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Edge of the Empire Beta Update: Week 5


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#1 FFG_Sam Stewart

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:40 AM

Hello Testers!

After our big update last week, we've got a slightly smaller one this week. However, there's a couple big changes, so be sure to take a look!



#2 3WhiteFox3

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:01 AM

 Just read the week 5 update and here are my thoughts.

Surveillance no longer being a skill is both a good thing and a bad thing in my opinion. On one hand, there were to many ways that represented ‘seeing stuff’ in the skill system and it was a bit overwhelming to figure out what skill to use where. On the other hand, I do feel that people with high intelligence should have an analysis skill that represents their ability to analyze tactics, formations, security blueprints, etc… Now smart people don’t have one of the best ways to be smart in a combat scenario, since surveillance was one of the few ways to perform tactical analysis.

I am also not 100% happy with the choices for the new skill lists, (though truthfully, I always had problems with the skill lists). For example, did the Bounty Hunters really need Brawl? There are other skills that seem much more necessary to the Bounty Hunter, such as Stealth or Coerce, but they don't get those. It would have been nice to give the Gadgeteer Perception to make up for his lack of ‘seeing stuff’ skill, but he gets Coerce, it would seem to me that Perception would make more sense for him than Coerce (Especially because he gets it while the other Bounty Hunters don’t, what makes the Gadgeteer more intimidating than the Assassin or the Survivalist?) …


For the adversary talent, I like it for the most part. My only issue is that this makes adversaries harder to kill/incapacitate, while heroes can still go down very quickly. This might be appropriate, however, since one of my impressions I got while running a couple of games was that adversaries didn’t last long enough to be an effective obstacle to heroes.

Overall, I am happy with this update, though there are some things that I would like to see explored a bit more.
 



#3 LethalDose

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:02 AM

 Okay, so added the adversary talent, and removed Surveillance.  Mechanics checks can't be used repair hull incidentally w/advantage.

So, yay that we're starting to simplify the skill list and making some NPCs harder to hit.  Good changes, but really not a lot to discuss. And previous issues not addressed.  I suppose we have to wait until later "big" updates for that

-WJL



#4 Boehm

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:17 AM

LethalDose said:

 Okay, so added the adversary talent, and removed Surveillance.  Mechanics checks can't be used repair hull incidentally w/advantage.

So, yay that we're starting to simplify the skill list and making some NPCs harder to hit.  Good changes, but really not a lot to discuss. And previous issues not addressed.  I suppose we have to wait until later "big" updates for that

-WJL

 

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#5 Bren_Waynero

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:31 AM

I will assume that the update is supposed to say the 'Scout' loses Surveillance, not the Survivalist, since Survivalist doesn't have it.  Or did I miss something somewhere else?


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#6 FFG_Sam Stewart

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 06:09 AM

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your feedback. I just want to reassure you all that we're aware and working on some of the issues that have not yet been addressed in the weekly updates. The improving of PC and NPC defensive abilities, for example, is an ongoing process that began with the modifications to defensive talents, proceeded with the simplification and modification of NPC defenses, and will continue in the future with additional changes. 

Thanks again for all the hard work and evaluations you're putting in, it's making a difference.

-Sam



#7 eldath

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 06:55 AM

I think you need to look at the Force alterations as you have made chnges including making certain talents etc permanent and then you have removed permanent. Specialization: Force Sensitive Exile still includes the added text referring to discarding the specialization.



#8 LethalDose

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:20 AM

 3WhiteFox3 said:

 Just read the week 5 update and here are my thoughts.

Surveillance no longer being a skill is both a good thing and a bad thing in my opinion. On one hand, there were to many ways that represented ‘seeing stuff’ in the skill system and it was a bit overwhelming to figure out what skill to use where. On the other hand, I do feel that people with high intelligence should have an analysis skill that represents their ability to analyze tactics, formations, security blueprints, etc… Now smart people don’t have one of the best ways to be smart in a combat scenario, since surveillance was one of the few ways to perform tactical analysis.

I think practical, on-the-fly analysis is equally in the realm of Cunning as it is Intelligence.  That being said, there seems to be substantial interest in adding more official rules to skills that allow them to be combined with attributes, other than their defaults.  Precedent for this comes from a passage in the skullduggery skill description.  There is more discussion on this in the skill feedback forum.  It may still make sense that the old "stake-out" function for surveillance may still be represented by using perception with intelligence.

Another way you could handle the examples you provided in the current RAW could be using Underworld or Education knowledge skills instead of perception.

 

-WJL



#9 DailyRich

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:27 AM

I can't tell just from the list in the update, but I assume all Henchmen and Nemeses are getting the Adversary talent?



