Jump to content



Photo

Opposed rolls, derived defense and you


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 Tashiro31

Tashiro31

    Member

  • Members
  • 29 posts

Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:52 PM

 

I have a few ideas/questions I would like to throw out to my fellow GMs/home rulers. Before we get started there are a few things I should clear up. First and foremost, I understand what this game is. Narrative first, non-antagonist GM/player dynamic. There is no need to reiterate this, I feel my ideas are compatible with that style of game play. Secondly, I know this is an incomplete game. I have read they beta rules fairly extensively and I have run the beginner set, I understand these in no way represent FF’s vision of the finished product.


What I was wondering is why FF decided not to make use of opposed rolls in melee combat scenarios? In my head it makes sense that two characters wielding melee weapon would be actively parrying each other and the opposed roll seems to be the simplest way to represent this mechanically. Obviously an armed attacker versus an unarmed defender would default to the default easy difficulty for combat “to-hit” resolution.


My second question is would this game benefit from a derived defensive attribute. Perhaps something as simple as a difficulty upgrade for every 2 points of agility or you could add a setback die for agi = 1-2, difficulty die for agi = 3-4 and upgrade die for agi = 5-6 . I know this puts an even more unnecessary focus on agility but I have hard time wrapping my head around a system that only uses range as a “to-hit” difficulty.


These are just some thoughts for potential house rules, please feel free to tell my why they rule, suck, need more/less work etc I look forward to hearing some of your ideas. Cheers!



#2 Kallabecca

Kallabecca

    Member

  • Members
  • 943 posts

Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:35 PM

A) Simple, your Talents and Armor give you changes to the pool (mostly via Setback dice to your opponent's roll). They also wanted the attacker in each situation to have a slight edge against a similar dice pool (Ability is slightly better than Difficulty, Proficiency is slightly better than Challenge).

B) There is no Upgrade die. There is an upgrade mechanism by which an Ability turns into a Proficiency (or if the pool is all Proficiency then a new Ability die is added). Range is the only difficulty because frankly, you can't dodge light. You can seek cover (Setback dice), you can improve the terrain (Advantage/Triumph for more setback against them), you can pick up Talents (like Dodge) and armor to defend against incoming fire.



#3 Azai

Azai

    Member

  • Members
  • 25 posts

Posted 07 May 2013 - 06:22 PM

I believe they had it in the beginning but they changed it for some reason.  I completely agree with them on the ranged aspect, but on the melee… Well I agree that I think player skill should have a little more to do with it.

Honestly I just do opposed rolls.  Whoever is attacking(Or had initiatve) and want to hit the player just makes a dice pool. The difficultly is the person's skill. So say they had 3 agility and 2 melee…the  attacker would be rolling against 1 difficulty die and 2 challenge die.

Advantage and threat can be a little tricky in this situation, but it does provide a lot of flavor for narrative fun or flare. Say the attacker hits but generates a lot of threat. I can say they got off balance or anger got the best off them and they are now open for an attack. The person gets a bonus die on their roll, or they were pushed back and able to get higher ground or maybe run away.  Most of the time it can translate into what the tables suggest you do with advantage and threat, but more often it can lead to more creative or interesting results.

So far it has worked well, but then again non of my players are melee heavy as of right now. Nor at the enemies they face.



#4 Tashiro31

Tashiro31

    Member

  • Members
  • 29 posts

Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:45 AM

As far as the upgrade, i misspoke and meant to say challenge die, the upgraded version of a difficulty die. If its easier just think of agi 5-6 as a double difficulty upgrade. I will admit the ranged idea was tenuous at best, but I feel opposed skill checks for two armed melee combatants is true to the idea of the game and in a way makes for a more cinematic experience.


Threat and advantage can be used to add flavor, ie a defender successfully parries an attack (in essence his skill being the difficulty of the attack negates the “to-hit” roll of the attacker) he also has some despair to spend so he could use that to inflict a point or two of strain on the attacker, narratively we can say that the defender was able to brush aside the attackers vibro-sword and throw a quick jab into his mush. For threat we could use the same example but instead of inflicting strain it could add a setback to the attackers next attack roll representing the defender knocking the strike away and gaining superior positioning. In this way melee combat would feel more like a duel.



