't exactly an Imperial loyalist just because his ship was originally released as an Imperial unit. Why wouldn't Rebels pick up a DLT-19, or even more frustratingly, an HH-12? Both are seen in Rebel hands in the movies, with the HH-12 being seen only in Rebel hands... making it another escort carrier situation. In-universe it might technically be an Imperial design, but aesthetically it's associated more with its use by Rebels... 'cause that's what the Rebels do, they use Imperial stuff when it's available. And it's not like this is some arcane secret buried deep in old EU lore: the ion launcher mini in the Rebel Trooper unit has an E-11 on her back instead of an A280! Which is a great little detail, and I have no problem with it being abstracted away into the squad as a whole firing black dice A280s, but I'd like to see that kind of mentality applied to more meaningful heavy weapon options, too. To be clear, I'm not arguing for some massive, exclusive buff to Rebels only. By all means, give fun toys to the Empire too that Rebels don't necessarily have access to (*cough* AT-AT). I'd just like to see the GCW given a messier, more robust feel (with the nice side effect of deeper gameplay, IMO). As Yodhrin said, Star Wars in the context of the GCW has an undeniable "historical" feel to it. There's an inherent militarism to Star Wars, especially the original trilogy and the GCW of the 90s EU, and the overlap between it and military/historical wargaming is pretty significant. I'm glad FFG has taken a reasonably granular approach to some of the game's technical design (modelling the specifics of an A280 vs an E-11, for example), but I wish they'd relax on the fixation on competitive tournament play with its rigidly-defined faction identities. I enjoy faction asymmetry very much, but that doesn't mean diametric opposition. In fact, I'd argue that diametric opposition is just another type of symmetry, and not asymmetrical at all. Make it messy. Give us the Galactic Civil War in all its chaos. (mostly, gimme Rebel DLT-19s! because that blaster looks cool af)
  9. I'd kill for a Rebel DLT-19. It was my original plan to field a bunch of Rebel infantry with a lot of supporting heavy blasters mixed in, and I was supremely disappointed to see the DLT-19 be Stormtrooper-only and the Rebels get a Z-6 instead. Nothing would make me happier than a Fleet Trooper-style mini wielding a DLT-19, and I wouldn't mind standard Trooper/Commando minis with the same.
  10. Easy Navy Troopers who aren't Fleet Trooper carbon-copies: Dirt cheap. (7-8 pts per man? 28-32 pts for 4-man unit) White defense. Standard DH-17s with 2 white dice per. No surges. Maybe give them a keyword. 2 Personnel upgrade slots. (2 extra dudes? Comm specialist? Officer? Droids? Up to you) Voila, garbage-tier cheap troops. Fits the Empire and fits their on-screen performance as dudes who mostly just get shot, and provides an interesting strategic option for Imperial players in contrast with relatively-expensive Stormtroopers. Though I'd still like to see the Mudtroopers as an in-between, cheap-ish but serviceable infantry option for Empire.
  11. BCGaius

    Hoth Rebels

    Very nice. I love the take on the Fleet Troopers.
  12. I'd love to see the dudes from Solo, and they could very well be the thing that finally gets me to bite the bullet and build an Imperial force. I like Stormtroopers, and that new tank looks baller af, but I'd love to do a Veers/Major Gen. Eric (Major Jenn Ehrik? Maj. Gen. Ehr Rik? The possibilities are endless) army built around a core(corps?) of Solotroopers.
  13. BCGaius

    T47 scheme

    You might take some inspiration from Cold War-era MiGs and F-4 Phantoms, which were occasionally painted in woodland patterns. I recommend only a partial look - grey on the underside, camo pattern on the dorsal side, which will help it look like a cohesive vehicle rather than a blob of camo.
  14. As mentioned, basing will help. A suitably "rough" looking base will help the feet blend between muddy ground and freshly-painted green durasteel. And speaking of freshly-painted, making it not-so-freshly-painted could help a lot too. That AT-RT looks factory-new and polished to parade ground standards, and if that's the look you're going for, great! But it doesn't lend itself as well to a muddy, battlefield look. Weather the rest of the vehicle into a more rugged condition, and the mud will seem more natural around the feet. Chip and fade the "paint" by dappling a flat "unpainted" factory-grey chassis color onto the green areas with a nearly-dry sponge. This gives the impression of the green paint flaking off and exposing the unpainted metal of the vehicle. Further improve this by slathering on ugly washes of blacks and browns, and maybe a dash of metallic steel colors around the worky-bits to create rust, wear, stains, exhaust, etc. I like to dump a bunch of gloss varnish over top of all that on some of the moving parts as well (such as the leg pistons), which makes all the ugly brown staining gleam and shine like lubrication, spilled oil, and engine grease. Make your vehicle "ugly" enough, and the mud will look right at home!
  15. Let us know how it goes! And don't be discouraged if your first minis don't look amazing. I painted a set of Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Stormtroopers an atrocious combination of Snakebite Leather jackets and Ultramarine Blue trousers. It wasn't pretty. Everybody's gotta start somewhere.
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