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Knight level doesn't feel like a Jedi Knight

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We are starting an Old Republic game and are going to play Jedi knights, so we used the Knight rules for extra exp and the characters feel far short of a knight. Using the comparison of Obi wan in the episode one where he was basically a knight but hadn't passed the trials.

To make the Jedi feel more light knights what else have you done to get there?

More Exp, higher starting force rating, starting with talents (reflect or parry, since we see the younglings doing this from age 8-10) or other thing to help give the feel of Jedi.

 

Thanks for any suggestions or what has worked for you.

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In spite of the moniker, "Knight Level" isn't meant to imply your PC is a Jedi Knight (or at least not being on the same tier as what we see Obi-Wan and Anakin accomplish during the Clone Wars).

It's just simply a short-hand term for "character that enters play with more experience points and better gear than is standard," one that uses an in-universe phrase to reinforce that Knight Level PCs are more capable and better equipped than is the norm for starting PCs.

Edit: And yes, it was brought up during the F&D Beta that "Knight Level" PCs didn't feel like Jedi Knights, with a plethora of alternative suggestions being offered up, such as Padawan Level.

Thing is, in my opinion at least, is that a lot of players' ideas of what a Jedi Knight should be capable of is skewed due to basing those notions on what we saw the "superstars" of the Jedi Order accomplish in both the films, the TV series, and the books.

In the past, a couple of folks have done "Knight Level" builds of Kanan Jarrus (circa Spark of Rebellion)  and Obi-Wan Kenobi (circa his introduction in TPM) with the caveat that they were awarded XP at various points in the story to allow them to purchase talents and skill ranks they weren't able to start out with.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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37 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

Thing is, in my opinion at least, is that a lot of players' ideas of what a Jedi Knight should be capable of is skewed due to basing those notions on what we saw the "superstars" of the Jedi Order accomplish in both the films, the TV series, and the books.

I don't think it's fair to call that perspective skewed. When I play Star Wars I want to play people like the main characters from Star Wars. And for Jedi, that means Luke, Obi-Wan, and Anakin.

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1 hour ago, damnkid3 said:

We are starting an Old Republic game and are going to play Jedi knights, so we used the Knight rules for extra exp and the characters feel far short of a knight. Using the comparison of Obi wan in the episode one where he was basically a knight but hadn't passed the trials.

To make the Jedi feel more light knights what else have you done to get there?

More Exp, higher starting force rating, starting with talents (reflect or parry, since we see the younglings doing this from age 8-10) or other thing to help give the feel of Jedi.

 

Thanks for any suggestions or what has worked for you.

I once set out to find out what's the minimum amount of XP needed to build a character that could possibly feel like a Jedi knight (recently promoted from Padawan).  The criteria I set were:

--Force Rating 3

--Lightsaber as a class skill

--Basic Force powers (Enhance, Influence, Move, Sense)

It took about 450 earned XP to do this; there's no way to do it with a single spec.  The easiest way is with Protector + Arbiter.  If you want to be able to redirect blaster fire, Protector + Sentry or Arbiter + Sentry is the way to go.  If you're content with FR 2, Niman Disciple will allow you to get a pretty good Jedi in one spec, with maybe 350 earned XP including Force powers and skills.

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48 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

I don't think it's fair to call that perspective skewed. When I play Star Wars I want to play people like the main characters from Star Wars. And for Jedi, that means Luke, Obi-Wan, and Anakin.

Both of whom like had a few hundred XP under their belt, especially Kenobi as of AotC, who is in now way a "starting character."  Neither frankly is Anakin, who benefited from being Prince Plot Point with the bulk of the franchise being literally built around him.  They're more something to aspire for your PC to evolve into instead of being something to immediately begin playing the game as.

I can speak from experience with running playtesting for FFG books in the past that handing players huge piles of XP to build their characters leads to issues, as the players will often forget that they have certain talents or signature ability upgrades or Force powers or gear because they simply got a huge pile of it all at once, and thus very often leads to some solidly unsatisfying play experiences.

If a GM really wants their players to start out as Jedi Masters, they can simply fork over 1000, 1500, or 2000 extra XP.  However, having seen Keith Kappel's table where he ran Jedi Council members who were within the 1500 to 2000 XP range, things are going to be rather slow as the PCs have to look up what their characters can do, and the GM's going to have to seriously ratchet up the threat levels in order to challenge those characters.  Plus there's the matter of "where does my PC go from here?" which is already something that has cropped up as an issue for groups where the PCs have not reached 1000 or even 500 earned XP.

