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Bad Motivator talent


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#41 PatientWolf

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 09:00 AM

 

 

I wouldn't allow it in that case. I wouldn't say I couldn't see a scenario where it could be utilized on a weapon in use, but it would likely be some sort of large turret or such where they disable it by cutting a hydraulic line or something.  Not personal weapons in someone's hands being used though.

 

I can see cases where it could be used on weapons that are currently in use.  The mechanic whispers over his group's commlinks, "Hey guys I noticed that the light repeating blaster that one stormtrooper is using has a cracked thermal discharge coupler. Draw his fire and I'm sure that thing will overheat when he tries to use it". 

 

I think that kind of a use begins to usurp the Sunder effect and weapon damaging options for multiple Advantages and Triumphs.

 

 

There are often more than one way of accomplishing similar effects.  I don't think that it is out of line to allow a once per game session talent to mimic Sunder or the same effects of a single roll of Advantages or Triumph.  I kind of think that is the point of the talent. Instead of relying on luck and hoping for those Advantages or Triumphs the mechanic can try to purposefully make something fail but only once a game session. In fact that seems to me to be one of the weaker uses of a one shot per session talent that players could come up with.  I mean sure you CAN make that blaster rifle fail but why would you want to blow your use on that?


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#42 whafrog

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 08:54 PM

I love that your players can really take the game into their own hands... it gives them power and also discharges the GM from providing ALL the fun... just make sure your players use it to have fun and give narrative explanations to make it worthwhile.

 

Agreed, I just don't know why there is a Talent for this.  You can get the same type of effect from a Triumph, and then it's not limited to the mechanic in the group...



#43 PatientWolf

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 10:45 PM

 

I love that your players can really take the game into their own hands... it gives them power and also discharges the GM from providing ALL the fun... just make sure your players use it to have fun and give narrative explanations to make it worthwhile.

 

Agreed, I just don't know why there is a Talent for this.  You can get the same type of effect from a Triumph, and then it's not limited to the mechanic in the group...

 

 

My players have found this talent to be quite useful.  One example, the slicer in the group was trying to hack open a door and succeeded but rolled a crap ton of disadvantages. I informed him he had succeeded in opening the door but had set off the alarm. He used this talent to cause the alarm circuit connected to that particular door to fail (his tampering had luckily caused it to short out). That is the type of thing that this talent is intended for.


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#44 HappyDaze

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:30 AM

I love that your players can really take the game into their own hands... it gives them power and also discharges the GM from providing ALL the fun... just make sure your players use it to have fun and give narrative explanations to make it worthwhile.

 
Agreed, I just don't know why there is a Talent for this.  You can get the same type of effect from a Triumph, and then it's not limited to the mechanic in the group...
 
My players have found this talent to be quite useful.  One example, the slicer in the group was trying to hack open a door and succeeded but rolled a crap ton of disadvantages. I informed him he had succeeded in opening the door but had set off the alarm. He used this talent to cause the alarm circuit connected to that particular door to fail (his tampering had luckily caused it to short out). That is the type of thing that this talent is intended for.
That's a perfect example of what I consider a 'proper' use of this talent. The character had directly interacted with the system he targeted and the result seems perfectly reasonable.

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#45 DanteRotterdam

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:54 AM

I love that your players can really take the game into their own hands... it gives them power and also discharges the GM from providing ALL the fun... just make sure your players use it to have fun and give narrative explanations to make it worthwhile.

 
Agreed, I just don't know why there is a Talent for this.  You can get the same type of effect from a Triumph, and then it's not limited to the mechanic in the group...
 
My players have found this talent to be quite useful.  One example, the slicer in the group was trying to hack open a door and succeeded but rolled a crap ton of disadvantages. I informed him he had succeeded in opening the door but had set off the alarm. He used this talent to cause the alarm circuit connected to that particular door to fail (his tampering had luckily caused it to short out). That is the type of thing that this talent is intended for.
That's a perfect example of what I consider a 'proper' use of this talent. The character had directly interacted with the system he targeted and the result seems perfectly reasonable.

I wonder Happydaze what seperates the talent from plain sabotage in the way you use it?
Wouldn't any character be able to cut loose a brake or break off an important part on a speeder? I don't understand why you would need a talent such as this to do so...
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#46 HappyDaze

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 03:53 AM

I love that your players can really take the game into their own hands... it gives them power and also discharges the GM from providing ALL the fun... just make sure your players use it to have fun and give narrative explanations to make it worthwhile.

 
Agreed, I just don't know why there is a Talent for this.  You can get the same type of effect from a Triumph, and then it's not limited to the mechanic in the group...
 
