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Compare/Contrast Saga Edition and FFG Star Wars

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43 minutes ago, FuriousGreg said:

SAGA was really built around and for Jedi so if all your players are Jedi then it was pretty fun for everyone. It's by far the best d20 version and the resources were great, plus they really tried to give the Players what they wanted in regards to Eras and lore. My biggest issue with the system was the "Spellification" of the Force, I think along with the better balancing between career options the open feel and versatility of Force Powers in FFGSW is the real improvement. 

I also played the WEG version(s), both when they came out and again several years ago, and though they were fun they also had the same Jedi = gods kinda feel and past 5-6d in any one Attribute the system kinda broke but that was a problem with the D6 system regardless of genera. It also had the Spellification problem. 

You should be able to find PDFs pretty easy now that it's out of print, you might be able to find the books but they're likely going to be expensive because some collector think they have more value then they actual do...

See I’m ok with spellification, in fact I WANT spellification of the force powers. 

Kotor wasn’t my first Star Wars game but it was my first rpg, and the force power spell list worked for me, it simply makes more sense for me than ffg. 

(That and I’m trying to start a Star Wars rpg playthrough with my friends and I’m the only one who’d dare try ffg over the others so d20 it is) 

there are two PDFs available, but I don’t have the printing power and it contains extra pages plus they’re literally pictures of each page so there’s glare and folded pages in the shot that weren’t in the book etc. I’m a collector so I don’t mind getting the original copies but I don’t want to pay 120 for the kotor book and 50-70 for the corebook (plus a LOT more for hunting minis down). 

The main issue for me is the flow of ffg

And WE, and Saga d20. 

I want to move people on a board with abilities skills and force powers. And I want to use the kotor universe because I have a big campaign story I want to use where the peeps start in empire era, wind up through one of the gates of time from rebels, end up in kotor era, and spend most of game time going through that era finding clues and taking over star forge, and using it to either dominate the galaxy or go back in time to wage war with the empire with the star forge

d6 and ffg seems far more limited in that ability, and it seems those versions are anti mini usage. I want to know if that’s wrong and see if they really are better, but online sources and etc. keep seeming like ffg can’t hold up to my friends and my expectations.

 

 

 

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Saga's caster/martial disparity vanishes once further books are introduced. The main problem is the best stuff for force users is in the core rulebook (Skill Focus+Move Object is really all you need), really hard to screw up, and the rest is just niche applications or options to specialize in some aspect of the Force, while for martials the best stuff is non-core. You can make a noble/soldier/officer that buffs allies with swift action while debuffing enemies and doing respectable damage by autofire, a grappler that tears people's arms out of their sockets or a rogue class I droid that uses its knowledge of anatomy to hurt as well as heal easily enough and you aren't too far behind a good force user, but you need all the books to do it (Also, since it was asked earlier: For hitting people with your gun without the feat, that's just the improvised weapon rules.)

Now Star Wars d20, that was pure and utter rubbish. I have no idea how it held on so long with the basic, fundamental problems it had. Galactic Campaign Guide, Coruscant and the Core Worlds, Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds and the free web article Hoth and the Greater Javin are all worth a look, but none of them actually contain much gameplay information (a few species, items and creatures are scattered within Core Worlds and Rim Worlds while Galactic Campaign Guide doesn't even have that.).

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On 3/5/2019 at 1:00 PM, Revanchist117 said:

See I’m ok with spellification, in fact I WANT spellification of the force powers. 

Kotor wasn’t my first Star Wars game but it was my first rpg, and the force power spell list worked for me, it simply makes more sense for me than ffg. 

(That and I’m trying to start a Star Wars rpg playthrough with my friends and I’m the only one who’d dare try ffg over the others so d20 it is) 

there are two PDFs available, but I don’t have the printing power and it contains extra pages plus they’re literally pictures of each page so there’s glare and folded pages in the shot that weren’t in the book etc. I’m a collector so I don’t mind getting the original copies but I don’t want to pay 120 for the kotor book and 50-70 for the corebook (plus a LOT more for hunting minis down). 

The main issue for me is the flow of ffg

And WE, and Saga d20. 

I want to move people on a board with abilities skills and force powers. And I want to use the kotor universe because I have a big campaign story I want to use where the peeps start in empire era, wind up through one of the gates of time from rebels, end up in kotor era, and spend most of game time going through that era finding clues and taking over star forge, and using it to either dominate the galaxy or go back in time to wage war with the empire with the star forge

d6 and ffg seems far more limited in that ability, and it seems those versions are anti mini usage. I want to know if that’s wrong and see if they really are better, but online sources and etc. keep seeming like ffg can’t hold up to my friends and my expectations.

