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Donovan Morningfire

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About Donovan Morningfire

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    Looking for a saint? Look elsewhere.
  • Birthday August 12

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    Captial District, NY

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  1. Donovan Morningfire

    Comedy has Consequences (Spoilers TLJ)

    That's a good point, and taking out some of the more slapstickesque elements does make TLJ an overall darker film. I remember one of the big complaints against TPM when it came out was the overuse of Jar-Jar as a source of slapstick comic relief. Disney seems to be trying to apply the "Marvel formula" to the Star Wars franchise without really comprehending how the Marvel formula works or even what makes it truly work. Marvel can get away with more comedy in their films because they've got directors and screenwriters who generally grasp when, where, and most importantly how to apply comedy. James Gunn with the Guardians of the Galaxy films is a prime example, as those movies are indeed much more lighthearted than much of the MCU, but they're not trying to hammer you over the head with forced jokes or overtly slapstick elements, but instead provides the funny with just how quirky and mismatched of a group the main characters are. I'm not familiar with anything else Rian Johnson has done, so I've no idea if he's done films that handle comedy well. Now while humor is and always has been an aspect of Star Wars, I can see the OP's point that TLJ did get a heavy-handed with it at times, and probably could have used with a bit less forced humor (such as Hux being reduced to a bad Cobra Commander pastiche).
  2. Donovan Morningfire

    Issues with Cannon

    I was gonna go with different writers, different writing styles. Pretty sure even in non-RPG resources, or non-FFG RPG resources, there's not always been one consistent way to note things like that. I've seen officially licensed Lucasfilm material using lightsabre instead of the more commonly accepted (and believe canon) lightsaber. Granted, those were in the 1990's when Lucasfilm wasn't nearly as concerned with such matters.
  3. About the only d20 version of a Star Wars RPG I'd really consider worth playing would be Saga Edition. It's not without its faults (same can be said for FFG's Star Wars game), but it's generally fairly solid, especially at the lower tiers of play. Marketing-wise, there is zero reason for FFG to consider doing what the OP suggested. Firstly, the only reason Pathfinder was a thing in the first place was that enough D&D fans were soured on the drastic changes that WotC made with 4e, and Paizo offered them a way to keep playing 3.5 with a few minor tweaks (which did little to address the main issue of the math behind the 3.X version of d20 completely breaking down once the PCs' levels got into the double-digits, or that spells at that point could be ridiculously overpowered). Plus, we've had D&D 3.X based Star Wars games, and those had plenty of issues on their own apart from the issue with the core math as mentioned previously. With 5e, while WotC has generally addressed the math issue and OP'd spells of 3.X, it's also a system geared towards a specific brand of play style, one that doesn't exactly mesh with the general feel of Star Wars stories, on top of being very much a "pass/fail" system where you either do well or you fail with no real middle ground. As I saw posted on a Genesys facebook group, the narrative dice system isn't for everyone. That being said, it works quite well for Star Wars, enabling folks to tell some amazing stories and generally avoiding the pitfalls of the binary "pass/fail" system by arranging the mechanics so that on most every roll, something happens (it's the rare result that is simply a failure with no threat or advantage), making it far more enjoyable than a d20-based system. The d20 OGL is good for small companies that are simply a small handful of folks that have a neat idea for an RPG theme but don't have the time or resources to develop their own game mechanics for; sadly this also means that you'll see a lot of crap being shoved out the door, as the d20 boom of the early aughts demonstrated. Having worked in a game/hobby shop at that time, I can tell you there was indeed a lot of turds being published as D&D 3e supplements, and the only reason a lot of those sold at all was that little d20 logo that advertised "hey, you can use this in your D&D game!" And lastly, the books have been selling well enough that FFG has been able to justify the costs of doing multiple printings of their sourcebooks, which generally tend not to sell as well as corebooks. Given the costs involved with the license, sure doesn't sound like FFG is hurting for a viable customer base.
  4. Donovan Morningfire

    Trends, Statistics, and Predictions!