My players have found this talent to be quite useful.  One example, the slicer in the group was trying to hack open a door and succeeded but rolled a crap ton of disadvantages. I informed him he had succeeded in opening the door but had set off the alarm. He used this talent to cause the alarm circuit connected to that particular door to fail (his tampering had luckily caused it to short out). That is the type of thing that this talent is intended for.
That's a perfect example of what I consider a 'proper' use of this talent. The character had directly interacted with the system he targeted and the result seems perfectly reasonable.

I wonder Happydaze what seperates the talent from plain sabotage in the way you use it?
Wouldn't any character be able to cut loose a brake or break off an important part on a speeder? I don't understand why you would need a talent such as this to do so...
Most acts of sabotage take more than a single action to accomplish, and they likely require tools. I don't require tools for Bad Motivator because of the "notice an existing flaw and just put a little stress on until it fails" idea. Also, Bad Motivator is often pretty subtle - even if the mechanic is the one that triggers the weak point, it appears to be normal system failure rather than sabotage (which is often easy to detect by a trained eye).

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#47 DanteRotterdam

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 04:02 AM

Okay, as said before, to each his own... For me that would not be a nice way to play but whatever works at your table seems good te me.

#48 Col. Orange

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 04:35 AM

I was hoping for "because the dread Dr. Sticky Fingers used his droid control ray on Bob's character so we were trying to disable him".

 

I hate that guy...


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#49 2P51

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:37 AM

I think in the end the talent is left pretty vague for these discussions we are having to be hashed out by Mechanics and their GMs at their tables.


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#50 Kalrunoor

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:03 PM

I think how I going to rule it is NPC droids of rival or minion class it will disable the droid outright Nemesis NPC or PC droids will have "back-up" systems so only part of the droid will be effected (e.g. leg, arm, auditory sensors, etc.)

Also I'll probably allow it to be used without actually interacting with said object provided it's a relatively minor break. So the targeting system on the Death Star could malfunction buying Luke a couple extra minutes while techs fix the system l, but not the reactor overheats and BOOM.
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#51 Aservan

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:17 PM

Most acts of sabotage take more than a single action to accomplish, and they likely require tools. I don't require tools for Bad Motivator because of the "notice an existing flaw and just put a little stress on until it fails" idea. Also, Bad Motivator is often pretty subtle - even if the mechanic is the one that triggers the weak point, it appears to be normal system failure rather than sabotage (which is often easy to detect by a trained eye).

 

I disagree.

 

Effective sabotage doesn't call attention to itself. For example I could cut the break line on a car, or I could simply loosen a radiator hose. Either way my victim won't get there anytime soon. The radiator excuse also isn't likely to kill anyone which won't draw undue attention. Loosening a radiator hose only requires a screwdriver that a creative PC could improvise in a snap (or just have in his pocket).

 

The more complicated the system the easier it is to sabotage. Computers can be easily sabotaged just by unplugging a cable. You'd be suppressed at how long it can take some of my colleagues to realize that the Ethernet cable was stolen. Unplug a wireless access point and you can shut down connectivity for everyone. No tools required.

 

If you don't work in a technical field you might not realize how simple it is for even a moderately cunning person to wreck mayhem. Technical systems are usually designed to be accessible so that they can be easily fixed or modified. This saves time and money, but makes the systems vulnerable to anyone with the know-how and malicious intent.

 

Clever PCs should be able to shut a system down with a Mechanics/Computers check easily if they don't care how long the system is out. Bad Motivator costs XP above and beyond the normal skill points. You are being mean to a PC who purchased it when you nerf it with all these restrictions.

 

To allay your fears. Military tech is designed in most cases to resist sabotage, utilizing redundant systems and trained personnel. There is a reason beyond corruption and graft that it costs so much more. Unplugging a single switch in a casino isn't likely to shut down the security system as there are probably backup systems. If you could get the backup too then it's a different story. More obvious though.

 

Businesses are likely to have critical systems protected in some manner, but everyday systems? Not so much. How often do you look under the hood of your car to see if there are any new parts?

 

Active sabotage shouldn't require talents. When it comes to Bad Motivator it's perfectly acceptable for the GM to say, "No, that won't work. They scrupulously maintain this system." A PC should understand that.


Edited by Aservan, 12 May 2014 - 02:19 PM.

