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venkelos

Strain-Driven Combat Style

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So, especially if you want to feel like a Jedi, but even if you don't, if you use a lightsaber, you are probably going to want to get Reflect, and Parry. Even if you don't like those, or don't plan to use melee weapons, you might like Dodge, and each of these can eat up a decent amount of Strain, to activate. Eventually, I suppose, Master levels of these are available, but they seem to assume you won't fight, maybe to give you that nice, cinematic appearance, if you don't go first (you haven't made an attack action, in the last round), and then the cost ratchets back up, once the battle starts. Anyway, it seems that Willpower is the source of Strain, and Brawn is the source of Soak. Are there any talents that can shift these, for your character? If you choose any other Form, you might not feel that Brawn is as important; it isn't the stat you use for lightsabers, but I haven't seen anything else that says you are still as good at taking a hit, using something else, while if you don't choose Niman, Willpower might fall behind, too, being the source of Strain, leaving you with less to fuel these talents. Are there other ways, beyond the occasional +1 Strain/+2 Wounds talents, or is this the price of being good at something else? (A price I can accept.)

Secondly, there is a neat talent for some hotdog pilots, and Makashi Duelists, called Intense Presence. I really like this talent, but am wondering, in books I haven't seen, are there any equivalent talents for other Abilities, such as Willpower, or Brawn, or is this unique to Presence? Thanks much for any assistance. I was imagining a Vader fight, and sad that Reflect/Parry weren't going to be really great for him, based on how many you can really afford to grab, their Strain cost, and his combination of maybe crap WP (he fell, after all, and later portrayals make him pretty whiny/emo), and a slight Strain loss for being Dark Side, but then I remembered that he adds Brawn to Soak, which makes his cybernetic strength augments great, but then I got wondering if he could flip Destiny to get back Strain, maybe something not Presence-based, or have something better than Willpower, feeding his Strain? I'm sure much of this is the rather delicate balancing act the game does, to not be broken sauce, but I was curious, as I haven't bought every book they've made. Again, thanks!

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Second Wind is a once-per-encounter ranked talent that recovers strain equal to ranks. Found in at least both the Peacekeeper and the Shii-Cho Knight.

Contingency Plan and Mind Over Matter both work like Intense Presence, but for Cunning and Willpower, respectively. The Advisor has Contingency Plan, and Executioner has Mind Over Matter.

Otherwise, you'll need those ranks in Grit, and a high starting Willpower. The Dantari crystal is also a good resource, as it has an ability that can be used to recover strain. A good soak can be compensated for with decent armor, especially but some of the best require a higher Brawn to wear, so..

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My Soresu is 50% built around managing Strain. 100% built around using it, hah.

There is some good gear that can help you out. Not around my books but there's an armor mod that gives you a +4 Strain Threshold, and a Crystal (forget if it's a Mod or default power) that will help you recover Strain.

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A lightsaber user with supreme parry and supreme reflect and the protect power can have serious staying power user protect each turn with a decent discipline you can use that to avoid parrying/reflecting unless your protect is down , with the mastery upgrade you can turn your opponents damage on themselves if the damage does get through , with the defensive upgrade of protect there is a good chance that they rolled threat (each advantage note used to recover strain cqn be used to give you one defense making it easier to trigger improved parry or reflect when damage does get through. 

if you can use only lightside pips you can even have protect on until your next turn. You need FR 3 and shien and soresu styles so its going to cost a lot of xp. 

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Strain Recovery is really tough in this system, its very easy to use, but hard to recover during a fight. Its only after an encounter where things get easier, especially if the game has large time gaps between encounters (over night a PC recovers all their strain). It seems intentional, Advantage isn't that hard to roll so it leaves you with the choice of what to spend it on. I often only perform 1 manoeuvre before my action in a turn to allow me to spend 2 advantage on a free manoeuvre afterwards.

The Dantari crystal is definitely the best method for a Force User to recover strain, Hunters and Ataru Strikers are quite good too with their ability to spend force points on advantage with combat checks, Advantage = Strain after all.

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If your dice pools are good, you can recover strain on nearly every combat check.

Another end-of-encounter talent is Balance, found in a couple universal trees. At the end of an encounter you roll your force rating and recover strain for each white pip.

