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What does High Level Play look like?


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#1 Sylrae

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 03:32 AM

Have any of you tried it?

 

How much do things fall apart at high level play?

 

Math tells me that at 1 game a week, accomplishing 1 goal (25xp/wk) hitting 1300xp after a year of play is quite doable.

 

Getting to the bottom of a tree costs 75. Maxing out a tree costs 300.

Maxing out a Career Skill also costs 75.

Maxing out an out of career skill costs 100.

 

If you have 1300xp, I see a few things:

1. You will have multiple specializations.

2. You will have very high skill ratings (Can max out 17 career skills, if thats all you did).

3. You could get to the bottom of many specializations getting a ton of attribute boosts (You could raise all your attributes more than once).

4. You could have lots of force powers.

5. You likely have whatever gear you want. Best of the best.

 

But what does it play like?

> Do force power builds keep up in ability to contribute with skill & talent focused builds?

> Do force power builds lag behind?

> Are characters of one career way behind the others?

 

Or does everything continue quite well?

 

Does the power just eventually cap out, at which point you're just diversifying and becoming an expert in unrelated areas or does everything continue to Synergize and make you more awesome?

 

I dont have much experience in playing/running it yet, have just read the book a few times (I'm starting a game up in a week, and I played in a one-shot that was put on as a demo); but I'm curious.

 

1300 is a totally realistic(probably a bit of a low estimate) number of experience points to expect after a year of play, once a week, for 6-8 hours (and IMO thats a reasonable amount of play time to expect in a year, assuming the group doesn't get bored and decide to switch the weekly game to a different system).

 



#2 progressions

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 03:53 AM

Once a week for 6 to 8 hours?

 

Man I wish I could even dream of that much game time.

 

We meet twice a week on a work night for, effectively, about 2 hours of play. I'm giving generally 10xp per session, a bit more if it's warranted. So maybe 25xp per month. 

 

We've just started our campaign, I'll see how that amount of XP goes over after a while or if the players are really hungry to advance.


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#3 HappyDaze

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 03:58 AM


 

Does the power just eventually cap out, at which point you're just diversifying and becoming an expert in unrelated areas or does everything continue to Synergize and make you more awesome?

Eventually Characteristics and Skills cap out, meaning that you must diversify increases in these areas. Ranked Talents can potentially keep on going, and that may be problematic as more and more Specializations are released. Right now, there are only a few Talents that can get above Rank 3 (Toughened being the most obvious).

 

I will say that stacking too many ranks of Lethal Blows seems to be a game changer since it's hard to get nearly as many ranks of Durable. Oddly, there's no vehicle equivalent to allow a good gunner to inflict more serious damage to starships and such, meaning that the different feel in character combat to vehicle combat continues to get more noticeable.

 

As a disclaimer, I've only GMed a group up to 400 XP so far.


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#4 Lathrop

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:07 AM

I'm going to jump around the things in your post.

 

Regarding gear. The general intent is to keep players hungry. This gives them something to strive for. Whether it's an EotE campaign, or an AoR campaign, players can just as easily be caught and have some of their stuff taken by the Imperials, destroyed by heavy hitters, or simply take damage and need to be maintained. That's not to say you should just periodically wipe out everyone's full modded gear every full months, but just as they grow in skill and get better equipment, the bigger, more rewarding, and just harder the task should be in front of them.

 

Force Powers. As it is, with just the universal force specs in AoR and EotE, they're generally not good to focus solely on. And that's for a reason as they're just supposed to be a complimentary thing to whatever specialization/career they chose at character creation. So, a more dedicated bounty hunter or even explorer, is going to be more useful in more situations than somebody who splits between a spec and a force spec, or focuses only on the force. This may change with Force & Destiny, but as it is, the force is more of meant to just be a booster for everything else.

 

As for the general issue regarding experience. You should probably think of it like main characters in Star Wars. Luke for example, in the course of New Hope, he probably starts out as... I'm too lazy to make sure it's accurate... We'll say Scout (Explorer) with a ton of Agility and a number of skill points in the various ranged weapons. Partway through, he grabs Force Sensitive Exile and grabs the left side of Sense. He then moves on and grabs... Gunner/Pilot (or even both). By the end and before Empire Strikes starts, he finishes off Gunner and Pilot, grabs himself Force Move and opens up Force Sensitive Emergent. That's roughly 900 experience points for the actual talents in the talent trees (1,200 if he maxed scout, or whatever you want his starting spec to be) alone.

 

So don't think of it as your characters becoming unholy gods of the Star Wars Universe. Think of it as them becoming main characters - heroes or villains - that you just have to toss larger and more exciting tasks at.



