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Jedi Initiate Universal Specialization -- Full Design Write-up Inside

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While the tree may be "too good", I think it's indicative of a larger problem with how force users are built currently. It's like a quick fix, but not exactly what's really needed.

It's not even about making hard choices. Hard choices I can understand. It's about the difficulty in making certain character concepts a reality. An anxiety I (and my players) don't have with all other careers/specializations.

Edited by DeepEyes357

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I'd understand if someone argued "the talents are too cheap", or "the path is too direct", but I confess I'm baffled by the logic of "the talents are too good". Flip that around, and you're saying that a well-designed talent tree has to have some crap in it nobody wants. I don't see any other trees built like that, if I was playing one of the other careers I'd want almost everything on offer.

I could easily see a case made for setting it up, say, like the Slicer tree, where maybe you have to dig through some things you might not want right away in order to get access to the rest. I could be easily convinced on that. If that's what you mean, then feedback on how best to do that would be useful.

When every talent is pretty much a yup I want that no matter the concept it is too good. When you look at most trees you will have a bunch of stuff that you will say no does not fit the concept I am making so you skip them. Likely only looking at about half the tree as stuff you want. This tree is pretty much universally good stuff cherry picked from a bunch of places and made into a one stop shopping experience. In many ways as a PC you would be better off spending the 20 XP to get this tree and buy it up first before your career spec. Edited by Daeglan

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While the tree may be "too good", I think it's indicative of a larger problem with how force users are built currently. It's like a quick fix, but not exactly what's really needed.

It's not even about making hard choices. Hard choices I can understand. It's about the difficulty in making certain character concepts a reality. An anxiety I (and my players) don't have with all other careers/specializations.

Sounds like you want to get there immediately instead of the journey. I have not found a concept I can't do. It just takes a lot of XP to get there.

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Yeah, even if one has zero interest in the lightsaber-related talents, the rest of the talents are almost too good to pass up.

 

Certainly possible.  What would you do to fix it?

 

Scrap the entire thing and chock the whole thing up as "okay idea in theory, absolute rubbish when implemented."

 

As others have pointed it, the spec is simply a cheap one-stop shopping experience for all sorts of good talents, particularly if it's for a Force and Destiny character as the requirement of Force Rating 1 isn't a hurdle. 

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While the tree may be "too good", I think it's indicative of a larger problem with how force users are built currently. It's like a quick fix, but not exactly what's really needed.
It's not even about making hard choices. Hard choices I can understand. It's about the difficulty in making certain character concepts a reality. An anxiety I (and my players) don't have with all other careers/specializations.


Sounds like you want to get there immediately instead of the journey. I have not found a concept I can't do. It just takes a lot of XP to get there.

 

 

That's not it at all. I can understand and appreciate that a decent amount of XP is required in order to actualize a force user concept--like a Jedi to bring them to a proficient degree. I even enjoy the idea of starting out as a novice and working my way to becoming a "full fledged Jedi" like Luke in the OT. The problem becomes when I have to start going through mental gymnastics at the start of character creation in order to even start the journey, and to get to where I want to be. I have to take a circuitous route through all the specializations, have to drop an inordinate amount of XP, and sacrifice a lot just to make a fully realized Jedi/Force User/Sith/Whatever. I have almost no issues designing any other non-force user concept. 

 

I've been play testing with my group for a few months now. I've been running a bunch of random scenarios to try out the system, and doing a few one shots in order for them to get used to as many aspects as we can, and test out the beta. I plan on running a full fledged campaign once this beta is over. It's an Imperial themed game using the Duty Mechanic from AoR. 

 

In my little off-shoot story line, my players will be working under the supervision of an Inquisitor in a division for the ISB. One of my players wanted to play a force sensitive who eventually trains under this Inquisitor. He'll be started with FSE, and we've discussed the overall plan for the character and how he'll ideally end up looking--ability wise, that is. It became clear that I'll have to deal with a lot of illogical choices just to make the Inquisitor viable and in-line with what we know lore wise. 

