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Nightone

Marauder and the Lightsaber

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Hi folks,

 

short question...

how do you deal with the Marauder Spec in combination with Lightsabers?

 

(Short hint: I use the German translation of the EoTE CRB so I'm not sure about the correct translation of the names of Talents)

 

The talents Furios Slash(?) let the play suffer strain to increase his attacks with meleeweapons or brawl by upgrading the dice by rank

Wild Power(?) adds 1 damage per rank to sucsessfull attacks with meleeweapons or brawl.

Knockdown let the player use triumphs to knock the enemy down when performing sucsessfull attacks with meleeweapons or brawl.

 

 

Now the big question... would a Lightsaber be considered as a Meele-Weapon in this case?

 

(For further clarification: in German the word for meele is "Nahkampfwaffe" which would be translated (wordpart for word part) as "Weapon for close range combat")

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now the big question... would a Lightsaber be considered as a Meele-Weapon in this case?

Knockdown works with lightsabers, the other two (Frenzied Attack and Feral Strength in the english version) do not.

Frenzied Attack and Feral Strength specify attacks made with the Melee and Brawl skills (lightsabers use the Lightsaber skill) while Knockdown only specifies a melee attack.

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This always irritates me, sort of like Exotic Weapon Proficiency used to. Is the weapon SO different from any other sword-analogue? I get the reasons why they would make a separate skill for the lightsaber, especially in the other two lines, where they really didn't want anyone to be using them, but the dumb thing IS a melee weapon. You use it Engaged, you hold it in your hands, and you swing it. Were it me, I'd probably ask the GM to make an exception, and have it count as a melee weapon, which it is, but using the lightsaber skill. If they really want to be a jack ass, maybe they'll penalize you, and say you can, but you need to roll melee for these checks, instead of lightsaber, the same way you need to roll Charisma with lightsabers, for Makashi, or something. Otherwise, it is just dumb, and being semantics, in my opinion.

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This always irritates me, sort of like Exotic Weapon Proficiency used to. Is the weapon SO different from any other sword-analogue? I get the reasons why they would make a separate skill for the lightsaber, especially in the other two lines, where they really didn't want anyone to be using them, but the dumb thing IS a melee weapon. You use it Engaged, you hold it in your hands, and you swing it. Were it me, I'd probably ask the GM to make an exception, and have it count as a melee weapon, which it is, but using the lightsaber skill. If they really want to be a jack ass, maybe they'll penalize you, and say you can, but you need to roll melee for these checks, instead of lightsaber, the same way you need to roll Charisma with lightsabers, for Makashi, or something. Otherwise, it is just dumb, and being semantics, in my opinion.

Yes, it is so different.

Brawl and Melee skills/attacks use mass and force (like the exertion of kinetic energy over an area over time, force) to cause damage, lightsabers have no mass to the attack, the damage comes from thermal energy, a focused plasma blade with no mass.

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Isn't lightsaber a "Lightsaber" skill no matter what?

Yep, and so talents like Feral Strength and Frenzied Attack wouldn't apply, as they directly reference applying to Brawl and Melee combat checks.

 

Nightone,

This whole discussion happened back in EotE when the only lightsabers available were the high-end "relic" versions that a lot of folks saw as being grossly overpowered and only mildly balanced by the lack of a proper combat skill that PCs could buy ranks in.

 

And it is ultimately a game balance decision as to why it's the way it is, as a fully modified lightsaber is a beast of a weapon that only a select few Melee weapons can honestly compete with.

 

In most cases, acquiring a lightsaber crystal isn't going to cost the PCs any credits, as they generally tend to be rewards from completing an adventure.  So assuming an Ilum crystal as the standard, the PC only needs to invest 700 credits to get all the inherent modifications that come with the crystal, while fully modifying an vibro-ax requires a significantly larger investment in credits just to get close, and the lightsaber can add even more bells and whistles that most off-the-shelf vibro-weapons are capable of.  And that's not getting into crystals like Mephite and Krayt Dragon Pearl which can be just as brutal (if not more so) without requiring as much of an investment in credits or boosting up Mechanics to fully modify.  Heck, the KDP only needs two modifications to be on par with a fully-modded Ilum crystal, and can have more ranks of Vicious added at the PC's leisure.

 

So in that vein, allowing Marauder talents to stack with Lightsaber class weapons is going to make the Marauder vastly more potent in close-quarters fighting than the spec already is.

