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#81 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:13 AM

LethalDose said:

Yes, it hit a nerve, because its a f***ing stupid and irrelevant comment that keeps getting repeated on these forums in places where it is equally f***ing stupid and irrelevant.  

Well, since this is a narrative system, it really shouldn't surprise anyone that people are looking for narrative solutions.

Complaining about how folks are suggesting narrative solutions for a narrative game is akin to whining about how there's all those dwarfs present and bumbling around in The Hobbit (both film and novel versions) instead of it just being Gandalf fixing everyone's problems in an afternoon.  Or bitching about how FATE doesn't have any rules for tactical movement or ranges.

Sorry you don't like it, but after all, this is a narrative game system, not a tacti-crunch system like D&D or BattleTech, so most folks are going to lean towards narrative solutions.


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#82 mouthymerc

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:30 AM

Bladehate said:

 

So you haven't read the thread.  Fair enough, its a lot of spam at this point.

 

 

I have, but I just wasn't totally clear on what the makeup of your group is. I was looking for some clarification.

Bladehate said:

 

I have five players.  I gave everyone a combat specialization + a bonus specialization depending on what role they wanted to play outside of combat.

As a result, I have 2 bounty hunters, 2 hired guns and a smuggler (dual wielding heavy blaster pistols at this point).  Their non-combat specs are irrelevant for this discussion.  The point of this was two fold:  To really test out combat mechanics of a new system, and ensure that everyone enjoyed their time in combat.

 

 

Thank you. So are they built using the character creation rules properly because it sounds like they are not?

Bladehate said:

 

The Hired Guns are a wookie and a droid, both of whom have capped Brawn and run around in Padded Armor (soak 7 and 8 respectively).  They are all running around with blaster rifles since they absolutely slaughtered everything they fought in Escape from Mos Shuuta, including the storm troopers.  While the storm troopers were able to damage the soak stackers, it wasn't enough especially when the group was blowing up a squad of 3 without breaking a sweat thanks to some sweet attack rolls.

 

 

Did you adjust the adventures at all? Seeing that you didn't go with the pregens, I would think that some adjustments may be needed. You have a larger more focused group. The intention of any GM is to create an enjoyable experience. I can understand you wanting to challenge your players, so the question becomes how to do that without just trying to kill them (which is only just one option). Pre-made adventures are designed with the average players in mind, so if your players do not fall within that category some adjustment may needed to be made in order for them to feel challenged.

Now I could be wrong, but it sounds like you intentionally broke character creation and then found that the characters were to powerful for the adventure. Am I off-base here? Like I said, I don't know if you made any adjustments to the adventures in any way.

 


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#83 LethalDose

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:03 AM


Alright, so FFG's $h!t forum software is mucking this up.  Again.


LethalDose said:


Okay, first off, I'm getting really tired of this "narrative-system panacea" philosophy.  It's a load of Bantha pudu.  At best, it's just hand-waving to dismiss what could be valid arguments against how this game system performs.  This kind of behavior is sadly typical when a product is released and uses a buzz word, like "narrative game" or "random effects model" or "superfood" or "ergonomic design", and people use it to defend POV about said product when it has nothing to do with the buzzword they don't understand.  Now, there are places where this system's performance must be viewed in the light of narrative game, but this isn't one of them.  Again, the fact that this is a "narative game" has absolutely nothing to do with how Soak is balanced.  


So let's just stop that $h!t right here and actually have an intelligent conversation about soak values and the characters who love them.


End first quote:


 



LethalDose said:



 


Yes, it hit a nerve, because its a f***ing stupid and irrelevant comment that keeps getting repeated on these forums in places where it is equally f***ing stupid and irrelevant.  


I'm glad you like the narrative system.  There is nothing wrong with the fact that you like the narrative system. I like the narrative system. 


That doesn't change the fact that it doesn't have a godd@mn thing to do with the discussion.  


 


 


Well, since this is a narrative system, it really shouldn't surprise anyone that people are looking for narrative solutions.


