From SW:TOR. . .

Now that the NDA is lifted, I can share a few things I've experienced in the two beta test weekends I have been a part of.  The first is that the Jedi and Sith classes begin play not with lightsabers or vibroblades, but a new type of weapon, that I have done my best to translate to Saga terms here:


Jedi Training Blade


In the days of the Old Republic, at the height of the war with the Sith Empire, Jedi students trained not with low-power lightsabers, but with these more conventional weapons.  The weapon is a simple design:  a long rod containing energy channels generates an energized field around the “blade” of the weapon, a conventional hilt with power cells and a crossguard to prevent energy spillover.  These weapons were the primary tools young Jedi would use in their trials, until they earned the right to build their own lightsabers.  The energy-projecting equipment of the blade was capable of generating a lethal charge, and was most often permanently set to do so, with the intention of teaching young Jedi students respect for the lethality of the weapon this blade was preparing them for.  The weapons were so effective, in fact, that they quickly spread across the galaxy, finding their way into the hands of pirates, smugglers, bandits, and anyone else who needed reliable, affordable up-close armament.  In seeking to better train their students, the Jedi inadvertently armed most of their enemies with weapons that allowed them to stand against Jedi on almost equal footing.


Weapon Type:  Jedi Training Blade


Proficiency Group:  Advanced Melee    Cost:  1,500


Damage:  2d8                                       Stun Damage:  2d8


Power Per Shot:  -                               Rate of Fire:  -


Range Category:  None             Type:  Slashing/Energy


Weight:  3kg                                         Size:  Medium


DR/HP:  5/15                                         Break DC:  20


Fort Defense:  18                                  Damage Threshold:  15


Availability:  Common, Licensed           Era:  KoR


Note:  This weapon may be used with either the Advanced Melee or Lightsaber proficiencies.  Any feats, talents, or abilities that require a lightsaber may be used with this weapon.  This weapon retains its damage reduction against lightsabers.


 


Sith Warblade


Not ones to be outdone, the Sith took the basic technology of the Jedi Training Blade, which they also issued to most of their supplicants, and created the Sith Warblade.  Obtaining one of these weapons from an armory in the k’lor slug-infested tomb of Ajunta Pall was one of the trails Sith supplicants would face before being allowed to become a Sith Apprentice.


Weapon Type:  Jedi Training Blade


Proficiency Group:  Advanced Melee    Cost:  1,500


Damage:  2d10                                     Stun Damage:  -


Power Per Shot:  -                               Rate of Fire:  -


Range Category:  None             Type:  Slashing/Energy


Weight:  3kg                                         Size:  Medium


DR/HP:  5/15                                         Break DC:  20


Fort Defense:  18                                  Damage Threshold:  15


Availability:  Common, Licensed           Era:  KoR


Note:  This weapon may be used with either the Advanced Melee or Lightsaber proficiencies.  Any feats, talents, or abilities that require a lightsaber may be used with this weapon.  This weapon retains its damage reduction against lightsabers.



The rest. . . well, the game rocks!  Nuff said.

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19424726/Saga_Edition_Weapons_Complaints__ http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19425146/New_Empire_Sourcebook
And, based on just one of an INSANE number of Epic Moments in this trailier (at about 3:02):

www.swtor.com/media/trailers/return

I developed this:


Thrown Block (Lightsaber Form)


You hurl your lightsaber at an opponent’s blade, knocking it away from its intended target.  Time:  Reaction.  Target:  One melee attack.


            Make a Use the Force Check against the opponent’s attack roll.  If your Use the Force check meets or exceeds the opposing attack roll, the attack is negated and has no effect on its intended target.  Your lightsaber returns to your hand immediately.


