Are attack bonuses too low?

I just got SE a while ago and it seems like Defense rise so much faster than BAB. In flushing out some builds, I commonly get characters with 38 Reflex Defenses (often over 40), but the best attack bonus I usually get is maybe +24 or 25. That means the odds of hitting are maybe 30%, lower if I try a Double or Triple Attack.

Having not played it yet, but also not hearing others complain, I am assuming that it works out ok in the end or do the battles just take forever?
I haven't played any higher than 8th level yet, but it's possible that proper use of tactics and teamwork will mitigate the disparity between attack bonus and defenses.

Consider, a Noble can grant +2 to hit with the right talents, or a Jedi can offer +1 with Battle Meditation, and a character attacking with a blaster pistol and not much else might better spend her efforts using Aid Another. Throw in flanking, and by working with your allies (instead of working as 4 or 5 loners who happen to be in the same encounter), you can reasonably attack similar (or even somewhat higher level) enemies.

The fights that'll go on forever are the one-on-one fights, especially at high levels. Obi-Wan took forever to beat Anakin is Episode III because he was facing a similar-level opponent without any backup. Sure, he had a decent chance to win (perhaps better than odds with Soresu and Anakin's Ace Pilot levels working for him), but he couldn't expect Double Attack to work in his favor (even if Vader had stood still for it, Obi-Wan lacks the Multiattack Proficiencies and/or attack bonus to make it viable). He had about a 50% chance to hit, and could only hope to win on account of giving Vader only a 40% chance to hit (without taking Block or Soresu into account).

If Yoda had gone with him, and the two made it a point to flank Vader, Obi-Wan's chance to hit would rise to about 60%, while Yoda himself has a solid 70% chance to hit. Throw in the attacks of opportunity Obi-Wan had virtually no chance to forcing, but that the two masters can almost guarantee while working in tandem, and Vader would take damage much faster for little reason other than facting two opponents instead of one. Too bad Ben and Yoda didn't know the rules... they might have been able to take down both Sith as long as they worked together and took them one at a time.
Too bad Ben and Yoda didn't know the rules... they might have been able to take down both Sith as long as they worked together and took them one at a time.

Yes because that worked so well for Mace Windu and the hired help, er I mean the other three Masters.
It's morphin time! ...Oh wait, wrong universe. Now where did I put my lightsabre? Winner of "You Build the Character 16 - Wedge Antilles" and "You Make the ... Contest 3 - Elite Forces"
Yes because that worked so well for Mace Windu and the hired help, er I mean the other three Masters.

Actually, that fight occuring before a hypothetical Ben and Yoda vs. Palpatine would have helped immensely. How many Destiny Points do you think the Sith Lord burnt through to pull that off? There's a good chance he didn't have enough left to seal the deal against two Jedi Masters (indeed, he didn't have enough to really seal the deal against just the one).

Lest we forget and this thread gets derailed, the lesson in all of this, JG-34, is that teamwork is the watch word of successful Saga Edition combat at every level.
I rather like that Defenses mean something at higher levels is SAGA unlike DnD 3.5 where attack bonuses routinely went up far more that AC did. Sure you could get an extremely high AC in 3.5 but you had to really build for it and often didn't have much left for anything else.

I like how high defenses will allow two opponents of a similiar level actual fight for a while instead of going "bang, bang your dead" which can happen when attacks are so high they don't miss. Long fights can also lead to a more epic feel for a game. In a difficult fight taking multiple attacks isn't and shouldn't be a good idea; if you are trying to land too many blows you probably aren't being patient enough to find your best opportunities.

Another reason for such high defenses is that damage in StarWars is so high. You may disagree but basic damage is usually 3d8 which is more than twice any class's average hd. I like seeing the emphasis put on not getting hit rather than being able to survive all those hits.

Even if high defenses make a character virtually unhittable remember a few other things. Area effects are your friend when you can't hit the target; sure they usually only take half damage (barring Evasion which hurts their attack) but a little damage over time will still add up. Critial hits still hurt; lowly CL 1 Stormtroopers shooting at a level 20 hero may not be much of a threat but 1 in 20 will still land that critical hit and potentially deal 3d8x2 damage.
Actually, that fight occuring before a hypothetical Ben and Yoda vs. Palpatine would have helped immensely. How many Destiny Points do you think the Sith Lord burnt through to pull that off?

By my calculations, around 6 destiny points for auto-crits and act before his turn he spent Destiny and Force Points like a madman (rightly so).
"God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players,* to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time. --- * i.e., everybody." When it comes to continuity, Darth Flannel is as dependable and consistent as, um ... um ... um ... well ... okay, how about this: When it comes to shanking continuity in his own universe, Darth Flannel is as dependable and consistent as death and taxes. - by DarthPancake
By my calculations, around 6 destiny points for auto-crits and act before his turn he spent Destiny and Force Points like a madman (rightly so).

