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raxies94
2012-01-28, 12:51 PM
So one of my friends is really interested in Star Wars Saga Edition. I have to say, at first, I was very excited too, because I thought it would be very similar to Knights of the Old Republic. But after looking at the rule book, I'm having some doubts. There's a lot of stuff that's similar to 4e (defenses, encounter powers), which I do not enjoy, and some of the concepts just seem weird to me. For example, once you get very high level, there's little benefit to wearing armor. Another example is the force points; they just seem weird to me in general.

We haven't actually tried playing it yet, so maybe a trial run will make me change my mind. But now I'm very wary about. Does anyone have any experience or opinions with/about it.

Yora
2012-01-28, 12:53 PM
I know lots of people who share my oppinion that it's be far the best d20 game ever made. It's more simple and allows you to play more smothly without being stopped by complicated rules too often.

Siegel
2012-01-28, 12:54 PM
I know lots of people who share my oppinion that it's be far the best d20 game ever made. It's more simple and allows you to play more smothly without being stopped by complicated rules too often.

I wouldn't go quite so far but it is a great system in term of char. building in diversity in character. I really like the talent system.

TheCountAlucard
2012-01-28, 12:58 PM
There's a lot of stuff that's similar to 4e (defenses, encounter powers), which I do not enjoy, and some of the concepts just seem weird to me.Fair enough; I was a bit reluctant at the start, but I found that I actually was having fun when I played it. The defenses puts most of the game's rolling in the hands of the players, for one.


For example, once you get very high level, there's little benefit to wearing armor.That's more of a stylistic choice, I believe. Besides, there are some pretty decent talent trees for armor. :smallsmile:

If I recall correctly, in a Star Wars game a friend ran for a while, one of the players emphasized his character's build around wearing armor, and he quite literally took damage only once in the whole game, thanks to a Sith holocron. :smallamused:


Another example is the force points; they just seem weird to me in general.Why? :smallconfused:


We haven't actually tried playing it yet, so maybe a trial run will make me change my mind. But now I'm very wary about. Does anyone have any experience or opinions with/about it.For what it's worth, I had a lot of fun with this game.

raxies94
2012-01-28, 01:34 PM
I think the force points seemed weird because I was expecting something similar to a psion's power points. But even getting past that, It just seems strange to me that they are basically action points that you can renew until you grow a level.

Also, how do the non-jedi classes compare? Can they hold their own? If we do end up playing, I know I'll want to play a bounty hunter-like character (I say "like" because I'm not sure if the bounty hunter class will really suit me).

boj0
2012-01-28, 02:04 PM
I just finished playing in a 3 year SWSE campaign; with no exaggeration or sarcasm, I can easily say it is one of the best systems I have played with. :smallsmile:

To address some of your concerns:

1) Armor is something the heroes in the movies did not wear, the mechanics reflect this by explaining that a higher level character is luckier, quicker, tougher or some other handwavium. If you want to wear armor (Mandalorians ftw) there is an entire talent tree for soldiers that lets you take advantage of armor bonuses and still use normal level bonuses. Also, armor can hold upgrades and other gadgets, plus not dying in vacuum is always nice.

2) Force points, are again, a way to show how much luckier, quicker, tougher, better, etc. a hero is. When it comes right down to it, the characters of Star Wars do some pretty incredible things, Force or not. Force points are simply a very handy mechanical way of getting out of a sticky situation. In addition, the number of talents and powers that let you use them for additional effects just makes them a more versatile resource.

3) The defenses, skills, and damage bonuses are very much based off 4e as SWSE is effectively 3.75. I feel that worked out great, as you were never truly left out on using a skill, or your defenses were always within a decent number for your level (there was very little min-maxing involved for having competent numbers). You become less gear dependent for high numbers, and it falls down to your race, class, and abilities; like it should IMHO.

All in all, I find that Saga is a great system, as it gives you that comfortable feel of 3.5 and yet streamlined and just the right amount of licensed atmosphere to give it a unique taste. Give it a shot, you won't regret it.

Gnoman
2012-01-28, 02:30 PM
The only thing I dislike about Saga Edition (to the point where I'm writing a replacement for the entire section) is the extreme levels to which vehicle combat is abstracted.

Dienekes
2012-01-28, 02:33 PM
Amazing system. Personally my favorite star wars system (though d6 is also fun). There are a few quirks here and there that you can pick up, such as Skill Focus Use the Force is OP if taken before level 3 or so, and the Soldiers Brawler Talents are in general horrendously lackluster. But on a whole I feel it is one of the most dynamic, fun, and customizable d20 systems out there and if DnD 5e basically pallet swapped it to a fantasy setting all would be well in the world.

Though if you're just starting I have a few houserule suggestions, take them or leave them.

Everyone gets the benefits for Improved Armored Defense (or whatever the one is called to use your armor or level for Ref Def) for armor they are proficient with because armor hindering you after level 4 is ridiculous. Admittedly there are ways to max out your armor so that you become a nigh-unkillable god at high levels, but you can optimize anything and this rule I think helps those who want to wear nice light armor all the way through.

Skill Focus grants +1 per level maxing out at 5, to avoid level 1 and 2 force users from acting like gods

When multiclassing you can choose to take a feat or a skill from the next classes starting set, because I think it adds more customizability and I hate being forced to pick up Linguist.

And that's about it.

gkathellar
2012-01-28, 03:13 PM
It's a well-built, fun game and does a lot to capture the pulp sensibilities of the original films.

The crucial thing about Saga, mechanically, is to understand that everything in 4E that wasn't tested in ToB was tested in its borders but like ToB, it arguably did a better (or at least more accessible) job of using those principles than 4E did.


There's a lot of stuff that's similar to 4e (defenses, encounter powers), which I do not enjoy, and some of the concepts just seem weird to me.

If you're just pulling away from it because it's 4E-esque, I'd suggest you give it another chance. The three defenses are really a solid mechanic, and I personally was actually really disappointed how they brought back AC for 4E.


For example, once you get very high level, there's little benefit to wearing armor.

This is a stylistic decision. Watch the movies: armor never helps anybody, it's mostly decorative.

And actually, I disagree. With two talents, armor can boost your Reflex significantly. And with some of the Mandalorian talents from the splatbooks, armor can become incredibly potent.


Another example is the force points; they just seem weird to me in general.

Just think of them as the bursts of luck and talent that pulp heroes manage occasionally.

One other thing: like most d20 games, the system works best at the the middle of the level range. In Saga's case, this is due to the math of the skill and defense systems at early levels, skill bonuses can be way too high (especially for characters specialized in Force powers). At late levels, defenses get too high. Within the level 5-15 range, though, the game's math is golden.

Kioku
2012-01-28, 03:50 PM
It'd be more accurate to say that 4e is based largely on Saga, since Saga came out first, and WotC essentially was just using it to test out some ideas. Thing is though, Saga has all of the good stuff, and 4e ended up with all of the bad. On the note of classes, I'd tend to say that the non-Jedi classes are in most ways *better* than the Jedi class. They certainly make better force users if you mix them around a little.
I use a very, very modified version of the space combat system, I think someone had something pretty similar to it on these forums. It makes maneuvering, facing, and tactics matter. I also (last I played, probably will resume this project if I feel like it again soon) was in the process of re-building every ship in the game using the custom starship creation system - it's my thinking that games should follow their own rules when those kinds of things come up.

TheThan
2012-01-28, 04:15 PM
I agree with Yora. It's probably one of the best versions of the D20 systems available. Really give it a try and see if you like it. Since choosing an RPG is a personal thing, I realize no one system is perfect for everyone.

raxies94
2012-01-28, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. You're really making me want to try it. We'll probably give it a go soon, though there's no telling if it will evolve into anything serious. We seem to have a chronic problem of starting new games instead of continuing current ones.

Optimator
2012-01-28, 09:54 PM
Saga Edition is excellent.

Talakeal
2012-01-28, 10:34 PM
I never got a chance to play SAGA, but it looked excellent to me, a vast improvement over 3.5 I was very disappointed that 4th ed didn't follow in its footsteps, if it had I would probably still be playing D&D to this day.

I did have a few major complaints, like you can't spend a feat to train in a cross class skill and that a lot of force powers didn't take size into account, but it is my understanding that those have been fixed in later printings or in errata.

Alejandro
2012-01-28, 11:41 PM
SWSE is an excellent game. I GM it for my group, and pretty much everyone enjoys it a lot. It's very flexible. Vehicle use can get a little tricky, but it's easy to figure out. Talents and the ease with which you can multiclass are large pluses.

And to the previous poster, you can train new skills. Take the Skill Training feat, right in the main book. It allows you to gain training in one untrained skill from your class(es) list.

Talakeal
2012-01-29, 12:05 AM
SWSE is an excellent game. I GM it for my group, and pretty much everyone enjoys it a lot. It's very flexible. Vehicle use can get a little tricky, but it's easy to figure out. Talents and the ease with which you can multiclass are large pluses.

And to the previous poster, you can train new skills. Take the Skill Training feat, right in the main book. It allows you to gain training in one untrained skill from your class(es) list.

That feat was added in the errata (and incorporated into later printings of the book) when the game first came out there was no way to train cross class skills.

Alejandro
2012-01-29, 12:34 AM
Huh, I had no idea. Guess I never saw the version without that.

Battleship789
2012-01-29, 03:15 AM
That feat was added in the errata (and incorporated into later printings of the book) when the game first came out there was no way to train cross class skills.