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6 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

who is in now way a "starting character."

That depends on how the system is designed.

He'd be a perfectly fine starting character in Marvel Heroic, Smallville, or GURPS, for example.

 

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In Clone Wars we see lots of "typical" Jedi--Barriss Offee, Nahdar Vebb, debatably Ahsoka is fairly average.  They don't have abilities that are hugely worse than Anakin or Obi-Wan's.  I can't imagine creating a 150 XP character who can do what we see Ahsoka do at the beginning of Clone Wars.  If you just want Lightsaber as a class skill, one rank in Parry and one in Reflect, Force Rating 2, Horizontal and Vertical Force Leap, Move: Hurl and basic Sense (all with mentor discount)... that's 195 XP with the quickest path to all that, which is Arbiter.  I guess you could do it with a "knight-level" PC if you skimped heavily on characteristics and skills?

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My 400-earned xp Soeresu/Seer has just gotten to the point where she feels close to Obi Wan in PM, or Ashoka in CWs.

She has 2 Force Rating, very near 3rd, 2 decently developed Powers, good w/ a Lightsaber...

I'd say 500 post-chargen XP = legit Jedi Knight.

Should be able to hit FR 3 by then, have 3 well-developed Powers, deep into a LS Spec... yea.

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Does anyone have an idea of what class and exp would be needed to create Revan?

 

Also to answer of question of how to feel like a Jedi knight, you could include more player resources like holocrons and the mix, which can speed up characters to a certain power level. I would also agree with 2-3 force rating. As for exp, one spec is 300 exp, force powers range 120~200 exp. Also if your just going for the force rating, the exp for the spec will be less, so I would say around 500exp maybe 600exp. That should give 2-3 force rating with a few decently upgraded force powers.

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9 hours ago, damnkid3 said:

We are starting an Old Republic game and are going to play Jedi knights, so we used the Knight rules for extra exp and the characters feel far short of a knight. Using the comparison of Obi wan in the episode one where he was basically a knight but hadn't passed the trials.

To make the Jedi feel more light knights what else have you done to get there?

More Exp, higher starting force rating, starting with talents (reflect or parry, since we see the younglings doing this from age 8-10) or other thing to help give the feel of Jedi.

 

Thanks for any suggestions or what has worked for you.

The big question to ask is "What should a Jedi feel like?"

That's the big nasty. I can make Knight Level work just fine as far as matching what's on screen, but that's my view of what I saw on screen. Others will see different things based on what they want to see, what other fiction they've absorbed, how they actually run their games, ect.

My advice is to add on a little extra XP.

In your case you probably have a key issue. FaD "Jedi" are usually just a saber tree, some force powers, and that's all. Nothing else. If you are running a game where the entire party is Jedi, you probably need a little more than that to ensure everyone plays different. In that perspective I'd suggest you take on around an extra 50XP (100 if you really want lots of activity) with emphasis on the players having two talent trees. A Saber and a more typical utility tree. Really flex your GM muscles a bit and drive that point home just to ensure you don't get some player that just does a total XP dump into one thing and only one thing.

Resist the urge to give some silly amount of XP as the players will earn it plenty fast enough to offset any shortcomings quickly.

If you just can't help it and want to hand thema ton of XP, also consider dropping Morality in favor of something like Obligation or Duty and make a point of using it to get an additional motivation for Adventure.

 

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One of the players made his jedi and focus on mechanics so he has no reflect or parry.  I was thinking of giving talents to give more of the Jedi feel.

Start at 2 or 3 force rating, 2 ranks of Parry and 2 of reflect. Then give base level of move, enhance, sense.  Possibly even then give restriction on how the exp can be spent, 50 on talents, 50 on skills and 50 on force powers.  Or something like that so the character are more balanced.

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11 hours ago, DaverWattra said:

I once set out to find out what's the minimum amount of XP needed to build a character that could possibly feel like a Jedi knight (recently promoted from Padawan).  The criteria I set were:

--Force Rating 3

--Lightsaber as a class skill

--Basic Force powers (Enhance, Influence, Move, Sense)

It took about 450 earned XP to do this; there's no way to do it with a single spec.  The easiest way is with Protector + Arbiter.  If you want to be able to redirect blaster fire, Protector + Sentry or Arbiter + Sentry is the way to go.  If you're content with FR 2, Niman Disciple will allow you to get a pretty good Jedi in one spec, with maybe 350 earned XP including Force powers and skills.

