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Feedback after first session


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#1 gribble

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:56 PM

I ran my first session on Tuesday, so thought I would post feedback from that here for developers (and anyone else interested).

WARNING - spoilers for Crate of Krayts (the adventure in the book) follow:

 

The session started with character creation. We only had the one book, but with my Reference sheets that didn't really matter as everyone had a copy of the bits they needed. Still, it took us a good 1 1/2 hours to create 5 characters, mostly in debating choices around species, career, specialisation, spending XP and buying gear. We ended up with a male Human Hired Gun (Marauder I think, with Gadgeteer specialisation from Bounty Hunter), male Human Hired Gun (not sure what career specialisation he took, but he also had Force Sensitive Exile), female Human Bounty Hunter (Assassin, also with Doctor specialisation), male Rodian Scoundrel (Pilot specialisation) and male Twi'lek Technician (Mechanic specialisation).

Generally speaking character creation went really well, and everyone was able to make up very different characters (even from the same career). There were a lot of tough choices made, both in terms of spending XP and also in terms of whether or not to increase obligation (One player increased obligation by 15 for both increased XP and gear, three players increased by 5 for either XP or gear and the last was determined to not increase it unless he really needed to, and managed not to - but it was a tough call for him, so I think the balance there is about right). The Force sensitive exile had the tough choice between buying Force powers or spending XP elsewhere, and eventually opted to skip the Force powers for now. The obligation and motivation mechanics worked well to give the characters a good backstory and tie them to the adventure. After a bit of discussion the group decided to go for the middle of the road YT-1300 as their starting ship. All-in-all, it went well and I think the players really got into the customisation options around specialisations, skills, talents and gear (and upgrading gear).

We then played through the start (first encounter) of the adventure from the book (Crates of Krayts). Again things went fairly well, with the less combat capable characters (pilot and mechanic) tending to the crates and moving them up to the ship, with the more combat capable ones fighting the raiders. Although a couple of issues did come up:

1) Auto-fire was crazy good against minions. I guess this is kind of the intended effect, but we had the situation where the player scored enough advantage to either activate a Critical Hit or buy extra hits with his heavy blaster rifle. With the way crits work against minions, the crit (costing 3 advantage) would have inflicted another 5 wounds (the amount of the minion's wounds), or the three advantage spent on autofire would have scored an extra 30 odd damage, which isn't really even comparable! Not entirely sure what the best fix for this is. Autofire as a two advantage activation might be too expensive, but it seems too cheap as a one advantage activation…

2) Advantage/disadvantage seemed to work pretty well, with lots of using it to pin down foes (giving them black dice), creating openings for allies (giving them blue dice) and diving for cover (getting a free maneuver, usually used to take cover and generate add a black die to the attack - not sure if that is the intent of the rule, after the roll, but that is the way we played it). One player did comment that it seemed like they were doing a lot of stuff, without really being successful, but that could just be the change of system - really they cleaned up the raiders pretty handily, with no-one taking any wounds and only minor amounts of strain. Another player commented that it was weird to not have separate attack and damage rolls, and he missed the suspense of not having the second roll, but the rest mostly liked the system. It also worked pretty well out of combat, with the players stopping to buy some "bantha poo" in bulk to hide the special crates in - they succeeded so I gave them a good price (I handwaved 100cr), with a lot of advantage, so I said the seller chucked in some empty crates to put the two special crates inside to help with the illusion.

3) Aiming seemed very popular. To the point where it was pretty much the default maneuver, with strain being taken to also move or do something else if needed. 

4) More a concern with the adventure than the system, but there seemed to be too long in between the waves of attackers. The ranged attackers on the top of the canyon were wiped out in the first turn, leaving a couple of turns of shooting at the slowly advancing melee attackers. In the end, only one group of melee attackers made an attack, which missed due to their ranks being pretty thinned by the time they got there. In hindsight, I probably should have given ranged attacks against the guys at the top of the canyon an additional black die for them being prone (I did add one for cover though), or added a third group of ranged attackers, but I figured the first fight was intended to be a bit of a cake walk.

