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Advantages and Threats..


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#1 Kager

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:45 PM

I want to put together a chart for the players that has a list of general Advantages and Threats that they can choose from if I so wish.  I know the rulebook has a few but I would like to hear from some other Galaxy Masters such as yourselves!  Thank you!



#2 thecableton

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 05:32 AM

Are you including Despairs and Triumphs in this list too?



#3 Kager

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:11 AM

thecableton said:

Are you including Despairs and Triumphs in this list too?

 

excellent point, yes I am. :)



#4 LethalDose

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 05:07 AM

Do you have a copy of the Beta text?  The text provides a variety of ways to spend extra success/advantage/threat/triumph/dispair for each skill, in addition to the options provided on page 133 for combat.

Beyond that, any list of how to use the symbols for players to choose from that is anywhere near exhaustive is going to be a mile long.  We've found it easier for the players to describe the effect, and the GM to translate the description into mechanical bonus/penalty.  But that doesn't mean that's the only way to do it, or that the mechanical bonus the GM translated is the only way to take advantage of an effect.  

Also as a GM, I find it helps to think up a few ways to spend threat, triumph, and despair in encounters when I'm designing them.  It helps the flow of the game to just go through what I wrote down and find something that works.

This game just requires more creativity, on both the parts of the GM and the Players, than some other RPGs. A chart of effects to choose from isn't really going to work that well.  The good news is that the guidelines that are provided are really flexible, and just by reskinning some effects, you can get pretty much everything that you could reasonably hope for in a game.  

Anecdotally, our table has had a few issues with the MASSIVE numbers of advantage/threat that get generated on some rolls that led to some creativity burn-out for the night.  The best way to avoid this is to rely on the easy options (recover strain, next guy gets a boost die, etc) for most rolls, and only get outside the box when the roller (PC or GM) already has a plan for what to do with adv.  It's also fine to let some advantage go by unspent.  This happens to us pretty frequently with boons/banes in WHF3E, so we don't have a problem with it here.

-WJL

PS When we were beta testing, we found that we got so many advantages on failed rolls, we actually felt obliged to make a drinking game out of it.



#5 Kager

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:49 AM

LethalDose said:

Do you have a copy of the Beta text?  The text provides a variety of ways to spend extra success/advantage/threat/triumph/dispair for each skill, in addition to the options provided on page 133 for combat.

Beyond that, any list of how to use the symbols for players to choose from that is anywhere near exhaustive is going to be a mile long.  We've found it easier for the players to describe the effect, and the GM to translate the description into mechanical bonus/penalty.  But that doesn't mean that's the only way to do it, or that the mechanical bonus the GM translated is the only way to take advantage of an effect.  

Also as a GM, I find it helps to think up a few ways to spend threat, triumph, and despair in encounters when I'm designing them.  It helps the flow of the game to just go through what I wrote down and find something that works.

This game just requires more creativity, on both the parts of the GM and the Players, than some other RPGs. A chart of effects to choose from isn't really going to work that well.  The good news is that the guidelines that are provided are really flexible, and just by reskinning some effects, you can get pretty much everything that you could reasonably hope for in a game.  

Anecdotally, our table has had a few issues with the MASSIVE numbers of advantage/threat that get generated on some rolls that led to some creativity burn-out for the night.  The best way to avoid this is to rely on the easy options (recover strain, next guy gets a boost die, etc) for most rolls, and only get outside the box when the roller (PC or GM) already has a plan for what to do with adv.  It's also fine to let some advantage go by unspent.  This happens to us pretty frequently with boons/banes in WHF3E, so we don't have a problem with it here.

-WJL

PS When we were beta testing, we found that we got so many advantages on failed rolls, we actually felt obliged to make a drinking game out of it.

 

very much appreciated!!



#6 gribble

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:48 AM

Kager said:

 

I want to put together a chart for the players that has a list of general Advantages and Threats that they can choose from if I so wish. 

 

 

The "Reference Sheets" link in my sig already contains such a thing…

:)


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

 


#7 LethalDose

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:14 PM

gribble said:

The "Reference Sheets" link in my sig already contains such a thing…

:)

Yeah, those are nice quick reference sheets, but they really just condense what's already in the book (I am totally going to use them for that now, btw) and they don't discuss specific options.  I thought the OP was looking for things like:

  • For 3 failures on an attack your blaster shot goes wide and starts a brush fire near your speeder bike OR
  • For a triumph on your check to override a security protocol on a door, you short-circuit the whole system and all the doors in the complex unlock.

