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 We are a group of experienced players who have played a lot of different systems and recently started played Edge of Empire. I must say i really enjoy the system with the exception of melee. No matter how I run around character creation I can seem to find a reason why would I go with e melee build over a ranged one. I have a few problems with it:
1 - Brawn - All the skills related to this attribute are combat related. Maybe with the exception of athletics. If you want to go melee you have to invest in it. Maybe more than once. Which effectively turns you into a one tricky combat pony. A bad one. Agility is tied to piloting, stealth, coordination which all have outside of combat uses.
2 - Damage output - even if you go and start with 5 Brawn your damage output is equal to that of an average Blaster rifle/carbine. Without the range.
3 - The engage/disengage maneuvers. Basically if the combat starts at medium range (at which most expected combat start). So your first turn usually goes into moving. You have to take 2 maneuvers taking strain in order to attack. If you have to drawn your weapon you can forget about attacking at all and have to move onto close range. Which means people can shoot at you are 1 difficulty. Even if you manage to engage someone it is ridiculously easy to disengage. They just move back and shoot at you at point blank again. 
4. Specializations - Two words - Spy infiltrator. I must admit there are probably better specializations out there but this one really stuck to my mind as an example of shitload of useless talents.

At overall you have to invest heavily into an attribute which have little to no outside of combat use in order to be able to do attacks which does less damage while leaving yourself more vulnerable to be attacked.

How do you cope with this problem in your sessions? Outside of "get rid the group weapons". Any house rules you use? I've been thinking about making disengage an action rather than a maneuver or making it require a Coordination check with difficulty of the engaged character Melee/Brawl skill?
 

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You do realize that there is a reason that you dont bring a knife to a gun fight?

Why is this a problem? Is there a law that says melee builds have to be equal to ranged?

It isnt quite as bad as you make it out tho. High Brawn means a high soak too, so you take less damage, and alot of melee weapons have pierce and low crit ratings.

 

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In regards to your numbered points. 

1. You talk about being a 1 trick combat pony.  That's hardly unique to melee.  I've yet to meet any class that doesn't end up being focused on one stat, to the exclusion of other forms of combat.  For example, a ranged specialist isn't likely to do anything that doesn't use Agility and a Ranged combat skill if they can avoid it.  So it's not really different for melee.  If the situation has devolved to violence, everyone defaults to their best way of applying that violence.  And both Athletics and Resilience both use Brawn as their Characteristic.  So it's not entirely combat related.  I also checked Agility, and it's only got 4 non-combat skills tied to it, compared to 2 non-combat for Brawn, so it's not that strange really.    

2.  Yeah your damage probably is relatively equal to ranged, but melee weapons tend to have a lot more ability to inflict criticals, with traits in Vicious coming up a lot.  They are also more likely to have status inflicting effects, such as stun or staggered, or disoriented, etc.  I can't recall any for blasters other than flipping it to the Stun damage setting.  I'm sure there are a few out there, but for the most part, they just go "pew pew".

3. You seem to be forgetting the various talents that melee fighters get, to make up for some of these issues.  The ability to knock an enemy prone for example, will make it difficult for that enemy to just "step back and shoot you again".  There are some pretty terrifying talents that help melee close the distance.  For one, since Brawn is their highest trait, their going to have a lot more Wounds than your average ranged type.  So they can eat more damage.  They will also, likely have a higher soak, due to several melee trees giving players the talent that increases their soak rating.  So while they might get shot more, they will also be more likely to shrug off that damage, or ignore it entirely.   You also seem to forget that things like Quick Draw, make it an incidental to draw a weapon, and a lot of the combat trees have that.    The devs put a lot of work into making these classes balanced.  They play tested them a lot, and the people playing the melee types, on average, felt just as effective and lethal as the ranged types.

4. What are you talking about?  Useless talents?  You have 2 talents on the right hand side that let you increase the difficulty of incoming attacks (both ranged and melee), at the cost of a little strain.  That's a huge benefit.   You also have Frenzied Attack, which lets you UPGRADE your own melee attacks, for the cost of a little bit of strain.  So, if you have say, a Brawn 4, Melee 2 PC (2 Yellow, 2 Green die), and you have 2 ranks in Frenzied Attack, for the small cost of 2 strain, you now have a 4 Yellow dice pool for your next attack.   At the same time, you are that much harder to hit, because you upgraded all incoming ranged attacks by say, 2 red dice.    That's hardly useless.

