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Gothmogg23

Saber Throw

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Simple question. In the talent's description, Saber Throw says "character must spend 1 force pip and succeed on the check to hit target; he may spend 2 pips to have his weapon return to his hand after resolving the attack."

Now is that 2 pips to hit and have it return or 3? How would you handle it if the player doesn't generate enough to return the saber that round? Could that player use 2 pips the next round to have it return?

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I'd say 3 pips total, the semi-colon would suggest that.  Should he not generate enough pips then the saber hits the ground somewhere in the range band of the target.  Retrieval would require the Move power at that point.  

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Seems odd in design to give you a Talent that can't be used in full out of the box. As a single Career path, you would only have a Force Rating of 1, so you could only generate 2 pip's on a single force dice. If it is mean to be 3 pips on total to hit and return, then you couldn't use it in full; not until lvl you took a 2nd specialation and worked your way down to obtaining Force Rating 2. Right?

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Actually, it totally makes sense this way.

 

You need to be strong in the force to throw a spinning meter long shaft of slice-anything plasma with a 30cm "safe zone" to grab and not lop your own hand off.  I'd say that FR 2 is completely justified in having the skill and power needed to attempt that.

 

Think of it as a talent that tiers itself; Tier 1, treat your Breach 1 weapon as a Medium ranged weapon.  Tier 2, now be able to have that weapon return to your hand in that same action.

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I'd say one to throw, then an additional two to get the blade back in the same action.  A force rating 1 user could not get the blade back in their hand in one round.  I probably would allow them to pull it back the next round as a single move action for one just one force point.

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I would say two pips would be sufficient to get the full effect of the talent. Otherwise, seems like an awful lot of caveats baring successful use of a talent you spent at least 50 XP for (if you took the requisite saber tree at creation), and not getting the benefit straight away. Having to be at least a 2 force rating user seems a bit unfair of an xp sink just to use one of your talents, because if that's the case, I would argue even just the basic move force power is enough to achieve the result.  Especially considering I don't remember there being other talents that require you to have to purchase additional stuff outside of additional ranks in order to effectively use it. 

 

Talents after all are "specialized techniques that a character has mastered, typically through intense practice and study."

 

Force users are xp starved enough. 

Edited by DeepEyes357

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The way the talent's worded, you'd need a total of three Force Points in order to be able to both throw and return on the same Action.

 

Though interestingly enough, we don't see any evidence in the films of the "return" part, only the throw part (Vader in RotJ, Yoda in ESB).  In Yoda's case, he clambered up the Clone Trooper he'd just impaled to retrieve his lightsaber, so he probably only attacked from Short Range, then spent a maneuver to where his 'saber had "landed" and an incidental to retrieve it, possibly justified by having the Quick Draw talent.  In Vader's case, he probably either used Move off-screen to retrieve his lightsaber than necessarily having it return to his hand.

 

As for the current cost, given that for most PCs they'll be relying on LS pips when rolling that Force die, and that all but one of the LS facings are double pips, I think having it cost 3 Force Points to do the "throw and return" is more of a balancing factor, since there are few ranged weapons that are going to be able to match a lighsaber in terms of damage output (especially thanks to the Breach quality), particularly once the thrower has gotten around to modifying their lightsaber.  If it were just 2 Force Points to do the "throw and return" aspect, then PCs would be able perform that far more often since the majority of Force die's Light Side facings are double pips.

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The way the talent's worded, you'd need a total of three Force Points in order to be able to both throw and return on the same Action.

 

Though interestingly enough, we don't see any evidence in the films of the "return" part, only the throw part (Vader in RotJ, Yoda in ESB).  In Yoda's case, he clambered up the Clone Trooper he'd just impaled to retrieve his lightsaber, so he probably only attacked from Short Range, then spent a maneuver to where his 'saber had "landed" and an incidental to retrieve it, possibly justified by having the Quick Draw talent.  In Vader's case, he probably either used Move off-screen to retrieve his lightsaber than necessarily having it return to his hand.

 

As for the current cost, given that for most PCs they'll be relying on LS pips when rolling that Force die, and that all but one of the LS facings are double pips, I think having it cost 3 Force Points to do the "throw and return" is more of a balancing factor, since there are few ranged weapons that are going to be able to match a lighsaber in terms of damage output (especially thanks to the Breach quality), particularly once the thrower has gotten around to modifying their lightsaber.  If it were just 2 Force Points to do the "throw and return" aspect, then PCs would be able perform that far more often since the majority of Force die's Light Side facings are double pips.

IE requires a minimum of force rating 2 to throw and have the lightsaber return. 

