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Strain and "Combat"


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#21 HappyDaze

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:48 AM

Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

Do you allow other double dips as well? For example, can a character with Field Commander and Inspiring Rhetoric use both together since they both use Leadership? Can a character roll Discipline to resist Fear and also activate Hard headed with the same roll? I tend to think that any specialized use of a skill - such as from the mentioned talents - overwrites the basic use of the skill as described in the skills section.


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#22 Jamwes

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:48 AM

it's not that i think "scathing tirade" as written kills. i understand that this is not the case. (actually, that it doesn't have to be the case. it could be if you play it raw.)

 

i still have a problem imagining any reasonable scenario where anyone would be "defeated" by nasty words only.

 

could anyone give examples? star wars relevance for bonus points.

 

i don't think it is implemented very well as a combat skill. and that's what it is as written... a combat skill. i can imagine it being used outside of combat. it could even "defeat" someone outside of combat. (you'd need to tweak the rules for that i guess).

 

but when used as a combat skill i think the idea of the tirade only debuffing enemies is much more reasonable. you can weaken them, but you have to defeat them with other means. this also fits better with the politico being more of a support character.

 

"improved scathing tirade" should be the default power, with improving talents adding more setback dice or other effects. the worst thing that can happen is when a player uses scything tirade as a default "attack". this would result in a joke character talking smack through every fight. scating tirades should be rare. if they are not, they become boring fast.

 

The way we played Tirade the one time it killed was a bit of revisionist history. The last blaster shot that hit the enemy had actually killed him and he was on his last legs. The Tirade was just enough for him to give up the fight.

 

I don't know if talking had ever been used to "defeat" someone in star wars. Everyone is so prone to violence in those movies. Heck, even Obi Wan would rather cut off arms instead of talking. But for a film example that is fitting for this conversation, how about Dirty Harry's "Do you feel lucky" scene? The punk has been hurt and is going for his shotgun. Harry gives his speech, which if you ask me could be a Tirade. The punk gives up instead of fighting. To me, that's an example of strain damage "killing" a minion.

 

I'll agree with your assessment, that Tirade is written as a combat skill. A handful of points of strain damage doesn't really mean anything to most NPCs. Minions and Rivals just see it as a couple extra points of damage, no big whoop. Nemesis actually use strain for things, but by the time you do enough strain damage with Tirade to do anything meaningful the fight's already over. The setback die is useful, but in my experiences it isn't as powerful as I think the designers thought it would be. The threat of gaining a setback die has never stopped me from doing anything.

 

Honestly, I feel that strain damage is best against the PCs. Sure, there are ways to recover it in combat and between fights. The trick is to force them to manage the strain resource. If you keep PC strain low then they will think twice before buying extra maneuvers or dodging or other fun stuff. NPCs don't worry about that.

 

I too feel that Tirade needs something. I don't feel like it's getting the desired effect. I wish it was more debuffing effects instead of strain damage. As written, it does feel like a combat power intended to give Politicos a way to fight back with their words. It just isn't very effective at doing something very meaningful in the combat.

 

As someone who played a Tirade character, it didn't get boring for me. It was fun (and sometimes frustrating) to come up with new things to yell at the bad guys. It kept me more involved in the game than if I was just shooting. I had to use more strategy to stay alive and affect the bad guys. Where as everyone shooting is on autopilot, only aiming and shooting, which sounds boring to me.


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#23 Agatheron

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:04 AM

But for a film example that is fitting for this conversation, how about Dirty Harry's "Do you feel lucky" scene? The punk has been hurt and is going for his shotgun. Harry gives his speech, which if you ask me could be a Tirade. The punk gives up instead of fighting. To me, that's an example of strain damage "killing" a minion.

 

This.

 

If anything, it shows how much the crunch (numbers) in the system are simply a foundation for the narrative. When the dice are rolled for a scathing tirade, and mathmatically it "kills" a minion, it's obvious that the minion wasn't killed by the frothing spittle of the one carrying out the tirade. Rather, they give up, surrender, retreat, or are otherwise removed from the fight.


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#24 2P51

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:31 AM

 

Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

Do you allow other double dips as well? For example, can a character with Field Commander and Inspiring Rhetoric use both together since they both use Leadership? Can a character roll Discipline to resist Fear and also activate Hard headed with the same roll? I tend to think that any specialized use of a skill - such as from the mentioned talents - overwrites the basic use of the skill as described in the skills section.

