When looking at Jedi build options, two primary archetypes jump to mind: the Force Wizard and the Saber Master. I’ll be [re]-examining the Force Wizard this Friday. So that leaves me with the Saber Master for this post.
The Saber Master represents a Force user who has formally studied and mastered the art of battle with the Jedi’s signature weapon: the lightsaber, further augmenting his own strength and abilities with the power of the Force.
The Saber Master
Species: I chose to go with my standby species for this build: the Human. The bonus feat and bonus trained skill are nothing to sneeze at. Since this build suffers from a terrible case of MAD (Multiple Attribute Dependency), taking penalties on one ability for bonuses on another is a little less than wonderful for a point buy. However, if you’re rolling, or are using a higher point buy, any species with a bonus to Strength would be a good choice, such as the Wookiee, Yuzzem, or Togorian.
Strength – 15 (+2)
Dexterity – 12 (+1)
Constitution – 11 (+0)
Intelligence – 10 (+0)
Wisdom – 14 (+2)
Charisma – 10 (+0)
Use the Force
Level 1 – Jedi 1
Level 1 Feat – Weapon Focus (lightsabers): Every extra point of attack bonus with your weapon helps, and this allows you to have an edge over your foes defenses from the very beginning.
Human Bonus Feat: Force Training: Force powers chosen with each instance of this feat will be explained in detail at the end.
Level 1 Jedi Talent – Block/Deflect: Block and Deflect are the two most powerful defenses a Jedi has, especially for a lightsaber user, so its important to pick these two talents up as early as possible. Pick whichever one you think you’re going to get more use out of first.
Level 2 – Jedi 2
Level 2 Jedi Bonus Feat – Rapid Strike: You won’t get the full benefit of this feat until you hit level 4, but it’s still nice to have, especially against enemies with lower than average defenses. An extra die of damage is nothing to sneeze at, but this also sets you up for other feats later.
Level 3 – Jedi 3
Level 3 Feat – Force Regimen Mastery (JATM 23): The Regimens chosen for this feat will be explained in detail after the progression.
Level 3 Jedi Talent – Block/Deflect: Choose whichever one you didn’t choose at 1st level.
Level 4 – Jedi 4
Ability Score Increases: +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity
Level 4 Jedi Bonus Feat – Skill Focus (Use the Force): Since you’re Charisma isn’t as high as it might have been, you’re going to need some help hitting the higher tiers of your Force powers. The +5 bonus from this feat will help.
Level 5 – Jedi 5
Level 5 Jedi Talent – Weapon Specializatino (lightsabers): Every extra point of damage you can squeeze out with a successful lightsaber attack helps you to dispatch foes that much more quickly.
Level 6 – Jedi 6
Level 6 Feat – Force Training
Level 6 Jedi Bonus Feat – Double Attack (lightsabers): This is the first level at which you can qualify for multiple attacks with a full round action. This makes you capable of dishing out just that much more punishment in a round.
Level 7 – Jedi 7
Level 7 Jedi Talent – Riposte (KotOR 25): Free attacks are always a good thing. This talent lets you make a free attack once per encounter against an opponent who’s melee attack you have successfully blocked with the Block talent.
Level 8 – Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 1
Ability Score Increases: +1 Constitution, +1 Wisdom
Level 1 Jedi Knight Talent – Soresu: This talent lets you reroll your Use the Force check on a failed Block or Deflect check, accepting the second result, making this a very powerful ability to have.
Level 9 – Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 2
Force Technique Chosen: Force Point Recovery: The ability to gain back a Force Point at the end of an encounter is a powerful ability.
Level 9 Feat – Accelerated Strike (KotOR 32): This feat allows you to make a full attack as a standard action once per encounter allowing you to make a full movement and all your attacks in the same round, or better yet, activate a lightsaber form power before making a full attack.
Level 10 – Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 3
Level 3 Jedi Knight Talent – Multiattack Proficiency (lightsabers): Lowered penalties when you make multiple attacks is nothing to sneeze at, helping you to dish out more damage when you make full attacks.
Level 11 – Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 4
Force Technique Chosen: Improved Shatterpoint (CWCG 54): Persistent conditions suck when you have to deal with them. Giving them out however, is great. This technique lets you do that with the shatterpoint power.
Level 12 – Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 5
Ability Score Increases: +1 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom
Level 12 Feat – Attack Combo (Melee) (LECG 34): This feat triggers when you hit an opponent with both of your attacks on a full attack action using the Double Attack feat. Once you do so, you deal one extra die of damage on all of your attacks until the end of your next turn. This extra damage stacks with that provided by feats like Rapid Strike, unlike some other feats that add extra damage.
Level 5 Jedi Knight Talent – Juyo – You can spend a Force Point with this talent in order to reroll your first attack roll each round against a chosen opponent. This is a great option for when you are fighting against a powerful opponent one on one.
