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Where to start? Padawan of Mace Windu

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My group is going to be starting a campaign that takes place right before A New Hope. Besides the main rulebook, which books should I order? 

I'll be the student of a vengeful Mace that survived his fight with the Emperor.  The system is new to the group and I appreciate the help.

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Since Windu was a master/creator of the Vaapad style (at least, in Legends) you might consider picking up the Warrior sourcebook, Knights of Fate. Otherwise, it really depends on where you guys want the game to go. Different books are good for different kinds of campaigns—for example, if you're all going to be sticking to urban areas, consider Endless Vigil. If, instead, you want to explore the wilds of the galaxy, Savage Spirits might be a better fit.

If you need an adventure to start with, there's Chronicles of the Gatekeeper and Ghosts of Dathomir.

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I concur with the good captain. 

 

Currently the easiest way to make a "Jedi" is to start with a lightsaber tree, and add some force powers. That's about it. Making a Warrior:Vapaad is the way to cut right to your concept from the start.

The way this system works, you'll probably want to play at "Knight Level" which is outlined in the FaD core book; it's an advanced play option that allows you to start with the resources to play as someone with force powers and a lightsaber to start (if it's enough resources to start as a "Jedi" is a matter of personal interpretation of the rules and what a "Jedi" even is). 

 

If you are new to the system, I would suggest you try playing a less high-concept character and run through a few adventures as a kind of "shake down" before throwing yourself at a Knight Level Campaign. Force users in this system are kinda tricky, requiring careful XP expenditure and advancement to come out with the kind of ability sets expected of them. This is partly why you'll see a lot of people insisting that with current options you "can't be a Jedi," because, depending on how you look at it, you'll need a LOT of resources to cover the kind of expectations some people have. 

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To build a bit on what Ghostofman said, one thing that surprises a lot of new players is that Force users are NOT very powerful starting out.  Even at Knight Level, you're not going to be able to constantly pull of the sorts of stuff you see the Jedi of the films accomplish.

For example, Obi-Wan Kenobi as of TPM could be done using Knight Level, but that's only if you accept that he's Knight Level at the start of the film, and spends XP at various points to add abilities he displays later in the film.

To be honest, for a starting PC that's an apprentice of Mace Windu, I'd actually suggest starting out with Shii-Cho Knight, as it's a solid melee spec that doesn't have any funky rules, and doesn't require any further supplements.  But again, keep in mind that you're not going to be reliably pulling off crazy Force stunts unless you either have very lucky dice rolls or you're willing to accept conflict for using the dark side pips that you're statistically more likely to see when you roll.  At Force Rating 1, you're generally better off using that Force die to commit to effects like Sense's defensive Control Upgrade (which is **** good for the XP at early goings) and it's associated Duration and Strength Upgrades.

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10 hours ago, Bearden said:

My group is going to be starting a campaign that takes place right before A New Hope. Besides the main rulebook, which books should I order? 

I'll be the student of a vengeful Mace that survived his fight with the Emperor.  The system is new to the group and I appreciate the help.

You name him Bearspray Faildu, he needs to have every rank of Scathing Tirade, so he can yell loudly at everything like Sam Jackson does.  "Does he LOOK, like a SITH!?!"  "Say midichlorians again, say it one more time!  I dare you, I Motherf'in DARE YOU say midichlorians one more **** time!!"  Then just give him as much offensive talents as you can find, and an orange lightsaber.  Because why  not?

 

Seriously though, just make him however you want, just because he's Mace's Padawan, doesn't mean he's a clone of him, in style and/or demeanor.  Just look at how different Anakin was from Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka was from Anakin.   

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The first step to making a master/apprentice situation with a Canon character is to first have some idea how it would end. What is Mace's aim in doing this? You might want to leave it entirely to the GM and he might be a bit aloft, but establishing what kind of relationship you would have with him is helpful in defining how to go forward. Is he a bitter shell of himself who dwells in isolation? A harsh but fair teacher? Is he capable of holding a blade anymore or is he looking for someone to take revenge on the sith for him? Given that he was betrayed inches from taking Palpatines head I imagine all kinds of ways that could go, including turning Windu into a bit of a Wraith that will only be satisfied with his student if he can accomplish one last challenge. Kill him, only then will he be ready to face the true monsters of this galaxy. Very samurai, much passdown, wow.

Interested? Colour me intrigued.

Assuming you are all starting off at base level, theres no harm in taking it slow, startng off with a tree with more general applications towards a character then specialising. The issue with having a master like Windu is that it assumes you are going to capable with a saber immediately. Perhaps first he is fairly aloft, building you up with little tasks here and there before formal training will begin.

