Thoughts on 4th ed and Star Wars Saga

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So i just got my hands on the Star Wars saga edition book and i really like the way they are going with the things in it, if even half of the ideas in it will be used in 4th i will be one happy gamer. :D
On that note i would like to detail some of the things i like and some of the things i don´t like.

Classes:
Even with a "meager" 5 classes, the Talent tree system works really well and allows for many different builds within the same class and it has really grown since d20 modern. Heck i think you could have an entire party being the same class and be totally different characters anyway. You probably cannot do that in 4th and neither should it be so, D&D have a different party structure, even more so in 4th, with the bigger empahis on "Roles". But i can still see talent system being a really good way to handle classes in 4th.

Special powers (force, spells, powers etc):
No i would not like a skill based spell system in D&D but i like the way (like in Tome of Battle) that you can regain one or more powers fast in different ways (this most likely a form of the /per encounter abilities we have been hearing about. And i would like to see it applied to martial characters to handle various manuvers, perhaps gained through talents. Although if you make caster level = Character level you will get much the same effect but in a more D&D-like way and also enhance multiclassing.

Skills:
The skill system in SWS is brilliant, D&D is not a point-buy based system and skill points have always been poking me when playing it, it just seems out of place in this system. By doing skill like SWS (no skill points, instead a list of "trained" skills, skill checks based on character level) it will enhance multiclassing, like we have also been told is something 4th will do.

Saves/defenses and armor class:
Now this one i am not so sure about. In SWS the reflex save and armor class have been rolled into one, which when you look at it is quite logical. But it is the way you calculate it i dont like: Reflex defence: 10+ character level or armor bonus + dexterity mod + natural armor bonus + size mod.

Now if we transfer this to Joe Fighter who is about to become a level 15 fighter, he is wearing a +5 Full plate,he has has dex 13 and using a twohander weapon (genrous DM). Before his level up, he will have an armor class of 14 with his armor on and 14 without his armor on...but it gets dumber, he now levels up and viola his armor is actually higher without his full plate on!

This is fine in the Star Wars universe, where not many (if any) of the heroes ever wear armor and it would also work in a heroic modern setting(like an action movie) where the heroes rarely wear any armor. But in a fantasy setting (and particuler D&D) armor have a central place in the story, sometimes even as plot points.
But you could still use the defence format, with no armor class, if you just make a few modifications. Instead of it being your character level you add to the reflex defence, each class gets an individual bonus that is somewhat lower. and level 30 it should end at something like 5 (or a bit more) for frail character (wizard, sorc, psion etc), about 10 for the middle poeple (Rogues, clerics etc) and 15-20 for the though ones (Fighter, Barb etc) and then it should stack with armor or at least give some of its bonus even when wearing armor (kinda like the max dex mod).

The condition track:
Another good idea, but a bit too narrow for D&D. The conditon track, for those who dont have SWS is a way to handle all debilitating effects that can hit a character (poison, disease, exhoustion, stunning etc) with giving the them cumaltive minuses on d20 rolls. It could work if you perhaps had a number of different condition tracks.
One for weakening that gives the minuses like before, one that handles stunning; one move down the track = stunned 1 round, 2 moves = stunned for 2 rounds and the fourth or fifth move would paralyse the person.
A Paralyse spell could be like this: Fort save against caster level. If save succesful move 2 down the stunning track, if save unsuccesful move 4 down the stunning tack.
You could even reverse it: Inspiration Track: 1 move up the track = +1 to attacks, save and skill checks, 4 moves up the track = +5 attacks, saves and skill checks, 5 moves up the track +5 attacks, saves and skill checks and you gain an extra swift action for one turn then move back down to the 4 place on the Inspiration track.

Multiclassing:
As i have stated earlier this is also something that has been improved a lot in SWS, with the skills being seperated from the skill points system, and "magic" being seperated from you class level. But a third thing I really like about it is that it is not a gift shop when you multiclass; proficiancies is handled solely as feats, the Scoundrel has Weapon Proficiency (Pistols) and Weapon Proficiency (Simple) as starting feats plus Point Blank shot, now he you then took you second level as Soldier (which have all the weapon prociencies, except exotic ofc) you could only chose one of his starting feats. The other way around the Soldier could then take Point Blank Shot if he where to take his second level as Scoundrel. This is a neat system that could work very well in D&D with little modification.

So there you have it, my thoughts after plowing through SWS, IMO it bodes very well for 4th ed
I made many of the same observations. In fact, when I got back from GenCon, I read the Star Wars SAGA book cover to cover, then spent several hours furiously writing a synopsis of changes and what I expected to possibly transition into 4E -- distributed to our playtest group as well as to my fellow writers... I'm fortunate enough be a d20 freelancer, so I'm especially eager to see if the SAGA book really is a "sneak peek" at 4E or if there are some false positives in there.
Ya in general I am pretty happy with the direction SWS points.

Classes - I like talent trees and what they did with the classes in Saga. 4th ed will have to have more classes and more trees but otherwise I like it.

Magic - I like how they did the Force but wouldn't want it as the core mechanic for 4th edition casting. It would make a cool alternate system magic system down the road. Maybe when they redo ToM.

