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Wulfherr

Lightsabers

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GoblynByte said:

GoblynByte said:

 

That mismatching of characteristics and skills isn't forbidden in a system like EotE. In fact, it is discussed explicitly in a few places.

I think that is awesome as it can encourage players to be creative and has the potential for added depth in the narrative. I used to run my D&D games like this.

I would like to see a sidebar in the "Conflict and Combat" chapter that explains using mismatched characteristics in combat, presenting guidelines for incorporating them and potential pitfalls. While a reasonable group could do this anyway, using  the "Cool or Vigilance" sidebar as a template but having something substantial in the book itself goes a long way.

Maybe if there were special expenditures for advantage, triumph, threat and despair based on what characteristic was used? That would be a great way to emulate different Lightsaber forms, military training, fringer gunslinger techniques and exotic combat styles.

 

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In regards to one-shot-kill systems and the claim that people will not like them once tried, it should be noted that with the single exception of the Saga system, ever single iteration of the Star Wars RPG (D6 1e, 2e, 2e R&E, OCR, and RCR) was a one-shot-kill system with a relatively high chance of whacking PCs without warning through even the highest levels of game play.

Seeing as how folks have been enjoying Star Wars RPGs for 25 years and seem quite content with the level of lethality, the claim that people only like them in concept because they've never actually played them is complete and utter nonsense.

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GoblynByte said:

In regards to one-shot-kill systems and the claim that people will not like them once tried, it should be noted that with the single exception of the Saga system, ever single iteration of the Star Wars RPG (D6 1e, 2e, 2e R&E, OCR, and RCR) was a one-shot-kill system with a relatively high chance of whacking PCs without warning through even the highest levels of game play.

Seeing as how folks have been enjoying Star Wars RPGs for 25 years and seem quite content with the level of lethality, the claim that people only like them in concept because they've never actually played them is complete and utter nonsense.

Actually, barring incredibly lucky rolls, getting a one-shot kill against a PC or a Nemesis is much more difficult that it might look, even with a lightsaber.  So unless you've got a Jedi with a bunch of ranks in the Lightsaber skill, you're generally going to average about 12 damage and a critical hit (two successes and one advantage).  And if you have reached that point of Jedi badassery, you're not going to have much trouble taking out a Henchman, as you'll probably be rolling an extra success or two, enough to push the damage up another couple points… but by that point, you should be taking out henchmen-level bad guys without much effort, and minions shouldn't be much more than a mild speedbump at best.

Your average PC is generally going to start with a Soak of 3 (Brawn 2 + Heavy Clothing) and a Wound Threshold of 12.  By the time your Jedi gets to be incredibly badass with their lightsaber, that Wound Threshold has probably been bumped once or twice (particularly for a character with in a combat-focused career/specialization).  So getting hit with a lightsaber will ruin their day, but it won't kill them outright, except when dealing with opponents whose main focus isn't getting into a fight.

Given that half our group wasn't able to make it for game night last night, the rest of us threw together some "high-end" heroes (+150 XP after spending the starting allotment), one of which included a non-Jedi with a lightsaber.  Funny thing was, against similarly combat-focused opponents… he didn't utterly dominate the field.  So maybe the lightsaber isn't the be-all, end-all of melee weapons.  The Wookiee Marauder with his vibro-ax was particularly nasty, given the weapon's high base damage (Wook's Brawn of 4 put it at a 10; on par with a lightsaber's base damage), and with 2 ranks in Pierce and 3 in Vicious, I'd almost say the vibro-ax was an even nastier weapon.  Sure, the lightsaber has an easier time scoring a critical hit, but when a vibro-ax scores a crit, it's got a better chance to be even nastier, especially if there's an assassin or marauder making use of it.  That said, I threw a Jedi-type (using a home-brew Jedi trainee specialization; not as game-breaking as some might think) who also had a lightsaber and the Force powers (namely the combat portion of Sense) to back it up… and he didn't exactly dominate the battle either.  Admittedly, the Wookiee never landed a blow (two challenge dice and a difficulty dice tend to that), and the Twi'lek Assassin never landed a hit with her blaster (as do multiple setback dice), but it wasn't just a case of "run up and mow them down" either.