 

I think it's definitely worth noting that none of the existing LS Form specs included talents that directly boost the damage or upgrade the Lightsaber combat check.  That to me is a pretty clear indication that the designers don't feel lightsabers needed to have their effectiveness boosted beyond what the 'saber crystal can already offer.

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This always irritates me, sort of like Exotic Weapon Proficiency used to. Is the weapon SO different from any other sword-analogue? I get the reasons why they would make a separate skill for the lightsaber, especially in the other two lines, where they really didn't want anyone to be using them, but the dumb thing IS a melee weapon. You use it Engaged, you hold it in your hands, and you swing it. Were it me, I'd probably ask the GM to make an exception, and have it count as a melee weapon, which it is, but using the lightsaber skill. If they really want to be a jack ass, maybe they'll penalize you, and say you can, but you need to roll melee for these checks, instead of lightsaber, the same way you need to roll Charisma with lightsabers, for Makashi, or something. Otherwise, it is just dumb, and being semantics, in my opinion.

Re-watch TFA, in particular the fight scenes with Finn and Rey.

 

Both of them are making broad/sweeping strikes when they swing a lightsaber, especially early on when they're still trying to get a feel for a weapon where the business end has zero mass and is inherently lethal.  Rey recovers a bit faster as she's more experienced with melee combat (her staff) but she doesn't really start holding her own against Kylo until she draws upon the Force; in game terms, she commits a Force die to Sense's offensive Control Upgrade, effectively giving her two ranks in Lightsaber.  Prior to that point, as a GM I might allow a boost die to Rey's unskilled Lightsaber combat checks to account for her staff-wielding skills, but I sure as hell wouldn't allow Marauder talents that specifically call out Brawl and Melee to apply.

 

Throughout the entirely of SW lore, the lightsaber has acted very differently from conventional melee weapons.  And FFG has followed suit.  Plus, if you stop to consider the various Form Technique talents, they generally do make sense for the Form in question.  For instance, Makashi is more about presenting an unflappable demeanor to your foe and keeping calm, precise control in the heat of battle; Cool as a skill just happens to be under Presence.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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Lightsabers are apparently difficult to control as they are supposed to feel like they are gyroscopic, giving it a completely differ feel to it and also making the finesse shown by jedi and a few talented others quite difficult to achieve. Imagine trying to swing something that has a gyroscope inside it. This is supposed to be how it feels to use a lightsaber.

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This always irritates me, sort of like Exotic Weapon Proficiency used to. Is the weapon SO different from any other sword-analogue? I get the reasons why they would make a separate skill for the lightsaber, especially in the other two lines, where they really didn't want anyone to be using them, but the dumb thing IS a melee weapon. You use it Engaged, you hold it in your hands, and you swing it. Were it me, I'd probably ask the GM to make an exception, and have it count as a melee weapon, which it is, but using the lightsaber skill. If they really want to be a jack ass, maybe they'll penalize you, and say you can, but you need to roll melee for these checks, instead of lightsaber, the same way you need to roll Charisma with lightsabers, for Makashi, or something. Otherwise, it is just dumb, and being semantics, in my opinion.

Yes, it is so different.

Brawl and Melee skills/attacks use mass and force (like the exertion of kinetic energy over an area over time, force) to cause damage, lightsabers have no mass to the attack, the damage comes from thermal energy, a focused plasma blade with no mass.

 

Of course, you could just grab a Morgukaic Cortosis Staff--which is essentially a Lightsaber Pike--but it uses Melee and counts as a Melee weapon rather than a Lightsaber for all practical purposes. For a Marauder, this is the best option.

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Or an Ancient Sword, it's a Melee weapon that uses the Lightsaber Skill.

The actual classification of what weapon type a particular weapon falls into is nothing to do with the Skill associated with it. The a Skill is a good indicator, but the actual classification can only be seen by looking in the Equipment chapters. The equipment is all broken down into sub-categories, listed at the top of each table of items. The only weapon in the core FaD book that is a Melee Class but uses the Lightsaber skill is the Ancient Sword.

It's also important to discuss FFG's method of description, in the English version:

"melee" (no capitalisation of the m) covers every type of weapon used in hand to hand combat - Brawl, Melee and Lightsaber weapons are all covered in this. An example of a talent that uses this is "Knockdown"

But where "Melee" "Beawl" or "Lightsaber" are used its specifying those categories from the equipment chapter.

