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J-H
2011-02-01, 07:09 AM
I'm about to start a Star Wars game, with a semi-homebrew system based off of D&D 3.5 and the SW Saga D20 book.

Basic Changes:

Added Perception base stat
Radically re-worked weapon damage so lightsabers aren't weaker than blasters
Armor gives DR in addition to AC
Energy shields are around, but rare, and recharge slowly
At level 11, HP gains go down to 1/2 normal, similar to D&D 2.0, to reduce the "HP lets me block with my face" problem that turns fights into slug-fests.

Force users have a pool of Force Points that regenerate on a per-turn basis (5 + Jedi level + WIS modifier). Running "auras" that add AC & DR drains FP (ie slows the regeneration rate), and using the Force uses a certain amount of FP depending on the magnitude of the task. Blocking a blaster bolt is 5 FP, throwing someone is 25 FP, and Force Choke/Force Lightning is around 150FP.

I made these changes to make the game run more like the movies, and I think it works well for flavor. There are enough feats and bonuses that my pre-generated semi-optimized level 6 characters include a sniper and a soldier that can match the STR-based Jedi for pure damage output...and both of them can do it at range all day long.

However, I think as the Jedi get more powerful, they will be able to do so much with the Force that they can solve almost every problem. "Droids? Drop a shuttle on them." "Snakes? Lightsaber!" "Grenade? Telekinesis" "Locked door? Lightsaber," etc.

I know I can challenge them with enough firepower, or by making them fight magna guards/sith while the rest of the party handles cleanup (battle droids, other guards, etc), how do I do so with enemies that won't slaughter the less combat-oriented members of the party quite so badly?

This is basically just another "How do you challenge the wizard?" question, except that the wizard also excels at melee combat if he wants to.


I also need to figure out how to create a BBEG or recurring threat that makes sense during the Clone Wars era, that's not in the movies, and that can't be solved by a Fleet detachment or Hyperwave call, without taking away the party's technology or invoking the Hyperspace Anomaly of Noncommunication (cliche).

Aasimar
2011-02-01, 07:12 AM
As someone who has played SW saga edition extensively, let me tell you that lightsabers DO NOT need the extra dice.

This is the first change that a lot of DMs want to make, and it's absolutely unnecessary.

Just the fact that you add ability modifiers to their damage, and not to that of blasters is a huge benefit. And the real advantage of lightsabers is access to Block, Deflect and various lightsaber forms. Not to mention lightsaber style powers if you buy the Jedi Academy sourcebook.

Amnestic
2011-02-01, 07:25 AM
HK-47 tells you how to kill Jedi:-

Poison gas, mines, cluster rockets, plasma charges, flamethrowers, sonic screamers (disrupt their concentration), sniper rifles from extreme ranges, eroding their willpower and beliefs over time, and attacking their allies (Padawans?) as Jedi will often sacrifice themself to save an ally.

You can trust HK-47. If there's one thing he knows, it's how to kill people. :smallamused:

J-H
2011-02-01, 07:28 AM
I'm not implementing lightsaber forms, at least not yet. This weekend is a one-shot with level 6 characters (just barely into Knight category), and whenever we do a campaign it'll start at level 1 or level 2.

Perception gives a bonus to-hit to rifle-type weapons (blaster carbine, blaster rifle, stun rifle, heavy blaster rifle, repeating blaster rifle). I have also implemented an INT to damage vs droids feat (requires 8 skill in Mechanics) and vs organics the character is familiar with (requires 8 skill in Heal).

Here are how things have worked out at level 6 with some decent gear upgrades:

(4d6b3 rolls, the Jedi rolled a bit low)
Twi'Lek Jedi: 77HP, 16 AC, 0 DR, 12 AB, 2d10+7 damage. AC can be boosted through a constant-on force power, at the cost of effective lower FP regen.
Zabrak Soldier: 91HP, 23 AC, 4 DR, 14/14 AB, 1d12+2/1d12+2 damage
Rodian Sniper: 69HP, 21 AC, 2 DR, 17 AB, 2d8+6 damage. Max range around 1000' (yeah, it's short IRL, but long for RPGs).
Duros Expert: 35HP, 17 AC, 2 DR, 6 AB, 1d6-1 + 4 INT damage against most targets--this is because he's got a -2 damage spectrum changer on his blaster, meaning that he can shoot while hidden without being easy to find. he has very low CON, but an absurd amount of skill points. If the party decides to use this character, and they want to hijack a tank I'm leaving parked someplace secure as a solution to the boss, he's the one that can do it.

