Mandalorian Survivor Specialization

We have alot of Mandalorian focused homebrew going around right now, so I figured why not add to it? This is my Mandalorian Survivor specialization, heavily based off of the first half of Mandalorian Season 1 (If I did the second half of the season, or season 2, this would be Mandalorian Dad, which I’m not sure we need a spec for yet).

As a note: I could not find a way to enlarge the descriptions of each talent when trying to print it, so instead I will type out the description of each talent after the image of the tree itself, listing the custom talents first. And considering I already write alot as is, I’m so sorry!

The Mandalorian Survivor. Both hunter and hunted, the Mandalorian’s are a dying breed in the times after the Empire. Whether it’s remnants of the old regime hunting them down out of revenge, or simple mercenaries seeing a shiny paycheck in the form of the Mandalorian’s rare metals, every step forward must be taken cautiously. This means becoming self sufficient, and being able to survive out on ones own.

The tree itself is heavily based off of the first couple episodes of the Mandalorian, a lone bounty hunter trying his best to provide for himself and for his hidden clan. One doesn’t have to abide by this persona completely, one can be truly alone with no clan, or one could be something other than a bounty hunter, but one thing is certain: you come from a background where you need to stay sustain yourself with little support and must watch your own back out in a dangerous galaxy. It sound also be noted, the tree is intended to be during or post the Galactic Civil War in canon, but any other uses are fine as well.

This specialization is Universal.
The career skills it gives a user are as follows: Mechanics, Negotiation, Stealth, and Survival.
Mechanics was chosen as a Mandalorian would learn how to repair their own gear or ship.
Negotiation, as while not every Mando will go into mercenary work, many will still find themselves bartering for better deals to sustain themselves.
Stealth: whether it’s you alone trying to stay hidden, or you not wanting to be followed to your clans hide out one must remain unseen.
Survival: in the event you can’t find clean work to buy food, fuel, or any other commodity, one must resort to other methods, be that hunting resources themselves, or tracking down a bounty in the wilderness.

What I aimed to accomplish when making this tree:

I wanted to make a tree that would heavily tie into a character such as Din Djarin, or any other Mandalorian in his position, not only mechanically, but in a narrative sense. I think the narrative bit comes most obviously comes from the first custom talent, This Is The Way (which is explained below). As such, I set my goal on two things: one is that the tree had to cover a couple bases, and be good at them, but not necessarily excel. The tree dabbles in combat, in tracking, in talking/looking scary, and in mechanics, but there are definitely better trees for each of those, but if you only wanted to touch upon each area lightly then this tree has you set.

The other main thing I wanted to focus on is something that’s at the forefront of a Mandalorian players inventory: their armor, specifically the material it’s made out of. While simply putting the Cortosis (most often through Cortosis Weave) quality on a set of armor through some means and calling it beskar is good enough for some, I didn’t want to settle for that. Cortosis is meant to be a very brittle material, sure it can short circuit a lightsaber, but hit it hard enough with a hammer and it’ll crack. And, frankly, it doesn’t make too much sense to me that your armor being made up of a metal that’s strong (especially if the person who made the armor has this ancient practice of melting and forging this metal down) that it takes up two hard points. As such, I made two “end of tree” talents that help to remedy my problem with putting the Cortosis quality on something and calling it beskar, those being the talents Beskar Forging, and Beskar Held Up. You can find more detailed descriptions of each talent below, but to summarize what they both do, one helps the armor to have the mechanics of beskar without forcing the player to get an attachment and use up HP’s (though to make it work in Oggdudes generator, the talent actually functions the same as Jury Rigged) .The other helps to provide more protection to the wearer to the point where it can save them from critical injuries, at the cost of damaging the armor some.

