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Scalding

Let's Fix Duelist's Training

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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.

And not considering that maybe there ultimately isn't a problem, that maybe it actually works just fine is being just as stubborn and bull-headed.  Evileeyore (who I've gladly added to my Ignore list since he's about as useful a poster as notorious forum troll ErikB/Sylpheed) is precisely that kind of stubborn, as apparently the way he runs his games is the ONLY way and everyone that does it differently is WRONG, up to and including the FFG designers who wrote the game for committing the cardinal sin of running/playing the game according to the rules that they designed.

 

To quote George Carlin, "I believe the truth is somewhere between 'LIVE FREE OR DIE!' and 'Famous Potatos.'  Personally, I'm leaning more towards 'Famous Potatos,' but that's just me."

 

Like many of the truths we cling to, the status of Duelist's Training is going to depend on one's point of view.  For some, the presence of the setback die in certain circumstances is apparently a transgression on par with the acts of the Manson Family, while for others it's a neat aspect of the talent that can be used to encourage a narrative element to what might otherwise be a boring "stand still and attack each round" fight, which was sadly quite common with 3rd edition D&D classes that wanted/needed to make multiple attacks on a given round; common Fighter tactic was "charge the nearest bad guy, hope to survive their attack, and then do a full-attck on my next turn" while Monks could either move about the battlefield or make their Flurry of Blows to score extra attacks, but not both.

 

I think at this point it's safe to say that neither side is going to convince the other.  Me, I'm off to actually generate some hard data via some combat test scenarios using a pair of Makashi Duelists, both with and without this talent and see where the dice fall.  I'm not expecting the setback die to be a major hindrance, since they've both got 2 proficiency dice in Lightsaber with the key difference being one has a Presence of 3 while the other has a Presence of 4, so I'm expecing the setback die won't be a thing for the Presence 4 character in most instances.

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If you take away the possibility of a penalty then, I think, you take away the players desire to remove the penalty.

Maybe you're forgetting there is a bene attached to "removing" the penalty? Or do you suspect that PCs with the Multiple Opponents Talent will just stand about fighting mooks one at a time instead of moving to engage a group?

If the Setback die is removed I guarantee PCs with Duelist Training would still disengage from groups to fight one on one. Maybe not every time, but far more often than not (since they get a Boost die for fighting solo).

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You actually quoted my answer, please continue with my arguement accordingly. :P

My argument is even with out the Setback die as a "threat", they will still move to gain the Boost.

 

Yes but he's saying that with the setback die they will actively make more of an effort to take on a single target and come up with more interesting and fun ways to do that to get the boost instead of the setback.

Like you may try and separate some guys so you can take them on one by one like Maul did with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.

Edited by Blue Nova

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Yes but he's saying that with the setback die they will actively make more of an effort to take on a single target and come up with more interesting and fun ways to do that.

If it's even taken.

My entire argument (and a few other people's) is that being as the Talent is both subpar and not a bottleneck it's a pointless Talent and should be fixed.

EDIT: And note, he's saying that without the threat of the Setback those players would just be boring sacks sitting about not having their characters do cool stuff.

I inherently disagree with this premise and it's insulting tone.

Edited by evileeyore

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Yes but he's saying that with the setback die they will actively make more of an effort to take on a single target and come up with more interesting and fun ways to do that.

If it's even taken.

My entire argument (and a few other people's) is that being as the Talent is both subpar and not a bottleneck it's a pointless Talent and should be fixed.

EDIT: And note, he's saying that without the threat of the Setback those players would just be boring sacks sitting about not having their characters do cool stuff.

I inherently disagree with this premise and it's insulting tone.

 

 

But without the setback what are the players actively doing to engage one on one rather than taking on a whole group with no penalty?

They would just be playing like most other Jedi or melee class with no worry about how many they take on. 

This adds more narrative and makes the player go "Ok how am I gonna take on these guys one on one" Which also goes to riff off of the other players that while he takes on this guy the others can distract/take on this group.

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I haven't the time atm to read and respond to everything, but I wanted to make a couple quick points.

