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Annaamarth

Slicer talent tree

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So, I'm new to the game and system- just got the core book, and I found something that seems... wonky.

 

You have to start off buying talents on the first tier, right?  Well, on the slicer tree in my printing- 1919NOV13, page 91- three of those four talents do not connect to the second tier.  In the case of the one talent which does, it's not until the fourth tier that the talents connect from column to column.

 

Does that mean that the Slicer is pretty much locked into a single early progression? Is Codebreaker basically required?

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So, I'm new to the game and system- just got the core book, and I found something that seems... wonky.

 

You have to start off buying talents on the first tier, right?  Well, on the slicer tree in my printing- 1919NOV13, page 91- three of those four talents do not connect to the second tier.  In the case of the one talent which does, it's not until the fourth tier that the talents connect from column to column.

 

Does that mean that the Slicer is pretty much locked into a single early progression? Is Codebreaker basically required?

Yeah, the Slicer talent tree is wonky that way, and has caused no small amount of concerns/complaints that a PC is pretty much "locked in" to a single progression path for much of the early going.

 

Trader is similar, in that if you want to get to the higher rows, you've got to follow a fairly linear progression up the left hand side of the talent tree, although each talent in that first column has a branching off point to the rest of the row.

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It's pretty awful, (just in my opinion) I was really unimpressed with the progression and the talents themselves, Slicer's one of those careers I think make for a very good '2nd pick' later on in your character's advancement.

 

For a bit better all round character that does a lot of scurrilous activity I think the Smuggler-Thief probably makes for a more enjoyable career or Mechanic/Outlaw if you're wanting a techie person.

With the Computer skill and gear, they can all effectively 'hack' stuff, the defensive and codebreaker stuff just never really comes up enough in play to be worth the points.

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I was just trying to put together a reasonable R-series droid, and technician/slicer seemed like one of the good options that made sense.  It's a shame that the talent tree is borked though.

 

Tech/Mechanic works for the character too, so that might be a better option- I just expect less successful Astromech hackage than was viewed in ANH and ESB.

 

The Smuggler/Thief might work, but it makes a little less sense for an Astromech to go that route, normally.  Like I said, I just got the core book, so I'm trying to deal with basic archetypes before I really start getting creative.  The Twi'lek Doctor/Face, the Human Assassin/Bodyguard that can double as either a pilot or a legbreaker, the Gand Gadgeteer.  Basics.

 

I haven't really done much with what I think of as the 'Cunning' archetypes yet, but just because I found the technical, social/medical, and combative archetypes more interesting to begin with.  I'll get to the Cunning ones next, I think.  Pardon my rambling, I just free-association type.

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Slicer may be sort of a boring tree, but it works great for its job. I'm playing a Slicer, I'm having a lot of fun with it despite the initial linear Talent progression. Which, by the way, opens up after like...2 game sessions of XP. And I've had more than my fair share of spotlight time where my skills were critical to success of the job. So, there's that.

 

Just because a tree doesn't have 3-4 immediate progression routes from Tier 1 doesn't mean it's either ineffective or not a fun spec to play. I don't get the suggestions for taking it second or whatever. What's the basis for this idea? The most important part of the Spec to me is the skills. Talents are just icing on the cake.

Edited by Kshatriya

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Excellent responses, although Ksha: I would say that there is a difference between "three or four ways to progress from tier one" and "only one way to progress from tier one to four, and you have to get to four to get to the other tier three or two stuff."

 

If there was tier two crossover, that'd be cool.  If the talent tree went Tiers 1-2-2-2-branch instead of 1-2-3-4-branch, that'd be cool and creatively lateral and would mean that you'd save 15xp for going in other directions- not as easy as a simple tier two crossover, but at least less deep.

 

As it is, it just seems... iunno.  Wonky.  I still like it for the R-series build, particularly the skill package, and the talents are great. The tree construction just seems weird, hence my usage of the word wonky.  I guess it just seems odd that you need two tier four abilities and two tier three abilities before you can get a second tier two ability.

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Excellent responses, although Ksha: I would say that there is a difference between "three or four ways to progress from tier one" and "only one way to progress from tier one to four, and you have to get to four to get to the other tier three or two stuff."

 

If there was tier two crossover, that'd be cool.  If the talent tree went Tiers 1-2-2-2-branch instead of 1-2-3-4-branch, that'd be cool and creatively lateral and would mean that you'd save 15xp for going in other directions- not as easy as a simple tier two crossover, but at least less deep.

Maybe ask your GM for another Tier 1 connection. It doesn't break much unless it creates an easy route to Dedication...oh wait plenty of Specs already do that. :P

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I still say it's no big deal because why wouldn't Code Breaker be the first talent you'd buy anyway?  Anything with the phrase "decrease difficulty" is a much good thing in the game and for 5 points is a superstar bargain awesome Talent.

 

That tree is weighted on the left side anyway, the really good stuff is off that left column. 

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Agreed though I'm still not certain that Improved Defensive Slicing is as good as plain Defensive Slicing. But I may be over-valuing "larger number of total dice, even if they're just S" over "larger number of R dice relative to the total." Someone, please math at me to show me why I'm wrong.

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Agreed though I'm still not certain that Improved Defensive Slicing is as good as plain Defensive Slicing. But I may be over-valuing "larger number of total dice, even if they're just S" over "larger number of R dice relative to the total." Someone, please math at me to show me why I'm wrong.

