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Scalding

Let's Fix Duelist's Training

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The thing is though, is that this talent is the first one to have a passive effect that has a negative impact on the player. Sure, there's a handful of talents that can cause negative effects, but these are more tied to failing special checks that the talents allow you to optionally attempt in the first place. Any other talent, gives some sort of positive effect on the player because it adds to what they know already.

 

The reason players skip talents are because the bonus doesn't come into play for them enough to consider taking the talent for the experience cost, not because they're afraid their character will suddenly start being hindered now because of the talent. And why should that change?

 

I mentioned it before, the talent doesn't make sense. You can take Multiple Opponents from Shii-Cho and get a boost die for being engaged with multiple opponents, but if the same character takes Duelist's Training, they magically also suck a little more when engaged multiple opponents now? Doesn't make sense.

 

I definitely understand the full intent of the difference in the talents by the devs. With Shii-Cho/Multiple Opponents, you're stuck against multiple opponents and so you're sort of at a disadvantage already, so just a boost helps out. And so they decided that auto-permanent boost die against a single opponent might be too much, particularly with the rest of Makashi being geared towards easily taking out single opponents in engaged range, so they decided to toss in the setback. But it just does not work, it adds a permanent penalty, even if it is a small one, to the player. That's all there is to it.

 

So I'm in agreement that removing the setback is necessary, and to balance its more powerful nature, to switch its placing with Grit (20xp, 3rd Column). That way it's more expensive, harder to get to, but it balances the fact that it's a flat bonus.

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Then why does the One-Against-Many talent not have a penalty when the fighter is going against a single opponent?

Perhaps the designers felt that the fact you're have to get Engaged with more than one opponent to be enough of a drawback already, particularly since it opens up situations of being Engaged with two (or more) Rivals or very large minion groups?  To once again quote Inglorious Basterds, "fighting in a basement presents a number of difficulties, foremost of which is the fact that you're fighting in a ****in' basement."

 

Or even a Nemesis and a minion group at the same time, such as a MagnaGuard and a quartet of stormtroopers, a situation that came up during one of the times that I was playing the GenCon FaD module.  The Shii-Cho Knight's player was happy for that Boost die, but was not happy with being stuck between two such adversaries, having to choose between beating up the stormtroopers and getting walloped by the MagnaGuard, or attackign the MagnaGuard and being a sitting duck for the stormtroopers.  I also heard (but did not witness) one incident where the Shii-Cho Knight pre-gen got dogpiled during the initial combat encounter by a Rival with a thermo-ax and a pair of minions after moving to engage the minion group and only scoring Advantage on the attack roll.  Ended pretty badly for the Shii-Cho Knight, resulting in two critical injuries and being knocked unconscious, which I'd say was a bad trade-off for getting a boost die on an attack roll.

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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.

 

Donovan, I know you're really sharp, but I feel like you're ... not really trying to understand.

 

Any other talent that might be skipped for being "not useful" to a particular build may also be bought if that's a faster/cheaper way to get to other talents you want.  Here, that's not an option.  If this talent is seen as a negative for your character (and I'd argue it should, but that's a separate thing), you do not have any option but to go around.

 

So let's look at that portion of the tree:

    |
Makashi    === Duelist's Training === Feint
Technique              |                |
    |                  |                |
  Feint    ===       Parry            Parry
    |                  |                |
Improved             Grit    ===   Defensive
 Parry                             Training 
    |                                   |
   Sum              Makashi  ===     Makashi
   Djem             Finish           Flourish

(Hopefully this renders properly outside the editor)

If you wanted to get to Makashi Finish from Makashi Technique, going through Duelist's Training to Feint and down costs 105.  Going down to Feint and then Parry to Grit costs 120, 5 more than Duelist's Training.

 

Duelists Training always punishes the character.  If you take it you get the whammy whenever your engaged with 2+ characters, which is practically whenever you are engaged.  If you don't take it, you spend 15 extra XP to go the long way around.

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Something just occurred to me, and may be a source of confusion.  I saw in a previous post someone said they always treated minion groups as a single enemy.  If so, you might think this power is Ok.

 

I always treat minion groups as multiple beings, because they are.  They act as one and take damage as one, but when you engage them you're engaging a group. 

 

The Multiple Opponents talent seems to share this interpretation, but if so, then you will be quite frequently engaged in multiple opponents and almost never engaged with a single one (except when you've whittled them down to the last Rival or Nemesis).

