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First night in a new galaxy…


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#1 Fechik

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:00 AM

We began the night by me explaining the basic principles of the game mechanics and the character sheet. We then took about an hour or so creating characters. Without having to share the book, this time probably would have been greatly reduced. Our characters were:

The Group:
A Bothan Doctor who was recently caught undermining Imperial authority on Coruscant. Running for his life, he fled to the Outer Rim in hopes to find work and put his medicinal skills to good use in opposition to the Empire.

A Twi-lek Scoundrel. His recent underhanded dealings with a notorious Hutt have left his sister and mother in slavery. He has ended up in the Outer Rim to find enough work to buy them out of slavery.

A Wookie Marauder was recently on the bad end of an Imperial Raid. All of his friends and family were murdered, he vowed to take revenge. He finds himself in the Outer Rim trying to recruit help to enact his revenge.

A Rodian Slicer who owes much to a grandmother who paid for his education. Amidst his education he realized he had an extraordinary gift for slicing. He has also came to the Outer Rim to put his skills to good use and earn enough money to send home to his family.

A modified IG-100 Magna Guard droid. This Droid was originally requisitioned by a separatist leader during the Clone Wars. In a surprise Clone attack, he and his squad were destroyed. Or so he thought. Many years later a group of Bounty Hunters found him and pieced him back together, he now has sworn allegiance and fealty to them.

The Game:
The game started with us rolling Destiny Points. Each player rolled the Force Die and added the corresponding counters to the light side or dark side pool. The Destiny pool ended up even with 3 light and 3 dark side points.

I then rolled on the Obligation Chart, first roll 11. This brought up our Doctor's Obligation. I decided to use that as the starting point of the adventure.

The adventure began with all of the characters in a cantina on Nar Shaddaa called Knuckles. The players learned that if they are looking for work this is a place to come look. It was decided that 3 of the 5 characters knew each other, the Twi-lek, the Wookie, and the droid. The Rodian was sitting drinking while the other three were just chatting. The Doctor on the other hand was there to meet Fablam, a Duros who's "in the know" with local jobs and information.

Shortly after the Doc meets Fablam in through the door walks a group of rough looking patrons. The presumed leader pulls out a personal holo-projector which displays a blue-lined image of our friendly old Doctor. They immediately draw weapons and fire at our Doc (Critical Hit). This is how the mechanic of Double 1's of the Doc's Obligation came into play. Throughout the rest of the session he was constantly "looking over his shoulder" and worried about another attack. This led to the rest of group being distracted or bothered by his Obligation as well.

Fablam attempts to offer to pay off the attackers but they refuse. He then offers credits to anyone in the cantina to help his "friend". Being as poor as they are, the party then joins the fray.

After the battle Fablam discusses an opportunity for the group to make some extra cash. Travel to Tattooine pick up some cargo and take it to Sinesu, a local Hutt. Gives them the information and transponder codes for a YT-1300 Freighter docked nearby that they can use for the journey.

::SPOILER ALERT:: If you read below then you will learn of some events that happen in the Crates of Krayts adventure in the back of the Edge of the Empire Rulebook.

They arrive at the Vapor Station on Tattooine without incident. They walk down into the canyon to get their cargo and meet the battle scarred Jora. After a brief conversation, he tells them what their cargo is and materials needed to handle the cargo. The players do not ask too many questions and are about ready to carry the cargo up to the ship when shots ring through the air. They are being raided by Tusken Raider's. One shot hits the bag of sedatives and food and another shot hits the repulsor sled carrying the smaller crate.

The Wookie and the Rodian pick up the smaller crate and place it on the other crate. The Twi-lek picks up the sedatives, food scavenging as much as he can, and gets hit with another shot (Critical Hit). The Droid begins firing at the Tuskens, while the doctor begins firing.

Jora yells at them to get the crate out of here while he starts firing at the raiders. The Rodian and Wookie start driving that repulsor lift up the canyon to their ship. The Twilek attempts to close in on the raiders, gets hit with a Gaffi stick and goes unconscious (another Critical Hit). The doc attempts to heal the Twi'lek while the Droid lays covering fire.