 

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23 minutes ago, korjik said:

You do realize that there is a reason that you dont bring a knife to a gun fight?

Why is this a problem? Is there a law that says melee builds have to be equal to ranged?

It isnt quite as bad as you make it out tho. High Brawn means a high soak too, so you take less damage, and alot of melee weapons have pierce and low crit ratings.

 

I'm fully aware that this is usually an issue with most modern to sci-fi system. Ranged is usually always better in those. Still the thought that if I get into melee with someone he can just step away and point blank shots me is something which is bothering me quite a bit. Most other systems usually have some way to prevent engaged characters from escaping so easily.

16 minutes ago, KungFuFerret said:

In regards to your numbered points. 

1. You talk about being a 1 trick combat pony.  That's hardly unique to melee.  I've yet to meet any class that doesn't end up being focused on one stat, to the exclusion of other forms of combat.  For example, a ranged specialist isn't likely to do anything that doesn't use Agility and a Ranged combat skill if they can avoid it.  So it's not really different for melee.  If the situation has devolved to violence, everyone defaults to their best way of applying that violence.  And both Athletics and Resilience both use Brawn as their Characteristic.  So it's not entirely combat related.  I also checked Agility, and it's only got 4 non-combat skills tied to it, compared to 2 non-combat for Brawn, so it's not that strange really.    

2.  Yeah your damage probably is relatively equal to ranged, but melee weapons tend to have a lot more ability to inflict criticals, with traits in Vicious coming up a lot.  They are also more likely to have status inflicting effects, such as stun or staggered, or disoriented, etc.  I can't recall any for blasters other than flipping it to the Stun damage setting.  I'm sure there are a few out there, but for the most part, they just go "pew pew".

3. You seem to be forgetting the various talents that melee fighters get, to make up for some of these issues.  The ability to knock an enemy prone for example, will make it difficult for that enemy to just "step back and shoot you again".  There are some pretty terrifying talents that help melee close the distance.  For one, since Brawn is their highest trait, their going to have a lot more Wounds than your average ranged type.  So they can eat more damage.  They will also, likely have a higher soak, due to several melee trees giving players the talent that increases their soak rating.  So while they might get shot more, they will also be more likely to shrug off that damage, or ignore it entirely.   You also seem to forget that things like Quick Draw, make it an incidental to draw a weapon, and a lot of the combat trees have that.    The devs put a lot of work into making these classes balanced.  They play tested them a lot, and the people playing the melee types, on average, felt just as effective and lethal as the ranged types.

4. What are you talking about?  Useless talents?  You have 2 talents on the right hand side that let you increase the difficulty of incoming attacks (both ranged and melee), at the cost of a little strain.  That's a huge benefit.   You also have Frenzied Attack, which lets you UPGRADE your own melee attacks, for the cost of a little bit of strain.  So, if you have say, a Brawn 4, Melee 2 PC (2 Yellow, 2 Green die), and you have 2 ranks in Frenzied Attack, for the small cost of 2 strain, you now have a 4 Yellow dice pool for your next attack.   At the same time, you are that much harder to hit, because you upgraded all incoming ranged attacks by say, 2 red dice.    That's hardly useless.

 

1 So Agility have DOUBLE the amount of non-combat skills :)  Resilience is also very closely related to combat as well. 
2 I agree about the melee weapons having better tags. And stun damage is not that bad to be honest. Makes it even easier to kill melees as the strain threshold is usually lower than the wound one.
3 Well I would really like to know how exactly you play a melee effectively. Thats part of my post.
4 Really? The problem is not being hit by melee attacks. The problem is being shot by ranged ones from point blank. Having Defensive Stance which protects you against melee is not useful at all in most situations. I agree that Dodge and self upgrade of melee attacks is good. But i can spend 25 XP upgrade my melee twice (to 4) and have the same result as spending 65 XP so I can suffer 2 strain to I can upgrade my melee for 1 attack. Or to be able to deal stun damage. Or the few very conditional effects relying on triumphs to work. Not to even mention where exactly Dedication lays in that specialization. Compare it to Gardgetter or even Sharpshooter who btw have similar to Infiltrator effects but does them from extreme range.

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Marauder: Feral Strength and Frenzied Attack increase damage and ability of Brawl/Melee. Knockdown for knocking the target prone.