#5 Farsox

Farsox

    Member

  • Members
  • 121 posts

Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:05 AM

I think that you are on the right track.  It seems that melee combat should be a little more involved than a predictable range-determined difficulty.  There are so many types of weapons and fighting styles that can factor into melee.  At first thought, there should be two different attributes associated with Blocking (Brawn) and Dodging (Agility).  However, EotE seems to associate athletics as well as strength to Brawn.  With that in mind, I could come up with a slew of ways for the dice rolls to determine wether an attack was accurate, and then if the opponent was able to block or dodge that attack.  In the meantime, I think that a brawl vs brawl, melee vs melee, or melee vs brawl opposed check makes the most sense to me.

It will be some time before we will know for sure, but I imagine the "Force & Destiny" rulebook will flesh out melee combat a bit more.  After all, Jedi need to have epic lightsaber battles, as well as abilities to block/deflect blaster fire.


"The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

 

Specialization Trees


#6 ejacobs

ejacobs

    Member

  • Members
  • 213 posts

Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:39 AM

I was thinking that for opposed rolls the way to handle it was to take the ability and proficiency die pool, plus everything else and counter it with the opponent's ability and proficiency die, which become difficulty and challenge die. At least that seems to be the way to work out melee and brawling. Gives a slight advantage to the active player, of course, in a fight, it's always better to be the one to strike first.

 

E



#7 mouthymerc

mouthymerc

    Not the member you are looking for!

  • Members
  • 1,815 posts

Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:16 AM

I think the target dice for melee were changed from opposing rolls to a straight up difficulty to simplify things between melee and ranged combat. FFG didn't want to make melee so much tougher than ranged combat that it was the duh choice at all times. Depending on the skill of your opponent it could become very difficult to hit him in melee. Many times people would just shoot him instead of go hand to hand. Something like this may be more appropriate in a game with Jedi and Sith where melee combat would be more common. We may see the return of opposed rolls in Force & Destiny where those lightsaber duels will be more common.


People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
George Orwell


#8 LethalDose

LethalDose

    Member

  • Members
  • 782 posts

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:17 PM

So, I guess I have two questions:

  1. Are you asking why the designers didn't use some dynamic difficulty system instead of the static difficulties present in the game, OR are you looking for feed back on your proposed house rules.
  2. Have you played the game with the RAW?

If you look at the snippets of text about opposed rolls in the original beta texts that were removed in the earilest beta updates, its pretty clear they DID use an opposed system, but got rid of it later.  I don't remember the designers every addressing WHY it was removed, so unless someone can point to a designer post about this, I'm guessing its all going to be conjecture.  Obviously the designers tried this, and didn't like it, and I trust their judgement.

MY conjecture would be that it was removed for simplicity and to keep the game moving.  A system similar to what you are describing was used in WFRPG 3rd ed.  Personally, I didn't care for it.

I'm also curious if you have played the game with the RAW and found it to be lacking.  Our table has barely even noticed that the difficulties are static, there are plenty of other modifiers to keep us busy.

I personally like the static difficulties, because hitting a man size target with a rifle at several dozen yards is hitting a man sized target with a rifle at several dozen yards.  There's very VERY little a person can actually do reactively (i.e. abilities that rely on attributes) to change that.  There are plenty of things they can do actively (e.g. seek cover, run in a Z, etc) that can change the difficulty, and these are all abstractly supported in the system.

As always, the GM is free to add boost and setback dice to (Or increase/decrease or upgrade/downgrade, for that matter) the difficulty of the task's dice pool to tailor the dice to the task at hand.

-WJL


"All models are wrong, but some models are useful."  - George E. P. Box


#9 Tashiro31

Tashiro31

    Member

  • Members
  • 29 posts

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:49 PM

 

I was looking for feedback on my proposed house rules. I have only played the game with the rules as written and I have only played the beginner boxed set (the included adventure and the download adventure) so my experience is somewhat limited. I just felt the opposed roll mechanic was tailor made for combat specifically melee combat. When two guys with swords face off against each other they don’t just take turns swinging at each other, they parry and use footwork to set up their next strike. A more skilled sword fighter would be better at parrying than a neophyte so it would make sense to use the skill as a difficulty.


