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Difficulty of Parrying a Blaster Bolt
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:

And I'm not saying diameter is the determining factor, merely that it is a factor, along with several others (see my previous three points).


No, that's what garhkal is saying. Your arguments make sense, but are essentially tangential.

CRMcNeill wrote:
So, your argument is that, because the blast from a Death Star is wider than that of a blaster rifle, it is... less... intense? Every sci-fi genre that uses wider-barreled weaponry as scale increases (Bolo, Hammer's Slammers, etc) does so to justify packing more power into an energy beam, not less. I fail to see why Star Wars would be any different.


No. My argument is that a larger diameter is not necessarily a component of a more powerful beam/laser, ergo if diameter is the basis on which lightsaber deflection is disallowed, why can't a starship's blasts be deflected since they are not any wider than a lightsaber's beam?

(And the shots that are confirmed to be from the main guns in the "hell of a pilot" scene are, in fact, thinner than a lightsaber's beam).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
And the shots that are confirmed to be from the main guns in the "hell of a pilot" scene are, in fact, thinner than a lightsaber's beam.

But then we start getting into the continuity disconnect of showing those exact same lasers ripping through TIE Fighters and blowing them up, yet with far less effect on the bodies of stormtroopers: arguably the energy equivalent of getting hit by a high-powered rifle.

And yes, it could be argued that the resistance posed by stormtroopers in armor wasn't sufficient to disrupt the beam, allowing them to simply punch straight through. But if that's the case, then why didn't the beams cause explosions when they hit the ground (fired at a downward angle) after punching through the stormtroopers?

You have argued elsewhere that the targeting systems on starfighters should not be able to specifically target character-scale targets on the ground, and that the only way to do so would be for starfighters to be equipped with a smaller-scale weapon that's specifically designed to engage small, hard-to-hit targets.

That's exactly what the belly blaster on Poe's X-Wing (and presumably the others as well) is. Three uses off the top of my head:
    1) Anti-missile defense.
    2) Dock Gun, defending the ship when it's prepping for takeoff.
    3) Precision Close Air Support, using enhanced optics and the turret mount of the gun to snipe enemy troops, especially when there are friendlies mixed in with them.

If the belly gun is roughly equivalent to an E-WEB (which I picture as the SWU equivalent of a .50 cal.), then the hits on the stormtroopers make a lot more sense: powerful enough to punch through, but with no blast effect worth speaking of.

That's a way better explanation for the action seen on-screen, and it fits well with the established rule-set I have up to this point. You may do as you wish in your campaign, but I am not going to throw everything out and start over all because of a blink-and-you-miss-it scene from The Force Awakens.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I most certainly agree.

I take the position that in general, shooting anti-starship weapons at characters should not be "allowed" (in the same way as you describe by applying modifiers that make it reasonably unlikely). And I hold fast to my position that air-to-ground attack craft are equipped with appropriately scaled weapons (regardless of how much damage they cause: the fire control/targeting system being the primary element in determining the weapon's "scale") for the types of targets it is intended to engage.

I also consider the scene in TFA to be absolutely absurd for all the reasons you mention.

But like I was saying earlier: there is some intellectual inconsistency when we say "the films show it, so that's all the reason we need" and then we say "the beam to 'too thick' to be deflected by a lightsaber" (or some other anti-Jedi-PC reasoning for why Jedi can't do something even though the films don't explicitly define the limits of what a Jedi can deflect, but the reasoning used is contradicted by what is shown on-screen).

I will happily overrule the films for the sake of 1) fun, 2) verisimilitude within the campaign setting and 3) fixing inconsistencies that are created by conflicts within the canon SWU (such as "do you remember your real mother?" etc).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A point of order: I'm not arguing that a beam "is too thick to parry with a lightsaber"; I'm arguing that the beam width makes it more difficult to parry with a lightsaber, and I think that is a crucial distinction. My thinking is that, as energy blasts increase in power (of which size is a factor), they become harder and harder to block. This requires the Jedi in question to position his saber with the utmost precision and skill in order to successfully do so, thus requiring a greater and greater degree of skill on the part of the Jedi to succeed at doing so.

As an aside, you didn't reply to my earlier compromise suggestion: only applying the Scale modifier if the Jedi is actively trying to control the bolt on a successful parry.

