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Scalding

Let's Fix Duelist's Training

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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
Sure, but this falls apart if you do have explicit training with multiple opponents, right? Why should a Shii-cho Knight with the Multiple Opponents talent suddenly start suffering a setback die because they also learned Dualist's Training? 

If it requires you to maneuver to engage only a single target (as the "be a creative player" team argues) then it is functionally equivalent to aim. One other way to make this better would be to upgrade the attack by 1, rather than adding a boost die, for single opponents. This still doesn't solve the "Shii-cho Knight gets worse at fighting multiples" conundrum, though.

Edited by Sporkley

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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.

 

Except, in real life you'd learn that style from the beginning.  That is, you'd always have had a setback against multiple opponents - not all the sudden after already learning how to fight.

 

The Rule does not make sense in the context of the System that it's a part of.  This is a problem.

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Scalding,

I've posted hard evidence that says the setback isn't the Cardinal Sin that you claim it is.

 

So how about putting your money where your mouth is, and providing actual hard evidence that says it is the drastic drawback that some folks are claiming it to be?  Then again, that's probably too much like actual work, since it's far less effort to simply whine like Anakin did throughout the prequels about a talent having an up-front drawback instead of proving it.

 

After all, talents such as Dodge, Side Step, Intimidating, and Defensive Stance all have a built-in drawback in that the charcter using them has to suffer strain in order to upgrade the affected dice.  And for a PC with a low Strain Threshold, every point can count, and depending on how long a combat runs, they could reach a point where using defensive talents, particularly multiple ranks of them (since you suffer 1 strain per rank used) could leave them dangerously close to going over their strain threshold and thus being taken out.

 

Parry and Reflect have two built-in drawbacks in that you need to be hit and need to suffer strain, the former a drawback in that this game is far more dangerous and the ability to completely absorb the damage of most attacks is very rare outside of some extremely dedicated high Soak Value builds, particularly for ranged attacks made with blaster rifles/carbines; at the current progression of how Reflect is calculated, it's going to take a while before you can completely negate the damage from a Ranged (Heavy) attack with anything close to consistent basis.  And then you've got the strain cost, which at 3 strain per use means that against multple foes, you've only got a couple of rounds before you're at risk of going over your Strain Threshold and being rendered just as unconscious as if you'd taken wounds greater than your Wound Threshold.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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I honestly give up. It's like talking to a brick wall.

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.

100% on the nose.  It's kind of like trying to have an intelligent discussion with a bunch of cranky toddlers.

 

Evidence has been presented that says the talent as-written doesn't gimp the character that's taken it, and examples have been noted more than once in this thread about how it's ridiculously easy to work around the setback die.

 

I guess haters just gonna hate, much like the foks that whined about how the TIE Defender in the AoR Beta didn't match what the ship did in a series of video games.  With those same folks being completely ignored and the TIE Defender showing up in the core rulebook unchanged from the version in the Beta.

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On the other hand, one could flip it it around. If the impact on the roll is so negligible, then why not pullB

Because it helps keep the talent from becoming a "I so HAVE to take this for my PC!" type of talent.

 

As the old chestnut in game design goes, if everybody wants the talent, then you've made it too good. Makashi Duelist already has a solid edge in one-on-one duels thanks to all the ranks of Parry it offers as well as the Feint talent.  Having a talent that just offers a boost die with zero potential drawbacks starts to border on the "too good."

 

But at this point, it's obvious nothing I say is going to change the mind of those who don't like the presence of the setback die, so at this point, I leave it to the designers to make what they feel is the best choice, the rest of us be damned.

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I've posted hard evidence that says the setback isn't the Cardinal Sin that you claim it is.

 

Just a quibble:  that's not "hard evidence".  The fact that 50% of your setback dice came up blank should tell you that.  If you flipped a coin 100 times and they all came up heads, you can hardly claim you have "hard evidence" that flipping that coin won't give you tails.

