Are/Should Force Users be the most powerful in RPGS?

Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by Dmasterman, Apr 14, 2009.

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  1. Dmasterman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2008
    star 1
    Anyway, as we all know, Force users, or mainly, Jedi and Sith, are usually made out to be the ultimate wizard+martial artist of the future, with lightsabers and magical abilities. But are they really the most powerful entities in the galaxy? They're sure made to look like it, usually they're only taken down by numerous enemies or a very powerful enemy. So what's the deal? Are Jedi/Sith just strong cookies, or are they just very well trained, and everyone else in the galaxy, except for a few are just weaker than them?

    So here's my questions.

    Are Jedi the most powerful in Star Wars RPG tabletop Games?

    I've personally never played the RPG by wizards of the coast, but I have tried the miniatures games. From what it seems the Jedi or Sith (or any other force types) are the most powerful class of the game. They seem to always have the higher edge over other classes or enemies. I was always under the impression that role playing games have multiple classes, that are balanced, and the class usually only out does another by the determination of a character's level of experience.

    Are they the most powerful in star wars rpg video games?

    As for the Star Wars RPG Video games (KOTOR, Star wars galaxies), this seems to also be the case. It seems that the force classes are just simply on a totally different level than the other classes, so player characters would technically want to choose or become a Jedi/Sith.

    So here's the deal. Are Jedi (force users in general) the strongest type of class in Star Wars RPGS? Or are they balanced out to where a bounty hunter, soldier, or something else, is capable of killing them, as long as their class is a higher level than them?

    Now, IF Jedi or force users are indeed a stronger or superior class to others, should the rpgs be like this?

    The pros, being that it seems like this in the movies, and it gives you the ultimate invincible Jedi feel. But the con is the imbalance created between classes.

    So, I just wanted to know if anyone could inform me on the real situation of Force Users, being superior in Star Wars rpgs.

    Thanks :)

  2. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    A jedi with a lightsaber active can cause serious whomping in an RPG. BUT there IS a Balance. Both Role-playing action and stats can seriously drain a Jedi Character. Jedi have to obey the rules of the force or gain Dark Side Points (DSP). While the DSP make the characters even more disgustingly powerful, ther is a risk of having the charactr go over to the dark side, at which point, they become Non-Player Characters controlled by the GM, and the player must make a new character. As an added penalty, we had a house rule that if your character went to the dark side, the new character could not have any jedi training until the old character had been defeated/destroyed/dealt with.
    Now, on a different note, I've posted an explanation of the cost of playing a jedi in the "Tales of the Jedi Sourcebook" thread which breaks down what it costs character to be a Jedi. In short, they sacrifice a great deal of attribute and skill points to be able to smack the enemy around the battlefield.
    Not all Jedi are combat monsters. Many specialize in diplomacy, negotiation, healing, and other powers.

    So yes, there is a balace in the RPGs.
  3. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    I'd change "Balance" for "Nerfing".

    Seriously... I think Jedi are under strength in the RPG. Not necessarily in WEG... but as Koohii said, there is a big cost which evens out the big dividend later on.

    In the WotC games, there's little cost and little benefit. Jedi are game breaking, whereas WEG kept it even with the DSP risk and initial commitment, the D20 game doesn't do their potential any justice.
  4. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    It's also shockingly complicated to learn, particularly as so many first time players want to play as a Jedi. I had to make it a house rule in my game that there are no jeid until I know how it works for myself.

    But from what I have seen they can get rather tanky at times.
  5. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Well, the D6 system is pretty simple. In fact, that's one of the things that makes it so great/versitile. very quick and easy to learn, even with jedi rules.
    As for the balance... imagine that if you wanted to make a jedi character, you had to pick 2 of your abilities that you could only roll 2d6 for instead of 3d6. That's the kind of sacrifice the WEG jedi player has to make if s/he wants to start with force powers.
    Still, your house rule sounds good.
    Whenever I start a new game, I prefer to start as a fighter/warrior type, just because the rules are usually much more streamlined, and I can pick up what other players are doing and learn the rules that way.
  6. FlareStorm Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2000
    star 6
    I think they are too powerful in the PT/Cartoon, they can take on armies on their own. Until the story needs them to be defeated, and they are by just rotten luck, and it feels stupid.

