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#1 lupex

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

I know that this has already been discussed during the test phase but during the climax to crate of krayts, that my group finally got to on Monday night, we had a few issues with the dice rolls.  The group got on fine with having a few advantage or threat to spend but for a couple of rolls the players had net results of zero successes but with over 5 advantages, and in one case the roll was zero success but with 8 advantages.  This created a bit of an issue as technically the players failed but had the opportunity for other major semi-related things to happen.  

How have others handled this as initially we were a bit stuck?

We were considering allowing advantage to be spent to buy a single success (maybe by causing an equal amount of strain) so that the extra effects was more directly related to what the player wanted to do, or allowing advantage to be spent to immediately roll a boost dice, have others tested either of these ideas out?

Also, I was thinking that it might be an idea to allow a high number of advantages to be used as the same effect of spending a triumph, what do you think?

 



#2 gribble

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

lupex said:

How have others handled this as initially we were a bit stuck?

We were considering allowing advantage to be spent to buy a single success (maybe by causing an equal amount of strain) so that the extra effects was more directly related to what the player wanted to do, or allowing advantage to be spent to immediately roll a boost dice, have others tested either of these ideas out?

Also, I was thinking that it might be an idea to allow a high number of advantages to be used as the same effect of spending a triumph, what do you think?

It's a tricky one. The designers have implied (by omission) that they're happy with the dice math, despite quite a few of these posts. To be fair, there have also been posts from other players saying they haven't had a big issue with this. Other players have said that it all evens out, as those advantages can add upgrades and/or boost die to future rolls, making it less likely those rolls will fail.

I don't like the idea of treating advantages as successes and/or triumphs, as I feel that it can blur the line between the functions of the different results too much. From memory some players have tried it with some success though.

I quite like the idea of an instant/interrupt re-roll, though I'd probably price it at 4 adv so it doesn't step on the toes of the other options too much. I.e.: 1 adv lets you add a blue to the next roll, 2 to any roll, 3 to upgrade and 4 to add it retrospecitvely to the current roll. Might have to try that one next session.

 


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#3 lupex

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:43 PM

Thanks gribble, I agree that the two mechanics should be kept separate but I was thinking that 4 advantage could be spent to generate 1 success and that higher amounts of advantage could be traded in for a single triumph?

One of my players has suggested that destiny points could be spent to buy successes on a 1 for  1 basis but I don't think this would work because of the fluid nature of destiny points.  It almost seems as if we need a one-shot results like old force points so that players would be very careful about spending them?

i would be interested to hear how any playtests of any of these ideas.



#4 Kallabecca

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:23 AM

Advantages already have a number of ways they can be spent to benefit the party. No reason to add another. The Triumph is a very powerful result and shouldn't be replicated with something like Advantages, even at a 4:1 exchange. Destiny points can already be spent, before the roll, to help out the party (IIRC they can be spent to buy upgrades to your current pool). Spending them to get a success is just handing the GM a benefit for very little advantage on the player's part since the GM isn't as likely to do the opposite.



#5 TheFlatline

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:29 PM

I don't see the need. At one point during the Kryat climax someone generated like 6 advantages and yet still failed, and gave their teammate a blue die for 1 advantage (he was the next PC up), gave that teammate a second die for 2 advantage (give anyone an advantage), gave a bad guy a black die, and finally stablized the Hutt's out of control barge for an extra turn (GM decision to build tension and eat advantages).

Yeah, he didn't disable the remote control on the Hutt's barge, but he still had a major impact on the game that turn, perhaps more than if he had simply disabled the remote control unit. It definately was more cinematic with him riding the skiff bucking bronco style with a pissed off Hutt screaming at him (next turn the Hutt calmed down enough to offer an assist), blaster bolts flying everywhere on a platform that was collapsing.



#6 TheFlatline

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:31 PM

Kallabecca said:

Advantages already have a number of ways they can be spent to benefit the party. No reason to add another. The Triumph is a very powerful result and shouldn't be replicated with something like Advantages, even at a 4:1 exchange. Destiny points can already be spent, before the roll, to help out the party (IIRC they can be spent to buy upgrades to your current pool). Spending them to get a success is just handing the GM a benefit for very little advantage on the player's part since the GM isn't as likely to do the opposite.