#5 Lathrop

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:09 AM

Oddly, there's no vehicle equivalent to allow a good gunner to inflict more serious damage to starships and such, meaning that the different feel in character combat to vehicle combat continues to get more noticeable.

 

I think Lethal Blows applies to any criticals landed on an opponent.



#6 HappyDaze

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:16 AM

 

Oddly, there's no vehicle equivalent to allow a good gunner to inflict more serious damage to starships and such, meaning that the different feel in character combat to vehicle combat continues to get more noticeable.

 

I think Lethal Blows applies to any criticals landed on an opponent.

 

Possible. That would be absurd though, considering the specializations that get Lethal Blows (and the ones that don't).


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#7 Maelora

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:24 AM

We've played solidly since the books have come out and feel pretty powerful.  BUT we've been very careful not to go overkill or min-max so there's not as much difference as you'd think. Twinked-out munchkinized characters would look very different, I think.

 

Mostly I've observed:

 

- maxing talent trees doesn't make a huge difference, as most talents are only used in very specific circumstances.

 

- careers mean more the more XP you have; the Hired Gun/Bounty Hunter is MUCH tougher when developed compared to the other characters. 

 

- Explorers are still an unfocused mess even at high levels

 

- by the time you have 4 in a skill, you're succeeding most of the time anyway. With over 30 skills,  there's still a lot of room for development.

 

- completing the Move tree is very powerful - but only two Force dice keep things honest. 

 

- I don't permit armour so the characters are still vulnerable.  Cherry-picking the best gear would probably make characters much tougher, but I've rigidly enforced things like rarity, cost and encumbrance when it seems that most groups don't bother.  Plus they are shadowrunners, so no lightsabers, heavy weapons, armour or anything else that would look out of place in a cantina.

 

- I don't allow specialisations outside your career, so characters don't get to cherry-pick the best talents.  I imagine multi-classed characters would be pretty tough as you could just pick the best of everything.


Edited by Maelora, 22 February 2014 - 04:29 AM.


#8 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:25 AM

This is the brilliant thing about Play-by-Post gaming: it's slower, certainly, with a delayed gain and expenditure of XP (we've been playing six months, and have only netted around 150 XP), but it allows for maximum detail and storytelling. A fair enough trade-off, I think, especially since it means you can play for ages and ages without having to worry about the PCs becoming nigh-unstoppable.


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#9 Dex Vulen

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 06:04 AM

There are a lot of things a GM can do to slow the power creep if that is a concern. limiting XP is the obvious one. 5 XP per hour of actual gaming seems to do the trick pretty well. Our group will have gained about 750 XP between EotE and AoR and that works for us nicely.  The other is keeping them hungry with a starved economy. Our group is still running around with the same gear that we had at creation + 1 HBR and some junky planetary vehicles that we use for jobs on the planet we are stuck on.  We wanted that as players since we are shooting for a 3+ year campaign.  Our ship that we just acquired has no weapons on it or a hyperdrive and we are working to get those, but it is a slow process.

 

So many things a GM can do to keep high XP play in check really.


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#10 Venthrac

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 06:52 AM

My group also plays at 10xp/session, with a bonus 5 xp for the final session of each episode (roughly 4 sessions comprising a single story that equates to one movie's worth of content).

#11 Crimson Death

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:37 AM

Just added up my xp and got 870. We play 1 - 2 times a week starting in July. If players don't min/max and they make well rounded characters instead it's a lot of fun.


Edited by Crimson Death, 22 February 2014 - 08:38 AM.

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#12 Sylrae

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:24 AM

So at 700-900xp everything hasn't started calling apart mechanically? That's good to know.

From what you guys are saying, It sounds like most force powers may be a bit underwhelming for the cost.

Out of curiosity: how much Exp would I need to build a Boba Fett? Or attack of the clones-Yoda?
(Just so I can gauge what is actually alot of experience)

@Maelora: if they can't out of career specializations, won't they completely run out of talents to take, reasonably soon?

Edited by Sylrae, 22 February 2014 - 11:28 AM.


#13 UHF

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:41 AM

I've GMd our group to 250 earned XP so far.

The game scales very well, and doesn't bog down with experience.

Characters get very very good at what they are intended to be, whatever their field. I'd argue, that they are better than their equivalents in other RPGs. So it does get difficult to challenge them. Our sneaky droid, is super sneaky. Our heavy weapons gal is super shooty. Our Marauder says ouch less and less. Our scoundrel captain lies more and more.

For the players, the challenge is getting all the characters through the mission. Specialists get to shine here and there. But frankly, the players have to need each other to really make this work.