5) The was a question about armour encumbrance, but that has been answered with this week's update already!

6) One player looked at buying synth-skin, but there aren't really any rules around what it does… I hand-waved that it'd add an extra blue die on medical checks to repair minor injuries (the description says cuts and bruises).

7) The pilot failed the easy Astrogation check to get to Nar Shadda, but there are no rules/guidelines to cover what this means. By a strict reading of the rules, it means they aren't able to get to Nar Shadda, but that seems to cut the adventure dead in it's tracks. The player also rolled a few advantages, so I instead ruled that he plotted an ultra-cautious route that was safe but took longer to get there. This probably needs a sentence or two to explain what the intent is…

8) Almost forgot - the players loved the destiny point mechanic - there were a lot of cheers around the table at the start of the session as two PCs rolled two light side points! There was a tendency at the end of the session to just burn it on every roll though, as everyone knew the session was coming to an end (so I usually just spent one as well, to even it out and potentially generate threat - which actually came up on the doctor's check to remember how often they would need to apply the sedative - once every 24 hours looks about right….).

I think that is it. Next session will be in 2 weeks time!


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#2 Sarone

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 01:13 PM

Thanks for the AAR.  I'll keep it in mind for when I run my game.



#3 OB-1

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 01:57 PM

 

I had a similar experience this weekend, playing though the Episode I of Crates of Kryats.

I had, however, 3 players rather than 5, and only one of them using an heavy rifle with autofire capabilities.

The character with the heavy rifle was also the only one with an Agility of 4 and was the only one that did nothing but shooting the entire encounter (which lasted about 6 rounds).

The other characters 1) run to the ship, made daring flying maneuvres, saved the day with style and 2) walked with the crates, transporting them, tried to lift the small one and failed, made a stand to protect the crates against frenzy sand raiders in melee.

No surprise that the guy with the auto-rifle managed to down 10 Tuskan Raiders, while the other players killed 2 each.

But all felt very cinematic and not "unrealistic" at all. Everybody had loads of fun.

It is true that, at least against a group of minions, to chose the auto-fire effect seem better than to choose a critical. But this is not always necessarly so. Remember that to use auto-autofire, you are adding a [dificulty] die to your pool in advance. That is the trade-off.

Besides, it is only proper and good that minions fell like flies when hit by the setting equivalent of a machine gun.

One more thing: two of my players had their characters badly wounded (no crits though), which was enough to instill them a sense of danger and urgency in the scene.

But from on now two of them are at almost half wounds down, with only a third of the adventure completed.

So, I have no complaints regarding the auto-fire rules, and I think the main reason our experiences differ is that we played with the same number of adversaries against a different number of players (3 and 5).

Judging from our reports only I would say that the adventure may work best for 3-4 player characters. 

Maybe you will feel the need to adjust the opposition up accordingly next session.

Maybe we will feel quite the contrary at my table.


"General Kenobi: Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars (...)"

#4 gribble

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:49 PM

Yeah, I'm thinking adding more opponents is the way to go, especially for a larger group. I actually toyed with the idea of having another group, and I think that's probably a good idea for more than 4 players that should be added as a sidebar to the adventure. 

With the pacing, it was a case of the tuskans having a low initiative (single ability die), so the deadliest three characters acted before the group of tuskans that were shooting and in range (I ruled the group on the far rim of the crater was a long range, which meant they just shot up the settlement rather than the PCs), and annihilated them before they even got to fire a shot. Next round the other two groups arrived at long range, and spent two rounds closing with the PCs (during which time they were also shot to pieces - one group got one melee attack off that missed due to thinned numbers by that point). Again, I don't really have an issue with the power level of the PCs - despite what I wrote above, they seemed appropriate, more that the adventure probably needs some scaling or escalation guidelines in case of a situation like the above happening…

I'm not necessarily complaining about autofire - as I said it's probably appropriate to be gunning down minions - just that other options seemed to pale in comparison, which probably isn't an intended effect. Maybe to compare favorably a crit should drop an entire group, or even twice the wounds of a single minion (i.e.: two of the group)?

