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Doc, the Weasel

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  1. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from Rackzul in Session 0 - Involving Players in Campaign Creation   
    OK, so how am I going about doing this? What I want to walk out of that first meeting with are a group of NPCs (faces), Locations, and connections between them. This is taken from my normal process in creating a campaign.
     
    Here's what I think is important, and how the pieces all interact.
     
    Faces
    These are the NPCs that the characters regularly interact with. The important thing I want to focus on when building them is what they can do, what they want, how they relate to other NPCs, and if they support or buck the status quo. 
     
    I really want to drive home the status quo thing, especially for driving the creation of more NPCs. If we create a crimelord that is part of the established status quo, we then ask who is running counter to that. Likewise, if there is a Rebel agent in town (against the SQ), then who are they working against (or maybe someone is hunting them)? If we do this right, we should end up with a living setting in which action is already taking place without the characters.
     
    Locations
    These are the primary places that the campaign will take place at. If this were a TV show, these would be built as permanent sets because they would see a lot of use. 
     
    Locations should be tied to faces, and vice versa. When we create a place, we should ask who is there to meet. Likewise when we create a person, we should ask where we can find them. There doesn't have to be a 1:1 relationship; one face could have multiple hangouts, or a single location can be home to many faces. In general, though, there should be at least a single pairing per location/face.
     
    Planets
    These are just groups of locations that are geographically or thematically linked. Despite the name, these don't have to be literal planets; they could just as easily be space stations, inhabited asteroid fields, etc. 
     
    The key feature is that they have multiple locations. So if the party only goes to a space station to meet at this one bar, then it's just a location. If there are also steam tunnels where transactions take place, and a bridge where the station's Commander regularly meets with the party to give them missions, then it's a "planet."
     
    By focusing on planets, we can start making sense of the conflicts between local NPCs and distill the issues into something more universal. 
     
     
    My goal for the first session is to have around 3 planets, with 12 locations, 12 faces (total, not each). This is just a benchmark. If we end up with 9 locations and 14 faces, then I will have done my job. This should be enough to run 3 adventures from (which is my baseline goal). 
     
    I'll post my plans for how the session will actually play out in a little while. I've also been working on some forms to help facilitate it all.
  2. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from Rikoshi in Utinni Talent - Outlaw Tech   
    In my experience with Jay Little's games (WFRP 3ed) you aren't going to get a specific rule for everything. He comes from the school of the GM makes stuff up according the situation. 
     
    This may be a change for those of you coming from SAGA. d20 was all about rules for everything you can do. It works just as well, though.
  3. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to Ineti in House rule for Languages.   
    No need to worry about languages when they can just read the subtitles.
     
    Oops, metagaming again.
  4. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to HappyDaze in So I had a problem with Space Combat yesterday...   
    Adding a check to accelerating and flying straight in a freighter makes it more exciting? I don't think we would enjoy the same things.
  5. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to Callidon in Switching Careers   
    Han Solo & Lando Calrissian :-)
  6. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from Gigerstreak in I hope they tone that red down   
    Red is tricky. A very slight adjustment can make or break it. I attached a photo to illustrate how little a change it takes.
    Granted, they are showing us a digital mockup that won't appear on the screen as it will in print, but the website color is a problem.
     
    That said, I like the idea of using a bold red, especially for this game. I just hope they get it right, and their website is not making me confident.

  7. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to Kallabecca in A Supplement version would be nice, and in the end a Total version   
    Why incur the expense (and possible user confusion) laying out and printing two different versions of the same book. They haven't done it with WH40K and those books still sell and are used.
  8. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from Dex Vulen in Are the Extra Reloads expended on use?   
    I think the real cost isn't in credits, it's in Encumbrance. 
     
    Considering that, I think they are reusable (or maybe once per encounter). 
  9. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from FangGrip in Session 0 - Involving Players in Campaign Creation   
    So here is how I plan to run Session 0. 

     

    I created some Setting Creation Sheets to help guide this process.

     

    This may seem too structured for some, but it doesn't have to be. I'm giving it this much of a system so that if things start to slow down, I can point to the next action and move to it rather than wait for someone to do something. If the group starts writing stuff on their own, without turns or anything, then I'm going to let them.

