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FFG_Sam Stewart

Beta Update 8

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Yeah, but protect can be pumped to provide a minimum of 9 damage reduction to all attacks AND force powers for an entire turn (maybe turn and a half) to up to three targets for a paltry 3 force points, needing only will power 4 and FR3.  Frighteningly, at FR4 the power will be activate-able like this about 50% of the time. good luck inquisitor at penetrating that.

 

[edit: prior to the update, the same could still be done, but it would be 5 damage prevented instead of 9 in this scenario.  that's a much more manageable amount of reduction, and with the efficiency of the strength upgrades, scales up quickly.  so I really do question the necessity of the change.]

 

I mean, it's not the end of the world, but that is a pretty solid defensive barrier to overcome.

 

I think Protect didn't need the boost to it's basic effectiveness, because soak comes into play in normal damage resolution.  Unleash also may be too strong now, but it did need some boost to overcome basic soak averages.

 

But we'll see at our semi weekly session how this really changes our FR4 protect/unleash player, and what it does to the game. I'm trying to reserve judgement before we hit the table.

Edited by Thebearisdriving

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Thing with Protect and Unleash is both of them require a Discipline check, with the successes rolled adding to the power's effectiveness.

 

So a PC with Willpower 4, Discipline 4 (not unlikely by the point that most PCs can purchase the power) using Protect/Harm is probably going to have three or four successes on their Discipline check to use Protect, allowing them to reduce the damage of an incoming Force power or energy-based attack by up to 11 to 12 points before the target's Soak Value gets applied in contrast to the 7 or 8 points of damage that would be negated prior to the Beta Update.

 

With the Unleash side of things, the same character has the same difficulty, though it's modified by the fact that said check is considered a ranged attack, and thus any traits the target has that affect ranged attacks (such as Ranged Defense or talents like Adversary and Dodge) will make the check more difficult.  I think that if the intent was to make Unleash more powerful, then have it bypass the target's Soak Value instead of ramping up the base damage value.  It works pretty well for Harm, and Unleash has the advantage of benefiting from successes on a skill check where Harm is a flat damage value that's keyed off a Characteristic (Intellect) that's not as important for Force users as Willpower is.

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Thing with Protect and Unleash is both of them require a Discipline check, with the successes rolled adding to the power's effectiveness.

 

So a PC with Willpower 4, Discipline 4 (not unlikely by the point that most PCs can purchase the power) using Protect/Harm is probably going to have three or four successes on their Discipline check to use Protect, allowing them to reduce the damage of an incoming Force power or energy-based attack by up to 11 to 12 points before the target's Soak Value gets applied in contrast to the 7 or 8 points of damage that would be negated prior to the Beta Update.

 

 

I know the base assumption that Protect is some sort of invisible barrier preventing damage, but I can visualize Protect as a whirling lightsaber deflecting all incoming blaster fire!

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I know the base assumption that Protect is some sort of invisible barrier preventing damage, but I can visualize Protect as a whirling lightsaber deflecting all incoming blaster fire!

 

vaderspitsonurblasterfire.jpg

 

The only issue with this pic is that it's up for debate if he used the Force or if he just has good cybernetics.

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Thing with Protect and Unleash is both of them require a Discipline check, with the successes rolled adding to the power's effectiveness.

 

So a PC with Willpower 4, Discipline 4 (not unlikely by the point that most PCs can purchase the power) using Protect/Harm is probably going to have three or four successes on their Discipline check to use Protect, allowing them to reduce the damage of an incoming Force power or energy-based attack by up to 11 to 12 points before the target's Soak Value gets applied in contrast to the 7 or 8 points of damage that would be negated prior to the Beta Update.

 

 

I know the base assumption that Protect is some sort of invisible barrier preventing damage, but I can visualize Protect as a whirling lightsaber deflecting all incoming blaster fire!

 

How the power is visualized isn't really relevant if the mechanics of said power make it too good, which is something I'm concerned about Protect/Unleash currently being.

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I like Protect's current incarnation. Makes it more usable.

 

When a character actually gets to a Force Rating 3, they are either A) a glass cannon because they've dumped everything into getting FR 3, or B) an advanced character with advanced enemies who deal lots of damage. So either way, some healthy damage reduction seems like a decent trade for an action (or a Destiny Point once per session).