 

 


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#5 OB-1

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:30 PM

gribble said:

I'm not necessarily complaining about autofire - as I said it's probably appropriate to be gunning down minions - just that other options seemed to pale in comparison, which probably isn't an intended effect. Maybe to compare favorably a crit should drop an entire group, or even twice the wounds of a single minion (i.e.: two of the group)?

The way I see it, its just fine how it is. You will want to spend your advantages in auto-fire rather than crit.

The real choice, open to the player is made before the roll: to add a difficulty die to the pool and go for the auto-fire effect or play it safe against only the appropriate distance difficulty dice and go for the one-shot crit? The later option is safer to score a hit, whereas in the former you increase your chance to miss.

The optimal choice this time may depend of multiple factors: your ability rating, skill rank, distance to target, type of target (minion, henchmen, nemesis), external factors (boost - aiming, enemy in the open, or setback dice - armor, raining, at night, etc)

We shall see how it goes against other type of opponents, henchmen and nemesis in more diverse combat situations.


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#6 gribble

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:24 PM

Yeah I guess it's a fair point that by adding the difficulty die up front, you're already declaring that you'll be using those advantages to score additional hits, it did just seem a bit weird in play. I guess, as you say, that we should wait and see how it does against henchmen or nemesis - although I doubt even they will appreciate being hit for 30 damage!

Also, it just occurred to me that a strict reading of the rules requires a second additional difficulty die to walk fire onto additional minions in the group beyond the first, otherwise your extra damage is going to all go into the same minion - or do the minion rules of sharing damage trump that?


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#7 nobble

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:19 PM

gribble said:

Yeah I guess it's a fair point that by adding the difficulty die up front, you're already declaring that you'll be using those advantages to score additional hits, it did just seem a bit weird in play. I guess, as you say, that we should wait and see how it does against henchmen or nemesis - although I doubt even they will appreciate being hit for 30 damage!

Also, it just occurred to me that a strict reading of the rules requires a second additional difficulty die to walk fire onto additional minions in the group beyond the first, otherwise your extra damage is going to all go into the same minion - or do the minion rules of sharing damage trump that?

Extra damage to a minion spills over to other minions in the group as they are all in engaged range with each other…..

but logically you should have to walk the fire.. but with the existing rules you dont p196…


Here was are now.. at the middle.. more and more.. I have the feeling we are getting nowhere...slowly we are getting nowhere and that is a pleasure... it is not irritating to be where one is ... it is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else... if we are irritated it is not a pleasure...nothing is a pleasure if we are irritated but suddenly it is a pleasure.. and more and more it is not irritating.. originally we were nowhere and now again we  have the pleasure of slowly being nowhere


#8 EldritchFire

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:23 AM

nobble said:

gribble said:

 

Yeah I guess it's a fair point that by adding the difficulty die up front, you're already declaring that you'll be using those advantages to score additional hits, it did just seem a bit weird in play. I guess, as you say, that we should wait and see how it does against henchmen or nemesis - although I doubt even they will appreciate being hit for 30 damage!

Also, it just occurred to me that a strict reading of the rules requires a second additional difficulty die to walk fire onto additional minions in the group beyond the first, otherwise your extra damage is going to all go into the same minion - or do the minion rules of sharing damage trump that?

 

 

Extra damage to a minion spills over to other minions in the group as they are all in engaged range with each other…..

but logically you should have to walk the fire.. but with the existing rules you dont p196…

Remember that 1 action ≠ 1 pull of the trigger. Each action, per pg128, is "…roughly a minute or so in time…", or plenty of time for a blaster pistol-wielding hero to take out a minion or two. Or enough time for a bounty hunter to mow down an entire squad with his auto-fire weapon!

