Donovan Morningfire said:
There are a number of talents which allow you to ignore # of setback dice from some particular type of actions - Now my question is what do u do if there are 'no' setback dice to ignore?! Should the GM just be much more liberal with controlling difficulty by way of setback dice, rather than difficulty dice … or would you allow a player to downgrade a difficulty die to a setback die, and then ignore the setback die …if he could in total ignore 2 setback dice?
How have you guys handles this so far?
The way I've handled it to date is that if there's no setback dice, then there's nothing for the talent to do. Those talents don't necessarily mean the PC is "better" at a certain task than most folks, but more that they're not as troubled by "mitigating factors" like poor working conditions or substandard tools (i.e. things that would apply setback dice to a roll) than the average person would be.
I kind of like that not every talent is going to be universally useful in every situation. We've got that with combat talents, such as Point Blank and Barrage and Feral Strength, adding damage to specific weapons under certain circumstances.
As for your proposed example, I'm guessing this is a case where the PC has taken multiple instances of a talent that removes setback dice, such as Researcher or Galaxy Mapper? Otherwise, being able to downgrade the difficulty (which by itself is huge) and then remove a setback die with only a single selection of the talent is way too good of a benefit.
I agree but would like to add the following. Removing a setback die should be much easier than adding a boost die; as it is, it seems like the two are seen as equivalent by the designers. This is despite the fact that you won't always have setback dice, but a boost die is always helpful.
Another issue is that there needs to be listings for each individual skill/action showing what setback dice could be added. There is a talent (Galaxy Mapper?) that removes setback dice for Astrogation, but most of the things that would make since for setback are covered under difficulty increases for Astrogation. This means that the DM has to throw you a bone for removing setback dice. That said, in my group I didn't have any complaints from the Pilot who removed setback dice from Pilot checks, he has already had several instances where it was very useful (having advantage/threat add setback dice in combat really helps this).