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whafrog

It ain't "Knight level"

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This is just a request to FFG to change the name of that extra XP mechanic.  You can't get a Jedi Knight out of that level of XP, and it quickly becomes apparent.  It's like seeing something that looks good to eat and realizing it tastes like chalk.  It's just bad marketing :)

 

Of course, they can't call it Experience Youngling either...which is what it really is.  So maybe just call it "Advanced Level" play, and leave it there.  That way nobody is even briefly fooled.

 

Along those lines, I had a thought triggered by a PM I got, and that was that an F&D Universal spec could solve the "knight level" issue.  Assuming somebody wanted to play a TOR or TCW campaign, a Padawan recruit tree would help get a character much closer to "as seen on TV".  The tree would include talents like Grit, Uncanny Senses and Reactions, Well Rounded, Nobody's Fool, Knowledge Specialization, a Parry and a Reflect, and two FR Talents at the expense of Dedication.

 

Then, rather than offering a set level of XP, just grant the entire tree and start chargen from there.  (Obviously, mundane characters in a mixed group would get the XP equivalent, or, say, the AoR Recruit tree.)

 

Thoughts?

 

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Padawan level would be good, and it makes it clear that starting charcters aren't even close to being padawans in capabilites.

 

I'd add the real Knight level at 300 xp to play in different eras or to replicate  Obi-Wan in TPM or Kanan's in Rebels.

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I totally agree. Calling it Knight level is misleading. When it comes down to it, it's only 5-6 sessions worth of XP and that doesn't (and probably shouldn't) be enough to bring you up to anything that could be considered a Jedi Knight. I'm not saying a "Knight" should have all of the talents and powers filled in; Knights should have a long way to go to reach Master level. However, the level of proficiency you can reach with 150 XP just isn't cutting it to call yourself a Knight.

 

Rename to Padawan level since that better reflects what's going on. Really, starting characters should be called "initiate" play or something like that. Padawan should have basic lightsabers instead of training lightsabers and should have a decent level of a few force powers. 

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I don't really think it would be boring. There is still a *ton* of room to expand beyond the first talent tree (whether it's a career tree or a new universal tree). I think it would be boring if we started a group with 1000xp and they had essentially everything they wanted from 5 different talent trees. They would *still* have a ton of room for expansion even then but they would be masters of their chosen capabilities. 

 

I'll say I don't really feel it's necessary to include a 300xp option in the book though. They could do it but I don't think it's a necessary addition. The GM can decide that the PCs should start at a level better able to emulate the movie characters and give them enough XP to make that happen without the book stepping in with new options and giving them additional, possibly misleading titles like "Master" play or something.

 

I just feel the "Knight" level play barely qualifies as "Padawan" level play considering the source material and should be renamed to reflect that and manage expectations.

Edited by Alatar1313

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Agreed that +150XP should be called something else.

 

A +300XP option is not needed in the CRB, nor is any Universal spec which captures the temple-trained padawan.  If at all, those things should be reserved for splatbooks clearly for different settings, like TOR or EP VII - IX.

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However, the OP idea of giving all starting characters the same, completely filled-out talent tree would IMO make for a very boring party of Force users.

 

I don't understand how it's more boring than what every character already starts with.  They still get to pick their skills per their starting career, apply Well Rounded to any skills, spend initial XP on whatever they want, and develop their career tree as they please.

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Might make for a better supporting article in some other book or kit or something.

 

While I don't wholly dissagree, just adding an extra 200 xp on to the existing knight level to start does cause problems in that you tend to end up with not very well rounded characters. 

 

You want to do a more... cinematic knight level play level you'll need a bit more then just "you get a pile o xp" and more something like high level character generation rules that put caps on how much xp you can spend where and on what (not to mention a second set for mundanes)

 

 

Part of the problem in my view is just how the films translate to the point buy system and force point system. FR 2, a good spread of powers with a couple upgrade, and a rank or two in reflect will pretty much do it, as long as the player isn't expecting to succeed at everything and never take a conflict point.. The problem is a lot of people will want exactly that....

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I still think the best place for the expanded XP rules is in the GM Screen. Instead of a small 2" sidebar you get 2-3 pages and it will make a big difference.  It isn't just the XP, but the gear and equipment, the more that can be explained in a helpful manner for GM and Players will make the experience just that much more enjoyable.

 

Another alternative is to add 150xp play a game or two, add 150xp and play some more. Keep doing this until you are happy with the balance of things. I also think each subsequent blob of 150xp could be handed out with 5k in credits, and as the group will have had a few sessions of play they could pool this money and enhance their ship or group gear.

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Agreed, whafrog.  Although it's just semantics, obviously.   The whole problem with F&D is that too many people buy in to the modern EU concept of Jedi being Asgardian-God Anime Superheroes and they want to be godly right out of the gate. People don't seem to have these unrealistic expectations of smugglers or fighter pilots.

 

'Starting at higher level for an Epic style game' is a concept as old as role-playing, they just shot themselves in the foot by calling it 'Knight Level'.  

