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Star Wars Saga Edition... meh *SPOILERS*

darthhkdarthhk Registered User
edited January 2008 in Critical Failures
I waited a long time for this edition to come out. Those of you faithful who followed the Star Wars RPG line until its cancellation know what Im talking about. When I first heard about it, I was like "Holy Shit, no way". When I finally got my hands on it (after having to journey into the damn hinterlands of Oakland to find it [once again, those of you from San Francisco will know what I mean]), I was initially impressed by the new layout (shorter, wider), and the look... and thats about it. I mean, Im not disgusted by it per se, but confused in alot of places they chose to go. For one thing, the Force usage is basically being handled like the Magic system from D&D games. I mean, "Force Suite"? What the hell? I dont remember Obi-Wan saying, "Damn. I cant use Force Slam again in this encounter because I've already used it against a group of battle droids". Bullshit. And they've gotten rid of a few key classes and folded them into other classes, which isnt neccessarily bad, but they didnt give any rules of conversion. And Destiny Points? I just dont know. Anybody else having the same issue?

darthhk on
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Posts

  • AuxiliaryAuxiliary Registered User
    edited June 2007
    *hand* me too, me too. The Force suite is just another attempt to create playbalance by forcing the player to have X spells a levels. Just it doesn't present itself that way.

    This is why when I Jedi. I use GURPS.

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  • GABBO GABBO GABBOGABBO GABBO GABBO Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    West End Games for life.

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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    It's not like the magic system, it's more similar to the Tome of Battle maneuvers suite, which was very well executed. Also, there are many ways to return powers to your suite in the encounter (force point, natural 20 UTF, talents) and after the encounter a minute is all it takes to get them back. Plus, you can select a power more than once to have it available more than once.

    It beats the living shit out of bland Force skills with their own set of DCs and piddly-ass damage like the RCR.

    Not to mention, how many times in the movies have you seen Jedi spam Force slams? None times is the answer.

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
  • darthhkdarthhk Registered User
    edited June 2007
    It's not like the magic system, it's more similar to the Tome of Battle maneuvers suite, which was very well executed. Also, there are many ways to return powers to your suite in the encounter (force point, natural 20 UTF, talents) and after the encounter a minute is all it takes to get them back. Plus, you can select a power more than once to have it available more than once.

    It beats the living shit out of bland Force skills with their own set of DCs and piddly-ass damage like the RCR.

    Not to mention, how many times in the movies have you seen Jedi spam Force slams? None times is the answer.

    Thats you're opinion, and thats cool, but it IS alot like the magic system in alot of ways. Once its used, its gone until you "rest", or whtever. Check. Metamagic "spells" (re: Force Powers) are now available. Check. You can learn a spell more than once (like a druid) in order to use it more than once. Check. Etc. In the older version, Force points were these rare things that were used in extraordinary cirumstances, and now they've been shanghai'd into service for all these other things, IMO. I shouldn't have to "return" a force power into my "suite". The Force is apart of me, as is he knowledge to cast certain force powers I have learned. I dont just use a force power and then say "damn, I forgot how to cast that for awhile". Theres no viable in-game way to explain that. In the old version, it drew from you're Vitality, which made sense, as the cannon material said that using the Force extensively made you tired (stamina being gauged by vitality). By using a Force point, I am, in effect, using the Force to be able to...use the Force. Huh? I understand playbalance, but playbalance worked just fine in the old game, and if it didnt, it was largely the GM's fault. Im not willing to sacrifice "logic", as it were, to fix a system thats not really broken.

    And no, Jedi didn't "spam" powers in the movies (although they sometimes do in other source material), but they could if they wanted to. The only reason why they didnt is because they would be exhausted.

    darthhk on
  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Manifest wrote: »
    West End Games for life.

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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    darthhk wrote: »
    It's not like the magic system, it's more similar to the Tome of Battle maneuvers suite, which was very well executed. Also, there are many ways to return powers to your suite in the encounter (force point, natural 20 UTF, talents) and after the encounter a minute is all it takes to get them back. Plus, you can select a power more than once to have it available more than once.

    It beats the living shit out of bland Force skills with their own set of DCs and piddly-ass damage like the RCR.

    Not to mention, how many times in the movies have you seen Jedi spam Force slams? None times is the answer.

