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Yepesnopes

Lightsabers

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How is the general opinion in these forums regarding the lightsabers?

 

I think it would be a better option for the game if the basic crystal (that is without modifications) would be more powerful, while the number of modifications decreased, in such a way that the end product "fully optimized" is the same.

 

As it is now, it takes a big number of modifications to get a "good" lightsaber, which has lead the developers to patch this issue with a rule where if you modify "your own" lightsaber you reduce the mod difficulty by two. By good lightsaber I mean something like you find in AoR or EotE (different games I know), carried by a NPC or by a PC who has purchased it for example.

 

As a side note, in my opinion the basic lightsaber is a very expensive weapon for its low stats. Price - quality things like the vibro-axe, heavy blaster rifle or missile tube are way deadlier, although not so cool :)

 

In any case, which is your opinion on that?

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I tend to like sabers as they are.  The basic lightsaber is already pretty powerful for a starting weapon, if you were to increase it further that would unbalance the early game.  A fully tricked out saber is Really Powerful, so it should be hard to get, and characters shouldn't have them until they're pretty high experience, and have the skill to do the upgrades.

 

I agree that there are a lot of Mods required to max a saber.  If you wanted to reduce the number I might have fewer mods, but make them more effective rather then increasing the base power.  For my campaign however, I'm satisfied with them as listed.

Edited by Split Light

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I'm satisfied with how the they are now, but one suggestion I have seen passed around is to half the number of "damage +1" mods on the Illum crystal, but double their bonus. Effectively turning them into "Damage +2" mods.

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I actually prefer a minimalist approach respecting lightsabers and their possible modifications.  Just as I don't care too much for what particular 'kung-fu' one knows respecting a particular form, what particular crystal one possesses in one's hilt is merely fluff for me.  I could do without the mechanical differences and the crunch associated with it.

Edited by angelicdoctor

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I'm pretty okay with the lightsabers.

 

In terms of the difficulty in modifications, originally, if you went the upgrading the difficulty past 5 route, the last mod of a lightsaber would result in 4 reds and 1 purple. The difficulty knock down brings it down to a fairly reasonable 2 reds and 3 purple, which gets further brought down to 1 red and 4 purple if the player is an Artisan and grabbed the "Master Artisan" talent - and if the GM allows there's also Destiny Point flips to further knock a red into a purple. So just like any other weapon, it's difficult, but now it's actually possible. And this is before any future FaD signature abilities that could wind up in the same vein as Colonist's Unmatched Expertise, where you can further reduce difficulty checks.

 

In terms of the cost of a lightsaber in regards to its power. I'd say it's pretty reasonable. Most players won't be able to even find somebody to sell even a lightsaber crystal itself, nevermind a full lightsaber - and even if they did, they'd likely only be able to get it through robbing the seller or having mountains of credits. So in most cases, getting a crystal is going to come down to a quest in itself or beating some ridiculously powerful big bad who has a lightsaber, and taking it off him. So really to me, the cost of just a basic lightsaber is mostly going to come down to the cost of just the hilt (300 credits), which I think is a bargain compared to a Vibro-Axe.

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I think it would be a better option for the game if the basic crystal (that is without modifications) would be more powerful, while the number of modifications decreased, in such a way that the end product "fully optimized" is the same.

 

I like them as they are, because perfecting your saber is another one of those things that reflects the long and difficult path of the Force user.

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The basic lightsaber is dangerous enough as is without any modifications, as the dozen or so combats I've run thus for in Force and Destiny prove.  And I've got an Nautolan Makashi Duelist in my FaD group that will vouch for that, having lost both a duel and his non-weapon hand to a Saber Rake in a one-on-one bout in our last session.

 

The 'sabers in EotE/AoR were always way too powerful, and frankly needed to be toned down.  As it stands, they've now become the "deluxe tricked-out" versions of the basic lightsaber, and should be even more rare and difficult to find in contrast to the basic lightsaber or any of the more exotic lightsaber crystals.

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I feel Lightsabers are fairly balanced IMO. When you factor in the Breach 1 into the damage, you are really doing more like 6-17 base damage against serious armor ratings; not including added successes. Then you can add in all the talents and Force Enhance for an extra dice/upgrade.

I like the degree of customization of crystals and hilts and their variants. As for cost, no ones walking into a store or really even a black market fence and buying a saber. It feels more like a guideline. In my game these mods would be rewards at the end of lengthy stories but as GM's it's our game and you set the rules for your table. So do what feels right for your players. I indorse the starve the players concept.

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I see, then it must be me having the doubt wether the initial lightsaber has to be more powerful or not. Actually I liked what kaosoe commented and I am in total agreement with what angelicdoctor posted, just a matter of taste I guess.

 

Yet, if the lightsaber is ok now, and therefore was too powerful in AoR and EotE, why it is not the same case with the missile tube or the heavy blaster rifle for example? What do I miss here?

