Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
The Grand Falloon

Makashi Finish - kinda lame?

Recommended Posts

Pretty much every lightsaber spec gets a fancy "Add your Force Dice to your attack" talent near the end of the tree. Makashi Finish was one of the first that I read, and it seemed pretty amazing. Then I realized Hawk-Bat Swoop has it beat in almost any case, and most of them are at least easier to use, though the effect is different enough that it's hard to compare.

Let's break it down: Makashi Finish makes you extra Vicious, giving you +10 to your crits per pip you spend. Pretty cool, but first you have to succeed with enough advantage to crit.

Now let's take Hawk Bat Swoop. First off, you can use it to close in and start carving fools up. If you're already close, you don't need a successful roll to trigger it. You failed? Dang, well, you still have this handful of advantage to use however you like. If you succeed, HBS will often allow you to crit, which Finish will not, and if you crit, you should have the choice to bump that crit just a much as Finish. Because let's face it: for all but a few special crystals, the best and first mod you should be grabbing is to reduce your crit threshold to 1.

Now, I know that the whole tree is not contained in one talent, and Makashi has a lot of cool tricks. But, dang, am I wrong about Finish? Improvement on one very narrow area of combat, vs more crits, better crits, strain recovery, mobility, and whatever else I want to spend advantage on? Like dual-wielding or Saber Swarm? Yikes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It certainly is less flexible i totally agree, and its true potential is more niche:

 

Makashi Finish adds +10 to ALL crit rolls from that attack

You can only Crit once per "Hit"

But hit multiple times and suddenly every single pip you spend can add to more than one crit, and the first crit adds to the second crit... stacking upon stacking.

 

So what you want is a Double Bladed Saber that provides Linked 1, Crit 1 crystal (Preferably vicious too!). your hoping to roll enough Advantage to trigger the Linked then Crit at least twice:

 

Big Crit: 2eA+2eP+2eB+2eD+1eF 4 successes, 4 advantage, 1 Light Side

a-a.pnga-a-a.pngp-s-s.pngp-s-a.pngb-a-a.pngb-s.pngd-th.pngd-th.pngf-ls.png
 
2 Hits at Damage + 4 each, 2 Criticals, +10 for the first, +20 for the second. Thats ignoring Vicious qualities, and i'm sure other ways of hitting harder that i haven't factored in. The next force Pip would increase both  those crit rolls. 
 
so its very niche like i said, but it does let you stack lots of crits quickly and add big numbers to those rolls very fast.
 
Im sure there are other talents and equipment that would work well with this, anything that can add Advantage to the check easily would be good, and it really only gets great once you have the ability to crit multiple times in one Attack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another niche case would be that if something increases your crit rating, like 'center of being' talent, makashi would work the same. Hawk bat swoop on the other hand would have to expend more advantage. 

 

But yeah, in most cases, Hawk bat swoop is as useful on crits and more versatile (you can use that advantage for other purposes, like recovering strain or disarming).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makashi would be well advised to have a Dantari crystal too, to use those pips that can't normally be used.

I seriously hope the Mystic book gives us some sweet gear and Talents to help Two Weapon Fighting too, I think Makashi really should have 2 seperate blades, but the additional difficulty is not worth it. Paired weapons are great and all, but a pair of Superior Lightsabers is not the easiest thing to come across.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you miss the text for Hawk Bat Swoop on p. 144? "If the character cannot move to engage the target, the attack automatically misses." (emphasis mine)

 

What this means is that Hawk Bat Swoop is an awesome first strike, but you can no longer use it on the same target unless you use a maneuver to disengage. That is, in order to get the bonus advantages from spending force pips, you are required to spend the first pip just to engage. If you cannot spend the first pip (i.e. because you are already engaged), then you cannot spend any others you may roll to gain advantages.

 

Against separated targets, Hawk Bat Swoop is awesome, because you can leap from one target to another (ref. Yoda vs Clonetroopers in Ep 3) - but against a lone target, it doesn't quite work (ref. Yoda vs Dooku, Yoda vs Sidious) which is probably why the tree gives you Reflect and/or Parry before Hawk Bat Swoop. An Ataru Striker needs Reflect and Parry to survive the counterattack, which will either be rolled with just 1 (blasterjocks will disengage for their maneuver) or 2 Difficulty dice due to range.