    Thats you're opinion, and thats cool, but it IS alot like the magic system in alot of ways. Once its used, its gone until you "rest", or whtever. Check. Metamagic "spells" (re: Force Powers) are now available. Check. You can learn a spell more than once (like a druid) in order to use it more than once. Check. Etc. In the older version, Force points were these rare things that were used in extraordinary cirumstances, and now they've been shanghai'd into service for all these other things, IMO. I shouldn't have to "return" a force power into my "suite". The Force is apart of me, as is he knowledge to cast certain force powers I have learned. I dont just use a force power and then say "damn, I forgot how to cast that for awhile". Theres no viable in-game way to explain that. In the old version, it drew from you're Vitality, which made sense, as the cannon material said that using the Force extensively made you tired (stamina being gauged by vitality). By using a Force point, I am, in effect, using the Force to be able to...use the Force. Huh? I understand playbalance, but playbalance worked just fine in the old game, and if it didnt, it was largely the GM's fault. Im not willing to sacrifice "logic", as it were, to fix a system thats not really broken.

    And no, Jedi didn't "spam" powers in the movies (although they sometimes do in other source material), but they could if they wanted to. The only reason why they didnt is because they would be exhausted.

    It's called the Saga edition because it primarily represents the Star Wars Saga; namely, the 6 movies. EU material is considered secondary to the primary canon. Force Points were moved to the role that action points serve in d20 modern and Eberron: fuel for abilities and/or generic boosts. The destiny mechanic can represent the 'epic game changing' mechanic if you wish. It is optional. And no, the RCR was not balanced. Unless you mean it was balanced to be DnD in Space. Then yes, it was 'balanced'. It was also boring and needed what, 98 articles of Jedi counseling to errata what we have seen performed in the movies?

    And it doesn't represent you 'forgetting how to do it'. It represents A: Game balance (primary concern always) and B: only having enough training to draw on the Force for that type of thing as many times as you were trained do it. Maybe once. Or twice. Or three times, depending on what powers you select with the Force Training feat (which can be selected multiple times I might add).

    It's like, "wow, I've only been trained how to do this, and it's kind of difficult, but with more training I can do it more easily and more often." The per encounter limit is perfectly reasonable. If you view an entire adventure as one encounter, then yeah, the Force will stink. But I'm playing in three offline games, one here on the board, and I've had some experience with the Force. It hardly ever comes up that I need a power more than once or twice, and it fits the movies that the Jedi don't run around blowing their load with the Force on every piddly thing.

    I'll take my streamlined Saga. I also recommend you play it before making snap judgments. But I've said this many times on the WotC boards and I'm done beating my head against brick walls.

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
  • SonarSonar Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    why wrote: »
    Manifest wrote: »
    West End Games for life.

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Yeah, yeah, change graaa booo hisss etc.

    I like the saga edition quite a bit now that I've played it. At first I was a bit skeptical for several of the reasons stated above, but already I'm enjoying it more than the RCR that I played before.

    The first thing I've noticed, which is a big thing for me, as that the mechanics aren't getting in the way of actually playing the game... things move quickly and I find that it feels much more "cinematic" than the previous edition. The rules are easy to get the hang of and tend to work pretty well.

    So far I find it to be a lot more fun, and I will gladly trade the time I spend having fun to the time I'd spend maxing my character out in any way possible and slogging/arguing through more complicated rules. Combat is usually resolved pretty quickly, and I like that.

    Having a good GM helps too (as always)... and the GM in the game I'm playing is more effectively able to move through the plot and do some roleplaying without combat encounters getting in the way. It's more fun for him and for us players too. We're all quite happy with it right now.

    I also like being able to level characters up in a couple of minutes.

    And I believe WoTC is going to be putting out conversion documents on their website pretty soon. They've already put up a pretty decent "tech specialist" web enhancement.

    Horseshoe on
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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Well, Horseshoe, at gmsarligames.com, the Hutt put up the unedited docs. I've already used them a ton for my contributions over at R2D20.

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Page 196 has a side bar on "Droid Costs"

    Are you comparing Custom Droids to Standard Models? Because that's Level 1 versus Level up to 12, and the difference is like any non first level character starting with Character Wealth By Level type guidelines.

    If you pick a B1 Battle Droid, you're starting at 3000 XP and level 3, even though it's non-heroic levels. It's up for the GM to approve and allow droid PC models imo and make sure it suits the PC level. Requiring Custom makes this a nonissue, but they had to have the standard models in there right? ;)

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  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I haven't hit a serious snag I haven't been able to fix by going "that makes no sense so I'll ignore it." Combat is streamlined, the Force is powerful but not overwhelmingly so (a Force-user and a non Force-user are roughly in the same boat per level power-wise). Vehicle combat is playable (big change there), but somewhat stale at the moment. Fingers crossed that Starships of the Galaxy (due out in December) fixes that.

