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About Kestin

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  • Birthday 09/28/1993

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    Waterloo, Iowa, United States

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  1. Inquiring minds here are also wondering about specs and gear and such. Mostly specs and the clone species. My group has been waiting (with varying degrees of sanity and patience) to start our Clone Wars game since about the announcement of this book, but some of our basic concepts are so intrinsically tied to potential options from this book that we can't even start thinking about anything but barebones character ideas until we see those lovely spoilers. 😬
  2. Because not everyone plays "official games" all the time. Personally, I don't have the time or money to play X-Wing with all the other random stuff I do, but if I did, I'd prefer a more narrative or casual kind of game that might allow me to field a CR90 because I want to rather than an official game where a CR90 is either a bad idea or illegal. Tournament play is not the only rewarding way to play a game.
  3. Read the adventure Chronicles of the Gatekeeper. Still not super battle droids, but some other ones.
  4. "It's just money." "Barely makes money." HAH! But yeah. Just wondering if anyone knew of a way to source cards for cheap, of if there was a chance FFG would send cards and monsters.
  5. Alright. So. I'm in a situation. I played Eldritch Horror last night (yay!) and it was very fun. In order to cut down on used table space, I put all the cards for the Ancient Ones (except the Ancient Ones themselves, so the mysteries, special encounters, and research encounters) and the epic monsters in the lid of the box on the ground. My cat decided this looked like a great place to pee. So, despite having almost every component for $100 worth of games (Eldritch Horror and Mountains of Maddness), they have been rendered completely unplayable (since we can't actually use any of the Ancient Ones; even Ithaqua, which we were playing, somehow had a card in the box that got peed on). Anyone know if it's possible to get a new set of Epic Monsters and Ancient One-related cards for the two games, rather than re-buying the whole things?
  6. Gotta agree! Especially as my chosen medium to access the hobby is play-by-post, and I think the NDS works best of all systems for that. The "classics" we all know sometimes take on water when done on a forum, and there are a few lesser known ones that really work but, in my experience, not as well as this lovely system. So long as the character creation and advancement works out, this will have a favored position on my shelf. =D
  7. I was just going to say: do what I do, GM tipsy. But I was beat to it! Really, you do just have to relax. The tables in the book help. The chapter on skills has generic ideas what to do with those symbols (including extra successes!). Generally, stick with the idea that more success either doesn't have to mean anything or gives them a greater depth of success on their main topic (less time, more money, more info on the stated search term) and advantages generally open up side benefits (boosts later, information on a different but helpful topic, another avenue towards success pointed out). Threat complicates things (maybe some of the information they get is misinformation, maybe someone notices what they're doing, maybe it causes strain). When in doubt, cause and heal strain, or provide boosts and give hints. They're not the most creative, but they move things along. Now, there are really strange pools. Two failure and seven advantage. Two triumphs (with no table giving advice). Mostly, I let looooots of Advantage just kind of wash over the failure and lead to limited success (but as with threat), but I'm lazy. Also, you can always go for humor in the heat of the moment. I wasn't sure what to do with a second Triumph after my player used the first to disable the canons on a TIE Interceptor. She wasn't either. We eventually settled on "she replaced the 'fire' command with a really obnoxious laugh track" and moved on. Every time the TIE pilot tried to fire the disabled weapons, I played an over-the-top comedy laugh. It was perhaps too slapstick for most games, but we had fun.
  8. All very real concerns. It's definitely up in the air about that; I could equally see Imperials doubling down on "secret, quasi-illegal personal glory ops" or being too confused (sure of their own superiority in general) to respond appropriately and being extremely efficient about warning their peers. This is where it comes down to a matter of taste, because at any point one of your players said "why did/didn't this happen?" you can produce an answer they're liable to accept.
  9. I think the idea is that you aren't holding territory against the EMPIRE, you're holding it against a rogue officer and the resources he can pull. Very similar to the Whisper Base plot of the starter box: you can only succeed because the Empire doesn't know. Much like the Rebels would be immediately crushed in Takeover at Whisper Base if the Empire knew they had a secret listening post under attack, the Rebels at Xorrn would absolutely lose the planet if anyone beyond the Captain and his retinue knew about it. They will know about it, as you said, if any vessel escapes. The question this thread hinges on, however, isn't whether the Rebels can hold Xorrn once the Empire finds out, but whether they can stop the Empire from finding out. If you think it's unreasonable your Rebel Alliance take down a Gladiator and two Raiders before they can escape and spread the word, then that's what makes sense, and you have to adjust the adventure by setting a fatalistic tone from the start, since they know they can't defend the base. If, however, you believe the Rebels have the ingenuity and resources to pull that off and ensure no survivor, then there's no reason they can't keep Xorrn. Given the reasons the Captain has for keeping his attack secret, after all, there's plenty of people to look into his disappearance, but no real way to find his final resting place - he'd covered his tracks too well. Or maybe he didn't, and it's a continuing struggle to seed counter-intelligence so the Empire never discovers what happened to the Captain and what his true nature was. That, to me, sounds like an excellent plot hook for one of the characters in my PbP's group: a Force-Sensitive ex-ISB agent who was in the very first stages of being groomed as an Inquisitor before defecting.