-EF



#9 nobble

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:46 AM

EldritchFire said:

nobble said:

 

Extra damage to a minion spills over to other minions in the group as they are all in engaged range with each other…..

but logically you should have to walk the fire.. but with the existing rules you dont p196…

 

 

Remember that 1 action ≠ 1 pull of the trigger. Each action, per pg128, is "…roughly a minute or so in time…", or plenty of time for a blaster pistol-wielding hero to take out a minion or two. Or enough time for a bounty hunter to mow down an entire squad with his auto-fire weapon!

-EF

 

Not disputing that at all, just the differences between minions and henchmen.

The standard autofire rules state you have to 'Walk the Fire' between extra targets p105/137

The Standard Minion rules state extra damage spills over to other minions in the group p196

So if Autofire gives extra hits and extra hits = extra damage … does the damage spill over in Minion groups?  i.e. you dont need to walk the fire

 

we know it doesn't between Henchmen you need to walk the fire between them

e.g. when you hit with 2 successes 2 Advantages with your LRB thats 14 damage .. you could Autofire against one Henchman for the first advantage, walk the fire for the second and the autofire against another henchman for the third.

Now in the case of Minions how does this work. We have 2 options

1. Like Henchman above i.e. basically 2 hits doing 14, and 14 damage

2. or you dont need to Walk the fire as you are attacking the same group, that the system treats as a single target, getting you 3 hits at 14 damage

 


Here was are now.. at the middle.. more and more.. I have the feeling we are getting nowhere...slowly we are getting nowhere and that is a pleasure... it is not irritating to be where one is ... it is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else... if we are irritated it is not a pleasure...nothing is a pleasure if we are irritated but suddenly it is a pleasure.. and more and more it is not irritating.. originally we were nowhere and now again we  have the pleasure of slowly being nowhere


#10 EldritchFire

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:02 AM

nobble said:

EldritchFire said:

 

nobble said:

 

Extra damage to a minion spills over to other minions in the group as they are all in engaged range with each other…..

but logically you should have to walk the fire.. but with the existing rules you dont p196…

 

 

Remember that 1 action ≠ 1 pull of the trigger. Each action, per pg128, is "…roughly a minute or so in time…", or plenty of time for a blaster pistol-wielding hero to take out a minion or two. Or enough time for a bounty hunter to mow down an entire squad with his auto-fire weapon!

-EF

 

 

 

Not disputing that at all, just the differences between minions and henchmen.

The standard autofire rules state you have to 'Walk the Fire' between extra targets p105/137

The Standard Minion rules state extra damage spills over to other minions in the group p196

So if Autofire gives extra hits and extra hits = extra damage … does the damage spill over in Minion groups?  i.e. you dont need to walk the fire

 

we know it doesn't between Henchmen you need to walk the fire between them

e.g. when you hit with 2 successes 2 Advantages with your LRB thats 14 damage .. you could Autofire against one Henchman for the first advantage, walk the fire for the second and the autofire against another henchman for the third.

Now in the case of Minions how does this work. We have 2 options

1. Like Henchman above i.e. basically 2 hits doing 14, and 14 damage

2. or you dont need to Walk the fire as you are attacking the same group, that the system treats as a single target, getting you 3 hits at 14 damage

 

For walking fire, it talks about different targets. Per the minion rules, one group of minions are considered one target since you "attack the group as a whole, not an individual." (196), no matter how many in the group.

I think the intent was for each group of minions to be one target, but I agree it could use some clarification.

-EF



#11 Corradus

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:18 AM

 What were you using for dice and how did not having purpose built dice affect the flow of your session?



#12 gribble

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 12:00 AM

Corradus said:

 What were you using for dice and how did not having purpose built dice affect the flow of your session?

I printed the sticker sheet onto printable stickers, cut them out and assembled a bunch of the custom dice. So it wasn't an issue at all - the dice rolling went really smoothly. Was going to upload a pic of the dice, but I just realised that I need to do it via photobucket, so maybe later.

:)


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#13 gribble

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:11 PM

So, we had our second session the other night…

Warning: further spoilers for Crates of Krayts adventure

This session basically covered the second part of the adventure - i.e.: the investigation on Nar Shadda leading to TechTank.

