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Are Jedi making us expect too much?

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I've read and posted quite a bit since the F&D beta was released and there's been a lot of discussions on power-levels. I've been wondering if what we see from well-trained Jedi in the movies is causing some people (including myself) to expect a lot more from characters in the game, at least initially/at lower-XP builds. It's not that we can't use common sense and realize we won't be able to be Obi-Wan right away, but more that we want to do all that cool stuff ASAP. Thoughts?

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Yes.  I think people are excited and eager, which is great.  I also think they are trying to ram too much capability into Parry/Reflect too quickly.  I always thought even pre-playtest selection, the biggest points of contention would be Lightsaber mechanics and players wanting a die roll for every capability and morality, even before it had a capital M.

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I want to try Reflect (I'd call it "Deflect", personally) as it is before I judge it too harshly. I thought such an ability would be a Talent akin to Dodge or Sidestep, with Advantage and Triumph coupling with the "Reflect" Talent to redirect shots. I'd love to read about why they didn't (as I posted in another thread). Not to pick it apart, but better understand the hows and whys of the design.

Anyway, I'm VERY impressed with FFG's handling if Star Wars and trust them to keep up the great work.

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I feel more like these are not the Jedi you are looking for.

 

These guys are more in tune with a computer game than the movies. Within the movies themselves we only get introduced to 5 Jedi/Sith, Luke, Vader, Palpatine, Obi-Wan and Yoda. Leia is Force Sensitive but not trained at all. F&D has no careers that don’t use the force, which put it out of place with the movies.

 

Lukes fighting skills are clumsy at best and if Vader ever meant to kill him rather than turn him he would have. So all the talents with special moves and such seems a touch overkill. When Luke fights Vader he is swinging his sabre like a baseball bat, which given the sabre is only the weight of a hilt, this technique is slow and reduces the distance you strike from as you tend to bend your elbow. He is far from the skill level of Obi-Wan or Anikan at a similar age. 

 

I expected Jedi to be more like Obi-Wan who had been hiding for a long time, perhaps he was skilled in combat a long time ago, but lack of use and being somewhat older he isn't the Jedi he once was. Which was an explanation as to why the fighting styles changed between the first trilogy and the prequels.

 

For me, there are 3 archetypes of Jedi. The Old man like Obi-Wan that has lost the edge, he is no longer in his physical peak.

 

You then have a Jedi who has been trained and taught by an older Jedi who may have noted their ability in the force at an early age. This Jedi would have the skills and abilities that their master had. You could I guess create the “old man jedi” and then make this one a Padawan, but the Old Man Jedi can’t teach skills and fighting techniques he himself doesn’t know.

 

Then you have the archetype as per Luke, the young adult that doesn’t know he has any force powers or abilities and starts training quite late in life. He had other skills and abilities. Being a Jedi came to him quite unexpectedly.  Now the Padawan above would be able to start with say two levels in many of the Jedi combat abilities and may have more force dice available to them, but the Luke archetype would have more skills as he wasn’t so focused (nor was he in hiding) as he grew up.

 

Now, maybe F&D is catering for the SWTOR or KOTOR people and Jedi and Sith are far more common, but I feel the book could have been far less of a caricature of the computer games and given more depth as to the Jedi post Yavin.

Edited by Amanal

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I actually feel the opposite. I think these jedi are well balanced for an era where teaching is very hard to come by. To do anything close to what Kenobi and Ahsoka could do as padawans requires about 200-300 in skills and talents, and another 150-250 in Force Powers. For QuiGon or Kenobi in his prime? Double that, at least.

It is going to take many sessions and years of play to get these characters to those levels. These are not SWTOR characters. Nor Clone Wars Jedi. These are the noobs who have a long way to go before being bad ass.

At least, it seems that way to me.

Here's an excersize for you: build a starting character. Now give them 15 xp. Then 20. Then another 15. Another 20. Repeat until you think the stats get what you consider to be "over powered" or "video game level", then count how many awards you alloted. Thats how many weekly or bi-weekly sessions it took to get there.