    The Force suite is built on a per-encounter basis, which is exponentially better than the per-day Vancian magic system, which I agree is total crap. I use skill-based magic (built much like Mage: the Apocalypse in that it's "open-ended" but there are about a dozen standard "spells" that players use) that burns hit points, myself.

    As long as you're not running it like D&D (where four encounters per day really means four combat encounters per day), it's a brilliant system. If you're running it like D&D it fails, primarily because it's not designed to match D&D for hack n' slash experience.

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  • darthhkdarthhk Registered User
    edited June 2007
    darthhk wrote: »
    It's not like the magic system, it's more similar to the Tome of Battle maneuvers suite, which was very well executed. Also, there are many ways to return powers to your suite in the encounter (force point, natural 20 UTF, talents) and after the encounter a minute is all it takes to get them back. Plus, you can select a power more than once to have it available more than once.

    It beats the living shit out of bland Force skills with their own set of DCs and piddly-ass damage like the RCR.

    Not to mention, how many times in the movies have you seen Jedi spam Force slams? None times is the answer.

    Thats you're opinion, and thats cool, but it IS alot like the magic system in alot of ways. Once its used, its gone until you "rest", or whtever. Check. Metamagic "spells" (re: Force Powers) are now available. Check. You can learn a spell more than once (like a druid) in order to use it more than once. Check. Etc. In the older version, Force points were these rare things that were used in extraordinary cirumstances, and now they've been shanghai'd into service for all these other things, IMO. I shouldn't have to "return" a force power into my "suite". The Force is apart of me, as is he knowledge to cast certain force powers I have learned. I dont just use a force power and then say "damn, I forgot how to cast that for awhile". Theres no viable in-game way to explain that. In the old version, it drew from you're Vitality, which made sense, as the cannon material said that using the Force extensively made you tired (stamina being gauged by vitality). By using a Force point, I am, in effect, using the Force to be able to...use the Force. Huh? I understand playbalance, but playbalance worked just fine in the old game, and if it didnt, it was largely the GM's fault. Im not willing to sacrifice "logic", as it were, to fix a system thats not really broken.

    And no, Jedi didn't "spam" powers in the movies (although they sometimes do in other source material), but they could if they wanted to. The only reason why they didnt is because they would be exhausted.

    It's called the Saga edition because it primarily represents the Star Wars Saga; namely, the 6 movies. EU material is considered secondary to the primary canon. Force Points were moved to the role that action points serve in d20 modern and Eberron: fuel for abilities and/or generic boosts. The destiny mechanic can represent the 'epic game changing' mechanic if you wish. It is optional. And no, the RCR was not balanced. Unless you mean it was balanced to be DnD in Space. Then yes, it was 'balanced'. It was also boring and needed what, 98 articles of Jedi counseling to errata what we have seen performed in the movies?

    And it doesn't represent you 'forgetting how to do it'. It represents A: Game balance (primary concern always) and B: only having enough training to draw on the Force for that type of thing as many times as you were trained do it. Maybe once. Or twice. Or three times, depending on what powers you select with the Force Training feat (which can be selected multiple times I might add).

    It's like, "wow, I've only been trained how to do this, and it's kind of difficult, but with more training I can do it more easily and more often." The per encounter limit is perfectly reasonable. If you view an entire adventure as one encounter, then yeah, the Force will stink. But I'm playing in three offline games, one here on the board, and I've had some experience with the Force. It hardly ever comes up that I need a power more than once or twice, and it fits the movies that the Jedi don't run around blowing their load with the Force on every piddly thing.

    I'll take my streamlined Saga. I also recommend you play it before making snap judgments. But I've said this many times on the WotC boards and I'm done beating my head against brick walls.

