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FFG_Sam Stewart

Edge of the Empire Beta Update: Week 3

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Hi everyone!

Big update this week; we're doing a lot of adjustments with weapon damage and some weapon qualities.

Going forward, I'd like to get some people's thoughts on the Auto-Fire and Blast qualities (or other qualities and abilities that allow you to hit multiple targets, or a single target multiple times). Thanks!

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Should we assume that weapons Flame Projector, Frag Grenade, Stun Grenade, and Thermal Detonator should all have their range changed to Short as well?

I like what I see so far. I'm going to have to see how this stuff truly changes the melee combatants damage output - I think you may have swung the pendulum a little bit *too* far, but we'll have to see. Overall, combat is going to be a just a little bit of a safer place for the PCs. I also like the changes on the price chart. Makes 500 credits a little bit easier to swallow when you can buy a blaster pistol and not be utterly destitute.

I also like the changes to the Lightsaber, both the increases cost and the change to the qualities. I'm interested to see how you expand on lightsaber training.

As always, thanks for the awesome work you guys have been doing with these updates. happy.gif

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*Autofire:  Once the Jury Rig loophole is closed up (I'm assuming next week), it'll be better.  Between the Autofire, Walking Fire and Making Ranged Attacks at Engaged Targets rules, it should work out okay (you are upgrading the dice pool one step & increasing the difficulty by 2).  That being said, the wording on Making Ranged Attacks at Engaged Targets needs to remove the Despair requirement.  What I mean by that is the text on pg 136 reads .."that [Despair Symbol] IS immediately spent"…  In my opinion "is" should be changed to "can be."  Despair, Triumph, Advantage and Threat should be left up to the group to spend.  If something needs to happen on a test it should be wired into the success or failure of the test since those are pretty much non-negotiable.

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Love all these updates.  Only one thing I'm uncertain about… I fear the lightsaber might have been needed too much.  Mainly, the removal of Breach.  It's such an iconic ability of lightsabers… 

It also doesn't make sense to me how a vibroaxe is now more Vicious than a lightsaber.

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GM Chris said:

Love all these updates.  Only one thing I'm uncertain about… I fear the lightsaber might have been needed too much.  Mainly, the removal of Breach.  It's such an iconic ability of lightsabers… 

It also doesn't make sense to me how a vibroaxe is now more Vicious than a lightsaber.

I'd assume that talents to use the lightsaber better might be released in future - in untrained hands, a lightsaber isn't nearly as dangerous as it is in the hands of a lightsaber specialist.

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GM Chris said:

Love all these updates.  Only one thing I'm uncertain about… I fear the lightsaber might have been needed too much.  Mainly, the removal of Breach.  It's such an iconic ability of lightsabers… 

It also doesn't make sense to me how a vibroaxe is now more Vicious than a lightsaber.

Good catch. I missed the Breach subtraction.

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They need to leave the Lightsaber the way it was (which I'm going to).  It should have Breach and Deflection kept along with the rest of it's qualities.

A Lightsaber is equally as deadly no matter who wields it and should reflect how truly EPIC the weapon is.  If anything, they could introduce setback dice to any user who isn't skilled in it's usage.  Despair could lead to maiming oneself or something, maybe a critical injury.

All in all, I'm happy with the way the original rules play, so I'm personally not going to be changing much from how it already reads.

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Sutter said:

They need to leave the Lightsaber the way it was (which I'm going to).  It should have Breach and Deflection kept along with the rest of it's qualities.

A Lightsaber is equally as deadly no matter who wields it and should reflect how truly EPIC the weapon is.  If anything, they could introduce setback dice to any user who isn't skilled in it's usage.  Despair could lead to maiming oneself or something, maybe a critical injury.

 

I reckon, however, that Deflection should be something granted via a talent - whilst the weapon can deflect, you have to have the skill and reflexes to use it to deflect. As Luke showed in the first movie, not having that ability/talent essentially means no deflection.

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GM Chris said:

 

Love all these updates.  Only one thing I'm uncertain about… I fear the lightsaber might have been needed too much.  Mainly, the removal of Breach.  It's such an iconic ability of lightsabers… 

It also doesn't make sense to me how a vibroaxe is now more Vicious than a lightsaber.

