A martial artist, how early?

How early can an unarmed martial artist actually play like both the concept, and a effective character? Can it be done before PrC? I'd prefer to not need the force to make it work, but if that's the only halfway efficient (read: doesn't take every single resource to accomplish) way to do it, I'll go with it.


This is pretty much my biggest problem with Saga. There are many concepts that, because of the way the game is designed, just don't work until PrC level or damn near, that should be level one concepts.
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What do you believe a character needs to be able to do to be an "effective" character and what do you believe is needed to play the concept?  If you're a grappler then Pin/Crush can be taken early and other things can be done to support that.  If you believe that you need to have your unarmed attacks deal as much damage as a blaster pistol to be "effective" then I'm afraid you have too much expectation about what an unarmed strike should be able to do.

I'm also going to say that you should NOT look a "level one" to showcase any given concept.  You can certainly start pointing a character at a concept but four or five levels in you should really be able to see a concept taking shape.  In all honesty characters should get to 4th or 5th level pretty quickly.

Now something I would do that may help fill an "unarmed martial artist" concept is alter starting proficiencies at first level.  I will allow Martial Artist I be taken in place of the lightsaber, rifle & pistol, or rifle & all armor proficiencies.

Perhaps others can read your mind and give you better answers but without knowing what you think you need for the concept and for it to be "effective" it is very hard to give you answers.

Take a species with a natural weapon. If you play a Yuzzem, you can instantly have a powerful martial artist. Take feats like Martial Arts, Mighty Swing (or Rapid Strike), and Powerful Charge. Soldier would be the best class, with talents like Devastating Attack and Hammerblow.

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I recomend Cathar as your starting species.  You start with 1d6 unarmed damage, and one MA feat you looking at a d8 for your unarmed damage.  Plus, you'll have speed 8.  Three MA feats and your dealing 1d12 per unarmed attack 
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This guy's pretty killer:


Yuzzem Martial Artist CL 1
Large Yuzzem soldier 1
Force 5
Init +7; Senses scent; Perception +4
Languages Basic, Yuzz
---------------------------------------------
Defenses Ref 13 (flat-footed 11), Fort 14, Will 10
hp 31; second wind +13/15; Threshold 19
---------------------------------------------
Speed  6 squares
Melee claw +9 (1d8+4) with Hammerblow or
Melee claw +7 (2d8+4) with Hammerblow & Rapid Strike
Ranged  by weapon +3
Fighting Space 2x2; Reach 1 square
Base Atk +1; Grp +10
Atk Options Hammerblow [LECG p.31], Rapid Strike [Core p.88]
---------------------------------------------
Abilities Str 19, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 6
Special Qualities expert climber, physical intimidation
Talents Hammerblow [LECG p.31]
Feats Armor Proficiency (light, medium) [Core p.82], Rapid Strike [Core p.88], Weapon Proficiency (pistols, rifles, simple weapons) [Core p.89]
Trained Skills Climb +4 (may take 10 even when distracted or threatened), Endurance +6, Initiative +7, Jump +9, Perception +4, Persuasion -2 (+4 to intimidate), Stealth -3
Untrained Skills Acrobatics +2, Deception -2, Gather Information -2, Knowledge (bureaucracy) +1, Knowledge (galactic lore) +1, Knowledge (life sciences) +1, Knowledge (physical sciences) +1, Knowledge (social sciences) +1, Knowledge (tactics) +1, Knowledge (technology) +1, Mechanics +1, Pilot +2, Ride +2, Survival -1, Swim +4, Treat Injury -1, Use Computer +1

Some GM’s allow the house rule that allows you to get Martial Arts as a Soldier starting feat instead of Armor Proficiency (light, medium) or Weapon Proficiency (rifles). Ask your GM.



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Interesting stuff. Thanks, folks. I suppose getting up to a d12 puts your damage in line with a vibrorapier, with only slightly different probabilities, but that's a lot of investment for anything other than a yuzzem, so it's not going to be in your first few levels.

One thought I had to help make it work earlier is to use Scoundrel levels for sneak attack or dastardly strike (the other would be picked up later) and backstabber, with vibroknucklers modified with tech specialist to increase the static damage bonus. This would, in theory, allow my character to keep up with other melee characters that are using weapons, as long as I can get a flank. I'm thinking this will still take...4 levels, at least, even with multi-classing to get talents faster. I'm generally not cool with starting as a soldier, because their starting skills are terrible.

So, 2 scoundrel talents and at least one soldier talent, and depending on race, either 3 or 4 feats. (high dex race, I will use finesse, because dex is just so much more useful in general than strength)

Hrm. Could be usable by level 3, although I'm not sure I'd say that it keeps up with a weapon user. Obviously, on a Yuzzem it's more effective with lower investment, but I'd rather not play a Yuzzem. Probably go with Cathar. I like my martial artists being very mobile, and cather would save me from needing to take a level of scout. :P

Hrm...I don't have my books with me ATM, are there any force traditions with talents that make unarmed combat better? would be more part of the level 4+ part of the build. I'd rather be able to actually play the character I want to play ASAP than have force use early on.


StevenO: I'm sorry, but do you always pepper your attempts to be give advice with condescension, or is this just a bad day?

Seriously. What's the deal? Did I offend you in some way?

Also, I know that it often takes until level 5 or so for a concept to start actually playing like the concept you want to play. You can tell that I know that, because I stated it as one of my problems with the system, in my first post.

Interesting stuff. Thanks, folks. I suppose getting up to a d12 puts your damage in line with a vibrorapier, with only slightly different probabilities, but that's a lot of investment for anything other than a yuzzem, so it's not going to be in your first few levels.

It’s not a lot of investment, as I’ve shown with my statblock above. You can use Cathar instead of Yuzzem and you can have a 2d6 attack with Rapid Strike.


One thought I had to help make it work earlier is to use Scoundrel levels for sneak attack or dastardly strike (the other would be picked up later) and backstabber, with vibroknucklers modified with tech specialist to increase the static damage bonus. This would, in theory, allow my character to keep up with other melee characters that are using weapons, as long as I can get a flank. I'm thinking this will still take...4 levels, at least, even with multi-classing to get talents faster. I'm generally not cool with starting as a soldier, because their starting skills are terrible.

It’s a solid concept. But Backstabber will really force you to have an ally to follow you around the battlefield so that you can flank opponents. Otherwise you won’t be making use of Sneak Attack and Dastardly Strike. Another common way to make enemies flat-footed is the Combat Trickery feat (Unknown Regions page 24). 2 swift actions and a Deception vs. Will check to make an opponent flat-footed.


Hrm. Could be usable by level 3, although I'm not sure I'd say that it keeps up with a weapon user. Obviously, on a Yuzzem it's more effective with lower investment, but I'd rather not play a Yuzzem. Probably go with Cathar. I like my martial artists being very mobile, and cather would save me from needing to take a level of scout. :P

Cathar is an excellent choice, since they also get an extra claw attack once per encounter. You can definitely make a good unarmed fighter with the right feats and talents.


Hrm...I don't have my books with me ATM, are there any force traditions with talents that make unarmed combat better? would be more part of the level 4+ part of the build. I'd rather be able to actually play the character I want to play ASAP than have force use early on.

Yep, Seyugi Dervish can make Whirlwind Attacks with unarmed attacks. Wardens of the Sky also have unarmed talents. Both are in Jedi Academy Training Manual.

If you’re going for a force-using martial artist, Convection is an awesome power, enveloping your fists in flames and making fiery attacks. Also Battle Strike is great.


StevenO: I'm sorry, but do you always pepper your attempts to be give advice with condescension, or is this just a bad day?

Seriously. What's the deal? Did I offend you in some way?

Nah, that’s just his way.


Also, I know that it often takes until level 5 or so for a concept to start actually playing like the concept you want to play. You can tell that I know that, because I stated it as one of my problems with the system, in my first post.

I’m not convinced of that, but if that’s how you feel you can start your game at level 5 instead.



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StevenO: I'm sorry, but do you always pepper your attempts to be give advice with condescension, or is this just a bad day?

Seriously. What's the deal? Did I offend you in some way?


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I could say it was a bad day which has something to do with how posts over on the DnD:PE board have been going lately.  I'll also admit to being a touch condescending because I've seen too many questions similar to this asking for things that just aren't SAGA.  Much of the advice you've seen here is somewhat species specific but I've seen people who think they can be Chuck Norris at 1st-level and wonder why they don't deal as much damage as someone using a weapon.  Some of my poorly put questions are just trying to figure out your expectations.  There are often many ways to build a given concept so knowing what you "need" to meet your expectations can help.  Also knowing how you measure "effectiveness" can be important because getting unarmed damage up to what a lightsaber can easily be is an involved process.