Complaining about how folks are suggesting narrative solutions for a narrative game is akin to whining about how there's all those dwarfs present and bumbling around in The Hobbit (both film and novel versions) instead of it just being Gandalf fixing everyone's problems in an afternoon.  Or bitching about how FATE doesn't have any rules for tactical movement or ranges.


Sorry you don't like it, but after all, this is a narrative game system, not a tacti-crunch system like D&D or BattleTech, so most folks are going to lean towards narrative solutions.



 



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#84 Jegergryte

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:37 AM

I know its not a good fix, nor perhaps a balanced one, nor really a fix. But last session my players met a Borhek (see GSA for stats). Of course I used its first round to increase its soak, to 9.

This basically means little damage by anyone except the blaster rifle carrying doc and assassin. Who both got knocked out rather quickly. The doc though, before she got knocked out, said "since its howling and growling, can I shoot into its mouth? thereby ignoring some of its soak?" I thought that was a good idea, both because the group where quickly withering away - and I've played borderlands and shot skags through their mouth. So, by aiming I let them ignore some of its soak - now this is the kind of aim that gives you setback dice as opposed to boost dice. It worked wonders - they only almost all died (by which I mean at one point almost everyone was unconscious). I threw the idea out there that they could get a better crit range, but that didn't seem so interesting, for some reason.

Now for humanoid sentient and intelligent opponents they were also up against a master hunter (see beta), a soak of 6. Not the worst tank you could imagine, although the swashbuckler engaged him (due to the deadly assault talent and his heavy blaster rifle) so he couldn't, or hoped he wouldn't continue to use his rifle at them. Now, brawn 3 and vibro-rapier (sword basically but style, you know? narrative and style?) even with pierce 2 isn't going to cause that much damage, and won't take him out quickly. So - after informing him that he could use aim in melee too (which I think is a correct reading, the book doesn't specify ranged) - he decided to use setback-aim to ignore armour soak, which I allowed. Now armour isn't going to be the main source of soak in this game true, but at least two setback dice (or one for some strain) could let you ignore some Soak.

As for Brawn and talent derived soak… yeah, the brawn buff is going to be silly. I know this is not a fix, but its an option in some less extreme cases.

I remember an earlier thread on this - I think beta forum - where someone suggested to increase armour soak, but decrease Brawn Soak. I might be wrong, but it could have been Brawn x 0.5 round up. This mean the brawniest characters would start with 3 in soak (5/2 round up) and could potentially get 4 - if the brawn bonus from cybernetics applies to soak, i don't remember. This would then require better armour soak… I don't think this is a good fix though, for unexpressed reasons that I will keep to myself, since they make little sense from what I can read in this thread.


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#85 shaddai

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 04:32 PM

The reason I think you shouldn't read too much into the Beginner Game's explanation of pierce is that the box set is designed to introduce concepts to players at an initiate level, and I believe ignoring soak is more of a complicated concept than reducing soak.  Another example of my point is that critical damage is streamlined for the Beginner Game as compared to the Beta.

But yeah, it's something to consider.  Then again, it's now apparent that they deffinitely know when to use the word reduce as opposed to ignore.  Granted, the Beginner Game is the newer of the two products, but we won't know anything for certain until the main book is published, and we see if this delay has significantly altered any game design.  I bet they just had printing issues, I doubt it's mechanics related.  I doubt the final product will look much different from the Beta with the final week's update implemented.



#86 Bladehate

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 12:25 AM

Ya know, I think I'm done with this thread.

I've presented my arguments highlighting why the current damage mechanics are open to abuse.  If you don't see the problem, good for you.  I sincerely hope you continue not seeing the problem, no matter how much I might think you're just sticking your head in the sand.  Refusing to acknowledge numbers is just foolish, especially when players from Warhammer Fantasy state that the parent system suffered from the same problems.  Players should not be able to gain near immunity to stock weaponry, as I honestly feel that's highly detrimental to the game.