My ranged combat idea is not a good one, I can admit that. I was really hoping that someone else might have an alternative to the rules as written. My gripe with the static range difficulty comes from the notion that distance is the only exacerbating factor. I haven't had much experience with the dodge talent mechanic so perhaps that will be enough of a difficulty modifier.



#10 LethalDose

LethalDose

    Member

  • Members
  • 782 posts

Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:21 PM

Tashiro31 said:

 

I was looking for feedback on my proposed house rules. I have only played the game with the rules as written and I have only played the beginner boxed set (the included adventure and the download adventure) so my experience is somewhat limited. I just felt the opposed roll mechanic was tailor made for combat specifically melee combat. When two guys with swords face off against each other they don’t just take turns swinging at each other, they parry and use footwork to set up their next strike. A more skilled sword fighter would be better at parrying than a neophyte so it would make sense to use the skill as a difficulty.


My ranged combat idea is not a good one, I can admit that. I was really hoping that someone else might have an alternative to the rules as written. My gripe with the static range difficulty comes from the notion that distance is the only exacerbating factor. I haven't had much experience with the dodge talent mechanic so perhaps that will be enough of a difficulty modifier.

Well, I think the neccessity for the additional rules is questionable.  Personally, I don't like the rules that you've proposed because I simply don't see a need for them.  That doesn't mean they're not right for your table, I just don't think they're right for mine. And I don't see the need because statements like this:

"My gripe with the static range difficulty comes from the notion that distance is the only exacerbating factor"

are just straight up wrong.  Because this is not even remotely how the game handles ranged combat.

The "difficulty" part of the dice pool, yes, is determined by the number  of purple difficulty dice, which in the case of ranged attacks is almost always determined by the range.

BUT that does not mean that there are not more ways to modify the dice pool based on other "exacerbating factors", such as wind, visibility, cover, movement, etc.  In this system, these external environmental factors are handled by adding boost and setback dice.  It's made pretty clear in the beta text, though I can never remember where.  If there are other factors that make the task inherently more difficult, as the GM you can still increase difficulty or upgrade difficulty as the mechanics (e.g. The NPC "adversary" quality) and situation calls for.

Again, I don't think there is much reason that the target's attributes (e.g. Agi) should really come into play, unless the target is  actively trying to be difficult to hit (see above) and is making skill checks.  Maybe the GM allows the target to make a Coordination check as their action to increase their difficulty to hit.

To sum up, this is one of those situations where you have to look at diffculty not just as "number of purple dice", but in multiple dimensions:

  • Base difficulty
  • Setbacks
  • Upgrades

 

I will agree with you that dueling, or in your words "When two guys with swords face off against each other" would probably be better handled in a way that wasn't just a straight combat roll on their initiative.  That's dull as hell.  I've actually addressed this here (my post is on pg 3 I think) in reference to lightsaber duels, but the salient points are quoted below:

 

LethalDose said:

In fact, NO purpose built star wars RPG has done an acceptable job of representing a lightsaber duel. Ever.   one doesn't mean it can't have one.

However, just because EotE doesn't need a system for lightsaber duels doesn't mean it can't have a system for resolving duels (not just lightsabers) In fact, I believe this system has the best chance yet of representing saber duels and this is a perfect place to invoke the games narrative structure for a solution.  

The Beta text describes "Competitive Rolls" on pg 21.  Since duels typically involve two opponents, making almost simultaneous checks in a contest to kill/bloody/maim/best each other, I think this could be fanastic way to resolve lightsaber duels within the currenty existing framework of the game.  And not just lightsaber duels, it could also be used for duels with pistols, vibroswords, lightfoils, and others.  

A few simple rules for resolution, combined with the narrative dice outcomes, and the system has everything it needs to generate a dynamic and exciting combat scenario.

