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  1. Aha. This is the crux of it. Why does Boba Fett keep shooting my wookie vibro-ax fighter dead. Well, first of all…he’s the Fett. But second of all, its because running at someone with a gun, swinging a sword is, generally speaking, a bad idea. People can throw out all the unrealistic explanations of melee dominance up close (my rebuttal below), but when it comes right down to it, the real reason those rule are there is because otherwise a melee focused character (not Jedi) is seriously underpowered in Star Wars. But ya know, I think that is fine. Unless you are a Jedi, Grievous, or someone else with some serious superhuman capabilities, melee combat is not the preferred battlefield option. That is not to say that it is not useful, or even better in certain situations. It is great for stealth or for locations that guns can’t be used. It is also great if you want to avoid collateral damage or want to capture your opponent (unarmed specifically). It is also good if nobody has drawn weapons yet. Until the guns are out it is not exactly ranged combat, and a quick melee fighter could prevent the drawing of weapons or neutralize someone that did. That being said, assaulting a squad of stormtroopers set up in a fighting position by running at them with a vibro-ax is pretty stupid. It doesn’t totally go against the setting (lots of things people/droids seem to be horribly inaccurate when convenient for the story). However, I would argue that it certainly isn’t essential to it either. For instance, I feel like it would be totally appropriate if the PCs were extremely intimidated by the big Trandoshan covered in knife scars when he walks up behind them in the local cantina. I also feel like they shouldn’t be too concerned about his knife fighting skills (assuming they keep their backs covered) when engaged with him and his goons in a warehouse shootout. Also, this It wouldn’t increase rxn speed, but, that is completely the wrong way to look at it. How do gun’s work in close quarters combat? You play FPS, so you should know. Either you are running around shooting at anything that moves or you are covering some area. If you are covering and area and are reasonably good you can get in a lot of shots while someone is trying to move. Guns just don’t function the way they are represented in this game. Not that I am arguing for a simulationist approach. In the abstract, there are some traits that you would expect melee weapons to have, and there are ones that you would expect from guns. In regards to this thread, the ability to cover areas is one that is particularly relevant. I actually threw up some rules about this in the combat thread. While technically correct, I think you are over exaggerating the relative difficulty. Yes, if somebody start out behind me and started running around me in a circle it would be harder to shoot them than if they ran the equivalent distance a little farther away from me. But I think you might be have played a few too many FPS games. You have to remember that in those games you don’t have any peripheral vision, none of your other senses are fully activated and it is a lot easier to compensate for the different arc with real muscles than a mouse or game pad that is set up to move arbitrarily fast. The kind of jerky, helter-skelter movements you get trying to target an opponent that is too close in an FPS is nothing like actual close range combat shooting. Youtube some combat shooting videos if you don’t believe me. But again, where is your weapon pointing when we start? This system has no facing. It doesn’t even have map positioning. When one melee fighter engages another do we automatically assume that the other melee fighter has his back or side turned away? No. We assume they are generally facing each other so that when an attack goes down neither side has an automatic advantage. Now, if one side used surprise or stealth, than that would be different. Is every melee on ranged engagement a surprise attack? Assuming equal conditions, the melee fighter is at close and moves to engage our ranged fighter. We would assume that the ranged fighter shifts to engage the melee fighter in turn. Even if approached from the side, the ranged fighter doesn’t stay looking in the other direction until the melee fighter gets three feet away with his weapon poised to strike and wait for the melee fighter to say, “I’m ready, we are at engaged distance, now you can point your weapon at me.” Honestly, give a friend a broom handle (or something) have him stand say 4 meters from you anywhere within your field of vision. You get a water gun. Let him try to even touch you with the broomstick (let alone make actual attack) before you can shoot him with the water gun. I will eat my left nut if he can do it even once. It is as much a game abstraction as a difficulty measure. Since they aren’t using precise measurements, you almost have to do it this way. If you broke up the ranged bands more (say 10), you would have a hybrid of the precise and abstract distance measurement that would be worse than either (not as fast as abstract, but not precise enough to warrant the slow down). By the same token, if you allowed maneuvers to be subdivided into small movement elements, now your are back to a precise movement rate. While the answer to the question of “how they got engaged in the first place” is rather obviously; the melee fighter spent a maneuver to do so. The explicit version of my question was, “how did they get engaged without the ranged fighter ending up with the barrel of his weapon pointed at the melee fighter’s chest.” I don’t think maneuver to engage automatically comes with, “sneak up behind.” I get what you are saying. I am just challenging the notion, that cinematically there is an advantage for the melee fighter. There are plenty of cinematic movie and video game moments with close range gun kills. There is simply no cinematic reason to penalize the ranged fighter.