 

Even with the alternate interpretation I feel it's a bad power, but I can see where you might not think it's all that bad.

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

I'm not on Dono's said of this debate, but...

It could be even more minor. It could remove a Setback when engaged with a solo target instead of at least always granting a Boost.

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.

If it's not a rule Dono personally thinks needs changing he prefers if everyone worship at the altar of the devs. Either that or he prefers it if everyone eat if RAW.

 

 

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?

No and you bloody well know what he means.

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

I'm not on Dono's said of this debate, but...

It could be even more minor. It could remove a Setback when engaged with a solo target instead of at least always granting a Boost.

 

Ah.  Look, I won't tell if you don't.  Well, darn. 

 

Ok.  Even so, the benefit is the smallest die that could be added, and is pretty pathetic in any case.  If it were a ranked talent we might eventually see some use out of it, but for now I'd rather Aim for my Boost.

 

Beyond that, I'd rather this not get to be a personal fight against Donovan or anyone else.  I agree that he does not appear to be really examining the issue, and he's certainly capable of doing so, but we should try to be objective.  Make statements showing what we feel he's missing; address his concerns directly.  There's little chance he'll change his mind, but it's really the best we can do.

 

I know I'm one to talk.  I get pretty upset sometimes.  But, despite Yoda's saying, sometimes it's important to try.

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I understand the complaints about Duelist's Trainging well enough.

 

I just don't share the conceit that the talent as written is entirely worthless, and feel that Desslok's explanation/justification can very easily be twisted to make any aspect of the game appear to be "broken" or "not working right" since it's based entirely upon the perception of "is this useful to me?" which by the examples I gave can vary wildly from one person to the next, utlimately making it a BS justification for why the talent needs to be changed.  Heck, the fact that there's a small number of folks who deep-sixed the entire career and specialization system could be used as justification that said core element of the game is "obviously broken" and "needs to be fixed," when for plenty of other folks said career/specialization system works just fine without needing any patching or revision.

 

But who knows?  If enough folks whine and pitch a fit about how bad the talent is, the devs may well change the talent, or just remove it entirely as "neat idea in theory, not worth the hassle in application" and replace it with something else, such as another rank of Defensive Training or Grit.

 

Frankly, I'd put more stock in people actually playing the game using the talent as written instead of just belly-aching about how bad it is just from reading it, and then determine from game play experience if it's truly as bad as it looks.  So far, the posts here have been "I read the talent, and it sucks because there's a listed drawback" with nobody having said "So I actually put this one the table for a few sessions, and man did the Makashi Duelist get hosed in combat because of that talent!"

 

In terms of mechanical application, that setback die really only equates to the enemy having an automatic rank in melee defense, something that most of the pre-written Adversaries in all three of the core rulebooks generally don't have, and most of the ones that do are Nemesis-tier opponents, who typically are going to be fought in a one-on-one situation or at least fought with the aid of other party members that can keep the pressue off the duelist so he can do his thing.  The most frequent occurance of a PC with Duelist's Training suffering that setback die is when engaged with a minion group, who typically don't have a melee defense rating to begin with.  And how many instances are really going to come up where a PC with Duelist's Training is going to be fighting minion groups or even multiple Rivals who have a Melee Defense score?  In those cases where the Makashi Duelist is engaged with multiple foes (be it a minion group or multiple Rivals), more often than not there won't be a Melee Defense value to include, so they're only suffering a single setback die, which unless the duelist is only rolling 2 ability dice really isn't that much of a hurdle to overcome.  I've got some test combats slated for tomorrow night, and on the list is a Knight-level Makashi Duelist with Duelist's Training and some scenarioes to see just how much of a penalty that setback die really is, particularly when the Duelist is wielding a basic lightsaber that's good for chewing through minion groups pretty quickly (at least one minion per successful attack, possibly two, maybe three with a critical being triggered).  If it turns out that the Makashi Duelist really does get hosed over by that setback die, then I'll say so, but I'm not expecting that one setback die to be that much of a detriment to the Duelist's combat ability (seeing as how they've got a dice pool of 2Y1G for their Lightsaber attacks), particularly since once they're engaged it's an easy matter to take an extra maneuver to Aim, thus generating a boost die to the check, which from what I've seen either negates or out-and-out trumps the presence of the setback die.

