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Donovan Morningfire

Shii-Cho Knight talent tree revision

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As I noted in the Beta Update #5 thread, I've been working on a revised layout for the Shii-Cho Knight, mostly to make room for a couple ranks of the Reflect talent (particularly as the EU lore about Shii-Cho notes that it includes blast-deflection as part of the core curriculum).

 

So, here's what I've currently got:

Shii-Cho Knight Talent Tree Revision, Version 2

Edit: This is a newer version, reshuffled a bit.

 

Credit to OggDude for his app, as that's what I used for the image grab.

 

Changes are:

- Replace Parry in Row 1/Column 1 with Reflect.

- Replace Parry in Row 5/Column 1 with Durable.

- Replace Durable in Row 5/Column 2 with Sarlacc Sweep.

- Replace Sarlacc Sweep in Row 4/Column 2 with Reflect.

 

Compared to the prior revision I did, I put Defensive Training back in its original spot and removed the link between Row 4 and Row 5 in Column 4.

 

If the folks on the design team for Force and Destiny like this alternate layout for the Shii-Cho Knight specialization's talent tree, I hereby consider this sentence to be written legal consent for them to adopt it into the game, with no expectation of compensation, fiscal or otherwise, from FFG.

 

Edit: Updated with a reshuffled version.  Original attempt can be found here.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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My only question is Why move the defensive training and durable, and not just replace the R5c4 parry with reflect?  The current suggestion seems more arbitrary.

 

other wise, I hope they at least add one rank of reflect, as that's sorely missing from a generalist form like this.

Edited by Thebearisdriving

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My only question is Why move the defensive training and durable, and not just replace the R5c4 parry with reflect?  The current suggestion seems more arbitrary.

I thought about that, and initially that's what I did.  But I wasn't crazy about that one rank of Reflect being tucked so far away in the ass-end of the tree,   That and the lore behind Shii-Cho notes that it wasn't all that great as a defensive form, the attacks being a bit wilder and less controlled than most other Forms, which to me says that something like Defensive Training isn't easy to apply to how a Shii-Cho practitioner operates.

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Kudos, on the tree it looks great. The only change I would make is an unconnected reflect or parry on the top left. That's it, everything else looks great.

Well, the original version had the unconnected Parry in Row 5/Column 4, and to me it just seemed like it was put there as an after-thought, since you had to go through Dedication to get that 4th rank in Parry, which some players might decide "why bother?" and just move onto a spec that had more ranks in Parry at a more accessible level, such as Soresu Defender (2 at Row 1) and Niman Disciple.

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Thanks for doing this - it looks like an interesting alternative to what's currently in the beta book.

If I have quibbles, they're relatively minor. I feel like Defensive Training is buried pretty deeply in the tree. And I kind of get the rationale for that, but rank 1 of Defensive Training doesn't *feel* like it warrants 25xp. Of course, the answer here is that, if you want to focus on defense, you spec into a different tree to do so.

On the other hand, the same could be said about Reflect. I think that I'd like to see at least one rank of Reflect in Shii-Cho, for the fluff reasons cited, but I don't know that it warrants equal weight with Parry. Doing some rudimentary remote training is not the same as having a dedicated focus on reflecting blasters, the way that Shien does. In fact, you can narratively argue that that's represented by Defensive Training if you want to.

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I might decide to reshuffle Defensive Training elsewhere, but that remains to be seen.  I could just put it back where it was and put the 2nd rank of Reflect in Row 5.  That or bump Sarlacc Sweep up to the fifth row and put Reflect in it's place.  Though if doing any of those, I'll probably remove the link between Rows 4 and 5 in Column 4, as I didn't want a PC to have to be forced to take Defensive Training in order to get Dedication.  But if I put Reflect or Sarlacc Sweep in R5/C2, then it's not an issue as PCs will be eager to grab those talents.

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I might decide to reshuffle Defensive Training elsewhere, but that remains to be seen.  I could just put it back where it was and put the 2nd rank of Reflect in Row 5.  That or bump Sarlacc Sweep up to the fifth row and put Reflect in it's place.  Though if doing any of those, I'll probably remove the link between Rows 4 and 5 in Column 4, as I didn't want a PC to have to be forced to take Defensive Training in order to get Dedication.  But if I put Reflect or Sarlacc Sweep in R5/C2, then it's not an issue as PCs will be eager to grab those talents.

