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Vondy

Parry-Reflect Caps

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Soak and armored robes don't apply to lightsaber's breach. Well not the first 10 points of soak anyways.

Unless you have cortosis armor.. I've basically nixxed cortosis armor (tho not weapons) from my game.. it lends itself towards too much cheese and cortosis is incredibly rare in my universe..

If they've got a pile of cortosis then that's a different equation and parry becomes a lot less necessary.

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Soak and armored robes don't apply to lightsaber's breach. Well not the first 10 points of soak anyways.

 

 

Point taken. I ignore Cortosis for my games.

Edited by Vondy

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The reason people are talking about obsessively buying them up I'd because it takes a huge amount of dedication to buy more then 2 trees worth.

Most people are going to have there chosen career spec and lightsaber tree which means the second lightsaber tree is gonna be 40xp then the next is gonna be at least 50xp....I don't see your worry as being a problem.

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People sure do like to project amplified emotions onto other people, don't they? I am not "worried" about it and I don't see it as insurmountable. I was curious what other people's experiences with the system at higher levels of play has been. No system is perfect and most do break down in some areas as you scale upward. However, for me, this is less of a power level issue and more of a "tree issue." As muchas I enjoy 90% of this game, the trees are inflexible and I do not enjoy them. Having "universal" and "specialization" talents with appropriate prerequisites and buy-in costs would also be balanced. I regard it as clunky game design that shoehorns character evolution. But, contrary to the "tinker and it will break crowd," I think the nuts and bolts to make it work are already there.

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I think you are worrying for nothing or you expect thé character to not evolve. The rules are fine.

I think you are assuming far too much, and that characters can evolve in many ways. Concentration is one way a character might evolve, breadth is another. The rules are fine for *you.*

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Ultimately it's up to how much you and your PCs are enjoying the game if after a while of playing they have like 10 instances of parry/reflect and they or you aren't having fun cause you and they feel like they are indestructible then something needs to be done whether that's putting a cap on parry/reflect and giving some XP back for buying them or forcing the guy who has a ton of reflect into melee combat or vice versa for parry. Another thing you could do is move away from combat start putting them in a lot of social situations where having strong combat abilities isn't as important.

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Vondy, on 13 Jan 2016 - 6:45 PM, said:

 

vilainn6, on 13 Jan 2016 - 5:27 PM, said:

I think you are worrying for nothing or you expect thé character to not evolve. The rules are fine.

I think you are assuming far too much, and that characters can evolve in many ways. Concentration is one way a character might evolve, breadth is another. The rules are fine for *you.*

 

 

Vondy, on 13 Jan 2016 - 6:43 PM, said:

People sure do like to project amplified emotions onto other people, don't they? I am not "worried" about it and I don't see it as insurmountable. I was curious what other people's experiences with the system at higher levels of play has been. No system is perfect and most do break down in some areas as you scale upward. However, for me, this is less of a power level issue and more of a "tree issue." As muchas I enjoy 90% of this game, the trees are inflexible and I do not enjoy them. Having "universal" and "specialization" talents with appropriate prerequisites and buy-in costs would also be balanced. I regard it as clunky game design that shoehorns character evolution. But, contrary to the "tinker and it will break crowd," I think the nuts and bolts to make it work are already there.

Point-buy lead to umbalance in the wrong hands. I have played enought Mutant and Mastermind to know that but if it is what you want, this is probably not the best system fo you. You could try WEG system instead.

 

As for my personnal experience, I play with my group since the Beta and the hightest rank of parry I have seen is 6 and it is from one player who really focus on combat. On average my players have over one thousand XP, 3-4 specialization and two of them even buy a specialization from Edge of the Empire. So I have no problem with reflect or parry at the moment.

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People sure do like to project amplified emotions onto other people, don't they? I am not "worried" about it and I don't see it as insurmountable. I was curious what other people's experiences with the system at higher levels of play has been. No system is perfect and most do break down in some areas as you scale upward. However, for me, this is less of a power level issue and more of a "tree issue." As muchas I enjoy 90% of this game, the trees are inflexible and I do not enjoy them. Having "universal" and "specialization" talents with appropriate prerequisites and buy-in costs would also be balanced. I regard it as clunky game design that shoehorns character evolution. But, contrary to the "tinker and it will break crowd," I think the nuts and bolts to make it work are already there.