I have a hunch it will be a long time. But that's what playtesting is for.

I'll be starting my "test" in 2 weeks.

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DarthGM is too modest to post his own work, but he wrote an article that pretty much spelled out that these characters aren't Jedi. Granted, you can mimic Jedi, but FFG goes out of their way to say that these characters inherit their traditions, but they aren't the Jedi of the old republic.

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People wanna play someone like their favourite characters. And their favourite characters are far more likely to be, like, Darth Maul than one of the younglings practicing their lightsaber skills in that one scene.

Or, in short, people turn up to a Jedi game to do this:-

Or

If this isn't the Jedi Knight rpg, when does the Jedi Knight rpg come out? I reckon there will be more people interested in that.

Edited by Sylpheed

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DarthGM is too modest to post his own work, but he wrote an article that pretty much spelled out that these characters aren't Jedi. Granted, you can mimic Jedi, but FFG goes out of their way to say that these characters inherit their traditions, but they aren't the Jedi of the old republic.

Everything people are expressing a desire to do is in these rules, it is just not going to happen quickly nor should it.  I think if people step back and take a holistic view of the entire system, and now that we have F&D, in a sense we have it all.  They will see looking at all of the career/specs that are now available to them and the synergistic way in which all the Talents and Skills can compliment one another, they will find they have what they need at their fingertips.  

 

People are going to see by cross speccing into the other books, yes, you can do that, you will find there is a lot that can help their F&D characters out.  Even going back to Exile has a certain sense since you can get a rank of melee and range defense along with a Dedication bonus and FR in a fairly direct pathway.

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35 years of overpowered fanfiction like Erik posts above hasn't helped.

 

One of the main things I've disliked about the EU is how Jedi turned from intriguing warrior-monks with an Eastern philosophy into Anime-hero Asgardian Gods.  As my main reference is the original movies, I'm not so hung up on 'parrying blaster fire with lightsabers' or whatever.

 

And even then, F&D does offer some pretty major powers. Even in EoE, you can hurl around multiple ATATs with a  single good roll, which is more than we ever saw in the movies.  F&D offers powers like 'kill a foe with the Force and raise a dead person', which is pretty out-there in terms of powers.

 

I think force-users are pretty **** potent in this system (most adventures like 'Onslaught at Arda' fall apart if you have a character with high Move) but they just take a lot of XP to get there.  The irony is that you really can do overpowered ErikB-style manga shenanigans in this system - but that is the province of high level characters, not starting characters.

 

Bear in mind that starting characters in the FFG games are really weak; and that includes the quasi-Jedi in F&D.

Edited by Maelora

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I've read and posted quite a bit since the F&D beta was released and there's been a lot of discussions on power-levels. I've been wondering if what we see from well-trained Jedi in the movies is causing some people (including myself) to expect a lot more from characters in the game, at least initially/at lower-XP builds. It's not that we can't use common sense and realize we won't be able to be Obi-Wan right away, but more that we want to do all that cool stuff ASAP. Thoughts?

 

I'd expect a good Star Wars RPG to offer Obi-wan-esque abilities (say circa Ep II or III) after about 20 sessions of play (so, 5 months of weekly play) with moderate XP gain (20 XP base/session +5XP for Motivation).  So about 500 XP after character creation (Knight Level play giving a good head start on this).

 

I also think that expectations are altered by the typical length of the campaigns your group plays.  If your games only last 3-6 months then you're stopping before you get to realize your full character concept (much less get to actually play your full character concept for most of the campaign) so starting with a much bigger XP boost might be in order.  If you play campaigns that last a year or longer then 20 sessions before getting comfortably to your character concept mechanically isn't too bad.  You can also create a decent character with Knight Level play rules - not all the pieces will be there or at full strength but you can create an effective and fun character.

 

There's also a wide disparity in what people think a Jedi should be capable of.  I see two issues here.  