Martial Artist: Precision Strike allows the character to inflict critical injuries of choice (Supreme Precision Strike allows an unarmed character to remove their target's arm limbs). Iron Body reduces critical rating when unarmed (a Trandoshan can have a critical rating of 1). Plus Grapple, Overbalance, and Unarmed Parry for extra fun.

Gadgeteer: Stunning Blow, Stunning Blow Improved, Crippling Blow, Disorient are all useful with melee combat. Combine with Armor Master/Improved for increased survivability, and Jury Rigged for more effective weapons.

Assassin: Reduce defense with Precise Aim, increase critical injuries with Lethal Blows. The important thing to remember with critical injuries is they don't have to deal a lot of damage, they just have to deal a little bit. So a vibro weapon with Vicious plus Lethal Blows will inflict some brutal injuries.

Enforcer can supplement a close-quarters build. Even Gunslinger can build a lethal melee build, although it won't take advantage of every talent. Attach Bodyguard to a build for those extra ranks in Defensive Stance, and you get Side Step.

Really, too, a melee build will want to focus on Brawn and Willpower, so they can raise their strain.

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Situational (basically reserved for small rooms):

My first EotE character was a Trandoshan BH [Assassin]. I started as a 4 3 2 2 2 2 build intending on playing a predominately blaster rifle using combatant (which worked well to begin with). Because of my high brawn and trandoshan wound threshold I quickly ended up becoming the party tank, so I rushed dedication bought my Brawn up to 5 and then used cybernetics to get to 6. With my four soak armor and implant armor I had a soak of 11 which came with the cool little benefit of I could shrug off most hits (we hadn't even reached Knight-level play equivalent by this point) and I had a single rank of melee bought, meaning I was rolling YGGGGG. With two ranks in lethal blows and a well modded vibro-ax I was consistently dealing out 1-hit kills (critical hit: dead) even against foes with adversary (much to the annoyance of the GM) simply because with two ranks in lethal blows and the amount of advantage I generated on the average roll, with a critical rating of one simply meant that on an average d100 roll (50), lethal blows 2 (+20), vicious 3 (+30) and 5 advantage I was able to kill nemesis rank foes with a single hit.

Admittedly, a disruptor rifle is potentially worse (vicious 5), but can't be modded to lower the crit rating without jury rigged (which I didn't have in my tree), but melee is far from useless, especially in the earlier game where the 1/2 pierce can make the difference between doing damage and not.

Edited by BipolarJuice

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Melee can't do anything magical out the door, but a lot of the systems that automatically bequeath magical ability to prevent someone from stepping back, do so without much depth to the concept of martial skills overall.  

There are Talents that allow that, they just aren't something that everyone can do.  You have to invest the time and xp into developing a character that way....or you can just glop grenade em and hit em over their heads.....

Edited by 2P51

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So, it depends what you are looking for.  If we are talking min/maxing a combat focused character a Melee character is every bit as good as all but the most broken of Jury Rigged Autofire builds.  I have played both ranged and melee characters, build fairly optimally, to 400+ xp.  In my experience Melee characters have MUCH better durability, better control elements, have only slightly worse single target killing power but lack a lot in multi-target/minion cleanup.  The place they really fall short is non-combat synergies.  A hyper-focused ranged character doesn't have to do much to be stealthy or good at piloting.  This means that will only moderate investment of xp and ranged combat character can easily establish themselves as the groups co-pilot or infiltration specialist.  Brawn doesn't have the same archetype defining skills and is usually forced to invest significantly more xp to be viable outside of combat.  That being said, it is certainly possible to be extremely optimal in melee combat and still passible in most non-combat encounters, it just requires more careful planning of your build

Which is better is also extremely dependent on the type of campaign you are playing.  Sure Gunnery weapons will out damage most anything, but you can't exactly walk around a Core World city with a Quad-laser strapped to your back.  If you are playing a city based detective themed game, I'd rather be a vibro-knuckled Warden than a gunless Heavy 10 times out of 10.  Another consideration: Brawl attacks are particularly good at doing non-lethal, while ranged characters have few non-lethal options beyond short range.  If you play in a game were murdering people has consequences then much of the advantage of ranged combat gets negated.