We also don't know (though shouldn't necessarily assume) how many Destiny Points Palpatine used to avoid crits scored by Windu, who would no doubt be using the Juyo/Vaapad combination, or even Destiny Points of his own.
Although 38 Reflex Defense is good, it's not hard to get. I see well over 40 all the time. So there is a problem at higher levels trying to keep up with the rising Defenses while Skills and Attacks slowly lag. However, I don't think a 30% chance to hit is all that bad given the high damages in SAGA. There are a few good ways to boost attack though.

Teamwork like Sabin suggested is a very good way to do it, especially if you have a good booster character (noble/officer for example) who's attack is so far behind he can't hope to hit. Feats like Powerful Charge and Acrobatic Strike, as well as some other abilities like Rage, can really boost melee attacks. Ranged Attacks aren't so lucky, but it they can be brought up.

One thing that hasn't been brought up yet is Cover. Almost every encounter is going to have basic Cover available. If we say the average shot hits on a 13+ (40%), then Cover drops that down to only an 18+ (15%). Improved Cover, which should also generally be available, although not as common, can take the whole game to a level of Natural 20s for attacks. That gets really boring, really fast. That's one edge Melee fghters have, they don't have to worry about Cover. But a lot of ranged battles turn into natural 20 fights very quickly.
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If my options are to take a move aciton, a swift action, and make an attack that will only hit on a 20, or just Aim and hit on a 13+... well, Saga's got enough options that it's not always going to be the best choice, but Aiming stops cover from being the 'instant invulnerability' it appears to be at first.
30% hit chance isn't really bad I guess, I am just SO used to D&D where hitting on the first attack almost always happens (especially for combat-oriented builds). I agree with StevenO for the most part, I would rather see more misses so epic battles take longer than "hits" that are "absorbed, turned into lesser blows, reflect your ability to trun the attack away" stuff.

I suppose it does lead to long, drawn out fights (light Anikan and Obi-wan), which are more epic. As for the regular encounters, it seems attack rolls are high enough for mooks and lower henchmen, and decent enough for the BBEG.

Thanks for everyone's input.
-JG
I haven´t played beyond level 12 yet, but so far seems OK.

As for the regular encounters, it seems attack rolls are high enough for mooks and lower henchmen, and decent enough for the BBEG.

this is the point!
The other thing to keep in mind is in the movies there where a lot of blaster fire compared to hits, which this gives it that feel.

However, options can make it better also later in levels you have attack that if they hit they automaticlly move someone along the condition line so defenses can go down by -5 after 3 hits so it can go down fast.

A house rule I use from Spycraft is a range weapon can provide flanking, personally it just makes sense since the round is only 6 seconds and it's all happening so fast if someone is shooting at you from behind it should distract you.

If you want to make it better you can use another house rule I have used for other games where each additional attack you must defend against reduces your defense by -2. So if you are attacked 3 times in the same round and have a defense of 35 then the 1st attack is vs 35, second vs 33, 3rd vs 31. I use this rule in D&D so numbers of low level attackers can have a chance to overwelm a target.
If you want to make it better you can use another house rule I have used for other games where each additional attack you must defend against reduces your defense by -2. So if you are attacked 3 times in the same round and have a defense of 35 then the 1st attack is vs 35, second vs 33, 3rd vs 31. I use this rule in D&D so numbers of low level attackers can have a chance to overwelm a target.

If it works for your game, that's cool, but you do realize this particular house rule is rather on the powerful side, right? It basically takes the aiding an attack roll function of Aid Another and adds 1) a chance to deal damage and 2) the effective bonus to every other character attacking the same target, rather than having to designate a single beneficiary. That's pretty strong.
I think they might be abit to low at higher Lv's of play. Anything other then a full BAB is really going to hurt your chances of scoring a hit.
I think they might be abit to low at higher Lv's of play. Anything other then a full BAB is really going to hurt your chances of scoring a hit.

That's true, but most PrC's do one of two things:

1) Have full BAB. Even Officer now offers full BAB, meaning a Noble/Officer will be ahead of a straight Noble, rather than lagging a point like in the previous edition of the game. Not that that matters, though, since said PrC will also...

2) Grant better ways to use a standard action than attacking. A Crime Lord might have a BAB a good 3-6 points behind his comrades, but if he's got Impel Ally I & II, he's probably never making an attack, anyway. If he also happens to have Inspire Fear III, opponents'll need full BAB to have prayer of hitting. Similarly, Officers have Military Tactics options out the wazoo, and while I've not seen the whole class, Corporate Agent seems to be about making skills more functional in combat.

