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    ClericGuy

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    Default Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Looking for ideas and critique on the following for Saga Edition.

    As most of you who play the system know, the scaling is off in Saga Edition.

    • BAB scales at 0-15 (with Multiclassing messing with this more) with soldiers and Jedis getting 'fighter BAB' of 1-20, with +1 for weapon focus.
    • Skills scale at 1/2 level +5 (trained) +5 (focus).
    • Defences scale at 10 + (heroic level) + (class mod).

    This leads to situations where at low level Skills vs Defences are totally off (+13 skill bonuses vs Defences of 13 or so), and at high level, defences are routinely in the region of around 40+ (meaning most attacks and skills miss, leading to protracted and boring fights).

    Basically SWSE really amplifies the problem with a lot of D20 games, in that it only really works in the 'sweet spot' of levels 7-12.

    There is also the problem (avoided with bounded accuracy in DnD 5E) where mooks arent really a challenge for high level PCs and High level enemies totally outclass lower level PCs.

    I've been trying for a while to smash out a 'SWSE 2.0' ruleset, incorporating some of the better ideas from 5E DnD (replacing the CT with a single condition - imposing 5E's disadvantage - and also tweaking and refining skills and talents and streamlinging combat and action economy etc).

    What I am looking to do is get the base numbers right. I want to smooth out that sweet spot to cover most (if not all) of levels 1-20 while still retaining some of the power disparity between levels 1 and 20. I really like 5E's 'proficiency bonus' and 'bounded accuracy' rules, and want to incorporate something like that into the rules, however I want the bonuses to be slightly higher (to ameliorate some of the problems with 5Es dice roll being the most important part of the check)

    I'm thinking of a bonus of:

    • Non proficient = +0
    • Proficient = [(1/2 level)+3) or +3-13
    • Skill/ Weapon focus = +2

    Would work.

    That gives me a range of +0-15 (+ Ability Mod).

    All skills and weapons would work of the above, and defences would be set at 11 + [1/2 level] + [Class bonus of +0 - 4]. That gives me a range for Defenses of 11-25 (+ Ability Mod)

    All creatures (Heroic and Non-Heroic) gain those bonuses (including to defences) to allow 'mooks' to scale with the Heroes (however they still only get 1d4 HD/ 2HP per Level, and no class bonuses to defences, or talents, so they still die fast. In addition, a 'condition' imposed to a mook, renders it incapacitated instead of penalised).

    For those with experience with the system, do these numbers work? Any unforeseen problems with the values?

    Secondly, is a +2 for 'Focus' the right number? I split the difference between the +1 for weapon focus and the +5 for Skill focus.

    Would you bother blowing a feat for a +2 to a skill?
    Last edited by Malifice; 2019-04-27 at 11:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    I think one of the things Saga got right was the condition track, the problem is more the ways that it can be cheesed rather than the fact that it exists. Remember that D&D 5E has a similar track in the exhaustion mechanics.

    That said, advantage/disadvantage is a great mechanic that can replace tons of stuff in Saga that provide a +5 bonus. I like the untrained, trained, focused in skills. So untrained anybody can do it with no penalty, trained it you get to add your proficiency bonus, and specialized is bonus and advantage. Keep it simple. Applying other things like rerolls from some talents and feats lets a character roll as many as four times for the best results, which is pretty darn good.

    I'd also just call proficiency bonuses half level rounded up, and then apply it to all possible rolls including damage. Again keep it simple, and let every character use the same track for ease of access.

    If you want to differentiate characters with the proficiency, I would start with what characters can apply to their defenses and how much of it applies. I would say all charactersc an use Dex + Proficiency, or only the armour bonus to defense if wearing armour. A feat/talent would let the character pick which ever is higher. Characters known for wearing armour can use other abilities to build on that or in the case of a Jedi class it would borrow a monk's unarmoured defense ability of Dex + Wis + Proficiency.

    Basically I'd look at the 5E chasis and see what part encourage a character to emulate the movies, and then modify them for Saga. Saga at its core does a pretty good job of emulating the movies, but could definite be better about the disparity between characters, especially at the high levels.