  2. Kallabecca said: I can see melee combat being an opposed fight of skill vs skill. But ranged… you can't dodge a bullet, or a blaster bolt (unless you have the force). You can, maybe, get clear of where someone is aiming, but the actual time of flight of the projectile is so low as to be nearly instantaneous in most RPG combat situations. So, ranged should be a fixed value adjusted by modifiers (range, size, speed, cover, etc…) While you are technically correct, I would suggest that (even moreso than in melee combat) a good offense is your best defense. In my mind, a skilled gunfighter is constantly trying to put himself at an advantageous angle of fire while denying his opponent a clear shot. He is also pressuring him with suppressive fire. Either way, a better gunfighter is going to get shot less. Callidon said:By having a sliding scale of difficulty you could easily find yourself hitting the ceiling of the difficulty classes… I feel like I already answered that. In those cases it simply shifts the roll paradigm. With a really high skill you will have a great defense and deal a lot of strain damage to someone of lesser skill that tries to attack you. In my mind I see it as winning by counterattack. In fact, I can’t imagine how the Jedi battles (Sense power, ability to invest multiple Force dice into the ongoing effect) won’t end up as contests of who misses less worse than the other guy. I will also point out that your wookie has a bit of a flaw…ranged combat. Shoot at him in and he doesn’t get to use Brawn-Melee. What good is his vibro-ax gonna do against a blaster? He would oppose with agility- ranged. And, in this case, since I would say that the defensive aspect of ranged combat comes significantly from the ability to use suppressive fire, I wouldn’t let the wookie upgrade even if he has a decent ranged skill bc he is not carrying a blaster. Also, your Wookie (Brawn 4, Melee 3) has a very high hit rate against difficult 2. So if two of these Wookies fight each other, that basically means that whoever wins initiative probably wins the fight, and it is probably over in a round or two; unless, of course, you upgrade the difficulties because of the relative skill level. But if you are gonna do that, why not just do opposed rolls as standard? Donovan Morningfire said: Regarding any kind of "opposed" difficulty based on combat skill… even in real life, a high degree of skill doesn't always mean you're going to emerge the victor. There have been numerous documented cases of one-on-one matches (boxing, MMA, kick-boxing, etc) where the underdog (the guy with less experience and/or skill) has managed a sudden victory over the more experienced/better skilled fighter. True, but irrelevant. What I am suggesting doesn’t guarantee success. It just makes it more likely for the more skilled/capable opponent. I didn’t suggest that the rules should be that if you have a higher skill than somebody that that person can never, ever hit you. Also, what you are suggesting (a lucky hit) could happen in the RAW or my suggested change. You are still rolling dice, which unless I have been using dice wrong all these years, are random…i.e. luck plays an important part. Donovan Morningfire said:And besides, the rules already do have a means of reflecting how a more experienced fighter can make themselves harder to hit. Check out Guarded Stance on page 130 under Maneuvers. Well, I feel like those talents aren’t sufficient to describe skill differentials. I also feel like the things I mention, less critical hits, damage shifter towards strain, and easier scaling of skill differentials make for a more mechanically sound game. Also, I should note that guarded stance is not reflective of skill level. Anyone can do it. schi0384 said:Shouldn't the Agility 5 droid be harder to hit then the Agility 1 droid? I understand why Agility doesn't increase defense like Brawn increases soak, it would be a major stat dump. But, it feels like there should be something to account for Agility differences. Like maybe, if the target's agility is higher than the attacker's add a setback die or something. I wouldn’t focus the defense on agility. I know that is the typical idea, but one of the reasons I like the idea of opposed checks is that it sets up each roll as less of attack and defense and more of a roll for relative advantage. Both opponents are striving against each other to see who comes out on top. Thus, the nature of the contests dictates the traits used. Brawn would be the defensive trait in a melee fight, and Willpower the relevant one in a contest of wills. You could even have some innovative checks. For instance a quick draw contest might start off with a series of Willpower-Ranged checks to determine some kind of advantage, followed by an Agility-Cool to determine who shoots first. GoblynByte said: I fully admit that my preference has nothing to do with "game balance." I don't like systems to be overly balanced as I feel excessive balance trumps logic and thus removes the players' ability to logically think through a problem. System balance without logical context tends to create an environment wherein the player games the system rather than plays in character. I can more easily balance the game with story elements. I agree with you on the the game balance thing, but I don’t really think that my suggested change has much to do with game balance and everything to do with logic. Is it logical for a character to increase in overall combat skill yet have to learn additional, separate abilities (which are rather limited) to be able to protect themselves better? Is it logical for the statistics of the game to favor more –both in terms of volume and seriousness- critical hits to the cinematic heroes than to the villains and their minions? Is it logical for the GM to have to no consistent method of accounting for skill differentials between opponents?