 

---

 

Now look at Makashi Finish: by itself, I agree that it's very lackluster - no pay-for-success, and all you get is ranks of Vicious if you crit.

 

But then, what else do you get in order to get there in the first place?

  • Duelist's Training
  • Feint
  • Defensive Training
  • Makashi Flourish (which helps reduce a target's methods of disengaging)

So a Makashi Duelist gets all* of that, and then gets Makashi Finish, because it's a talent that's dependent, but capitalizes, on all the Boost die the Duelist will expect to be rolling at some point.

 

* Unless you go through Parry and Grit instead of Feint - but why? You have those right up there in Tier 1!

Edited by Radon Antila

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you miss the text for Hawk Bat Swoop on p. 144? "If the character cannot move to engage the target, the attack automatically misses." (emphasis mine)

 

What this means is that Hawk Bat Swoop is an awesome first strike, but you can no longer use it on the same target unless you use a maneuver to disengage.

That is a very literal  way to interpret it. I don't think that's the intent there, but just point out you have to be engaged to actually hit. Pretty sure I have read a dev backing up this interpretation.

Edited by blackyce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Did you miss the text for Hawk Bat Swoop on p. 144? "If the character cannot move to engage the target, the attack automatically misses." (emphasis mine)

 

What this means is that Hawk Bat Swoop is an awesome first strike, but you can no longer use it on the same target unless you use a maneuver to disengage.

That is a very literal  way to interpret it. I don't think that's the intent there, but just point out you have to be engaged to actually hit. Pretty sure I have read a dev backing up this interpretation.

 

 

And that's exactly what Hawk Bat Swoop does - if you are in Short Range of your intended target, Hawk Bat Swoop allows you to move to Engaged by spending a Force pip instead of using a maneuver (so they could still use Saber Swarm without taking Strain). But if you, for some reason, cannot "move to Engaged," then you cannot make a melee attack and therefore Hawk Bat Swoop automatically fails.

 

If you are immobile, whether physically bound or under Force Bind, then you cannot move. Hawk Bat Swoop fails.

 

If you roll a Force pip of your opposing side and choose not to flip the DP, then you cannot move because you don't have pips to spend. Hawk Bat Swoop fails.

 

If your target used their turn to move to Engage with you (or decided not to disengage after your turn), then you cannot move to Engage because you are already there. Hawk Bat Swoop would fail, so you would use your maneuver to move back to Short Range, then use Hawk Bat Swoop to return you to Engaged. (This is what Yoda does versus Dooku and Sidious.)

 

Or you could target another opponent in Short Range and use Hawk Bat Swoop on them instead - effectively giving you two maneuvers (one to disengage from your current target, and another to engage your new target) for the cost of a single Force pip. (This is what Yoda does versus the Clonetroopers.)

 

---

 

So, if the Ataru Striker was able to spend a Force pip to move to Engage, but the attack fails, then they could still take advantage of any remaining Advantages (whether naturally rolled or paid for with pips). But if the Ataru Striker wasn't able to move to Engage via Force pip, then the attack never happens, and so the entire roll is void.

 

As a quick check, I found this post from Dec 2015 by one of the guys from The Order 66 Podcast that supports this. If they've been overruled by a designer since then, I would be happy to be enlightened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I think that particular passage is more addressing the users unwillingness to use a Force Pip for the purpose of engaging (ie only rolled Dark Side and doesn't want to use it). It's there to ensure this talent is not used as a ranged combat attack.

If the Talent could not be used at Engaged range then the earlier part of the description that reads;

"...against a target within Short range, ..."

It would instead read:

"... against a target at Short range, ..."

Since "within Short range" includes Engaged range.

But I would be interested to hear what a developer has to say about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I think that particular passage is more addressing the users unwillingness to use a Force Pip for the purpose of engaging (ie only rolled Dark Side and doesn't want to use it). It's there to ensure this talent is not used as a ranged combat attack.

But the whole point of Ataru is to Force Jump into melee combat. Hawk Bat Swoop is quite literally a Short Range melee attack.

 

From a game design perspective, do you really think that a talent that: (a) can be used from Short Range, (b) can use Force pips to buy Advantages and © only costs 60XP to get, did not have any inherent drawbacks?