 

Not to mention it's also really the most boring use of a roleplaying hook. Each die roll with this system tells a little story, even beyond success and failure. If you *really* want to spend advantage to turn into success or failure, I actually suggest ditching this system entirely and going with a straight pool/difficulty number/success count or going back to something like WEG's Star Wars.



#7 coreysolo

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:03 AM

My gaming group has also implemented the 4 adv = 1 success house rule. It seems to work out well, and is easy to explain in an RP sense. I think converting those into triumphs or spending destiny points to convert to a 1:1 ratio would be a bit game breaking, though.



#8 lupex

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

Unknown said:

Kallabecca said:

 

Advantages already have a number of ways they can be spent to benefit the party. No reason to add another. The Triumph is a very powerful result and shouldn't be replicated with something like Advantages, even at a 4:1 exchange. Destiny points can already be spent, before the roll, to help out the party (IIRC they can be spent to buy upgrades to your current pool). Spending them to get a success is just handing the GM a benefit for very little advantage on the player's part since the GM isn't as likely to do the opposite.

 

 

 

Not to mention it's also really the most boring use of a roleplaying hook. Each die roll with this system tells a little story, even beyond success and failure. If you *really* want to spend advantage to turn into success or failure, I actually suggest ditching this system entirely and going with a straight pool/difficulty number/success count or going back to something like WEG's Star Wars.

Don't get me wrong I really like the narrativeness of this system but I need a bit of advice on the best way to play things and I am interested to hear about how others have dealt with this issue. It would have been more helpful if you could offer tips on how your group have coped with the swings and roundabouts of "you fail but you get 8 advantage" instead of just advising me to go back to the old way of doing things.

I have been playing Star Wars rpgs since weg first released its d6 version in 87 and I also played the d20 version until saga came along with its more tactical focus.  As an experienced gm I am very used to adjudicating the dice narratively with "you fail and this happens" or "you succeed and this happens" with much awesomness happening as a result.

And I do feel that dealing with a couple of threat or advantage as part of any roll in this system is quite intuitive.  My one caveat is that whatever happens is as a result of the initial roll, so if a player wants to pass on a boost dice or a setback dice then he has to describe how what he tried to do affected the other person, this keeps the narrative tied to the active player and my players have embraced this by becoming quite creative, which is great.

The problem came when a couple of times a player looked at the result and went "huh?" , as there is no guidance for spending high levels of advantage.  I actually feel that it is much easier to spend threat and I have allowed players to spend the threat on their rolls to keep them involved in the narative.  It would be nice to have the advantage table include tips on spending more than 3 advantage at a time because my players felt that having more advantage on a roll should logically make more of an impact and felt that splitting the advantages reduced the possible impact.  I guess I feel that it should be ok to spend a high level of advantage to 'turn the tide of battle' or similar results, but the rules don't cover this.

it also did not make narative sense that the player missed the bounty hunter but because of him firing off a few shots added boost die, recovered strain or achived other lesser effects.  What the player wanted to do was shoot the bad guy and maybe cause a critical hit or have other awesome things happen because of this.

We did describe the results quite cinematically but fudged taking out the bad guy as part of the narative, which is something I don't want to keep doing if the roll doesn't describe this.

That is my dilemma and the reason for trying to solve it is to keep the game flowing in a logical fashion but still have awesome things happen.  And isn't that what the dice and the game are there to support?

 



#9 Xyx

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

I played my first game last week (after some thorough reading and statistical analysis), and pretty much everything mentioned in this thread came up.

Observations and thoughts:

One hour into the game we got a "Fail with 6 Advantage" roll that nobody had a clue what to do with.  The player immediately asked "Can I trade this in for a Success?"  We explained that this was not an option since the dice clearly stated that he did not succeed.  So far, so good.

The next question was "Can I pass on 6 Boost dice?", to which I replied that I vaguely remembered reading something on this very forum about not being able to pick options in the "Table 6-2: Spending Advantage and Triumphs in Combat" more than once except where this was specifically indicated (such as recovering strain.)  Would be nice if the book were more explicit about this.

The most common results seem to be "Succeed but …" and "Fail but …".  I love the idea of the dice providing narrative opportunity.  That was, in fact, the #1 reason I voted for EotE when our group decided to start a new campaign.  However, the current statistical distribution has turned this opportunity into a burden.  The average GM can only come up with a good narrative so many times before falling back on "uhm, strain" and the rest of the group grudgingly accepting the lack of narrative in order to get on with the game.  It took our GM only a few rolls to reduce the level of his narration to "Uhm… you suffer 1 strain."  Not very cinematic.

