New Player - Force Die to Skills

I’m playing a mixed game set in the Old Republic. We’ve gotten 270 XP so far (after Character Generation), and I’ve a Force Rating of 2 on a 2/3/2/3/3/3 Human stat line. Starting profession Starfighter Ace, and second profession Niman Disciple have been unlocked.

I’ve filled out the skill portions of the Enhance and Influence tree, and my GM feels adding force die to these skills is too strong, needs a balance.

What kind of balance would anyone recommend (if any), and why? I’ve seen archived threads where folks are wary of force die in the 5-6 range, but not at 2, and just looking for some reference material.

If he feels adding force dice to the skills is too strong he should not have allowed to pick them in the first place. To me, “balancing” makes no sense at all. At force rating 2 it isn´t the case that the dice will constantly push your skill check. Often enough there are no light point´s rolled at all.

As a GM I can understand the worry for later, higher levels with force rating but if he feels that way he should communicate this before starting a game and rolling characters.
I once attended a game where the GM has arranged for a force rating cap at FR4 to prevent the force sensitive chars from getting too powerful and everybody in the group was okay with it.

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I always find when a GM gets concerned with balancing the addition of force die to skills that the GM is not being punishing enough with conflict. When dark side pips are used in a skill roll I tend to flavor the result of the skill roll based on that choice, and spend threat to increase the amount of conflict generated by the roll. This allows for a more narrative way to balance the use of force die, making players consider the ramifications of using the dark side of the force. I have in the past when a player tends to add force die to rolls too often force them to use whatever pips the force die rolls rather than allowing them to decide after the roll.

Old Republic setting may be a contributing factor to seemed overuse of the force as in Galactic Civil War era games the use of the force always comes with a risk of possible exposure.

Force die adding to rolls tends to shift the balance, however the xp spent to be able to add that to rolls could easily have been spent by the player to increase ranks in that skill instead. In the end it tends to come out in the wash as those who have force die to add to rolls tend to use the force die to make up for lack of ranks in a skill or end up being specialized in a few skills and use the force die to add to other skills where ranks are lacking.

This game does a really good job of balancing Force users with non, especially at lower XP levels. Have your GM consider the XP you spent on all those Force Powers as well as reaching your Dedication talent. Had you put all that XP into increasing all your skill levels, would they still consider you too strong?

As stated previously, Conflict and Morality are your balance. At FR2, you’re still pretty likely to get dark pips on your rolls. The Destiny flip, Strain, and Conflict keep the scales quite even.

In one of my games, the PCs are well over 1000XP. I’ve never changed anything regarding character or XP balance. Despite being FR3 and 4 with many power trees, the two Force users don’t outshine the others in any way.

I just want to second the others, the system is pretty much fine as-is, especially when you only have FR2.

That said, I do understand the concern, however, as it’s a powerful tool to manipulate roll results. I’m GMing a high-XP game (currently sitting around 2,000 XP) where a couple characters have FR5+ and mathematically essentially cannot fail certain checks (ex. Formidable, upgraded four times, with four Setback: multiple Success and Advantage on a roll that wasn’t particularly hot). The trick isn’t to make checks too hard to pass, but to challenge the characters in other ways.

In this party (midst of Clone Wars, so combat-heavy), that mostly consists of throwing more and different units at them and being smarter in how the bad guys fight them. But at your level, there is a lot the GM can do to challenge you without getting focused on the potential for failure on your niche checks.

My general approach as GM is:
You’ve designed your character specifically to be good at things, and have built the character to have a high success rate. While the chance for failure should still exist (six Ability dice—four upgraded—base four Boosts, and six Force dice [as one of my players has] aside), it’s okay for you to usually succeed, and to succeed by a good margin.

However, this doesn’t mean the character should skate. He should still be challenged, but this can be through more and more difficult opponents, unfavorable situations, challenges to his teammates (externalizing success/failure), and the like. But not avoiding the character’s skill specialties.

I have been taking a decent amount of strain, and flipping the destiny points has kept me from using them in other ways, such as upgrading rolls, or introducing things to the scene that might otherwise ‘shine’ my character. (I don’t hesitate to do it for cool things like story, or things that benefit the whole crew, but for my personal character, I feel the force itself is enough shine).

The character’s main ‘dark side’ motivators in those situations are fear, passion, and a desire to win, all indicative of his back story being a professional space racer, and when drawing on the dark side, I try to play those things up, but I might need to do it a bit more dramatically. :slight_smile:

We’ve come to a conclusion of max 2 Force Die on all Force Die to Skill rolls, which I think is a pretty decent compromise. There’s plenty to do with a third force die later, such as committing it to an attribute ala Enhance, or other powers, and even though it’s sort of forcing me into doing that, I think that’s fun, and a bit more dynamic than hesitating to commit force die out of fear I’ll need them for skill checks, especially as a new player.

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That’s a pretty good compromise. While I personally wouldn’t do that, it’s creative, effective, and keeps things interesting. I commend both of you.

Using force dice for skills can get out of hand, I had a player with Force rating 4 and could use his dice on 7 or 8 skills, but this was after over 1k EXP.

The 15 exp for the upgrade to use the force dice on all 5 skills is under price compared to any other way to be able to use force dice with skills. One thing you could do would be to add multiple upgrade purchases for each of the skills to use the dice with, so 5 separate upgrades that are 10 or 15 exp each. This would help justify the cost better.

The other limiting factor is the cost of using dark side points to gain from this ability and the additional temptation. Costing Strain, conflict and Destiny points is a high cost to be able to be guaranteed to use it on any roll.

In Enhance, the five skills each cost 5 XP, spread across five upgrades.

As for the Dark Side stuff, while the temptation is always there, the opportunity cost to including Force dice is virtually nil, so anything you get from them without spending Destiny is free/extra, and so doesn’t address the underlying issue.