    Well, I HAVE played it. Im not sure why you assume I hadn't. Maybe if you stopped assuming, you wouldnt have such a headache from banging you're head against all those walls. If you're trying to point out that I haven't played it often, than you are correct. But I've been gaming long enough to know and understand things that don't fit. As far as it being "D&D in Space", im not sure where you get that. The two games were fairly different, as I've provided evidence for in my previous posts. If anything, they have moved closer together. Just because a game has errata doesnt mean it's unbalanced, it just means that there is a living, breathing system behind it. Eratta is usually player-inspired, not developer-inspired. As far as "wow, I don't have the training", I respect that reason in as much as its the best reason I've heard so far, but it still doesnt make as much sense as using the vitality system to gauge it. If you're younger, fine, than certain abilities would make you more tired, and this was reflected in the previous system. But it still doesnt play that you suddenly can't use whatever skill you want simply for the sake of not being able to use it. If Im, say, using a hammer, and I get tired, then I would stop using the hammer for awhile because Im tired. Im not going to say "wow, this is hard, but with more practice, I'll be able to swing it more than once or twice". It carries some weight, just not much. And none of this addresses the circular logic inherent in that you're still, in the new system, using the Force to be able to use the Force again. Im sorry, I don't think so. Using you're previous argument, If Im so untrained that I cant use Force Slam more than once an encounter, then Im not sure how getting a sudden jolt of "Force-juice" or whatever the Force Point expenditure is supposed to represent is going to help you. Look, this has to be explained in-game. If it can't be, than its a no go for me. As far as me "not liking new things" or whatever, that couldnt be further from the truth. I never said I didn't like the game. As I noted, I went into Oakland to get it. Oakland, for Chrissake. You dont just do that for something you despise, as Im lucky to still be alive. Im just somewhat dissapointed. I need to note that as someone who has played Jedi for a long time, I dont even use the Force all that much, im more of a lighsabre afficianado. Theres just alot here that rubs me the wrong way.

    darthhk on
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Enter key is your friend.

    But to address you point by point:
    As far as it being "D&D in Space", im not sure where you get that.

    I get it from the fact that the RCR is an EXACT port from DnD 3.0 with some name changes and Star Wars buzzwords thrown in. Saga on the other hand is more of its own brand of d20.
    The two games were fairly different, as I've provided evidence for in my previous posts. If anything, they have moved closer together. Just because a game has errata doesnt mean it's unbalanced, it just means that there is a living, breathing system behind it. Eratta is usually player-inspired, not developer-inspired.

    I don't dispute that most errata is player-inspired (and Saga edition is going to have an official document) but the RCR needed several articles added on to introduce variants just to replicate what we had seen on screen. I don't jive with your idea that needing to fix something means it's a living breathing game and is fine. Do you consider things that need more fixing in better shape than something that doesn't? Most of the Errata being put out right now deals with typos and slight tweaks. I consider that alone a sweeping success.

    Now, I understand if you like a more rulesy-based, highly crunchy experience filled with extreme tactical choices and intense reality simulation. But that's not how most people understand Star Wars. It's a pulpy action flick.
    As far as "wow, I don't have the training", I respect that reason in as much as its the best reason I've heard so far, but it still doesnt make as much sense as using the vitality system to gauge it.

    Consider you using a Force as, oh, a very strong rubber band. With no exercise, you can barely pull it and nothing much happens. You're not tired, you simply don't have the muscle power and mechanical know-how to pull the rubber band in different ways. That's without the feat Force Training and is represented by the 'trained only' uses of the Use the Force skill. (Move Light Object, Force Trance, Sense Surroundings).

    You practice and learn how to pull the rubber band. You learn how to stretch it in different angles. You gain the Force training feat, and you can better manipulate the Force. You specialize in pulling the rubber band a certain way (pick the power a couple times) and are fairly good at it before you are tired and too weak to pull the rubber band anymore. You run out of Force powers for that 'encounter' and must rest for a minute to recover them, or you roll a 20 and the Force is with you, or refocus through a Force Point, or whatever.

    I think I made my point there. It's just using a different, more balanced sort of measurement that allows for more dramatic Force use befitting fast-paced Star Wars play.
    As far as me "not liking new things" or whatever, that couldnt be further from the truth. I never said I didn't like the game. As I noted, I went into Oakland to get it. Oakland, for Chrissake. You dont just do that for something you despise, as Im lucky to still be alive. Im just somewhat dissapointed. I need to note that as someone who has played Jedi for a long time, I dont even use the Force all that much, im more of a lighsabre afficianado. Theres just alot here that rubs me the wrong way.

    I understand that you had to crawl through the brush, whatever. I don't know your group's gaming style, I don't know your GM, and that definitely has a big impact on any system you play. A poor GM can drag a great system down and a great GM can pull a poor system to the highest peaks. I understand if it 'rubs you the wrong way', but honestly, I have spent a great deal of time in this past month playing Saga (almost as much as I played RCR) and there's just no competition. The RCR is a rules-heavy cinderblock that was good for the time (if you wanted the intense character customization that d20 boasts) but ultimately hinders the Star Wars experience.

    Saga, on the other hand, took d20 as the base and re-did it from the ground up instead of just grabbing 3.0 and slapping Star Wars on it. It's my favorite system by far and really does deliver epic Star Warsy goodness.

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Ardent wrote: »
    As long as you're not running it like D&D (where four encounters per day really means four combat encounters per day), it's a brilliant system. If you're running it like D&D it fails, primarily because it's not designed to match D&D for hack n' slash experience.