Yet you keep harping on this issue with out really looking at what it would take to get all of those ranks in Parry and Reflect. With out looking at the whole process for getting a crazy amount of Parry and reflect you can't figure out if it is an issue. From what I can see and have experienced it takes a crazy amount of XP to go tree hopping in search of 2 talents. So I don't think anyone is really going to do so. By the time they have moved on to their 4 or 5th lightsaber form tree they will have an insane number of XP.  As it makes sense to get all the talents you want in a tree before moving on. Which likely means buying dedication the ranks in parry and reflect and likely the couple signature moves from that tree. Which is what our point is. There is no need to cap the talent because it takes a lot of xp to hop the trees.. 

for example.

Guardian with Peacekeeper and soresu defender to start

115 exp over starting to get 4 ranks parry and 3 ranks reflect and improved reflect and parry

285 beyond start to get Ataru striker for 3 ranks in parry and 2 ranks in reflect which takes you to 7 parry and 5 reflect

450 beyond start for shien expert for 2 ranks of parry and 3 ranks of reflect and supreme reflect which takes you to 9 parry and 8 reflect

690 beyond start to get Shii-cho knight for 4 more ranks of parry for a total of 13 parry and 8 reflect

870 beyond start to get Makashi duelist for 5 more ranks of parry for a total of 17 parry and 8 reflect

1065 beyond start to get Niman disciple for 3 more ranks of parry and 3 more reflect for 20 parry and 11 reflect

This is just buying reflect and parry and what is required to get to those instances. No more. But i don't know anyone who operates that way as the first tree was 20xp the second tree was 40xp the third was 50xp then 60xp then 70xp then 80xp so 320xp just for the trees themselves. 

 

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People sure do like to project amplified emotions onto other people, don't they? I am not "worried" about it and I don't see it as insurmountable. I was curious what other people's experiences with the system at higher levels of play has been. No system is perfect and most do break down in some areas as you scale upward. However, for me, this is less of a power level issue and more of a "tree issue." As muchas I enjoy 90% of this game, the trees are inflexible and I do not enjoy them. Having "universal" and "specialization" talents with appropriate prerequisites and buy-in costs would also be balanced. I regard it as clunky game design that shoehorns character evolution. But, contrary to the "tinker and it will break crowd," I think the nuts and bolts to make it work are already there.

Yet you keep harping on this issue with out really looking at what it would take to get all of those ranks in Parry and Reflect. With out looking at the whole process for getting a crazy amount of Parry and reflect you can't figure out if it is an issue. From what I can see and have experienced it takes a crazy amount of XP to go tree hopping in search of 2 talents. So I don't think anyone is really going to do so. By the time they have moved on to their 4 or 5th lightsaber form tree they will have an insane number of XP.  As it makes sense to get all the talents you want in a tree before moving on. Which likely means buying dedication the ranks in parry and reflect and likely the couple signature moves from that tree. Which is what our point is. There is no need to cap the talent because it takes a lot of xp to hop the trees.. 

for example.

Guardian with Peacekeeper and soresu defender to start

115 exp over starting to get 4 ranks parry and 3 ranks reflect and improved reflect and parry

285 beyond start to get Ataru striker for 3 ranks in parry and 2 ranks in reflect which takes you to 7 parry and 5 reflect

450 beyond start for shien expert for 2 ranks of parry and 3 ranks of reflect and supreme reflect which takes you to 9 parry and 8 reflect

690 beyond start to get Shii-cho knight for 4 more ranks of parry for a total of 13 parry and 8 reflect

870 beyond start to get Makashi duelist for 5 more ranks of parry for a total of 17 parry and 8 reflect

1065 beyond start to get Niman disciple for 3 more ranks of parry and 3 more reflect for 20 parry and 11 reflect

This is just buying reflect and parry and what is required to get to those instances. No more. But i don't know anyone who operates that way as the first tree was 20xp the second tree was 40xp the third was 50xp then 60xp then 70xp then 80xp so 320xp just for the trees themselves. 

Now thats one focused PC...

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People sure do like to project amplified emotions onto other people, don't they? I am not "worried" about it and I don't see it as insurmountable. I was curious what other people's experiences with the system at higher levels of play has been. No system is perfect and most do break down in some areas as you scale upward. However, for me, this is less of a power level issue and more of a "tree issue." As muchas I enjoy 90% of this game, the trees are inflexible and I do not enjoy them. Having "universal" and "specialization" talents with appropriate prerequisites and buy-in costs would also be balanced. I regard it as clunky game design that shoehorns character evolution. But, contrary to the "tinker and it will break crowd," I think the nuts and bolts to make it work are already there.