Custom made Talents:

  • This Is The Way:

    • Prerequisites: none
    • Cost: 5 XP
    • By taking this talent, the character swears an oath to a sect of Mandalorian belief of their choosing. User adds two Boost dice to all Discipline and Cool checks they make, and add automatic one Advantage to checks with other Mandalorian’s of this sect if they abid by the rules of it, but suffer five Setback dice to either of these checks if otherwise, and Despair to any interactions with other Mandalorian’s of that sect.
      This talents negative properties can be overridden, either by joining another sect and changing beliefs, or in the event that the character develops in a way that the GM feels allows it. If the latter is the case, all effects are rendered null, save for the two Boost to all Discipline and Cool checks.
  • Pushy Talker

    • Prerequisites: Jury Rigged (and everything leading up to it)
    • Cost: 15 XP
    • While wearing armor, user may make Negotiation checks with Willpower instead of Presence.
  • Beskar Forging

    • Prerequisites: Gearhead (and everything leading up to it)
    • Cost: 15 XP
    • If user has contact with a Mandalorian armor smith, or has the knowledge and means to smith armor themselves, the user may add the Beskar Forging attachment to any one Hard Body suit of armor they possess. NOTE: This effect is not instant, and will take time for the characters armor to be forged. (A player taking this talent, or planning to, should let the GM know ahead of time)
  • Beskar Held Up

    • Prerequisites: Beskar Forging
    • Cost: 10 XP
    • Once per round, if the user is wearing armor that provides at least 4 soak (attachments are included) and has the Cortosis quality, the user may choose to redirect any critical injuries they may suffer towards the armor as an incidental. This, however, damages the armor depending on the severity of the injury that would have been received.
      If the Critical injury was a rating of one or two Difficulty die it will damage the armor by one step. If the injury is a rating of three Difficulty or higher then the armor is damaged by two steps instead.

Existing Talents

  • 5 XP Range

    • Indistinguishable
    • Expert Tracker
    • Nobody’s Fool
  • 10 XP

    • Tinkerer
    • Armor Master
    • Bad Cop
  • 15 XP

    • Jury Rigged
    • Keen Eyed
  • 20 XP

    • Gearhead
    • Armor Master (Improved)
    • Intimidating
    • Side Step
  • 25 XP

    • Loom
    • Guns Blazing
    • Dedication (of course)
    • Side Step

Things I want suggestions and feedback on (the most):
I definitely want feed back on all of it to see how I did and if I hit the marks I said I was going for, but the things I already know I’m not sure on are as follows:

  • Loom and Guns Blazing:
    While they fit, I’m not sure they’re the best options I could have gone with. Looms good, but I’m not entirely certain it’s 25 xp worthy (and I currently don’t remember the other trees that have it), and for Guns Blazing the tree doesn’t promote duel wielding anywhere else in it. What I want feed back on in these regards is what to better replace them with, IE one good social/intimidation talent, and one combat oriented talent.
  • The other main thing I want feedback on is the actual structure of it. I feel that I made the tree too linear, though for certain points (namely with the Beskar talents) that was the intention.

All in all, that’s my textbook explaination for this thing I made. I look forward to hearing feedback from anyone brave enough to take the time to read this thing. :D

2 Likes

I’m not confident that I could give great advice on the mechanics so I’ll stick to my narrative impressions.

The career skills make sense to me.

This is the Way seems situational to me. I don’t know what percentage of Mandalorians would be part of a sect, but probably not all of them. I’d maybe change the links so that this can be bypassed if it doesn’t fit the character.

I like Pushy Talker; it makes sense that while wearing armor your natural ‘Presence’ is less important, and swapping to Willpower seems like a good fit.

What does the ‘Beskar Forging attachment’ do?

The idea of damaging the armor rather than taking critical injuries seems thematic but I can’t comment on it mechanically.

It’s worth pointing out that the devs themselves have stated that the Cortosis quality is supposed to count for beskar as well. Since there is no “brittle” attribute of the Cortosis attachment, there’s no drawback there. The basic point is to make the armor lightsaber resistant, and that’s what both materials do.
First, I’ll go through the individual talents:
No to Indistinguishable, as it applies even when they’re in their armor and that doesn’t make a ton of sense. Mandalorians would tend to stick out. Best suggestion for an alternative is that you make a custom talent that only applies when out of armor, but I’d suggest dropping it entirely.