    D6 and d20 did a good job of scaling them back so others could shine. Probably wasn't canonically correct, but it was balanced. Saga buffed em up too much, which is one reason why I don't like it.

    Then there's the KOTOR videogame approach, which just let them be uber and compensated by throwing uber opponents at them (armies of Sith) Probably one of the reasons why they chose that era, so they could do it.
  7. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    And Han Solo stepped on the only dry twig on the entire moon of Endor.
    Mistakes happen.
    WEG D6 built in that possibility.

    As for cannon... Lucas rewrote cannon to suit himself. (Guess it's fair, since it's his universe, but still gonna gripe about it). Before the prequels, all authors were required to follow WEG source books as bible/cannon material in order to keep the universe consistant. Worked pretty well, even if most of the authors were horrible writers.
  8. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Not that it didn't stop WEG from introducing errors. Things like the Hapan Battle Dragon went from having a third the number of guns as a Star Destroyer but thrice the firing rate thanks to the rotating cannons (so it could exchange fire equally, but its smaller size meant that it couldn't slug it out for as long) to having a rotating cannon design to compensate for a cooling rate that was a third the rate of Republic and Imperial turbolasers. It essentially went from being a representation of Hapes apparent love for weaponry and overkill to something that was barely adequate.

    Despite having dozens and dozens of Star Destroyers they had jacked from the Empire every time Palpatine sent an excursion into the cluster, they apparently couldn't back-engineer the secret to their turbolasers not-sucking, despite the fact that the Aqualish managed to bootstrap their way to a space age military fleet with just an Old Republic scout vessel, and they weren't even running at a similar tech level. It becomes a plot point in the Yuuzhan Vong War, where the Republic finally hands Hapes the technology after inadvertently blowing up 2/3rds of the Hapan fleet by misfiring Centerpoint station, because apparently Hapes had spent the past 30+ years not reading the user's manual for their fleet of Star Destroyers. Oh those silly women with their brains that can't understand science.

    Of course, The Courtship of Princess Leia wasn't a very good book and I'm really not surprised that they didn't read it very well.

  9. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Warden, these are the same Imperials who do not have enough imagination except to build ANOTHER superweapon.
  10. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Wow, I'm even more glad I haven't read most of the EU.
    Courtship may no have been the best book, but it was hands down superior to most, expecially anything written by Kevin J Anderson. At least it had humor value and gave 3PO something to do.
  11. Dmasterman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2008
    star 1
    From what it seems, the D6 tabletop rpgs are balanced, but what about the video games, mmo's or the D20 WOTC rpg?
  12. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    Videogames don't give much choice, they're Jedi-centric or not, primarily from a single character's perspective.

    Only ones that aren't are the lego games. The delay between saber swings leaves the Jedi characters slightly at a disadvantage to the blaster wielders in the complete saga version.

    Will post more tomorrow!
  13. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Playing as a jedi in a computer game is an automatic passport to godhood, that's why it's so hard to play without your player character in the party. Like G0T0's yacht in KOTOR 2, that always takes me a few goes even with Kreia and Visas.
  14. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Lego Saga is nicely balanced at first, expecially in story mode.
    Once you get to free-play (where you can switch characters at will) and buy some of the power upgrades, they are slightly less balanced/jedi more powerful. The one character that rivals the jedi most for power is the boba/jango fett model, which can fly, use grappeling hooks, throw thermal detonators, shoot blasters, and (once you buy the upgrade) launch rockets.

    On a side note: Lego Indianna jones is awful. Lego Batman is pretty good. Lego Saga is probablly the best, except that they didn't make a PC version.
  15. Vrook_Lamar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2008
    star 4
    In Saga Edition, force users start out way ahead of everyone else if they take skill focus, and then end up about equal past mid-levels. There's also so many anti-force user abilities that it can be tough to be a force user.
  16. Akisa Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 2008
    I agree but also I have to add that once you get into the late levels high level the Force starts to wane as you can't break equal level defense. The only way to break defense is to complete Education Destiny. However unfortunately most DMs do one of two things; they don't use Destiny Rules or they have Destiny forfilled at the end of the campaign so benefits never come up. From what people have say about DoD (official campaign module) it's the later.
  17. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    So... I'm just looking through The Jedi Academy Training Manual. Excuse me if this isn't entirely related to this thread.