So ya, in general most people are going to find a ranged combat character stronger if they don't want to invest a lot of effort/xp.  In a combat heavy game, a well planned build can be just as strong and lots more durable than a ranged focused character.  Triggering crit 5 times on a Lethal 4 weapon can be just as good an murdering big bads.  Concussion 2 plus precision strike control a fight better than any blaster.  Pressure points can let you one punch a Rancor.  It all depends on the situation but regardless of the game, there is almost always a viable melee build.

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Melee characters use Brawn for their wound threshold and also for their soak. Compare a 4brawn character to a 2 brawn character . first has 14 Wt compared with 12 might not seem like much but if the 2 brawn character goes down in 3 hits then thats the equivalent of 6 less damage that the 4 brawn character took this makes this 2 more brawn about the equivalent of 8 more WT and another 3 more hits before they drop. They are also likely to boost brawn even more making soak higher.

Melee characters have access to more ranks of toughness and each time they boost brawn it increases base damage as well as the skill pool. Longer term resilience helps you recover from crits, which the 2 brawn character is going to be carrying for longer as you get 1 roll per week ro recover naturally. Crits are really what kill you in this game.

 

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Several Ranks of Lethal Blows  + Vibro-Axe (or two Vibro-swords) Modded with Serrated and Mono Edge can net you a +50 Crit Rolls with a Crit Trigger of 1. 

High Brawn + Good armor means you can soak to close range. 

Combine with Knockdown Talents and you can carve up enemies pretty badly, typically one-shotting if not putting them in a truly bad position. 

Good use of Cover and/or Proper use of Grenades (Smoke comes to mind) and you can not only get closer while taking less if not no hits, you can also provide cover for allies. 

Yes you won't typically get the option for more than 1-2 Attacks per round but if you can get into a tree that also has Fear-type attacks you can scare the bejezus out of their allies...and vs Squads...well technically you'd be mowing down whole squads at a time! 

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My first character I built was a force sensitive marauder, the beginning characteristics being 322332. Then with 4 ranks in Toughened and 2 ranks in Enduring and his armor made his Wound 21 and Soak 7 if I remember right. And with the two trees I would've uped it 2 more with Dedication. Also being force sensitive there is a couple talents that gave me 1 ranged and 1 melee defence and he had access to the Sense force power tree which would further upgrade incoming attacks.

One last thing, being engaged with an enemy carrying a ranged heavy weapon (blaster carbines and rifles to name the most common) essentially makes the attack the same difficulty as a long ranged attack. 

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10 hours ago, Xelian said:

 We are a group of experienced players who have played a lot of different systems and recently started played Edge of Empire. I must say i really enjoy the system with the exception of melee. No matter how I run around character creation I can seem to find a reason why would I go with e melee build over a ranged one. I have a few problems with it:
1 - Brawn - All the skills related to this attribute are combat related. Maybe with the exception of athletics. If you want to go melee you have to invest in it. Maybe more than once. Which effectively turns you into a one tricky combat pony. A bad one. Agility is tied to piloting, stealth, coordination which all have outside of combat uses.
2 - Damage output - even if you go and start with 5 Brawn your damage output is equal to that of an average Blaster rifle/carbine. Without the range.
3 - The engage/disengage maneuvers. Basically if the combat starts at medium range (at which most expected combat start). So your first turn usually goes into moving. You have to take 2 maneuvers taking strain in order to attack. If you have to drawn your weapon you can forget about attacking at all and have to move onto close range. Which means people can shoot at you are 1 difficulty. Even if you manage to engage someone it is ridiculously easy to disengage. They just move back and shoot at you at point blank again. 
4. Specializations - Two words - Spy infiltrator. I must admit there are probably better specializations out there but this one really stuck to my mind as an example of shitload of useless talents.

At overall you have to invest heavily into an attribute which have little to no outside of combat use in order to be able to do attacks which does less damage while leaving yourself more vulnerable to be attacked.

How do you cope with this problem in your sessions? Outside of "get rid the group weapons". Any house rules you use? I've been thinking about making disengage an action rather than a maneuver or making it require a Coordination check with difficulty of the engaged character Melee/Brawl skill?
 