One is that some people seem to think that Jedi should outshine other character concepts.  

Another is what people expect the Jedi to be able to do at the table - how cinematic they expect them to be.

 

My own take is that Star Wars has really swingy and cinematic combats (even for Jedi) - the best bounty hunter in the galaxy get's taken out by a blind scoundrel, a legion of the empires best troops gets taken out by little teddy bears.  A Jedi Master and his Padawan take down several easy battledroid minions before having to flee when confronted with droidekas.  But a scoundrel, a princess and a farmboy can galavant through the death star and blow it up later.  It has a lot of highs and lows (and again, the Jedi are not immune to this).  

FFG Star Wars captures this pretty well - combat is swift, characters (PC and NPC) can be defeated rather easily compared to other systems (where as you gain xp you become much harder to take down) but not necessarily killed.  In other words, some people have expectations from other gaming experiences (Star Wars and non-Star Wars) where mid to high "level" characters can really take a beating and they expect this same sort of thing of Jedi - even though it's not necessarily the Star Wars feel or the way FFG is designed.

 

My own expectations of a succesful system design mean I can have a mid XP character who can a well rounded Jedi - some lightsaber ability and some force ability or specialize in one or the other.

My own take on what F&D offers is that you can make a good Jedi character without waiting forever but you have to remember that its a matter of making choices - you're not going to be good at everything and this is also how it's portrayed in the movies (and the CW cartoon).  Most Jedi have only the rudimentary levels of several force powers with some depth in only one or two.  Same for lightsaber ability. 

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I actually feel the opposite. I think these jedi are well balanced for an era where teaching is very hard to come by. To do anything close to what Kenobi and Ahsoka could do as padawans requires about 200-300 in skills and talents, and another 150-250 in Force Powers. For QuiGon or Kenobi in his prime? Double that, at least.

 

So for a book that should be stand alone where are the Princess, Scoundrel and Technician? You need one of the other rulebooks for that at the moment and that goes against a design criteria of the game.

 

I am saying the Jedi shouldn't be that powerful, you are saying if I skimmed your article that was linked, the Jedi aren't all that powerful.

 

I just think for this game to be one that can stand on its own legs it needs some muggles. (To borrow the term that was used elsewhere)

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Auto-quoting myself from another post XD

 

"A bit off-topic but, after re-watching 2 times Clone Wars and Movies (yes, I need a girlfriend XD) I discovered that I was wrong about Force and Jedi "level of power".

 

Of course they are strong, but, not so much as I thought. I found a lot of limitations and samples, plot is the main one XD, but there are a lot of them".

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I find the rules fine as they are. You may ending up playing a full Jedi knight after maaaany sessions, J think is at it shall be, Jedi training takes time. On the other hand, if You want to have a jedi knight right away give your starting PC 300xp extra at creation, or as many as you think are needed, and / or grant 50xp per session of play.

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I expected Jedi to be more like Obi-Wan who had been hiding for a long time, perhaps he was skilled in combat a long time ago, but lack of use and being somewhat older he isn't the Jedi he once was. Which was an explanation as to why the fighting styles changed between the first trilogy and the prequels.

 

Yoda is rather old, and yet when a combat situation arises he doesn't show his age.

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Auto-quoting myself from another post XD

"A bit off-topic but, after re-watching 2 times Clone Wars and Movies (yes, I need a girlfriend XD) I discovered that I was wrong about Force and Jedi "level of power".

Of course they are strong, but, not so much as I thought. I found a lot of limitations and samples, plot is the main one XD, but there are a lot of them".

Yes.

Jedi do amazing things.

But Obi-wan and Qui-gon are turned away by 2 droidekas.

Many Jedi are killed by a handful of clones with order 66.

Jango Fett killed a Jedi Master (was killed himself by another one).

Obi-wan and Jango Fett fought to a draw.

There are a number of examples like this.

Power level and effectiveness is a function of plot needs and interesting story.