 

The Inquisitor is supposed to be a former Jedi Padawan pretty much on the cusp of attaining Knight hood by the time Order 66 happens. Similar to Kanan Jarrus from the new Rebels show. He ultimately survives the Purge by basically betraying his companions, other Jedi, and currying favor with the Empire. He "completes", or rather 'auguments", his training under the Inquisitorius. It becomes a point of conflict and emotional tension for him. I tried stating out exactly what he would look like as an PC and it just wasn't making sense to me. 

 

I wanted him to be adept in Shii-Cho, much like Kit Fisto, and eventually compliment with Aggressor to demonstrate his training as an Inquisitor. Well...he won't be able to do the basic stuff we see Jedi do; mainly, reflect and improved reflect, so that sort of made that idea obsolete. In order for him to do all that, I would need to take Shien or Soresu instead, since those are really the only two trees that have what I need. Oh and Shii-Cho's whole design concept in Legends was the fact that it was created to deal with energy based weapons and transition from traditional swords. But that's besides the point. 

 

So what fit at this point was taking Shien, just so I can get him to do what pretty much all Jedi can do. I now have to waste additional XP just to get Warrior, and I'm saddled with skills--few that you get to begin with--at creation. I could just take Warrior first, but then I still have to waste the xp to get Shien.

 

You talk about "hard choices". These are not "hard choices" I have to deal with at creation. These are fundamental conceptual issues I have to deal with right at inception. I don't have this issue with almost every other non-force user spec. If I want to make Han Solo, I take Smuggler Scoundrel. Take the obligation hit at creation, be a human, and you're pretty much right there in emulating almost everything he does in ANH. If I want to make Leia, I take Diplomat Ambassador. For Bobba Fett, I can take Bounty Hunter Assassin or even Gadgeteer. If I want to make a runaway dance/sex slave to a crime lord with a penchant for sword play, I can take performer (which btw is a very good tree). Give them Knight Level XP and you're pretty much good to go. 

 

 

All this talk of "too good to pass up" and tut tutting as if only a few are truly capable of grasping this system. What about the straight run on Assassin Tree from Dodge to Master of Shadows? As if that's not some "no brainer" spec. What about the straight run to dedication next to it? What about Soundrel's Rapid Reaction to Quick Strike? Black Market Contacts to Dedication? Ambassador's Confidence to Sixth Sense? We can go on for a lot of specs, but this idea of a "too good to pass up" spec is absurd. Is Smog's proposed specialization the right answer? Most likely not. And yeah it is probably "too good", but it is an attempt to fix some of the flaws presented.  

Edited by DeepEyes357

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Erik has a lot more puppet accounts these days. "Ve vant our uberJedi! !" It is hilarious the expectation of ability some people have for Jedi.

Yep, you figured it out. Much better to be dismissive than engage in actual discourse. :rolleyes:

Edited by DeepEyes357

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Yeah, even if one has zero interest in the lightsaber-related talents, the rest of the talents are almost too good to pass up.

 

Certainly possible.  What would you do to fix it?

 

Scrap the entire thing and chock the whole thing up as "okay idea in theory, absolute rubbish when implemented."

 

That's fine, your opinion has been duly noted.  Though, of course, past failure does not mean there is no solution.

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Is Smog's proposed specialization the right answer? Most likely not. And yeah it is probably "too good", but it is an attempt to fix some of the flaws presented.  

 

So what makes it "too good"?  Is it the choice of Talents, or the structure?  I'm starting to think it's the structure, the Talents themselves aren't any more or less special than any other tree.

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Is Smog's proposed specialization the right answer? Most likely not. And yeah it is probably "too good", but it is an attempt to fix some of the flaws presented.  

 

So what makes it "too good"?  Is it the choice of Talents, or the structure?  I'm starting to think it's the structure, the Talents themselves aren't any more or less special than any other tree.

Already answered.  Cherry picking a bunch of awesome talents and putting them all in one tree so that one can buy one tree and get all the good talents is too good.  Where as normally to get all of this selection of talents you have to go across many trees. which is a design choice on FFGs part. Which you apparently don't like. 

