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Lightsaber and Breach - Reading Correctly?

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I'm re-reading sections of the book and trying to commit the rules to memory before my next game (another week and change, thankfully), and re-read weapons and noticed that a Lightsaber is given Breach.

 

Breach ignores one point of armor (for ships and vehicles, obviously), which means 10 points of soak on the personal scale.

 

This would mean that the weapon essentially would automatically ignore nearly most, if not all of the soak value of most characters (unless they are wearing Cortosis armor). Am I correct in this?

 

My math: a character with 6 Brawn wearing Superior Heavy Battle Armor (3 soak) has a total soak of 9; 10 with Armor Master, 11 with Enduring. Yes, this is a boatload of XP, but work with me here.

 

Now, a lightsaber would ignore 10 of that soak value due to the Breach quality, leaving our poor epic-XP'd Merc with only 1 Soak, leaving him with 9 Wounds before we even get into criticals or additional damage.

 

Did I misread something, or is the weapon really that powerful?

 

(And yes, I do remember the scene in Episode 1 where Qui-Gon is cutting through the blast doors, the ease of Obi-Wan cutting off Ponda Baba's arm, and how fast Luke cut through ice; just haven't seen it done right in the previous games).

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Did I misread something, or is the weapon really that powerful?

 

(And yes, I do remember the scene in Episode 1 where Qui-Gon is cutting through the blast doors, the ease of Obi-Wan cutting off Ponda Baba's arm, and how fast Luke cut through ice; just haven't seen it done right in the previous games).

 

It's a lightsaber. It's really that powerful. This is the first game I feel really represents the lethality of the weapon.

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Also remember lightsabers are insanely rare and illegal. Not only that the skill to use them is not currently in the rules unless you houserule it in.

 

Well aware of this, but it's been that way (for the most part) in the previous games, so this part doesn't phase me much. If a character can SOMEHOW get his hands on one of these and figure out how to use it without killing himself, I'm game to let it happen. . .just making sure I'm not misreading the rules regarding this.

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Did I misread something, or is the weapon really that powerful?

 

(And yes, I do remember the scene in Episode 1 where Qui-Gon is cutting through the blast doors, the ease of Obi-Wan cutting off Ponda Baba's arm, and how fast Luke cut through ice; just haven't seen it done right in the previous games).

 

It's a lightsaber. It's really that powerful. This is the first game I feel really represents the lethality of the weapon.

 

You must have only played the D20 versions. A lightsaber in D6 did a base of 5D damage. This is in comparison to an average human rolling 2D to resist. If you had Lightsaber Combat, then a Jedi could add/subtract their Control dice to the damage roll, so a Jedi with 5D in Control could make the lightsaber do as much as 10D damage.

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Did I misread something, or is the weapon really that powerful?

 

(And yes, I do remember the scene in Episode 1 where Qui-Gon is cutting through the blast doors, the ease of Obi-Wan cutting off Ponda Baba's arm, and how fast Luke cut through ice; just haven't seen it done right in the previous games).

 

It's a lightsaber. It's really that powerful. This is the first game I feel really represents the lethality of the weapon.

 

You must have only played the D20 versions. A lightsaber in D6 did a base of 5D damage. This is in comparison to an average human rolling 2D to resist. If you had Lightsaber Combat, then a Jedi could add/subtract their Control dice to the damage roll, so a Jedi with 5D in Control could make the lightsaber do as much as 10D damage.

 

IIRC, when the scaling modifiers were applied, Vader's lightsaber did damage similar to a heavy turbolaser.

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Did I misread something, or is the weapon really that powerful?

 

(And yes, I do remember the scene in Episode 1 where Qui-Gon is cutting through the blast doors, the ease of Obi-Wan cutting off Ponda Baba's arm, and how fast Luke cut through ice; just haven't seen it done right in the previous games).

 

It's a lightsaber. It's really that powerful. This is the first game I feel really represents the lethality of the weapon.

 

You must have only played the D20 versions. A lightsaber in D6 did a base of 5D damage. This is in comparison to an average human rolling 2D to resist. If you had Lightsaber Combat, then a Jedi could add/subtract their Control dice to the damage roll, so a Jedi with 5D in Control could make the lightsaber do as much as 10D damage.

 

IIRC, when the scaling modifiers were applied, Vader's lightsaber did damage similar to a heavy turbolaser.

 

never really played under the Revised & Expanded edition of WEG's version. Only under 2nd Edition which used caps instead of scaling.

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Did I misread something, or is the weapon really that powerful?

You didn't miss anything, the lightsaber in this game really is that powerful.

 

There was a lot of debate over the lightsaber's stats during the EotE Beta period, particularly as the original version also had Deflection (free bonus to ranged defense) and Defensive (which originally granted a bonus to both ranged & melee defense at the cost of a maneuver).