 

Someone said the penalty isn't always applicable, but that's false.  It may not always apply, but it is applicable.  The difference is that it can take effect and that is not under the control of the player.  The player must then make a maneuver or take the penalty.  Since the benefit from the maneuver is the same as the benefit from Aim, I see no point in this ability.  It is worse than a waste of space.

 

 

 

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.

 

To be more correct, it should be Active, Incidental, Gain a Boost die to Lightsaber and Melee combat checks against a single opponent. if you do this, until the end of your next turn, if you are engaged with two or more enemies, add a Setback die to your Lightsaber and Melee combat checks.

 

This would probably make the talent acceptable, as at it's worst it'd be a wash.

 

 

Wow, guys. It's one setback die. Big deal.

I suggest you relent then.  It's only one Setback die, so remove it from the Talent.  No penalty, just like Multiple Opponents.  No one would care.

 

I'm far too tired for this, but I will not relent.  It may be stupid, but it must be stopped before FFG gets the idea that this is an acceptable form of a talent.

 

This thread is for Fixing Duelists Training.  If you think it's fine already, you've said your peace.  Go.  Those who remain may debate the best way to handle Duelist's Training such that it retains mechanical and Makashi traits while becoming a talent that is, at the very least, not repugnant.

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But without the setback what are the players actively doing to engage one on one rather than taking on a whole group with no penalty?

:blink: 

 

Let me say it again: They will get a Boost die if they Maneuver, and more so than with Aiming, they will only be engaged with one opponent forcing their foes to Maneuver to gang back up, limiting their enemies options.

If the PCs need more than that, then they will simply skip Duelist Training as I would, as apparently you think "trying to be awesome" is beyond most Players.

 

This adds more narrative...

No, it forces a Narrative.

Also by your (and Amanal's argument) we should be adding a Setback to Multiple Opponents when they face solos to help better "add the narrative" of them being multi-foe engagers.

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Someone said the penalty isn't always applicable, but that's false.

Guilty as charged.

It may not always apply, but it is applicable.  The difference is that it can take effect and that is not under the control of the player.

I'll accept your definition.

This thread is for Fixing Duelists Training.

You know, you're right. Time to ignore the naysayers.

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So Scald, I take it your not in the "Just Dump the Setback Die" camp?

A quick relist of the proposed ideas so far 9forgive me if I miss one):

Dono: Negate a Setback Die when engaging solo (presumably also drop the Setback from the "when engaged with multiple").

2P51: Just drop the Setback die.

sakieh

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).

I'd include your OP option, but I think it's a wee bit clunky. ;)

Edited by evileeyore

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A quick relist of the proposed ideas so far 9forgive me if I miss one):

 

There's one other solution: add a setback die to the One-vs-Many duelist when fighting a solo target. It's not an ideal solution, but at least then it would be fair all around.

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A quick relist of the proposed ideas so far 9forgive me if I miss one):

 

I've also proposed:

 

1. Dropping the Setback but switching it so it takes more XP to grab (possibly 20xp Grit in 3rd Column).

or

2. Restraining the talent (keeping both the boost and setback as is) to only Lightsaber (Presence).

Edited by Lathrop

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Also by your (and Amanal's argument) we should be adding a Setback to Multiple Opponents when they face solos to help better "add the narrative" of them being multi-foe engagers.

 

I don't think either of us said that, and as an inference it makes little to no sense.

 

To me, as a fencer, this rule is perfect. When I am on the piste I am concentrating 100% on my opponent and what he or she is doing. A person who is in a duel is in pretty much the same situation. As such the skills you acquire just don’t cover off the concepts of engaging more than one opponent.

 

I would be happy to take the talent in a heartbeat if offered, it speaks to me on a very personal level. Both as a fencer and a person who enjoyed those swashbuckling movies growing up.

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Also by your (and Amanal's argument) we should be adding a Setback to Multiple Opponents when they face solos to help better "add the narrative" of them being multi-foe engagers.

 

I don't think either of us said that, and as an inference it makes little to no sense.

 

To me, as a fencer, this rule is perfect. When I am on the piste I am concentrating 100% on my opponent and what he or she is doing. A person who is in a duel is in pretty much the same situation. As such the skills you acquire just don’t cover off the concepts of engaging more than one opponent.

