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Skills Feedback Thread


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#1 FFG_Sam Stewart

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:05 PM

 Hello Testers,


This thread is stickied for the purpose of posting feedback and comments concerning the Skills. Thanks, everyone!



#2 cparadis

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 03:44 PM

 In reviewing the skills chapter, there seems to be a fair amount of overlap between Streetwise and Underworld.  Did anyone else have this impression as well?



#3 cparadis

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:45 AM

 My original post may have been a little too vague to generate much disussion so I'm updating it to make it more clear. 

General skills, such as Streetwise, are supposed to be largely about doing things, while Knowledge skills, such as Knowledge (Underworld) are supposed to be about what a PC knows or understands. 

I think the problem I'm having with Streetwise and Underworld as separate skills is that at their core they are both about knowing or undersanding how to navigate the shadier side of things.

Edge of the Empire says that a PC can use Streetwise to find a place to sell illicit goods. But it also says that a PC can use Underworld to know of a planet to sell illegal goods.  In terms of finding a place to sell goods, knowing where it is seems to be the challenge of the task. 

Perhaps a few counter examples will make this clear. Knowledge (Outer Rim) might let a character know how cold and inhospitable Hoth is, but Resilience is what a character uses to actually resist the challenge that that cold represents. Similarly, Knowledge (Core Worlds) might let a character know where the shipping lanes are, but Astrogation is the skill characters actually use to overcome the challenge of traveling those lanes. 

With Streetwise and Underworld the challenge seems to be knowing where the place is, not the physical act of getting there. The entry on Streetwise support this as well. The text says on p. 81 that Streetwise represents the understanding of certain experiences. Furthermore, the examples in the entry are really about the acquisition of knowledge or understanding. 

It seems like these two skills could be collapsed in to one Knowledge skill, either Knowledge (Streetwise) or Knowledge (Underworld). Whether it uses Cunning or Intellect, I have no opinion on. 

At the end of the day, I guess my question is this. 

What are some tasks a character would use Streetwise to accomplish, but could not be done with Knowledge (Underworld)?



#4 Inksplat

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:24 AM

Underworld would be knowing which Hutt rules which planet, but Streetwise is going to allow you to handle the actual grunt work for making contact and doing what you need to do. So, like you need Astrogation to navigate the lanes you know are there, you need Streetwise to actually use the shady methods needed to gain an audience with a Hutt, or to find a particular gang.

 

Seems like the same principle to me, at least. Rather than navigating space though, you're navigating contacts and hidden symbols. Sort of the difference between the academics of archaeology and Indiana Jones. :P

 

Edit: An in-universe example would be in ANH where Ben knows that Mos Eisley is the biggest cess pool on Tatooine. So, even though Luke now knows this, when he goes into that bar, he gets attacked. Meanwhile, Ben is able to make contact with Chewie and thus Han.

 

So, both might have some Underworld knowledge when it comes to Tatooine, but only Kenobi has any Streetwise.



#5 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:31 AM

cparadis said:

 In reviewing the skills chapter, there seems to be a fair amount of overlap between Streetwise and Underworld.  Did anyone else have this impression as well?

Now I do not have the book, but the basic difference is that street wise is a practical skill, while Underworld is knowledge.

At best there is vauge crossover.

Knowledge Underworld is about knowing specifics about THE UNDERWORLD. Crime Lords, Crime Syndicates, and the seedy underbelly of the universe are all things covered by this type of skill. 

Streetwise is knowing that a mark on the wall of an alley will lead you to a spice den or that sitting by that guy and his buddy at the cantina bar is a bad idea.

Knowledge Underworld will tell you that the local swoop gang are actually low level enforcers for a local crime lord and that he is about to have trouble because a major crime syndicate is moving into the area. It would tell you who the major players are in the spice trade and who runs slaves. 

They are marginally related but very, very different.

Do not get over enthusiastic about condensing skills. All it does is lead to bloated, overreaching skills that are boring and utterly meaningless because everyone ends up knowing everything.



#6 cparadis

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:07 PM

Very interesting analysis guys. Thank you both.  I think your comment Inksplat is probably on the right track.

Inksplat said:

Streetwise is going to allow you to handle the actual grunt work for making contact and doing what you need to do. So, like you need Astrogation to navigate the lanes you know are there, you need Streetwise to actually use the shady methods needed to gain an audience with a Hutt, or to find a particular gang.

I think this raises some other issues, like the fact that now Streetwise is starting to encroach on other skills (such as the social skills or the observation skills), but I think it does a good job of respecting the distinction between General skills and Knowledge skills, which if there is going to be a distinction it should actually distinguish the skills.  This seems like a good distinction.

I do not know if I agree that Streetwise and Knowledge (Underworld) have only a "vague crossover" or that they are "marginally related but very, very different."  I also don't know that the current text supports this statement.  I would be hard pressed to tell a player they had to make a Streetwise check to understand that a symbol on a wall would lead to a spice den and that their Knowledge (Underworld) skill would not help them.  The character is clearly drawing on their knowledge and that seems like it should be covered by Knowledge (Underworld).