Jedi don't wear armor...even if they do, it'll only be very light armor...so they do not have DR.


Edit: Yes, I remembered HK-47 and have included some of his methods as possibilities. I also took into account the Geonosis battle, where a lot of Jedi got killed by numbers and firepower. Note the AB 17 sniper, who actually has AB 21 if he's prone, and the AB 14/14 soldier with a repeating blaster rifle (18/18 if prone). They will probably be able to hit with about 30-40% of their shots at long range.
Also, grenades are Yes.

Aasimar
2011-02-01, 07:35 AM
It seems like an awful lot of changes for a system that's already pretty robust.

Have you tried just using Saga edition as is? It works swimmingly.

Alleran
2011-02-01, 07:36 AM
Jedi are very deadly.

This comes with a caveat. They are only able to bring their full abilities to bear in a limited range (either up close in combat, or within about 10-20 squares from what I've found in my games). If the enemies know they're fighting Jedi, there is no reason for them to charge in close. That's just a fast way of losing a limb.

"ON WEAPONRY:
First, weapon selection is critical. If I see one more idiot attacking a Jedi with a blaster pistol, then I'll kill them myself. Select grenades, sonic screamers, cluster rockets, and plasma charges. Mines are also effective, since many Jedi will run to meet you in hand-to-hand combat. Silly Jedi. Gas attacks are effective if you can take the Jedi by surprise. Inhalation is less effective than ones that work on skin contact, as some Jedi seem able to hold their breath for long periods of time. Still, don't rely on it, since Jedi can fight off the effects. It just distracts them, leaving them open to another avenue of attack.

ON DEFENSE:
Do not forget to activate any energy shields you possess. Lightsabers, while powerful, have trouble penetrating most military-issue energy shields, provided they are ENERGY SHIELDS and not those crude Mandalorian melee shields. Countering their other powers is more difficult. I do not fully understand their other abilities, but I do know that many of them require that the Jedi know you are there, and can see you. Thus, sniping and using cover are always advantageous.

ON OTHER METHODS:
A method that Revan used frequently was to attack a Jedi indirectly.This method only works if the Jedi is adhering to the self-destructive path of pacifism and sacrifice. Answer: Kill their allies, or place them in jeopardy. Many Jedi will leave themselves exposed in order to protect another. That is why there are many less Jedi than there were a decade ago. Statistically, overplanning the assassination of a Jedi seems to backfire. There are many theorists who claim that Jedi can see the future, and I do not know if that is true, but it seems impulsive acts are more common than planned incidents. Jedi, like sand-kivers, seem to sense trouble a few seconds before it happens. They are tricky little pests.

ON JEDI-KILLERS:
In addition to traps, mines, and orbital bombardment, Revan and the Sith often employed meatbag assassins for some Jedi, skilled in the same techniques that I was trained in. Strangely enough, Revan believed that meatbags that did not use or believe in the Force were especially important, since in many respects they were more difficult for Jedi to detect. Revan had many of them trained to "hide their minds," as it were. Again, once these techniques were learned, the percentage of living Jedi began to decrease accordingly. Generally, this was done by broadcasting strong emotions while thinking about something else. It was a curious technique, but it seemed to be effective in blinding Jedi. Whether guilt, lust, fear -- they act as mental interference, making finding the true intentions of the broadcasting meatbag difficult. Obviously, a Force Sensitive broadcasting such emotions puts themselves at risk of not using the Force "properly," since to use it seems to require an inner calm most meatbags do not possess. As much as the Jedi could not use such a technique, the Sith Lords could not use it for much the same reasons -- such passions as guilt, lust, and fear are rarely strengths to the Sith code. The master felt it was ironic that only people who had experienced such passions could harm Jedi in such a way -- that to kill Jedi, you had to be a human being. Revan found that quite amusing.