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1 hour ago, LordBritish said:

Assuming you are all starting off at base level, theres no harm in taking it slow...

I think this is worth noting, as a common thing I've seen with players new to Force and Destiny is that they assume their characters are going to be Jedi as the default option.  While the WotC games included a Jedi class (Guardian/Consular in the original d20 version, just plain Jedi in Saga Edition), FFG didn't go that route.

Instead, this game was written with the mindset in that while all Jedi are Force users, not all Force users are Jedi*.  Most of the F&D specs are written under the conceit that the PCs had fairly normal/mundane upbringings as opposed to the "trained practically from birth" background that Jedi from prior to Order 66 would have had.  For instance, none of the F&D careers offer Lightsaber as a starting career skill, so any PC that wants to start out the gate with 2 ranks of Lightsaber is going to need to spend some of their starting XP in order to do so.

That being said, on the docket for some unspecified point later this year (or possibly earlier next year), there's the Rise of the Separatists era sourcebook, which has advertised having an actual Jedi career and attendant specializations.  Of course, nobody here knows if that career is going to be more inherently powerful (such as starting with Force Rating 2 but having fewer beginning career skills and skill ranks), though it's also likely said career won't be any more inherently powerful than the F&D careers (same FR, same # of career skills and ranks).

*West End Games used the term Jedi as being interchangeable with Force user, but their games were also written well before the idea of actually making prequels was an idea in George's head, and well before the Expanded Universe became a thing, so based on what little information there was at the time, for all intents in purposes they were correct in that Jedi was simply another term for Force user.  Its only years later that the setting lore has been expanded enough to show that Force user =/= Jedi.

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So about the concept of "Padawan of a famous/well-established Jedi Master" concept...

It can be an interesting concept, especially depending on who the Jedi Master is.  As others have noted, being the apprentice of Mace Windu is going to carry a fair amount of baggage, given his reputation has likely been sullied by Imperial propaganda as the guy that directly tried to assassinate the honorable then-Chancellor Palpatine as part of a Jedi coup.  Whether he's bitter over his failure to save the Republic or has found a way to move past that one moment and embrace the long game (much as Yoda and Obi-Wan did) is something that's going to play a crucial role in how he trains your character; is he trying to train someone to be a Jedi, or is he training an instrument of vengeance?

I could very well see him leaning towards the later, especially given the betrayal by "Chosen One" Skywalker that prevented Mace from (in his view at least) saving the Republic from the tyranny of the Sith.  It could very well be that Mace's regrets fuel a sense of anger which has gradually pushed him to the dark side (Legends lore had him pretty much riding the edge, with Vaapad designed to channel his darker impulses into a weapon of the light, something that proved problematic for those whom he trained in the style, with one student going outright dark and the other going insane).

In a previous campaign, I played a young student that was briefly trained by Master K'Kruhk (aka He of the Frikkin' Sweet Hat), a survivor of Order 66 that was level-headed enough to play the long game and simply do what he could to keep the Jedi traditions alive by helping Initiates and Padawans flee to safety and training young Force-sensitives where and when he could.  Since K'Kruhk's intent was preservation of Jedi lore/beliefs rather than revenge or toppling the Empire, my PC had a decent grounding in the Jedi Code (even if he considered it to be more a case of guidelines than strict rules to be followed) and a very abbreviated version of the Jedi Order's history.  Sadly, the campaign ended short before that bit of background could become relevant, but it could have made for some interesting developments.

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1 hour ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

my PC had a decent grounding in the Jedi Code (even if he considered it to be more a case of guidelines than strict rules to be followed)

I'm now picturing your character being played by Geoffrey Rush, especially since you said he was trained by He of the Frikkin Sweet Hat.   Captain Barbossa the Jedi....I love this image more than is probably healthy.

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9 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

As others have noted, being the apprentice of Mace Windu is going to carry a fair amount of baggage, given his reputation has likely been sullied by Imperial propaganda as the guy that directly tried to assassinate the honorable then-Chancellor Palpatine as part of a Jedi coup.  Whether he's bitter over his failure to save the Republic or has found a way to move past that one moment and embrace the long game (much as Yoda and Obi-Wan did) is something that's going to play a crucial role in how he trains your character; is he trying to train someone to be a Jedi, or is he training an instrument of vengeance?

I could very well see him leaning towards the later, especially given the betrayal by "Chosen One" Skywalker that prevented Mace from (in his view at least) saving the Republic from the tyranny of the Sith.  It could very well be that Mace's regrets fuel a sense of anger which has gradually pushed him to the dark side (Legends lore had him pretty much riding the edge, with Vaapad designed to channel his darker impulses into a weapon of the light, something that proved problematic for those whom he trained in the style, with one student going outright dark and the other going insane).

