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Kylo Ren's Lightsaber
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:42 am    Post subject: Kylo Ren's Lightsaber Reply with quote

So, I'd like to make some stats for Kylo Ren's Lightsaber. The problem is that the only unique thing that lightsaber was shown to do was make an attack of opportunity when two opponents are blade-locked. The RAW version of lightsaber combat is so bare-bones that I'm having difficulty coming up with a special rule that accurately reflects how Kylo Ren used that trick in his battle with Fin. It would fit better with the Dueling Sabers rule I posted a while back, but not everyone uses that.

Thoughts?
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Last edited by CRMcNeill on Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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vanir
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming at it from a duelling POV and then moving towards game terms.

Obviously the feature is designed for locking blades, which technically lightsabres shouldn't be able to do because they usually don't have handguards, given the blade would cut through most materials you might use for them.

Unfortunately we see blades locking in the books and movies because it is a dramatic scene within a sword fight. It is a writer tool and not an accurate depiction of how things would go down if those weapons were real weapons.

If you wind up locking blades so to speak, in duelling and you don't have handguards the enemy's blade would immediately slide either up your blade and push it into your face, or if you tried to keep that from happening with leverage, immediately down onto your hand because there is no handguard. That is what should happen when regular lightsabres lock blades, they only don't because of writer's license.

Well, there's the reason for the difficulty translating into game terms. The idea of locking blades as a duelling manoeuvre without a handguard is cinematic and doesn't translate into game terms, it's logical fallacy and game stats rely on logical progression for visualization of action sequences (eg. 3D damage vs 2D strength gives visualization of relative damage amount, the stats provide logical basis for effect). So how do you put the benefit of Kylo's crossblade into a variation of game terms that don't really exist in game to start with?

You would have to introduce firstly, game terms for locking blades.
You would have to say something like, lightsabres are energy blades so are "sticky" and can lock without sliding.
You would then say something like, when a duellist attack is the same as the defender's parry roll the blades are locked and a strength contest is used to determine which roll is the successful one.
Now we can introduce Kylo's crossblade feature and say that even when the blades are locked, the crossblade wielder does damage regardless of the strength contest normally used to resolve the attack.
And you might say something like the hilt does 1D base damage, modified by control dice, as opposed to the blade 5D damage, modified by control dice.

The end result would be a Jedi would not want to roll the same figure in parry as the attack roll if someone is using a crossblade against him. He would always have to roll higher in parry than the attack roll or else would take damage.

Just to add, you can easily expand on the theme from there.

You could say that a blade lock is also achieved, resolved by dexterity contest if the attacker elects to perform a "disarm" special manoeuvre. In this case the opponent has their weapon thrown from their hands if the subsequent dexterity contest is successful, and whilst no damage for the attack is normally achieved they are now unarmed and open to immediate attack.

But the crossblade in this situation does damage whether or not the dexterity contest is successful, once again. Whether or not the opponent is successfully disarmed.
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Bobmalooga
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that they married the design to something that had already been presented in the Star Wars legends stuff (according to wookiepedia...) but the reason the movie makers gave was that the saber's output was greater than normal and required 'vents' of a sort because of the flawed nature of his crystal.

http://www.slashfilm.com/the-force-awakens-kylo-renn-lightsaber-finally-explained/

5th paragraph down...

For simplicity sake, if you're going to do this in game why not this:

Only after a successful lightsaber parry roll, while engaged in LSC with an opponent, Ren can make a reactionary attack roll (with MAP applied) to the attacker who he has successfully parried.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vanir wrote:
Coming at it from a duelling POV and then moving towards game terms.

Much of your premise is based on a false assumption: that a fictional energy blade in a sci-fi universe will behave exactly like a steel blade in the real world. I will take your word on what happens in real-world dueling, but the fact remains that most saber duels in Star Wars feature at least one blade lock. Since nowhere in the films is it stated that lightsabers perform exactly like steel blades, our first approach should not be "lightsabers in the films perform differently than swords in the real world, therefore the film is flawed", but "what do the films tell us about how lightsabers differ from metal swords?"

Based on film evidence (specifically, the regular, if not common, occurrence of blade locks), it is reasonable to assume that lightsabers do not "slide" easily when in contact with another lightsaber blade.