ON THE VARIETY OF WAYS TO KILL JEDI:
The odds of me being forced to use such techniques against you has decreased, Master. There are some more methods I could describe, if you wish. Overwhelming odds is a good tactic, master. There are few Jedi that can long hold their ground against a hundred attackers all firing at once...or being turned on by their own troops. But the most effective weapon against Jedi seems to be the erosion of the spirit. Revan claimed that psychological warfare was important because much of their power comes from their state of mind, their connection to this religion called "the Force." Revan said that many Jedi have the capability to form connections to life around them, although few of them realized the extent to which this is possible. I believe my Master speculated that many Jedi did not fully form such connections because of their discipline, because they never opened their lives to the passions around them. I believe Revan termed it that "one would have to be a human being to develop such connections." It is something that the Jedi code could not teach. One simply knew it instinctively, or not. He said that you had such capability, master, but it would be your downfall. To tie so much of yourself into others -- if they suffer or die, then you would die as well. When a Jedi, or any soldier, suffers doubt, it weakens them. With the Jedi, however, it is more pronounced, since they are extreme examples."
Tips and tricks for killing Jedi.

EDIT: Be very, very scared of a Jedi using the Power Attack + Dark Rage + Many Shades of the Force [Dark Rage] + Improved Dark Rage combo. They usually can't reach it until 13th level (since they can take a level in a third-tier Force class, which can choose talents from any Force Tradition tree without needing to meet the requirements), but once they do, Jedi can get scary good at the one-hit-one-kill tactic. If they add in Tempered Aggression and Triple Critical for their lightsaber, it becomes even more deadly.

starwoof
2011-02-01, 07:38 AM
HK-47 tells you how to kill Jedi:-

Poison gas, mines, cluster rockets, plasma charges, flamethrowers, sonic screamers (disrupt their concentration), sniper rifles from extreme ranges, eroding their willpower and beliefs over time, and attacking their allies (Padawans?) as Jedi will often sacrifice themself to save an ally.

You can trust HK-47. If there's one thing he knows, it's how to kill people. :smallamused:

The best part about this is that it threatens the other party members just as much as the Jedi, which stinks of a balanced encounter. In a good way.


As for a BBEG, you need someone that is too small a threat for the republic to deal with on a large scale, but is a large enough threat for the party that he qualifies as a BBEG. A very tenacious separatist leader or a hutt gangster, something along those lines. A dark jedi (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dark_jedi) (not a sith) could be good as well, probably even better. Very easy to stick in too, since they tend to fly under the radar.

Aasimar
2011-02-01, 07:45 AM
And since there are changes you're making, take my advice with a grain of salt.

I recommend a few changes to the force powers system. First and foremost being Move Object. (the superior choice for dealing damage) At the very least make it so that if you use it to throw one person into another, they split the damage between them, instead of both taking full damage. I also recommend limiting damage done to the size(weight) of the object being moved, instead of being determined solely by the roll.

Check out the errata, that's a must, force powers have been reconfigured a bit.

In my experience, Jedi can rock. (or well, force users in general, not just jedi) But they can also lose out since their feats and talents are tied into the things they need in order to rock.

In combat, if you're having trouble, focus fire, take advantage of the penalty a jedi takes for each successive Block/deflect (those penalties stack btw. So a block penalizes a subsequent Deflect and vice versa)

Out of combat, they'd need to take a lot of powers in order to be a universal toolbox. Not much they can do completely negates a good hacker or stealther.

Force persuasion is a huge deal. I recommend using the same scale as attitudes for persuasion, perhaps also modified by the reasonability of the suggestion. (by as much as +5 to -20 for each category)

Zuljita
2011-02-01, 10:05 AM
Rapid fire is also a decent option, you have enough blaster bolts flying and jedi UTF checks for deflect drop off pretty fast.

Aasimar
2011-02-01, 10:21 AM
Rapid shot in Saga edition gives a +1d to the attacks damage for a -2 to the attack roll. There is no rapid fire equivalent to the feat in the old RCR. Double attack and triple attack do similar things, but the penalties you take make sure the benefits are outweighed somewhat by the costs.

Mark Hall
2011-02-01, 11:59 AM
While I don't know Saga explicitly (sorry, to me it still refers to the card-based Dragonlance and Marvel games of the late 90s), I'd think the best way to challenge Jedi is how they challenged Jedi in the movies... with other force-users (or HK-47's methods).