:smallconfused: You can't ever train "cross class" in Saga. The Skill Training feat merely allows you to select another of your class skills to be trained in. To expand your skill list you have to multiclass (which is encouraged.)

SAGA is a great d20 system, possibly one of the best. I'd highly recommend it.

Talakeal
2012-01-29, 03:06 PM
:smallconfused: You can't ever train "cross class" in Saga. The Skill Training feat merely allows you to select another of your class skills to be trained in. To expand your skill list you have to multiclass (which is encouraged.)

SAGA is a great d20 system, possibly one of the best. I'd highly recommend it.

That is what the book I purchased days after release said, and I thought it was the rule. Since then I have had numerous people say that the feat applies to any skill, and a few people, like you, insist it does not. I can't believe that so many people have poor reading comprehension, the only thing I can think of is that they corrected this oversight in later printings.

raxies94
2012-01-29, 06:57 PM
Well, regardless, you guys are really making me think about trying it out.

raxies94
2012-01-29, 09:44 PM
So, I'm looking at the core rulebook right now, and there doesn't really seem to be much reason to go with double/triple attack route rather than the dual weapon route. Anyone have any reasons to go double/triple attack rather than dual weapons?

RandomLunatic
2012-01-29, 09:52 PM
You can use heavier weapons. Dual wielding, as the name implies, requires at least two weapons. Most beings have two hands, which works out to approximately one hand per weapon, which sharply limits your options-vibroswords, lighsabers, blaster pistols, and the like.

With Double/Triple Attack, you can tool up things like vibroaxes, missile launchers, and heavy repeating blasters to bring on some serious pain.

Battleship789
2012-01-29, 10:06 PM
You can use heavier weapons. Dual wielding, as the name implies, requires at least two weapons. Most beings have two hands, which works out to approximately one hand per weapon, which sharply limits your options-vibroswords, lighsabers, blaster pistols, and the like.

With Double/Triple Attack, you can tool up things like vibroaxes, missile launchers, and heavy repeating blasters to bring on some serious pain.

Additionally, the Double/Triple attack feat line doesn't have as harsh of prerequisites: no stat requirements and less of a feat investment. The Multiattack talent can also reduce the penalties, though it is a rather Talent-heavy investment.


That is what the book I purchased days after release said, and I thought it was the rule. Since then I have had numerous people say that the feat applies to any skill, and a few people, like you, insist it does not. I can't believe that so many people have poor reading comprehension, the only thing I can think of is that they corrected this oversight in later printings.

Dunno. The edition I have states that the benefit is: "Choose one untrained sill from your list of class skills. You become trained in that skill." Seems pretty unambiguous to me.

Ivellius
2012-01-29, 11:32 PM
Well, I'll chime in with my contrary opinion, just because no one else is seeming to. If you don't like 4e, I really don't know if you'd like it--barring you being a huge Star Wars nerd, in which case it's probably worth it for the setting. I, unfortunately, am not so much.

I'm currently playing in a game as a medic--a Bothan Noble by class, with a heavy concentration in Charisma-based skills, Knowledge (bureaucracy), Knowledge (life sciences), and Treat Injury checks. And...I don't really like the system. The Knowledge skills have seemed pretty useless. Skill Challenges should die in a fire because a) they're often quite dissociated* and b) my character wasn't useful in the only one we did (involved chasing a Vratix). Healing isn't very good (characters are limited to one medipac per day), but it's very, very difficult to actually kill characters because of Force points and second winds. I still don't like the second wind mechanic.

Use the Force is also totally borked at low levels (maybe pretty weak at really high levels, due to the way skills scale?), though from what I understand errata may have helped (not fixed). We weren't allowed any Jedi in our current campaign. And...I miss having more skill granularity. I like being able to allocate skill points instead of the trained/untrained binary and wish our team sniper could take ranks in Gourmet Cooking because something like that is awesome and flavorful and necessary when hobos complain about his cooking. Damage is high at low levels but doesn't seem to scale for characters as well as monsters (might be my perception, as I'm not really a combat character). Grappling, at least, if not other attack options, was watered down (I may be the only person in the world that has a handle on 3.5 grappling, though I'll readily admit it takes way too many rolls for success).

Lest you think it's all complaints, I do like the condition track, and the way they reworked the action economy is probably okay. Having encounter powers isn't too bad, although they come slowly and I'm not sure the ones I have are very good yet. Armor not helping characters much feels weird to me (no one in our group specializes in it) but is in-genre. I like static defenses, although I think I prefer having 4 to 3. Probably because I'm used to it, and armor affecting Reflex defense is weird. Actually, if they just did Ref/Fort/Will and played with what attacks affect what instead of everything hitting Reflex I'd probably be good with it. I suppose Reflex is in-genre, as most people dodge/stand still and let Stormtroopers miss rather than absorb blaster fire.

Having said that, a lot of people like it, and if you're a Star Wars person or liked some of the 4e changes I'd say go for it. You...said you didn't, though, in the original post, so I'm sorry.

*No, it doesn't really make sense to require the characters as a party to make X number of successes before Y number of failures on a variety of skill checks. If you're chasing down someone, whoever's chasing should be able to succeed/fail independently of whatever the doctor does. Same for the doctor. I get what they were trying to do. And there are ways to do them (convincing a noble where he has to be impressed with each and every one of you, maybe?), but they don't need a mechanic for that. I could do that in 3.5.

IdleMuse
2012-01-30, 12:07 AM
I love SAGA edition, it's seriously one of my favourite games to both play and GM, along with L5R 4th. :smallsmile: I heartily recommend you try it out if you have any attachment to the setting at all.

I agree largely with pretty much everything that's been said above about the system, including the negatives, including Ivellius' specific comments above (though I will say they do stem somewhat from a particular build, a healer, which is annoyingly bad in the system). The skill challenge system will put some people off, but then again, some play groups really click with it, so I'm still on the fence with it. Generally I won't use them.

I'm a SAGA GM with all the books, and I will say that is does get a lot better when you have more options to choose from; core-book-only games can get a bit samey; scoundrel, jedi with move object and mind trick, noble with inspire line, soldier with double attack, there's not too many options, you really need to get into some odd multiclasses to have other funstuff. Which, I might add, isn't difficult, unlike 4e, multiclassing is highly recommended and highly useful, an integral part of the system.

In order to avoid this becoming wall-of-text, i'll utilise some lists... again be aware these are coming from the play/GM experience of having all the books, ymmv with just the core.

Pros
- Balance. Saga edition is balanced in a way neither 3.5 not 4E D&D could ever be; there's no singular overpowered options that negate the usefulness of whole tiers of classes (3.5) nor is everthing EXACTLY THE SAME (4E). Exaggeration, I know, but the 5-base-class system is highly balanced and very well designed, not restrictive at all. Pretty much all types of characters can be built, and all can be effective.
- Flexibility. Talents are super-cool, really letting you play a different Scoundrel each time without having a plethora of different base classes murkying the water. They make character development fun, they make play fun. They make characters feel individual. Every book adds more feats, talents, force powers to really amp up the options.
- Simplicity. Now, this is a relative term; SAGA edition is still a d20 system, with all its attendant combat-rules-depth. However, compare it to 3.5, and you instantly see a major improvement, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Skill system, one of my favourite improvements (but see house-rules below).

Cons
- Redundancy. Some content, particularly prestige classes, are redundant. There's really very few character concepts that are improved by the Vanguard PrC, for instance, while many builds will want to use the Elite Trooper. Note, this isn't a power problem; more, a utility one. You aren't really going to be too much worse off taking some of these talents or PrCs, but I just find very few players do.
- Occasional rules complexity. If you've played any kind of D&D, you're probably fine, but if you come to this from FATE or something, you'll struggle to penetrate some of the more obscure subsystems, such as vehicle combat, which has been touched on by others in the thread.
- Everyone always wants to play a Jedi in their first game! This can lead to some oddly unbalanced parties, where half the party are generalist jedi (who end up being average to mediocre in most fields), rather than having specialists.

Very little houseruling is needed. My personal house-rules, for reference, are;
- Crits work like 4E (max damage not x2, more for triple crit)
- Skill Focus (UtF) can't be bought before a specific threshold (unless you want early-game force wizards to be fairly powerful, for example, in an all-Jedi game from 1st level)
- Remove the era-dependant Special Prereq from the Imperial Knight in the Legacy Era book. (Allows players to play armoured jedi in other eras than Legacy).

That's literally it. Compared to 3.5 or other systems with homebrew and hosuerules coming out of their ears, Saga ends up remarkably balanced, in my opinion.

So yeah, any more questions, feel free to ask, I've had some pretty fun SAGA times and know the system inside out and back to front, more or less.

Oh, and one last point, if you've played KoToR, which it sounds like, from your OP, you have, then I seriously suggest having a looksee at the KoToR era campaign guide book, it's crammed full of references to the video games (stalines for PCs and NPCs, items, feats, etc) that always make people I show it too very excited :smallbiggrin:

Delwugor
2012-01-30, 12:43 AM
It is the best d20 system that WotC has put out (M&M gets my vote for the very best).
It is worth playing but there are areas of caution.
Use the Force is obscene and because of it Jedi tend to trump all others. That can work since the setting is about Jedi of course.
Ship combat rules for small fighters is fine. But forget the bigger ships as it becomes an extremely boring episode of how many dice can you roll before your hands fall off from being tired.
Personally I'd throw out any use of minis or tactical combat. For me their use had that D&D in space feel. Without it combat is more spectacular and you get that cinematic Jedi leaps 30 feet up igniting his lightsabre feel.

