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SavageBob

How do Aggressor and Warden play differently?

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So, I just started a new F&D campaign, and I'm going for a street-vigilante concept based around inspiring fear and beating up bad guys. F&D has three specs that look good for doing this: Aggressor, Warden, and Sentry. Of the three, Sentry seems the most distinct, as it emphasizes Stealth, mind tricks, and lightsaber skills.

Yet the Aggressor and the Warden seem pretty similar to me. What, in your experience, really sets the one apart from the other? How does playing an Aggressor feel different from playing a Warden? It looks like both would make good street vigilantes, but would one be, say, Luke Cage, while the other is Rorschach? Or some other comparison?

I also realize they synergies well. I'm just trying to figure out which to go with first, or which to take before cross-speccing into Sentry down the road. Thanks for any help.

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The agressor is more focused on combat and has multiple combat skills.  Where the Warden is missing range light,  but they are able to help more on social checked with good cop and bad cop.  Warden has more abilities to keep your opponent next to you. 

They would work together very well or grabbing the enforcer tree from hired gun. 

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So is that to say that the Aggressor makes a better pure brawler, but the Warden is more versatile?

And they both have lots of talents that are about inspiring fear, so I'm having trouble parsing how the fear-based talent paths are distinct from one another.

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13 minutes ago, SavageBob said:

Nobody? I figured folks would have experience with the two and could speak to how they play out differently at the table.

In my groups, those two specs have played out identically. That is to say, neither has been played at all because nobody in my groups has found either interesting enough to take.

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From looking through their abilities they seem very similar, in my view for them people played differently it would be their approach on dealing with people. 

Aggressor - I see as the Darth Vader walk up menacing using his fearsome presence and aura to cause the fear, and then fight in close combat and work to end the fight.

Warden - I view this more as the person who knows they can beat you up, but doesn't want too.  So they talk trash or intimidate the person to get them to surrender with out a fight.  But once weapons are pulled they are more than able to deal with the person.  They may also still try to stop the person as they beat them up by picking the Critical, or staggering the opponent if they are able too (Over Balance).  - Maybe like spider man attitude with criminals in combat. 

I haven't had either played, my players did like this since they could easily lead to the Dark side. Especially with the skills of coercion, and the talent which will generate an automatic conflict each session (Baleful Gaze). 

These are my view of how they would be play differently role playing scenario.

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the rundown, dk. These two and Sentry all seem to be geared toward some sort of intimidating presence, a concept that can easily be used to create a vigilante character, which is what I'm after. From your rundown, it might be that Aggressor is a bit like the Punisher or Ghost Rider, Warden is more like Luke Cage or Spider-Man. Finally, Sentry might be more akin to Daredevil or Batman.

The concept I'm aiming for was originally Batman, but I kind of like the Luke Cage/Warden option of a bruiser who tries to end fights before they begin. If only it had Ranged (Light) so he could disarm the foe first with a vibro-rang... So I might be cross-speccing into Aggressor after all!

Edited by SavageBob

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Those are good comparisons to the super hero world.  The whole sentinel career is there so you can be a true batman in star wars.  

If you do human you could take Range light with your human skills, unless you really want to keep building it up to rely on.

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4 hours ago, damnkid3 said:

Those are good comparisons to the super hero world.  The whole sentinel career is there so you can be a true batman in star wars.  

If you do human you could take Range light with your human skills, unless you really want to keep building it up to rely on.

Yes, or just out-of-career ranks. But Aggressor seems to have enough synergy that it might be a good idea to cross-spec into it anyway.

And you're right; a Sentry/Shadow/Investigator would be a pretty good Batman. Maybe even Artificer for the gadget stuff.

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7 hours ago, SavageBob said:

Thanks for the rundown, dk. These two and Sentry all seem to be geared toward some sort of intimidating presence, a concept that can easily be used to create a vigilante character, which is what I'm after. From your rundown, it might be that Aggressor is a bit like the Punisher or Ghost Rider, Warden is more like Luke Cage or Spider-Man. Finally, Sentry might be more akin to Daredevil or Batman.