Skills - I don't like the skill system in Saga. Skills were a big deal for many classes in 3.5 and where I put my skill points each level was a major part of leveling up. To just have auto leveling of skills robs me of that satisfaction and reduces my roleplaying options. The Saga system has a hard time expressing things like career change. If you start as a rogue but then convert to Paladin you are stuck with skills like a rogue. Even if you swear off using any of your roguey skills, because they are "trained", you will never stop being better at them. To make matters worse, you paladin skills remain untrained unless you use a feat to fix that. Nope, I don't like the system for D&D.

Save Defenses - I really like the idea of overcoming someones defenses by rolling rather than having them roll a save. I've played too many illusionists or enchanters that could have left their d20 at home, not to like Sagas more proactive system. What I dislike about it is its expression of armor. Don't get me wrong, the system works great for starwars, but in D&D armor plays a much bigger role. I'm hoping for a hybrid of the current system and the Saga system for 4th. One that has save defenses in addition to AC.

Condition Track - Too simple and too narrow for D&D. Too many things are grouped together in a condition track system to keep the fun complexity of D&D. I like my spider poison being different than my wyvern poison or drow poison.

Multiclassing - Saga is in some way both more restricting and more flexable than 3.5. I'm all about the flexablity. I think talent trees combine with easy caster multiclassing will help the game out a lot in terms of flexablity.

Ohh and I like the extra hp's a first level. I like that a lot. WotC, if you are going to keep only two things from Saga, make it talent trees and x3 hps at first.
Yeah i forgot about the first level hp, that is a really good idea too.
No more 4hp level 1 Wizards :D
Seems someone missed the soldier talents "Armored Defense" and "Improved Armored Defense"...

Either way, I imagine these talents will either be folded into armor proficiency feats in 4e or combined into a single talent. Or perhaps a different armor system entirely. Only time will tell.
To just have auto leveling of skills robs me of that satisfaction and reduces my roleplaying options.

I just feel the need to nitpick on this for a moment.

The numbers that make up your character is not roleplaying. It's just a mechanical representation of your character on a sheet of paper. You do not need these numbers to effectively roleplay a character. In fact, another forum poster put it most succinctly when he said that this was a sign of CRPGism -- that is, people focusing entirely on the mechanical aspects of a character while ignoring the 'real' aspects, or the things that make one's character a, y'know, character.

There are a number of RPGs (including - guess what! - the older editions of D&D) that simply ignore this level of granularity, and people have no problem roleplaying in them at all. The rules are there to guide, not to constrict.

Also, this is a problem solvable by allowing re-training.
The armor system is the way it is in Saga to reflect what we see in the movies; most of the high-level heroes and villains don't wear armor. The few high level characters who do are very, very good at it and have learned to maximize its use.

This is not quite the same armor system that is likely to be used in D&D. D&D fighters wear armor all the time in combat, no matter what level they are; it's a trope of the fantasy genre. Heavy armor protects better than being unarmored, no matter how high level you get.
As I've said in a few other threads, I hope that 4E adopts Saga's defenses system, especially in regards to armor, adn here's why: classic fantasy is replete with examples of the hero fending off attacks by dint of reflexes & skill-at-arms, not crap-tons of magic and/or heavy armor.

I say that Saga's defense system allows D&D to resemble fantasy literature & cinema, not just previous editions of itself.
Well, a few things from a fan of the SWSE:

1. Armour, I agree, might be a stumbling block for the system, but then again, if you watch many of the old fantasy movies, Sword and the Sorcerer, Conan, etc.. not many wore heavy armour anyways. So heavy armour *MAY* become the domain of the fighter and paladin. If this were the case, the save system would work fine.

2. Condition track and poison. The condition track could be a simple and effective way to eliminate many of the poor ideas, IMO, that D&D still has. Take level draining - please. Ahem.. is this thing on? If level draining is turned into a persistent condition that always affects you until you have a restoration cast on you, you'll still fear it, but not in the same way as now (where you have to reverse engineer your character and forget that new feat you just got). Now, as for poisons, sure it does make them a little weaker, but the difference is the attack bonus' that different poisons have (one of the changes to poisons) a weak poison may only have 1d20+5 and just cause a temporary move down the condition track, while a very bad one does 1d20+20 (like the pan-galactic gargle blaster) could cause multiple persistent conditions. The result is this is that towards hero's, poisons are not as lethal, they could still cause damage, but you wont have a heroic character (the player) die because he got poisoned.

3. The force and magic - I agree that I don't think that the system for the force would work perfectly for magic, but it could be a great system for Psionics. That would be, for me, an interesting thing if Psionics were treated somewhat similar to Dark Sun where they were more common, though not necessarily everyone having them, but anyone COULD have them. This would only work if they do indeed have talent trees. Think of it like this, a wizard with psionics would just have a wild talent - just make psionics different enough from spells and this idea could be a winner.

4. The skill system, while many don't like this, for D&D, I think it could work. I read somewhere, that skills will be to the rogue, what weapons are to the fighter. So a rogue using a skill will get certain uses out of it that other characters cannot, do. This may work, I like the lack of book keeping, and it the system fits with heroic fantasy for the same reason it works for Star Wars - if a character is not trained at something, but a high enough level, they should be able to do it. Look at a movie, when have you EVER seen a character not take part in an encounter in cinema because they don't know how to ride a horse. I've never seen it, maybe it's there, but the hero always seems to know how to do everything - maybe they're not a master, but when it comes to having to do something cool, the SWSE skill system at least gives you a chance to accomplish that.

