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Author Topic: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic  (Read 2530 times)

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Offline Baldarek

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The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« on: 04/04/13, 02:43:13 PM »
I would like the community to join me in trying to discover where exactly the lightsaber lies as a weapon in the era of the Old Republic.

Please note, I am *not* going to be talking about Force sensitivity here, and I ask others to do the same.
There will likely always be a debate as to the general strength of various classes of force users and non force users when pitted against one another. These debates tend to be long and fruitless.

I would rather ask the question of: How effective is the lightsaber in combat during this period?

I would ask that the reader accepts by nature that, as a weapon, the lightsaber has a fairly set method of production. While individual sabers may have differences, they operate and act within a range of function similar to the range that blasters operate within. Likely not comparable in power to a blaster, but that both lightsabers and blasters have a reasonable range of variations that could be made to them without making them dysfunctional.

I would start this discussion with the supposed availability of cortosis-weave armor in the period of the Old Republic.

A smuggler without armor should recognize their shortcoming in roughly two seconds when they've been shot or stabbed. But even a smuggler in this era could have armor of cortosis weave as it is supposedly very common in the Old Republic era. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Cortosis-weave_armor  (Paragraph 3)

Meeting up with a Force user is more common in this era (# of Force users in this era opposed to ANH era) so realistically there is going to be much more demand to produce and buy this kind of armor. Granted it likely isn't standard issue, but it can be produced and purchased with a lot more availability than we are used to seeing in the movies, and that's what can be hard to understand.

Understanding how Cortosis levels the playing field:

Granted the smuggler mentioned earlier may still be a poor shot and a drunkard who gets force thrown across the room, but getting hit with a lightsaber may not be the end all. This fact is readily accepted by the community when it comes to blasters, otherwise wearing armor would be pointless save for fights against opponents with vibroblades.

The part after this paragraph will likely be the most difficult, but I ask the reader to assume that for cortosis weave armor, the same be said, that the armor will hold for multiple hits from a lightsaber. Similar to a blaster wearing down armor, a lightsaber would do the same.

Here comes the hard part where many will disagree, and I understand that wholly: Due to the wide availability of cortosis weave armor, against many opponents the lightsaber may be as effective as a vibroblade. Therefore, it would likely be taught and trained by lightsaber users to simply assume someone may have cortosis armor. This is a large leap I understand, but personally it makes more sense to believe lightsaber users would plan for this contingency than be surprised every time it occurs.

As I said earlier, I wouldn't expect this armor to be standard issue for armies, but if your character comes up against another PC in a small focus fight, it would be wise to assume they are not standard characters*. Therefore, if they have armor that withstands against blasters, they would likely have armor that stands against lightsabers as well. If I had a character who was willing to fight a lightsaber wielder, I would assume they expected not to be cut to ribbons instantly.

*Obviously you can confirm armor ooc and roleplay as you see fit, I'm not that silly!

In this sense, a someone wielding a lightsaber is on a very close par to someone wielding a blaster. Both take multiple hits to get through the armor. Hits to unexposed portions are more successful for both weapons.

The lightsaber in sword duels

The lightsaber as a dueling weapon against a large portion of PC's could be assumed to be equivalent to a vibroblade. Once again, this is assuming that someone fighting a lightsaber opponent expects to have an even footing. If someone is fighting a lightsaber wielder, they've made the choice not to just run for it. Oddly enough, a vibroblade user may have the upper hand against a lightsaber user, something to consider for those who play those characters. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/File:Cortosisduel.jpg

tl;dr
For this time period at least, I would argue that the gap between a lightsaber-wielder and a well equipped (by any number of IC reasonings) gun user are more even than most if not all other periods of the star wars universe.

I will admit now that the research I did seemed to conflict on ideas like how much cortosis was necessary for weapons versus armor to be considered effective, but I did not come across anything to suggest that cortosis was not readily available in the Old Republic era, therefore I would expect the argument to hold some validity.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed this, feel free to comment and discuss!
Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/04/13, 02:46:46 PM by Baldarek »
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Offline Saberlain

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #1 on: 04/04/13, 03:23:16 PM »
I like that you brought this up, and your comments on armor brings something to my mind. Now, not everyone will use Cortosis weave armor, given that cortosis is a rare metal and if everyone had a set, it would lose it's rarity. There are other alternatives however, such as Phrik ( http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Phrik) and Beskar ( http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mandalorian_iron), so it's feasible that many could have lightsaber resistant armor. Saberlain has a set, seeing as he's a mandalorian. But it's heavy, so it balances out.