Level 13 – Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 6
Force Technique Chosen: Force Power Master (vornskr’s ferocity): The vornskr’s ferocity power has some high DCs to hit. The ability to take 10 won’t let you hit the highest DC, but it will allow you to reliably activate the power.
Level 14 – Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 7
Level 7 Jedi Knight Talent – Vaapad: This talent increases your critical hit range with your lightsaber.
Level 15 – Jedi 8/Jedi Knight 7
Level 15 Feat – Force Training
Level 8 Jedi Bonus Feat – Improved Rapid Strike (KotOR 33): This feat allows you to increase the penalty to your attack rolls for an extra 2 dice of damage instead of the single die of damage from the Rapid Strike feat.
Level 16 – Jedi 8/Jedi Knight 7/Jedi Master 1
Ability Score Increases: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution
Level 1 Jedi Master Talent – Combustion (JATM 85): This talent lets you deal an extra 1d6 points of fire damage with a Force power that deals damage. This includes lightsaber form powers.
Level 17 – Jedi 8/Jedi Knight 7/Jedi Master 2
Force Secret Chosen: Devastating Power: Extra damage from a Force power, including lightsaber form powers, is never a bad thing. This lets you deal 150% damage with a power by spending a Force Point, and 200% damage if you spend a Destiny Point.
Level 18 – Jedi 8/Jedi Knight 7/Jedi Master 3
Force Secret Chosen: Multitarget Power: This secret lets you hit multiple opponents with a Force power. By definition, a lightsaber form power is a Force power, so technically, you could hit multiple opponents for mega damage.
Level 3 Jedi Master Talent – Lightsaber Form Savant (JATM 19): This talent allows you to return a lightsaber form power to your Force suite once per encounter without needing to spend a Force Point.
Level 18 Feat – Triple Crit (lightsabers): This feat allows you to deal triple damage on a critical hit, which thanks to the Vaapad talent, is more often than normal.
Level 19 – Jedi 9/Jedi Knight 7/Jedi Master 3
Level 9 Jedi Talent – Lightsaber Defense: An extra point of deflection bonus to your Reflex Defense may not seem like much, but come back to me and tell me how it saved your butt when the Sith Lord misses you by one.
Level 20 – Jedi 10/Jedi Knight 7/Jedi Master 3
Ability Score Increases: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution
Level 10 Jedi Bonus Feat: Attack Combo (Fire and Strike) (LECG 34): This feat is the second tier of the attack combo feats, adding another bonus damage die when you connect with two attacks on the same turn.
Force Regimens: sparring practice, remote training, vo’ren’s first cadence, vo’ren’s second cadence
Level 1: battlestrike, surge, shatterpoint, vornskr’s ferocity (taken at 12th level)
Level 6: battlestrike, surge, shatterpoint, tempered aggression (taken at 12th level)
Level 15: tempered aggression (x2), vornskr’s ferocity, circle of shelter
This build focuses on the lightsaber form powers. Tempered aggression lets you treat your attack roll as a critical hit as long as you beat your opponent’s Reflex Defense by a certain amount based on your Use the Force check. The only caveat is that it also earns you a Dark Side Point unless you have the Vaapad talent, which, if you’ve followed the build advice, you have at 12th level. Vornskr’s ferocity allows you to deal extra dice of damage with your lightsaber dependent on your Use the Force check, but also carries the Dark Side descriptor unless you have the Juyo talent. Shatterpoint lets you treat your opponents Damage Threshold by an amount lowered based on your Use the Force check. Battlestrike lets you deal extra damage with your next attack made before the end of your next turn based on your Use the Force check.
As for the Force Regimens, you gain bonus Force Points to activate the Block and Defense talents with the sparring practice, and remote training regimens respectively. Vo’ren’s first cadence gives you a bonus to your Will Defense, and Vo’ren’s second cadence gives you a bonus to attack rolls against enemies that flank you. They also give you the severing strike talent and whirlwind attack feat respectively. Remember, you can only choose one regimen to gain the benefits of each day.
Equipment Choices: A self-built lightsaber of your choice of model. That’s about all this build needs to really, really shine. Designs to consider would be the greatsaber for the increased damage output or the crossguard lightsaber for the lowered penalties for multiple block attempts in the same round with the tradeoff being that you take a -2 to all Deflect attempts. However, if you find yourself in a campaign where more of your opponents are using melee weapons than they are blasters, this might be a good choice for you.
So there’s the build advice for this version of the Saber Master. This build is designed to dish out as much damage from a single attack as possible, however there are many ways to build a Saber Master, playing around with the lightsaber form talents and powers to varying effect. I’ll be exploring other avenues of this build in future installments. However, look back next week for a re-examination of the Force Wizard under the new format.
Catch ya on the flipside Gamer Nation.