Binks
2012-01-30, 11:04 AM
Saga edition is probably either my favorite or second favorite RPG system I've ever used. I've played 3-4 games in it, and run 3 (plus 2 currently in progress) and I've found that the rules for it don't tend to get in the way of having fun anywhere near as much as most other games :smallwink:.

Also, I see lots of posts in here about Jedi breaking the game and UtF being overpowered, etc. The problem is not Jedi or UtF really, the problem is force wizards, builds solely designed to get a ton of super powerful force powers. Your average Jedi character isn't going to break the game, but Jedi can be pushed in that direction...as can the other classes in their own way. Jedi are closer to the edge, but not automatically broken, and I've had plenty of fun games where the Jedi character was on par with the rest of the party because they didn't intentionally focus on being a force wizard.

Ivellius
2012-01-30, 11:32 AM
Also, I see lots of posts in here about Jedi breaking the game and UtF being overpowered, etc. The problem is not Jedi or UtF really, the problem is force wizards, builds solely designed to get a ton of super powerful force powers. Your average Jedi character isn't going to break the game, but Jedi can be pushed in that direction...as can the other classes in their own way. Jedi are closer to the edge, but not automatically broken, and I've had plenty of fun games where the Jedi character was on par with the rest of the party because they didn't intentionally focus on being a force wizard.

This is kinda like the idea that 3.5's "Tier" listings aren't a problem because classes of higher tiers can just not do stuff that breaks the game. Well, the main problem with Use the Force is that it's a combat system masquerading as a skill like the other skills. It's trivial to have a +10 bonus to Use the Force at 1st level (trained + Skill Focus), in a combat system in which having a +8 to-hit with a weapon would be about as high as you can go min-maxing (I think Wookiees have a +4 bonus to Strength, so put an 18 into it and take Weapon Focus and something with +1 BAB. Someone might correct me if I'm wrong). Sure, there are probably a few more bonuses for weapons, but a similar ability investment would get you another +4 or +5 on your check. So...don't allow people to use Force powers at low levels, but then you're losing a lot of the appeal of the setting. I mean, seriously, everyone wants to be a Jedi, right?

I'll add a disclaimer that I don't own the books and looked very little at the Force powers, but from what the others in that group have told me, Force users can completely shut down a single opponent in an encounter (Force Choke, I think?) and I'd assume have other problematic powers.

Yora
2012-01-30, 11:47 AM
There's a huge difference between "If you do that, everyone will hate the game" and "just don't go overboard".

Aknowledging a fault does not mean it has to be a serious problem.

Mystify
2012-01-30, 12:07 PM
I've played it, and its pretty good. Jedi's are kinda overpowered though, being
A. The most defensive(seriously, between their lightsaber and force powers, they can be ridiculously hard to harm. And if you really want to, you can stick them in armor.),
B. The "spellcasters" (they are the best force users, duh.)
C. The strongest melee class (lightsabers)

This probably doesn't bother most people, as its star wars and they are jedi. You can certainly have viable non-jedi builds, but there is a power gap.

Force powers can be relevant at all levels. I've been 1-shoted by them at low levels, and my brother specialized them and was amazing at high levels.

Ivellius
2012-01-30, 01:22 PM
There's a huge difference between "If you do that, everyone will hate the game" and "just don't go overboard".

Aknowledging [sic] a fault does not mean it has to be a serious problem.

I still don't see a difference; I mean, it's possible to play a blaster wizard and heal-bot cleric in D&D with no real balance issues. If you go overboard, probably everyone will hate the game in either system. It seemed to have ruined the campaign when I arrived, at which point we rebooted for storyline/player shuffling issues.

I just the want the warning to be clear: Use the Force checks are broken, in that they're a combat system that hides within the skill check system, which is much easier to optimize at low levels. I don't really know how many Force powers a typical user should have (I'd assume one or two even at first level), but once you get 3 or 4 per encounter you'll be able to use Force powers frequently enough. They recharge before your next fight anyway. Combat seems to last a little longer than D&D, but that may be because characters have more hit points.

I could quote Spoony, in saying either everyone or no one should be Jedi, but honestly, you probably ought to keep people from using Force powers at all. And once you do that, why are you playing Star Wars?

Dienekes
2012-01-30, 01:36 PM
I don't think the classes are really that poorly balanced, except as I said when maxing UtF at early levels. The game levels out pretty well, at least in my experience. Yes, Jedi are probably the most versatile class but they can't do everything at once, they mostly get slotted into 2 rolls melee damage dealer or caster mixing them is not all that good. Soldiers can deal outrageous damage at range that makes a Jedi seem a wimp. Scoundrels and Nobles are easily the most skillful classes and best outside of combat. And Scouts... honestly no one in my group has played them outside of a dip so I don't have a good knowledge of them. Jedi level out with everyone at level 4-5ish, and again gentlemanly request not to take skill focus use the force at low levels smooths over most the problems.

The invincible jedi isn't really a problem, because if memory serves (it might not please correct me) that build means you're not actually good at anything except staying alive, basically you have the same problem that dnd tanks have, no reason anyone would focus you. Personally with talents like the armor tree and draw fire and harm's way soldiers probably make more efficient tanks.

Now a build that can be a problem is that the one that stacks powers that lower you down your CT, I think it was a gunslinger build, that could effectively 1 shot Darth Vader.

Friv
2012-01-30, 01:37 PM
Well, the main problem with Use the Force is that it's a combat system masquerading as a skill like the other skills. It's trivial to have a +10 bonus to Use the Force at 1st level (trained + Skill Focus), in a combat system in which having a +8 to-hit with a weapon would be about as high as you can go min-maxing (I think Wookiees have a +4 bonus to Strength, so put an 18 into it and take Weapon Focus and something with +1 BAB. Someone might correct me if I'm wrong).

This is really a problem with Skill Focus, more than a problem with Use The Force. The same problem crops up at low levels with Skill Focus for Persuasion, which normally uses peoples' Will defenses as the default resistance, or for Mechanics, which allows for the creation and modification of significantly better equipment than normal for Level 2, or for Pilot to become unstoppable in dogfights against anyone who didn't also take Pilot skill focus. The simple solution is to apply limits to Skill Focus - ideally fairly stringent ones. (I'm personally a fan of limiting it to a bonus of half your level, capping at +5 at Level 10. Yeah, it means it's not very good at low levels. Don't buy Skill Focus at low levels.)

Battleship789
2012-01-30, 01:54 PM
I've played it, and its pretty good. Jedi's are kinda overpowered though, being
A. The most defensive(seriously, between their lightsaber and force powers, they can be ridiculously hard to harm. And if you really want to, you can stick them in armor.),
B. The "spellcasters" (they are the best force users, duh.)
C. The strongest melee class (lightsabers)

This probably doesn't bother most people, as its star wars and they are jedi. You can certainly have viable non-jedi builds, but there is a power gap.

Force powers can be relevant at all levels. I've been 1-shoted by them at low levels, and my brother specialized them and was amazing at high levels.
Ah, but if one tries to be a Jedi from the movies (A, B and C at the same time), Jedi are decidedly mediocre. It is only when one focuses on A, B or C that they become very powerful. And I would debate C: Jedi/Sith characters probably have the most melee damage output, but grapplers are VERY scary in SAGA, especially against single targets. (And not because the grapple rules are a horrifying tangle of despair.) On average, Jedi defenses are higher, though they generally have mediocre saves on all three defenses while other characters have a good save, mediocre save, and a poor one (and not just through Class bonuses.) While (relatively optimized) Force wizards are stupidly powerful at low levels, it balances out somewhat during the middle and, while not omnipotent, is relevant at high level.

Another thing about SWSE (can be good or bad): combat generally takes quite a few rounds. While there are builds that can end encounters in one round, most fights take 8+ rounds at the mid to high level range. This was done to keep the "cinematic" setting of Star Wars, where duels take minutes to finish, though for some it can get dull.

Ivellius: Characters have higher HP in Saga from 1-8ish, when magic items start to kick in for D&D. At high levels, D&D characters tend to have either equal or higher HP than their Saga counterparts due to stat boosting items. A high level Barbarian or Fighter has ~300 HP with a mid twenties Con while a Lightsaber-focused Jedi has 200ish at 20th level. Wizards are hitting close to 100 (discounting FMI) and Force-focused Nobles/Scoundrels are around that range (slightly higher if it is a Jedi wizard.)

The biggest difference (time wise) in combat is damage output. A very highly optimized blaster wizard/sorcerer or charger build (hundreds+ damage per round easily) does substantially more than the most optimized blaster Force user and/or Lightsaber combat user (100 or so per round is quite possible with a Lightsaber, Power Attack and Juyo. It is harder to make a powerful blaster Force wizard, though Force Lightning/Move Object can do quite a bit with a lot of Force/Destiny points.) On the other end of the optimization scale, an average Noble is doing 3d8+10 damage per round (if they can even hit), Soldier is doing 3d10(12)+12ish with a possible 8d6+10 with a thermal detonator, and the Jedi is doing 2d8+16ish, with very poor optimization. When HP totals are in the hundreds, it takes a while for these characters to kill each other.

