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A bunch of Threat with Success - Help Please!


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#1 bberry77

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:02 PM

I am a first time GM, and this was the first time either I or the three other PCs had ever played an RPG.  Looking for some advice on how to handle threat on a successful skill check.  Specifically, we were playing Encounter 4: Command & Control:

 

The PCs had made it in the side entrance with no problem.  They entered the control room and sliced the computer terminal to unlock the Krayt Fang, with some threat - which triggered the Overseer to ask what they are doing them.  According to the adventure, they had to then quickly convince her to let them go, which they rolled success but with four threat!

 

I was kind of stumped on how to handle the success for convincing her and properly use all that threat in a meaningful way.  In fact, this particular game had several instances where the skill check was a success, but had four or five threat to go along with it.  Any ideas?  Is that enough threat to trigger some sort of combat scenario or would that be reserved, in this case, to a failed skill check only?



#2 kaosoe

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 06:32 AM

The trickiest part is that you don't want to ever negate a success with your threat or despair. Same is true for failure/advantage/triumph.

 

The group was successful convincing the overseer to let them go, but maybe they were too convincing so she sends some security droids to take them where they were going next.

 

Perhaps after the PCs left, she saw they were accessing the hanger that held the Krayt Fang. It's not outlined in the story, but maybe her and Trex are acquaintances so she warns Trex now Trex is on his guard.

 

If you want to go a more mechanical route, their cover story was difficult story to come up with on the fly and it left them mentally exhausted or nervous so they take 4 strain.

 

Another good idea is that, while the overseer was convinced, somebody in that center was not, so this person secretly informed some storm troopers to follow them. This could result in an epic fight between troopers/trex/and PCs for the Kray Fang. Or another TIE fighter when they fly out of Mos Schuuta.

 

Threats and Advantages are hard to figure out..


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#3 bberry77

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 06:36 AM

I love the idea of triggering combat, but I do not yet have a feel for what would be overwhelming for the PCs versus an exciting but fair match up. Are there any guidelines on this?

#4 kaosoe

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 08:20 AM

Determining the difficulty level of an encounter is not outlined in the book, especially for an encounter triggered by threat. Since it wasn't a despair, I would have it be a an easy-to-moderate level of difficulty.

 

So ultimately it's what you think should be a difficulty after 4 threat. Since experience isn't gained by difficult combat encounters, I would just throw in 2 or 3 mooks to make them feel awesome.


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#5 bberry77

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 10:45 AM

So maybe, in this case, two security droids rush over with blasters drawn - ready to fire if the players attempt to flee the scene.  So, they could flee, but probably have to have at least some amount of combat to get out of the room.  Sort of keeps the story going - is that reasonable?  It even leaves room for some sort of non-combat solution should they win another skill check with positive results.  I wonder if I am just going in circles here though.


Edited by bberry77, 28 March 2014 - 10:46 AM.


#6 kaosoe

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:52 AM

Two droids sounds just about right. I would have the combat happen after they leave the control room, that way you don't have to worry about how the other NPCs react to what's going on.

 

It sounds like you are doing good so far.


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#7 bberry77

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:31 PM

Ahh good point - I hadn't considered having enemies waiting for them as soon as they step outside.  In that case though, do I immediately switch into combat mode when they step outside - the structured "one maneuver & one action" style of play?



#8 kaosoe

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:07 PM

Personally, were it me. If there was someone besides the operator that was in the room when the skill check occurred. I would have him make a secret call to the imperials. Later, while the players are on the way to the ship, I would have them roll perception or vigilance checks (doesn't matter, let them pick which one). If any succeed, then they see the storm troopers that are following them. If not, then have it be a few storm troopers ambushing them. Probably no more than a single group of 3.

 

To answer your question, don't have them go straight into combat right after leaving, give them a small bit so they drop their guard.


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#9 bberry77

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:45 PM

In that case, am I supposed to tip them off and say "Hey guys, you may want to do a vigilance check to see if you spot something"?  How does a PC just know to do that otherwise?  Or is it the kind of thing where after they are ambushed I can simply tell them that a perception check may have revealed the troopers - so they know to do it for future sessions?

 

Also, how do I narrate the effect of a delayed ambush at the moment they get all the threat or despair?  Do I say something like "you notice an officer across the room rush over to the comm station.  You can't tell exactly what he is saying, but it doesn't look good based on how he is glaring at you".  Then as they walk outside, that should have been enough to tip them off for vigilance/perception otherwise they get ambushed?


Edited by bberry77, 28 March 2014 - 01:50 PM.


#10 kaosoe

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:51 PM

The second option sounds like a punishment for players/characters not being paranoid. That type of behavior can quickly become a distraction to any game.

 

I and most GMs just ask for perception/vigilance checks when applicable. you  as the GM, know there are some Stormies setting up an ambush so you need to know if any characters spot them. Ask them to roll a check with x difficulty (it can be versus their stealth or perhaps skullduggery) and anyone with a success can see it. Perhaps a threats will mean they don't see it until it's too late (giving the stormies a free maneuver) or they only see 1 or 2 of the troopers instead of all 3 of them.


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#11 bberry77

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 04:07 PM

Let me see if I have this right.  My scenario should have unfolded like this...

 

Recap:  The PCs were successful in convincing Overseer Brynn to let them go.  However, they rolled 4 threat.

 

GM: You successfully convinced Overseer Brynn to let you go.  However, you notice an officer across the room rush over to the comm station.  It is impossible to hear what he is saying, but it doesn't look good based on how he is glaring at your group.  It would be wise to perform a perception check once you leave Spaceport Control to ensure nobody is following you.

 

PCs:  After leaving the spaceport, Pash, Oskara, and Lowhhrick proceed carefully towards Landing Bay Aurek, keeping their eyes peeled for anyone following them (proceed with some sort of team assisted Vigilance check here?  For those characters, would a combined Vigilance be YG + 2Boost for the other two teammates vs stormtroopers stealth?)

 

 

Success with Threat: The PCs spot one or two out of three troopers

 

Success with DespairThe PCs spot one or two out of three troopers, but the troopers get a free maneuver as combat is initiated

 

Failure with Advantage:  The PCs are taken by surprise but there are only two troopers

 

Failure with Triumph:  The PCs are taken by surprise but there are only two troopers and the PCs have superior cover surrounding them giving the troopers a setback for each attack for the duration of the encounter.

 

 

Does this sound better?  Thanks for the patience - I think if I can get this one scene sorted out it will give me a clear picture on how to approach this game as a GM.


Edited by bberry77, 28 March 2014 - 05:26 PM.


#12 kaosoe

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 08:18 AM

That sounds pretty good to me. Sounds like you got it.


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