 

Because if you do, then it's not that Makashi Finish looks weaker than Hawk Bat Swoop - it's that Hawk Bat Swoop looks stronger than every other signature lightsaber talent.

 

Case in point: the only other talent comparable to Hawk Bat Swoop is Draw Closer, and Draw Closer: (a) also needs one pip to move a target from Short Range to Engaged, (b) can only buy successes and © costs 5 more XP (the Ataru Striker's 2 Reflects path).

 

Notably, Draw Closer also has a similar restriction (p.142): "If the character cannot move his target to engage him, the combat check automatically misses."

 

I don't know about you, but it makes perfect sense to me that you can't "Draw Closer" someone who is already saber-locked with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think Makashi Finish is bad at all. With a lightsaber crystal that crits on a low number (1 or 2) you are going to be able to crit much of the time. If you also have some vicious traits on the same weapon adding pips to increase the crit suddenly becomes very, very dangerous. Against a parrying lightsaber-wielder it can very well be the crits that decide the battle. Just a single critical hit preventing a lightsaber user with parry to spend strain can end the fight right there with a single blow. Sure, you can get unlucky and roll a result that isn't debilitating for your opponent. But then you just crit him again next round...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh. Well. I have to admit I had never considered Radon Antilla's position. If it weren't for the balance issue, I would completely disagree. It seemed to me that using Hawk Bat Swoop while engaged would just mean you're doing flips over him and being generally obnoxious. I've done some fencing, and an ability like Draw Closer would absolutely be useful while engaged with an opponent, as you pull him off balance. I imagined it as a sudden yank, then slicing through him as he passes you. You're still engaged, but now he's on the other side.

But daaang does it reel in what I consider to be the two most powerful techniques. It would also explain why people consider Ataru to be so Strain hungry, if you're using Saber Swarm for one Strain, Disengage for two more, then possibly needing to spend even more when you roll a bunch of black pips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be worth shooting a question off to the devs about Hawk-Bat Swoop and Draw Closer, to see if they can be used against an engaged target or if the intended target has to be at least at short range from the character.

 

My personal take is that while I'd allow those talents to be used against an engaged target, the PC would still have to spend the initial Force point to trigger the talent's core effect.  So for Hawk-Bat Swoop, that means if you only generate a single Force point and you're already engaged with the target, that means you don't get to cash that Force point in for an advantage, instead having to spend it to move to engaged with the target... which you already are.  Same with Draw Closer, in that if you only generate a single Force point, then you don't get any significant effect.  So with both of these talents, if you're already engaged with the intended target, then you'd need to generate two Force points in order for there to be any effect.  Otherwise, they start becoming seriously too good for the reasons that Radon notes.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be worth shooting a question off to the devs about Hawk-Bat Swoop

While we're asking, let's find out why they chose not to hyphenate "Hawk Bat/Hawk-Bat" since pretty much all other sources have it hyphenated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just in case this is still on anyone's radar, I got a response from Sam Stewart this morning which sez: 
 

 

 

Since both talents just require the target to be “within” a range, that means yes, you may use them while engaged with a target on that engaged target.

   So that's pretty clear.  He didn't dig into the weird little sub-questions that this thread has generated, but I would probably agree with Donovan Morningfire, requiring that first point to be spent whether you're closing range or not.  You are using the power to do crazy flips and spins, after all.

   I think that I would also rule that if you don't spend that point, that it automatically misses.  With HBS, you need to do the crazy flips, and with Draw Closer, you need to pull your target off balance.  This means that for a FR 1 Ataru Striker, if you're Engaged, you probably don't want to use HBS, because you will probably have to use a Dark Pip, and at most you might generate one extra Advantage.  You can, of course, Swoop in, strike, and then disengage, hoping the Guardian can hold your enemy's focus while you bounce around like a Kowakian Monkey Lizard.

Edited by The Grand Falloon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree about if you're unable to spend the Force point when using HBS or Draw Closer that the attack automatically fails, especially for when the PC is already engaged with the target.  Since the intended target is already within striking distance, no Force points simply means you don't get the extra bonus.

