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damnkid3

Buying a force rating at creation

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I'm going to start a game and have the characters start with 300 exp after creation.  One of the players wants to be a force prodigy and start with an extra force rating, not earned from a tree.  I was thinking of doing this but wondering how much exp to charge for it.   To buy the force rating talent from a tree it is normally between 100 to 125 to buy, some tree are less and some are more.   I was think of charging 75 exp for the player to buy it, since they will not get the other talents for the 50 exp that the would if they went though a tree.

Do you think this is too low,  too high or Just right?  

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I might be convinced to allow a player to buy Force Rating as a Battle Scar talent if the associated Critical Injury permanently lowered a random Characteristic by 1. In effect, an anti-Dedication in exchange for a Force Rating. 

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6 hours ago, damnkid3 said:

I'm going to start a game and have the characters start with 300 exp after creation.  One of the players wants to be a force prodigy and start with an extra force rating, not earned from a tree.  I was thinking of doing this but wondering how much exp to charge for it.   To buy the force rating talent from a tree it is normally between 100 to 125 to buy, some tree are less and some are more.   I was think of charging 75 exp for the player to buy it, since they will not get the other talents for the 50 exp that the would if they went though a tree.

Do you think this is too low,  too high or Just right?  

to echo Daeglan's question, have you and your group played this before?

Reason we ask is because there's a substantial increase in a Force using character's ability once they reach Force Rating 2, as the PC will now more reliably be able to activate Force powers without suffering strain and can probably get one or two upgrades to activate as well.  To put into D&D/Pathfinder terms, allowing a starting XP character to have Force Rating 2 (even if purchased) is akin to allowing a 1st level spellcaster to be able to cast 2nd level spells (a 3rd level feature) while the rest of the party are stuck with the usual 1st level spells for the rather measly cost of only having 2/3rds as many points to buy ability scores as the rest of the party.  It's not totally game breaking, but it does skew the balance of power, especially once that PC is able to invest XP into Force powers such as Move and Influence, where Force Rating 2 allows them to accomplish a whole lot more in encounters than they could manage with just one Force die.

If your PC is really deadset on being a "Force prodigy," the best suggestion is to have them start out in either Seer, Sage, or Hermit (from Savage Spirits), all three of which can pretty easily get a PC up to Force Rating 3.  Or, if they want to be skilled at using a lightsaber while not sacrificing Force prowess, then AnomalousAuthor's suggestion of having them take the Padawan specialization is a good one, as the spec offers a Force Rating talent at a very low cost.

The thing with doing a straight XP calculation such as you've done is that part of the cost of getting to that Force Rating talent includes buying other abilities that the PC gets to make use of.  If you really are determined to let this character begin with Force Rating 2, then I'd suggest only charging 50 XP, or about double what most specs have you pay for the talent.  This way, the PC is still paying a premium to get that talent early, but not exactly one that's crippling in the early going where characteristics are more important than skill ranks (good rule of thumb is you want at least a 3 in the core characteristics for your build if you want the character to be reasonably effective right out the gate).

Or alternatively, and this is something I've been toying with, is to adopt a page out of the Genesys sourcebook Realms of Terrinoth and grant this PC a Heroic Ability (similar to Signature Abilities but available right at character creation and aren't linked to any specific career) that allows them to do spectacular Force effects, at the cost of 2 Destiny Points and initially being limited to once per session, with options to as the PC gains XP to unlock various upgrades to said ability.  Said ability (working title of "Strong in the Force") at base would allow the PC to roll an additional Force die when activating a Force power/talent, while the improved version would allow the PC to re-roll up to two Force dice, and the supreme version would mirror the Unleashed Power upgrade in the Mystic's Unmatched Destiny Signature Ability, in addition to having various upgrades to reduce the Destiny Point cost or increase how often the ability can be used per session.  There'd be no XP cost for this, but at the same time I'd offer the rest of the PCs the option to take a Heroic Ability from Realms of Terrinoth as well, tailored to their character's abilities.

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The others make good points. It can be unbalancing but you may be able to counter it by giving the other characters a bonus. Offer each player the option of +1 Force Rating or +1 Dedication for free. 

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I have this game for a while and feel that force characters are not very strong at creation with only one force dice, because you have so many other things to buy at creation.  If the player wanted to the 2nd force dice they could buy the Padawan tree and get it at 45 exp, the navigator tree and get it at 50, or the pathfinder, Artiasin or Racer and get it at 70, also some other tree have paths straight down to buy it 75.   But depending on the career or background it wouldn't make sense to buy those down to that level.  So I wanted to look in to alternate options of letting them have the 2nd force rating to fit their character theme with out taking Specialization that do not fit their Character.  

