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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    We are playing 1 year after the end of the clone wars and the Jedi are scattered. I am playing a level 2 Duros Scoundrel. The original thought was to make him a pilot smuggler, and that evolved into a skill monkey character. Once I started looking at options I fell in love with the talents Force Pilot and Force Perception which turned him into a force using skill monkey pilot. The eventual character that I created is as follows:


    Duros, Scoundrel 2
    Str 10
    Dex 19
    Con 9
    Int 19
    Wis 16
    Cha 17

    Feats:
    Force Sensativity
    Skill Focus [Use the Force]

    Talents:
    Force Perception
    Force Pilot (Will be taken at Level 3)


    With Use the Force at +14, The intention was to load up on Talents similar to Force Pilot and Force Perception, and to take a pile of Skill Focus feats. So I have 3 main questions for people. First, does anyone know of any other talents worth taking that can maximize the characters skill monkiness (similar to those already mentioned)? Second, Regarding Force Powers, can anyone see a solid reason to take Force Powers, and if so, which ones? Some seem interesting, and with a high Wis modifier and a high Use the Force modifier it feels like taking Force Training would have tremendous upside potential. At this point I can't seem to decide if the benefit outweighs skill focus though. Lastly, regarding level dips, can anyone think of respectable level dips that would be worth taking. Presumably we will make it a decently high level, so I need to consider both Prestige class options as well as base class level dips. Combat is not his focus, but improvements to ranged combat are always welcome, anything that improves his skill monkiness is a plus, and "free" increases to defenses are always welcome.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    As a house rule in my games, I do not allow PCs to take Skill Focus: Use the Force until they make Jedi Knight, Force Adept, or a similar level of ability. There are several balance and broken-ness issues if characters have SF:UTF too early in their careers.

    Something you or your GM may wish to consider. It has somewhat less effect if you are not going to be a saber wielder or take actual Force powers.

    Edit: Also, if the game is set in the Dark Times after Order 66, it's pretty risky to rely on making Use the Force checks to do much of what your character does. I suppose it depends on your GM, but the more you use the Force, the easier it will be for you to be tracked down and destroyed.
    Last edited by Alejandro; 2012-11-02 at 02:34 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    You have a character with good Dexterity, Intelligence and Charisma; why waste the Talents on Use the Force substitutions when the base abilities are already solid? Just for the sake of saving on Skill Focus Feats?
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    IdleMuse's Avatar

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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    I kinda have to agree with Kiero; there's nothing wrong with being a force-skillmonkey type, that's a really interesting character. But with your high Int, Dex, and Cha, you might as well just be trained in a bunch of useful skills, rather than spending talents on Force [Whatever]; all you're basically doing there is replacing a feat (Skill Focus (Pilot)) with a talent (Force Pilot). And talents are a much more precious resource for all bu the MOST combat-oriented characters.
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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    Quote Originally Posted by IdleMuse View Post
    And talents are a much more precious resource for all bu the MOST combat-oriented characters.
    If you're not conflating talents like Block and Deflect or Armored Defense and Improved Armored Defense, combat characters care about their talent count, too.
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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    Quote Originally Posted by IdleMuse View Post
    I kinda have to agree with Kiero; there's nothing wrong with being a force-skillmonkey type, that's a really interesting character. But with your high Int, Dex, and Cha, you might as well just be trained in a bunch of useful skills, rather than spending talents on Force [Whatever]; all you're basically doing there is replacing a feat (Skill Focus (Pilot)) with a talent (Force Pilot). And talents are a much more precious resource for all bu the MOST combat-oriented characters.
    To be fair, he's actually replacing two feats with a Talent - Skill Training, and then eventually Skill Focus as well. Which will allow him to build a character who is hypercompetent in all non-combat fields at once, while saving his feats for combat ability.

    (As far as Skill Focus as a general rule goes, our personal game houseruled it to change your calculation for that skill to (+Level) instead of (+1/2 level) until level 10, at which point it stopped at +5. That way, people can always take it, but it doesn't break the game.)
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    IdleMuse's Avatar

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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    I mean, the assumption is that Skill Training would be covered by the bucketload of trained skills he has anyway because of the high int; the build would actually make a lot more sense on a low-int character!

    And yeah, heavy combat characters do care about talents, massively so, but I guess what I meant is that they are always very tight for feats, where a social character often isn't so stressed for feats; So rather than saying talents mean less to a combat character, I should have said that feats mean more to them than to other types.

