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#81 mouthymerc

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 04:17 PM

Why is there always a computer to slice for the slicer and why, when it matters, is there some arcane ritual he must perform in order to win the day? Why are there social encounters for the faceman to show off his charming skills until he meets someone who is more difficult to persuade? Why is there lots of stuff to fix for the mechanic but then suddenly there's the Mcguffin that only he has the skills to repair? RPGs are full of contrivances. Players build charcters that they want to play so they can show off their skills in certain situations. If a GM doesn't allow or plan for those occasions then why have players there in the first place? And some of these contrivances may have been seen before, but it doesn't mean they can't or shouldn't be used. There are plenty of ideas out there without being repetitious. Unless you are someone with a limited imagination, but then that is why there are forums like this to help. Or maybe the lack of imagination means you change the rule because you can not deal with it.


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#82 evileeyore

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 10:02 PM

RPGs are full of contrivances.

I don't know know why your game was so full of contrivances. Ours weren't.

Often we faced broken things the Techie didn't have the skills for, it didn't devastate the party if I failed though. It may have made things more difficult, but not a TPK. Same with the Face flubbing a social, it meant less money, or less info, or less allies, but again, no TPK.

But if the Soak Monkey flubs it... we were facing mass unconsciousness or possible death. Because that's the way combat rolls, and if it's even a moderate challenge for the Soak Monkey, no one else can face it.

#83 mouthymerc

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 11:56 PM

You must play with some unimaginative players then. If they were stupid enough to stay in a fight they couldn't win then they deserved what they got. Even if they did go down, death should be rare. Now they're captured or when they regain conciousness they've been stripped of their equipment. No need to kill characters unless it is important to the plot. And slicing and mechanic checks and such can be just as important as combat. It can mean the difference between a trash compactor crushing everyone or not or getting the hyperdrive working in time before the star destroyer captures or destroys your ship. I've never said don't let them fail. It happens and can be fun. I said let the players revel in the characters they are playing. Hence the reason you don't have to always build encounters around the soak monster. Only once in a while challenging him in one form or another.
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#84 Daeglan

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 12:18 AM

You must play with some unimaginative players then. If they were stupid enough to stay in a fight they couldn't win then they deserved what they got. Even if they did go down, death should be rare. Now they're captured or when they regain conciousness they've been stripped of their equipment. No need to kill characters unless it is important to the plot. And slicing and mechanic checks and such can be just as important as combat. It can mean the difference between a trash compactor crushing everyone or not or getting the hyperdrive working in time before the star destroyer captures or destroys your ship. I've never said don't let them fail. It happens and can be fun. I said let the players revel in the characters they are playing. Hence the reason you don't have to always build encounters around the soak monster. Only once in a while challenging him in one form or another.

In fact you shouldn't. You should do it only occasionally. As no one likes to have the thing they picked for their fun time countered every time so as to not actually be useful. And then you have a whole array of options to pick from. pick a different one each time.   


Edited by Daeglan, 05 September 2014 - 12:20 AM.

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#85 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:57 AM

You must play with some unimaginative players then. If they were stupid enough to stay in a fight they couldn't win then they deserved what they got. Even if they did go down, death should be rare. Now they're captured or when they regain conciousness they've been stripped of their equipment. No need to kill characters unless it is important to the plot. And slicing and mechanic checks and such can be just as important as combat. It can mean the difference between a trash compactor crushing everyone or not or getting the hyperdrive working in time before the star destroyer captures or destroys your ship. I've never said don't let them fail. It happens and can be fun. I said let the players revel in the characters they are playing. Hence the reason you don't have to always build encounters around the soak monster. Only once in a while challenging him in one form or another.

Or the players are stuck with a very unimaginative GM that has zero creativity when it comes to adventure design.


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#86 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:07 AM

One "house rule" that myself and a couple other GMs that I know have been playing around with is the idea that for weapons with an activated weapon quality (things like Disorient, Ensnare, and Knockdown) that don't specify you need to "hit" the target (thus excluding Autofire, Linked, and to an extent Blast), you can forgo the option of dealing damage and instead have a successful attack roll use one of those qualities instead, and can spend Advantage to trigger any other active weapon qualities.  Obviously since you're not going to be dealing any damage with the attack, you wouldn't be able to trigger a critical injury.

 

For instance, a Bounty Hunter attacks a fleeing target with bolas (Ensnare 3 and Knockdown).  Instead of trying to deal damage, she opts to use the Ensnare quality instead of attempting to deal any damage.  She rolls, and hits with 2 successes and 1 advantage, thus the target is now subject to the effects of Ensnare, but no damage is dealt, where under the normal rules she'd have dealt 4 damage (probably not enough to matter) and been unable to trigger the Ensnare quality.