At this point the thread has devolved into people arguing with numbers via opinion and strawman arguments.

If you're a GM or player reading this, you will know what to watch out for in your own groups and campaigns, and you can react as you deem it appropriate.  Forewarned is forearmed.



#87 Jegergryte

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:37 AM

How could one solve this problem though?

By making armour and brawn derived soak not stack? Could that help? What sort of issues could that create? I mean first it should involve increasing the armours' soak values a tad, but how much? Should laminate/heavy battle armour be superior (or equal) to Brawn 6? Brawn 7?

How about talents? Stack with Brawn? Armour? Both?

What sort of soak base - characteristic or armour - should be "favoured"? should they be equal? Should there be any drawbacks by having armour donned?

I hope we will see more Pierce weapons and perhaps the opening for Pierce 2+ weapons in the final product - by way of attachments at the very least.

Should one just remove the whole Pierce quality? Make it more widespread and give some weapons higher values of the quality? Should for instance all blaster pistols have Pierce X, rifles X+1 to X+2? Vibro weapons have Pierce 4 instead of 2?

I can see the problem here, in pure numbers - but the pure numbers do not mirror my game experience, which is not to say it won't mirror anyone else's. If playing by numbers (i.e. min/maxing or whatever you call it these days) then this game probably needs some further adjustment indeed. Numbers don't lie (necessarily comiendo ).


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#88 mouthymerc

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:32 AM

Well that's too bad. I was looking to get a little more clarification. The fact that just the adjustment of the attributes alone puts those characters above any other beginning characters in ability kind of tells me all I need to know, though. In Savage Worlds higher xp characters can cake walk through stuff that would challenge the same characters at lower xp levels and I see the same thing here. It is kind of like building 5th level characters and then running them through a 1st level adventure and then complaining that it was too easy for them. This reminds me of when my players decided to take on the lylek (using the stats for the captive rancor) in the Long Arm of the Hutt. That thing was way out of their league and turned them into kibble pretty damn quick. Its ok though as we only did it for fun just to see what would happen. I imagine with more experience their characters would be in a better position to confront such a challenge.

It is always interesting to hear others' experiences, though, because it helps me. While I see the potential for this to be a problem, it seems to be only in the cases where it is extreme. And even then, only in the case if everyone does it, but in that case I would adjust all the challenges to account for everyone being so buff. If I only had one player investing xp to gain this type of focused character I wouldn't worry much as it would be his schtick.


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#89 Bladehate

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:42 AM

<sigh>  All right.  Since at least this is discussion rather then opinion based refutation I'll stick around a bit longer.

@jegergryte

Honestly, the easiest solution is just to make sure no one stacks soak.  The game is functional so long as the soak values aren't taken to extremes.  Part of the problem is that its just very easy to recognize the strength Brawn/Soak has, and it can be a bit jarring to ask your players not to "optimize" their combat character for…combat.

As concerns Armor and Pierce respectively, I do think the game would benefit from higher armor values.  It has always struck me as problematic in a modern or futuristic setting that a human's "stamina" was a more important factor then their equipment when resisting damage.  And it does set an odd precedent within this system as well.

By upping Armor and changing pierce to work exclusively against Armor, you have a clear progression in damage resistance, and a clear counter to that progression.  Exact values would depend on weaponry, mods and perhaps even talents (the Bounty Hunter armor talents for example would work great "as is" within this sort of system).  The Enduring talents and especially Brawn would need to be reworked though.  On the whole, armor values should be at least comparable to the soak gain from Brawn/Talents.

Additionally, I would probably implement some kind of "aimed shot" combat action that let's a player take some setback dice on their attack roll but let's them bypass some of an enemy's armor rating.  That way Armor is still the preferred way to ensure survival, but even non-Pierce weaponry has the option to be a threat.  The attack would definitely cost strain though, so that its a decision to be made and weighed rather then a given.