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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    I think one of the things Saga got right was the condition track, the problem is more the ways that it can be cheesed rather than the fact that it exists. Remember that D&D 5E has a similar track in the exhaustion mechanics.
    The way I am currently tackling the CT is a single condition. Once over the targets DT, you're at disadvantage to all skill checks and attack rolls, and your movement is halved till you take the Recover action.

    Conditions are binary. You either have them or you don't, and they're either persistent (needs a specific thing to remove, such as a check or rest) or they're not.

    For talents like Dastardly Strike and so forth, they simply make conditions persistent (requiring an Endurance Check at the end of the Recover action to get over).

    A Mook that gets a persistent condition (any being with no levels in a Heroic class) is incapacitated and out of the combat. On the flip side mooks and creatures now get level to Defences like Heroic PCs (although due to HP they're likely to drop in one hit anyway).

    That said, advantage/disadvantage is a great mechanic that can replace tons of stuff in Saga that provide a +5 bonus. I like the untrained, trained, focused in skills. So untrained anybody can do it with no penalty, trained it you get to add your proficiency bonus, and specialized is bonus and advantage. Keep it simple. Applying other things like rerolls from some talents and feats lets a character roll as many as four times for the best results, which is pretty darn good.
    Im importing a skill mechanic into the talents. Each heroic class gets access to a talent that turns a 2-7 result on a D20 to an 8.

    For Scoundrels its Deception and Stealth etc. For Nobles its Persuasion and Gather Information. Soldiers get Initiative and Athletics, Scouts get Endurance and Survival. Ace Pilots get Pilot, Jedi Masters, Sith Lords, and Force Disciples get UtF etc.

    And Ill also be letting advantage and disadvantage stack.

    I'd also just call proficiency bonuses half level rounded up, and then apply it to all possible rolls including damage. Again keep it simple, and let every character use the same track for ease of access.
    Problem there is I then have to rejig all the skill DCs.

    Basically I'd look at the 5E chasis and see what part encourage a character to emulate the movies, and then modify them for Saga. Saga at its core does a pretty good job of emulating the movies, but could definite be better about the disparity between characters, especially at the high levels.
    Kind of where Im at at the moment.

    Im also trying to distill each Talent tree down to 5 talents, and having 4 trees per Class, with talents buffed, a few extra prerequistes added, and each talent adding to a specific role like in 4E (striker, leader, tank etc).
    Last edited by Malifice; 2019-04-27 at 05:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    One thing I did was make the entire system classless, and give EVERYONE 1/1 BAB.

    https://rpgcrank.blogspot.com/2013/0...terations.html

    It results in it largely being a level contest, with attributes and focus helping to guide it. If I'm playing a combat monster, I have combat talents and feats. If I'm not, I will lag behind the combat monsters.
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    I picked up the pdf 'Buy the Numbers' and it did wonders making a classless system of it, and helped with scaling quite a bit. Mark Hall's got a good setup, too.

    Saga is easy to tinker with, but can have disastrous results due to how everything is pretty dependent on each other. Honestly, I find using the Skill Attack Modifier is a great way to help, and really addresses certain issues, and if here was a clean way to prevent Ref and Dex from being the God Defense and Stat, respectively, that'd be great.
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Basically SWSE really amplifies the problem with a lot of D20 games, in that it only really works in the 'sweet spot' of levels 7-12.
    That's just nonsense. SWSE is more balanced than nearly all d20s at any level. It also has its own corrective mechanism past level 12. Maybe you've failed to use it but is that the system's fault?

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by emeraldstreak View Post
    That's just nonsense. SWSE is more balanced than nearly all d20s at any level. It also has its own corrective mechanism past level 12. Maybe you've failed to use it but is that the system's fault?
    What corrective mechanism is this?
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    What corrective mechanism is this?
    Specials like making enemies flat-footed.

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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by emeraldstreak View Post
    That's just nonsense. SWSE is more balanced than nearly all d20s at any level. It also has its own corrective mechanism past level 12. Maybe you've failed to use it but is that the system's fault?
    Yeah nah.

    I dont want to get into a debate with you. Suffice to say I'm looking for a mechanism to fix the scaling issues with the system.

    If you dont think there are any, you have nothing to contribute to the thread.

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    and at high level, defences are routinely in the region of around 40+ (meaning most attacks and skills miss, leading to protracted and boring fights).
    Where in the world did you get that idea?

