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About ErikModi

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    New Brighton, Minnesota, United States

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  1. ErikModi

    Talent skill checks

    Personally, I'd say you could, but you should do so sparingly. Part of the appeal of these talents is that they let you do things you can't normally do, or do them in a more efficient way. Players have a reasonable expectation that the talent will work in-game as it is written in-book, and messing with that constantly risks that player feeling singled out for grabbing abilities the GM just doesn't like. I wouldn't modify the difficult directly without flipping a Destiny Point to upgrade it, but adding setbacks for a particularly hostile crowd might make sense.
  2. ErikModi

    Books from the Other Lines

    Never hurts having multiple copies of the core rulebook around, and the vast majority of rules are identical between Edge, Age, and Force.
  3. ErikModi

    Speaks Binary Question

    I think this may be the best answer we're going to get. Thank you.
  4. ErikModi

    Am I mistaken...

    Ahsoka, Leia, Princess of Alderaan, Thrawn, and Thrawn: Alliances.
  5. ErikModi

    Am I mistaken...

    "Apathy is death."
  6. ErikModi

    Am I mistaken...

    Which is fine. Not every story and story aspect will appeal to every audience member. I just point out the most common complaints that get brought up over and over and over again every time this subject crops up that aren't strictly accurate. Hating something for what it is I can respect. Hating something for what it isn't just bothers me.
  7. ErikModi

    Am I mistaken...

    Here we go again: There are a number of misconceptions people labor under that make them hate the idea of midichlorians, and I see these bandied about time and time again. They are: 1: Midichlorians are the Force: False. Nothing Qui-Gon says supports this. He says "without them life would not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force" and "They constantly speak to us, telling us the Will of the Force." Nothing of what he says to Anakin contradicts Ben and Yoda's explanations to Luke that "The Force is an energy field created by all living things." 2: Midichlorians create the Force: True with caveat. Midichlorians are living things, thus they create the Force just like all other living things. Midichlorians create the Force just as much as Space Slugs do. 3: Midichlorians demystify the Force: Your Mileage May Vary, but I don't think so. First of all, in the same breath Qui-Gon explains midichlorians he also talks about "the Will of the Force," which is not something the Force was presented as having in the original trilogy. The prequels also talk about prophecies, about the Force maneuvering people and events towards specific outcomes, making it overall more mysterious than less in my opinion. 4: Midichlorians reduce the Force to simple biology: False. The prequels also establish Jedi (with very limited exception) are forbidden from marrying and having families. Now, it's been claimed that Jedi aren't prohibited from having casual flings, but that's not likely to keep "Jedi genetics" in the general population, so the Jedi's monastic rules would result in Force-Sensitivity being bred out of the population in a few generations if it was purely genetic. The only explanation is that the Force chooses who will be Force-Sensitive, ignoring genetics. EU authors before the prequels really only had Vader, Luke, and Leia to draw on, so the default assumption was that Force-Sensitivity was genetic, like it was for the Skywalkers. Through the lens of the prequels, we now know that to be the exception, not the rule. And the Sequel Trilogy seems to be bearing that out, with the Force selecting Rey and the boy on Canto Bight as among the galaxy's new Force-Sensitives. But Force-Sensitivity was always portrayed as something you either had or you didn't from birth, you could never be a full-fledged Jedi if you weren't Force-Sensitive, no matter how much you wanted to be, how much you believed in it, or how hard you trained. This is the point that really bugs me when people like CinemaSins claim that in the OT, you were left with the feeling that if you just believed in the Force hard enough, you could be a Jedi too, when such was never implied anywhere in the OT. Obi-Wan and Yoda's whole exchange in The Empire Strikes Back about "That boy is our last hope" is founded on the idea that they just aren't going to be able to find, let alone train, another Force-Sensitive into a full Jedi in the time they have left. Even swapping over to Leia at this point is dicey (since Yoda dies in early in the very next film, he wouldn't have much time left to train her). As for the idea of midichlorian cocktails granting you Jedi powers. . . no. Just no. First of all, getting that kind of biological alteration to work is probably impossible, even for Star Wars technology, and second, even if you could make a midichlorian cocktail, if the Force doesn't want you to be Force-Sensitive it just won't talk to those additional midichlorians, and you're still stuck being an ordinary person.
  8. ErikModi