5. The above is just figuring out how the current system (SWSE) could work, with all the new ways of approaching things for Star Wars, they (the gaming gods at WotC) may just come up with new ideas that we mere mortals may not expect or even think of. They did it with Star Wars, so they may do it with D&D. Really, if they halve as good a job with D&D as they did with SWSE, we'll be in good shape.
I just feel the need to nitpick on this for a moment.

The numbers that make up your character is not roleplaying. It's just a mechanical representation of your character on a sheet of paper. You do not need these numbers to effectively roleplay a character. In fact, another forum poster put it most succinctly when he said that this was a sign of CRPGism -- that is, people focusing entirely on the mechanical aspects of a character while ignoring the 'real' aspects, or the things that make one's character a, y'know, character.

There are a number of RPGs (including - guess what! - the older editions of D&D) that simply ignore this level of granularity, and people have no problem roleplaying in them at all. The rules are there to guide, not to constrict.

Also, this is a problem solvable by allowing re-training.

Don't lecture me about roleplaying. Christ, I was pointing out that the current 3.5 system allows one to better represent character concepts. I was arguing that the current system supported certain character stories better. How the hell does that deserve a lecture on what roleplaying is. The rules are in place to support roleplaying. If one of the new rules takes away from the games ability to represent my character then I have every right not to like it.

Heck, even my example was a strictly roleplaying example. What am I suppose to do when the DM asks for a hide check, my paladin can hide like a seasoned thief even tho he hasn't hide from anything in years, should I just ask to fail.

I believe strongly that the rules are in place to translate the character in my head into a character on paper. If you don't want rules to do that for you then join a storytime group but don't insult me by lecturing me on roleplaying.
I just feel the need to nitpick on this for a moment.

The numbers that make up your character is not roleplaying. It's just a mechanical representation of your character on a sheet of paper. You do not need these numbers to effectively roleplay a character. In fact, another forum poster put it most succinctly when he said that this was a sign of CRPGism -- that is, people focusing entirely on the mechanical aspects of a character while ignoring the 'real' aspects, or the things that make one's character a, y'know, character.

There are a number of RPGs (including - guess what! - the older editions of D&D) that simply ignore this level of granularity, and people have no problem roleplaying in them at all. The rules are there to guide, not to constrict.

Also, this is a problem solvable by allowing re-training.

Ahem... If I may interject here?

While you are correct about older games like C&S and D&D 1E, and Champions to some extent, the latest and greatest games focus on skill development. In this case, the systems DO tell you how to role play your character, by specifically saying what you can and can not know.

While normally this is glossed over by smart DM's, the fact is if I want to be a really bully DM, I could go "You can't know that about (X), you don't have Knowledge (Y) on your character sheet!" or whatever other whim I call upon.

Even without taking this into consideration, knowing what kind of things your character knows is definatlly needed for roleplaying experinces, and not being able to allocate points creates for a different feel of character. The difference can be clearly demonstrated by comparing GURPS to Storyteller.

In GURPS, your character might know a tiny amount of things based on default skills, but for the most part, you know what your character knows because you spent the points on precisely what they know what to do.

In Storyteller, your character is a bit more broad. Even without points spent on the skill, your characters probably know more on a given subject then most people have a right to. Characters all the time are succeeding in the craziest things. They break into locked places by picking locks, even though they've never done so in their lives. They tend to know the most obscure occult references, even though they never have entered a shop, and this is okay, because in that universe, that's NORMAL for heroes, and it doesn't really break character.

Going from skill points to set skills in D&D changes things from your GURPS mindset (A little more broader, I grant you, but basically the 'I know what I can do' mindset), to the Storyteller Mindset (I can do anything!). While this does help those that were not skill monkeys to begin with, it does little to help build characters on, as what you are good at becomes even more ambiguous from what everyone else can do.

This means that combat abilities mean more, as that is what tends to really separate characters from each other. Not that in D&D that's a bad thing.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
Thanks you for stating that clearer than I ever could.

Thats exactly why I worry about D&D having a Saga style skill system. Its great for non skill classes but removes a lot of what makes skill based classes fun and interesting.
Yeah even if I like the Saga skill system a lot, you are right it looks like it does rob the heavy skill based character of a bit of their thunder on the surface.


But if you look at the skill chapter you will see that things are not as bad as they might seem; If you are not trained in the skill you can only use some of the most basic checks for that skill, let me give an example with the various things you can do with Acrobatics: Balance, Cross difficult terrain(trained only), Escape bonds, Fall Prone (trained only), Reduce Falling Damage (Trained only), Stand up from prone (trained only), Tumble (trained only).
So out of the seven things it is possible to do with an Acrobatics check a character who is not trained in it will only be able to do 2.
I could see the rogue taking this further with some skill uses restricted to the rogue (or other classes), via talents.
So even if anyone could make a skill check only a master of that skill get the full use of it.
Thanks you for stating that clearer than I ever could.