However, it is still possible (and generally superior) to BC, Debuff, etc. your way through battles, though most of classes has some ability to do so, instead of it being limited to casters or the occasional ACF.

Mystify
2012-01-30, 02:04 PM
In my experience, jedi could get amazing defenses as a side thought. a couple good defensive powers, some lightsaber tricks, and they would deflect most anything coming at them. And its not like their AC is low either. In comparison, when I played a fighter, I struggled to stay upright.
Mixing force powers and lightsaber tactics is not only feasible, it is highly effective. Improved battle strike while dual weilding lighsabers dishes out considerable damage, force meditation can lead to a guaranteed crit, which you can easily turn into an instant kill. Surge is a great way to charge into melee, or retreat if needed. Force sheild is an amazing defensive ability. There isn't a ton you can do to increase ranged blaster damage. I focused in it, and I could be absolutely devastating with a single shot, but it doesn't really compare to what a jedi can pull off. You don't need very many force powers to augment your combat abilities significantly. Force choke can be just as effective as grapple at shutting down an enemy.

Its not like jedi are wizards, but they do tend to be the best at everything except guns. Oftentimes they are amazing at several things at the same time.

GungHo
2012-01-30, 03:12 PM
I'm currently playing in a game as a medic--a Bothan Noble by class, with a heavy concentration in Charisma-based skills, Knowledge (bureaucracy), Knowledge (life sciences), and Treat Injury checks. And...I don't really like the system.
You probably picked the worst aspects of the system to concentrate your character on. I know that doesn't make you feel any better... it wouldn't make me feel better either. You have to have a GM that will create rewards and opportunities based around these sorts of things, because as written, the game has the same social problems that all TSR/WotC games have... and unfortunately, the role of a medic in the game is more social than mechanical (no cure light wounds spells or really anything else for you except stabilize people).


*No, it doesn't really make sense to require the characters as a party to make X number of successes before Y number of failures on a variety of skill checks.
Yeah, this one is a little weird, too. Like you, I get where they were going with this, but they never got there. This is another one of those things I had to houserule for expediency and for fun. It's nice to get the whole party involved, but sometimes it's just not needed and it leads to failures when there's no reason for a failure.

Other than that, some things scale poorly. You're better of sticking to your squad and leaving things at that level rather than trying to make things bigger. Large ship combat, etc, is really better off handled dramatically. Starfighter on Starfighter/Freighter is fine. Large armies/battles are also better off handled dramatically.

Ivellius
2012-01-30, 03:23 PM
You probably picked the worst aspects of the system to concentrate your character on. I know that doesn't make you feel any better... it wouldn't make me feel better either. You have to have a GM that will create rewards and opportunities based around these sorts of things, because as written, the game has the same social problems that all TSR/WotC games have... and unfortunately, the role of a medic in the game is more social than mechanical (no cure light wounds spells or really anything else for you except stabilize people).

Yeah, I didn't look at the Treat Injury skill all that closely even while making the character because I figured, hey, wouldn't most parties want a way to heal some damage? All my long-term D&D commitments have been with heal-bot clerics, so I figured it wouldn't deviate too much from that. But you're right that it's terrible, I know that it's terrible, and our GM knows that it's terrible, but that's the character I put together. I just wish it more or less, you know, functioned as a role. One medipac per character per day just isn't much. I can perform surgery, but that takes forever, is messy, and still doesn't compare with people just using their second wind. Aside from second winds, healing is expensive and/or slow, which boggles my mind.

Mystify
2012-01-30, 03:25 PM
Yeah, I didn't look at the Treat Injury skill all that closely even while making the character because I figured, hey, wouldn't most parties want a way to heal some damage? All my long-term D&D commitments have been with heal-bot clerics, so I figured it wouldn't deviate too much from that. But you're right that it's terrible, I know that it's terrible, and our GM knows that it's terrible, but that's the character I put together. I just wish it more or less, you know, functioned as a role. One medipac per character per day just isn't much. I can perform surgery, but that takes forever, is messy, and still doesn't compare with people just using their second wind. Aside from second winds, healing is expensive and/or slow, which boggles my mind.
Its star wars. Where is healing fast or easy in star wars? But you can definitely optimize for being a healer. The medic in our group did a great job of patching us back together. This is not a system where you are supposed to stand in front of enemies and soak damage.

Binks
2012-01-30, 03:38 PM
I don't want to turn this into a debate about how powerful Jedi are in the system. The fact is, it's a fun system. The balance is not perfect, but the OP wasn't asking about that. So this will be my last post on the matter of Jedi power level in Saga.

In response to UtF being an attack system in disguise - You're absolutely right, UtF is every bit an attack system in disguise as a skill. As are persuasion and deception. All three can be broken fairly easily at low levels. The thing is, however, that it's oddly enough less broken at higher levels. Jedi are kind of like reverse 3.5 wizards, at low levels they can be the most powerful party member by far, but at higher levels they drop back to being more average. UtF goes up at most around 12 points from levels 2-20 (assuming you focus at level 1) whereas atk bonuses can go up double that easy (+19 BaB on a soldier alone, discounting +2 from increasing dex, and any weapon focus or other feats/talents). Personally I play mostly around level 10, which is about where UtF with focus is equal to a soldier's BaB so it evens out nicely.

But yes, if you play solely low level, UtF is overpowered in Saga edition (although I would note that you don't have to be a Jedi to break UtF, any character with an extra feat or 2 can do it too :P).

In response to the CT killer build (one shot vader) - Yeah, that one is a problem. I have a player in a game who's using that build (he told me what he was doing and I told him it was fine, I was fully aware of what it could do going into the game, so not his fault) and it's a bit overpowered. That said, enemies with Equilibrium, Shake it Off, or just high defenses can still own a CT killer. Also, with the errata, anyone with a good shield/DR system is safe because the main talents (hunter's mark and the other one) have to do damage to move down the condition track. It is the kind of build I would ban in the future, and it's the only Saga build I would currently ban in any game.

In response to Jedi defenses - And that's when you send the large groups of mooks in :P. That -5 to UtF for each deflect really starts hurting surprisingly fast :P.

Mystify - How are you using Battle Meditation for a guaranteed crit?

Mystify
2012-01-30, 03:46 PM
Mystify - How are you using Battle Meditation for a guaranteed crit?

Maybe it wasn't battle mediation, but there was some jedi/force ability where you went into a trance, and the next roll after doing it would be a nat 20. I don't have any of the books here so I can't look it up, and I'm not even positive which book it was from.

Binks
2012-01-30, 03:56 PM
Maybe it wasn't battle mediation, but there was some jedi/force ability where you went into a trance, and the next roll after doing it would be a nat 20. I don't have any of the books here so I can't look it up, and I'm not even positive which book it was from.

Jedi Master, Serenity. Terrible to use in a fight as it makes you flat-footed and unable to act for a round. Fantastic for certain things, but not a good option when fighting (also you have to be at least level 13 or 14 to get it, since Jedi Master is one of the highest level requirement prestige classes). It's from the Core Rulebook btw.

Mystify
2012-01-30, 04:08 PM
Jedi Master, Serenity. Terrible to use in a fight as it makes you flat-footed and unable to act for a round. Fantastic for certain things, but not a good option when fighting (also you have to be at least level 13 or 14 to get it, since Jedi Master is one of the highest level requirement prestige classes). It's from the Core Rulebook btw.

Thats it. However, just because it leaves you flat footed and unable to act doesn't mean its its useless in combat. Risky, definitely, but if you pull it off it can destroy a boss. Not real useful against mooks, at least not with a lightsaber. You need good teamwork to execute it. All in all, its the most balanced auto-crit I have seen.

raxies94
2012-01-30, 04:45 PM
Since skill focus seems to be a real problem, I'll probably suggest that we put some kind of limiter on it.

Ivellius
2012-01-30, 05:20 PM
Its star wars. Where is healing fast or easy in star wars? But you can definitely optimize for being a healer. The medic in our group did a great job of patching us back together. This is not a system where you are supposed to stand in front of enemies and soak damage.

Yep, it's in-genre. But it runs somewhat counter to the D&D assumptions on which this game is based as well as what I was hoping. If you min-maxed healing, you could probably get around a +15 at 1st level, which will heal 11 points of damage on an average roll. By contrast, I felt like I needed Dexterity so I wouldn't be worthless in combat, Constitution so I wouldn't die, and Charisma so I could talk to people and be a "Noble," so I ended up with a Wis penalty. Because you can get such high bonuses with skills at low levels, I figured I'd still be okay. Not really. My average check at 1st level would heal 5 hp. Is that my fault? Well, somewhat--a Wis-poor Cleric wouldn't help much, either.

Now in a system in which an average character starts with ~20 hp, I guess 11 hp is pretty okay. It's comparable with D&D 3.5 at first level, where a CLW will get you +5.5 on an average roll (saying ~10 is average hp there). But it doesn't scale very well. At 2nd level hit points go up, and your skill check gets +1. So you only keep pace if people a) don't have a Constitution modifier and/or b) roll the minimum on their hit dice. You can also do this only once per character per day, and if you use one on yourself it's at a -5 penalty, so you're not going to do much for yourself, either.

I suppose you're not supposed to stand around and soak hits, but if Treat Injury is so weak, why encourage players to take it? Sure, Heal is fairly useless in D&D, but none of the skills save UMD/UPD are very good there. I'll take your word for Persuasion and Deception in their combat applications, but that does nothing to address the gap between useful and useless trained skills. Just adds a few more on one side.*

And if you put limitations on Skill Focus, then medics are pretty well done for. Encourage your players not to use them and instead try to get second winds, which are nifty.

