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Let's Fix Duelist's Training

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By no means authoritative but we also have a cinematic source for the reverse, someone having trouble fighting one-on-one vs. fighting a large group.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE2TZAdoaS8

With Fezzik giving a pretty solid reason why he was having so much trouble, being that it'd been so long that he'd only fought one man that he was simply out of practice.  In this case, Fezzik would have Multiple Opponents and be good at clearing out brute squads, and thus not so good against a single man.

 

A single fencing master, who's going to be very quick on their feet, is a lot of trouble for a single opponent that's reliant upon slow-yet-powerful grappling moves, but said grappler isn't entirely helpless either.  You can actually see this in various MMA/UFC bouts, where the quicker fighter is better able to control the tempo of the match, forcing the slower fighter to react and defend more often.

 

Inigo may well have Duelist's Training, but he's such an awesome fencer (5 positive dice, at least three of which are upgraded to Proficiency dice) that the setback die is inconsequential to his attack rolls against the minion group that Count Rugen sends against Inigo (and probably most other minion groups he's faced with), who can easily crush the standard difficulty of 2 purple dice, rolling so many successes as well enough Advantage to trigger a critical injury that he cleared them out in under a minute.  Rugen certainly gives Inigo trouble in spite of it being a one-on-one duel, but part of that was Rugen inflicting a nasty critical injury before the fight proper had even begun on top of the Count being a Nemesis with plenty of melee-related talents of his own.  Then again, in Star Wars we see Dooku (Makashi poster-boy) having trouble in a one-on-one duel with Yoda (AotC) and against an older, more accomplished Anakin (RotS), with Dooku even acknowleding that Anakin's exemplary use of Djem So negated most of the advantages that Makashi would have in a duel in the novelization.

 

Westley (being the power-gamer that he is) probably doesn't have either talent, feeling they were both too situtational for him to invest his XP in.  Or, he took them both, and used the boost die from Mutliple Opponents to offset the setback die from Duelist's Training, figuring that the first talent's boost die would offset or effectively negate the setback die from the later.  In that light, I guess the Makashi Duelist might want to make sure he's up to snuff on his Shii-Cho if he's really that worried about a setback die.  Of course, in terms of XP cost, it'd be cheaper to just buff up their Melee or Lightsaber skill to the point where that setback die is meaningless, much as Inigo did.

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Of course, in terms of XP cost, it'd be cheaper to just buff up their Melee or Lightsaber skill to the point where that setback die is meaningless, much as Inigo did.

In terms of EXP cost, it's cheaper to just not take a Talent that's subpar.

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It's a specialist's tool. Someone who wants to specialize will take it, someone who doesn't won't, much like a sniper will pick a long-range gun over a more damaging melee weapon.  As mentioned earlier, it is a good talent in my game, but we've only once had a character mobbed in melee unwillingly (they sometimes go in to bog down baddies). 

 

It does have potential to end up getting you hosed by the GM, but no more than a lot of other options (ranged weaponry comes to mind, shooters tend to be in quite a jam if too many other people go melee).  It really comes down to game style, don't take it if you find yourself bogged down a lot, but in that case maybe you should rethink Makashi in general and go Shii-cho if you want to be a saber fighter, or discuss your goals and the kind of game you want with your GM.  If you pick Makashi and the GM constantly is surrounding you with minion groups, he might just be deliberately trying to mess with you and you should have a talk.

 

This is mostly just my own personal experience.  Doing the math on a straight F&D game, 2 careers have melee as a career skill, 6 specializations have lightsaber (2 overlap with melee), which means 8 of 18 specializations are not inclined to close combat at all.  Which all seems to mean it is very possible in a group for there to be enough of a mix that whether or not it comes up is really dependent on group style.

 

 

 

I apologize in advance if my counting was wrong.

Edited by Rossbert

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If you pick Makashi ...

Something to realize: You don't have to take the Talent if you pick Makashi. It's not a bottleneck or gateway Talent.*

Hence my comments: EXP wise it's better to skip it.

* Unlike Defensive Training which is another subpar Talent... but at least it can become a good Talent once you've got 2+ ranks in it.

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It's a specialist's tool.

Precisely.