I think either competive or opposed rolls would be appropriate, and based on what we've read about how Jay Little (lead designer) runs his games, I can't imagine that it'd be wrong to "think outside the box" in some cases where appropriate, and run the checks as simple, opposed, or competitive checks as best suits the situation.  This isn't even really going outside the rules as published depending on how you interpret the rules.  The GM is expicitly given a lot of latitude on how run the game.

I don't think approrpriate to use those checks for every melee combat check though, just in special cases, and the static difficulties are more than suffcient for the vast majority of the attacks to be made, so no additional rules are needed here.

-WJL


"All models are wrong, but some models are useful."  - George E. P. Box


#11 Yepesnopes

Yepesnopes

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,479 posts

Posted 08 May 2013 - 04:07 PM

Have in mind one thing also, by making melee combat an opposed check you are likely going to reduce its lethality.


The Book of the Asur - High Elf fan supplement

The Dark Side - Witches, Warlocks, Dark Magic and more

Secrets of the Anvil - Advanced Dwarf careers and runes

Dice statistics calculator for SW EotE


#12 Lunatic Pathos

Lunatic Pathos

    Member

  • Members
  • 57 posts

Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:52 PM

LethalDose said:

LethalDose said:

 

In fact, NO purpose built star wars RPG has done an acceptable job of representing a lightsaber duel. Ever.   one doesn't mean it can't have one.

However, just because EotE doesn't need a system for lightsaber duels doesn't mean it can't have a system for resolving duels (not just lightsabers) In fact, I believe this system has the best chance yet of representing saber duels and this is a perfect place to invoke the games narrative structure for a solution.  

The Beta text describes "Competitive Rolls" on pg 21.  Since duels typically involve two opponents, making almost simultaneous checks in a contest to kill/bloody/maim/best each other, I think this could be fanastic way to resolve lightsaber duels within the currenty existing framework of the game.  And not just lightsaber duels, it could also be used for duels with pistols, vibroswords, lightfoils, and others.  

A few simple rules for resolution, combined with the narrative dice outcomes, and the system has everything it needs to generate a dynamic and exciting combat scenario.

 

 

I think either competive or opposed rolls would be appropriate, and based on what we've read about how Jay Little (lead designer) runs his games, I can't imagine that it'd be wrong to "think outside the box" in some cases where appropriate, and run the checks as simple, opposed, or competitive checks as best suits the situation.  This isn't even really going outside the rules as published depending on how you interpret the rules.  The GM is expicitly given a lot of latitude on how run the game.

I don't think approrpriate to use those checks for every melee combat check though, just in special cases, and the static difficulties are more than suffcient for the vast majority of the attacks to be made, so no additional rules are needed here.

-WJL

This is brilliant. Furthermore, I think emphasis needs to be placed on the difference between a battle or combat and a duel. In a battle, there is a swirl of combatants and chaos and confusion. Regardless of whether both combatants are armed with melee weapons, there may not be time for parries and counterattacks, especially if there are 3 or more people involved in the melee. It is more likely to devolve into brute force (soak), lucky strikes, catching your opponent off guard or while they're distracted, first blood, so forth. So a static number may be fine here, because when Lowhrick charges a bunch of Gamorreans, they don't start parrying and footwork, they shriek and try to hack first.

A Duel, however, is a different animal. In a duel, the combatants are indeed worrying about footwork, about vying for advantage and waiting for the perfect moment to strike. I think a competetive check in this case is even better than an opposed one. Throw out initiative, this is a series of passes where both opponents have the opportunity to deal damage or use advantage and threat to set up the next pass. Only the winner deals damage. Maybe let opponents bid the difficulty of the pass in order to determine how conservatively they are fighting. Both participants use the same difficulty, of course, but maybe give some other advantage to the higher or lower bidder. Or maybe both opponents choose their difficulty and then bid something else, like destiny points, to enforce their choice.