    Is it just me or have the NJO Jedi been nerfed?

    Aside from Luke and (for some reason) Mara Jade Skywalker, the stats seem a bit junk. Kyle Katarn level 14, Corran Horn level 13?

    Corran was statted at level 19 in RCR (IIRC), and I can't remember what Kyle was at in PotJ.

    I support making the gap between Luke/Yoda/Sidious and the others bigger, but this can be done without a detrimental effect on other characters surely? I thought that's what Destiny was partly for?

    So do we look at Epic Levels, or accept that these 'freaks' deserve stats that don't necessarily follow the build rules (as if they all do anyway!).
  18. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Maybe this is why 20 levels just isn't enough.
  19. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    Matt, I think one of the biggest reasons behind the level nerf, at least in the case of the Jedi, is that a lot of what the designer are likely looking at when creating the stats are how to accurately represent what the characters can do with the Force. With the Use the Force skill, characters can perform greater feats with the Force at much lower levels. With the Force divided up into multiple skills it required more levels to advanced force powers in addition to all the more mundane stuff a character needed.

    In addition, since skills increase automatically based on the level, fewer overall class levels are needed to effectively do things like pilot and slice and whatnot.
  20. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Back to the question. I gave it a little work and asked ym players.

    Actually split by systems.

    d6 - Yes. The possibility to boost certain abilities for free in certain situations is an adavtange making them cream of the crop, especially in combat.

    d20 - Here it gets tricky. The Level-system demands it´s price. A LVL1 Jedi is pretty much a bad joke. On LVL5-7 you begin to get some nice and interesting feats and skills that make you actually prety powerful when play out correct (mind-reading, farseeing) but maybe a not in combat, where a soldeir is pretty much a killing machine by then. When you reach LVL 17 - 20 you look are superior to a LVL 20 Noble or Soldier. Especially the feats becoming available by then are rule benders.

    Saga - Here it is a little confusing. All Lvl 20 guys are prety much on the smae height of power and force control and they all have similar stuff as far as I´ve seen . . . they are powerful but other classes have substantial abilities Jedi CANNOT posses. I dislike the system a lot for it´s treatment of the force and it´s obsession with simlicity.
  21. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I decided to copy/paste my description of Jedi skill costs from the other thread.

    "Yes, if you start as a jedi, each of your first 1D force powers cost one of your attribute dice. But once you have them, you could use your skill dice to improve them. Thus, your starting character would have 16 dice to split among 6 primary attributes (instead of the 18 everyone else had) but would have 1d of Control and 1D of Sense.
    From there you could add 2 of your 7 skill dice to each one to have 3D of Control and 3D of Sense, leaving you with 3D to add to other skills. Usually, Lightsaber Skill would gobble up 2D, which left the character with only 1D to use to improve 1 skill--a pretty serious investment, since improving an attibute was bordering on impossible (minimum 10 skill points but ususally 20 or 30 to add +1 pip to a 1D attribute, plus spending 6 months of Game Time out of commission while you improved that one stat) One die = 3 pips, so 30 to 90 skill points to counter EACH of the starting 1D put into a force power at character creation plus 18 months out of Game Time action.
    The most skill points any character has acquired in one of the campaigns I've been in is less than 200 over the course of over a year of gaming.
    Thus, that starting attribute die is extremely expensive.
    But, you start right off the bat being able to swing a lightsaber arround and cut through enemies like cheezewiz.

    The efficient use of skill points to make a jedi is to start force-sensative (which is free so long as your character obeys the laws of conduct--a role-playing factor) hope your GM is Generous enough to allow you to find a teacher early on or even to start with one, and spend the skill points over time to develop the powers. With a teacher, 3D of both Control and Sense would cost 58 skill points. That would take a very, very long time in the campaigns I've been in, but it would be possible. Without the teacher, 116 points."