Thats exactly why I worry about D&D having a Saga style skill system. Its great for non skill classes but removes a lot of what makes skill based classes fun and interesting.

I can agree with this, in regards to 3.x D&D, remember this is going to be 4e, many of the ideas that are being discussed on the forums, could be changed for the next edition. Sadly, I don't remember what 4e source I read it on, but I did read that skills, in regards to rogues are similar to what weapons are to fighters in 4e - the fact that rogues may get special uses of skill that only they can use. Fighters get a special ability when using a certain weapon, well rogues get one when using a specific skill. That would go a long way to making a 'skilled' character different, all the while keeping the skill system easy to calculate (both for player and a DM making high-level opponents) and quick to use.

so please, take this:
IMAGE(http://www.arrod.co.uk/images/blue-pill1.jpg)
If you want to keep thinking of 4e as exactly the same as 3.x

or take this:
IMAGE(http://www.arrod.co.uk/images/red-pill1.jpg)
If you realize that this is a new edition, and the designers may be changing what we currently know to be truths about the game.
Here are my thoughts on why Saga is good for 4e:

1. Classes: To begin with we gain a new framework that was first introduced with Modern, Talents ala class abilities and Feats every level. In 3.x I never felt like I had enough feats, let alone customizability.

With Talents you can tailor your class in different ways so that say Fighters will be different no only from Feat selection, but will have different class features that could emulate the Swashbuckler, Samurai, or Knight.

Multiclass friendly, woot! Even better, we can tailor our character by multiclassing and still remain in concept. The Skill setup and Class defenses even make this more feasible, and remain in closer balance. This is a good thing, I think.

2. Defenses: Well it's good to roll them into static defenses, it saves on rolling which is a boon for the DM (area effects for starters). Now it's been said that the rolling Armor and Reflex isn't good because it doesn't fit the theme of the staid warrior, I beg to differ.

There are many heroes in literature that do not wear armor, why should they be penalized for choosing to be a swashbuckler or such? They shouldn't. As to those whose careers (concept) do require/prefer armor there will almost definately have a talent allow them to. SE has Improved Armor defense which allows the hero to use 1/2 the armor bonus to stack with the reflex defense. I would also surmise that Magic Enhancements to Armor would stack with Reflex even if you don't take such a talent.

In SE armor also allows you to improve Fortitude Defense and by default your Damage Threshold, which is a nice touch that does make a difference in play. Magic Enhancements would probably give a boost here as well.

3. Condition Track: This is a sweet mechanic, it's universal enough to cover many conditions without bogging the game down. Moreso, with Persistent Condition you have an elegant way to do energy drain w/o level loss. It would remain a threat at any level, as there are only so many thresholds to the track you have a limit to how many drains you can take before you are incapacitated or deseased. It's better than the MD save (dull really), and helps to maintain suspension of belief because you aren't immune to the pain of battle, yet have ways to deal with it in heroic fashion.

4. Skills: All I can say is it's elegant, multiclass friendly, easy on book keeping, DM friendly, etc. etc. I want it in my game, and it will be the first house I instate if they somehow fail to see the wisdom of Saga.

5. While I do expect magic to be different from the Force, I would like it to borrow heavy on the rules concepts, i.e. Talents, Techniques, Secrets, etc. etc. Please use a skill roll, that is so dynamic and removes the general boredom of fire and forget magic. There is much to learn from Saga...

I certainly am excited, I want to play it, as I haven't played D&D for some time now...
I've already implemented the following changes from Saga into my fortnightly D&D campaign and everyone loves it:

-Withdraw is a move action.
-Charge is a standard action.
-No 5 ft. step.
-No critical confirmation rolls.
-Half character level as bonus to damage.
-No iterative attacks (replaced with feats such as Double Attack, Triple Attack, Cleave, Whirlwind Attack etc).
-Grapple rules
-The skill system.
-2 x Str bonus when wielding a weapon 2-handed.
-1 x Str bonus for off-hand damage.
-Darkvision and low-light vision rules.
Here are my thoughts on why Saga is good for 4e:

1. Classes: To begin with we gain a new framework that was first introduced with Modern, Talents ala class abilities and Feats every level. In 3.x I never felt like I had enough feats, let alone customizability.

With Talents you can tailor your class in different ways so that say Fighters will be different no only from Feat selection, but will have different class features that could emulate the Swashbuckler, Samurai, or Knight.

Multiclass friendly, woot! Even better, we can tailor our character by multiclassing and still remain in concept. The Skill setup and Class defenses even make this more feasible, and remain in closer balance. This is a good thing, I think.

2. Defenses: Well it's good to roll them into static defenses, it saves on rolling which is a boon for the DM (area effects for starters). Now it's been said that the rolling Armor and Reflex isn't good because it doesn't fit the theme of the staid warrior, I beg to differ.

There are many heroes in literature that do not wear armor, why should they be penalized for choosing to be a swashbuckler or such? They shouldn't. As to those whose careers (concept) do require/prefer armor there will almost definately have a talent allow them to. SE has Improved Armor defense which allows the hero to use 1/2 the armor bonus to stack with the reflex defense. I would also surmise that Magic Enhancements to Armor would stack with Reflex even if you don't take such a talent.