    Speaks Binary Question

    And welcome one of my players to the board
  9. ErikModi

    Statting The Thing

    That's easy. Five ranks in "Snapping Fingers" skill.
  10. FFG's system is actually pretty light on "campaign books," and most modern RPGs are, actually. Adventure modules have really taken a back seat to groups who love to craft their own stories from the ground up, and that's exactly what most RPGs encourage players and gamemasters to do. Now, not everyone is a highly creative type who can write awesome stories, but part of the beauty of an RPG is that you don't necessarily have to be (though I am a writer and creative type, so it does certainly help). A tabletop RPG is collaborative storytelling experience, where the GM and the players both have input on the story. At it's most basic, it's something like this: GM: You see a big, slimy fangbeast. What do you do? Players: We shoot it. OR Players: We offer it a nice, juicy steak and scratch it behind the ears, telling it it's such a good slimy fangbeast, yes it is, yes it is! But it can be a lot more involved than that. A lot of modern RPGs have systems that allow the players, when creating their characters, to clue the GM in on what kinds of adventure they'd like to see, what sorts of challenges they want their characters to overcome, and how they would like the campaign to play out in broad strokes. But if nothing else, sitting down with the players beforehand and deciding on what kind of game they want to play is vital, so everyone knows what they're on board for. If someone wants to play in the Prequel era as a Jedi Padawan on their way to Knighthood against the backdrop of the Clone Wars, while another wants to play a Rebellion-era Smuggler running supplies for the Rebel Alliance, while a third wants to play a Yuuzhan Vong warrior on the warpath during the New Jedi Order invasion. . . well, you've got a problem. Even without going into a different eras, if one player wants to be a diplomat in a political campaign while another wants to be a rough scoundrel from the Outer Rim who lets his blaster do the talking, it's going to be hard to get both of those characters engaged in the same game. Getting everyone on board with a concept for the campaign itself is vital. But too little diversity is as bad as too much. If everyone's a rough scoundrel who lets their blaster do the talking, who's going to solve those problems that can't be shot to death? Encourage the players to think about their characters, who they are as people, what their motivations are. A useful tool I've found is what I call "The Babylon Four." The sci-fi series Babylon 5 (check it out if you haven't seen it, it's awesome) has four questions that reverberate throughout the series, "Who are you?" "What do you want?" "Where are you going?" "Why are you here?" Here's an example of "What do you want?" The idea is based, I gather, from a kind of psychological experiment where you ask someone the same question over and over, rejecting each response as "unacceptable" until you get them to the point where they literally can't think of anything else, paring the answer down to its most fundamental aspect. Now, you don't want to interrogate each of your players over and over and over for hours, but getting them to think about those questions in relation to their characters will get them thinking about them beyond bonuses on the character sheet, which is the biggest problem most new tabletop players have. This isn't a collection of statistics, this is a character, a real person in this fictional universe. There's another scene from the same episode the above video is from, where the same guy (Mr. Morden) asks the question to another of the alien ambassadors, G'Kar, who's people are mortal enemies of the Centauri, who Londo in the linked video represents. G'kar eventually answers that he wants to see the Centauri crushed, destroyed, and driven before the Narn, to suffer as they have made the Narn suffer. When Morden asks G'Kar "And then what?" G'Kar replies that he's never really thought about it. . . and he supposes, as long as his people are safe, it doesn't really matter. So what does G'Kar really want? Safety for his people. On the subject of setting, crossovers can certainly be done, if that's your cup of tea, and your players, too. Not everyone is going to want to see a Star Destroyer square off against the Starship Enterprise, have their Jedi be hunted through the forests of Endor by the Predator, have their X-Wing dogfight Cylon Raiders, or roll Medicine to try and cure vampirism. But if your group wants to play a crossover game, great, have fun. The GM will just need to homebrew most of the stats, which means they'll need a good grasp of the system so they don't get overpowered. Then again, homebrewing is a great way to learn the system (you don't really understand something until you've broken it into a billion pieces and have to try and put it back together). For a straight Star Wars setting, you can do pretty much whatever you like. Your characters could be living around the events of the films, watching as Luke Skywalker destroys a Death Star, or you could play the characters from the films in other adventures, or even the events of the films themselves and see how they play out differently as the players make different choices, or even discard the canon characters completely and leave the fate of a galaxy far, far away in the hands of the players and their original characters. It's your game, your group, your table, do whatever you want. As for "games" based on KOTOR and TFU, what you're actually talking about are sourcebooks. Sourcebooks are supplementary books, not required to play but helpful as they introduce new abilities, gear, characters, and so on. Star Wars Role-Playing Games have a long history, dating back to the late 80s with West End Games and their Star Wars Roleplaying Game (mostly referred to as "d6 Star Wars," since the system exclusively used d6s). Around the time The Phantom Menace came out, West End Games lost or gave up the Star Wars license, and Wizards of the Coast (behind Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition and later and Magic: The Gathering among others) picked it up, and produced three different Star Wars RPGs based in varying degrees on their d20 system: OCR/RCR ("Original Core Rules," the first one, just branded as "Star Wars Role-Playing Game" and "Revised Core Rules," a minor edition switch that polished up a few things) and Saga Edition. The KOTOR and TFU books are from Saga Edition (Saga Edition books are easily recognizable for being square, not rectangular). WotC lost the license, Fantasy Flight Games picked it up, and now we have what we call "FFG Star Wars." There are three different games, but all use the same system and so are compatible with each other: Edge of Empire (covers "Fringe" characters, smugglers, bounty hunters, mercenaries, etc.), Age of Rebellion (covers military characters), and Force and Destiny (covers Force-Sensitive characters). Getting a complete Star Wars RPG experience, with support for all character types, can be quite expensive, but as mentioned, all you really need is the Core Rulebook of your choice (Edge of Empire, Age of Rebellion, or Force and Destiny) and a set of dice. FFG Star Wars dice should be available at the same place you can get the rulebooks (gamers refer frequently to their FLGS, or Friendly Local Gaming Store), but there's a chart in the books to convert "regular" RPG dice to the symbols used by FFG Star Wars Dice. I'd recommend getting the proper Star Wars dice, but if you don't want to spend the money and/or have regular gaming dice lying around, the conversion is the more economical option. There's also some Star Wars Dice Roller programs online, if you trust electronic random numbers (I, for the record, do not). Sourcebooks from one edition of the game won't be terribly useful for others, and everything not FFG system is out-of-print (the companies don't have the license to print them anymore, though FFG did/is doing a reprint of West End Game's d6 rulebook, not sure on the status of that at this particular moment), but the Sourcebooks can still provide very interesting background information and story hooks, and can be found used through various outlets (my FLGS has a pretty extensive section of Star Wars RPG books dating back to d6). For my money, the best sourcebooks for that kind of information are the West End Games one, they dealt a lot more with "fluff" (background, setting, and story material) than "crunch" (rules, stats, and mechanics). Those are two other terms you'll hear tossed about the tabletop gaming community fairly often. Hopefully some of this advice is helpful to you. Welcome, have fun, enjoy, and we're always here to at least attempt to answer questions and provide feedback!
  11. ErikModi

