Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Scalding

Let's Fix Duelist's Training

Recommended Posts

Before I begin, a recap and explanation:

 

Duelists's training allows a Makashi Duelist to add a single Boost die to lightsaber attacks while engaged with a single opponent, but also always adds a single Setback die to lightsaber attacks while engaged with multiple opponents.

 

The reason there is a problem with this is that it provides a disadvantage that always applies.  I believe it is the only talent to do so.  I also firmly believe that players should not be disadvantaged for buying a thing.  This talent, as written, is terribly weak and has an awful negative. 

 

I would quite literally take the long way around the tree rather than accidentally picking it up and penalizing my character for ever.  I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way.  This is a problem - there should never be a talent that a character would be worse for having.

 

I would like to suggest a possible new rule for Duelist's Training, but at the same time invite others to do the same.  Let's get creative, find something that works well within the rules and the spirit of the Makashi form, and perhaps would even be something a player would like to have.

 

My suggestion:

DUELIST'S TRAINING

Activation: Active (Maneuver)

Ranked: No

Trees: Makashi Duelist

Force Talent. The character may take the Duelist's Training maneuver, commiting one Force Die.  While the Force Die is commited to Duelist's Training, upgrade Lightsaber checks while engaged with a single opponent once, but add a Setback die to Lightsaber checks while engaged with multiple opponents.

 

 

I feel that this text gives significant benefit for a reasonable cost, and the disadvantage remains but 1) doesn't always apply, and 2) is weaker than the benefit gained.

 

I feel that this text is not perfect though.  I see two potential problems:

1) Should it be a Force Talent and require a commited Force Die?  The original was not a Force Talent, and so could not require a commited Force Die.

 

2) According to p. 196, a character can end an ongoing effect at the end of any subsequent turn as an incidental.  Is this good enough to prevent the possibility of "on while it's beneficial, but trivially turned off so as to never suffer the penalty"?  I tend to think so, since it would be a maneuver to turn it on again.

 

The other possibility that comes to mind is to have it be a maneuver to turn it on and off, and not require a Force Die commital.  It seems to me that this would easily result in it only being active while useful and the penalty never applying.  Therefore it would be the same as only having the benefit text, which I think is against the "feel" the designers are attempting to evoke with this power.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an interpretation that could fit with the original, but is no less horrible.  The point of using a skill with Presence is either that your Presence is greater than your Brawn (probably 99% use case), or you're using one of the Mikashi Flourish or Finish actions.  In which case the negative of this talent is that you either drop down to Brawn (probably losing or downgrading dice), or you gain a setback die. 

 

It's best to simply not take this talent, which is the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, I think the simplest solution would be to either let the character negate a setback die (thus overcoming an opponent's Melee Defense or even the penalty for using the Guarded Stance maneuver) or have it just apply a flat boost die when engaged with a single opponent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that would be the simplest mechanic, and I'd be happy with it.  I feel that the developers want to showcase the Makashi style's disadvantage against multiple enemies, and would therefore be reluctant to embrace it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM Jedi-Scoundrel had a suggestion on the d20Radio boards that I REALLY liked:

 

Let the talent give you the option of adding a boost die to an attack against a single opponent. If you do, then until the start of your next turn, if you are engaged by more than one opponent, all incoming lightsaber/melee/brawl attacks also get a boost die.

 

I like the idea of others having the advantage when outnumbering a Makashi Duelist, not the duelist suddenly being bad at hitting one person because he is outnumbered.

Edited by kaosoe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM Jedi-Scoundrel had a suggestion on the d20Radio boards that I REALLY liked:

 

Let the talent give you the option of adding a boost die to an attack against a single opponent. If you do, then until the start of your next turn, if you are engaged by more than one opponent, all incoming lightsaber/melee/brawl attacks also get a boost die.

 

I like the idea of others having the advantage when outnumbering a Makashi Duelist, not the duelist suddenly being bad at hitting one person because he is outnumbered.