*Yeah, I know you don't have to be a Jedi to use Force powers. So...it's okay if every class can be a wizard with a feat or two, I guess? It's still not a good use of the skill system.

Mystify
2012-01-30, 05:37 PM
Yep, it's in-genre. But it runs somewhat counter to the D&D assumptions on which this game is based as well as what I was hoping. If you min-maxed healing, you could probably get around a +15 at 1st level, which will heal 11 points of damage on an average roll. By contrast, I felt like I needed Dexterity so I wouldn't be worthless in combat, Constitution so I wouldn't die, and Charisma so I could talk to people and be a "Noble," so I ended up with a Wis penalty. Because you can get such high bonuses with skills at low levels, I figured I'd still be okay. Not really. My average check at 1st level would heal 5 hp. Is that my fault? Well, somewhat--a Wis-poor Cleric wouldn't help much, either.

Now in a system in which an average character starts with ~20 hp, I guess 11 hp is pretty okay. It's comparable with D&D 3.5 at first level, where a CLW will get you +5.5 on an average roll (saying ~10 is average hp there). But it doesn't scale very well. At 2nd level hit points go up, and your skill check gets +1. So you only keep pace if people a) don't have a Constitution modifier and/or b) roll the minimum on their hit dice. You can also do this only once per character per day, and if you use one on yourself it's at a -5 penalty, so you're not going to do much for yourself, either.

I suppose you're not supposed to stand around and soak hits, but if Treat Injury is so weak, why encourage players to take it? Sure, Heal is fairly useless in D&D, but none of the skills save UMD/UPD are very good there. I'll take your word for Persuasion and Deception in their combat applications, but that does nothing to address the gap between useful and useless trained skills. Just adds a few more on one side.*

And if you put limitations on Skill Focus, then medics are pretty well done for. Encourage your players not to use them and instead try to get second winds, which are nifty.

*Yeah, I know you don't have to be a Jedi to use Force powers. So...it's okay if every class can be a wizard with a feat or two, I guess? It's still not a good use of the skill system.
Second winds are important, but the heal skill is still important to have. The system is balanced around this.

Binks
2012-01-30, 05:43 PM
Fastflesh medpacs are good at low levels if you can get your hands on them (ie if your GM has Threats of the Galaxy and allows content from that book). A +2 bonus is nothing to laugh at after all.

Let's see. Useful skills in Saga (11):
UtF (duh)
Persuasion (You wouldn't believe the kind of things you can get away with with a good persuasion check and some RP. Very much a GM dependent skill, however)
Deception ("I'm actually an Imperial Officer in disguise. We're infiltrating the Rebel forces." Also GM dependent)
Use Computer (Hack the world! GM dependent)
Mechanics (disable traps and security systems, overall game type dependent)
Acrobatics (tumbling is good. Acrobatic Strike + tumbling is better :P. +2 is nothing to sneeze at, especially with maneuverability. Only good for melee characters really, but the falling damage reduction is nice)
Initiative (do I really need to explain?)
Perception (ditto)
Pilot (genre dependent, but if there's any vehicle combat in your game it's nice)
Treat Injury (a focused medic can do some crazy things around level 8 when surgery starts healing everyone automatically every 5 minutes of downtime :P)
Stealth (depends on GM, and can become annoying enough to get banned)

Less useful skills (8):
Climb
Endurance (genre dependent, but survival genre is rarer in Saga)
Gather Information (depends on your GM. If persuasion, deception and use computer are less used this can jump up but it's generally better to RP it out from what I've seen)
Jump
Knowledge (cover the spectrum from useful to fantastic, completely dependent on the world and your GM. The few 'guaranteed uses' just aren't that great IMHO)
Ride
Survival (see endurance)
Swim

Not a terrible balance, and some of the less useful ones can go up if used properly with a good GM. Certainly not the 'there are only 3 good skills' system you seem to be saying it is.

TheCountAlucard
2012-01-30, 05:51 PM
Some skills can be made more worth it as a droid. For one, you can swap out your skills if you have the right software packages, so if you just buy a bunch of 'em, you can plug 'n' play the right skills for whenever you need them.

Jump can fun as a droid; combining it with jump servos and magnetic feet can make for some awesome hijinks, if you're creative enough. Though I guess at that point, you could just fly. :smalltongue:

Mystify
2012-01-30, 05:55 PM
Some skills can be made more worth it as a droid. For one, you can swap out your skills if you have the right software packages, so if you just buy a bunch of 'em, you can plug 'n' play the right skills for whenever you need them.

Jump can fun as a droid; combining it with jump servos and magnetic feet can make for some awesome hijinks, if you're creative enough. Though I guess at that point, you could just fly. :smalltongue:

Oh yes, droids are fun. I wanted to play one, but the GM strongly discouraged it :(They do have a sweet system for customizing them, though.

The_Snark
2012-01-30, 05:57 PM
Second winds are important, but the heal skill is still important to have. The system is balanced around this.
Indeed. Natural healing is pretty slow, and having a capable surgeon is important. You shouldn't just be thinking about medpacs; those are a quick emergency patch-up, the sort of thing you use to get an unconscious teammate back on his feet so he can run away/take/cover/use his second wind. Someone who can consistently make the DC 20 check to perform surgery can cut down recuperation times from a few days to a few hours (even less if you take the Surgical Expertise feat).

That said, "medic" should not be the entire point of a character. It takes a single trained skill and 1-2 feats to make a good medic; you can invest in more, but you don't need to and you'll probably get diminishing returns. A lot like being a pilot, actually: Starship Tactics and levels in the ace pilot class are helpful, but a light investment (Skill Focus: Pilot and Vehicular Combat) will make you good enough for most situations.

And as with pilots, there's a Medic prestige class that's actually fairly good, if you desperately want to be better at it.

Beleriphon
2012-01-30, 06:01 PM
A lot like being a pilot, actually: Starship Tactics and levels in the ace pilot class are helpful, but a light investment (Skill Focus: Pilot and Vehicular Combat) will make you good enough for most situations.

And as with pilots, there's a Medic prestige class that's actually fairly good, if you desperately want to be better at it.

This is very true, unless you want to focus on being that character don't worry too much about a heavy focus. A medic type character is probably better represented as a combat medic, they have training in emergency care and shooting dudes.

Mystify
2012-01-30, 06:06 PM
This is very true, unless you want to focus on being that character don't worry too much about a heavy focus. A medic type character is probably better represented as a combat medic, they have training in emergency care and shooting dudes.

Indeed, medic is a skill, not a character concept.

Ivellius
2012-01-30, 09:28 PM
Fastflesh medpacs are good at low levels if you can get your hands on them (ie if your GM has Threats of the Galaxy and allows content from that book). A +2 bonus is nothing to laugh at after all.

Let's see. Useful skills in Saga (11):
UtF (duh)
Persuasion (You wouldn't believe the kind of things you can get away with with a good persuasion check and some RP. Very much a GM dependent skill, however)
Deception ("I'm actually an Imperial Officer in disguise. We're infiltrating the Rebel forces." Also GM dependent)
Use Computer (Hack the world! GM dependent)
Mechanics (disable traps and security systems, overall game type dependent)
Acrobatics (tumbling is good. Acrobatic Strike + tumbling is better :P. +2 is nothing to sneeze at, especially with maneuverability. Only good for melee characters really, but the falling damage reduction is nice)
Initiative (do I really need to explain?)
Perception (ditto)
Pilot (genre dependent, but if there's any vehicle combat in your game it's nice)
Treat Injury (a focused medic can do some crazy things around level 8 when surgery starts healing everyone automatically every 5 minutes of downtime :P)
Stealth (depends on GM, and can become annoying enough to get banned)

Less useful skills (8):
Climb
Endurance (genre dependent, but survival genre is rarer in Saga)
Gather Information (depends on your GM. If persuasion, deception and use computer are less used this can jump up but it's generally better to RP it out from what I've seen)
Jump
Knowledge (cover the spectrum from useful to fantastic, completely dependent on the world and your GM. The few 'guaranteed uses' just aren't that great IMHO)
Ride
Survival (see endurance)
Swim

Not a terrible balance, and some of the less useful ones can go up if used properly with a good GM. Certainly not the 'there are only 3 good skills' system you seem to be saying it is.

Nah, I actually said there's one overwhelmingly good skill (Use the Force). Someone else added Deception and Persuasion, and as I have little system mastery I deferred to them. My character has one or both, I think, but in-combat uses are lacking (unless you can take feats or talents for it, which I think is possible, but I don't have). But you say they're GM-dependent, which really undermines your point. In-combat you have Acrobatics and possibly Ride or Pilot (why didn't they fold those two?); Perception and Initiative are nice, certainly, but the game seems a bit less about "rocket tag." If Treat Injury doesn't really come online until level 8, that doesn't help low-level medics who have to suffer through it.


Indeed. Natural healing is pretty slow, and having a capable surgeon is important....Someone who can consistently make the DC 20 check to perform surgery can cut down recuperation times from a few days to a few hours (even less if you take the Surgical Expertise feat).

