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About mattritchie

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    Abilene, Texas, United States
  1. Where is the best place to go to check in and quickly see what the latest version of the utility is? Is there a better way to do it than scrolling back through this post to see if there is an announcement? (I'm fine with doing that, if necessary, just wondering if there is a quicker way...)
  2. Join the crew of the Wayward Spirit tonight as they join in a desperate Alliance assault on a heavily defended Imperial archaeological expedition - an expedition which may have already discovered a long-lost superweapon of immense power. You can find us at twitch.tv/gm_matt. This is a 600+ XP group at Contribution Rank 6. If you've ever wondered how characters at this level look and feel, this game has some advanced PCs that are really well-played and well-built. Cheers!
  3. Join the crew of the Wayward Spirit tonight as they prepare to open a powerful Sith holocron - one that could reveal the secrets behind the Emperor's growing obsession with dark artifacts from ancient empires... You can find us at twitch.tv/gm_matt.
  4. The bi-weekly broadcast of the Wayward Spirit campaign a goes live tonight at 7:40 CST! This week: the party attempts to rescue a member of the Church of the Force from a spice syndicate on the planet Saleucami, hoping that she (or he) can provide them with more information about the mysterious Sith holocron that they have stolen from the Imperial Inquisition. Check it out on twitch.tv/gm_matt
  5. Just ran across this piece on the Purple Pawn: http://www.purplepawn.com/2015/05/fantasy-flights-newest-star-wars-themed-rpg-force-and-destiny-is-coming-soon/ I've found PP to be a pretty reliable source of information, but this article says the Force & Destiny CRB is coming later this month. I'm pretty sure that isn't correct, given that it still has an "At the Printer" status on the FFG site. Any reason to think this might be right?
  6. So I've been spending some time today looking at the capital ship combat options in the AoR Core and at the mass combat rules in Onslaught at Arda I. I've played around with a few die rolls just to see how combat might look under each system. I feel like the whole point of Age of Rebellion is for the PCs to take part in epic battles and to play a role in influencing the outcome. Presumably, a party of PCs can eventually develop a high enough contribution rank to qualify for at least a small capital ship. And there is even an entire career specialization expressly devoted to capital ship combat. So the game ought to be able to accommodate those scenarios. And it seems to me that both the capital ship rules and the mass combat rules are designed to help with that, but I also feel like they are not sufficiently fleshed out. Also, I don't see a lot of chatter - in forums or on the Google - about the mechanics of how these encounters are worked out. So here are some of the things that seem to be missing to me: (1) In capital ship combat, rolling for multiple batteries of weapons on capital ships and multiple squadrons of fighters seems really tedious, since most of them are going to be NPCs. Sure, you can get the players to roll for their allies, but that is still a lot of rolls to be making during the course of a single turn. Don't get me wrong, FFG has given us the tools to make sense of all those rolls, and to make them interesting from a narrative standpoint, but there is an awful lot of dice rolling going on if you actually play out - say - an encounter between an ISD, a full complement of fighters from the ISD, and similar forces from a Liberty Cruiser. (2) On the other hand, I feel like the mass combat rules - while they work much more quickly - need a little more detail to be fully implemented. I get the idea of how you go about building a pool for the acting force, but it seems to me like relative size is not the only factor to consider when setting the base difficulty. Shouldn't the strength of the forces play some role as well? Six squadrons of TIE fighters might "helplessly outnumber" a Liberty Cruiser, but I don't think it justifies five difficulty dice for the Cruiser's check. Possible solutions are... (1) Just handle the battles narratively, and only concern yourself with dice rolls where the PCs are involved (this seems to be the most popular approach) (2) Only implement aspects of capital ship combat where it directly concerns the PCs - for example, if the PC ship passes across an ISD's port, then the battery on that side will take a shot at it, but then the ISD is ignored on turns where it can't or chooses not to interact with the PC ship. (Presumably, the PC ship can still do damage to the ISD when it chooses). This seems to sort of fit the advice to only involve aspects of the Capital Ship that are "pertinent to the ongoing encounter" on AoR Core, p. 244. (3) Use a single mass combat roll at the end of each round of combat, but - when necessary - be a little more fluent about how the pools are built than what is set out in Onslaught. (4) Some combination of 2 and 3. I am leaning toward option (4) in my upcoming sessions, but I'm curious to hear how some of you are handling it. Has anyone actually tried to implement some of the Capital Ship rules and/or the Onslaught mass combat rolls?