I'm not a slicer but that's a very good catch.  It isn't as good.  It's better to add the Setbacks to existing purples than upgrade.  You'd have to be in a situation where the Difficulty was already all reds and you'd be adding a couple more negative dice to the pool for it to end up being better.  Plus I posted in another thread, upgrading purples to reds actually increases the chances of Advantages being generated, not decreases.  Probably a good one to run by the devs.  Time for a house rule, like Improved increases the Difficulty of the pool by one instead of upgrades, in addition to the Setbacks added, or something anyway.

 

However, in an opposed check, this talent may work out better if the slicer has a lot of skill, then the opposing dice pool they create with the talent will be sizable.  So I guess it depends on the kind of dice roll and skill of the defending slicer as to whether it's truly good.

Edited by 2P51

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Agreed though I'm still not certain that Improved Defensive Slicing is as good as plain Defensive Slicing. But I may be over-valuing "larger number of total dice, even if they're just S" over "larger number of R dice relative to the total." Someone, please math at me to show me why I'm wrong.

I'm not a slicer but that's a very good catch.  It isn't as good.  It's better to add the Setbacks to existing purples than upgrade.  

A few things to note here:

 

1) Using all 3 Defensive Slicing talents could well give an enemy slicer 2 extra negative dice (1 Challenge & 1 Difficulty), if the PC Slicer in question has an equal number of ranks in Computers and Intellect rating, and this is, strictly mathematically speaking, preferable to 3 setbacks. 

2) Even if the situation above doesn't apply to the PC Slicer, more Challenge Dice = more chances for Despair. And who doesn't love Despair?

3) An enemy slicer could use the Codebreaker talent to negate Setbacks imposed by Defensive Slicing. Improved Defensive Slicing negates this problem entirely. Basically, your defensive programs are nigh impenetrable and are known to fry the electronics of any would-be interlopers. 
 
So it really depends on the situation, but it can be more desirable.  
Edited by awayputurwpn

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Agreed though I'm still not certain that Improved Defensive Slicing is as good as plain Defensive Slicing. But I may be over-valuing "larger number of total dice, even if they're just S" over "larger number of R dice relative to the total." Someone, please math at me to show me why I'm wrong.

I'm not a slicer but that's a very good catch.  It isn't as good.  It's better to add the Setbacks to existing purples than upgrade.  

A few things to note here:

 

1) Using all 3 Defensive Slicing talents could well give an enemy slicer 2 extra negative dice (1 Challenge & 1 Difficulty), if the PC Slicer in question has an equal number of ranks in Computers and Intellect rating, and this is, strictly mathematically speaking, preferable to 3 setbacks. 

2) Even if the situation above doesn't apply to the PC Slicer, more Challenge Dice = more chances for Despair. And who doesn't love Despair?

3) An enemy slicer could use the Codebreaker talent to negate Setbacks imposed by Defensive Slicing. Improved Defensive Slicing negates this problem entirely. Basically, your defensive programs are nigh impenetrable and are known to fry the electronics of any would-be interlopers. 
 
So it really depends on the situation, but it can be more desirable.  

 

Not to mention that a setback die has a 1:3 chance of coming up blank. A challenge dice has a 1:12 chance of coming up blank. Plus a challenge die has several sides with more than one negative symbol on it while a setback die doesn't. And like awayputurwpn said, who doesn't love Despair?

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Yes but a Setback adds to a Difficulty die, whereas a Challenge simply replaces one.  So for the Talent to truly shine it has to be upgrading in a way that adds dice to the particular dice pool.  Now odds are it's used in an opposed check so it's likely to do that.

Edited by 2P51

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For Improved Defensive Slicing, I feel like they valued the chance of a Despair over rolling an additional die. As for which is better really comes down to, do you want a chance at more failiure or threat showing up or improve the chances that failure and no blanks will show up. I agree that I'd probably rather have the setback dice, because I'd rather have them straight up fail instead of succeeding with a Despair.

 

As for the tree, Codebreaker, Defensive Slicing, and Natural Programer are all great. I agree that it's probably the intent that all slicers will know how to do those things so every Slicer must take the talents.

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I bank on hitting a Despair even less than a Triumph so that in itself is not a convincing argument for the value of upgrades.

I totally agree, but here's my thought process: even at the point where this talent is least advantageous (upgrading 3 purples to 3 reds instead of adding 3 setback dice), you are heavily increasing your chance to roll a Despair (e.g. from 8% to 29%). So I guess my point on that matter was, "it's not that bad" :)

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This came up in my game last night and I was equally puzzled. Some of the comments in this thread are dancing around it a bit (to the point I think some people are handling it differently), so I want to put it out explicitly and make sure I'm doing it right.

 

If I want to get the 10 cost Technical Aptitude (row 2, column 2), I need to buy Codebreaker, Defensive Slicing, Natural Programmer, Defensive Slicing, Improved Defensive Slicing, and finally Bypass Security?

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This came up in my game last night and I was equally puzzled. Some of the comments in this thread are dancing around it a bit (to the point I think some people are handling it differently), so I want to put it out explicitly and make sure I'm doing it right.

 

If I want to get the 10 cost Technical Aptitude (row 2, column 2), I need to buy Codebreaker, Defensive Slicing, Natural Programmer, Defensive Slicing, Improved Defensive Slicing, and finally Bypass Security?

Correct sir.

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 Wow we played that wrong for so long.  We just assumed because it wasn't attached to a line from the first row that once you purchased any first row rank you could essentially start in the second row(as you would in the first row)...at an unconnected point.  I don't know how we came to that conclusion lol but it didn't seem to bother anyone at the time.  

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