That said, "medic" should not be the entire point of a character. It takes a single trained skill and 1-2 feats to make a good medic; you can invest in more, but you don't need to and you'll probably get diminishing returns. A lot like being a pilot, actually: Starship Tactics and levels in the ace pilot class are helpful, but a light investment (Skill Focus: Pilot and Vehicular Combat) will make you good enough for most situations.

And as with pilots, there's a Medic prestige class that's actually fairly good, if you desperately want to be better at it.


Indeed, medic is a skill, not a character concept.

Hm...is there a reason that "medic" shouldn't be a character concept? I really want to know. I knew that the group wouldn't have a traditional healer and figured it'd be helpful. And I thought a single feat (Skill Focus) would be enough investment to make it useful and wanted to focus secondarily on supporting my allies with other means (through the Inspiration talent tree, I think it is? I also have a feat that lets my allies shoot people who shoot me). I also wanted to be good at talking to people. I'm now level 3, and at no point have I felt like I contribute as much as I should. Performing surgery, in fact, even treating injuries without medpacs, requires carrying around heavy gear, and I have a low strength score. If you had these stats, how would you arrange them for a medic?

9, 14, 16, 11, 9, 15

One of the 9s went into Wisdom, because I wanted Dex and Con for combat and high Cha for talking to people. I felt like the extra skill from Intelligence would be better than a -1 on Treat Injury, and there didn't seem to be any other obvious synergies for the ability. So at 1st level I had a +9 bonus on my checks, which means I would heal 5 hit points with a roll of 10, could hit a max of 15 (and fail 30% of checks completely).

So...maybe building a medic is easy with system mastery, but I don't have it. How would you achieve my concept that was trying to be medic and yet more than that?

TheCountAlucard
2012-01-30, 09:52 PM
Believe me, a Crime Lord can make Deception and Persuasion terrifying in combat.

Friv
2012-01-30, 09:59 PM
Nah, I actually said there's one overwhelmingly good skill (Use the Force). Someone else added Deception and Persuasion, and as I have little system mastery I deferred to them. My character has one or both, I think, but in-combat uses are lacking (unless you can take feats or talents for it, which I think is possible, but I don't have).

If you don't take any feats or talents for it, Use The Force isn't too hot, either. It takes one of your starting feats just to be able to have it (Jedi get it for free, but that means they don't get the starting feat that another class gets), and then all you get is a small selection of neat, but not powerful, tricks. You need a second feat to start getting actual Force powers, and you need to have both Wisdom and Charisma to make use of them.


One of the 9s went into Wisdom, because I wanted Dex and Con for combat and high Cha for talking to people. I felt like the extra skill from Intelligence would be better than a -1 on Treat Injury, and there didn't seem to be any other obvious synergies for the ability. So at 1st level I had a +9 bonus on my checks, which means I would heal 5 hit points with a roll of 10, could hit a max of 15 (and fail 30% of checks completely).

Well, there are several things, here.

The first is that, yeah, if you are actively not good at Wisdom medicine should probably not be your primary trait. In your case, you wanted a combat-skilled smooth-talking medic, which is difficult to do with that spread. Hell, almost everything is difficult to do with that spread at low-level. Around Level 4, once you can start evening out all of those odd numbers, it would start looking up.

The second is that you've forgotten the +2 bonus for having medkits, which is always nice. Not a huge deal, but it means that you only fail combat first aid on a roll of 3 or less, and your bonus is up to +11. At that point, an average result heals 7 HP, which is a lot better than a CLW would be.

The third is that combat first aid isn't really the main way that people should be recovering HP in Saga. Second winds do a good job for that, and your ability to double peoples' natural healing rates will be pretty useful. A little later, once you can do it a bit more reliably, the same will be said for your ability to surgery people back a host of health.

Talents and feats are also always an option. Core-only, there's not much you can use feat-wise for a medic, but there are several Talents that can help you out. A Jedi buddy with the right Talent can give you a +5 to your roll, which is great for surgery but not so hot in combat. If you're a Noble, the Bolster Ally power just flat-out helps heal someone, although it's not too hot at Level 1. Scoundrels can take Fool's Luck to spend a Force Point for +5 to all skills for one encounter, or take Knack to reroll one Skill check per day.

Finally, when you're in a tight spot, there are always force points.

*EDIT* Okay, if I were going to be building a core-only character, and I wanted "Medic" to be their core character concept, and I got your rolls, my Level 1 would probably look like this:

Strength 9, Dexterity 16, Constitution 14, Intelligence 11, Wisdom 15, Charisma 9

Race: Human works best, but it's not really critical. Ithorian or Mon Calamari could be fun, and Trandoshan would be pretty funny.
Class: Noble to start
Starting Talent: Bolster Ally - lets you move each ally up the condition track once per fight, plus a bit of bonus HP. Very medic-y.
Starting Feats: Skill Focus (Treat Injury), Strong In The Force.
Starting Equipment: Carry a medical kit around with you, and maybe a pistol.

For medicine purposes, you now have a +12 bonus to your Treat Injury, increasing to a +14 with medical equipment. You now effectively heal 1d20+1 HP for each of your allies, once per day. In a real emergency, you can heal 1d20+1d8+1 HP. At Level 1, you're still not really focused enough for surgery to be totally safe, but if you have anyone around to lend a hand, it'll get that way soon.

At level 2, you become a Scoundrel, pick up Knack to reroll bad medical rolls, and stay a scoundrel forever for better knacks. At Level 3, Force Boon pushes your Force Points up to 8+half level each level, letting you get better results more often. At Level 4, you pick up Fool's Luck, and your Wisdom goes up to 16 and something else goes up however you like - at this point, you're up to a +17 on your First Aid, with a free reroll each day and the ability to spend a force point when fights start to push that to +22.

That enough medic for ya? :)

*DOUBLE EDIT* Oh, didn't know about that errata. Forget Fool's Luck, then. Take Sneak Attacks or Dastardly Strikes instead, and explain how your intense knowledge of anatomy makes you really good at hurting people if you need to.

Mystify
2012-01-30, 10:06 PM
one thing about use the force: jedis can use it for almost anything, if they take the right feat/talent for it. So they have one skill that they wantto pump, then they can apply it to other things as well. want to be a great pilot? Be a jedi, and take the ability to use the force in place a of pilot skills.

It might be introduced in other books, but jedi can do a trance that heals them at a supernatural rate. Yet another reason they tend to be better...

Dienekes
2012-01-30, 10:08 PM
Nah, I actually said there's one overwhelmingly good skill (Use the Force). Someone else added Deception and Persuasion, and as I have little system mastery I deferred to them. My character has one or both, I think, but in-combat uses are lacking (unless you can take feats or talents for it, which I think is possible, but I don't have). But you say they're GM-dependent, which really undermines your point. In-combat you have Acrobatics and possibly Ride or Pilot (why didn't they fold those two?); Perception and Initiative are nice, certainly, but the game seems a bit less about "rocket tag." If Treat Injury doesn't really come online until level 8, that doesn't help low-level medics who have to suffer through it.

If you want to max it, focusing Persuasion can make you one scary bugger, look over the talents and feats for it. You can control a battlefield to have the world cower in fear.


Hm...is there a reason that "medic" shouldn't be a character concept? I really want to know. I knew that the group wouldn't have a traditional healer and figured it'd be helpful. And I thought a single feat (Skill Focus) would be enough investment to make it useful and wanted to focus secondarily on supporting my allies with other means (through the Inspiration talent tree, I think it is? I also have a feat that lets my allies shoot people who shoot me). I also wanted to be good at talking to people. I'm now level 3, and at no point have I felt like I contribute as much as I should. Performing surgery, in fact, even treating injuries without medpacs, requires carrying around heavy gear, and I have a low strength score. If you had these stats, how would you arrange them for a medic?

This is Star Wars. Even the 14 year old princesses who in all probability has never held a gun shoots mooks like a boss. That's why a pure medic would probably not be the greatest of choices. Though personally I'd go for medic -> buffing. As noble make some of the best buffers.


9, 14, 16, 11, 9, 15

One of the 9s went into Wisdom, because I wanted Dex and Con for combat and high Cha for talking to people. I felt like the extra skill from Intelligence would be better than a -1 on Treat Injury, and there didn't seem to be any other obvious synergies for the ability. So at 1st level I had a +9 bonus on my checks, which means I would heal 5 hit points with a roll of 10, could hit a max of 15 (and fail 30% of checks completely).

So...maybe building a medic is easy with system mastery, but I don't have it. How would you achieve my concept that was trying to be medic and yet more than that?

If I was focusing on Noble medic?
Str 9, Dex 9, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 16
It's a bit odd taking a penalty to the stat you're trying to focus. Now ultimately charisma is more useful in my opinion than wis so I'd put the 16 there.

Starting Noble already get's the most skills, going human gives another so really 11 works fine. Since you didn't want to focus on combat put the 9's in the combat abilities, and focus elsewhere. Now you know the basics of making a medic so we go straight to what your other strengths are. A dip in Scoundrel gives Fool's Luck which can give you a +5 bonus to any skill in a pinch (errata says you can't mix with Skill Focus unfortunately) to make you even better at any leftover skills). Other than that Influence Talent Tree can help you out in combat with Presence, Weaken Resolve, Demand Surrender gives you something to do. Or the Inspiration talent tree Bolster Ally is useful and has a very medic feel and can lead to Ignite Fervor and others. Or very fun if you really don't want to be a non-combatant grab Double Agent voila you're untouchable.