    Also, many thumbs up to any house-rule that makes Skill Focus a bit less absurd at level one. Although frankly it's only really a problem for UtF.
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    I think you guys are missing the real genius of the build. By taking Force Sensativity at level 1 and Skill Focus UtF at level 2, he gets a +14 to UtF. By taking Force Pilot and Force Perception at levels 1 and 3 he avoids needing to train in both of those skills (effectively giving him two free skill training). In essence he sacrifices 2 feats and two talents and gains three skill focuses and two skill trainings, but also now opens up all the benefits of UtF and all the prestige classes that require force use (I consider that trade-off a massive win). Feats are mostly garbage for skill monkies so once you reach level 7-8 even a skill monkey starts to run out of reasons to take skill focus (and the high int makes skill training unnecessary), if combat isn't an interest then there's really nothing worth taking. Talents are... Well... Underwhelming for the most part, there are a handful of decent ones, but most are crap. Of the talents worth taking the vast majority are force related. Sure there's Knack and Hyperdriven which both work well with the build, but you really dont need knack until you reach levels where DCs are really high (especially considering this build has +9-14 as its range for nearly all skills to start).

    For those that feel that Talents are more important than feats, taking 1 level dips in other classes solves the problem of sacrificing the two upfront feats and talents (and let's be realistic, it's a great way to gain free feats as well). One major problem I have with this system is that the only level that matters is 1 for all the base classes, other than feat/talent management there's no reason not to take as many 1 level dips as possible (especially if you're not combat oriented and HP and bab isn't a major concern).
    Last edited by XianTheCoder; 2012-11-04 at 12:19 AM.

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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    Pretty sure there's a talent to use UTF for Treat Injury in one splat or another. You can also use powers, like Mind Trick and Surge, to stand in for Skills on a limited basis.

    It still sounds like this would make more sense for a 2+(Dump Stat) Skills Jedi than for a high-Int Scoundrel, but eh.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    Quote Originally Posted by XianTheCoder View Post
    I think you guys are missing the real genius of the build. By taking Force Sensativity at level 1 and Skill Focus UtF at level 2, he gets a +14 to UtF. By taking Force Pilot and Force Perception at levels 1 and 3 he avoids needing to train in both of those skills (effectively giving him two free skill training). In essence he sacrifices 2 feats and two talents and gains three skill focuses and two skill trainings, but also now opens up all the benefits of UtF and all the prestige classes that require force use (I consider that trade-off a massive win). Feats are mostly garbage for skill monkies so once you reach level 7-8 even a skill monkey starts to run out of reasons to take skill focus (and the high int makes skill training unnecessary), if combat isn't an interest then there's really nothing worth taking. Talents are... Well... Underwhelming for the most part, there are a handful of decent ones, but most are crap. Of the talents worth taking the vast majority are force related. Sure there's Knack and Hyperdriven which both work well with the build, but you really dont need knack until you reach levels where DCs are really high (especially considering this build has +9-14 as its range for nearly all skills to start).

    For those that feel that Talents are more important than feats, taking 1 level dips in other classes solves the problem of sacrificing the two upfront feats and talents (and let's be realistic, it's a great way to gain free feats as well). One major problem I have with this system is that the only level that matters is 1 for all the base classes, other than feat/talent management there's no reason not to take as many 1 level dips as possible (especially if you're not combat oriented and HP and bab isn't a major concern).
    With all due respect, there's nothing genius about it. All you are doing is taking advantage of one of the (thankfully few) large holes in Saga's ruleset. This is why, as I and others above me have said, we usually restrict SF:UtF in our games. Your GM may not know or care about this problem.

    Also, there's nothing 'free' to be had, only choices. You can make a character that dips into all the classes and collects a bunch of talents by doing so, but you sacrifice later utility, especially if you have a good GM that will challenge the PC with a situation in which his hyper-focus does not work or is less than ideal (see my original comment about, well, what are you doing about your PC existing in the worst possible environment for a Force sensitive?)

    Also, if you're going to be a pilot, you'll want to consider other things pilot characters need, like Mechanics, Use Computer, as well as proficiency with starship weapons and other ship tricks.