In SE armor also allows you to improve Fortitude Defense and by default your Damage Threshold, which is a nice touch that does make a difference in play. Magic Enhancements would probably give a boost here as well.

3. Condition Track: This is a sweet mechanic, it's universal enough to cover many conditions without bogging the game down. Moreso, with Persistent Condition you have an elegant way to do energy drain w/o level loss. It would remain a threat at any level, as there are only so many thresholds to the track you have a limit to how many drains you can take before you are incapacitated or deseased. It's better than the MD save (dull really), and helps to maintain suspension of belief because you aren't immune to the pain of battle, yet have ways to deal with it in heroic fashion.

4. Skills: All I can say is it's elegant, multiclass friendly, easy on book keeping, DM friendly, etc. etc. I want it in my game, and it will be the first house I instate if they somehow fail to see the wisdom of Saga.

5. While I do expect magic to be different from the Force, I would like it to borrow heavy on the rules concepts, i.e. Talents, Techniques, Secrets, etc. etc. Please use a skill roll, that is so dynamic and removes the general boredom of fire and forget magic. There is much to learn from Saga...

I certainly am excited, I want to play it, as I haven't played D&D for some time now...

You sound like me - I'm pretty much eye to eye with you for what I'd like to see taken from the Saga Edition, though I expect that a number of those will be there, just not exactly like they are in SWSE - which is fine, SWSE proved that they have some really good designers working at WotC right now, and they may surprise everyone with improving on the groundwork laid by the SWSE - heck won't it be funny if you have to house rule things into Star Wars from D&D because they improved on what was already in SWSE.
I like the SECR fairly well. I think some of the rules need to be changed around the edges for genre's sake. (Fantasy <> SW....close, though).

Personally, I'd make Armor a separate defense, as it plays a more important role in DnD-style fantasy. As a hit-point hater, I'd try to get rid of them, too. I'm not sure how they've got spells worked out, but from the things we've heard I think the Jedi may be closer rather than farther away.

One thing I really like about SECR is the way bonuses seem to come in only a few "flavors" straight addition (+2 when..), risky re-roll (roll again, but must take second result), and roll 2 (roll twice and take best result.) How that affects 4e...who knows.
I like the new skill system, although it's far from perfect. The biggest weakness is how it scales. Low level characters can easily beat defenses of enemies of their level. Who won't have +11 + Cha modifier to Use the Force at second level, vs. max defense of 12 to 14 + Con/Dex/Wis modifier? While at higher levels, you have +20 + Cha modifier to Use the Force vs. a defense of DC 30 to 34 + ability modifier. Assuming that the ability modifier's a wash, that's a difference of 85-95% success rate at 2nd level and a 35-50% success rate at 20th. I think a more reasonable balance, suggested by others, would be to make trained skills give a bonus equal to character level rather than 1/2 character level + 5, although if this is the case, there may need to be a small number of free skill focus feats (maybe equal to intelligence modifier, minimum one) so everyone's good at something.

This isn't the only option, and it may be that the scaling will work differently on the defenses. I'm just hoping they'll work that out.

Another thing that bothers me is that with the removal of a 5' step, and the requirement that swift as well as move and standard actions be sacrificed to make a full attack, multiple attacks in melee go down significantly in usefulness. I understand that this was part of their intention, but this on top of a heavy feat investment and a high penalty is overkill. I'd recommend they keep the feat and penalty, but reduce the action required, down to a swift+standard, or even just standard.
You sound like me - I'm pretty much eye to eye with you for what I'd like to see taken from the Saga Edition, though I expect that a number of those will be there, just not exactly like they are in SWSE - which is fine, SWSE proved that they have some really good designers working at WotC right now, and they may surprise everyone with improving on the groundwork laid by the SWSE - heck won't it be funny if you have to house rule things into Star Wars from D&D because they improved on what was already in SWSE.

Yes, I see that as a real possibility. I hope 4e is that good, as I've not been interested in 3.x for a couple of years (though spin-offs like Conan are games I'm still playing). I really hope they one up the SE grapple rules, I like the unifying concept of the close quarters rules, but don't like that a feat is required to do them. It's one thing I will develop house rules on after I finish my more detail vehicle rules.

I like the SECR fairly well. I think some of the rules need to be changed around the edges for genre's sake. (Fantasy <> SW....close, though).

I think that Star Wars is truly a model of D&D. Take the first film for instance, (I've stated this before on the SE forum.) A group of heroes must delve into the Mad Wizard's dungeon, rescue the princess from his Black Knight, all while evading capture by his vast army. On the successful return of the Princess they learn the true goals of the Wizard and must return to stop his evil plan. That's Star Wars, and ironically D&D in a nutshell. To those that think they don't want D&D in space, watch your movies again with your eyes open to the fantasy.

Personally, I'd make Armor a separate defense, as it plays a more important role in DnD-style fantasy. As a hit-point hater, I'd try to get rid of them, too. I'm not sure how they've got spells worked out, but from the things we've heard I think the Jedi may be closer rather than farther away.

I see the talent system taking care of this in a similar manner as SE, though they might not use the one that allows the PC to use the best and make that the default of the setting, and make the first talent the use of 1/2 of armor to stack. Only time will tell.