Very offensive fighters bid low difficulty. They are likely to hit, but leave themselves open. It makes for deadly fighting, since there are rarely draws. Conservative fighters bid high difficulty so it is fairly likely that both combatants may fail, leaving more passes where no damage is done. It is also advantageous for the more skilled combatant to bid high. But to enforce it, they may burn up destiny that the other person uses to tip the odds back.

I really like this idea for duels, and I like that you're thinking outside of the regular combat structure. Not every fight has to be adjucated using those combat rules. For anyone whose played Burning Wheel, a Fight! is very different than a Duel, for good reason.



#13 Lunatic Pathos

Lunatic Pathos

    Member

  • Members
  • 57 posts

Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:57 PM

Could also choose difficulty and then bid initiative for actions, so that during a lightsaber duel you can also use force powers or take maneuvers to improve your odds in the next pass. Could even bid away your action to force your preferred difficulty. So the skilled Jedi Master controls the pace of the lightsaber duel and fights defensively, watching for the gap in his more aggressive opponent's defenses before striking decisively. But since he's being so careful, he's missing opportunities to do other things like use the force to throw objects at his opponent, like that reckless sith warrior is doing.

edit: It also explains why the masters in the OT tend to fight calmly and decisively while the younger Jedi in the PT fight high-speed. They're in a war and are going for quick wins, or are younger and less cautious. They're bidding lower difficulty so as to make it more likely they'll get in a strike on every pass. Or they're letting Sith opponents set the pace so they can better plan their actions. Darth Maul gives up his action in order to force an aggressive fighting pace.

Since in this setup actions are seperate from attacks, which take place on passes, it might be beneficial to take your action SECOND, rather than first, so you can base your strategy off your opponents action.



#14 whafrog

whafrog

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,035 posts

Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:59 AM

I like where this is going, since I'm also not a fan of the static opposition.  I don't have the Beta, maybe it's outlined in there, but what do you mean by bidding, and what is the mechanic?

 



#15 LethalDose

LethalDose

    Member

  • Members
  • 782 posts

Posted 11 May 2013 - 06:30 AM

Yepesnopes said:

Have in mind one thing also, by making melee combat an opposed check you are likely going to reduce its lethality.

Yes, opposed rolls would do less damage and be less lethal (remember, the only way to die in this game is narratively and with crits, not directly via damage).  But this may be very appealing for dramatic purposes like duels.  One lucky hit could still end the encounter, but with the difficulty effectively increased (using opponents stats will almost always add more difficulty dice than an "average" task), thats much less likely to happen.

-WJL


"All models are wrong, but some models are useful."  - George E. P. Box


#16 LethalDose

LethalDose

    Member

  • Members
  • 782 posts

Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:25 AM

@Lunatic Pathos & Whafrog

I'm glad you like the idea.  And Lunatic Pathos makes great points about how duels are different than melee brawls.  I think the competitive checks work well for the former, and the RAW work well for the latter.  Opposed checks could be used for other reasons, or situations in between or whatever.

But I'm a little concerned when I LP's proposed addition of bidding rules (not in the RAW, btw Whafrom) and comments like this:

 

whafrog said:

I like where this is going…

Because it's not going anywhere.

What I've provided is all available in the Beta text already (and presumably will be available in the core text).  Its merely a slightly different application of whats described, and a move away from the "structured gameplay" described for combat, but only for purposes in which the structured gameplay doesn't work well!! And really, the rules for combat, including melee combat, work great for at least 95% of the situations in the game.

 The game simply doesn't need more rules.  We just need to use the ones that have already been written in appropriate ways.

Furthermore, and I think even more importanly, I don't think that using the rules like this needs any further codifcation.  In fact, I think explicity writing too much about this would be detrimental to the system.  I think this is even more important in a narrative system like EotE, because the GM should be allowed to adjudicate situations as needed, without having to consult a ton of rules.

Every time a rule is added or a houe rule proposed, its very very important to ask the following:

  1. Can this be handled with rules already in place
  2. Has a need for this rule been demonstrated during play
  3. Does the complexity of the proposed rule outweigh what it adds to the game

The only things I think need to be codified here are (1) what a duel may consist of, (2) how duels are resolved, (3) how to engage an opponent in a duel, (4) how to disengage from an opponent during a duel, (5) when the duel takes place during initiative order in combat, and (6) how external combatants interact with the duel.