This Is The Way: You gate the entire tree behind something that only makes sense for a particular sect, and it’s a bit impractical to use and very vague because you’re trying to leave it open to other sects as some, some of which would not react in this way, and then a Mandalorian character in the same narrative situation who doesn’t take the specialization doesn’t have the consequences. This is something best handled narratively by the GM.
Details: Five Setback should be four for ease of use, and I’d suggest increasing the difficulty twice instead, which can lead to Impossible difficulty checks.

For overhauling it, I’d say this effect is best treated as simply providing 2 Boost to Charm, Leadership, and Negotiation checks targeting like-minded Mandalorians/Mandalorians of the character’s clan, and add the caveat that at GM discretion the character can lose this bonus if they do not abide by the sect’s rules. Anything further should be handled by the GM based on how their clan/sect/faction operates.

Beskar Held Up: Attachments, but what about talents? I don’t like this talent, it has too many conditions and damages the armor for very little bonus, and also takes forever to get to. It also doesn’t specify whether this happens before or after you roll the Critical Injury.
About damaging the armor: It costs 25% to repair minor damage, 50% to repair moderate damage, and 100% to repair major damage. If you use this talent twice, you pretty much have to buy new armor.
If I were to change it, I’d say that as an out of turn incidental while wearing Mandalorian armor with the Cortosis quality, after suffering a Critical Injury but before rolling the result, the character may suffer Strain up to the Armor’s Soak+Defense (after applicable talents and attachments, with Improved Armor Master, Mandalorian Armor without attachments would total 5) and reduce the result of the Critical Injury roll by 10*Strain suffered.
That’s not the “polished text” version, but just an idea. Alternatively, make it a set number of strain for a set amount of reduction like “equal to Soak.”
As it is, if I were to pick up the tree I’d ignore the talent entirely.

Tinkerer: Not a fan of it for this tree. It’s typically restricted to Mechanics-focused trees, and typically Mechanics-focused trees with a penchant for modding.

Beskar Forging: You don’t actually say what Beskar Forging does. I assume it’s to add the Cortosis quality? HP? Credits? Effects?
I don’t like the idea of a talent that allows you to add Cortosis to armor.

Pushy Talker: I like this. It’s in line with RAW talents or abilities and makes sense.

Loom: Good pick, bad place. It’s on the Enforcer tree, and is a 15 XP talent, which costs 45 XP coming straight from the bottom. On this tree, it’s 120.

Guns Blazing: Nothing about this tree suggests dual pistols, and this certainly shouldn’t gate anything. I’d suggest dropping entirely, or else moving to the bench for the time being.

I have a lot of thoughts on improving this tree, but I don’t have time to lay them all out now.
Final verdict: This tree needs a lot of work.
It’s overdiversified, the only ranked talent with more than one rank is Side Step and it’s poorly placed (being right on top of itself), multiple talents are overpriced, the tree is a nightmare to navigate, and the none of the signature talents work very well as written.

Looking at it as a player, there is nothing that would make me choose this tree over any other.

I’m being blunt here because I’m in a hurry, but I promise I’ll give more constructive advice in a little bit. If I haven’t posted by Monday, feel free to tag me here as a reminder.

I agree with P-47 here. This is a bit all over the place. What is it that signifies the Mandalorian survivor? Is it Din Djarin and his fellows in the covert that serves as the inspiration here? Is it Bo-Katan’s crew? The Mandalorian Protectors in Rebels? What is it they all share as a theme? The least common denominator so to speak. That is what I’d aim for.

I like some of your new custom talents, but think as others here that some a tad to circumstantial/conditional and deviates a bit from what we expect from talents. That’s not to say it’s wrong though, just that I don’t findt it enticing to play.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! Here are some answers to your questions and concerns.

This Is The Way:
As a quick note, this talent was very different before Chapter 11 of Mando, as it was based around one having to constantly wear their armor, so it was changed very quickly after.
Mandalorian “Sects” is meant to be a very vague term and give the player creative freedom in saying what group they follow in general. Mandalorian’s have always seen to be a very fractured people, so many different groups, clans, governments, etc form, each with different rules and values. A few examples I can use would be Din Djarin’s Covert, Bo-Katan’s people, and even Boba Fett.

