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Bladehate

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Everything posted by Bladehate

  1. When its something this minor, and even from the same manufacturer I don't see a problem with it. In the case of different manufacturers, you could just rename it to a completely new, less known subsidiary if you wanted. There's million jillion stars blah blah. We just use the same names over and over to help reinforce the fact that its Star Wars. Appearances can be really important to some players, and if its a purely cosmetic change its one of the things I find easiest to give them their way on.
  2. And those would be tables to avoid, in my opinion!
  3. I was attempting a bit of tongue in cheek humor, since a GM arbitrarily killing players with lightning bolts via DPs is also a breach of the social contract. That may not have worked out as I had hoped... And yes, I prefer to be pre-emptive whenever possible (it isn't always) when it comes to rulings concerning problem areas or talents. A talent that allows a player to produce items at will is certainly a talent with the potential for abuse and misunderstandings, even if it isn't taken to an extreme. I actually have a player wanting to be a gadgeteer/MacGuyver style of character, so at some point this may be very relevant to my own campaign. That depends on the campaign. But on the surface, I agree with you. Experience spent + the DP spent to activate the talent is a hefty expenditure. However, I run groups where resources are group wide. How you spend the money doesn't concern me at all, but I make an effort to ensure people are in the same ballpark. This is just long habit, and very rarely have I found it to be a problem, with many people telling me they appreciated the effort made, as it let them relax at the table without concern for undue favoritism or imbalanced distributions. It also helps reduce those uncomfortable moments where players try to hoard something, or outright steal from others. But then again, I run my games as co-op these days, rather than allowing PvP. Not saying it can't happen or shouldn't happen when character personalities clash, but I make an effort to smooth away those areas that I've seen lead to conflict between players. And unfair or uneven resource distribution is definitely one of those problematic areas. Hence why I personally would houserule that the functionality of the talent remains unchanged. I would even go so far as to loosen the rarity and size restrictions, to a limited extent. The cost comes if you want to permanently list that item on your sheet. I think its an acceptable compromise between keeping that MacGuyver feeling, and still keeping the talent balanced with the rest of the people at the table. The talent let's you manifest a wide range of items, at will. And in this case, without the GM preventing it, as I've given my tacit pre-approval. I think that's worth 15 xp + a DP, although your mileage may vary. Of course, I do the same thing with any items gifted via Deus Ex Machina. If they want to keep the item(s) around after the scene in question, they need to spend the actual resources on it. You can justify it however you want (filters for the re-breathers, restocking the med kit), but the end result should still be credits spent in order to list new assets on the sheet.
  4. Sure, I would say that's a fair compromise. In fact, I would update my own houserule with that: If a character wants the item to last beyond the scene, he must invest the cost of the item in order to make it a permanent part of his gear lists. Otherwise, the item ceases to function when its immediate use ends.
  5. And that's the power (and the problem) with the talent. However, if you change it to "remembered" rather than "created", you are nerfing the talent heavily. The items in question are already determined to be small, handheld items. Your tech/scout should already be carrying all items fitting this description on his person in 95% all situations to begin with. Allowing him to use it to produce a grenade in a prison or social situation seems like an extremely niche function of the talent.
  6. No, that's your restriction. The as written restriction is that the item be small (this can be subjective) and no greater than Rarity 4, and if its a weapon must have Limited 1 ammo quality.
  7. Again, directly against the wording of the talent. I'm sorry to play devil's advocate, but it's still a heavy nerf to the talent. Essentially, all you're doing is allowing a player to purchase anywhere, at increased cost. While that might certainly be a worthwhile talent, in itself...it is not this talent. Certainly, if you had a player wanting to play a MacGuyver style of character and relying on this talent for some of his concept, there would be a need to re-evaluate things. That is not how Destiny Points are used. They allow the players to request, and the GM to grant, items that further the cause of the story. Examples directly given are finding a med kit in an emergency response vehicle, a vital part in a junk pile and edible fruits on trees. Page 27 and especially page 315 make it pretty clear that these items are not previously acquired and "remembered", but granted to the group. This talent allows a player to expand on this, removing some of the interaction with the GM in favor of stricter guidelines on items that can be produced.
  8. That's your prerogative, certainly. Its also directly against the stated wording of the talent, and nerfs it into being nearly useless.
  9. I don't entirely disagree with you, but making such a change would also defeat the point of the talent to some extent. To begin with, the standard use of DPs already let's you produce items you need out of thin air. Obviously, this is heavily dependent on working with your GM, and he or she has full veto rights. This talent is more defined, but that same definition also makes it harder for a GM to disallow, outside of just being a jerk. There's a balance between allowing this talent to function and be useful, and either overpowering it or emasculating it. Personally, as a GM I would prefer to be more forgiving in the heat of the moment. I would prefer to allow a broader use of the talent, but with the caveat that the item thus manifested is more of a jury rigged monstrosity unlikely to function for long (MacGuyver style). That way I let the talent be useful, but don't have to worry about characters manifesting manufactured items out of the books and jotting it down on their sheets.
