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The Force Feedback Thread


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#1 FFG_Sam Stewart

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:10 PM

Hello Testers,

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

 



#2 cparadis

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:55 PM

I may be misunderstanding somethings here, but maybe someone can help me.  

1.  Page 179 refers to the various Force powers as specializations. Do these count against the three specialization limits? Seems unlikely, but this could be more clear either way.

2.  In a somewhat related question, if a character with the Force-Sensitive Exile specialization abandons the Force-Sensitive Exile specialization does she retain the original Force rating 1?  This seems likely given the fact that the Force Rating increase at the 25xp level is a permanent ability, and perhaps even more importantly, it might not make much narrative sense for a character to be Force-Sensitive and then suddenly not.



#3 That Blasted Samophlange

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:59 PM

I had a force feedback joystick once.  It was awesome.

 

 

Sorry… couldn't resist.


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#4 Callidon

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:02 AM

It would be nice to have a way for characters to call on the dark side of the force in the r.a.w.  Granted, the assumption is that the players are going to be creating big darn heroes.  But what about players that really want to latch on to the reluctant or even anti-hero character type?  Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that there isn't a ***-for-tat meter that describes conversion of a character falling to the Dark Side of the Force and losing PC status.  But it would be interesting to allow a player to decide that their character is calling on the d.s. on occasion.  Mostly to support a more anti-hero grumpy-gus character concept than anything else.  Maybe I just need to look at it more in the Destiny Pool concept, than it being an actual light or dark side of the force fueling a character's actions.  I just know that some of the gamers I typically run Star Wars with will inevitably have a character that packs a huge weapon and will be known to "go overboard" from time to time, or come up with a rather brutal occam's razor solution to a problem.  In the past it's been something that we go "dude…here's your dark side dice…enjoy."

The main reason I bring this up is that the setting of EotE makes that sort of grey morality one of the poster child points of the setting.

The destiny point system will obviously function just dandy as written for the big darn hero concept.  But for my EotE games I'm just planning on letting a character call on the d.s. using a single destiny point from the party's pool to get the immediate effect of two destiny points…and then we'll add two dark side points to the GM's pool instead of one.  "Once down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny" and all that.  It also creates a self-balancing management scenario because players (at least mine) aren't going to want to give me more fuel for the pain-machine.  But when the chips are down, and a "never tell me the odds" situation pops up they might make the pyrrhic choice and call on the dark side :-)…I hope anyway.


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#5 KommissarK

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:07 AM

How exactly, if at all, is the Influence force power's control improvement that allows you to shift an engaged targets emotions/thoughts "resisted"? As it stands, it would appear that as long as you can manifest the power, you can cause anyone to just back down from a fight. Obviously the rules lend to the notion that the GM has final say and control over the matter, but it still would seem to be an exceptionally powerful option (more so than we see in the movies. Note there is nothing that prevents other force users from being affected by this).



#6 GM Chris

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 04:32 AM

Okay.  One thing that's been bothering me about some of the Force Powers…

 

 

There's really no "opposed check" of any kind.  I simply have to roll enough Force Points to activate it to the level I want.  But I can use Move (for example) with the right upgrades to life a storm trooper up and hurl him - or Darth Vader.  There's no differentiation.

I can use Influence to tell a Death Stick Dealer to get lost - or to somehow Mind Trick a HUTT. 

 

With no form of "opposed rolls", then how does the mental fortitude or power of the character come into play?


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#7 cetiken

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:42 AM

 It does seem a bit weird.  I don't really have any problem with a force adept tossing around extras (or mind tricking them) without effort.   Perhaps a threshold of only affecting equal or lower Willpower / Force Sensitivity would make sense for a GM guideline for significant NPCs.



#8 cparadis

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 11:36 AM

 I’m not sure that this statement regarding the Influence power is correct.  I also think this power shows signs of having gone through a lot of modification that has left it fairly inconsistent.  Hopefully, the final version will include the ability for opposing characters to resist, since we know from the fiction that many species and other strong willed individuals can resist these effects.

 

Looking at the Influence power (p. 183) the basic power says:

 

The character may attempt to guide, shape, and even twist the thoughts and feelings of others.  