Basically, the "outside the box/book" stuff since he already aknowledged that the book provides some options.  

Or maybe I'm off base.

-WJL



#8 Kager

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:21 PM

These are all excellent, thanks!



#9 DarkLanternZBT

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 05:16 PM

IMO, Advantage/Threat and Triumph/Despair should be informed by the individual encounter. The base list in the book gives you a nice "core" to compare for strength / balance, but really beyond that you're better served coming up with at least one unique way to use them each encounter, and then finding ways with your players to use them.

Here's a couple of ways we used Advantage/Threat and Triumph/Despair in the basic game:

 - During the fight with Trex on the Krayt Fang, a player wanted to shut the loading ramp and lock other combatants outside. She rolled extra Advantages, and I charged her 3 to shut and lock the ramp as a free action.

 - During the fight against Teemo you can spend Advantage to shoot the giant light fixture onto him (the page break makes some people miss that detail), because he's one tough Hutt to kill otherwise. My players really wanted to shove a grenade down his exhaust port, though, so every time they succeeded on a Triumph I let them and shaved some points off his soak. It took two grenades and dedicated vibro-axe chopping and hacking to finally take him down.



#10 diversionArchitect

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 06:18 PM

While I agree it is ideal that your table be inventive and come up with things on their own- I would really like to have just a list of somewhat vague, but specific enough to spark an idea, uses for advantages and threats.

My group sometimes had a hard time coming up with something exciting- and aside from defaulting to healing/draining strain.   Which i feel is a terrible way to use such an awesome system.  But it was taken at times just to keep moving because we couldn't come up with anyhting exciting enough.

Especially to use as a guide for narrating why someone is getting a boost on their next roll, or why someone is suffering a setback on their next roll.

While I know the destiny points are usable to create things for a scene, it seems ideal to spend advantages and threats to do the same thing.  The difference being that some things should cost more.

I think a list of things that might happen in locations is more useful than skill related ideas.  Just to throw a list together of locales:

  • Urban streets
  • Wilderness
  • Bars
  • Military/Guard places
  • Starship combat

I'll post back when I come up with anything worthwhile.  Glad to see I'm not the only one interested in this!

(sorry if my grammar's terrible I'm half asleep writing this lol)



#11 newbiedm

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:50 AM

I don't know if I necessarily agree that it would be too complicated to provide players and gms with examples. If FFG took every encounter that they wrote, and had a sidebar with "Posible Advantage/Threats Uses" it would go a long way towards helping players come up with stuff.

 

I'm talking about a small list with a few ways to spend Adv & Thr, not an exhaustive list that takes up a whole page. This should also point out that they are examples to work off, so that a Gm prepping a game, can have a more comprehensive list ready if he so chooses.

 

I plan to do that when I begin running the game in earnest. A list of examples just in case I get the inevitable "what can i do?" question. 



#12 bobfrankly

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 10:29 AM

I recall someone mentioning that they were watching movies with an eye towards this. Looking at situations and what pieces of them would have resulted out of dice rolls of threat or advantage, not a bad exercise to get the brain rolling. I GM'd a couple beginner games sessions. For awhile I had threat eating up a player's move action (mostly to get up from a fall) but as the players get more creative, the threat and advantage came more naturally.

For instance: While trying to ditch the stormtroopers on the street, one of the players shot at a water tower on the map to release the water, ideally covering his and the bounty hunter's escape. With the threat generated, I ruled that he hit either a latch or a weak spot (something like that) that caused the water to come rushing out far quicker then expected. He was able to get out of the way, but then had to run down some side streets to retrieve the Bounty Hunter who got caught in the flooding.



#13 GMSam

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 11:43 AM

I help the creativity lag issue by letting the other players throw the active player ideas and the I kick in my thoughts as the GM.



#14 diversionArchitect

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 01:42 PM

@NewbieDM  Sounds brilliant.  That would be certainly worth a margin in any adventure scene.  

I'm unsure of how much talk like this happened during the beta early enough to make it to the first product cycle, but this is one of the major things I'd want to see on the GM screen.

@bobfankly Movies are always a good point.  A clip collection of such scenes would be a great thing to watch (since the actual plot isn't what we're stealing)  I'll keep a lookout for one.