The concept I'm aiming for was originally Batman, but I kind of like the Luke Cage/Warden option of a bruiser who tries to end fights before they begin. If only it had Ranged (Light) so he could disarm the foe first with a vibro-rang... So I might be cross-speccing into Aggressor after all!

Sentry, specifically, has been stated to be the "I'm Batman" spec, particularly given its "Fear the Shadows" talent. 

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1 hour ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Sentry, specifically, has been stated to be the "I'm Batman" spec, particularly given its "Fear the Shadows" talent. 

Yeah, that's the one that originally attracted me. But the others also let you cause fear, only using Coercion instead of Deception. Coercion-based fear checks seem more "I'm Batman"-y to me. The Sentry's talent seems more like playing with the light to make your shadow look like a gargoyle and scaring folks off that way.

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7 minutes ago, SavageBob said:

Yeah, that's the one that originally attracted me. But the others also let you cause fear, only using Coercion instead of Deception. Coercion-based fear checks seem more "I'm Batman"-y to me. The Sentry's talent seems more like playing with the light to make your shadow look like a gargoyle and scaring folks off that way.

Which is exactly how Batman operates. He uses shadows, theatrics, and misdirection, to instill fear in the superstitious and cowardly that he considers criminals to be. As Bruce Wayne was quoted as saying while trying to originally come up with a persona,  “Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot.”

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11 hours ago, SavageBob said:

Yeah, that's the one that originally attracted me. But the others also let you cause fear, only using Coercion instead of Deception. Coercion-based fear checks seem more "I'm Batman"-y to me. The Sentry's talent seems more like playing with the light to make your shadow look like a gargoyle and scaring folks off that way.

Both can be pretty **** Batman. The Aggressor one is more of standing there in full view, stare them down and say "I'm the god **** Batman!" and have them freeze in fear and fight with less efficiency since they're afraid of the person they're fighting. Sentry is more about having enemies just nope out of the fight because there is something in the shadows and they're not paid enough to deal with this terror. They're both pretty fun, but I kind of prefer Aggressor since I specced warrior from the start, and if you were to go Steel Hand Adept together with Aggressor then you have a pretty solid Batman. That doesn't give you impossible fall though, and that one is just great fun to have.

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Posted (edited)

I played a Warden (retired now) in a campaign with an aggressor, they are very different beasts. Wardens are all about using their abilities to debuff, and in particular movement.

No escape is used with scathing tirade and 2 adv to lose a targets their free maneuver, note they don't have to be someone you strained.

No escape and fearsome , 2 threat does the same

Overbalance staggers your opponents and can be quite easily forced , this was so easy it led to me retiring my character at about 500 earned , anything trying to hit me in combat was getting staggered 90% of the time.

Grapple locks most people in place if they get close to you.

The aggressor focuses on DMG and disorienting abd there is a bit of crossover, but it lacks these movement debuffs, and also has a harder time pulling of staggers etc. Although it does have terrify which can be used at range. Note tirade can be used as a social skill, terrify less so, (but still doable)

The warden is a bit more social support , the aggressor is more an outright terrorist (using a slightly different meaning than the normal one here)

Edited by syrath
Autocorrect correction

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5 hours ago, syrath said:

I played a Warden (retired now) in a campaign with an aggressor, they are very different beasts. Wardens are all about using their abilities to debuff, and in particular movement.

Perfect! Thanks for the rundown. Just out of curiosity, how did the two characters fare Conflict/Morality-wise? My GM wants to stick fairly close to the Conflict chart in the F&D core book, and it looks like uses of fear are worth 2 Conflict a pop. Did you or the Aggressor end up falling to the dark side? Or was it not an issue?

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4 hours ago, SavageBob said:

Perfect! Thanks for the rundown. Just out of curiosity, how did the two characters fare Conflict/Morality-wise? My GM wants to stick fairly close to the Conflict chart in the F&D core book, and it looks like uses of fear are worth 2 Conflict a pop. Did you or the Aggressor end up falling to the dark side? Or was it not an issue?