Quote:
You could say that a blade lock is also achieved, resolved by dexterity contest if the attacker elects to perform a "disarm" special manoeuvre. In this case the opponent has their weapon thrown from their hands if the subsequent dexterity contest is successful, and whilst no damage for the attack is normally achieved they are now unarmed and open to immediate attack.

I included rules for blade locking in my Dueling Sabers optional rules. It may ultimately be simpler to just stat out the light-crossguard as an option for that.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bobmalooga wrote:
For simplicity sake, if you're going to do this in game why not this:

Only after a successful lightsaber parry roll, while engaged in LSC with an opponent, Ren can make a reactionary attack roll (with MAP applied) to the attacker who he has successfully parried.

On every successful parry? This doesn't seem to happen nearly that often in the films to happen every time. I could see a flat bonus to parry, simply because the crossguard / light-quillons provide more options when blocking a blow, but to use them for an attack requires that the two opponents be grappled closely enough for the crossguard to be brought to bear.
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Bobmalooga
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crmcneill wrote:
Bobmalooga wrote:
For simplicity sake, if you're going to do this in game why not this:

Only after a successful lightsaber parry roll, while engaged in LSC with an opponent, Ren can make a reactionary attack roll (with MAP applied) to the attacker who he has successfully parried.

On every successful parry? This doesn't seem to happen nearly that often in the films to happen every time. I could see a flat bonus to parry, simply because the crossguard / light-quillons provide more options when blocking a blow, but to use them for an attack requires that the two opponents be grappled closely enough for the crossguard to be brought to bear.


Obviously they didn't grapple close enough everytime for this to happen in the movie. On the other hand it was a movie written with dramatic tension in mind so that the view of the film could follow along and see what is going on.

On the other hand, in a role playing game, which is what we're talking about here, a player probably would use it every chance they got. A role player would also have known better than to try to redeem Klyo and simply shot him first Smile

I could see amending it so that Kylo or the user was able to do it, only during a round where he is going 'full parry' in lsc range and no, I don't think any sort of bonus needs to be applied as, from the looks of it in the movie other than his ability to use it as an attack, it didn't seem to help him fight off a 5'7, 120 lb young lady armed with another lightsaber and with zero training shortly before she takes him to beatabeyotch pass. Smile
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DB 2.0
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what about the advantage of the over charged blade, perhaps an extra D of Damage.

as for the Quillons , perhaps an advanced form to use them and get a free D for melee parries.

of cause this thing wouldn't be built by just making a Very Difficult lightsaber construction roll. I'd say Heroic or better.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read through all of this yet, but just wanted to squeeze this in while I had a minute.

A while back I posted a thread covering the blade lock and the inevitable punch or kick that follows it.

The rule basically said that whenever two players roll the exact same amount (this seems to happen often enough in our games), then both players roll brawling. Whoever rolls highest gets to roll brawling damage on his opponent.

Kylo's lightsaber may provide an advantage in this regard: using the same rule, above, Kylo could be allowed to roll lightsaber (against opponent's brawling) AND roll base lightsaber damage, instead of his brawling damage if he wins.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DB 2.0 wrote:
what about the advantage of the over charged blade, perhaps an extra D of Damage.

as for the Quillons , perhaps an advanced form to use them and get a free D for melee parries.

My main problem with damage bonuses on lightsaber is that, with Jedi adding their Control dice to Damage, a single D can quickly become inconsequential.
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vanir's depiction of how swordwork happens is more or less correct. I've got about 10 years of historical swordsmanship under my belt, so I feel pretty able to comment. There's one major thing you've got to keep in mind if you are trying to accurately replicate anything realistic in RPG melee weapons:

Don't.

If you're trying to apply the logic and the mechanics of the minutia of how to use a blade and replicate it in terms of an RPG, then you're going to get SO bogged down in the mechanics that you're going to entirely break the D6 system. The D6 system is about the fluid and cinematic representation of a broad brush strokes storytelling. And it is just that, story telling. Movie sword fights aren't realistic any more than movie love scenes are accurate depictions of adult intimacy. So, the question is a matter of how to make these storytelling elements fit in with a broad-brush strokes kind of system.

One of the things that has kind of bothered me about the extended universe is the D6 community's love affair with having to have a minor rule variation for all the different types of lightsabers that have graced the pages of books, movies, tv shows, etc. The shoto saber as a + whatever to whatever, but a - to something else. The great saber has a + X to difficulty and a + something to damage. At some point you're going to put much on the system if you have a rule for every variation.