 

As another example, a Hired Gun is involved in a bar brawl, and rather than trying to punch the enraged Wookiee's lights out, figures he'd do better to knock the Wookiee on his arse.  So he makes his Brawl check, and instead of dealing damage with his fists (which probably won't matter anyway), he opts to just use the Knockdown quality of his unarmed attack instead.  He rolls 4 successes and 2 advantage; the 2 advantage are spent to trigger Disorient but the extra successes simply means he did an admirable job of taking the Wookiee's legs out from under him.

 

It's not seen a lot of use at the moment, but it's something to consider making use of.


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#87 Jamwes

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:16 AM

Because this thread keeps going on about Soak and how big of an issue it can be, I think it is a case where the "rules could be better" as the OP asked. Discussions on how to best handle a high soak character would probably be best in the how to deal with high soak characters thread that's also on the front page, since it's slipping away from the original intent of this tread.

 

To bring up something else where the rules could be better, I'm surprised by the lack of social skill talents. It seems like the vast majority of social talents are the ones to remove setback dice. (I suspect that many GMs run like mine does and probably doesn't use setback dice as often as they should/could.) And most aren't even the cool talents that give a little bonus in addition to setback removal, like Researcher does. Why doesn't Bounty Hunter have a talent to make using Streetwise better for tracking a bounty? Why doesn't Smuggler have talents to make lieing and stealing better?

 

I guess I'm just complaining and wishing that Setback removal talents all had a little extra bonus. For me, just removing Setback dice feels unsatisfying and is GM dependant on how useful it is.


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#88 KJDavid

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:22 AM

It is very much GM dependent. I really wish they had stressed more in the GM section about how routine Setback should be to the game, and how important it was to properly balance the rules set.  I didn't hear Jay talk about it on the Order 66 podcast, because I don't listen.

 

Another area I don't think needs changing but could be explained far better in the core rules is how space ships move between ranges in combat. I've finally got a handle on it after Age of Rebellion (they sort-of explain it unlike in EotE), but it's still worded very confusingly. 

 

The other problem I have some people have mentioned is how much damage a relatively light vehicle weapon can do to characters while character-scale anti-vehicle weapons can't really do much to vehicles. I agree a grenade launcher should not be able to wreck an X-Wing, but it should be able to shred a civilian-grade speeder.  I'm not sure how to fix the latter, but fixing the former is as easy as making ground vehicles do x5 damage while you keep space ships at x10. 



#89 mouthymerc

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:26 AM

One "house rule" that myself and a couple other GMs that I know have been playing around with is the idea that for weapons with an activated weapon quality (things like Disorient, Ensnare, and Knockdown) that don't specify you need to "hit" the target (thus excluding Autofire, Linked, and to an extent Blast), you can forgo the option of dealing damage and instead have a successful attack roll use one of those qualities instead, and can spend Advantage to trigger any other active weapon qualities.  Obviously since you're not going to be dealing any damage with the attack, you wouldn't be able to trigger a critical injury.

What about just counting the successes as advantages in that case and activating applicable abilities? Or do you figure that forgoing damage is enough of a balance? Just wondering as something that needs 3 advantages is usually a pretty nice extra and just allowing it to happen on a successful hit might be too much? Having not seen it in play it is hard to judge.


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#90 Gallows

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:47 AM

But it's not just soak. It's the whole damage-soak balance that is out of whack. Just as you can create a soak monkey, you can also create a character who does insane amounts of damage, that will reduce anyone to zero.

 

The game should have been play tested a bit more, so there could have been a balance between damage and soak - less of both and more emphasis on critical damage.



#91 R2builder

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:02 AM

I find the talents that remove setback dice to be very useful. I have only had two groups that played EtoE so far.
My first group, we did not use setback dice regularly, and they complained about these talents, so I started using setback dice more.
With my new group, at first they said I used they setback dice too much, and it made things too hard. I purposefully kept all the difficulties low in the first couple of adventures. Now that they are a little better, and now some of them have these talents, they kind of now see the purpose and understand more about the setback dice. I apply my setback dice pretty liberally, usually at least one for every check.

One example I have is that in our last adventure my outlaw tech(not a slicer) was going to hack a computer for whatever reason. I added in one setback die and I told him it was using a program language written by the Ithorians(I don't remember which alien now, I'm just using a filler name) and that they use a different math system that what you are used to, they use multiples of 17 not 10. Now slicer would have a talent that would knock out that setback die, but he is an outlaw tech. So he rolls, and ends up with a triumph. I told him to write this down, and he is responsible for letting me know about it, but from now on when dealing with an Ithorians computer system, he will get a boost die on the roll, and will not suffer a setback die. It will be his responsibility to ask what kind of computer system he is using, and remind me about the Ithorian thing.