 

There's really no point in doing these kinds of exercises manually.  It's a statistical problem, not a grunt work problem.  

 

I'm not arguing about the talent itself, it seems fine to me.

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I agree with whafrog--while of course it can be useful to have some actual experience with the talent itself when making a judgment on it, the nature of a Setback die is not a mystery.

 

To me it's not that big a deal, a setback die isn't such a terrible thing.

 

I liken it to the mindset that a skill which is not a career skill is not "available" to a user, and needs to be put into a specialization's list of career skills before anyone would spend XP on it.

 

Plenty of people argue from that perspective--"such and such a specialization doesn't have X as a career skill, but people might want to buy it! This is the worst thing ever and I have to make a house rule or FFG has to fix it!!" when really, it's just a few extra points of XP to buy a rank of a non-career skill.

 

It's really no big deal, and personally I hope FFG just ignores the issue and keeps it the way they designed it.

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Unless your GM is a jerk and constantly trying to gang-bang you, I don't see it coming up often. Most fights should be one on one. Sure minions might be slightly tougher, but not majorly so. Makes you more likely to head for the rival or nemesis. And Multiple Opponents doesn't need a setback, the fact that you are fighting multiple opponents is setback enough.

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Donovan,

 

I will not perform a set of dice trials because that would be irrelevant.  Statistics do not require that you roll dice.  Not rolling dice is rather the point of statistics.

 

I have told you why it is not a good talent, and why it needs revision.  I will reiterate, because it seems I must:

 

1) It is the only talent with a permanent passive drawback.

2) It is a very minor boon for a similarly minor drawback.  In average, it washes out and becomes the same as no talent at all.  At the best it is a free Aim maneuver, and at the worst it forces the player to act a certain way.  How is this worth the character's XP?

3) It is a game, not real life.  As such, it must be consistent within the framework of the game.  This talent is not.  In order to be consistent, it should be that melee (including Brawl and Lightsaber) combat against multiple engaged targets should convey some penalty.  Otherwise we have the situation where a character learns a talent and gets worse at handling a certain situation; this makes no sense and is not found anywhere else in the game.

4) It can be fixed such that there is an appropriate mechanical bonus, and even an appropriate disadvantage if it must, but this situation must be under the player's control.  Also, compare with other Talents that have a disadvantage: is it powerful enough to warrant whatever drawback is devised? (Also, please identify these talents so that we may compare and contrast.)

 

You yourself have previously posted other options. 

 

There must be some way the talent can convey an appropriate mechanical and thematic for Duelist's Training without imposing a permanent passive disadvantage.

 

This is the crux of this thread.  Calling us children and ignoring the mathematics of the situation helps no one.

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Unless your GM is a jerk and constantly trying to gang-bang you, I don't see it coming up often. Most fights should be one on one. Sure minions might be slightly tougher, but not majorly so. Makes you more likely to head for the rival or nemesis. And Multiple Opponents doesn't need a setback, the fact that you are fighting multiple opponents is setback enough.

 

That doesn't make up for the fact that it is the only talent to impose a passive penalty.

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As a small aside, and I mean this to have no great impact on the discussion as a whole, but I do have examples of "Why would learnign something new make me worse at somethign I can already do" from my life as a dance instructor.  I would frequently have students who had at some point learned their basic american rumba.  After learning a fair bit of waltz, the technique on their rumba would go to pot as the new muscle memory overrode proper technique for a latin dance like rumba (early patterns for both are similar, but performed radically different).  Even worse was trying to get a student who learned ballet to place their feet correctly for any of the latin or rhythm dances (they tend to be way too up for dances that want to be grounded). 

 

Just something I remembered.

Not hard or fast proof of anything, but definitely anecdotal evidence of new training making something else more difficult.

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There are 293 talents in the game so far.  Of these:

Crippling Blow: Increase the difficulty of the check by 1: If successful, the target suffers a strain each time they maneuver for the rest of the encounter.  More of a new kind of attack (or a modifier to an attack, similar to how Auto-Fire modifies the difficulty) than a penalty to a current attack, and only occurs when the character takes this action.