There was no combat in this session, but it rolled fairly smoothly. I found that the players were really getting into the theme of the game and suggesting possible ways to spend advantages and threats.

However, there were three observations:

1) Firstly, there was a lot of use of Surveillance, which is interesting seeing as it got axed in this weeks update (the day after the session). I guess these would just be perception or computers checks now, but I thought it was an odd coincidence. I actually kind of liked the idea that perception wasn't the uber stat it usually was, although there was initially some confusion among the players (why can't I use Vigilance/Perception?) until I explained the uses for each skill.

2) Secondly, more an observation than a complaint, but the PCs didn't really have any investigation/face specialised characters, so a *lot* of rolls resulted in zero successes and advantage or threat. I tried to use the adv/threat to sow alternative leads/false trails, but after this happened the third or fourth time I started to struggle a bit. The adventure is generally good about calling out uses for adv/threat, although some of these seem to assume success on the initial roll, which as I said usually occurred. Not sure if the dice mechanic is intended to work this way, but I guess it's likely given most pools were 2-3 ability and 2-3 difficulty.

3) Third, and I guess it's more an elaboration of the above point, but there were lots of occurrances of threat/adv on rolls, and after the third/fourth occurrence with the same skill I struggled to come up with things to happen. In combat, this is relatively easy to adjudicate with the "spending adv/threat in combat" table, crits and weapon qualities, but not so much in "unstructured play". I think there needs to be either a comprehensive list of "generic" uses for out of combat adv/threat, more examples in the skills, and/or more player abilities (in gear or talents) that trigger off spending advantage, in a similar vein to weapon qualities and crits.

Finally, and I guess it's more a consequence of coming to grips with the rules/game and adventure, but one player commented there seemed to be a lot of rolling. He made the comment after a piloting check (to navigate to tech tank), followed by perception checks (to spot any tail) followed by two computers checks in a row (to gain access to and open the hatch). I'm not sure there was more than in any other game for those number of actions, but that was certainly the perception he had.


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#14 Boehm

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:08 PM

gribble said:

1) Firstly, there was a lot of use of Surveillance, which is interesting seeing as it got axed in this weeks update (the day after the session). I guess these would just be perception or computers checks now, but I thought it was an odd coincidence. I actually kind of liked the idea that perception wasn't the uber stat it usually was, although there was initially some confusion among the players (why can't I use Vigilance/Perception?) until I explained the uses for each skill.

IMO GMs tend to overuse perception, looking for something hidden? roll subterfuge w/advantage dice from skill in perception! Noticing a tail? roll vigilance! Look for a tail? Roll perception! Follow someone and notice they drop something? again Perception! but keep watch on his house for 10hrs and notice him slipping out the back door? Roll vigilance!  --> essentially vigilance and perception should be used about 50/50 I think

just my thoughts - and yes I hate perception as the uberskill too …  IMO perception is the investigator skill, whereas vigilance is the security/body guard skill (but then again I think cool should be chopped and just replaced with vigilance using presense)



#15 Gallows

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:07 PM

 The distinction between the two perception skills should be things you are actively looking for and things you may just happend to notice, because this fits with the initiative system for sudden encounters and planned ambushes.

 

It's a small matter however, and I'd rather have three perception/initiative skills than only one.



#16 Venthrac

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:54 PM

I'll be running this adventure on Saturday of this week. I'm going to run it without Obligation, and so the PCs will be limited to 500 starting credits and the base 100 xp to spend on starting advances. I'm curious to see how that affect the balance of the scenario as compared to what the rest of you have described. There will be no auto-ire weapons in my version of Crates of Krayts, for example, because none of the PCs will be able to afford one. That should cure the "mowing down minions" issue, if nothing else.