    Statting The Thing

    Edited for clarity. First draft was kind of a word vomit at work just to get the ideas out while they were fresh.
  12. ErikModi

    Brawn 1 on characters

    The Medical/Mechanic droid in our party is Brawn 1. He's been shot up a few times, but nothing really debilitating, and after the second time he made himself a pretty decent set of armor. He mostly follows the other advice in this thread: stay low, try not to be a bigger threat than the "tanks," and assist the party in other ways rather than direct attacks (in his case, he gives medical assistance, though that's "drawn aggro" a few times). Bear in mind that character death is REALLY difficult to achieve in this system. You need a critical injury with result of 140+ (you're dying, need immediate medical attention to stay alive) or 150+ (you're dead) to actually be killed in combat. So unless going up against an enemy armed with a few ranks of Vicious, you'd need to have at least 4 untreated critical injuries before you're in danger of dying. So a low-Brawn character might get taken out of combat pretty easily, but they aren't going to be at substantially more risk of death.
  13. There is only one speed in Star Wars, and everything travels at that speed: The Speed Of Plot. In all seriousness, I'd agree that the speed exiting hyperspace should be the speed you entered it at. Bear in mind, most EU material says you can't actually change course in hyperspace, so getting from one place to another frequently requires intermediate jumps between those points, rather than travelling a straight distance between them (this is what lets space piracy function in Star Wars, successful pirates know good points to catch ships at a waypoint between destinations where they get maximum booty for minimum risk). So a ship could easily do a "combat escape jump" at full speed, exit hyperspace pretty much precisely in the middle of nowhere, slow down to a safer speed, and continue on to their eventual destination.
  14. ErikModi

    Speaks Binary Question

    I agree. . . which means we're still stuck trying to decide exactly what "direct a droid" entails, action-wise. Equally valid rules portions have been cited for incidental, maneuver, and action.
  15. ErikModi