 

You say, at the beginning, that you can't find a reason to "go with a melee build over a ranged one." What about when it makes sense for the character concept, or when it would be fun to play such a character? Just spitballing ;)

And also there's different stuff you can do in melee combat...I mean, even if you ignore the Brawl and Lightsaber skills (which give you umpteen ways to build a combat-oriented PC), you've still got countless opportunities to play a compelling character. Are you going to play beatstick, a meat shield, a crit-monster, a controller, a sneaky stabber? Are you going to wield a zhaboka and fight like Maul, or are you going for the blind sword master trope? Are you an aging Clone from 20 years ago who has always preferred his wrist-sheathed vibrodaggers? Or maybe you are a knife fighter, quick like lightning, with a deadly aim and a vicious attitude. If none of those strike your fancy, I'm sure you could think of others if you tried hard enough. 

And I'm not trying to bandwagon anything here, but lots of people have gotten enjoyment from playing melee-focused characters (perusing the forums here should give you some idea), so apparently it is possible to find a reason to play one! 

As to your points:

1. The idea that "Athletics is the only non-combat Brawn skill." Actually Resilience is there too, but I understand your point: Brawn is a characteristic with not a lot of skillful applications. Thing is, this is true of the Strength-type stat in plenty of systems, including D&D. But even so, Brawn is a strong characteristic. It determines your starting Wound Threshold, your soak value, your damage with Melee & Brawl weapons, your carrying and lifting capacity, and of course your Athletics, Melee, Brawl, and Lightsaber skill dice. If anything, as it essentially combines the Strength and Constitution stats from d20, Brawn is actually more powerful than previous editions. And Agility is actually nerfed compared to what it was in the d20 iterations of Star Wars :) even though of course it's still very valuable characteristic. Different characteristics do different things, and one must consider a multitude of factors in determining their relative worth. Or just try out the game for a while and discover it as your go. 

2. Melee weapons are just different. They have a higher average pierce rating and a lower average crit rating, are often easier to hide and/or take places where people can't take blasters (not to mention weapons like the ceremonial sword/staff from Desperate Allies which actually include mechanics for this), don't run out of ammo, are quieter than blasters, sometimes have nice defensive ratings, can be used with the Parry talent, and are cheaper than blasters.

3. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING rushing the gunman with your vibrosword!? Ya TRYING to get yourself killed?!! Stay behind cover!"

"But he isn't standing still and letting me whack him! He keeps backing up and shooting at me!"

"Yeah...that's why most of us use blasters..."

4. I love the Infiltrator! I've played one, a Bothan infiltrator, and it was crazy fun. I take issue with the assertion that it's a shitload of useless talents. She was a very effective character. Also interesting that the forum doesn't filter the word "shitload," while I can't say that an item was s-n-a-t-c-h-e-d without getting cesnored :D But I digress. It's a solid specialization; it favors the Melee skill and gives the Cunning character a few powerful options. Not sure how any of this makes it useless. I do dislike the Knockdown talent; I feel like it should be 2 Advantage instead of a Triumph (and a Triumph should normally be allowed to knock down a normal silhouette 1-sized creature) but that's the talent; even with the RAW in place, this tree makes your Spy a versatile close-ranged combatant.

 

But this just comes down to my first point: the reason to play a melee character, or any character really, is because you find that concept fun and interesting. So if you like the idea of a melee character, don't let your perceptions of its shortcomings deter you. Play it intelligently (remember, you're up against blasters), play it well, and have fun.

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Like awayputurwpn, one of my first characters was a Bothan Infiltrator with a serrated vibroknife named "Lola" and my group counted on my ability to stack crits to take out nemesis characters in the early game. I would also point out the cost of melee and brawn weapons in comparison to blasters. A new character starting out can easily pick up a vibroknife with serrated edge and be viable within the starting credit allowance and take the XP upgrades for talents/skills as opposed to a ranged heavy character who unless they want to play out of the gate with a blaster pistol is almost always going to take the credits to buy the better blasters. 



 

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Maybe I exaggerated a bit about melee being completely useless. Still most of the comments seems to harden my opinion that that most people play melee because of the story. And to confirm that it require a very heavy investment in order to be on par with ranged. Which I'm not sure we will have knowing the GM... People get eaten in his sessions... By Sarlacs... Was a quite short adventure :P
P.S The GM have severely limited the starting classes for that adventure and we are not touching the Lightsabers for now.

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11 minutes ago, Xelian said:

Still most of the comments seems to harden my opinion that that most people play melee because of the story. And to confirm that it require a very heavy investment in order to be on par with ranged. 