The players had equal trouble with the Advantages.  Especially giving the next guy a Boost die.  That quickly became "Next guy gets a Boost die."  We could have tried to get all narrative about it, but when you think about that: "I'm helping out, uhm… whoever acts next (which could be anyone because we have no fixed initiative order, ha ha) with… whatever it is he's going to do (which I guess could also be anything.)  Yay, go me, doing… something for… someone!"  This system is quite cinematic and narrative in theory, but incredibly abstract in practice.  Our group probably has a century of roleplaying experience combined, so it's not like we're clueless, but it would help if the system backed us up a little.

 

There is way too much Advantage/Threat on the dice, and as a result the "Advantage/Threat economy" has become inflated.  You have to roll 2+ Advantage to do anything worth mentioning with it.  A single Advantage or Threat does not feel advantageous or threatening at all, which undermines the system.  Giving the next guy a Boost die is cute but way too abstract for me to be proud of, and nobody felt in the least way threatened by suffering a single point of strain.

Because of the way the dice work, any die that does not land on a Success is almost guaranteed to land on an Advantage.  So if you roll no Successes, then you're probably rolling a ton of Advantages.  Hence the likelihood of "Fail but massive Advantage" results reported in this thread.

Advantage/Threat overlaps with Triumph/Despair.  The differences between a Triumph/Despair and, say, 4 Advantage/Threat currently seem minimal in both spirit and practice.  I don't see the point of having these two different systems.  It doesn't even make sense: I could mow down waves of minions and my gun will not run out of ammo, but if I instead decide to take a few pot shots at some dude with the Adversary talent… *click* *click*!

Suggestions for the next version of EotE:

Both the Advantage/Threat on the dice and the costs to spend them could be halved.  That way clean Success and Failure would become the norm and Advantage/Threat would become somewhat special as they should be.  This would also make rolling a single Advantage/Threat significant, which it currently emphatically is not.

Triumph/Despair could be replaced with double Advantage/Threat.  This is much cleaner and would accomplish everything the current system does.

The book should explicitly state that each option for spending Advantage/Threat can only be purchased once.



#10 Sturn

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:29 PM

Could a solution be covering up some of the advantages/threats on the dice, making them blanks? If you choose wisely you could leave primarily those advantages/threats paired with success/failures. This would result in advantages/threats being a rarer thing and make it more typical that you have a successful roll with advantage then a failure with advantage. The failure with advantage could still happen, but it would be very rare (as it probably should be). If this playtested as a good solution it would be nice to tweek the molds before April :)

Might have to pick up the dice or look here to understand what I mean. Delete a few of the advantages and threats on all dice while leaving all of them paired with successes/failures, and a few of the doubles perhaps so you still get some eureka!/ohshit! rolls.



#11 Xyx

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:55 PM

That is precisely what I had in mind, though I doubt I could convince our group to try out anything so… unofficial (though it wouldn't be our first house rule) right after they finished sticking those little stickers to their dice.

I would modify the dice like this (as per the table on page 12):

Table 1-1: Using Standard Dice in Edge of the Empire
Die Type 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Boost Die (d6) Blank Blank AA A A Blank SA S            
Setback Die (d6) Blank Blank F F T Blank T            
Ability Die (d8) Blank S S SS A Blank A SA A        
Difficulty Die (d8) Blank F FF T Blank T Blank T T FT        
Proficiency Die (d12) Blank S S SS SS A Blank SA S SA SA AA A AA A Triumph AA
Challenge Die (d12) Blank F F FF FF T Blank T FT F FT TT T TT T Despair TT

Changes are marked with strikethrough.

The Boost dice are probably the worst offenders, as they grant a whopping 4/6 Advantage on average and they're self-propagating because of the "bonus Boost die for the next guy" mechanic.  This is strange in and of itself, since helping others mostly just makes it more likely that they'll be helping the next guy than actually achieving success.  This makes for a nice group hug mechanic, but it's quite the strain on the narrative.