    First week of August is GenCon, and as a result a lot of FFG's focus is going to be there since that's pretty much the RPG industry's major trade show. So it's likely skeleton crew back at the home offices, as well as folks taking vacation time since the main company focus is in Indianapolis during that time. Plus, pushing it back a couple weeks means that FFG will have the option to put the book up for sale at GenCon to allow those folks who've sacrificed their time and especially money to be at GenCon will have a chance to "get it first" much as I'm sure will be the case with the upcoming L5R RPG core rulebook and/or Beginner Box.
  5. Donovan Morningfire

    Trends, Statistics, and Predictions!

    Well, a new Clone Wars series certainly adds weight to that, given a Clone Wars era book is something that's been requested a fair bit. Granted, it depends on how long FFG intends to wait before releasing/working on said book, given that per Sam Stewart's comments on the matter, Lucasfilm doesn't share info on their yet-to-be released media. For instance, Nexus of Power reviews Lothal as it was in Season One, in spite of the rather drastic changes that occurred over the course of Seasons 2 and 3, and Dawn of Rebellion not addressing details of the end of Season 3 or the start of Season 4 even though it was released after that point.
  6. Donovan Morningfire

    Trends, Statistics, and Predictions!

    Given the overall success level of the Star Wars RPG, I don't see FFG doing a total overhaul or effectively making it little more than a glorified Genesys skin. I do agree that there's some elements that could use a bit of revision (starship combat could use some streamlining) and to account for the writers now having a better grasp on what sort of things the system can handle or not handle, as well as some additional clarity, and so a v1.5 or Revised version would be nice, not unlike WEG's 2e to 2eR&E for their d6 version. But overall the core of the system does what the designers intended for it to do. Case in point is Specializations. Yes, there's a few folks whining about how they can't pick talents a la carte the way Genesys allows you to, but that's missing the point that Star Wars was written around the general idea of the PCs falling within general character archetypes that occur within that setting, much as the leads in the films do, and so a specialization helps a player build a character that falls within the boundaries of that archetype, whether it be to embrace it or subvert it. In contrast, Genesys is intended to be generic (it's pretty much in the name), and thus employing specializations is silly because as a generic system there's far too many possible permutations of what sorts of settings will be employed to make specializations anything even close to being a viable notion.
  7. Donovan Morningfire

    Trends, Statistics, and Predictions!

    Well, might not hurt to update the printings to incorporate all the errata. Hopefully that's something that FFG is already planning on doing with later print runs, not only of the core rulebooks but also of the various sourcebooks that have elements that have since been subject to errata.
  8. Donovan Morningfire

    New Player Character Advice

    Technically, a Droid PC could take a F&D career/specialization to start with. They just wouldn't get the Force Rating 1 that comes with taking a F&D career, and they wouldn't be able to take advantage of any Force talents because they can't ever have a Force Rating. For instance, a friend of mine has been hankering for a chance to play a Droid Warrior/Shii-Cho Knight, which works pretty well as that spec doesn't have much in the way of talents that require a Force Rating that you can't just purchase your way around (Sarlacc Sweep is the one exception, and that only if you want to get Dedication and that very last rank of Parry).
  9. Donovan Morningfire

    Active Stun quality and Critical hits

    My read on this would be "no," as triggering the critical would have to come from the weapon's actual damage having exceeded the target's soak value and inflicted at least 1 wound (or 1 strain for those weapons that have the stun damage quality). The Stun # quality is an extra kicker to the damage the weapon already inflicts, and since it's triggered as part of the resolving the advantage/threat step of the attack (which if I remember the order of operations correctly is after damage has been determined and applied to the target's soak value), by the time you'd get to activate the Stun # quality, the window of opportunity for triggering a critical has already closed. To allow otherwise makes the Stun # quality even more potent than it already is, since as written the quality is assured damage (that bypasses soak no less) provided you score at least one uncancelled success and two advantage, which against most Minions and Rivals means they're taking wound damage anyway since they don't have a strain threshold.
  10. Donovan Morningfire

    A take on Ubese -- feedback and balance?