    I agree. Trying to run it like D&D would be a big mistake in my opinion.

    My GM is doing a damn good job with this. He's scrapped his D&D mindset and is taking a... well... "saga" approach to the whole thing. It's way more cinematic than playing D&D or the previous edition.

    Mechanically, we usually end up having a few social encounters, and two combat encounters per session. Occasionally a little space combat (which is very workable in this edition I'm glad to say!).
    The best combat encounter so far was when our party went to an outpost just beyond Hutt Space that had been captured by an Imperial Remnant so that we could rescue a hutt who was being held hostage. Three of us, all second level. Scoundrel (me), Noble, and a non-jedi force user (Zeison Sha Scout... his concept is based around telekinetic abilities).

    The GM was totally not expecting us to try and bust the out the hutt... I think he figured we would take a less direct route to getting the information we needed from the hutts. We had evaded the main fleet and found that the hutt's outpost had been smashed up, with some troops still guarding it. Our force user was able to sense 12 (!) stormtroopers behind the door with the hutt and some bothan hostages. My scoundrel manages to crack enough security codes in the outpost to open up the hutt's highly illegal weapons cache... which had an E-Web cannon in it.

    Noble: "What are we going to do? There's no way that we can take a dozen stormtroopers!"

    Me: "Really? Help me get this thing in front of the door and we'll see about that."

    We set up the gun and then the noble hits the door switch... I mowed down half the troopers in the first two rounds. We used cover and some well-thrown frag grenades to take out the rest... as well as our scout's employment of a little Force Slam, Move Object (which I think he used to slam one trooper into another) and Force Grip.

    We all had less than 5 hit points at the end of the encounter, got some important information from the hutt to advance the plant as well as a few new weapons (sadly, the E-Web got blown up). We got the fuck out of there with Tie Fighters hot on our tail, and managed to gun down two of them in a dogfight before we made the jump to hyperspace (I freaking love that Vehicular Combat feat).

    I haven't had this much fun playing a tabletop game in quite a while.

    Horseshoe on
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  • DracilDracil Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    SW Saga is the first SW book I bought. I've picked up the other Star Wars books in game stores and browsed through it, but this is the first one whose rules I liked well enough to buy and hope D&D 4.0 will follow.

    Yeah, Force Powers are a little like the magic system, but the old system of using Force Powers makes you more likely to die makes even less sense. And it's refreshed per encounter, not that 8 hours of rest and careful studying and memorizing in D&D. That whole using a spell wipes it from your memory never made sense to me. Being unable to properly draw on the Force again for the same technique in rapid succession because of lack of training makes more sense. Expending a Force Point in this situation seems more like basically spending an extraordinary/heroic effort to use it again beyond your normal limit.

    They could've always just gone for some sort of MP system instead, but is that what you really want?

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  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    edited June 2007
    Does it still have the silly "using any dark side force powers whatsoever makes you age 30 years per usage"?

    Echo on
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  • DracilDracil Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Nope. Especially now that we've seen the real reason for Palpatine's deformation.

    The penalties for Dark Side usage is pretty light I think. Can't use Light Side powers, using too much can turn make you fall to the Dark Side permanently (and thus NPCing you depending on the GM), and you're also more vulnerable to the Sever Force Light Side power.

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  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Echo wrote: »
    Does it still have the silly "using any dark side force powers whatsoever makes you age 30 years per usage"?
    Well, it was never like that. In fact, none of the systems presented mechanics to represent "Dark Side aging," except maybe D6 Rev...but I can't remember that far back.

    Dark Siders just get fewer benefits out of Force Points and the like.

    Ardent on
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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I'm reading through it right now. I rather like what I'm seeing, actually.

    It's like they put in a lot of the neater stuff from D20 Modern and Unearthed Arcana.

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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    why wrote: »
    I'm reading through it right now. I rather like what I'm seeing, actually.

    It's like they put in a lot of the neater stuff from D20 Modern and Unearthed Arcana.

    Pretty much. The designers had a mantra when they were coming up with the game: "Can we resolve this in two rolls or less?"

    They did a damn fine job, in my opinion. Everything about the system is just easy to grasp without being simple.

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
  • lunatixlunatix Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I have to disagree on the force power spamming - in Return of the Jedi, Palpatine was zapping the shit out of Luke Skywalker. Game mechanics wise, he must have used Force Lightning four or five times. However, that's the only example, and he was probably burning force points like gasoline.

    After reading through the book, I must say it looks pretty damn fun to play. I haven't tested it out yet in a game session, but the mechanics seem solid. My favorite additions/revisions are the condition track, the merging of Armor Class/Reflex Save, and the ability to create your own Droids. HK-100 here I come...