 

I've got a Makashi Duelist PC in a series of pick-up games that I'm running, and he's been clever enough to deduce that simply by spending a maneuver to disengage from one opponent but not the other, I can negate that setback die with ease.  So far it's only been one encounter, but that's more than many of the complainers have apparently done.

 

However, a point of fact is that I respect the people that wrote and designed this game, from Jay Little to Sterling Hershey to Sam Stewart and Andy Fischer, and having conversed with these folks several times in the past, I have no problem acknowledging that they are intelligent and well-informed individuals, and generally have a far better understanding of the core system than any of the chuckleheads that post on these boards.  I've never once claimed to "know better" than the design team (in spite of what leading chucklehead evileeyore will probably say), I just have differing opinions with them from time to time.  Case in point: Suns of Fortune and the Corellian Compound Bow; for my games, I just put it under Ranged [Heavy] no matter what type of arrowhead is used.  But when I do disagree with them, I do so with respect to their reasoning as to why they say some piece of the rules operates one way and not a different way.  Apparently it's worked as there were a number of FFG staff at this year's GenCon that recognized me by my forum handle and mentioned that they appreciated the input I've given on the system via the forums and e-mails since the EotE Beta was released, with a couple of them saying they were honestly looking forward to hearing my feedback on Force and Destiny.

 

There's also the matter that for these guys, game design is their job, and thus far they've proven to be pretty **** good at it, producing an excellent RPG, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt as they've put a lot of hours and thought into this, far more than the vast majority of folks on these forums have been able to do, self included.

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If enough folks whine and pitch a fit about how bad the talent is, the devs may well change the talent, or just remove it entirely as "neat idea in theory, not worth the hassle in application" and replace it with something else, such as another rank of Defensive Training or Grit.

Like wise if there's enough crying about Lightsaber modding it just might get switched to Discipline. ;)

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I've got a Makashi Duelist PC in a series of pick-up games that I'm running, and he's been clever enough to deduce that simply by spending a maneuver to disengage from one opponent but not the other, I can negate that setback die with ease.  So far it's only been one encounter, but that's more than many of the complainers have apparently done.

 

It seems to me the better deal is to

1) never take Duelist's Training

2) Use maneuvers to aim and gain bonus dice that way if necessary

 

I can not imagine the situation where Duelist's Training is better than that.  This is a problem.

 

It may be that my imagination is limited, however, I still must point out the one thing that I feel is wrong.  The reason this talent must be changed:

 

It imposes a penalty that is always applicable.

 

No other talent does this.  A player spent good, hard-earned XP to get their talents, and should not feel penalized - ever, at any time - for having done so.  This talent has a trap which the player must make effort to avoid; this is unacceptable.

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Personally I don't think every character should "run builds" (god how I hate that phrase) of Intellect 1, no Mechanics, Willpower 5, Discipline 2, you know, the double-bladed lightsaber wielding, blue but no black die pooling minmaxer. ;)

The more people give "flavor reasons" for having a dump stat, the less I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Sorry if that steps on anybody's toes.

 

The Makashi Duelist tree is optimised like almost no other. It doesn't need a talent that costs as little as Duelist's training to do as much as is suggested here by some. It's apparently easily "turned off" by spending a single maneuver. That means it gives you pretty much always a blue die and almost never a black die if you're smart about it.

 

I am smart about attacking, that means I will buy the talent.

Can the GM conceivably screw me? Yes. But that goes with EVERY SINGLE PERK you can think of in the game. If you're running a game as hostile as this, maybe it's not that your aggressive minmaxing is a defense against the GMs hostility, maybe it's the reason. As written, this has a nice flavor (the entire "outmaneuvering your enemy" shtick) that I wouldn't want to sacrifice on the altar of general internet malcontent and d20-induced perceived need for aggressive optimization.

 

Edit: Scalding ninja-ed me, on second thought: It does compare unfavorably to aiming if and only if you have to disengage every turn. This will not always be the case, you'll be usually able to stack the benefits of aiming and Duelist's training.

Edited by GranSolo

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In my opinion Duelists Training is a fine talent and here are my reasons at most a setback die is one failure or a threat, conceivably it could also not matter,Makashi is set up to take on only one opponent at a time and so its users do realize they should only engage one person at a time an example of this is Count Dooku watch his fights with Obi-Wan and Anakin to see what I mean, and finally as someone who has done swordplay I can tell you that the moves and philosophy is drilled into you so well it is the real life equivalent of a passive talent.

