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Scalding

Knight Level Play - too soon?

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By "soon" I mean early - too early in the character's career.  150 XP is not very much.  It's half of one Specialization tree, without spending anything for Force Powers.

 

For example, take a character that starts as a Pathfinder.  In the Pathfinder tree the character will likely want Force Rating (at least 65 XP) and Dedication (at least an additional 100 XP) barring any other concerns.  So there's 165 XP, before getting any additional skills, powers, or Force Trees.  A Force Tree will cost 20, so let's be extremely focused and say 185 XP is the minimum this character would need to get Lightsaber as a Career skill.

 

I know some will say, "Just get the second tree early."  I think that having Lightsaber as a Career skill would be a necessary part of being called a "Knight" (what's a knight without a sword? we call that a jockey), it is not sufficient for the title.

 

And in any case, that's an extremely narrow focus.  I think that Knight level should be higher, in fact I'd say 300 XP, since that's exactly every talent in a specialization tree, and since every talent isn't necessarily going to be taken, the rest can go to powers and additional trees.

 

There aren't a lot of good constants floating around in this game (which is good), Force Power Trees aren't required to follow a cost chart the way Specialization trees do, and it makes it difficult to come up with a good quantity.  150 is definitely too low, laughably too low  (I laughed, so did my GM and another player).

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My understanding of the section is that they expect Knight is the level at which a character will generally have a lightsaber and some force powers.  The point of the Knight Level is so that they have a second tier for adventure settings in published modules.

 

My objection is that I believe the first sentence of this post to be false.

 

To tie-in with Donovan's other post, how much XP do you think a character would have in order to also obtain a lightsaber or 10k worth of other gear?  I believe that 150 XP would be a bit early for that milestone as well.

Edited by Scalding

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A quick and dirty "rule" I'm running by in my mind is that a full knight is probably pretty deep into one spec and half way through another, have an extra force die and maybe a dedication. even Obi-Wan in tPM seems fairly accomplished.

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Having said that you can grant as much bonus xp as you like, your table, your game.

 

This isn't about what I do in my game.  This is about discussing the future of the game for all players; to wit, the rules.  Hence why we are in a Beta forum: to discuss the rules as they stand and see if they work in actual use.

 

I am challenging this rule.  I think it is poorly considered.

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My understanding of the section is that they expect Knight is the level at which a character will generally have a lightsaber and some force powers.  The point of the Knight Level is so that they have a second tier for adventure settings in published modules.

 

My objection is that I believe the first sentence of this post to be false.

 

To tie-in with Donovan's other post, how much XP do you think a character would have in order to also obtain a lightsaber or 10k worth of other gear?  I believe that 150 XP would be a bit early for that milestone as well.

I think your opninon has less to do with mechanics and play and more to do with the other problem of extremely high expectations of both the character type and players around the world...

 

Counterpoints:

  • From experience, at +3-400XP, players will tend to hyperfocus, not making a broad, balanced "Jedi Knight" like you expect from the comic books, and novels, and so on. They will make a guy with one force power leveraged for max effect, and lightsaber skills needed to pwn, and not much else.
  • The Jedi in the films really aren't that powerful. Sit down and really really watch. You'll be amazed when you start to realize how low the needed FRs and XP spent needs to be to do what they do in the films (yes, even the prequels). They just plain don't do all that much.
  • +150 will allow you to take... (and I'm just tossing around with Shadow and Shien if you wanna try it) 1 Main Spec, 1 supporting Saber spec, several additional skill ranks (including two in saber) enough talents to get to, or just shy of FR+1, enough talents to get your saber technique and a little something else like reflect, and the first purchase of 3 force powers (I used move, misdirect, and enhance). Your mileage will vary, but that's a pretty solid "meet the new Jedi on the block" character. One or two sessions and you're at FR2. A couple more and you've upgraded your force powers, and are even better with your saber.

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All the sidebar says to me is that if you optionally want to leap into the forcy action a little early, and be a little more Jedilike, add 150 xp.  It's totally optional.  if you feel your group needs 300 points to get going, then go for it. 

 

150 exp seems about right to grab a couple key talents, a couple force powers, and develop a few skills up a bit.  It eliminates some of the early game pain.  I happen to like early game pain, so I think we'll just go stock in our new campaign.

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Most of the points/ counterpoints brought up are quite valid; I personally would like to see it at 200 rather than 150.