One thing I really like about SECR is the way bonuses seem to come in only a few "flavors" straight addition (+2 when..), risky re-roll (roll again, but must take second result), and roll 2 (roll twice and take best result.) How that affects 4e...who knows.

Yes, this is such a boon for all. I hope that this format makes it's way into 4e as well. I'd like to see the ranges for ranged attack to function the same way as well....
I think that Star Wars is truly a model of D&D. Take the first film for instance, (I've stated this before on the SE forum.) A group of heroes must delve into the Mad Wizard's dungeon, rescue the princess from his Black Knight, all while evading capture by his vast army. On the successful return of the Princess they learn the true goals of the Wizard and must return to stop his evil plan. That's Star Wars, and ironically D&D in a nutshell. To those that think they don't want D&D in space, watch your movies again with your eyes open to the fantasy.

Well, I did say they were "close" and this is what I meant. They have a lot in common, but there are certainly flavorful differences. (particularly ships/space travel/battle)

I see the talent system taking care of this in a similar manner as SE, though they might not use the one that allows the PC to use the best and make that the default of the setting, and make the first talent the use of 1/2 of armor to stack. Only time will tell.

While I certainly expect the talent system to deal with armor I'm not sure you'd want to run it exactly like SE. Like I said, there's a difference in flavors. OTOH, I consider this one of those things that you'd really need to playtest a lot to find how different modifications change the feel of things. Especially since they are shooting for a very specific mathematical target at each level to keep the "sweet spot" feeling.


Yes, this is such a boon for all. I hope that this format makes it's way into 4e as well. I'd like to see the ranges for ranged attack to function the same way as well....

It'd be nice. Every iteration of DnD development seems to be standardizing more and more of the system. The older versions of DnD were nightmarish in that almost everything was a "corner rule". You were rolling d6 for this, d12 for that, d100 for this other thing, and Gygax help you if you had a situation where two or three of them overlapped. 2ndED Started making things work more uniformly (not much...but some.) 3e was a big leap, but there's still things that you run into, mostly in the large spell library.
Well, I did say they were "close" and this is what I meant. They have a lot in common, but there are certainly flavorful differences. (particularly ships/space travel/battle)

Too true, but I am amazed when die hard fans of Star Wars or D&D seem to believe that they are too different. It's really apparent in the Star Wars threads from time to time with statements like "I don't want D&D in my Star Wars" etc. etc.


While I certainly expect the talent system to deal with armor I'm not sure you'd want to run it exactly like SE. Like I said, there's a difference in flavors. OTOH, I consider this one of those things that you'd really need to playtest a lot to find how different modifications change the feel of things. Especially since they are shooting for a very specific mathematical target at each level to keep the "sweet spot" feeling.

I agree with you here, it won't be exact nor should we want it to be. The ideas should be similar in application though, but there are many more variable in D&D to take into account, such as enhancements, spells, and the like that will never be present in Star Wars. I do have ideas on how to use the SE format with little modification though that keep the feel.

It'd be nice. Every iteration of DnD development seems to be standardizing more and more of the system. The older versions of DnD were nightmarish in that almost everything was a "corner rule". You were rolling d6 for this, d12 for that, d100 for this other thing, and Gygax help you if you had a situation where two or three of them overlapped. 2ndED Started making things work more uniformly (not much...but some.) 3e was a big leap, but there's still things that you run into, mostly in the large spell library.

With out a doubt I am with you here. Fixing the fringe combat abilities like Grapple/Bullrush/Trip into a single format would be a good way to unify some combat rules in a stream lined format. Unfortunately SE went way to far in restricting it all to specific Feats, (something I am houseruling different), and hope they do depart from SE on.
funny stuff

But if you look at the skill chapter you will see that things are not as bad as they might seem; If you are not trained in the skill you can only use some of the most basic checks for that skill, let me give an example with the various things you can do with Acrobatics: Balance, Cross difficult terrain(trained only), Escape bonds, Fall Prone (trained only), Reduce Falling Damage (Trained only), Stand up from prone (trained only), Tumble (trained only).

"I've fallen and I can't get up"


Seriously though, on the topic of saga... I didn't find it as good as everyone seems to think it is. As far as something to convert to D&D, the monsters in Saga are handled terribly. They have no save/defense progression at all. Most of them have will defenses around 10, meaning you just cast your charms and dominates and instantly win any fight against a monster.
Of course. The Star Wars universe has a lack of super-powerful, supernatural monsters that the D&D universe has all over. They're fundamentally different settings.

Of course you're going to want armor to work differently, and of course monsters are also going to work very, very differently. After all, 'magic' effects are virtually nonexistent in Star Wars, in contrast to D&D, where half the classes are magic-users of some level.
Of course you're going to want armor to work differently, and of course monsters are also going to work very, very differently. After all, 'magic' effects are virtually nonexistent in Star Wars, in contrast to D&D, where half the classes are magic-users of some level.

I actually would not mind seeing the effective use of armor a skill or talent tree for fighters and paladins. That way these classes would be wandering around in heavy armor but almost nobody else would find it worth doing so.

Heck, the cleric in heavy armor could simply become an artifact of lousy reflex save and terrible dexterity making armor a really good idea for many, many levels.
I was thinking that, too, actually. One can go many ways with armor talent trees for armor-focused characters.