            Special:  If you have the Block or Lightsaber Throw talents, add +2 to your Use the Force Check for activating this power.  If you have both talents, add +5 to your Use the Force check.




http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19424726/Saga_Edition_Weapons_Complaints__ http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19425146/New_Empire_Sourcebook
Although I like the talent, I think that instance could have been covered by creative description of aid another, or some talent of that sort.
Yes, I know I misspelled "Jensaarai".
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It's actually a lightsaber form power.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19424726/Saga_Edition_Weapons_Complaints__ http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19425146/New_Empire_Sourcebook
Ah, right. I knew that. Wink
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So anybody else playtesting TOR? I finally got ahold of a decent computer...mine is an Intel Core 2 Duo 1.5 GHz, which runs the game but painfully so So I'm borrowing one to play for the rest of the weekend. I'm only at level 6 right now (female Twi'lek Jedi Knight) but so far it's awesome!  
I never listen to the Order 66 Podcast. Winner of You Build the Character #27 - Cad Bane
And, based on just one of an INSANE number of Epic Moments in this trailier (at about 3:02):

www.swtor.com/media/trailers/return

I developed this:


Thrown Block (Lightsaber Form)


You hurl your lightsaber at an opponent’s blade, knocking it away from its intended target.  Time:  Reaction.  Target:  One melee attack.


            Make a Use the Force Check against the opponent’s attack roll.  If your Use the Force check meets or exceeds the opposing attack roll, the attack is negated and has no effect on its intended target.  Your lightsaber returns to your hand immediately.


            Special:  If you have the Block or Lightsaber Throw talents, add +2 to your Use the Force Check for activating this power.  If you have both talents, add +5 to your Use the Force check.




I LOVE it. Balanced, and cool. I'm definitely going to add it to my Jedi campaign. However, I might add a range limit in there...perhaps 6-12 squares?
I never listen to the Order 66 Podcast. Winner of You Build the Character #27 - Cad Bane
I definitely wouldn't make it easier to do a thrown block than a normal block. If anything it should be more difficult, perhaps a -5 penalty to the UtF unless you have the Lightsaber Throw talent, in which case you take no penalty.
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It's very unusual to have a weapon that's both advanced melee and a lightsaber.

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@richterbelmont:  Indeed it is.  However, the weapon demonstrates many lightsaber-like qualities as you rely on it from levels 1 through about 9 (when you get your lightsaber isn't level-based, it's based on your progression through your class story quest. . . if you do less sidequesting, you'll get your lightsaber sooner.)  All Jedi/Sith, it seems, have built in Block/Deflect like abilities, and an activated short-term buff that increases these dramatically, and both are usable with this weapon, hence allowing abilities tha require a lightsaber to be used with this weapon.  It is also the only non-lightsaber weapon Jedi ever use, hence putting it in the Lightsaber proficiency category.  It is also used by numerous opponents, everything from ancient droids to looters to pirates to revolting Imperial slaves, thus affording it availability to the Advanced Melee proficiency group, since I doubt all these opponents (some of whom are quite challenging) have Lightsaber Proficiency feats.

@awaypturwpn:  Uh, yeah.  Range on that would be great.  I'll note it down.  Make it six squares.

@fairytalejedi:  Hmm, good point.  I'll give that some consideration.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19424726/Saga_Edition_Weapons_Complaints__ http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19425146/New_Empire_Sourcebook

I wouldn't give the ranged block a penalty. You already have to invest a resource to be able to do it at all.


Saga's habit of penalizing you for wanting to do cool stuff is one of its many weaknesses.

Perhaps an alternative would be that the lightsaber doesn't automatically return to your hand with thrown block unless you have the Lightsaber Throw talent.
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Perhaps an alternative would be that the lightsaber doesn't automatically return to your hand with thrown block unless you have the Lightsaber Throw talent.



I really like this idea.  I'm a big fan of using existing talents to get extra utility for homebrew stuff.
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Hm. . . I thought of something like that, but decided against it.  Perhaps, have the lightsaber returning normally be a free action (or a move action) on your next turn, leaving you unarmed until you get to act, while the Special is that, with Throw Lightsaber, the lightsaber returns to your hand automatically and instantly.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19424726/Saga_Edition_Weapons_Complaints__ http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19425146/New_Empire_Sourcebook
Perhaps an alternative would be that the lightsaber doesn't automatically return to your hand with thrown block unless you have the Lightsaber Throw talent.