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I think the idea of doing a saber throw as a boomerang type ability has become more prevalent outside the official movie canon as a Jedi ability. Either way, it still doesn't seem right to me that in order to effectively use a talent bought and paid for, you need to get additional talents just for that one talent to work the way it should--that is in this case, the ability for the saber to be thrown and then returned. 

 

Honestly, I personally feel that saber throw doesn't really work as talent, and should have been part of the force move power. It makes no sense to me that it's only part of certain saber combat trees and not others; as if force users who can effectively move ships aren't able to move a small lightsaber.

 

It's too potent an ability to work with just the basic power, but would probably fall under the control upgrade at the end of the tree that allows fine manipulation of the item. That costs about the same I believe, assuming you can beeline to it taking only the one range, the first control, the second control, and then the last. I'm unsure if you're supposed to take the additional range upgrades along with it to unlock the next tier so please let me know if that's the case. 

 

That way the actual saber throw talent can be replaced with something that actually works "out the box" for the xp cost without requiring more of an investment. 

Edited by DeepEyes357

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In comparison to other abilities of the same tier in other career paths don't require a second force rating to use the ability to its fullest. I feel like it is meant to be 1 pip to throw and hit and 2 total to get it to return. Throwing your saber and not getting it to return feels like you're disarming yourself unless it's a last ditch effort to kill a lone target. I wouldn't even use the skill if it cost 3 total to use proper. At Force Rating 1 thats a 3:12 chance to score 2 pips (4:12 if you count the Darkside points). It's not a given to get that saber back. That's my feeling. Seems like why would it cost 1 to throw but 2 more just to get it back.

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You only need one pip to get the attack to go off.  you just need the 2 to return the saber. If you have one force die plan accordingly. 

 

If you're playing a non-dark side character, you're going to be failing to roll even just the one pip more often than not to pull off just the basic attack. Unless of course, you start converting dark side pips and spending a destiny point, which at that point, I'm now paying extra (a significant extra) for the privilege of just disarming myself. Consider what other talents do that require a destiny point to activate.

 

The more I think about it, the more I find saber throw to be an ineffective talent, because it acts too much like a force power with all the trappings of a force power--including the ability for it to fail. Talents for the most part just work and provide a benefit.

 

Like I said, consider what you can do with the move power, saber throw can just be replicated with the last control upgrade. If I'm reading right, you don't need to expend extra pips beyond the initial investment to activate the basic power in order to activate the extra control upgrades. This means for two pips, one to activate the power and another to activate the range upgrade to make it medium, you can essentially replicate the talent and perform a saber throw.  I see no logical reason why this can't be accomplished with the last control upgrade since its purpose is to allow you fine manipulation of an object as if using it with your hands.

 

I personally think saber throw talent should be replaced with something else that acts more like a valuable talent for the xp cost.

 

Edit: On even further consideration, the talent is worst than initially thought, because if you are just using the talent to throw the saber and you're unable to retrieve it in the same go, you now no longer have access to a bunch of other talents such as parry/deflect, essentially making those talents worthless as well. On top of that, you need to spend another turn to retrieve the lightsaber, either though application of the move power which kills your action for that turn, or having to run after it spending a maneuver or two depending, leaving you completely defenseless for what is essentially a one time range attack, albeit a powerful one. The cost of actually using the talent does not jive with what it's worth.

Edited by DeepEyes357

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If you're playing a non-dark side character, you're going to be failing to roll even just the one pip more often than not to pull off just the basic attack. Unless of course, you start converting dark side pips and spending a destiny point, which at that point, I'm now paying extra (a significant extra) for the privilege of just disarming myself. Consider what other talents do that require a destiny point to activate.

 

 

 

 

 

Spending a Destiny Point to use a talent is in-line with other talents, though.  Especially any Talent that a character can spend a Destiny Point for more damage. 

 

Saber Throw also gets more Conflict into the game.  Not really a bad thing.

 

 

 

The more I think about it, the more I find saber throw to be an ineffective talent, because it acts too much like a force power with all the trappings of a force power--including the ability for it to fail. Talents for the most part just work and provide a benefit.

 

 

You mean like Bad Motivator, Brilliant Evasion, Contraption, Crippling Blow, Familiar Suns, Field Commander, Full Throttle, Hard Headed, Incite Rebellion, Inspiring Rhetoric, It's Not That Bad, Known Schematic, Scathing Tirade, or Stim Application?

 

And those are just the Talents from Age of Rebellion, a game that's already been released in it's Core Rulebook form...

 

All talents that require the character to succeed at a check for them to work and provide their benefit.  You did say "for the most part" and you're right.  I'm just saying there's plenty of talents out there that have a successful check as a requirement to being used, so it's not unheard of that Saber Throw requires a successful check, either.