@mouthymerc

First off, the comments about levels and difficulty…are a bit misleading because this is not a system with extensive level differences.  There is progression, but the characters don't dramatically jump in power everytime they "level up".  Or rather, they don't unless they are stacking soak…in which case their power level dramatically increases everytime they acquire another point of soak…

However, these are not "high level" characters.  Any starter character can obtain these values and progress accordingly.  They do not trivialize content by being "over leveled", they trivialize content because its possible to do so when Brawn and Soak are optimized. 

While it is gratifying to me that you "recognize the potential for this to be a problem" (yeah, sorry for being just a tiny bit sarcastic here), I don't really need you to confirm it for me.  I already know its a problem, to the extent that my own players are volunteering to re-roll as the disparity within the group is just too great.  They recognize that when a properly optimized Han Solo could take Greedo's blaster shot without flinching the system itself has some exploitable flaws that should be avoided.  Most importantly, it is not in keeping with the premise and setting of the game.

Obviously every group is different, so some guy who's whole point is to be the tank might be acceptable to some.  In my opinion, its contrary to immersion whenever a player knows…KNOWS…that a weapon cannot threaten him or her.  While that's perhaps acceptable in a game like DnD (personally, I don't much care for it in any game), in a game that's supposed to be narrative and immersive it really doesn't belong.



#90 Jegergryte

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:19 AM

Bladehate said:

1) Honestly, the easiest solution is just to make sure no one stacks soak.  The game is functional so long as the soak values aren't taken to extremes.  Part of the problem is that its just very easy to recognize the strength Brawn/Soak has, and it can be a bit jarring to ask your players not to "optimize" their combat character for…combat.

2) As concerns Armor and Pierce respectively, I do think the game would benefit from higher armor values.  It has always struck me as problematic in a modern or futuristic setting that a human's "stamina" was a more important factor then their equipment when resisting damage.  And it does set an odd precedent within this system as well.

3) By upping Armor and changing pierce to work exclusively against Armor, you have a clear progression in damage resistance, and a clear counter to that progression.  Exact values would depend on weaponry, mods and perhaps even talents (the Bounty Hunter armor talents for example would work great "as is" within this sort of system).  The Enduring talents and especially Brawn would need to be reworked though.  On the whole, armor values should be at least comparable to the soak gain from Brawn/Talents.

4) Additionally, I would probably implement some kind of "aimed shot" combat action that let's a player take some setback dice on their attack roll but let's them bypass some of an enemy's armor rating.  That way Armor is still the preferred way to ensure survival, but even non-Pierce weaponry has the option to be a threat.  The attack would definitely cost strain though, so that its a decision to be made and weighed rather then a given.

1) I can understand that. Soak not stacking could make sense. At least with some types of armour. For heavy clothing, I can see it stacking with brawn… laminate and battle armour, I can see a rationale for it not needing to stack - even if its slightly counter intuitive to me.

2) I agree, although you also see - and I know this must have been mentioned and its a crappy point, but its still valid - in star wars no one wears armour except the bad guys. The star wars "feel" is "supposed" to be (note the quotation marks back there) no armour, hero, not dying easily. Right? Not sure I buy it, but its fairly cemented into a large part of the community - my own players too mostly, with one or two obscene exceptions of course. From my point of view, as a "compromise", would be to slap a soak of 2 on basic armour stuff like heavy clothing and that stuff. Padded armour would have 3 or 4, same with armoured clothing, Laminate would have 4 or 5, Heavy battle armour would have 5 or 6. I'd also, perhaps, slap on defensive values on anything from padded to battle armour. The soak alues on armours would stack with soak boosting talents and attachments - or perhaps only attachments and talents specificially designed to boost armour/gear. Normal soak boosting talents (Enduring) could be ignored if wearing armour?

3) To me it makes sense that pierce pierces any soak, its the function of pierce to pierce, armour or skin/fat/muscles/hide/scales, a piercing weapon can pierce it. I agree that the heaviest of armour should be equal to or close to the brawniest character in Soak level - if this is a way to go.