I'd support that. Without a 'Shii-Cho Technique', the signature skills for Shii-Cho are Sum Djem and Sarlacc Sweep and it's the latter of the two that is the 'sexy' one, for sure - I think it definitely could be bumped to R5 without a lot of complaint.

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Thanks for the bump Lorne :)

 

Got a chance to play around with the second revision a bit, using a Knight-level PC as the test build for some sample combats against foes of varying degrees of competence.

 

End result is that while not an ace at stopping either melee or ranged attacks, it's decent at both, which is something that Shii-Cho should be; while not as much of a "master of none" that Niman is, Shii-Cho is still a "jack of all trades" Form of lightsaber combat.  It's certainly not going to last long under sustained ranged fire, but a Shii-Cho Knight under this revision won't be as vulnerable as a Makashi Duelist would be, and Makashi is the Form that's noted as being woefully inadequate vs. ranged attacks.

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It's certainly not going to last long under sustained ranged fire, but a Shii-Cho Knight under this revision won't be as vulnerable as a Makashi Duelist would be, and Makashi is the Form that's noted as being woefully inadequate vs. ranged attacks.

 

Indeed.  Makashi, Form II, is the only form focused exclusively on melee combat, being the first form specifically designed to counter other lightsabers.  A Shii-Cho master is perfectly capable to defending against ranged attacks, to quote Fightsaber by way of Wookiepedia:

 

Form I training provided the basic knowledge of the sword-fighting principles and blast-deflection skill that was required for practice of all the other forms.[15]

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Yeah, I've referenced that tidbit from Wookieepedia a few times in posts here and in feedback submitted to FFG, and we've got instances of Kit Fisto (a noted master of Form I) deflecting blaster fire away during the Geonosis Arena battle in AotC but not reflecting it back (thus no Improved Reflect for Mister Grinning Squid-head).

 

Looking to be starting up a Shii-Cho Knight in a friends' game this evening, with the idea of playing this character over at least several sessions, so we'll see how my revised tree shakes out in terms of character growth.

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"Good against a remote is one thing, good against the living, that's something else."

This form was primarily a training tool and developed to fight sword wielders.  I don't think it holds to have more than 1 or 2 reflects at most.

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"Good against a remote is one thing, good against the living, that's something else."

This form was primarily a training tool and developed to fight sword wielders.  I don't think it holds to have more than 1 or 2 reflects at most.

Yes, but right now it has none.

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"Good against a remote is one thing, good against the living, that's something else."

This form was primarily a training tool and developed to fight sword wielders.  I don't think it holds to have more than 1 or 2 reflects at most.

As Away and TBID mentioned, if you look at the how the spec is set-up in the Beta book, it doesn't have any ranks in Reflect available.  And unlike Makashi, Shiii-Cho's not noted for being weak against ranged attacks.

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giphy.gif

If nothing else, it's a prime example of a couple of Ataru practitioners (Qui-Gon as a master, Obi-Wan a student who moved to Soresu/Form III as a result of this particularly combat) vs. a Juyo master (Maul's fighting style was largely based on Form VII with elements of Niman due to using the saber-saff).

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So the PC I made to test this spec in an actual campaign has pretty much completed most of the spec with the acquisition of Sarlacc Sweep, and at this point I'd say I've got a pretty solid idea of how the modified spec performs in play.

 

Now I may revisit this depending on what the spec looks like when the actual core rulebook is released, but given how freaking brutal Sarlacc Sweep was with a slightly modified lightsaber (ilum crystal with +2 damage and -1 to crit rating) against multiple minion groups and/or rivals, putting said talent in the bottom row was the right choice.  Not sure what to do about that 25XP Durable, whether to swap it out with something else (trade its position with Center of Being maybe?) or perhaps even add a connection between it and Row 4's Sum Djem.  The link between Row 4 & Row 5 in Column 4 would allow a quick path to Dedication, but the spec has one already and not entirely sold on adding a second, although the talents involved are fairly different.

 

And having the two ranks of Parry and Reflect on top of a Soak Value of 4 (Brawn 3, +1 for armored clothing) gives the character a strong defense against both melee and ranged attacks but not an overwhelming one, especially for a PC at the 300 earned XP mark.

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