I like consular:Niman-disciple/sentry or sentinel:sentry/niman-disciple with move/sense/enhance/optionally influence.  It's a movie capable Jedi in 2 specs.  5 ranks reflect, improve reflect, 3 ranks parry and a lot of stuff that plays off a high willpower. Lots of good options for a third spec, e.g. force sensitive emergent for utility forcey pcs or shi-Cho knight for a total lightsaber beatstick 3 ranks in defensive training

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7 hours ago, Siuolis said:

Does anyone have an idea of what class and exp would be needed to create Revan?

 

Also to answer of question of how to feel like a Jedi knight, you could include more player resources like holocrons and the mix, which can speed up characters to a certain power level. I would also agree with 2-3 force rating. As for exp, one spec is 300 exp, force powers range 120~200 exp. Also if your just going for the force rating, the exp for the spec will be less, so I would say around 500exp maybe 600exp. That should give 2-3 force rating with a few decently upgraded force powers.

 

A couple thousand-ish. Based off abilities in game (1 and 2), in book, in comics, and SWTOR Revan was a beast. Class could be **** near anything since he had a few light saber techniques, a handful of force powers, one could viably make an argument for warrior, guardian, sentinel (iirc form 5 specifically was pushed for Revan), Seeker (due to going to Sith space and being a pretty decent pilot). There was also that whole dying bit which was just a minor annoyance.  

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9 hours ago, EliasWindrider said:

I like consular:Niman-disciple/sentry or sentinel:sentry/niman-disciple with move/sense/enhance/optionally influence.  It's a movie capable Jedi in 2 specs.  5 ranks reflect, improve reflect, 3 ranks parry and a lot of stuff that plays off a high willpower. Lots of good options for a third spec, e.g. force sensitive emergent for utility forcey pcs or shi-Cho knight for a total lightsaber beatstick 3 ranks in defensive training

Yeah, that's a great build.  I didn't include it in my list because it's not the most XP-efficient way of meeting my minimum criteria, since both Sentry and Disciple are trees where you need to buy almost all the talents to get to the Force Rating.

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13 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

That's the big nasty. I can make Knight Level work just fine as far as matching what's on screen, but that's my view of what I saw on screen.

Matching what's on screen for a prequel-era Jedi?  Even for a Padawan, I'm not sure that can be done at Knight Level (or anyway, not without making terrible character-building mistakes).

By way of details:

--The movies are pretty clear that Padawans can make vertical and horizontal Force-fueled jumps.  Enhance with 2 upgrades = 25 XP (with Mentor discount)

--Padawans have lightsaber skill, presumably not cross-class, and at least one rank each in Parry and Reflect.  The cheapest way to get this is with Arbiter talents = 70 XP

--Padawans aren't constantly fizzling in their use of the Force.  This means they don't have FR 1, so they must have the Force Rating talent, at a minimum cost of 70 further XP (if you add a Navigator spec; or it's another 75 to just buy the talent from the Arbiter tree)

--Padawans can use Force telekinesis to attack enemies, so they must have Move: Hurl = 20 XP

This strikes me as the absolute rock-bottom minimum for a Padawan.  It's also 185 XP.  That means you're using 35 of your starting species XP on talents and Force powers, rather than characteristics, which is where any sane person will spend their starting XP.  There's no way to make a Padawan at Knight-level without crippling your character.

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I think you're making the same mistake that folks back during the Saga Edition days made.

You're making the assumption that when we see a Jedi "parrying" a melee attack or "reflecting" a ranged attack, that they must be using the Parry and Reflect talents.  It's entirely possible that the attack that was "parried" or "reflected" was just simply a failed combat check on the part of the attacker.  It's probably a lot less expensive to purchase Sense with the defensive Control upgrade and the Duration upgrade, and it's quite easy to narrate a failed combat check as the Jedi target "parrying" or "reflecting" the attack and it thus failing to deal damage.

Also, the "Jedi leaping" could just be Athletics checks (perhaps with the base Enhance power to add Force dice to the check) to change range bands that the GM is allowing to be narrated in a specific way, and does not have to be using the Force leap effect of the Enhance power.