 

 

 

I used to play old ADnD when I was a teen and have loved Dungeons and Dragons ever since, from their many editions to their knock off variations including SAGA, it's a robust system for a reason and I bought into the SAGA system heavily.

I hated FFG system when I first looked at it, the weird dice, the lack of miniatures the weird classes, that is until I actually played it, and then I never wanted to stop, it quickly became my favourite RPG system. I still play DnD on occasion but my heart beats for this system.

I wouldn't say you're wrong, FFG can be better without tokens for the right group, it can also be better with tokens with the right group. It all comes down to how you want to play. True there are no grid rules, for miniature use but the engage/short/medium/long/extreme ranges all work wonders once you're used to them with miniatures still.

Some powers do allow you to move characters around the board like move and bind, but their use is intentionally more vague allowing powers to be used in multiple ways instead of 1 set use.

Yes there is no Old Republic setting book but most items can be used just as easily without their specific names just a different skin.

In my opinion you should give the system a go by playing it before judging it.

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I absolutely refused to play SAGA edition. I hated what they did with the rules, particularly foregoing individual skill advancement and Damage reduction for armor in favor of pure Level-based play and armor defense bonuses (which is not how armor works! Armor does not prevent you from getting hit. It absorbs or deflects damage after you have been hit). 

the FFG narrative system is, so far, my second favorite game system after R.Talsorian Games' Fuzion system, followed by WEG D6 in third. 

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Posted (edited)

No, that's exactly how armor works. Mail, stab proof vests, kevlar (and other soft ballistic vests), ballistic plates and even most vehicular armor have one of the following outcome to being hit a: It's insufficient and the armor is useless b: it's sufficient and the armor stop the blow 😄 it's sufficient but enough energy transfers through to leave you with some degree of nasty blunt trauma (can be anywhere between being debilitating but non-lethal and within natural healing or to to internal damage) or d: it stops the attack but transfers enough force to kill you anyways (this is why nobody really uses helmets rated for rifle rounds: The indent and trauma will still kill you even if it doesn't penetrate.). There is no such thing as armor that merely reduces damage to the user.

Edited by NanashiAnon

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, TheBalzan said:

I wouldn't say you're wrong, FFG can be better without tokens for the right group, it can also be better with tokens with the right group. It all comes down to how you want to play. True there are no grid rules, for miniature use but the engage/short/medium/long/extreme ranges all work wonders once you're used to them with miniatures still.

From my experience in the days of AD&D, Dungeons & Dragons actually at one time had somewhat narrative movement and combat. Rounds were a minute of time yet you only got to attack in melee once. This was described as getting one opportunity per minute during the ebb & flow of combat. Yes we played with miniatures and maps, but movement wasn't defined that well (as in 3rd and later editions) so it became actually quite narrative during play at my table. Movement speeds for a human were 120' per round if I recall correctly (or was it yards?). It's a full minute, so you can move quite a long ways. Problem was, that could be entirely across the play mat in one round. DM's I played with either made a house rule such as 12 squares per round (so at least halving the speed, but still a long ways) or more typically just ruled on the fly how far you could move that round. Result - narrative movement.

For those of us who started D&D during the 80's, it's easy to grasp what FFG did. For those that started with 3rd edition, it might be more difficult to wrap your head around it. But, once you do it will be much worth it in my opinion.

EDIT: Got this in before the inevitable armor tangent.

Edited by Sturn

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35 minutes ago, NanashiAnon said:

No, that's exactly how armor works. Mail, stab proof vests, kevlar (and other soft ballistic vests), ballistic plates and even most vehicular armor have one of the following outcome to being hit a: It's insufficient and the armor is useless b: it's sufficient and the armor stop the blow 😄 it's sufficient but enough energy transfers through to leave you with some degree of nasty blunt trauma (can be anywhere between being debilitating but non-lethal and within natural healing or to to internal damage) or d: it stops the attack but transfers enough force to kill you anyways (this is why nobody really uses helmets rated for rifle rounds: The indent and trauma will still kill you even if it doesn't penetrate.). There is no such thing as armor that merely reduces damage to the user.

And in every instance you describe, the wearer is being hit, and the armor is reducing, potentially negating the damage. Notice, I never said anything about whether the damage is a result of the projectile or weapon itself penetrating the armor, but whether any damage get through the armor. Damage includes the kinetic energy from blunt force trauma as well as penetrating shots. So, in every one of your examples, the armor is working to reduce or (hopefully) eliminate the damage. Regardless, the target still gets hit. In D&D and SAGA, armor prevents the target from being hit. That is not what armor does. It is actually easier to hit someone wearing armor than someone who is not wearing armor because armor weighs someone down and reduces their mobility to various degrees. In other words, it's encumbering. I've actually worn armor, both modern (Military) and medieval, and actually fought in the latter in the SCA. Also, watch Knight Fight some time (it's on tonight on the History Channel). Armor does not prevent you from being hit. 