Half way up the canyon the smaller crate gets hit by another shot, this time a loud alarm goes off and the digital panel on top of the crate shuts off. The Rodian climbs up and gets it running again. At this point, the Twi'lek, Doc, and Droid begin making a hasty retreat up the canyon while firing back on the Raider's.

Another round or two pass and the characters end up back on the ship. The Wookie hops in the pilot chair and takes off, but before he swoops around to get a couple of pot shots at the raiders. In doing this, he scrapes the ship against the canyon wall. We end the session there.

::END SPOILER::

Final thoughts
Character creation is simple and straight forward. The only thing that we thought was problematic was that the starting credits seemed low, which we're sure this is to increase the players Obligation.

The system is really easy to understand once you actually do it. Explaining it to my players made it sound harder to get than it really is, but it didn't take long for them to figure out the system once they began actually rolling the dice.

The initiative system was at first clunky and seemed to bog down the beginning of the combat. Once the order was established, the way it works is amazing. It's one more way that the players are interactive the entire time. Of course, I think that the initiative mechanic was probably more problematic due to me making it more complicated than it really is. Once I figured out a more efficient way to order it, it was pretty smooth.

We all loved the Combat mechanics. We thought that it was really immersive and interactive. All the players really enjoyed how they could help or hinder other characters in the conflict based on the results of their actions. All members were attentive to what was going on. I also think that some of this had to do with the initiative system. The one thing that I would recommend is that FFG give plenty of "Narrative" examples of how Advantage, Threat, Triumph, and Despair results can be applied to combat.

There were a few times where we were a bit confused as to what to do, when. A few examples include 1) when to use Streetwise or Underworld. 2) Is Melee Combat an Opposed Roll or a Static Difficulty? 3) Personal Weapons have an effective range, but how does the difficulty outside of that range affect the dice pool. 4) Why is there not a Gambling Skill? You can buy Sabacc Deck and Chance Cubes but there isn't a Gambling Skill.(we may have over looked which skill this falls under)

Overall we thought the story and the game was awesome! The adventure in the back of the book is great. As time passes some of the learning curve of a new system will lessen and the game will run more smoothly. Great Job FFG!
 



#2 Wulfherr

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:29 AM

 Very nice! I'm preparing my own play report and will post it soon.



#3 Inksplat

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:51 AM

Fechik said:

There were a few times where we were a bit confused as to what to do, when. A few examples include 1) when to use Streetwise or Underworld. 2) Is Melee Combat an Opposed Roll or a Static Difficulty? 3) Personal Weapons have an effective range, but how does the difficulty outside of that range affect the dice pool. 4) Why is there not a Gambling Skill? You can buy Sabacc Deck and Chance Cubes but there isn't a Gambling Skill.(we may have over looked which skill this falls under)

1) Underworld is about knowing things, whereas Streetwise is about surviving and navigating the world. A good example is the Mos Eisley scene in A New Hope--Luke has absolutely no Streetwise, whereas Ben knows exactly how to navigate the hive of scum and villainy.

2) This is an issue with the book, and I don't know if we've gotten an official answer yet. If you go with Static Difficulty, then add in Setbacks/Boosts for differences in skill. Personally, I think an Opposed Roll is the way to go, as the book states that Opposed Rolls are used when someone is actively trying to stop you--which is what I'd argue is going on in a melee fight. I'd say it is minimum 2 Difficulty though, so if you're dealing with someone with a Brawn of 1 and no Melee skill, it'll still be a Difficulty 2 check.

3) You just can't use it outside of that range. The thing that makes this clear is the Assassin's "Sniper Shot" ability--its whole point is to increase the range of the weapon while increasing the Difficulty. If using a weapon outside of effective range just automatically added difficulty dice, there'd be no point in the ability existing.

4) I'd go with a straight Cunning check for pure luck-based gambling, given that you can't really be "trained" in it. Deceit in a game where you can bluff, and Skulduggery in a situation where you're actively trying to cheat.