How about, you have to meet a certain DC to return the Lightsaber to your hand as a free action (maybe the attack roll + 5?), and having Lightsaber Throw makes it so you don't need to make the check? Otherwise the lightsaber returns to your hand as free at the beginning of your next round.

EDIT: Scratch that...Call Lightsaber would do the same thing as Lightsaber Throw in that instance. How about same as above, except you get a +5 Force bonus to the check if you have Lightsaber Throw instead of instant return.


Thrown Block [Lightsaber Form]


You hurl your lightsaber at an opponent’s blade, knocking it away from its intended target.  Time:  Reaction. Target:  One melee attack within 6 squares and line of sight.


            Make a Use the Force Check against the opponent’s attack roll.  If your Use the Force check meets or exceeds the opposing attack roll, the attack is negated and has no effect on its intended target.  Additionally, if your Use the Force check exceeds the opposing attack roll by 5 or more, your lightsaber returns to your hand immediately. Otherwise your lightsaber falls to the ground in the intended target's fighting space and can be returned to your hand per the Move Light Object application of the Use the Force skill, SECR 77. 


            Special:  If you have the Lightsaber Throw talent, add a +5 Force bonus to your Use the Force Check when activating this power. If you then fail to exceed the opposing attack roll by 5 or more points, you may make a DC 20 Use the Force check to return the lightsaber to your hand as a swift action, provided it is the next action you take.

I feel like you should be able to do something cooler with Lightsaber Throw, but I can't really think of anything. I also think it's important that the benefits of Lightsaber Throw are limited...I didn't want to say "DC 20 UtF on your next turn" because there are certain ways that you might use this power as a reaction on your own turn (say if you do something to provoke an AoO on an ally) and still have a swift action to pull back the lightsaber. But I also didn't want to just leave it as "DC 20 UtF as a swift action" because then they could just go about their business and pick t up whenever they had a swift action to spare. It seems like it should be in keeping with the Lightsaber Throw talent, so for example if you negate an attack with thrown block and then use negate energy to avoid getting stabbed yourself, you lose the opportunity to swift-action-call your lightsaber per the Special section of the power. 

Did I just make it way too convoluted?

And I'd just like to say, it's awesome that Satele was prepared for Malgus' lightsaber style the second time they met. The disarm from Malgus comes, then Satele uses negate energy in lieu of a Master with thrown block  
 

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Interesting rework.  I'm still thinking through mine, and I'll probably post it in a day or two.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19424726/Saga_Edition_Weapons_Complaints__ http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19425146/New_Empire_Sourcebook
Hey, folks. I also had the opportunity to playtest for two weekends and spent most of that time playing Force-users, so I got to see a lot of the training blade and Sith War blade.


While I don't necessarily disagree with the stats presented, what I DO have a bit of trouble with is that these weapons net out to be superior to lightsabers (except, perhaps, for very crunchy bits that have very little impact on most games, like weight).


Theoretically, I don't disagree with the idea of the training blade being accessible via WP: Lightsabers or WP: Advanced Melee, but it has equal damage, can be used for anything a lightsaber can be used for AND had a stun setting. Why would anyone ever "upgrade" to a mere lightsaber?!?


With respect to the Sith Warblade, I don't recall any characters other than legit Sith using them, so I would argue that they should be only WP: Lightsaber. Although they lack the stun setting, it appears that they are, again, superior to lightsabers (can be used identically, but they have superior damage).

In the Sith Warrior story, at least, there's a very clear progression of Training Blade < Sith Warblade < Lightsaber.


Personally, I would consider something like this:


Sith Warblade
Damage: 1d12 Energy/Piercing (just for something a little different, and also because the weapon, ironically, didn't really have a blade, but rather looked like a jousting weapon)   
Proficiency Group: Lightsaber; may be used in place of a lightsaber etc.
Notes: High damage die reflects the brutality of the Sith, but still gives a very good reason to upgrade to a lightsaber. In certain builds, however, this might actually be a superior weapon choice. 