I guess I don't consider 5th-level to be "near" PrC level and the way it is phrased I believe you expect this to compete with potential lightsaber damage at 1st-level when it comes to effectiveness.  I like saying 4th-level in when concepts can really start to show through (5th-level is less common) as that gives some room for multiclassing and lets you hit the first ability boost which can lead to a 'non-starting class' skill without spending a feat on it.  You can play almost any basic concept from 1st-level in SAGA (although I'm not sure someone who deals massive unarmed damage is a basic concept) but the "problem" is that it may take a while to get some of things that will refine and enhance your concept.

If you're shooting for a martial artist at 1st-level you should be going for things other then damage which is hard to get unarmed without a lot of investment.  A strong Soldier could use the PIN feat at first level to deprive an opponent of actions which can be better then dealing damage.  Starting in Soldier may not give you all the best skills for a Martial Artist (I suspect you're looking for Acrobatics) but the 30hp and good BAB can be very valuable for someone who wants to get up in an opponent's face.

StevenO: I'm sorry, but do you always pepper your attempts to be give advice with condescension, or is this just a bad day?

Seriously. What's the deal? Did I offend you in some way?


Sorry.

I could say it was a bad day which has something to do with how posts over on the DnD:PE board have been going lately.  I'll also admit to being a touch condescending because I've seen too many questions similar to this asking for things that just aren't SAGA.  Much of the advice you've seen here is somewhat species specific but I've seen people who think they can be Chuck Norris at 1st-level and wonder why they don't deal as much damage as someone using a weapon.  Some of my poorly put questions are just trying to figure out your expectations.  There are often many ways to build a given concept so knowing what you "need" to meet your expectations can help.  Also knowing how you measure "effectiveness" can be important because getting unarmed damage up to what a lightsaber can easily be is an involved process.

I guess I don't consider 5th-level to be "near" PrC level and the way it is phrased I believe you expect this to compete with potential lightsaber damage at 1st-level when it comes to effectiveness.  I like saying 4th-level in when concepts can really start to show through (5th-level is less common) as that gives some room for multiclassing and lets you hit the first ability boost which can lead to a 'non-starting class' skill without spending a feat on it.  You can play almost any basic concept from 1st-level in SAGA (although I'm not sure someone who deals massive unarmed damage is a basic concept) but the "problem" is that it may take a while to get some of things that will refine and enhance your concept.

If you're shooting for a martial artist at 1st-level you should be going for things other then damage which is hard to get unarmed without a lot of investment.  A strong Soldier could use the PIN feat at first level to deprive an opponent of actions which can be better then dealing damage.  Starting in Soldier may not give you all the best skills for a Martial Artist (I suspect you're looking for Acrobatics) but the 30hp and good BAB can be very valuable for someone who wants to get up in an opponent's face.



Fair enough.

Anyway, my measure of efficacy is just being able to keep up with other melee combatants. That's it. I'm not a fan of Saga's grappling rules, but I'll admit that action denial is powerful. Grappling is oddball, though, unless you can find a way to keep them down without having to sit on them. (binder cuffs, maybe?)

In terms of damage, it simply needs to be comperable to a character with a vibrorapier.

I'm not sure how the martial artist that's as much a threat as a guy with a weapon isn't a basic concept. That's just a description of the Martial Artist archetype.

It's also really hard to play an infiltrating sabetuer from level one in Saga, for instance. Not as bad as it was before Scum And Villainy, but it's still not really a level one capable build. Saga isn't built for playing your character concept at level one. It's built for playing something vaguely related to it, and "earning" the actual concept through play. gods help you if your concept is something they only supported in a PrC.

 Yep, Seyugi Dervish can make Whirlwind Attacks with unarmed attacks. Wardens of the Sky also have unarmed talents. Both are in Jedi Academy Training Manual.

If you’re going for a force-using martial artist, Convection is an awesome power, enveloping your fists in flames and making fiery attacks. Also Battle Strike is great.


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Also, I know that it often takes until level 5 or so for a concept to start actually playing like the concept you want to play. You can tell that I know that, because I stated it as one of my problems with the system, in my first post.

I’m not convinced of that, but if that’s how you feel you can start your game at level 5 instead.



I thought Wardens of The Sky had something. This is the downside to only have one set of books for the whole group. Convection and Battle Strike are musts, of course, if going force sensitive, but the baseline "this character's whole schtick works at will" stuff has to come first, so force training won't come in till...possibly as late as level 6, since I need martial arts one, possibly two, rapid strike and possibly weapon finesse in order to achieve that baseline, and will have to spend a feat most likely in order to be force sensitive and have training in the use the force at level three, without spending two feats. Ie, gotta take FS at level one, so UTF is a class skill at level one.  (alternative is not taking jedi, and thus not gaining either, until level 4, having an odd int, and getting both at once along with a force related talent. No, first level jedi is not an option.)



Sure, I can subtract one fifth of the character progression from the game, but it's a problem that I need to in order to concepts which make sense as starting concepts to actually be playable from the start.


Looks like the best I can hope for is either something other than a striking specialist, which involves Saga's less than stellar grappling rules (not as bad as RCR, of course, but few things are), or not being able to play the Martial Artist archetype as an effective character until level 3 or 4.

Not great, but it's better than having to wait until PrC or near PrC.


Interesting stuff. Thanks, folks. I suppose getting up to a d12 puts your damage in line with a vibrorapier, with only slightly different probabilities, but that's a lot of investment for anything other than a yuzzem, so it's not going to be in your first few levels.

It’s not a lot of investment, as I’ve shown with my statblock above. You can use Cathar instead of Yuzzem and you can have a 2d6 attack with Rapid Strike.



Putting you a die behind someone with a vibrorapier and rapid strike. A yuzzem can use feats to get a d12 damage die, and then add rapid strike for 2d12, which is fairly comperable enough with the vibrorapier user that you'll still be a contributing member of the party, but that's every martial arts feat and rapid strike, where the vibrorapier just needed rapid strike. So, a sizable investment.



One thought I had to help make it work earlier is to use Scoundrel levels for sneak attack or dastardly strike (the other would be picked up later) and backstabber, with vibroknucklers modified with tech specialist to increase the static damage bonus. This would, in theory, allow my character to keep up with other melee characters that are using weapons, as long as I can get a flank. I'm thinking this will still take...4 levels, at least, even with multi-classing to get talents faster. I'm generally not cool with starting as a soldier, because their starting skills are terrible.

It’s a solid concept. But Backstabber will really force you to have an ally to follow you around the battlefield so that you can flank opponents. Otherwise you won’t be making use of Sneak Attack and Dastardly Strike. Another common way to make enemies flat-footed is the Combat Trickery feat (Unknown Regions page 24). 2 swift actions and a Deception vs. Will check to make an opponent flat-footed.



Another good option, but backstabber requires no extra actions, and as long as there's another melee guy in the party...why wouldn't you be attacking the same person? Maybe my group doens't play like most? IDK.

 Basically, it's a good idea for any SA character to grab both, but I'd get backstabber first, out of the two.




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Fair enough. Anyway, my measure of efficacy is just being able to keep up with other melee combatants. That's it. I'm not a fan of Saga's grappling rules, but I'll admit that action denial is powerful. Grappling is oddball, though, unless you can find a way to keep them down without having to sit on them. (binder cuffs, maybe?) In terms of damage, it simply needs to be comperable to a character with a vibrorapier. I'm not sure how the martial artist that's as much a threat as a guy with a weapon isn't a basic concept. That's just a description of the Martial Artist archetype. It's also really hard to play an infiltrating sabetuer from level one in Saga, for instance. Not as bad as it was before Scum And Villainy, but it's still not really a level one capable build. Saga isn't built for playing your character concept at level one. It's built for playing something vaguely related to it, and "earning" the actual concept through play. gods help you if your concept is something they only supported in a PrC.

I'll agree that SAGA's 'grappling' rules could definitely use some work and certainly consider porting the 3.5 rules over to SAGA. If you want to tell me SAGA is missing some "basic" abilities that should be possible without the specialized training of a feat or talent I'll agree and have offered suggestions on adding them in the past. When your measure of "keeping up" with other melee combatants is based on how much damage you can do with an attack I really don't believe "unarmed strike" damage should really be comparable to advanced powered weapons. If it was "easy" to get an unarmed strike averaging the same 7 points of damage that a 2d6 Vibro-rapier deals then why would anyone have ever invented it it the first place. Without playing a Jedi or some houserule playing someone who can deal a lot of damage in melee is going to require some investments. We may see all these "heroes" who seem like they are better at unarmed combat then other characters are with melee weapons but ask yourself how often those "heroes" are really going to be "low level" when compared to those they are fighting. We may think a concept can be realized at first level but the truth is that some will require more experience, both by the player and ingame, to realize. As for your "Infiltrating sabetuer" I don't believe it is such a hard concept to display at 1st-level. I'd start in Scout.
You can make a sneaky guy at level one, or something that looks like a sabatuer if you squint, at level one. Not someone that's better than average at both. That's the primary downside to systems like Saga, as opposed to more frontloaded class design, or systems like Gurps or Alternity where you can have a decently wide array of abillities starting out, but just aren't as awesome at them.