 

Trying to theorycraft a Mirialan Consular, leaving the details out for space - I was able to get 4agi, 3int/wis, and a single force power (move) to start with. After the 150, I was up to 17 strain threshold, and partway through both Niman Disciple and Seer. It left me a little short on skill points, and I didn't have a lot of room to advance my Force powers, but that was the minimum point I felt comfortable with the character knowing combat would happen at some point. It also picked me up some decent talents for both knowledge checks and for interpersonal checks. I could have focused on driving my way down Niman but as mentioned, it would have left me very specialized; I prefer to play a more rounded character. The extra 50xp would have gotten me probably 1 more talent, with the rest going into the few skills I'd have (as I also dislike spending cross-class XP).

 

I feel like FFG has to focus on both aspects and try to make everyone as happy as they can - those who know that character entropy is coming and would like to stave it off as long as possible, and those who don't get to play individual characters for long and would like to have something resembling their 'ideal' realized as quickly as possible. Sure, they can then hang more on top of it - but I'd like to have at least a skeleton of my character concept realized when I start, whereas with the starting xp on characteristics limitation, I feel obligated to spend it there; which would leave me with a statistically weaker character if I instead put it onto starting talents/powers.

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I think 250-300 would better accommodate what they are trying to do here. It's enough that there is a significant difference between starting and knight level characters – which I don't think there is now – but not so much to eliminate development. 

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My understanding of the section is that they expect Knight is the level at which a character will generally have a lightsaber and some force powers.  The point of the Knight Level is so that they have a second tier for adventure settings in published modules.

 

Then maybe they need some gentle and judicious restrictions on how that extra XP is spent, like with initial character roll, to avoid one-trick banthas -- maybe a cap on far into any talent/power tree you can descend.

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The exact xp is going to depend entirely on the build and the combination of Skills/Talents/Powers.  You can spend 500 xp, focus on Protect/Unleash to a high degree of consistency and end up not being particularly good at anything else.  You take that 500xp and spend 125 on 2 or 3 entry level Force powers and put the rest into skills and Ataru Striker and you're going to do pretty amazing stuff.  So there really isn't a benchmark you can measure by, too dependant on build.

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My understanding of the section is that they expect Knight is the level at which a character will generally have a lightsaber and some force powers.  The point of the Knight Level is so that they have a second tier for adventure settings in published modules.

 

Then maybe they need some gentle and judicious restrictions on how that extra XP is spent, like with initial character roll, to avoid one-trick banthas -- maybe a cap on far into any talent/power tree you can descend.

 

That's tricky, because a dive for a specific talent (Force rating, for instance) can be a resonable choice.

 

The problem is getting FR 2 (75+ XP) and a few force powers (25+) doesnt leave much for skills, if you spend your starting XP on stats....

 

Hmmm. Now I'm going to have to see how a Knight level droid with 1s in each stat can be a badass in F+D. What can I do with 325 XP and no force rating....

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The exact xp is going to depend entirely on the build and the combination of Skills/Talents/Powers.  You can spend 500 xp, focus on Protect/Unleash to a high degree of consistency and end up not being particularly good at anything else.  You take that 500xp and spend 125 on 2 or 3 entry level Force powers and put the rest into skills and Ataru Striker and you're going to do pretty amazing stuff.  So there really isn't a benchmark you can measure by, too dependant on build.

 

Agree wholeheartedly. Only bumping it to 200 was my suggestion to try that balance; Lorne's would be both limiting and freeing at the same time, though then we get into where to draw the line. Perhaps saying that 'if you will use this rule, we recommend the following limits; 1) no more than 3 upgrades per force power, 2) no more than rank 4 in career skills and 2 in non-career skills, and 3) no more than 1 row 3 talent per specialization.' I really think a full page be given over to it; that way they can also address GMs presenting appropriate challenges and structure.

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 That's tricky, because a dive for a specific talent (Force rating, for instance) can be a resonable choice.

 

The problem is getting FR 2 (75+ XP) and a few force powers (25+) doesnt leave much for skills, if you spend your starting XP on stats....

 

...aaand there's the problem of some trees being very oddly shaped, some requiring backtracking up the tree.  Prolly not very practical at this point of the design phase...

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The exact xp is going to depend entirely on the build and the combination of Skills/Talents/Powers.  You can spend 500 xp, focus on Protect/Unleash to a high degree of consistency and end up not being particularly good at anything else.  You take that 500xp and spend 125 on 2 or 3 entry level Force powers and put the rest into skills and Ataru Striker and you're going to do pretty amazing stuff.  So there really isn't a benchmark you can measure by, too dependant on build.

