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GConn

Saber Throw and "must" clause

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I just had my first session of this game (so awesome... this dice system is so much better than D&D) but something odd happened in regards to my Saber throw (we started at knight level) - I've searched these forums but haven't been able to find an answer.

 

First, there is a lot of talk on these forums about how many pips to spend to retrieve a Lightsaber.  F&D seems to indicate that it is one pip to throw it, and an additional pip to return it.  This must contradict other books because a lot of people are saying it is 1 pip to throw and 2 more pips to return.  I'm quite confident that isn't the case, or at least, not anymore.  This is challenging enough for my Shien Expert with 1 force rating, as there is only a 1 in 4 chance he'll get the Saber back after throwing it - if it costs 3 then there is no chance at all to return it; and that seems broken - so this must have been corrected.  I'll have to spend all my XP towards a different class that does grant a force rating so I can actually reliably throw my saber.

 

I'll describe the scenario that is making me confused.  I tried to throw my Saber at a Rodian Bounty Hunter, hovering (hover boots) in the air over a precipice - I rolled a dark side pip and my Lightsaber check failed (all rolled at once).  The GM said I must spend the dark side pip even though the attack would miss, but he allowed me to spend the dark pip to miss AND retrieve the Saber. I asked him what would have happened if there were no light destiny points to spend to use that dark pip; he said I would have thrown the Saber, missed regardless of Saber check, and not got it back.  This perplexed me, as I was quite certain it said multiple times in the book that you never HAVE to spend dark side pips if you don't want to.  I suppose it's more a question of order of operations.  I would have rolled just the force dice to see if I could first muster enough force to get the 2 pips I need to throw the Saber and not have it fall into the ocean far below.  If I wound up getting 1 pip I would have realised I did not summon enough force, and would not even attempt the throw.  The trickiness is with the "must" clause of the power:

 

"Perform Saber Throw action; make Lightsaber combat check as ranged attack at target within medium range, adding (force dice) no greater than Force rating. Must spend (force) and succeed to hit target; spend (force) to have weapon return to hand."

 

I think the problem is "MUST spend (force) and succeed to hit"... However, I interpret that as; in order to successfully hit your target, you must succeed on your combat check and be able to spend one (force)... Not that you MUST spend a force pip, and then the Lightsaber check resolves to see if you hit... I don't like that I MUST spend dark pips when I don't want to... But if I didn't spend that dark pip I would have just thrown my Lightsaber off a cliff into the ocean... That doesn't seem right... Wouldn't it be that I would first check to see if I had enough force power available to even perform the throw and return... If I was lucky enough to get 2 pips THEN I would roll the Saber check... Not just randomly tossing my Lightsaber off a cliff and hoping for the best lol... I should be using the force to launch the Saber from my hand; not throwing it with my arm and just hoping I can muster enough force to actually do something with my Saber that is now flying through the air... What would have happened if I got 1 pip and the Saber check succeeded... MUST I have thrown my Saber, hit the Rodian, and then have the Saber fall into the ocean?  On the ground this would not have been a problem; I could have thrown it and retrieved it later - but in this scenario I would have certainly lost the Lightsaber for good.

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Hmm...well, the thing about this system is the writers are a little...looser with their terminology than the Level 20 Arcane Lawyers over at WotC. So I would agree that the more lenient version is the way to go.

And remember, for checks like the one for Saber Throw, the entire pool is rolled at once (it's called a combined check, it appears you did this part right) - the combat check with your Lightsaber skill and your Force dice. So you can clearly see whether the attack succeeded or failed before choosing whether you want to go ahead and spend the pips to actually make the talent work.

Now, narratively...as a GM, I would say that if you make the check, that means you threw your lightsaber. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. You can only have a chance at actually hitting your target if you spend a pip to do so, but importantly, nowhere in the talent description* does it say that you must spend the pips in the order that it mentions them. So if your check fails, there's no reason to spend your one pip to allow the attack to hit, might as well spend it to get your 'saber back (although you may need to spend a black pip to do it). Although in that case, I'd rule that any Advantage you had from your attack couldn't be spent to affect the target directly, because your attack was so far off course it had no chance to hit.

