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Edge of the Empire Beta Update: Final Week


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#41 mjprogue1

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

And yea…any GM who never houserules something isn't doing his job.  The perfect game doesn't exist…

 

 



#42 mjprogue1

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:58 PM

aramis said:

 House rules should not be essential to play the game.

The only rule lacking for playability in Palladium is the rule describing how to read dice. It may not be fun, but it's definitely playable as written if one knows how to read the dice and use polyhedral dice. I've in fact run whole campaigns using Palladium Games' Fantasy and Robotech systems… which are in fact the same mechanics as rifts. Lots of stuff in the system I don't like, but it's playable as written.

Likewise, EOTE as written in the Beta book is quite playable. It has some suboptimal decisions.

First, the decision to use a class based system.

I can understand why they went with the class-based skill/trait acquisition, but in-play skill driven play. Houseruling around that is trivially simple… pick  one of the following:
A) 12 career skills, 6 of them receiving 1 rank each
B) 11 career skills, 4 of them at one rank each, 1 at 2 ranks
C) 10 career skills, 2 at 2 ranks, 2 at 1 rank each.
1st 4 trait ranks cost 5 points each, and have to appear on any extant tree's 5 line.
2nd 4 trait ranks cost 10 points each, and have to appear on any extant tree's 5 or 10 line
3rd 4 trait ranks cost 15 points each, and have to appear on any extant tree's 5, 10 or 15 line.
etc.

In fact, that might make an excellent "optional rule" in the back of the book (And I'd be thrilled if it made it in.) The extant system creates archetypes that resonate with the setting and give an instant "in" to the intended styles of play. Fortunately, the system only makes class strongly valuable for trait acquisition; skill gains are only mildly impacted by not being in-class.

The second suboptimal decision in the beta is scaling. Not that it uses scales, but that it has too few. The setting includes vehicles from 1.5m to 15km long… and the simplicity of the scaling mechanic is nice, but doesn't match all the canon sources all that well. (Tho' Clone Wars may not be one that they really considered. In at least two episodes, I've seen clonetrooper carbines do damage to starfighter sized tanks… and tanks should be less fragile than starfighters of the same size.)

The third suboptimal decision is to not have operational costs and expected "normal" income for ships.

The fourth was to not have a good ratio of what a ships' cargo enc is, and relating it to the Extended Universe data already out there.

None of these are fatal flaws.

Seriously, all the decisions I've isolated as suboptimal are issues, but not ones that break the underlying system. The only truly major flaw isn't one for me - the custom dice. It's a high barrier for some people, including my wife, but in play, I have been convinced of the value in play. 

And, once the big book is out, I'll be happy to houserule myself as needed… but the more houserules I need, the less likely I am to advocate for and/or use the system. (My general limit is 1 page of house rules. Possibly plus a 1/2 page list of canonical optional rules in force.) And my players tend to acquire rulebooks for systems they like when I run them.
 

Of course house rules shouldn't be required…but every good GM has some idea of things he can change or tweak…nature of the beast.

As for Palladium…ridiculous statement…literally one of the absolute worst game systems ever devised.  Any GM who runs Rifts without severe changes is just wasting his and his groups' time.  You get into Rifts for the world…which is pretty cool…but you do it DESPITE the mechanics…so it is "playable" as written…ok but its a heck of alot less playable than this game.  If you honestly think this needs more work than Palladium you really need to take a looooonnnggg nap and re-read both systems.

Class Based system?  Said it before, I'll say it again…no class = a party of near identical min-maxed supermen who all have the same talents and skills.  I love the IDEA of classless RPGing…but I can't think of an example that works.  Black Crusade comes close…but even that forces players down a "class" based on the choices they make (not criticism…I LOVE that system).  Look at Gurps…run a non-combat game…it can be fine…run a combat oriented game and everyone ends up with an awfully familiar character sheet…

I agree with your scaling argument..but only in theory.  The reality is that in an IP as well used as this one, you will ALWAYS find exceptions to every rule.  So you found an episode where Troopers were hurting a tank with their carbines?  Ok…but how about a repeating blaster that doesn't even scratch the Falcon?  Wouldn't you agree the Falcon is on the Tank's same scale?  The reality is that in both cases, the story won out over any "mechanics"…in one the Falcon needed to escape, in the other the tank needed to go down…both fit the story.  So which is canon?  Exactly…

Ship costs will be in a supplement I'm sure…either this issue would have been pointlessly shorted into a useless sidebar OR it would have taken up an entire chapter in a book that already had too much information to impart.  It can't all be in there.  Cargo obviously same story.  In case you missed this, the game has a very "this is the story hook and this is how much it will profit you" vibe.  Come to think of it…that stuff might not get a bigger treatment…don't think they meant for Excel to be a mandatory tool for playing this game.  Although I for one love that kinda detail and I hope I'm wrong.

 



#43 aramis

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:42 PM

Actually, I don't think a tank and the falcon should be the same scale. That's where I found 1E WEG to work great - 3 scales, with an implied 4th - people, vehicles, ships, and an implied Capital Ships scale. 2E WEG had that nasty bit with walker scale and speeder scale, but otherwise, I liked the scaling.