 

I don't like this because it changes it from a passive talent to one that needs to be activated, which requires more "bookkeeping".  I like Donovan's suggestion of making it a talent that removes a setback die when engaged with a single foe.  That also helps reflect how Makashi could be blended with other lightsaber forms to make them better for dueling, for characters that want to cross specializations. 

 

Another point that I feel is important: the talent name says nothing about Makashi.  Even if the talent is "so Makashi" in terms of it's "feel" as it is right now, it could potentially end up in other talent trees.  Getting rid of that silly setback die makes the talent more versatile to be included in other trees, in the future.  If that should happen, making it a ranked talent that removes setback dice makes it work very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do kinda like the idea with the setback, because it feels totally right about the duelist form. Although I agree with Scalding, that it should apply in the same turn that the PC uses a Lightsaber [Presence] roll, but not when the user "switches form".

 

Also the multiple opponent fighting technique talent  that Shii-Cho Knight has should also have a disadvantage IMHO.

 

 

(though I understand the argument about "I paid xp for it, it shouldn't be a setback", i just feel it is so right about the form. Although, it shouldn't be permanent)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM Jedi-Scoundrel had a suggestion on the d20Radio boards that I REALLY liked:

 

Let the talent give you the option of adding a boost die to an attack against a single opponent. If you do, then until the start of your next turn, if you are engaged by more than one opponent, all incoming lightsaber/melee/brawl attacks also get a boost die.

 

I like the idea of others having the advantage when outnumbering a Makashi Duelist, not the duelist suddenly being bad at hitting one person because he is outnumbered.

I like this one, but how about this?

 

"Activate Duelist's Training as an Incidental on your turn before making an attack against a designated opponent. Until the start of your next turn, all of your Brawl, Melee, and Lightsaber combat checks made against that opponent gain a Boost die and ignore 1 point of that target's Defense, but anyone else targeting you with a combat check before your next turn also gain a Boost die or ignore 1 point of your Defense."

 

That's a little more stacked on your end (get a Blue and ignore a Black, while multiple opponents choose one or the other). It strongly emphasizes one-on-one prowess, and retains the flavor of being bad at defending against multiple opponents, while also both giving you the flexibility of deciding when you want to use this, and not allowing for characters to skirt the issue with some of the activate/deactivate as a maneuver ideas from up-thread. It also ensures that you aren't getting automatically penalized for buying a talent, so you don't have to avoid it. Fighting a bunch of guys? Don't use it. Dueling? Use it. Have someone you want to focus on, and willing to take your chances with the mooks getting an advantage against you? Use it until you change your mind, or see how things are going first and then turn it on later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simpler is better. What if the duelist is not allowed to use Presence when fighting multiple opponents in general? They would have to use their, likely, lower Brawn. The talent being debated could simply be an additional bonus when fighting single opponents in a duel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say KISS, just remove the Setback die and only allow the boost in Duels.  They don't suck at facing multiple opponents, they just excel at duels.

I second the motion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

GM Jedi-Scoundrel had a suggestion on the d20Radio boards that I REALLY liked:

 

Let the talent give you the option of adding a boost die to an attack against a single opponent. If you do, then until the start of your next turn, if you are engaged by more than one opponent, all incoming lightsaber/melee/brawl attacks also get a boost die.

 

I like the idea of others having the advantage when outnumbering a Makashi Duelist, not the duelist suddenly being bad at hitting one person because he is outnumbered.

I like this one, but how about this?

 

"Activate Duelist's Training as an Incidental on your turn before making an attack against a designated opponent. Until the start of your next turn, all of your Brawl, Melee, and Lightsaber combat checks made against that opponent gain a Boost die and ignore 1 point of that target's Defense, but anyone else targeting you with a combat check before your next turn also gain a Boost die or ignore 1 point of your Defense."

