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Ghostofman

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  1. I think something like this is probably a better bet. The challenge you have here is that where Superman's strength is a physical part of him, Batman's wonderful toys are just as organic when talking about the Character of Batman. To an extent a new Bat-vehicle or an upgrade to Tony Stark's suit shouldn't be a Dollar purchase so much as an XP expenditure. It's a core feature of those characters in the same way that Laser-vision is to Superman, and from the perspective of the narrative Batman or Iron Man's gear needs to improve organically just as Superman's abilities. Add on the fact that Tony and Bruce rarely literally buy anything super-related within the narrative, and that just lends strength to the argument that super-gear is more an XP buy. I think you may want to look at two other systems for ideas. 1) D20 Modern replaces cash with a Wealth rating that represents a players "buying power." So you can make a check see what a player character can scrap together in a pinch, and a "rich" character would have a much higher number than a "poor" one, and you can even buy above your rating at a risk of it getting downgraded. Buying a hamburger and soda isn't (within the story) going to negatively impact Peter Parker any more than Tony Stark. If the party suddenly needs a car though, then Parker is going to have to scrap together some money, borrow from friends and family, take out a loan, get Jameson to vouch for him on that loan, and afterward maybe he gets a clunker... Where Tony just writes a check and drives a brand new Ferrari off the lot. 2) Mutants and Masterminds is a D20 superhero system, and it makes super-gear work very similar to super powers. In that system something like laser vision, a battlesuit arm-laser, and a laser pistol all are bought in the exact same way. The difference being that the gear options get "removable" and "easily removable" as negative features, which reduce their cost to the Player in exchange for the ability for the GM to have an option to disable them.
  2. There's actually 3 different methods of lightsaber crafting. One in the FaD Core book, one in the GM kit, and one in EV. They all provide a different method of build with the difficulty and required skills varying to accommodate but what's being built and the abilities of the player character doing the build. The EV option is only the "techie" version, with limited style options and bonuses applicable based on the crafting success. If you aren't playing a Tech you can use one of the other methods and select from all other lightsaber types and build the type you want specifically. Indeed there's some types f saber that can't be truly crafted using the EV method, forcing you to use one of the other two if that's what you want.
  3. Yeah... Crits are actual verifiable injuries. Wounds are just Plot Armor. So issuing Crits in cases like this make more sense, it kicks out an effect but doesn't otherwise prevent the players from continuing. I might swap this if the group has no access to a Medic, but in your case you've mentioned you plan on a medic, so giving a character a concussion that can be healed afterward works pretty well compared to giving them a concussion in a firefight 3 hours later because they were low on wounds from the crash and got WTed in one hit. You can do this, but this is really something better not measured. Range Banding is really only important between the major players. So how close I am to the TIE matters. But how close we both are to the ground? Not so much, at least not in this instance, because that's the sort of thing the player can change with Advantage as he describes the action. ....I don't mean to be rude, but you've basically argued against yourself here. You say you want rules for everything over quick resolutions based on the GM eye-balling it because you're afraid of railroading, but when your rules glitch out, you propose GM fiat as the fix.
  4. This is more or less my opinion as well. When talking something like a LAAT hitting the ground, for the most part you can just simplify a crash to a Resilience check with results on Characters aboard, and a Major Collision on the vehicle, and call it done. Were I doing it, the Resilience check wouldn't be especially hard, though failure would kick out a Crit. Being properly secured would give a character a significant boost, and possibly allow the check to be totally ignored, that way I don't end up wiping all minions aboard by default. Depending on the circumstances I might get more interesting and go with something like A Piloting Check to make it more a crash-landing instead of a crash, doing something like inflicting a series of Minor Collisions negated or reduced by Piloting Checks to show the craft skidding/rolling to a stop. There's two core issues I have with it. 1) There's a lot of If:Thens to go through. I don't see the sense in going through the whole "Ok... If it's this fast... and you're this high up... then shields... and carry the two..." It's just cumbersome, time consuming and one more thing I've got to remember and track. As a GM I've got enough on my hands that I don't go looking for ways to add more. A straight roll or two and calling it good and moving forward is usually better. 2) Anything that can kill the players outright is bad. If you've got that... I'll almost always be opposed to it. So factor in a Crash like the type being covered here, there's a very good chance the vehicle involved already has several Crits on it. Either a minimum of 1 Crit for exceeding it's HT, or multiple Crits that resulted in the Crash through Strain Inflicting or Engine Damage results. So having the Crash cause a +X Crit to the Vehicle is redundant at that point, and just increases the odds of a "Vaporized" result. I dunno about your players, but I'd be pissed if an entire campaign ended because of a single cruddy roll.