 

In the case of HBS, simply by using the Ataru Technique talent the PC is already doing the various spins, twirls, and leaps, just not to such an extreme level that HBS would imply.  It's just that with no Force points to spend, the PC's attempt a close-range HBS wasn't properly executed and thus lacked the extra oomph (i.e. advantages) that proper execution of that particular attack would provide.

 

Similar with Draw Closer, in that if you fail to pull a target that's already within striking distance off balance, you still get to strike at them, only the target is better able to defend themselves, as you don't have the extra successes that would help ensure that your attack hits the mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the thing is Ataru form drains strain like crazy, and against a user with a lot of ranks of parry mightn't be as cost effective; unless you have deep pools of strain to draw on. 

 

I played as a Jedi in a one shot during the clone wars and I found with just 12 strain and only natural recovery I had basically spent all my energy the first fight. The DM stated, after the first encounter "if you want to sit there and rest thats up to you, but you are in the middle of a base." and thus never really had a chance to recover, thus, when we finally found our master being guarded by general grevious, I was already completely spent and had to fight him solo on empty. Made for an epic occasion when he made it out there alive, but only because he toyed with his pray in true grievous style. XD Thus Hawking and saber swarming was a trick he could only use once or twice before having to spend his advantages more inwardly.

 

My PC Tobin meanwhile is more experienced, has brought to balance and has 18 strain at best. Basically this means any chance to get his breath back he will probably recover about 5/8 strain on average.

 

Makashi certainly feels more tame and the lack of reflect is fluffly hurtful, though it's strain recovery and being impossible to disarm is certainly a strong perk, one I would quite like to have if I ever found myself in a position where I have to defend against two combatants, where getting disarmed by one means a lightsaber from the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering Essential Kill from Executioner can be used on any personal combat check at any range to add advantage I would disagree that a Force Pip is required to be spent on 'activating the talent' before any Advantage or Success can be gained. It also never states in the Talent that a pip needs spending to 'activate' juts to engage.

But that's just semantics, you don't have to move away first and that's a nice thing for these characters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, who plays a Makashi Duelist (took it up as a third tree) the Makashi tree is more about everything else apart from the Makashi Finish. For 5 XP you get a talent that allows you to resist disarm or having your weapon destroyed, which is immensely powerful. Makashi also works especially well with fully upgraded Sense power and Lorrdian gemstone saber and Dueslists/Defensive Training. Your opponent is going to be throwing ridiculously bad pools against you in melee, which you can punish easily with (Improved) Parry. My character is pretty safe with fully upgraded Lorrdian saber, Makashi tree talents, Armoured robes, Parry 5, Improved Parry and Sense. Then again, I try to never use the lightsaber if at all possible, which my GM agrees to, seeing how often the aggressor is left without his weapons/hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just rember that defensive trainig just give your weapon a def rating equal to you rank in the talent.

It doesn't add the ranks to your weapons natural defense

 

So if your LS already has Def of 2 and you only have 1 Rank in def training your def remains 2 (and vise vera)

thats the diferents to talents that state "+1 def for...."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just rember that defensive trainig just give your weapon a def rating equal to you rank in the talent.

It doesn't add the ranks to your weapons natural defense

 

So if your LS already has Def of 2 and you only have 1 Rank in def training your def remains 2 (and vise vera)

thats the diferents to talents that state "+1 def for...."

Well that sucks. Well, if I ever need to build another saber from Ilum crystal for example, then it's gonna be more useful. I guess I wont be selling my armoured robes yet after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'll try to break it down. Both Hawk Bat Swoop and Makashi Finish essentially offer the same thing: to convert force pips into something useful on a combat check.

 

For the Striker, extra advantage is helpful. Their high Agility means they're natural double-bladed lightsaber users, and they have access to a Talent (Saber Swarm) that gives them Linked as well.  Finally, Strikers have to carefully manage their strain, as they get no Grit talents, strain recovery talents, or even Supreme Parry/Reflect Talents to help conserve strain when on the defensive.  For all of these reasons, a Striker can pretty much always use the extra Advantage to their...well, advantage.