    If I was making the PC, as a level 3 Scoundrel they would look something like this (and assuming we kept your Force sensitivity desire):

    Trained Skills:
    Acrobatics
    Deception
    Initiative
    Mechanics
    Pilot
    Stealth
    Use Computer
    Use the Force

    Feats:
    Force Sensitivity
    Vehicular Combat
    Starship Maneuvers
    Simple Weapons
    Pistols
    Point Blank Shot

    Talents:
    Knack
    Lucky Shot (I am assuming you will be piloting ships and not serving as a non-pilot gunner.)

    Maneuvers:
    Snap Rollx2
    Target Sensex2 (this is excellent for a Force sensitive pilot who also has a good Charisma.)

    This would be one excellent pilot. You can reroll Pilot checks as a Duros, and Knack lets you even do it a third time if you absolutely must (or more likely, reroll some other vital skill check) and you can also reroll for that important starship (or blaster) shot.

    You can get your ship out of the way with Vehicular Combat, and once that's expended, you still have two Snap Rolls to use. Need to make an important shot and already used Lucky Shot? You still have two Target Sense uses. Later, you could learn Force powers and take Battle Strike, which stacks with Target Sense, and become an even more destructive starship gunner.

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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Pretty sure there's a talent to use UTF for Treat Injury in one splat or another. You can also use powers, like Mind Trick and Surge, to stand in for Skills on a limited basis.
    There is, though it's a prestige class talent: Force Treatment, available to both Force Adepts and Jedi Knights. Also of note are:

    Force Persuasion (Jedi only, use UtF in place of Persuasion)
    Force Intuition (Jedi only, use UtF in place of Initiative)
    Force Deception (Sith Apprentice/Lord only, use UtF in place of Deception)
    Insight of the Force (Jedi Knight only, use UtF in place of Knowledge)

    I'm particularly fond of the last one (applies to all Knowledge skills! Much easier than taking Skill Focus multiple times). But as you've probably noticed, most of these are limited in availability. Unless you take a few levels in Jedi or Jedi Knight, it's going to be hard to pick these up.

    That said, if you do take Jedi levels, Dampen Presence (found in the Force Unleashed book) is a pretty nifty Talent for a smuggler-type. As for Force powers, there's a lot of useful ones, but for a skill monkey/utility guy... Mind Trick and Surge are handy. Cloak, Phase and Technometry (from the Clone Wars book) are all potentially nifty, as are Fold Space and Force Track (from the Jedi Academy book), but some GMs dislike the weirder Force powers; might want to ask about those first.

    Enlighten (found in the Legacy era book) is a Force power that lets you substitute your UtF roll for an ally's attack roll, defense, or skill check. This does what you're looking for in a roundabout sort of way: rather than having awesome skills yourself, you're capable of giving your party members awesome skills when they need them. Potentially very, very good, because it can affect any skill, but it puts you more in the role of mentor/enabler than skill monkey. (If you find that you enjoy that role, the Skilled Advisor talent from the Jedi Consular tree is worth looking at too.)

    Lastly, I recommend Desperate Gambit (a feat from Scum and Villainy). I recommend it for pretty much any character who has even a mild interest in combat, because it's both easy to pick up and very useful.
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    Thanks Snark, you're the only person who bothered staying on topic and actually answered the questions I asked, and it was helpful. The rest of you guys, thanks for your responses, but mostly they belonged in a different thread, as they were off topic. Snark gave me what I was looking for though, so I'm good at this point.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: SWSE Skill Monkey Force User

    Quote Originally Posted by XianTheCoder View Post
    Regarding Force Powers, can anyone see a solid reason to take Force Powers, and if so, which ones? Some seem interesting, and with a high Wis modifier and a high Use the Force modifier it feels like taking Force Training would have tremendous upside potential. At this point I can't seem to decide if the benefit outweighs skill focus though. Lastly, regarding level dips, can anyone think of respectable level dips that would be worth taking. Presumably we will make it a decently high level, so I need to consider both Prestige class options as well as base class level dips. Combat is not his focus, but improvements to ranged combat are always welcome, anything that improves his skill monkiness is a plus, and "free" increases to defenses are always welcome.

    Anyone have any thoughts?
    You asked about Force powers, I suggested Starship Maneuvers, which work exactly the same way and take advantage of your high Wis. And also that Battle Strike would be a great later choice, and why. Also gave you some suggestions for improving your ranged combat, both talent and maneuver, and how to improve your defenses in a starship, as well as several thoughts. I hope you enjoy your character very much; and that your GM is going to give you a free pass on the whole 'constantly sending out radar signals for the Empire to hunt me down'. :)

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