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#12 Sturn

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

I've been delving into this and actually considered altering my Beta-sticker-dice, then changed my mind. I then started down a different path. Tell me what you think please…

The issue at hand repeated by many is sometimes we get too many Advantages with a failed roll. This is a direct result of the fact that when you don't roll many Successes, you thus roll more Advantages (on the same die). The reverse is also true - A successful roll tends to have more Threats since when you roll less failure symbols, you roll more Threats. Thus we have the problem of what to do with all of these Advantages on a failed roll or lots of Threats on a Successful roll. My conclusion is we don't need to change the dice symbols (and thus cause other indirect problems), but to just come up with something new to spend all of the Advantages/Threats on during a Failed/Succesful roll…..

The Force Attempts to Bring Balance to the Universe:

When an action fails, a player may spend 4 Advantage to upgrade a future use of a Light side Destiny point. When an action succeeds, the GM may spend 4 Threat to upgrade a future use of a Dark side Destiny point. Upgraded Destiny points are twice as powerful - they upgrade ability dice twice, upgrade difficulty twice, or fuel special abilities requiring destiny points twice. The upgrade must be used before the end of the current encounter (it isn't carried over to the next destiny pool formation). From a narrative point of view, the Force is attempting to bring balance by helping those who failed, or hindering those who succeeded.

It's not elegant, but it removes the, "What do we do with all of that?" problem on a failed roll with lots of advantage. You get to save it and preload a future roll with some Force infusion. It makes such a roll a cool thing (uber destiny point coming up) instead of a problem to deal with. It also makes a success with a ton of threat add anxiety to the near future (when is the GM going to screw is over with that?).

Thoughts? What problems is this creating?



#13 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:43 AM

Sturn said:

I've been delving into this and actually considered altering my Beta-sticker-dice, then changed my mind. I then started down a different path. Tell me what you think please…

The Force Attempts to Bring Balance to the Universe:

When an action fails, a player may spend 4 Advantage to upgrade a future use of a Light side Destiny point. When an action succeeds, the GM may spend 4 Threat to upgrade a future use of a Dark side Destiny point. Upgraded Destiny points are twice as powerful - they upgrade ability dice twice, upgrade difficulty twice, or fuel special abilities requiring destiny points twice. The upgrade must be used before the end of the current encounter (it isn't carried over to the next destiny pool formation). From a narrative point of view, the Force is attempting to bring balance by helping those who failed, or hindering those who succeeded.

It's not elegant, but it removes the, "What do we do with all of that?" problem on a failed roll with lots of advantage. You get to save it and preload a future roll with some Force infusion. It makes such a roll a cool thing (uber destiny point coming up) instead of a problem to deal with. It also makes a success with a ton of threat add anxiety to the near future (when is the GM going to screw is over with that?).

Thoughts? What problems is this creating?

Well, I'm thinking that you could streamline it and just allow 4 Advantages to convert a Dark Side Destiny Point to a Light Side one, and 4 Threat to do the opposite.  It makes the process a whole lot more elegant and more importantly, easier to keep track of.

Admittedly, I've not run into this problem too often, as the play groups I ran EotE for, particularly the most recent outing, seemed almost eager to spend those Advantages to provie boost dice, often including a narrative reason why the boost die was being granted without much in the way of prodding.  Maybe I'm just really lucky to have a play group that's willing to fully embrace the "narrative focus" of EotE and isn't quite as hung up on "not enough successes" as some folks are.


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#14 Sturn

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:05 AM

Donovan Morningfire said:

 

Well, I'm thinking that you could streamline it and just allow 4 Advantages to convert a Dark Side Destiny Point to a Light Side one, and 4 Threat to do the opposite.  It makes the process a whole lot more elegant and more importantly, easier to keep track of.

 

 

This was exactly my first thought, but I ran into the problem of what if there were no light/dark side tokens to flip over?

Edit: I suppose adding a token (in this case) to the mix wouldn't break anything. In fact if rolling 4 Advantages/Threats with a Fail/Success is rare enough, this could be the rule - the force pool grows by one token of the appropriate type.

I also didn't mean such a house rule to be the ONLY possibility for the 4 Advantage/Threat, just something to use when you can't think of anything else.



#15 Xyx

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:19 AM

Flipping Destiny Points would provide a nice additional outlet for surplus Advantage/Threat.  Save your karma, as it were.  I would definitely streamline it, as well.

Donovan Morningfire said:

Admittedly, I've not run into this problem too often, as the play groups I ran EotE for, particularly the most recent outing, seemed almost eager to spend those Advantages to provie boost dice, often including a narrative reason why the boost die was being granted without much in the way of prodding.