And the 1st level martial artist doesn't have to be just as effective as the swordsman, but do you honestly think of first level characters with advanced melee weapons and, say, rapid strike as amatuer/noobie swordsmen? Because I can't make any sense of that.

A character that has dedicated themselves to the study of martial arts for the same amount of time, with the same assumptions about not being your average Joe that Saga makes about all PCs, would surely be just as capable of getting past an enemies defenses to deliver a disabling blow as a swordsman.
You can make a sneaky guy at level one, or something that looks like a sabatuer if you squint, at level one. Not someone that's better than average at both. That's the primary downside to systems like Saga, as opposed to more frontloaded class design, or systems like Gurps or Alternity where you can have a decently wide array of abillities starting out, but just aren't as awesome at them.

I think that with Skill Focus in in Stealth and Mechanics you will be a lot better then average as a saboteur. This can be done if you start as a human Scout or Scoundrel. Don't want to play a human? Fine, just hold of and wait with skill focus Mechanics until next level. If you start as a Scoundrel you could pick up the talent Bomb Thrower from Galaxy of Intrigue page 21. This will grant a +5 bonus to Mechanics checks for handling explosives and let you create a frag grenade from spare parts. You will be a great 1st level saboteur!

You And the 1st level martial artist doesn't have to be just as effective as the swordsman, but do you honestly think of first level characters with advanced melee weapons and, say, rapid strike as amatuer/noobie swordsmen? Because I can't make any sense of that.

You are right, a noobie would not have those feats, and none said that he would be an amateur. But he would be low-level. That means that he will take out non-heroics of level 1-3 without too much trouble. Higher level non-heroics are a bit of a challenge, but that is to be expected as they are professionals after all. But in a level or two he will be taking down most non-heroics without problem. A 1st level character is a budding hero and his powers are what are to be expected of such a person. If your group don't like staring out as a farmhand/security guard or young noble that are trying to find his place in the galaxy, just start at level 3 or 4. I do not recommend staring out at a higher level then that, as you will miss out on the part of getting to know your hero and how to best use his strong sides.

You A character that has dedicated themselves to the study of martial arts for the same amount of time, with the same assumptions about not being your average Joe that Saga makes about all PCs, would surely be just as capable of getting past an enemies defenses to deliver a disabling blow as a swordsman.

You would be if you have a good Str-score. If you don't, you need both MA1 and Weapon Finesse, but getting both of those at first level may be a challenge. Consider making a human or any other species with an extra feat, or a Noghri or Zygerrian to get MA1 at first level.   

20801.jpg

Anyway, my measure of efficacy is just being able to keep up with other melee combatants. That's it. I'm not a fan of Saga's grappling rules, but I'll admit that action denial is powerful. Grappling is oddball, though, unless you can find a way to keep them down without having to sit on them. (binder cuffs, maybe?)

You can get the Crush feat, which allows you to keep pinning your opponent while at the same time dealing unarmed damage. If you’re human you can get both these feats at level 1.


In terms of damage, it simply needs to be comperable to a character with a vibrorapier.

Easily done. See below for my Cathar 2d6 martial artist.


It's also really hard to play an infiltrating sabetuer from level one in Saga, for instance. Not as bad as it was before Scum And Villainy, but it's still not really a level one capable build. Saga isn't built for playing your character concept at level one. It's built for playing something vaguely related to it, and "earning" the actual concept through play. gods help you if your concept is something they only supported in a PrC.

I totally disagree. I don’t see any concept that’s not viable at level 1. For an infiltrating saboteur, you make a Scoundrel 1, train in Mechanics and Stealth and focus in one or the other at level 1 (or both if you’re human). There you go, instant level 1 stealthy saboteur.



I thought Wardens of The Sky had something.

I think I like Seyugi Dervish talents a little more.


This is the downside to only have one set of books for the whole group. Convection and Battle Strike are musts, of course, if going force sensitive, but the baseline "this character's whole schtick works at will" stuff has to come first, so force training won't come in till...possibly as late as level 6, since I need martial arts one, possibly two, rapid strike and possibly weapon finesse in order to achieve that baseline, and will have to spend a feat most likely in order to be force sensitive and have training in the use the force at level three, without spending two feats. Ie, gotta take FS at level one, so UTF is a class skill at level one.  (alternative is not taking jedi, and thus not gaining either, until level 4, having an odd int, and getting both at once along with a force related talent. No, first level jedi is not an option.)

You want to play a force-using martial artist at level 1, but you don’t want to start in jedi, the most obvious way to get force powers at level 1. You’ll probably say because of the low skills. But you can’t have everything at level 1. If you’re Human with INT 13, you can start with 4 skills with another at level 4.


Putting you a die behind someone with a vibrorapier and rapid strike. A yuzzem can use feats to get a d12 damage die, and then add rapid strike for 2d12, which is fairly comperable enough with the vibrorapier user that you'll still be a contributing member of the party, but that's every martial arts feat and rapid strike, where the vibrorapier just needed rapid strike. So, a sizable investment.

You wanted to start in Cathar. I suggest Soldier 1, Hammerblow, Rapid Strike, and high STR and DEX. You get a high attack bonus with Hammerblow, and 2d6 damage which is exactly like a vibrorapier, and an extra attack once per encounter. And speed of 8 squares. All of this at level 1!! How is this not a great martial artist?


Another good option, but backstabber requires no extra actions, and as long as there's another melee guy in the party...

It requires move actions to get to the square that flanks the target. You may provoke AoO’s along the way to get to that square.


why wouldn't you be attacking the same person?

Because the target goes down and you have 5 more to go after. If your flanked target goes down, you have to go after another target. That target won’t be flanked because your other melee guy is back next to the downed target. Unless you delay your action to wait for your melee buddy to move, and then you make your move after him to flank the next target. It can get complicated, especially if there are 2 or more targets standing side-by-side, or if your target is surrounded by bodyguards.

I'm not telling you not to take the talent. Just that you'll really need to coordinate with your other melee ally.


You can make a sneaky guy at level one, or something that looks like a sabatuer if you squint, at level one. Not someone that's better than average at both. That's the primary downside to systems like Saga, as opposed to more frontloaded class design, or systems like Gurps or Alternity where you can have a decently wide array of abillities starting out, but just aren't as awesome at them.

Above I showed how to build a Scoundrel with Skill Focus Mechanics and Stealth at level 1.

I think you are really preoccupied with creating level 1 characters that are good at everything. It doesn’t work that way. Level 1 is level 1, the very start of your journey, and a place where you should be making rapid progression to more levels. You can’t expect a level 1 character to be amazing.

I can create terrific level 1 characters in Saga that fit any archetype.


And the 1st level martial artist doesn't have to be just as effective as the swordsman, but do you honestly think of first level characters with advanced melee weapons and, say, rapid strike as amatuer/noobie swordsmen? Because I can't make any sense of that.

A character that has dedicated themselves to the study of martial arts for the same amount of time, with the same assumptions about not being your average Joe that Saga makes about all PCs, would surely be just as capable of getting past an enemies defenses to deliver a disabling blow as a swordsman.

It requires more effort to make your fists lethal than your sword. Fists are generally not a lethal weapon; a sword is a lethal weapon.




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The martial arts feats have never made a whole lot of sense to me.

I was a black belt in mic-mac and I would still rather have a knife than be unarmed. 
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The martial arts feats have never made a whole lot of sense to me.

I was a black belt in mic-mac and I would still rather have a knife than be unarmed. 


Nonrelevant to thread:
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I'd actually agree with you there. I've taken a couple different martial arts, my favorite being Kensho Wushu Martial Arts(Combination of Jujitsu, Wushu Kung Fu, Kuoshou Sanshou, and Chinese Kenpo[Or Bok-Fu Quan-Fa if you want to get technical]). I've also taken fencing, and as a child played with a lot of sword fighting. I'm honestly good at both, but against someone with a sword, I want at least a knife. If someone is trying to shoot at me from range(very common in star wars), I'd much rather run to cover and shoot them back with something. As for melee damage, I completely disagree that melee strikes should get anywhere near the damage of a vibroweapon. The fact they can rather easily surpass swords annoys me when I think of wounding potential.