Lightsaber Training Blade
Damage: 2d6 Energy/Bludgeoning; or 2d6 Stun
Proficiency Group: Either Simple or Advanced Melee (sure, it's energized, but most swords seem to be Simple)
Special: A character with WP Lightsaber may use this as a lightsaber with respect to talents, feats, proficiency, etc.
Notes: Lower damage, but this is offset by the option to go to stun. In the hands of a non-Jedi, it's a decent weapon comparable to a vibro-blade... which meshes nicely with the ubiquitousness in the SWtOR universe. For a Jedi, the damage is lower, but for certain character types, the option to switch to Stun might offset that, making both weapons potentially useful. 

      


   


          
I'd say the training blades should have their damage die sizes reduced a step, as they shouldn't be as effective as proper sabers. That, or drop them to a single die of damage.

For Thrown Block, maybe have the saber return at the start of the next round unless you spend a Force Point to retrieve it immediately?


Has anybody had a go at statting the starships yet? They're all similar in capabilities, so it shouldn't be unreasonable to come up with a single stat block that covers any of them, maybe with some minor variants.
Lightsabers still have a number of advantages over traning blades:

Ignoring DR.
+1 to hit if you've built your own.
Alternate crystal effects.

And I don't consider a stun setting to be much of a positive or a negative.  Jedi are still supposed to learn "Form Zero," when NOT to use weapons to resolve a conflict.  It's why lightsabers themselves don't have stun settings, to encourage Jedi to try every option before resorting to violence, because once they draw their weapons, somebody's losing an arm at best.

Perhaps, if you want to give lightsabers more bite in comparison, allow Traning Blades to only be used with Jedi class talents and abilities that require a lightsaber, disallowing the use of any Jedi Knight/Jedi Master/Sith Apprentice/Sith Lord talents and class abilities with them.  Likewise, Lightsaber Form powers would require an actual lightsaber, not a Training Blade, to use.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19424726/Saga_Edition_Weapons_Complaints__ http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19425146/New_Empire_Sourcebook
And my Thrown Block revision:


Thrown Block (Lightsaber Form)


You hurl your lightsaber at an opponent’s blade, knocking it away from its intended target.  Time:  Reaction.  Target:  One melee attack.


            Make a Use the Force Check against the opponent’s attack roll.  This check suffers a -2 penalty due to the difficult timing involved.  If your Use the Force check meets or exceeds the opposing attack roll, the attack is negated and has no effect on its intended target.  You may use a free action at the beginning of your next turn to recall your lightsaber to your hand.


            Special:  If you have the Block talent, you gain a +2 bonus to your Use the Force check when using this power.  If you have the Lightsaber Throw talent, your lightsaber returns to your hand immediately after this power resolves.



I'm suddenly thinking. . . maybe range penalties?



            Alternate:  Make a Use the Force Check against the opponent’s attack roll.  This check suffers range penalties as a thrown weapon.  If your Use the Force check meets or exceeds the opposing attack roll, the attack is negated and has no effect on its intended target.  Your lightsaber returns to your hand immediately after this power resolves.


            Special:  If you possess the Block talent, you gain a +2 bonus to your Use the Force check when using this power.  If you possess the Throw Lightsaber talent, you may increase the range increment of this power by one step.

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19424726/Saga_Edition_Weapons_Complaints__ http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19425146/New_Empire_Sourcebook
Maybe range, cover and concealment penalties?

And I'd phrase it as "use a free action during your turn" to retrieve the blade. It's possible, via Readied actions or another character's reaction, that the triggering attack might be made during the user's turn, and there's no need to leave them disarmed for an entire round as a result. 
Good point.  Although, that sort of negates the bonus of having Lightsaber Throw.  Then again, this may be a rare enough occurance that it won't matter.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19424726/Saga_Edition_Weapons_Complaints__ http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19425146/New_Empire_Sourcebook
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