 

I wouldn't say no to a Universal spec myself, something like a Padawan tree that gives basic skills like Discipline, Lightsaber and maybe a FD upgrade for all those people who want to get 2 FD quickly.

Edited by Maelora

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Until I can actually play or run this I still don't understand why they don't make Force Rating a characteristic so once they select one of the Force Sensitive Universal Specialties or one of the Force & Destiny careers they can spend 20 of their starting experience to start off with an FR of 2 or Padawan status and another 30 to start off as FR 3 or Jedi Knight status remembering they need to spend starting experience on Force Powers to start off with any!

As I said I've yet to run F&D let alone play so I figure at some point I will figure out what I'm not understanding but I do agree about the need for a "Padawan" Universal specialty like the one provided for Age of Rebellion, any suggestions on what to call Knight level?

Edited by copperbell

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So much anxiety about the character you dreamed up being "good enough for knight level!"

 

At least that's what I think it is. How do you know that the title knight isn't regularly conveyed on people with the skill level represented by the xp provided by "knight level"?

 

Knight level is still the beginning of a campaign. You still need room to grow. I can create a reasonably competent Force user with a couple of basic Force powers, a lightsaber form as a secondary spec, and a couple of basic talents. I just need to avoid crippling overspecialization.

 

Do knights need a Force rating of 2 to represent what knights do in the prequels? I don't think so. First of all, we hardly see any knights, we see masters (on the Jedi council even) and a handful of truly exceptional padawans. And all of them are beaten in the end. So bury your dreams of the invincible superhero you wanted to build and embrace your deficiencies.

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So much anxiety about the character you dreamed up being "good enough for knight level!"

 

At least that's what I think it is. How do you know that the title knight isn't regularly conveyed on people with the skill level represented by the xp provided by "knight level"?

 

Knight level is still the beginning of a campaign. You still need room to grow. I can create a reasonably competent Force user with a couple of basic Force powers, a lightsaber form as a secondary spec, and a couple of basic talents. I just need to avoid crippling overspecialization.

 

Do knights need a Force rating of 2 to represent what knights do in the prequels? I don't think so. First of all, we hardly see any knights, we see masters (on the Jedi council even) and a handful of truly exceptional padawans. And all of them are beaten in the end. So bury your dreams of the invincible superhero you wanted to build and embrace your deficiencies.

 

Since I just made a post exactly to this point over on the other thread currently discussing this same issue, I'll just copy/paste: 

 

Personally, I don't give a flying...force power...what they call it. ;) When I play an RPG, I want it to be relatively balanced even if the labels don't perfectly match what we see on-screen. So far, I think they're doing a pretty decent job (especially compared to Saga edition where I would usually make a nigh-invulnerable Jedi that forced everyone to attack it instead of the other PCs). 
 
I just don't want people to make up a character thinking they're going to feel like a movie-level Jedi Knight because it says Knight level play then think the system sucks as a whole because of that first impression. Sure, we could all just say those people are stupid, but on the other hand they could just change the label.

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It is a matter of expectation and perception. People have different ideas of what constitutes a jedi for them. That's why a sidebar suggesting different levels of additional xp would probably be better. That way you can decide if you want to leave things as they are or hand out enough xp to start play as Erik Starkiller the UberJedi or anywhere in between.

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I wouldn't say no to a Universal spec myself, something like a Padawan tree that gives basic skills like Discipline, Lightsaber and maybe a FD upgrade for all those people who want to get 2 FD quickly.

Yeah, I've been looking at the Jedi Initiate spec I created for my Ways of the Force document and thinking about how to re-organize it based upon the new material Force and Destiny created.

 

I'm currently thinking of sticking with the spec providing Force Rating 1 and no bonus career skills, but with the Jedi Training talent in the first row to add Discipline and Lightsaber as career skills.  Would still have a Force Rating and Dedication talents on Row 5, and probably a rank of Parry and Reflect (maybe two).  I'd still recommend that availability to the universal spec be as rare as hen's teeth if playing in the Dark Times or Rebellion Eras, unless the party as a mentor that's been described as being a former Jedi or they happen to find a former Jedi that's willing to train them (as Kanan is doing for Ezra).

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One possible issue with having the "start with oodles and oodles of extra XP" option is that you're likely to have players that routinely forget about various abilities they've purchased simply because they started with a whole stack of talents and/or Force powers as opposed to earning them.

 

It's much like a high-level (10th+) D&D game (any edition really), with the party spellcasters frequently having to check what their various low-level spells do while the muggles try to keep their various class abilities (or feat chains for 3e Fighters) straight.  You're going to have more instances of players forgetting they could do Cool Talent X or stalling an encounter as the look up what Nifty-Sounding Talent Y does for you.

 

Perhaps in regards to "Knight-level" being the name for advanced characters, we need to follow Yoda's advice and "unlearn what we have learned" in regards to what a "knight" is in Star Wars.  Namely, that instead of a predefined notion of power and competency, "knight" is just simply a PC who's a couple degrees better than a typical starting PC.

