Emperor Palpatine Saga Edition Stats - Myth-Weavers

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Emperor Palpatine Saga Edition Stats

   
Emperor Palpatine Saga Edition Stats

Hey all. I wanted to get a community-wide PEACH going on for an Emperor Palpatine build I made. I'm going to be running an IRL game set during the Rebellion Era, and wanted to make a couple changes to the Emperor Palpatine stated in the core rule book (I already made some epic Vader stats a while back). Can you please look this over, and give me some advice? Thanks in advance.


Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) (CL 20)
Medium Human noble 6/Jedi 1/Sith apprentice 8/Sith Lord 5
Destiny 4; Force 8; Dark Side 20
Initiative +17; Senses Improved Sense Surroundings (can Sense Surroundings as FA); Use the Force +24
Languages Balc, Basic, Bothan, Geonosian, Gran, High Galactic, Neimoidian, Ryl, Sith, Zabrak
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Defenses Ref 35 (flat-footed 33), Fort 34, Will 38; Block
hp 142; Threshold 34
Immune fear effects
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Speed 6 squares
Melee lightsaber +21 (2d8+10/x3)* or
Melee lightsaber +20/+20 (2d8+10/x3)* with Double Attack or
Melee lightsaber +15/+15/+15 (2d8+10/x3)* with Triple Attack
Ranged by weapon +20*
Base Atk +18, Grp +20
Atk Options Double Attack (Lightsabers), Triple Attack (Lightsabers), Triple Crit (Lightsabers)
Special Actions temptation
Force Powers Known (Use the Force +24): combustion, contentious opportunity, dark rage, farseeing (2), Force grip, Force lightning (4), Force shield, Force slam, Force storm, Force thrust, levitate, move object (2), rebuke (2), sarlacc sweep, surge (2), tempered aggression, vital transfer
Force Secrets Devastating Power, Distant Power, Multitarget Power, Quicken Power
Force Techniques Force Point Recovery, Improved Move Light Object, Improved Sense Force, Improved Sense Surroundings
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Abilities Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 20, Cha 19
Talents Block, Difficult to Sense, Dark Side Adept, Dark Side Master, Force Perception, Inquisition, Multiattack Proficiency (lightsabers) (2), Sith Alchemy, Transfer Essence, Visions
Feats Double Attack (lightsabers), Force Sensitivity, Force Training (4), Linguist, Pall of the Dark Side, Triple Attack (lightsabers), Triple Crit (lightsabers), Unstoppable Force, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Proficiency (lightsabers, pistols, simple weapons)
Skills Deception +19, Gather Information +19, Initiative +17, Knowledge (bureaucracy) +19, Knowledge (galactic lore) +19, Knowledge (social sciences) +19, Knowledge (tactics) +19, Persuasion +19, Use Computer +19, Use the Force +24 (may reroll when using Force power with the [Dark Side] descriptor and take better result, may substitute for Perception checks, +10 on Use the Force check rolls against those trying to detect with sense Force, may reroll check and take the better result)
Possessions lightsaber (self-built, red beam), Sith robes, comlink (short-range, encrypted), various as needed (he rules an entire empire)
*+1 to attack and +1 die of damage against enemies with the Force Sensitivity Feat.
**Emperor Palpatine is considered to have fulfilled the corruption, destruction and education (+5 Use the Force) destines.

Not exactly the primary topic, but I'm not sure making up epic level rules for Saga Edition is the best idea. Keep the level cap at 20, but make that level feel epic. I think that's the best way to go about it. Alternatively, use a sort of... E20 system (like E6 but with level cap of 20 and then feats/talents afterwards as you gain XP). Saga Edition is one of the few games where I see the 1-20 progression being a reasonable thing in-universe. But anyway, onto Palpatine:


My first and most important question is: What do you intend to do with him? Is he meant to be a force beyond reckoning? Is he meant to be a big end boss? Is he meant to be equal to the PCs eventually? Those are all important to figuring out what to do with the character.

If he's a force the PCs aren't meant to fight: his exact build is irrelevant as long as his numbers are high enough that the PCs don't stand a chance.

If he's a boss/enemy: you'll need some ways for the players not to one-shot him through condition track tricks. Not sure if you have that already, as I haven't really read Saga in a long time. Also give him unique mechanics; those are always far more interesting. Call them Dark Side Secrets or something.

In any case, Palpatine's power is less raw physical and more about manipulating actions and events on the grander scheme. The latter don't have that many mechanics to them, so you'll just have to make him seem like he's one step ahead of the players all the time. Give him divination powers and talents if those existed, and make him more of a mental opponent than a physical one. Sure, Palpatine was apparently really good with his 720 prone spinning jump attacks, but that was never why he was a good villain.

Focus more on how you present him than his actual stats. The former is how you make him great. Confronting him in a physical fight, which is where most of these mechanics are focused, should come only as a last resort, and I'd honestly be perfectly fine with the players beating the crap out of him in a physical fight, as long as they've earned the confrontation by going through grueling trials and seeing through the layers of manipulation.