    As one of the authors, in our defense those were written before the core rulebook for EotE was even released, and all we really had to work off of were the 8 core species in the beta. Ben/Cyril and I drew very much from prior RPGs, in particular Saga Edition and D6, for what most of the USM offers along with trying to avoid making species to be inherently superior to the core rulebook species. Seeing as how PCs inherently start with 500 credits sans Obligation increases for more credits, we felt that getting a decent set of armor that could be modified while providing full environmental protection (something that costs a lot more than 500 credits) was a nice enough perk that they didn't need a whole lot else add on to them. Obviously, YMMV.
  11. Donovan Morningfire

    Shii-cho Knight Alternate Spec

    Yeah, I'd worked up an alternate take on Shii-Cho Knight a while, and actually did alternate versions of most of the Lightsaber Form specs during the beta (most of which were done to account for a proposed revision to Parry and Reflect so that PCs wouldn't feel the need to grab quite so many of them). Most of the Shii-Cho Knight revision was to account for the Form's evolution to incorporate blast-deflect training, as opposed to FFG sticking with Shii-Cho's origins as a purely-melee based Form. The most recent version can be found on my blog here, and there's an older iteration as well. I've playtested it a fair bit, and it works out quite well. Yes, it gives the PC a bit more staying power in ranged combats thanks to a couple ranks of Reflect, but losing those two ranks of Parry means it's not quite as burly in one-on-one fights (which makes sense given that Shii-Cho's lack of prowess in duels lead to the creation of Makashi).
  12. Donovan Morningfire

    Trends, Statistics, and Predictions!

    Apart from Cyphers and Masks, all of the career splats have been released. That said, I could see FFG doing at least two era books, one for the Clone Wars and one for the Sequel Era, both of which including new crunch such as universal specs themed for that era as well as stats for various vehicles and NPCs, especially now that they've seemed to let up on the "avoid giving named characters stats" angle as seen in Dawn of Rebellion. My thought is that we'll know that FFG is looking to either end RPG production or revamp it into a new edition is when we start seeing compilation books of material that's currently scattered amidst all the different source books.
  13. The real reason Vader didn't let Luke just kill the Emperor right then and there? It quite simply wouldn't have been dramatic enough. Heck, you could say that Vader doesn't actually rescue his son because he experiences a sudden and powerful call to the light. Instead, throwing out the allegiances he's held for the past two decades at the absolute last moment and sacrificing his life to save his son by destroying his evil wizard master in a storm of lightning and blue flame has to be the most dramatic thing he could have possibly done in that situation. After all, this is the same guy shut off his life support and held his breath for minutes just to scare the crap out of a bunch of Rebel troop in Rogue One, who made his appearance on Malachor by floating down using his TIE Advanced as a chariot/platform, who earlier that same season used his ship to single-handedly decimate a Rebel fighter squadron. His time in the Clone Wars as Anakin is littered with instances of him being dramatic for the sake of drama. If there's any one thing that's truly left of Anakin Skywalker in the cold, armored shell that is Darth Vader, it's his near-instinctual drive to do the most dramatic thing possible 😁
  14. Far as I can recall, the Moto weren't part of the initial story/plot arc of L5R, being introduced later (or at least becoming prominent later) after the Shinjo clan were revealed to have been 'corrupted' by the Kolat. Since this is meant to introduce new players to the Rokugan setting, I'm not sure they'd want to have a character type that is essentially an uncouth Mongol barbarian as one of the example characters.
  15. For the extra pre-gens, my thoughts are Crab = Kuni Shugenja, just for the stark contrast to the more prim/proper Phoenix Shugenja. Scorpion = Bayushi Courtier, though Shinobi is also a possible option. Unicorn = Utaku Battle Maiden, again to contrast the Lion Bushi.