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No other talent does this.  A player spent good, hard-earned XP to get their talents, and should not feel penalized - ever, at any time - for having done so.  This talent has a trap which the player must make effort to avoid; this is unacceptable.

It should be an Active, Incidental. Then I think the debate would be over.

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No other talent does this.  A player spent good, hard-earned XP to get their talents, and should not feel penalized - ever, at any time - for having done so.  This talent has a trap which the player must make effort to avoid; this is unacceptable.

It should be an Active, Incidental. Then I think the debate would be over.

 

Then you'd never get the setback die ever. How would that be better design?

 

Edit: I'm working under the assumption that the setback die fulfills a purpose, it's meant to nudge you into fighting a certain way that is very apropos to the form, I've yet to see a suggestion that has a similar result and is not a teensy bit overpowered.

Edited by GranSolo

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No other talent does this.  A player spent good, hard-earned XP to get their talents, and should not feel penalized - ever, at any time - for having done so.  This talent has a trap which the player must make effort to avoid; this is unacceptable.

It should be an Active, Incidental. Then I think the debate would be over.

 

Then you'd never get the setback die ever. How would that be better design?

 

Edit: I'm working under the assumption that the setback die fulfills a purpose, it's meant to nudge you into fighting a certain way that is very apropos to the form, I've yet to see a suggestion that has a similar result and is not a teensy bit overpowered.

 

When I started reading this thread my first thought was: "How about stances to use any lightsaber style?" But that would be to much of an additional rule and too much of a change to the game. So the best option I see to give Duelist Training some kind of flavor, would be, as was proposed by someone else in this thread, to keep it's effect as it is, make it Active, Incidental and to stay in effect until the end of the characters next turn. This would translate into him taking a special "duelist" stance fencing against a single foe that takes some (implicit) maneuvering the next round to get out of.

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I quite like the talent. It makes the player look for creative and interesting ways to break up the combat into one-on-ones. Just have to have some chandaleers and candolabras for the players to get creative with. I think as a GM you have a player that is putting interesting ideas into the game you would be fool to punish them just because the mechanic is there.

 

If a player is making combat fun and dynamic they can have a blue dice for just being creative pure and simple.

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It seems to me the better deal is to

1) never take Duelist's Training

2) Use maneuvers to aim and gain bonus dice that way if necessary

 

I can not imagine the situation where Duelist's Training is better than that.  This is a problem.

I hate to do this again. I really do, it's like almost (almost) psychically painfully but...

It's better if you can ensure, without having to maneuver, that you'll always face solo opponents. At that point you get a Boost without having to maneuver.

It might actually be better if you can make it a 75% of the time "solo fights" campaign. Though I'm not sure of the maths, since then you're only spending a Maneuver 25% of you'r attacks.

Hmmm. Even at 50/50, if you can guarantee you'll always be able to maneuver into a solo position, it's better than not having it*. But that means you really have to trust the GM not to stick you.

Otherwise it's less optimal than Multiple Opponents.

* This presumes of course you'd be spending at least one Maneuver to Aim. Take that out of the equation and Duelist Training drops off at the 50/50 mark from "equal to" to "lesser than".

 

 

It imposes a penalty that is always applicable.

Except, and here's where you're losing them, it's not always applicable. It's merely mostly applicable.

Anecdotally, in my last campaign it would have been always applicable, we never had a fight that didn't have one or more Minion groups involved, or at least several Rivals and a Nemesis. It was a rare fight that was one on one at engaged range.

 

This talent has a trap which the player must make effort to avoid; this is unacceptable.

Agreed. That's why I don't like it. No Talent should natively include a drawback, and if it does the bene should more than offset it, which this one does not.

 

 

The Makashi Duelist tree is optimised like almost no other. It doesn't need a talent that costs as little as Duelist's training to do as much as is suggested here by some. It's apparently easily "turned off" by spending a single maneuver. That means it gives you pretty much always a blue die and almost never a black die if you're smart about it.

Really? Makashi is more optimized than the other 5 Saber trees? Really?

For fun, compare and contrast Duelist Training and Multiple Opponents.

Benes:

Duelist Training: 1 Boost when facing a single foe.

Multiple Opponents: 1 Boost when facing multiple foes.

Drawbacks:

Duelist Training: 1 Setback when facing multiple foes.

Multiple Opponents: Nothing. It's awesome.

 

But that goes with EVERY SINGLE PERK you can think of in the game.