 

I would be happy to take the talent in a heartbeat if offered, it speaks to me on a very personal level. Both as a fencer and a person who enjoyed those swashbuckling movies growing up.

I completely agree. Because people who are trained to take on multiple opponents can take on one just fine but don't get a boost or a setback.

Where as with what Amanal said if you are trained to take on just one you are solely focused on that one opponent and when another one is added to the mix it gets a bit more complicated. 

 

It's not just seeing this from a mechanics perspective but a world perspective too. Exactly like Amanal said and he does fencing so he can see it from a actual real world view.

Edited by Blue Nova

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What would people think of upgrading the boost?  Say to two boost dice or an upgrade in exchange for the setback?  Keeps the penalty and makes it more than a wash if you have 50% situations.

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There's one other solution: add a setback die to the One-vs-Many duelist when fighting a solo target. It's not an ideal solution, but at least then it would be fair all around.

That's not a solution to fixing this Talent, it's a recommendation to break another.

That's not the direction I'm aiming when I mention Multiple Opponents in my arguments.

 

 

1. Dropping the Setback but switching it so it takes more XP to grab (possibly 20xp Grit in 3rd Column).

or

2. Restraining the talent (keeping both the boost and setback as is) to only Lightsaber (Presence).

Option 1 makes it more expensive than it's "equals" and Option 2 ... ehh.

But noted.

 

 

I don't think either of us said that, and as an inference it makes little to no sense.

Not directly said, but here's the inference:

 

If you take away the possibility of a penalty then, I think, you take away the players desire to remove the penalty.

And from Blue Nova

 

But without the setback what are the players actively doing to engage one on one rather than taking on a whole group with no penalty?

My response: With out a Setback Die where's the narrative imperative for characters with Multiple Opponents to actually fight Multiple Opponents instead the mechanically safer solo opponents?

Your insulting inference is that Players will always chose the "less" cool route instead of doing cool things if there is no stick to "force" this behavior.

My counter: The carrot of a Boost die will ensure they move to engage in solo fights. Also solo fights are safer, so duh, a Makashi Duelist will almost always take that option even without the stick of a Setback Die.

Likewise though no other Makashi Talents requires them to be solo engaged, several work very well that way (Feint works better that way, though arguably Flourish is best against a strong foe or a Minion Group).

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I honestly give up. It's like talking to a brick wall. You just aren't seeing it from a actual world way, only a mechanics way of seeing it.

If you looked at it from a real world perspective then you would see it makes sense and works perfectly fine.

I noticed you had nothing to say about my latest post and just quoted what I said a few posts back.

If you can't see it any other way than your narrow point of view then I give up.

But you and scalding seem to be the only ones with a issue. Me, Dono and Amanal see it from not only a mechanics view but also a real world view too. 

But I digress I'm not going to try and change your view point 1. because you are just so stubborn to see it from any other way but your own and that it's broken and 2. you will just come up with some excuse and throw it back in my face when the last thing I'm trying to do is be mean.

Edited by Blue Nova

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I honestly give up. It's like talking to a brick wall. You just aren't seeing it from a actual world way only a mechanics way of seeing it.

If you looked at it from a real world perspective then you would see it makes sense and works perfectly fine.

I noticed you had nothing to say about my latest post and just quoted what I said a few posts back.

I you can't see it any other way than your narrow point of view then I give up.

But you and scalding seem to be the only ones with a issue. Me, Dono and Amanal see it from not only a mechanics view but also a real world view too. 

But I digress I'm not going to try and change your view point 1. because you are just so stubborn to see it from any other way but your own and that it's broken and 2. you will just come up with some excuse and throw it back in my face when the last thing I'm trying to do is be mean.

 

I think everyone on this board obviously feels strongly about Star Wars, and whatever we may say about the rules, we're probably the biggest fans FFG has.  We love this system; it has a lot of great innovations and an immense amount of flexibility.  We are all passionate about this game, and want it to be the very best it can be.

 

I know that I've been harsh and specifically "kicked out" those who disagree.  I don't want you to feel there is any personal animosity here.  Please understand, I made this thread for people who feel the talent is wrong in the hopes that we could come up with suggestions that keep the spirit and flavor of the talent without being burdensome. 