    Continuing that thought, let's compare what a different character type could do.
    Let's take a human custom-built gunslinger type.
    Munchkining says to make Dex 4D and Str 4D, with 3D Per and 3D mech. Tec and Kno are both 2D
    Darwinism says to put 2D into Dodge (under dex) to ensure survival. Same for Blaster.
    Dodge and Blaser (which started at base Dex of 4D) are now 6D.
    Let's put 1D into Con (Per based), 1D into Repulsorlift Op, and 1D into Gunnery. All 3 of those skills are now 4D.
    With 58 skill points, let's do the following:
    Raise Dodge to 7D (costs 18). Same with Blaster (18).
    Raise Con to 5D (does a lot of lying to get past security) (12)
    Raise Gunnery to 4D+2 (8)
    Raise Security Systems (Tec based) to 2D+1 (2)
    In your typical round of Dodge & Shoot, this character is able to roll 6D for both actions, giving him an average of 21 to hit and avoid being shot. Typical Stormtroopers, even coordinating their actions, will only roll 14, +4 for each additional. Thus, on average, 4 storm troopers have to be coordinating fire to hit this guy, while he will easily peg one, and possiblly drop it.
    Alternately, he could shoot and fire twice at troopers too stupid to coordinate and hit two or shoot one twice ("guarenteed" to drop him).

    The jedi character with the same base stats will spend those points to get the 3D of Control and Sense has to spend 1 round turning on Lightsaber Combat power, then with a Lightsaber skill of 4D (unless he spends MORE points building that skill from base Dex), will have 6D to maybe hit (average roll of 21 is just over minimum to hit with lightsaber) and 6D to block incoming fire. But the lightsaber will do 8D of damage, where the blaster riffle will only do 5D.

    Without the teacher, the non-jedi will have Blaster and Dodge of 8D, making them crack shots--best in the star-system & famous--and 14 points to spend raising other skills. They can dodge and shoot 3 or 4 times (depending how confident the player feels), and drop 2-4 storm troopers (depending on luck and target allocation).
    And the jedi player will be struggling, spending all his skill points t
  22. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Here's another look at Jedi in D6.

    Munchkin jedi player wants to min-max his character.
    DEX 4D, STR 4D, everything else 2D. He starts with 1D of Control, and 1D of Sense.
    Munchkin then distributes his skill dice. He puts 2D into Lightsaber, 2D into Control, and 2D into Sense. His last 1D is added to Dodge. He now has Lightsaber of 6D, Dodge of 5D, Control 3D, and Sense 2D. To turn on his Lightsaber Combat power, he must first roll a 15 or better on 3D. Not impossible, but not guaranteed. It may take several rounds to do it. Then, with a 1D penalty for maintaining Control, he must roll 10 or better on 2D to activate Sense. Again, not impossible, but getting harder. THEN, he can do anything involving using a lightsaber and roll 9D for one action, or 8D for 2 actions (like block and attack). If he chooses to attack and dodge, he only rolls 2D to dodge (-1D for 2nd action, -2D for Control + Sense). Average of 2D is 7. Normally, blaster fire requires a 10 to dodge. He'd be better off blocking. BUT, what if someone threw a grenage near him? He can't "block", and so his only choice is dodge.
    Suppose he needs to access a computer? He has a mere 2D of computer operation. Same thing with piloting, knowing anything, understanding alien languages, Jedi History and Lore, and Gambling, Hiding, searching, and everything else.
    Meanwhile, the other characters are going to have skills that excel at in atleast one of those areas.
  23. Blithe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    Koohii, a Jedi use Concentration to make using Lightsaber Combat a whole lot easier. If he has 2D in Control, he he would be stupid for one of those six powers (2nd ed.) or four powers (2nd ed. R&E) to NOT be Concentration.

    I agree with everything else, of course. ;)

    But when you think about it, Concentration is a lightsiders cure-all. West End Games implies that it was one of the first, if not the the first, power taught to students that learned the Control skill. The best part is that it can be used for pretty much anything: aiding blasters, telekinesis, shooting torpedoes down a two meter exhaust port, etc.

    +4D bonus FTW.

    No wonder Gry Sarth hates this power so much as a GM. :p It does, however, allow weaker Jedi to preform more with their powers at some points.
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