  5. Why? If you over mechanic things though, you end up TPKing the group because the dice just didn't like you today. Then either the campaign ends and all your GM prep work is garbage. Or you arbitrarily apply a narrative to undo everything the dice just did, which is an even more railroady solution than saying "you crash everyone take three wounds and a crit, Jim you aren't strapped in, so add 20 to your crit result." If you want something more random you can apply a light mechanic like: "You crash, everyone roll a Hard Resilience check to see how you hold up, add two boost if you're strapped in." You can still apply mechanics to a narrative situation, but you don't need (or want) an intricate full blown complex system for every situation or you waste time crunching numbers and making rolls that don't really matter and might even generate results that blow the entire campaign. You've mentioned you haven't really GMed before, and this is something GMs need to resolve internally: What does "railroading" mean? Some things are obvious. The door that's locked and can't be picked, hacked, cut through, or bypassed until the player hit a specific story milestone is probably railroading. Telling the players that despite having a fully functional hyperdrive and no motivated destination, they must go to Bespin is probably railroading. Some things aren't obvious. If I make an investigation encounter where there's three different ways to find the clues needed to move on the the next encounter, with a fourth backup option that's so easy the players can't fail, is that railroading? If the players go in a totally wrong direction, and I allow a simple check to determine so, is that railroading? What about if HQ comms them and just tells them outright? What about if the players decide to search a room I know contains nothing of value, and logically wouldn't, and I really don't want them wasting session time going through the motions... So when the players call for the check I just say "No need to roll, you search and find nothing." Is that railroading? What about your players? What do they think is railroading? It's their game too, maybe they don't care that much if the crash is just a flat consequence, and they still get to decide where to go from there. If you aren't having an ongoing conversation with your players and making sure everyone is having fun, you've already failed. Honestly, you're fretting mechanical details when I'm not sure you've even worked out the basics of GMing. GMing is hard, you never get perfect, and you only get better by doing it. So get out there and do it instead of trying to memorize every rule, and house rule every possibility.
  6. I saw that as well. To an extent I do think a direct to stream movie or miniseries actually does make a lot more sense than a theatrical release. Thinking about it, something like Solo would probably have been a lot better had it been something like a 6-episode miniseries, giving it the time to really tell the story it was trying to tell, while also keeping it off the theatrical pedestal allowing for slightly lower quality with a more forgiving audience.
  7. Run things as you like, but I really think you're overthinking things, and making a couple possible mistakes. Dude.... if you are doing any Sci-fi military RPG, this is required viewing. It's essentially a Vietnam War tale in space and is arguably the best Alien film in the series. Arguably only because the first film, Alien, was a sci-fi horror film and Aliens is a genre jump to Sci-fi Action and so direct comparisons aren't really fair. I also really think Aliens is especially well done for a sequel as it stands extremely well on it's own. You don't need to watch Alien to know what's going on in Aliens, like at all. You should watch Alien, as it's a very good movie and there's some elements of Aliens that will have more weight if you've seen Alien. But if you're not a huge horror fan, you won't feel like there's critical information, character, or relationship notes you're supposed to already be aware of if you skip the first movie. That said... Alien 3 onward... not that great. Work on your Encounter and Adventure design and run some checks. I think you'll find this isn't needed, or at least not to the level you think. This is probably overthinking. The system is designed with a more cinematic theme, meaning stuff can exist without needing to be present. Individual minions don't need something like a medkit to not take penalties on medicine checks if you as the GM feel like at least one of them would have a basic medkit, or something like it. You can add one later, or on the fly, or whatever, but if it's not a critical day-to-day encounter-to-encounter thing... don't worry about it until it actually is required. This is part of the whole system, dumping the mundane book keeping in favor of action, that's why things like Extra Reloads just work forever. It's not important exactly how many spare blaster packs the character has, just that it's known they have enough. It's not important that you know what's in every pouch on a Stormtrooper or Clonetroopers utility belt, only that the utility belt is there, and so there's a narrative source for small items that might suddenly be required for the story to move forward, and would logically be present. Again, think about it less from a world--continuity-management perspective and more from that of a Movie Director. I've got a cop who needs to look like a cop, and come in and shoot the bank robber, and then his part in the movie is done. For that he needs his uniform, gun, key visible objects (cuffs, radio, belt with pouches for stuff) and.... nothing else. This doesn't mean that technically in-universe he doesn't also have spare ammo, gloves, a baton, a taser, keys, a wallet, personal money, ID, a body-cam, a car with a million other things sitting out front, or other small items he would logically have, just that I'm not going to bother putting it into the script or demand the property and costume departments make it, and the actor wear/carry it. Until the script changes requiring such items be visible and relevant to the overall films story, it just doesn't need to "exist." This is the part that I think you need to think about long and hard. Nothing hugely wrong outright, but there's some red flags that suggest serious pitfalls in play may be about to happen. - If you're going to add this level of granularity to the