Yet you keep harping on this issue with out really looking at what it would take to get all of those ranks in Parry and Reflect. With out looking at the whole process for getting a crazy amount of Parry and reflect you can't figure out if it is an issue. From what I can see and have experienced it takes a crazy amount of XP to go tree hopping in search of 2 talents. So I don't think anyone is really going to do so. By the time they have moved on to their 4 or 5th lightsaber form tree they will have an insane number of XP.  As it makes sense to get all the talents you want in a tree before moving on. Which likely means buying dedication the ranks in parry and reflect and likely the couple signature moves from that tree. Which is what our point is. There is no need to cap the talent because it takes a lot of xp to hop the trees.. 

for example.

Guardian with Peacekeeper and soresu defender to start

115 exp over starting to get 4 ranks parry and 3 ranks reflect and improved reflect and parry

285 beyond start to get Ataru striker for 3 ranks in parry and 2 ranks in reflect which takes you to 7 parry and 5 reflect

450 beyond start for shien expert for 2 ranks of parry and 3 ranks of reflect and supreme reflect which takes you to 9 parry and 8 reflect

690 beyond start to get Shii-cho knight for 4 more ranks of parry for a total of 13 parry and 8 reflect

870 beyond start to get Makashi duelist for 5 more ranks of parry for a total of 17 parry and 8 reflect

1065 beyond start to get Niman disciple for 3 more ranks of parry and 3 more reflect for 20 parry and 11 reflect

This is just buying reflect and parry and what is required to get to those instances. No more. But i don't know anyone who operates that way as the first tree was 20xp the second tree was 40xp the third was 50xp then 60xp then 70xp then 80xp so 320xp just for the trees themselves. 

Now thats one focused PC...

 

It is and I just don't see anyone behaving in this manner as it foregoes all force powers and all talents in other trees or in the lightsaber tree in the blind quest to get parries and reflects. I just don't see anyone doing that as you get far more bang for your buck filling in more of the trees you have before moving on and you likely want to grab other specs to get more force rating. So you are likely going to be well over 1000 xp before you get to your third lightsaber tree. 

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To the OP's point about "stepping over" any ranks of Parry or Reflect, I'm going to channel a bit of GM Dave from the Order 66 podcast and suggest you tell your player to quit their whining and put their big boy pants on.

 

Depending on what specs are taken, there are PC builds that could stock up on a crap-ton of ranks of Toughened and/or Grit, or some of the ranked talents that remove setback dice; after all, do you really need more than 2 ranks of Convincing Demeanor for most Deception or Skulduggery checks?  Or more than 3 ranks of Skilled Jockey if most of what you fly are snubfighters with a positive handling value?  And once you get a Wound Threshold past 20, do you really need more ranks in Toughened to push it up further than that if you've got a soak value that's a 5 or better?

 

Yes, depending on what talent trees your player takes, they could have a lot of ranks in Parry and Reflect, more than they think they'll ever need.  That's one of the drawbacks of the talent tree system having ranked talents, is that depending on choices made, the PC could end up with more instances of a ranked talent than they might ever need.

 

So unless you're going to allow the other players to skip over other ranked talents once they feel they've bought enough of them, I again suggest you tell the player in question to suck it up and deal.

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Or ditch the archaic nonsense of constrained character progression...

 

 

The funny thing about this thread is that many people are reacting to the OP as if his main issue was with players being ABLE to get that many ranks, when it seems that it's actually that players might HAVE to end up with that many ranks.  

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Or ditch the archaic nonsense of constrained character progression...  

Except that approach opens an even larger can of works with the PCs being able to cherry pick the talents they want.

 

There have been multiple attempts at hashing out a "free form" method of character progression, and they all ran into the same core problem of the players being able to cherry pick the things they wanted and completely skipping talents that weren't as shiny or cool that a talent tree approach required them to add so that the characters weren't entirely one-dimensional.

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Or ditch the archaic nonsense of constrained character progression...  

 

Except that approach opens an even larger can of works with the PCs being able to cherry pick the talents they want.

 

There have been multiple attempts at hashing out a "free form" method of character progression, and they all ran into the same core problem of the players being able to cherry pick the things they wanted and completely skipping talents that weren't as shiny or cool that a talent tree approach required them to add so that the characters weren't entirely one-dimensional.