Donovan - I do not have realms of Terrinoth to know about the Heroic abilities, but I have heard they are good and players really like them.   I will see if i can find a copy of that book to find out more about how that works.   Since they can use the extra 300 exp for to buy this, versus having to use only the being EXP I kept it closer to the cost of buy a new tree and getting it cheaply.  If they had to use starting Exp, I would definitely drop it down to 50.

Varlie - I like your suggestion of give the other players dedication to help make up the difference. I know it is not an even trade, like D&D dedication will help more early game, but Force Rating help alot more late game. 

Happy Daze - different than the line I was thinking but I like the idea of lowering something else to offset the force increase. 

Thank you for your suggestions, if anyone else has more I would like to hear them. 

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Posted (edited)

One other suggestion is to not get too caught up on what titles the careers and specializations have. If the talents and skills given fit a character concept, but you don’t think the name or fluff fits, just reskin it to reflect that concept. Use it as a mechanical concept and come up with your own fluff. Just a thought.

Edited by AnomalousAuthor

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6 hours ago, damnkid3 said:

Donovan - I do not have realms of Terrinoth to know about the Heroic abilities, but I have heard they are good and players really like them.   I will see if i can find a copy of that book to find out more about how that works.   Since they can use the extra 300 exp for to buy this, versus having to use only the being EXP I kept it closer to the cost of buy a new tree and getting it cheaply.  If they had to use starting Exp, I would definitely drop it down to 50.

You can get the PDF of Realms of Terrinoth off of DriveThruRPG.

Short version, each PC gets a Heroic Ability for free as part of character generation, starting with only the basic effect.  Then, with every 50XP earned (this does not include species' starting XP, but would include XP from Heroic/Knight Level), the character gets an advancement point which they can use to bolster/expand the effects of their Heroic Ability, such as reducing the Story Point cost down to one, being able to use the ability more times per session, and various other things.

However, knowing that your PCs are starting with an extra 300XP under their belts, I would say that this player in question can buck up and purchase their boosted Force Rating the normal way.  Had you stated that up front instead of the unspoken implication that the PCs would be made with just their starting species XP budgets, that probably would have flavored a number of the responses you've gotten.

As for it requiring a substantial XP investment to "get good" with using the Force, that's very much a by design intent on the part of the writers, with the notion being to replicate Luke's slower path to mastery of the Force versus the quicker ascension to Force proficiency that we've seen with more recent characters, such as Ezra of Rebels and Rey of the sequel films, with even Cal of the yet-to-be-released Jedi: Fallen Order video game getting some flak for supposedly being just a Padawan but yet pulling off Force moves that wouldn't be out of place in the deliberately over-the-top Force Unleashed games.  The WotC versions, Saga Edition especially, made it far too easy to become a monstrously powerful Force user, to the extent that unless the player reigned themselves in (which a lot didn't), any games with Jedi PCs quickly became a case of "the Jedi and their tagalong buddies," even at the lower end of the level spectrum, something a lot of folks did not like one bit (even of the core issue was more to do with how the skill system worked and interacted with NPC defense scores).  WEG interestingly had the issue of that while it was often expensive to get up to speed on using the Force, once the PC got there (usually at around 5D in their Force skills), they were a powerhouse just simply due to how many different effects they had at their disposal and that they could use those effects reliably, to say nothing of a Jedi with a lightsaber being able to cause astounding amounts of damage (many a GM shuddered at hearing "I use my turn to activate the lightsaber combat power") that no other PC could really ever hope to compete with.

However, once your PC gets to Force Rating 2 (or 3) and invests XP in boosting up their Force powers with upgrades, they get very powerful.  Move is a prime example of this, as a PC with FR2 and a decent investment in Move can pretty reliably dish out damage that other PCs would either need hyper-specialized builds or Gunnery-class weaponry to match, to say nothing of being able to use Influence to affect minds and pretty much hand wave their way out of a lot of situations for a few rounds.  Which is not unlike what we saw with Luke in the films, with him starting as a wet-behind-the-ears farmboy that didn't even know about the Force at the film's start to being a very capable Jedi Knight, all in the span of a few years and with a decent portion of it being self-taught.

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I start all my players with three +1 stats that they can put in any stat, but not the same and can not raise their stats above 5 this way.  One of these +1 bonuses can be used to raise your force rating to a 2.  