characters, then just Rival them. Making a hybrid works against the mechanics of Minions that are there specifically to make things easier for the GM. Being a Minion isn't about names or job titles, but the role you play in the story. How many lines you have, how important you are, and how much of your actions are both difficult and important, and how much of it you do on camera. If your only function is to say some stuff, back up the Hero, and do things off-camera or of little narrative consequence on-camera, you can probably be a Minion. If you need specific gear and skills, that implies you'll be doing things on-camera that matter to the larger narrative and can't just be handwaved. - But... if you're not going to do that, you're spending WAAAY too much time thinking about it. Ok... Fixer's going to slap on some band-aids while Chatterbox checks the encryption keys and Shadows goes off to be emo somewhere... Why do they need to make checks to do that? Can't they go and just do that? Game-play this speeds things along and keeps focus on the Players, and narratively it allows you to just push the story forward, no sweating over if Chatterbox fails and loses commo, either he won't, or he will because the story you've outlined will demand it. which leads to my final, and largest concern... - It sounds like you have some bit-players that you may be giving way to much screen time too. Every GM worth his salt has been there, they get so excited about the next campaign and all the NPCs, they lose sight of the Player's story. NPC Clonetroopers should, for the most part, be bit players. A comment here, a remark there, a shout here, and a smoking body over there. You'll have your exceptions to the rule like Cmdr. Cody, but for the most part your Clonetroopers will be the faceless legions of expendable assets. You can play with them, give them a little more personality or some extra lines, but the more you give a supporting NPC to say, the less screentime the Players get. Outlining this many Clonetroopers with the level of detail you're getting into suggests that you probably don't actually want them as NPCs, but as PCs...
  8. Not sure I'd call it "standard issue" but the DL-44 was popular...
  9. So it sounds like you may just need to recognize that even though your a minion doesn't mean you're faceless. CT-0426 "Hudson" can stick around as long as you need even though he's only a Minion. If he gets shot, he's just wounded and KOed. Removed from play but not D-E-D dead. When you move on to episode 2, Hudson is all healed up and ready to rejoin the squad. Minion is only a mechanical designation and lump of numbers. As you go you can personalize things as required. Making Hudson a Rival is an option, but you can also tweak things like applying talent like effects or something to get a bonus while minimizing garbage to track. So like Hudson, though still a minion, provides a rank of Bypass Security to the squad when either the leader or squad makes a check due to some bypass kit he carries or just his innate Hudsonness. At the end of the day remember the Squad option is kinda like Minion Grouping in that half the whole intent is to represent a lot with as little as possible. Resist the temptation to over-detail things that don't really matter just because it feels like you need to for one reason or another. A character like Hudson is less about his stat block, and more about what he says in a given situation. So while his "role" within his unit would be that of an infantryman with some tech skills, things like Mission Specialist and D-points allow him to accomplish that without needing to be a rival, have skill ranks, or specialized listed equipment in his inventory, so you can still run Hudson as a Minion. Hudson can still mouth off in briefings, bicker with the support gunner, and freak out when the mission goes awry, but he doesn't need any stats at all to do that. When you do you Adventure and Encounter design, if you want Hudson to stick around, then you just include that in your outline and encounter numbers. Make sure there's ample "faceless" troopers on the player's side when it comes time to use the Squad rules, so that Hudson won't start an encounter alone. He can always be part of a minion group or squadded up with a Player, so any one casualty in his group won't have to remove him specifically. If Hudson's group gets "removed from play" anyway due to player action or just bad luck, then when the encounter ends, have Patch say it was just a flesh wound and shock and use a stimpack to get Hudson back up. A good comparison (and why I used Hudson) is to look at the film Aliens. The Colonial Marine platoon starts with a dozenish characters that all have a military role within the unit. There's medics, techs, and so on all baked in. But form the actual perspective of the film itself... almost all those Marines can be represented by Minions using Group and Squad rules. Lt. Gorman and Sgt. Apone might be Rivals. Hicks is likely a Player considering his place in the narrative. But Vasquez and Drake were a pair of Minions in a group of two, both armed with heavy weapons. And then you've got troopers like Wierzbowski, Crowe, Frost, Hudson, Dietrich... who are all minions and either grouped or Squadded as the Players and GM see fit. Narratively they all had a specific function in the platoon; Dietrich for example was a medic. But she never needed to do anything that required a roll, or if she did, the Mission Specialist would have covered it. If she were killed and the players wanted to salvage her med kit, you don' tneed to list it on her, or apply bonuses when she used it because she was never supposed to be that detailed of a character, so allowing a D-point expenditure to cover that would do. Even Ferro and Spunkmeyer, who really had no rolled activities in the film-as-adventure, could have easily been minioned if the GM decided he really needed to make a roll for them. So there you go. As a GM I can run that Adventure with Ripley and Hicks as players, Gorman, Apone, Bishop, Newt, and Burke as Rivals, and the rest as minions. Then when I do my Adventure and Encounter design I can do things like make sure I never have to use all of them together in a single encounter, or at least not all in initiative, and designate targets in each Encounter to increase the probability of certain characters getting removed from play or getting specific conditions applied at specific milestones.