 

 

My experience has ALWAYS been that constrained progression (talent trees, character classes, etc) makes for MORE one-dimensional characters -- not less.  Those systems ALWAYS come from a place where the people creating the game want to enforce a limited set of character concepts and/or obsess of a very narrow "gamist" notion of character balance, rather than setting up the system to enable mapping the player's concept of their character. 

 

Of course, part of the problem appears to be that the system is so talent-heavy to begin with. 

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Hate to break it to you Max, but your experience is not the end-all and be-all.  I've been in this hobby more than 20 years and have played too many RPG systems to count (last time I tried, the number was well over 100, and I've played plenty more since then).  And even I'll admit that my experience isn't the end-all or be-all of what's out there.

 

I'd played Champions/HERO system for a great many years, as well as Mutants and Masterminds in all its editions, both of which are free-form build systems.  And both systems are incredibly easy to break if the GM isn't keeping an eye on the players to make sure they don't construct any horrifically broken builds.  That there was at one point an entire community dedicated to calculating the most broke-tastic builds for HERO system (I've since moved on from that game, so don't know if said community still exists) possible with as few points as possible, often using and abusing every potential loophole out there.  And for a while over on the Atomic Think Tank for M&M 2nd edition, there was a sort of unspoken contest to see who could crank out some of the most cheese-tastic builds using the point allotment for a starting character, and man did the cheese flow with some of those builds; any GM that allowed those into their games as a PC did so at their own peril.

 

You've also got GURPS, an alleged "universal" system, runs head-first into a similar problem of being too free-form and thus offering many opportunities for character builds that were utterly broken or hilariously gimped.  And it's only gotten worse as GURPS has increased the crunch factor with all the splatbooks they've published.  I've never found GURPS to really be all that playable, but the system does have its fans.

 

FATE's got a pretty solid char-gen method, but then it's also incredibly simplistic, especially FATE Accelerated but even FATE Core is pretty bare-bones, and has built-in restrictions of how PCs can spend their skill ranks or how many Aspects and Stunts they can have, both during and after char-gen.

 

You could even see some serious cheese with L5R, with 3rd edition taking the cake but 4th edition have it's own set of problems; Spider Clan anyone?

 

I think FFG's use of talent trees is a decent compromise between totally free-form point buy and a rigid class-and-level system favored by D&D and similar systems.  Is it perfect?  Nope, but then each approach to character creation has their strengths and weaknesses, mostly as different gamers have different tastes.  I've got gamer friends that enjoy class-and-level based char-gen systems and look down their nose at free-form char-gen systems, seeing it as too chaotic and needing too much GM intervention even if the GM does trust his players not to pour too much cheese into the build.  They're not wrong (I've seen far too many HERO games break down fast because of broke-tastic character builds), but they're not entirely correct as I've seen cheese-loaded builds out of strictly class-and-level systems; that WotC had a high-traffic "Character Optimization" section of their D&D forums for both 3rd and 4th edition is a prime example of how both systems could be abused, and the only reason there isn't one for 5th edition is because WotC shut their forums down a while back.

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Hate to break it to you Max, but your experience is not the end-all and be-all.  I've been in this hobby more than 20 years and have played too many RPG systems to count (last time I tried, the number was well over 100, and I've played plenty more since then).  And even I'll admit that my experience isn't the end-all or be-all of what's out there.

 

I'd played Champions/HERO system for a great many years, as well as Mutants and Masterminds in all its editions, both of which are free-form build systems.  And both systems are incredibly easy to break if the GM isn't keeping an eye on the players to make sure they don't construct any horrifically broken builds.  That there was at one point an entire community dedicated to calculating the most broke-tastic builds for HERO system (I've since moved on from that game, so don't know if said community still exists) possible with as few points as possible, often using and abusing every potential loophole out there.  And for a while over on the Atomic Think Tank for M&M 2nd edition, there was a sort of unspoken contest to see who could crank out some of the most cheese-tastic builds using the point allotment for a starting character, and man did the cheese flow with some of those builds; any GM that allowed those into their games as a PC did so at their own peril.

 

You've also got GURPS, an alleged "universal" system, runs head-first into a similar problem of being too free-form and thus offering many opportunities for character builds that were utterly broken or hilariously gimped.  And it's only gotten worse as GURPS has increased the crunch factor with all the splatbooks they've published.  I've never found GURPS to really be all that playable, but the system does have its fans.