#4 Fechik

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:05 AM

Inksplat said:

 

1) Underworld is about knowing things, whereas Streetwise is about surviving and navigating the world. A good example is the Mos Eisley scene in A New Hope--Luke has absolutely no Streetwise, whereas Ben knows exactly how to navigate the hive of scum and villainy.

2) This is an issue with the book, and I don't know if we've gotten an official answer yet. If you go with Static Difficulty, then add in Setbacks/Boosts for differences in skill. Personally, I think an Opposed Roll is the way to go, as the book states that Opposed Rolls are used when someone is actively trying to stop you--which is what I'd argue is going on in a melee fight. I'd say it is minimum 2 Difficulty though, so if you're dealing with someone with a Brawn of 1 and no Melee skill, it'll still be a Difficulty 2 check.

3) You just can't use it outside of that range. The thing that makes this clear is the Assassin's "Sniper Shot" ability--its whole point is to increase the range of the weapon while increasing the Difficulty. If using a weapon outside of effective range just automatically added difficulty dice, there'd be no point in the ability existing.

4) I'd go with a straight Cunning check for pure luck-based gambling, given that you can't really be "trained" in it. Deceit in a game where you can bluff, and Skulduggery in a situation where you're actively trying to cheat.

Even though I wrote those four issues, we easily found ways around them or resolved them to our liking. It's not like we stopped playing completely because of a small confusing situation.

1) Great example! I'll use that when trying to explain it next time!

2) We ended up using opposed rolls. It seems that FFG put a lot of effort in making the game interactive between players and players and GM. With that in mind, opposed rolls make more sense

3)By stating "outside the effective range" I did not explicitly mean "beyond" that range, but also at closer ranges. How is the dice pool of a player shooting a Heavy Blaster Rifle affected by shooting at Close Range or Medium Range? I don't think that "Effective Range" should be an "absolute"  in such an abstract system. There should be some modifiers or something to explain other ranges.

4) That makes a lot of sense. We'll try that next time. To me it just makes more sense to have a Gambling Skill.



#5 Inksplat

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:19 AM

Effective Range = Max range. Beyond that, you just can't hope to make the shot, unless you're highly trained (aka, Assassin) and have that talent.

Now, the book also says that in life and death situations, its allowable to let players spend a Destiny Point to make an attempt regardless. So, in that case, it'd become a Difficulty 5 shot for anyone not a Sniper.

As for firing shorter than the effective range, there's no effect outside of the range's ingrained difficulty. Close = Easy, Medium = Average, Long = Hard, Extreme = Daunting. So, if you'e firing a Heavy Blaster Rifle, or a Light Blaster Pistol at close range, its still an Easy shot. And especially if you have the skill, its, assumed you're practiced enough to not suddenly suck at shooting just because you're closer. Engaged is a different story, of course. When you're engaged, its easy to shoot with a pistol than with a rifle.



#6 Inksplat

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:44 AM

 Also, there are Talents that make rifles better at longer ranges. Barrage, for example, adds +1 damage at long and medium ranges.



#7 Wulfherr

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 10:04 AM

For the game last night I chose to run Crates of Krayts as well. I really enjoyed reading through the adventure and wanted to do a "true" playtest, though normally I never run published modules. Here we go…

The Group:

Kaela Sunrider, Human Technician (Mechanic, Outlaw Tech, Force Exile with Sense Power); scion of an Imperial military family; her parents died (supposedly) in battle with the Rebels.

Her Obligation is Obsession with another party memeber Orion Vand who serves Sinasu the Hutt as an enforcer. Her Motivation is relationship with Orion.  

Chang Bukowski, Human Smuggler (Scoundrel); born on a space freighter; family murdered by pirates; freelance pilot and fan of blasters.

After taking revenge on the pirate band Chang finds himself indebted to Sinasu and starts working for the Hutt (Obligation - Criminal). His Motivation (Ambition) is Expertise with a blaster.