#10 Gamerunner

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:25 AM

I have not decided if I have a problem with it or not but, Why are there diffrent rules for NPCs and PCs.

I understand the ease of throwing togeather a few threats without sitting down and spending every single point for each one, but I don't know If I like a "Just give them whatever skills/talents/abilities you want" sort of foes. I'd rather just use some pre-gens, and trade out talent/skill A for B.



#11 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:26 AM

DailyRich said:

I can't tell just from the list in the update, but I assume all Henchmen and Nemeses are getting the Adversary talent?

It sure looks that way.

As to the updates, I wonder if the removal of Surveillance is paving the way for future consolidation of the list of Skills?

Personally, I'm thinking Pilot can just be rolled into a single skill like it was in Saga Edition, perhaps with a note that you use Agility if the vehicle is Silhouette 3 or smaller, but Intellect if Silhouette 4 and larger?  Skulduggery already offers the precedent of a having one skill able to be paired up with different Characteristics.

There's also a fair amount of conceptual overlap between Cool and Discipline (both refer to keeping it together in different types of stressful situations), so I'm thinking Cool could be dropped, with Discipline used to for those opposed Charm and Negotiate checks, and make Vigilance the sole skill for combat initiative.


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#12 IronStar23

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:48 PM

 Also, since no one else has mentioned it thus far here, can we get an update to the character sheet that reflects the changes made? Preferably with some of the other changes that have already been suggested elsewhere. Thanks! :)



#13 gribble

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:15 PM

Hmmm… I have mixed feelings about the update.

I think the Adversary talent just looks like a bit of a rule cludge. I guess if you're going to have one, it's a relatively elegant way to do it, but I'm not convinced about the idea of a "NPC only" talent to fix perceived defensive weaknesses. I'd personally prefer to see it addressed as a common rule for opponents (maybe 1 upgrade for henchmen, 2 for masters), or as more general system wide ways of increasing defence available to both PCs and adversaries.

The removal of Surveillance I'm also not too keen on. Initially I didn't really like the idea of multiple skills that essentially did the same thing, but the result of doing this for just one skill - and probably not the most egarious one at that (Discipline/Cool, Charm/Deceit/Negotiate or Streetwise/Underworld I'm looking at you here) - is that the skill system is currently a bit of a hodge-podge.

Some skills like Skullduggery (and presumably now Perception) already work with different characteristics and circumstances, and others seem to only exist so they can trigger off differerent characteristics or circumstances (passive/active).

I think the skill system as a whole needs to be looked at with an eye to either *vastly* reducing the number of skills and allowing them to trigger off multiple characteristics and circumstances (passive/active, prepared/unprepared), or going the other way and sticking with the original vision (i.e.: lots of skills, each with a small difference in characteristic or situation for use). I actually don't mind the latter anywhere near as much as I do with the 40k games, because characters are still plenty competent without skill training in EotE.

Some examples of consolidation:

Pilot - AGL for planetary (and maybe smaller starships), CUN for space

Perception - INT active, CUN passive

Streetwise - INT (passive/knowledge), CUN (active use)

Discipline - WILL (resisting mental effects), PRE (resisiting social effects) - perhaps BR (resisting physical effects)

etc.


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#14 Chrislee66

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:30 PM

 I don't like the adversary talent.  First, I dislike any mechanical advantage that falls purely within the realm of non-player characters.  I would rather simply make antagonists designed to contend with a party more powerful via conventional mechanisms because, simply put, abilities like Adversary feel cheap and often detract from player fun.  Furthermore, when I mentioned it to many of my group mates the response was universally negative for similar reasons.  I cannot advocate strongly enough for its removal. 

 

Further, I don't think this sort of a mechanic fits into the setting. I have a hard time buying Luke defeating Vader with Adversary in play.   



#15 Callidon

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:35 PM

Chrislee66 said:

 

 I don't like the adversary talent.  First, I dislike any mechanical advantage that falls purely within the realm of non-player characters.  I would rather simply make antagonists designed to contend with a party more powerful via conventional mechanisms because, simply put, abilities like Adversary feel cheap and often detract from player fun.  Furthermore, when I mentioned it to many of my group mates the response was universally negative for similar reasons.  I cannot advocate strongly enough for its removal. 

 

Further, I don't think this sort of a mechanic fits into the setting. I have a hard time buying Luke defeating Vader with Adversary in play.   

 

Pretty much this +1.  It's not so much having NPC-only mechanics for me. But it feels jury rigged, and would be something I would strike out with a sharpie pen in a rulebook.

 


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#16 nobble

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:16 PM

I like the Advsersary Talent, its an aid to the GM. 

It allows them to simply set the skill level of the NPC without first having to go through all the talents to work out specifcially which defensive talents they have. 

