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Lightsaber Forms
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheshire wrote:
Kytross wrote:
CRMcNeill wrote:
Advanced Skills more closely resemble how the skill progression would work in real life, though.


I agree with everything you said there, except the first sentence. The concept I'm building here has them start with the basics and build from there.

*snip*

After reading everything I found on lightsaber forms over the last few days, by the way thanks for your insight CRMcNeill it was helpful, I am doubling down on not directly translating forms into specific skills. Forms are schools of combat. Each form incorporates a variety of skills and focuses in on specializations within the skill Lightsaber.

*snip*


It's kind of a funny thing that we bring this to real life. Melee weapons training when it comes to specific forms is pretty heavily nuanced. I started practicing historical swordsmanship almost 13 years ago, and I've got a fair grasp of how certain schools differed from each other, most notably in the Italian tradition of the 15th and 16th Centuries.

Let me tell you, it is insanely difficult to try to represent different schools in D6 mechanics, and there's not a lot that's going to capture it well without doing violence either to the system, or to an understanding of how different schools operated.

That being said, I think there's something to the notion of specializations rather than advanced skills. In an advanced skill, you start at 1D for a competence in that area. With a specialization you're able to lean more on the collateral learning from your base skill. With swordwork it's not that different from the specialization. True, if you move from one school to another, you're going to have to retrain a lot of someone's bad habits (that were good habits in a different school), but it's not like they're starting off at 1D all over again. There's a fair bit of the person leaning on their collateral learning from the other discipline.

Though I think there is one major question that has to be addressed before deciding definitively which way to go in your game, and that is the matter of CP cost vs. character competence.

When I've messed around with advanced skills and lightsabers, I've found that after a certain point, a CP cost was so great that it would not have made sense for the person to have even started the advanced skill in the first place. With so much CP investment, they could have just dumped it all into advancing the prerequisite skill and had more benefit. Though I think we've all learned from the Martial Arts specialization that the opposite can also be true. When the benefits far outstrip the light CP cost, it allows for characters to get very powerful quickly.

If anyone was so motivated, they could run up a spreadsheet of different levels of CP cost against the bonuses that can be achieved as an advanced skill and specialization vs. the base skill advancement. It might give us an indication of which would be most balanced.


I can relate to this somewhat.

I would add that there is one other element that bears consideration:

What is most "fun"? I thrive on a balance between complexity and simplicity. For me, I want there to be mechanical nuances expressed by the rules that manifest an opportunity cost. I want it to mean something that my character has this instead of that, and I want the dice rolls to express that difference (as opposed to the differences just being narrative in nature).

I reckon from the content of this thread (and ones before it) that others may feel similar.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:

I actually did them as separate regular skills. Advanced skills (especially for combat skills) is just too clunky and violates the "spirit" of the advanced skill rules.

By making them advanced skills, they do absolutely nothing on their own: they always stack with the base skill because whenever you would "attack with your lightsaber (lightsaber skill), the advanced skill stacks with it (like when you roll first aid, but also have (A) medicine). However, unlike with (A) medicine, where there are certain things that first aid cannot do (like administer bacta treatment), you would never roll an advanced combat skill without also rolling the base skill, because both skills always apply if one of them does. In other words, I feel that an (A) skill needs to be a stand-alone skill that provides a benefit NOT available when simply stacking on the base skill.

The way I wrote it, Soresu, Ataru, etc, are all base skills that have very specific effects with pros and cons to choosing one or the other.


Does one still need the base LS skill to pick up one of those other skills?
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the thread you linked to explains all that. I feel like it would be hijacking this thread to get too far into the specifics.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A thought on this. The Fightsaber article describes all Jedi beginning with Form I, which taught them the basics. From there, they would branch out into the other Forms, building on the core skills taught in Form I.

The Advanced Skill system follows this pattern, as well. The base Lightsaber skill is Form I, which is a prerequisite for the Advanced Skills of Forms II through VII, with each advanced skill having a particular strength.