Edited by Daeglan

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Knowledge Specialization is highly dependent on character choice - if you plan to not have any ranks in a Knowledge, or just have a rank in one or two because of free ranks during character creation - it wouldn't be much of a priority. Conditioned is also a bit more situational, but still somewhat useful in general, and Confidence, particularly with Force-Sensitives who get Conflict for failing Fear checks, is always good to have. And pretty much all the other talents are also just standard "good to haves". Just my 2 cents on that particular note.

 

For the placement of talents, I'd personally recommend swapping some of the talents around, particularly "Sense Danger" and "Touch of Fate". I definitely understand the reasoning behind how they're placed, and the kind of "penalty" by making it so it doesn't link to the rest of the tree to allow shortcuts; but as is, there's little reason for most players who would take the tree to not just beeline through the left side; particularly since, as I see it, most players would probably just fill out most of the whole tree anyways. So if one or both were mixed in with the middle/right section, it would cause some more consideration as to where to start and what to work through first, because again, most of the talents are just good to have, so it's not like the left side would suddenly become lacking with one of the other talents.

Thank you for actual constructive feedback and recommendations, Lathrop. I'll start moving things around and making some adjustments. And for the first part, I agree with what you said about Fear checks, so Confidence probably would be more useful than Knowledge Spec, on average. As far as Conditioned, I would say it depends on what kind of character you're playing. If you're a more Consular-type that has 1 or 2 ranks in a Knowledge and no ranks in Athletics or Coordination, I'd say that Knowledge Spec is much better.

I think part of the problem is both Toughened and Grit are on the right branch, and I'll be adjusting that as well. Thanks again.

---

 

The problem is this tree has so much good stuff that it is a no brainer to take this tree before exile or emergent. It is just too good.

Already answered.  Cherry picking a bunch of awesome talents and putting them all in one tree so that one can buy one tree and get all the good talents is too good.  Where as normally to get all of this selection of talents you have to go across many trees. which is a design choice on FFGs part. Which you apparently don't like.

Which ... are we talking about? Any one of the 11 shared by the other two Force-sensitive Universals? I'm assuming you aren't talking about Well Rounded, Knowledge Spec, Confidence, or Conditioned. So the problem is where, exactly? The initiative talent? One rank of Second Wind? Or the 20 xp parry and reflects that are 120xp away from Force Rating?

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It is a problem most armchair and homebrew game designers must contend with. It'll be fine for his or someone else's home game, but is entirely too good because of all the cherry-picked talents. He hasn't made a spec to emulate early Jedi training, he's made one that is as you say is a "no brainer". If it seems too good then it probably is. But I really expected no less, as I see it often in homebrew stuff.

So you think this spec doesn't emulate early Jedi Training? What part of Jedi training does it not reflect? It has Sensing and Control training, physical conditioning, mental and psychological preparation, and basic lightsaber training. So, please, tell me what aspects I am missing.

Also, please see the above quoted response to Daeglan and feel free to answer that question as well.

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Erik has a lot more puppet accounts these days. "Ve vant our uberJedi! !" It is hilarious the expectation of ability some people have for Jedi.

I'll be honest and say I find it equally amusing that some Star Wars fans have seeming disdain for Force Users and especially Jedi -- the very things that set this universe apart from other sci-fi or space-fantasy settings.

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When every talent is pretty much a yup I want that no matter the concept it is too good. When you look at most trees you will have a bunch of stuff that you will say no does not fit the concept I am making so you skip them. Likely only looking at about half the tree as stuff you want. This tree is pretty much universally good stuff cherry picked from a bunch of places and made into a one stop shopping experience. In many ways as a PC you would be better off spending the 20 XP to get this tree and buy it up first before your career spec.

I think this is highly dependent on what tree you're looking at, because there are definitely trees out there where nearly any character that would take the spec, would take 80+% of the talents on it. I do not think every single charater that fits this concept and takes this tree would take every talent on it. Knowledge Spec is entirely skippable as is Uncanny and Rapid Reactions if you have no ranks in Vigilance or you aren't at all spec'd to favor initiative. If you aren't a physical character, it's unlikely you're going to take Conditioned. And the only time you're going to buy improved reflect from this tree is if you aren't Shien or Soresu (Shien because it's cheaper, and Soresu because you're going to want to fill out that tree for Lightsaber combat purposes).