If I were to go for a realistic Martial Artist in Star Wars, I'd take the MA feats for the damage over time and the like, but my real focus would be on pin and crush and anything to enhance those like Bone Crusher or Rancor Crush which I feel much better fit a martial artist, whose role is much more incapacitating an opponent.  (Sadly, you can't do this fast enough for my tastes.  It takes 2-3 rounds which is a bit too long for a real fight imo.)

 Now, if you want to play a boxer, feel free to go rapidstrike boxing, pick up something like echani training, and other things to boost damage like people have mentioned.
You can make a sneaky guy at level one, or something that looks like a sabatuer if you squint, at level one. Not someone that's better than average at both. That's the primary downside to systems like Saga, as opposed to more frontloaded class design, or systems like Gurps or Alternity where you can have a decently wide array of abillities starting out, but just aren't as awesome at them.

I think that with Skill Focus in in Stealth and Mechanics you will be a lot better then average as a saboteur. This can be done if you start as a human Scout or Scoundrel. Don't want to play a human? Fine, just hold of and wait with skill focus Mechanics until next level. If you start as a Scoundrel you could pick up the talent Bomb Thrower from Galaxy of Intrigue page 21. This will grant a +5 bonus to Mechanics checks for handling explosives and let you create a frag grenade from spare parts. You will be a great 1st level saboteur!

You And the 1st level martial artist doesn't have to be just as effective as the swordsman, but do you honestly think of first level characters with advanced melee weapons and, say, rapid strike as amatuer/noobie swordsmen? Because I can't make any sense of that.

You are right, a noobie would not have those feats, and none said that he would be an amateur. But he would be low-level. That means that he will take out non-heroics of level 1-3 without too much trouble. Higher level non-heroics are a bit of a challenge, but that is to be expected as they are professionals after all. But in a level or two he will be taking down most non-heroics without problem. A 1st level character is a budding hero and his powers are what are to be expected of such a person. If your group don't like staring out as a farmhand/security guard or young noble that are trying to find his place in the galaxy, just start at level 3 or 4. I do not recommend staring out at a higher level then that, as you will miss out on the part of getting to know your hero and how to best use his strong sides.

You A character that has dedicated themselves to the study of martial arts for the same amount of time, with the same assumptions about not being your average Joe that Saga makes about all PCs, would surely be just as capable of getting past an enemies defenses to deliver a disabling blow as a swordsman.

You would be if you have a good Str-score. If you don't, you need both MA1 and Weapon Finesse, but getting both of those at first level may be a challenge. Consider making a human or any other species with an extra feat, or a Noghri or Zygerrian to get MA1 at first level.   




I'd rather the system actually support the concept as a level one concept.

And It's not that I don't want to play farmhands. It's that my "leaving the monastary for the first time" martial arts striking specialist should be roughly as dangerous as my "leaving the Tipani Sector for the first time" saber rake, with his modern (and thus d6) lightfoil.

Easiest way to do it is to houserule a feat or talent which makes unarmed attacks do an extra die of damage, or just houserule teras kasi into either jedi or soldier as normal talents. The fact that it requires more feats to bump up the damage die type balances the fact that you can't be disarmed without losing actual limbs.

Anyway, my measure of efficacy is just being able to keep up with other melee combatants. That's it. I'm not a fan of Saga's grappling rules, but I'll admit that action denial is powerful. Grappling is oddball, though, unless you can find a way to keep them down without having to sit on them. (binder cuffs, maybe?)

You can get the Crush feat, which allows you to keep pinning your opponent while at the same time dealing unarmed damage. If you’re human you can get both these feats at level 1.


In terms of damage, it simply needs to be comperable to a character with a vibrorapier.

Easily done. See below for my Cathar 2d6 martial artist.


It's also really hard to play an infiltrating sabetuer from level one in Saga, for instance. Not as bad as it was before Scum And Villainy, but it's still not really a level one capable build. Saga isn't built for playing your character concept at level one. It's built for playing something vaguely related to it, and "earning" the actual concept through play. gods help you if your concept is something they only supported in a PrC.

I totally disagree. I don’t see any concept that’s not viable at level 1. For an infiltrating saboteur, you make a Scoundrel 1, train in Mechanics and Stealth and focus in one or the other at level 1 (or both if you’re human). There you go, instant level 1 stealthy saboteur.



I thought Wardens of The Sky had something.

I think I like Seyugi Dervish talents a little more.


This is the downside to only have one set of books for the whole group. Convection and Battle Strike are musts, of course, if going force sensitive, but the baseline "this character's whole schtick works at will" stuff has to come first, so force training won't come in till...possibly as late as level 6, since I need martial arts one, possibly two, rapid strike and possibly weapon finesse in order to achieve that baseline, and will have to spend a feat most likely in order to be force sensitive and have training in the use the force at level three, without spending two feats. Ie, gotta take FS at level one, so UTF is a class skill at level one.  (alternative is not taking jedi, and thus not gaining either, until level 4, having an odd int, and getting both at once along with a force related talent. No, first level jedi is not an option.)

You want to play a force-using martial artist at level 1, but you don’t want to start in jedi, the most obvious way to get force powers at level 1. You’ll probably say because of the low skills. But you can’t have everything at level 1. If you’re Human with INT 13, you can start with 4 skills with another at level 4.


Putting you a die behind someone with a vibrorapier and rapid strike. A yuzzem can use feats to get a d12 damage die, and then add rapid strike for 2d12, which is fairly comperable enough with the vibrorapier user that you'll still be a contributing member of the party, but that's every martial arts feat and rapid strike, where the vibrorapier just needed rapid strike. So, a sizable investment.

You wanted to start in Cathar. I suggest Soldier 1, Hammerblow, Rapid Strike, and high STR and DEX. You get a high attack bonus with Hammerblow, and 2d6 damage which is exactly like a vibrorapier, and an extra attack once per encounter. And speed of 8 squares. All of this at level 1!! How is this not a great martial artist?


Another good option, but backstabber requires no extra actions, and as long as there's another melee guy in the party...

It requires move actions to get to the square that flanks the target. You may provoke AoO’s along the way to get to that square.


why wouldn't you be attacking the same person?

Because the target goes down and you have 5 more to go after. If your flanked target goes down, you have to go after another target. That target won’t be flanked because your other melee guy is back next to the downed target. Unless you delay your action to wait for your melee buddy to move, and then you make your move after him to flank the next target. It can get complicated, especially if there are 2 or more targets standing side-by-side, or if your target is surrounded by bodyguards.

I'm not telling you not to take the talent. Just that you'll really need to coordinate with your other melee ally.


You can make a sneaky guy at level one, or something that looks like a sabatuer if you squint, at level one. Not someone that's better than average at both. That's the primary downside to systems like Saga, as opposed to more frontloaded class design, or systems like Gurps or Alternity where you can have a decently wide array of abillities starting out, but just aren't as awesome at them.

Above I showed how to build a Scoundrel with Skill Focus Mechanics and Stealth at level 1.

I think you are really preoccupied with creating level 1 characters that are good at everything. It doesn’t work that way. Level 1 is level 1, the very start of your journey, and a place where you should be making rapid progression to more levels. You can’t expect a level 1 character to be amazing.

I can create terrific level 1 characters in Saga that fit any archetype.


And the 1st level martial artist doesn't have to be just as effective as the swordsman, but do you honestly think of first level characters with advanced melee weapons and, say, rapid strike as amatuer/noobie swordsmen? Because I can't make any sense of that.

A character that has dedicated themselves to the study of martial arts for the same amount of time, with the same assumptions about not being your average Joe that Saga makes about all PCs, would surely be just as capable of getting past an enemies defenses to deliver a disabling blow as a swordsman.

It requires more effort to make your fists lethal than your sword. Fists are generally not a lethal weapon; a sword is a lethal weapon.







IMO, 1st level jedi is almost literally never worth it. It's terrible. I'd rather take an extra level and spend an extra feat to realize part of my concept than have that few skills. Soldier is just as bad because it's starting feats are mostly useless for most characters I'd want to play, except the ones scout also gets. Pretty much, I dont' see much reason to ever start as anything other than noble or scout.

The cather build is good, but it isn't identical in damage to the vibro weapon user, because the weapon user also has rapid strike, and is thus doing 3d6 damage, not 2d6.

THe move action to position into flanking is already rewarded by flanking, which provides a bonus by itself. Also, acrobatics. A high dex trained acrobat will very rarely fail to tumble. IME, especially with a fast race, this pretty much never fails to work. The two swift actions have no extra benefit, and are technically more costly than a move action, because you can use a move action to tumble, swift action for whatever it's best for that turn, and standard to attack.

In game, the logistics of flanking reliable are extremely easy, to the point of triviality.


Infiltrating sabateur: Yes, you can build someone who can reliably sneak and jury rig things, including making them blow up or not work. It was, as I said, harder to do earlier in the system, but you can do it now. It's not terribly interesting, and has no real options like it would in a more frontloaded class system. It's not about being great at everything at level one. It's about being able to play your concept without giving up everything that isn't completely necessary to making your concept function.


