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Squirrelsan

What do high level FaD PCs look like?

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I have a tendency to interpret things very literally (for which I have a excuse from my doctor in the form of a diagnosis of a mild case [i.e. high functioning] of asperger syndrome, some meds I take help me partially compensate socially)

They have meds for that? I had no idea….I guess I do need to go in to my doctor to get the official diagnosis, and see if maybe this is something that I should have addressed years ago….

The point is minion strain -> wounds seems like a big stretch to me, a bigger one than I am personally willing to take, but if you're OK with it, more power to you.

Well, Minions don’t have a Strain Threshold. So, they have to take Strain as Wounds. Right?I mean, that’s RAW. Right?

They have meds to increase emotional connectivity (their primary use is as an antipsychotic, but creative doctors found other uses for them) an example is Risperdal which works great in a cocktail with welbutrin and Lamictal for treating bipolar (in my case bipolar type 2 - depressive trend), now there is this thing call comorbidity which basically means that certain mental illnesses tend to appear together because they involve some of the same sets of genes for example attention deficit disorder is the flip side of the coin with bipolar... if you're adhd (h is for hyperactivity) then you're likely to also have bipolar type 1 (the classic manic depressive), if you're add (the hypoactive/inattentive type) you're likely to have bipolar type 2 (depressive trend, which is me), and the Risperdal, Lamictal, welbutrin works well for me, pretty much like I don't have it because of the meds, which is the point of me saying this publicly if you're (generalized you, anyone reading this, not specifically directed at brad) suffering from mental health illnesses, it's not something to be ashamed of, you're brain chemistry is a bit off and that imbalance can be fixed with the right combination of meds. And like I started saying Risperdal also helps with emotional connectivity (something people with asperger's tend to need help with). BTW Carrie Fisher was a mental illness/health advocate.

Regarding the second point... I was unclear using advantage/threat to do strain->wounds on minions (and rivals) as a way to emulate reflect improved is the thing me and my perhaps (in this case) overly literal tendencies have a problem with

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bradknowles,

Yes, that minions (and rivals) take any strain inflicted to them, be it through weapons with the Stun quality (active or passive) or from Threat spent on their combat checks is treated as wounds.

 

So yes, you could very easily replicate the narrative effect of a Jedi "deflecting" a blaster bolt into a minion group as being the result of the Jedi's player spending Threat from a combat check the minion group made to inflict stain.

 

The same narrative effect (Jedi deflecting a blaster shot into a minion group) could be handled as part of the Jedi's own combat check with a Lightsaber, perhaps describing the minion they took down by triggering a crit as being taken out by a reflected blaster bolt (presuming the minions are using blasters).  Same notion could also be employed to narratively cover how the damage from a lightsaber attack was able to take down a minion who is part of a group that's at short range from one another instead of being all clustered together.

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My players got their characters to the 500 xp mark, and while they were each exceptional in a skill and a power, none of them were quite as capable/well rounded as RotJ Luke (enhance/sense/move/bind (his force choke?)).  When focusing on one thing like mechanics or piloting they could come up with 4-6 die dice pools, and had uneven success with their powers, more like Luke in Cloud City.

Nothing like Obi-Wan in TPM or Anakin in AotC.

 

Some people say it's not fair to compare our characters to Prequel-era hyper idealized Jedi from the movies. While I think that's true of the prequels, it's fair to compare progression to Luke since that's the only original era (which these books are emulating) comparison we can make. Ignoring the ace piloting and mechanics Luke exhibits in ANH, his lower level capabilities with multiple force powers in just ESB cost quite a bit. RotJ shows much better control of his powers probably reflecting an increase in his force rating (completing a force tree).

Edited by Tikanni

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I agree with you that Luke must be a pretty high-level character in ROTJ (maybe 800 or 1,000?) given the Force power training he exhibits.  One thing to keep in mind, though, is that Skywalkers are very special Force users with an unusual amount of inborn potential, and so they probably start with at least two free extra points of Force Rating.  My interpretation of ROTJ is that, although Luke's powers and skills were only moderately trained, his raw power (Force Rating) was nearly a match for his father's.  So perhaps as high as 6 or 7!

