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Bromide Hadral

Should characters be allowed to start with a lightsaber?

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Depends on the campaign really.

 

If it's a old sith/war setting, alight. Unless everyone is playing as students those involved in the forefront should have a lightsaber because the otherside will usually have things simlarly nasty to throw back (be it sith, fallen jedi, magma guards, droidikas or sheer numbers). Mixed parties particularly work in this setting as it's possible to enact those war movies, a brave charge of flashing blades accompanied by the flashing scope of the party sniper. I usually find that the raw damage and reach of the rifles more then makes up for an absence of armour penetration. It would be possible to start them out basic or enhanced, really would making modding the hilt more of a personal journey.

 

If it's a mixed party in a more smuggler based setting? No. To be honest most characters should take into account what they have had to do to survive up to this point. None of them would have survived without being able to adapt, thus having someone invest heavily into a sabre tree and complain about not being able to use any of it would factor fairly low in my list; a Force and Destiny campaign shouldn't just be about when they get their lightsaber. If that all they are thinking about, they really aren't Jedi. It's more their decisions during this time period when the order is at it's very lowest, shattered, broken with a smattering of members still alive under the stars. The very essence of a force and destiny campaign is preservation and doing the right thing, even when the galaxy is against them.

 

That being said, I received my first lightsaber before my character was even force sensitive. A sith artefact under a crushed body. With a double trumph he was able to restore it to working order while everyone was away from the ship, and with that began his path to destiny. Ironically I hadn't ever intended my character to be force sensitive, just receiving a manipulating artefact was the catalyst to his awakening. It was very easy, but perhaps it was precisely the ordinary that the object came into his life (part of a rescue and recovery job by Cazerka.) that made it particularly special.

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Took 2 years real life play to get my character a light saber and yeah it's a real payoff. Cutting through doors like a hot knife through room temperature butter has the best feeling ever as a player. In game however my character hates the saber she has because she pulled it off a Inquisitor that she dropped a shiloet 2 Chandelier on.... Twice.

Best to earn it.

Edited by Tassedar

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Lightsabres are a little too strong for beginners. Not necessarily because they'll be instant-killing anything they touch in the early stages, taking extra obligation/morality/etc... to start with more credits can net you a heavy blaster rifle which does almost as much(and has a range) if you have 2 ranks in ranged heavy and decent agility(and auto-fire is just broken). Its more the narrative issues, you can use a lightsabre to cut through blast doors or other physical obstacles that could normally be a huge problem, on top of being the deadliest melee weapon in the game.

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Yes, Lightsabers are among the best weapons in the game.

 

As has been mentioned, Knight-Level play is an option where PCs begin with like 9000c worth of gear, lightsabers, and 150 additional XP to start.  It's within the spirit of the game, I think, to make your players wait until around 150 earned xp before getting their lightsabers.

 

If you're super concerned with your players "winning" the game by starting with lightsabers, as many GMs seem to be; I'd simply submit to you that in any RPG, your players are SUPPOSED to win.  The story is about them, and they are the heroes.

 

In our current game, for once, I'm not the GM.  Our GM is inexperienced at the business of GM'ing.  We started a F&D game knowing **** well that all of our PCs wanted lightsabers.  We earned them in our second session.

 

Too early?  Many GMs seem to think so.  But check it, WE'RE PLAYING FORCE AND DESTINY, OUR STAR WARS FANTASY INCLUDES SWINGING LIGHTSABERS.

 

Don't get hung up on "balance", think of this game as "wish fulfillment".

 

To keep the game hard, our inexperienced GM handles it well; we'll burn through minions without breaking a sweat.  Then our GM sends the Sith Acolytes and Apprentice Inquisitors against us, with their own lightsabers.  Then sh1t gets real!

 

It's fun, it's dangerous, it's exciting.  Minions are not a problem.  But you know what?  We're all having a great time.  So what if we plow through many of his badguys with minimal effort?  We are having the time of our lives with our early-game lightsabers. 

 

If you GM with the mindset of, "I must beat my players!", then sorry man, but I think you're doing it wrong.

 

The fact that the players AND GM are having a blast, unquestionably, proves to me that our GM is doing it right!

Edited by CrunchyDemon

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It's one thing if the entire group has lightsabers, especially if they've earned them through the course of their first or second adventure.  The Beta book had what I'd consider to be pretty solid "early level" lightsaber crystals (Damage 6, Crit 3, Breach 1, Sunder 1 with 2 mods for  +1 damage, 1 mod for -1 crit rating, and 1 mod for +1 Vicious) being awarded at the end of the sample adventure.

 

It's another problem entirely if only one or two PCs out of a group of 5 or 6 PCs built at starting XP levels start out with full-fledged lightsabers before embarking on their first adventure.

 

If the group is all starting at Knight Level, then the PCs without lightsabers have the option of getting equivalent gear due to a much higher starting allowance of funds.

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 WE'RE PLAYING FORCE AND DESTINY, OUR STAR WARS FANTASY INCLUDES SWINGING LIGHTSABERS.

 

This.

 

And has been pointed out by others, both in this thread and several others just like it, the option of the training lightsaber exists for precisely this reason.  It provides the players that want a lightsaber the means to have one while not making the weapons available to other PCs woefully deficient by comparison.  To hand one or two PCs a basic lightsaber while the rest of the group gets nothing is akin to handing an AoR or EotE PC a heavy blaster rifle with the superior customization attachment while the rest of the PCs get nothing.

 

As was observed in similar threads, too many people are hung up on the "1%" of the Jedi ranks, those being the Obi-Wans and Anakins and Mace Windus of the Jedi Order, none of whom remotely qualified as starting characters.

 

And not everybody runs their campaigns as "you're all Jedi" or "none of you are Jedi."  If anything, it seems many people are using FaD as an add-on to their AoR or EotE campaigns, with only one or two PCs having an interest in lightsabers, as opposed to having an entire party of Force users, several of whom may have zero interest in having a lightsaber.  Many of these threads that ask about starting out with lightsabers tend to concern a party where not every character in the group even wants a lightsaber.

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FaD's sample adventure and the GM screen adventure when run together end by giving the PCs full power Ilum lightsabers. Since the sample adventure is presumably the first adventure to be run by novice GMs and the GM screen adventure follows directly from it, it seems that the authors imply there's no problem with having lightsabers in a FaD game almost right away (around 30 XP, anyway) - but these are presumably for games with all PCs being aspiring Jedi.

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