As I said earlier to Donovan, the 20xp Parry and Reflect are over the average cost of those talents that are found elsewhere, so it's not a very economical purchase unless a) you've already filled out your actual Lightsaber tree and b) you don't plan on buying another one

I agree with you to a degree, most of this tree would be filled out by people who fit the concept. For my own character, I would only skip 4 of the talents, meaning I filled out 80% of the tree. But I've definitely had EotE characters that have filled out 80% of their trees as well, so I'm not sure I see the problem.

---

 

 

It's the Skill Focus: Use the Force feat in unispec form.

I'd call that a pretty accurate analogy.

 

As others have pointed it, the spec is simply a cheap one-stop shopping experience for all sorts of good talents, particularly if it's for a Force and Destiny character as the requirement of Force Rating 1 isn't a hurdle.

Donovan, I'm curious how you define this cheap one-stop shopping experience specs and when your opinion on them changed? I ask, because my initial reason for building this tree was to update your Jedi Initiate with the new talents presented in F&D and to tone down the power a bit. If we look at your old Jedi Initiate from Ways of the Force v1.4, we see an equivalent spec that is full of talents that wouldn't be passed up by anyone, to an even greater degree than the Jedi Initiate from this thread.

We have: a whopping 2 ranged and melee defense when wielding a lightsaber, and only at 15xp each, a talent that gives lightsaber auto-fire, a talent that allows the sundering of an item even on a miss, Force Rating, the ability to reroll a lightsaber check, Dedication, and Balance. The rest of the tree is basically composed of the Sensing talents and some physical skill talents. I could do a side-by-side comparison if necessary, but I think we both know that your own tree was even more powerful than mine.

I am not bringing this up in an act of tu quoque, honestly. I loved Ways of the Force, and used it pre-F&D, I only ask because it will provide me with some insight to your argument against my tree. My question is this: how do you view your own Jedi Initiate tree power-wise now that F&D is out? As far as I can tell, only one of two things can be the case:

1) At the time of its creation, you honestly thought it was no more powerful than specializations offered in EotE and AoR. That would mean that the specializations in F&D are underpowered by comparison, and that my version of Jedi Initiate is only overpowered within the scope of F&D, and not FFG Star Wars as a whole.

or

2) You realize in hindsight that your Jedi Initiate was overpowered and has no place alongside the currently existing specializations (which is likely why you've talked about not updating it). As a result, you see my Jedi Initiate as too close in power to your own, and likewise is too powerful to be used in FFG Star Wars.

Either answer is fine, of course. This is not an appeal to hypocrisy and I am not saying that my tree is justified in its creation because of your own. I honestly just want to get an idea of where you're coming from when you assess my tree as being too powerful and a one-stop shop. I do NOT want to turn this into a discussion about your Jedi Initiate. 

This is, of course, all working under the assumption that your own tree was incredibly powerful and that characters would be as equally likely to purchase every talent on it. If you don't agree, and think your Jedi Initiate is still balanced, I guess I'll need to be more quantitatively specific.

 

---

 

Donovan, I also dedicated an entire post on the 1st page to answering your first round of critiques and concerns, and asked some questions of my own. You certainly don't have to answer them, but I would love to get a real dialogue going with you. I think it would be much more beneficial than you quoting and responding to people who already agree with you. I would love nothing more than you to convince me specializations like the ones both you and I created are not necessary. I prefer playing games as closely to RAW as possible.

edit: these boards really do not like to use multiple quote-blocks.

Edited by Smog

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I have to ask, is there a need for this? If your goal is to play a jedi order trained character, make a knight level teenage character. If it still doesn't feel how you think the character should, rub more XP on it. Still not feeling like you think it should? Add even more XP. Still not giving you that jedi trained feel? Perhaps you need to reevaluate how you define "jedi training".

So the system doesn't give you the character you want right out the gate but it gives you the means to get it. Unlock other specializations, let your character know basic facts about the jedi order (a rare thing in th current dark times), share and uphold the ideals of the jedi. This seems like a better idea than a univursal spec.

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I have to ask, is there a need for this? If your goal is to play a jedi order trained character, make a knight level teenage character. If it still doesn't feel how you think the character should, rub more XP on it. Still not feeling like you think it should? Add even more XP. Still not giving you that jedi trained feel? Perhaps you need to reevaluate how you define "jedi training".