Edited by Yepesnopes

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Yet, if the lightsaber is ok now, and therefore was too powerful in AoR and EotE, why it is not the same case with the missile tube or the heavy blaster rifle for example? What do I miss here?

 

Basically lightsabers are concealable items that is made for all assortment of FaD characters to wield and use in a variety of functions. By knocking down its killing potential, it takes a little bit longer (not much, maybe an extra 1-2 turns at best) to kill things which is still sufficient enough to provide an adequate challenge to the group since even with Parry and Reflect, not all characters will be Brawn-focused to up their soak for when they're in engaged range. By moving its potential into modifications, it also creates a goal for players who care about the lightsaber, creating a nice credit sink instead of just having a static weapon that is essentially as good as it gets.

 

Heavy Blaster Rifles and Missile Tubes are heavy ordinance that let you be further away from the action (and so probably safer in general), and would likely only be used by more Agility-focused characters anyways. Both of which are huge and hard to hide, so unlike lightsabers, you can't just sneak them away cleverly when you're off to deal with some crime lord or Imperial big wig.

 

Basically, it's not that lightsabers were crazy death machines originally that needed to be scaled back because, it's more due to the different nature of FaD where you've potentially got all characters using them and they can all now have talents and skill ranks - so it just needed to be adjusted to match the players for these types of games.

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Basically, it's not that lightsabers were crazy death machines originally that needed to be scaled back because, it's more due to the different nature of FaD where you've potentially got all characters using them and they can all now have talents and skill ranks - so it just needed to be adjusted to match the players for these types of games.

 

Yes, that was also my impression, I was just wondering if they needed to be scaled that much down from the versions we saw in EotE and AoR.

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Basically, it's not that lightsabers were crazy death machines originally that needed to be scaled back because, it's more due to the different nature of FaD where you've potentially got all characters using them and they can all now have talents and skill ranks - so it just needed to be adjusted to match the players for these types of games.

 

Yes, that was also my impression, I was just wondering if they needed to be scaled that much down from the versions we saw in EotE and AoR.

 

Given that I had a PC wind up crippled during the last FaD game session I ran (using the scaled-down lightsaber damage), I'd say the decrease in damage output is very much needed to ensure that PCs don't constantly wind up unconscious after two hits and with a stack of critical injuries to boot.  If the one-on-one duel from that session had been using EotE/AoR ligthsabers, then the PC would quite likely been dead from the amount of critical injuries suffered, or at the very least have been pushed well past his wound threshold.

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I would almost prefer that lightsabers were further toned down and had less mods. This would de-emphasize lightsabers and hopefully encourage players to continue to use the other weapons in the game. I would never wish to see a more powerful lightsaber, since it only attracts more attention to them.

 

As for them being to expensive and rare compared to other items, my response is simply yes. While a missile tube is a far better and way more dangerous weapon, if you walked into a room and saw a soldier carrying a missile tube and a robed man ignite a lightsaber, who do you think you'd be more interested in taking out first? Not only is the lightsaber worth a fortune on the black market, but the user probably has a massive bounty on his head. The guy with the missile tube... maybe? He's merely a serious threat to you. But on a metagame level, the high cost devalues the item, making it more worthwhile to look at the vibro axes and heavy blasters, which really aren't that different and are far less likely to get you immediately arrested or shot.

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I think a hit from a LS should change a duel pretty much entirely. I just think it should be harder to hit with them. Getting hit by a saber 2, 3, 4 times is silly and you don't ever see that.

 

I'd rather see:

 

1. Higher base vicious rating for all crystals by 2 or 3.

 

2. A special crit chart for sabers with an emphasis on losing limbs, saber locks, etc. Maybe with 25-pt talents or signature abilities that can be applied to unlock higher results on the special crit chart (severing strike, a lock that gives you a bonus Force Power use or bonus melee strike, etc.).

 

3. More powerful talents for blocking saber hits. So fewer hits but the ones that land get your attention.

 

4. No Parry autohits.

 

5. Hilts with qualities and that can have attachments and mods that apply with any crystal. Crystals that have a few qualities (most of which are in common) but are not moddable attachments. (Modding a crystal seems odd. Seems like you mod the hilt.)

 

6. Modding based on LS skill. Only getting the lower mod difficulty benefit on a LS you built.

 

7. Harder to find the parts for a LS hilt. Harder to increase LS skill or talents without a mentor or holocron.

 

In my game I'm seeing bowcasters that autofire on 1 advantage, vibroaxes that crit on 1 advantage, all with pierce and/or vicious used by players rolling YYYY+ attacks. Pretty nasty stuff. I'd like to see sabers put some fear into these guys.

 

I'd also think a more powerful LS would limit players just going to Force Powers. I've done some things in this regard:

 

-Upgrading opposed Force checks against characters with higher Force Rating.

-Can't use Supreme Parry/Reflect if you make a combat check or if you make a Force Power check previous turn.