Thats it.

And, respectively, I'd proffer:

  1. Two combatants (or groups of combatants*) striking at each other using a single (or possibly very few**) weapon skills.
  2. Each round, a competitive combat skill check is made by each dueling party.  The victor deals net successes damage to the other party (distributed between multiple opposed dueling characters as the victor sees fit), both sides may spend advantage/threat/Triumph/Despair as they would otherwise in combat.  If the loser still rolled net successes, they may spend advantage/threat/triumph/despair as if they had scored a hit.
  3. Engaging an opponent in a duel is an action.  You must be at an appropriate weapon range to begin a duel (e.g. melee for a lightsaber duel, short for a pistol duel, etc).  The opponent must be aware of the attack to duel.
  4. Disengagement from a duel is an action during which no attacks may be made.  Disengagement from duel does not cause any movement, and the opponents are still "engaged".  Maneuvers may be spent to move normally.
  5. A dueling roll takes place once during each round of combat, probably on the later of the two characters' side's intitative.  Probably best to just assume end of the round, or give the loser the the later of the two initiative positions to allow them to remain in the duel (no attack made) or disengage.
  6. Uh… firing into melee rules?  I'm not sure a lot is needed here.

Keep it simple.  All these rules are just some simple ephemera to make it clear to a character what they need to do to make it a duel in the middle of combat, and how what's going on around them affects them.  Obviously, its all way simpler if the only thing happening in the scene IS the duel.  The GM can adjudicate any and all combat maneuvers, strikes, stunts, etc.  as appropriate.  This should encourage the players to come up with clever things to do in the environment during the duel (though really they should be doing this anyway in combat, but /shrug).

*You can have multiple duelist on a 'side', e.g. Anakin and Obi-wan dueling Dooku in AotC.  I would simply adjudicate in that fight that Anakin was assisting Obi-wan (or vice versa.  whatever) and apply the 'Assisted Check' rules on the next page of the text.

** there may be situations, mostly in melee duels, that the characters are using different weapons, but still dueling, e.g. lightsaber vs cortossis-enmeshed blade (KotOR) or knife vs unarmed.  

So again, the core mechanic is already in the game.  This just tosses a very small amount of flexible structure around whats going on to use that mechanic and resolve the roll results consistently.  No bidding, no maneuvers, nothing new.  And everything above can be changed as needed to suit the situation.

Just use the KISS method.

-WJL

 


"All models are wrong, but some models are useful."  - George E. P. Box


#17 whafrog

whafrog

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,035 posts

Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:37 AM

Good points LethalDose.  I guess I need to wait for the game to see what mechanics you're referring to.  I'm not going to bother with the Beta at this point, I can wait.



#18 LethalDose

LethalDose

    Member

  • Members
  • 782 posts

Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:48 AM

whafrog said:

Good points LethalDose.  I guess I need to wait for the game to see what mechanics you're referring to.  I'm not going to bother with the Beta at this point, I can wait.

In a nutshell, the mechanics I mentioned are:

  • Opposed rolls: Roll difficulty is set by targets ability and skill ranks.  Appropriate for most non-combat skill checks in which the target is sentient and would resist.
  • Competitive checks:  Two (or more) characters attempt something, both characters make checks.  Character with more successes wins.
  • Assisted checks: Other characters assist the primary character making a check.  No need for specifics.

These should all be in the core text.

-WJL


"All models are wrong, but some models are useful."  - George E. P. Box


#19 Donovan Morningfire

Donovan Morningfire

    Looking for a saint? Look elsewhere.

  • Members
  • 4,517 posts

Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:53 PM

Pure conjecture, but I think one of the reasons that Opposed rolls for melee combat went away was that as PCs advance, they're going to have multiple defensive talents and abilities that would need to be factored in.  So while at low levels it might be easy to just have an Opposed Melee check, it gets more complicated when the PC has things like Dodge and Defensive Stance, which as written upgrade the attacker's difficulty.

