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Metushelah

Influence, Misdirect and maybe Unleash should ignore soak?

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I have looked over the forums and haven't seen an answer to it so i am asking what you guys and gals think.

 

1) Do Influence and Misdirect ignore soak or not? 

Their wording is similar to other powers with the verb "Inflict" (bind, harm) but they do not have the ignore soak added to them. Does that mean their damage is lowered by soak? 

1.2) If they do not ignore soak, should they in your opinion?

They seem underpowered when you consider the average force user with 2-3 Force Rating compared to a standard gun damage wise and XP wise to other characters. 

 

2) Unleash supposedly does not ignore soak, should one rule that it does in order to bring it up to par with the damage potential of Move and other same cost XP characters? 

2.2) Isn't it somewhat weak on the average Force user again compared to the standard gun and other Characters?

 

I am putting those here to be a separate thread making the answers direct and easier to find for future references.

I am also asking these questions because i am looking for ways such rulings would break the system and make Force users suddenly OP (especially for Influence and Misdirect) instead of balancing them back.

What do you think? Need more clarification?

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1. Influence indeed ignores soak. I'm unsure what you mean about Misdirect, as it is not a Force power that deals wounds or strain to a target but produces Illusions.

 

2. It does not ignore soak. The damage potential of it comes from more than just the base ability. In addition, there is the fact that you still count extra success as additional damage on the attack.

2.2 Unleash is more based around using the Burn or Ensnare qualities & when you acquire the Mastery upgrade, dealing a high value critical injury (which could indeed outright kill someone).

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It could stand to be more clear, but generally, if something inflicts "strain" or "wounds" it ignores soak, while if it inflicts "damage," it does not.  So, yeah, Influence ignores soak.

  Unleash does not and should not.  Yes, it seems fairly weak, and it is when you first get it, but remember it requires no equipment.  No blasters, no lightsabers, not even some heavy objects around to hurl with the Move power.  Fire, Ice, or Lightning just comes out of you.  That's pretty cool.  Then add some upgrades.  You have a FR of 3, so you will always have enough juice to power at least 1 upgrade type, probably more.  If you're playing a Force Sorcerer (a "Forcerer!"), at FR 3 you should have Willpower at least 4, plus several ranks of Discipline.  Grab that 5-pt Strength upgrade as soon as you can, because if you generate a lot of pips, you can tap it over and over again.  Heck, get the 10-point one as well.  Boom, you can crank it to Base Damage 6.  That's a blaster pistol right there.  You have more pips?  Why not immobilize the enemy with Ensnare, or make them keep suffering with Burn?  Once you're at FR 4, you can reliably start hitting them with multiple upgrades.  Magnitude, so you can blast a whole crew.  Get all the Strength upgrades, as they make the Burn quality even more painful.  Pop that "Unleash as a maneuver" upgrade, hit them with Unleash and Move at the same time to turn a bunch of enemies into fireballs, streaking through the night sky.

 

Edited by The Grand Falloon

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Eh... I actually think Unleash sucks until you have all the upgrades. And even then... it's just okay. At FR 3, you're rolling a max of six pips. If an enemy is close? You could do pretty good. If they're even at medium? Now you only have 2 extra pips. Wanna drop the critical? Now just one. And the odds of rolling 3 doubles, even if you're not worried about strain and Destiny points, is slim.

Edited by Dunefarble

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A lot of the Force Powers are limited until one has all the upgrades and a high Force Rating. That's how it's designed.

What we see in the films for examples of Force Lightning is Sith Lords, arguably high xp characters who have already mastered Force Lightning. Of course it's powerful when they do it.

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2 minutes ago, Dunefarble said:

Eh... I actually think Unleash sucks until you have _all_ the upgrades. And even then... it's just okay. At FR 3, you're rolling a max of six pips. If an enemy is close? You could do pretty good. If they're even at medium? Now you only have 2 extra pips. Wanna drop the critical? Now just one. And the odds of rolling 3 doubles, even if you're not worried about strain and Destiny points, is slim.

Unleash is definitely not a "dip" power.  Move is pretty good even if you only take the Base power.  A lot of other powers are really nice with just a handful of upgrades.  Unleash kind of needs to be your "thing."  I'm talking starting as a Consular/Sage with Willpower 4, and establishing from the get-go, "I am a freaking Wizard!"