 

Prior versions of Star Wars RPGs had different takes on the lightsaber, with WEG's D6 having it deal damage on par with a blaster rifle (5D) but could get broketastic in the hands of a competent Jedi (roughly 5D in Control), dealing enough damage that one hit ensured that only the burliest of targets wouldn't drop when hit.

 

D20 scaled the weapon down quite a bit, having it deal damage about on par with a blaster pistol, but ignoring object hardness/damage reduction.  OCR/RCR had the issue of the Jedi classes and prestige classes offering a bonus to lightsaber damage, allowing a high level Jedi to deal obscene amounts of damage, something that became a real issue seeing as how the OCR/RCR used a Vitality/Wound system (you can read up on it courtesy of the d20srd found here), and the only way to protect against a critical hit being an insta-gib was armor, which provided Damage Reduction.. which lightsabers ignored.

 

For Saga Edition, ligthsabers were again toned down, removing the automatic boosts to damage that the Jedi class gave, and instead gave it to everybody in the form of a "one-half level bonus on attack rolls" while still retaining the same base damage code and ability to bypass Damage Reduction (wi th armor going back to the D&D standard of making you harder to hit).  If a Jedi wanted to dish out massive damage with a lightsaber, they needed to use certain Force Powers, with the core book's battle strike being the primary one, though the Jedi Academy Training Manual did introduce a couple of Lightsaber Form powers that could dish out some nasty damage, either with a good skill check to activate the power or by spending a Force Point to bolster the effect.

 

The one consistent is there were folks always complaining that lightsabers were underpowered compared to what we saw them do on the screen and in the EU.  Now with FFG's Star Wars system being far more dangerous (no gas tank of hit points like the d20, no opposed check to reduce damage like WEG), it's starting to go the other way, with folks arguing that lightsabers in this game are too powerful, given you're generally going to be doing at least 11 damage on a hit (one success plus base damage plus bypassing the Soak Value of all but the most obscenely beefed-up PCs or NPCs), on top of being able to trigger a crit with only one Advantage.

 

As others have said, the lightsaber is pretty **** powerful in this game... but it's also incredibly rare and expensive, plus by default you're stuck using just Ability dice with no real option to roll Proficiency dice unless you spend a Destiny Point or the GM is kind enough to allow a house-ruled Lightsaber skill.  But there's also the fluff aspect to consider.  One of the things I really liked about Saga Edition was that Rodney & crew made use of the fluff material to balance some of the mechanical aspects, with Force-usage and droids being two big ones.  Droids in Sage Edition had a lot of mechanical advantages over playing a meatbag... but in playing a droid, you had the legal rights of a toaster oven, and could be shot or destroyed on sight with the perpetrator being charged with "destruction of private property" rather than the murder charge they'd be facing if they'd done the same to an organic.  Force-users and those carrying lightsabers face much the same in EotE, where the Empire has an active bounty out on anyone just caught in possession of a lightsaber, and one of the fastest ways for a PC to get into trouble is to start openly brandishing such a weapon.  Yeah, Obi-Wan didn't hesitate to break out the ever-glowin' beatstick in A New Hope to protect Luke, but it also made him memorable, and the stormtroopers didn't show up that much longer after the fact, with the bartender quickly telling those troopers "the old guy with the lightsaber is over there, wearing brown robes."  The next time Obi-Wan activated his lightsaber was when he was confronted with Darth Vader and no real option to simply get away.  Some old guy running around the Death Star cutting down stormtroopers with a lightsaber would have drawn a huge amount of attention from Death Star security, enough that even Tarkin wouldn't object to having security focus on the areas where said old guy had been seen rather than "focused" on chasing the princess and her rescuers (which was a ruse to begin with).

 

Of course, things are going to get real interesting when Force & Destiny come out, and lightsabers will become something that could far more easily fall into the hands of the PCs.  Maybe not right away, but I suspect the means will be provided to build one's own lightsaber eventually.  Might even be the replacement for the starting ship that EotE PCs get or Rebellion Resources that AoR PCs start with.

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The "Lightsaber skill is NPC-only by RAW" also leaves room for, in the event of allowing such a skill by RAW, a GM ruling that you'd need to find a teacher before you can pick up ranks in it... cue the quest to find a NPC who doesn't want to be found, and/or the possibility of a Force-using NPC offering training in the skill for joining them... or maybe the PCs deciding to just "jet it" to the Tapani sector in search of a saber-rake.  :ph34r:

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Did I misread something, or is the weapon really that powerful?

 

(And yes, I do remember the scene in Episode 1 where Qui-Gon is cutting through the blast doors, the ease of Obi-Wan cutting off Ponda Baba's arm, and how fast Luke cut through ice; just haven't seen it done right in the previous games).