 

That's a little more stacked on your end (get a Blue and ignore a Black, while multiple opponents choose one or the other). It strongly emphasizes one-on-one prowess, and retains the flavor of being bad at defending against multiple opponents, while also both giving you the flexibility of deciding when you want to use this, and not allowing for characters to skirt the issue with some of the activate/deactivate as a maneuver ideas from up-thread. It also ensures that you aren't getting automatically penalized for buying a talent, so you don't have to avoid it. Fighting a bunch of guys? Don't use it. Dueling? Use it. Have someone you want to focus on, and willing to take your chances with the mooks getting an advantage against you? Use it until you change your mind, or see how things are going first and then turn it on later.

 

 

 

Simpler is better. What if the duelist is not allowed to use Presence when fighting multiple opponents in general? They would have to use their, likely, lower Brawn. The talent being debated could simply be an additional bonus when fighting single opponents in a duel.

 

I sincerely hope Sam Stewart isn't looking at these suggestions and taking them seriously.  Sorry, but yeti's suggestion, or any suggestions that relate to activating/deactivating the talent, are more complicated than the talent needs to be.  The suggestion that using Presence for the Lightsaber skill should only work when facing one opponent makes Makashi the absolute worst lightsaber form, if not the worst talent tree in the game. 

 

And I'm tired of hearing anything along the lines of "but it's so Makashi!"  If the talent was originally written to say, "remove a setback die from Lighstaber or Melee checks when engaged with a single opponent" or "add a boost die when engaged with a single opponent", do you know what people would say?  They would say, "that's so Makashi!"  There would be no debate, everyone would be happy with the talent, and we could all move on to more productive discussions of how to improve Force and Destiny before the final book comes out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal thought is to leave the setback dice entirely up to the GM.

 

The talent would grant a boost in duels, and when the situation actually warrants it, such as a knowledgeable inquisitor ordering his minions to swarm him in order to take advantage of the form's weakness, the GM can assign the setback die.

 

If you just happen to be engaged with multiple opponents, but only one is actively fighting you while the others are taking on allies, then a setback die would be very odd in the situation.

 

If you and your group hate the idea that a style of combat can actually make you weaker in certain situations, then don't even worry about it.

Edited by Doctor Xerox

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM Jedi-Scoundrel had a suggestion on the d20Radio boards that I REALLY liked:

 

Let the talent give you the option of adding a boost die to an attack against a single opponent. If you do, then until the start of your next turn, if you are engaged by more than one opponent, all incoming lightsaber/melee/brawl attacks also get a boost die.

 

I like the idea of others having the advantage when outnumbering a Makashi Duelist, not the duelist suddenly being bad at hitting one person because he is outnumbered.

This is my favorite suggestion for this power.  It doesn't quite remove the negative, but doesn't require a lot of bookkeeping either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does it really need changing?  It becomes quite good with just a little foresight and planning.  Try to arrange it so that your combats always take place at short range from other people's.  Being engaged with someone means you are literally within a few feet of each other.

 

My group often has several people shooting at short or medium range and only one or two actually engaged. 

 

Do other people tend to have just huge scrums of people with melee weapons?

Edited by Rossbert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does it really need changing?  It becomes quite good with just a little foresight and planning.  Try to arrange it so that your combats always take place at short range from other people's.  Being engaged with someone means you are literally within a few feet of each other.

 

My group often has several people shooting at short or medium range and only one or two actually engaged. 

 

Do other people tend to have just huge scrums of people with melee weapons?

 

My group finds melee to be far superior to ranged combat.  Vibroweapons and the occasional lightsaber are not as clumsy or random as a blaster...

 

Actually, more to the point, is the fact that the talent applies a constant penalty for ever.  Before buying the talent, you are actually a better fighter than after buying the talent, except in the rare case of facing precisely one opponent, which is when it really doesn't matter.  It makes you stronger when you are strong, and weaker when you are weak.

 

There is no other talent that gives a penalty like this.