 

I can see why they backed Breach down since it is intended for vehicle weaponry (ignoring 10 personal scale soak is on the goofy side of silly). 

 However, I think it deserves to at least match the damage output of a vibro-axe wielded by a Brawny character.  A Brawn 6 wookie going on a murder spree is going to be able to dish out 9 base damage and make that count as 11 damage against anything with a soak of 2 or more.  We just go up from there once you start to rack up <game stuff>.  So let's break down the Lightsaber as it exists right now in Update 3.

The high base damage for a lightsaber makes sense, since it isn't benefiting from agility or brawn.  The higher Vicious rating on the vibro-axe is all fine and good when you compare the Crit ratings.  Gods balls, a Crit rating of 1!  Ladies and germs,  all you need to get a +30 critical hit is 2 advantage (1 to triger a +20 crit from vicious and another to scoop it up +10 on the basic rules of critical hits).  The lightsaber can spend advantage to damage equipment.  So you could destroy your opponent's vibro-axe if you get a net four advantage (damage it to Major with 3 and 1 more for the kablooie).  It's defensive so you can also make yourself quite the bastard to hit.

To me, the lack of Pierce or Breach is not a mistake.  A lightsaber fudges shnikeys up with it's crit rating.  If you score ONE point of damage with the thing and have four advantage you can either choose to scratch off a piece of equipment on your opponent or lay down a +50 critical hit on them.

The lightsaber's iconic "cuts through anything" has been cooked into the Crit rating.  Critical hits are an unholy mother fletcher to get rid of.  When this puppy hits something it leaves a lasting impression.  Which is very fitting.  BUT, it doesn't automatically take a healthy Imperial customs official from 10 wounds to dead at the beginning of combat…which is a good thing.

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GM Chris said:

Love all these updates.  Only one thing I'm uncertain about… I fear the lightsaber might have been needed too much.  Mainly, the removal of Breach.  It's such an iconic ability of lightsabers… 

It also doesn't make sense to me how a vibroaxe is now more Vicious than a lightsaber.

 

I agree.  I might've been fine with the change if they removed breach and replaced it with pierce, but it's too much as it is.  Personally, I don't think breach was really a problem.  Lightsabers cut through all manner of improbable things in cannon, and they do it better than vibroweapons.  Given that the system is attempting to emulate theme rather than achieve pure parity for the sake of balance I can't see why a weapon not even really meant for use in the current game needed a nerf.

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I'm assuming the (personal) weapons that still are listed as Close range were accidently skipped and fall under the "everything else personal scale that references Close should be changed to Short" catch-all.

I also think that Lightsabers should have some sort of armour piercing ability. Personally I don't think breach 1 is too much, given what we see them do in the movies. However I think they should have their base damage toned down… it's pretty unlikely you're going to see even vibroaxes hitting for more base damage, which just doesn't seem to fit the way they are wielded in the movies. There are plenty of grazes and nicks that don't seem to do a whole lot and it's only the criticals (impaling, limb removal, etc) that do the horrific damage. Whereas the vibroweapons should be much more brutal in raw damage, literally hacking people up, but harder to crit with.

I'm not quite sure on FFG's reasoning behind them being so high base damage (other than that they presumably key off agility and hence don't add a wielder's strength)…

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gribble said:

I'm assuming the (personal) weapons that still are listed as Close range were accidently skipped and fall under the "everything else personal scale that references Close should be changed to Short" catch-all.

I also think that Lightsabers should have some sort of armour piercing ability. Personally I don't think breach 1 is too much, given what we see them do in the movies. However I think they should have their base damage toned down… it's pretty unlikely you're going to see even vibroaxes hitting for more base damage, which just doesn't seem to fit the way they are wielded in the movies. There are plenty of grazes and nicks that don't seem to do a whole lot and it's only the criticals (impaling, limb removal, etc) that do the horrific damage. Whereas the vibroweapons should be much more brutal in raw damage, literally hacking people up, but harder to crit with.

I'm not quite sure on FFG's reasoning behind them being so high base damage (other than that they presumably key off agility and hence don't add a wielder's strength)…

I like this. A lightsaber cuts through pretty much anything. If it isnt cortosis, beskar, or thicker than the lightsaber is long, the armour dosent help at all. A brawn 6 character with 5 extra soak from armor will take just as much damage as a brawn 1 character with no armor.