So, it appears that the scenario played out properly. You took a risk, throwing your 'saber at an enemy over a cliff when you didn't have enough skill to know for sure that you'd be able to retrieve it. There was always a chance of failure that resulted in losing your weapon. Now, of course, a good GM would have made sure to spend at least 1 dark side Destiny Point during the scuffle, so you could flip it for a narrative effect after the battle and gone, "Oh wow! My lightsaber caught on that tree right above the waterline! That was lucky!" And then at least you're not out your weapon permanently. Otherwise, there are Force powers you could use to search it out after the battle (Seek, especially). If you didn't have those, then maybe that's even better! You go on a couple of adventures, bemoaning the loss of your special weapon, and then at the start of a new adventure, you're in a Bazaar and the GM flips a Destiny, telling you: "You're wandering through the stalls and you see your lightsaber, on display in a shop! The attendant says that it was found in a fishing net on [Planet XYZ], and he's selling it for 20,000 credits! It's an actual, working lightsaber!"

And then you have a chance for conflict, an interesting, zany adventure, and to get your 'saber back. So I guess what I'm saying is: yes, the situation you described was played out (mostly) correctly, but even if you'd lost your 'saber, a good GM would have found a way to get it back to you later. Also, depending on how the scenario was set up, I could also see the 'saber not falling down the cliff unless you rolled a despair on your attack. And since it was a possibility, I would have definitely used a dark side DP on your attack, assuming your target didn't have Adversary already, which feeds back into the "Make sure there's a light side point available so you can narrative that 'saber back at the end of the fight!" thing I mentioned earlier.

Hopefully that helps!

* I am AWB right now, so I can't double-check to confirm. However, always remember to check the full talent description in the Talents chapter. Sometimes there's extra details there that can clarify some stuff...

Edited by Absol197

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Judging by the full description of the talent, it's definitely 1 pip to throw and 1 pip to return.

Also, is your GM aware of the fact that you don't have to spend any pips to activate the talent (as in, you can refuse to spend any pips to throw the saber)?

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I also agree that it's 1 pip to return.

 

I also feel that GConn is right. If you want to hit you must succeed in getting the correct number of pips and the lightsaber check. I agree that that is what the "must" is referring to. If you miss, there's no obligation to spend your pips on anything. If there was no Destiny Point to flip, what would happen then?

Edited by kaosoe

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The answer you seek is in the long description. Whenever there's ANY confusion of a talent, force power, ect, check the long description first, the thing on the tree is just a reminder, not the full rule.

 

So...

 

The long description for saber throw says:

The character may take a Saber Throw action, making a a Lightsaber combat check as a ranged attack as one target within medium range, adding [Die] no greater than his Force rating to the check. The character must spend [pip] and succeed on the check to hit his target; he may spend [pip] to have his weapon return to his hand after resoling the attack.

 

 

So... the "must" is that you have to both spend a pip and succeed the check, not that a pip must be spent because reasons. If you only pass the check, but don't have the pips, it doesn't' work.

 

Moving on "after resolving the attack" can mean a hit or a miss. So even if you miss, you can still recall the saber if you've got the pips for it.

 

So, given the situation:

 

 

 I tried to throw my Saber at a Rodian Bounty Hunter, hovering (hover boots) in the air over a precipice - I rolled a dark side pip and my Lightsaber check failed (all rolled at once).

 

You would not be required to spend any pips if you don't want to. Now, if the saber was recoverable, or tossed into the precipice is up to your GM. Personally I see that result requiring something like 3 Threat, but that's just me.

 

Moving on, if the saber was thrown into the pit, that would be "resolving the attack" so you could flip the pip and recall the saber per the talent. Which is also why the Morality system is skewed toward light... so you can do things like recall your saber when you need to without fear of falling to the darkside.

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This is a really good question actually :)

 

After reading some more and comparing to other attack talents such as HawkBat Kick, this sounds more like the descriptions used in the Force powers themselves such as Move or Bind. There they say you MUST generate enough force points and succeed, similar to the situation here.