 

And this power is frakking expensive, so IMO it's much more worth the XP now especially the Mastery upgrade. Before this update, the "damage reflection" bit of the Mastery upgrade was done on a wing and a prayer...needing a minimum of 4 FPs to reflect a relatively low amount of damage. Now it's a respectable amount of damage that can be protected against and reflected, more worthy of the 85 XP minimum it takes to get to the mastery level, to say nothing of the investments the character is making in his Discipline skill and Willpower characteristic.

 

And now HK-47 can be better heard, saying, "If I see one more idiot attacking a Jedi with a blaster pistol, then I'll kill them myself."

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I like the changes to move and unleash, I absolutely love the changes to battle meditation. 

 

In relation to protect, I'm not a fan of the powers current implementation, really, so I'm ambivalent about the changes.  Spending an action is a big deal when combats, at least at our table, rarely last for more than four or five rounds.  I much preferred negate energy, as an example, which was used as a reaction.  I wish it worked more like Parry or Reflect.

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I like the changes to move and unleash, I absolutely love the changes to battle meditation. 

 

In relation to protect, I'm not a fan of the powers current implementation, really, so I'm ambivalent about the changes.  Spending an action is a big deal when combats, at least at our table, rarely last for more than four or five rounds.  I much preferred negate energy, as an example, which was used as a reaction.  I wish it worked more like Parry or Reflect.

 

Our homebrew power (used prior to F&D) was an incidental.  We designed it to play pretty quickly, and it did it's job very similarly to parry and reflect.  

 

That being said, activating a force power with every attack that you intended to affect did slow down play a touch, and I see the reasons for the design.  Maybe it would be better served as spend two maneuvers... certainly would change the nature of the power's use.  The power as it stands now presents a clear and powerful choice. 

 

I dunno.  Sounds like any change to the current power of the action economy type would require some serious play testing, which at this point may just not be feasible.

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Regarding an earlier question about saying no multiple activations with exceptions rather than multiple activations with exceptions, from a policy and rules development standpoint, it is a far better practice to create exceptions that non-exceptions (if that makes sense).

Let's look at Sense. It's common sense that you could not activate the base power of the emotion sensing upgrade multiple times, since you gain nothing extra from doing so. However, providing clarification here that these cannot be activated multiple times in contrast to normally being able to is good policy development since it adds clarity and ensures that you don't have strange cases emerging. On the flip side, stating that you normally can't activate multiple times but then creating an exception in, say, Move is poor policy development, since this could be overlooked in development or by players and can create odd situations like double negatives or be straight up misused.

Another way to think about this is in branching conditions or variable declaration when programming. You should declare things like else conditions, even if they cannot logically occur, or zero out your variables before use, just in case something happens. Creating exceptions to multiple activations is essentially the same here, since in many cases, in the event that the exception was overlooked or lost on editing, the intention is still there. But this simply cannot happen if you reverse it.

Edited by ScooterinAB

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I like it the way it is now with the updated sidebar saying that the default is that you can activate things multiple times. The ones that really need the exceptions for the most part are the ones for which it doesn't make sense to be able to activate multiple times. The default should reflect that, and I feel it now does.

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I don't like the increased costs of Heal. 20 Exp for a Power that only acts like a stimpack without upgrades? Not worth the exp, in my opinion. I found the 10 Exp more reasonable. 

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I generally try and avoid getting involved in these discussions, and won't comment further except to remind people that the "may activate multiple times unless stated otherwise" is the same rule as already exists in Age of Rebellion and Edge of the Empire. 

Thank you Sam, but if this question is coming up, and I've seen it before in the Forums for the Move power, it probably needs some additional clarification in the RAW just to be safe. Maybe a sidebar with an example of a Force User using the Move ability to move very large objects.

 

In fact sidebar example of how a lot of the powers should work would be really nice, space permitting of course.

 

I have to say a sidebar would be very good there OR a better wording. At least for non native english speakers the updates are quite hard to understand correctly. As example the strength upgrades for the move powers it was quite hard for me to get it how it was meant as it read to me "you need only have strength 1 and can use that again and again and again" and that felt wrong until I  read it in this thread HOW to interpret the wordings.