  3. WJL, thanks for the second. I was never very impressed with Saga's implementation either. LethalDose said: However, this doesn't mean that the statistics for the capital ship aren't useful and I think its fair that each ship should be fully statted out with the same attention to detail. You may want to know just how much damage that corvettes turbolasers are going do deal to bridge pylons, or how long its going to take that ISD to go from Coruscant to Tatooine. Some groups may want to see what capital ship combat feels like when a frigate dukes it out with a few corvettes, or the players may end up with a capital ship of their own. I agree. I was being a bit facetious. I think I was just a little frustrated that those rules weren't already included. I mean, this will be the 5th publishing of a Star Wars RPG and we still haven't figured out how to stat capital ships so that they can be conveniently used in encounters with PCs!!
  4. I would like to see some more unique abilities for species and better balance. The majority of species gain extra talents or skills, which in an XP driven game, essentially amounts to additional XP. This is not a problem except when some species have special abilities that cannot be bought with XP. Wookies- Rage, +4 WT for -2 ST Transdoshan- Claws, Regeneration, +2 WT for -2 ST Not that these abilities are overwhelming (especially since they are melee) but they do, technically speaking, make Wookies and Transdoshan mechanically more powerful. I think the fix would simply be to give each species a unique species talent or two. I would tend towards active talents. For instance, instead of giving Bothans the convincing demeanor talent, why not give them a talent that gives them a once per encounter or day re-roll of a deceit or skullduggery roll or allow them to add an additional free advantage to a successful deceit or skullduggery check?
  5. Sorry different topic than disengaging… I would like to see a bit of expansion of the rules when it comes to movement and range bands. The RAW seems like it was designed to work well with a melee heavy game, but, IMO, needs some tweaks for a ranged heavy game. In something like WHFRP, you are likely to have multiple different engagements going on within close range. You have the potential for a tank to engage with several opponents while a skirmisher moves in, engages and then retreats. Another player might run off to deal with a pair of archers while a fourth is an archer, dancing around the battlefield trying to stay one step ahead of pursuit. In general those same dynamics are absent from a ranged skirmish combat. However, there are other dynamics in place that should make actual skirmish ranged combat just as exciting and strategic. Ranged combat uses a lot of angles, cover, fields of fire (and the ability to focus them). However, I don’t want to try to change the whole system to a grid system where we are tracking every characters precise position. However, I think within the current rules we can introduce some mechanics that take into account for the unique capabilities of firearms to cover/control areas, quickly kill those that lack cover/ concealment and prevent/allow maneuver. Conditional and Situational Modifiers Advantage Under some conditions one opponent may have a sizable advantage over another. In this case, the opponent with Advantage gets to make attacks without them being opposed checks (+2 boost dice if not using opposed checks) and the attack gains +1 boost dice and a successful attack is considered to have generated +1 additional advantage symbol that may be used for the purposes of activating a weapon’s critical hit. Some typical examples of this would be if one opponent caught another completely out in the open in a gunfight, trying to fight unarmed against a lightsaber/gun wielding opponent or being unaware of the attack. One opponent can also gain advantage over another through using the Gain Advantage action (see below). Often it is much harder to gain Advantage then to negate it. For instance, it might take a character several maneuvers to get to a position where he can flank stormtroopers using some cargo crates as cover. However, the stormtroopers might be able to negate said Advantage simply by stepping back through the cargo bay door right behind them. Engaging a gun fighter Moving into melee with a gun wielding opponent is no easy matter. Any character that wishes to do so provokes an immediate free attack with Advantage for attempting to do this as long as the opponent they are trying to engage with is 1) aware and able to fire at them and 2) not already engaged with another opponent. Once engaged neither opponent can make opposed checks. Weapon Qualities Deflection: add the following. If the lightsaber wielder is proficient