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I can second that, Donovan. That was the basis of our AOR campaign, as it was meant to represent the best heroes of the Alliance rather than raw recruits.  It took a while for the players to know all the things their characters could do - the characters were veterans but the players were new to their abilities. The EoE group, who had 'built up' their characters from a lower level, didn't have that problem.

 

And I know I tend to go on about the recent SW stuff compared to the movies, but I really think the last 20 years of the EU - the prequels, CW and Eff-You, have fundamentally changed what the Jedi are. Instead of the vague mystic stuff we see in the originals, they've become all-powerful Mary Sues with anime levels of competency and Harry Potter levels of magic. No wonder new players expect to be chucking around Star Destroyers or cutting through armies of goons without breaking a sweat, because that's the overpowered crap that's pushed down their throats these days.

 

In the films, Luke had plenty of flaws, even the Jabba sequence didn't go as planned. The heroes back then were flawed, they screwed up sometimes and had to run, got shot or injured, got captured, etc. F&D actually does a pretty good job of making those kind of characters.

 

Unfortunately, it doesn't reflect what came afterwards, unless you have a few thousand XP to spare.  If you do, you can actually achieve pretty potent levels of power - hurling around multiple ATATs or sucking the life from your foes to resurrect a fallen friend isn't a power to be sneezed at.  You just can't do it right out of the gate. And you can't do it with 150 XP either.

Edited by Maelora

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Perhaps in regards to "Knight-level" being the name for advanced characters, we need to follow Yoda's advice and "unlearn what we have learned" in regards to what a "knight" is in Star Wars.  Namely, that instead of a predefined notion of power and competency, "knight" is just simply a PC who's a couple degrees better than a typical starting PC.

 

I always took "Knight level" to mean "just barely a Knight," and if people want to have multiple Force powers and lightsaber tricks, that's where they have to spend that 150 XP. You can't use that much XP to both become an awesome Force user and a balanced character; it's one or the other.

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Do knights need a Force rating of 2 to represent what knights do in the prequels?

 

Yes, more like 3 or 4.  People seem to be forgetting the Committing abilities, and these to me are the most central of Jedi capabilities.  Between Enhance, Seek, and Sense there are 5 potential, and completely flavourful, more subtle, mystical type powers that fully express the "leg up" that the Force grants a practitioner.  And in game terms, relatively subtle...an upgrade in several key areas.

 

(In a way I wish these Committing abilities had taken more of a centre stage in the rules.  Not easier to get or more potent, but more important to the game play, and maybe upgradable with their own extra branches.)

 

Anyway, a Knight is going to be able to Commit at least a couple of these in a crisis, while reserving one or two dice for other talents or active Force use, like leaping away and bugging out...

 

And all of them are beaten in the end. So bury your dreams of the invincible superhero you wanted to build and embrace your deficiencies.

 

Classic straw man...reframe the issue so you can knock it down.  I have no desire to create invincible superheroes, and fully desire to embrace the deficiencies.  The irony here is...check your preceding sentence:  "And all of them are beaten in the end." Hardly invincible, are they?

 

Besides, since I never get to play, and always GM this game, it's not in my interest to let the players make invincible characters.  However, it *is* in my interest to give them challenges worthy of their title, so that the players feel like "yeah, I was a Knight, and we still barely did it", and FR1 or 2 just isn't going to cut it.

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Instead of the vague mystic stuff we see in the originals, they've become all-powerful Mary Sues with anime levels of competency and Harry Potter levels of magic. No wonder new players expect to be chucking around Star Destroyers or cutting through armies of goons without breaking a sweat, because that's the overpowered crap that's pushed down their throats these days.

 

In the films, Luke had plenty of flaws, even the Jabba sequence didn't go as planned. The heroes back then were flawed, they screwed up sometimes and had to run, got shot or injured, got captured, etc. F&D actually does a pretty good job of making those kind of characters.

 

In defence of the post-OT media, I think in some ways the initial "mary sue-ishness" was intentional, and kind of the point of the story.  Not that it could all be dealt with in the movies--simply not enough story-space for everything--but it was evident that the Jedi were lost in their own abilities.  If they were so great, why was the Republic so corrupt and bloated, and why the need for a Separatist movement?  They were arrogant and out of touch, and as seriously flawed as Luke...something explored far more competently and in depth in TCW (even while keep the series marketable by being somewhat flashy).  Just the ending arcs of seasons 5 and 6 bring this home with a vengeance.  The Jedi are so lost they can't see how Ahsoka is being played; they can't pay their own workers better; they've bought into the total militarization; and their grand Master bounces confidently and arrogantly into his own lesson about his own dark side...

 

Unfortunately, it doesn't reflect what came afterwards, unless you have a few thousand XP to spare.  If you do, you can actually achieve pretty potent levels of power - hurling around multiple ATATs or sucking the life from your foes to resurrect a fallen friend isn't a power to be sneezed at.  You just can't do it right out of the gate. And you can't do it with 150 XP either.

 

 

Personally I wish those abilities were further off than they are.  I'm not after flash, I'm after competency.  In game terms, as I said in the previous post, this means being able to Commit dice to the subtle abilities of being more alert, aware, and perceptive.

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