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I don't like the increased costs of Heal. 20 Exp for a Power that only acts like a stimpack without upgrades? Not worth the exp, in my opinion. I found the 10 Exp more reasonable. 

I think a big part of the reason for the XP hike was that Heal also comes with Harm, which has been noted to be a fairly potent damage dealing effect, particularly when combined with the Control Upgrade to add the user's ranks in Medicine to the amount of damage dealt.  While there are certainly PCs that won't think to use the Harm aspect of the power, it can't be discounted that there are PCs that won't share that hesitation and will be willing to accept a few points of Conflict to dish out damage to an enemy, particularly since said damage bypasses the target's Soak Value.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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Agree with the price increase on Heal/Harm. With the Mentor, the cost was trivial and a no-brainer to take given that it directly affects wounds in either direction.

 

Kinda surprised they didn't make FR 2+ a requirement, given that it seems to be a somewhat rarely used talent in the fiction (esp. given how useful it could be in some of those situations), but I guess they wanted to make "healers" viable from the start.

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I generally try and avoid getting involved in these discussions, and won't comment further except to remind people that the "may activate multiple times unless stated otherwise" is the same rule as already exists in Age of Rebellion and Edge of the Empire. 

But it's not.....the full description of each upgrade always states "May activate this multiple times...." if it is able to do so...why are we adding "May only be activated once..." to the descriptions now? The implication has always been that it was a one time activation per force power action if it does not state otherwise. 

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I generally try and avoid getting involved in these discussions, and won't comment further except to remind people that the "may activate multiple times unless stated otherwise" is the same rule as already exists in Age of Rebellion and Edge of the Empire. 

But it's not.....the full description of each upgrade always states "May activate this multiple times...." if it is able to do so...why are we adding "May only be activated once..." to the descriptions now? The implication has always been that it was a one time activation per force power action if it does not state otherwise. 

 

I actually asked this of Sam several months ago, in regards to a very easily missed line in both EotE and AoR that says the "unless the power/upgrade says otherwise, it can be activated multiple times," with the question mostly being centered on Move's Strength Upgrades and triggering Influence's basic power multiple times.

 

As I said, that sentence can be very easy to overlook, leading to most folks to go with the assumption that the default is "you can only activate an effect once unless it says otherwise."  Having the bulk of the upgrades that can be triggered multiple times include a sentence that says exactly that doesn't help.

 

Again, I posit that it would be less work in updating the rules text to simply keep the F&D sidebar as is, and adding the "may activate multiple times" text to where it's needed, those being the Strength Upgrade for Move and the basic power for Enhance.  It still has the same net effect, as those powers/upgrades that are "can only activate once" remain that way, and the exceptions will have the appropriate sentence that says they are exceptions.

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I don't think it matters what the default is so long as all of the individual entries state whether you can use it multiple times or not, at least for this book. I do, however, like that the default is that you can spend multiple times for future material because I think they should err on the side of being able to spend more Force points and do more cool stuff. Then they only need to cut it back to once-per-activation where it either doesn't make sense for what you're doing or would be too overpowered to allow.

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Regarding the wording of "can be activated multiple times" vs "can only be activated once," Itd be less work and less confusion in the long run to keep this latest Beta change permanent.

1) it preserves the same rules wording across the game lines (AoR and EotE), so that the whole "seamlessly integrating" is actually true.

2) more importantly, with the current errata'd wording there are only 19 exceptions to the "can be activated multiple times" rules (18 in the errata document, 1 in the orignal beta under the Enhance Range upgrade). But in the orignal beta there are no less than 33 exceptions to the "can only be activated once" rule. So...I'd rather have a ruleset with 19 exceptions than one with 33 exceptions.

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2) more importantly, with the current errata'd wording there are only 19 exceptions to the "can be activated multiple times" rules (18 in the errata document, 1 in the orignal beta under the Enhance Range upgrade). But in the orignal beta there are no less than 33 exceptions to the "can only be activated once" rule. So...I'd rather have a ruleset with 19 exceptions than one with 33 exceptions.

Bingo. Or radically increasing the word count by stipulating in each and every effect and upgrade whether it can be activated once or multiple times. A blanket solution with fewer exceptions is the best, clearest, and least error prone solution.

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