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oriondean

thinking about F&D beta.

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So reading through the talents and especially the talent trees there are a few things that bother me. First is that among the lightsaber forms it's only the Niman Disciple that get's both a dedication bonus and force rating, it's even fairly easy to get to both of them, some form of consistency in the sabre forms would be nice otherwise there will be "cookie cutter" specialisation's that you're forced to take as a lightsaber wielder.
 

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So reading through the talents and especially the talent trees there are a few things that bother me. First is that among the lightsaber forms it's only the Niman Disciple that get's both a dedication bonus and force rating, it's even fairly easy to get to both of them, some form of consistency in the sabre forms would be nice otherwise there will be "cookie cutter" specialisation's that you're forced to take as a lightsaber wielder.

 

Some of the other Lightsaber forms that don't get FRs get things that are clearly great though like Feint, Counter Strike, Improved and Supreme Parry/Reflect, most of which require Force sensitivity but not large FRs in and of themselves.  It's called balance.  Those talent trees are all more effective Lightsaber combatants so the Niman Disciple is given an FR boost as an off set.

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I think digital copies of a paid beta are probably more harmful in some ways. A paid beta helps generate the money needed to make the finished product. Also the interest in a beta is in part wanting to see what is coming and get some advance playing in. A pirated beta is in some ways more harmful than the final product because it's kicking the project during the pregnancy. And because the value of the beta can be met by a downloaded copy in ways that the final product can't be. I.e. a downloaded copy wont match the final, hardback, artwork filled, hold in your hands full game. But it will match the crunch only sparse thing that is a beta. Ergo, it's more likely to hit sales.

 

Just to add my 2 credits to a couple of your points, I highly doubt that this paid beta is being used to help generate the money to finish the product.  FFG has money for new projects.  Just look at all the new SW games they are pumping out in the coming months.

 

IMO the betas are more like buy-in previews of the upcoming game.  And I'm sure FFG is making a profit off of them.  Personally I don't like the idea of paying for a book that will be obsolete when the full CRB comes out, so I just wait for the full release.

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So what do you guys/ladies think about Bind being used like Vader did in Empire? As in, Force Grip from a distance. Would this just be two Star Destroyers at "Close" range and Darth having max Range in it, or is the system lacking a tele-death for balance purposes?

Probably, and if the GM wants to introduce it they can still do so. One of the TCW episodes has Palpatine on Coruscant choking Dooku on Serreno, so by canon it's possible.

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So what do you guys/ladies think about Bind being used like Vader did in Empire? As in, Force Grip from a distance. Would this just be two Star Destroyers at "Close" range and Darth having max Range in it, or is the system lacking a tele-death for balance purposes?

Probably, and if the GM wants to introduce it they can still do so. One of the TCW episodes has Palpatine on Coruscant choking Dooku on Serreno, so by canon it's possible.

 

 

It is, but I'd say that regardless of upgrades it would require FR 4-5. Probably 5. You only ever see the strongest darksiders doing things like this. Also in both those examples there is a direct line of communication. Not saying the Force travels over the holonet, but it probably helps the force user "dial-in the targeting" as it were.

Edited by MrDodger

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trimmed

I actually prefer PDFs for a lot of my gaming material. I buy hardback for things I'll want to pass around the table and PDF for anything that's just for my own usage. They're more portable, more searchable. I can even mark them up without damaging them if I want. It's my preferred format. Therefore for me the argument that a paper copy entitles me to a digital copy doesn't quite work - they're both valuable things. I quite liked the way Shadowrun 4th edition books were often sold by Catalyst where you bought both as a bundle for a very slight mark-up over just the hard copy. (Didn't like much else about the company, mind you). Electronic format can be updated too - buying through DriveThruRPG I get a pleasant email saying a product I've bought has been updated with errata and is available for re-download. Excellent stuff. :)

Having been able to see the F&D beta that was circulated has ensured that I will buy it. But I would almost certainly have reached the same decision just from reading people comments and answers here, that said. Things like that wonderful character generator that is floating around and summary sheets are a positive that makes the game more valuable to me and thus more likely to invest in it. But it is a balance, imo. If it reaches the point that you no longer need the products, that will result in lost sales. I know plenty of people who used to buy what books they could but these days just torrent and spend their money elsewhere because they can. In effect, these people are living off us who do buy the products. And it's much like any other situation where some are freeloading on others, it's frustrating and unfair.