Special Rule: When guiding and shaping thoughts, only [dark side points] may be used to generate negative emotions such as rage, fear, and hatred.  Only [light side points] may be used to generate positive emotions such as peace, tranquility, and friendlienss.  Other emotions such as confusion can be generated with either [light side points] or [dark side points]

[light side point] The character stresses the mind of one living target he is engaged with, inflicting 1 strain.

 

The ability to shape thoughts, however, is not listed as part of the basic power on page 182.  It looks like may be this was added or removed at some stage of development but that it was not properly added/removed in all places.

 

Turning to the first control upgrade, this point becomes clear. The first control upgrade gives the character the ability to incite emotions or to believe something is untrue.  The first part of this power overlaps with the basic power and makes it seem like the basic power was altered at some point in development.  There seems to be no need to have this first control upgrade add the ability to alter the thoughts and emotions of the target when this is already covered by the basic power.

 

The second control upgrade is where the opposed checks come in.  This upgrade allows the user to spend force points as successes in Coerce, Charm, Deceit, Leadership, and Negotiate checks.  This is where the target's mental fortitude comes in to play.

 

Why it does not come into play earlier … I do not know.  Perhaps the ability to incite emotions and make the target believe something untrue should be removed and rolled into the opposed check.  After all, isn’t the purpose of a Deceit check to make someone believe something that isn’t true?  Similarly, isn’t the purpose of a Leadership or Coerce check to incite certain emotions?

 

Other questions, why does the first control upgrade that allows a user to incite emotions limited to Range [Engaged] when the basic power has no such limitation for inciting emotions?  Like I said, I think this power has been through a fair bit of development and could still use some tweaking and cleaning up.  

 

However, I think the second control upgrade, which does include an opposed check, is the way the power should work. And a good guide post for the design of the Influence power.

 

As far as the move power is concerned, I do not have a lot of good ideas.  Maybe every size beyond 0 costs one force power? Other than GM fiat, is there a good way to justify why some characters can be physically moved by the force and others cannot? I leave that for someone much smarter than I to answer.

 

 



#9 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 11:41 AM

cparadis said:

 

I may be misunderstanding somethings here, but maybe someone can help me.  

1.  Page 179 refers to the various Force powers as specializations. Do these count against the three specialization limits? Seems unlikely, but this could be more clear either way.

2.  In a somewhat related question, if a character with the Force-Sensitive Exile specialization abandons the Force-Sensitive Exile specialization does she retain the original Force rating 1?  This seems likely given the fact that the Force Rating increase at the 25xp level is a permanent ability, and perhaps even more importantly, it might not make much narrative sense for a character to be Force-Sensitive and then suddenly not.

 

 

I'm thinking that Force powers wouldn't count against your career-based specializations, and are counted separately.  Especially as there's no way to "lose" expansions to your Force powers like you could lose talents if you drop out of a specialization.

I'm also thinking that the Force Rating increases (+1 from taking the Specialization, +1 from the 25 XP talent) are both permanent gains, especially as the talent has the little red bar marking it as such.

As for GM Chris' point, I do see a concern that there's no real way to resist Force powers.  Granted, there's a decent chance that they may not activate at all, as seven of the twelve sides on the Force die are dark side pips.  I know one of the biggest complaints in just about every prior Star Wars RPG was that being able to resist Force powers became an exercise in futility after a certain point.

Maybe a flat Willpower check with a Difficulty = 1 + # of Force Points generated?  This way, it gives the target a chance to resist the effects of the power, but doesn't make it easy or automatic either.


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#10 Inksplat

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 11:44 AM

 One option is to have the first upgrade simply allow you to add dice to your Charm/Deceit/Negotiation check, and then upgrade 2 would allow you to count as automatic successes. Then there's no auto success for the over all attempt.



#11 Slaunyeh

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:17 PM

Donovan Morningfire said:

Maybe a flat Willpower check with a Difficulty = 1 + # of Force Points generated?  This way, it gives the target a chance to resist the effects of the power, but doesn't make it easy or automatic either.

Or perhaps allow a target take strain to resist a force effect? That would set the 'strong minded' apart, yet let the force power still have some effect when it is resisted, even if it's "just" 'strain damage'.



#12 sakieh

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:05 PM

See…I just figured that they were resisted by the appropriate characteristic: Move with Brawn, Influence with Willpower, Sense with Cunning.