Add in what Callidon said, and I could see a lightsaber going as low as 3 or so damage, but keep Breach 1 and the vicious very high. With the crit rating of one you will do alot of crits, and that is where the main damage will come from. Even a moderate crit roll will be a peach crit and a good roll could get you a red crit even before things like talents come into play.

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Chrislee66 said:

I agree.  I might've been fine with the change if they removed breach and replaced it with pierce, but it's too much as it is.  Personally, I don't think breach was really a problem.  Lightsabers cut through all manner of improbable things in cannon, and they do it better than vibroweapons.  Given that the system is attempting to emulate theme rather than achieve pure parity for the sake of balance I can't see why a weapon not even really meant for use in the current game needed a nerf.

 

Yeah..I hate to say it, but the Lightsaber, as it was, was a brutal, nasty piece of work. Also, it does not require much special skill to use its Breach ability…the nice, slow, melting your way through a bulkhead. However, I think the reason it got the nerf was that Breach was so nasty. Personally, I agree that it should have gotten a high pierce instead of Breach. Like maybe: Pierce 6. I think, though, part of the reason for not doing that was that there might be the idea that the best armour in the game, with superior quality, boosted by a Bounty Hunter should be the equivalent of made with Mandalorian Iron, or lined with Cortosis, or made with phrik metal…so that skill with the saber would matter.

Still…I think it should have gotten a Pierce rating if they were going to drop the Breach.

As for Vibro weapons having a higher viscious then a Lightsaber? I think that is because the lightsaber is, pretty much, a clean weapon, while vibroweapons have all sheer forces from the blade vibrating back and forth. I can see that boosting the critical chance if it manages to crit, while, when one can get a presumed Lightsaber Skill, the Lightsaber can, theoretically, get some heavy hits, especially if you manage to get a Triumph or two thrown in….

 

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I'm not quite sure what to make of the changes to the lightsaber. In keeping true to the setting, and the sheer-awesomeness of the weapon, then Breach made a lot of sense; however, as it stands now, the lack of Breach and the maintaining of the Vicious 2 / Crit 1 qualities make it a nasty weapon that is still permissible in an RPG without being an immediate deal-breaker in terms of destructive abilities.

So… If this change was made, then I'll go with it. Still makes me miss Breach, though… :S

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I think removing the breach quality from lightsabers was the right call. Lightsabers have really never been shown to cut through everything like it wasn't there, in any canon I'm familiar with. Breach is a combat maneuver that represent a quick slash of the blade cutting through everybody. While lightsabers have been shown to cut through stuff, generally this takes effort. Like cutting through a bulkhead with a plasma torch. Not just flicking your wrist.

If anything, the writeup of the lightsaber could include a note that it can, with enough time and effort, cut through just about anything that isn't shielded or cortosis'ed. I could also see the argument for giving the weapon Pierce 1 or 2. Maybe. But that's not really make-or-break for me.

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I think they should have kept breach. That's iconic. If there's a compromise lower the damage or up the crit two or three for a base user of a LS.

I think they've got it a little mixed up between what a base lightsaber can do for anyone and what a trained Jedi can do with a lightsaber.

Without training you can cut through steel. That's breach. That's 100% a quality of a LS. This has major non-combat implications as well. I think the it should have Breach 5 or so. Breach 1 already negates any character-level soak anyway so you might as well reflect what it can really cut through.

With training in a talent tree you should then be able to use a lightsber to add to your melee defense and lower its crit rating. Those are qualities of a LS in trained hands.

Using the Force should allow you to deflect and redirect and maybe add even more melee defense. Those are qualities of a LS in the trained hands of a Force user.

My 2 cents. Basically I'm saying it should cut though things much better but some of those other qualities (even sunder) should only come with training/talents. Having to spend that much XP on LS proficiency might also take away from the XP in Force powers and balance Jedi a bit more. Not that I think there needs to be balance but that's the word these days.

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On the subject of the changes in the errata: I'm liking everything so far. :) Glad to see that advice is being included and used.

On lightsabers… I think I might include both versions in my playtest, and see which one best adds to the feel of the game - the ubersaber, or the more play-friendly one. Either could work - I'll let my players decide which.

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Uh. Yeah.