    My friend and current GM is hesitant to convert our RCR game to Saga, primarily because of the change from Vitality/WP to straight up HP. He fucking hates straight up HP.

    lunatix on
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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Palpatine was probably took Force Training every other level.

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  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Palpatine's stats in the core book have 4x Force Lightning :)

    Tomanta on
  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    lunatix wrote: »
    My friend and current GM is hesitant to convert our RCR game to Saga, primarily because of the change from Vitality/WP to straight up HP. He fucking hates straight up HP.

    Condition track.

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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I really don't know why people keep saying that this needs minis.

    I mean, sure, they use minis for the examples in the book, but everything's pretty much mechanically the same as DnD, provided you're capable of realizing that one square equals five feet.

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    lunatix wrote: »
    I have to disagree on the force power spamming - in Return of the Jedi, Palpatine was zapping the shit out of Luke Skywalker. Game mechanics wise, he must have used Force Lightning four or five times. However, that's the only example, and he was probably burning force points like gasoline.

    Or... really he only used it a couple of times and the dialogue was interspersed for dramatic effect.

    It's an RPG. You have to use your imagination to make things more interesting and cinematic. Otherwise you're just rolling dice, doing math, and writing things down. Without imaginative roleplaying, tabletop games are just statistical exercises.
    lunatix wrote: »
    My friend and current GM is hesitant to convert our RCR game to Saga, primarily because of the change from Vitality/WP to straight up HP. He fucking hates straight up HP.

    This bugs me almost as much as people complaining that the game needs minis somehow. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water. If that's his main reservation about Saga Edition he needs to read the rest of the book and see how much better it is than the RCR. He may have no idea how much easier it is to play and GM with the new rules.

    HP is a bit abstract in concept, but is very simple to use as a game mechanic. It's not like "you got shot, you take 12 points of damage". HP represents how much action your character can take before they're out of commission. This doesn't necessarily mean you're taking a ton of blaster hits, or getting cut up with a lightsaber a bunch of times: it represents your prowess that you gain through experience, which makes you harder to take down. The jedi who fails on a deflect check most likely still deflected the bolt, but it wasn't easy, so the action required greater effort on his part and he loses HP. The scoudrel who gets "hit" for particularly high damage by a blaster bolt (though not dead) may have had to hit the deck to avoid it and knocked some wind out of himself, so he loses HP and moves down the condition track because his damage threshold was exceeded... or maybe it just wings him in the shoulder, which still hurts like fucking hell. Using HP just requires a bit more imagination, which can come from both the GM and the player descriptions of what is happening.

    The condition track further gives an indication of your character's "sturdiness" by giving them a damage threshold, meaning that what just happened was particularly stressful. Even a character with very high hit points can be reduced to a helpless state (like when you have 0 hit points) but without losing all his HP.

    Usually, it's only the last couple of hits a character takes that your can really describe as "damage". One example would be when Obi-Wan fights Dooku. In game terms, Dooku wears him down (subtracting HP) during the fight until he nails Obi-Wan badly enough to put him down. As a dark side user, he can use his force powers to send him down the condition track rapidly. Dooku didn't kill him, he just rendered Kenobi helpless.

    I personally think VP/WP is not designed for having fun (and rpgs are supposedly games after all). The chances of getting one-shotted with a critical hit are very high, particularly when ranged weapons that do 3d8 damage are commonplace... shit, a very sturdy 1st level character could have 18WP/14VP. Stormtroopers with stardard equipment, on average, would only have to roll successful attacks 3 times to kill him.

    And at any level, a critical hit from one of those guys will reduce him to 0 WP unless the GM rolls damage of 8 or less (If I estimated correctly, this means at any level, a critical hit from a 3d8 blaster would kill this 18WP guy something like 60% of the time). And woe betide your character if he has anything less than a stellar constitution score, for he shall likely be "redshirted" early in his career.

    Of course, you can still get one-shotted in the new version. Perhaps an enemy crits you with a heavy blaster rifle, which on burst fire does 5d10 (ouch) but that sort of thing is supposed to be a rare "oh shit" kind of moment. Think of it for a second in movie terms. The heroes of the Star Wars saga get shot at so many times one or two of them must have been critical hits. And we never see a stormtrooper gun down Han Solo with one lucky shot. That shit does not happen.

    Your characters are supposed to be the heroes of your GM's story.