How is the GM going to "screw me" with Utinni? Tinkerer? Resist Disarm? Grit? Enduring?

I could list every single other Talent, but instead: Name one other Talent that can be "screwed" in this manner.

 

 

Edit: I'm working under the assumption that the setback die fulfills a purpose, it's meant to nudge you into fighting a certain way that is very apropos to the form, I've yet to see a suggestion that has a similar result and is not a teensy bit overpowered.

Raykaydos has made the same suggestion multiple times that is both not "overpowering" and keeps the "fight one on one" flavor. The only flaw with that suggestion is that it is a tad more complex than simply stripping the Setback die. Edited by evileeyore

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Drawbacks:

Duelist Training: 1 Setback when facing multiple foes.

Multiple Opponents: Nothing. It's awesome.

 

I could list every single other Talent, but instead: Name one other Talent that can be "screwed" in this manner

 

Multiple Opponents in a battle against a pair of Nemisises.

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Multiple Opponents in a battle against a pair of Nemisises.

He still gets his Boost die (baring them flitting in and out facing him only one at a time, like a tag-team).

And maybe I'm missing something, but how is having Multiple Opponents making this scenario harder on the character?

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Multiple Opponents in a battle against a pair of Nemisises.

He still gets his Boost die (baring them flitting in and out facing him only one at a time, like a tag-team).

And maybe I'm missing something, but how is having Multiple Opponents making this scenario harder on the character?

 

Because he has to expose himself to two nemisis-level foes at once to gain the benifit. If you dont see the drawback here, you havnt fought a Nemisis yet.

 

A Makashi in the same situation, however, will be dancing around to force one or the other nemisis to move up to him while Duelist Training gives him a "free aim" for doing what he needs to do to survive.

Edited by Rakaydos

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And maybe I'm missing something, but how is having Multiple Opponents making this scenario harder on the character?

Because he has to expose himself to two nemisis-level foes at once to gain the benifit. If you dont see the drawback here, you havnt fought a Nemisis yet.

 

Sigh.

So, if the character chooses to gain this advantage he'll either be capable of fighting them, or he won't take the risk. Or he'll be taking one for the team, but isn't at a greater disadvantage than anyone else would be. We agree right?

So try it again: Tell me how the Multiple Opponent trained is a greater disadvantage than anyone else in this scenario?

He isn't. In fact there is no scenario, aside from Duelist Training being engaged with multiple foes, where having a talent gives you an inherent drawback and that is why Duelist Training is "broken".

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The problem with the "well, it's meant to force Makashi to not be engaged with multiple opponents" argument, is that really, that's the goal of most lightsaber trees. All of them, barring Shii-Cho, is about picking off a single enemy at a time in one form or another.

 

And again, both in the way the system is and how the talent is currently, you can still be using Shii-Cho (brawn) for Lightsaber Checks while engaged with multiple enemies, and if you've got Duelist's Training, you can still suffer the setback against multiple opponents, even if you've got Multiple Opponents to add a Boost Die. Duelist's Training, in its current form is broken. It is the only talent to add a passive negative effect and taking it, regardless of the characteristic/technique you use, will end up hindering players in situations they wouldn't be hindered otherwise.

 

Thinking it doesn't need to be adjusted in anyway is just being stubborn about something that doesn't make sense, both in applying real world logic and in trying to apply it to the nature of the game's mechanics.

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The part of this talent that is so cool is that, as a person who grew up on fencing action, Errol Flynn, Zorro (yes I had a plastic sword with a stick of chalk on the end and no wall was safe from being targetted for my zeds). Robin Hood and later in life Wesly and Inigo (Who actually did circular parries in a movie). So the whole idea of dashing around, making corny monologue, cutting ropes and being dragged to the second floor while two minions are knocked down by the falling chandoleer. These are my delights.

 

Bob Anderson for the win.

 

If you take away the possibility of a penalty then, I think, you take away the players desire to remove the penalty. As long as the GM rewards the attempts to make good cinamanic narrative combat by the player this talent is going to encourage all sorts of awesome. If you just want a mechanical advantage then perhaps this isn't the force specialisation you were looking for, there are 5 others that deal with lightsaber fighting. Sure this is punishment reward, but it would probably work better than reward only.

 

However, I do hope the narrative here will take more importance than the mechanical. Perhaps the talent description can have a parragraph to this, but if your GM doesn't help you and encourage you to get rid of the penalty then shame on him really.

Edited by Amanal

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