For example, if a character is focused on mobility, there can be a talent tree that concerns itself entirely with negating penalties acquired from wearing the heavier armor sets, to the point where a character could wear the heavier armor without slowing down at all.

I've actually thought that it might actually be a good idea to do it Saga-style... that is, wearing armor takes the better of either your heroic level or the armor bonus, except that Armor Specialist should be folded with the proficiencies, so a character doesn't just have to suddenly stop wearing armor after a certain level. The armor would be practically life-saving at lower levels, but without talents, it would be more useful for other bonuses it would provide. This would be especially true if magical armor stopped giving flat "+1" bonuses and gave other benefits instead...

Oh, the possibilities!
funny stuff



"I've fallen and I can't get up"


Seriously though, on the topic of saga... I didn't find it as good as everyone seems to think it is. As far as something to convert to D&D, the monsters in Saga are handled terribly. They have no save/defense progression at all. Most of them have will defenses around 10, meaning you just cast your charms and dominates and instantly win any fight against a monster.

I'm guessing that this is a result of the genre more than mechanics; monsters in Star Wars are generally only dangerous if the heros have been deprived of their weapons and equipment, and often times not even then (Boba Fett survives the Sarlacc, Luke kills the rancor despite being sans lightsaber, arena scene from episode 2, etc.). There are exceptions in the expanded universe (mostly from the Vong), but they're just that; exceptions.

R.E armor: If I were a designer, I would change AC to "Avoidance Rating" (since most of AC has nothing to do with armor), which would advance in the same way as a saving throw with bonus from Dex (as you become more skilled, you get better at avoiding blows). Armor would go partially to AR, representing the armor deflecting the blow with no force transfered, and partially to DR, representing the armor absorbing a more direct hit. Instead of a max dex, the armor would apply a (small, -2 at most in full plate) penalty to AR from Dex.

Regardless of the system, assuming heavily armored remains better than unarmored, I'd like to see a way to give a Wis/Int bonus to AC/Reflex/Defense/AR/whatever in exchange for giving up some armor profficiency. This would facilitate the creation of both monk- and swashbukler- type characters without requiring a seperate class.
Some thoughts on how 4e might implement armor...

Start with Saga's format, Armor bonus to reflex, fortitude, max dex, and check penalties.

Possible divergence would be to make the best bonus (armor or level) to reflex apply automatically, i.e. when you have a level +6 and armor +3 you'd use the +6. This allows the fortitude bonus without losing you level bonus.

Now add in D&D specifics.

1. Talent trees for various warrior classes to utilize armor in unique ways.

2. Enhancements on armor always apply to Defense whether you use the armor bonus or level bonus or both with a talent.

3. Shields will hopefully get a boost, personally I'd like to see a talent for the fighter that is like the Jedi's Block but use Initiative as it's relevent skill.

That's just the tip of the spear at what is possible with Saga as a base to start with. The new format has many potentials, my only concerns is that as it stands, in epic play skills will be really outstripped by defenses unless something is done to mitigate the differences.
3. Shields will hopefully get a boost

I am very much looking forward to how shields will be implemented, because as of now, they are, uh, not really too inspiring.

I'm sure 2HF, TWF and S&B will all be equally viable options in 4th Ed.
I'm reading some very good and engaging arguments on here. For starters, I think the Saga skill system is a major improvement when compared to D&D 3.5 or Star Wars RCR. It helps me make a character concept much better. And, I'm not talking about eventually reaching a concept, I'm talking about being good at something right from the start. Let's say I want someone who's good at Spellcraft. Well, the most I'm ever going to have at level 1 in 3.5 is a 6 to 12. But, to pull off the 12, I'll need to have an Intelligence of 20, four ranks, and spend a feat on Skill Focus for boost of three. To get an Intelligence of 20, I'll be a race that gets a boost to Int, thereby getting rid of that glorious bonus feat I'd get as a human.
Plus, I love how the number of skills was greatly reduced. How could someone be good at hiding, but crappy at moving silently? Or, good at searching, but horrible at spotting?
In Saga, instead of the GM having to fudge checks or lower the DC's, the skills system moves much more smoothly.
I think that 4e will flip save to defenses but will not use saga's generic char level + abil mod + class bonus. 4e defenses will instead be very similar to 3.5 save progression of poor/good saves except that no char will start with a +2 save/defense(eliminate mulitclassing cheese). Your defense will equal 10 + progression + abil mod. I also think AC will be equal to your reflex defense + nat armor + armor + shield bonus. Your touch AC will be your reflex defense since they represent the same thing. Your good defense will be 3/4 level while your poor defense be 1/2 level progression
A 4th level rogue may have a +2 fort defense, +3 reflex defense, and +2 will defense for a total of 12 fort(+0 con) 16 reflex(+3 dex) 13 will(+1 wis) and a AC of 20(reflex + 4 armor(chain shirt))
A 4th level fighter may have a +3 fort defense, +2 reflex defense, and +2 will defense for a total of 16 fort(+3 con) 14 reflex(+2 dex) 12 will(+0 wis) and a AC of 24(reflex + 8 armor(plate) + 2 shield)
I think that 4e will flip save to defenses but will not use saga's generic char level + abil mod + class bonus. 4e defenses will instead be very similar to 3.5 save progression of poor/good saves except that no char will start with a +2 save/defense(eliminate mulitclassing cheese). Your defense will equal 10 + progression + abil mod. I also think AC will be equal to your reflex defense + nat armor + armor + shield bonus. Your touch AC will be your reflex defense since they represent the same thing. Your good defense will be 3/4 level while your poor defense be 1/2 level progression
A 4th level rogue may have a +2 fort defense, +3 reflex defense, and +2 will defense for a total of 12 fort(+0 con) 16 reflex(+3 dex) 13 will(+1 wis) and a AC of 20(reflex + 4 armor(chain shirt))
A 4th level fighter may have a +3 fort defense, +2 reflex defense, and +2 will defense for a total of 16 fort(+3 con) 14 reflex(+2 dex) 12 will(+0 wis) and a AC of 24(reflex + 8 armor(plate) + 2 shield)