 

It's a lightsaber. It's really that powerful. This is the first game I feel really represents the lethality of the weapon.

 

You must have only played the D20 versions. A lightsaber in D6 did a base of 5D damage. This is in comparison to an average human rolling 2D to resist. If you had Lightsaber Combat, then a Jedi could add/subtract their Control dice to the damage roll, so a Jedi with 5D in Control could make the lightsaber do as much as 10D damage.

 

 

I did play the d6 version, but the weapon didn't really cut through armor or anything, leaving you with the same damage rating regardless of the armor.

 

Also, getting Lightsaber Combat was easier said than done, especially early on as you took a stat hit to get Force powers, and then had to do a pretty tough split with your XP considering how much it costs to raise things.

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With few exceptions every time we see a lightsaber it cuts down whatever it hits. In RotJ on Jabba's boat Luke only uses any real technique when deflecting blaster bolts, otherwise he just swings that bad boy around willy-nilly, same goes for all the Jedi in any of the movies or TV. It's a f'n monster, almost to the level of plot device and one reason why, along with the Force, so few Jedi could have such a huge impact on the Republic. These guys could and often did cut through practically any opposition. That is until they faced a Sith (or Fallen Jedi or whatever), or someone with Cortosis Weave, or a decent shield. Basically, unless your a Force user with your own lightsaber or you have a large enough army with fully automatic blasters to overcome a Jedi/Sith's defenses you should run. It's hard to play with these things in an RPG environment because they are and have to be a powerful as they are.

 

I don't know what they will do with F&D but I'm hoping the solutions will be Role Playing ones rather than Roll Playing.

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Well, one thing to remember is that in each game group it's those players that are at the center of the story so if lightsablers are as powerful as they seem to be now it's in the context of each individual group, so the solutions can be story driven. An EotE through F&D campaign isn't going to have more than a handful of characters that have and can properly wield these weapons in the entire galaxy and it's more than likely that nearly all of them will encounter one another at some point. But it's probably not going to happen often if at all that the PCs will have to go into combat with a truly powerful lightsaber wielding opponent until they themselves have a party member armed and trained with one, or that they are experienced enough to deal with it.

 

This is as it should be in my opinion so I'm not going to worry about it.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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You must have only played the D20 versions. A lightsaber in D6 did a base of 5D damage. This is in comparison to an average human rolling 2D to resist. If you had Lightsaber Combat, then a Jedi could add/subtract their Control dice to the damage roll, so a Jedi with 5D in Control could make the lightsaber do as much as 10D damage.

 

 

I did play a lot of WEG in the day. I felt a lightsaber wasn't lethal enough at the base 5D damage. Only folks with Lightsaber Combat and so forth could make it really, truly lethal. I feel that the standard 'saber in EOTE/AOR is a stronger rendition out of the box, as it were. Anyone can pick one up in this system and be immediately lethal (probably to themselves as much as anyone else).

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I'd rather that when F&D FINALLY shows up and everyone is constantly whacking each other with lightsabers the game doesn't require massive fudging to prevent everyone ending up dead or mutilated after the second fight. Make of that what you will.

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I'd rather that when F&D FINALLY shows up and everyone is constantly whacking each other with lightsabers the game doesn't require massive fudging to prevent everyone ending up dead or mutilated after the second fight. Make of that what you will.

I would have no objection and would even appreciate if F&D's answer is essentially "get away from the notion that one Lightsaber combat skill check is one swing-or-thrust of a lightsaber, get creative with the narrative" instead of forcing Lightsaber-specific rules (egad no I'm not interested in those).

 

I'm already happy that there's Force power upgrades to commit Force dice towards upgrading combat check difficulties or Characteristics as part of how to "rule" lightsaber combat under the EotE/AoR beta rules and that's the direction that I want F&D to go in.

Edited by Chortles

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I remember working up a ruleset for lightsaber duels that utilized similar mechanics for starship-scale dogfighting (gaining the advantage, etc). If I can find it, I might post it up here for any interested parties. There did seem to be something wrong with the fact that, basically, whoever takes the first initiative slot in a lightsaber fight wins. Minute-long combat rounds or not, it just seems a bit herky-jerky. But then, it's Edge of the Empire, and lightsabers are ancient weapons belonging to hokey religions.

I'm sure F&D will have something much more elegant and more befitting the lightsaber when it comes to lightsaber clashes.

Edited by awayputurwpn

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This whole system isn't one roll = one single swing. Just look at the rules for a round. Each round can be as short as 6 seconds or as long as a minute or more. A group of minions making a single "attack" might actually be shooting a lot more than the single roll implies (hence the activation of things like auto-fire with advantages), but it is all contained in a roll.

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F&D will most likely allow Jedi characters qualities that increase their Defence scores, meaning that you're less and less likely to score massive amounts of Successes in comparison to Failures.