So the system doesn't give you the character you want right out the gate but it gives you the means to get it. Unlock other specializations, let your character know basic facts about the jedi order (a rare thing in th current dark times), share and uphold the ideals of the jedi. This seems like a better idea than a univursal spec.

 “This is completely unnecessary. You can pick up all of these talents elsewhere without needing a Universal Specialization.”

 

Well, that is true. This is an odd argument to me, though. Because with this logic, why should FFG ever create another specialization in this game? Of course you can get every talent elsewhere: that’s the game’s core design. But I would hope it is obvious that the point of specializations is to unify thematic elements for a given concept within a single tree in order to avoid the incredibly wasteful XP expenditures of purchasing multiple specializations elsewhere. This is a great design, as we’ve seen, as long as a given tree does not give absurdly more than any other tree. And as discussed above in the design document, and below in another question, I do not believe Jedi Initiate does that.

 

And the second part of your response is basically saying "just play an entirely different concept" which is completely antithetical to the purpose of this specialization and post.

 

edit: broken quote

Edited by Smog

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I have to ask, is there a need for this? If your goal is to play a jedi order trained character, make a knight level teenage character. If it still doesn't feel how you think the character should, rub more XP on it. Still not feeling like you think it should? Add even more XP. Still not giving you that jedi trained feel? Perhaps you need to reevaluate how you define "jedi training".

So the system doesn't give you the character you want right out the gate but it gives you the means to get it. Unlock other specializations, let your character know basic facts about the jedi order (a rare thing in th current dark times), share and uphold the ideals of the jedi. This seems like a better idea than a univursal spec.

 “This is completely unnecessary. You can pick up all of these talents elsewhere without needing a Universal Specialization.”

 

Well, that is true. This is an odd argument to me, though. Because with this logic, why should FFG ever create another specialization in this game? Of course you can get every talent elsewhere: that’s the game’s core design. But I would hope it is obvious that the point of specializations is to unify thematic elements for a given concept within a single tree in order to avoid the incredibly wasteful XP expenditures of purchasing multiple specializations elsewhere. This is a great design, as we’ve seen, as long as a given tree does not give absurdly more than any other tree. And as discussed above in the design document, and below in another question, I do not believe Jedi Initiate does that.

 

And the second part of your response is basically saying "just play an entirely different concept" which is completely antithetical to the purpose of this specialization and post.

 

edit: broken quote

Or maybe you are looking at your concept wrong. You are trying to cram everything about being a Jedi a single t

specialization. Which seems to be antithetical to the way FFG is doing things.

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Or maybe you are looking at your concept wrong. You are trying to cram everything about being a Jedi a single tspecialization. Which seems to be antithetical to the way FFG is doing things.

This tree does not even come close to covering "everything about being a Jedi." There is no refinement or niche in this tree whatsoever, unless you count generality as one. To truly succeed at any given role in more advanced play, a character is still going to need a career specialization from F&D.

edit: Also, on the previous page, I addressed several of your concerns, Daeglan. If you would like to respond to those as well, I'd be genuinely interested in what you think. Especially the question that I have asked you twice (once on page 1 and again on page 2).

Edited by Smog

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Let's just chalk this up to having different views on Jedi and what constitutes early Jedi Training. The system works fine as it is. I don't feel any particular need for ascribing every ability seen on screen or every book in order to appease some perception of what constitutes a Jedi. Or bundling all those abilities into one spec to do so either. It is fine if you want to do so for your game as a homebrew, but it is something that I don't feel needed in the official game. At least not in that form.

 

People were concerned about Jedi eclipsing other characters and careers. It seems, though, that this perception what it means to be be a Jedi means more XP. But people are still unsatisfied with that, so now they want to bundle all the "Jedi abilities" in one stop shopping. Force powers are fairly utilitarian already. Anything giving Force users more ability risks upending the balance and placing Jedi and Force users in the same category they have had in previous incarnations of the game, that is the one to rule them all.

 

Personally I would just create a Jedi Initiate package of abilities as a bonus to give a groups

 or individual to simulate early training, if I felt the need, and leave it at that.

