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Dealing with Too Much Soak


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#121 HappyDaze

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 05:43 AM

Sounds to me like he would rather be playing another RPG.  You could always suggest a game system/genre more suited to primarily combat.

This system works fine for running combat focused games. The trick is having everybody at the table wanting the same kind of game. As long as everybody has the same expectations, all will work out.


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#122 knasserII

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 06:33 AM

Build pacifists.  Nothing but pacifists.  Every week he'll martyr the PCs and every week your doctors and scholars and slicers will return with different names - fragile yet immortal.  And after around the ninth time you can ask, "Are we allowed to have fun yet?"
(See this response is why I'm sometimes accused of being passive-aggressive.)


Shouldn't that be pacifist-aggressive in this case?

Sorry - really, sorry. I couldn't help it. :)
 

Seriously, it sounds like you've had a word with him by yourself (which is cool - you're friends, so you don't want to try and shame the guy), but if he's unwilling to change based on your friendly chat, it's time to talk as a group.  Not to him - with him.  And not about him - about the game.  (Sounds like you know that.  ;))
At the start or end of a session ask everyone if they think there's too much combat.  Bring up the elements you'd like to see more of (trickery and social engineering, stealth and sneakiness, puzzle-solving and tech savvy - whatever) and ask everyone what they enjoy (use examples from your GM's game where you can).  Talk about the tone of the game - does this feel like any of the films?  (I don't know the context of the cyborg death squad, but it sounds more Warhammer 40k than Star Wars, to be honest.)
Be prepared to compromise, obviously.  It's his game too, so the elements he enjoys need to be present as well.  There's a balance to be struck that'll leave everyone happy.


Actually, respectfully I'm going to disagree here. The reason being that whilst some people are able to handle everyone suddenly bringing complaints to them, for many people it makes them feel like they're being turned on by a group, ganged up on, and generally to feel bad / act defensively. A co-ordinated response from the players is good, but perhaps individual approaches saying essentially: "we don't want to have to make combat-optimized characters, we'd like to be broader, but we feel we wont survive in your game if we don't min-max everything".

Note there are other reasons why a GM might be putting all this in the game than them enjoying combat. For example, in my Shadowrun games there was frequently some horrifying opposition. The reason wasn't because I wanted to over-match the players or run a meat-grinder. It was because that was the opposition I felt was realistic for a given scenario. My D&D-background players constantly wondered why I was throwing all this horrendous opposition at them. Whilst on my side of the screen, I kept wondering why on Earth they'd go crashing into a secure corporate facility without preparation. Eventually they realized that, figuratively speaking, the dragon lived on the mountain whether they went to the mountain or not, and that they were actually in control of whether they wanted to face it. (To a degree, at least). Perhaps your GM is like that - simply constrained by what they think is appropriate.
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#123 Col. Orange

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 06:36 AM

Actually, respectfully I'm going to disagree here.

 

I'LL KILL YOU !!


Edited by Col. Orange, 08 July 2014 - 07:18 AM.

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#124 knasserII

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 06:39 AM

Actually, respectfully I'm going to disagree here.

 
I'LL KILL YOU!!


Fine. But I warn you, I shall get more Likes than you can possibly imagine.
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#125 VulpeUmbra

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 10:04 PM

Hello, first post for me:

 

I've actually just started my first game of EotE, and we have a player who has a very similar build, Trandoshan tank (though I only know that he is a Hired Gun, not his spec). One of the ways that our GM really challenged him was by incorporating skills into combat in ways that allowed him to tank all he liked, while giving other characters (like mine) who are skill-based to still contribute.

 

One encounter in this campaign had us stumble upon a damaged, but hostile, assassin droid. Until this point, the Trandoshan had been the stereotypical "Let me hit it!" style, and still got to do that for this battle, but he hurt for it. Though he could not destroy the droid (who had been crippled by several reds and blacks), he played distraction while my droid stealth-slicer hacked and shutdown the droid from behind. It was a great time because we had to balance the combat between strength and skill, and so it was very memorable.