Having seen the lightsaber in play, while it is a deadly weapon (something it should be), it's not a game-breaker.  I still think the base damage could stand to be lowered a couple points though, but perhaps with the option that if you've got a rank in the Lightsaber skill, you have the option of adding Agility or Brawn to your damage total.

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Good to hear some actual, practical data on the subject.

Donovan Morningfire said:

Your average PC is generally going to start with a Soak of 3 (Brawn 2 + Heavy Clothing) and a Wound Threshold of 12.  By the time your Jedi gets to be incredibly badass with their lightsaber, that Wound Threshold has probably been bumped once or twice (particularly for a character with in a combat-focused career/specialization).  So getting hit with a lightsaber will ruin their day, but it won't kill them outright, except when dealing with opponents whose main focus isn't getting into a fight.

I wouldn't argue with that, but I wonder if the increases in defenses wouldn't be offset by increases in skills and various talents. Going back to what you said about being in the hands of skilled Jedi (and, if I understood correctly, your test subject at the session was rather unskilled with the weapon), increased skill is going to come with an increased number of successes. Characteristics will increase which will also increase the number of successes. Also, the occurrence of advantages will increase creating more opportunity for crits. Add to that various talents that increase damage.

Conversely, though, the target is really only going to increase his toughness and maybe add in a few avoidance talents. He might be able to upgrade a defense skill, but this is often neglected by non-Jedi in Star Wars (and I wonder if there will be a mechanical aspect wherein "normal" melee weapons don't parry well against lightsabers). Also keep in mind that the target would have to get their soak up to at least 10 before it would ever even start to affect lightsaber damage. Below that and it is ignored.

To your point, though, I think the lightsaber is far more likely to ruin your day at any level rather than have a likelihood of killing you outright. It's a possibility, but the more I read the system the more I think this one is actually less deadly than OCR and RCR. More potential for lasting injury (severed limbs and such) but lower potential of quick and final death.

 

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GoblynByte said:

To your point, though, I think the lightsaber is far more likely to ruin your day at any level rather than have a likelihood of killing you outright. It's a possibility, but the more I read the system the more I think this one is actually less deadly than OCR and RCR. More potential for lasting injury (severed limbs and such) but lower potential of quick and final death.

Well, lightsabers only got nasty in the OCR and RCR because of Jedi levels providing some crazy bonuses to damage as you progressed, with being able to dish out 6d8 damage not being unheard of, to say nothing of the fact that a critical hit by most any weapon was going to potentially kill you.

As for the Non-Jedi Lightsaber Guy, as the de-facto rules guy (being the only one with a copy of the book), I went ahead and let him buy non-career ranks in the Lightsaber skill (which I'm treating as being Agility based rather than Brawn-based like Brawl or Melee), so with his Agility of 3 and Lightsaber 2, he was rolling the same base dice as the actual Jedi (2 proficiency, 1 ability).  He did score a hit on the Wookiee, but the Wook had such a high Wound Threshold that he was able to survive without worry before decimating the non-Jedi (who was a Bounty Hunter/Survivalist/Marauder, so probably not the most effective build) with a high-rolling critical hit.

But also remember that these combats were, for the most part, in a vacuum.  Having allies around that could provide boost dice to the attacker or setback dice to the target are going to really widen the results.  And it proves that in a one-on-one battle, your best option when facing a Jedi is to be someplace else, preferably far, far away.  Which is probably how it should be, given what we see in the movie; GM Chris did a great analysis of Dad and Son Fett's tactics when pitted against Jedi and how they ultimately fared, and I think this system reflects that.

