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I'm currently preparing for my first saga edition game as a gm and I'm using a few houserules others made and also I'm thinking about a few myself.

As this I have no real experience with talents aside that I saw that they are quite powerful.

Thus my question is how unbalancing would it be if I allow the following additional talent options for my players and important NPCs:

  • +1 Talent at startup
  • +1 Talent every level instead of every 2nd
  • +1 talent at startup and +1 talent every level instead of every 2nd

Thus the question is would there still be a balance between the players possible and would there still be some balance in regards to CR possible or would that unbalance the whole game?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just out of curiosity, if you have no working knowledge / experience with the system as designed, why are you intent on tweaking (and possibly breaking) it? If I were you, I'd run a few sessions (at least) following the official rules and make up my mind based on how those go. I'm not saying you're wrong, of course, since it's your game (though it's a risky move), am really just curious. :) \$\endgroup\$ – OpaCitiZen Sep 22 '14 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've seen a few sessions with a pbp game using the normal rules. The impression I got there even with a few houserules the jedi but also other classes don't exact the same feeling as in the films/series. For example for a jedi: If he wants to really be able to do a few forcestunts he needs to decide if he wants to do them for real or if he wants to be able to deflect blaster fire (as you gain only a few scarce talents.....so scarce that I saw many character concepts not being able to be done because it is impossible for 1st to 3rd lvl chars to have the appropriatae abilities) \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas E. Sep 22 '14 at 7:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, thanks for the explanation. (Wouldn't raising the starting level solve your problems, though? Aren't introductory levels supposed to reflect the apprentice stage? Like Luke in A New Hope, for example?) \$\endgroup\$ – OpaCitiZen Sep 22 '14 at 7:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not really as to do most things that you see for example jedi padawans do in the clone wars series......you almost need to be mid level already. Also if I think about lvl 20th and what the number of talents they can have and the number they can choose from......and what I see them using in the films and series it feels as if they restricted the number of talents too much there. Maybe I overlooked an option there but that aside you can get only a handful of talents out of a pool of probably way over 30-40 if you take all sourcebooks for the saga edition into account. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas E. Sep 22 '14 at 7:48
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Indeed, talents are very powerful and is a bit difficult to give advice without knowing which source books you're using. But i'll give it a try without talking about specific source books, let's first address your three suggestions properly:

+1 Talent at startup: This would make characters achieve some prerequisites for prestige classes faster (some of them do require specific talents) or allow a small "extra" amount of versatility to go along with getting the prerequisites for a prestige class (Usually if i decided to make a Jedi Knight, i'd be forced to restrict my talents towards that direction, so one extra talent at level 1 can alleviate these requirements a bit). Game impact from a GM's perspective should be small.

+1 Talent every level instead of every 2nd: Now this option really makes the game go to the UNLIMITED POWER!!! side of things. With it, your players can diversify a lot because they have double the amount of talents from level 1 to 20 (of course, that assumes the game will last till that point). This allows players to progress into some prestige classes faster than the usual or to diversify their talents, which will make class-choice impact even more (if you're playing with min-maxers, they will probably all gonna be multiclass jedi as this enables some very nasty combos).

One good example of the amount of power being given here is that with this many talents one can decide to master all Jedi Knight fighting styles (Shii-Cho, Ataru, Makashi, Soresu, Niman, Djen So, Juyo, Jar'kai) in addition to whatever he would build with a common character, so tread on the safe side here (you might get into a difficult position to create challenges for a game like this).

+1 talent at startup and +1 talent every level instead of every 2nd: Well, with this you get 21 talents. It's just a small step up from last one. It allows a relaxed start for versatility-players and a boosted start for specializing-players, it also couples this with a truckload of power possibilities. I'd name this game: Galen Marek is weak.

Now, all of this applies to players and npcs generated using the player rules (hence they balance each other out), but other creatures that are not usually created the same way as players will be totally out of scale if you're using your suggestions 2 and 3.

So i'd recommend using your first suggestion, the boost is noticeable from the player's perspective, but from the GM perspective it's just a slight extra and will probably not change challenge ratings much.

You could also implement a different suggestion: One extra talent point at each tier of classes. Progression could go like this:

  1. First one at level 1
  2. Second one at level 7
  3. Third one at level 14

This follows the progression of classes that have 3 "steps" (like Jedi -> Jedi Knight -> Jedi Master). I see it as a compromise between your suggestions number 1 and 2 that does not give too much power.

Another good suggestion which is even contained in the source books is that between stories (read campaigns whenever they say this), you should allow the players to remake the character from 0 keeping levels, attributes and equipment. They use it to explain the evolution of Luke Skywalker's and Darth Vader's character sheets (which are different).

Well, that's it, i hope it helps a little.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For your question about th source books: I got all of them except of Galaxy of intrigue and unknown regions (almost forgot about the later)....still waiting for the later to arrive (amazon). I intend to use most of them if not all. Hmm the part about remaking the character reminds me a lot of the pathfinder option in ultimate campaign where you can "relearn" classes thus giving up classes to get different ones. Can you explain why you choose 1,7,14 there in your example? (as you mentioned tiers I guess those 3 lvls are those where the different prestige classes start normally 7, 14?) \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas E. Sep 24 '14 at 6:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes that's the reason. Even though the requirements for prestige classes are actually level 7 for most and level 12 for the second tier of force sensitivity classes. The 14 is because Jedi Master, Sith Lord and Force Disciple don't give many benefits beyond the few first levels (first level is really good, the following levels are not so great as having multiple force secrets is not that much interesting). \$\endgroup\$ – Diego Queiroz Sep 24 '14 at 12:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wish I could +1 this multiple times. If I could, it would be once for the Unlimited power remark, once for the choking-laughter-inducing Galen Marek remark and once for the last suggestion of one-extra-per-tier. In summation, Great and Funny answer! :D \$\endgroup\$ – Gunnar Södergren Jan 19 '15 at 10:34

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