  • Din Djarin’s people believe in never removing ones armor, that Mandalorian’s should always help one another, and that Mandalore is cursed.
  • Bo-Katen believes in liberating Mandalore, one can remove their armor, and that one can go back on their word should it be for the greater good (though that may just be Bo being a hypocrite)
  • Fett believes in efficiency, looking out for ones self, but holding true to ones word.

If you so wanted as well, you could use the New Mandalorian’s and their pacifism, as opposed to Death Watch, or the Imperial Super Commandos vs the Mandalorian Resistance, or any custom group that fits for the player and or game.
So a player can really pick anything or any groups rules to follow (though I would encourage it to be one they work with on the regular. I did intend for this talent to act as a gateway, and a commitment to the rest of the, but it is the custom talent I’m most iffy on just due to the nature of it, and would very much appreciate some advice on how to improve it.

For overhauling it, I’d say this effect is best treated as simply providing 2 Boost to Charm, Leadership, and Negotiation checks targeting like-minded Mandalorians/Mandalorians of the character’s clan, and add the caveat that at GM discretion the character can lose this bonus if they do not abide by the sect’s rules. Anything further should be handled by the GM based on how their clan/sect/faction operates.

I like this, but I do want to hear what you have to say later before I start making changes.

Beskar Forging:
Sorry, I should have mentioned what the Jury Rig attachment does: it adds Cortosis and 2 ranged defense to a set of Hard armor (so anything metal, plastoid, etc). It doesn’t cost a HP and my reason for this is, as stated, I don’t like the idea of loosing two slots to modify your armor just because you have it made of a certain metal (which isn’t known to hinder Mando armor smiths when it comes to adding weapons or anything), and I think freeing up 2 HP’s for usage isn’t terrible, as two points can let someone add a weapon or vacuum seal it, while not being overpowered. My idea of this is that it’s pure beskar, hence the addition of the ranged defense and lack of HPs being taken up. Because of this, though, it is very expensive to get to.

Beskar Held Up:
Only reason I’m not counting talents is becauses Endurance doesn’t apply to armor, it’s the actual person. I suppose I could Armor Master apply as well (I’m just sad I’ll have to make that block of text longer). I did straight up forget to even think about when to take damage to the armor (being before or after the CI) so that’s my bad. I probably will just drop the soak requirement, as in hindsight it’s not needed.
I like P-47’s idea on this talent, though I do want it to come at the cost of the armor some, or at least that was the original plan. I’m free to brainstorm if you want on this before I start revising it some, but now that you mention the cost to repair the armor I’m fully onboard for fixing it up. The Beskar talents are the highlight of the tree, or meant to be, so I want them to be worth picking up.

Pushy Talker:
I’m just happy that this one seems good. My thought process was that you aren’t going to intimidate a client into paying you more, but you could totally pressure them into doing so.

Other talents and overall structure:

  • I can probably put Loom in Tinkerer’s current place, that would actually make it cost 45 xp as well.
  • If I drop Tinkerer then I feel I should drop JR as well, since they more or less go hand in hand (and with that, probably the Mechanics skill as well). I currently just don’t know what to put in their place.
  • I wont lie, I hate the entire bottom right corners structure, which takes up a very good chunk of the overall tree. I want the Beskar talents to be the end of talent stuff (with Dedication obviously taking up a 25 XP slot), and I want This Is The Way to be, eh whats the word, enticing? Important? Something enough to be grabbed first so that a player taking this tree is making more a commitment than just spending XP and hopefully not regretting it later.

Again, I appreciatethe feedback, and I look forward to hear more. Until then, I’m going to wait to edit the tree (it’s currently not in use by anyone, so it can wait a long time). One other thing I want to mention quickly is that I allow my players to pick Universal Specializations up as their starting Specialization. So if that changes anything in anyway, there you go.

I agree. I was looking at the table and thinking exactly this.

I think when I put in Indistinguishable I was thinking at least one of these thoughts:

  • Alots of people in the galaxy have armor, and they wouldn’t notice that this person is specifically a Mando at first glance.
  • Din was able to slip in and out of the Bazaar without people finding his covert.

But the more I think about it, yea, it can probably be replaced by something more appropriate/useful.