 

It's for someone that wants to be really good at dueling one-on-one.  So maybe the best solution to "fix" Duelist's Training is the simplist: if the player thinks the drawback isn't worth the benefit of the talent, then don't take it.  After all, nothing in the game says that a PC has to buy every talent offered in the tree, and if they feel a talent is truly sub-par or doesn't fit their concept, then they can choose not to take it.

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I haven't read my way through all the trees yet - the question I have is: is there a reverse of the talent? Is there a saber swinger who is good against many but gets a black one-on-one? If there is a talent like that - well, I still think it's terrible, but at least its consistently terrible.

 

However, if the One-vs Many Guy doesn't suffer a black in a solo fight, then why not?

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I haven't read my way through all the trees yet - the question I have is: is there a reverse of the talent? Is there a saber swinger who is good against many but gets a black one-on-one? If there is a talent like that - well, I still think it's terrible, but at least its consistently terrible.

 

However, if the One-vs Many Guy doesn't suffer a black in a solo fight, then why not?

 

Shii-Cho, get's a boost when engaged with multiple, but no setback - talent is Multiple Opponents.

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I haven't read my way through all the trees yet - the question I have is: is there a reverse of the talent? Is there a saber swinger who is good against many but gets a black one-on-one?

No.

 

However, if the One-vs Many Guy doesn't suffer a black in a solo fight, then why not?

Good question.

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So maybe the best solution to "fix" Duelist's Training is the simplist: if the player thinks the drawback isn't worth the benefit of the talent, then don't take it.  After all, nothing in the game says that a PC has to buy every talent offered in the tree, and if they feel a talent is truly sub-par or doesn't fit their concept, then they can choose not to take it.

Once again a bug is noted, described, annotated, logged, discussed, debated, weighted, measured, found wanting, and your answer is "It's working as intended" (aka "Love the RAW").

Apply that nonsense in your own "This needs to be fixed" threads Dono and stop plaguing these.

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How are you arranging clever positioning in this game? Just narratively?

Spending a single Maneuver and being Narrative about it.Dono just has this strange belief that facing multiple Minions should be like, waaaay tough, so of course getting a Boost for it is okay.

Have actually been in a real fight having to face off with several people looking to bash your skull in at the same time? I'm speaking from real-life experience that the mook chivalry you see in fiction is exactly that, FICTION.

 

Yes. Got jumped in the locker room by about a dozen classmates. Used being bigger than them,the narrow space between the rows of lockers, the fixed bench down the middle, and the projections on the lockers (the hole through which you slip a separate lock) to limit the number of people coming at me at once, and make it difficult to do so, and then to take them out quickly (getting slammed into a hard metal projection does wonders for dissuading aggressive intentions).

 

 

Have actually been in a real fight having to face off with several people looking to bash your skull in at the same time? I'm speaking from real-life experience...

Now you want reality?Then Riddle Me This: How is it the Makashi suddenly forgets how to effectively fight off that group because they spent time further learning to fight one on one? Keeping in mind they weren't suffering Setback dice up to this point and no one else suffers Setback for fighting groups.
Easy. Their style of fighting gets so focused on one-on-one combat that the techniques they've perfected leave them open to attacks from other foes they are not paying direct attention to.

I've a friend that studied Kendo for a while, and he was quite good at facing a single opponent one-on-one. But he was so reliant upon the techniques he'd learned that when he was in a mock combat against more than one foe, his technique became a mess and left plenty of openings for the rest of us to exploit and score a number of hits.

 

 

 

By no means authoritative but we also have a cinematic source for the reverse, someone having trouble fighting one-on-one vs. fighting a large group.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE2TZAdoaS8

I was going to mention this as well.

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So, I posted this earlier in the thread, and it got some comment there, but reposting it:

 

""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 ignores 1 point of your Defense (attacker's choice)."

 

So, this becomes an activated talent that carries a drawback, but allows the player to decide when they want to use it, and whether they want to risk that drawback or not, and many times, it will be a benefit.

 

It reflects being skilled at dealing with a single opponent, while being kind of weak at fighting multiple foes at the same time, but only when you are so focused.

 

I'd consider making the upside an upgrade, rather than a Boost die (keep the ignore 1 point of defense). It's also not equal parts positive and negative, since you gain 2 benefits, and only receive 1 negative.