As to the rest, I would say the most important aspect of incorporating the new films (and indeed much of the EU) is suspension of disbelief. So long as you can successfully find a way to explain what is seen on screen (or in whatever media) as plausible, then the verisimilitude of the SWU is maintained. Violate that verisimilitude, and everything falls apart. IMO, that is part of the failing of the new canon; Disney et al took the assumption of the fan's suspension of disbelief for granted.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
A point of order: I'm not arguing that a beam "is too thick to parry with a lightsaber"; I'm arguing that the beam width makes it more difficult to parry with a lightsaber, and I think that is a crucial distinction. My thinking is that, as energy blasts increase in power (of which size is a factor), they become harder and harder to block. This requires the Jedi in question to position his saber with the utmost precision and skill in order to successfully do so, thus requiring a greater and greater degree of skill on the part of the Jedi to succeed at doing so.

As an aside, you didn't reply to my earlier compromise suggestion: only applying the Scale modifier if the Jedi is actively trying to control the bolt on a successful parry.

As to the rest, I would say the most important aspect of incorporating the new films (and indeed much of the EU) is suspension of disbelief. So long as you can successfully find a way to explain what is seen on screen (or in whatever media) as plausible, then the verisimilitude of the SWU is maintained. Violate that verisimilitude, and everything falls apart. IMO, that is part of the failing of the new canon; Disney et al took the assumption of the fan's suspension of disbelief for granted.


Yes. I rather think that a thicker beam would be much, much easier to parry (hence my soccer ball analogy), but probably harder to redirect (if the blade work isn't perfect, it can still brush the beam off target easily enough, by my thinking). Even still: if the wider beam is easier to parry, can the Jedi do it with sufficient precision to cast it far enough away that any relevant blast radius would also miss? If not, he will still take "splash" damage (which would be WAY less lethal than a direct hit and hence the scale modifier only applying to actual attack/parry roll, but being discounted when determining after effects).

As for your compromise, I think it's good (you seem to require that a Jedi declare that he wishes to redirect before even attempting the parry). I tend to think of it differently: after the parry is made, the Jedi can decide whether to redirect (this would be my interpretation of RAW). However, I feel that a Jedi should only be able to redirect if his parry roll is a certain amount over the attack roll to begin with, so if the Jedi rolls a decently high parry roll, then he can decide to redirect (this is how I account for certain characters not getting their blaster fire sent back their way, such as Jango Fett even though he was shooting at Obi-Wan, who is unquestionably a "heroic" character in Episode 2... heck, not even Mace Windu redirected any of Jango's fire): his attack rolls are high enough that Obi-Wan can only manage to not get hit. My compromise for the Jedi is that redirecting is a free action, since it will only happen on spectacular successes or against mooks who are cannon fodder anyway (but all that is tangential to my original issue/question, so don't take it as any kind of rebuttal... I'm just going with the flow of the conversation at this point).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
I rather think that a thicker beam would be much, much easier to parry (hence my soccer ball analogy), but probably harder to redirect (if the blade work isn't perfect, it can still brush the beam off target easily enough, by my thinking).

That's assuming that blaster bolts behave like soccer balls. Without knowing the exact physics of blaster bolts and lightsabers, there's no way to speak with certainty as to how they behave. It could just as easily be that a lightsaber can parry character-scale blaster bolts near effortlessly because they are the same width or narrower, and as the diameter of the bolt increases, it becomes more and more difficult to position the blade so as to deflect all of it. I admit I'm coming at it in reverse - applying a rule, then looking for an explanation that supports it - but so what? It's not like either one of us can ever prove our version is right, but mine does at least have the virtue of meshing with an existing rule (Scale system).

Quote:
As for your compromise, I think it's good (you seem to require that a Jedi declare that he wishes to redirect before even attempting the parry).

That's because of the miss factor. As weapon scales increase, the more likely it becomes that the beam won't actually hit the Jedi, and will instead hit somewhere near him. If a beam is going to hit the ground 10 meters away, the Jedi will have to actually move closer to the point of impact to have a chance at parrying it. That sort of move requires intent.

Quote:
However, I feel that a Jedi should only be able to redirect if his parry roll is a certain amount over the attack roll to begin with, so if the Jedi rolls a decently high parry roll, then he can decide to redirect (this is how I account for certain characters not getting their blaster fire sent back their way, such as Jango Fett even though he was shooting at Obi-Wan, who is unquestionably a "heroic" character in Episode 2... heck, not even Mace Windu redirected any of Jango's fire): his attack rolls are high enough that Obi-Wan can only manage to not get hit. My compromise for the Jedi is that redirecting is a free action, since it will only happen on spectacular successes or against mooks who are cannon fodder anyway (but all that is tangential to my original issue/question, so don't take it as any kind of rebuttal... I'm just going with the flow of the conversation at this point).

I agree with your general premise; that was part of why my Barrage Rule included the caveat that a Jedi could only try reflect back 1 bolt for every 3 points by which he beat the shooter's Blaster roll.
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