Thank you for the bit of lore. As for my GM's intentions with Mace, he is still angry. I wont begin with my own lightsaber but will have access to Force Lightning, depending on how character creation goes. From what I've gathered, I wont br trained as a Jedi. It sounds more like a Grey to me.

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On 9/24/2018 at 5:46 AM, Bearden said:

 Besides the main rulebook, which books should I order?

*facepalm* WHAT A STUPID QUESTION!!! ALL OF THEM... seriously though Nexus of Power could be useful if they ever TOTALLY botch their Astrogation roll, just have them drop out of light speed in an uncharted system with a Force Vergence planet/moon in it somewhere

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I'm looking at Protect/Unleash. If I use Protect, that's all I can do that round, correct? Until the bottom talent that allows me to one per session, use it as incremental. 

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It's been months and we finally made characters this past weekend. I ended up going with Shii-Cho Knight with Heal/Harm and Sense. 

There are so many choices that to be honest, I was overwhelmed. It's going to be a heavy force user driven campaign. I wonder if I shouldn't have gone with duelist or something else. 

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On 9/24/2018 at 9:08 AM, CaptainRaspberry said:

Since Windu was a master/creator of the Vaapad style (at least, in Legends) you might consider picking up the Warrior sourcebook, Knights of Fate.

I'm sorry but where in the Warrior book does it speak of Vaapad?

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I find it's all cool provided expectations are set at the outset of the session. I know for a fact that Atari is easily the strongest offensive lightsaber tree, but if you guys are going for a more thematic game then you might want to keep it off the table, as I've found without self moderation one can easily create a game of rocket tag.

Which tree is best really comes down to preference though.

Niman are for those wilful, force strong characters. It also makes a second brilliant lightsaber tree for those really committed towards being the best all rounder, though it is a road longer then many. Many people who aren't especially interested in being a duelling character who want some say in LS combat might also pick this tree as a balanced package.

Shien is a solid defence tree. Your role is to get hit a lot, doesn't have many offensive tricks but really good defensively and really is the only tree that can commit full time to being defensive; since if they generate Dispair/threat? Smacked right back.

Atuari as mentioned are for the agile ones that want to deal tons of damage, move quickly, kill everything. Strain is an issue though.

Duelist is an excellent duelist. It also serves a nice little platform to be a social fighter; one that isn't necessarily tailored to war but still has a nice array of tricks up their slieves.

the one I can never remember is a interesting style, it's all about overwhelming one powerfully. I do like it, just never got around to considering it.

Shii-Cho is for those no nosense duelists that want to gut down groups of warriors like wheat. It's a bit basic but it has a lot of good little tricks. To me it's one of the weaker trees, but it's also pretty solid because  by having a higher brawn you have less need to reflect anyway.

Juyo-Vaapad has no ranged defence but is very strong offensively. A character who takes this tree will always be strongly tempted by the dark side, but by holding firm you will eventually gain stronger control over the narrative and even gain the power to render other peoples defensive techniques inert against the weight of your strikes. Plus access to a potentially, super strong crits.

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Is it Soresu the one you can't remember ? I'd say it's more all about building the strongest melee defence to not being hit then overwhelming your opponent with powerful counter-attacks.

 

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@LordBritish

Based on my own experiences, I'd say that Soresu Defender is the spec best suited to a defense-minded player, since it's loaded with defense in terms of Parry and Reflect, while also being able to deliver counterattacks due to being the only spec with both Improved versions of those talents.  It's a tad weak on ranged defenses, but has a talent (Defensive Circle) that lets the player boost up both their ranged and melee defense scores.

Shien Expert is something of an all-rounder, as it's got decent defenses via Parry, Reflect, Defensive Stance, and Side Step, though leaning a bit more towards defending against ranged damage.  But it's also got some solid offense via Improved Reflect as a third row talent, and Counterstrike for whiff punish and Falling Avalanche to boost damage (especially if you've invested a bit in Brawn to put it above average)

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My character I run is a Soresu Defender, but at times I wish he had some of the offense of a Shien Expert.  Shien Expert is pretty solid and in lightsaber duels you want some offense and defense.  I thought I was fine as a soresu defender until a makashi expert knocked my lightsaber out of my hands and defeated me.  If you do Soresu do also Niman as well to balance it out. Or if you do Shien do niman to balance that out since your parry and reflect will be a little low and it will add to it.  Also gives you a force pip, some static melee defense, and two interesting offensive lightsaber skills that are force related requiring you to roll your force die to activate.

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