Orion Vand, Human Replica Droid (Bounty Hunter/Assassin); freedom fighter, philosopher and professional assassin.

After fleeing his master, a ruthless corporate officer, Orion finds new life as Hutt enforcer (The Hutt helped him change his identity and avoid discovery by corporate security/bounty hunters). Orion's Obligation in Bounty (on his head) and his motivation is Cause/Droid Rights (!) 

[Character generation took about an hour for three players who knew nothing about the system though they played a lot of Star Wars before. Character concepts and stories we created on the spot. We agreed it would take much less time with more than one book (or pdfs, seriously LL!). Talents were the most difficult choices since players knew nothing about mechanics, but I decided I'll let them switch talents after first session if need be. Obligations were all rolled and I found it hard to figure out what the authors had in mind in some cases, but we managed. Motivations were rolle as well and came out quite interesting. ALL players wanted +10 Obligation, so we ended at 90; Kaela and Chang took XP, while Orion took credits and neded up sharing starting money with others :D.]

Players rolled 3 Light Destiny and 1 Dark. I rolled Obligation and came with 99! (Damn!) Oh, and they chose YT-1300 and called it Centaur.

The Game

:::::SPOILER ALERT:::::

 

 

 

I started with the party landing at Vapor Station (we established the basics of their relationship with Sinasu earlier). After I described the canyon Chang started down the path to meet Jora, followed by Kaela, with Kaela hanging back and scanning the area with binoculars. No successes, but 2 advantages so he identifies good sniping spots. He then joins his companions on the way down. 

The conversation with Jora is brief, not many questions are asked, although Kaela identifies the machinery on the smaller crate with 3 successes. Chang is impatient to get going and starts up the path with the smaller crate. Then the shooting starts and the sedatives package gets damaged along with the food bags that Orion is carrying. Chang is on the path when the repulsor sled is shot. Kaela and Orion run for the buildings, with Kaela securing the crate in an open warehouse and Orion taking cover and grabbing his blaster rifle.

Chang the Scoundrel secures initiative thanks to Rapid Reaction, hides behind the smaller crate and opens with his heavy pistol taking out 2! of the 3 snipers from one group. Kaela moves the Krayt crate inside the warehouse, while trying to direct Orion's fire. Snipers fire, missing Chang, while the other group wounds Orion. Orion applies emergency repair kit, uses his boost from scanning the area earlier and takes down 2 of 3 Tuskens from the second group.

Tusken Reavers then move in trying to engage with the party and the crew of Vapor Station. Kaela decides to move with the big crate and pushes herself to reach the path, while Orion lays down fire to slow down the Reavers. Both remaining snipers miss and Chang comes up with an idea to use ship's guns and runs up the path like crazy, gunning for the last sniper on his side and taking him down.

Kaela reaches the small crate and moves in on the big one to transport both to the ship. Orion gets shot again before he takes down the last sniper and reavers engage. Orion gets a gaffi stick in the face from one group and is now in trouble. He decides to break and run. Chang fires up the ship as Kaela reaches the docking bay with the cargo.

Chang then decides to use the underside retractable blaster cannon to take down the rest of the Tuskens. I check the specs for YT-1300 find nothing there and then I remember it was the Falcon's special mod :) Chang burns Destiny and for the sake of epic-ness I accept. The cannon annihilates the remaining Tuskens (the other group has been dealt with by Jora and his men).

Unfortunately Jora has no more sedatives, nor nutribags so after some droid repairs and goodbyes, the players head to Mos Eisley for supplies.

 

 

 

:::::END SPOILER:::::

Players liked the narrative dice a lot, while still getting used to a completely new system. They liked the level of deadliness and that first fight made them act very careful in Mos Eisley. Everyone contributed, and noone was bored. Initiative decision-making will take some time getting used to. Some talents were used but were still unfamiliar (the trees are something the players really should have available in PDF). Also, there were no Triumph and Despair results in the whole session :) Part II coming soon.

 

 

 

 






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