    I just glanced through the Threat Guide, and and:

    Dark Jedi (CL 17): Ref: 32 (31) / Fort: 30 / Will: 31

    Sith Lord (CL 18): Ref: 33 (31) / Fort: 31 / Will: 34

    Elite Warrior (CL 15): Ref: 28 (25) / Fort: 28 / Will: 24

    Mandalorian Supercommando (CL 16): Ref: 37 (33) / Fort: 34 / Will: 28

    Tyrant Rancor (CL 15): REF: 15 (15) / Fort: 25 / Will: 8


    Besides the mandalorian - none of them have defenses even close to 40.

    Really - Saga has a few issues (mostly Skill Focus being OP at low levels for force users - and basically required at mid-high levels - that and some ways to build droid PCs - which I wouldn't allow without a LOT of oversight) but it's really a better balanced system than most d20 games.

    Tweaking Skill Focus is basically the only thing that's needed to fix any mechanical flaws in the system. I've seen a few variants - and it shouldn't be hard to find one. It's been a long time since I've played Saga, but as a KISS method, you could just disallow Skill Focus until level 7ish. (From what I recall - it was mostly just OP for low level force users.)

    Even considering 1-15 vs 1-20 BAB is a mistake, because the system assumes that you'll take prestige classes ASAP, and the majority of them give full BAB, so the BAB difference between characters even at 20 is unlikely to be more than 2-3 points.
    Last edited by CharonsHelper; 2019-05-02 at 07:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    Tweaking Skill Focus is basically the only thing that's needed to fix any mechanical flaws in the system. I've seen a few variants - and it shouldn't be hard to find one. It's been a long time since I've played Saga, but as a KISS method, you could just disallow Skill Focus until level 7ish. (From what I recall - it was mostly just OP for low level force users.)
    My personal preference is that Skill Focus changes the bonus from 1/2 level to 1*level. Nothing wrong with yours, just stating my preference.
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Allow me to suggest the Skill Attack modifier, or SAM.

    That post is more in depth, but here's the basics:

    The SAM for a trained skill = level + skill's ability modifier + other modifiers to the skill with some exceptions. The primary exception is Skill Focus where its +5 modifier to the skill check is reduced to a +2 modifier to the SAM; other fixed +5 skill bonuses may get the same treatment.

    This only applies to skills that target a defense. So, while Use the Force is the biggest problem in this category, several other skills also get fixed, and can help balance those things as well.

    There's not much that can be changed otherwise in regards to Ref and Dex being the king, still.
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparx MacGyver View Post
    There's not much that can be changed otherwise in regards to Ref and Dex being the king, still.
    Yeah - unless you're a melee or force build which burned a couple feats on armor, DEX is everyone's first or second most important stat - generally first.

    But there's no easy fix for it unless you divorce ranged attacks from Dex.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    Yeah - unless you're a melee or force build which burned a couple feats on armor, DEX is everyone's first or second most important stat - generally first.

    But there's no easy fix for it unless you divorce ranged attacks from Dex.
    There's various options to try fixing it. One option, if your using the Buy the Numbes book, is to allow for a "ranged attack" and a "melee attack", and likewise, for Saga, you may choose to follow suit and do something similar with Defenses, allowing for a melee/ranged defense. Although, I don't think this specific method would work outside of the BtN, you could maybe split things in some fashion, though how you'd accomplish it without impacting other aspects negatively is beyond me.
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparx MacGyver View Post
    There's various options to try fixing it. One option, if your using the Buy the Numbes book, is to allow for a "ranged attack" and a "melee attack", and likewise, for Saga, you may choose to follow suit and do something similar with Defenses, allowing for a melee/ranged defense. Although, I don't think this specific method would work outside of the BtN, you could maybe split things in some fashion, though how you'd accomplish it without impacting other aspects negatively is beyond me.
    Yeah - it's a drawback to trying to force D&D stats into a different setting.

    Overall I like Saga Edition - and I'm not sure that DEX being the best stat is a PROBLEM per se, but may have been able to avoid it somehow.