@GMSam I definately think that is the spirit of it, but even with that I've had some slowdown as players stare blankly at me and I'm also, for the moment, exhausted of ideas.  That's where the idea of having a list of things to play off would really shine.



#15 Fiddleback

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:04 PM

<self promotion hat> Listen to the Skill Monkey Segment on the Order 66 Podcast. </self promotion hat>


Freelance Editor and Writer  (Ed: Rogue Trader: Faith and CoinStar Wars: Age of Rebellion Beta) - Contributor of the Skill Monkey and Stormtrooper Poetry segments to The Order 66 Podcast - Bon Vivant and gadabout town.

 

 


#16 schmoo34

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 07:57 AM

I see how powerful the advantage/threat concept can be towards adding "flesh to the bone" with encounters…but in another sense, as I plan a campaign, I feel it is a nightmare of micromanaging…firstly, there is the counting of the dice (which immediately followed the equally cumbersome calculating of the dicepool) and then each and every encounter can be dazzling because you can have unique advantages/threats for each one or you can just simply use a generic list and then only get "fancy" when encountering special places or bosses.  Unfortunately, I'm more the latter type of GM as it is just so much micromanagement.  But I like having the option to use it when I see fit and I can make awesome encounters from it.



#17 Leechman

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 08:55 AM

It does seem daunting, but you fall into a rhythm pretty quickly.  Assembling dice pools/difficulty etc becomes like second nature pretty quickly.  Advantages/Threats is probably the thing I imagine most GM's have an issue with, but after your first session, you can get an idea of what your players look for/expect from adv/threats and vice versa.  

Not every Advantage/Threat use has to be that dazzling, unique, epic moment, nor do they have to be just 'regain strain' or 'additional maneuver' etc.  Most of us watch TV or read books right?  Well, think of your favourite TV shows or books as good examples.  

For example, how many times in a cop show does a Protagonist try and Deceive or Coerce a suspect into giving them the specific information?  Always.  But it doesn't always work out the same.  Sometimes they succeed and get the info, and then the suspect gives out more information than just what was being sought, maybe something that can lead in a new direction (success + adv).  Or it fails, and then goes further and the suspect gets hostile (failure + threat).  Or perhaps they succeed in getting the information out, but at the same time another member of the suspect's gang walks around the corner and rushes to help him (Success + Threat).  Alternatively, the suspect keeps his mouth shut, but they notice a tattoo or something else which gives them a follow up lead (failure + adv).

Same sorts of things for combat as well, think of shoot-outs/fights in you favourite shows.  Not everything is the epic Michael Bay Helicopters and explosions Hero moment.  You often see the protagnists in a shootout and they notice, for example, something advantageous about the environment, an overhanging piece of equipment or oil slick behind their opponents. Maybe the glancing blow the opponent takes trips them up and they fall to their knees/prone or they manage to disarm their opponent, just straight up shoot the gun out of their hands.  Perhaps the sight of one or 2 fallen comrades puts the fear into the opponents and they turn and run or even surrender.  Their weapons could even jam or break entirely.  Alternatively, the opponents might receive reinforcements, or disable the cover the protagonist was behind.  Possibly they activate some environmental thing to add a whole new level of danger, for example activating the machine part incinerator that the protagonists are standing just in front of.  Even simpler, maybe the protaginst slips as he moves to/from cover or goes to shoot and realises he's out of ammo.  Or, something you see most often, in the middle of a tough fight, the opponents' getaway car pulls up and they make an expeditious retreat or pull out some bigger guns from the vehicle.

Perhaps its just me, but I have a very flexible view when it comes to Adv/Threats, and I don't see them as such a challenge (Although admittedly, I take a lot of inspiration from TV/Movies/Books etc).  For me, sometimes they're innocuous details, like the merchant sets the price at 300 instead of 400 or the speeder runs out of fuel after a few minutes operation.  Then sometimes I let them decide/influence major story points etc.  For example, one of my PCs was opening a lockbox they'd brought back to the ship when they rolled up 6 threat.  All of a sudden, from this, the lockbox developed a anti-intrusion mechanism which saw it release a cloud of poison gas.  Now the group is taking care of the sick party member while tracking down a cure to this rather rare concoction, which will then lead into a whole new set of adventures.

TL;DR:  If you're looking for inspiration for Advantages/Threats, try 'borrowing' a few ideas from your favourite TV Shows or Books.  You'll be amazed at how much easier it all becomes.






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