Feral Strength (Wild Power in German) specifies "Melee and Brawl weapons" so does Frenzied Attack (Furious Slash).

Edited by Richardbuxton

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I would say if they want to use it let them, it is not that over powering since the weapon already has breach.  Also if the book has the lightsaber modification for extended hilt to increase the damage, that references using the strength for additional power in the strike.  Or you could tie this his beserker strength in to the Dark side, if he wants to use that additional damage it adds a conflict point.  

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If you let lightsabers use frenzied attack and feral strength then it allows lightsabers already impressive lead over melee weapons fall behind even further.

Would it work the other way if you let lightsaber only moves work with melee and brawl.

No id say this power creep would be too much.

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Lightsabers are lightsabers ,melee is melee. The system makes it this way from a design point of view; theres a reason there are very few damage enhancers like deadly accuracy and the like in the force and destiny trees, theres a untold assumption that lightsaber combat is already plenty dangerous without pairing with potent melee talents.

 

I think the lightsaber upgrade pricing is largely silly though.

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Though I agree with the above posts about the Lightsaber skill being separate and that there are several talents that are specific to Brawl and Brawl/Melee that wouldn't apply (and vice versa with some talents that require Lightsabers) and one of the prime reason (if not the only reason) is for game balance, I do have to add something about balance.

 

Designers shoot for a universal game balance. A nice base line where you can dump PC's into the circle and while some might fall closer to the middle and others closer to an edge it (hopefully) is all 'close enough' that any group with any GM can generally get things going. Drilling down to a specific group though, the balance that matters is the internal balance of that group. If the group is facing threats where a Marauder using his/her abilities with a lightsaber wouldn't shatter the difficulty of the adventure and/or step on the fun of the other players, then a GM might want to consider things. Lightsabers generally don't fall into groups by accident and if a Marauder is on some development path with it and not trying to 'game the system' it's definitely something for a GM to consider in my opinion. Especially if the Marauder hasn't/isn't able to take some of the F&D lightsaber focused trees and the goal is to let the character growth while not 'invalidating' a lot of previously purchased talents. 

 

But make no mistake, those two talents would dial even an 'average' lightsaber to 11.

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Nope, sorry, while I get what some people say, about how different it is to USE a lightsaber, and how different it might be to practice with such a weapon, the use of a lightsaber is still as a melee weapon, and anything I can do with a sword, I SHOULD be able to do with a lightsaber; it IS a sword, and so talents that affect melee weapons SHOULD include a lightsaber, as it IS a melee weapon. Don't worry, I won't keep harping on it; it's an aspect of the weapon they've been working on for a few versions of Star Wars RPGs, now, even beyonf the mere proficiency to USE it, safely, so the majority of people must think it's the right way.

 

Having babbled that, I can agree that, if it really is an issue of game balance; if the lightsaber's damage + successes + properties makes these talents broken, where a "regular" melee weapon's Brawn + damage + successes + properties DON'T, leave it alone, and maintain the balance. I'm well past whining that lightsabers SHOULD be superior weapons, and am glad about the lengths to which this game has gone to make things square for you, whatever you want to play.

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An Ancient Sword is a sword, a Lightsaber is a Lightsaber. There are plenty of talents for Lightsaber users that stack with Lethal Blows, they are all Force Talents and most are in Lightsaber Trees (anything that adds Force dice to your Lightsaber check and allows you to spend Force Pips on Advantage). If a Talent lets you add Success with your Force Pips then it's the equivalent to Feral Strength. Nothing directly imitates Frenzied Attack, but there are Talents that do similar, some of which actually stack with it for Melee weapons.

If a character wants to use a Lightsaber heavily then they should not just be a Marauder, it's an awesome Specialisation if you want to Crit hard and be tough, but combine it with one of the 6 Saber forms, or honestly with Armourer. The combination of Armorer with Marauder is just plain brutal, all that Enduring, the Armour Master series of talents... Then you get Saber Throw as well as Falling Avalanche and 6 Toughened ranks, it's one hell of a brutal tank. (IF XP is flowing free then a quick dip into Executioner will take it even further ;) )

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A marauder using any weapon other than a morgukai cortosis staff will have difficulty keeping up with any lightsaber with breach even with every instance of frenzied attack and feral strength (which btw takes 3 specializations, one of which has the only linear progression of talents in the games thus far) , a lightsaber specialist with with one saber tree and a fully tricked lightsaber. Even with a morgukai staff the maurader loses out to the lightsabers hard points.