 

Sniper Shot: Maneuver to increase the range of a non-thrown ranged weapon by up to ranks in Sniper Shot range bands. This increases the difficulty of the attack by the number of range bands increased.  Again, it's a rider on an existing ability and only occurs when the character makes the maneuver.

 

I read through them fairly quickly for time and sanity reasons, so I might have missed something, but I think that's all the talents that impose a penalty to a combat check.  You'll notice that the penalty in both cases is equivalent to activating Auto-Fire on such weapons, and produces an effect that is beyond the normal capability of the attack.

 

One other thing, for Donovan et al. who have run games with at least one player who has a character with this talent:

Can you tell me, honestly, that if Duelist's Training did not have the multiple opponents penalty, it would be overpowered or otherwise unsuitable?  If so, please provide a short description of why the talent becomes overpowered, or why it is unsuitable.

 

Alternatively, can you explain why you feel that the talent should remain as written and that no compromise can be made?

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As a small aside, and I mean this to have no great impact on the discussion as a whole, but I do have examples of "Why would learnign something new make me worse at somethign I can already do" from my life as a dance instructor.  I would frequently have students who had at some point learned their basic american rumba.  After learning a fair bit of waltz, the technique on their rumba would go to pot as the new muscle memory overrode proper technique for a latin dance like rumba (early patterns for both are similar, but performed radically different).  Even worse was trying to get a student who learned ballet to place their feet correctly for any of the latin or rhythm dances (they tend to be way too up for dances that want to be grounded). 

 

Just something I remembered.

Not hard or fast proof of anything, but definitely anecdotal evidence of new training making something else more difficult.

My wife and I have had 8 years of Ballroom training (twice a week).  While it is true that your form may suffer for a brief while when learning a new technique (especially switching between a latin form like Rumba and a ballroom form like the Waltz), with practice both techniques improve.

 

You might temporarily have a setback, but it's only temporary.

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Can you tell me, honestly, that if Duelist's Training did not have the multiple opponents penalty, it would be overpowered or otherwise unsuitable?  If so, please provide a short description of why the talent becomes overpowered, or why it is unsuitable.

 

Without the penalty he could move and get a blue against one opponent or aim and get multiple opponents. So it largely comes down to the adversaries being Minions or not.  Making the decision to move or not based on the adversaries you are engaged with hardely seems thematically correct does it?

 

There shouldn't be a choice, if he is engaged with multiple targets he wants to, without any question or doubt, move.

 

In fact, I am thinking of suggesting that there are 2 blues when he is solo. Where he is engaged against multiple adversaries attacks against him gets a blue for each opponent he is engaged with if they perfom an aim maneuver.

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Unless your GM is a jerk and constantly trying to gang-bang you, I don't see it coming up often. Most fights should be one on one. Sure minions might be slightly tougher, but not majorly so. Makes you more likely to head for the rival or nemesis. And Multiple Opponents doesn't need a setback, the fact that you are fighting multiple opponents is setback enough.

 

That doesn't make up for the fact that it is the only talent to impose a passive penalty.

 

So it's a precedent then. Doesn't make it bad, though. What you don't want, as DM pointed out, is a goto talent. Something that becomes a must take or always take talent is not what you want. The simple fact that there is so much debate means that there are people on both sides of the fence with this talent which is a good thing. This is not a chokepoint talent so not everyone needs to take it. It is a situatioal bonus and those that take it will try to maneuver themselves to benefit from it. And sometimes they will have a negative when they can not maneuver to their advantage.

 

If everyone liked it and would take it, it would not necessarily make it good or better, only popular.

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

From a real world perspective:

I know how to deal with multiple foes at once (not suffering Setback Dice). I learn a new technique (Talent) that teaches me a few minor tricks (it's a 10EXP Talent) against solo foes (1 Boost Die) and suddenly I am no longer as capable against multiple foes (1 Setback Die).