  7. Fantastic! Thanks for taking the time to do this, Keith. It does clear a lot up for me... and sorry if I was a little dense not to get it at first. I think I know how to make this work, now.
  8. I've said this elsewhere, but getting mass combat to have the right feel to it is my main goal with AoR. Of all of three iterations of the SWRPG product, this is the one that emphasizes "Wars" in "Star Wars." Characters should feel like they are influencing the outcomes of massive battles between Rebel and Imperial forces. They should make strategic choices using their available assets before the battles. They should be able to make dramatic before-the-battle speeches that boost and upgrade die rolls for the troops. They should be able to lead squads and squadrons into the heart of an assault on an enemy objective. They should be in a position to order tactical adjustments as the battle develops and feel as if those adjustments have had some outcome on the battle, even if it is playing out somewhere else. If they are playing out small-scale combats without a sense that they are influencing and interacting with the big picture, the game doesn't work as well as it could. Some good ideas here. Keep them coming!
  9. I would just counter this with NPC ace pilots using the squadron rules too. In both cases, the unnamed minion pilots are going to die in the mix before the real heroes/villains are in any real danger. I can see that approach working. However, the more I think about Keith's remarks on the original intent of the design, the more I see a risk of "dice spam," where we end up with a lot of big dice pools that have a lot of effects, and then the game gets bogged down in counting up successes, threat, advantage - and then in finding ways to spend all of the stuff that comes out of the pool (threat, triumph, advantage, despair). There are good reasons to keep the number of large dice-pool rolls to a minimum so that the game doesn't bog down.
  10. This helps clarify some things, Keith. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer. I am still having trouble reconciling these rules: - "[Minions successfully included in a squad or squadron] are now members of their squad or squadron and, as such, no longer receive a turn in combat and do not roll for initiative." (p. 28) - Close Formation: "Effect: Add [boost] to any attack made by the squad..." - Attack formation: "Effect: Add [boost] to any attack made by the squadron..." If the minions have lost initiative slots in combat, what does it mean for the squad or squadron to make an attack? In whose initiative slot is the attack made? How is the dice pool calculated? Thanks, again!
  11. Good point. Here's version 2: A squad or squadron's action can be comprised of either (a) an action by the squad leader per the normal rules (including an attack) or (b) an attack by the squad or squadron using the minion rules. When attacking using the minion rules, the dice pool may be upgraded one additional time if (a) the PC has the relevant skill, and that skill is higher than Rank 1 or (b) the PC's applicable attribute is higher than that of the minions.
  12. I am thinking that, until we (hopefully) get some official rules clarification, my house rule will be this: a squad or squadron's "action" can be comprised of either (a) an action by the squad leader per the normal rules (including an attack) or (b) an attack by the squad or squadron using the minion rules (and keeping in mind that the leader's available skills and/or higher attribute may affect the way the dice pool is calculated). Thoughts?
  13. ...so what, then, do you-all make of the effect for the "Close" formation: "Add [boost] to any attack made by the squad while in this formation"? (emphasis mine) This would seem to assume the squad (not the character) can somehow attack. How is that done? Or is this just talking about a character's attack roll? Also...suppose I have a character with low combat stats, but high leadership/command stats. She carries a blaster pistol, but commands minions with Heavy skill and blaster rifles. I would think the benefit of forming a squad for her would be that she can sit back and boost the squad's abilities using leadership and command talents while the squad does the heavy lifting. But how would that work? Again, I'm not trying to be overly critical of the rules as written, nor even argumentative with the rest of you. I am also not against having open/flexible rules. I am just having a lot of trouble understanding how this works.
  14. Thats a reasonable way to read the rules. I am just struggling to see how doing so is helpful, other than creating some human shielding for the PC and/or "major" NPC. It actually reduces the available firepower once the squad is formed.
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