Disruptors need to be able to disintegrate parts or people. They're nasty and illegal for that very reason! That's why Vader says "No disintegrations!" to Fett in Empire! They're illegal, dangerous, rare weapons! Why were they gutted?

Lightsabers need to be able to cut through things. I can see why they took Breach off, I can, because Breach was amazingly powerful. I'd really prefer if they gave the sabers Pierce 2 or even Pierce 3, because no Piercing or Breach makes absolutely zero sense considering what we see lightsabers do.

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Lightsabers are capable of cutting through anything, given enough time.

Qui-Gonn was cutting through doors and blast doors, but not in a single stroke. He abandoned his time-consuming task when other concerns required his attention.

Single strokes of a lightsaber are capable of cutting through wrists, necks, and battle droid parts but not everything the lightsaber comes into contact with.

The rules represent the latter with Sunder and the easy Crits.

Breach as a quality implies that the lightsaber could immediately cut through anything and that is not a quality of a lightsaber.

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TheRedBaron said:

Uh. Yeah.

Disruptors need to be able to disintegrate parts or people. They're nasty and illegal for that very reason! That's why Vader says "No disintegrations!" to Fett in Empire! They're illegal, dangerous, rare weapons! Why were they gutted?

Lightsabers need to be able to cut through things. I can see why they took Breach off, I can, because Breach was amazingly powerful. I'd really prefer if they gave the sabers Pierce 2 or even Pierce 3, because no Piercing or Breach makes absolutely zero sense considering what we see lightsabers do.

There is a very easy way to overcome this, of course: merely add the quality to lightsabers in your own game. :) I plan on keeping Breach, or replacing it with Pierce 2, at least until playtesting proves either course to be ill-advised or unfitting.

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blittlepage said:

Lightsabers are capable of cutting through anything, given enough time.

Qui-Gonn was cutting through doors and blast doors, but not in a single stroke. He abandoned his time-consuming task when other concerns required his attention.

Single strokes of a lightsaber are capable of cutting through wrists, necks, and battle droid parts but not everything the lightsaber comes into contact with.

The rules represent the latter with Sunder and the easy Crits.

Breach as a quality implies that the lightsaber could immediately cut through anything and that is not a quality of a lightsaber.

Breach implies that the lightsaber could immediately cut through anything character scale. Qui-gon was cutting through the bridge door with ease before the vehicle scale blast doors were closed. Even then, it was only going to take several rounds to cut through. Depending on how blast doors are implemented, and how damaging objects is implemented, this could actually mean that lightsabers are actually Breach 2 or more.

Thing is, once you have breach 1, more breach is actually not going to affect character scale combat.

Looking at the vehicles tho, few of the speeders have armour at all, and they have few hull integrity. It isnt until you want to cut up TIE fighters that the breach is actually going to come into play.

Has anyone seen how the lightsaber act in actual play? and how the changes affect that?

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GM Chris said:

Love all these updates.  Only one thing I'm uncertain about… I fear the lightsaber might have been needed too much.  Mainly, the removal of Breach.  It's such an iconic ability of lightsabers… 

It also doesn't make sense to me how a vibroaxe is now more Vicious than a lightsaber.

Agreed on the loss of Breach for lightsabers.  Loss of Deflection is fine, as that really should be a "Jedi only" trait rather than an inherent weapon quality.

As for the Vicious, perhaps it's a case of the lightsaber cauterizing as it cuts, where the vibro-ax (or really any of the vibro-weapons) is more akin to getting slashed at by a chainsaw; i.e. a lot messier and more painful?

As for the re-pricing of several weapons, the lowered cost of the light blaster and blaster pistol makes the default/official starting allotment of 500 credits less of a sticking point for me, so that's good.

Disruptor weapons losing the "insta-kill" ability is also fine, though I still thing the slugthrower weapons should have their range categories boosted one degree, even if it means a corresponding increase in cost (maybe double, triple at most?).

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Hello everyone,

In the matter of lightsabers, the intention was to remove Defensive 2, and leave Breach 1, which we unfortunately mixed up (along with the "close" range in most of the grenades). Consider it changed to reflect this, as it will be in the next week's update.

Again, sorry for the confusion. Our intention was to keep it with Breach to represent the lightsaber's cutting ability, but remove qualities that the lightsaber should only have in the hands of a skilled (and possibly Force sensitive) user. 

Thanks!

 

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