Also regardless of everything else, get Skill Focus: Use The Force. It's basically necessary at higher levels, due to weird scaling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
Not exactly the primary topic, but I'm not sure making up epic level rules for Saga Edition is the best idea. Keep the level cap at 20, but make that level feel epic. I think that's the best way to go about it. Alternatively, use a sort of... E20 system (like E6 but with level cap of 20 and then feats/talents afterwards as you gain XP). Saga Edition is one of the few games where I see the 1-20 progression being a reasonable thing in-universe. But anyway, onto Palpatine:
Huh? I’m lost… But yeah, not trying to do an epic game here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
My first and most important question is: What do you intend to do with him? Is he meant to be a force beyond reckoning? Is he meant to be a big end boss? Is he meant to be equal to the PCs eventually? Those are all important to figuring out what to do with the character.
Those are some pretty good questions, and I must admit I didn’t really think about them. I honestly just like attempting stats on things and NPCs, just in case I need them. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
If he's a force the PCs aren't meant to fight: his exact build is irrelevant as long as his numbers are high enough that the PCs don't stand a chance.
Right. I mean he can be an end boss, I’d just prefer to have something somewhat tangible, just in case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
If he's a boss/enemy: you'll need some ways for the players not to one-shot him through condition track tricks. Not sure if you have that already, as I haven't really read Saga in a long time. Also give him unique mechanics; those are always far more interesting. Call them Dark Side Secrets or something.
I’m with you on that. If there’s one constant in RPGs, it’s that the characters always seem to do something that you don’t expect, and to always expect that from them. I have had several games derailed because of “lucky” die rolls, or something akin to that. I have learned my ways and have advanced my GMing skills past that, at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
In any case, Palpatine's power is less raw physical and more about manipulating actions and events on the grander scheme. The latter don't have that many mechanics to them, so you'll just have to make him seem like he's one step ahead of the players all the time. Give him divination powers and talents if those existed, and make him more of a mental opponent than a physical one. Sure, Palpatine was apparently really good with his 720 prone spinning jump attacks, but that was never why he was a good villain.
Right. And that’s mainly how I’m going to play him. Behind the scenes and near impossible to get to even if you figure out his malevolent web of machinations and can navigate through them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
Focus more on how you present him than his actual stats. The former is how you make him great. Confronting him in a physical fight, which is where most of these mechanics are focused, should come only as a last resort, and I'd honestly be perfectly fine with the players beating the crap out of him in a physical fight, as long as they've earned the confrontation by going through grueling trials and seeing through the layers of manipulation.
That’s the plan… maybe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
Also regardless of everything else, get Skill Focus: Use The Force. It's basically necessary at higher levels, due to weird scaling.
Originally I had that, but in order to free up a Feat, I gave him the fulfillment of the education destiny to grant him the +5 to the Use the Force rolls that Skill Focus would have given. I also thought about giving him both, but figured that a +29 to his UtF roll would be somewhat OP and game-breaking (though I wouldn’t put it past a PC to do that to their character).

The epic comment was mostly targeted at your mention of an epic Vader. It kinda grew beyond the scope of the thread and bloated, as I'm wont to do at times

As for the UtF check, the skill is actually underpowered at high levels. Consider the +level bonus to defenses, then class bonuses to defenses, then miscellaneous bonuses as well. Suddenly +29 at level 20 isn't that huge anymore. And you want to hit those targets consistently.

But yeah. Overall my thesis on the topic is thus: while it's nice to have the stats "just in case", Palpatine either has just too high numbers, or his strengths (and thus optimal build) isn't represented by the numbers, so they're of secondary importance and thus aren't as important to get "just right". So just be flavorful, give him some cool unique abilities that showcase his tremendous power (and can perhaps help him get out of a pinch if he gets trapped) and then just play him as Palpatine.

You'll want to pick at least a couple of powers that are very flashy and immediately noticeable if the players face him. Nothing like taking a 40+ checked Force Power to the face to make them be wary. Powers that the PCs can't see the effects of aren't important at all. If Palpatine is forced into a confrontation, make them cower before his ultimate power, and make them afraid through sheer force, but also not abilities that instantly kill them. Give them the chance to be afraid. Let them choose to be afraid.

Other thing to consider. You can "award" feats for various Destiny completions. And you can customize those awards depending on the scope of the completed destiny. Since you want to stay Relative to regular PCs.

I'm going to take the opposite view and assume that if you're worried about statting him, then you are planning for the PCs to take him on as the boss battle of the campaign, in which case having concrete stats actually matters.

Personally, I would say that you can worry less about accurately representing his past and think more about making him a good encounter now. For example, we know he's likely to use Force Lightning a lot, and he's not likely to whip out his lightsaber anymore. So I would drop at least one of those lightsaber feats and add a another Force Training feat, and devote it solely to adding more copies of Force Lightning to his suite. If you need to keep the internal logic, assume he had some way of retraining the feats over the years since the Prequel Trilogy. This would also fit the goal of making it "feel" more like fighting the Emperor, if he's blasting lightning all over the place.