Now, I would not say they would get upgrades to most applications, though I could see allowing some skills to apply. Athletics for someone trying to Force throw you(representing either you knowing how to impact to minimize damage, or slow yourself, etc), Vigilance for noticing that someone is trying to influence you, etc. But, skill applications would be on a case by case basis, I think.



#13 Wulfherr

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:23 PM

The more I think about it the more I like it, especially in the style of play EotE encourages. I mean, how do you actually stop someone from throwing you with the Force? I might allow a roll to hold onto something or to squeeze the blaster when you expect it might be pulled out of your hand, but not when it's a surprise. As for Influence, well it seems like there are two paths of that tree, one that is kind of blunt instrument (Mind Trick, the path on the right) with limited duration, and one that is an equivalent of using the Force to nudge someone's thoughts in the right direction (Influence Mind, the one on the left). The latter is a roll in fact, so that's clear. The former just works as it does in the movies, or it doesn't, but that's in special cases (like some species we know). I assume further developments will bring us talents that might say: "any attempt to use Influence on you fails automatically", OR any attempts to use influence on you require double/triple/quadruple of (Force pip symbol) resources." Of course more force talents will appear I'm sure that will allow you to counter the powers, but that would be something for a trained user, don't we agree? It's easier to teach yourself to use Move Object than to learn to counteract.

Just my two cents. 



#14 GM Chris

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:05 AM

This is a fair point, Wulfherr.

I guess…  I'm just scared.

 

Rodney Thompson told me something once that I belive to be truth.  He said, "No game system ever survives contact with the player base."  So this is a beta right?  Let me illustrate how I can BREAK this game, easily and legally with how the current rules for the Force work.

Ahem…  ;-)

 

Last night I created a brand new character; a starting character, named Cale Marak.  As a human, he starts his creation with 110 XP, and 2 in each characteristic.  I decided to make him a Force-Sensitive Exile, with his career in Smuggler (Scoundrel as primary specialization).  As far as Force Sensitivity, I decide that Cale's going to be a telekinetic prodigy - and I'm going to invest all I can in the Move force power tree.

So, buying into Force-Sensitive Exile and into the Move power costs me 20 XP.  Cale now has 90 XP remaining.

Before I start buying talents or force power upgrades, I'm going to assign my "free" ranks in my skills.  I'll grab a single rank for free in: Cool, Deceit, Skulduggery, Streetwise, Vigilance, and Ranged - Light.  Doesn't cost me anything.

Now… let's make me a telekinetic badass!  Within the Move tree, I purchase a Strength Upgrade and a Magnitude Upgrade at 5 XP each.  80 XP remaining.  I continue down beneath those and purchase another Strength Upgrade and my first Control Upgrade for another 5 XP each.  70 XP remaining.  So, now… when I activate Move, all I need is 1 force point, and I can move something I'm engaged with, with a personal silhouette of up to 2 (which is the size of a massive crate, or a bantha…).  Were I to hit a target with a size 2 object, it would deal 20 points of damage, by the way (out-stripping pretty much any easily available ranged or melee weapon in the game).  I can also move 2 targets of this size simultaneously (thanks to my first Magnitude Upgrade), and if I hit a foe with both objects - will deal a total of 40 points of damage.

No "save".  No "defense".  They just "take it".

I've still got 80 XP to invest.  I'm not too keen on having to move objects I'm engaged with, so I'm going to spend 5 XP each on two Range Upgrades.  Down to 70 XP, now.  But I can now move things at Medium Range!

But I still don't think I'm powerful enough.  I'm going to spend another 10 XP each on another Strength Upgrade and another Control Upgrade.  (Down to 50 XP.)  So now I can move TWO size 3 objects within close range simultaneously, even if they're bolted down, secured, or attached to/held by another character - I just RIP it loose!  Objects the size of a Rancor or a Krayt Dragon.  If I HIT with those objects - oh… wait… it's a guaranteed hit because there's no opposing roll - then I'll deal 30 points of wound damage with each object.  In fact, thanks to the 2nd Control upgrade, I've always got an object handy… because I can just rip a section of wall or floor up to hurl at a foe.

I think Cale is a telekinetic badass at this point, so I'll (for giggles) take a look at my specialization talents.  Quick Draw is pretty darn useful, so I'll throw 5 XP at it.  Down to 45 XP, now.