Just to clarify we considered any use of the coercion skill using fear as a baseline and fearsome originally also, you can work round coercion as it wasn't (for us) an automatic conflict but almost worked out that way, I was working on a redemption arc for my story anyway so dropping for me was no issue

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1 hour ago, syrath said:

Just to clarify we considered any use of the coercion skill using fear as a baseline and fearsome originally also, you can work round coercion as it wasn't (for us) an automatic conflict but almost worked out that way, I was working on a redemption arc for my story anyway so dropping for me was no issue

Yeah, problem for me is I'm going for a Batman-type, someone who tries to scare the bad guys away without resorting to violence. But the Conflict table seems to suggest that creating fear is actually more "evil" than straight up attacking. It'll be interesting to see what happens when a "hero" starts to go dark, if that's indeed what happens.

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7 minutes ago, SavageBob said:

Yeah, problem for me is I'm going for a Batman-type, someone who tries to scare the bad guys away without resorting to violence. But the Conflict table seems to suggest that creating fear is actually more "evil" than straight up attacking. It'll be interesting to see what happens when a "hero" starts to go dark, if that's indeed what happens.

I don't connect Batman and "without resorting to violence" unless you're going neck to Adam West and the Superfriends days, and back then he did really scare anyone. 

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10 minutes ago, SavageBob said:

Yeah, problem for me is I'm going for a Batman-type, someone who tries to scare the bad guys away without resorting to violence. But the Conflict table seems to suggest that creating fear is actually more "evil" than straight up attacking. It'll be interesting to see what happens when a "hero" starts to go dark, if that's indeed what happens.

Well thing to remember is that Batman as a character within the DC universe isn't a Force user whose bound to the rather binary energy that is the Force.  Because let's be honest, about the only reason Batman's antics are tolerated in Gotham is because of who he's going after.

Of course, it also depends on which version of Batman you're looking to emulate.  If it's the "dark knight avenger" that he started as and returned to in the 90's (thanks in no small part to the Burton films and the now-classic Batman: The Animated Series), then yes you're going to be earning conflict for using various scare tactics and intimidation.  Now, if you were to go the route of the Adam West style Batman, you probably won't earn nearly as much conflict.

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1 hour ago, SavageBob said:

Yeah, problem for me is I'm going for a Batman-type, someone who tries to scare the bad guys away without resorting to violence. But the Conflict table seems to suggest that creating fear is actually more "evil" than straight up attacking. It'll be interesting to see what happens when a "hero" starts to go dark, if that's indeed what happens.

Like the others have said using fear with and FS is a no if you want to stay a good guy. The aggressor in my group is rather selective with it.

I made a conscious effort to stay over 30 until I dipped under (think I'm one session I used fearsome about 6 or 7 times and spammed Baleful Gaze in a pit fight 4 times running, used scathing tirade a couple of times and flat out coercion more than once or twice, dropped like a stone that session). This was what caused us to look at the fearsome as being a passive ability that you could just simply choose to ignore and that it represented your reputation, presence etc and not an active use of fear. Although removing this for a GM makes it quite easy for you to choose to remain a lightsider  , and I'd recommend increasing the conflict for actually using something like Baleful Gaze to make it more meaningful. Especially as this is using a dark side force ability to project fear, the 1 for just knowing it isn't enough. Think how scared you'd have to be to have a 2 purple check switched to a 3 red with a DP flip. for reference this immediately gives you about a 25% chance of triggering overbalance in melee.

Getting hit was never an issue for me, generally the more they rolled success the less advantage they had it was when they tried to hit again. . Couple that with precision strike which can be used to trigger a stagger off your own attack I would do my best to keep whoever hit me from never doing it again. Pinnacle of my game was when I was earlier in the campaign I was attacked by 3 Jedi temple guards (long story) and without attacking them once (at least to their wounds) had them locked in place for 3 rounds while they beat on me with their glowsticks with the intention of the rest of team making a getaway. Took me to my WT but still standing after 3 rounds of hard beating.