 

Very valid points. I'd been treating the PDF as an extension of the physical copy, but I'd not considered the folks who sell them side-by-side; odd, because I've bought several of the Pathfinder PDFs. I would be really interested to know from Paizo what the relation is between sales on that front - if releasing the PDFs wound up in lost sales overall due to easier piracy, or if the reduced price point resulted in more sales overall (especially to those buying both). Sometimes it's easier to justify $10 for the PDF than $30 for the hardcopy - and there were several that I would not have bought the hardcopy because it wasn't worth it to me.

 

So reading through the talents and especially the talent trees there are a few things that bother me. First is that among the lightsaber forms it's only the Niman Disciple that get's both a dedication bonus and force rating, it's even fairly easy to get to both of them, some form of consistency in the sabre forms would be nice otherwise there will be "cookie cutter" specialisation's that you're forced to take as a lightsaber wielder.

 

 

This was actually touched on earlier in the thread - I can't remember which page specifically - but basically pointed out that Niman was more based around force use than the others in the previously published lore. It's offset by not having quite as many 'neat' talents in the tree. And I suspect that 'cookie cutter' specs are going to be around anyways - but probably not as big a deal as they are in D&D, since there's so much good stuff scattered all over.

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Some of the other Lightsaber forms that don't get FRs get things that are clearly great though like Feint, Counter Strike, Improved and Supreme Parry/Reflect, most of which require Force sensitivity but not large FRs in and of themselves.  It's called balance.  Those talent trees are all more effective Lightsaber combatants so the Niman Disciple is given an FR boost as an off set.

Out comes the snark...

 

We're still in beta and I'm sure that your statement will hold true in the final product, but for now it's not quite so. You only need 80 xp to get to Improved reflect if Shien is your 2nd specialisation and a 125 to get to supreme, compared to the 280 xp it takes you to get both the force rating and the dedication bonus was a Niman Disciple if being a ND is your first spec. ND also have some pretty powerful abilities in it's arsenal, Draw Closer, Defensive Training, Center of Being and Force Assault are pretty spiffy. Combined with classic Jedi skills like Lightsaber, Negotiate Discipline and Lore and a LOT of cheap parry and reflect talents the ND is almost the default Spec you want to start within you're depicting a "classic" Jedi. I'm not saying that it's not balanced, I'm just saying that it narrows the field a little too much for my liking.

 

I'll do a numbers break down over the weekend so everyone can see where the "ultimates" are positioned in their respective trees, then once we have data we can talk balance.

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Some of the other Lightsaber forms that don't get FRs get things that are clearly great though like Feint, Counter Strike, Improved and Supreme Parry/Reflect, most of which require Force sensitivity but not large FRs in and of themselves.  It's called balance.  Those talent trees are all more effective Lightsaber combatants so the Niman Disciple is given an FR boost as an off set.

Out comes the snark...

 

We're still in beta and I'm sure that your statement will hold true in the final product, but for now it's not quite so. You only need 80 xp to get to Improved reflect if Shien is your 2nd specialisation and a 125 to get to supreme, compared to the 280 xp it takes you to get both the force rating and the dedication bonus was a Niman Disciple if being a ND is your first spec. ND also have some pretty powerful abilities in it's arsenal, Draw Closer, Defensive Training, Center of Being and Force Assault are pretty spiffy. Combined with classic Jedi skills like Lightsaber, Negotiate Discipline and Lore and a LOT of cheap parry and reflect talents the ND is almost the default Spec you want to start within you're depicting a "classic" Jedi. I'm not saying that it's not balanced, I'm just saying that it narrows the field a little too much for my liking.

 

I'll do a numbers break down over the weekend so everyone can see where the "ultimates" are positioned in their respective trees, then once we have data we can talk balance.

 

ND has to buy Move to get it's more powerful Talents to work, whereas the other trees don't have to buy any Force powers.  Ataru Striker gets Saber Swarm for 50xp or Hawk Bat Swoop for 50xp and has access to a pair of ranks of Dodge, the only tree with that.  Shien Expert gets Improved Reflect for 45xp, and is the only Talent that can slap shots back at targets.  Shii-Cho gets a throw down Boost die to attacks against multiple opponents for 15xp. You may feel ND is on the same level as those other trees in Lightsaber combat but it isn't.