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2 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

I'd prefer to use the Harm side of Heal/Harm over Unleash in most situations.

I 100% think a properly stat'ed Heal/Harm character is more powerful that a properly stat'ed Protect/Unleash.

....because it ignores soak.

Edited by Dunefarble

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26 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

I'd prefer to use the Harm side of Heal/Harm over Unleash in most situations.

Yeah:

  1. ALSO requires no equipment
  2. Much less of an XP hog
  3. Heals you
  4. Does more damage

 

The droids thing is true, of course.  But that's also somewhat situational, and is a problem easily solved with an ion gun.

Which sums up a lot of Unleash, really.   Want to do damage with no equipment?  Use Harm.  Want to do massive damage?  Use Move (Hurl).  Want to immobilize your enemy and crit them to death?  Bind does it cheaper and is available sooner.  Want to burn something?  There a grenade for that (and burn tends to create problems as often as solve them anyways).  Want to do a blaster pistol's worth of damage to something?  Use a blaster pistol.  

The fact that you have to specialize in Unleash to get even a modest return is just icing on the cake when you realize that there's nothing that Unleash can't do that another Force power or cheap, common equipment can't do better.

Edited by Benjan Meruna

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Thx @The Grand Falloon, I looked over the powers again after your explanation and indeed it seems that powers who "ignore soak" use the inflict pre-word (is there even a noun like that?) same as in the Stun weapon quality (not the Stun Damage but the Active Stun quality, not to be confused). So it stands to reason that indeed Influence as well as Misdirect with Illusion, Bind and Harm all ignore Soak by their wording.

 

Now as @Benjan Meruna said, Unleash is underwhelming to say the least and the that you can spend it on Magnitude upgrades doesn't sit well with me because being a character with 3 Force Rating is not cheap and then spending even more on the power only to underperform doesn't feel well when you team mates kick ass.

 

We need to remember most games end at about +300 XP or 410 total (that's my assumption because after that your characters become a nasty threat too strong for the enemies suggested in the books [as a group of 4 against a nemesis etc]).

For Those coming late, here are basic Damage comparisons: (average soak of 2-3, average success 2)

Unleash, need FR 3, basic attack does 3-4 Will + Successes minus Soak. Leaving you with about 2-3 damage  if you went straight for it with an investment of 155-160 XP. It doesn't become that much stronger unless you buy more FR which costs more XP (50 for the cheapest and it goes up from here) and the next upgrades in the Unleash tree. We are already heavily invested and the results are not very inspiring.

Move, need FR 1, basic attack does 5 minus soak (silhouette 0 item thrown), leaving you with 2-3 damage. This is for an investment of 25 XP. From here it only goes up... way up.

Misdirect, need FR 1, basic attack does 1-2 dmg ignoring soak. But you need black pips for that so it's not that reliable at first. This you get for investment of 40 XP and then it increases with the FR you get and buy. so at max you will have about 3-6 damage ignoring soak with FR 3. Also underwhelming but it's more of a utility power any way.

Influence, need FR 1, basic attack does 1-2 dmg ignoring soak for 10 XP or twice the damage for 30 XP total. This like Misdirect will climb with your FR but it become somewhat potent with FR 3 doing 6-12 damage ignoring soak ! This too is a utility power but it's clear that the dev's willed it to be a weapon as well.

Harm, need FR 1, basic attack does 3-4 INT dmg ignoring soak. This is for an investment of 15 XP just the basic power. That's potent from the get go and can reach up to ~10 with (INT 5 and 5 Medicine) or more but there it will stay. It also has good Utility like those before it.

Bind, need FR 2, basic attack does 2-4 dmg ignoring soak. This like Misdirect is more "finicky" but with FR 2 you can expect to be able to use it whenever needed. Without upgrades this will cost you about 15 + 50 (for the cheapest +1 Force Rating or more with different Specs). 

 

From this basic evaluation it is clear that Unleash is Underwhelming to say the least at that cost of XP. I hear you saying "But Metus, Unleash comes bundled with the Protect power!" and i would answer that that is true but other powers also come bundled with their utilities like Heal or Invisibility but they still cost much less... 