 

For the Duelist, they're more suited for high Presence, so unless they've bumped their agility up for whatever reason, they're less likely to have that DBL with linked.  They obviously don't get Saber Swarm.  And they DO get both 3 Grit talents AND a strain recovery talent (Intense Presence), so they have much less of a burning need for Strain recovery via Advantages.  All of this means that they are MUCH more likely to only get a single hit and therefore, a single crit on any one enemy.  Making that crit count is...sigh, critical. (I swear I'm not doing this on purpose.)  As someone who can take a +40 bonus from Lethal Blows and Vicious and still get a final result of 53 with depressing regularity, the ability to take anywhere from +10 to +60 (assuming an upper limit of three force dice) to the roll is humongous.  It can quite literally spell out the end of the fight right then and there, as opposed to handing down a few blue dice to your allies or some black ones to the enemy.

Edited by Benjan Meruna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose I should have pointed out earlier that I wasn't concerned about the Duelist Specialization.  It obviously has a different approach than the Ataru Striker, and as a lot of folks have pointed out, the Duelist can go all day, conserving Strain and gaining it back fairly easily.  The Striker, meanwhile, can burn through it quickly.  

My concern was mostly in comparing Hawk Bat Swoop to Makashi Finish. To me, it seems that the "Add your Force Rating to your attack" talents are kind of the pinnacle of the form.  i know some talents are better or more versatile than others, and that's fine, but it bothered me that HBS seemed to beat Makashi on every level.

 

Now, I'm working with a few assumptions here.  The primary one is that both a Duelist and a Striker have a Crit rating of 1.  Not every crystal can be modified that low, but most of them can, and I have to say, that would be my first modification every single time.  If we consider the Ilum crystal, it beats everything.  It beats Vicious, because you not only crit more often, if you have the advantage that would normally have triggered the crit, you can spend it and get the same effect as Vicious.  It beats Damage because, IMO, those big extra crits are so much better than an extra ding to the health bar.  Vicious and Damage are great, but you bet your boots I want that Crit 1.

 

It can quite literally spell out the end of the fight right then and there, as opposed to handing down a few blue dice to your allies or some black ones to the enemy.

Very true, but let's go ahead and assume that Crit 1.

Let's say we're engaged with our enemy and just generated three pips on our attack roll, what we could accomplish with HBS and Makashi Finish.  This also assumes that if you're engaged, HBS does not need to spend the first Force Point on jumping around like a monkey, which is still a point of contention.

With Finish, assuming we both hit and had advantage, we get to add +30 to the crit roll.  That's cool, but that's our only option.

With HBS:

  • Assuming we both hit and had advantage, we get to add +30 to the crit roll. Huh, that's exactly the same, because we just spend those advantage to trigger the crit an extra three times.
  • Assuming we hit with no advantage, and up to 2 threat, we still get to crit, because those Advantages cancel the threat, and we have enough left over to crit anyway.
  • If we have a saberstaff, a second lightsaber, or used Saber Swarm, we can still crit once, and hit our enemy a second time. If we have even more advantage from the attack roll, we can inflict a second crit, or maybe even hit him a third or fourth time, depending how rad our saber swarm is.
  • If we miss, we still have options.  We can recover strain.  We can toss some Boost to our buddy.  Heck, if you're at Short range and your attack misses, you can just say, "Eh, I'm just not going to engage."
     

   So, after a couple pages of discussion here, some folks have pointed some things out to me.  After reading a couple of RichardBuxton's notes, I'm gonna say the Duelist needs to get a Dantari crystal, stat.  If he's regularly hitting with plenty of advantage, he should get a saberstaff or a shoto, and start inflicting multiple nasty nasty crits.  Also, he has more than enough strain recovery to use multiple maneuvers each round, so hit that Double Aim as much as you can.  I do think HBS should have to spend the first Force Point on monkey flips, so that's a notch down.  I think HBS is still a better talent, but with some adjustment and build approach, coupled with the Striker's strain limitations, i'm not seeing it as a complete shutout against Makashi Finish.
 

   Honestly I would have been less concerned about the whole thing if my group didn't consist of a Seeker and a Mystic, both of whom are likely to branch into their respective lightsaber specs pretty soon.  The Seeker, of course, is a bit more build-oriented, and almost salivating over the prospect of mowing through enemies with a saberstaff.  It would be such a shame if his thirst for power led him down a dark path...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...