So, looking at my situation, I could have done a couple of things. I could have said yes, this is a stupid system, and these talents don't line up very well, are unbalanced, and not very good. I'm housing ruling that instead of setback dice removal, you can get a boost die added!!!! Or some other bonus. Instead of trusting the game designers and learnt the system, I could have assumed it was broke, and I could have "fixed" it and made it better and "funner" for everyone. Instead I choose to stick with it and learn the system.

While I don't mnd the name "Setback" dice, I think it gives people the wrong idea about them. I think people have a tendacy to look them and think they should only be used when there is a clear setback or obstacle to the players. I look at them at "Difficulty + .5". Using D20/D6 terms, it is not a 10 or a 15 difficulty, it is a 13 or a 17 Difficulty. Or if I want a check t be a touch less difficult, I can remove a Difficulty die, and insert a setback die, and if a character has a talent that can knock out that setback, eve better!

So I think the rules could have been a little better when it came to the name, description, and explanation of using the Setback die. But I don't think it is game breaking. In my experiences, it is more often the GM or players that make for a crappy game, not the rule set.

Back on track now!! :)
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#92 R2builder

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:24 AM

But it's not just soak. It's the whole damage-soak balance that is out of whack. Just as you can create a soak monkey, you can also create a character who does insane amounts of damage, that will reduce anyone to zero.

The game should have been play tested a bit more, so there could have been a balance between damage and soak - less of both and more emphasis on critical damage.

This game was in development for over two years before the open Beta came out, then a year later the CRB.

Yes I can create a soak or damage monkey. Big deal. You can in about every game. Having rules to prevent that don't make for a better game. I can create a heal monkey, a hacker monkey, force monkey, a social monkey....any kind of a totally one sided character. I can always have that super awesome one trick pony.

A game that let's you create what you want is not a "bad design". People that "only" want to play the highest soak guy out there is the problem in my opinion. They will do that no matter what system your running. They will do it with Edge, Saga, any version of D&D, and in video games too.

So I think this game was in development and play test long enough.

I'm not saying this game is perfect, but Soak and Damage are not broken. My Bounty Hunter player has a soak of 15 I think right now --EDIT--7 right now, and he is still pretty "low level". Big deal. So he can get hit a lot before he takes any real damage. How I describe a scene in which he gets "hit" and takes zero damage due to soak.

"The blaster fire screams in at you, you twist and weave around, and do a half spin just as that final blaster bolt explodes right by your head! (If he has any threat or the baddie has advantages) as you dance your way through the hail fire of death, you loose your breath momentarily and a bit of your energy and resolve, not sure that could do that again; you gain one point of Strain."

If your goal as a GM is to kill the characters, then yes, Soak is a big problem for you. If your goal is to have a good time with some friends and tell an awesome and exciting Star Wars tale, then no, Soak and Damage ratios are not broken.


Edited by R2builder, 05 September 2014 - 01:22 PM.

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#93 progressions

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:48 AM

15 seems like a lot of soak! :)

 

I am curious how he arrived at that level?

 

We have a low-level Marauder in our game, a player who is new to the system. I want him to have a lot of fun being a very tough guy, but also want to keep challenging him. Our party is not very combat-focused so I'm not anticipating a problem.


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#94 R2builder

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 10:59 AM

Oops, sorry...he only has Soak of 7 right now. I must have gotten it confused when we were talking about what he can take his Soak up to. I think he can get it too 15 through a combo of his armor and some talents. He will have to be around 700-800 XP. I don't think that soak of 15 will be a problem. By then the minions will be just exactly that, some cool quick combat stuff. Thier actual enemies will be around the same level as them, and will have soak comparable, and beefed up weapons and talents too.
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#95 Daeglan

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 01:24 PM

One thing that was pointed out by the FFG guys is that you can make minions more dangerous by have them in groups greater than 5. For example having them have ten members means they will be rolling 4 dice for longer. 


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#96 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 01:33 PM

 

One "house rule" that myself and a couple other GMs that I know have been playing around with is the idea that for weapons with an activated weapon quality (things like Disorient, Ensnare, and Knockdown) that don't specify you need to "hit" the target (thus excluding Autofire, Linked, and to an extent Blast), you can forgo the option of dealing damage and instead have a successful attack roll use one of those qualities instead, and can spend Advantage to trigger any other active weapon qualities.  Obviously since you're not going to be dealing any damage with the attack, you wouldn't be able to trigger a critical injury.