Once he was a Jedi-in-training, Luke didn't worry about the stormtroopers beyond what they could do to his friends and allies... his caution in Cloud City can easily be interpreted as "I don't have time to waste killing these guys" not "I can't take them." He completely murderalized Jabbas guards, taking ONE hit in a several minute battle... and he started the fight unarmed and tied up. Obi-wan could manipulate the Storm Troopers in ANH into doing whatever he wanted, and in the prequels, he simply walked through battle droids. If you want to go dark, consider Vader, walking unafraid through battlefields on the Tantive IV and Hoth... he wasn't worried because no one could hurt him. Han may be an awesome pilot, but Vader more or less ignored him... he said "talk to the hand" to Han's blaster, then took it away from him from across the room.

When did they have problems? When faced with other force users. Ben of ANH was cautious in facing Vader. Luke of ESB was daunted by Vader (who may have been staying his hand), and in RotJ he could stand against him and the Emperor.

So, some good encounters would also involve force users keeping the force users busy, while the non-force users fought with the mooks.

Psyren
2011-02-01, 12:33 PM
sonic screamers (disrupt their concentration)

So loud noises screw Jedi over too, eh?

*slips off to the Jedi vs. Asha'man thread*

Natael
2011-02-01, 02:23 PM
As someone who has played SW saga edition extensively, let me tell you that lightsabers DO NOT need the extra dice.

This is the first change that a lot of DMs want to make, and it's absolutely unnecessary.

Just the fact that you add ability modifiers to their damage, and not to that of blasters is a huge benefit. And the real advantage of lightsabers is access to Block, Deflect and various lightsaber forms. Not to mention lightsaber style powers if you buy the Jedi Academy sourcebook.

Well, technically speaking a lightsaber should kill people in one hit, so increasing damage isn't much of an issue.

Squark
2011-02-01, 02:34 PM
No, not really. Barring decapitation, Lightsabers are really only lethal on a bodily hit (Because of the damage to vital organs like the brain, heart, lungs, etc... ) or if the victim goes into shock because of limb loss (I'm fuzzy on what causes shock again. Could losing a limb and having the wound immediately cauterized induce shock? I don't remember, my first aid certificate is due to expire soon, I think). Bleeding isn't an issue, given that lightsabers are hot enough to cauterize a wound (much like how branding irons where used to cauterized arrow wounds IRL).

A lightsaber wound isn't really anymore deadly than a blaster bolt, it's just that the jedi can deflect blaster bolts back at you that makes a saber particularly dangerous.

Person_Man
2011-02-01, 03:41 PM
In non-vehicle combat, Lightsabers (as written, without any house rules) are the most powerful weapon in the game. They ignore damage reduction (DR 5 to 10 is fairly common, especially on droids and Soldiers), add ability modifiers to their damage, and are very easy to optimize with Talents and Feats. In the games I played in, anyone using a lightsaber tended to mow through enemies like butter, unless the enemy was also wielding a light saber.

In terms of challenging Force users, I suggest that you do not borrow from D&D. Most encounters in Star Wars are not meant to be balanced or challenging. The purpose of combat in Star Wars is to look cool and/or move the plot of the story forward. Unless it's an encounter with the Bounty Hunter, the Dragon, a Crime Lord, or the Big Bad Evil Guy, then combat should basically be an opportunity to be the BIG DAMN HEROES who can wade into combat against countless mooks with little concern for safety, in order to save the princess or uncover the separatist plot.

So unless it's a boss fight, don't try to out optimize or out think your players. And if it is a boss fight, then just use the Force and the many PrC Talents the book gives you against them.

MeeposFire
2011-02-01, 09:39 PM
Well, technically speaking a lightsaber should kill people in one hit, so increasing damage isn't much of an issue.

And typically so did blasters that hit anything vital, just like lightsabers. The game has a level of abstraction just like all D&D and D&D clones.

Kaldrin
2011-02-02, 12:52 AM
Why do you guys always look to combat/mechanics for challenging players playing a specific type of character?

I played a jedi in our last campaign of Saga and all my challenges were role-played. I had to resist attacking a grey knight to prove that I wasn't evil, try and talk a hidden apprentice of the emperor down from the dark side, etc.

As far as mechanics went, none of our combats gave me the impression that I was overpowered or underpowered. If anything the lack of ability to do horrendous amounts of damage with the lightsaber actually balanced the class a bit. It was a tool as much as a weapon. The force powers seemed powerful, but when I went hog wild with them I almost died from lack of vitality. So, it kind of self-balanced that way.