 

No because they are separate effects.  The example with Scathing Tirade is the same as using Frenzied Attack in conjunction with Stunning Blow on a melee attack.  The talents are modifying the skill check for the same objective, Field Commander and Inspiring Rhetoric are not accomplishing the same objective.  Scathing Tirade is simply adding utility to a Coercion check in exact same way Stunning Blow adds a utility to a melee check.

 

Bad Motivator isn't looking to repair a piece of equipment.  That's not its intent nor its effect.  Scathing Tirade is being used to inflict Strain, that is the intent and use of Coercion.


Edited by 2P51, 15 July 2014 - 11:33 AM.

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#25 shlominus

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:04 PM

how about Dirty Harry's "Do you feel lucky" scene? The punk has been hurt and is going for his shotgun. Harry gives his speech, which if you ask me could be a Tirade. The punk gives up instead of fighting. To me, that's an example of strain damage "killing" a minion.

 


Honestly, I feel that strain damage is best against the PCs.

 


As someone who played a Tirade character, it didn't get boring for me. It was fun (and sometimes frustrating) to come up with new things to yell at the bad guys.

 

that's a good example. but i think it also strenghtens my argument that these kinds of actions should be rare. because most of the time harry shoots people. (actually, i don't know the dirty harry movies that well, so i could be wrong about this. :))

 

i could also argue that it was just a successful intimidation roll on harry's part, but i won't. ;)

 

i agree that it is a talent best used against the pcs.

 

if i may ask, how often did you use it? in every fight? if that, how often did your group fight?

 

i think players should never be frustrated when using his abilities. if they are, there's something wrong with the ability i question. wouldn't you agree?

 

i think a solution for me would be to make scathing tirade more powerful (more strain damage?), but limit it to once/session, like some other talents.



#26 Aluminium Falcon

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:00 PM

Even if the players know that talking won a fight, when translated to film it may to an audience look like talking prevented a fight.

 

We enter into a slightly more creative example of the talent at this point, but I invite you to go woth me for a bit, here...

 

If we, as GMs, broaden "Scathing Tirade" to include less narrow descriptions than, well, tirades per se then we can see situations like this:

 

A Politico is trying to pass as Ace Hoyle the Sabaac King, but is found cheating at cards.  The mooks at the table (collective minions) have a history of blasting cheaters. The combat encounter begins and, using the "Scathing Tirade" talent, the GM and player agree the the tirade is actually a calm and even freindly description (booost die if they can manage a fun Billy Dee Williams impression) of all the holy hell that would rain down on anyone foolish enough to harm such an august personage as Ace Hoyle the Sabaac King.

One possible outcome would be to deal enough strain to win the "combat".  The gamblers slink away, perhaps uttering a stern warning about the next time they meet.

In game, that was a combat. Damage was generated and dealt.  To an audience that was a tense social situation.

In EotE, it can be both.


Edited by Aluminium Falcon, 15 July 2014 - 02:01 PM.

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#27 iandimitri

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:14 PM

Dealing enough strain to "kill" doesn't mean they actually die. They could be incapacitated, surrender, retreat, or whatever needs to happen to take them out of the situation.

 

Good point. Were I narrating a gun fight with storm troopers and the scathing tirade finished one off, I would likely say they were distracted by the tirade and have them catch some blaster fire to the face from a character shooting...


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#28 Jamwes

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:17 PM

that's a good example. but i think it also strenghtens my argument that these kinds of actions should be rare. because most of the time harry shoots people. (actually, i don't know the dirty harry movies that well, so i could be wrong about this. :))

 

i could also argue that it was just a successful intimidation roll on harry's part, but i won't. ;)

 

i agree that it is a talent best used against the pcs.

 

if i may ask, how often did you use it? in every fight? if that, how often did your group fight?

 

i think players should never be frustrated when using his abilities. if they are, there's something wrong with the ability i question. wouldn't you agree?

 

i think a solution for me would be to make scathing tirade more powerful (more strain damage?), but limit it to once/session, like some other talents.

 

 

shlominus, you bring up good points and ideas. Making it a bit more powerful but limiting it to once a session or encounter would be a decent idea. A Tirade should have a bold immediate effect, not something that you'll have to nickle and dime your enemies with. And it should be an effect that shouldn't be often repeated. Once you start yelling, if you keep it up you're enemies will start ignoring you.