 

If you're fighting one target, use it. If you're fighting 1 dangerous target and some mooks you don't care about, use it. If you're fighting a group, but think you can get positioned to only have to worry about one target, use it. If you're in a fight where you're probably going to face multiple opponents who can really hurt you, don't use it.

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I have a question: Is it possible to use a maneuver to disengage from just one of your opponents, if you are engaged with multiple opponents? If yes, then I actually like the incentive to do so via setback die. It's easy enough to circumvent before Lightsaber checks, and kind of stylish.

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I have a question: Is it possible to use a maneuver to disengage from just one of your opponents, if you are engaged with multiple opponents? If yes, then I actually like the incentive to do so via setback die. It's easy enough to circumvent before Lightsaber checks, and kind of stylish.

I would allow it. I could see a Makashi Duelist dancing around a group of adversaries in such a way as to break the fight down into a series of one-on-one mini duels.

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Maybe the description of Duelist's training could just include a line of reminder text like this: "You can spend a maneuver to disengage from all opponents but one, turning your setback die into a boost die." No rules changes necessary, and you can turn it off.

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Maybe the description of Duelist's training could just include a line of reminder text like this: "You can spend a maneuver to disengage from all opponents but one, turning your setback die into a boost die." No rules changes necessary, and you can turn it off.

If you are in a situation where you can move in such a way. In tight corridors or if surrounded with no egress, I can see a GM disallowing this maneuver.

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So if the above fantastical situations are just fine, what's the big stink about a duelist being in trouble when forced to use dueling techniques against a crowd?  After all, just about everything in the Star Wars universe breaks from "realism" in every possible way and thumbs its nose at the laws of physics every chance it gets.  So why should a purely fictional fighting style be subject to "realism" when very little else in the setting is?

If you’re going to stay 100% in fantasy with no realism whatsoever, then you and everyone else can always do exactly what they want, all the time, and no one can say yea or nay.

At that point, we’re done.

But if you’re going to try to bring in some flavor of realism, then there are some things that come along with that.

I’ve trained SCA Heavy Weapon combat, and I’ve also trained one-on-one fencing with foils and sabers. If I had just one skill or the other, when I was put in the opposite situation, then I would be in trouble.

As it is, with both sets of skills, I can choose when to use one-on-one fencing techniques, and when I want to use one-on-many or many-on-many heavy weapons techniques. There’s no conflict there, and one set of skills does not interfere with the other. Indeed, it is possible to switch back and forth, or to even use them together.

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It's a specialist's tool. Someone who wants to specialize will take it, someone who doesn't won't, much like a sniper will pick a long-range gun over a more damaging melee weapon.  As mentioned earlier, it is a good talent in my game, but we've only once had a character mobbed in melee unwillingly (they sometimes go in to bog down baddies).

Okay, so a sniper can always choose to use a different weapon. Just put down the sniper rifle, and grab the submachine gun.

Why would we cripple someone with talents that they cannot turn off when they are no longer needed?

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I have a question: Is it possible to use a maneuver to disengage from just one of your opponents, if you are engaged with multiple opponents? If yes, then I actually like the incentive to do so via setback die. It's easy enough to circumvent before Lightsaber checks, and kind of stylish.

As things stand, it'd be up to the GM, but I'd certainly allow it.  Heck, I'd even encourage it on the part of the character to reflect that Makashi is a combat style rooted in classical dueling techniques, and moving around the scene while trading sword blows certainly has a cinematic flair and appeal to it.

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bradknowles,

I'm not the one that's been claiming "REALISM!" in regards to this talent, or any other talent.  You want point that remark to folks like evileeyore who cite their real-world experiences as to why someone with Duelist's Training and that has picked up other LS Form specs (all of which are purely fictional have only the loosest basis in real-world fighting styles) should be able to ignore that setback die, citing "just because the character learned how to best fight a single opponent doesn't mean he forgot how to fight multiple foes ast once!" and generally have a wild hair up their nethers about the fact that Duelist's Training isn't a super-awesome gotta-have-it talent.

 

In response to their claims for "REALISM!" for one specific talent and an accusation that I was under some delusion that Multiple Opponents carried an implied drawback as part of how the talent worked, I cited a realistic instance, one that yeti1069 also experienced, where being one person facing off against mutlple folks puts that one person at an innate disadvantage, and there are plenty of combat instructors who will tell you that the best thing to do in those situations is to get out of them, with many of them also adding that the best way to deal with a fight is to avoid it in the first place.