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My first thought is, why wouldn't I buy move? Force Push, levitate, all that good stuff comes out of it. HawkBat Swoop allows me to Leap into combat, the same amount of xp spent in the Enhance tree will give me that and more. Draw Closer basically does the opposite, which can be a hell of a lot more useful as you don't have to land in the middle of a whole heap of opponents who then decides to gang up on you. Yes Shien and the other trees are powerful, versatile and fun, but an extra force dice, combined with Move or Enhance... I'm not saying that you're wrong or that ND is overpowered, I'm just saying that to me it seems like the only place really (at least for me) to start a Jedi character. 

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You have to spend the XP to get those powers though.  You also only are FR1 to start, which means Force powers are far from reliable.  The other trees abilities are just based on being Force sensitive without ever having to spend xp on a Force power at all.  They also don't necessarily even need their Dedication bonus.  So while a ND will be spending xp to reach the bottom of their tree and spending xp on Force powers, the other trees can just run up their Lightsaber skill and stay in the tree.  I think ND is the solid all around spec, but it's not even close to the best Lightsaber combat tree.

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As for the Lightsaber Form trees, I think it makes pretty good sense that the bulk of these don't have the Force Rating talent.  These are primarily focused on physical combat via lightsaber, with Niman being the major exception as it employs bits of telekinesis as well.  Given that a lightsaber is still a potent weapon (Breach 1 goes a long way in that regard), having a specialization that focuses on making said weapon even more potent in the character's hands needs some kind of trade-off so that everyone doesn't immediately start grabbing said specs, and the lack of a Force Rating talent is a pretty solid trade-off, as it makes those players that want to focus on increasing their Force Rating think twice about grabbing them.

 

My only "complaint" if you will with the Lightsaber Form trees is that Improved Reflect is found only in Shien, when other forms (such as Soresu and Ataru) both made frequent use of blaster deflection.  Obi-Wan's a Form III/Soresu master, and made pretty frequent use of redirected blaster fire during Episode II (Jango simply had too much Soak Value from his Mando armor to be too negatively affected by any returned fire), and we see Qui-Gon Jinn (an expert of Form IV/Ataru) also redirecting blaster fire into enemy targets.  You've also got Shii-Cho, which while not great at deflecting blaster fire was capable of doing so (which fits as it's the foundation of all later Lightsaber Forms), yet has not a single rank in Reflect.

 

I think a slight tweaking of how the damage reduction of the Parry and Reflect talents is calculated would free up a talent slot or two so that a couple more Form specs can have Improved Reflect added and that Shii-Cho Knight can get at least one (maybe even) two instances of Reflect.  I'm thinking that instead of base 2 with a +1 per talent rank, it should be base 3, with a +2 bonus for each additional rank.  Yes, that could make Parry-heavy specs like the Makashi Duelist a nightmare in personal combat... which makes sense as Form II/Makashi was designed almost entirely around dueling (it was Dooku's style, and only Yoda's greater experience and master of Ataru's frenetic attack style enabled him to face the Count one-on-one and not get creamed).  Though perhaps it could drop a rank in Parry for another rank in Defensive Training and still keep its heavy focus on melee combat.

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Not only that but I'm guessing you can use the same rules to buy the tree from another class. If you want more FR, buy these instead.

Or if your GM permits it, pick up the Exile or Emergent specs from EotE and AoR.  Both of these reflect a "self-taught" Force user, which many PCs in Force and Destiny will wind up being.  Granted, you won't get much of an initial benefit since you've already got Force Rating 1, but it does get you access to the Force Rating talent if the other specializations attached to your career are at odds with your character concept.

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That was one of the things that I was grumbling about, that I'm locked into Shien to get this iconic ability, maybe putting it in all 3 of the defensive forms? As I said before, Luke doesn't seem like the most cunning warrior, neither does Anakin for that matter. Street smarts and so on doesn't seem to go well with the "farm boy wonder" theme.

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That was one of the things that I was grumbling about, that I'm locked into Shien to get this iconic ability, maybe putting it in all 3 of the defensive forms? As I said before, Luke doesn't seem like the most cunning warrior, neither does Anakin for that matter. Street smarts and so on doesn't seem to go well with the "farm boy wonder" theme.

I can neither confirm nor deny this point was raised during playtesting.............. :ph34r:

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My only "complaint" if you will with the Lightsaber Form trees is that Improved Reflect is found only in Shien, when other forms (such as Soresu and Ataru) both made frequent use of blaster deflection.  Obi-Wan's a Form III/Soresu master, and made pretty frequent use of redirected blaster fire during Episode II (Jango simply had too much Soak Value from his Mando armor to be too negatively affected by any returned fire), and we see Qui-Gon Jinn (an expert of Form IV/Ataru) also redirecting blaster fire into enemy targets.  You've also got Shii-Cho, which while not great at deflecting blaster fire was capable of doing so (which fits as it's the foundation of all later Lightsaber Forms), yet has not a single rank in Reflect.