    You could potentially have more STR builds by making heavy weapons 1/2 STR & 1/2 DEX? (pure spit-balling) But that might make STR builds too good for anyone with armor. *shrug*

    And you'd still have the problem of having better than decent mental stats is only really important for Jedi.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparx MacGyver View Post
    Dex being the king, still.
    My high optimization campaigns saw many builds where Dex was at best tertiary. Force powers-leaning users put Wis/Cha above it, Str-based melee didn't care, support cast had at least Cha or Int as more important. It was the top stat for soldier/scouts focused on ranged, and of Dex-based melee.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    Yeah - it's a drawback to trying to force D&D stats into a different setting.

    Overall I like Saga Edition - and I'm not sure that DEX being the best stat is a PROBLEM per se, but may have been able to avoid it somehow.

    You could potentially have more STR builds by making heavy weapons 1/2 STR & 1/2 DEX? (pure spit-balling) But that might make STR builds too good for anyone with armor. *shrug*

    And you'd still have the problem of having better than decent mental stats is only really important for Jedi.
    It is a problem in the sense that with minimal effort, you can really boost it. Much like a really high UtF at level 1, it is possible to have a Ref 20 at level 1*, and typical mooks generally have a +1, or +2 at most, to hit, so it's easy to be out of range of most enemies**.

    Other than splitting things, I'm not sure of a good way to do it.

    *Obviously this is at the expense of everything else and purposefully powergaming it.

    ** This is not including tactics like area attacks, just simply taking regular shots.
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by emeraldstreak View Post
    My high optimization campaigns saw many builds where Dex was at best tertiary. Force powers-leaning users put Wis/Cha above it, Str-based melee didn't care, support cast had at least Cha or Int as more important. It was the top stat for soldier/scouts focused on ranged, and of Dex-based melee.
    That's true, and I don't expect each character/game group to build them that way, with Dex as priority, but i have seen many games where everyone builds the characters with Dex as the go-to, save for Force users.
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    Where in the world did you get that idea?
    From playing the game. Often. At varying levels and with players of varying levels of system mastery.

    Take for example:

    Zabrak Soldier 4/ Scout 3/ Noble 1/ Bounty Hunter 5/ Ace Pilot 1/ Officer 3. 17th level PC.

    Talents of note: Improved Armored defence, Armored defence, evasion, uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge + 6 more
    Feats of note: Improved defences, Unstoppable Force, Grand Army of the Republic training, Heavy armor proficiency, + 6 more
    Relevant Stats: 16
    Relevant gear: Heavy battle armor, modified (max dex +2)
    Relevant Skill: Acrobatics

    Nothing jaw dropping there. A CRB species, with CRB Classes and CRB feats and talents and gear (plus Unstoppable Force and Grand army of the Republic training)

    Ref: 10 (base) 17 (HL) 1 (race) 1 (feat) 2 (dex) 4 (class) 5 (armor) = 40 (45 when fighting defensively)
    Fort: 10 (base) 17 (HL) 1 (race) 1 (feat) 3 (con) 4 (class) 4 (armor) = 40 (45 vs Force powers)
    Will: 10 (base) 17 (HL) 1 (race) 1 (feat) 3 (wis) 4 (class) 4 (armor) = 40 (45 vs Force powers)

    Im not even really trying here. With 6 more talents, 8 more feats and a Noble or other buffs (and without considering I have 3 more levels to play with) I can easily crack defences of 50+

    Off the top of my head I'd look at the Martial arts line of feats, Unwavering resolve (+5 to Fort and Will vs Persuasion and Deception), Wary Defender (+2 to Fort and Will when fighting defensively), Dodge, Resolute Stance (Fight defensive bonus applies to Will as well as Ref) etc.

    And those are just feats I can take to bump defences further. Defences of 40 is not a stretch at 20th level at all.

    I just glanced through the Threat Guide, and and:

    Dark Jedi (CL 17): Ref: 32 (31) / Fort: 30 / Will: 31

    Sith Lord (CL 18): Ref: 33 (31) / Fort: 31 / Will: 34

    Elite Warrior (CL 15): Ref: 28 (25) / Fort: 28 / Will: 24

    Mandalorian Supercommando (CL 16): Ref: 37 (33) / Fort: 34 / Will: 28
    Im talking about PCs, not NPCs.

    Tyrant Rancor (CL 15): REF: 15 (15) / Fort: 25 / Will: 8
    In SWSE, Beasts (like non heroics) dont get bonuses to defence scores for levels.