In effect, it allows the character to mirror how training would progress in-universe.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
A thought on this. The Fightsaber article describes all Jedi beginning with Form I, which taught them the basics. From there, they would branch out into the other Forms, building on the core skills taught in Form I.

The Advanced Skill system follows this pattern, as well. The base Lightsaber skill is Form I, which is a prerequisite for the Advanced Skills of Forms II through VII, with each advanced skill having a particular strength.

In effect, it allows the character to mirror how training would progress in-universe.


I would not say that the lightsaber skill alone constitutes form 1, but rather form random, once thrianied you make it in to the various forms.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use quick and dirty lightsaber forms as specialized advanced skills.
Form 1 is an advanced skill over lightsaber, and can be used to assist in covering minimum skill requirements for the other lightsaber forms.

Each form has Primary, Secondary, and sometimes tertiary abilities as well as some form of drawback.

An example of a tertiary bonus would be a +1 per D to acrobatics checks for a Ataru practitioner. These types of bonuses are the only ones that can roll over when a Jedi using a different form. Switching forms counts as an action.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mamatried wrote:
I would not say that the lightsaber skill alone constitutes form 1, but rather form random, once thrianied you make it in to the various forms.

The problem here is that, without building a completely new rule just for lightsabers, it becomes possible to overspecialize. For instance, just specializing in Lightsaber: Parry does not allow for the character to do anything but parry, and none of the seven forms have that degree of overspecialization.

Furthermore, building a martial form out of a group of specializations allows the character to build his Form in ways that the in-universe description of the Form should not allow. For example, based on the RAW for specializations, a character could nominally be a Form II practitioner, yet spend his CP primarily on increasing Lightsaber: Parry (something Form II wasn't the best at).

The original source for the Seven Forms (the Fightsaber article) specifically stated that Forms II through VI built on basic fighting techniques learned in Form I. Further, Form VII also required some experience in Forms II through V. Under the RAW for Skills, the Advanced Skill can account for and accommodate this pattern, where Specializations can not.

I have found that, wherever possible, it is best to base a house rule on an existing rule, as opposed to building something complete new for a specific purpose. To build a version of the Seven Forms around specializations will require a lot of superstructure rules to maintain the intent and classification of the Seven Forms, a structure that is already included in the RAW for Advanced Skills.
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Argentsaber
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if it will be helpful to anyone, but I am playtesting a system for advanced skills which parallels the force skills and their powers. In this system, advanced skills gain access to a tree of "talents," which are functionally identical to force powers (most can be attempted without learning it at higher DC, etc.) I use "martial arts" as an advanced skill, which has a talent tree allowing advantages in unarmed combat, and/or specific melee weapon combat. After reading this thread, I see no reason why one might not have a martial arts & <force skill> power allowing bonuses from the various forms.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Mamatried wrote:
I would not say that the lightsaber skill alone constitutes form 1, but rather form random, once thrianied you make it in to the various forms.

The problem here is that, without building a completely new rule just for lightsabers, it becomes possible to overspecialize. For instance, just specializing in Lightsaber: Parry does not allow for the character to do anything but parry, and none of the seven forms have that degree of overspecialization.

Furthermore, building a martial form out of a group of specializations allows the character to build his Form in ways that the in-universe description of the Form should not allow. For example, based on the RAW for specializations, a character could nominally be a Form II practitioner, yet spend his CP primarily on increasing Lightsaber: Parry (something Form II wasn't the best at).

The original source for the Seven Forms (the Fightsaber article) specifically stated that Forms II through VI built on basic fighting techniques learned in Form I. Further, Form VII also required some experience in Forms II through V. Under the RAW for Skills, the Advanced Skill can account for and accommodate this pattern, where Specializations can not.

I have found that, wherever possible, it is best to base a house rule on an existing rule, as opposed to building something complete new for a specific purpose. To build a version of the Seven Forms around specializations will require a lot of superstructure rules to maintain the intent and classification of the Seven Forms, a structure that is already included in the RAW for Advanced Skills.


How does this sound?

Lightsaber Skill = Form One.