Like I said, I think Inksplat is on the right track here, and I think the text of the Streetwise skill could be edited to make this fact more clear. This is a useful means of distinguishing the two skills. So thank you both!

 



#7 Soliloquies

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:15 PM

The way i plan to run this is Streetwise will be the "above board" knowledge skill. for instance:

1) where are the government buildings?

2) where are the landing pads and spaceports?

3) How do i find someone to repair my droid or ship if i lack the skills?

4) who can i contact for land base security escort?

For underworld, I would look to answer these questions

1) Do i know a contact for black market merchandise?

2) How do i get access codes to bypass planetary defence custom agents?

3) which Hutt controls a certain block on Nar Shaddaa?



#8 Inksplat

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:39 PM

In regards to Streetwise crossing over with observation or social skills, I think they deal with the underside of it. Knowing when something is out of place is a little different than noticing if a particular beggar is a look out, or knowing how to talk to a criminal without getting shot (first :P). 

At least that's how I plan to run it. It does overlap with social and observation skills, but it works specifically on the flip side, where the rules are different. Nobility and Gangsters are two very different courts, after all.

 

Soliloquies said:

The way i plan to run this is Streetwise will be the "above board" knowledge skill. for instance:

1) where are the government buildings?

2) where are the landing pads and spaceports?

3) How do i find someone to repair my droid or ship if i lack the skills?

4) who can i contact for land base security escort?

For underworld, I would look to answer these questions

1) Do i know a contact for black market merchandise?

2) How do i get access codes to bypass planetary defence custom agents?

3) which Hutt controls a certain block on Nar Shaddaa?

That first list seems awfully tedious to have to roll for. Usually government buildings and space ports aren't exactly hidden. I would never ever put anything into a skill that did that, because I could just look at a map or ask anyone on the street.



#9 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:25 PM

Again I preface this with saying that I have not read the actual skill texts.

 

Another way to look at them:

Streetwise = City smarts. How to act, where to go, who to avoid, where to avoid, etc. 

Knowledge Underworld = Research and understanding of criminal organizations, criminal enterprises, criminals, etc. 

Everyone who lives in a large city will have streetwise. Most people who live in a large city will not have Knowledge Underworld. How many people in New York City have an academic knowledge of the various criminal organizations that operate in the city?

The two skills are very complimentary, but very different, in my view.

Streetwise doesn't automatically mean shady. I usually think of this skill, in any RPG, as Urban Survival.

 



#10 GoblynByte

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:33 AM

The game seems to lack Language skills or general methods for determining staring languages.

 



#11 GoblynByte

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 02:18 AM

References are made throughout the skills (and career) section(s) to benefits via die rolls and talents that reduce the time it takes to perform skills or extend the effectiveness of a skill's effects. It would be very helpful if there was some discussion that provides benchmarks on how long it takes to perform one skill check or how long the effects of a skill lasts under normal conditions (e.g. before it is modified by die rolls or talents).

 



#12 GoblynByte

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 02:19 AM

If the Cool skill is used to discover the truth behind veiled conversation it would seem more appropriately used to counter Deceit rather than using Discipline.



#13 GoblynByte

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 02:22 AM

When using influence skills to against multiple targets it would be helpful to have some general guidelines on how many targets is appropriate per Difficulty die.



#14 Morik

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 07:41 AM

Table 3-2 Medical Check Difficulty states:

If current wounds equal half or less of threshold, then Medicine check is Easy.

Then, if current wounds equal half or more of threshold, then Medicine check is Average.

 

What if my wounds are exactly half of my threshold?  Is the check Easy or Difficult?



#15 Inksplat

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 07:52 AM

Morik said:

Table 3-2 Medical Check Difficulty states:

If current wounds equal half or less of threshold, then Medicine check is Easy.

Then, if current wounds equal half or more of threshold, then Medicine check is Average.

 

What if my wounds are exactly half of my threshold?  Is the check Easy or Difficult?

Answer is in the quote. "If current wounds equal half or less of threshold".

 



#16 Morik

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:24 AM

I see that.  But it also says "if current wounds = half or more"

 

half or less = easy

half or more = average

 

So, 'half' falls under both categories, hence my question.



#17 Inksplat

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 09:07 AM

Morik said:

I see that.  But it also says "if current wounds = half or more"

 

half or less = easy

half or more = average

 

So, 'half' falls under both categories, hence my question.

Oh, wow, I didn't even catch that. Now I feel like a ****, ha. Sorry!



#18 cetiken

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 09:13 AM

GoblynByte said:

The game seems to lack Language skills or general methods for determining staring languages.

This kinda makes me happy.  Languages are almost never fun.



#19 Gallandro

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:10 AM

GoblynByte said:

The game seems to lack Language skills or general methods for determining staring languages.

 

 

on the Order 66 the designers address this. Basically it was felt that it was not a needed skill since throughout the movies characters have no problems understanding aliens (Han and Chewie as an example). In situations where they can't that would be more of a plot driven device.



#20 Venthrac

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:06 AM

I tend to prefer a short list of skills, each of which has wide-ranging utility. I'd be inclined to houserule Underworld away and fold it's use into Streetwise.






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