    Which is a terrible decision. They should advance in defences.

    Tweaking Skill Focus is basically the only thing that's needed to fix any mechanical flaws in the system.
    I've run the game a lot, and its not the only thing thats needed.

    There is a gaping divide between skills and BAB, that creates problems everywhere other than at levels 7-12. Higher (or lower) than that, and you have issues. A PC with a reasonable amount of system mastery can easily create a PC with defences of around 50 at 20th level (making them immune to most Force Powers, and all but immune to any attacks other than dozens of storm-troopers combining fire [gaining +2 for each aid another action], or natural 20's)

    There are also issues with the action economy, and damage track shenanigans as well.
    Last edited by Malifice; 2019-05-03 at 05:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparx MacGyver View Post
    It is a problem in the sense that with minimal effort, you can really boost it. Much like a really high UtF at level 1, it is possible to have a Ref 20 at level 1*, and typical mooks generally have a +1, or +2 at most, to hit, so it's easy to be out of range of most enemies**.

    Other than splitting things, I'm not sure of a good way to do it.

    *Obviously this is at the expense of everything else and purposefully powergaming it.

    ** This is not including tactics like area attacks, just simply taking regular shots.
    Its oft overlooked in SWSE that Stormtroopers come with the Co-ordinated shot feat that lets them auto succeed on Aid another checks.

    Meaning that you simply group them together with X-1 aiding the last one's attack roll, granting a bonus to the roll of (X-1) x 2

    10 stormtroopers = (9 aiding the shooter for +18) = +22 to hit.

    You just add more stormtroopers to the mix till you get an attack bonus you're happy with. Make one roll. Fast resolution and it works.

    Its too good a mechanic to hide behind a feat, so Im simply errataing Aid another to auto succeed (removing the feat) and porting over the Co-ordinated barrage feat that increases damage with each 2 points over the attack roll.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparx MacGyver View Post
    Allow me to suggest the Skill Attack modifier, or SAM.

    That post is more in depth, but here's the basics:

    The SAM for a trained skill = level + skill's ability modifier + other modifiers to the skill with some exceptions. The primary exception is Skill Focus where its +5 modifier to the skill check is reduced to a +2 modifier to the SAM; other fixed +5 skill bonuses may get the same treatment.

    This only applies to skills that target a defense. So, while Use the Force is the biggest problem in this category, several other skills also get fixed, and can help balance those things as well.

    There's not much that can be changed otherwise in regards to Ref and Dex being the king, still.
    I've used that before and it works OK.

    I use [level] + [stat]. +2 Competence for Skill focus. -5 if untrained in the skill. Final mod (20th level) between +15 and +22 (+mods).

    I then simply used a rule where if you have fraction 3/4 BAB from multiple classes, you add those levels together to determine your final 3/4 BAB, and I created 2 new Feats:

    Martial Training I: Your BAB increases by +2 to a maximum = to your level.

    Martial Training II (req Martial Training I): Your BAB increases to a maximum = to your level.

    Both feats are bonus feats selectable by Scouts, in addtion to being general feats.

    It's a feat tax, but it smooths out the BAB issue.

    I also let Non Heroics and Beasts gain defence bonuses = to HD just like Heroics.

    Even with the above, we still wind up with SAB and BAB of (max) +27 at 20th level (presuming focus/ improved focus, and Stat +5) meaning defences in the 35-45 range are OK.

    I could reduce defences to 3/4 Heroic bonus as well, and it would probably work out better.

    ---------------------

    I guess what Im getting at here, is instead of an overly complex re-jiggering of every single bonus on its own scale, if I removed (Heroic bonus to defences, BAB, Skill bonuses, proficiency/ non proficiency) and simply replaced them with a one off and consistent 5E DnD style proficiency bonus (of say +3 to +13, with Focus granting an extra +2), it would probably work a heck of a lot better, with a smoother bell curve and less 'you need a natural 20 to hit' going on.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Its oft overlooked in SWSE that Stormtroopers come with the Co-ordinated shot feat that lets them auto succeed on Aid another checks.

    Meaning that you simply group them together with X-1 aiding the last one's attack roll, granting a bonus to the roll of (X-1) x 2

    10 stormtroopers = (9 aiding the shooter for +18) = +22 to hit.