 

Like I said, consider what you can do with the move power, saber throw can just be replicated with the last control upgrade. If I'm reading right, you don't need to expend extra pips beyond the initial investment to activate the basic power in order to activate the extra control upgrades. This means for two pips, one to activate the power and another to activate the range upgrade to make it medium, you can essentially replicate the talent and perform a saber throw.  I see no logical reason why this can't be accomplished with the last control upgrade since its purpose is to allow you fine manipulation of an object as if using it with your hands.

 

I personally think saber throw talent should be replaced with something else that acts more like a valuable talent for the xp cost.

 

I can see your point.  I like it though, because you're spending...what?  20xp in a talent tree that you're working through?   Instead of having to dive purposefully into Move to buy up your skill to the point where you could replicate it with that power.  It's focused but it's a small detour or a benefit of the Talent Tree as opposed to needing to invest in a Force Power that, while useful, gets you no closer to other talents like Dedication.

 

 

Edit: On even further consideration, the talent is worst than initially thought, because if you are just using the talent to throw the saber and you're unable to retrieve it in the same go, you now no longer have access to a bunch of other talents such as parry/deflect, essentially making those talents worthless as well. On top of that, you need to spend another turn to retrieve the lightsaber, either though application of the move power which kills your action for that turn, or having to run after it spending a maneuver or two depending, leaving you completely defenseless for what is essentially a one time range attack, albeit a powerful one. The cost of actually using the talent does not jive with what it's worth.

 

Unless you happen to be one of those guys who uses two lightsabers... ;)

 

Saber Throw has it's place.  It's a niche place, but it's a flavorful niche that's prevalent throughout Legends (which FFG is drawing from heavily and that's a good thing).  While it can be replicated with Move, that moves it to the realm of "only masters of Telekinesis use this" which isn't the intent.  The intent is to give a Lightsaber duelist a quick, cheap ranged attack that does require some skill in the Force to use effectively.

 

I would never use Saber Throw if I just had one saber until I had FR2 or I was in a dire circumstance that put me in a situation where I really needed to hit that guy who is over there and I had no other means to do so.  It's a situational talent, but FFG has given us many other situational talents as well (any of the "Destiny Point to Ignore Critical Injury effects to X and Y Characteristic for this encounter" talents, for three).

 

 

Now, what happens if they change it to "One to throw, One to call back"?  Would that help it in your eyes?

Edited by DarthGM

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Spending a Destiny Point to use a talent is in-line with other talents, though.  Especially any Talent that a character can spend a Destiny Point for more damage. 

 

Saber Throw also gets more Conflict into the game.  Not really a bad thing.

 

That's fine, but generally the talents requiring a destiny point usage give you the immediate effect/benefit, such as Heroic Fortitude, Utility Belt, Hold Together, Time to Go, etc. Spending the destiny point in this case is only if want to convert the dark side pips in order to get the talent to fire off. You still need to roll for it to work. 

 

Conflict is fine too, but beyond the obvious mechanical effects in swapping pips, handing out additional conflict would be at the discretion of the GM. I may or may not give extra conflict for using saber throw on a sentient, depending on circumstance. I most likely wouldn't if it were used on droids or on a computer console across the way. 

 

You mean like Bad Motivator, Brilliant Evasion, Contraption, Crippling Blow, Familiar Suns, Field Commander, Full Throttle, Hard Headed, Incite Rebellion, Inspiring Rhetoric, It's Not That Bad, Known Schematic, Scathing Tirade, or Stim Application?

 

And those are just the Talents from Age of Rebellion, a game that's already been released in it's Core Rulebook form...

 

All talents that require the character to succeed at a check for them to work and provide their benefit.

 

That is true, but again, those are talents that essentially work "out of the box" when purchased. You don't need to spend additional xp in the way of other talents to make those talents work the way they should. The only thing you would spend xp on is to increase the requisite skill check associated with that talent to make it work better. If that is the standard, then saber throw should just work as a basic lightsaber skill check for a ranged attack without requiring the pips. That would be a bit ridiculous, so it should require the force to use and thus requiring a force rating, but I don't feel it's right that you need to spend another good chunk on xp to get to FR 2 in order to use it. I've already spent the requisite amount to get to the talent itself. 

 

I can see your point.  I like it though, because you're spending...what?  20xp in a talent tree that you're working through?   Instead of having to dive purposefully into Move to buy up your skill to the point where you could replicate it with that power.  It's focused but it's a small detour or a benefit of the Talent Tree as opposed to needing to invest in a Force Power that, while useful, gets you no closer to other talents like Dedication.