Potential Prestige classes: Medic, Officer, Corporate Agent, Crime Lord, and Charlatan all have potential


one thing about use the force: jedis can use it for almost anything, if they take the right feat/talent for it. So they have one skill that they wantto pump, then they can apply it to other things as well. want to be a great pilot? Be a jedi, and take the ability to use the force in place a of pilot skills.

Yeah at the cost of numerous feats and talents. Sure you can make yourself 1 skill dependent, but it's highly inadvisable. There are much more useful things you can be doing than trying to be a noble but worse.

Mystify
2012-01-30, 10:17 PM
Yeah at the cost of numerous feats and talents. Sure you can make yourself 1 skill dependent, but it's highly inadvisable. There are much more useful things you can be doing than trying to be a noble but worse.
If you are trying to be a pilot, its better to just be a pilot. But when you have a skill you are already maxing and gearing stats for, taking one ability to be awesome at another skill is quite a bargain.

Dienekes
2012-01-30, 10:30 PM
If you are trying to be a pilot, its better to just be a pilot. But when you have a skill you are already maxing and gearing stats for, taking one ability to be awesome at another skill is quite a bargain.

Taking one or two talents to gain skills your party cannot live without may be worthwhile. Maybe. 2 talents is a pretty big investment, you only get 10ish during the entire game. You really don't want to frivolously spend them just to try and be a skill monkey with the class that starts out with the least amount of skills known

Binks
2012-01-30, 11:09 PM
Believe me, a Crime Lord can make Deception and Persuasion terrifying in combat.
Oh yes. Crime Lords make Persuasion terrifying in combat. There are also plenty of talents that make Deception very usable in combat. And talents that make stealth usable in combat, initiative usable in combat (make the enemy flat-footed), perception usable in combat (spot weaknesses), know (tactics) usable in combat (officer PrC) and more. I was just speaking of the default uses.


one thing about use the force: jedis can use it for almost anything, if they take the right feat/talent for it. So they have one skill that they wantto pump, then they can apply it to other things as well. want to be a great pilot? Be a jedi, and take the ability to use the force in place a of pilot skills.

It might be introduced in other books, but jedi can do a trance that heals them at a supernatural rate. Yet another reason they tend to be better...

Deception, Perception, Initiative, Persuasion and Pilot. A good list, but each one takes one of your very limited number of talents.

On the topic of medics, I had a hilariously awesome Droid Medic I played in a Dawn of Defiance campaign. Noble1/Scoundrel6/Medic4 before the game ended (played him from 1 straight to 11 before the game died out). I had fun with him at every level, being the team medic, translator droid, and representative murder bot was awesome.

At level 11 he could perform surgery on 2 people every 5 minutes (surgical expertise + improved surgery medical secret) healing con mod*level + 4 hp (min 15hp if they had a 12 or less con, 26 if they had a 14-15, and our 20con tank loved me :P). I pretty much never failed the check (+16 mod and reroll take better, not to mention FPs). I was also a sneak attack pistol focused scoundrel (using medical knowledge to cause extra injuries to enemies, he was not a nice medic :P).

Medic can work as a concept, but you can't just be a healbot if you want to have fun (which applies in d&d too I suppose), you need another purpose.

...and now I want to play S-5YQ again...:smallfrown:

Velaryon
2012-01-31, 01:17 AM
One thing that I don't think has been done in this topic yet is to compare Saga with the other Star Wars RPG games that have been made. I don't have any experience with the old West End Games RPG, but Saga blows away the previous d20 Star Wars game in almost every conceivable way.

My thoughts on the previous d20 game, spoilered for length:
The only base classes that I found viable for more than a couple levels were Jedi Consular, Jedi Guardian, and Soldier. The rest of the classes were either good for a dip (Scoundrel, maybe Tech Specialist if you really wanted to mastercraft), or not useful at all (Fringer). And forget being a competent Force-user if you're not one of the Jedi classes. Force Adepts were junk, and if you wanted to be a Force-user with one of the other classes you pretty much couldn't do it at all.

Lightsabers were stupid broken for Jedi, gaining bonus damage dice as you leveled that skyrocketed their damage in comparison to any other weapon. Deflecting was broken in the opposite way, being completely unusable because a) it only worked against attacks that missed you anyway, b) the attack rolls had to come within 4 of your AC so it was actually harder to deflect the shots of weaker opponents, and c) it took away actions from your next round so you were effectively pinned in place if you deflected anything.

The Force system was terrible, as most Force powers were skills that you had to spend ranks in. This meant that Force users basically had no skill points to spare for anything else, and still couldn't really be capable in more than a handful of Force abilities. Oh, and also you had to spend hit points to fuel your powers.

Worst of all, the vitality/wounds system basically guaranteed that, without houseruling, most characters were never going to reach high level because critical hits were often fatal.

So in comparison to all that, Saga is an amazing improvement in terms of not only playability and balance, but in modeling the Star Wars universe as well.

Now then, my thoughts on the system itself:

Skill Focus, particularly as it applies to Use the Force, is definitely overpowering at low levels. In contrast though, because you add your full level to defenses and only half to skill checks, it becomes less and less effective the higher level you get, relative to equal-level opponents that is.

One house rule I am considering is to change Skill Focus so that it applies your full character level to that particular skill instead of one half, and instead of granting a static bonus. Thus, a Force-user with a 16 in Charisma and Skill Focus: Use the Force would have a +9 to their check at 1st level - still a bit higher than most attack rolls but better than the +13 they would have normally. At level 20, assuming Charisma 21 from ability score increases, they would have +30, as opposed to +25, which keeps pace better with defenses at that level.

As far as damage potential in combat goes, I can vouch that a Soldier grabbing the right feats and talents can keep pace with Jedi just fine. My current Saga character is a Mandalorian Soldier/Elite Trooper who specializes in a heavy repeating blaster. Even with the attack penalty for not bracing the weapon, I still consistently outdo the two Jedi in the party in terms of pure damage. Unfortunately it came at the cost of versatility, as pretty much all my feats and talents went into boosting my damage potential. Still though, even without as high a degree of specialization as I took, it's possible to do quite respectable damage without being a Jedi.

raxies94
2012-01-31, 01:26 AM
Update for all interested: We had a short trial run tonight. I like to think it went fairly well. Our biggest problem was simply the fact that we don't know all the details yet and had to look up several things. We looked up dying and unconsciousness and also had to figure out if there was such a thing as a +1 blaster rifle (No. I assume Boba Fett would have one if there were). My friend DM'd and also played, and we brought another friend in to see what he thought. It was my friend's first time DM'ing, so he's a bit rough around the edges, but he was quite excited about the whole thing. He's playing a "gray" Jedi and just got a dark side power, to which I informed him that my Duros soldier would shoot him if he went too far to the dark side.

Anyways, thanks for all the help guys. Quick question though: In the Threats to the galaxy book, the entries don't appear to have a difference between "attack" and "full attack." I know that "full attack" doesn't really exist as it does in 3.5, but can a creature just move and use three attacks all at the same time? I called bull****, but upon seeing the lack of difference I wasn't sure. Anybody know?

Seatbelt
2012-01-31, 01:30 AM
Saga does away with the full attack action. You get a standard action, in which you can make a basic attack. You can take feats and talents that give you more attacks on a standard action. But unless it specifically says "as a full round action" then yes, you can hack away. Star Wars encourages movement and a dynamic battlefield.

Dienekes
2012-01-31, 01:36 AM
Saga does away with the full attack action. You get a standard action, in which you can make a basic attack. You can take feats and talents that give you more attacks on a standard action. But unless it specifically says "as a full round action" then yes, you can hack away. Star Wars encourages movement and a dynamic battlefield.

I'm pretty sure all the big methods of getting multi-attacks (Double Attack, Triple Attack, Dual Weapon Mastery) all specify as full-round actions.

raxies94
2012-01-31, 01:42 AM
I'm pretty sure all the big methods of getting multi-attacks (Double Attack, Triple Attack, Dual Weapon Mastery) all specify as full-round actions.

That's how I'm reading it too. My big question is whether enemies with none of those feats can just walk up to you and make three attacks on the same turn. The specific creature we had a problem with is the Corellian Sand Panther.

Battleship789
2012-01-31, 03:57 AM
Update for all interested: We had a short trial run tonight. I like to think it went fairly well. Our biggest problem was simply the fact that we don't know all the details yet and had to look up several things. We looked up dying and unconsciousness and also had to figure out if there was such a thing as a +1 blaster rifle (No. I assume Boba Fett would have one if there were). My friend DM'd and also played, and we brought another friend in to see what he thought. It was my friend's first time DM'ing, so he's a bit rough around the edges, but he was quite excited about the whole thing. He's playing a "gray" Jedi and just got a dark side power, to which I informed him that my Duros soldier would shoot him if he went too far to the dark side.

Anyways, thanks for all the help guys. Quick question though: In the Threats to the galaxy book, the entries don't appear to have a difference between "attack" and "full attack." I know that "full attack" doesn't really exist as it does in 3.5, but can a creature just move and use three attacks all at the same time? I called bull****, but upon seeing the lack of difference I wasn't sure. Anybody know?

Technically there is heavily modified equipment that is comparable(ish) to a +1 weapon (or higher), but you need Starships of the Galaxy (the Tech Specialist feat) and/or Scum and Villainy (Superior Tech feat and equipment modification rules) to actually use them.