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I think the argument the era wouldn't be appropriate for high-powered Jedi is kind of missing the point of the usual complaints, too. One, there have been plenty of powerful Force-users shown in that era over the years. Two, the primary consideration always has to be what makes for a fun game, not the restrictions of canon. And three, if a smuggler player can play Han, and a mechanic player can play R2, a Jedi player should be able to play Luke. Otherwise one group of players gets a raw deal just because the designers chose a particular way to express the Force in the game mechanics.

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I agree with you that Luke must be a pretty high-level character in ROTJ (maybe 800 or 1,000?) given the Force power training he exhibits.  One thing to keep in mind, though, is that Skywalkers are very special Force users with an unusual amount of inborn potential, and so they probably start with at least two free extra points of Force Rating.  My interpretation of ROTJ is that, although Luke's powers and skills were only moderately trained, his raw power (Force Rating) was nearly a match for his father's.  So perhaps as high as 6 or 7!

 

Han's an unusually good pilot. R2's an unusually-brave and competent astromech. Yet the rules don't disadvantage players who want to emulate those characters.

 

I think this is definitely an actual problem with how the games are written. Force-users could have been handled the way the Marvel Heroic RPG handles super-powered vs non-powered individuals, for example. That is, they could have used the same mechanics, with their different areas of expertise and powers expressed per character, not with an entirely different sub-system.

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I agree with you that Luke must be a pretty high-level character in ROTJ (maybe 800 or 1,000?) given the Force power training he exhibits.  One thing to keep in mind, though, is that Skywalkers are very special Force users with an unusual amount of inborn potential, and so they probably start with at least two free extra points of Force Rating.  My interpretation of ROTJ is that, although Luke's powers and skills were only moderately trained, his raw power (Force Rating) was nearly a match for his father's.  So perhaps as high as 6 or 7!

 
Only if you scale Luke up to face an over-built mechanical monstrosity.
 
You can make a very scary and realistic simulation of Vader with a FR of 4. Its more than enough to simulate what we see him do. I would argue Luke was probably at FR 2-3 and had plenty of destiny to burn in the throne room duel in ROTJ. The Empire flipped all the destiny points to make the Emporer's nefarious scheme to draw in the rebels come to fruition. It was Luke's moment to seize. The force tokens were with him!
 
Gamers tend to amplify iconic villians to the nth degree out of a combination of pietistic fan-boy reverence combined with the meta-contextual necessity of building them to face multiple player characters at one time. Remember, Vader was ultimately taken down by Luke, a greenhorn but talented Jedi. It was destiny and Luke's character, not Luke's power, that defeated him. 
 
Vader did not have to face a team of Lukes all at one time. He'd have gone down like a B-1 battle droid if he had. *Roger-respirator-roger!*  Even at his zenith, Vader only had to contend with Obi-Wan man-to-man without outside interference... and lost. I would suggest Kenobi was around FR 4 during the Clone Wars. Powerful, but not Yoda, Dooku, or Palpatine. 
 
It will sound counter-intuitive, but I prefer not to build mechanical-monster baddies to single-handedly beat-down groups of PCs unless its genre appropriate. I used to do that, but I've been at this 36 years now, and have been typecast as a game-master for 30 of those years. In the end, one of my biggest take-aways, is that mechanics are the least interesting thing you can use to build memorable encounters and villains. 
 
Instead, I try to build the challenges into the circumstances of the encounters and the decisions the players have to make. Vader is a shrewd tactician. He will engineer the encounter to his advantage. He will divide and conquer, ensuring his duels are solo and uninterrupted. As he did both times he faced Luke. Even the inquisitors in Rebels somehow manage to face Kanan and Ezra without the rest of the team, and in most of those fights, alternate which one they are fighting. 
 
Here are my pre-Rogue One design notes on Vader and Palpatine.
 