 

The problem is that the forms don't map really well to the movies. The choreographers who made the prequels scripted fights based on what worked for the scene, rather than strict adherence to what David West Reynolds wrote in "Fight Saber", circa 2002.  In giving the different specs unique flavor, they dev's have clearly used the forms as written as their starting point, rather than what we see on screen, which is more of a general mish-mash of cinematic fighting.  The forms, honestly, are a lot of post hoc rationalizations (which is not a bad thing, clearly a good source for RPG material).

 

So specifically, I'm not really put-off by the allocations of Reflect and especially Improved Reflect into the specs as named.  I see the problem being more that, say, Shii-Cho (Form I) is simply an out-dated form of fighting and might better be replaced with a more updated form like Form VII.

 

I think the intention is that, much like the various Jedi and Sith we see who know more than one saber form, PCs who want to be true saber masters should invest in more than a single saber spec.

 

(FWIW, Obi Wan also knew his Shien.)

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That was one of the things that I was grumbling about, that I'm locked into Shien to get this iconic ability, maybe putting it in all 3 of the defensive forms? As I said before, Luke doesn't seem like the most cunning warrior, neither does Anakin for that matter. Street smarts and so on doesn't seem to go well with the "farm boy wonder" theme.

I can neither confirm nor deny this point was raised during playtesting.............. :ph34r:

 

 

Pretty clear Luke was just using his Brawn.  Vader, however, was fairly cunning, also, really strong.  No comment on young Anakin, the creepy man-child of the prequels:  Ep1-3 are heresy to me.

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In the prequels, and TCW i think, Anakin uses Shien mostly. I imagine that as Vader he modified the technique to suit his new needs and limitations. I think he also knows soresu quite well after learning with Obi-Wan. I imagine him as a full Shien Expert , with some multispec in Soresu defender.

 

As far as i know, Obi-Wan knew at least 3 techniques well: Ataru, his starting one in Ep1, Soresu, the one he mastered, and Shien. I still see him as a Soresu Defender, with some dabbling in the other 2 specs (i bet he has the quick draw and quick strike talents from Ataru Striker, and the full reflect line in Shien, plus he probably  grabbed all the reflect and parry talents he could reach easily)

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I'm starting to think that lightsaber forms might be better off being universal specialisations available as the prime spec if you are force sensitive, I dunno, it might seem too easy?

 

Edit: yer these aren't our run of the mill Jedi, that is true, the chosen one, his masters and offspring.

Edited by UncleArkie

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Some of the other Lightsaber forms that don't get FRs get things that are clearly great though like Feint, Counter Strike, Improved and Supreme Parry/Reflect, most of which require Force sensitivity but not large FRs in and of themselves.  It's called balance.  Those talent trees are all more effective Lightsaber combatants so the Niman Disciple is given an FR boost as an off set.

Out comes the snark...

 

We're still in beta and I'm sure that your statement will hold true in the final product, but for now it's not quite so. You only need 80 xp to get to Improved reflect if Shien is your 2nd specialisation and a 125 to get to supreme, compared to the 280 xp it takes you to get both the force rating and the dedication bonus was a Niman Disciple if being a ND is your first spec. ND also have some pretty powerful abilities in it's arsenal, Draw Closer, Defensive Training, Center of Being and Force Assault are pretty spiffy. Combined with classic Jedi skills like Lightsaber, Negotiate Discipline and Lore and a LOT of cheap parry and reflect talents the ND is almost the default Spec you want to start within you're depicting a "classic" Jedi. I'm not saying that it's not balanced, I'm just saying that it narrows the field a little too much for my liking.

 

I'll do a numbers break down over the weekend so everyone can see where the "ultimates" are positioned in their respective trees, then once we have data we can talk balance.

 

Eh. Since seeing the snapshots taken of the Beta at the end of last week (and receiving my copy from a friend two days ago), I've made up about a dozen characters, only one of which uses Niman at all (my existing character). I've got a defensively focused Jedi who specializes in Soresu and picks up a lot of Protector, and gets into Shien a bit, a more aggressive lightsaber specialist who gets all the goodies from Ataru and then moves over to Shii-Cho to make him a hellish opponent against not only individuals, but also swarms of foes as well. The Ataru character also will be going into Seer to get their Force rating up--I wouldn't jump into Niman for that, because A) it's just getting toward one FR talent instead of two for a similar investment of XP, and I don't see either of the two previous characters using Move that heavily.