I really gotta disagree here, the old save progression was abyssmal. It really forces a reliance on magic, which is what they've stated as trying to get away from. The Saga progression is about right, though the skill progression could use some twinkery.

In addition that system was not multiclass friendly. Saga did a genious move by having a class bonus and a level bonus. That made the game very intuitive, multiclass friendly, and easy to build at any level. Why would they want to depart from that?

Frankly, I want my combats with the BBEG to be epic, not a Seven round wonder. That's an element I love with the SE changes. I really hope they go in that direction, with some alterations to accomodate epic play. As it stands now it's a more fluid and dynamic system, and almost exactly what 4e needs.
funny stuff



"I've fallen and I can't get up"


Seriously though, on the topic of saga... I didn't find it as good as everyone seems to think it is. As far as something to convert to D&D, the monsters in Saga are handled terribly. They have no save/defense progression at all. Most of them have will defenses around 10, meaning you just cast your charms and dominates and instantly win any fight against a monster.

I do agree that the 'monsters' of the star wars universe aren't handled in the best manner - this is a slight flaw with the system, but really when you think about it watch the star wars movies - all of them - and you don't have much in the way of fighting monsters, one or two here and there, but most of the enemies are either mooks or villains with class levels. This works for Star Wars, but not as much for D&D. So they (WotC) will have to do some work with making monsters for D&D if they use SWSE as a bassis for 4e.

I am very much looking forward to how shields will be implemented, because as of now, they are, uh, not really too inspiring.

I'm sure 2HF, TWF and S&B will all be equally viable options in 4th Ed.

If you are anyone else are familiar with SWSE, I'd like to see shields work similar to the mechanics that Jedi have for Blocking and Deflecting attacks in SWSE.
Your touch AC will be your reflex defense since they represent the same thing.

I have a feeling they're going to ditch Touch AC.
If you are anyone else are familiar with SWSE, I'd like to see shields work similar to the mechanics that Jedi have for Blocking and Deflecting attacks in SWSE.

Yeah, totally – that would be awesome.
If you are anyone else are familiar with SWSE, I'd like to see shields work similar to the mechanics that Jedi have for Blocking and Deflecting attacks in SWSE.

Shield of Redirection +2. Works if you make a successful Deflect.
Hmmm...I dunno. Considering these things work off a Use the Force check in Saga, I don't know how they would work out in D&D.
Shield of Redirection +2. Works if you make a successful Deflect.
Hmmm...I dunno. Considering these things work off a Use the Force check in Saga, I don't know how they would work out in D&D.

Well, SWSE will have to have much in the way of changes to work for D&D, but the mechanic COULD be used - perhaps instead of rolling a skill, you use your BAB, it could work. If you change that, and make shields a proficiency (as they are now in D&D) and viola! I feel the mechanic works in the context of D&D, without resorting to using magic - it's a viable part of training for those who use a shield all the time. Certainly the redirect aspect of the lightsabre deflection should be removed.
Shield of Redirection +2. Works if you make a successful Deflect.
Hmmm...I dunno. Considering these things work off a Use the Force check in Saga, I don't know how they would work out in D&D.

The Black Company Campaign Setting by GR had a "Use Magic" skill that wizards used to...well its kind of obvious. I could see Spellcraft taking a similar role.
Shield of Redirection +2. Works if you make a successful Deflect.
Hmmm...I dunno. Considering these things work off a Use the Force check in Saga, I don't know how they would work out in D&D.

Initiative check, if I were to make a guess.
The Shield of Rediriction +2 was only a joke. But, I like where you guys are going with the checks. I'd agree with it being BAB and/or Spellcraft going the route of UtF.
Has anyone stated whether or not Star Wars Sage Edition is compatible with 4.0 or are they going to re-release a new star wars edition to work with the new edition of D&D (monster manuals, feats, & the like)? Because if it is not really 4.0, then it won't be compatible and we'll be converting just like everyone else.
4th edition is going to be different in lots of little ways from Star Wars Saga Edition. I REALLY don't see them redoing Saga Edition just because 4e is coming out, especially considering it's only going to be a 1 year difference.

The systems are likely to be close enough that you won't have too much difficulty converting monsters from one to the other, but the skills system is probably going to cause trouble, as are talents and, very likely, some feats.
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