     

    I do have some rules.

     

    1. Everyone participates

    No one can leave the session without adding one setting detail. I'm not worried about this, but some groups may be.

     

    2. Everyone gets at least one thing they want

    If everyone wants criminals as NPCs but just one player wants some Imperial antagonists, that person gets one. The fun part is then as a group fitting the seemingly odd piece into the greater setting.

     

    3. Everything someone creates is shared

    I don't want someone writing stuff out in their corner, without engaging the group. They have to put it out there for everyone to see and react to. That may lead to dialogue about how to improve the idea, or it could lead to someone figuring out a connection between it and something else. 

     

    4. The GM is a participant (and just a participant)

    This isn't ONLY owned by the players. The GM has to play with this material too, so they should have as much say as the other players, and gets a turn like everyone else. That said, the GM does not get veto power over the group in this instance. If everyone else wants something, they get it.

     

    5. Anything left blank is the GM's

    If there is a detail not filled in by the group, the GM will do it on his/her own. As a player, you may not like the outcome.

     

     

    With that in mind, here's the system:

     

    Step 1. Discuss Overall Direction of Game

    Is this a full on criminal group, or are they legit traders? Maybe they are somewhere in the middle. Do they take odd jobs, or do they have a single employer?

     

    For my group, I'm just going to ask them to choose 1-5, with 1 being totally legit, 5 being totally criminal, and 3 being a mix. This is more for them to work it out amongst themselves before making characters, so my involvement will be minimal.

     

    Step 2. Roll Obligation

    For people used to the standard character creation method, this may seem out of order but it really doesn't have an impact on character creation. Not a negative one, at least.

     

    Why I want to do this first is so that when the group is creating the NPCs and locations, they are doing so with an eye out for connections to their characters. 

     

    Step 3: Select/Create Planet(s)

    This is more about broad strokes than specifics (though you can jump to specifics if your group is ready). The goal here is to look at what kinds of settings the group wants to play in. Do they want a city planet like Coruscant, or a wasteland like Tatooine? Are they canon planets, or are they invented?

     

    Step 4: Create NPCs and Locations

    This is the meat of Session 0. 

     

    In turn each player creates one NPC and/or location.  Ideally, they create an NPC with some details, and then a place to find them. If that's not possible, or they don't have any ideas, or they are tying their idea to an existing location or NPC, then no worries. 

     

    After everyone has had one turn, continue, but now after making an NPC or location, you should also make a connection between NPCs (or locations if it makes sense). This connection does not need to involve what you just created. Maybe you want two existing smuggler NPCs to hate each other, or maybe you want a forbidden love between Rebel and Imperial agents. You could also just see an NPC and make a friend or rival for them (making the new NPC and connection at once). The more conflict you create here, the better. 

     

    There are going to be more ideas thrown out there than just the individual NPCs and locations. Maybe the NPCs are part of an organization, or maybe the locations belong to a single city that needs some detailing. Let that all flow and write it all down. 

     

    In the attachment, I have some sections labeled "details • choose x" in which the creator has to choose that many of those details to fill in. They are free to add more, or someone else could do so, but that's the bare minimum.

     

    Continue this until you have close to your target number of NPCs and Locations. For my session, I'm aiming for 12 of each. Don't worry about hitting those numbers exactly, just use them as a ballpark. If I end up with 9 locations and 13 NPCs with an awesome story then it's a victory.

     

    Step 4a: Tie Obligations into NPCs

    While this is all going on, players should be thinking of – and talking about – which NPCs play into their Obligations. This may change as the session moves on, but it should be settled before the end of Step 4.

     

    Step 4b: Develop Themes and Issues

    After a while, there should be enough material to start looking at the big picture. What are the major issues on a planet – or at least which issues will the game be dealing with. By thinking about these things, we can not only create something more than a random group of unrelated NPCs, but the issue itself can be used as inspiration for what NPCs/locations the setting is lacking.

     

    In the end, you want to have 2-3 issues per planet by the end of Step 4.

     

    Step 4: Create Characters

    After having made the setting and connected the Obligations to people, now make the characters. Once you have them, you have everything you need to create a campaign.