Fists are lethal. Even an experienced but untrained brawler can kill people without a weapon. Any striking specialist in a martial arts form that doesn't actively avoid lethality can easily kill you with their hands. Unless you are also trained, they can kill you with your hands even if you attack them with a melee weapon. It's not kung fu movie magic, it's real life.

At most, unarmed damage should have a higher threshhold for actually killing, rather than knocking you out.

And the higher amount of training, if we assume that's true in the sense of how the game models proficiency with something, is already modeled by requiring resources, or in another system, choosing a specific class. If it takes a feat and a talent in order to have 2d6 unarmed attacks, then unarmed combat already requires more than armed combat to gain the same level of efficacy. That is plenty.


The martial arts feats have never made a whole lot of sense to me.

I was a black belt in mic-mac and I would still rather have a knife than be unarmed. 



I would too, but only because I'm pretty good with a long knife, sword, cane, few other one handed weapons.

But I've seen very skilled armed combatants taken down by unarmed combatants enough to know that people underestimate unarmed combatants.


I'd rather the system actually support the concept as a level one concept.

The saboteur concept is very well supported from 1st level. I can sympathize with that you don't like the drawbacks of starting in Scoundrel, but it doesn't make the concept any less supported by the system. The Scoundrel class is made for that type of concept, but it can be done by staring in Scout as well.

As a Scoundrel you need to spend one feat and one talent: Skill Focus in in Stealth and the talent Bomb Thrower.

As a Scout you need to spend two feats: Skill Focus in in Stealth and Mechanics.

Either of these options will leave you with some skills, and a talent or feat depending on Class and Species. So the concept is supported and leave you extra resources to widen that concept!

And It's not that I don't want to play farmhands. It's that my "leaving the monastary for the first time" martial arts striking specialist should be roughly as dangerous as my "leaving the Tipani Sector for the first time" saber rake, with his modern (and thus d6) lightfoil.

Even though you will do less damage then the saber rake (and you should), you are more dangerous! You can get your weapon through any checkpoint and you can't be dissarmed. If someone without MA1 try to fight you without a weapon, a much more likely scenario then if you are carrying a light saber, you will get one extra attack each round that you opponent attack. Anyone without MA1 or a natural weapon draw an AoO every time they attack...

No system is perfect, but SAGA do let you play almost any concept you can think of, even from level ONE. If you want a more front loaded system, an easy fix is to start playing at level 3. If the GM don't want to do that for some reason, don't worry, you will soon level up! Still not happy? Well, then you better do play another system...

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Nonrelevant to thread:
I'd actually agree with you there. I've taken a couple different martial arts, my favorite being Kensho Wushu Martial Arts(Combination of Jujitsu, Wushu Kung Fu, Kuoshou Sanshou, and Chinese Kenpo[Or Bok-Fu Quan-Fa if you want to get technical]). I've also taken fencing, and as a child played with a lot of sword fighting. I'm honestly good at both, but against someone with a sword, I want at least a knife. If someone is trying to shoot at me from range(very common in star wars), I'd much rather run to cover and shoot them back with something. As for melee damage, I completely disagree that melee strikes should get anywhere near the damage of a vibroweapon. The fact they can rather easily surpass swords annoys me when I think of wounding potential.




I would really prefer if the MA Feats just gave the dodge bonus and a bonus to grapple attacks or a +1 bonus to all Melee Attacks instead of an unarmed damage boost.

Unfortunately, that wouldn't be very balanced.  It would be either weak (grappling bonus) or strong (three stackable +1 on top of WF and all that Jazz) to implement.

Fortunately, there are better ways to build a melee character than the unarmed route. 

For a Martial Artist you can't go wrong with a cathar w/ MA 1 IMO.  That +2 dex gives you a bonus to Reflex defense, and you start with 1d6 unarmed.  It's like getting two MA feats at first level. 
192523575 wrote:
-In loving memory of all the Squirrel Jedi hunted down during the Dark Times.
"any eye for an eye leaves the world blind" "No it doesn't, there'd be one guy left with one eye" my custom miniatures http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/29829771/ChainmailJedis_customs


IMO, 1st level jedi is almost literally never worth it. It's terrible. I'd rather take an extra level and spend an extra feat to realize part of my concept than have that few skills.

Soldier is just as bad because it's starting feats are mostly useless for most characters I'd want to play, except the ones scout also gets. Pretty much, I dont' see much reason to ever start as anything other than noble or scout.

Noble and Scout are good for skill monkeys, but they suffer disadvantages when it comes to combat, especially with 18 hp for a Noble and +0 BAB for Noble, Scout and Scoundrel.

Start in jedi if you want to use Force powers at level 1. Start in soldier if you want to use rifles and wear armor. An armored level 1 Soldier with a heavy blaster rifle is killer. A jedi with Move Object, Force Grip, or Force Slam at level 1 is killer. Soldiers and jedi are the only classes that start with +1 BAB and 30 hp. If you want to build a combat monster, Soldier or Jedi is your starting class.



The cather build is good, but it isn't identical in damage to the vibro weapon user, because the weapon user also has rapid strike, and is thus doing 3d6 damage, not 2d6.

It shouldn’t be identical, because fists are not vibrorapiers. I tried my best to suggest a build for you, but you never seem satisfied.



THe move action to position into flanking is already rewarded by flanking, which provides a bonus by itself. Also, acrobatics. A high dex trained acrobat will very rarely fail to tumble. IME, especially with a fast race, this pretty much never fails to work. The two swift actions have no extra benefit, and are technically more costly than a move action, because you can use a move action to tumble, swift action for whatever it's best for that turn, and standard to attack.

In game, the logistics of flanking reliable are extremely easy, to the point of triviality.

Yes, this will work especially with Cathar’s speed. Like I said you’ll have to coordinate with your melee partner. Also, your flanking square may be further than 8 squares. Also, every square you tumble through counts as 2 squares of movement.



Infiltrating sabateur: Yes, you can build someone who can reliably sneak and jury rig things, including making them blow up or not work. It was, as I said, harder to do earlier in the system, but you can do it now. It's not terribly interesting, and has no real options like it would in a more frontloaded class system. It's not about being great at everything at level one. It's about being able to play your concept without giving up everything that isn't completely necessary to making your concept function.

How is spending 2 feats at level 1 giving up everything to make your concept function? We didn’t even talk about the talent! You’re not stuck at level 1 for very long in Saga. As you gain levels, you can develop other concepts.

You seem to want to play a level 5 character at level 1. There’s an easy solution: Start play at level 5. Lots of people do it.



Fists are lethal. Even an experienced but untrained brawler can kill people without a weapon. Any striking specialist in a martial arts form that doesn't actively avoid lethality can easily kill you with their hands. Unless you are also trained, they can kill you with your hands even if you attack them with a melee weapon. It's not kung fu movie magic, it's real life.

Swords are more lethal than fists, as others have mentioned, but I’m not going to continue to debate this with you. If you want to house rule that fists do the same damage as vibrorapiers, go right ahead.



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I'd rather the system actually support the concept as a level one concept. 

And It's not that I don't want to play farmhands. It's that my "leaving the monastary for the first time" martial arts striking specialist should be roughly as dangerous as my "leaving the Tipani Sector for the first time" saber rake, with his modern (and thus d6) lightfoil.

Easiest way to do it is to houserule a feat or talent which makes unarmed attacks do an extra die of damage, or just houserule teras kasi into either jedi or soldier as normal talents. The fact that it requires more feats to bump up the damage die type balances the fact that you can't be disarmed without losing actual limbs.

So I should be able to play "the most powerful Force User in the Galaxy" from first level?  I'm sorry if just don't get it but sometimes a "concept" is going to need to be a more advanced character instead of some one who is just starting out.  If it is so easy for unarmed attacks to be as dangerous as real world weapons, much less the improved power weapons of StarWars, then WHY would anyone ever train to use those weapons?

As for those "houserules" you are asking for they are mostly unnecessary as they already exist.  An extra die of damage?  There's Rapid Strike or Mighty Swing for that.  I'll point out that the Brawler and Weapon Specialist talent trees can both provide things for your unarmed attacker.
IMO, 1st level jedi is almost literally never worth it. It's terrible. I'd rather take an extra level and spend an extra feat to realize part of my concept than have that few skills. Soldier is just as bad because it's starting feats are mostly useless for most characters I'd want to play, except the ones scout also gets. Pretty much, I dont' see much reason to ever start as anything other than noble or scout.