Now some GMs are really good at "on-the-fly" calculations, but some aren't, particularly those that are new to the hobby and have little to no experience acting as the GM.  Having to recalculate the difficulty of an attack each round depending on which PC they're rolling against can slow the game down, particularly if the PC has multiple defensive talents they can call into play.

There's also the possiblity of an NPC that's really good at Melee or Brawl that has two or more ranks in the Adversary talent, which can leave a Melee-centric character feeling rather useless as they're facing a substantially harder difficulty to hit than their allies who are using blasters.

As far as ranged attacks and the lack of a derived defense, you either make Agility too good of a Characteristic (a common issue with d20 and Dexterity, which impacted attack rolls and defense) or you come up with another Skill that feeds into Defenses that winds up a "must have" for a lot of PCs.  Now you could use existing Skills to feed into Defense (such as Coordination), but you run the risk of making that skill a "must have" the same as a dedicated "dodge" skill.

While the static difficulties for melee and ranged may not seem all that satisfying, particularly for gaming veterans that have played systems where their PC's stats have a more direct impact on how difficult they are to hit, using a static difficulty keeps things moving and frees up some mental bandwidth for the GM that they can (hopefully) dedicate to ensuring the players are having fun.

Now it may just be the sessions I've played and run, but for the most part the PCs aren't getting constantly hammered by the bad guys, so the static difficulty method seems to be working pretty well.  For my part, since the characters I've run for were starting-level, my bad guys generally weren't rolling scads of dice unless they were a BBEG, hovering around 3 Ability dice and 1 Proficiency die for Henchmen and with minion groups kept in small clusters so that they're also not rolling huge numbers of Proficiency dice.  To use my conversion of "Rendezvous at Ord Mantell" as an example, only the BBEG at the end was constnatly rolling 2 Proficiency dice on his attack rolls, with me keeping the raider minions in groups of 2 most of the time.  Then again, a part of it could be that my players usually played it smart and made use of terrain and surroundings to incur setback dice when and where they could on the bad guys, either through Advantage spent or simply making use of cover.  The only PC that got hit on a regular basis was the Wookiee Marauder, but he  had a high enough Soak Value and Wound Threshold that he could easily absorb a hit or three as he moved to engage the bad guy in question.  So it could ultimately be a "your mileage may vary."


Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog - http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

"You worry about those drink vouchers, I'll worry about that bar tab!"


#20 Lunatic Pathos

Lunatic Pathos

    Member

  • Members
  • 57 posts

Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:10 PM

I agree we should use game rules where possible, but competitive checks state that the GM sets the difficulty. So what is the difficulty of a duel? That's why I suggested bidding, which I wouldn't consider a new mechanic. Think of it this way, the GM needs to set a difficulty, so he asks the combatants, "Are you fighting cautiously, or aggressively?" Cautious fighting sets a high difficulty, aggressive is low difficulty, (think of the consequences to undetstand why). I suppose instead you could just set a flat difficulty for all duels, but then what? If its simple then you never have passes that result in no damage, which, for me anyway, doesn't reflect the movies very well. Maybe sticking with average works well. The reason I called it bidding is because if you ask the players to get a difficulty, then you've got two different answers. you could also take the average instead of treating it like a bid. Really i'm just spitballing here, but I agree we should tamper as little as possible, I just think that competitive check doesn't quite cover it without addendum do to the difficulty question. As far as actions are concerned, I think you're right, but I don't think it mixes with structured combat very well, because the competitive check may get you hurt on your own turn. That's why i've been calling them passes. if they are just actions like anything else, then you end up with two dueling characters fighting at a faster pace than a surrounding melee, since 1 round would give you the opportunity to hit twice. Its a little weird. I would just take duels out of structured combat in general and treat them the same as you'd treat arm wrestling. You don't take turns, you just make the checks for some arbitrary period. Or you could say that a duel only occurs when both characters commit to it, using each of their actions. That puts it back ay the same speed as combat. If I try to duel you and you refuse, I'm just melee striking you, but you can still do something else like use the force or retreat.




© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS