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How do you get use out of the Spare Clip talent?


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#1 HappyDaze

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:29 PM

If I have Spare Clip and I make a ranged attack resulting in a Despair, can I elect to have it spent on running out of ammo - and getting negated by Spare Clip - or does the talent just mean that something else bad has to be selected to happen instead?


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#2 2P51

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:34 PM

The GM decides on how Despairs will be spent, but that would be pretty crummy if they just by default selected another option every time for a player that had Spare Clip.  Seems like there should be some random roll or something at that point.


Edited by 2P51, 21 July 2014 - 07:35 PM.

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#3 HappyDaze

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:37 PM

If it just has another Despair effect come up, I think I'd almost rather just get Extra Reloads (the gear) for a low credit cost and spend a maneuver to counter running out of ammo. It seems like a shame that while other people run out of ammo - which they can easily counter with Extra Reloads - the guy with Spare Clip might be facing weapon breakage instead.


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#4 2P51

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:42 PM

No, I agree, that's why I'd say maybe it would be more fair to do some kind of random selection by the GM. Mine just defaults to out of ammo on a gunshot Despair, so if you have reloads you could burn the maneuver, with the talent I think he'd be ok with just ignoring the Despair for that character unless there was also some uncancelled threats.


Edited by 2P51, 21 July 2014 - 07:42 PM.

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#5 R2builder

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:39 PM

We had this problem with my old group.

I read the talent to be that you don't have to write down your spare clips. If a despair comes up, your weapon goes empty, (cool I have spare clip, I don't have extra power packs written down) I spend a maneuver to reload....

One of my players didn't have spare clip, or spare clips on him and only one gun, Despair came up, he could not shoot for awhile...

This came up for another player who did have Spare Clip, I said ok spend a maneuver to reload. Another player said "no, spare clip means the weapon never goes empty." I said, ok, I don't agree, take a maneuver to reload. The player starts reading the talent to me saying I am GMing wrong....after a few minutes of holding my game up I said fine, if you want your guns to never run out of ammo and have to spend the FREE maneuver to reload it, then fine.
Your gun is hard broke, you can't use it until you have it repaired after the encounter. It was his only gun too.
After that session, the player who had Spare Clip told me that he was fine with my original call and wished the other would have shut up. From that point forward I went with guns can not run out of ammo, on a Despair, they Break Hard.

I don't know what I am going to do with me new group yet.

To me the intent of that talent is so you don't have to write down your spare clips. Hence the talent name "spare clip". If the devs wanted the guns to never run dry, they could have called it "unlimited ammo" or "ammo of the never ending" or something else. Spare clip to me means exactly that, you have a spare clip!!! The bad thing is the talent description is kind of vague.

Edited by R2builder, 21 July 2014 - 09:44 PM.

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#6 RLogue177

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:41 PM

A Despair is a Despair. Something bad happens. With Spare Clip, that "something bad" won't be to run out of ammo.

 

So yeah, before you pick up Spare Clip, you should ask yourself if you'd rather run out of ammo than face other, potentially worse things.

 

A GM with a random chart of "bad things happening" should probably ignore the Despair (and not roll again on his nifty Despair Chart) if "run out of ammo" pops up and the PC has Spare Clip.


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#7 korjik

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 07:43 AM

If before spare clip the gun runs out of ammo, and after spare clip it breaks, then your GM is being a ****. The game repeatedly states that running out of ammo is the most common result for a shooting despair. If the whole group thinks that is weak and agrees that a despair means the weapon breaks, more power to you. In that case spare clip is only going to help with heavy blaster pistols.


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#8 progressions

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:26 AM

I'd have to read the exact wording of the Talent, but IMO the GM should explicitly choose for the gun to run out of ammo. Then the PC's Talent negates that.

 

You choose to "spend" a Despair on something, and if that something gets negated, I don't think the intent of the game is to get the Despair "back" and spend it on something else.

 

As a GM, I would make a point to use it frequently, and I'd also try to keep it in mind for other players who *don't* have the Spare Clip Talent.