On attacking multiple times: all of the feats that are being discussed (Double/Triple Attack, Dual Weapon Mastery) require a "full attack action" which is just a subset of the Full-Round Action (specifics on pg 154-155 of CR). For beasts: on a Standard action, only one natural weapon. On a Full, then they can attack with all natural weapons at no penalty. (pg 274 under Natural Weapons).

Good to hear that it is going well! :smallbiggrin:

Alejandro
2012-01-31, 01:35 PM
That's how I'm reading it too. My big question is whether enemies with none of those feats can just walk up to you and make three attacks on the same turn. The specific creature we had a problem with is the Corellian Sand Panther.

Barring special stuff, no. Taking more than one attack is a full round action, which means you can only take that attack. A melee character or enemy will need to start their turn already within reach of the target to be attacked, a missile one will not, although they will not be able to move, or do anything else, again barring special stuff.

Alejandro
2012-01-31, 01:37 PM
Update for all interested: We had a short trial run tonight. I like to think it went fairly well. Our biggest problem was simply the fact that we don't know all the details yet and had to look up several things. We looked up dying and unconsciousness and also had to figure out if there was such a thing as a +1 blaster rifle (No. I assume Boba Fett would have one if there were). My friend DM'd and also played, and we brought another friend in to see what he thought. It was my friend's first time DM'ing, so he's a bit rough around the edges, but he was quite excited about the whole thing. He's playing a "gray" Jedi and just got a dark side power, to which I informed him that my Duros soldier would shoot him if he went too far to the dark side.

Yes, you can have a "+1 rifle." Get your hands on the errata sourcebook, that puts Tech Specialist back in as a Scoundrel talent tree. These talents (and feats) allow a character to permanently upgrade things. A weapon can be given a permanent +1 to hit, for example. My Saga PC has a heavy blaster pistol that another PC improved, since she is a Tech Specialist.

As for the dark side, every time the Jedi in question uses that dark side power, he will get a dark side point. Once he has those = his Wisdom score, he falls and becomes an NPC (usually.) They can be moderate to hard to get rid of once you have them.

Mystify
2012-01-31, 01:41 PM
MY GM decided to throw out all the weapon upgrading rules, saying "If you can do it, then every enemy will have upgraded weapons, and that would disrupt the game balance". Bleh.

Alejandro
2012-01-31, 01:44 PM
MY GM decided to throw out all the weapon upgrading rules, saying "If you can do it, then every enemy will have upgraded weapons, and that would disrupt the game balance". Bleh.

Apparently your GM is bad at math. If the PCs have upgraded weapons, and the major enemies have upgraded weapons, then they are equal, just as they were when no one had upgraded weapons.

And not every enemy would have them. It costs a minimum of 1000 cr to upgrade a weapon, and sometimes way more. That doesn't make it viable for, say, stormtroopers, when the same 1000 cr would buy another entire blaster rifle. Or mooks, thugs, and other minions, unless they have a wealthy patron who provides their equipment...which makes perfect sense. If I was a rich crime boss, I'd splurge on good gear for my guardians.

Mystify
2012-01-31, 02:10 PM
Apparently your GM is bad at math. If the PCs have upgraded weapons, and the major enemies have upgraded weapons, then they are equal, just as they were when no one had upgraded weapons.

And not every enemy would have them. It costs a minimum of 1000 cr to upgrade a weapon, and sometimes way more. That doesn't make it viable for, say, stormtroopers, when the same 1000 cr would buy another entire blaster rifle. Or mooks, thugs, and other minions, unless they have a wealthy patron who provides their equipment...which makes perfect sense. If I was a rich crime boss, I'd splurge on good gear for my guardians.
But we have to spend resources upgrading those weapons, wheras he was going to give everyone upgraded weapons on the principle that if you can do it, everyone would have it.
I argued that most weapons are mass produced stock models, and this is a weapon expert going in, and manually making modifications and alterations by hand. You can't equip your entire army with hand-modified weapons.
In particular, the upgrade that increased the crit range of melee weapons. He said that it would turn very lethal for the party.
They also said that it messed up their weapon categories.
if I remember correctly, there were pistols, carbines, and rifles. each size larger hada dice step more damage. Pistols are easy to conceal and use one handed, rifles hit hard and had a longer range, and carbines had a foldable stock so you could use them either way.
One upgrade was a foldable stock for rifles, which they objected to because it "made the other weapons pointless, since you can just have a foldable stock on the rifle".
Completely ignoring that a weapon has limited upgrade slots, and hence you could do other things with the rifle if you didn't put on the foldable stock.
This is the same GM that I had to fight with to let me dual wield, since "You don't see them doing that in the movies, and if you could everyone could do it", despite the clearly laid out dual wielding feats. I eventually convinced them that there was enough investment involved that not everyone should do it, and hence if I specialize in it, I should be able to do it. I then had to argue that you can mix dual wielding with double strike, even though the rules clearly allowed it.

Alejandro
2012-01-31, 02:16 PM
This is the same GM that I had to fight with to let me dual wield, since "You don't see them doing that in the movies, and if you could everyone could do it", despite the clearly laid out dual wielding feats. I eventually convinced them that there was enough investment involved that not everyone should do it, and hence if I specialize in it, I should be able to do it. I then had to argue that you can mix dual wielding with double strike, even though the rules clearly allowed it.

I hate to use prequels, but you really need to toss these in your GM's face:

1:40 mark:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQTzGzVSHec

Also, Darth Maul is a dual wielder. General Grievous is a quad wielder, for Christ's sake.

Mystify
2012-01-31, 02:18 PM
I hate to use prequels, but you really need to toss these in your GM's face:

1:40 mark:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQTzGzVSHec

Also, Darth Maul is a dual wielder.
Yes, I pointed out that scene. He pointed out that it failed pretty quickly. I told him he wasn't trained in it.

He didn't have the same objections to a double weapon, but I was playing a small jedi, and he was not willing to extrapolate a small double lightsaber.

Alejandro
2012-01-31, 02:19 PM
How about Jango Fett repeatedly dual wielding pistols? That seemed to work well, considering he did a fair job of kicking Obi-wan's ass in one of the few good parts of Attack of the Clones.

Seatbelt
2012-02-01, 10:18 AM
Sounds like your DM is trying to keep people from "power gaming" and has a screwy conception of what that means. More damage is not the way you power game in Saga. You ignore damage completely and target the condition track.

GungHo
2012-02-01, 12:15 PM
The thing is, however, that it's oddly enough less broken at higher levels. Jedi are kind of like reverse 3.5 wizards, at low levels they can be the most powerful party member by far, but at higher levels they drop back to being more average.
This is because, as you later note, the other classes start getting into their toys, talents, and perks. At level 1, the force users are capable of breaking the game because no one else can match their suite of tricks, but once you get to level 10, everyone has a big suite of tricks and the force users are getting into some diminishing returns.

This is why I never start at level 1 when playing a SW game. I start around 5 or 6. I figure you've been trained as a Padawan/soldier/smuggler for a bit or you'd never be let loose. You don't get to play the bright eyed kid as easily, but it gives everyone a chance to do a few tricks and win the day. Hell, the only level 1 in the movies was Luke. Everyone else was bringing a lot more to the table, even Leia.


Let's see. Useful skills in Saga
I see what you're saying here, but I use survival/endurance a lot in my games because the guys are going to BFE and/or dealing with harsh environments. I've also canned jump, swim, and climb and put it into acrobatics and clump gather information and deception into a sort of streetwise skill. Generally, I like to empower my folks with "less is more" in the skill department by giving them more options to key off the same skill or logically combine w/ other skills (persuasion and streetwise working together to work a deal with a Hutt). It sometimes makes them able to do more things than they reasonably should, but if it's fun and they outsmart me, then so be it.

I realize I'm answering your issues w/ house rules... but just imparting what's worked for me.


Hm...is there a reason that "medic" shouldn't be a character concept?
No, it should be a character concept. It's a good concept and works very well in the genre. However, you're not going to be a cleric-style without writing a bunch of stuff into the system, house rule-ing more frequent medpac use, or allowing for surgery without the attendant equipment. As written, the system isn't made for you to sit and spam heals on people during a fight... not even with force powers can you really do that. You do your thing after a fight where you stablize people/push them up the condition track. During a fight, you shoot back or you buff/debuff through your other skills. There is no outer space Geneva, so it's not like you have to be a non-combatant.

The alternative is to play SWTOR, where they have heals to spam.

Mystify
2012-02-01, 01:56 PM
Sounds like your DM is trying to keep people from "power gaming" and has a screwy conception of what that means. More damage is not the way you power game in Saga. You ignore damage completely and target the condition track.
They are extremely paranoid about people breaking game. Apparently, they had made a houserule in a game they played years ago, where they had bumped the damage on the basic weapon by 1... which was enough to trigger morale effects when you rolled max damage. It turned the battlefield into a chaos of demoralized people. Now they are terrified of any alterations to a system.
Though they didn't even hesitate to allow force pikes. Which are basically lightsabers on a stick, and function as reach weapons that can attack near you, with normal base damage, no cost to use if you can use lightsabers. Yet they wouldn't scale down the double lightsaber so a small creature could use it. And they threw out random additions like the weapon modifications. It also took me forever to convince them that putting new players at level 1 in a level 11 game is not the proper way to do things. This was compounded by the lack of a stabilizing mechanic like 3.5 has, where you get more xp when you are a low level so you can catch up to the party.