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#52 2P51

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:00 PM

I think the safeguard for Bad Motivator is that it needs GM approval, which would prevent spontaneous explosions of death stars or super weapons. The extreme examples that HappyDaze mentions would be things I wouldn't allow anyway, but the speeder example I think is a perfect one. Besides Bad Motivator is a once per session type thing that isn't game breaking from my point of view. Listening to Andy Fischer's comments on it is that it is intended to work precisely as the speeder example shows. However, it really is up to GMs to choose what works best for their campaigns.

The once per session aspect really needs to be stressed.


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#53 Vonpenguin

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 02:43 AM

 

I think the safeguard for Bad Motivator is that it needs GM approval, which would prevent spontaneous explosions of death stars or super weapons. The extreme examples that HappyDaze mentions would be things I wouldn't allow anyway, but the speeder example I think is a perfect one. Besides Bad Motivator is a once per session type thing that isn't game breaking from my point of view. Listening to Andy Fischer's comments on it is that it is intended to work precisely as the speeder example shows. However, it really is up to GMs to choose what works best for their campaigns.

The once per session aspect really needs to be stressed.

 

 

Honestly I hate "Once per session" as a restriction. depending on session length and what's going on this can mean your character is using it in-universe 4 times in an hour (major battle that takes a lot of real-world time or just very short sessions), or only once in three months if there's an extended downtime.



#54 DanteRotterdam

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 04:17 AM

I think the safeguard for Bad Motivator is that it needs GM approval, which would prevent spontaneous explosions of death stars or super weapons. The extreme examples that HappyDaze mentions would be things I wouldn't allow anyway, but the speeder example I think is a perfect one. Besides Bad Motivator is a once per session type thing that isn't game breaking from my point of view. Listening to Andy Fischer's comments on it is that it is intended to work precisely as the speeder example shows. However, it really is up to GMs to choose what works best for their campaigns.

The once per session aspect really needs to be stressed.
 
Honestly I hate "Once per session" as a restriction. depending on session length and what's going on this can mean your character is using it in-universe 4 times in an hour (major battle that takes a lot of real-world time or just very short sessions), or only once in three months if there's an extended downtime.

I think it is a "fun thing" more than anything else.... You do it once per session to have your moment in the spotlight but without hogging it. Of course it is not realistic but I wouldn't think using it more than once in 4 hrs of gaming would be a lot of fun...

#55 Vonpenguin

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 05:40 AM

Point taken but session length can vary wildly, I have one group that averages about an hour and a half per session, and I once played in a marathon game session where we started at 9 am and ended around midnight. It's more a pet peeve than anything.


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#56 DanteRotterdam

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:47 AM

I would define session as a 4hr period when it comes to the rulebook (in fact I believe Jay Little said something along those lines as well on the Order 66 Podcast) If I would play such a mammoth session (sounds more awesome than marathon ;)) I would reset all session based talents every 4 hours.

#57 PatientWolf

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:51 AM

I would define session as a 4hr period when it comes to the rulebook (in fact I believe Jay Little said something along those lines as well on the Order 66 Podcast) If I would play such a mammoth session (sounds more awesome than marathon ;)) I would reset all session based talents every 4 hours.

 

When my group plays on a weeknight the session runs about 4 hrs and on a Saturday we may hit 6 with an extra long session. I think that is pretty standard.  As Dante said if I were running for longer than that I would reset the session at 4 hrs and just make that nights game two back to back sessions.



#58 intothenight

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:11 PM

I'd focus on limiting its use based on how plot-relevant and closely watched the device is. I could see an enemy fighter's astromech overheating in the middle of battle, but not a police droid that has the party dead to rights. I'd allow the mechanic to cause one of the droids at the droid dealer to start giving off smoke to distract the employees while other party members search through customer records. It wouldn't work on an enemy's blaster during combat, but it could cause a short in the lighting system for the room.

 

At the very least, the more obvious the device, the more likely the mechanic will get caught. It won't raise any eyebrows if a door or two won't stay closed for some reason, but if every door between the hangar and the detention level is wide open, there will be consequences.


Edited by intothenight, 13 May 2014 - 12:13 PM.


#59 ccarlson101

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:38 PM

It was great when R2-D2 used it on R5-D4, so that Owen would instead buy R2. And R2 didn't have to do anything to the droid. It just happened because R2 triggered it to advance the story.

 

For me, any potential issues come about due to the passive/narrative license aspects of the talent, and how the GM-Player relationship is built. If the GM and players are co-storytelling, its a great opportunity for fun. If the GM and players have a more adversarial relationship, the talent is doomed to failure.

 

So, IMHO, the level of trust can have a big impact on how this thing works in play.


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#60 Grimmshade

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 02:47 PM

I'm always kind of surprised to see how most GM's push against allowing their PC's to really shine and be cool.


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