  10. Yeah that can become ridiculous rather easily. Even without making it a free use per session, I would personally house rule all items made with this talent to only last for the session they were created in. Otherwise you're also likely to see this scenario at some point: Player: "Oh, cool. We're done for the day? I see we have 2 DPs, and daddy really needs some high priced items to vendor later. Lemme just flip those over, and score some free loot." GM: <flips all the DPs back again> "So, a bolt of lightning strikes your character. For next game session, please have a new one ready. Those narrative mishaps sure are killer, huh?" I'd rather just avoid that scenario entirely, personally.
  11. At first, I thought it was a reasonable change. But on second reading of the talent, Utility Belt actually lets you produce explosives in exchange for DP. Granting the talent what amounts to a free grenade every game session seems like it could be problematic, depending on the player and the books used. If you make the change, you may want to get very specific about the exact weapons/explosives you will allow it to produce. Additionally, after reading Desslok's thread on just what the talent can produce, I do think you will want to put some kind of limited usage on whatever item is produced. In other words, sure they have a medikit, but after this game session it will be used up. That kind of thing. Again, depending on player and the kind of campaign you're running, granting free loot to the talent owner can upset the group balance.
  12. By normal standards, the player's response was unreasonable, possibly psychopathic. This does not justify the GM's ensuing actions, though they certainly do go a long way towards explaining them. That about sums up my feelings on the matter.
  13. And that's completely true. But if the player is unfamiliar with this style of play, and he clearly was, then cutting the player off at the knees is probably not the best response either. That said, as I tried to point out in my first post...the people involved should be less involved with placing blame, and more worried about where they go from here. How you process this kind of thing going forward is far more important than getting caught up in mudslinging.
  14. I agree with this, and indeed most of your post. I had a similar situation in our last session. The players were dealing with a sand demon, a massive armored arthropod. It began to chase one of the players, and rather than race off on his scrap bike...he chose to point it out into the desert and roll off the back, in an attempt to lure it away. They're literally in the middle of the desert. The monster is not faster than the bikes. I could not for the life of me figure out why the player chose to do as he did. In my old days, I might have killed the character (he botched his piloting roll horribly)...simply because the player wasn't thinking as I was thinking. In the end, it turned out the player simply had other priorities: He wanted to get to the caravan the critter was attacking to save some people, and saw the bike as an acceptable sacrifice to get that. His way of thinking was in no way in tune with mine, but that did not make him wrong. I've bolded the part that I found particularly relevant. The player was under the expectation that in order to do what he wanted, mechanics would need to be involved, not just a loose declaration of intent. When the GM skipped the mechanics it literally caught him off guard, and did in fact take away his agency.
  15. That depends entirely on how you do it. The player was clearly not expecting or desiring this outcome, and he was certainly not in sync with the GM's mindset. However, the moment the GM set the tone as adversarial ("then you shouldn't have shot him, should you?"), it became clear that what the player wanted, or what he did, no longer mattered. It is a fine line to walk between "justifiable consequence" and "jerk move". That line is easy to cross when you're a GM and you clearly act to teach a player a lesson. While I have never been in exactly this situation, as a player I have certainly been in similar situations. I state an intention, or an action, and the GM takes it away from me in some fashion. That's usually only a problem if its done in an adversarial or unpleasant manner, but its always disconcerting to some extent.
  16. This is a thread that seems intent on venting spleen, rather than anything else. I have no experience with the GM or the group in question, and every group has their own dynamic. I will say that in my early days as a GM, I have reacted in a knee jerk manner. The players did not behave as I wanted, and in retaliation I allowed their actions but in such a way that they were in no doubt of my disapproval. It was a form of passive aggressive punishment, I suppose. I'm not saying that this is the same thing, but it sounds familiar somehow. These days its less about getting the players to play "my game", and more about letting them be awesome. Of course, being awesome comes from hardships, and its very easy to die from hardships when or if you do something incredibly stupid during said hardships... To me though, this incident sounds like a player doing something dumb and not particularly in character (as evidenced by the overall lack of cool factor in the whole thing), and the GM getting annoyed out of proportion to the "crime" and removing some of the player's agency as a result. With tempers flying high, player and GM clearly passed the threshold from game and onto a personal level. As someone who has been in similar situations, on both sides of the GM screen, this is not a fun place to be. As a player, I can really touchy about a GM who tells me "how it is" where my character is concerned. As a GM, I have been known to lose my patience with players who do seemingly stupid stuff. I think rather than trying to dissect the incident itself and being all judgemental about it, I'd urge the GM to take a step back, take a deep breath, and then go have a civilized conversation with the player in question. Otherwise, this is likely to keep on being an issue between you, rather than being an opportunity for learning for both of you.