Offline Semah

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #2 on: 04/04/13, 03:24:49 PM »
Good show. You don't need the "primary" cortosis lightsaber-killing effect (which I think is as crazy unfun for the jedi/sith as instant-saber-death is for the trooper/agent) for cortosis, and other materials, to be effective armor.  Of course, none of this addresses the force as a means of avoidance and mitigation, but it does give us some RP justification for not being immediately cut down by sabers.

I further assume that (e.g.) special-forces would have some sort of capacitor available in their armor to absorb force-lightning, some doohicky to give them resistance against force crushing, etc.

Offline Orell

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #3 on: 04/04/13, 03:34:08 PM »
A few things I'd like to note:

I'd agree that a Lightsaber would be comparable to a vibroblade, when attacking a person covered head to toe in cortosis weave armor, but there are a few things to consider:

- How are the joints protected? Cutting off an arm might be like a hot knife through butter if the weave doing protect it fully. Same with the neck. And if they're not wearing a helmet...

- A lightsaber is a nearly weight-less blade, allowing it to be used quicker and more nimbly than a vibrosword.

- We're talking about Cortosis Weave, not Cortosis. The image you posted was of a blade of pure cortosis, which is both ludicrously expensive and dangerous to have around.

And Saber? In this era, Cortosis Weave (an alloy with very little cortosis in it) is rather common. And I'd honestly rather not get into why Beskar is a metal that shouldn't be used in RP if you can help it...
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Offline Nascuyan

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #4 on: 04/04/13, 03:47:37 PM »
Quote
Saberlain has a set, seeing as he's a mandalorian. But it's heavy, so it balances out.

That's not to say all of our members have a suit by any means, I do my best to make it clear having a suit of even a beskar alloy is rare, and a pure beskar suit is almost unheard of at this point in time.

And yes, there is a vague and from what I can tell off the top of my head there is a big difference between different types of cortosis and its effects by extension. I've done no research into this but I know what it does ranges from shutting down lightsabers for minutes, to seconds, to simply not being penetrated by them.

Offline Semah

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #5 on: 04/04/13, 03:54:18 PM »
I dislike pure cortosis for the same reason I dislike ysalamiri: they completely shut down a mechanic with no recourse, unless you go for (a) my lightsaber is awesome and can't be shut down or (b) I learned to push past the tree lizards in jedi grad school.


Offline Aylaa

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #6 on: 04/04/13, 04:03:42 PM »
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Cortosis

there are conflicting facts about it, as happens when you don't have tight control over what individual products add to the Lore.

I think in this era, Cortosis doesn't generally disable lightsabers (perhaps it's not refined properly to attain that effect in this era?) but they can stop them (and other energy weapons). They break down over time and repeated use.

Offline Orell

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #7 on: 04/04/13, 04:15:52 PM »
AFAIK, pure Cortosis disables a Lightsaber for a few seconds. It's when it's smelted into an alloy that it loses that property.

Of course, if you're wondering why anyone would do such a thing? Pure cortosis also has this unfortunate habit of electrocuting and killing anyone that touches it, as well as being a bitch to mine.

Only a complete idiot (or someone also surrounded by plot armor) would wear a suit of pure cortosis armor.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Nascuyan

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #8 on: 04/04/13, 04:32:04 PM »
Or some one who uses the plates in a medium like you would put plates into a kevlar vest.

Offline Orell

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #9 on: 04/04/13, 04:35:28 PM »
Or some one who uses the plates in a medium like you would put plates into a kevlar vest.

True...

...except that the Cortosis plates would probably also energize the vest, maybe any sensitive electronics that happen to be on said vest, and would be very very bad in case a vibrosword or metal slug was shot through the plate and into your body, carrying the electric charge. Since Cortosis is so brittle, it would not be able to stand up against that sort of assault withotu breaking up either.