  10. What you may want to do is take a step back here. I did this once and here's how it worked: You have your minions, and a handful of character notes, nothing more than something like: Hudson: Smart mule, tends to panic when things go wrong, cracks jokes and one liners. Frost: Always cool, rarely talks, and usually short and to the point, sometimes overly blunt. Patch: Most friendly and relatable. Tends to get too attached to his squad mates, takes losses kinda hard. You don't need many, 5 for a campaign is probably enough. Now, play the game, as stuff happens, find opportunities to apply these character notes to a minion here and there. See who the players react to positively. As things move on and those characters stick around, eventually upgrade the character to a Rival when the time comes.... Or kill them... Or both, whatever the story requires. I did this in a New Republic campaign. The players really latched onto the Minion I was playing as the crusty old guy that was on the cusp of retirement. He was a minion for most of season 1, and eliminated by a sniper in early in Season 2. Since eliminated Minions don't have to be D-E-D dead, and the players were able to medivac him, a couple Adventures later and the guy comes back grouchy as ever and as a Rival.
  11. I like it because: A)It minimizes math. One hit, one elimination, done. No calculating how many wound roll over or what have you. So you can do things like drop several large squads down to add a lot of scale without a lot of paperwork. And everything hinging off the squad leader allows you to manage the offensive nature of the group so you don't murder the players accidently. After all Minions aren't usually good for more than one solid hit anyway... B) It makes the player think bout taking hits. A light hit that only does a couple of wounds the players will probably roll over to their minion using normal minion wound calculation. However if that hit would remove a minion, but only do a couple wounds to a player... they might take the hit. Here's a good example of that Jedi leading the clones where he's up front taking some Strain and a wound or two from a reflected shot to keep the squad pushing forward. C) It allows the players to take on a much larger threat. Something like an AT-ST can chew through a normal Minion Group in literally one shot from it's main cannon. But dismounted infantry need 3-5 hits from something like a missile tube to disable the AT-ST. Add a squad using By-hit rules and the AT-ST can now only remove a minion or two per main gun shot, allowing them to survive long enough to disable the AT-ST.
  12. Yeah they are a smidge different. Offhand in the Kit rules: - When you Squad up, the entire Squad and you are considered Engaged. So no monkeying around with you vs. the squad at what range, though Blast weapons are now especially devastating because... - Attacks allocated to the squad are resolved by-hit, not by-damage. So your minions are less durable, as an attack allocated to one removes it regardless of damage done, but by the same note, a single hit from a damage 50 vehicle weapon only removes one Minion from the squad. It's also easier to track as you don't have to futz around with the squad's wound pool, you just cross one off and keep going.
  13. What is the Mission Specialist formation? It wasn't in RotS. Well I'll be, I didn't notice that. Soooo..... interesting things. The Squad rules were first introduced in the AoR GM kit, but the rules in RotS are slightly different, with things like range effects and wound allocation being quite different between the two. And it looks like Mission Specialist was removed. Anyway, Mission Specialist allows (and I'm going from memory here so I might be slightly off) The squad leader to have the squad perform certain skill checks (there's a list, mostly technical like computers, mechanics, medicine)using the leaders Leadership Ranks instead of the squads skill rank. And It can be done a limited number of times... like the number of ranks in leadership I think. So for example, you're in command of a squad of Clonetroopers and hit a locked door. You don't have Skulduggery, and the Clones technically don't either, but you do have 3 ranks in Leadership. You can use the Mission Specialist formation, and now a Clone can Skullduggery the lock as if he had 3 Ranks in the skill. So clone CT-0426 "Hudson" runs a bypass and pops the lock. Put simply, it's a cinematic method for a squad of normal combat troopers to also have a tech, medic, while still only using Minions and the squad rules. Honestly I'm rather underwhelmed by the changes RotS made to Squads as I kinda think whoever rewrote it missed some of the subtleties that really made the Squad valuable in certain situations...