 

So i am in Absol's camp on this and think that when you declare such an action you THROW your saber "hoping for the best". You do not have to spend the force pip if you missed and or don't see a way for it to return to you, but you do have to spend it if you wanted it to return. And this is also where it gets interesting, that in this case you might actually lose your saber if you throw it and you do not have the force pips to return it. Never thought of that but it's interesting and makes it tense narratively , that in such situations a gun might be the smarter option, or just using your saber to reflect. 

 

This also explains why we don't see many Jedi throw their sabers, that and the fact that you can't reflect without them so at that second you might be open to attacks.

 

Nice question, thank you :)

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So I think I've got a handle (mostly) on possible results, ignoring adv/triump etc.:

 

1: 1 pip, Saber succeeds - may spend 1 pip to hit the target and not recover the Saber OR may opt not to hit the target and spend 1 pip to retrieve it instead

2: 1 pip, Saber fails - may spend 1 pip to retrieve the Saber

3: 2 pips, Saber succeeds - may spend 1 pip to hit and 1 to retrieve

4: 2 pips, Saber fails - may spend 1 to retrieve

5. dark pips with no light destiny means you've completely failed to throw your Saber - it misses and falls to the ground, regardless of Saber check.

 

Adv/Threat/Disp/Tri obviously affecting it in other narrative ways... Or mechanical; like if I roll triumph or 2 advantage it's a crit on the throw... Or throwing a double bladed saber, tri/2adv to trigger "linked" and hit twice.  I also think that adv/tri should only apply if you succeed on the saber check AND spend the pip to hit... Lets say you fail a saber check and spend the pip to return the saber - if you rolled triumph on the failed Saber check it would not apply because you did not spend the pip to "apply" that check, only to retrieve the Saber. Alternatively, on a failed Saber check with a bunch of adv and/or triumph, maybe you want to spend pip knowing you will miss the attack, but want apply the adv/triumph somehow... Like in an effort to dodge the Saber the target slips and falls backwards (adv = prone), hitting their head on the ground (triumph =disoriented) 

 

I see now that it makes more sense that you are actually throwing your Saber and then seeing what happens; adds an element of risk...

 

I'f I'm interpreting this correctly then spending the first pip is only to actually hit the target; not to see if you can hit the target.  Actually hitting being a choice, whereas seeing if you can hit means you are forced to spend a pip.

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Another option for use with the triumph and advantages is that the saber cuts a power cable behind the target blocking his escape,

or it cuts a beam making the mine shaft starting to collapse giving both you and the enemy setbacks due to falling rocks.

 

so i wouldn't give up on those advantages and threats (triumphs and despairs) just yet, as they can make it more interesting, even if that means losing your saber :)

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also think that adv/tri should only apply if you succeed on the saber check AND spend the pip to hit...

Technically it applies even on a miss. There's lots of things that can happen when you start throwing lightsabers at people. Darth Vader himself proved that just because you missed doesn't you can't destroy the catwalk your son is standing on, denying him the high ground (fool me once...)

 

Besides this would also mean that Threat/Despair wouldn't apply if you opted to miss... so yeah, doubt there's a GM out there that would approve of that...

 

 

If I'm interpreting this correctly then spending the first pip is only to actually hit the target; not to see if you can hit the target.  Actually hitting being a choice, whereas seeing if you can hit means you are forced to spend a pip.

 

.... yes? I mean you don't have to spend the pip if you don't want to, so that would allow you to toss a saber with the intent of doing something beyond damaging the target (though it may not look that way to him)

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Actually that makes sense... if you give up the Saber check then you can meta game the system; you could see that your roll would fail and generate despair, so you would just choose not to apply that check to avoid the despair.

 

So the Saber check resolves whether or not you spend a pip, but even if it succeeds, it only hits if you spend a pip; otherwise you could opt not to hit and instead spend the pip to return the Saber - this scenario being very situational; I knew I only had a 1 in 4 chance to actually hit the Rodian AND return the Saber; 3 out of 4 times I would have to not hit, even it it suceeds, just to return the saber so I did not lose it. ADV/Threat/Tri/Desp resolves whether you spend pips or not.