Honestly, I'm okay with 2 in each characteristic (as they don't impact my Force Use any…).  But I think Cale is probably worried about being discovered, so I'm going to boost my Cunning to 3 - costing me 30 XP.  I've only got 15 XP left.  I think I'll go ahead and drop 10 XP on the next Range Upgrade for Move, so I can now do my Telekinetic Death Dance at Long Range. 

With 5 XP left, I can grab a rank in an untrained career skill, or perhaps a 5-cost talent like Uncanny Reactions or Convincing Demeanor (all to help me keep from being found out, or dealing with it when I am…).  Please not that I didn't HAVE to take Quick Draw or another talent.  I could save that 10 XP to grab another Strength Upgrade for Move (allowing me to move size 4 objects, such as small starships.)  I'll take Uncanny reactions.

 

So….

 

Cale Marak is a human Smuggler (Scoundrel/Force-Sensitive Exile); Brawn 2, Agility 2, Inellect 2, Cunning 3, Willpower 2, Presence 2; Soak 2, Wounds 12, Strain 12.

He's not particularly strong or fast or bright.  He's quite average in almost every respect - except he's a telekinetic prodigy.  As a character who's just been created, he can - with only 1 Force Point - rip sections of wall or ceiling the size of rancors on top of foes that are long range away.

 

In our first game - the party faces Darth Vader - because our GM is crazy, for whatever reason.  Vader is accompanied by Boba Fett (Master Hunter [Nemesis] stat block from pg. 201).  On Cale's first action, he rolls for the Move power.  It's the WORST possible result!  1 Dark Side Point!  But Cale tells the GM he's going to tap into the Dark Side ever so briefly and use that point as a light sight point to activate his power.  (The party loses a light-side destiny point).  Cale wants to target the floor beneath Vader and Fett's feet - two separate size 3 section, and rip them up.  His GM gives him that quizical guilt-trip "what are you thinking" look, and tells Cale he can't do that.  At the same time, his GM feels guilty for telling the player he can't do something that his build and the rules say he can do.  But Cale's player's not too upset - he knows it's cheese.  So he says, "Okay… well are there large crates right next to them?"  In, fact, he flips the party's last destiny point to make SURE there are.  ;-)  The GM says yes, but they are only size 2.

So Cale grabs two size 2 crates (although he could pull up a Rancor-sized crate with no extra effort needed), and SLAMS THEM into Vader and Fett.  Both immediately take 20 points of damage a piece.  No defense… no save… they just take it.

20 points meets Fett's Soak and Wound Threshold.  He's OUT.  (My starting character just took out Boba Fett in one action.)

Vader also suffers 20 points.  Now, we have no stats for vader.  ;-)  But it's worth noting that 20 points beats the soak+wounds of a Black Sun Viggo or an Emperor's Hand.  So Vader's prolly hurting, if not OUT.  Also note that if Fett wasn't in the equation, Cale could have sent both objects to Vader, almost assuredly taking him out.

 

The party stares with fear and envy at Cale, who smiles and loot's Fett's body.

 


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#15 GM Chris

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:10 AM

Also note that even the glorious Fear mechanics, which are wonderfully done, and would SURELY come into play, it means nothing to force use.  Nothing.  In my scenario above, Cale could roll a DESPAIR, and recieve the worst penalty possible… and it still wouldn't impact his Force Power. 


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#16 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:23 AM

Man, what is it with making Smuggler/Scoundrel/Force Exiles?  I made one on Sunday, Cyril put one together on Monday, and now GM Chris has one.

In all seriousness, his example of Cale does bring up a valid point of at least some measure of defense is needed, at least for Influence (direct mental assualt, so defending with Willpower makes the most sense) and Move (maybe Agility if stuff is hurled at you to reflect getting out of the way?)


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#17 Inksplat

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:36 AM

 While that's definitely some craziness, I think the best solution might just be a narrative one--all the talents and such require training and practice. It seems simple enough to state that you can't just willy nilly take Force talents at character creation, because you wouldn't have had anyone to train you. You could start off with some basic points in there, but nothing crazy--that stuff you'd need to pick up over the course of sessions as you use it and develop it.