 
Starting in Jedi is certainly worth it for certain builds that want Force Powers ASAP.  The +1 BAB and 30 hitpoints are also very handy to have.  Jedi may not get a lot of trained skills but if you're spending feats to get things you could have gotten from starting in Jedi you could also be spending those feats to pick up those skills.  Soldier may not get a lot of trained skills either but it is solidly in my top three choices for starting characters because of what it does offer.  While I certainly like starting in Noble or Scout for a skillful character which is important in StarWars neither of those classes helps my BAB right away and they also start with fewer hitpoints which amount to taking one less hit before going down at first level.

Now I will admit there are a few houserules I'd use which make all of the starting classes more versatile.  Although it doesn't help Noble or Scoundrel there are a number of substitutions I will allow at first level some of which will let a character start with Martial Arts I.  When multiclassing into a class I will also allow Skill Training to be selected as the starting feat instead of one of the normal choices especially for the 3/4 BAB classes.
Infiltrating sabateur: Yes, you can build someone who can reliably sneak and jury rig things, including making them blow up or not work. It was, as I said, harder to do earlier in the system, but you can do it now. It's not terribly interesting, and has no real options like it would in a more frontloaded class system. It's not about being great at everything at level one. It's about being able to play your concept without giving up everything that isn't completely necessary to making your concept function. 

And what are you "giving up" to make you concept function?  You're giving up specialization in other areas to we can actually see the concept you are shooting for instead of seeing someone who is great at everything.

I'm going to tell you that SAGA classes are NOT "front loaded" like you find in some many other systems for two basic reasons.  The first is simply to reward experience so that a more experienced character actually has things he can do that someone starting out can not do.  The second reason that classes aren't front loading is because SAGA strongly encourages multiclassing; if classes were overly front loaded then someone with five classes would be good at five different things as opposed to the single 5th-level character who is just a little better at one of those things.  Versatility should be important but front loading classes doesn't really promote that one bit.
Fists are lethal. Even an experienced but untrained brawler can kill people without a weapon. Any striking specialist in a martial arts form that doesn't actively avoid lethality can easily kill you with their hands. Unless you are also trained, they can kill you with your hands even if you attack them with a melee weapon. It's not kung fu movie magic, it's real life.
...


So you're saying that the basic, untrained 1d4 damage that a human does unarmed can't kill a person?  It's not too hard when you run up against a non-heroic character who happens to have a d4 HD.  One punch can put someone at zero hitpoints and drop them unconscious and then the next can be a CdG and kill them.  There you have a one-two combo that leaves a dead character.  Heroes are made of stronger stuff so it take a lot more training to be anything close to as effective against them.
The martial arts feats have never made a whole lot of sense to me.

I was a black belt in mic-mac and I would still rather have a knife than be unarmed. 

I would too, but only because I'm pretty good with a long knife, sword, cane, few other one handed weapons. 

But I've seen very skilled armed combatants taken down by unarmed combatants enough to know that people underestimate unarmed combatants.


Translation:  I've seen some skilled armed combatants taken down by, presumably well trained, unarmed combatants.

You're not looking at what would likely be a 1st-level character performing those actions.  I'll also point out that the MA feats improve a character's REF Defense which makes the attacks from those armed combatants less effective.  When you reduce your opponent's abilities you don't need to improve yours as much to make things much closer to even. 

Reading those last couple posts by radaractive is making me rethink my earlier apology and making me thing Merc may have summed things up pretty well with this:
No system is perfect, but SAGA does let you play almost any concept you can think of, even from level ONE. If you want a more front loaded system, an easy fix is to start playing at level 3. If the GM don't want to do that for some reason, don't worry, you will soon level up! Still not happy? Well, then you better do play another system...

The cather build is good, but it isn't identical in damage to the vibro weapon user, because the weapon user also has rapid strike, and is thus doing 3d6 damage, not 2d6.


The vibro-weapon user has to spend an additional feat: Weapon Proficiency (Advanced Melee). So you're back to 2d6.

Cathar with Adv. Melee Prof. = 2d6
Cathar unarmed with Rapid Strike = 2d6, at -2 attack penalty

It's pretty close.

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I'd rather the system actually support the concept as a level one concept.

The saboteur concept is very well supported from 1st level. I can sympathize with that you don't like the drawbacks of starting in Scoundrel, but it doesn't make the concept any less supported by the system. The Scoundrel class is made for that type of concept, but it can be done by staring in Scout as well.

As a Scoundrel you need to spend one feat and one talent: Skill Focus in in Stealth and the talent Bomb Thrower.

As a Scout you need to spend two feats: Skill Focus in in Stealth and Mechanics.

Either of these options will leave you with some skills, and a talent or feat depending on Class and Species. So the concept is supported and leave you extra resources to widen that concept!

And It's not that I don't want to play farmhands. It's that my "leaving the monastary for the first time" martial arts striking specialist should be roughly as dangerous as my "leaving the Tipani Sector for the first time" saber rake, with his modern (and thus d6) lightfoil.

Even though you will do less damage then the saber rake (and you should), you are more dangerous! You can get your weapon through any checkpoint and you can't be dissarmed. If someone without MA1 try to fight you without a weapon, a much more likely scenario then if you are carrying a light saber, you will get one extra attack each round that you opponent attack. Anyone without MA1 or a natural weapon draw an AoO every time they attack...

No system is perfect, but SAGA do let you play almost any concept you can think of, even from level ONE. If you want a more front loaded system, an easy fix is to start playing at level 3. If the GM don't want to do that for some reason, don't worry, you will soon level up! Still not happy? Well, then you better do play another system...




lol wow. And we get to the "like it or leave" complex, at last. I was hoping it wouldnt' happen, but I should have expected it.

Nevermind that I like Saga. Nevermind that I already stated that being able to play the character I want at level 3 or 4 is fine, within the context of a system that works like Saga. Nevermind that this whole thread derailment is a thread derailment that happened in response to me daring to voice a complaint about something we all like, even though I never said that Saga is a bad system, only stating that it has some problems, and for me this is one of them.

No. You can't just say, "Sure, Saga isn't built to play fully realized concepts at level one, but instead assumes apprentice level versions of most concepts." or "Fair enough. Personally, I like the way Saga handles low level concepts and character progression, but YMMV."

No. It's gotta be, "You're wrong. Either learn to like it, skip 1/5th or so of the game, or go play something else."

In response to a sidebar comment I made in a post wherein I posted what I'd figured out, between my own thoughts and this thread, as the best way for me to build my character to function at the lowest possible level.

Awesome.

StevenO: Hyperbole like this: "So I should be able to play "the most powerful Force User in the Galaxy" from first level?  I'm sorry if just don't get it but sometimes a "concept" is going to need to be a more advanced character instead of some one who is just starting out."

Doesn't support your argument. it just makes your points irrelevant, and you seem dishonest in your debate tactics.
I've very clearly never suggested that anything equivelent to "the most powerful Force User in the Galaxy" should be a first level character.

The text you "translated" required no translation. It stands on it's own. Equal amounts of training, there are advantages and disadvantages on both sides of such a conflict.

"I'm going to tell you that SAGA classes are NOT "front loaded" like you find in some many other systems for two basic reasons.  The first is simply to reward experience so that a more experienced character actually has things he can do that someone starting out can not do.  The second reason that classes aren't front loading is because SAGA strongly encourages multiclassing; if classes were overly front loaded then someone with five classes would be good at five different things as opposed to the single 5th-level character who is just a little better at one of those things.  Versatility should be important but front loading classes doesn't really promote that one bit."

Makes nonsense assumptions. Front loaded class structure doesn't need to give a multiclassing character all it's level one stuff when multiclassing. Even saga only gives one of the starting feats. If every saga class gave 2 talents at level one, instead of one, it would be completely sensible for a multiclassing character to still only get one when they MC into that class, to give the simplest possible example.

The fact that we like something does not mean that the thing is always right in how it works.

The cather build is good, but it isn't identical in damage to the vibro weapon user, because the weapon user also has rapid strike, and is thus doing 3d6 damage, not 2d6.


The vibro-weapon user has to spend an additional feat: Weapon Proficiency (Advanced Melee). So you're back to 2d6.

Cathar with Adv. Melee Prof. = 2d6
Cathar unarmed with Rapid Strike = 2d6, at -2 attack penalty

It's pretty close.




A penalty to attack is about equal to less damage.


So what do you want again? A level 1 character with the talents and feats of a level 5 character? You could start level 1 with more feats and talents. It will unbalance the game though.

JOIN US AT THE NEW STAR WARS SAGA EDITION COMMUNITY: THE SAGA CONTINUES!