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1 minute ago, NanashiAnon said:

No, it's successful it's negating it entirely or or turning it into non-lethal (strain) with ZERO in-between. Real armor isn't DR in the slightest.

Yes, it is. It's not preventing you from being hit. It's taking the damage. Whether it fully negates it or not, you're still getting hit. The armor does not prevent you from actually getting hit. 

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Posted (edited)

Not getting "hit" mechanically doesn't mean the attack didn't hit you, it means it didn't hit you effectively and did no damage as a result. That's why D&D had touch AC (though Saga Edition dropped that distinction).

Edited by NanashiAnon

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14 minutes ago, NanashiAnon said:

No, it's successful it's negating it entirely or or turning it into non-lethal (strain) with ZERO in-between. Real armor isn't DR in the slightest.

That depends. If we're discussing blunt force trauma, then it really can be seen to work like DR. If discussing blades and bullets, it's not as clean of a comparison.

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10 minutes ago, NanashiAnon said:

Padding v. blunt perhaps, but the Battle of Endor is the only time that will ever come up in Star Wars.

There are no punches, kicks, or bludgeoning attacks made in your games? Even Darth Maul tried a few kicks on Naboo.

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Sure, but generally it's either it's between unarmored people or hard martial arts (if we count the Wookiee ripping people apart as hard martial arts) armor won't apply to anyways. It's not common enough to design the armor system around it.

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9 hours ago, NanashiAnon said:

No, it's successful it's negating it entirely or or turning it into non-lethal (strain) with ZERO in-between. Real armor isn't DR in the slightest.

Incorrect. Even an attack that pierces the armour gets slowed down by it, reducing the injury inflicted.

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Also it's like to make the point that hurling a price of debris is a blunt object.

Also the best advantage over d20 saga is the dice. Narrative dice are great, they produce nuanced complicated situation for players and are loads of fun and great theatrical promps. I can't play deployment systems after this. Too much crunch to little flexibility. Narrative dice are way more fun. 

 

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Back to the OP...

Both FFG and Saga do a great job of creating the Star Wars experience. 

Adding narrative elements is a matter of gaming style at the table, FFG just puts it more in your face with the narrative dice system.

Saga has Skill Challenges which can also let players add in narrative stuff that lets their characters try/do cool and great things (I've seen Skill Challenges house-ruled into FFG and some just do it by default by how they run skills).

I haven't experienced Jedi to be overpowered at the Saga tables I've ran and played in but I know others have.  But I don't think FFG escapes this curse - it doesn't take a ton of XP into the Move power in FFG and you're back to something similar in Saga (assuming the worst case scenario of power-gaming).  There were also some Saga houserules that powered down Jedi by modifying or delaying Skill Focus: Use the Force.   Saga also has a deflect/block scheme that feels more Jedi-like than FFGs version.   In FFG Reflect/Parry reduce damage and is useful given the sysetem (and you have to do the mental narrative trick of "Yeah, I reflected that but still took wounds, but in this system Wounds aren't actually wounds, it's just physical weariness/trauma" so it's similar to hit points in Saga that way), in Saga you have a chance to avoid getting hit completely  and have a much better chance of reflecting the attack back at the attacker (FFG has this too but it's less likely, but reflecting an attack is a bigger deal in FFG because you auto-hit anyone within range and damage is a bigger deal in FFG).  So FFG's system is pretty good but personal preference and expectations are big factor.

I think mentally and narratively the FFG way of doing Force powers creates a better "Star Wars" experience but Saga's method is solid.

Combats are typically quicker in FFG and characters, PC and NPC, more fragile - without it being easy to kill a PC.

From the GM perspective I've always had problems making truly challenging adversaries in Saga, in FFG it's much easier and much less time consuming (I don't have time anymore to prepare Star Wars games in Saga).  GMing in general is much easier in FFG (for me).

 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Tramp Graphics said:

I absolutely refused to play SAGA edition. I hated what they did with the rules, particularly foregoing individual skill advancement and Damage reduction for armor in favor of pure Level-based play and armor defense bonuses (which is not how armor works! Armor does not prevent you from getting hit. It absorbs or deflects damage after you have been hit). 

the FFG narrative system is, so far, my second favorite game system after R.Talsorian Games' Fuzion system, followed by WEG D6 in third. 