Don't conflate "because of story" with "mechanically/tactically unsound." There are reasons that stormtroopers and smugglers and pretty much everyone uses blasters in Star Wars—it's because they are superior weapons in general. But that doesn't mean that a melee-oriented character is going to be a waste or a hindrance in combat. Far from it! When I suggest that one consider story reasons primarily when making their characters, it is because I find those characters the most viable in the long run and the easiest to roleplay in the short run. I've tried playing characters for non-story reasons...like "to be the best DPS!" or "For the lolz"...but for me it was never sustainable. I've either had to find a story reason for the character to exist or just retire it, because it was never fun long-term. So that is why I prioritize "because of the story" over mechanical concerns. But I do most often seek to marry the two—solid game mechanics and solid story elements.

That said, heavy investment is not necessary for a melee specialist, but like any character, heavy investment in a field will make that character better in said field. Take @arrivan's post above. Out of the gate, you can buy a cheap weapon, max your Melee skill to 2 ranks for 10 XP, and buy the Frenzied attack talent for 5 XP. It makes it sooo easy to crit, and that can be your shtick in combat. Lay on the crits so as to "debuff" the enemy, and try not to get hit yourself (Dodge/Defensive Stance). For the price of 5 XP and 1 strain per turn, You can be rolling three yellow Proficiency dice in your melee pool in your first game session. And for 300 credits, you can have a Pierce 2/Vicious 2 vibrodagger with which to inflict some excellent critical injuries. That's well within starting character range, and that's just one character concept. And it can work with virtually any species.  

 

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Most people should be playing a RPG because of the story, because that's the 'Role' you are playing.  When people become concerned with considerations like "on par", that sounds like PvP talk in a 1st person online shooter or MMO.  

I don't want Melee to be 'on par' to be as effective, particularly out of the gate, because that makes zero sense in reality.  It makes sense for a game company wanting to encourage people to buy into an online computer game and keep up the micro transactions and/or monthly access fees.

Edited by 2P51

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I just created an Infiltrator for a new player coming into my game.  

To ensure he can still act in a firefight I made him a Mandalorian and gave him Ranged Light as his free combat skill.  

As for his Melee, he has a Vibrosword and Longeing Whip.  The whip ensnares first then he wails with the Vibrosword.  He has the Soft Spot talent so flips a Destiny Point to add 3 damage from he beefed up Cunning.  He has 3 Brawn (also beefed up). That gives him 8 Damage before any successes are added. Sure, he won't flip a Destiny Point every attack, but for a Rival or Nemesis a base 8 Damage is just as good as most Blasters when it counts. 

Thematically, he is a great character, and will be a good asset to the next mission the Rebellion is going to give them.

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Recent addition to my group is a Selonian Hired Gun/Marauder, and he's made a nice debut. I'll be keeping an eye on how he fares.

One thing I always try to bear in mind: "Optimal" depends on knowing what you're going to be up against. Even the choice to specialize or generalize can be different depending on your GM's style and what the rest of the party has. The galaxy is a big place, and different battles will favor different methods.

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Imho, I am fine with that melee should be weaker than ranged in a modern setting. What I am not fine with is that melee doesn't have some of the advantages it should have - notably engaging giving penalties against someone with a longarm weapon. The system also doesn't have a grapple/brawl rules. Being the DM I was actually a bit grateful for that, since grapple is a can of worms, but I did have to invent some simple rule to keep enemies pinned for interrogation/apprehention. Stun first, ask questions later is way easier...

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Say you spend the maneuers required to close the range. You are now engaged with the enemy. There is absolutely nothing preventing that enemy using a Heavy weapon to simple take a maneuer of his own, disengage and shoot you with his Rifle from short range. In a real situation you could hold him by his clothes, wrestle his weapon, go after him and not allow him to take aim and fire etc etc. The system completely fails to represent that - the engagement penalty for Heavy weapons doesn't work, because there is no mechanic in place to keep the enemy engaged. As a DM I decided not to use this loophole against the wookie, because it would make him feel very stupid for actually using his bayonett.

What the system actually offers you is knockdown and stun, but with the low crit rating of melee weapons (as multiple people above pointed out) it is just better and easier to simply crit and take the enemy out. The same applies for many melee enhancing talents - simply spending the XP on skill increase will produce more dice -> more damage & crits -> apply the best condition there is - dead. In comparison many of the Ranged talents offer stuff like dice upgrades, range increases, ignoring penalties and the like, which can be a very useful addition to a high dice pool.