 

I'm a grouchy traditionalist. All these Force Users in Mando armor with disruptors, jet packs, and vibroswords make me cringe--highway to the Dark Side if you ask me. Plenty of room for that without changing the fundamentals of how a LS works.

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I agree with your sentiments but I would prefer far less rules.  Yes, successful strikes with lightsabers are indeed deadly, however, so are those which are done with blasters as we've seen in the films.

 

Right you are. But I think armor can help against blasters and is modeled with (most) blasters not having breach and soak applying to those hits. But FWIW I think the soak model for Reflect is a bit off too, preferring a more digital proposition.

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I think lightsabers are fine now. It takes some time and resources to get the damage output up. Which I think is good because when the damage output id up the character will also have more XP and be likely facing tougher foes. 

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I like the way they are now purely from a balance perspective. Sure, in the movies we see relatively invincible Jedi wielding their one-shot sticks, but I don't think that would make for a very fun game. For the same reason I like that Jedi defenses are far tuned down compared to the movies (and, for that matter, Saga edition), I like that the lightsaber itself starts at a lower damage value then rises over time to face more powerful opponents. There are a ton of abstractions and balance changes that result in the game system having Jedi that aren't quite  as good as you'd think after watching the movies. I don't think that design philosophy needs to change. Attempting to perfectly replicate the movies in an RPG system is the path to the dark side.

Edited by Alatar1313

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Also if you want your players to feel invicible for a while give them some minions when they can comfortably face rivals, it will feel very much like the movies without unbalancing things.

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Also if you want your players to feel invicible for a while give them some minions when they can comfortably face rivals, it will feel very much like the movies without unbalancing things.

Yeah, a lightsaber, particularly one that's been substantially modified, is going to chew through minions like a hot knife through butter.

 

Even with just the basic lightsaber, having 2 ranks in Lightsaber and a 3 in the governing Characteristic is good enough to cut down at least two minions per swing on average (1 from damage, 1 from triggering a critical injury).  Modify the crystal to lower the crit rating down to 1 as your initial modification to the focusing crystal, and it's even more likely.

 

An unmodified Krayt Dragon Pearl pretty much assures the PC is going to be death incarnate for minion groups, since the damage and crit rating of 1 all but guarantees at least three defeated minions per swing (2 from damage, 1 from critical).  Modify it to get all those ranks of Vicious, and even if you don't defeat that Rival or Nemesis in one swing, you're going to leave them very badly injured as a result of the attack.

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I have to confess that I have to further test the beta in order to agree more or disagree more whith you. Although everybody seems to agree on how Lighsabers haven been stated.

 

In any case, if at the end I don't like it, it something easily house ruled without breaking the game mechanics.

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***FLAME SHIELDS UP***

 

So, lightsabers were once cheese-sticks of cool, and then they got nerfed when someone said "some of these things are things Jedi do with lightsabers, not things lightsabers do" (defense and deflect, back in EoTE beta), and so they got nerfed. Rather quickly, I looked at that and said "tis okay, Jedi will get the cool talents to get those back, and they SHOULD have to work for it." Now, we finally get to the book with Jedi, and lightsabers with skill, plus the ability to more easily GET one, maybe even if only by making one, and they got nerfed, again? That sort of makes me sad, being one of those fans who WANTED them to be a weapon apart from the rest, THE weapon that sort of makes it Star Wars...

 

Okay, I'm hopefully done whining now. Maybe the skill access, plus some of the powers a character can get could make them too BA, I don't know; my copy of the F&D beta book has yet to arrive. I've never been so fond of customizing lightsabers, since they already seem hyper-specialized (where are all these extra parts, and in a galaxy where owning a lightsaber is a death sentence?), and Jedi aren't supposed to focus on them as a weapon, but more a deterrent to violence, and a last resort if that violence can't be avoided (ergo, I guess I CAN tolerate their diminishing returns for balance), but if it can be done, that might be cool. How does a "base" lightsaber stack up to the other systems now? Is it going to feel more like a training saber in the hands of a child, or is it still a weapon to give foes in the know pause? Maybe it'll all make more of an impact when the physical book arrives, and I can read where they are going.

 

I'm imagining General Grievous with his panoply of sabers, and wondering if, without Force powers, if he'd still be so terrifying with his selected weapon, if they are weaker (we all know that, Episode III aside, he was an unholy cheese wheel with his numerous sabers-form).

 

Okay, now I am done whining ;) Do I have much to worry about? Are they still going to be the weapon I love Star Wars for, even if understandably staged back? What I'm reading above does seem promising.

Edited by venkelos

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Okay, now I am done whining ;) Do I have much to worry about? Are they still going to be the weapon I love Star Wars for, even if understandably staged back? What I'm reading above does seem promising.

The early lightsabers we saw in EotE and AoR are now pinnacle versions of the lightsabers. You can build up to that pinnacle if you so choose, but they are not inherently like those early ones. So you can eventually have your +5 vorpal sword, but not right of the bat.

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