 

Agree wholeheartedly. Only bumping it to 200 was my suggestion to try that balance; Lorne's would be both limiting and freeing at the same time, though then we get into where to draw the line. Perhaps saying that 'if you will use this rule, we recommend the following limits; 1) no more than 3 upgrades per force power, 2) no more than rank 4 in career skills and 2 in non-career skills, and 3) no more than 1 row 3 talent per specialization.' I really think a full page be given over to it; that way they can also address GMs presenting appropriate challenges and structure.

 

I can see a GM who wants to do the 'Knight level' option actually awarding different amounts of xp to each player depending on concept intent and build option, with a gentlebeing's agreement to stick to a theme for potentially more xp.

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My understanding of the section is that they expect Knight is the level at which a character will generally have a lightsaber and some force powers.  The point of the Knight Level is so that they have a second tier for adventure settings in published modules.

 

Then maybe they need some gentle and judicious restrictions on how that extra XP is spent, like with initial character roll, to avoid one-trick banthas -- maybe a cap on far into any talent/power tree you can descend.

 

That's tricky, because a dive for a specific talent (Force rating, for instance) can be a resonable choice.

 

The problem is getting FR 2 (75+ XP) and a few force powers (25+) doesnt leave much for skills, if you spend your starting XP on stats....

 

Hmmm. Now I'm going to have to see how a Knight level droid with 1s in each stat can be a badass in F+D. What can I do with 325 XP and no force rating....

 

This is (sorta) my concern too, even at +150 a mundane can get down to signature abilities.

 

Kinda the challenge of the whole point-buy system when dealing with "Jedi" between Force Powers and Saber trees, the XP can go fast... A bounty hunter can stick largely with a single tree and just load up on the best gear to complement it.

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It's not about XP at all.

 

If I was running a Jedi Order campaign I wouldn't have the Council assign a Knight title until the character had achieved a minimum level of skills in a broad set of areas.  It's not about XP, it's about capability.  A Knight is expected to represent the Order, negotiate deals, defer conflict, and keep the peace.  They aren't just some dolt who can swing a lightsaber.

 

Off the top of my head, a bare minimum might be:

 

FR3 or better

Discipline:  YYG or better

Knowledge (Education):  YYG or better

3 other Knowledge skills:  YGG or better

Negotiation or Charm:  YYG or better, with at least one Nobody's Fool or Kill with Kindness Talent

At least one rank in Athletics, Cool, Coordination, Brawl, Melee, Resilience, Streetwise, Computers, Mechanics, either Piloting, either Ranged, and Vigilance

Lightsaber YYG or better

At least two 15XP Talents in a form tree

+4 Toughness

+3 Grit

 

So, whatever that costs...

Edited by whafrog

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It's not about XP at all.

 

If I was running a Jedi Order campaign I wouldn't have the Council assign a Knight title until the character had achieved a minimum level of skills in a broad set of areas.  It's not about XP, it's about capability.  A Knight is expected to represent the Order, negotiate deals, defer conflict, and keep the peace.  They aren't just some dolt who can swing a lightsaber.

 

Off the top of my head, a bare minimum might be:

 

FR3 or better

Discipline:  YYG or better

Knowledge (Education):  YYG or better

3 other Knowledge skills:  YGG or better

Negotiation or Charm:  YYG or better, with at least one Nobody's Fool or Kill with Kindness Talent

At least one rank in Athletics, Cool, Coordination, Brawl, Melee, Resilience, Streetwise, Computers, Mechanics, either Piloting, either Ranged, and Vigilance

Lightsaber YYG or better

At least two 15XP Talents in a form tree

+4 Toughness

+3 Grit

 

So, whatever that costs...

Lots......

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I can see a GM who wants to do the 'Knight level' option actually awarding different amounts of xp to each player depending on concept intent and build option, with a gentlebeing's agreement to stick to a theme for potentially more xp.

 

 

I would not like to see this - unless you mean those getting less would get extra later, it's just going to breed resentment over preferential treatment. I'm certainly okay with varying it by group - or perhaps, two levels. Say 'advanced' for +150 and Knight for +300?

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So, whatever that costs...

Lots......

 

Yep.  If being a Jedi was easy, there'd be more of them.  At my table I have no intention of cheapening the experience by allowing any old yahoo with a couple ranks of Parry to call themselves a Knight.  And I wouldn't want a GM in a game I play in to allow me to do it either.  :)

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