#17 gribble

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 11:30 AM

Last night was our third session…


Warning: further spoilers for Crates of Krayts adventure

 

 

 

This session was the fight atop the TechTank platform with the Cordel's Chain gang of bounty hunters. I had initially expected the session to finish the adventure, with both the fight and the chase/starship combat off the planet. However, due to a slightly late start, and the combat taking much longer than expected, we only got through the fight. In total, the combat took over 2 hours to complete. At least some of that was due to unfamiliarity with the rules and issues with looking up things which have been changed (see below for more detail), and I don't necessarily have anything against a long fight, but it was unexpected.

Generally speaking, the combat seemed to flow really well, and - despite the length - it felt very exciting and cinematic, it was tense for the players and everyone seemed to have a good time. On that basis, you'd have to say it was overall a success. There were a few things noted by myself and the players, that that were problematic, weird or just generally could have been improved:

1) The combat started with a majority of the bounty hunters winning initiative. Cordel moved out from the turbolift shaft, and opened up on autofire against the PCs, targeting three of them (I was too scared to target a single PC - with good reason as it turned out). He rolled pretty well, even with the 4 difficulty dice (which I think the PCs upgraded once using a destiny point) for medium range, autofire and walking fire and hit 2 PCs. With a couple of additional successes and his talent adding to damage, he did 15 damage to two PCs, dropping one and badly injuring another. So while autofire itself wasn't particularly devastating in this case, if I had chosen to fire at a single target - an easier roll as he wouldn't gain the extra difficulty die for walking fire - he would have inflicted at least 30 wounds and probably outright killed one PC. So that really reinforced that autofire, at least when shooting at a single PC, really needs to be toned down a little. Also, the PC going down the first round resulted in him pretty much sitting out the whole fight - the other PCs were too busy surviving to apply a stimpack. It was a bit anti-climactic for him, and resulted in the overall difficulty of the encounter being much harder for the group. I suggest adding an additional use for spending a destiny point - "only a flesh wound" - that allows a PC who would be dropped to negative wounds by an attack to instead be reduced to 1 wound. Sure, it might result in the PCs "sandbagging" the destiny points a bit more, but to some extent that occurs already, and IMO it's better than the alternative of one player "sitting out" a combat.

2) Unfortunately for the PCs, two of them immediately broke for the cover of the ship, leaving the downed and injured PC to fend for themselves (to be fair one was a pilot who was intending to fire up the engines to make their escape, the other was going for the ship's guns). The one remaining standing PC in the open decided to go balls to the wall, quick drew his vibroknives and charged Cordell. Here there were a couple of things noted. Firstly, he PC asked if there was any benefit from charging. We couldn't find anything in the rules, but I ended up giving him a boost die to his attack, given that he'd taken 2 stress to gain an additional maneuver (one to close from medium to short, then another to engage) and advanced from quite a distance. We all thought - though perhaps only due to experience with other systems - that there really should be a "charge" combat maneuver. Secondly, the vibroknives seemed fairly ineffective against Cordell. Admittedly they are one of the lower damage weapons, but the PC was only doing 2-3 damage per hit with a good roll. This was also something we saw in a heavy blaster pistol "duel" between one henchman and one PC, both sitting in cover on opposite sends of a corridor on the ship, both aiming each round and shooting at each other, and both doing on average 3-4 wounds per hit. This meant that both combats took longer than expected, and both had the opponents suffering 4-5 hits before going down which didn't feel particularly cinematic. Perhaps the reduction in damage from the update 2-3 weeks ago needs to be looked at again, or something done to reduce the impact of soak?

