Guide to leveling from 1st to 5th

As promised, here’s a quick guide to leveling up your characters in anticipation of our next game. Most of the following information can be found in the SW Saga Edition Core Rulebook, and I’ll provide page cites where I can.

You will be advancing your characters to 5th Level.

The following information assumes you won’t be multiclassing your character. If you are planning on multiclassing, read all of this before starting the level-up process, and then read “To Multiclass or not?” below.

1. Overview -

First thing: if there’s something you don’t like about your character, this is a good time to change it. Therefore, I’ll allow unlimited “retraining” of all Skills, Feats, Talents, and Force Powers. Meaning, you can swap out any trained Skill, Feat, Talent, or Force Power for another one.

Next – consider what Prestige Classes you’ll want to qualify for. No one will be picking up Prestige Classes this time around; but between Episodes I and II you will be able to. For the Jedi, this is easy; do nothing but take all your levels in Jedi, and you will be able to take your first level in the Jedi Knight Prestige Class at 8th level.

For the other guys – you need to figure out what you’re thinking of picking up, and then make sure you’re on the right track. For Hffrr, I’m guessing this is probably Ace Pilot. For Galen, I’m guessing this is probably either Officer or Crime Lord. Could go either way. If this doesn’t make sense, it should after reading “To Multiclass or not?” below.

The “Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits” Table (Table 3-1, Core Rulebook p. 37) shows that you will get one “general” Feat at 3rd level (as opposed to a Feat that must be selected from your class’s Bonus Feat list), and you will be able to advance two ability scores by one point each at 4th. There are a couple of implications of this:
– When selecting your level 3 Feat, make sure you meet any ability prerequisites BEFORE applying your ability score increases.
- You may not advance one ability score by two points; you can only advance two separate abilities each by one point.

You will also get more hit points, based on your class (Core Rulebook, p. 37).

Jedi: 1D10 + CON modifier/level
Noble and Scoundrel: 1D6 + CON modifier/level
(I think we should have another house rule in play here – you get a MINIMUM of half the max hit points on the die roll per level – so for Jedis, you get at least 5 + CON Mod/level).

Your base attack bonus will increase:
Jedi will now have a base attack bonus of +5 (instead of +1) (Core Rulebook, p. 38)
Nobles will now have base attack bonus of +3 (instead of +0) (Core Rulebook, p. 43)
Scoundrels will now have a base attack bonus of +3 (instead of +0) (Core Rulebook, p. 45)

All of your defenses will increase by 4 (you always add your heroic level to all defenses unless you are wearing armor) (Core Rulebook, p. 36).

All of your damage bonuses will increase by 2 (you always add 1/2 your heroic level to damage) (Core Rulebook, p. 36)

Finally, you will gain Bonus Feats from your class’s Feat List at 2nd and 4th levels, and Talents from any available Talent Trees at 3rd and 5th levels (Core Rulebook, pp. 38, 43, 45).

2. Feats: You will gain a total of three new Feats. The Feats you take at levels 2 and 4 MUST come from your class’s Bonus Feat list. The class list for each Feat can be found on the following pages of the Core Rulebook:

Jedi: p. 41
Noble: p. 44
Scoundrel: p. 47

The Feat you take at level 3 can be any Feat on the list. Of course, you must still meet the prerequisites for a Feat before taking it. You may also take Feats from any other rulebook with my approval (the “Unleashed” Feat from the Force Unleashed Campaign Guide is not available). There shouldn’t be an issue, but I haven’t had time to familiarize myself with every Feat in the game and I want to take a look at anything before it winds up in play; also, this gives me a chance to advise you if I think a specific Feat isn’t worth taking. Every rulebook introduces at least a few new Feats, and in the section that does so there will be a callout box somewhere that indicates which Feats may be taken as Bonus Feats. For example, in the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide (KotOR), this chart is on p. 35.

KotOR Campaign Guide will have Feats potentially of interest to everyone (Table 2-1, p. 32).
Galaxy of Intrigue will have Feats of special interest to Nobles (Table 1-4, p. 26).
Scum and Villainy will have Feats of special interest to Scoundrels (Table 1-4, p. 22)
Jedi Academy Training Manual will have Feats of special interest to Jedi (no table, p. 23)
Starships of the Galaxy will have Feats of special interest to pilots (no table, p. 20).

Some recommendations from me follow. Unless otherwise noted, Feats are found in the Core Rulebook.