I would also give him more Force Points to spread around. He would have gotten 15 when he ascended to 20th level, and it's easy to argue that he's barely needed to use any recently (and with Force Point Recovery, he'd get one back after every encounter anyway).

Maybe, this is a slightly irreverent question. Why stat blocks for the end-game boss? Set him up HP/Defenses/Attack Stats and Skills. He has AS MUCH force lightning as he needs to kill our heroes. Because he’s of the Dark Side, he’s gonna be burning all the FP he has to Hit/to boost defense/destiny points to dodge non Natural Crits, to reduce natural crits. I’ve gotta say, if a party of 15-18th level Star Wars characters fight this Emperor or the one in the book, they’ll win on attrition, stored Destiny Points, Force Points and sheer creativity of four to six people that aren’t fully grounded in the universe. And no amount of inquisitors and Darth Vader, or any of the Emperor’s Hand will save him.

(To me, Star Wars was always weak on the even party #s. Heroes are expected to trash scores of droids/stormtroopers/etc. and have kit to bring down massive targets in two shots.) So confining The Emperor to what the players have access to means that, two rounds in the encounter, he’s unconscious because the scoundrel, bounty hunter gunslinger, used two consecutive Destiny Points to make concealed shots for a total of -6 on the condition track. Even if the Emperor negates the most basic (broken) build in Saga, he’s gotta contend with 3-5 other guys who all do the same/similar.

Not trying to tear you down, OP, but they system is flawed in a few key ways.

(Edit. You can do this in a round if you have enough blasters. Scoundrel goes first, from concealment, gets flat-footed shot in using Destiny Point. Everyone else but the Noble/Officer/Crimelord goes and uses aid another on the next attack for the attack action. Noble Action economy breaking person, grants an extra attack, and the guy uses his Force Point to buff the attack, as well as +6. Palpy needs to deflect, but he’s at a minus -5 on everything at that moment. When that second shot connects he’s at Unconscious. God forbid, your boy rolls a 1, the attack can still drop Palpy to -10 due to a talent in some source material that imparts -1 to the Condition Track on a Miss from the turn your in concealment.)

Quick Note: In high school, we played Saga. I’ve never had a Munchkin experience outside of High School, but in high school we had enough free time that builds like this came out daily from two select people in the group.

Guys. Thanks for the input. I was asking about the stats, and such and I keep getting responses on how he should be played and how characters are going to tear him up. I understand that once you give something stats, it's killable. I understand that. … I was just looking for reasonable replies on if he seems somewhat in-line with how he is presented in the SW/EU universe.

I'm an experienced GM and have had many ups and downs with gaming groups and have grown by leaps and bounds. I feel that however he will be presented (if he even is), it will be at his choosing and to further his own interests.

Again, thanks for the constructive criticism and the input.

I'll wager a big reason why you're not getting much in terms of precise mechanical input is because Saga Edition is kind of a dead-ish game. While many people like it, the books are nigh-impossible to acquire, it's rarely played so many people are very rusty with the rules, and there is a lot to sift through for a game that for many people is just a tertiary system at best. People just don't have much innate mechanical know-how of the system to apply in cases such as this. While unfortunate, it's just how these things tend to go. I'll be the first to admit that until now I hadn't even thought about Saga Edition in any meaningful capacity for years, let alone interacted with the mechanics.

Also, any level-based d20 system is poorly suited to accurately portray characters from existing universes simply because a level-based d20 system is not what is used to create those characters and thus the characters are saddled with all the bloat that comes from those levels. So it's more about principles of building-for-purpose.

But if you want to make him suitable for being "the Emperor" in Saga Edition, custom mechanics are the way to go. Create unique force powers, unique talents, unique skills that he has. Make him the true master of the Dark Side that nobody else can achieve. Unless, of course, they join him and learn from him. In which case you'll be dealing with an NPC at that point and can probably grant (lesser) versions of those same abilities without regard for balance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
I'll wager a big reason why you're not getting much in terms of precise mechanical input is because Saga Edition is kind of a dead-ish game. While many people like it, the books are nigh-impossible to acquire, it's rarely played so many people are very rusty with the rules, and there is a lot to sift through for a game that for many people is just a tertiary system at best. People just don't have much innate mechanical know-how of the system to apply in cases such as this. While unfortunate, it's just how these things tend to go. I'll be the first to admit that until now I hadn't even thought about Saga Edition in any meaningful capacity for years, let alone interacted with the mechanics.
You're probably right. I really enjoy Saga, still to this day and feel that it is the best representation of SW there is (granted I don't own or know the rules for the FFG game edition). I feel that Saga is about as smooth and sleek as it gets D20-wise. I really wish 4E D&D would have picked up more from it.

Anyways, thanks again.







 

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