Jedi should be awesome but not unstoppable. Just like other characters.

Edited by Jedi Ronin

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35 years of overpowered fanfiction like Erik posts above hasn't helped.

This is my feeling as well. If you look at what you see in the films, and only what you actually see, the system does a pretty good job of replicating that with only a few relatively minor hiccups. The problem isn't that the system doesn't let a knight level character do what you see in the film to start, or within a few sessions worth of XP, it's the assumption that to do what you see in the films you need to have thousands of XP and a talent for everything.

 

 

 

So for a book that should be stand alone where are the Princess, Scoundrel and Technician? You need one of the other rulebooks for that at the moment and that goes against a design criteria of the game.

 

It's stand alone in that you can fill those slots using what you find in the book, not stand alone in that it can be used to present the entire universe by itself.

 

Princess: Advisor or Sage

Scoundrel: Shadow or Advisor or Pilot (depending on your flavor)

Tech: Artisian

 

But this is a pretty common problem in all systems, realizing that a name is just a name is hard for people. It's like how a guy wanted to play a P.I. in EotE. The Smuggler:Thief spec fits the bill just fine, providing all the appropriate skills and talents, but he had trouble realizing that just because the Spec was titled thief didn't mean he actually had to be one...

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I expected Jedi to be more like Obi-Wan who had been hiding for a long time, perhaps he was skilled in combat a long time ago, but lack of use and being somewhat older he isn't the Jedi he once was. Which was an explanation as to why the fighting styles changed between the first trilogy and the prequels.

 

Yoda is rather old, and yet when a combat situation arises he doesn't show his age.

 

 

Yoda is about to say farewell and go glowy on us. He too has been in hiding and hasn't faught for some time.

 

After Hoth Yoda doesn't seem to move as he once did, looks like someone has their hand up his back and he just hops around.

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guess i was lucky my only rpging experience so far has been playing a modified d20 version of star wars.

as jedi apprentices on yavin played for a few months and still never earnt lightsabers.

the focus was all around going through the jedi trials and clumsily learning the jedi ways.  I like the long progressions.

 

im going to have it that rather than the Emperor dying and the death star blowing up. have the PCs through sheer amount of strategy and effort succeed in helping themselves (and/or the rebellion) claim areas of space. And then it comes to a point where the Empire has to resort to training Siths again when at the same time Luke starts trying to rebuild the Jedi.

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People also still have issues with the Narrative core of the system. The idea that an attack roll is multiple shots and that even your starting Jedi can deflect or reflect via the roll missing or generating threat is just too much for some people to handle. The Talents are for when you start getting exceptional.

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I actually feel the opposite. I think these jedi are well balanced for an era where teaching is very hard to come by. To do anything close to what Kenobi and Ahsoka could do as padawans requires about 200-300 in skills and talents, and another 150-250 in Force Powers. For QuiGon or Kenobi in his prime? Double that, at least.

 

So for a book that should be stand alone where are the Princess, Scoundrel and Technician? You need one of the other rulebooks for that at the moment and that goes against a design criteria of the game.

Ace Pilot rolls Techition into itself, at least on a basic level. Princess and Scoundrel can be anything, with the right backround.

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I actually feel the opposite. I think these jedi are well balanced for an era where teaching is very hard to come by. To do anything close to what Kenobi and Ahsoka could do as padawans requires about 200-300 in skills and talents, and another 150-250 in Force Powers. For QuiGon or Kenobi in his prime? Double that, at least.

 

So for a book that should be stand alone where are the Princess, Scoundrel and Technician? You need one of the other rulebooks for that at the moment and that goes against a design criteria of the game.

Ace Pilot rolls Techition into itself, at least on a basic level. Princess and Scoundrel can be anything, with the right backround.

 

I would also add that the "princess" in question was a Force Sensitive......

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I think it would be much more productive to produce a game that enables people to play the kind of characters they want, instead of trying to explain to people over and over for the next ten years why they don't really want to play that character.

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