General observations about Feats:

  • Dodge and Toughness are generally held to be worthless.
  • Given our language house rules, Linguist isn’t a very good selection, either.
  • Before taking a Feat that allows you to do special maneuvers in combat, consider carefully how often those situations will come up. Pin and Trip, for example, are not going to be very useful unless you’re going to be a) in melee a lot, and b) grappling while in melee.
  • Cleave, Rapid Shot/Strike, and Sniper are examples of Feats that are usable in more general circumstances and therefore more valuable.
  • The +1 to attack bonus provided by Weapon Focus is nothing to sneeze at.
  • Skill Focus is also quite valuable in general.

Jedi:

  • Counter-intuitively: The Force Training Feat (the one that gives you more Force powers) is NOT on the Jedi Bonus Feat list! This means that if you want to get more Force powers by getting that Feat, you have to use your 3rd level Feat to pick it up.
  • It’s worth taking a look at the write-ups for, say, Obi-Wan (Core Rulebook p.262), Vader (Core Rulebook p. 261), and Yoda (Core Rulebook p. 268) to see how they are built, Feat-wise.
  • You don’t qualify for Double Attack yet, but if you are planning on switching to two-lightsaber/double bladed style, you do qualify for Dual Weapon Mastery I.
  • Skill Focus – you get a +5 bonus to one trained skill. If you don’t already have it, I strongly recommend taking Skill Focus in Use the Force.

Noble:

  • Without a Scout or Soldier, either you or the Scoundrel might consider taking a Weapon Proficiency Feat for rifles, and it’s on your Bonus Feat list. Autofire is your friend.
  • Melee Defense lets you trade your attack bonus for a bonus to Reflex Defense against melee attacks. You may not plan to be in melee often, but it might be worth it to consider this feet in case you find yourself in melee unexpectedly.
  • Skill Focus is a good pick-up, especially for, say, Persuasion, Deception, or Gather Info.
  • Silver Tongue (Galaxy of Intrigue, p. 29): Allows you to Intimidate or Persuade as a Standard action (as opposed to Full-Round), which makes it more useful in combat.

Scoundrel:

  • Melee Defense lets you trade your attack bonus for a bonus to Reflex Defense against melee attacks. You may not plan to be in melee often, but it might be worth it to consider this Feat in case you find yourself in melee unexpectedly.
  • Skill Focus is a good pick-up, especially for, say, Pilot, Mechanics, or Use Computer.
  • Tech Specialist (Starships of the Galaxy, p. 21). Allows you to make modifications to equipment, including starships.

Finally, because you have access to a bunch of new Feats, make sure to consider whether you want to take advantage of retraining, in order to better focus your character.

3. Talents: You will gain 2 new talents, from any Talent Tree available to your class. For Jedis, this includes the Force Talent trees as well (starting at Core Rulebook, p. 100).

Generally, you have a choice of specializing in one or more Talent trees or spreading your talents out among multiple trees. Much of the same advice in selecting Feats applies to selecting Talents: think carefully about the usefulness of a given Talent given the structure of our game. I tried to give the Prologue about the same mix of Encounter Types as I intend to give the Episodes. As with Feats, you may select your Talents from any available rulebook

Jedi:

  • Block, Deflect, and Redirect Shot are your friends.
  • As we saw previously, Move Object is sort of a Jedi win button. Telekinetic Savant (Alter Talent Tree, p. 100) would allow you to return that power to your suite once per combat as a swift action.

Noble:

  • Spontaneous Skill is nifty – it allows you to make an untrained skill check as if you were trained once per day. Good for Skill Challenges and sticky situations. But, it requires “Educated,” which allows you to make any Knowledge check untrained. If you want to go down this path, you may want to consider retraining one or more of your Knowledge skills.
  • The Influence Talent Tree allows you to eventually remove opponents from combat without having to exhaust all of their hit points.
  • Similarly, the Inspiration Talent Tree allows some D&D 4E-style Warlord-ish abilities (giving up your attack to give an ally an extra attack, for example). Talents from these trees help broaden a Noble’s utility in combat.
  • If you’re planning on going down the “Educated” path, check out “Engineer” (Starships of the Galaxy, p. 16); it would give you free training in the Mechanics skill (meaning that you and the blind mystic could split Engineering/SysOps duties on turns when you really need to both improve the ship’s condition and recharge the shields).