Just to give you and idea what the opponents were rolling against -

2 purple standard attack in melee , baleful gaze with coercion 4 to turn that into 3 red, 3 defence for 3 setback, disorient from terrify or one of my own punches, 2 auto threat from FR2 and misdirect combat upgrade. Sense advantage could add 2 more setback to their roll. The

So the negative pool was often RRRBBBB with 2 auto threat. If the despair didn't land the single threat was easy enough from The three red and the 4 black. The only time they rolled advantage was when they missed and didn't hit.

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Posted (edited)

Batman uses violence, he just avoids killing.  As such, shouldn't batman use a "martial artist" spec like the one from bounty hunter career or the steel hand adept? (maybe there's something else that would be appropriate?)

  At any rate, I have no experience with Warden, but my character is a Shien Expert/Aggressor..  initially I didn't actually want to play aggressor, but I'm starting to think it's actually pretty good when combined with Shien expert.  The point here is that Aggressor is a highly defense oriented tree..  It gets grit and extra toughened, and also against all odds that gives the tree some staying power even when it gets hit.  Fear checks and timely use of sense advantage can make the tree difficult to hit in melee.  I think the trees weakness is lack of ranged defenses. I also think the tree is lacking against large groups or single powerful opponents, who will likely make a TN 3 fear check (and the check can't be modified as far as I know, please tell me if there's a way). To me, this makes the tree very weak by itself, but I think it's a great compliment to other trees.. trees which could benefit from just a little extra defense.  With Shien Expert for example, I have the excellent Shien ranged defenses and in melee I gain my "okay" Djem So melee defense which are improved by the "okay" Aggressor melee defenses.. Also my attack with Shien is great against a single powerful opponent, so I usually try to take out people that I think the fear won't effect and worry about the minions later.

  Personally, if I wanted a "batman" spec I might consider going Shadow/Aggressor/Steel Hand Adept

P.S.:  Also, lets not forget that force powers could help with stealth, detection, and making people run away.

Edited by Black_Rabbit_Inle

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22 minutes ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

Batman uses violence, he just avoids killing.  As such, shouldn't batman use a "martial artist" spec like the one from bounty hunter career or the steel hand adept? (maybe there's something else that would be appropriate?)

In this game it's incredibly easy to avoid killing even when shooting people with missiles unless the GM fiat is used to say they are dead.

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I should specify that I'm going for an old-school, Detective Comics Batman. He scares the crooks, throws a Batarang to knock their weapon out of the hand, and then tries to capture them. Luke Cage is another model, where his Coercion check is more like seeing a thug draw a gun and saying, "You sure you want to do that?" It just seems like such a good-guy thing to do to me. I get it if Baleful Gaze is supposed to represent a much more nightmare-inducing power, though. Might be part of what my character has to contend with, since we're playing Padawans pre-Order 66.

And I'm not bemoaning the GM sticking to the conflict table. I do question why using Coercion is 2 conflict than resorting to violence first, which is only 1. But over all, I'm excited to play the character.

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3 hours ago, SavageBob said:

I should specify that I'm going for an old-school, Detective Comics Batman. He scares the crooks, throws a Batarang to knock their weapon out of the hand, and then tries to capture them. Luke Cage is another model, where his Coercion check is more like seeing a thug draw a gun and saying, "You sure you want to do that?" It just seems like such a good-guy thing to do to me. I get it if Baleful Gaze is supposed to represent a much more nightmare-inducing power, though. Might be part of what my character has to contend with, since we're playing Padawans pre-Order 66.

And I'm not bemoaning the GM sticking to the conflict table. I do question why using Coercion is 2 conflict than resorting to violence first, which is only 1. But over all, I'm excited to play the character.

Old school batman shot them. Depends on which era you are refering to. There are many batman eras

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