     

     

    What do you all think? Are there any things I'm missing. Does anyone have any suggestions?

     

    My plan is to try this out Saturday (schedules willing). I'll post our results and share any insights.

  10. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from whafrog in Session 0 - Involving Players in Campaign Creation   
    So here is how I plan to run Session 0. 

     

    I created some Setting Creation Sheets to help guide this process.

     

    This may seem too structured for some, but it doesn't have to be. I'm giving it this much of a system so that if things start to slow down, I can point to the next action and move to it rather than wait for someone to do something. If the group starts writing stuff on their own, without turns or anything, then I'm going to let them.

     

    I do have some rules.

     

    1. Everyone participates

    No one can leave the session without adding one setting detail. I'm not worried about this, but some groups may be.

     

    2. Everyone gets at least one thing they want

    If everyone wants criminals as NPCs but just one player wants some Imperial antagonists, that person gets one. The fun part is then as a group fitting the seemingly odd piece into the greater setting.

     

    3. Everything someone creates is shared

    I don't want someone writing stuff out in their corner, without engaging the group. They have to put it out there for everyone to see and react to. That may lead to dialogue about how to improve the idea, or it could lead to someone figuring out a connection between it and something else. 

     

    4. The GM is a participant (and just a participant)

    This isn't ONLY owned by the players. The GM has to play with this material too, so they should have as much say as the other players, and gets a turn like everyone else. That said, the GM does not get veto power over the group in this instance. If everyone else wants something, they get it.

     

    5. Anything left blank is the GM's

    If there is a detail not filled in by the group, the GM will do it on his/her own. As a player, you may not like the outcome.

     

     

    With that in mind, here's the system:

     

    Step 1. Discuss Overall Direction of Game

    Is this a full on criminal group, or are they legit traders? Maybe they are somewhere in the middle. Do they take odd jobs, or do they have a single employer?

     

    For my group, I'm just going to ask them to choose 1-5, with 1 being totally legit, 5 being totally criminal, and 3 being a mix. This is more for them to work it out amongst themselves before making characters, so my involvement will be minimal.

     

    Step 2. Roll Obligation

    For people used to the standard character creation method, this may seem out of order but it really doesn't have an impact on character creation. Not a negative one, at least.

     

    Why I want to do this first is so that when the group is creating the NPCs and locations, they are doing so with an eye out for connections to their characters. 

     

    Step 3: Select/Create Planet(s)

    This is more about broad strokes than specifics (though you can jump to specifics if your group is ready). The goal here is to look at what kinds of settings the group wants to play in. Do they want a city planet like Coruscant, or a wasteland like Tatooine? Are they canon planets, or are they invented?

     

    Step 4: Create NPCs and Locations

    This is the meat of Session 0. 

     

    In turn each player creates one NPC and/or location.  Ideally, they create an NPC with some details, and then a place to find them. If that's not possible, or they don't have any ideas, or they are tying their idea to an existing location or NPC, then no worries. 

     

    After everyone has had one turn, continue, but now after making an NPC or location, you should also make a connection between NPCs (or locations if it makes sense). This connection does not need to involve what you just created. Maybe you want two existing smuggler NPCs to hate each other, or maybe you want a forbidden love between Rebel and Imperial agents. You could also just see an NPC and make a friend or rival for them (making the new NPC and connection at once). The more conflict you create here, the better. 

     

    There are going to be more ideas thrown out there than just the individual NPCs and locations. Maybe the NPCs are part of an organization, or maybe the locations belong to a single city that needs some detailing. Let that all flow and write it all down. 

     

    In the attachment, I have some sections labeled "details • choose x" in which the creator has to choose that many of those details to fill in. They are free to add more, or someone else could do so, but that's the bare minimum.

     

    Continue this until you have close to your target number of NPCs and Locations. For my session, I'm aiming for 12 of each. Don't worry about hitting those numbers exactly, just use them as a ballpark. If I end up with 9 locations and 13 NPCs with an awesome story then it's a victory.

     

    Step 4a: Tie Obligations into NPCs

    While this is all going on, players should be thinking of – and talking about – which NPCs play into their Obligations. This may change as the session moves on, but it should be settled before the end of Step 4.