 

The talent doesn't need to become a "must have", but it certainly should not feel like a penalty for having taken it.

 

I know that you, Donovan, Amanal, and others have said the talent works fine.

 

I obviously disagree.  The talent introduces a concept that I personally find anathema: The idea that you could have a talent that imposes a negative that can not be "turned off".  This concept needs to be stopped - talents are a way of growing and rewarding characters, it makes no sense for it to have a persistent negative.

 

There have been other suggestions that I feel match the intent and spirit without imposing negatives.  Even Donovan has made such a suggestion.

 

I feel that this is progress.  Take a thing which some find abhorrent and replace it with something acceptable to all.  Why then would people who did not find the original thing repulsive hate the second?  Perhaps they feel the new one is too powerful, though that seems unlikely for the solutions proposed.  I find it more likely that they do not want to deviate from the original developer's plan.

 

Donovan had a bit where he talked about respecting the devs.  I want to say that I would not be here if I did not respect the devs and love the game they built.  There have been many times, reading the books, where I have been surprised and delighted by their clever design.  Hero worship is a good thing: It encourages both the fan and the hero to improve themselves.  But a carte blanch is a different story.

 

We are here to review the rules in their beta form.  The devs know that there are problems; I daresay they knew Duelist's Training was a break from the mold and may not be accepted.  But even if that was not the case, it is our duty as fans to point out issues that we have. We must be specific in detailing the problem, and it is in everyone's best interest that we attempt to find a solution.

 

In the end, FFG will decide what action is best.  At that point, if we must, we can fall back on house rules.

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So, some hard data from the mock combats I ran last night.

 

End result: That setback die doesn't gimp the Makashi Duelist anywhere's nearly as badly as folks seem to think it does.  Not once did the presence of that setback die cause an attack to miss, nor did it cancel out enough Advantages to prevent the Duelist from being able to spend any Advantage.  In fact, on over half the of the 100 combat checks made for each test PC, the setback die came up blank; in other words it had ZERO effect on the outcome of the attack roll.

 

The protaganist dice pools used were as follows:

#1) 2 Yellow, 1 Ability (Presence 3, Lightsaber 2)

#2) 2 Yellow, 2 Ability (Presence 4, Lightsaber 2)

 

Against a minion group (Diff = 2P), the most that setback die from the talent did was reduce the damage by 1 point, or reduce the number of Advantages generated, but never below 2 Advantage (still enough for a crit or a boost die on their next check).

 

Against a pair of Rivals (Diff = 2P),with no Adversary talent ranks, it did about the same, though a few instances it cut down the amount of Advantages generated, but not so much that the Duelist couldn't still trigger a critical if they wanted to, and the few cases where it did result in a Threat, the difficultly dice had arleady chewed up the few Advantage generated on the proficiency and ability dice, so again it didn't have a drastic impact on the check; 4 Threat as opposed to 3 Threat in one instance, and 2 Threat vs 1 Theat in the other three.

 

Against a pair of Rivals with 1 rank in Adversary (Diff = 1R,1P), again the impact of the setback die was marginal, with only three instances out of 25 rolls did the Threat cancel out the Advantages generated, though the attack still resulted in a lot of successes in each instance, meaning that the target was taking a substantial amount of damage.

 

Against a Nemesis with 2 ranks in Adversary and +1 defense (Diff = 2R1Blk) and an adjacent minion group (Diff = 2P), the attacks against the Nemesis did suffer, but that was due more to rolling two challenge dice than the presence of the setback die, and as a GM I'd gladly allow the PC to spend a Maneuver to disengage from the minion group if they wanted to focus solely upon the Nemesis.  This was the only instance where the setback die from the talent could be worrisome, but then the Nemesis had a pretty though difficulty to hit in the first place.  The friend that was helping me generate these results noted that if it were her, she'd use a maneuver to disengage with the Nemesis to take out the minion group first (figuring at most two rounds given a basic lightsaber and minion Wound Threshold of 5) and then worry about the Nemesis so that she could then spend her free maneuver to Aim and get two boost dice on her attack roll.