I have not seen any problems with this.

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On 6/15/2019 at 12:04 PM, damnkid3 said:

I have this game for a while and feel that force characters are not very strong at creation with only one force dice, because you have so many other things to buy at creation.

The reason you feel this, is because it's how it is.  It was designed that way on purpose, for game balance.  As in every previous Star Wars table game, one of the more common complaints from the players is that the Force users are too OP compared to everyone else.  So they tried to at least balance it in the low end of the game (where the majority of people will stay when playing to be honest).   But after several adventures, a character who has been focusing on the Force, and growing stronger in it, will indeed be very powerful.   They just aren't pulling X-Wings out of the swamp on Day One.  

That's on purpose, and the whole point of....you know, character growth and progression?   

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The Jedi Knight in the new clone wars era book starts with a force rating of 2. Sounds like your "force prodigy" PC doesn't want to be a Jedi Knight per se, but can you reskin that class & specialization to simply be "force prodigy?"

And curious - is this player eyeing a particular career & specialization that s/he wants to overlay "force prodigy" onto? Possibly make them start with Knight then buy into other specialization trees?

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20 minutes ago, Farseerixirvost said:

The Jedi Knight in the new clone wars era book starts with a force rating of 2. Sounds like your "force prodigy" PC doesn't want to be a Jedi Knight per se, but can you reskin that class & specialization to simply be "force prodigy?"

And curious - is this player eyeing a particular career & specialization that s/he wants to overlay "force prodigy" onto? Possibly make them start with Knight then buy into other specialization trees?

Jedi Knight does not start with FR2. You have to have a FR2 as a prerequisite before you select that specialization.

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On 6/22/2019 at 1:32 PM, Farseerixirvost said:

The Jedi Knight in the new clone wars era book starts with a force rating of 2. Sounds like your "force prodigy" PC doesn't want to be a Jedi Knight per se, but can you reskin that class & specialization to simply be "force prodigy?"

And curious - is this player eyeing a particular career & specialization that s/he wants to overlay "force prodigy" onto? Possibly make them start with Knight then buy into other specialization trees?

 

On 6/22/2019 at 1:54 PM, HappyDaze said:

Jedi Knight does not start with FR2. You have to have a FR2 as a prerequisite before you select that specialization.

@HappyDazeis correct here. The Jedi Knight spec requires a Force Rating of 2 in order to take the spec, it doesn’t grant you that Rating. So, in order to take the Knight spec, you’ll first need to take the Padawan spec (assuming you’re using the Jedi career), one of the other F@D specs, or universal Force user specs, and work your way down to the Increase Force Rating talent to get to FR 2, then you can take Knight. The upcoming Jedi Master has a similar prerequisite, but it requires you to have a FR of 3 in order to take the spec. 

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If the characters start with 300XPs after creation, I understand it means 300XPs received after the XPs earned at character creation but before starting to play, it's more than enough to get the +1FR talent in it's starting specialisation. If the player choose one of the three specialisation with a +2FR, it'll cost less than 150XPs to get both talents. That means a Force Rating 3 since having a F&D career gives a FR 1.

Starting with two specialisations from the chosen career will give +2FR too for a little less than 200XPS. That left enough to buy Force Powers and to increase a few skills, or get a Dedication Talent.

300XPs is exactly the amount of XPs needed to buy all the Talents in a single Tree whatever the career chosen. It's an huge bonus for starting characters; With an average 20 to 30 XPs awarded for each game session, it takes 10 to 15 of them to reach 300XPs.

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So my supposition is they are saving the last 2 jedi classes and other signature ability for a kotor or sequel era book.  Not sure the signature ability will be awesome... so I'm trying to figure out a 3.5 spec build.  Initial thought are starting knight, moving into niman-disciple, with parts of padawan survivor and the right side of padawan or master.

Starting attributes would be 3 brawn, 3 int, 3 willpower, fr 2... knight gets it to fr 3 and a 4 in willpower, niman disciple gets it to fr 4 and willpower 5, padawan survivor gets to fr 5 and int 4, the dip into the 4th spec gets fr 6 and willpower 6.

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Not to spoil (the book is in stores now) but the signature abilities for the Clone Trooper and Jedi are both in Fall.

The rule for buying a force rating at creation is there, its optional, and the intent is... well you can't make either of the jedi specialties in the book without it.  Master requires 3 and General 2.

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26 minutes ago, Mornmist said:

Not to spoil (the book is in stores now) but the signature abilities for the Clone Trooper and Jedi are both in Fall.