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   I've pondered this one a bit.  I think I would have a really hard time investing in investing in Saber Throw without FR 2.  But yeah, I agree with the general consensus.  If you're not willing to spend a black pip, you throw your lightsaber, it flies some distance, deactivates, clatters to the ground, and you look like a schmuck.  If you roll a bunch of advantage, maybe the hilt smacks the villain on the head, so he holds his noggin, saying, "OWW!  Dude!  Are you serious with that?!" And I would probably not have you lose it without rolling threat.

  With FR 1, I think you have to accept that your options are to hit, but lose your saber (hopefully not for long!), or to miss and get it back.  If you hit and call it back, that's fantastic, but unlikely.  Also, you need to be okay with taking some Conflict.

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I agree with the general consensus: a single pip may be spent to hit (on a Success), and a single pip may be spent to return the saber, and either effect may be activated in the case that you can only generate a single pip, independent of the other. If you don't want either effect to happen, then no pips need be spent, even on a successful check. 

 

But I disagree with the prescribed ruling above that one can't spend Advantage on a missed attack to affect the target. "Close only counts," as they say, "in horseshoes and hand grenades." There is no definitive reason, as far as the game rules go, to call one attack a "near miss," and then call another attack a "wide miss."

 

And IMO, we GMs should be really choosy about when we use the word "can't." It's a collaborative game, which means the players need to be creative for the system to work as it's intended. And plus that, he's just burned an action. Let him at least use his Advantage to good effect.

 

Give the player some wiggle room in his own description of his PC's attack; don't stymie him by forcing a narrating a wide miss, tell him what his limited options are, and then have him try and come up with something! The dice are already enough of a constraint on their own without GMs imposing restrictions based on their own vision of events. For example:

  • Let him say that his target ducked to opportunely avoid being decapitated, and then allow him to spend his 2 Advantage add a Setback to his target's next check, owing to the fact that he is now afraid because the lightsaber suddenly became a ranged weapon.
  • Or, let him narrate a miss of several meters, but one that accidentally sliced through a lubricant line, sending slippery stuff spraying in all directions and causing enough of a distraction that (for 3 Advantage) his target has now lost his defensive bonuses and is wide-open for an attack.

 

Other than that, I agree with everything Absol197 said :)

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Saber Throw: (pg 151 F&D)

The character may take the Saber Throw action, making a a Lightsaber combat check as a ranged attack at one target within medium range, adding (Force Die/Dice) no greater than his Force rating to the check. The character must spend (1 Force Point) and succeed on the check to hit the target; he may spend (1 Force Point) to have his weapon return to his had after resolving the attack.

Emphasis mine.

 

It clearly states that to make the Attack you add at least one Force die and you must spend one Force point. You can't make a Saber Throw attack without also rolling a Force die in the pool and spending one Force point and once you make that roll you are committed to the result. For whatever reason (insert fluff here) it's just not possible to throw a lightsaber as an attack without using the Force. If you only roll one Force point then you cannot return the weapon as you do not have a Force point available to do so because you used it to make the attack and the retrieval happens after resolving the attack. The take away here is that it is a substantial risk to use Saber Trow with only a single Force Die.

Regardless I've sent a question in, we should have an answer in a few days :)

Edited by FuriousGreg

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Saber Throw: (pg 151 F&D)

The character may take the Saber Throw action, making a a Lightsaber combat check as a ranged attack at one target within medium range, adding (Force Die/Dice) no greater than his Force rating to the check. The character must spend (1 Force Point) and succeed on the check to hit the target; he may spend (1 Force Point) to have his weapon return to his had after resolving the attack.

Emphasis mine.

 

It clearly states that to make the Attack you add at least one Force die and you must spend one Force point. You can't make a Saber Throw attack without also rolling a Force die in the pool and spending one Force point and once you make that roll you are committed to the result. For whatever reason (insert fluff here) it's just not possible to throw a lightsaber as an attack without using the Force. If you only roll one Force point then you cannot return the weapon as you do not have a Force point available to do so because you used it to make the attack and the retrieval happens after resolving the attack. The take away here is that it is a substantial risk to use Saber Trow with only a single Force Die.