 

It's 50xp in Aggressor Tree and Shien Tree and 75xp Ataru Striker to get Saber Throw assuming you start with those trees at creation. At least moving into the Move power, I have way more utility if I were to use it that way. 

 

Now, what happens if they change it to "One to throw, One to call back"?  Would that help it in your eyes?

 

Funny you bring this up. I was discussing this topic with my friend at work just now, and he hasn't really played tabletop games, but has seen me reading the core books and now F&D pretty much regularly so I'll often muse ideas and pass it by him. I explained to him quickly how the force die system works and in relation to saber throw. I suppose it's the engineer in him, but he immediately had the same line of thinking I had. Firstly, he stated "why wouldn't it be just 2 force pips? One to throw and one to return. Why would using the Force be different pushing something compared to pulling something?" which to me made a lot of sense. Furthermore, he said "Plus it's a ranged attack with a melee weapon. You're willfully disarming yourself and potentially leaving yourself vulnerable. Plus they get to dodge and defend against it. And it's a controlled action. You're not just throwing it across the room hoping to hit something, it's with intent and purpose, same as you would do axe throwing or knife throwing." 

 

So with all that in mind I think there can be a more elegant solution to make the talent useful for its cost, but still remain balanced in terms of the narrative. This is after all a narrative system is it not? So let's go with the system's intent instead of having so many caveats barring use of a talent.  

 

Make saber throw cost a standard 2 force pip to activate and use. It will follow all the rules of the combat check as per the RAW now. This allows it to have boost dice and setback dice and anything else as normal per combat, and make it that the saber can't be retrieved in the same round with threat and despair like regular combat. Say 3 threat or a despair, or even just 2 threat if you like. That way it allows pretty much most force users to use the ability right out the box, lets it work as intended, and follows conventional combat narrative. So the force user could succeed and hit to do damage, but rolled enough threat that the saber got stuck like Yoda's in Ep III, or get knocked aside and fall away and need to be picked up like Vader in Ep 6. This works similarly to how ranged combat works now where rolling enough threat or despair causes the weapon to lose ammo or jam or what have you. 

Edited by DeepEyes357

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Ah, interesting; so you're saying "purely Lightsaber skill check to hit the target, and 2 Force pips to call it back to your hand".

 

I like that.

 

Oh, and Aggressors no longer get Saber Throw.  Check out Beta Update 5.  They get a rank of the new "Prey on the Weak" talent in it's place.

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Yeah, I figure that cleans up the talent nicely and provides a good immediate benefit without being overpowered. It just seems weird, one pip to throw and another two to return, it's so awkwardly worded and seems superfluous. Just make it so it requires 2 pips to activate saber throw to both throw and return like a boomerang or whatever, and follows the same standard ranged combat mechanics as anything else. It can even be put in the text that gaining 2 or 3 threat and/or a despair will cause the saber to not return. Either it gets stuck, gets knocked away, whatever.  That way even a FR 1 user can use it somewhat reliably, and it still has the drawback of the saber possibly not returning even for those with FR 2+. 

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Yeah, I figure that cleans up the talent nicely and provides a good immediate benefit without being overpowered. It just seems weird, one pip to throw and another two to return, it's so awkwardly worded and seems superfluous. Just make it so it requires 2 pips to activate saber throw to both throw and return like a boomerang or whatever, and follows the same standard ranged combat mechanics as anything else. It can even be put in the text that gaining 2 or 3 threat and/or a despair will cause the saber to not return. Either it gets stuck, gets knocked away, whatever.  That way even a FR 1 user can use it somewhat reliably, and it still has the drawback of the saber possibly not returning even for those with FR 2+.

I could get behind this. It works as thought as but as a cleaned up version.

Do the developers clarify things like this on the forums or do they just read over the discussions and then make their changes to the beta update?

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Yeah, I figure that cleans up the talent nicely and provides a good immediate benefit without being overpowered. It just seems weird, one pip to throw and another two to return, it's so awkwardly worded and seems superfluous. Just make it so it requires 2 pips to activate saber throw to both throw and return like a boomerang or whatever, and follows the same standard ranged combat mechanics as anything else. It can even be put in the text that gaining 2 or 3 threat and/or a despair will cause the saber to not return. Either it gets stuck, gets knocked away, whatever.  That way even a FR 1 user can use it somewhat reliably, and it still has the drawback of the saber possibly not returning even for those with FR 2+.

I could get behind this. It works as thought as but as a cleaned up version.

Do the developers clarify things like this on the forums or do they just read over the discussions and then make their changes to the beta update?

 

 

No idea really. Plus there's no guarantee anything mentioned on the forum will make it as part of the beta updates. 

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