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Personally I would just create a Jedi Initiate package of abilities as a bonus to give a groups

 or individual to simulate early training, if I felt the need, and leave it at that.

 

What are you thinking, like a preset of talents or powers or something?

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Personally I would just create a Jedi Initiate package of abilities as a bonus to give a groups

 or individual to simulate early training, if I felt the need, and leave it at that.

 

What are you thinking, like a preset of talents or powers or something?

Pretty much. I posted something up in whafrog's thread. Nothing too much.

Characters get a bonus rank in Lightsaber and Knowledge (Lore). Start with a rank in the Parry and Reflect talents. And start with the Sense power and a basic lightsaber. Add in "knight" level 150 xp and stir. And they can be 13-14 yrs old if you want.

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Let's just chalk this up to having different views on Jedi and what constitutes early Jedi Training. The system works fine as it is. I don't feel any particular need for ascribing every ability seen on screen or every book in order to appease some perception of what constitutes a Jedi. Or bundling all those abilities into one spec to do so either. It is fine if you want to do so for your game as a homebrew, but it is something that I don't feel needed in the official game. At least not in that form.

 

People were concerned about Jedi eclipsing other characters and careers. It seems, though, that this perception what it means to be be a Jedi means more XP. But people are still unsatisfied with that, so now they want to bundle all the "Jedi abilities" in one stop shopping. Force powers are fairly utilitarian already. Anything giving Force users more ability risks upending the balance and placing Jedi and Force users in the same category they have had in previous incarnations of the game, that is the one to rule them all.

 

Personally I would just create a Jedi Initiate package of abilities as a bonus to give a groups

 or individual to simulate early training, if I felt the need, and leave it at that.

 

My view is exactly what we see from the source material. I am not trying to emulate comics, novels, or anything else. My goal is to reproduce what we see in only the canon material, which is 6 movies, 6 seasons of TCW, and Rebels. The reason a specialization (or as you said, a career) is needed is because a player should not have to jump across several expensive specializations to achieve an entry-level concept. Someone should not need 150-200 xp to even start feeling like a Jedi. That is not reasonable. Not when a Bounty Hunter or Smuggler or Diplomat can feel like those things immediately.

 

Characters get a bonus rank in Lightsaber and Knowledge (Lore). Start with a rank in the Parry and Reflect talents. And start with the Sense power and a basic lightsaber. Add in "knight" level 150 xp and stir. And they can be 13-14 yrs old if you want.

And I'm very confused. Your solution to not making Jedi overpowered or better than others is to give them a starting set of abilities and gear that mundanes don't get?

You also still haven't answered my question regarding which talents are the ones you have a problem with. Half the tree is shared by the other Force Universals, 5 of the talents are non-combat talents.

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Personally I would just create a Jedi Initiate package of abilities as a bonus to give a groups or individual to simulate early training, if I felt the need, and leave it at that.

But this won't work with OggDude's character generator :)

In any case, I don't think this represents an entire early life of Temple training.

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So what makes it "too good"?  Is it the choice of Talents, or the structure?  I'm starting to think it's the structure, the Talents themselves aren't any more or less special than any other tree.

Already answered.  Cherry picking a bunch of awesome talents and putting them all in one tree so that one can buy one tree and get all the good talents is too good.  Where as normally to get all of this selection of talents you have to go across many trees. which is a design choice on FFGs part. Which you apparently don't like.

I don't buy this "awesome Talents" argument...not yet anyway. The left side has a couple of "once per session" Talents, which is a lot of XP for a "maybe", and they're hardly overpowered when their context comes up. Most of the rest are ranked, meaning they give minimal benefit until the player can delve more fully into another tree that has more focus. So until you provide some detailed example, it's hard to take the "it's too good" argument seriously.

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We don't need to replicate Jedi exactly as seen on screen. Not everyone is Boba Fett or Han Solo or Princess Leia out of the gate, so why do Force users need to be the Jedi we saw? I can create a "Jedi" using F&D now as Jedi is a concept not a bunch of talents and powers. Obviously opinions will vary though.