One signature ability for each of Clone Soldier and Jedi. All other careers get two, so many people are hopeful that each of these careers will too.

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4 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

One signature ability for each of Clone Soldier and Jedi. All other careers get two, so many people are hopeful that each of these careers will too.

Though i dont know where a second signature ability for clones could show up. I could see one for jedi in a kotor era book.

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Posted (edited)

So, I did some crunching of what you can do with this option, and I believe in some circumstances, it's actually better than buying the stat increase. Let me explain:

If you're going to use 30XP to increase a Br or Ag stat to 3, and you'll also be picking up Enhance (commit) force power, you may as well just buy the FR+1, since you can always commit that FR die to bring up the stat. The same could be done for Pr using the Influence control upgrade to add your Force die to the check, or using Farsight to improve your Perception/Vigilance and taking a lower Cn stat. In this way, you're just offsetting the reduced stat by using a Force power that offers you to use Force die to supplement the skill check.

The main benefit comes as your progress with your character. If you take say Jedi - Knight as your starting spec, there is nothing that says you cannot backtrack and purchase Padawan for 20XP as your second spec, and with a further 45XP buying FR+1, bringing you up to FR3. From there, you can either invest in talents, or Force abilities, comfortable in the fact that you're powers will be going off quite reliably.

Using this approach, means that you also achieve FR5 by the time you've completed the Master spec, with only 3 specialisations, e.g. Starting FR2, Jedi Knight (FR+1), Padawan (FR+1), and Master (FR+1).

Edited by masterstrider

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2 hours ago, masterstrider said:

So, I did some crunching of what you can do with this option, and I believe in some circumstances, it's actually better than buying the stat increase. Let me explain:

If you're going to use 30XP to increase a Br or Ag stat to 3, and you'll also be picking up Enhance (commit) force power, you may as well just buy the FR+1, since you can always commit that FR die to bring up the stat. The same could be done for Pr using the Influence control upgrade to add your Force die to the check, or using Farsight to improve your Perception/Vigilance and taking a lower Cn stat. In this way, you're just offsetting the reduced stat by using a Force power that offers you to use Force die to supplement the skill check.

The main benefit comes as your progress with your character. If you take say Jedi - Knight as your starting spec, there is nothing that says you cannot backtrack and purchase Padawan for 20XP as your second spec, and with a further 45XP buying FR+1, bringing you up to FR3. From there, you can either invest in talents, or Force abilities, comfortable in the fact that you're powers will be going off quite reliably.

Using this approach, means that you also achieve FR5 by the time you've completed the Master spec, with only 3 specialisations, e.g. Starting FR2, Jedi Knight (FR+1), Padawan (FR+1), and Master (FR+1).

Jedi knight  and sage/seeker/hermit gets you 5 fr in 2 specs, 2 attributes at 3 and one at 4 starting from human.

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On 6/14/2019 at 10:51 PM, damnkid3 said:

I'm going to start a game and have the characters start with 300 exp after creation.  One of the players wants to be a force prodigy and start with an extra force rating, not earned from a tree.  I was thinking of doing this but wondering how much exp to charge for it.   To buy the force rating talent from a tree it is normally between 100 to 125 to buy, some tree are less and some are more.   I was think of charging 75 exp for the player to buy it, since they will not get the other talents for the 50 exp that the would if they went though a tree.

Do you think this is too low,  too high or Just right?  

In collapse of the republic there is a sidebar that will let them do this for 30xp for a second force Rating at creation.  Furthermore if he takes Padawan for 45xp he can gain the talent of force rating increase by working through the tree.  So for 75xp he can start at a force rating of 3

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9 hours ago, NicoJMont said:

In collapse of the republic there is a sidebar that will let them do this for 30xp for a second force Rating at creation.  Furthermore if he takes Padawan for 45xp he can gain the talent of force rating increase by working through the tree.  So for 75xp he can start at a force rating of 3

I wouldnt allow that. The point of the Side Bar is to allow the Classes to be used with out Rise. But if you have Rise that side bar seems Counter to the intent.

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2 minutes ago, Daeglan said:

I wouldnt allow that. The point of the Side Bar is to allow the Classes to be used with out Rise. But if you have Rise that side bar seems Counter to the intent.

I can understand that position. I will say that paying 30 starting xp is significant as it effectively costs as much as a 2-to-3 Characteristic increase (effectively giving up the equivalent of a Dedication rank in exchange for a Force Rating rank).

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