To make things clear to the OP - Saga does actually have individual skill advancement but it doesn't follow the older d20 model of gaining a level and getting skill points and putting them into class skills.  You pick which class skills you are "skilled" in and get a big bonus to those skills.  You also add half your level to all skills (so you get better at all skills as you level).  There's also ways of boosting particular skills via Talents etc.  It's more simplified that older d20 systems and it may or not be to your tastes.

I'd also note that Tramp refusing to play the system at all indicates he doesn't really know how well/poorly it plays at the actual table.   I do find this particular complaint odd though since this is very similar to how Defense (typically due to armor) works in FFG.  Also given how things like this interact with the abstraction that is Hit Points/Wounds.

Edited by Jedi Ronin

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11 hours ago, Dafydd said:

Incorrect. Even an attack that pierces the armour gets slowed down by it, reducing the injury inflicted.

Potentially true of cover, but not personal armor. If anything an attack that penetrates hard armor is actually more harmful since you've not got a bunch of extra metal/ceramic in the wound and the bullet begins fragmenting/tumbling/mushrooming inside the victim much earlier.

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21 hours ago, NanashiAnon said:

Not getting "hit" mechanically doesn't mean the attack didn't hit you, it means it didn't hit you effectively and did no damage as a result. That's why D&D had touch AC (though Saga Edition dropped that distinction).

No, Not getting hit means not getting hit at all. The attack doesn't even touch you. That's what not getting hit means. Read a dictionary some time. 

12 hours ago, Dafydd said:

Incorrect. Even an attack that pierces the armour gets slowed down by it, reducing the injury inflicted.

Exactly. 

9 hours ago, TheShard said:

And plenty of weapons are considered blunt force objects in this system.

Yep. And, even if the armor itself isn't penetrated by the attack, some, though not necessarily all, blunt force trauma damage may get through. And, even if no damage gets through, you've still been hit. 

8 hours ago, Jedi Ronin said:

To make things clear to the OP - Saga does actually have individual skill advancement but it doesn't follow the older d20 model of gaining a level and getting skill points and putting them into class skills.  You pick which class skills you are "skilled" in and get a big bonus to those skills.  You also add half your level to all skills (so you get better at all skills as you level).  There's also ways of boosting particular skills via Talents etc.  It's more simplified that older d20 systems and it may or not be to your tastes.

I'd also note that Tramp refusing to play the system at all indicates he doesn't really know how well/poorly it plays at the actual table.   I do find this particular complaint odd though since this is very similar to how Defense (typically due to armor) works in FFG.  Also given how things like this interact with the abstraction that is Hit Points/Wounds.

I may not have played it, but I was heavily involved in the WotC Star Wars message boards and discussions when SAGA was being developed. On top of that, I am very experienced in D&D 2nd Ed which also used a strict Armor Defense bonus mechanic (Armor Class), one of the reasons I eventually stopped playing it. When SAGA went back to that "Armor Class" system, instead of the Damage Reduction system that RCRB used, that killed it for me. It's not an issue of "how well it plays", or how "easy" it is. It's a matter of how well it reflects how armor actually works. 

As for FFG, the primary mechanical benefit armor provides is Soak, in other words, Damage Reduction. All armor in this system provides some Soak (except Banal Attire and Noble Regalia, which are just normal street clothes). 

54 minutes ago, NanashiAnon said:

Potentially true of cover, but not personal armor. If anything an attack that penetrates hard armor is actually more harmful since you've not got a bunch of extra metal/ceramic in the wound and the bullet begins fragmenting/tumbling/mushrooming inside the victim much earlier.

Nope. The armor still reduced the damage from the hit. 

If you look at any real world modern body armor, they have a stopping power rating. This rating determines how high of a caliber round said armor can effectively stop. Even then, hits to the armor still typically cause some blunt force trauma to the wearer. This is also why game systems like R.Talsorian's Fuzion system (used in their Cyberpunk 203X and Cyberpunk Red games) also use a Stopping Power (SP) mechanic for their armor, which, guess what, subtracts the SP of the armor from any damage taken.  That is how armor works. 

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Before discussing the semantics of armor further, consider the abstraction level of the damage system where almost all armor essentially falls into one of the two categories of armor; "It was chilly outside, so I wore a jacket" (soak 1) and "Full-body environmentally sealed, military grade, hard plate combat armor" (soak 2), the latter of which is equal to a regular set of scrawny pecs.

And that injury for the most part is measured in cumulative points.

Let's not kid ourselves and call anything about this level of abstraction even remotely realistic. It isn't and isn't meant to be.

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