Rogue One is the first time we see Vader, as opposed to pre-suit Anakin, deflect blaster bolts, which he does with aplomb. It was a wow-moment to watch, but I feel like he lost a smidgen of gravitas in the moment. However, if you expect him to be dealing with blaster-toting PCs, I'd  add reflect, improved reflect, and supreme reflect.
Edited by Vondy

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Interesting perspective.  I agree that leaving out the Revenge of the Sith portrayal of Anakin and Palpatine, there's a good case to be made for your view.  If you include the RotS portrayal of Palpatine, your view of him becomes hard to defend, since we see him slaughter three Council masters really quickly and still have enough reserves of power remaining to fight Windu to a standstill.  And since Palpatine tells Yoda that Vader's power will eclipse them both, Vader must end up at least in the same ballpark.

 

I would say even on your view, Force Rating 5 is probably a better choice for Vader since he never once seems to lack the Force points to use his powers and is often using powers that would require committing Force dice.

 

My personal interpretation is a little more middle-of-the-road than yours.  I think the prequel portrayal of Palpatine's power (and Yoda's) is a little over the top, and I've mentally retconned some of that power away.  But I would consider it bizarre if a 1,200-XP player character could exhibit greater Force power than Vader.

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since we see him slaughter three Council masters really quickly and still have enough reserves of power remaining to fight Windu to a standstill.

If I were to interpret that specific scene into this rule set, I would say the council members that died almost immediately were minions Mace (who would be the only PC) brought with him as backup. They die so soon to illustrate how deadly Palpatine is supposed to be to the PC to build up that epic sense of danger.

Or we could say Palpatine is the only PC and the council members are minions Mace the Nemesis brought with him. YMMV, :)

Edited by JorArns

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Interesting perspective.  I agree that leaving out the Revenge of the Sith portrayal of Anakin and Palpatine, there's a good case to be made for your view.  If you include the RotS portrayal of Palpatine, your view of him becomes hard to defend, since we see him slaughter three Council masters really quickly and still have enough reserves of power remaining to fight Windu to a standstill.  And since Palpatine tells Yoda that Vader's power will eclipse them both, Vader must end up at least in the same ballpark.

 

I would say even on your view, Force Rating 5 is probably a better choice for Vader since he never once seems to lack the Force points to use his powers and is often using powers that would require committing Force dice.

 

My personal interpretation is a little more middle-of-the-road than yours.  I think the prequel portrayal of Palpatine's power (and Yoda's) is a little over the top, and I've mentally retconned some of that power away.  But I would consider it bizarre if a 1,200-XP player character could exhibit greater Force power than Vader.

 

My comments in this thread were focused on Vader so I'm going to restrict my response accordingly. I would take issue with a few points you seek to make.

 

  • First: Anakin in ROTS doesn't require a huge force rating to simulate. Beyond my OT notes, he deflects blaster bolts and gets ninja-leapy. That's it. 
  • Second: Basing Vader's force rating on Palpatine's prediction as opposed to what we actually see him do is  highly problematic. Palpatine is not infallible. He has biases, blind spots, and deep dark passions in his should. He could be speaking from hubris, twisted faith, visions that have not come to pass, or be seeking to manipulate-intimidate. Palpatine is a primary source with a proven track-record filled with hubris and hidden agendas. His words to Yoda are not objective writ. 
  • Third: Taking that into account, and considering what it would take to build Vader to what he does on screen, I feel FR 4 is solid. You could go 5 if you feel he just has to be the spitz, or are leveraging powers that require force dice be committed on a regular basis, but that's more aesthetics than necessity in my opinion.
  • Fourth: I lied. I addressed Palpatine's bat-guano insane ROTS power levels and lightsaber skills in the other thread, but... my thoughts on that are two-fold: 1) the power-levels of prequel Jedi were over-the-top at the expense of character and continuity and drama. We can retcon in-universe reasons for the difference, but it boils down to Lucas damning the torpedoes in the name of "wow factor." It was lazy writing. 2) Palpatine is now an octogenarian who was greatly diminished by that last duel. I feel it was out of character then and would be even more so now.
Edited by Vondy

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since we see him slaughter three Council masters really quickly and still have enough reserves of power remaining to fight Windu to a standstill.