 

I don't think so. It's not "must spend a FP to make the attack." It says the character must spend a FP...to hit the target. There is no verbiage or syntax in there to suggest that it should be read a different way than it is plainly written. It's "must do X and Y to accomplish Z," not, "Must do X, and then if Y happens, then Z is accomplished." That is a confusing concept, and a convoluted interpretation. 

 

The skill check, itself, represents the act of throwing the lightsaber just fine. The Force die is added to make the whole thing work. A lightsaber thrown without the aid of the Force would be an improvised weapon. So while it's feasible that you could just chuck it at someone, and possibly hit them, odds are that its awkwardness would result in a no-so-great effect. And you wouldn't be able to return the saber to your hand with the same action you used to throw it :)

 

Furthermore, if you treat that "must" as unqualified and obligatory, does that mean that the PC must also flip a Destiny Point, suffer 1 strain, and accrue a conflict?? Because that is the logical conclusion of the above proposed interpretation.  

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If we want to be that pedantic about terminology (and I would argue that this game tries its very best to avoid such pedantry), then I would point out that the "must" in the full description isn't referring to making the check, it's referring to "hit[ting the] target." The description gives a clear order of operations, assisted by the rules for making a combat check in the combat chapter.

1) Take the Saber Throw action;

2) Make a Lightsaber combat check against a target within medium range (add Force Dice to the check);

3) Resolve the check as given in the rules for making a combat check;

3a) The check does not result in a "hit" unless it is both successful AND you spend [O];

4) After resolving the check, if you have any unspent [O], you may spend one to retrieve your weapon.

There is no instance in the rules where you would roll your Force Rating before the rest of your check, so assuming that you are required to spend [O] to even make the attempt is nonsensical, because they aren't generated until after you make your check. So, since spending a [O] is not required to make the check, it must be required for something else. And that something else is the result "Hit [the] target." But if your check has failed you can't hit the target no matter what, so why would you then be required to spend one of your precious pips on something pointless? Another thing the rules never do is force you to spend [O] if you don't want to.

Intriguingly, I have realized something else through this discussion: even if you have all of your Force Dice committed and therefore have none to add to your check, as long as you don't mind losing your lightsaber, you can technically make a Saber Throw still, using potential Advantage/Triumph to mess with your target (APYW has changed my mind in this regard :) )! You'll never hit, but you can still wig them out!

EDIT: GAAAAH >_< !!! Confound my wordiness! Always, always with the getting pre-empted!

Edited by Absol197

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This thread raised the question with me of:

 

"What happens when i throw a Vibro Axe at my opponent?"

 

So then if you want to throw a lightsaber without the expectation of actually retrieving it in the same action what do you roll?

 

Is it automatically a Ranged(Light) check?

Setback added for throwing a weapon not intended for throwing?

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Im a big fan of KISS. (Keep it simple stupid)

1.You make the attack, adding force dice to taste

2. You need 1 FP and a success to hit.

3. You need 2 FP (in total) for it to return.

4. Not enough FP = loss of weapon (regardless of success)

5. You miss but get 2 FP = weapon return

I would allow a triumph to mean it hits even if you didnt get enough FP (two for medium range)

Edited by Funk Fu master

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So then if you want to throw a lightsaber without the expectation of actually retrieving it in the same action what do you roll?

 

Is it automatically a Ranged(Light) check?

Setback added for throwing a weapon not intended for throwing?

 

Since it's not designed for throwing...yes, Ranged (Light), 1 automatic Threat per the Improvised Weapons rules (FaD 218), and I'd also give it Inaccurate 2 (so 2 setbacks). Unless you wanted to just hit someone with the hilt, deactivated...no Inaccurate rating necessary for that ;) Just a normal Ranged (Light) improvised weapon. Like a hydrospanner. Except a little more pricey. 