 

So given the above, the only time I can see the innate setback die from Duelist's Training being a major hindrance is if the PC is either has 1 or no ranks in the skill for the weapon used, or has a really crummy Characteristic (2 or worse).  I did a dozen or so rolls against a minion group (Diff = 2P) figuring Presence 3 and Lightsaber 1, and even then the setback die didn't cripple the Duelist, though it did have a little bit more of an effect on the number of successes and Advantage generated, and only two of the twelve attack rolls missed because of the setback die, with one of those two instances was due to the positive dice only generating a single success while the difficulty dice all came up Threat.

 

And given what I've seen of how PCs advance, one of the first things they buy after the first or second adventure is a second rank in their primary attack skill, if they didn't start with 2 ranks at character creation, and in just as many cases they've got at least a 3 in the governing Characteristic.

 

So ultimately, based on the test data I generated, the folks claming that Duelist's Training is broken or doesn't work at all... well, they're on the same page as Chicken Little in regards to the sky falling in the classic fable.

 

Frankly, the setback die is a minor hurdle, one that a creative player and a GM willing to work with that player can very easily overcome.  It's a trivial challenge to the player's creativity and inventiveness in helping to narrate the scene, and if they can't be bothered to put the token effort in to overcoming such a trivial challenge, then maybe this isn't the game system for them, and they might be happier with something like D&D4e or Pathfinder where most of the thinking is done for them and all they have to do is just roll dice.

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I honestly give up. It's like talking to a brick wall. You just aren't seeing it from a actual world way, only a mechanics way of seeing it.

I think the "real world way" is simply: Why would learning something new make me worse at something I already knew how to do?

Maybe we're looking at this the wrong way. Perhaps the setback die should be on Makashi Technique in that all Lightsaber (Presence) checks suffer a setback die when engaged with multiple opponents because that "style" is not good for multiple opponents. This would remove the penalty from Dualist's Training if you were using some other attribute for your Lightsaber skill.

Edited by Sporkley

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So, some hard data from the mock combats I ran last night.

 

End result: That setback die doesn't gimp the Makashi Duelist anywhere's nearly as badly as folks seem to think it does.  Not once did the presence of that setback die cause an attack to miss, nor did it cancel out enough Advantages to prevent the Duelist from being able to spend any Advantage.  In fact, on over half the of the 100 combat checks made for each test PC, the setback die came up blank; in other words it had ZERO effect on the outcome of the attack roll.

 

The protaganist dice pools used were as follows:

#1) 2 Yellow, 1 Ability (Presence 3, Lightsaber 2)

#2) 2 Yellow, 2 Ability (Presence 4, Lightsaber 2)

 

Against a minion group (Diff = 2P), the most that setback die from the talent did was reduce the damage by 1 point, or reduce the number of Advantages generated, but never below 2 Advantage (still enough for a crit or a boost die on their next check).

 

Against a pair of Rivals (Diff = 2P),with no Adversary talent ranks, it did about the same, though a few instances it cut down the amount of Advantages generated, but not so much that the Duelist couldn't still trigger a critical if they wanted to, and the few cases where it did result in a Threat, the difficultly dice had arleady chewed up the few Advantage generated on the proficiency and ability dice, so again it didn't have a drastic impact on the check; 4 Threat as opposed to 3 Threat in one instance, and 2 Threat vs 1 Theat in the other three.

 

Against a pair of Rivals with 1 rank in Adversary (Diff = 1R,1P), again the impact of the setback die was marginal, with only three instances out of 25 rolls did the Threat cancel out the Advantages generated, though the attack still resulted in a lot of successes in each instance, meaning that the target was taking a substantial amount of damage.

 

Against a Nemesis with 2 ranks in Adversary and +1 defense (Diff = 2R1Blk) and an adjacent minion group (Diff = 2P), the attacks against the Nemesis did suffer, but that was due more to rolling two challenge dice than the presence of the setback die, and as a GM I'd gladly allow the PC to spend a Maneuver to disengage from the minion group if they wanted to focus solely upon the Nemesis.  This was the only instance where the setback die from the talent could be worrisome, but then the Nemesis had a pretty though difficulty to hit in the first place.  The friend that was helping me generate these results noted that if it were her, she'd use a maneuver to disengage with the Nemesis to take out the minion group first (figuring at most two rounds given a basic lightsaber and minion Wound Threshold of 5) and then worry about the Nemesis so that she could then spend her free maneuver to Aim and get two boost dice on her attack roll.