Plus, when it comes to using Force powers, don't automatically discount the possibility of rolling 2 white pips on a single Force die, which while not mathematically reliable is very much a possibility and in terms of cinema is far more likely than it would be for PCs.

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Not to mention that the term Padawan covers a length of training that goes from apparently around 8 years old (roughly Anakin's age when he became Obi-Wan's Padawan in PM), to mid 20's age Obi-Wan in the same movie.  So to say that "Padawans can all do X, Y, and Z at this level of proficiency" seems to miss the point that you could be talking about a newbie 8 year old kid who just started or a person in their mid 20's, after a at least a decade worth of training.   

So you know, something of a skill range there to consider :P  

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9 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

I think you're making the same mistake that folks back during the Saga Edition days made.

You're making the assumption that when we see a Jedi "parrying" a melee attack or "reflecting" a ranged attack, that they must be using the Parry and Reflect talents.  It's entirely possible that the attack that was "parried" or "reflected" was just simply a failed combat check on the part of the attacker.  It's probably a lot less expensive to purchase Sense with the defensive Control upgrade and the Duration upgrade, and it's quite easy to narrate a failed combat check as the Jedi target "parrying" or "reflecting" the attack and it thus failing to deal damage.

Also, the "Jedi leaping" could just be Athletics checks (perhaps with the base Enhance power to add Force dice to the check) to change range bands that the GM is allowing to be narrated in a specific way, and does not have to be using the Force leap effect of the Enhance power.

Plus, when it comes to using Force powers, don't automatically discount the possibility of rolling 2 white pips on a single Force die, which while not mathematically reliable is very much a possibility and in terms of cinema is far more likely than it would be for PCs.

Sure, you can narrate any mechanical effect any way you want.  If you wanted, you could even fight with a vibro dagger and narrate that you're using a lightsaber. 

I absolutely agree that not every time we see a blaster bolt reflected on screen is a character spending 3 strain on the Reflect talent.  (That would add up to a lot of strain!)  I let my lightsaber-wielding PCs narrate misses (or even non-critical hits) as deflections in my game.  But only if those PCs have the Reflect talent.  Because the Reflect talent is the thing in the rules that represents a character being trained to reflect blaster bolts.  A character without that talent is not trained to reflect blaster bolts.

It's fine if you want to play a different way, of course, but I took the OP to be approaching the question from a philosophy closer to mine--you only have the ability to do X if you have a talent, skill or Force power that represents the ability to do X.

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22 hours ago, DaverWattra said:

debatably Ahsoka is fairly average.  They don't have abilities that are hugely worse than Anakin or Obi-Wan's.

Ahsoka is actually just as outstanding as Anakin. That is the whole point of Yoda deciding that she should be Anakin's padawan. Ahsoka is so outstanding with her lightsaber that she actually does better against General Grievous and Dooku than even  jedi masters, iirc even one of the council seems to be just about her level with the lightsaber. And she is still just a padawan. :)

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11 minutes ago, SEApocalypse said:

Ahsoka is actually just as outstanding as Anakin. That is the whole point of Yoda deciding that she should be Anakin's padawan. Ahsoka is so outstanding with her lightsaber that she actually does better against General Grievous and Dooku than even  jedi masters, iirc even one of the council seems to be just about her level with the lightsaber. And she is still just a padawan. :)

Yeah, I think this is a reasonable point of view to take on Ahsoka, which is why I said it's debatable.

But Barriss Offee is definitely not an Anakin-level prodigy.  At best she's a bit above-average.  And her abilities aren't vastly worse than Anakin's... so that's a good enough example to make the point I was trying to make.

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3 minutes ago, SEApocalypse said:

Ahsoka is actually just as outstanding as Anakin. That is the whole point of Yoda deciding that she should be Anakin's padawan. Ahsoka is so outstanding with her lightsaber that she actually does better against General Grievous and Dooku than even  jedi masters, iirc even one of the council seems to be just about her level with the lightsaber. And she is still just a padawan. :)

I think part of the problem is the term Padawan is too vague, and too martial in concept based on what we see.  To me, the fact that Padawan Ahsoka is so good at saber fighting, is because she built her PC into the Saber fighting F&D trees.  So she would seem more proficient than others, simply because, in surprise to no one, she invested her XP to be good at that very thing.  :D    But this doesn't reflect the idea that say, a Padawan who has bought into the Sage tree, and has been spending all their points into Consular, or Healer, is equally a "Padawan", but just simply isn't a combat focused Jedi.   I've never been a follower of the idea that every single member is a Parkour doing, Cirque Du Sole twirling, saber brandishing combat monkey, and that all of the multitude of Jedi we don't see, working behind the scenes, are just as much Jedi as the martial focused ones.  But they aren't standing in the middle of an army, and having a solo-rave session with their glowstick of death, fending off blaster fire from every direction.  They are doing things related to their skills, researching mysteries, healing people, etc.   They are just as much Padawans and Jedi as the ones that star in action movies, but they don't have the same skill sets for obvious reasons.

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2 minutes ago, DaverWattra said:

Matching what's on screen for a prequel-era Jedi?  Even for a Padawan, I'm not sure that can be done at Knight Level (or anyway, not without making terrible character-building mistakes).

Sure it can, but it requires a certain view of things on both sides of the table, and a certain understanding of the system to make it work. 

- The biggest challenge is just curbing your expectations, just like when attempting to make any on-screen major player as a PC. Just because a character does something successfully, doesn't mean they need ranks or talents in it. Just because a Jedi does something kinda impressive doesn't mean they made use of an actual force power. This is kinda the first hurdle, the Players have to accept they don't need ranks and talents in everything, the GM has to resist making the difficulty harder than it needs to be, and both sides need to be able to know when a Triumph or Advantage and some colorful description can be used to describe a minor manifestation of the force instead of needing and actual force power or talent activation.

- Next you have to consider that this is this Characters first big adventure, they might not have everything right off the bat. They'll be capable, but there will be some things just out of reach, and that ok, because...

- The character will earn XP and use it, and just because a character doesn't do something on day one doesn't mean doesn't know how in-character. This was the real enabler. If you consider that a Film will count as roughly three sessions (one session per act) then you can fall just shy of certain things because you'll have the XP to get in no time. Likewise not having that thing doesn't have to mean they don't "know how to do it" they just chose not to. This is the second big mistake people make. They dish out so much XP up front that a few sessions in, the players don't need anything else, and the motivation for Adventure weakens.

- The Darkside isn't as dark as you think. One thing Players do in this system is hobble themselves by never ever using black pips of force checks. Don't do that. The conflict you get from that will be trivial unless you're doing it literally all the time. This is also why morality is slanted toward lightside, because the Players are expected to earn a little conflict here and there. So factor that in and you don't need as high an FR anymore.

 

So now with all that in mind, you can make a Jedi at Knight Level that resembles something like Obi-wan in TPM. 

Buy up your characteristics. You pick one and only one talent tree, a saber form tree (or something else if saberplay isn't your thing). Don't blow XP on a second tree or in a desperate race to FR2, most force powers don't need more than one pip at this point anyway. Don't sweat it if you can buy horizontal jump, but not vertical, you'll have more 30 XP by the time you face Darth Maul and can just buy it.

 

 

Now, in relation to the OP, he's making it sound like he wants a party of Jedi. If that's the case then yes, Knight Level is a little more tough to make Characters that are all "Jedi" and still feel like they have specific party roles early in the campaign. But that's easily solved by adding a smidge more XP. Just enough to buy a second Spec and a few talents will do. So like 50ish. But that will also depend on Campaign design as 50XP is roughly what you would have after one Adventure...

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Now, in relation to the OP, he's making it sound like he wants a party of Jedi. If that's the case then yes, Knight Level is a little more tough to make Characters that are all "Jedi" and still feel like they have specific party roles early in the campaign. But that's easily solved by adding a smidge more XP. Just enough to buy a second Spec and a few talents will do. So like 50ish. But that will also depend on Campaign design as 50XP is roughly what you would have after one Adventure...

 

When I ran my most recent game what I did to give the idea that Jedi were pound for pound badasses compared to the rest of the galaxy was this. I told my players you ARE getting one free rank in light saber. Second you will take your saber tree for free, you will get whatever the first 5 xp and second 10xp talents are to be able to switch your light saber skill to your primary attribute for free. You now have ~250 XP to spend on the rest of your PC, I suggest dumping your race starting XP into stats. The remainder into talents and skills. Let me know if you need a hand. 

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