If I were to interpret that specific scene into this rule set, I would say the council members that died almost immediately were minions Mace (who would be the only PC) brought with him as backup. They die so soon to illustrate how deadly Palpatine is supposed to be to the PC to build up that epic sense of danger.

Or we could say Palpatine is the only PC and the council members are minions Mace the Nemesis brought with him. YMMV, :)

 

 

I agree with your assessment of that scene and like your mechanical interpretation of it. The quick deaths of the council members other than mace were intended to show how lethal Palpatine, and by extension Windu, were. And, Windu did take him down pretty much single-handedly. It was Anakin's interference that saved Palpatine. So, arguably, a single powerful PC could go head to head with the Emperor.

 

Rant On!: I thought that scene was badly done and lazily written. And badly cast. I am a Samuel L Jackson fan, but I think he has been shoe-horned into roles he wasn't suited for over the years. If ROTS had been written and directed by Quentin Tarantino the head of the Jedi Council going kill-crazy dark avenger with BMF etched on his lightsaber would have been appropriate. As it was, not so much. Lawrence Fishburn, who vibes more serene, would have been better suited to playing Morpheus with a laser sword. Er, I mean, Mace Windu. 

Edited by Vondy

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  • Fourth: I lied. I addressed Palpatine's bat-guano insane ROTS power levels and lightsaber skills in the other thread, but... my thoughts on that are two-fold: 1) the power-levels of prequel Jedi were over-the-top at the expense of character and continuity and drama. We can retcon in-universe reasons for the difference, but it boils down to Lucas damning the torpedoes in the name of "wow factor." It was lazy writing. 2) Palpatine is now an octogenarian who was greatly diminished by that last duel. I feel it was out of character then and would be even more so now.

 

 

Totally agree with you here.  I guess part of the question is, how to portray a more reasonable level of power in the game.  One could either insist that Vader and Palpatine's power level is low enough to be eclipsed by PCs after a year or two of steady play, or one could as GM find an interpretation of the rules where FR 6 or 7 is not a crazy insane level of power.  I favor the latter, mainly because I think there are many gradations of raw Force power on display in Star Wars: ANH Luke < ESB Luke < ROTJ Luke < Vader < Palpatine, with Yoda somewhere above ROTJ Luke and Obi-Wan somewhere below Vader as well.  Even more gradations appear if you want to include prequel characters in that ranking.  I'd like the system to be able to reflect those differences.

 

If I were to interpret that specific scene into this rule set, I would say the council members that died almost immediately were minions Mace (who would be the only PC) brought with him as backup. They die so soon to illustrate how deadly Palpatine is supposed to be to the PC to build up that epic sense of danger. 

 

 

That's certainly their purpose in the movie, but I'd never stat a Jedi master as a minion in the game.  They deserve a bit more reverence than that IMO.

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I'd never stat a Jedi master as a minion in the game. They deserve a bit more reverence than that IMO.

To each their own, :). That also illustrates my love/hate relationship with this particular system: it's so very subjective. There are multiple ways to interpret any scene and build them with the available rule set. While this gives me as GM a lot of options, it can sometimes be frustrating.

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Totally agree with you here.  I guess part of the question is, how to portray a more reasonable level of power in the game.  One could either insist that Vader and Palpatine's power level is low enough to be eclipsed by PCs after a year or two of steady play, or one could as GM find an interpretation of the rules where FR 6 or 7 is not a crazy insane level of power.  I favor the latter, mainly because I think there are many gradations of raw Force power on display in Star Wars: ANH Luke < ESB Luke < ROTJ Luke < Vader < Palpatine, with Yoda somewhere above ROTJ Luke and Obi-Wan somewhere below Vader as well.  Even more gradations appear if you want to include prequel characters in that ranking.  I'd like the system to be able to reflect those differences.

I would rank Yoda as nearly equal to Palpatine, if not greater. But I think that’s my only quibble with this line of reasoning.

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I am going to be in a game where I convinced the GM to do a one shot 1000xp characters.  That is a lot of points. FR 3, and I would have had to reduce the Force powers to get a 4th. To me it feels like a high level knight with some good force powers and abilities.  for about 200 more XP i could get FR 4 and would consider it a "Master level" character.

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