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Im a big fan of KISS. (Keep it simple stupid)

1.You make the attack, adding force dice to taste

2. You need 1 FP and a success to hit.

3. You need 2 FP (in total) for it to return.

4. Not enough FP = loss of weapon (regardless of success)

5. You miss but get 2 FP = weapon return

 

It's just as simple to say,

 

1.You make the attack, adding Force dice up to Force Rating
2. You need to spend 1 FP and succeed to hit.
3. You need to spend 1 FP to return it to your hand.
4. If you don't have enough FP, you lose the weapon (regardless of success)
5. You miss but spend 1 FP, you can return the weapon to your hand
 
And the nice thing is that this is actually how the rules read :)
Edited by awayputurwpn

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By RAW you are right, you are not forced to use dark pips. But I think this highlights one of the problems of rolling both the force roll and the combat check in the same roll. You can metagame the force pip spenditure. 

 

One example is "Oh I don't hit so I dont even bother to spend the pips". The problem with this is that your character would not know if he hits or not. This is specially bad if you do something else with the pips, like spending  them for strain with a dantari crystal.

 

I agree with the others that you should probably just throw and lose your saber if you fail to spend the required pips. A good example in the movies is Vader throwing his saber at Luke, and he physically throws it. So I think it's correct to assume you throw it regardless of  your force pips, but you should not be forced to use a dark pip. You never should.

 

One way to solve this is roll the force roll beforehand and decide to spend the pips or not then roll to attack. It barely takes more time but all the problems with the talent are solved.

Edited by blackyce

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blackyce,

That "metagame" aspect you mention was a deliberate design choice on the designers' part, much the same as the PCs choosing who acts in what initiative slot each round, which itself is very metagamey.

 

It also avoids situations where if the PC were to roll their Force dice first, decides to flip a Destiny Point and take strain/conflict to use dark side pips, and then goes bust on the corresponding skill check, with the end result being they've burned a Destiny Point for nothing, when the notion is that if a Destiny Point is flipped, there should be some sense of tangible gain, especially if there's extra cost like strain/conflict attached to the expenditure.

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Yeah, as long as you don't assume that "metagame" is always a 100% terrible thing, then there is no problem :) Like Dono mentioned, it's the same as deciding who-goes-when in the dynamic initiative order; or, for another example, deciding whether to spend 3 Advantage to "recover strain" or "disarm your enemy." 

 

You have a choice in this matter—you, that is, the player controlling a character in a cooperatively-narrated setting. There is no need to try and divorce yourself from the mechanics of your decisions—you, not your character, are the one deciding how to spend your dice-generated resources. It's your job to take part in creating the narrative as a real-life person—this essentially requires that you "metagame"—and it's your character's job to be awesome inside the narrative. She doesn't know anything about any dice. She just knows that **** is going down. 

 

While it would be metagaming BS to say that your character suddenly knows everything there is to know about the present situation because you looked it up on Wookieepedia, it is another thing entirely to narrate your character doing something cool because the dice allow her to do that cool thing. As long as everyone's having fun, then this is the right thing to do! 

 

And if people aren't having fun, then that's where houserules come in ;) But I am definitely a fan of the one-roll resolution for almost all applications. Clean and simple. 

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Hey folks, it took a while but I got an answer back from Sam:

 

Hello Greg,

 
Yes. 
 
Hope this helps!

Sam Stewart
RPG Manager
Fantasy Flight Games
 

 

On Sep 29, 2016, at 11:43 AM, no-reply@fantasyflightgames.com wrote:

Message from:
Greg


Rules Question:
Hello, When making a Saber Trow attack the RAW states: "Saber Throw: (pg 151 F&D) ... The character must spend (1 Force Point) and succeed on the check to hit the target..." Is the Player required to spend the Force point even if the attack roll fails? Thank you, Greg

 

 

Apparently once you commit to the Action you must spend the FP regardless of the outcome. So that would mean that if you only generate one LS point you must to spend it on the Attack even if it fails and would not be able to retrieve your sabre unless you had a second LS point or used a DS point.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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