What about just counting the successes as advantages in that case and activating applicable abilities? Or do you figure that forgoing damage is enough of a balance? Just wondering as something that needs 3 advantages is usually a pretty nice extra and just allowing it to happen on a successful hit might be too much? Having not seen it in play it is hard to judge.

 

Far as I can recall, the only active weapon quality that needs 3 Advantage to trigger is Blast, which would be excluded from this option anyway since that quality has specific conditions for when the attack is a hit or miss.

 

Pretty much a successful check would equal one activation of the quality, for things like Knockdown or Sunder that benefit from multiple activations.  Personally I figure that having a far more reliable guarantee of getting a specific weapon quality to activate is a fair trade-off, particularly for things like Stun or Sunder.  In the case of Knockdown, I might consider each additional success past the first to count towards meeting the requirements to affect a target that's larger than Silhouette 1, but that would likely be on a case-by-case basis.


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#97 evileeyore

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 04:23 PM

I'm housing ruling that instead of setback dice removal, you can get a boost die added!!!! Or some other bonus. Instead of trusting the game designers and learnt the system, I could have assumed it was broke, and I could have "fixed" it and made it better and "funner" for everyone. Instead I choose to stick with it and learn the system.

If you have to make houserules to get the system to work the way you want it... then it was broken. Perhaps not greatly, but borked it is.


Granted your houserule is cool. I'd steal but I'm going in a slightly different direction.


 

Pretty much a successful check would equal one activation of the quality, for things like Knockdown or Sunder that benefit from multiple activations.

Nice. Totally consider this stolen.

Edited by evileeyore, 05 September 2014 - 04:23 PM.


#98 R2builder

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:44 PM

Uuuummmm, you need to go back and re-read my post about this. That paragraph was done in an exposition type of style. You are not reading ALL the words in my statement like "assumed" "could have", and my favorite when talking about house rules "funner", if you read the last sentence of the paragraph you quoted, I state that I did in fact not house rule this, and instead I choose to go with the CRB as written.

Also when you pulled the quote from my post you intentionally left off the two first sentences which set up the tone of my paragraph, so you are basically quoting me out of context. I did state clearly

So, looking at my situation, I could have done a couple of things. I could have said yes, this is a stupid system, and these talents don't line up very well, are unbalanced, and not very good. I'm housing ruling that instead of setback dice removal, you can get a boost die added!!!! Or some other bonus. Instead of trusting the game designers and learnt the system, I could have assumed it was broke, and I could have "fixed" it and made it better and "funner" for everyone. Instead I choose to stick with it and learn the system.

And no, that "house rule" would not be "cool", it would have been asinine to bring into the game. Once again, you have completely missed my point in a post. The majority, like 99.9% of house rules do nothing to make a game better. It makes some feminine hygiene product feel like they are creative and cool and can do stuff for the sole reason of "because I can".

Hey if you want to house rule crap, go ahead, have fun with it. I don't care because it does not effect me. But please, if you are going to respond to one of my posts, which I have asked you not too, at least read ALL of it and understand it, and if you are going to quote me, use the complete paragraph, if not the whole post.

For me, I would rather spend my time on making adventures for my crew great, not trying to re-engineer the game to what I consider better. For those that want to take out "classes" or rework true aim, soak vs damage, or whatever great. I hope you all have a great time with it.

This post is not really about house rules per "say" hehehe, sorry, I love that...I have just seen it so much on webs.
This about how the rules could be better. So I say again, I feel Astrogation could be a better skill/system. I don't need much skill to program in a road trip in my GPS, but I need an updated system. If I'm using one from 2002, I could be in a lot of trouble. So with that system, I feel it could be better. I feel that way about Astrogation in any SW game. My players feel it is ok for them, so I won't spend the energy to "fix" it for them.
I feel the setback dice could have been called something different, and the concept could have been explained better. Some people seem to have a lot of grief with the setback die removal talents, and if the setback dice were presented in a clearer manner, and in a more defined way, then perhaps these people would not feel this way.
Soak seems to be an ever present complaint. Most people seem like they have to find a way to "counter" soak to give the player a challenge. I don't think the rules are the problem in this situation. That is a Game Master style problem, and no system in the world, and no house rules can fix that.

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#99 Jamwes

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 07:29 AM

Another area I don't think needs changing but could be explained far better in the core rules is how space ships move between ranges in combat. I've finally got a handle on it after Age of Rebellion (they sort-of explain it unlike in EotE), but it's still worded very confusingly. 

 

Good one. I believe the book doesn't tell how to move from Extreme to Long range in starship combat either.






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