    Unless he's just trying to kill you guys at every turn. In which case, he's a fucker. The game can be plenty challenging and fun without having the characters trying to dodge every combat encounter because the players know that a critical hit kills them... in fact, I would submit that it is more fun when fighting it out is actually a viable option. In the new system you still have to watch your step because the weapons do plenty of damage, but it's a bit more like playing a character in the movies, which kicks ass.

    Fuck, this is a long post. I'm climbing off my soapbox now, sorry about that folks.

    Horseshoe on
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  • lunatixlunatix Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Horseshoe wrote: »
    Unless he's just trying to kill you guys at every turn.

    No, that's our Rifts GM.

    As far as miniatures, my Star Wars GM has more miniatures than what's at our local game store at any given time. He also has a 1"x1" square grid bigger than your average dinner table, and dry erase markers, all of these obtained before saga edition.

    It's just that he hates hit point systems. With an overriding passion, apparently.

    lunatix on
    ¤
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    People misunderstand how hit points ought to be narrated more than they misunderstand how they work.

    I'm just going to pull the last GM post where someone took damage so you can see how hit points are narrated no differently from how you might narrate vitality points.
    Evening
    Premost Spaceport, Tallaan, Tapani
    Wayfarer's Cantina

    The group makes its way across the room, nearing the rear door of the cantina. Jake squeezes off a shot at the Trandoshan that sails wide, barely missing one of the straggling patrons. Kyle's shot also sails wide of its intended target, and he begins to realize that he's being left behind by the rest of the escaping group.

    The Stormtroopers turn to return fire, even the one who had been unsteady on his feet fires a shot off towards the fleeing group. Cyr're squeals as she trips over Hurossk's leg, narrowly avoiding being blasted in the process. The red and black Trandoshan snarls and jumps over a few of the tables between him and Jake, his intention to catch up to the group clear.
    OOC: Initiative Order: 27 - Jayce 18 - Jake 17 - Stormtroopers 16 - Hurossk 15 - Trandoshan 14 - Kyle 4 - Cyr're
    Combat Rounds unexpended: 2 - Jake, Hurossk, Jayce, Cyr're; 1 - Kyle
    Total length of combat: 7 rounds
    Damage sustained: Kyle 2; Hurossk 13; Cyr're 6
    Damage inflicted: Stormtrooper A 14 (dead), Stormtrooper B 9 (-1 condition)

    Jake shoots at the Trandoshan (Attack roll (1d20-2=0)) and misses.

    Stormtroopers fire on the group: 15, 3, 4 (one hit, two miss). Cyr're takes 6 damage.
    It's key to remember that the loss of hit points can be both heroic (i.e. Jack dives over the nearby overturned table, blaster bolts hammering the surface behind him) or incidental (i.e. Jack trips over Jill, narrowly avoiding being ventilated by a hail of coherent light). Depends on what you, as the GM, want to emphasize (heroism or dumb luck).

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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Ardent wrote: »
    It's key to remember that the loss of hit points can be both heroic (i.e. Jack dives over the nearby overturned table, blaster bolts hammering the surface behind him) or incidental (i.e. Jack trips over Jill, narrowly avoiding being ventilated by a hail of coherent light). Depends on what you, as the GM, want to emphasize (heroism or dumb luck).

    Well said, good sir, well said.

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I've been interested in picking this up and running a campaign online (using RPtool's MapTools) but I've been waiting till it's had a bit of errata and some user base and user reviews before I make my decision.

    What I've been reading here actually encourages me.

    Pony on
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Pony wrote: »
    I've been interested in picking this up and running a campaign online (using RPtool's MapTools) but I've been waiting till it's had a bit of errata and some user base and user reviews before I make my decision.

    What I've been reading here actually encourages me.

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=starwars/article/sagaederrata

    One order of Errata, as requested. Now go get the fucking book. :P

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    jdarksun wrote: »
    OK. Somebody help me figure out the incredibly vague CR rules for vehicle combat. From what I can tell, the CRs given are for "vehicle scale"... here's why:

    [snip]

    Am I right? Wrong? What's your take on this?

    I would agree that vehicle CL is mostly and indication of difficulty in vehicle-to-vehicle combat.

    This is probably because it makes very little sense to pit six characters on foot against a space vehicle with no means to defeat it, and it makes very little sense to pack four people into a vehicle that's only meant to seat one pilot (and then use all of the characters to calculate a challenge rating when only one of the characters would actually be doing anything).

    It gets more difficult when you have a "non-space-combat" situation with vehicles... like say a Battle of Hoth situation. You've got walking vehicles, speeders, ground troops, heavy weapons, etc. And only a few of the speeder pilots are smart enough to try and trip the walking vehicles instead of shoot at them. It's probably too complicated for a CL system. DnD has a similar problem with CRs... they give a decent estimation of how tough something is, but they're by no means a litmus test.