 

So given the above, the only time I can see the innate setback die from Duelist's Training being a major hindrance is if the PC is either has 1 or no ranks in the skill for the weapon used, or has a really crummy Characteristic (2 or worse).  I did a dozen or so rolls against a minion group (Diff = 2P) figuring Presence 3 and Lightsaber 1, and even then the setback die didn't cripple the Duelist, though it did have a little bit more of an effect on the number of successes and Advantage generated, and only two of the twelve attack rolls missed because of the setback die, with one of those two instances was due to the positive dice only generating a single success while the difficulty dice all came up Threat.

 

And given what I've seen of how PCs advance, one of the first things they buy after the first or second adventure is a second rank in their primary attack skill, if they didn't start with 2 ranks at character creation, and in just as many cases they've got at least a 3 in the governing Characteristic.

 

So ultimately, based on the test data I generated, the folks claming that Duelist's Training is broken or doesn't work at all... well, they're on the same page as Chicken Little in regards to the sky falling in the classic fable.

 

Frankly, the setback die is a minor hurdle, one that a creative player and a GM willing to work with that player can very easily overcome.  It's a trivial challenge to the player's creativity and inventiveness in helping to narrate the scene, and if they can't be bothered to put the token effort in to overcoming such a trivial challenge, then maybe this isn't the game system for them, and they might be happier with something like D&D4e or Pathfinder where most of the thinking is done for them and all they have to do is just roll dice.

 

Seems like you have some strange Setback dice, as only a third of their faces are blank.  The plural of anecdote is not data.  In the long run, the setback die is only blank a third of the time; another third is a Threat, and the remaining third is Failure.

 

But you see, it is a penalty no matter how you spin it.  Yes, you can make a maneuver to negate the penalty, but that's essentially the same as requiring the Aim maneuver.  In most cases this 10 XP ability is equivalent to Aim, in that the character spends a maneuver to gain a boost.  Why pay 10 xp for something you can do for free?

 

Do you really think this talent, which only grants the free Boost die a small portion of the time and is otherwise equivalent to Aim, is worthwhile? 

 

Personally, I'd rather have a hole in the Specialization Tree that says, "Black Hole: This talent does nothing.  10 XP."

 

 

Maybe we're looking at this the wrong way. Perhaps the setback die should be on Makashi Technique in that all Lightsaber (Presence) checks suffer a setback die because that "style" is not good for multiple opponents. This would remove the penalty from Dualist's Training if you were using some other attribute for your Lightsaber skill.

 

In which case you'd presumably be using a lower characteristic, making the penalty even worse.

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I honestly give up. It's like talking to a brick wall. You just aren't seeing it from a actual world way, only a mechanics way of seeing it.

I think the "real world way" is simply: Why would learning something new make me worse at something I already knew how to do?

 

By real world way I meant that you are trained to focus on taking on one opponent and then when you have two, things become a little more difficult. It's like Amanal said 

 

 

To me, as a fencer, this rule is perfect. When I am on the piste I am concentrating 100% on my opponent and what he or she is doing. A person who is in a duel is in pretty much the same situation. As such the skills you acquire just don’t cover off the concepts of engaging more than one opponent.

 

In real life you would have slightly a harder time taking on multiple opponents than just one which is why it's just a setback and not a add a difficulty.

Edited by Blue Nova

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Maybe we're looking at this the wrong way. Perhaps the setback die should be on Makashi Technique in that all Lightsaber (Presence) checks suffer a setback die when engaged with multiple opponents because that "style" is not good for multiple opponents. This would remove the penalty from Dualist's Training if you were using some other attribute for your Lightsaber skill.

Well, Makashi has been noted to be rather deficient when dealing with more than one opponent, so changing the talent so that it only applies (both postiive and negative) when making a Lightsaber (Presence) roll would make sense and be in keeping with the theme of the Form.

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