Interestingly, in the match-up between the Vibro-Ax wielding Wookiee and the Twi'lek Assassin with her distruptor pistol… the Twi'lek ended that fight on two shots; the first leaving the Wookiee blinded, the other killing him outright, both being critical hits, and oddly leaving the Wook a few points just under his wound threshold.  But having what amounts to 6 ranks in Vicious will do that.

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Donovan Morningfire said:

Interestingly, in the match-up between the Vibro-Ax wielding Wookiee and the Twi'lek Assassin with her distruptor pistol… the Twi'lek ended that fight on two shots; the first leaving the Wookiee blinded, the other killing him outright, both being critical hits, and oddly leaving the Wook a few points just under his wound threshold.  But having what amounts to 6 ranks in Vicious will do that.

Ouch! Yeah, that's why disruptors are highly illegal and rare. gui%C3%B1o.gif

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GoblynByte said:

Donovan Morningfire said:

 

Interestingly, in the match-up between the Vibro-Ax wielding Wookiee and the Twi'lek Assassin with her distruptor pistol… the Twi'lek ended that fight on two shots; the first leaving the Wookiee blinded, the other killing him outright, both being critical hits, and oddly leaving the Wook a few points just under his wound threshold.  But having what amounts to 6 ranks in Vicious will do that.

 

 

Ouch! Yeah, that's why disruptors are highly illegal and rare. gui%C3%B1o.gif

And yet have a lower cost and rarity rating than lightsabers ;)

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GoblynByte said:

Donovan Morningfire said:

 

 

And yet have a lower cost and rarity rating than lightsabers ;)

 

 

Touche. gran_risa.gif

In all seriousness, I think folks have been focusing too much on lightsabers because they're a pretty iconic feature of Star Wars and quite frankly are pretty cool as far as melee weapons go.

Most sci-fi geeks tend to think Star Wars when you say "disruptors" so I can see those weapons being overlooked.  Of course the pistol has a range that borders on horrid for a ranged weapon (limited to Close) where the rifle has a range of Long, making it a pretty brutal sniper's weapon; even if you don't kill them you've at least left the target horribly maimed.

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Donovan Morningfire said:

In all seriousness, I think folks have been focusing too much on lightsabers because they're a pretty iconic feature of Star Wars and quite frankly are pretty cool as far as melee weapons go.

But in a Jedi game they are not rare. In fact, people will probably want to be getting in to saber duels as often as possible, so the 'they are rare and illegal' defence for being broken (not actually that I am saying they are broken. I just don't like that defence) doesn't work.

The same applies to Thermal Detonators and Heavy Repeating Blasters and anything else that might be rare and illegal in a Firefly type game but other games could be positively swimming in. So a Sweeny game might only feature pick axe handles, pistols, sawn off shotguns and the occasional Enfield Enforcer rifle, but a Bridge Too Far game (set in the same world just a few years earlier) will feature an epic quantity of automatic weapons, rocket launchers and Tiger Tanks.

Anyway, it is good to see people seeing how this might play out. I will admit I am sceptical that the system won't break at high levels, because, really, are there any systems that do work well at high level? But I guess it isn't impossible.

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AluminiumWolf said:

 

But in a Jedi game they are not rare.

 

 

Indeed they wouldn't be.  Let me know when you find a Jedi game cause as far as I can tell, we got like a 2 year wait.

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 it may be two years till we have a jedi game but that dosen't really excuse publishing this game with broken lightsaber and force power rules. I really hope Fantasy Flight has learned there lessons from the 40K line and in 3 years we wont have three sorta similar games with tons of changes between the games, every single 40k game uses a different psychic power system, not because one is more thematic than the other but because they keep changeing it to try and balance it, every game has different combat rules and weapon stats. I am hoping this time around we can avoid those pains and when someone asks me what the stats for a heavy blaster pistol are I can tell them without having to fine out what game they are playing first.