So the answer might be to allow it to ignore soak or maybe "lower it's requirements" allowing you to use it faster? Though then Protect will be somewhat too strong for that power level...

Balancing is hard, that's why i am asking you gals and guys :D

 

 

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Thing to remember with Unleash is that you're adding uncancelled successes to the damage.  And by the time you've gotten Force Rating 3, your character should have a Willpower 3 and Discipline 3 at the bare minimum.  Another big detail to remember with Unleash is that you're also getting Protect along with it, which is a very solid defensive power for those times when it might be better to tank than try for damage output.  I've seen test PCs with a high Willpower and Discipline be able to pretty much stonewall lightsaber attacks.  A 10XP Control Upgrade lets Protect add ranks of Defense equal to advantage generated, and they last until the start of the Force user's next turn, which can be pretty handy to mitigate the damage of other attacks.  So don't underestimate the value of Protect, especially when facing down foes that can dish out a lot of damage.

Move damage is largely dependent on the silhouette of what you can throw, and baring the GM allowing liberal application of the "tear things loose" Control Upgrade most encounters are going to see PCs limited to Silhouette 2 objects at most, which means an Average ranged attack check, making it a bit harder to hit against non-minion threats.  Move is also incredibly blatant, so if there's any witnesses there's a good chance the local Imperials will be notified of the presence of one of those Jedi terrorists in the area.

Influence's damage is also limited to being engaged with the target, unless you've purchased Range Upgrades.  And in a setting where blasters are pretty much the order of the day, time that you spend getting engaged gives your opponents a chance to shoot at you, and it's a simple matter for an opponent to spend a maneuver to disengage and then blast you from short range.  I had a PC in an EotE one-shot learn that lesson that hard way when he charged at a group of stormtroopers, figuring they'd be so little threat that he didn't need to suffer strain for an extra maneuver.  He survived the barrage from the stormtroopers' blaster rifles, but lost nearly half his wounds and his action due to a critical injury.

Bind's ability to damage is reliant upon using dark side pips, which for most PCs means earning Conflict, suffering strain, and flipping a Destiny Point, with the damage itself limited to the number of Force Points spent on the power.  No upgrades purchased means you only inflict a single wound, which isn't really that great of a bonus.

With Harm, again you're limited to being engaged with the target barring Range upgrades, which can have the problems that I noted above under Influence.

So the issue of "balance" is a lot more complicated than you think it is.

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2 minutes ago, GroggyGolem said:

I don't see anywhere that shows Misdirect deals damage. Could you tell me which page specifies that?

It's listed under the full description of the Control Upgrade to create illusions, which requires an opposed Deception vs. Vigilance check and the usage of at least one dark side pip to inflict 1 strain per FP spent.

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1 hour ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

Thing to remember with Unleash is that you're adding uncancelled successes to the damage.  And by the time you've gotten Force Rating 3, your character should have a Willpower 3 and Discipline 3 at the bare minimum.  Another big detail to remember with Unleash is that you're also getting Protect along with it, which is a very solid defensive power for those times when it might be better to tank than try for damage output.  I've seen test PCs with a high Willpower and Discipline be able to pretty much stonewall lightsaber attacks.  A 10XP Control Upgrade lets Protect add ranks of Defense equal to advantage generated, and they last until the start of the Force user's next turn, which can be pretty handy to mitigate the damage of other attacks.  So don't underestimate the value of Protect, especially when facing down foes that can dish out a lot of damage.

Move damage is largely dependent on the silhouette of what you can throw, and baring the GM allowing liberal application of the "tear things loose" Control Upgrade most encounters are going to see PCs limited to Silhouette 2 objects at most, which means an Average ranged attack check, making it a bit harder to hit against non-minion threats.  Move is also incredibly blatant, so if there's any witnesses there's a good chance the local Imperials will be notified of the presence of one of those Jedi terrorists in the area.

Influence's damage is also limited to being engaged with the target, unless you've purchased Range Upgrades.  And in a setting where blasters are pretty much the order of the day, time that you spend getting engaged gives your opponents a chance to shoot at you, and it's a simple matter for an opponent to spend a maneuver to disengage and then blast you from short range.  I had a PC in an EotE one-shot learn that lesson that hard way when he charged at a group of stormtroopers, figuring they'd be so little threat that he didn't need to suffer strain for an extra maneuver.  He survived the barrage from the stormtroopers' blaster rifles, but lost nearly half his wounds and his action due to a critical injury.