That's just to deal with the fact of doing all that at creation. In terms of the auto-hits, yeah, I definitely think having to roll would be a must. Force point simply allows you to do it, but otherwise its still treated as an attack. Which gives Vader an option to just knock that crate aside with his own, much larger, amount of Move talents.

Maybe each Force Pip equals a die you roll, since its not based on any other stat. Or maybe Force Pips count as your Proficiency die, and a base stat as your standard dice?



#18 Wulfherr

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:54 AM

 I think it's a great example and illustrates the mechanics well. Don't get me wrong I'm not against some defense roll in specific situations, but I'd keep it as GM's province. If Cale rolls Threat/Despair that might allow the two celebrities perform a maneuver out of turn as the rules allow it: Fett rolling for cover and Vader putting up some deflection or preparing something. Now Fett would simply hide behind a bigger crate obviously rather than give Cale a meaningless (Setback) :) However when it comes to opposing Move in the form of a crate rather than oneself being hurled (which I meant in my previous post), I'd allow a static difficulty Athletics/Vigilance roll to move out of the way. As for the power level of Cale, I guess they could tone the size/damage rules down a bit, but I'm ok with a character like that. I'm sure Imperial inquisitors & assassins are not ok, on the other hand :)

Yeah, I agree it's a bit terryfing and also, really, a lot of things can go wrong here (what if the crate explodes, innocents/allies are in the area), but I'm glad that should you want a prodigy, the rules allow you to make one.  



#19 KommissarK

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:55 AM

Definitely feel the inability to miss with the Movement power (assuming you give in to the dark side) is a bit broken. I would at least say it imposes difficulty dice as any other ranged attack, with light side pips functioning as successes.

Perhaps there should be a limit on how large an object can be used with the attack variation? Maybe limit it to size 2 (that covers the size of objects we've seen in the movies that have been used as an attack). Yoda didn't fling that X-wing around.

Also, maybe the damage multiplier should be 5 * (Size + 1). Size 0 keeps its damage code, size 1 is still good, and size 2 has a reasonable chance of not murdering a nemesis.

As for the other powers.

Sensing I don't think is too broken. Mechanically, the worst thing it can do is either upgrade the difficulty of attacking them 6 times (spending both force dice on the ongoing effect, having both strength upgrades), or upgrade the ability dice 6 times when attacking (note this is either/or, not both).  Certainly, it makes them scary in a straight up fight (especially given that its actually quite hard to discern that they're a force user; all of this is happening passively), but no more so than how the Movement power works. It would mean that shooting at them from medium range incurs 3 challenge, 1 difficulty, instead of the normal 2 difficulty dice. That is "pretty good," but a group of say 10 stormtroopers (effectively having Ranged[Heavy] 9 (Size - 1, or does it cap at 5 like skills should), agility 3) drops 6 ability dice, and 3 proficiency dice (or 2 ability and 3 proficiency given that the skill probably should cap at 5. Will be posting this in the adversaries thread). Given that being the one rolling is always better than being rolled against (all positive dice are subtly better than the negative dice), The Stormtroopers can hold their own. Due to the size of the group, they can easily suffer the loss of about 4 of them before their effectiveness decreases. Enough time to make short work of the force user (given that they can't expend force dice on anything else as its tied to defence). However, if this is deemed too effective, perhaps the strength increases should only add boost/setback dice to the ongoing effects, not add more Upgrades. Themeatically though, I do like the upgrading from the normal ongoing effects (I don't think those should be turned into boost/setbacks), as force users should be that awesome.

Influence… I would either say it just only affects minions/henchmen, but is otherwise useless against players/nemesis style enemies…. Or impose a difficulty equal to the targets Willpower characteristic (this of course makes influence vs. Stormtroopers difficult, so it would need some tooling). I'm fine with it being powerful, as long as something can resist it without the GM just having to say "nuh-uh, it doesn't work" (and uselessly cover up those pages from the book).

As above, probably the primary way from this getting out of hand at least at character creation is GM intervention, not allowing PCs to start trained in force powers (not a bad plan, and can lead to interesting RP if you do remain open to PCs taking Force Sensitive).



#20 Inksplat

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:11 AM

 Really, I don't see any problem with Force powers being auto-hits on Minions/Henchmen. Nemesis-tier villains definitely need to be able to do something, though.






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