 

I will admit that it did start feeling goofy in some fights after using Tirade every turn. Those fights were the ones where the battle was fairly stagnant and the rest of the party wern't killing many badguys. In most fights it felt ok to keep using Tirade because what I yelled transitioned from "Put down your guns or we'll kill you" to "See what the Wookie did to your friends? You're next."

 

I used Tirade in ever fight and never made an attack with a weapon. We're a group who the GM is running us like we're playing D&D, which is to say many fights. The only reason why Tirade was frustrating was because I was trying to come up with something unique to say each time I used Tirade. Giving setback dice was useful, but not extremly effective. It didn't bother me much that I wasn't too useful in combat since I was the party face and did all of the talking and it was fun to role play that character, but it does make me think there are flaws in how Tirade was designed.


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#29 awayputurwpn

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:57 PM

When Scathing Tirade causes an opponent to exceed his WT (as in the case of a Rival or Minion), it is incredibly simple to say, if appropriate, that the character was distracted/distraught by the acting character so much so that they were done in or knocked out by:

  • friendly fire
  • a stray blaster bolt
  • being run through by the acting character's vibrodagger
  • being stunned by the acting character's blaster
  • another player taking the advantage and killing them (do this sparingly, since you don't want players feeling as if their thunder is being stolen)
  • losing their footing and falling off a cliff
  • staying in one spot for too long and getting run over by a speeder
  • staying in one spot for too long and getting blown up by a bomb
  • having a heart attack
  • etc

The point in any of this is that the character's Scathing Tirade led to the defeat of said minion- or rival-level NPC. They are obstacles to be overcome, and were overcome by the character's use of words. The details of their particular demise are purely narrative, so just narrate appropriately. 


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#30 2P51

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:31 PM

Scathing Tirade in a shootout.

 

 

http://www.anyclip.c...nharmed/#!info/


Edited by 2P51, 15 July 2014 - 03:44 PM.

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#31 shlominus

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:50 PM

that was "last one standing". :P



#32 Aluminium Falcon

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:55 PM

To 2P51:

2014-04-20T102316Z_318326465_GM1EA4K1EZ4

 

 

 

 

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#33 Simon Fix

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 04:38 PM

Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

 

I'm going to have to side with the other guy on this one, 2P51.  When you perform a skill check, successes and advantages are used to create certain effects.  Coercion, for instance, allows you to use successes to inflict strain at a rate of one strain per two successes, and to affect additional subjects by spending two advantages.  Scathing Tirade allows you to take successes to affect additional targets, and advantages to inflict additional strain.  But once those successes and advantages are spent, they're gone, since you can't use an advantage or success for more than one thing.  (For instance, you can't use the same two advantages in a combat check to activate both Two Weapon Combat and Autofire (on the one Ranged (Light) weapon that has Autofire).

 

In this case, if you make the Coercion check, you can choose to use the successes and advantages with Scathing Tirade, or you can use them with a basic Coercion check, but once you spend those successes on one, they go poof, and can no longer be used on the other.


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#34 Revanchist7

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:01 PM

I tend to have them give up or flee. I think an issue is that minions only having a wound threshold is taken literally. Their wounds threshold is more like a measurement of their over-all fortitude. Strain isn't literally being converted into a physical wound, but they are just pushed one more step into being taken out of the battle.

Those "they were distracted and taken out by something else" ideas are really great though, may steal.

Edited by Revanchist7, 15 July 2014 - 05:02 PM.

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#35 HappyDaze

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:19 PM

 

Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

 

I'm going to have to side with the other guy on this one, 2P51.  When you perform a skill check, successes and advantages are used to create certain effects.  Coercion, for instance, allows you to use successes to inflict strain at a rate of one strain per two successes, and to affect additional subjects by spending two advantages.  Scathing Tirade allows you to take successes to affect additional targets, and advantages to inflict additional strain.  But once those successes and advantages are spent, they're gone, since you can't use an advantage or success for more than one thing.  (For instance, you can't use the same two advantages in a combat check to activate both Two Weapon Combat and Autofire (on the one Ranged (Light) weapon that has Autofire).

 

In this case, if you make the Coercion check, you can choose to use the successes and advantages with Scathing Tirade, or you can use them with a basic Coercion check, but once you spend those successes on one, they go poof, and can no longer be used on the other.

 

Since the Difficulty of the two types of Coercion checks differ (one fixed, one opposed) you need to decide and declare which you're doing before you throw the dice.