4) There is already such a function, its not been touched upon in the updates, but the aim rules in the beta books specifically states that the setback die aim is used to hit a weapon/device in someones hands, or to cripple them. For the vehicle chapter it was updated that you would automatically cause so and so critical - if you score a crit I think (can't remember wording just now). My take on the setback aim was - as mentioned above - to ignore the armour soak on a successful hit. For this idea, of higher soak armours and none-stacking of brawn and armour soak - I'd say you ignore 1 point of soak initially, and one additional per 2 or 3 advantages on the hit (completely on a triumph?) …

I'm not sure these are rules I'd use, but it could perhaps be a solution - some variant of this idea at least.


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"What about the future...? We can only hope, we cannot however account for the minutiae of the quanta, as all accidents in an infinite space are inevitable."

GMLovlie's/Jegergryte's Cubicle direct link to supplements here.


#91 mouthymerc

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:02 PM

Bladehate said:

First off, the comments about levels and difficulty…are a bit misleading because this is not a system with extensive level differences.  There is progression, but the characters don't dramatically jump in power everytime they "level up".  Or rather, they don't unless they are stacking soak…in which case their power level dramatically increases everytime they acquire another point of soak…

However, these are not "high level" characters.  Any starter character can obtain these values and progress accordingly.  They do not trivialize content by being "over leveled", they trivialize content because its possible to do so when Brawn and Soak are optimized. 

No starter character can not get those values. As I pointed out, the maxed out Brawn in and of itself exceeds the starting xp. Even allowing for that, there would be nothing left for anything else, if you followed character creation guidelines. And I never said they were "high level", just more experienced than what the adventure was designed for. It was designed around the pregens. Savage Worlds is somewhat similar in that you use xp to progress your character buying abilities and it even has an attribute, Toughness, which is similar to EotE's soak. You can max it out making yourself fairly impervious to injury. So I am familiar with a similar situation. There is a difference in ability between a starting character and one created with more xp and it can be drastic if you focus on some things.

You min-maxed and created characters which broke the game. Congratulations, I can do that with any system. Just about anyone can do that. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the game, only that there are limits. But there are limits on all games.

Bladehate said:

While it is gratifying to me that you "recognize the potential for this to be a problem" (yeah, sorry for being just a tiny bit sarcastic here), I don't really need you to confirm it for me.  I already know its a problem, to the extent that my own players are volunteering to re-roll as the disparity within the group is just too great.  They recognize that when a properly optimized Han Solo could take Greedo's blaster shot without flinching the system itself has some exploitable flaws that should be avoided.  Most importantly, it is not in keeping with the premise and setting of the game.

Hey well with my head in the sand and all I wasn't sure if you realized the "potential". So using your example is a "properly optimized Han Solo" going to max out Brawn? Take specializations like Marauder or Gadgeteer to get soak enhancing talents? Why would he ever go near a spec with soak talents? And if he didn't why would he be immune to a blaster shot? What is your version of a "properly optimized Han Solo"? Doubt its the same as mine or many other people's idea of a Han Solo.

Bladehate said:

Obviously every group is different, so some guy who's whole point is to be the tank might be acceptable to some.  In my opinion, its contrary to immersion whenever a player knows…KNOWS…that a weapon cannot threaten him or her.  While that's perhaps acceptable in a game like DnD (personally, I don't much care for it in any game), in a game that's supposed to be narrative and immersive it really doesn't belong.

Why does it not belong? High soak characters might not be common in a more Edge game of Star Wars, but it doesn't mean their not acceptable.


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George Orwell


#92 K3DR

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:15 PM

Personally, I find that one telltale sign of overpowered game stats and abilities is that one feels obligated to take them. I have not encountered this at all with soak.

 

The problem with min/maxing, is that you are only dealing with quantifiable mechanics. This may work well for you in a very combat oriented game with little out of combat mechanics or roleplaying such as 4th Edition DnD, but I'm not sure it is very meaningful in EoTE. Your soak build works well in one single avenue of game mechanics, and that is it. Personally, I find that build to be extremely boring.