This is a replacement to those defensive talents not an addition.

I still theink that the cost of Specialisations need looking at, the current iteration is clunky and mathematically penalises RP….


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#17 Boehm

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:49 PM

 

gribble said:

 

the number of skills and allowing them to trigger off multiple characteristics and circumstances (passive/active, prepared/unprepared), or going the other way and sticking with the original vision (i.e.: lots of skills, each with a small difference in characteristic or situation for use). I actually don't mind the latter anywhere near as much as I do with the 40k games, because characters are still plenty competent without skill training in EotE.

 

 

IMO the decision to split skills or not, should be based on how frequent they come up and how critical they are in those situations ei. in most game systems perception is the 'I see everything!' skill, thus making it a no-brainer to max out … this is booring, for this reason I actually really like splitting it up into 2 seperate skills: vigilance and perception. Likewise in SW piloting is such a central skill, that splitting it in two to enable differentiation makes sense, though I think I would prefer splitting it based on craft-size (landspeeder/fighter vs. real space ships) rather than planatary vs. space

Ultimately the test of any skill system IMO is whether any skills are ALWAYS "maxed out" and some are almost always avoided … in that case the system needs to be refined … for this reason I like the split between ranged (light) vs ranged (heavy) …but dislike Melee and Brawl having been split (IMO brawl should either be part of melee or part of athletics) in SW or any other modern setting firearms play such a dominant position that having brawl as a seperate skill IMO rarely makes sense.

or Coordination? unlike in WFRP where its used for dodge … how relavant is it in SW? I mean how often would u expect to see anybody rolling that vs. rolling a piloting (planetary) or vigilance chceck? - mmm might help if you used coordination to control jetpacks :D or upped the blast quality to actually be dangerous and allowed a coordination check to duck for cover ? ;)



#18 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:02 PM

nobble said:

I like the Advsersary Talent, its an aid to the GM. 

It allows them to simply set the skill level of the NPC without first having to go through all the talents to work out specifcially which defensive talents they have. 

This is a replacement to those defensive talents not an addition.

+1.

It's a nice, simple means to keep your major NPCs from getting taken down too quickly without having to do excessive bookkeeping in regards to maneuver or Strain costs for the various defensive talents that PCs have access to.

And maybe I'm really showing my old-school gaming colors here, but having slightly different rules for building NPCs than for building PCs, I'm okay with… provided there's a means of checks & balances to cut back on the odds of the GM accidentally (or perhaps even intentionally) building an uber-NPC simply by piling on talents and skill ranks.

A lot of the Nemesis-level NPCs are suitable as "boss fights" for the PCs, so they should be harder to hit, which is a better solution than the "abundance of hit points" approach that 4e took with their non-minion opponents.  Henchmen also shouldn't be quite as easy to drop, and a slightly higher difficulty to do so makes sense.

Minions should be the bread and butter of most fights the PCs get into, and they go down easy enough as is.


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#19 Inksplat

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:34 AM

 Yeah, for everyone complaining about an NPC-only defense…did you miss the part where its simply a replacement for defensive talents? Its so you don't have to keep track of 4 different abilities--the NPCs don't get both.

 

So, yes, you could stat Vader out and give him 7 different Talents that make him a badass… or just give him Adversary 4. Seems like a much better solution.



#20 GM Chris

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:36 AM

The Adversary Talent reflects (frankly) what I've been doing automatically in any Edge game I've run so far.  Based on how "badass" the foe is, I've been assigning difficulty for attacks on the fly. 

[in my head] "What… he's a minion?  Normal difficulty to hit…"  "Ohhh… he's a second in command, a captain… gonna up the difficulty by a die…"  "Okay.  He's the BBEG.  Gonna up the difficulty by 2 or 3 dice."[/in my head]

It's just easier and more satisfying than making sure all the NPC defensive talents come into play/are used properly - and risking missing something.  It RADICALLY speeds up combat.  Until we're all at the point (like I was for Saga Edition) where we've memorized the talents.

 

I have ZERO issue with different rules for NPCs than for PCs.  Past that.  People forget that that's pretty much always how it was, until 3rd Edition D&D.  That really started the "transparency" of the GM screen and equivalent rules on both sides.  It was cool at first… and we all liked it.  But after a few years, it became a game of a player questioning (legimitately) the GM running a threat "the wrong way".  This propagated itself into 3.5 D&D, OCR/RCR Star Wars, and into Star Wars Saga Edition.  One of the (few) things I think WotC got RIGHT for 4th Edition was getting rid of this "transparency".  Let them be different!  PCs are not NPCs.  They're big damn heroes.  Dammit.

 

Make my job easier!  Please.  ;-)

 

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