One idea I had just prior to writing, and I think this could work as a nice replacement to Guns Blazing, is to make some sort of Talent that would be focused on armor mounted weapons. I’m not sure on any specifics, the very basic concept is all I have at the moment, but I’ll brain storm and throw any ideas I have in here.

Alright, now I’ll address the tree being over broad:
You need to pick a lane, or a pair of lanes. Right now, you dabble in tracking, mechanics, underworld enforcer, dual-wielding, and Indistinguishable.

I’d suggest going with a “self sufficiency” theme and keep the armor talents.

Of what you’ve got now, here’s what I’d suggest keeping:

Career Skills:
Mechanics
Negotiation
Survival

Talents:
Nobody’s Fool
This is the Way (overhaul)
Beskar 1 (overhaul/determine)
Beskar 2 (overhaul/determine)
Armor Master
Armor Master (Improved)
Jury Rigged
Pushy Talker
Intimidating
Dedication
Total: 10/20

Here’s what I’d suggest adding:

Career skills:
Ranged (Heavy)*

Talents:
Toughened (x2)
Grit
Forager
Swift
Point Blank
Outdoorsman (x2)
Dodge (x2)

*Ranged (Heavy) because Ranged (Light) is pretty common, and given by Death Watch Warrior.** If you go for Bounty Hunter, then it’s duplicated and you don’t get Ranged (Light), but if you go for Hired Gun then you get Ranged (Heavy) where you otherwise might not. And if you have a different career entirely, you are unlikely to have Ranged (Heavy). If you look at AoR, the careers and specs most likely to feature a Mando all have both Ranged skills.

**My philosophy, now that there are two homebrewed Mando trees in the works is to approach them as three complementary specs, almost like a career, so I’m trying to minimize cross-over between the three, giving each a niche.

Ok, I’ve done as you suggested with adding/removing talents. I’m just gonna post the editor instead of making an entire pdf for it.

I haven’t changed the description on any talent yet.
I do like the addition of some of the talents, though I feel that Point Blank, while better than Guns Blazing, doesn’t do here what it can in other trees. I had a few ideas for that talent affecting armor mounted weapons, so I’ll just list a few of them off.

  • Once per session, user may flip a Destiny Point to use one armor mounted weapon as a maneuver.
  • When User aims with a armor mounted weapon, user may add an additional two Boost die.
  • User may downgrade the difficulty of an aimed attack with an armor mounted weapon.

My idea for it is that I don’t want it be a straight bonus (something like Duelist, where you get a Boost for 1v1ing someone, or Multiple Opponents which does the other.) but I don’t want it to be a super out of the way thing for someone to use. I do, however, see this as making Ranged Heavy abit irrelevant, as most weapons that can be placed on ones armor are Ranged Light.

Swift is at least a 15 XP talent, I’d say, and Forager isn’t nearly a 20 XP talent. It’s usually in the 5-10 XP range. Most often I’ve seen it for 5 XP.

Next step in the process is to overhaul the beskar talents and This is the Way, then the tree will need a dramatic restructuring. As it is now, it is a nightmare to navigate and very disordered, as to which sorts of talents are where.

For This is the Way, my suggestion is what I said earlier, 2 Boost to Charm, Leadership, and Negotiation checks targeting like-minded Mandalorians/Mandalorians of the character’s clan, with the caveat that at GM discretion the character can lose this bonus if they do not abide by the sect’s rules.
I don’t think it should gate anything, because it is now a desirable talent that gives both flavor and a good bonus. 5 XP talent.

For Beskar Held Up and Beskar Forging, I’m not sure. I think it should be a “[Talent]” [Talent] (Improved)" sort of thing.

We can look at the Nightsister tree with it’s Ichor Blade and Ichor Blade (Improved) for an example of this.

A few points:
Adding the Cortosis quality to armor for no credit cost is too powerful. I also don’t think it should require the Cortosis quality. If we’re looking at this tree as a contemporary of Forgemaster and Death Watch Warrior (which could just be renamed “Jetpack Warrior”), it would need to be on a comparable power scale and not be the obvious choice as a better tree.
Secondly, they should be talents we can comfortably put on Row E without having to go way out of the way to get to them. Either one that gates the other horizontally, or one on Row D and one on Row E.