Since most of the other forms are based on form one, allow these to come as Advanced skill, with lets say 4D in the skill(aka form one)

As for the maneuvers and techniques of form one, you gain these and learn these as your skill grows,

others you learn much like force powers or martial arts, 1 per 1D or per pip.

As to the non standard styles they could be specializations, rather than advanced skills.........
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mamatried wrote:
How does this sound?

Lightsaber Skill = Form One.

Since most of the other forms are based on form one, allow these to come as Advanced skill, with lets say 4D in the skill(aka form one)

The great thing about Advanced Skills is that they stack with any prerequisites, so you could have, say, Form IV include Running or Climb/Jump as prerequisites, reflecting Form IV's emphasis on mobility. A Form could include a Brawling component, as well.

Quote:
As for the maneuvers and techniques of form one, you gain these and learn these as your skill grows,

others you learn much like force powers or martial arts, 1 per 1D or per pip.

I was never hugely fond of maneuvers and techniques. Instead, I went with a results-based system built around the Dueling Blades optional rule, under which an entire round of combat was represented by a single opposed roll between the two combatants, with the difference between the rolls determining the result. I took that core idea and generated multiple tables for different results, such as Stun, Disarm, Feint, etc. Basically, the two duelists would declare in advance what they were trying to do, and how successful they were would be determined by how well they beat their opponent's roll.

Here's the list of result charts.

Quote:
As to the non standard styles they could be specializations, rather than advanced skills.........

Are you referring to the use of unorthodox stances or unusual weapons like a lightwhip or Maul's lightstaff?
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

to your last question, Yes.
But not so much the weapons, s more the non standard lightsaber forms.

Like LOL form zero, and jar'kai or whatever the name is for 2 weapon style, these styles is what I referred to there
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Mamatried wrote:
How does this sound?

Lightsaber Skill = Form One.

Since most of the other forms are based on form one, allow these to come as Advanced skill, with lets say 4D in the skill(aka form one)

The great thing about Advanced Skills is that they stack with any prerequisites, so you could have, say, Form IV include Running or Climb/Jump as prerequisites, reflecting Form IV's emphasis on mobility. A Form could include a Brawling component, as well.

Quote:
As for the maneuvers and techniques of form one, you gain these and learn these as your skill grows,

others you learn much like force powers or martial arts, 1 per 1D or per pip.

I was never hugely fond of maneuvers and techniques. Instead, I went with a results-based system built around the Dueling Blades optional rule, under which an entire round of combat was represented by a single opposed roll between the two combatants, with the difference between the rolls determining the result. I took that core idea and generated multiple tables for different results, such as Stun, Disarm, Feint, etc. Basically, the two duelists would declare in advance what they were trying to do, and how successful they were would be determined by how well they beat their opponent's roll.

Here's the list of result charts.

Quote:
As to the non standard styles they could be specializations, rather than advanced skills.........

Are you referring to the use of unorthodox stances or unusual weapons like a lightwhip or Maul's lightstaff?



Nice list and usage of the lightsaber combat and styles there. Have you considered making it a pdf, or otherwise sreamiline it and publish it here on the forums maybe?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mamatried wrote:
Nice list and usage of the lightsaber combat and styles there. Have you considered making it a pdf, or otherwise sreamiline it and publish it here on the forums maybe?

Actually, both that link and the one I posted on the first page are part of a larger topic (here) that covered as many aspects of lightsaber combat as I could think of. I'm not entirely satisfied with it in its current form (for one thing, I've never been able to come up with a version of Form IV that I was truly satisfied with), but the basics are there.

I did come up with my own versions of the different techniques, but they never seemed so different as to justify coming up with anything apart from giving the ability to use exotic weapon types with existing Forms. There doesn't really seem to be a good way to use the Specialization RAW to incorporate that. Maybe Advanced Skills would work there, too; there's nothing saying an advanced skill can't have other advanced skills as prerequisites...

As for Form Zero, I ended up making it the Jedi version of the Dun Möch (the Sith taunting technique) so that Jedi could engage in psychological warfare with Sith, as they are wont to do in the films.
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