My house-rule is simple - a Triumph to hit can be a crit if you did enough to get through the armor, or a single point past the armor no matter how thick… thus two threat is a crit no matter how tough the armor. 

And, having run several palladium games (Mechanoids, Robotech, Palladium Fantasy 1&2E, Heroes Unlimited, TMNT, Rifts), Rifts is the one I hated. Palladium, as a system, works in a rather simple, but potentially highly cinematic manner, provided you can fill in the missing bits (most of which are covered in 1st Ed Palladium Fantasy or in Mechanoids Invasion. Yes, I'm THAT old…) It's stiflingly narrow constraints to the archetypes, but it's simple and it plays. And a lot of teens love it. I have seen as much Rifts as D&D in the high school halls in the last couple years (I'm a sub teacher, and have seen 4-6 groups playing at lunch in every high school I've been in in the last 3 years).

I'll also note that one can easily crib from Traveller or from WEG for trade good ideas.



#44 Jinks1337

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:46 AM

Anyone has some clue on why was the Deadly Accuracy talent removed from the Assassin specialization of the Bounty Hunter? It doesn't make sense for me, at least flavor wise…



#45 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 12:35 AM

Jinks1337 said:

 

Anyone has some clue on why was the Deadly Accuracy talent removed from the Assassin specialization of the Bounty Hunter? It doesn't make sense for me, at least flavor wise…

 

 

Closest we got to an explanation on this was "the change was made due to long term plans."

I've voiced my thought on Deadly Accuracy being removed quite a few times, including offering alternative suggestions that would keep both Deadly Accuracy and the defensive talent that it was replaced with.

While said feedback was acknowledged, no change was made, so the design team is apparently pretty happy with Deadly Accuracy being dropped from Assassins.


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#46 Sturn

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:03 AM

Donovan Morningfire said:

Jinks1337 said:

 

Anyone has some clue on why was the Deadly Accuracy talent removed from the Assassin specialization of the Bounty Hunter? It doesn't make sense for me, at least flavor wise…

 

 

Closest we got to an explanation on this was "the change was made due to long term plans."

Pure speculation but perhaps the coming Soldiers core book will have a Sniper class. If Assassin had, "Deadly Accuracy", then giving it to a class like Sniper would not make it very special. Perhaps it would have created a situation that made the future Sniper class obsolete so they saved Deadly Accuracy?



#47 shaddai

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 12:29 PM

Was the talent, Stalker in the Bounty Hunter - Survivalist talent tree ever updated to replace its surveilance entry with a different third skill, or is it just left to two skills?

I think Deadly Accuracy should be removed from or toned down in all talent trees, the talent is a little framebraking.



#48 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 12:37 PM

shaddai said:

Was the talent, Stalker in the Bounty Hunter - Survivalist talent tree ever updated to replace its surveilance entry with a different third skill, or is it just left to two skills?

Good job removing Deadly Accuracy, that talent ended up being wayyy overpowered as written, and causing everyone the desire to jump into Assassin spec very early in our games.

As for Stalker, it's just Coordination and Stealth, which is plenty for a talent that provides a boost die, putting it on par with talents that only negate a setback die for two skills.

As for Deadly Accuracy, it's still in the game, as it's listed for the Gadgeteer specialization, which I think only makes Gadgeteer even more desirable since it provides Ranged (Light) as a career skill (most non-BH characters tend to favor pistols over rifles anyway) and some pretty darn effective talents that work at range or make your gear that much better.


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#49 shaddai

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:10 PM

Agreed.  I think it needs to be removed from or reworked in Gadgeteer as well.  Corrected my OP to reflect this.



#50 shaddai

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 01:22 PM

A good concession would be to have Deadly Accuracy become an activated ability, and require a destiny point expenditure or something in order to utilize the talent when calculating damage.  As is, if you aren't dropping into Merc or Gadgeteer to pick it up, and you use any weapon at all, in my opinion you're inherently wrong.  Something akin to the above solution would also mitigate the stacking of multiple talents onto a character's damage output. My group will toss some more numbers around, but the potential damage output of some characters we statted with this talent were rapidly surpassing the defensive capabilities of some of the Nemisies listed in the book.



#51 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 02:48 AM

shaddai said:

A good concession would be to have Deadly Accuracy become an activated ability, and require a destiny point expenditure or something in order to utilize the talent when calculating damage.  As is, if you aren't dropping into Merc or Gadgeteer to pick it up, and you use any weapon at all, in my opinion you're inherently wrong.  Something akin to the above solution would also mitigate the stacking of multiple talents onto a character's damage output. My group will toss some more numbers around, but the potential damage output of some characters we statted with this talent were rapidly surpassing the defensive capabilities of some of the Nemisies listed in the book.

Probably too late now to change things for the printed book (though with the delay, maybe not), but I like the idea of Deadly Accuracy requiring a Destiny Point.  That puts it a bit more on par with the other "Destiny Point to add Characteristic to damage" talents out there, with the trade-off being that the Characteristic-based talents are inherently not going to apply quite as much damage, but they can be applied to a broader range of weapons.


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