 

My first thought is, why wouldn't I buy move? Force Push, levitate, all that good stuff comes out of it. HawkBat Swoop allows me to Leap into combat, the same amount of xp spent in the Enhance tree will give me that and more. Draw Closer basically does the opposite, which can be a hell of a lot more useful as you don't have to land in the middle of a whole heap of opponents who then decides to gang up on you. Yes Shien and the other trees are powerful, versatile and fun, but an extra force dice, combined with Move or Enhance... I'm not saying that you're wrong or that ND is overpowered, I'm just saying that to me it seems like the only place really (at least for me) to start a Jedi character. 

Because it's expensive to get it to a very useful point? Because we still have to actually buy all of this stuff, and spending XP on Force powers doesn't always jive with what you want to do with the character--if you want to be a very effective lightsaber combatants, you may not want to go sink 50-100 XP in Force powers, especially since you don't want to be committing Force dice (to keep your FR free for use with things like Hawk Bat Swoop and Saber Swarm).

 

Also, if you're going to be in combat, and don't mind committing dice, why wouldn't you invest that 50 XP in Sense for double upgrades to your defense and offense basically all the time? Or get to the Mastery power of Seek for automatic Triumph against the BBEG on every attack? And if you're really concerned with your FR, why aren't you in Sage or Seer where you can get two ranks fairly easily?

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I'm starting to think that lightsaber forms might be better off being universal specialisations available as the prime spec if you are force sensitive, I dunno, it might seem too easy?

 

I hear you -- the case almost makes itself.  The rub is that they'd then have a half-dozen orphaned specs and 't would break the pattern of 3 specs per career.  It still seems better to just stick to the established design and pair the forms with careers as best they can.  It's only +10XP which, in the context of characters built with hundreds of earned XP, is not that much. 

Edited by Lorne

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That was one of the things that I was grumbling about, that I'm locked into Shien to get this iconic ability, maybe putting it in all 3 of the defensive forms? As I said before, Luke doesn't seem like the most cunning warrior, neither does Anakin for that matter. Street smarts and so on doesn't seem to go well with the "farm boy wonder" theme.

I can neither confirm nor deny this point was raised during playtesting.............. :ph34r:

 

 

Pretty clear Luke was just using his Brawn.  Vader, however, was fairly cunning, also, really strong.  No comment on young Anakin, the creepy man-child of the prequels:  Ep1-3 are heresy to me.

 

 

Have you tried the novelization of Episode 3? It's actually one of the best fiction novels I've read, period. And it actually talks about the forms and shifting between them in the fight between ani/obi and dooku.

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Once we get a F&D forum it would be great to see people create their own versions of StarWars characters using F&D.

 

I think it makes some sense that the lightsaber form trees don't offer Force Rating if they offer the more potent offensive abilities.

But I'm not sure if this is balanced or not.

 

Niman Disciple seems really good.  You get Dedication and Force Rating.  You get some decent defensive lightsaber abilities.  Throw in Sense to get 2 upgrades on defense and 2 on attack (each twice per turn) and you've got some more defensive power and a decent upgrade to your offensive power.  You are Willpower focused so you can couple your lightsaber effectiveness with a boost to Strain.  You can leave the deadliness of your attacks up to an upgraded lightsaber, like say a double-bladed lightsaber with Link 1, good damage, good crit etc.

 

The Niman Disciple seems like the go-to Spec for making a well-rounded Jedi for the above reasons and you can more cheaply jump to Seer to get more Force Rating and some more social interaction ability.  Seems like the fairly iconic Jedi base.

 

It's hard to get an accurate feel of game balance without actually playing the game but I think it's a good sign generally that I find so many of the talent trees and force powers tempting.

Edited by Jedi Ronin

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Or you can go Ataru Striker, get two ranks of dodge and Sence, and get your Improved Parry off whenever your opponent rolls one of their three red dice as a despair. Perhaps multi into Shien for improved reflect.

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And it actually talks about the forms and shifting between them in the fight between ani/obi and dooku.

IIRC, in the fight between Neo and Morpheus, the idea is every time they strike a pose they shift to a different martial art style.

And then, of course, there is

Much could be done with selecting a style Rock Paper Scissors style.

Edited by Sylpheed

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