 

This would make those players realize the value of the Talent and help the player who purchased it feel good about their character's abilities.

 

It would be pretty low if the GM just chose never to spend a Despair on running out of ammo just because the PC had a Talent that negates it. I also make a point of specifying that certain skill checks have one or more Setback dice for specific reasons, even if the PC has a Talent that removes them. This shows the PC the value of that talent.


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#9 NorrecV

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:38 AM

Something I've learned in my time as GMing (in general, but it applies to EoTE to) is you want to look at the players strengths and give them situations where they can apply them. Sure, you want to hit their weaknesses to, but everyone has a better time succeeding than failing. The best situation is when the party is diversified, so hitting one players weakness doubles as hitting another strength. That makes for some easy GMing, and is probably going to keep everyone happy. 

 

In this specific case, if you know a player has taken a talent to negate reloading you've got an easy way to make that player feel good - tell him his gun runs dry, but he had a spare clip hidden in his sock and was ready to lock n' load. He'll feel awesome, you'll feel good for making him feel awesome, and everyone wins. Until it happens again, and his sock is empty... now he might be in trouble. 

 

As to the talent itself, it's pretty clear it negates the despair. It's not called unlimited ammo because the game doesn't have ammo at all, it doesn't get into that level of nitty gritty. Ammo is a narrative descriptor, but despair is a mechanical effect - the talent lets you ignore that effect. 


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#10 Hedgehobbit

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:57 AM

Seems like this Talent works best when the GM doesn't actually know all of the Talents of all the PCs. Otherwise the Talent become "ignore one Despair per round" which is too good or the GM picks something else in which case the Talent is pretty much worthless.

Edited by Hedgehobbit, 22 July 2014 - 08:58 AM.

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#11 R2builder

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:58 AM

"The character does not run out of ammo on a Despair. Items with Limited Ammo quality run out of ammo as normal" p. 143 ECRB

 

I think that the weapon still runs out of ammo. YOUR character does not! Therefore you do not have to have extra blaster packs written down on your character sheet. You still spend the maneuver to reload as normal. 

 

In my opinion the only use for this is to save on Encumbrance really. I do not see Despairs coming up that often. And usually when they do, it is more serious than a "gun jam" or out of ammo. It usually means they hit an innocent bystander or something pretty bad. 

 

But yes, if my players want to argue about it, then ok, guns never go empty, Despair could mean Hard Broke. 

With me and my situation, I was being a feminine hygiene product. The point is never argue with your GM at the table. I made my call, the player pointed out his thoughts and interpretations, I said thank you, but I don't agree, Lets move on, but he wants to read the book to me, telling me I'm wrong after I made my call, holding up the game, then yes, I will pass out the worst that I can.

 

I still think the GUN goes empty, not the CHARACTER, he spends a maneuver to reload, even if he does not have spare ammo written down.   


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#12 Aservan

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:01 AM

Normally, running out of ammo on a weapon is pretty nasty for a PC or NPC. Our group spends despairs that way all the time. It's our go-to option. Given the encumbrance rules most characters are not carrying a lot of spare weapons. Even the two pistol guy gets half effectiveness out of running out of ammo.

 

You can spend despair to damage a weapon, but unless someone is being the afore-mentioned feminine hygiene storage device it doesn't outright break an item. The despair only ticks off that first box of item damage, which has little to no immediate affect. Most players will repair said item first chance they get, so it's not much of a lasting consequence either. It's only if you can get an item to the second or third box that players really start to care.

 

Our GM loves to stick the heavy blaster wielder with out of ammo. It more than halves his effectiveness that fight. PCs hate running out of ammo. Personally, I'm Okay with a player using the talent to be immune to the first despair of a fight. After that the GM is perfectly justified in spending his despair on other things.


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#13 BadMotivator

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 12:15 PM

I read that advantage as meaning that the GM can never use the "You've run out of ammo" use of Dispair on you.