    Vehicles and equipment give can huge advantages to player characters (and NPCs). Character design, player competence, and GM craftiness also modify difficulty in a way that probably can't be numerically expressed.

    I look at CL or CR as being a rough estimation of difficulty that helps you pick "candidate enemies" for an encounter, and little else.

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  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'd agree with that. If you're mixing up vehicles against dominantly non-vehicular opponents, it really isn't fair and I wouldn't expect it to be. Balancing that is beyond the scope of simple numbers and is going to take GM discretion. Likely in these situations, the ultimate situation is pretty much decided but how the players pull things off within the scenario is what's important (i.e. Hoth)

    I would balance more typical space combat via the ships, and look at the skill rating and modifiers of the players to determine what kind of "crew" they would be closest to when determining the modifier to their ships CL?

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  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Combat CL assumes characters are properly equipped to engage the enemy in combat. If you have a bunch of sharpshooters take on an at-CL encounter without access to blasters, it's going to be a significantly greater challenge than it normally would. Likewise with non-combat CLs. If you have an at-level CL for a negotiation and none of the characters has Deception or Persuasion as a trained skill (or a Jedi with Adept Negotiator), the group is going to flounder a bit. Yes, they can still succeed at the encounter, provided they elucidate and roll well, but it's going to be tricky for them.

    A CL is only as good as a character prepared to deal with the specific challenge.

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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    You're kinda running CL wrong, though.

    It's like in 3.5 where the CL is meant to be geared towards a group of four.

    So a CL7 TIE fighter would be a challenge for four level 7 PC's.

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  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    They're not a group of four, they're a crew of a starfighter of CL X.

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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Well yeah, but I was referring to the original example wherin they're being strafed.

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Well, whaddaya know... a second official web enhancement.

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=starwars/article/sagaenhancement2

    It's like their ears were burning.

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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    jdarksun wrote: »
    why wrote: »
    You're kinda running CL wrong, though.

    It's like in 3.5 where the CL is meant to be geared towards a group of four.

    So a CL7 TIE fighter would be a challenge for four level 7 PC's.
    Here are, verbatim, the examples from the book.

    Challenge levels:
    "A single obstacle, threat, or situation of Challenge Level n is challenging for a single character of similar level. For example, a 1st-level hero should find a CL 1 stormtrooper challenging. By extension, four CL 1 stromtroopers should be prove a challenge to four 1st-level heroes."

    "An encounter with four CL 2 clone troopers and one CL 3 elite clone trooper has a combined CL of 11. Dividing 11 by 3 and rounding down, you get 3. [Which is challenging for four 2nd, 3rd, or 4th level heroes]"

    "An encounter with two CL 15 elite troopers has a combined CL of 30. Dividing 30 by 3, you get 10. [This is a challenge for four 9th, 10th, or 11th level heroes]"

    "An encounter with a CL 8 crime lord and five CL 5 assassins has a combined CL of 33. Dividing 33 by 3, you get 11. [This is a challenge for four 10th, 11th, or 12th level heroes]"


    According to example 1, a single TIE Fighter (CL 7) would be a challenge for a single 7th level hero. Two TIEs would be a challenge for four 4th, 5th, or 6th level heroes.

    And a 20th level hero could take on an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer.


    These examples only make sense to me if I put Vehicle CLs into their own "Vehicle Scale". Example: an X-Wing (CL 10) could take on four TIE Fighters (Base CL 7 * 4 = 28 / 3 = CL 9).
    From this

    p. 247 – Building an Encounter
    Change the second paragraph to say the following:
    "A challenging encounter is one the heroes should overcome with minor to moderate damage to themselves and some depletion of their resources. A single obstacle, threat, or situation of Challenge Level n is challenging for a group of 4 of similar level. For example, a group of 1st-level heroes should find a CL 1 stormtrooper challenging. A single enemy is a difficult encounter for a character of a level equal to the enemy's CL."
    Under Combining Different CLs, add the following sentence at the end of the first sentence: "The combined CL for the encounter is either this result or the highest single CL + 2, whichever is more."
    Add the following sentence to the end of the paragraph: "Most encounters should not include a single enemy whose CL is more than 3 levels higher than the average party level."
    Also, the last line should say, "For each additional hero," not "Four each additional hero."



    They needed a better proofreader.

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  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    holy jeez

    looking through the errata i might wait until like a "revised" version comes out in a year

    There's like a bazillion little omissions and errors that are pretty important.

    for shame, wotc

    better editors, please.

    Pony on
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