What that all boils down to is that, at high levels, Prestige Classes will either improve a character's BAB or create opportunities to do something creative that doesn't rely on BAB.
If, after all this discussion, some still feel that Defense rises too fast for their games, I offer the simplest houserule I've come up with. It works fairly well (in fact, you've used it if you've played D&D 4th Edition).

Just give the Defenses 1/2 level progression instead of full progression. It's even possible to do 3/4, but that's harder to implement without a chart (exactly similar to 3/4 BAB works the best).

+1 to all Defenses every 2 levels, I feel, has worked out swimmingly and makes the players more involved at the table. I sometimes find it hard to keep them engaged when it's a miss-fest. Plus, it's simpler to level up when everything has 1/2 level progression.
If it works for your game, that's cool, but you do realize this particular house rule is rather on the powerful side, right? It basically takes the aiding an attack roll function of Aid Another and adds 1) a chance to deal damage and 2) the effective bonus to every other character attacking the same target, rather than having to designate a single beneficiary. That's pretty strong.

Yes, but since it works both ways it's neutral. Players and NPC's get the benifiet, it makes the fights more dangerous which we like, and it makes tactics and cover more important.
If, after all this discussion, some still feel that Defense rises too fast for their games, I offer the simplest houserule I've come up with. It works fairly well (in fact, you've used it if you've played D&D 4th Edition).

Just give the Defenses 1/2 level progression instead of full progression. It's even possible to do 3/4, but that's harder to implement without a chart (exactly similar to 3/4 BAB works the best).

+1 to all Defenses every 2 levels, I feel, has worked out swimmingly and makes the players more involved at the table. I sometimes find it hard to keep them engaged when it's a miss-fest. Plus, it's simpler to level up when everything has 1/2 level progression.

well, I disagree with you, though you're free to do as you wish.

average would be 28 ref, and average attack is 23, 80% of hitting everytime, which is insane, fights won't last more than a few rounds.
well, I disagree with you, though you're free to do as you wish.

average would be 28 ref, and average attack is 23, 80% of hitting everytime, which is insane, fights won't last more than a few rounds.

I think you forgot to add the +10 defense base at level 20 a Defense with 16 dex is +3(dex), +20 (level) +4 (prc) +1 (feat) +10 (base) = 38 (not really trying)

Now a level 20 Soldier is +20 (level) +3 (dex) +1 (feat) = 24 means you need to roll a 14 or a 35% chance to hit.

If you take a +15 Bab class it's 19 or needing to roll a 19 to hit or 10% chance.

Now if you want to try you can have 22 dex (+6) +20 (level) +4 (prc) +3 (feats) +10 (base) = 43... now if you take range or cover it's easy to have defense of 45 - 48.

Which turns a combat into Natural 20 rolls to hit only. So Defense can easily out pace attack bonuses.
i was showing the example for +1 def per 2 levels.


and very few people take a base class all 20 levels, though of course, you can get very low bab either way.

min maxing attack can get you over 30 attack

20 bab +5 dex (or str), +2 weapon focus (having normal and greater), powerful charge +4, Acrobatic strike +5, rage +2 (or+5), using all of these (which is not very hard) get's you +36 attack, not to mention my example is melee, so cover is irrelevent, having a 45-60% chance on average against your best ref min/maxer
i was showing the example for +1 def per 2 levels.

Ah so you where saying it would be a mistake to change it to +1 every two levels like D&D4e and he should stay with how it is written?
yes, very much so. I've seen pbp games of dnd 4e, and people get hit a lot, but they take very little damage. In saga, damage is about 2-3 times higher than in dnd 4e, especially lower levels.
if you want to see a extream example of this becomeing a problem cheak out the stats for Lumina dark lady of the sith in the threats book. she litteraly must roll a 20 to hit herself..and that only works because a 20 is a auto hit. otherwise she would miss by two points.
that is a very extreme example, as she is a multi-classing maniac, and so her bab suffers, while her ref is min/maxed.
ya it is a extream example but there are several characters who have a tough time hitting themselves. not to mention I cant for the life of me figure out how luke wasent obliterated in 2 rounds against vader in return of the jedi. but thats allways going to be a problem in a level baced game.
Luke probably got a +10 george lucas bonus ;)


then he spent destiny points like a madman.
Or Vader was pulling his punches. A brand new Dark Luke Apprentice ain't worth much dead. Not sure how to put "pulling his punches" in game terms. -2 to hit? Roll to hit next to Luke? 1/2 damage?
Or Vader was pulling his punches. A brand new Dark Luke Apprentice ain't worth much dead. Not sure how to put "pulling his punches" in game terms. -2 to hit? Roll to hit next to Luke? 1/2 damage?