 

FATE's got a pretty solid char-gen method, but then it's also incredibly simplistic, especially FATE Accelerated but even FATE Core is pretty bare-bones, and has built-in restrictions of how PCs can spend their skill ranks or how many Aspects and Stunts they can have, both during and after char-gen.

 

You could even see some serious cheese with L5R, with 3rd edition taking the cake but 4th edition have it's own set of problems; Spider Clan anyone?

 

I think FFG's use of talent trees is a decent compromise between totally free-form point buy and a rigid class-and-level system favored by D&D and similar systems.  Is it perfect?  Nope, but then each approach to character creation has their strengths and weaknesses, mostly as different gamers have different tastes.  I've got gamer friends that enjoy class-and-level based char-gen systems and look down their nose at free-form char-gen systems, seeing it as too chaotic and needing too much GM intervention even if the GM does trust his players not to pour too much cheese into the build.  They're not wrong (I've seen far too many HERO games break down fast because of broke-tastic character builds), but they're not entirely correct as I've seen cheese-loaded builds out of strictly class-and-level systems; that WotC had a high-traffic "Character Optimization" section of their D&D forums for both 3rd and 4th edition is a prime example of how both systems could be abused, and the only reason there isn't one for 5th edition is because WotC shut their forums down a while back.

 

I've been gaming for almost 30 years, played and even GMed many systems, and contributed to multiple ground-up home-brew systems -- everything from the old color-coded box-set D&D to various White Wolf games to multiple editions of HERO.  I've read through many many more.  I won't pretend to have tried everything, as some systems or settings are clearly just not for me at all.  (Never did care for GURPS...)

 

The problem in a system like HERO typically isn't the system, it's that the freedom comes with responsibility.  The GM has a responsibility to establish a framework of scale and design philosophy before the players make their characters.  The players have a responsibility to respect that framework, build their characters within it, and not treat it as an exercise in cheesing. 

 

Every system is exploitable, and every system relies on the GM and players to treat the game as something more than a mechanical exercise in rules-exploration, oneupsmanship, and win-loss counts. 

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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The "freedom with responsibility" occurs in a great many RPGs.  It's possible to min-max and make a cheesy character in any system, with some systems even being geared towards making the PC as twinked out as possible; D&D 4e is a stellar example of a player having to actively work to make a sub-optimal character.

 

But that's entirely irrelevant to the OP's question of allowing one player to cheese this system in a specific way, mostly to avoid spending XP on specific talents so that they can more quickly get to the juicer talents.

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This thread has gotten really derailed.. any system can be broken, some easier then others.

As far as the OP, I'm not sure what else can be contributed to his question. Some of the pitfalls of skipping parry and reflect talents have been pointed out. A few methods of skipping has been discussed.

If he's got more questions or wants to weigh in on what has been discussed I welcome it. But if we want to debate the merits and flaws of guided character development or freeform point buys.. we should start a new thread.

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Is allowing a player character to not stack on what might be an excessive amount of one thing really being worried about as a "cheese" move? 

It's more the "I really don't want any more ranks of this talent, so can I just skip over it while also not paying the XP costs to go to the talents I do want?" that's the cheese factor.

 

Most of the specs are designed so that if you really don't want a certain talent, you can either work around them (though it may cost more XP to do so) or in some cases just skip them entirely.  There's only a small handful of specs where you have no choice but to follow a specific path to get to the top tier talents.

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Is allowing a player character to not stack on what might be an excessive amount of one thing really being worried about as a "cheese" move?

No player is forced to stack anything. Most trees in this game don't even have parry or reflect and on top of that even those that do you can generally buy around some of the ranks of you really don't want them.

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I mean, I'm not seeing why its so awful for this to occur.

 

Sure, its a bit out of hand, but isn't there precedence for extremely powerful force users to be nigh-unstoppable?

 

800+ XP characters just seem so out there for the range. Its like complaining about 40th level PCs in D&D.

 

Its part and parcel of high level play, and, as others have mentioned, there are some pretty heavy diminishing returns at play here. 1 extra damage reduction is only going to go so far.

 

Besides, at high level, it isn't so much a matter of killing or harming a PC, but rather attacking their goals. Do they want to save the civilians? Do they want to convince that local leader to help them? Do they want to stay hidden from imperial forces? Etc.

 

And again, if you really want to hurt them, isn't that what planetary scale weapons are for? In a saga edition game I played once, we found the best way to deal with sith lords was to apply more proton torpedoes, and I'm pretty sure the same thing applies here.

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