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Librarian said:

 it may be two years till we have a jedi game but that dosen't really excuse publishing this game with broken lightsaber and force power rules. I really hope Fantasy Flight has learned there lessons from the 40K line and in 3 years we wont have three sorta similar games with tons of changes between the games, every single 40k game uses a different psychic power system, not because one is more thematic than the other but because they keep changeing it to try and balance it, every game has different combat rules and weapon stats. I am hoping this time around we can avoid those pains and when someone asks me what the stats for a heavy blaster pistol are I can tell them without having to fine out what game they are playing first.

Two points:

  • The claim that the lightsaber rules are currently "broken" is a matter of opinion based on how deadly people think they should be in the game. Some folks here think they're spot on. Some do not. No matter what is done with the lightsaber rules there will people who will claim they are "broken" when, in fact, they just don't match their opinion of how they should work.
  • The game is currently in beta test. They haven't published the game with any broken rules because they haven't actually published the game yet.

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Still waiting for the Local shops to get the book.  Lion Rampant is being slow.  Grrr…   but from what I've read, lightsabers are deadly.  To the point that everyone should want one.   Now, I for one, will let anyone who want so use a lightsaber do so.  But unless you have training, and are really good, if you roll a despair, and you're a Average Joe Smuggler, you're going to be cutting your own hand off.   

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That Blasted Samophlange said:

Still waiting for the Local shops to get the book.  Lion Rampant is being slow.  Grrr…   but from what I've read, lightsabers are deadly.  To the point that everyone should want one.   Now, I for one, will let anyone who want so use a lightsaber do so.  But unless you have training, and are really good, if you roll a despair, and you're a Average Joe Smuggler, you're going to be cutting your own hand off.   

Good luck with that - lightsabers, by the rules, are as they should be… as rare as a stupidly rare thing . Even on Coruscant, finding a lightsaber on the black market is a 5-difficulty dice (Formidable) Streetwise check, with the potential for their contact to attempt to steal their money or Stormtroopers show up to arrest you, and even if you succeed, they cost around 10,000,000 credits each. You could buy a fleet of freighters and crew for them for that kind of money.

Even if they want to use one, it'll likely be a cold day in hell before they find someone with a lightsaber, and the day after that will be the day they find someone willing to sell one.

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MILLANDSON said:

they cost around 10,000,000 credits each. You could buy a fleet of freighters and crew for them for that kind of money.

 

Uh… 10,000… not 10,000,000. But I still think your points stand. gran_risa.gif

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GoblynByte said:

MILLANDSON said:

 

they cost around 10,000,000 credits each. You could buy a fleet of freighters and crew for them for that kind of money.

 

 

 

Uh… 10,000… not 10,000,000. But I still think your points stand. gran_risa.gif

You're forgetting the 1000% cost increase thats applied to availability 10 restricted items.

Yes, dropping a lightsaber into the party's lap will derail the game (unless you drastically alter is selling price).

The only thing that can also help reduce this is the Black Market Connections talent, but even that will only go so high (and it still causes a % increase to the base price).

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In regards to attaining a lightsaber, I really don't think it's going to destroy your game.  At least not in comparison to a disruptor weapon, particularly one that benefits from the Jury-Rigged talent to get an even lower Crit Rating.  And they don't even need a special skill in order to use them the way that a lightsaber does, just the regular Ranged attack skills.

Point of interest, but for my revamp of how Force-Sensitive works in regards to career and specializations, one of my homebrew specs is a Jedi Trainee, and on the third talent row, there's a talent that specifically grants the character a lightsaber, it being one that they've managed to construct in the course of their education.  A player would have to sink about 60 XP just into getting the weapon for a starting character, leaving them less than half their starting XP for things like raising characteristics, or more importantly buying up Force Powers.

Then again, I'm probably going to institute to restrict PCs from buying any talents above 2nd tier, though from what I've generally seen most tend not to go past the 2nd tier anyway, preferring to spend their points on buying up characteristics and padding out their skills.

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It was probably a mistaken reading of it as 1000x instead of  1000% (they do have a similar shape).