 

Compiled files of all Star Wars Saga Edition resource documents & reference tools - NPCs, character sheets, Dawn of Defiance, Force and lightsaber form power cards, Jedi Counseling articles, NPC statblocks, Saga Index to all feats, talents, species, weapons, etc, Star Wars articles and web enhancements

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Ok, since you want to throw out much of SAGA's balance why not just write up the character using a lightsaber and then when you're done change every instance of the word "lightsaber" to "unarmed attack"?  There, now your "unarmed" attacks can do the 2d8 damage (or 2d6 if you just want to model them on the short lightsaber) and you could enjoy all those tricks you see being done with a lightsaber.  After all, we see people turning melee attack with their bare hands all the time and with that as a base even turning aside ranged attacks shouldn't seem so far fetched.  We even see people break brick and boards with bare hands so you could even leave the ability to ignore hardness if you really want.

This idea should work just fine for you although I can say with some certainty that many of use will have problems trading in the "shoot me" beacon for something you can walk around with without anyone raising any issues and which can not be disarmed. 

If you want to play a concept you can't "imagine" as a first level character but can see it at a hgher level then just start at that higher level.  It makes things so much easier on everyone else instead of changing things and then maybe coming back for more help but having a warped view on how things work.
Ok, since you want to throw out much of SAGA's balance why not just write up the character using a lightsaber and then when you're done change every instance of the word "lightsaber" to "unarmed attack"?  There, now your "unarmed" attacks can do the 2d8 damage (or 2d6 if you just want to model them on the short lightsaber) and you could enjoy all those tricks you see being done with a lightsaber.  After all, we see people turning melee attack with their bare hands all the time and with that as a base even turning aside ranged attacks shouldn't seem so far fetched.  We even see people break brick and boards with bare hands so you could even leave the ability to ignore hardness if you really want.

This idea should work just fine for you although I can say with some certainty that many of use will have problems trading in the "shoot me" beacon for something you can walk around with without anyone raising any issues and which can not be disarmed. 

If you want to play a concept you can't "imagine" as a first level character but can see it at a hgher level then just start at that higher level.  It makes things so much easier on everyone else instead of changing things and then maybe coming back for more help but having a warped view on how things work.
 


Or create a new class:

New Class: Monk
Starting feats: Weapon Proficiecy (simple), Martial Arts 1, Monk Strike
Starting skills: 5 + INT mod
Starting hp: 30
BAB: +1
Ref/Fort/Will: +1 each (same as jedi)

New feat:
Monk Strike: You automatically deal +1 die of damage on all unarmed attacks.

Bonus feats and talents: Same as Soldier.

Overpowered? You bet. But it fits your description of what you want at level 1: A martial artist with lots of skills that deals the same damage as vibro-rapier without investing much.

JOIN US AT THE NEW STAR WARS SAGA EDITION COMMUNITY: THE SAGA CONTINUES!

 

Compiled files of all Star Wars Saga Edition resource documents & reference tools - NPCs, character sheets, Dawn of Defiance, Force and lightsaber form power cards, Jedi Counseling articles, NPC statblocks, Saga Index to all feats, talents, species, weapons, etc, Star Wars articles and web enhancements

Ok, since you want to throw out much of SAGA's balance why not just write up the character using a lightsaber and then when you're done change every instance of the word "lightsaber" to "unarmed attack"?  There, now your "unarmed" attacks can do the 2d8 damage (or 2d6 if you just want to model them on the short lightsaber) and you could enjoy all those tricks you see being done with a lightsaber.  After all, we see people turning melee attack with their bare hands all the time and with that as a base even turning aside ranged attacks shouldn't seem so far fetched.  We even see people break brick and boards with bare hands so you could even leave the ability to ignore hardness if you really want.

This idea should work just fine for you although I can say with some certainty that many of use will have problems trading in the "shoot me" beacon for something you can walk around with without anyone raising any issues and which can not be disarmed. 

If you want to play a concept you can't "imagine" as a first level character but can see it at a hgher level then just start at that higher level.  It makes things so much easier on everyone else instead of changing things and then maybe coming back for more help but having a warped view on how things work.
 



Or you could seriously tone down the arrogant jerk routine. Just this once.

And maybe read my posts enough to actually understand what I'm trying to do, rather than spewing out garbage based on kneejerk reactions gained from skimming my posts.

Just sayin.



So what do you want again? A level 1 character with the talents and feats of a level 5 character? You could start level 1 with more feats and talents. It will unbalance the game though.




Um...to discuss how early a functional, competent martial artist (preferably a striking specialist) can be built in Saga.

Which has been answered. Level 3, or 4 depending on race and whether or not it's a force user.



Or create a new class:

New Class: Monk
Starting feats: Weapon Proficiecy (simple), Martial Arts 1, Monk Strike
Starting skills: 5 + INT mod
Starting hp: 30
BAB: +1
Ref/Fort/Will: +1 each (same as jedi)

New feat:
Monk Strike: You automatically deal +1 die of damage on all unarmed attacks.

Bonus feats and talents: Same as Soldier.

Overpowered? You bet. But it fits your description of what you want at level 1: A martial artist with lots of skills that deals the same damage as vibro-rapier without investing much.




Wow. That's not at all what I want, but sure.

Teras Kasi as a non PrC talent tree accomplishes what I want just fine. And at no point have I said that I don't want much investment. There's no reason that the martial artist shouldn't be able to use a feat or talent to essentially buy "proficiency" with unarmed attacks, gaining a +1 die to unarmed attacks. Where the weapon user is potentially done at that level of investment, the MA must still buy martial arts feats in order to make their attacks comparable, and are thus still behind in feats.

I suggested an extra talent for first level characters (exactly the same as the first level bonus feat) as a houserule to make the game in general more frontloaded, while losing no versatility.

I also houserule the skill system to be more open (by which I mean entirely, no class skill list), jedi and soldier get +1(soldier) and +2 (jedi) skill trainings, BaB for the three non full BaB classes get's bumped up a level, skill training is reduced to +3, with automatic extra +1's at the same levels your ability scores increase, and a few other more minor changes.

Saga is fun, but there's plenty of room for improvement, IMO. that isn't an attack on the system. You folks need to calm down, and stop acting like I'm trying to burn down your proverbial house.

Just throwing this out there, not sure if it has been mentioned but...

Compared to nonheroics which is about 90% of the population of the galaxy, a level 1 heroic character is uberbadass.  Which is why they are heroic to begin with.  They have abilities NHs don't have, they have a higher chance of survival up agianst stormtroopers, and they have a higher chance of success at skills and what not thanks to Force points and destiny points.  SO having a level 1 martial artist, all you need is Bab +1 and Martial Arts I feat and a high strength and you can pummel pretty much most of the population of the galaxy, everything else is just fluff.  Call them a Teras Kasi if you want, don't neceassrily need talents for that, don't need a PrC either.

I think the problem with Saga is everybody gets too wrapped up in defining their character through class/PrC/feats/talents instead of a narrative description. 
Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great many things. Winner of the Winner of You Build the Character #34: Padme Amidala


So eliminate class skills and give everyone full BAB and add extra feats and talents and skills at level 1. Or build a level 3 character and call him a level 1 character. Make Master of Teras Kasi a base class talent tree (it would make more sense if it belonged to the Soldier talents).

If this is what you think will make the game more enjoyable for you, then go for it. Please warn your GM that he's going to have to increase the challenge ratings of all your encounters, skill challenges, etc...

Personally, I think Saga is a lot of fun as is. I don’t understand the obsession with the word “Frontloaded.” I don’t understand why level 1 characters have to be amazing and why you can’t begin play at level 3 or 5. I don’t understand why a Cathar who spends 1 feat on Rapid Strike is so much more inferior to a Cathar who spends 1 feat on Advanced Melee Proficiency.



And at no point have I said that I don't want much investment.

That's funny. Because there are 17 occurances of the word "investment" on this page, mostly by you saying that it's too much investment, and others telling you it's not that much investment.

JOIN US AT THE NEW STAR WARS SAGA EDITION COMMUNITY: THE SAGA CONTINUES!

 

Compiled files of all Star Wars Saga Edition resource documents & reference tools - NPCs, character sheets, Dawn of Defiance, Force and lightsaber form power cards, Jedi Counseling articles, NPC statblocks, Saga Index to all feats, talents, species, weapons, etc, Star Wars articles and web enhancements


Name calling is unnecessary.  This thread is pure pedantry over the rules.

Talk to your GM.  Tell him what you what.  Maybe the two of you can come up with a houseruled method to give you what you want at 1st level but keep the game balance?