 

Lightsabers are all the more potent when you consider that 10 Damage is the base - you also get to add +1 per Success you roll. So if your aforementioned PC with Soak 11 got hit, his initial 10 would be cancelled by Breach, and then his remaining 1 by the first Success rolled to hit you. And that, dear readers, is just dandy. XD

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What I'm currently envisioning is that the duelists in each movie besides General Grievous had multiple Force specializations (hence a higher Force Rating) and had at least one Force die committed to upgrading the difficulty of combat checks against them (read: including Lightsaber attacks), on top of heightened Defense scores to "inflict" more Setback dice against those same combat checks.

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What I'm currently envisioning is that the duelists in each movie besides General Grievous had multiple Force specializations (hence a higher Force Rating) and had at least one Force die committed to upgrading the difficulty of combat checks against them (read: including Lightsaber attacks), on top of heightened Defense scores to "inflict" more Setback dice against those same combat checks.

That's my general read as well, but I wouldn't be surprised if the true Jedi specializations in F&D, particularly those focused on combat like a Guardian or Weapon Master would have other defensive talents such as Dodge, Defensive Stance, and/or Side Step to further bolster their defenses against attacks.

 

A having the Duration and Strength Upgrades for Sense would provide two upgrades to an attack's difficulty that can be done twice per round, which is pretty impressive already. Stack in a few ranks of Dodge, and enemy lightsaber attacks are going to be facing a significant number of Challenge dice, to say nothing of any Setback dice that might be applied from defense scores (either by some type of 'lightsaber defense' talent or other means).

 

So it'd be more difficult to get that those hits in, but once you do, it's gonna leave a mark in most instances, such as when Obi-Wan literally disarmed Grievous in RotS.  Vader only getting mildly injured in ESB from Luke's wild hit has been explained in the EU as Vader's armor incorporating a cortosis weave, which makes sense given that one of his primary tasks for the Emperor is facing and defeating fugitive Jedi Knights and Masters, who are themselves going to be using lightsabers.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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That's my general read as well, but I wouldn't be surprised if the true Jedi specializations in F&D, particularly those focused on combat like a Guardian or Weapon Master would have other defensive talents such as Dodge, Defensive Stance, and/or Side Step to further bolster their defenses against attacks.

 

A having the Duration and Strength Upgrades for Sense would provide two upgrades to an attack's difficulty that can be done twice per round, which is pretty impressive already. Stack in a few ranks of Dodge, and enemy lightsaber attacks are going to be facing a significant number of Challenge dice, to say nothing of any Setback dice that might be applied from defense scores (either by some type of 'lightsaber defense' talent or other means).

 

So it'd be more difficult to get that those hits in, but once you do, it's gonna leave a mark in most instances, such as when Obi-Wan literally disarmed Grievous in RotS.  Vader only getting mildly injured in ESB from Luke's wild hit has been explained in the EU as Vader's armor incorporating a cortosis weave, which makes sense given that one of his primary tasks for the Emperor is facing and defeating fugitive Jedi Knights and Masters, who are themselves going to be using lightsabers.

I'm reminded of that one Saga mention about how "the hit that drops you to 0 hp is the one that finally connected", as far as how lightsabers work, though I'd thought that Luke's "wild hit" was just him nick Vader enough to "draw blood", or rather enough to set off whatever pain sensation Vader had.

 

Truthbetold, although I'm now actually against "true Jedi" specializations (You Are Not a Jedi, Not Yet pretty much set my view on the subject) I like the idea of a combat-oriented spec that mainly reuses the existing melee/defensive talents or by-inclusion-thereof adds ranks to existing ranked talents of those sorts, and I like your proposal/philosophy here idea for its simplicity, the fact that it uses existing RAW (other than, of course, the lack of a Lightsaber skill for PCs) instead of requiring homebrew like the infamous D&D "Parry" rules (or, admittedly, Ways of the Force*), and as importantly its potential carry over for 'explaining' other types of combat.

 

* I don't dislike it, it's just homebrew and not RAW, which goes against my rationale for liking your explanation that I'm quoting.  ;)

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Also bear in mind that, as has already been mentioned, a single combat round represents roughly one minute of exchanging blows and defending, this iconic fight between Vader and Luke on Bespin would have taken all of about 4 or 5 rounds to complete. The rest was all narrative (and some awesome narrative at that!)

 

 

Although the video is just shy of 8 minutes long, the fight doesn't begin until about 50 seconds in, and ends once Luke loses his hand (at about 5:35). On top of the few pauses and maybe even rerolling initiative once or twice, the whole fight lasts less than 5 minutes. :)

 

And yes I am aware that Vader wasn't trying to kill Luke, but it's just here to show an example that combat in EoE isn't done blow for blow/shot for shot.

Edited by Space Monkey

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