3) Between the gang's airspeeders, the missile launcher and the PC's ship, the combat had a lot of mixed character/vehicle scale combat. Here the rules were a little unclear to us - though that could have been mainly due to general unfamiliarity with vehicle rules as this was our first exposure to vehicle scale combat. Firstly the whole range thing - I just ruled that everything was at Close vehicle scale range - pretty sure this was the correct ruling, but it was a little confusing having to work with the two scales, especially seeing as a lot of the NPC stats still referenced Close range in the book (see below about stats). Secondly, it wasn't immediately clear what the difficulty of firing vehicle scale weapons at characters should be. In the end I ruled that it used the starship scale difficulty (based on Silhouette difference), meaning that it was pretty difficult. That seemed to work out pretty well as when they did hit they were pretty devastating. Thirdly, the vehicle scale damage, when it hit a character was truly devastating - like 30-40 wounds devastating. Also I thought about having the bounty hunters shoot their pistols at the PC's ship at one point, but it was literally impossible for them to hurt it (needing to do over 40 character scale damage). You can argue that is as it should be, but I think it's a little over the top. Vehicle/starship scale weaponry perhaps needs to be rescaled as 5, rather than 10, times the armour/damage at character scale. At least that way there is a chance - however slim - of surviving or hurting a vehicle. If necessary, bigger weapon damage and armour values can be increased to keep higher ratios at the top end and prevent a PC with a blaster rifle from taking down a Star Destroyer. Finally, the new starship actions were used a couple of times by the Pilot, who sat in the ship cockpit and generally avoided the fight. He initially tried "plotting a course" out of the tank and pipes for their hasty retreat, then when the airspeeders showed up he spent a couple of actions angling the shields. These worked really well and gave him something to do in a combat when he otherwise would have been twiddling his thumbs. I should point out that the first thing he did was start up the ship - I couldn't find a rule for that in play, but I do vaguely remember reading one. It either should be added (if there isn't one) or made a bit more prominent for ease of location during play. I ruled an easy (1 difficulty) pilot check, with a setback die for the stress of combat.

4) We again noticed a few foibles with the dice math. Again there were quite a few instances of failed rolls with advantages, which we struggled a bit with interpreting. In at least 2 or 3 rolls there were failed rolls with 4+ advantages - in one case the player rolled 8 advantages with no successes! I ruled that in that case it essentially functioned like a Triumph and "turned the tide of battle" by scattering one of the minion groups for a few rounds, causing them to lose their actions pinned down in cover. By the rules that isn't possible, but it seemed like the simplest and quickest result. The main issues here were, on a miss, most of the high cost advantage triggering things (weapon qualities, crits, additional hits) can't be triggered, which leaves a big pool of advantages to spread around a bunch of minor things. Coupled with our unfamiliarity with the rules, this meant going through the tables looking for lots of smaller effects to apply. The unfamiliarity will improve, but one player mentioned that it seemed like play would never get that fast when you're constantly referencing tables. Secondly, a lot of the effects either don't make sense in some situations, or become very repetitive (one PC spent three turns in a row essentially aiding another PCs attacks with advantage - that may be the way the system is intended to work, but it seemed a little boring in play). Perhaps a longer list of things that can be triggered (to provide variety), but a limit of one additional effect that can be applied (to speed things up) is needed?

5) Finally, the stats weren't helpful. There is no provided updates yet for the stats in the adventure, but they all reference (at a minimum) now incorrect weapon stats, which I had to correct on the fly. More troublesome, the stats for the airspeeder weapons seemed completely out of whack. The weapon was named after a character scale weapon (repeating blaster), but had similar stats (close range, 3 damage) to a vehicle scale weapon. In the end I just used the stats for a vehicle scale autoblaster… Also, it'd be really helpful to have a "tactics" section for the NPCs, that provide suggested uses for advantage on rolls. For example, Cordell should say "if engaged, purchases a maneuver to fly away if possible, otherwise adds [boost] dice to allied characters attacks representing orders that he gives to his gang". As it was, picking things to spend it on during play got time consuming and difficult to be constantly thinking up descriptions for what was happening. Finally, the Adversary talent seemed to work well, although I had limited opportunity to really run it through it's paces. Due to one PC going down before he got to act, the combat became a lot more difficult and I only added Adversary 1 to Cordell and none to the henchmen. It seemed to do the job intended - he was noticeably more durable and harder to hit than the henchmen, without being overpowering. I still have reservations about it being a Talent, but that is a separate issue from it's gameplay effect.