On the defense side the maurader again cant compete, they would have to acually buy into a force apwcialisation and waste a lot of xp on talents they couldnt use nust to get a few ranks in parry.

Compare a soresu defender /armorer with a maurader/commando the former both outdamages and outdefends. Other combos might not out defend the maurader but will increase on offence. As well as this the lightsaber user can effectively choose which stat they want to use for weapon skills enhancing their utility over the maurader.

Giving the lightsaber user the marauders toys just dumps on the maurader , the spy and that commando.

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This always irritates me, sort of like Exotic Weapon Proficiency used to. Is the weapon SO different from any other sword-analogue? 

Realistically, I'm with you, man.  We can talk about weightless blades and gyroscopic effects all day, but yeah. A weapon is a weapon is a weapon.

But in this case, it is actually a pretty big balance issue, and it ties into the lore thematically.  So I make sure my players know going in that if they want to be a glowstick-monkey, Marauder is probably not their best choice, as we're treating things a bit differently.  This is also a game where learning to fly a fighter jet means you're just as good at riding a giant jackrabbit, but you have no clue how to fly a space shuttle (though your Agility and Talents ought to be helpful).

On the bright side, you could be playing The One Ring, where a master swordsman's skill has no bearing if he picks up a different sized sword, or a famed archer with a Great Bow suddenly can't figure out how to use a not-so-Great Bow.

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This always irritates me, sort of like Exotic Weapon Proficiency used to. Is the weapon SO different from any other sword-analogue? 

Realistically, I'm with you, man.  We can talk about weightless blades and gyroscopic effects all day, but yeah. A weapon is a weapon is a weapon.

Strictly for the record, real life melee weapons vary so dramatically in how you wield them that you'd need a skill for each and every one. Like, even fundamentally similar weapons would have to be approached individually. And then you have to factor in certain fighting styles...

 

And also, slightly dipping into the lore a bit here, but lightsabers are something of a magic weapon. Not in the typical sense, in that if you don't have powers you can't wield one, and not in the mechanical sense (except for the ones that are) where the qualities work the same way as any other weapon. Considering the setting and the fairy tale/romantic epic nature of the series, it kind of fits that lightsaber has its own skill? Just a little?

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Usually I'd just go with its weightless, has no real center of balance, has practically infinite cutting power and as such really isn't the same as using a normal melee weapon.

 

A weapon is not a weapon. Try using a Rapier like a Katana its just not going to happen. Rapiers are all about parrying and thrusting and do not usually have a sharpened edge. Katana's are all about slashing. Trying to use a Katana like a Broadsword would be hilariously bad.

Edited by Decorus

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Well to clarify the situation,

 

We are about 370 XP, the player in question started as darksider with makashi (mostly for parry, duellist training, makashi tech, and intense Presence not for the three technics!) , and then went into Powertech for tinkerer and jury rigged as well as armorprofincy.

Used one dedication to run Presence up to 5 (and put Lightsaber to 3), his agily flaw he compensats by enchance, and now wants to dip in the marauder, Armorer (tinkerer, Inventor, armormaster) ,Soresu (for the reflects) and also wants to dive into gambler... since that would give him the advanced all or nothing talent... he already showed me his calculation how many Hardpoints he needs for his Lightsaber...

 

You see why I asked? it not only smells like powerplaying... it is, and has nothing to do with any story or character concept, in my eyes.

 

Since I restricted the players that they'll need a mentor (of any kind) to gain any Force Specs or Powers beyond the career trees and powers that were choosen at the creation, I am able to slow the process down.

 

But of course I can't always tell the players that the holocron has only intstructions on Specs neather of them wants, and also I can't only give out the Specs the not so powergaming player wants because, I also have to be fair.

 

but thanks to your help I now have enough valid information to explain WHY the marauder traits don't stack with the Lightsabers.

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With those 4 specs he is looking to spend 220xp before investing anything at all in talents or skills, he may have a MinMax plan but it's not a very good one. He would be best sticking with Armorer and Executioner if he wants to inflict maximum damage. That's a crazy combination he has come up with and sounds more like 4 different characters than just one.

Anyway I'm glad you got the answers you seek.

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