In what world does this make sense?

Yes, if the entirety of your training is only against one on one foes, you will suffer against massed foes. However that is not the premise of this rules system, nor is it the over all premise of the Tree. Not a single other Talent requires one to be solo engaged. Not a single other Talent in the Tree suffers when facing massed hordes. In fact one of them, as I pointed out, excels at Minion wiping (Flourish).

 

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

Your post had nothing worth responding to. I quoted you in response to Amanal.

 

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

Good, this thread is meant to fix something seen as broken, not a "Please explain to us how you think we're wrong" thread.

 

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.

In real life, everyone, even those specifically trained for it, have a harder time facing multiple foes.

This system does not represent real life. Please join us in discussing this system. Thank you.

 

 

I've posted hard evidence that says the setback isn't the Cardinal Sin that you claim it is.

No one has claimed the Setback is a Cardinal Sin (except your hyperbolic inflammatory responses).

It's the only Talent that forces a passive drawback on the character. I feel that is a flaw with it's design.

 

After all, talents such as Dodge, Side Step, Intimidating, and Defensive Stance all have a built-in drawback in that the charcter using them has to suffer strain in order to upgrade the affected dice.

There is a difference. Not one of those can be forced on the PC, ever.

The Setback Die from Duelist Training can, forcing the PC to either take a Maneuver or suffer it.

 

What you don't want, as DM pointed out, is a goto talent.

Two Words: Multiple Opponents.

It's mechanically better, costs the same. Goto talent. But I don't hear you wanting to "fix it".

Edited by evileeyore

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Guys, guys - one request, one that we can all support. Can we please knock off the name calling. We can present both sides of this debate without calling the other side whiners and the like?

 

(Boy that request looks wrong coming from an Angry Penguin avatar. . . .)

Edited by Desslok

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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.

As someone who has had some training in fencing as well as SCA heavy weapons combat, I don’t have a harder time taking on multiple opponents just because I’ve had the fencing training. I don’t suddenly become worse at SCA heavy weapons, just because I’ve taken some additional training in a different style of sword combat.

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A talent isn't broken just because someone says it is. There are people who like it and others that do not. Some will choose it for their characters for whatever reason. Some will not choose it for their reasons. This is what the designers want. Not every talent needscto be universally accepted or optimal. It only needs to fit a player's concept, not some armchair game designer's dream.

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I think the talent in question is fine, but it raises what is to me a more important question: When exactly am I using a 'style/form'?

 

Can I use talents from one of the other lightsaber form trees while I use Presence as my combat attribute?

Can I ignore the multiple attacker penalty from a duelist talent I have if I am using Cunning from my Shien form tree?

 

Basically, I would like to see more guidance on mixing and matching talents and combat attributes to allow a reasonable level of talent cross-pollenation without completely losing the distinctiveness of the styles.

 

I feel the real problem with the solo vs many talent is that it make sense when using the duelist style but little sense if you have no distinct style 'activated' but are blending all of your styles/talents seamlessly.

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A talent isn't broken just because someone says it is. There are people who like it and others that do not. Some will choose it for their characters for whatever reason. Some will not choose it for their reasons. This is what the designers want. Not every talent needscto be universally accepted or optimal. It only needs to fit a player's concept, not some armchair game designer's dream.

No, a talent is broken when it breaks the implied contract between the game and the players, or when it provides an advantage or penalty that is in excess of the design of the game.  Normally this occurs by making an ability too powerful, but in this case we have an ability that:

1) Costs XP to gain

2) Provides a passive penalty - unlike any other rule in the game

3) has a minimal affect when the penalty does not apply

4) is equivalent to an action that already exists when the penalty does apply, except that it forces the action or the penalty.

 

I (obviously) feel that this breaks the implied contract between the game and its players, as well as providing an ability that is too weak to be worth any amount of XP.  It is broken.