in lightsabers and has a Force rating of at least 1 than his opponents do not get Advantage for any free attacks they make against him when he is moving or engaging with them. New Maneuvers Cover Area/Opponent This maneuver allows a character to cover an area/opponent in order to restrict opponents’ ability to maneuver Requirement: The character must be wielding a semi-auto or auto capable firearm with available ammunition. A character can only cover out to his/her weapon’s effective range band. The benefit of covering is that it allows the character to take an immediate free action to attack any character that attempts to move within the covered area. This attack is considered to have Advantage. The cover quality remains in effect until the character’s next turn. Thus, if multiple opponents move through the covered area the character could potentially make multiple free attacks. The ability to make this attack is subject to GM discretion. For instance, even though a character is covering an area, an opponent may be able to move behind or through areas where he/she doesn’t present a viable target. Also, a character that is caught out in the open who dives for cover or retreats through a nearby door probably shouldn’t provoke a free attack. A character can cover close range in a 360 degree arc. A character can cover out to medium range in much smaller arc (~60 degree). The exact limitations of this arc are up to the GM and dictated by the system. This is akin to covering a corridor, part of a courtyard, a catwalk, etc. A character can also cover a single opponent out to medium range. In this case, as long as the covering character can keep track of and has the ability to shoot at, the covered opponent, he/she can get the free attack whenever that opponent tries to move. A character can cover a pinpoint area (ex. a single door or window) out to extreme range. When rolling against a character that took the cover maneuver, 3 advantage symbols can be used to cancel the cover maneuver. New Actions Gain Advantage A character may attempt to gain Advantage by making an opposed check against one or more opponents. The exact roll is dependent upon how the character intends to gain advantage. A typical example might be trying to move to an opponent’s uncovered flank in a gunfight. Upgrade the opponent’s opposing dice pool once for every opponent beyond the first that the character is trying to gain advantage on. Often this action will require the character to maneuver or take some other action as part of it and thus might provoke a free attack if one or more opponents took the cover maneuver. Tactical Advance This action allows a character to move within or between range bands and move to engage with opponents without provoking any free attacks. New Incidental Fire and Maneuver The character can negate 1 boost dice from his next roll in order to cancel Advantage an opponent has for a single incoming ranged attack. The character must be wielding a semi-auto/auto gun with remaining ammo. The boost dice that he negates must have been gained either from advantage/despair symbols on previous rolls or from maneuvers the character or his allies performed.
  6. But I would say that engaged is, on average, probably about 5 ft away. Like I said, engaged doesn't literally mean your weapon is perpetually in mid-swing at a vital part of your opponent. If you have a 2-4 ft long weapon, you are generally standing a little farther than that actual distance because you need to move, step in, out, around and swing the weapon. It is the equivalent of being adjacent in d20 games. Like you say, you could knock a weapon aside while engaged, but I don't think it would be significantly easier than the gun wielder simply pulling the trigger as you step in to do so.* It also begs the question of how you got from close range (where it is very easy to hit) to the point where you can knock the weapon aside. My whole point is that in while engaged it is essentially anyone's game. The outcome will depend on relative skill, luck and conditional factors. However, there is no reason to suggest the melee fighter has an advantage simply due to the properties of melee weapons. *This might be different in a stand off situation. If the gun wielder is holding the melee wielder at gun point, and the melee wielder decides to attack the weapon, he would have a slight advantage because of the physics involved. Simply put it takes longer to react, than to act. But that is not the situation we are talking about here. We are talking about active combat where both opponents are actively trying to kill each other. Unless the melee opponent is super-human (Jedi) or has surprise or some other situational advantage, than melee provides no advantage, just a different strategy to victory.
