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eryrwyn

Help with Makashi Duelist

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I'm rather new with FFG Star Wars and I'm in the process of creating my first character. Given the multitude of choices available, and the amount of future talents and possible options, I've decided here for help, hoping that someone can help me create a character that I'll be happy -- and a character that will be efficient mechanically as well as I know there is nothing worse than having a great concept in your mind but being unable to actually achieve it with the game mechanics. So I'm looking for some advice as to make sure that the two are doable in the way I want.

My idea is a cocky but charismatic, hedonistic Zeltron who's a master duelist, both with swords and his words. Later on, I would like him to fight with two lightsabers, but for now, he'll start out with an Ancient Sword, a relic which belonged to one of his ancestors, and  if you were to believe the rumors, a Sith Lord.  The idea is to improve his fighting skills in order to be a great duelist and melee combatant -- and Makashi seems to be great for that but is it survivable? It seems to be, at least in melee thanks to lots of Parry, but is it enough in-game? Any other specialization that would greatly synergize with Makashi Duelist but maybe cover some defense problems? 

I have read how important Characteristics are, so I was thinking of spending all (or almost all) my starting experience in them. I'm unsure yet if my GM will allow me to play a Zeltron as presented in USM. If not, I'll choose Falleen as a species but refluff it into a Zeltron as their stats and power seem close enough to accurately portray a Zeltron. As for Characteristics, I'm not sure which ones I really need apart from Presence for all the charming and also lightsabering with Makashi, and, possibly Cunning for Deception and maybe some Skullduggery later on as I like to play charismatic rogues of sort. How badly does this concept need Brawn? Would I absolutely die the moment I enter combat if I left it at 1 (if using Falleen stats) and instead went for Cun 3, Will 3, Pre 4? Or would Brawn 2 or 3 be required given that I intend to be at the forefront fighting? With Zeltron I could go Brawn 3, Cun 3, Will 1, Pre 4, but with Falleen the best I can hope for is Brawn 2, Cun 3, Will 2, Pre 4... which doesn't seem bad to me, but I'm really looking for some advice from more experienced Mystics and others here. 

EDIT. No USM, so I'll be using Falleen stats.

As for powers, I'm definitely getting Sense for the (tele-)empathic feeling of a Force-sensitive Zeltron and also the combat upgrade. I also want Influence and Misdirect as I love illusions.

For later specializations, I'm trying to decide between Seer (because I personally love the concept of any kind of seer or prophet or other future-seeing character; but also because it offers two Force Ratings and is in career), Niman Disciple (because it has Reflect and is the only lightsaber spec with FR increase), Shadow (for the stealth-y illusionist-y feeling), Charmer (it just seems perfect for the Face side of the character but I'm unsure how good it can be in this combination) and possibly Magus (if I decide to go further with that Ancient Sith Lord heritage... and once I've actually had a proper look at the specialization since I don't own the book yet).

What other things should I think about? Thanks a lot for any help!

Edited by eryrwyn

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You’re pretty much doing exactly what I did. I went seer second to get to 3 FP - I also went left hand side sense for the exact reasons you said

Main problem you will find is the fact you will want 2 FP always committed during combat - so you will have problems powering other powers in combat

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So a friend of mine has a Makashi Duelist in the campaign she's running, and here's some observations based upon what she's relayed about the character.

Apart from Presence, none of the other characteristics are really vital, though you'll certainly want at least a 2 in Brawn seeing as how Makashi Duelist doesn't offer any ranks of Toughened and doesn't have a good way to deal with ranged attacks.  A Willpower of 3 is helpful to get you a good starting strain threshold as you'll be using strain a lot to power your main form of defense, Parry, but the spec does offer a lot of Grit as well as Intense Presence to help you out.  Cunning's nice, but it's certainly not vital, and depending on weapon choices it might be better to favor Agility instead (see further in this post).

Grabbing the Sense power is probably going to be your bread-and-butter defense, since Feint as written actually becomes less useful the better your character gets in the Lightsaber skill.  Sadly, you need to take Defensive Training to get to the two Makashi capstone talents, which means various mods to add ranks of Defensive to your lightsaber are largely worthless.  Also bear in mind that activating the defense and combat Control upgrades are separate actions, so you'll be spending at least one action each combat committing Force dice to activate those; if your GM is nice you might be able to swing getting one of them activated before a fight if there's signs of things about to go bad.

Enhance isn't a bad idea to invest in, especially for the Force Leap ability, which generally only needs 1 Force point to work, though you're looking at a fair XP investment to be able to leap to any point within medium range as a maneuver.  Just check with your GM to see if they'll allow you to use Force Leap to engage with an enemy as part of using the power; as cited by Sam Stewart on an older O66 podcast, by a strict reading of the rules, Force Leap can't be used to engage or disengage, since doing so is a specific maneuver that's outside of the usual "move to change range bands" maneuver that Force Leap emulates.

As far as what other specs to branch out into, you're probably not going to be relying too much on using other Force powers, since your main focus is lightsaber combat.  So that end, I'd suggest going into Force-Sensitive Emergent from Age of Rebellion.  It offers not only a Force Rating talent that's pretty cheap to get to, but also offers ranks in Toughened and Grit, as well as talents to boost your Perception and Vigilance checks, as well as a talent that nets you Discipline as a career skill.  If you want to build on social skills, Advisor and Prophet (from the recent Unlimited Power sourcebook) are in-career solid choices.

Weaponwise, I'd say ignore the fluff and if you can swing it, go for a double-bladed lightsaber.  You'll need an Agility of 3 of offset the weapon's Unwieldy rating, but having said weapon will make you a beast in combat, and able to very quickly dispatch foes thanks to the Linked 1 quality.

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I would add that if you aren’t depending much on force rating, consider some of the spec from EotE or AoR to play off your character. Body guard could add a lot of durability and group support/defense. Marshal actually plays in nicely depending on how you view your character giving you durability and some good and synergies with your social checks. 

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1 hour ago, magicfreak said:

Arbiter is another good spec to look at for your duelist. It has 2 ranks in reflect to compensate for the primary weakness of Makashi, and complements a presence based social warrior build very well in general. 

This. Awayputurwpn suggested this combo to me a little while ago and I had a blast with it.

 

56 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

You could also add Soresu Defender. It's tailor made for defense, with multiple ranks in both Parry and Reflect. 

You know, now that you mention this, I will like to do this combination, as it also bring supreme parry and improved reflect.

Edited by Nheko

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7 hours ago, Nheko said:

This. Awayputurwpn suggested this combo to me a little while ago and I had a blast with it.

 

You know, now that you mention this, I will like to do this combination, as it also bring supreme parry and improved reflect.

Niman is pretty much made to be the off-lightsaber spec for most people. It's got both parry and reflect, grit and toughened, defensive training and on top of that it's got another force rating. It's pretty much awesome as a secondary lightsaber specc.

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I have a Makashi duelist with Presence 4 and Will 3, I am looking at Advisor (Toughened, some social skill stuff), Niman (Reflect, FR, some more social stuff) or Prophet (all the social stuff) as options.

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In a week the Warriors book should be released, if it doesn’t have a spec for Dual wielding lightsabers I’ll eat my own arm.

But otherwise Makashi really benefits from good Presence, and a bit of Brawn for Soak and Wounds.

Makashi Finish really benefits from a Double Bladed Lightsaber, particularly if you can get it to Crit 1. Basically if you can hit twice in an attack (linked) and then Crit twice (your only allowed to Crit once per hit) you get the benefits of the ability twice. Make it a Vicious weapon and it’s even better.

But seriously, if Deception is an interesting skill then Shien Expert is a fantastic spec, with a lot of capacity to both defend and attack.

Add Arbiter to either if you want to be a good guy, add Magus if you’re looking to walk a fine line or going the dark path.

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I made a Makashi Duelist and he was lots of fun! But I opted for a different strategy... relied heavily on Foresee to get a nice initiative slot. I believe that acting first and decisively is very important to a duelist. I planned to go Seer and Armorer.

I also used 2 lightsabers. Paired attachment is paramount!

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Okay I know this is a long shot but

A makashi duelist who fights with good and evil, and becomes a magus to experiment with both sides.

Then he finds the juyo fighting form and uses it to control and balance the fight of evil and light within him.

I play a makashi duelist right now, and im probably going to do this. 

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