That said, the price increase is certainly something meaningful to consider when dealing with a lightsaber in game. It should remain Availability 10 and restricted. Unless the black market table is changed, this will still mean a 1000% increase in value, which can and will get out of hand.

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Crap, sorry, totally miscalculated the result. Still, it's more expensive than some starships, and since you have to beg/steal/borrow the first one of those you own anyway, the chances of getting hold of a guy willing to sell his lightsaber, and then actually being able to afford it, are going to be nil unless you have been playing for a fair few months and saved up every credit.

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With the latest update, I thought I'd put some lipstick and some high heels on this dead old thread and trot it out on stage.

So,

Cost is now 50,000 instead of 10,000.  No longer has Breach.  No longer has Deflection.

It doesn't make a whole lot of contextual sense to have soak apply to lightsabers, but the extremely low Crit rating helps increase the "deadlitude" of the weapon, and it's how I'm envisioning the extra slicey power now in addition to the very very high base damage we all know and love.  When this thing connects, a single advantage is going to allow for a potential critical hit.  That isn't small time, considering it is also probably doing 7 or 8 wounds as well.  But, allowing soak to count against lightsabers still gives them an output on par with a Vibro-Axe weilded by a very strong combatant.  And it allows for future growth in lightsaber damage via Jedi talents or other melee combat boosts….without starting at the 10th floor of Wound Tower or insta-ganking every thing coreward of Port Haven.

Still, it might not hurt to give it the Pierce quality and then back out a point of base damage for every point of Pierce rating.  That way, thematically everyone gets to feel like the lightsaber is extra choppy (even though as written it is hella choppy…where do you think that base 10 came from sugar darlin'?).  I think a Damage 8 Pierce 3 would still make it an awesome weapon.

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Callidon said:

 

With the latest update, I thought I'd put some lipstick and some high heels on this dead old thread and trot it out on stage.

So,

Cost is now 50,000 instead of 10,000.  No longer has Breach.  No longer has Deflection.

It doesn't make a whole lot of contextual sense to have soak apply to lightsabers, but the extremely low Crit rating helps increase the "deadlitude" of the weapon, and it's how I'm envisioning the extra slicey power now in addition to the very very high base damage we all know and love.  When this thing connects, a single advantage is going to allow for a potential critical hit.  That isn't small time, considering it is also probably doing 7 or 8 wounds as well.  But, allowing soak to count against lightsabers still gives them an output on par with a Vibro-Axe weilded by a very strong combatant.  And it allows for future growth in lightsaber damage via Jedi talents or other melee combat boosts….without starting at the 10th floor of Wound Tower or insta-ganking every thing coreward of Port Haven.

Still, it might not hurt to give it the Pierce quality and then back out a point of base damage for every point of Pierce rating.  That way, thematically everyone gets to feel like the lightsaber is extra choppy (even though as written it is hella choppy…where do you think that base 10 came from sugar darlin'?).  I think a Damage 8 Pierce 3 would still make it an awesome weapon.

 

 

 I agree, a lightsaber needs to have a mechanic like pierce to account for it's ability to cut through objects easily.  Pierce seems like an excellent compromise between breach and nothing at all.  As it stands now, armor is actually *more* effective against a lightsaber than it is against a vibroblade of some variety.  Even in other iterations of saga in which lightsabers were woefully underpowered in comparison to representations in cannon they still ignored damage reduction granted from armor.  In all honestly, I think they were fine in their first iteration.  

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The Lightsaber is PERFECT the way it was ORIGINALLY written and that'll be exactly how I keep it. 

It's sad how some people will always whine about how Lightsabers and the Force are presented, complaining that they're too powerful and to these people I say…."They're suppose to be".

Vader himself says that "destroying a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force" and Yoda implies that there is no limit to what can be achieved with the Force.  And as far as Lightsabers go, they can cut through anything.  A simple strike can slice through flesh and steel like butter.  Given enough time, Qui-Gon would have made his way through how many layers of blast doors?

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