    You just add more stormtroopers to the mix till you get an attack bonus you're happy with. Make one roll. Fast resolution and it works.

    Its too good a mechanic to hide behind a feat, so Im simply errataing Aid another to auto succeed (removing the feat) and porting over the Co-ordinated barrage feat that increases damage with each 2 points over the attack roll.
    That was my favourite part of stormtroopers in Saga. They worked a lot like ship batteries for attacks, so it took piles of them to be genuinely dangerous.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    While I'm here, does anyone have any ideas re the CT?

    My current thinking is to only have one step on the CT. If you take damage over your DT (or otherwise suffer a condition), you take a 'condition' (imposes 5e style 'disadvantage' on skill checks and attack rolls).

    If that damage is stun damage, it also KO's you, unless you have 1 or more levels in a Heroic class.

    If you suffer a 'condition' and you dont have 1 or more levels in a Heroic class, you're incapacitated (and generally speaking removed from the encounter).

    The rationale is to reduce bookkeeping (it can be a nightmare for a GM to track multiple CT's in a combat), reduce the efficacy of 'CT sniper' builds while still having imposing conditions a thing (effective against mooks because it auto 'kills' them, and effective against bosses to weaken them), and provide a streamlined 'Mook' rules.

    For talents like Dastardly strike, Hunters Mark and so forth, they'll be modified to impose either an additional penalty (half movement etc) while the condition lasts, or to make the condition persistent until a specific thing or action removes it (such as use the recover action AND succeed in a DC 15 Endurance check, or until you receive medical treatment via the Treat Injury skill, or whatever).

    I reckon the above provides all the advantages of the current CT system, with a lot less bookkeeping and potential for abuse.

    Thoughts?

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    This has been a good thread for me. I knew of the problems that SAGA had with its scaling. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who changed the 1/2 Level bonus on skills to 1* with Skill Focus. Hamstrings Skill Focus: Use the Force in the early levels a bit, and makes it a little better later on. Which is probably for the best, because defenses scale rapidly.

    Now I need to figure out how to challenge the players on ship design. Apparently you can pull out cargo space for ludicrous amounts of Emplacement Points...

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    That was my favourite part of stormtroopers in Saga. They worked a lot like ship batteries for attacks, so it took piles of them to be genuinely dangerous.
    I'm running a game right now, and I've had excellent results giving Stormtroopers Rapport as well. +4 to attacks from Aid Another? Yes please. Now I need half as many Stormies to be dangerous to the players! Insert an Imperial Officer with Coordinated Barrage for maximum fun.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    Where in the world did you get that idea?

    I just glanced through the Threat Guide, and and:

    Dark Jedi (CL 17): Ref: 32 (31) / Fort: 30 / Will: 31

    Sith Lord (CL 18): Ref: 33 (31) / Fort: 31 / Will: 34

    Elite Warrior (CL 15): Ref: 28 (25) / Fort: 28 / Will: 24

    Mandalorian Supercommando (CL 16): Ref: 37 (33) / Fort: 34 / Will: 28
    In addition to what Malifice said, those aren't wonderful examples. In order:

    1. The Dark Jedi Master has the following defensive traits:
    Talents: Block, Deflect
    Feats: Dodge, Melee Defense
    Powers: Rebuke, Dark Rage

    Block and Deflect mean that this Dark Jedi can, when something gets past his Reflex, make a roll to negate it. (His chances are under 50%, but he has a reasonable shot.) Rebuke does the same for Force Powers. Dodge and Melee Defense gives the Dark Jedi a Reflex of 38, and he can use his Dark Rage to completely restore his attack bonus from it. So actually, if he's using his abilities, his prime defense is almost 40, and his secondaries have backups if he messes up.

    (Also his Will Save is listed at 31, but it should be 34 - Base 10 + CL 17 + Wisdom 4 + Jedi Master 3. Minor thing, but still.)

    2. The Sith Lord is a bad fighter, focusing heavily on mental powers and tricks, but does still have Block, Lightsaber Defense, Melee Defense, and Rebuke. So once again, they can block melee attacks, pump their Reflex defense up to 39, rebuke powers that get past their Fortitude or Will, and Rage their attack back to full.