He Knows your group and your game better than us.  Any GM worth his salt can find a compromise with players over how to execute their concepts.  A GM should save a staight out 'no' for only the most ridiculous character concepts (Like TimeLords and players who want to be the Alien Queen from the movie Alien with Sigourney Weaver).  This is not one of those cases, so I recommend you speaking to your GM and figuring out what you want to be able to do.
192523575 wrote:
-In loving memory of all the Squirrel Jedi hunted down during the Dark Times.
"any eye for an eye leaves the world blind" "No it doesn't, there'd be one guy left with one eye" my custom miniatures http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/29829771/ChainmailJedis_customs
I also houserule the skill system to be more open (by which I mean entirely, no class skill list), jedi and soldier get +1(soldier) and +2 (jedi) skill trainings, BaB for the three non full BaB classes get's bumped up a level, skill training is reduced to +3, with automatic extra +1's at the same levels your ability scores increase, and a few other more minor changes. 

Saga is fun, but there's plenty of room for improvement, IMO. that isn't an attack on the system. You folks need to calm down, and stop acting like I'm trying to burn down your proverbial house.


Maybe you're not "burning it down" but you are certainly stripping it down to the supports and then asking what we think.

Had you opened with those houserule I may have just stayed out.  You mention a few other "minor" changes but the ones you mention certainly aren't minor and radically shift SAGA's foundation.  You may be playing a StarWars game using elements from SAGA but you are NOT playing a SAGA game which most of us expect.

@CmJ:  There's only one person calling others names here which certainly isn't a good way to get support.  Apparently there may already be some major houserules which would change the discussion.

 

Apparently there may already be some major houserules which would change the discussion.

 



I agree this would have helped us understand the situation better.  This just further cements my previous statement; This guy needs to talk to his GM.  The houserules probably belong to his Game Master, so he probably understands his game better than we ever will, making him uniquely qualified to find a solution to this OPs problem.
192523575 wrote:
-In loving memory of all the Squirrel Jedi hunted down during the Dark Times.
"any eye for an eye leaves the world blind" "No it doesn't, there'd be one guy left with one eye" my custom miniatures http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/29829771/ChainmailJedis_customs

Name calling is unnecessary.  This thread is pure pedantry over the rules.

Talk to your GM.  Tell him what you what.  Maybe the two of you can come up with a houseruled method to give you what you want at 1st level but keep the game balance?

He Knows your group and your game better than us.  Any GM worth his salt can find a compromise with players over how to execute their concepts.  A GM should save a staight out 'no' for only the most ridiculous character concepts (Like TimeLords and players who want to be the Alien Queen from the movie Alien with Sigourney Weaver).  This is not one of those cases, so I recommend you speaking to your GM and figuring out what you want to be able to do.

Are those Slithine? (spelling may be off).
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
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Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
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141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)


So eliminate class skills and give everyone full BAB and add extra feats and talents and skills at level 1. Or build a level 3 character and call him a level 1 character. Make Master of Teras Kasi a base class talent tree (it would make more sense if it belonged to the Soldier talents).

If this is what you think will make the game more enjoyable for you, then go for it. Please warn your GM that he's going to have to increase the challenge ratings of all your encounters, skill challenges, etc...

Personally, I think Saga is a lot of fun as is. I don’t understand the obsession with the word “Frontloaded.” I don’t understand why level 1 characters have to be amazing and why you can’t begin play at level 3 or 5. I don’t understand why a Cathar who spends 1 feat on Rapid Strike is so much more inferior to a Cathar who spends 1 feat on Advanced Melee Proficiency.



And at no point have I said that I don't want much investment.

That's funny. Because there are 17 occurances of the word "investment" on this page, mostly by you saying that it's too much investment, and others telling you it's not that much investment.




I didn't say full BAB, I said the lower BaB starts at +1. It then progresses the same as before. This is to make multiclassing have no cost, and help balance the fact that soldier and jedi now have more skills. and because I hate the lopsided BaB system to begin with.


It is too much investment. I want it to be less than it is. Not the same as weapon use, not no investment, just less than it is, with the biggest change being how early one part of the investment can be made. I'd also be fine with a rule that it caps at d10 damage, no matter what, or changing the natural weapon thing so it isn't broken in combination with this change.

Also, I'm the GM, most often. If you'd paid closer attention to what I was saying, you'd realize that what I listed as houserules are mostly unrelated to the martial artist issue. I was just pointing out that houseruling is a better solution, for me and my group at least, than not playing a game we like just because we dislike some aspects of it.

personally, I find the idea that one should ditch a game rather than make some minor adjustments to things you don't like about to be completely absurd.

And I've already shown how the cathar who spends one feat on rapid strike is "inferior" (although I didn't use that word) to a cathar who grabs advanced melee weapons.

I also never said I want level one characters to be amazing. In saga, they're practically amatuers. I don't like that. I also never said that anyone else was wrong for liking it the way it is. I only stated that it's a problem for me, and my group. Because I'm a normal, well adjusted adult, it doesn't bother me when people think differently about something than I do.

And eliminating class skills has nothing to do with balance, or low level power level. It just makes the game work better. The biggest issue with saga is that what is left of a class structure is restrictive in really oddball ways that don't always make sense. I'd also expand the crap out of each classes bonus feat list, making a lot of the basic feats available to everyone as bonus feats. (things like weapon finesse, rapid shot and strike, running attack, etc.)

And guess what, those changes don't effect you in any way. Exciting, isn't it?

But hey, thanks for turning a thread about how to build a concept as early as possible into a flamewar. It's been great, really.

I also houserule the skill system to be more open (by which I mean entirely, no class skill list), jedi and soldier get +1(soldier) and +2 (jedi) skill trainings, BaB for the three non full BaB classes get's bumped up a level, skill training is reduced to +3, with automatic extra +1's at the same levels your ability scores increase, and a few other more minor changes. 

Saga is fun, but there's plenty of room for improvement, IMO. that isn't an attack on the system. You folks need to calm down, and stop acting like I'm trying to burn down your proverbial house.


Maybe you're not "burning it down" but you are certainly stripping it down to the supports and then asking what we think.

Had you opened with those houserule I may have just stayed out.  You mention a few other "minor" changes but the ones you mention certainly aren't minor and radically shift SAGA's foundation.  You may be playing a StarWars game using elements from SAGA but you are NOT playing a SAGA game which most of us expect.

@CmJ:  There's only one person calling others names here which certainly isn't a good way to get support.  Apparently there may already be some major houserules which would change the discussion.

 



Those houserules aren't part of the actual on topic discussion. They weren't relevant until you decided to jump in my face because I dared to express a fracking quibble with your precious game, nevermind that I like the bloody game.

And your whole "stripping it's supports" and "radically shift SAGA's foundation" stuff is pure hyperbole, anyway.


And don't try to BS. This thread went flamewar because you, specifically, came in full condescending jerk mode, and then later in the thread came back in in full attack mode, for no good gorram reason.

Don't blame me for your terrible behavior.

Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome

Apparently there may already be some major houserules which would change the discussion.

 



I agree this would have helped us understand the situation better.  This just further cements my previous statement; This guy needs to talk to his GM.  The houserules probably belong to his Game Master, so he probably understands his game better than we ever will, making him uniquely qualified to find a solution to this OPs problem.



The actual question in this thread was answered within a handful of posts, actually. We figured out that a competent striking martial artist comes together at 3rd or 4th level.

I then made the apperent mistake of stating that waiting for somewhere from 3 to 5 before a concept comes together is one of the problems I have with the system, and all hell broke loose for no good reason.


Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
All my fault huh?  That's a good one although I am big enough to admit that my fourth and fifth posts may not be the kindest.

My first point was simply trying to establish the expectations for a NEW forum member with the next couple trying to educate said member on how things normally work.  Of course you, who ever you are because I wasn't talking to DoctorBadWolf, took offense right from the start and don't appear to have ever let it up.  Then of couse you are the one who is doing the name calling.  Should I ask since when is defending the system considered coming "in full attack mode?"  You can call my "suggestion" to just tread unarmed combat like lightsaber combat but with a different weapon an attack but that is only after repeated negative comments from you.

Now should I even ask why you feel the need to post under two (or do you have more in case some get shut down?) different Usernames?  Perhaps I'm the only idiot who didn't know who I was talking to but I somehow doubt that.  I guess I'll add that if you don't like what I say feel free to add me to your ignore list although it may not stop me from posting to threads you write in; of course having multiple accounts may make that much less effective.  Maybe it is two different users but the posts still came form the same source.
 
Careful, Steven-DBW is not radar's alt and implying that could get you banned.
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
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141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)

My first point was simply trying to establish the expectations for a NEW forum member with the next ouple trying to educate said member on how things normally work.

 



We don't have a "good old boys club" here. New members don't need to be "educated" about "how things normally work."

"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)

 
Are those Slithine? (spelling may be off).



The Aliens from Alien?  They are called Xenomorphs I believe.


192523575 wrote:
-In loving memory of all the Squirrel Jedi hunted down during the Dark Times.
"any eye for an eye leaves the world blind" "No it doesn't, there'd be one guy left with one eye" my custom miniatures http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/29829771/ChainmailJedis_customs
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