  7. While I like the rules for smaller ships well enough (although I am a fan of using opposed checks, like usgrandprix suggests), I would like to see something fundamentally different for capital ships. The PCs ships will not interact with a capital ship the same way they would another transport or fighter. I would prefer to see capital ships statted as a series of encounters typical of the conflicts that PCs might have with them. For instance, instead of statting a Nebulon B and Corellian Corvette, instead stat: Bombing Run Turret Fire escape Chase along the ships surface Shield Generator attack Tractor beam escape etc. These encounters could be laid out in a simple and easy to run manner and then individual ships might add difficulty levels or particular challenges to them. For instance a smaller, anti-fighter capital ship would be more likely to hit the PCs, but would probably do less damage and be more susceptible to PC attacks than larger ships. Also, I would probably have capital ship weapons do significantly less damage than the current rules suggest and make them more likely to hit. This would represent near misses. The problem with the current model is that PCs will feel relatively little strain because the capital ship has a hard time hitting, and then BAM!! there ship is done in one hit. The other benefit with this is that you don't need an exhaustive list of statistics for every possible capital ship. Honestly, these rules are not made to run massive space battles with multiple capital ships per side. So why stat the ships that way?
  8. With the week 1 update out we have clarification that melee and ranged attacks use standardized difficulty (instead of opposed checks). However, I would like to make a plug for changing that and using opposed checks instead. The benefits I see of opposed checks: 1. Easy, intuitive method to scale relative skill levels of opponents. 2. Shifts the burden of damage to PCs towards Strain rather than Wound damage. This makes PCs more resilient because they can more quickly recover Strain and because they are spreading damage more equally over there two damage pools. 3. Reduces the number of critical hits that are activated. This preferentially benefits PCs because they will receive more critical hits than any individual enemy. It is just like the problem with wound points in WOTC’s first d20 Star Wars. Since PCs are involved in every fight, it is way more likely that some mook will score a lucky hit and knock them out than the first round, than it is for a PC to do the same to an important enemy (that they may only face a few times in the entire campaign). Either way, a lucky hit taking out an important character early on isn’t fun for anybody, anyway. Granted, in EotE, the first critical hit can’t completely kill a PC in one shot. However, there is a 5% chance of crippling a limb on most any critical hit roll. Thus, I can probably expect that in any reasonably long campaign every PC will end up with at least one crippled limb (or worse). The same does not apply to enemies. Sure enemies in general will suffer critical hits more often than PCs. However, a critical hit on your average minion or henchman is essentially meaningless. The chance of scoring a critical hit with significant story impact on an important enemy is significantly less than the same thing happening to a PC. Thus, I would contend that less overall critical hits is definitely a good thing. Seems like most of the arguments against opposed checks can be summed up as follows: 1. Increasing combat resolution time through (a) taking longer to determine dice pool and (b) resulting in fewer overall hits. My response: For (a) I think it all depends on how much the GM uses discretion. I know that as a GM, I will definitely make hitting Boba Fett a lot harder than hitting your average stormtrooper. Especially since Boba Fett can take 1, maybe up to 3, more hits than your average stormtrooper. Thus, since I am modulating difficulty on the fly, without a set standard, it is likely to take just as long as figuring the opposed dice pool (which I pretty much already know since it is the inverse of the attack dice pool). For a GM that doesn’t modulate hit difficulty based on relative skill level, you are likely to have heroes and nemeses go down more quickly than you would like. While (b) is definitely true, I think there will be a significant gradient from minion to nemesis. For instance, minions and henchmen will go down nearly as quickly because better PC defense = more strain damage to enemies (which could easily finish off a minion or henchman) and nemeses will stay up longer than they would with standard difficulty. These results seem good IMO. 2. Decreased activation of advantage and triumph. The biggest result of this is decreased critical hits. My Response: True, but you will have an equal increase in disadvantage and despair activation against the enemy, which can be just as potent. Also, like I mention above, I think less critical injuries overall is definitely better for the PCs.
  9. Sure, but isn't the point of a Beta to make comments and change things? It is definitely a minor rule so I wouldn't even put it up on the forums if this was a completed game. But it isn't, so if it is bad rule, why not change it?
  10. I would prefer to just take these modifiers out completely. These types of rules are in almost every sci-fi/modern RPG I have ever seen and I always think they are a little silly. They always seem to presume that the gun wielder is perpetually pointing in some random direction while the melee weapon is perpetually whistling towards the gun fighter’s head. It is much more likely that, unless he is completely surprised, the ranged fighter has his weapon pointed at the melee fighter and at such close range it would be almost impossible to miss, let alone give penalties to the ranged fighter and bonuses to the melee fighter. Certainly a grappling situation is different, but could just as severely impair the melee fighter, depending on what he is wielding. Assuming I am not Riddick, if there were two people grappling, one with a knife and the other a pistol, I would prefer to be the one with a pistol.
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