    Statting The Thing

    So, had a thought, see if anyone but me can follow this (edited for clarity): Base Statistics: A Thing has no "default" or "natural" form, instead imitating another organism. Every Thing is thus based on the organism its imitating, copying that organism's statistics, including Characteristics, Wounds, Strain (if the base organism has no strain, such as by being a minion, the Thing gains a Strain Threshold equal to its Wounds) Silhouette, Skills, and Talents. It does not copy the organism's equipment (though may be able to pick up, wear, and operate equipment dropped by the being it assimilated), but will copy any natural weapons or attacks the base creature possessed. Wound Threshold for a Thing represents the amount of biomatter making it up, and is not altered once it mimics an organism (see Subdivision for an exception). Shapeshifting: Once it has imitated an organism, a Thing may shapeshift to defend itself or make assimilating further prey easier. A Thing gains Pool equal to its Wound Threshold. Pool may be spent to increase Characteristics at a cost of 1 Pool per increase, and a Thing may likewise decrease a Characteristic to gain 1 Pool per point a Characteristic is lowered. Ranged and Melee Defense may be bought separately at 1 Pool each. Lastly, 1 Pool may be spent to gain access to a natural weapon (assuming the base creature doesn't have any, or to add more if it does). These weapons are conceptually limited by other creatures the Thing has assimilated (see Genetic Memory), but in actuality the only limit is the GM's imagination, so go nuts. Natural weapons start at a damage of 1+Brawn, but additional damage may be bought for 1 Pool each. A natural weapon may strike out to Short range for 2 Pool. Shapeshifting is generally an Incidental, though spending more than five Pool in a turn requires a Maneuver, spending more than seven requires an Action. If more than ten Pool is spent in a single turn, the Thing cannot do anything that turn except Shapeshift. Any spending of Pool alerts any observer to the Thing's true nature, with the changes almost always being grotesque in nature. A Thing may revert any changes and reclaim the Pool spent on them as an Action. Genetic Memory: A Thing contains a record of all other creature it has assimilated, and passes this record on to any new Things it creates via assimilation or subdivision (see below). As such, everything Thing technically possesses all Skills, Talents, and so on of any creature assimilated before it was, and Things can share this information by sharing cells between them. This also means that Shapeshifting (see above) can utilize any forms or abilities of other creatures the Thing in question has knowledge of. In practice, GMs are encouraged to limit Things to only the capabilities of the base creature, plus upgrades purchased by Shapeshifting, though adding extra skills and talents to a suitably Nemesis Thing is certainly possible. Damage: Things are extraordinarily resilient, since each individual cell is its own self-contained organism, able to restart infection all over again. Things have no vital organs, no central nervous system, no vulnerable points to attack to rapidly incapacitate or kill them. As a result, Things take only 1 Wound from any attack, with the exception of hazards that can efficiently destroy large amounts of individual cells very rapidly. Exactly what qualifies is up to GM discretion, but fire and acid are both good starts. Explosives can work for this purpose as well, since heat and pressure can kill individual cells over a large area, but the explosion also risks simply blasting the Thing into many smaller Things. A Thing is immune to Critical Injuries (though players can still spend Advantage equal to a weapon's Crit Rating to inflict them, see Subdivision). When a Thing exceeds its Strain Threshold, it cannot spend or reclaim Pool. When a Thing sustains Wounds greater than its Wound Threshold, it is functionally dead (though individual cells deep within the body may remain functional, and could potentially spread the infection again). If a Thing exceeds both is Wound and Strain Thresholds, all cells making it up are dead. Subdivision: If a Thing suffers a Critical Injury, a part of its body is cut or blasted off (as appropriate to the type of attack). The Thing's Wounds and Pool are reduced by the amount of damage the attack would have done, and a new Thing is created at Engaged range with the original Thing, having the Wounds and Pool lost by the original Thing in the Critical Injury. Characteristics are divided between the two new Things as the GM sees fit. A Thing may Subdivide into two Things as an Action (deciding how many Wounds, Pool, and Characteristics to give up to the new Thing), and may Subdivide into three Things by spending an additional Maneuver (again, choosing how to divide Wounds/Pool/Characteristics between all three). A Thing may combine or recombine with an Engaged Thing as an Action, or two Engaged Things by spending an Action and a Maneuver. When Combining, the Wounds/Pool/Characteristics of all combined Things are added. If an explosive attack does not reduce a Thing to zero Wounds, the Thing is subdivided into a number of Things equal to the Wounds remaining after the explosive attack, each with 1 Wound, 1 Pool, and 1 in all Characteristics. A bit exhaustive, but I think it's workable.