 

I'll stick with flying my spaceship through an Exogorth's teeth.



#93 kinnison

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 05:16 PM

Too many people are caught up in Item based, gameplay (D&D) and Hack & slash.  they gave no concept of what a skill based RPG can do.  in "Long arm of the hutt" if you go the skill route and gather information you don't even need to enter Teemo's palace and you can get Jabba to take him out for you. 


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#94 Jon D

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 07:31 PM

kinnison said:

That's what we did, except we went to raid the computers and to free Vex and the Wookie. Stole another ship in the process to boot. Too many people are caught up in Item based, gameplay (D&D) and Hack & slash.  they gave no concept of what a skill based RPG can do.  in "Long arm of the hutt" if you go the skill route and gather information you don't even need to enter Teemo's palace and you can get Jabba to take him out for you. 



#95 Jegergryte

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 12:34 AM

You know, the solution to Soak monsters are HRBs … I tested it last session. That stuff is crazy! Slap a minion, or better yet, a henchman with 1 in gunnery and 4 agility - perhaps 2 or 3 in gunnery, auto-fire… plus of course, in good cover in a tower, at least a 2 setback die cover. See your soak monster deal with that crap. Of course my players did, but then the trigger happy droid autofired into a melee where his swashbuckling friend was. Imagine the result? Instant incapacitation. Of course, he was no soak monsters, but 15 and pierce, plus successes … a couple of those turrets, and suddenly you need a different approach. Not a strategy to use all the time of course, but imagine a nemesis with deadly assault (gunnery) behind one of those, your soak monsters is going DOWN.


Make sure your brain is engaged, before putting your mouth into gear.

"What about the future...? We can only hope, we cannot however account for the minutiae of the quanta, as all accidents in an infinite space are inevitable."

GMLovlie's/Jegergryte's Cubicle direct link to supplements here.


#96 mouthymerc

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:38 AM

Jegergryte said:

You know, the solution to Soak monsters are HRBs … I tested it last session. That stuff is crazy! Slap a minion, or better yet, a henchman with 1 in gunnery and 4 agility - perhaps 2 or 3 in gunnery, auto-fire… plus of course, in good cover in a tower, at least a 2 setback die cover. See your soak monster deal with that crap. Of course my players did, but then the trigger happy droid autofired into a melee where his swashbuckling friend was. Imagine the result? Instant incapacitation. Of course, he was no soak monsters, but 15 and pierce, plus successes … a couple of those turrets, and suddenly you need a different approach. Not a strategy to use all the time of course, but imagine a nemesis with deadly assault (gunnery) behind one of those, your soak monsters is going DOWN.

Oh I'm sure most GMs could put together something that could take out a soak monster. I don't think that has ever been the issue. Some may feel that this is a glaring issue in an rpg because, as we all know, combats tend to be a large part of rpgs. If someone can min-max an all but indestructable character it my be detrimental to that group's game. Which can be a fair assessment if you are unable to deal with such a character or have other players that feel something like that is an unfair advantage. That's why I feel this is a potential problem as it depends on GM experience and the player group dynamics.

The randomness of combat means even the most sturdiest of characters can have a bad day. The fact that npcs can be built pretty much any way you want means you could create a nemesis for the party soak monster. Even adding something like the Deadly Accuarcy talent to a stormtrooper minion group can make them a little more lethal (a lethalness which reduces as the group gets smaller). The right hit combined with the advantage for a critical (the actual critical table as seen in the beta) and anyone is potentially not going to be having a good day.

Personally I say find a way to work with it. If you are the fast-talker of the group, convince the enemy to attack the soak monster instead of you. Support him as he mows down the enemy. There is potential for a lot of fun and role-playing so take advantage of it. That wookie soak monster in the middle of combat, shirking off those blasts, is going to draw a lot of attention.


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George Orwell





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