 

Just a thought, but it would be a fun type of fight to bring to your Trandoshan tank. Maybe he has to hold off a (perhaps weakened) rancor or acklay while his allies hack into a terminal for a gate, or clear a path through a host of enemies. Heck, maybe even push him to use the "Trandoshan Smash!" philosophy by making the creature plow into and cut down the other enemies. It makes for a good opportunity to explore other avenues of roleplaying for him, while keeping the focus on tanking. That way, you push him to where you would like him to be in the party, whilst letting everyone (including you) allow the story to develop under their own power.

 

That said, I am no GM (though I am considering trying it out this summer), but it is just some nice food for thought


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#126 Dark Bunny Lord

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 06:46 PM

I've said this in a couple of threads that ask this same question. So there are a ton of ways to deal with this kind of player and challenge them without just killing the rest of the party.
First remember that if this player really is a combat beast then his opponents are quickly going to start focusing him and if they've fought him before or are expecting him are likely to come prepared with some bigger guns just to deal with him.
That aside the ways they can deal with the player beyond bringing better guns and mods or talents are:
Entangle, if they're trying to down him this is a great way.
Stun damage, typically these characters will have a lower strain threshold than the rest of the party.
Pen, excess from high pen doesn't hurt softer characters as much as tougher ones.
Spending advantages and triumphs to buff enemy rolls, after all more successes means more damage which can be achieved with more boost dice or dice upgrades.
Spending triumph to damage his armor, if it takes enough hits recklessly it's going to start wearing down after all.
The stun effect, causes direct stun damage through soak, enough said

Lastly but far from least is NEVER underestimate how useful minion groups are. Individually these can fight your weaker players as they're less likely to have a big bad soak monster barreling down at them but when they combine remember that they have 1 skill rank per minion in the group after the first, this means a group of 6 has a whopping skill rating of 5 which is nothing to scoff at if they're say skill 4 because then you're looking at a roll of YYYYG that can, and justifiably should, be divided to several far less accurate GGGG when firing at other players (since they're not likely to focus fire players who are not shrugging off shots like a walking tank).
Also remember that if they've been spending their advantages and triumphs on bonuses they may be packing some extra boost dice and upgrades as well. Even with a small weapon at that point they can become scary in large enough numbers.

Edited by Dark Bunny Lord, 22 September 2014 - 03:01 PM.

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#127 progressions

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 03:26 PM

What is "pen"? As in "excess from high pen"?


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#128 knasserII

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 03:37 PM

What is "pen"? As in "excess from high pen"?


Penetration. I think they're mixing up the game systems. They probably mean Pierce.
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#129 Dark Bunny Lord

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 05:34 PM

What is "pen"? As in "excess from high pen"?

pierce, didn't have the game book on me at the time of the post so went with what most games use, minor slip of memory but none the less just as applicable
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#130 Shamrock

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 11:14 PM

He didn't get this way out of thin air.  He has been playing long enough to be down into his talent tree and he still believes that combat is important enough to dump so much attention into it, rather then picking up offsetting skills.  Maybe turn the attention away from combat for a good while.

I don't have much to add outside of what has been added, but I'll give you the brief of what I did in this situation.

1) most heavy weapons and armor are illegal in most civilized (and frontier) towns.  They simply are not allowed to walk around like the Ferguson cops.  (This doesn't help in the long game outside the citys, but it will allow for the situations where your characters need to get the ground work done and possibly more if you do a gang turf war or something).

 

2) The Far Horizons book is filled with non-lethal weapons: use them.  Nets, stun guns, ion, etc... will shut a character down pretty quickly, and your bad guys don't have to be any more powerful then they already are.  You're not looking to punish the min/maxer, but there is a folly in such designs, and it is your bad guys duty to exploit such.  As an added bonus, the strain on such characters tends to be lacking, so those stun weapons take their toll rather quickly.

3) Environment will be adding black dice to his rolls, because of the armor.  It is not comfortable to be all kitted out in the desert.  Again, use it where it applies.

4) Debuffs and social attacks.  Usually with combat min/maxers, socially skilled characters can mop the floor with them.  Again as most of this attacks strain it isn't a difficult, nor drawn out, deal. 

5) Discipline=  Fear checks.  All the soak in the world, in the best armor he can afford looks awesome as he is running from the battle.

6) instead of using all those extra hits for damage, use the "other" options for them, like stuns.  Simply lock him up.

Just some observations, but usually characters min/max to said extent when they are new to the game or coming over from a super hero game like Pathfinder, and honestly don't know any better.  People tend to think that Boba Fett didn't have any sit around time.  