  17. As someone else who is new to roll20, I can only say I feel your pain. The learning curve was a bit high, but then I did jump in the deep end with API scripts and whatnot. However, they do have tablet support to some extent, so I'm not sure that the program is the problem. From what I understand, its heavily reliant on using the proper web-browser (Firefox or Google Chrome), and less a matter of which OS you're running. I know at least one of my guys plays on a mac laptop, and has had little or no problems with roll20. We jump directly into roll20 though, and skip the Google Hangouts.
  18. 5e is the best edition of DnD made so far. I've run two mini campaigns in 5e, and the rules are instantly recognizable as DnD. Classes have been opened up, with archetypes blurring the lines between roles. Bounded accuracy means that levels are less impactful, and the d20 stays relevant for longer. Skills have been reworked, with some being combined or removed. A number of clever mechanics encourage swift action and rules resolution, all in order to keep the game flowing. But it is still DnD, and it is still ultimately owned by a company that uses Magic the Gathering as its metric for success in a "niche" hobby.
  19. The section that I felt was particularly relevant were Dark Symmetry Points. Specifically in that they are used to: a.) Trigger NPC special abilities, which can be adapted to particularly powerful talents. So, True Aim or Deadly Accuracy (for a single attack), are no longer just for the PCs. Obviously you can give a Nemesis or Rival whatever talents you deem appropriate, but by spending a Destiny Point you emphasize the lethality. Its a way to up the stakes that I think is more interesting than upgrading dice pools, and will make certain NPCs rightly feared. You already do this with Force powers anyway, so I thought to myself, why not make use of it on a broader level. b.) Interrupting PC actions. This functions best within the 2d20 system, but it can be a great way to throw a curve into the initiative system, perhaps to simulate a surge as enemies push forward, or make an attempt to prevent an important PC action. Again, its all about upping the stakes and increasing the drama of the moment. c.) Triggering complications, caused by traits, old war wounds or something situational, again the system incorporates this nicely in 2d20. I use this in the SWRPG to trigger temporary encounter based penalties. If possible, tie it to personality traits or Obligation/Morality issues. Additionally, I have used it to inflict the effects of a Critical Wound for the duration of a combat. I especially like doing this with some kind of a surprise attack, whether its a drugged needle applied by a courtesan, or a sniper from off the map, it can be a nice way to switch things up. The effects can be removed or disappear automatically when the encounter is resolved. All of these are things you could do anyway, thanks to GM Fiat. Or just to be a jerk. The DP point makes that a bit more palatable. Another option I have used is to "award" something particularly awesome that the players have achieved. The example I used the other night was a character rolling five successes (on 3 green dice) with a hijacked heavy repeating blaster. He absolutely demolished the enemy reinforcements making their way down the mountainside, but then I flipped a DP and told them that all the heavy fire had started a rockslide. The group had to scramble madly to get themselves and the hostages they were rescuing to safety.
  20. Well, I could be missing it. But I don't see how you're playing any differently than I am based on your description. I'm always asking the players to look forward. The "how" is always important and always comes first. The impact of that description is then informed by the examples in the book. Somebody might describe what they want to do, and I'll consider that it might have a similar impact to an Aim maneuver. So I'll do a quick translation and just say it costs a maneuver, and they get a boost die. Any of your examples can be applied in the same way: I guess with my group we haven't really had a post-roll paralysis after the first few sessions, everybody is eager to receive that boost die or the Triumph upgrade, or cause a crit or trigger a blast... From the sound of it, you have found the system much more intuitive than we did. And, considering the forum we're on, that's likely to be a majority view. Advantages/Threats are a resource generated by the dice roll. Part of the problem is that these resources are generated and spent independent of the pass/fail mechanic, which lead to situations our group felt were un-intuitive, and in some cases could touch on the absurd. Added to which, the variety of things you can spend this resource on is varied and extensive, ranging from tables worth of choices, to activating weapon traits and "freestyling" it. The final result was a mechanic that, for our group, restricted rather than promoted narrative gameplay. While that's likely to be a minority view around here, I don't think ours is a unique experience with the system. Also, let me just emphasize again that it wasn't a dealbreaker, so much as a disappointment with how the system advertised itself, versus how it actually worked out for us. When going into a narrative system, we assumed the mechanics would help us to focus on the story. Instead, we found mechanics that require a degree of system mastery that borders on the simulationist. It felt jarring, and required some adjustments.