 

He can still use 3 disadvantage to make certain weapons(like the heavy blaster pistol) run out of ammo and Spare Clip does nothing.


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#14 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 03:05 PM

It's generally similar to a PC having two or more ranks in Resolve, and whether a GM should spend Threat to inflict Strain on that PC, something that GM Chris discussed a few episodes back on the Order 66 podcast.

 

In short, a GM really shouldn't be a metagaming ****** and decide that because a PC has purchased the Spare Clip talent, they'll spend that Despair on some other effect.  The PC has paid valuable XP for the ability to say "Nope, my blaster doesn't run out of ammo," so a good GM should allow the PC to actually benefit from that talent.  Otherwise, what's the point of them having taken said talent?  It'd be akin to allowing a PC to acquire a vibro-ax and become proficient with it, only to then set-up your combat encounters so that getting into melee range simply isn't an option.


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#15 Krieger22

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 03:45 PM

First of all, I am quite capable of forgetting in the heat of the moment that any given player at my table has a particular talent. So there would definitely be situations where I told a player he was out of ammo and he could say "I have Spare Clip".

 

And on the occasions where I did remember, it would depend on the situation. If there was something obviously bad that could happen as a consequence of Despair, I'd have that happen rather than him running out of ammo - but that would be true for any character in that situation, Spare Clip or not. And in other situations I'd just hit him with the occasional out of ammo so he'd get the pleasure of ignoring it. He paid for the talent, so it's only fair that I let him benefit from it from time to time.


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#16 RLogue177

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 05:30 PM

"Tell ya what, player with Spare Clip... roll a Force Die. If you get a Light Side pip, the Despair means you ran out of ammo and your talent negates that. If you roll a Dark Side pip, something else happens. Deal?"

 

Done. Player benefits from his talent 5 out of 12 times, and the GM doesn't look like the bad guy.


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#17 Dex Vulen

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 05:56 PM

I am glad my GM is not a turd.  Nine times out of ten he will allow me to negate running out of ammo and the story moves on.  That one time he doesn't use the Despair for that reason, I always can live with it.  He tends to add something fun to the story.  As an example... the bad guy I dropped falls back onto the control pad he was near. Thus closing the door we need to go through in a hurry.

 

He would never out right neuter a talent that I spent XP on.


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#18 Emperor Norton

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:10 PM

I wouldn't bother with the maneuver to reload. I would just say that the person with the spare clip talent is also REALLY good at reloading quickly, allowing him to do it as an incidental. There are no rules that say that he has to take a maneuver to activate the talent, so it feels more accurate to the way the talent is written. Otherwise you are basically just saving 1 encumbrance and 25 credits for picking up the talent, and that just seems weak.
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#19 2P51

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:20 PM

I am glad my GM is not a turd.  Nine times out of ten he will allow me to negate running out of ammo and the story moves on.  That one time he doesn't use the Despair for that reason, I always can live with it.  He tends to add something fun to the story.  As an example... the bad guy I dropped falls back onto the control pad he was near. Thus closing the door we need to go through in a hurry.

 

He would never out right neuter a talent that I spent XP on.

All hail the non turd GMs.  Huzzah.


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#20 Lorne

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:38 PM

I read this talent in the much more limited fashion that does not impose upon the narrative or invite meta-gaming, namely that despair simply cannot be spent on that option and something else happens instead. Otherwise, it just becomes a despair sink for ranged weapon attacks in the most boringest way imaginable:  nothing happens.  "Hey, I never spent despair on running-out-of ammo before you got the talent, but now that you got it, I'm gonna let it Hoover up half the red dice for ya!"?? If I ever say something to that effect, please shoot me -- I'd rather be known as a turd.

 

Resolve is a different case. There are plenty of ways to impose strain loss that don't involve narrative expenditures of threat, and it can be surmounted if enough threat is rolled.

 

Regardless, we don't really see characters in the movies running out of ammo, but I sure hope Force & Destiny includes some kind of Spare Lightsaber talent because OMG!


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