As GM, I'd allow a character to choose to disregard their bonuses to both attack and damage on a source-by-source basis. So, Vader would choose to use only his BAB to attack, and eschew all bonuses to damage. Even level 9 Luke could hold up against a +18 attack that only did 2d8 damage.
There is nothing wrong in spend his standard actions doing nothing, or better yet: Dün Moch. This way he would not beat the crap out of Luke but still be a pain to his hinder parts.
"God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players,* to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time. --- * i.e., everybody." When it comes to continuity, Darth Flannel is as dependable and consistent as, um ... um ... um ... well ... okay, how about this: When it comes to shanking continuity in his own universe, Darth Flannel is as dependable and consistent as death and taxes. - by DarthPancake
Melee Defence or just plain fighting defensively.
It's morphin time! ...Oh wait, wrong universe. Now where did I put my lightsabre? Winner of "You Build the Character 16 - Wedge Antilles" and "You Make the ... Contest 3 - Elite Forces"
I still hold that you can't play a class like scout at high lvs and ever expect to hit. This is a shortcoming of the game but this is not the first game to start getting a little shaky when the lvs started adding up.

I feel lucky I don't have any players playing scouts. Two of my three players have almost full BAB's and the other has long ago given up any hope of ever using his saber for anything other then blocking blasterfire.
honestly, who in there right mind would take more than 7 scout levels?

what kind of talents do your lightsaber wielders have? maybe, if they aren't combat oriented, you should not make opponents with such high refs.
honestly, who in there right mind would take more than 7 scout levels?

Umm anyone wanting to play a scout?

what kind of talents do your lightsaber wielders have? maybe, if they aren't combat oriented, you should not make opponents with such high refs.

All I said was I have two players with great BAB's and one player thats all force wizard. I am lucky in the fact that I don't have any players playing something like a scout thinking he can hit anything.
scouts are cool. For the first 3-5 levels, after that, I multi-class out. Honestly, though they are a good class. just not one to take more than 3-5 levels.
scouts are cool. For the first 3-5 levels, after that, I multi-class out. Honestly, though they are a good class. just not one to take more than 3-5 levels.

Kinda my point
honestly, who in there right mind would take more than 7 scout levels?

what kind of talents do your lightsaber wielders have? maybe, if they aren't combat oriented, you should not make opponents with such high refs.

Well, if you have Scout 7 and need a bonus feat there is nothing wrong with going Scout 8. As a general rule I really try to avoid taking five levels in any of the 3/4 BAB classes but if I do take five I'll probably want seven for another talent from that class.

I think most combat related concepts in SAGA can be done pretty well while only giving up a point or two of BAB. Soldier and Jedi are just that easy to multiclass into that there is often little excuse to lose more than one BAB before you start hitting PrCs.
It's not that the attack bonuses are too low, it's that the defenses can get too high because character's get +1 def per level instead of +1/2 def per level like in D&D4e
it's also possible you are fighting characters who maximize their defenses.
I think the simplest way ( well if you wanna be like D&D ) is defenses go up 1 point every 2 levels, and base attack goes up 1 point every 2 levels for every class.

Now I understand that nobles shouldn't be as good at combat as soldiers or Jedi's. Even with this system they still will not be once you take Talents into consideration. Now a noble will be able to hit on a normal attack the same as a soldier given the same level, ability score, and feats. But once you take the Soldiers talents into consideration the soldier becomes way better at combat gaining access to attack bonuses and damage bonuses. Same as Jedi and the combat focused prestige classes ( which is pretty much all of them sans Force User / Crime lord ).

I think this helps plenty without breaking the attack bonus to defense ratio.

I do think the defenses get way too high at high levels anyways just my thoughts.
no, it doesn't really fix things. you could be a soldier, but never take weapon focus feats, and so, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. not to mention, that I disagree with changing defense or bab (except possibly the 3/4 progression for those classes with it)
I think the simplest way ( well if you wanna be like D&D ) is defenses go up 1 point every 2 levels, and base attack goes up 1 point every 2 levels for every class.

Now I understand that nobles shouldn't be as good at combat as soldiers or Jedi's. Even with this system they still will not be once you take Talents into consideration. Now a noble will be able to hit on a normal attack the same as a soldier given the same level, ability score, and feats. But once you take the Soldiers talents into consideration the soldier becomes way better at combat gaining access to attack bonuses and damage bonuses. Same as Jedi and the combat focused prestige classes ( which is pretty much all of them sans Force User / Crime lord ).

I think this helps plenty without breaking the attack bonus to defense ratio.

I do think the defenses get way too high at high levels anyways just my thoughts.

Yah I have to say this really is something 4th got right but I do wonder if this will screw things up. How will it interact with things like damage threshold and force powers? A simpler fix would be just to give all classes full BAB but I would be hesitant to screw with things to much for fear of fixing one bug only to make two more.