 

I think the talent in question is fine, but it raises what is to me a more important question: When exactly am I using a 'style/form'?

 

Can I use talents from one of the other lightsaber form trees while I use Presence as my combat attribute?

Can I ignore the multiple attacker penalty from a duelist talent I have if I am using Cunning from my Shien form tree?

 

Basically, I would like to see more guidance on mixing and matching talents and combat attributes to allow a reasonable level of talent cross-pollenation without completely losing the distinctiveness of the styles.

 

I feel the real problem with the solo vs many talent is that it make sense when using the duelist style but little sense if you have no distinct style 'activated' but are blending all of your styles/talents seamlessly.

This talent does not apply to using the style/form.  As written, it applies any time the character makes a Melee or Lightsaber combat check.

 

If it were restricted to the form, ironically, that would likely make it even less desirable; the point of the Lightsaber Technique talents is to use Lightsaber with a higher characteristic, so in that case avoiding the Setback die penalty would likely cost an Ability die - not a reasonable trade.

 

=-=-=-=-=-=

 

And so we're back to discussing the merit of the idea that the talent could use improvement, rather than what those improvements might be like.  Since it is self-evident that neither side may possibly convince the other, I suggest that we table that conversation.

 

Please continue discussing alternate possibilities for Duelist's Training.  Please bear the fluff of Makashi in mind:

 

1) It appears that an additional Boost die when facing a single opponent in Engaged range by itself is considered too powerful; otherwise it would already be written this way.

2) A penalty that occurs irregardless of the Character's action is inappropriate for a Talent.  No talents do this; I'm of the opinion that none should, because this breaks the implied contract, "When you spend XP, you are enhancing your character."

3) Ideally, the Talent offers a character an option, such as:

3a) "When engaged with a single opponent, you may..."

3b) "When engaged with a single opponent, gain..., but when engaged with multiple opponents, you may instead suffer X penalty for Y benefit."

3c) "When engaged with a single opponent, you may gain..., but if you do, suffer penalty X for time Y"

Edited by Scalding

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I (obviously) feel that this breaks the implied contract between the game and its players, as well as providing an ability that is too weak to be worth any amount of XP.  It is broken.

 

Again just because you feel it is so doesn't make it so. There are obviously many here who don't feel the same. Just because the talent is contentious doesn't make it bad. And since it can be skipped without any serious problem you can choose to do so or houserule it if you feel it is so egregious. I'm not telling you you can not or not to say anything, only that just because you feel it is broken doesn't mean the designers are going to feel the same when there are many that don't feel it is broken too.

 

 

1) It appears that an additional Boost die when facing a single opponent in Engaged range by itself is considered too powerful; otherwise it would already be written this way.

 

I always thought that the general impression was that a boost die, in general, was better than a setback die in many situations. Hence the boost die in the talent is better than the slight disadvantage of the setback die. Also, it is much more likely to be one on one than a gang-bang, so the boost die is more likely to apply more often than the setback die.

 

 

2) A penalty that occurs irregardless of the Character's action is inappropriate for a Talent.  No talents do this; I'm of the opinion that none should, because this breaks the implied contract, "When you spend XP, you are enhancing your character."

The setback only occurs if the character is attacked by multiple opponents. Which happens how often? Mainly with minions. Possibly with a couple of rivals. But unless you have a jerk for a GM, it is doubtful it should be happening consistently. And if it is, maybe you should reconsider your build and take Multiple opponents instead. Or take appropriate maneuvers to take advantage of your abilities. Geez, you may as well build a sniper character and then complain you can not use your long range abilities at short range. There's a passive penalty for you.

 

The talent is for that consummate dueler. The one that wants to be that little bit better than his opponent. It is in the one form that focuses on dueling. The designers obviously felt that just handing out a boost die was either too much or too boring and decided to make the talent a little more thought-worthy. And considering this thread it is.

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