    But man, maybe take a look at the Fallen Jedi Sith Lord instead! Reflex 35 with a lightsaber, Fort 33, Will 35, Block, Deflect, Lightsaber Defense, Redirect Shot, Djem So, Elusive Target, Shien, Dual Weapon Mastery II. This one not only gets to block things, they can get +5 to deflect ranged shots back at their attacker and get free attacks of opportunity against people who hit them in a fight, and ranged attacks against them take -5 when they're fighting close! They can get their effective Reflex past 40 against ranged attacks, while easily counter-attacking melee ones.

    3. The Elite Warrior is totally messed-up? They've got 2 CL from three levels of Nonheroic, which should actually only be 1, so they're really only CR 14. On top of that, they've got Armored Defense but not Improved Armored Defense, so they don't get any benefits from wearing armor.

    They also don't have enough Talents. They should have 7 Talents (four Soldiers, three Elite Trooper) and only have six. They burned one of their nine feats on Medium Armor Proficiency, which again, doesn't give them any bonus. Finally, five of their six Talents and six of their eight non-Proficiency feats are about being better at rifles, so they are exceptionally offense-focused characters.

    4. Finally, the Mandalorian Supercommando. Once again, their Defenses are wrong, this time Fortitude: they've forgotten their Equipment bonus to Fortitude from their armor, so they should be Fort 37 (10 + CL 16 + Fort 2 + Class 4 + Equipment 4 + MA 1.) These guys also chose to take non-Defense protections, giving them extra Second Wind and Condition recovery. So this guy is nearly to 40 in two Defenses, at CR 16, with extra protections to slow fights down. (Notably, if two Mandalorian Supercommandos have a duel, it will take an average of 36 rounds for one to kill the other.)
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    In addition to what Malifice said, those aren't wonderful examples. In order:

    1. The Dark Jedi Master has the following defensive traits:
    Talents: Block, Deflect
    Feats: Dodge, Melee Defense
    Powers: Rebuke, Dark Rage

    Block and Deflect mean that this Dark Jedi can, when something gets past his Reflex, make a roll to negate it. (His chances are under 50%, but he has a reasonable shot.) Rebuke does the same for Force Powers. Dodge and Melee Defense gives the Dark Jedi a Reflex of 38, and he can use his Dark Rage to completely restore his attack bonus from it. So actually, if he's using his abilities, his prime defense is almost 40, and his secondaries have backups if he messes up.

    (Also his Will Save is listed at 31, but it should be 34 - Base 10 + CL 17 + Wisdom 4 + Jedi Master 3. Minor thing, but still.)

    2. The Sith Lord is a bad fighter, focusing heavily on mental powers and tricks, but does still have Block, Lightsaber Defense, Melee Defense, and Rebuke. So once again, they can block melee attacks, pump their Reflex defense up to 39, rebuke powers that get past their Fortitude or Will, and Rage their attack back to full.

    But man, maybe take a look at the Fallen Jedi Sith Lord instead! Reflex 35 with a lightsaber, Fort 33, Will 35, Block, Deflect, Lightsaber Defense, Redirect Shot, Djem So, Elusive Target, Shien, Dual Weapon Mastery II. This one not only gets to block things, they can get +5 to deflect ranged shots back at their attacker and get free attacks of opportunity against people who hit them in a fight, and ranged attacks against them take -5 when they're fighting close! They can get their effective Reflex past 40 against ranged attacks, while easily counter-attacking melee ones.

    3. The Elite Warrior is totally messed-up? They've got 2 CL from three levels of Nonheroic, which should actually only be 1, so they're really only CR 14. On top of that, they've got Armored Defense but not Improved Armored Defense, so they don't get any benefits from wearing armor.

    They also don't have enough Talents. They should have 7 Talents (four Soldiers, three Elite Trooper) and only have six. They burned one of their nine feats on Medium Armor Proficiency, which again, doesn't give them any bonus. Finally, five of their six Talents and six of their eight non-Proficiency feats are about being better at rifles, so they are exceptionally offense-focused characters.