My experiences have been the same as far as non-combat situations are concerned, because those situations are usually fairly focused and linear, and everyone is either working towards the same goal or aware of what the others are trying to accomplish.  However, in combat the system breaks down.  The order in which we take our turns partly depends on the actions of NPCs, so plans often change mid-round.  Even if we start the round with a pretty clear idea of what everybody intends to do, passing a Boost die to the next guy could still really mean anybody doing anything.  You can't come up with a narrative for something so generic.

Does that mean we're not actually supposed to pass the Boost die in such a situation?  Perhaps we've been playing it wrong, and we're only supposed to pass Boost dice if we can provide a proper narrative.  The book isn't very clear about this.  I guess a more "narrative up front" approach would solve this side of the problem, though at the expense of slowing down the action while everybody tries to figure out what to do with all that Advantage/Threat.



#16 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:52 AM

Xyx said:

You can't come up with a narrative for something so generic.

I've got at least five players that constantly proved that statement wrong, giving a narrative reason for why their action (that provided the boost die) was being given to a specific PC.

If anything, I could see the 1 Adv option of "boost die to next ally to act" being even easier, both in and out of combat, as that player's action (succesful or not) helped set-up the next person's action.


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#17 lupex

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

But, as one of my players pointed out, how can you narratively describe giving a boost die to the next player to act when you don't know who it is and you don't know what they are going to do?



#18 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:18 AM

lupex said:

But, as one of my players pointed out, how can you narratively describe giving a boost die to the next player to act when you don't know who it is and you don't know what they are going to do?

Depends on the action that caused the boost die to be handed out.  A blaster shot that missed could still leave the target off-balance and thus an easier mark for the next person to shoot at them, whoever it might be.

Or while the fake sob story (Deceit) may not have won over the local Imperial prefect, but the prefect's reaction gives the next person the inspiration for a slighlty more plausiable story that makes it clear that ISB is paying attention to how the prefect runs things, and any "deviations from Imperial doctrine" will be noted and forwarded to the higher-ups back on Imperial Center (likely a Coerce check)

Then again, in the games I've run and played in, the players openly discussed who'd go next, and pick up the narrative there to explain how their action incoporated that boost die.

I guess it depends on the imagination of your players.  Sadly, not all gamers are good at on-the-spot improv, and I think EotE's dice system is the type of game that is more rewarding for those players that can do on-the-spot improv.


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#19 Xyx

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

Even if you discuss who goes next, then that only partially solves the uncertainty inherent in "Boost die for the next guy".  There is still the possibility that NPCs take action in between and the party is forced to abandon the plan.  Do you take away the Boost die in that case?

Example:

Player 1: Ooh, an Advantage!  Who's next?
Player 2: I'd like to try and hack the door controls.
Player 1: Then I'll help you at the console.  +1 Boost die!
GM: A stormtrooper shoots the console. *rolls dice*  Yep, blown to smithereens.
Player 2: Erm… guess I'll draw my blaster and shoot.

Does he get the Boost die?

Perhaps we can make a sample list of narratives for those completely generic "+1 Boost die to I dunno who doing I dunno what next" situations.

  1. "I speak encouraging words to the party to raise morale.  Onwards, brave companions!  To victory!"
  2. "I focus my inner calm and beseech the Force to aid us in this hour of need."
  3. Uhm… anyone?


#20 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:36 AM

Xyx said:

 

Even if you discuss who goes next, then that only partially solves the uncertainty inherent in "Boost die for the next guy".  There is still the possibility that NPCs take action in between and the party is forced to abandon the plan.  Do you take away the Boost die in that case?

Does he get the Boost die?

 

 

Sure he does.  The narrative reason may need to be adjusted to account for the change in action, but the mechanics behind why that boost die was granted (Advantage spent) remains intact.

As I've said plenty of times before on these boards, this game requires a paradigm shift for those players and GM's who are coming from a primarily d20/D&D gaming background.  Evil Hat's FATE system is also a narrative-style game, and my Saturday gaming group (most of whom had really only played d20 games prior to that) had trouble adapting from a tactical, hard-coded rules mindset to a more open & freeform mindset.

To be honest, I really do think you're overthinking the matter.  To quote a certain Jedi Master, you must unlearn what you have learned.  And to quote another Jedi Master, let go your conscious self and act on instinct ;)


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