Like I (and you) said, you're not looking to punish him for it but it's pretty easy to show him the error of said ways.  A good goal would be is to make other skills look equally as appealing as combat centered ones.  Get the game away from combat. This allows for other characters to "shine" in a variety of ways.  Keep it there a while. Do some spy games, with the distinction of "don't leave any evidence that you were there (that includes bodies and even conflict in general).  Run some politics.  Have the players do some strong arm tactics, or place them in moral situations like slave trading, things that deepen a character's person.

Usually, when I have characters making combative types, I try to remind them that combat is the last resort to dealing with things in this game.  They are there in the event that plans A - G go south.  It's prudent to spread the love around when making and leveling a toon. He will come to see this as you and your party attempt to downplay combat to the extreme.  Most of the bad guys in EtoE rely heavily on intimidation, they don't really want to get into a fight any more then you do.  They are not armed, nor armored for it. It's just not the way the operate, and it is bad for business (dead people don't pay you back nor spread tales of your Immense power).


Edited by Shamrock, 23 September 2014 - 12:18 AM.

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#131 segara82

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 06:16 AM

Not to mention all those dead people will make someone very unhappy. Be it the boss of the crime syndicate, the Imperial Army, Stormtrooper Corps, mega corporation, ... i mean they were usually part of a group. They will at some point plot for revenge/compensation.

Getting a good look at who did it is not difficult either.
Cameras in the helmets, security cameras on walls, internal recordings in the droids ... it is going to come out who did it. Some reaction will follow, be it either a bill for damaged goods/employees, threats, warnings, an offer to change employers, angry relatives, crippled survivors, or a bounty.

Even if all the killed people were criminals multile homicides require the official institutions to react. I just think how happy the Imperial Propanda officer is about getting some gruesome footage showing a wookie marauder butchering humans, maybe even 'courageous soldiers trying to capture that savage animal/criminal'. More news at 8!

Edited for clarity

Edited by segara82, 23 September 2014 - 06:17 AM.

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#132 Dark Bunny Lord

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 08:04 AM

Not to mention all those dead people will make someone very unhappy. Be it the boss of the crime syndicate, the Imperial Army, Stormtrooper Corps, mega corporation, ... i mean they were usually part of a group. They will at some point plot for revenge/compensation.

Getting a good look at who did it is not difficult either.
Cameras in the helmets, security cameras on walls, internal recordings in the droids ... it is going to come out who did it. Some reaction will follow, be it either a bill for damaged goods/employees, threats, warnings, an offer to change employers, angry relatives, crippled survivors, or a bounty.

Even if all the killed people were criminals multile homicides require the official institutions to react. I just think how happy the Imperial Propanda officer is about getting some gruesome footage showing a wookie marauder butchering humans, maybe even 'courageous soldiers trying to capture that savage animal/criminal'. More news at 8!

Edited for clarity

All true but I think the OP made it clear that he wasn't saying he needed ways to discourage the player from being combat oriented and that the player accepted there would be consequences such as follow ups, that there would be sessions where he had to engage in social actions, that he'd be weaker in other non-combat oriented areas, etc. But rather that he just wanted ideas for how to make combat more challenging for said player without just completely obliterating the rest of his party.



#133 segara82

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 08:48 AM

Oh, we posted several suggestions about all thread long.
I just meant that from a GM-view the actions can lead to some interesting consequences.
And not all of them are 'moar combat' for the group but could make cool non-combat oriented situations.
Just let a crime lord with big bodyguards show up and make the wookie/tank an offer to work for him as a gladiator for some really big bucks. And nice fights. And fan-girls, lots of pretty fangirls.
A session about that could be as much fun as avoiding the local law enforcement that tries to arrest the brutal butcher, or cut a deal with Rebels/Imperials to make some/all evidence disappear in return for a few favours.

Or try to destroy any evidence yourself, your mechanics, slicers and faces would be very busy while the tank has to rethink his usual approach to problems.

Lying his way out of the hole he dug himself and such would make it obvious to the tank that he has to put some XP into social skills as well. There are situations where the face is simply not allowed to help him like when the crime lord wants HIS/HER response NOW and not what pretty-face wants to say.

Edited by segara82, 23 September 2014 - 08:49 AM.

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