Lastly while Brawn is a much better attribute than Strength in other RPG system, because it adds melee accuracy, damage and resilience to a character it is still a lot worse than Agility for skills. Sure, you can make a fairly competent melee monster that is also the party tank, but guys with rifles can also Sneak, Pilot and fire the ship's cannons. Being melee kind of reminds me of this guy from the Guardians of the Galaxy. He is very tough and can still kill stuff on his own, but he's loud, dumb and otherwise generally useless :) I guess some people are fine with that.

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My verdict for melee in Star Wars is viable if optimized for combat, but the Brawn required can leave a character lacking in vital skills.

Edited by Azmodael

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For me, the main reason for the disparity is that base damage is tied to Brawn.  In ranged combat, even a very average character (YGG) can inflict double-digits' worth of damage with a moderately convenient and affordable weapon (such as a blaster rifle).  Whereas in melee, a character with a similar pool is unlikely to do more than 5/6 unless they're using a seriously tricked out piece of gear AND have spent a fair bit of XP on talents.

That's not actually a problem, inherently - I agree with the above statements that ranged combat probably SHOULD be more dangerous than melee combat.

I'm actually currently running a campaign with two melee-focused characters: a min-max droid marauder with a vibro-ax (who doesn't have any trouble dealing out damage at all!) and a Soresu Defender who doesn't have his lightsaber yet...and I must admit, he's been struggling to deal out damage, and it is making him a bit annoyed.  My plan is to introduce some lower-soak enemies that he can take out a bit more easily, while also encouraging him to put some more focus onto Force Powers to give him more utility.

One thing I will say is that a good way to make melee combatants feel worthwhile is to have them be attacked by melee enemies!  A grenade-launcher-carrying hired gun/heavy is all well and good when the enemy is cowering at long range, but is going to really struggle if minions start crowding around him.  (The flip-side of this is that, if you want your melee-focused PCs to feel helpless, bring in some snipers).

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On 5/17/2017 at 9:33 AM, Xelian said:

 

 

You know, it just dawned on me that nobody has even really mentioned the insanely OP melee type that is the Jedi with their sticks of death.   Most of the combat trees for Jedi simply take talents from other melee trees, and mush them together with a few ranks of Reflect/Parry, and nobody seems to think they are underpowered.  Why are we having this debate about non-Jedi then?  There really isn't any fundamental difference in their talents.  I mean some are slightly different sure, but a lot of the "bread and butter" talents are literally from other melee trees.   So what's the difference?  Is it simply the "Glowstick of Death"'s level of damage output that makes THAT type of melee seem more viable than all of the others?  If so, then the issue is basically just one of gear right?  Which is fairly easy to fix with enough credits.

So really, what's the deal?  

Also, please ignore the Xelian block at the top of this,  I quoted something by accident, and couldn't get it to remove it entirely when editing.  

Edited by KungFuFerret

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17 hours ago, Xelian said:

Still most of the comments seems to harden my opinion that that most people play melee because of the story. And to confirm that it require a very heavy investment in order to be on par with ranged.

In my game, yeah, pretty much true.  I have an Enforcer player with dual truncheons who will never match the dual-pistol wielding Ace/Gunslinger with dual Dragon's Eye Reaper heavy pistols in terms of raw damage output or crit-frequency.  But the Enforcer brings a lot of fun to the table with his Fearsome and Intimidating and Loom.  Fearsome alone can stop a minion group in their tracks, and his Coercion can send them packing.  And the Enforcer is the only one who can hold off the Inquisitor, or Force-leap to intervene in some crisis.

It's up to me as the GM to accommodate the player's character choices and not penalize them for not min/maxing.

If your GM is particularly antagonistic/deadly and makes everything about combat strength, then there's no point in overthinking it.  Either rock a Heavy with the most Auto-fire you can manage, or get a Guardian or Warrior with a lightsaber.

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Frenzied attack gives the brawler / melee fighter more possibilities for upgrading the check in comparison to ranged. Feral strength has the best non conditional damage per hit in the game this side of deadly accuracy. Moving forward and onto brawl which has so many ways of boosting dmg that with around 300 xp it is possible to have a minimum damage of over 20  on a hit from a single combat check.

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