     

    Step 4b: Develop Themes and Issues

    After a while, there should be enough material to start looking at the big picture. What are the major issues on a planet – or at least which issues will the game be dealing with. By thinking about these things, we can not only create something more than a random group of unrelated NPCs, but the issue itself can be used as inspiration for what NPCs/locations the setting is lacking.

     

    In the end, you want to have 2-3 issues per planet by the end of Step 4.

     

    Step 4: Create Characters

    After having made the setting and connected the Obligations to people, now make the characters. Once you have them, you have everything you need to create a campaign.

     

     

    What do you all think? Are there any things I'm missing. Does anyone have any suggestions?

     

    My plan is to try this out Saturday (schedules willing). I'll post our results and share any insights.

  11. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from willmanx in Printable talent trees   
    Here is the black and white version for any interested: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jxbhxtzmwj0l5yo/TalentTrees-BW.pdf
  12. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from Drewster27 in First Time GM'er   
    I would have the first few sessions be really straightforward story-wise and lead clearly from encounter to encounter. In my experience, new players are usually hesitant to initiate play and often wait for things to happen to respond to. Your group may be different, but don't expect them to take the reigns up front. Let them get comfortable with the game, the setting, and roleplaying in general before throwing open ended situations at them. 
     
    Of course, if they start running off the rails on their own, don't stop them. 
  13. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to Edward_D in Lexicon: Items - anyone know where?   
    I think Vong's work was too good a resource in my eyes to leave un-updated  so I decided to work on redoing (making the tables work with a d10 roll instead of 3 six sided dice) and adding on to it. 
     
    It is still very much a work in progress and I can see myself already adding info that may not have been my original intent but what I like about having this information in a PDF is I can browse through it and find something that perks my imagination. 
     
    What i'd like to ask you guys is what type of information you'd find useful or interesting, I'm doing my best to make sure its not focusing on mechanics and stays system neutral.
     
     
    Star Wars - Infodump (WIP)
  14. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to Edward_D in Lexicon: Items - anyone know where?   
    Although not food items Triumph and Despair has a great list for techno-babble you can use.
     
    http://triumphdespair.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/g-is-for-gadget/
  15. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from OB-1 in Printable talent trees   
    Here is the black and white version for any interested: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jxbhxtzmwj0l5yo/TalentTrees-BW.pdf
  16. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from Farsox in Printable talent trees   
    Here is the black and white version for any interested: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jxbhxtzmwj0l5yo/TalentTrees-BW.pdf
  17. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to Callidon in Narrative Interpretation - Final Results or Results by Die?   
    We interpret pools at the end result, not as each aggregate die is rolled.
     
    If narrative fatigue is working its way into your sessions then consider that you may be asking for checks and rolls too often out of combat.  For example, there's no need to have everyone roll perception checks at every hallway intersection in a dungeon installation crawl stroll.  I borrow a little of Burning Wheel's "Let it Ride" with Edge of the Empire, where a test result holds until the conditions or situation changes in such a way that a new roll is warranted.  Otherwise we continue on abiding by the results of the previous check.  And when the whole party may have rolled a check in d20 star wars, pair it down to one roller with assistance from the others for EotE.  That way you aren't trying to determine how to apply a Triumph from two or three players at a time in the same situation.
     
    Combat has the highest density of rolls in any game, and EotE is no different.  Let the narrative stuff happen when it happens.  Don't force it, or it'll be like having someone stand over your shoulder yelling "SING PRETTY!!!!" all the time (I mean...I DO have the dulcid tones of an angel, but a kid can't perform all the time).    Don't feel bad about getting mechanical with applications of Advantage, Threat, Despair and Triumph in combat.  Trying to make every blaster bolt and swing of a sword into something that the Ugnaught Spacebards will oink of for a thousand generations is going to wear anyone out.  Despair and Triumph do lend themselves to a little special consideration, but deciding on a weapon jam or a crit isn't going to get anyone lynched for badwrongfun.  
     