    4. Finally, the Mandalorian Supercommando. Once again, their Defenses are wrong, this time Fortitude: they've forgotten their Equipment bonus to Fortitude from their armor, so they should be Fort 37 (10 + CL 16 + Fort 2 + Class 4 + Equipment 4 + MA 1.) These guys also chose to take non-Defense protections, giving them extra Second Wind and Condition recovery. So this guy is nearly to 40 in two Defenses, at CR 16, with extra protections to slow fights down. (Notably, if two Mandalorian Supercommandos have a duel, it will take an average of 36 rounds for one to kill the other.)
    Fair enough. I never actually played the system into double digits (I think that the d20 systems tend to start breaking down around then - though Saga actually isn't as bad as 3.x/PF) and I haven't played Saga at all in years, so I didn't look very close at the nitty gritty. Just grabbed a few high CL foes at random.
    Last edited by CharonsHelper; 2019-05-10 at 06:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    Fair enough. I never actually played the system into double digits (I think that the d20 systems tend to start breaking down around then - though Saga actually isn't as bad as 3.x/PF) and I haven't played Saga at all in years, so I didn't look very close at the nitty gritty. Just grabbed a few high CL foes at random.
    That is reasonable. It's not immediately obvious the degree to which the large array of Talents and Feats that you can pick up over the course of a campaign can seriously tilt things.

    True story - we were playing a campaign and the GM threw a pre-generated sith at us. I don't recall which one off-hand, but they were two CL above the party, and he was worried it would be a tough fight. Instead, we absolutely flattened him. Afterwards, the GM was trying to figure out why the fight was so easy, and one player took a look at the stat block for him, and just winced and said, "Well, you only spent one Force Point all fight and this guy has 6. Also you could have activated Dark Rage as a swift action and spent a Force Point and given him +4 or +6 to hit and damage for the whole fight, that would have made a bunch of his near misses into hits that did ludicrous damage. Also you never used Block when we hit him, and that would have been real bad because he could have dodged some big hits that way."

    And we looked it over, and we shuddered because Dark Rage alone would probably have been the difference between our massive win and a TPK, let alone having him dodge a quarter of the hits that landed.
    Last edited by Friv; 2019-05-10 at 07:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Everyone seems to be focusing on fixing the offensive side, but it seems that the defensive side of the equation is the problem. If you use 1/2 level instead of full level for those calcualtions, the math shifts so that without special effects hitting becomes very easy at high levels.
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    Quote Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
    Everyone seems to be focusing on fixing the offensive side, but it seems that the defensive side of the equation is the problem. If you use 1/2 level instead of full level for those calcualtions, the math shifts so that without special effects hitting becomes very easy at high levels.
    It's a hit-and-miss kind of thing with making alterations. I've seen games where they made the change you suggest, to one I've done with the BtN rules, and even just outright removing the level part from attacks/defenses/skills, and everything else (the rest only comes up if anybody takes it). Sometimes it's more headache than it's worth, other times it's works out...OK. Not great, maybe a bit better than core, but usually the game still has all the same issues.

    Still, I do agree, Defenses (mainly Reflex) and skill focus are probably the two biggest issues with Saga as a whole. While there's plenty of smaller things here and there (I'm sure we could all lit a handful of things), those two are usually the most egregious.
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    Default Re: Saga Edition - Fixing scaling

    How does this sound:

    Everyone gets a fixed Proficiency bonus of 2 + 1/2 level (round down). 2-12

    It applies to everything (all defences, attacks with weapons you're proficient in and skills you're proficient in, but not to damage). Heroics, Non-heroics and beasts.

    Focus (weapon or skill) grants +3. Greater weapon focus is gone.

    As long as I use a system where starting Stats are in the 8-15 range (+species mods) via point buy using the same method as 5E, it should work out, and extend the 'sweet spot' over all 20 levels.

    You're looking at a maximum of +8 or so to 'focussed' skills and attack rolls at 1st level. Seeing as Non-heroics now get Proficiency bonus to defence scores, and Heroics get a slight buff at 1st level (10+2+class+ability) for defences of around 12-17 at 1st level, it should work out great.

    I'd have to have a good look at the improved armored defence talent, and fighting defensively options and other defence buffing feats, talents and options to keep it at the sweet spot and protect bounded accuracy (likely having the total defence action becoming like 5E's dodge action and simply granting disadvantage on attacks.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Malifice; 2019-05-18 at 04:55 PM.

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