  14. Base power, no. But the bottom Control upgrade allows a D-point to be spent to use it as an OOT Incidental.
  15. So I took some time to get my thoughts in order in the hopes this won't be a 20 page response. So these three things are all interlinked when you talk RPGs. The Narrative of the Campaign and Adventure will dictate portions of your encounter design and the behavior of your opponents. Up front, your story will dictate things like how difficult or complex an encounter will be. You may want the players to Adventure on Tatooine a bit, so instead of making the purchase of a new hyperdrive a simple couple of rolls, you make the only vendor that has one a toydarian that's force resistant. You may want a combat encounter that's not a challenge, but a simple shootout to establish the bad guys and put the players on a socially bad footing. So instead of a complex encounter with all the features and opponent types possible, it just a short range shootout with so e ungroupped solo minions. It's quick and ugly and the players don't get touched, but now you're all set for the real bad guy to show up mad that "You killed my brother! Shot him down like a dog in he street!" And then opponent doctrine and behavior will also factor in. So if you decide that a Stormtrooper Squad is 8 troopers organized in two fire teams of 4, then when you drop Stormtroopers into an encounter you may tend towards having them in groups of four. Now... Sometimes you may want to understand things a little better to make sense of them, and FFG has actually put some thought into it, so let's look at: So these are actually some very real discussions that real militaries struggle with. Do we use big ships that can carry tons of firepower and can be disabled for months by 3 missiles, but are virtually unsinkable? Or do we use a dozen small ships that in total carry the same amount of firepower but can be sunk by one missile, but that requires a dozen missiles to each hit a ship to go from 100% to 0%? In the case of the Empire they went bigger, not just replacing a dozen missile Corvettes with a missile cruiser, but replacing an entire carrier battlegroup with a super battle carrier. Yeah a Star Destroyer is a resource hog, but you also don't have to worry about shuffling ships around. A single Star Destroyer can handle dozens of mission profiles, and a few can do pretty much anything with little support. Likewise, the TIE series actually makes sense when you really look at it. Again, in the real world there's an argument of capable multi role craft vs. specialized craft. Make a fighter that does it all well, and you'll save money on training and support, but the development will cost a ton, and in any single mission set a cheaper purpose built fighter will often perform noticably better. Now, FFG noticed something here, Shields aren't that big a deal. In the films they are nice but they only add a couple solid hits of survival to a fighter. It's not like the video games where Shields add a ton of survivability as a favor to the player. So when you look at a TIE critically using FFGs number, it can make quite a bit of sense. Shields don't add a huge measure of protection, so dump em. Now the pilot doesn't have manage Shields that won't really help him anyway. Dump the life support and have the pilot rely on a vacuum suit, now a hull breach is a non issue. For weapons, most fighters this size like the Z-95, carry light lasers, so mounting medium lasers on the TIE is a step up, allowing a TIE to hit above it's weight and even threaten like capital ships. And we see from the films that a TIE is a pretty simple craft. Getting an X-wing or Y-wing up and running takes time and effort, where we often see TIEs deployed en mass at the drop of a hat. So, a TIE may not be the most flexible fighter out there, but a TIE pilot never has to argue with an astromech, plot a hyperjump, manage his Shields, prioritize in flight repairs, choose when to use missiles or guns, worry about a loss of cabin pressure, or a dozen other things. In exchange he's got a speed of 5 (again, higher than most scrubby local fighters, pirates and outdated rebel junkers) he's got a handling of 3, (also more than most other craft) and his guns are enough that one or two good hits and most other fighters are toast. Now this isn't to say there isn't a struggle of doctrine here. Doctrinally speaking the Empire is in WWII where the Rebellion is in Vietnam or Korea. But again, such things happen. When the guided missile came about, the US wrote off mounting guns on thier Fighters. The Russians continued to do so. Then in Vietnam it was found that guided missiles weren't reliable enough, and probably never would be, to totally replace cannons.
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