It is not certain talents that I have an issue with, but the entire spec itself as it combines many good talents all in one place. Its a Jedi munchkin's wet dream for one stop shopping. Ever think that the designers specifically spread these talents out the way they did for balance in the first place? And there is no Force user that wouldn't benefit from it no matter the concept.

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I have to ask, is there a need for this? If your goal is to play a jedi order trained character, make a knight level teenage character. If it still doesn't feel how you think the character should, rub more XP on it. Still not feeling like you think it should? Add even more XP. Still not giving you that jedi trained feel? Perhaps you need to reevaluate how you define "jedi training".

So the system doesn't give you the character you want right out the gate but it gives you the means to get it. Unlock other specializations, let your character know basic facts about the jedi order (a rare thing in th current dark times), share and uphold the ideals of the jedi. This seems like a better idea than a univursal spec.

With the release of Force and Destiny, the answer quite frankly is "No, it's not."

 

Mouthymerc and Daeglan have already hit all the relevant points on what's wrong with trying to force using a Jedi Initiate/Apprentice universal spec approach onto the system.  About the only part that Smog did get right was not allowing the spec to provide Force Rating 1 at the start.

 

Both Smog and Whafrog, based upon their posts and responses, are far more interested in creating a "power gamer" spec that would make longtime (and greatly departed) forum troll ErikB/Sylpheed almost giddy with joy at playing what they perceive as being "real Jedi."

 

I'm sure to some it might seem two-faced that I'm shooting down their stab at a Jedi Initiate universal spec when I had one of my own in my Ways of the Force fan supplement, but there's a critical difference, namely that my attempt was published on the web far in advance of when the Force and Destiny Beta was released this past August, and existed in a time frame when there were no Force-sensitive careers and options to be a Force user were restricted to Emergent and Exile.  I even admitted that the three universal Force-sensitive specs I created (Dark Side Acolyte, Force Mystic, and Jedi Initiate) had a large amount of "planned obsolescence" built into them once Force and Destiny hit shelves, being stop-gap measures to allow a PC to have a bit more options in being a Force user beyond EotE's Force Exile when Ways of the Force was initially released, with a strong suggestion on my part to not let PCs go beyond a Force Rating of 3 and that at least one of their Force-sensitive specs be either Exile or Emergent (once AoR was released) to keep with the feel of the default setting (Rebellion Era with a bit of Dark Times) that Force users were rare, wondrous, and most importantly not possessing the level of power that Jedi of the Old Republic era had.

 

Now that Force and Destiny is out there, having any sort of universal Jedi specialization, official or homebrew, is demonstrating itself to be more and more unnecessary for the unified system that FFG had in mind when they started working on it in the early part of this decade.  A large part of what a good Jedi-themed specialization should do is already covered by the Lightsaber Form specs already found in the Force and Destiny, with the PC simply needing to "buckle down" and purchase different specs to advance their ability to use the Force.  The Niman Disciple is as close to the "have your cake and eat it too" approach to have a spec that both improves your usage of a ligthsaber (adding ranks of Parry and Reflect) and Force usage (having the Force Rating talent).  Sam Stewart mentioned this during his last appearance on the Order 66 podcast in discussion of the Force and Destiny Beta, that being a true Jedi Knight ultimately meant being accomplished at a wide variety of things, a blend of warrior (Lightsaber prowess), diplomat (social interaction), scholar (Knowledge skills), and mystic (Force usage); effectively a jack-of-all-trades that could handle almost any situation on their own, and that it'd take a lot of XP to reach such a point, particularly without the established training centers that the Jedi Order had (which had all been tracked down and destroyed by the time of the Rebellion Era).

 

I've probably gone through at least a dozen possible new iterations of my old Jedi Initiate universal spec, and the simple fact that even the worst versions still come across as simply being "too good not take" is really hammering the point home that trying to cram the various elements of "what makes for a decent Jedi spec" into a single spec is never going to be any form of balanced.

 

If Smog and Whafrog really want old era Jedi PCs, then they should bite the bullet and just go ahead and create a full-blown Jedi career with attendant specializations (and they don't have to be Guardian, Consular, and Sentinel either).  But from the replies, that's apparently too much work for them when they can just have their single grab bag of cherry-picked goodies.

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