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#36 Yoshiyahu

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:33 PM

i still have a problem imagining any reasonable scenario where anyone would be "defeated" by nasty words only.

 

could anyone give examples? star wars relevance for bonus points.

 

I imagine that a Force Sensitive Exile PC or "Jedi Exile" NPC using Scathing Tirade could be an excellent in-system representation of Dun Möch.


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#37 Simon Fix

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:17 PM

 

 

Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

 

I'm going to have to side with the other guy on this one, 2P51.  When you perform a skill check, successes and advantages are used to create certain effects.  Coercion, for instance, allows you to use successes to inflict strain at a rate of one strain per two successes, and to affect additional subjects by spending two advantages.  Scathing Tirade allows you to take successes to affect additional targets, and advantages to inflict additional strain.  But once those successes and advantages are spent, they're gone, since you can't use an advantage or success for more than one thing.  (For instance, you can't use the same two advantages in a combat check to activate both Two Weapon Combat and Autofire (on the one Ranged (Light) weapon that has Autofire).

 

In this case, if you make the Coercion check, you can choose to use the successes and advantages with Scathing Tirade, or you can use them with a basic Coercion check, but once you spend those successes on one, they go poof, and can no longer be used on the other.

 

Since the Difficulty of the two types of Coercion checks differ (one fixed, one opposed) you need to decide and declare which you're doing before you throw the dice.

 

 

Yup. My point was that successes and advantages are the currency of player action, and once that currency is spent, it's gone, which means you can't spend it on both Coercion and Scathing Tirade, just like you couldn't spend the same two advantages on Autofire and Two-Weapon Combat.


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#38 shlominus

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:54 AM

 

i still have a problem imagining any reasonable scenario where anyone would be "defeated" by nasty words only.

 

could anyone give examples? star wars relevance for bonus points.

 

I imagine that a Force Sensitive Exile PC or "Jedi Exile" NPC using Scathing Tirade could be an excellent in-system representation of Dun Möch.

 

 

another good example (and bonus points! :lol: ). and another one that convinces me that once/session is the way to go. most (all i guess?) lightsaber duels in the movies include dialogue, because the fights are less about hacking the others bits off and more about the relationship between the fighters involved.

 

coercion, deception, even charm can all be used during such a duel. as could a scything tirade. such an element works well if used once. maybe twice. they can help vreate powerful, memorable scenes. they lose their power if used constantly.

 

it's also much more interesting between 2 closely matched individuals, as a taunt, where a single slip might cause one to lose the fight. screaming constant abuse at a group of ruffians during a firefight... meh. :)



#39 Jamwes

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 07:22 AM

 

 

Semantics.  The point being there are rules for what can be done with a Coercion check and there is nothing in Scathing Tirade that says you ignore the aspects of a Coercion check when using Scathing Tirade, therefore there is nothing RAW that says what I propose can't be done.

 

I'm going to have to side with the other guy on this one, 2P51.  When you perform a skill check, successes and advantages are used to create certain effects.  Coercion, for instance, allows you to use successes to inflict strain at a rate of one strain per two successes, and to affect additional subjects by spending two advantages.  Scathing Tirade allows you to take successes to affect additional targets, and advantages to inflict additional strain.  But once those successes and advantages are spent, they're gone, since you can't use an advantage or success for more than one thing.  (For instance, you can't use the same two advantages in a combat check to activate both Two Weapon Combat and Autofire (on the one Ranged (Light) weapon that has Autofire).

 

In this case, if you make the Coercion check, you can choose to use the successes and advantages with Scathing Tirade, or you can use them with a basic Coercion check, but once you spend those successes on one, they go poof, and can no longer be used on the other.

 

Since the Difficulty of the two types of Coercion checks differ (one fixed, one opposed) you need to decide and declare which you're doing before you throw the dice.

 

 

I'm away from my books so I can't verify the wording of Tirade's long description, but the online PDF talent trees are: Take the Scathing Tirade Action, make an Average Coercion Check." To me, you can't use any other abilities the Coercion skill offers because you're not taking an action to use Coercion, your action is to use Tirade. Now, if it was worded as "When you make a Coercion Check you may use Scathing Tirade..." then I'd agree that the Coercion skill extra rules could be used.

 

Although, this might be a good question for Sam. Do you want to ask 2P51, or shall I?


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#40 2P51

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:34 AM

You can, I think he is sick of my emails..... :blink:


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