I’ll think more about how to handle the beskar talents. I like the idea of suffering Strain up to Soak+Defense to reduce a Critical Injury by that number*10, but it needs more thought and comparison to existing talents.

You may have already figured this out, but I realised that if you go into ‘DM Tools’ in OggDude’s you can just print a talent tree directly. Cuts down on several steps.

Swift is at least a 15 XP talent, I’d say, and Forager isn’t nearly a 20 XP talent. It’s usually in the 5-10 XP range. Most often I’ve seen it for 5 XP.
Next step in the process is to overhaul the beskar talents and This is the Way, then the tree will need a dramatic restructuring. As it is now, it is a nightmare to navigate and very disordered, as to which sorts of talents are where.

Heard. I’ll keep it more as a list for now, as I do agree that the structure isn’t the greatest.

For Beskar Held Up and Beskar Forging, I’m not sure. I think it should be a “[Talent]” [Talent] (Improved)" sort of thing.

Now sure how I feel about that, but I’ll see what you have to say.

I’ll think more about how to handle the beskar talents. I like the idea of suffering Strain up to Soak+Defense to reduce a Critical Injury by that number*10, but it needs more thought and comparison to existing talents.

I actually like this too (and was able to slip it into conversation with one of my players (thankfully one who isn’t planning to play a Mando) about the concept of this, and they said they liked it, so I’m on board for that.

Actually, I didn’t. I’m going to look at that now, thank you!

Edit: I love you.

A few points:
Adding the Cortosis quality to armor for no credit cost is too powerful. I also don’t think it should require the Cortosis quality. If we’re looking at this tree as a contemporary of Forgemaster and Death Watch Warrior (which could just be renamed “Jetpack Warrior”), it would need to be on a comparable power scale and not be the obvious choice as a better tree.

Since I found these forums, I’ve been slowly picking things from the Mando Source book to add as I do this. I think I’ll go ahead and simply make the Beskar Forging a legitimate -no talent attached- attachment, and we can put something else in Beskar Forging’s place

What Mando sourcebook?

On the non-forum area of the site, in Homebrew. It’s third down.
https://www.swrpgcommunity.com/gm-resources/homebrew

I’ve been looking at the items and such in it and adding what I think seems good, though I do think alot of his prices are somewhat on the low side for what they are, and I typically change them around.

I don’t recommend the Beskar Weave attachment. What this guy doesn’t understand is that Cortosis doesn’t short out lightsabers. Refined Cortosis can short out lightsabers. This is rare, and specifically addressed in the descriptions of the few particular weapons capable of shorting out lightsabers.
By reducing the HP cost to 1 and allowing it to dramatically increase Soak, Defense, and Durable, he has thoroughly broken the attachment. I strongly, strongly disagree with that.
I would suggest you just go with the Cortosis Weave attachment, or do what I and my players have done and simply use “narrative beskar.”
Their armors are made of beskar, but they can choose to purchase the Cortosis Weave attachment if desired, representing a further reinforcement of their armor with pure beskar, where the armor may have been an alloy previously.

With the quick skim I gave it, I don’t like most of his stats for the armor and weapons. A lot of them seem either broken, overcomplicated, not representative of what we’ve seen on screen, or unlike RAW items.

The Beskar Weave is one I’m also not a fan of completely, and is something I’m going to rework very very heavily.

I do like how he does the Whistling Birds, and it’s alot better than what I was originally going to do with what was pretty much an auto-fire micro rocket, but many of the items do definitely need some balance work (IE: making a hammer do more bonus damage than a vibroblade, or having it require a maneuver to use a flashbang. I would rule the hammer is an improvised weapon with Cortosis, and that the flashbang is used as an action.)

But that’s getting offtopic, end of the day, I’ll just keep the Pure Beskarifcation to legitimate attachments, so we can free up a talent in the tree now.

You may want to check on my vambrace houserules, which include stats for Whistling Birds.

Let me do that right now, actually.

Edit: I actually kept it mostly similar to how you have it, save for the fact that I’m keeping it as computers. I was actually gonna do ranged light, but the person planning to be a Mando in my next campaign said he liked it as Computers, so that’s on him.