Bind's ability to damage is reliant upon using dark side pips, which for most PCs means earning Conflict, suffering strain, and flipping a Destiny Point, with the damage itself limited to the number of Force Points spent on the power.  No upgrades purchased means you only inflict a single wound, which isn't really that great of a bonus.

With Harm, again you're limited to being engaged with the target barring Range upgrades, which can have the problems that I noted above under Influence.

So the issue of "balance" is a lot more complicated than you think it is.

-Maximum possible extra success with those stats is 6.  Base damage 3 plus 6 net successes (Which you have 0.2% of getting, but let's roll with that) means that you do 9 damage.  So, now you're managing to vaguely approach blaster Rifle damage, woo.  

http://game2.ca/eote/?montecarlo=100000#proficiency=3&difficulty=2

Of course, you have less than a 25% chance of getting above 3 uncancelled successes, so you're realistically still stuck with the blaster pistol.

-Protect doesn't really work nearly as well for Dark Side users, which someone uses unleash will almost certainly be.  You can only protect yourself, and there's a lot of upgrades that only Light Side Users can take advantage of, while Unleash is the opposite.

-Move damage, while it depends on the environment to an extent, can be done by throwing your target into a wall or the ground for base 10 damage (sil 1).  If there are multiple enemies, you can damage them with an auto-fire check by triggering the Magnitude upgrade and spending 2 advantage or a Triumph.  If you have enemies, you have a way to damage them with Move.   Also, while Move is blatant, Unleash is literal lightning bolts from the hands. :P It;s very true that either will call down attention if you use them, which is only more reason to make Unleash worth the risk in the same way Move can be.

-The difference between Engaged and Short is slim, and vanishes into nothing when you remember that the base power of Unleash takes one more pip than Influence anyways.  

-We're talking about Unleash, here.  Just using the power gives you a Conflict for the road, and as mentioned before several upgrades require you to be a Dark Side User.  If using Dark Side pips is something that gives you players pause, they're barking up the wrong Force Tree.  And while Bind doesn't outdamage Unleash (unless you spend 4 or so force pips...), it does provide a better way to incapacitate your opponent while mega-critting them.

-As mentioned before, Unleash takes 2 pips for the base power.  For the same cost, you can boost Harm with a Magnitude upgrade, which takes it back up to Short.

 

It's complicated, sure, but in pretty much every way Unleash just isn't worth the XP investment.  It needs a boost, and what kind of boost that needed is hard to say.  Bypassing soak makes sense from a narrative standpoint (I don't think stormtrooper laminate armor would have diminished any of Luke's pain), and might make it worthwhile from a mechanics standpoint.  You could also give it Pierce based on Willpower, so that you don't bypass soak completely.

Edited by Benjan Meruna

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The rule of thumb generally is:

If it's an opposed check it ignores soak.

If it's an attack roll against a set difficulty it doesn't ignore soak.

Anything that doesn't list a specific check is an opposed check when used against NPCs that shouldn't just be a single action to kill. 

Edited by Aetrion

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Not sure if unleash is so bad, 1200 xp char, force rating 6 or 7, willpower 6, discipline 5, burn them crisp while they chuckle in agony under the first 3 attacks of the round, which are make a good amount of enemies crispy, burn is evil, though I really miss staggered instead of ensnare on the attack, though the single target damage can devastating and hitting multiple target just multiplies it, the crit upgrade is still super worthless imho. 

Though people seem forget that protect is a valid use of the power for darksiders as well, so the price for protect/unleash comes with a heavy discount. 

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Protect/Unleash seems to be written specifically as the definitive power to scale with extreme force ratings. It may not start out very impressively, but it has essentially no limit to how strong the effect can get with enough pips invested. 

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Just now, Aetrion said:

Protect/Unleash seems to be written specifically as the definitive power to scale with extreme force ratings. It may not start out very impressively, but it has essentially no limit to how strong the effect can get with enough pips invested. 

You could just as easily say that about any other Force power, though.  None of them limit you to a certain number of pips, all of them scale up in damage as you get more FR and XP invested into the tree.