I've never claimed that realism should have any application to this game, since from Day One when the EotE Beta was relased, any occurances of "realism" in this game is the same degree of happy accident that the movie 300 had with the actual history and background of the Battle of Thermopylae.

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..to folks like evileeyore...

post-9778-Let-the-Hate-Flow-Through-You-

 

 

... who cite their real-world experiences...

 

Note: That was in response to your first claiming second hand real world experience.

 

 

... should be able to ignore that setback die...

 

Which I've never actually typed.  I want the Talent changed, not just willy-nilly ignored.

 

 

... one specific talent...

 

The only Talent that actually has a Drawback attached to buying it.  The moment it's bought you become worse at doing something you never once experienced a problem with previously.

 

 

... I was under some delusion that Multiple Opponents carried an implied drawback as part of how the talent worked,

 

The delusion comes in when you forget every character has to face multiple foes, probably quite often.  Yet only one gets a bene for it (and for good reason, he learned how to better fight them).  And for some reason only one gets an actual drawback for it (somehow having forgot how to do what every other character can do).

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It's a specialist's tool.

Precisely.

 

It's for someone that wants to be really good at dueling one-on-one.  So maybe the best solution to "fix" Duelist's Training is the simplist: if the player thinks the drawback isn't worth the benefit of the talent, then don't take it.  After all, nothing in the game says that a PC has to buy every talent offered in the tree, and if they feel a talent is truly sub-par or doesn't fit their concept, then they can choose not to take it.

 

I've been away from this thread for a while, but it will surprise no one that I strongly disagree with this idea.

 

1) It is the only talent to impose a penalty that is always applicable.

2) Even though the penalty is small, the benefit is literally as minor as it could possibly be.

3) Even though it is not a blocking/gateway talent, it is not an edge talent either so it would force the player to go a long way to get around it.

3a) This argument is absurd; no talent should ever be so bad that a player might feel required to go around it.  There are talents that the character may never use, but this is worse than those as it imposes a penalty.

4) Makashi is the option for Presence-based Force users, so suggesting people might use other Techniques is an even worse penalty.

 

Currently, my favorite suggestion for Duelist's Training is still sakieh's:

 

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).

http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/120654-lets-fix-duelists-training/page-2#entry1249067

 

 

 

Duelist's Training, as written, is inexcusably bad.  It must be fixed.  If you are not interested in fixing it, I don't know why you are in this thread.

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Exactly - if the 'fix' is "well, just don't take the ability", that's just stupid. That's not a fix - why should my duelist only get 19 talents and every other tree get 20?

 

My fix - which is just as valid as the "don't take it" option - is that if this goes to press as-is, I'm ignoring the black die penalty completely.

Edited by Desslok

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Exactly - if the 'fix' is "well, just don't take the ability", that's just stupid. That's not a fix - why should my duelist only get 19 talents and every other tree get 20?

 

My fix - which is just as valid as the "don't take it" option - is that if this goes to press as-is, I'm ignoring the black die penalty completely.

So by that reasoning, any talent that could very well be skipped over because a player feels it's not worth the XP qualifies as "broken" and thus "needs" to be fixed?

 

I guess that makes Forager one of the crappiest talents in the game, as I've yet to see anybody, even characters for whom it'd make perfect sense to take, skip right over that talent even though it's only 5 XP in most instances that it shows up.  Probably also makes Knockdown a shoddy talent as well, given the Wookiee Commando in one of the games I'm in opted to not bother with it for the extra rank of Feral Strength.  Or that Utinni is a waste of space, 'cause I've seen an Outlaw Tech character go out of their way to avoid both instances of that talent in the tree.  Probably also includes Defensive Slicing in the Slicer tree, because really, how often does the PC come upon situations where they need to defend a system rather than actually breaking into it?  You've also got Black Market Contacts, which is utterly useless if your PC never goes near the Black Market or simply prefers to stick with purchasing goods legally, yet a Smuggler has to pretty much either take that talent or take a very long route to Dedication.

 

Point being, using "well if the PC has to skip it becuase they don't like how it works" as justification for "this talent needs to be changed!" is a very shaky argument, since it can be applied very broadly, with just a few examples given above, many of which are quite frankly situational and subject to the view of an individual on whether or not they're worth the XP.

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