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One simple trick is to try and ensure that not every attack is aimed your way, or that attacks that do get aimed at you have more of a tendency to miss than to hit.  After all, you're not spending strain if the attack doesn't deal damage in the first place; in the words of Mr. Miyagi, "best defense is no be there."

Sense is great for helping out with that, as well as helping increase the odds that if you do get hit, you can make the enemy pay for it with Improved Parry/Reflect.  Same with Side Step and Defensive Stance, though you've got to burn a bit of strain to use those talents, their effects last the entire round, so they'll still help if enemies start dogpiling on you.

Also, things to simply boost up your defense.  While a Lorrdian Gemstone may not have a high damage value compared to pretty much every other crystal out there (especially after factoring in mods), it does offer a +2 bonus to both ranged and melee defense once it's been fully modded, and there's an attachment in Endless Vigil called Reflex Grip (I believe) that when modded gives you another rank of ranged and melee defense, as well as the option for an extra rank of Parry/Reflect in a pinch.  If your GM allows Defensive and Deflection qualities to stack with armor, slap on a set of armored clothing (or armored robes if you don't mind being even more obvious) for a total combined defense of 4 vs. ranged and melee attacks (1 from armor, +2 from fully modded Lorrdian crystal, +1 from Reflex Grip).  That should give you a pretty decent chance of not getting hit by rank-and-file opponents, or at least better odds of enabling your Improved Parry/Reflect talents to be triggered.

As for post-combat strain recovery, having a high Cool or Discipline helps you get back on your feet, but given how swingy the dice can be, best not to become too reliant upon the dice roll to recoup your strain.

Also, given that it's easier to recover lost wounds than lost strain, sometimes you may just have to accept taking a few more points of damage from an attack than you'd like, and then jab in a stimpack (or two) after the fight rather than burn excessive strain to mitigate the damage.

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3 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

One simple trick is to try and ensure that not every attack is aimed your way, or that attacks that do get aimed at you have more of a tendency to miss than to hit.  After all, you're not spending strain if the attack doesn't deal damage in the first place; in the words of Mr. Miyagi, "best defense is no be there."

Sense is great for helping out with that, as well as helping increase the odds that if you do get hit, you can make the enemy pay for it with Improved Parry/Reflect.  Same with Side Step and Defensive Stance, though you've got to burn a bit of strain to use those talents, their effects last the entire round, so they'll still help if enemies start dogpiling on you.

Also, things to simply boost up your defense.  While a Lorrdian Gemstone may not have a high damage value compared to pretty much every other crystal out there (especially after factoring in mods), it does offer a +2 bonus to both ranged and melee defense once it's been fully modded, and there's an attachment in Endless Vigil called Reflex Grip (I believe) that when modded gives you another rank of ranged and melee defense, as well as the option for an extra rank of Parry/Reflect in a pinch.  If your GM allows Defensive and Deflection qualities to stack with armor, slap on a set of armored clothing (or armored robes if you don't mind being even more obvious) for a total combined defense of 4 vs. ranged and melee attacks (1 from armor, +2 from fully modded Lorrdian crystal, +1 from Reflex Grip).  That should give you a pretty decent chance of not getting hit by rank-and-file opponents, or at least better odds of enabling your Improved Parry/Reflect talents to be triggered.

As for post-combat strain recovery, having a high Cool or Discipline helps you get back on your feet, but given how swingy the dice can be, best not to become too reliant upon the dice roll to recoup your strain.

Also, given that it's easier to recover lost wounds than lost strain, sometimes you may just have to accept taking a few more points of damage from an attack than you'd like, and then jab in a stimpack (or two) after the fight rather than burn excessive strain to mitigate the damage.

Don't forget about the Guard Shoto Hilt. Pop a Lorridian gem in one of those Modified to ... the hilt... and, yea.

What you describe above (Sense, Defensive Stance, Lorridian gem) plus the modded guard hilt is what my aforementioned Soresu's endgame is. All she's lacking is the crystal, but she's already a monster tank.

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I have a house rule that my players don't use often.  I allow stimpacks to heal strain instead of wounds at the user's choice.  It still uses one of the daily uses, and still does get the Stimpack specialization boost. 

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