The difference is that Unleash has so many things you need to make it even approaching the level of the other powers:

  1. You MUST have at least 4+ willpower to even begin to approach a reasonable amount of damage.  The others powers either don't have a linked attribute (Move, Bind) or ignore soak and thus can get away with a lower linked attribute (Harm)
  2. You NEED a high Discipline.  Move can get away with a lower discipline because the base damage is generally high; you don't need a lot of net successes.
  3. You need a lot of FR.  Obviously you need 3 to just get the power, but even then you find that you have to roll lots of double to get the effects you want, especially if you don't want to chew through DP and strain like candy.  Remember that you're a Dark Side user, so you're starting off with 1 less DP each session and have to spend strain + DP to use light side pips, which are almost all of the doubles results.
  4. You need a ton of XP sunk into the tree.  With Move, you can pick up a rank each in magnitude, strength, and range and the Hurl upgrade itself for very little XP, compared to Unleash which buries the good effects at the bottom of the tree for a full 25 XP each.

I honestly see very few people talking about using Unleash in their games, because you basically have to build an entire character around the concept, then spend 1500+ XP getting them to the point where they can actually do anything worthwhile.  And in the meantime, they're either investing XP into other things so they won't be a drag on the party (thus delaying them actually being able to use their core concept effectively) or they're useless up until suddenly they have a very niche role they can fill.

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1) & 2) apply for the most part to move as well, as you can get pretty hard discipline checks to actually hit something. You do a standard range combat check after all with move, while unleash seems to ignore range, defense. Not sure if it ignores as well dodge, adversary, etc, does not seem so … but it does as well ignores increase difficulty for longer range attacks. 

3) Absolutely. Though with 3 dice are 3 pips rather nearly guaranteed if you take light and darkside ones. There is ~10% chance to not have 3 pips with 3 force dice. 

4) If you are just interest in unleash (which you should not as protect is awesome) you don't need that many xp for basic usability. 20 xp for the power, 2x range, magnitude and control for overall 60xp and you have your backup lighting as a maneuver. Or just spend 25 xp on the power and make it the cheap, ultimate sapper for an lightside user who is willing to take small amounts of conflicts for huge strain damage … while you are at it, combine with gambler, a big grin while sapping people and double or nothing. 

The one thing I really like about unleash is that it is super expensive, a side weapon early one, but can become this massive powerful attack if you really reach force rating 7 highs. A sith lord with a full unleash power is scary. And usually comes in a flavor with the option to activate protect as oot incidental, which is a real life saver. Besides, burn triples the damage for two advantages, a rather cheap option for massive over time damage in a single action or even maneuver.

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@SEApocalypse Mind doing the math and posting here to show how it becomes this ultimate power? (currently i don't see how really).

Also, does the burn quality of Unleash increase with the damage you add (the successes and the extra strength upgrades) or does it stay with the basic amount of Willpower? (after all burn's damage is dependent on the base damage which in this case is your willpower).

 

Now while protect is awesome in it's mitigating factor, you still lose an action each round ! so it can be awesome projecting your Force Bubble around you and 2 more allies with a reasonable pip result (5, 2 for activation, 1 magnitude with upgrade 2, 1 for duration, 1 for control against all attack types) as a player you wont be holding it for long, because after a couple of encounters you would get bored. In my experience with many games played and different systems, the players need "buttons to press" meaning different options for their agency feeling and doing Force Bubble each time after such a large investment will make me and i am assuming them as well feel robbed.

The other force powers allow for utility usage even when not in combat like Influence of course, Misdirect, Move etc, but here this is a completely combat encounter force power which costs a lot but is not interesting enough i think. That's the shame because it's supposed to be really cool, and i would love to hear the Developers suddenly come with an Errata where they make each power cool in combat but also have tangible results which will make you happy to play them, Unleash currently is not one of them i think. 

Maybe shortening all the powers would make sense, making the trees shorter thus making you spend less XP but also the upgrades will cost more to use with pips because you wont jump 3 levels of magnitude with one 1 force pip but only 1 or maybe 2 levels max. You will be able to get the mastery upgrades faster for their utility but in combat they would still be not over powered? Should a new thread be opened for such a discussion or is this just my feeling?

Edited by Metushelah

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