Oh, quick other note about Cortosis Weave? It makes the alloy more brittle than standard metal would be, making it less effective against swords, blunt instruments, bullets, etc.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Iaera

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #10 on: 04/04/13, 04:35:42 PM »
lightsaberzzzzzzzzzz  :omg:

This is an interesting thread! There's some stuff I agree with, and some I don't.

As a device to mitigate the lethality of a combat scene? Absolutely I agree. If it's treated like a tool to say, "Ok, I took a hit, but I'm not totally out of the fight," then that's perfectly understandable. In many ways, it's no different from a dodge or a shield or whatever.

I take issue with cortosis (and other magic anti-lightsaber things) when it starts to "break the rules." When it becomes "Haha, stupid Jedi/Sith, my [Magic Fanfic-Insert] defeats you!" At that point the author/player/whatever is just trying to prop up some particular attitude toward Star Wars and insert it into their writing to damage the movies' canon.

I'm going to start running off on a bit of a tangent, but this touches upon a cascading pet peeve of mine. I'm not a fan of ranged weapons which try to, again, "break the rules" WRT lightsabers, Jedi/Sith, etc. It seems like half the galaxy is armed with something or other which "can't be deflected," and blasters are virtually extinct. This is silly. Why? Because a blaster is still very deadly to a Jedi, something which I think gets glossed over too much.

A plain old blaster pistol can kill a saber-slinging Jedi stone-cold dead in one shot (notably, Jango does it in AotC, as do a great many battle droids through massed volume-of-fire. Look at how many dead Jedi there are on the ground at the end of the arena battle - all caused by blasters). Many forms of lightsaber combat are notoriously poor at deflecting blaster fire. While it's a skill that forms the core of a Jedi's initial lightsaber training, many do not really focus on it. Unless you are a dedicated Shii-Cho, Soresu, or Shien practitioner, you're probably average at it at best.

So, in summary, I guess the point I'm trying to get at here is that magic anti-Jedi/Sith things are generally an unnecessary indulgence. Normal things kill them just fine. And on the flip side of that, iIf normal things don't kill your Jedi/Sith dead, you may need to re-examine how exactly you are roleplaying a Jedi/Sith. I'd argue they operate more on the (occasionally well-founded) illusion of invincibility, rather than being truly nigh-invulnerable.
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Offline Orell

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #11 on: 04/04/13, 04:49:32 PM »
...didn't you use sonic weaopns in the last Jedi Night, Iaera? :D

I think the key to the non-standard weapons and armor is that of drawbacks. These things are NOT being used widely, after all, and "Expensive and Rare" can work in a pinch, but it gets a bit lazy at times (hence my dislike of Beskar: if you have it, it's an ungodly powerful metal with absolutely no drawbacks at all whatsoever, so all you need to do is give your character a reason to have it).

Cortosis has flaws that ordinary metal armor does not (brittle, hazardous in pure form).

Ballistic weapons have major flaws that blasters don't (reloading, jamming, useless against heavy armor, wind and yardage, loud...).

Lightsabers have major flaws that blasters don't, too :).
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Nascuyan

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #12 on: 04/04/13, 05:06:34 PM »
The difference in price between a heavy sonic blaster and a heavy blaster pistol is only 500 credits. (750 vs 1250) not only that, but heavy blaster pistols are considered military weapons whereas heavy sonic blasters only require a license.
Disruptors on the other hand are roughly 3,000 credits and strictly illegal making them harder to get ahold of.
« Last Edit: 04/04/13, 05:11:32 PM by Nascuyan »

Offline Orell

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #13 on: 04/04/13, 05:12:05 PM »
The difference in price between a heavy sonic blaster and a heavy blaster pistol is only 500 credits. (750 vs 1250) not only that, but heavy blaster pistols are considered military weapons whereas heavy sonic blasters only require a license.
Disruptors on the other hand are roughly 3,000 credits and strictly illegal making them harder to get ahold of.

...not seeing your point.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Nascuyan

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Re: The Power of the Lightsaber in the Old Republic
« Reply #14 on: 04/04/13, 05:20:45 PM »
You mentioned rare and expensive, sonic blasters are definitely not that. They're easier to get ahold of than a military weapon.