It seems like a lot of criticism, but it's worth repeating that overall the combat was really fun and enjoyable, and it seemed pretty cinematic (other than the low damage thing resulting in too many hits to drop foes in a couple of situations). The players all seemed to walk away from the session "on a high" and by the end they all seemed to have a much better grip on the rules and things were flowing fairly smoothly. A couple still seem to have reservations about the math, and the difficulty to succeed on a check compared with the relative ease of generating advantages, but on the whole it went well.

Tune in next fortnight for our thoughts on Vehicle combat…


Star Wars Edge of the Empire (Beta test) resources:

 


#18 CaptainStabby

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 01:48 PM

So, I'm the player who decided to go all stabbydeath on the big bad in the session outlined above. It seemed like the right idea at the time and I still think it was, given how amazingly good he seemed at shooty stuff. If I hadn't picked up armor during chargen he would have dropped me as well.

I'm really feeling like melee weapons need a readjustment, they are simply not as good as ranged, in any way shape or form, when you have a melee based specialty like the Marauder making their primary form of attack a "have not" isn't a good thing. Maybe an option would be to up the Vicious and Pierce ratings so that while the damage remains low, stabby things have a better chance of cutting through ballstic armor. Kinda like in real life even. Also I feel like there are a lot of melee weapon upgrades missing I think theres one possible upgrade, and its like 5000 credits. :/

Dual Wielding feels off to me as well. I'm getting an additional purple die for difficulty, with no actual improvement to my attempt roll, just an expanded crit option. That seems out of balance somehow. I can't quite put my finger on a fix, but at some point I worked out that the math on attacking with 2 weapons just didnt make any sense so I stopped doing it. Not having that as an option for my character kinda bummed me out. Off the top of my head (so this may be totally imbalanced) is let the extra damage per success rolled get increased autimatically when dual wielding rather than making the player spend advantage to do it, something along those lines. It just feels wrong to get a tangible disadvantage with no tangible advantage to balance it out or make it appealing.

The upside of doing low damage, is that I got to play with the Advantage I was generating, which let me do things like disable the BBEG's jetpack to keep him from jumping away and shooting me, potentially disarming him, which may have been a better idea given the potential hurt he could dish out with his weapon (now mine!!!), knocking him prone and triggering crits, so that all felt really good from a narrative/cinematic point of view.

Starship weapons vs mooks = good fun, I did have to ask another player nicely NOT to shoot into my melee combat with the ship guns, I didn't trust his rolls enough for that.

I still don't know if I'm 100% onboard with the dice mechanic as a whole. It feels punishingly hard to really achieve anything tangible. I don't know if we have completely built our characters wrong, or are doing it wrong but I don't think we should feel as inept as we seem to be.



#19 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:12 PM

I do agree with CaptainStabby that unless your character is heavily primed for melee (namely, having a Brawn of 4 or better), then attacking in melee is sub-par to ranged attacks, even if using a Vibro-Ax or Vibro-Sword (both weapons with a healthy Pierce rating).  Even a Brawn 3 character with those weapons will be dealing only a bit more damage than a random schlub with a heavy blaster pistol, and if they choose something other than BH/Assassin or HG/Marauder as their starting career/spec, they're going to be even further behind the curve.

Honestly, I'm thinking the damage of the Force Pike and Vibro-Knife/Axe/Sword could all stand to be increased by 1 point, maybe the Combat Knife too.  It would help make melee weapons a bit more dangerous but not quite as potent as they were initially.  I'm not saying a random Wookiee with a Vibro-Ax should be routinely dealing more raw damage than someone with a blaster rifle, but the I don't think the disparity should be quite as much as it currently is, particularly as melee combat has the added restriction of having to reach the Engaged range band, something that blaster wielders don't have to worry about, permitting them a slightly greater damage per round average simply due to not having to spend one or more turns just getting into melee range.


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#20 CaptainStabby

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:28 PM

Yeah, we "acquired" two jetpacks, one of which I feel like is going to become a "man portable Vibro-Ax delivery system". Not exactly the route I wanted to go with my character, but I imagine the failures I'll roll while attempting to pilot the jetpack with no actual pilot skill will be Fett off the side of the Sailbarge worthy. :)






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