  21. I've noticed the same thing. The support structures and mechanics can very easily feel restrictive, rather than enhancing the experience. For those who can roll with it, or who are still new to it all, it is probably much less intrusive. To our group it was consistently immersion breaking. Not so much as to be a deal breaker (no system is perfect, after all), as it was that it didn't live up to its hype in our experience. It was a question of perspective for us. In the simulationist games we were most familiar with, any narrative descriptions were purely voluntary, without much in the way of mechanical restrictors or enhancers. In the narrative games we had played, the narrative aspects most often came into play BEFORE the dice roll. So players would invoke Aspects or tap traits in order to shape the narrative. SWRPG has the feel of a simulationist game (identify skill/difficulty-->roll dice-->interpret result), but threats and advantages as a result of the dice roll meant narrative descriptions had to come after the dice roll. Rather than allowing us to shape the narrative, SWRPGs systems made us feel like we had to scramble to fit the narrative into what the dice had rolled. I don't know if I have explained it to a satisfactory degree, especially if you yourself do not consider it to be a problem. In any event, all we really did was modify the process a bit. As a part of the "identify skill/difficulty", I also ask my players "how" they want to carry out their actions. Are they maneuvering for advantage? Suppressing the enemy? Intimidating them with their sheer superiority? Do you want to take advantage of the environment somehow? I made a few systemic tweaks to encourage looking forward, rather than sitting with a (potentially) very strange roll, and desperately trying to explain it. To re-iterate, success/fail remained as "what" you do, and threat/advantage became the "how". So far, this has really cut down on analysis paralysis caused by threats/advantages, and a generally smoother gameplay for us.
  22. Yes. But it wasn't accomplishing what I wanted. I still grant boost dice for making an effort. If its particularly clever or appropriate, I grant whatever I think its worth. The system touts itself as narrative, but it has a large number of rules and mechanics that push it into a hybrid of narrative and simulationist. To me it felt schizophrenic: On one hand stating that it encouraged narrative play, on the other hand saying "you can only do this cool narrative stuff if you roll this and this and this". Now, I fully expect many to disagree with me, particularly here, but I'm just relaying my personal perception, and the feedback from my game group. Again, it was a matter of some minor (and not so minor) changes, but it also involved changing our group's perspective and expectations.
  23. I very much adopt a "less is more" approach to the Empire, when running a Firef...I mean Edge of the Empire style of game. For example, Stormtroopers are no longer dime-a-dozen minions...they're the elite shock troops of the empire: Dedicated, professional, brutal, terrifying. Some might feel that its not really Star Wars without dozens of faceless, white clad baddies to dispose of, but that's all in where you're standing, and what kind of game you're running. It is very much a question of focus. The default setting (even for EotE), makes it very easy to slide into the heroic rebel or...Robin Hood in space mentality. But if you start playing up the bills involved (fuel, maintenance, food), suddenly your guys are no longer movie screen heroes, doing movie screen heroics, instead they're regular people scrabbling in an unfriendly galaxy. Again, a question of focus, and shifting the mentality of the campaign. The middle of the road, as awayputyrwpn mentioned, is to use Obligation to put pressure on the group without getting too lost in the minutiae (once you start tracking fuel, food, ammo...where do you stop?). Sure, if the characters were free to do whatever they wanted...they might just become swashbuckling rebel fighters. But the characters aren't free to choose. They have debts to pay, people to pay off and scores to settle. Fighting the Empire can happen along the way...but it does not have to be the focus of the campaign. Now of course, if that's what your players WANT to do...then perhaps you're running the wrong kind of game for them.
  24. For what its worth, these are things most GMs should already be doing. In fact, when I first started with this system, I had reservations about the whole "forced narrative" aspect. Sure, many like it because it pushes them. But as someone who was already doing this, and with players who were engaged as well, it was problematic. In essence, instead of thinking up cool stuff to do...we felt tied to the dice, waiting to see what the results were and then frantically trying to come up with appropriate uses of the resulting threats and advantages. It has helped some, that we have changed the definitions a little, even if its just in our own minds. So now, success and failures are WHAT you do, but the threats and advantages are HOW you execute your actions. I still personally would prefer the narrative to come before the dice, and for that reason I often award a bonus advantage or even success to players who do a great job describing their actions, before they ever roll the dice. Its still not perfect, but its closer to functional for our group. These are all pretty good ideas for GM destiny point usage. And if you have any experience with the 2d20 system (Mutant Chronicles, the new Conan RPG, etc), which is also designed by Jay Little, you can see a refinement of many of these concepts. In fact, after reading up on these systems, it helped me make a few minor changes on how I wanted to run the SWRPG, and take it closer to a game I wanted to run.
  25. Savage World has some tremendous strengths, and I know there are a ton of fan-made Star Wars hacks on their site, as well as a host of other hacks and reworks. The Pinnacle website might be worth checking out for inspiration or just to see what others have done. While I liked a lot of Savage Worlds, I never did feel very inspired about their dice mechanics. Not that they were bad, just not that compelling. Porting over NDS for task resolution could have some real potential if you like the FFG dice.
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