Scoundrel:

  • Trace gives you the ability to use Use Computer in place of a Gather Information check. This can help make investigative scenes go faster.
  • Check out the Outlaw Tech Tree in Starships of the Galaxy (p. 16). There’s some good Han Solo flavor in there.

4. Force Powers

If you wish to take the Force Training Feat, you will gain a number of Force Powers equal to 1 + WIS Modifier. Or, perhaps you want to swap out powers you have for new powers; that’s entirely up to you guys. You can pick from the Core Rulebook, the KotOR Campaign Guide, and Jedi Academy Training Manual.

Jedi Academy Training Manual introduces the concept of Force Training Regimens. Knowledge of a Force Regimen will allow you to make a Use the Force check once per day to obtain a bonus associated with that particular Regimen. You may only benefit from one Regimen per day. The Telekinetic Practice Regimen, for example, (Jedi Academy Training Manual, p. 11), confers the following benefits depending upon how well you make your check:

DC 18: 1 temporary force point to activate a power with the [telekinetic] descriptor
DC 23: 2 temporary force points to activate a power with the [telekinetic] descriptor
DC 28: 2 temporary force points to activate a power with the [telekinetic] descriptor, or reroll a Use the Force check to activate a power with the [telekinetic] descriptor (must keep second roll)

There are lightsaber combat regimens, as well. Descriptions of the regimens begins on Jedi Academy Training Manual, p. 10.

On a related note, if you are interested in pursuing Force Training Regimens (Jedi Academy Training Manual, p. 10), don’t forger that you will need to take the Force Regimen Mastery Feat (Jedi Academy Training Manual, p. 23). This Feat gives you access to a number of a number of regimens equal to 1 + WIS mod (i.e., it is like the Force Training Feat for Force Regimens).

Jedi Academy Training Manual also introduces the concept of Lightsaber Form Powers. These are Force Powers keyed to one of the lightsaber combat form Talents that become available once you become Jedi Knights. You can take them before you have access to those Talents; but if you are inclined to take them I would spend some time studying the combat forms (Core Rulebook, p. 218) in order to plan synergies between Lightsaber Form Powers you take now and whatever combat form, if any, you plan to take later. Descriptions of the Lightsaber Form Powers begin on Jedi Academy Training Manual, p. 29.

TO MULTICLASS OR NOT?

Multiclassing refers to splitting levels between one or more classes. You might decide, after your 3rd level of Scoundrel, that you want to take your 4th level in the Scout class. This will complicate your level-up process slightly, but can have benefits. An overview of multiclassing appears on pp. 54-55 of the Core Rulebook.

First of all, I expect that everyone is going to multiclass into at least one Prestige class. Indeed, this is the only way for the Jedi to progress from Padawan to Knight to Master. This discussion is therefore centered on whether to multiclass among two or more base classes, i.e., should you take all 5 levels in your first base class, or should you decide to go Noble 3/Soldier 2?

My first piece of advice, for the Jedi, is not to multiclass. You will want to qualify for your prestige classes — Jedi Knight and Jedi Master — as quickly as possible, and you want as many opportunities to take Jedi Talents and the Force Training Feat as possible. If you want, I can go into the math/mechanical reasons behind this, but it boils down to too little benefit for missing out on a level in a Jedi class.

My second piece of advice, for everyone else, is to not multiclass into Jedi. Here, I’ll spend some time breaking it down to discuss what happens when you multiclass.

When you take a first level in a new class, the following things happen.

1. All of the new class’s skills become class skills, but you do not gain any additional skill training!
2. You gain your new class’s bonus to class defenses; but this doesn’t stack with the old class’s bonus (you take the highest). Example: if both classes grant a +1 to Will Defense, your total class bonus to Will Defense is +1. But, if the new class grants a +2, while the old class grants a +1, you would gain an additional +1 bonus to Will defense.
3. You roll for additional hit points based on the new class.
4. You pick one Feat from the new class’s starting Feat (as opposed to getting all of them)
5. You only gain one of your class’s Talents if you get a Talent as a consequence of going up a level

Therefore, if you level into Jedi, you wouldn’t get any access to Force Powers for at least two levels. Why?

1. You’d have to spend your initial Feat pick on Force Sensitivity.
2. You would then need to spend two consecutive Feat picks on: Skill Training: Use the Force and Force Training (because activating a Force Power is a Trained Only use of Use the Force).

If you’re looking to get some combat skill, I would suggest taking a level in either the Scout or Soldier Class.

Guide to leveling from 1st to 5th

Star Wars: Galaxy on Fire kcarboni