 

 

To your second point, you'd have to have your combats at least at Medium range or an enemy who has no strain, and hope they don't have jetpacks... 

Edited by Scalding

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makashi is, effectively, Lightsaber Fencing. I remember in one of the older versions of Cyrano de Bergerac, there was a scene where Cyrano fought off 100 opponents. He did this by moving to places where only one could get at him at a time. In essence, he turned a huge melee into a series of duels.

 

As written, I believe this is a good start for the talent. However, no-where int he talent tree is anything directly addressing footwork. Watch great movie duels by fencers, and you will see that they range all over the place. Watch the great samurai single combats in movies(that are not won/lost on the draw), and see that they tend to range all over the place. Heck, watch any fight showing Dooku in either Clone Wars, Attack of the Clones, or Revenge of the Sith, and watch how he moves away from his opponents when there are more then one on him at a time. How I would change the wording is to address this absence:

 

Duelists Training:

When engaged against a single opponent, gain 1 Boost Die to melee and lightsaber checks. When engaged against multiple opponents, you may take a setback die to melee and lighsaber checks to gain an additional maneuver(that may not exceed the limit of two maneuvers a turn).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As written, I believe this is a good start for the talent. However, no-where int he talent tree is anything directly addressing footwork. Watch great movie duels by fencers, and you will see that they range all over the place. Watch the great samurai single combats in movies(that are not won/lost on the draw), and see that they tend to range all over the place. Heck, watch any fight showing Dooku in either Clone Wars, Attack of the Clones, or Revenge of the Sith, and watch how he moves away from his opponents when there are more then one on him at a time. How I would change the wording is to address this absence:

Actually, there is the "Makashi Finish", which despite its name, can be used every turn as an Action in place of your regular attack if you want it to. Unlike most lightsaber skills, Makashi Finish allows you to use it from short range, not engaged range. So you could theoretically keep moving and using hit and run tactics against an opponent who needs to keep closing the distance. This could be somewhat off-topic to "fixing duelist training", but I think at least Makashi Finish might be 'addressing footwork' to at least some extent.

 

Oddly enough, it only specifies the 'short range' part in the specialization tree and is absent in the full readout in the talent chapter. It could be an error, but I don't know which section is correct.

Edited by Demigonis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oddly enough, it only specifies the 'short range' part in the specialization tree and is absent in the full readout in the talent chapter. It could be an error, but I don't know which section is correct.

 

I believe the version in the tree is incorrect, as it doesn't indicate any way in which the character could actually hit the target at short range.  If it did, however, it would not "stack" with Duelist's Training, which specificies "when engaged with one opponent."  (I take "engaged" here to mean "in engaged range", though it could also mean "in combat with".)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makashi is, effectively, Lightsaber Fencing. I remember in one of the older versions of Cyrano de Bergerac, there was a scene where Cyrano fought off 100 opponents. He did this by moving to places where only one could get at him at a time. In essence, he turned a huge melee into a series of duels.

 

As written, I believe this is a good start for the talent. However, no-where int he talent tree is anything directly addressing footwork. Watch great movie duels by fencers, and you will see that they range all over the place. Watch the great samurai single combats in movies(that are not won/lost on the draw), and see that they tend to range all over the place. Heck, watch any fight showing Dooku in either Clone Wars, Attack of the Clones, or Revenge of the Sith, and watch how he moves away from his opponents when there are more then one on him at a time. How I would change the wording is to address this absence:

 

Duelists Training:

When engaged against a single opponent, gain 1 Boost Die to melee and lightsaber checks. When engaged against multiple opponents, you may take a setback die to melee and lighsaber checks to gain an additional maneuver(that may not exceed the limit of two maneuvers a turn).

The first time I read this, I did not like it very much, but now I think it is the best version of the Talent so far.  It gives the player all the options, which is nice.  There's nothing to keep track of, which is great.  And there are times where a setback die is worth not suffering 2 strain, so it seems fair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...