    One thing I have done to keep myself and my players from slipping into mechanical adjustment complacency is to querry before results are applied with "anyone got anything cool to add before we dive in?"  I'd say that about 1 in 4 combat rolls results in someone at the table seeing a pile of net Threat or Advantage and going "OH dude....I totally got something."  And of course there are going to be some combat encounters that just have a certain je ne sais quoi about them, where narrative interpretations and inspiration flow easy.
  18. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to tomocjt in Maps?   
    PCs fleeing a squad of Stormtroopers down a street. They're less likely to flip a destiny point (or roll perception) for a hidden alcove / doorway if the map doesn't show one. My players tend to play to the map if there is one, whereas if it's a quick sketch, or no map at all, they tend to play more narratively.
  19. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from Reydan in Damaged weapons   
    You can have a Despair result when you roll, but also a Triumph from enemy attacks can disable equipment.
  20. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to Callidon in Cover and Armor   
    People do realize that Defense and Soak are separate things right?  If, by design, you are wearing armor you might be slightly harder to hit, but mostly it helps in the damage department by adding soak.  If you are wearing padded armor and hiding behind a crate, the crate is making you harder to hit (as designed).  The armor is making you harder to damage.  FFG could have allowed both items to stack, but they didn't. 
     
    Edge of the Empire is designed to make hitting people a small part of what goes into a combat encounter.  You don't, and shouldn't imo, need to build an entire character around being able to hit or avoid being hit in combat (there's already a game for that...it's called d20).  Instead, we've got: defense, action economy, gear, gear qualities, talents, skills (even non combat ones), modifier symbols on the dice, characteristics, destiny points, soak, strain, wounds and critical hits that all feed together to make a combat encounter a dynamic thing.  That is, if you choose to make it so.  But trying to redesign the game to play like another game seems odd to me.  Unless you are also going to redesign the other factors of combat that will stack up and influence each other.
     
    Anyway, everyone is totally free to play and houserule the game how ever they want.  I don't mean to belittle anyone's game preferences because I've got my own quibbles and tweaks as well.  If the game gives you brussel sprouts and you hate brussel sprouts, I'm certainly not going to force you to like them.  I just think that it's hard to drill too deeply into a single aspect of the game mechanics without seeing how other things hang together.
     
    Mostly I just hope every group that actually plays Edge of the Empire is able to get the experience out of it that they enjoy.  Sorry for the soapbox ranting (but not sorry enough to not post it)   .
  21. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to LonePaladin in Campaign Idea: Derail the Original Plot   
    I just realized that this system, with its emphasis on fringe elements and downplaying of the Force, might be a perfect tool for recreating one of the best Star Wars campaigns I ever played. Here, this should give you the idea:
     
      This was the pivotal scene my GM changed: rather than let the pod crash on Tatooine, he shot it. The debris rained down over a large area of the desert, and a group of scavengers — the PCs — found it. An intact fragment of an astromech droid's memory core proved to have something of value to both the Empire and the fledgling Rebellion, drawing the PCs into a bidding war that also included assassination attempts, bounty hunters, and recruitment attempts. All from both sides.   Luke Skywalker never entered the picture. One PC knew "Wormy", but who'd bring that kid along?   Ben Kenobi? That crazy loon out in Sand People territory? No way. He's Uncle Creepy.   We didn't need some smuggler or his furry pal. We had our own ship, we just needed the money to fix it.   This one minor event, when changed, totally derailed the original plot and removed about 90% of the principal characters, leaving all the action to us and our attempts to make some profit on the side. That campaign was twenty years ago, and I still recall it fondly.   I'd like to try to duplicate that.
  22. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to HappyDaze in EotE Core Rulebook Errata   
    I believe that you'd always use Ranged (Heavy) with a carbine, regardless of how you're holding it.
  23. Like
    Doc, the Weasel reacted to Farsox in Printable talent trees   
    No worries.  If you guys like them, then I will finish them.
  24. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from Strylith in Printable talent trees   
    I'll go ahead and throw mine into the ring:
     
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bi2nb51pkrj5s6s/TalentTrees.pdf
  25. Like
    Doc, the Weasel got a reaction from Col. Orange in Printable talent trees   
    I'll go ahead and throw mine into the ring:
     
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bi2nb51pkrj5s6s/TalentTrees.pdf
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