Why not instead see if there are narrative elements that allow you to use things you see on film to fit into the narrative elements of the game? Kylo Ren is a BBEG/NPC. Fin was fighting him, trying to do a saber lock (which whether or not it's even physically possible is a stupid idea in a real fight for reasons I would be happy to show you if you bring along a study mask... but that's not the point, it's a dramatic element in the story). During this dramatic moment in the lock, Fin is attempting a parry, but he rolls a 1 on the wild die. The GM adds the complication using a design feature of Ren's lightsaber (which has not once been used on screen like any blade with a crossguard would ever be used in real life). And so he gets to do a little bit of damage as a result of Fin rolling the complication.

The lightsaber type is good for style points, and it does that well on screen. Fin fumbles, and so something that has been for style gets a rare opportunity to have some practical element too.

You don't even need extra rules, just good storytelling with the rules you already have. And don't get me wrong, I love adding new rules or game notes on new and creative gear. I did a ton of that when I was working on the conversion guides. I just don't think there's a need with this weapon or this rare application of that weapon.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the idea of the cinematic duel is that both combatants are supposed to be so evenly matched and also so heavily invested in the reason for the fight that both are taxed to their limits and have to pull out all the stops, using all of their techniques and all of their energy to win..

Hence the spectacle we see on screen. Unfortunately, "cinematic" combathjas become the norm, so that even fights against mooks look over the top.
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nuclearwookiee
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been thinking about this. If you want a rule that fits with the existing bare-bones framework, I would just give a +1d bonus to hit against attacks the defender attempts to parry, but increase the difficulty to use the lightsaber by +5, when the cross-guard is active. My thought is, rolling Lightsaber to attack with a lightsaber indicates an attack made not necessarily with a particular blade of the weapon, but simply the weapon as a whole. The cross-guard doesn't seem like the type of feature that would necessarily make every attack more likely to hit, but as seen in the movie, it can make it more likely to hit someone who attempts to parry an attack from the main blade. Thus, it shouldn't add +1d to hit on all attacks, just those that the defender attempts to parry. But presumably those two extra blades make a self-inflicted injury more likely; hence, the increased difficulty to use.

Note though, that having the tradeoff be an increase in weapon difficulty balances out the to-hit bonus if the defender is making a full parry, so the bonus really only ever does the attacker any good if the defender is doing other stuff in the round (i.e., performing other actions so he can't make a full parry). This makes sense, to me anyway, as it seems reasonable that an awareness of the cross-guard blades could get lost when a defender splits his attention between offense and defense.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My take on it was its an improvisational attack. In game terms, the blades are "locked" (maybe this was a defensive move on Finn's part) and Kylo has an action left so he decides to press the crossbar into Finn's shoulder. The GM figures its opposed Strength and gives Kylo a +1D modifier for being in a dominant position. It would have to be a opposed Strength check as Finn is not in a position to Parry (the blades are currently locked).

Damage on the other hand is tricky. It obviously would not be as powerful as the lightsaber (5D) would it? Its a slow, penetrating knife stab, but appears to do plenty of damage if the scream from Finn is any indicator. I don't know, I might be inclined to give the 5D damage for the lightsaber in this situation, maybe dial it down to 4D or 3D+2, either way, its going to leave a mark.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Range would be a deciding factor, as well, since the cross guards would only be able to realistically hit for damage well inside normal melee range.

For those who use Peter Schweighofer's Dueling Blades rules, it might also be possible to work up a special "Trick" rule just for crossguard sabers...
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shootingwomprats wrote:
Damage on the other hand is tricky. It obviously would not be as powerful as the lightsaber (5D) would it? Its a slow, penetrating knife stab, but appears to do plenty of damage if the scream from Finn is any indicator. I don't know, I might be inclined to give the 5D damage for the lightsaber in this situation, maybe dial it down to 4D or 3D+2, either way, its going to leave a mark.


If anything, that it was a slow, penetrating stab should cause for the damage to go up. Way, way, way up. Like, "upgrade the damage scale from character, to walker or starfighter" up.

A quick lightsaber slash is enough to cauterize tissue. Stabbed into something and left there, the heat builds up to the point it's able to melt through blast doors and and capital ship-scale armor plating in seconds. FInn should by all rights have died from that, more or less instantly.
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