Min Maxing could crush a high XP game. Be careful of super shooty guns, and Marauders.

I think that variety will be more fun for everyone. I'm planning to have my players switch from a group of EOTE misfits, to trained Rebels, using the Age Of Rebellion Specialization trees.

If you can, have a spare character or two on the ship. This really does help when certain characters don't work very well in a situation, or you have an odd person show up here and there. It also lets the GM offer support to the group a bit more directly. I.e. Maybe your guys aren't into playing Doctors, or archeologists...
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#14 UHF

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:47 AM

So at 700-900xp everything hasn't started calling apart mechanically? That's good to know.
From what you guys are saying, It sounds like most force powers may be a bit underwhelming for the cost.
Out of curiosity: how much Exp would I need to build a Boba Fett? Or attack of the clones-Yoda?
(Just so I can gauge what is actually alot of experience)
@Maelora: if they can't out of career specializations, won't they completely run out of talents to take, reasonably soon?

It's still challenging... Just read the thread about my guys breaking into the Jedi Temple.

Our Gadgeteer dishes out 15 damage with every autofire shot, and she only has 250(?) XP.

Force works a treat. As GM I have to say its like having the players use the dark side on me.

#15 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 12:44 PM

I've GMd our group to 250 earned XP so far.

The game scales very well, and doesn't bog down with experience.

Characters get very very good at what they are intended to be, whatever their field. I'd argue, that they are better than their equivalents in other RPGs. So it does get difficult to challenge them. Our sneaky droid, is super sneaky. Our heavy weapons gal is super shooty. Our Marauder says ouch less and less. Our scoundrel captain lies more and more.

For the players, the challenge is getting all the characters through the mission. Specialists get to shine here and there. But frankly, the players have to need each other to really make this work.

Min Maxing could crush a high XP game. Be careful of super shooty guns, and Marauders.

I think that variety will be more fun for everyone. I'm planning to have my players switch from a group of EOTE misfits, to trained Rebels, using the Age Of Rebellion Specialization trees.

If you can, have a spare character or two on the ship. This really does help when certain characters don't work very well in a situation, or you have an odd person show up here and there. It also lets the GM offer support to the group a bit more directly. I.e. Maybe your guys aren't into playing Doctors, or archeologists...

This is most important to me when organizing and running a game. The players need each other, and by extension their characters do, too. In that order.


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#16 Grimmshade

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 03:57 PM

What has been the experience of GM's with PC's that have a 6 in a characteristic? It's very attainable fairly quickly, and seems like it makes a PC rather good at a lot of stuff with little real investment. Is it not as much of a problem as I am thinking it will be? (I have a PC who just hit 6 Agl, with only 75 earned XP into the game.)

(Player is min/maxy)


Edited by Grimmshade, 22 February 2014 - 03:58 PM.


#17 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 06:14 PM

I'm not. 150 XP is the experience awarded for adventures so far.


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#18 Sylrae

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 06:50 PM

I was also referring to excluding starting xp.



#19 Liloki

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:35 PM

Excluding starting XP, some of the players in my ongoing will hit the 300xp mark in the next week or two. This is with the XP awards adjusted a touch lower than recommended in the book. I also keep an eye on the twinking and keep it "reasonable" (i.e. nobody's got characteristics of 6 out of the starting block nor min/maxed specs for optimal Talent combos at the expense of the narrative).

 

The ones who kept their characters specialized are extremely good in their field of expertise. The ones who started on second specializations are still competent in their primary while starting to gain competence in their secondaries. It is still extremely easy to challenge them and they are still highly reliant upon each other to have a good mix of abilities.

 

The upside is that I can throw a couple scenes of challenges that used to be hard for them and let them steamroll those. So they get to regularly feel a sense of their characters getting better. I feel like I've recently been able to throw them into far more complex and challenging situations without overwhelming their characters' abilities.

 

Caveat: I've run Exalted for nearly a decade so I'm plenty used to scaling campaigns and challenges to high powered characters.


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#20 Crimson Death

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:36 PM

What has been the experience of GM's with PC's that have a 6 in a characteristic? It's very attainable fairly quickly, and seems like it makes a PC rather good at a lot of stuff with little real investment. Is it not as much of a problem as I am thinking it will be? (I have a PC who just hit 6 Agl, with only 75 earned XP into the game.)

(Player is min/maxy)

 

in our other adventure (bout 150 or so xp) we had a droid scoundrel/pilot with 6 agi and 4 brawn 2 cunning and the rest were 1s. He really was a one trick pony and knew it too. He could only do certain things good and SUCKED in everything else. He hated it.


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