  10. Ah, I get it now. I see where both of you are coming from. I think, in this case, it depends on how you set up your "greater" Rebel Alliance. Since, to my knowledge, there isn't a lot out there about the galaxy-spanning Rebels and what they can do (mostly just their inner circle), everyone has their own vision about what is possible for the Rebels. In my game, the Alliance can win, but it always requires cleverness, bravery, and sacrifice. I see post-Yavin as a time the Rebels become powerful but the Empire escalates, leaving the Rebels hunted and at a greater disadvantage than before because of crackdowns and yet more able to win the fights they choose to pick than ever before. It makes perfect sense if your Rebels don't work that way. Sources definitely differ on how awful the Rebels are or aren't at winning fights. Specifically, in this case, I tend to agree with Lareg that the Rebels can leverage superiority versus a Gladiator and two Raiders. We see Rebels in, uh, Rebels take down smaller vessels. The problem is always when ISDs or overwhelming numbers show up; on Xorrn, relative to the size of the Rebel detachment (at least, that's shown in artwork), this doesn't seem to be the case. Of course, that's my military-game bias; I want fights to be more fair so I can tell more traditional military stories. I'm not a huge fan of guerrilla warfare as a theme, so I skew my Rebels stronger.
  11. Me too. My game is titled "Friends Like These: A Star Wars Story". Doesn't mean the Rebels can't win every once in a while. Even in gritty WW2 movies (which Rogue One was supposed to be thematically like), sometimes (some) people survive and the objective get accomplished (at cost). I think there's a flaw in thinking a "real" or "simulation" type story has to take a total 180 from the heroes magically being pulled out of the situation every time. In my mind, where realism diverges from high, heroic adventure is after the cavalry arrives. In heroic space opera, the cavalry arrive, the good guys scrape by in the nick of time, and then they have a medal ceremony and forget almost all of the consequences. In a realistic game, you pan down from the victory to the flaming wreck littering the ground and the soldiers crying among them; you talk about how the people rebuild, how they got hurt, and how they're going to move forward. If the bad guys got away, they come back. If they didn't, you talk about the cost of achieving that - now the heroes have to replenish and replace, worry about spies and being traced, etc. Again, there's nothing WRONG with evacuating Xorrn and setting that as the expectation. That's realistic as well! I just think, for the sake of discussion in this thread, at least (where we're getting together to discuss ways to "fix" FLT), it's a mistake to equate realism with losing. It's all about the scenario you set up as the GM (so players don't think victory or loss has been handed to them) and, more importantly, the tone you set while you do it. It's as much what goes on adjacent to and after the main action as the detail of the action itself!
  12. I agree, it's a very difficult situation. I've run Mass Combat twice. Once in the source it was originally introduced in - Onslaught at Arda I - in which I thought it was well handled simply because the players had a "special operation" that took up most of their time during the battle (with a few chances to engage at the periphery). I added a very small one to Chronicles of the Gatekeeper to satisfy my ends and help engage my players, and that felt... odd. One player led the combat while others engaged in their own infiltration task, which went well, but I tried to give the player who led the combat and actual scene in the fight (defending/assaulting a main bridge), but due to time constraints and lack of planning, it went... eh? Mass Combat should be carefully handled, and I haven't read it enough in detail with FLT to really tell how they do with it (I just skimmed it to see what the player can do against the Gladiator). I feel the same way as you that the Gladiator would be extremely dangerous to tackle. A Raider, however, using the squadron rules to insulate the players... that might be doable. Taking out or damaging the Raiders early, in this case, allows the capital ships to focus on disabling the Gladiator. Regarding that, I think it's a reasonable tactic for the Rebels to try to disable rather than destroy it when they arrive. After all, hit and run engagements are their tactic, so they know all about the importance of leaving as soon as they're outnumbered, and they know exactly what they're afraid of happening to them when they run. With two days or so to plan in hyperspace and intel on the flotilla they're taking on, I could see a cunning captain being able to leverage enough firepower to leave the Gladiator dead in the water if they don't have to worry about Raiders and a ton of TIEs.
  13. Oh that was directed at me, not the person with whom things were getting mutually snippy? You are entirely correct: if the fleet escapes - perhaps any element of the fleet - then the base is 100% lost. There is no salvaging it, because the Empire will be back. In force. If the Gladiator survives? You can bet. Especially if it isn't captained by Nervi (who has a lot of reasons to keep this under wraps). I could see an individual Raider captain being too scared to admit being part of the operation, knowing it was against protocol and not being punished, but I wouldn't count on it, so if I were the Rebels, I'd get the hell out of dodge. In my mind, however, the idea that the Imperials might not survive is simulationist, or can be. If the Rebels can achieve that, then the base is saved. Now, as the GM, I'm not saying you go out of your way to ensure that, but it's a perfectly reasonable ending. There is nothing to say that significant Rebel forces can't arrive in the system after 53 hours, and there seems to be stuff in the adventure that gives you a chance to cause damage as you stall. I guess it's time to break out my copy of Friends Like These. We are operating under the assumption that everything in the module is reasonable, yes? Let's look at that first, since apparently your idea of "simulation" is "not changing anything". In the orbital phases, it's entirely reasonable to have capital-ship scale weaponry in play on the PCs side: turbolasers hidden in the asteroid belt, a corvette-class vessel, multiple freighters. These things can easily damage or destroy at least the Raiders, given enough time. PCs in starfighters can also directly engage these ships (provided they can afford to ignore the TIEs). My PCs - because none of them better be reading this thread anyway - are going to have a base of operations in system or nearby, as the local cell formed to investigate a secret Imperial project, and they'll have some resources on hand to contribute to this phase as well, I'd imagine, and my PCs know there will be future Mass Combat and might end up with the Talents and Sig Abilities that allow them to interact with Mass Combats. I'd be absolutely fine letting a Strategist, say, manipulate things in Phase I to get a few rounds of fire at a Raider. Reading further, PCs winning Mass Combat checks (and doing very well, admittedly) can also directly be used to cause damage to the Raiders. It isn't unreasonable to up the impact of both passing and failing these checks, especially if you're going for gritty simulation-style gameplay. Even without that, winning two Mass Combats (with, I'll give, a lot of Advantages or a Triumph twice) outright destroys one Raider. As for the Gladiator, the Spy Extraction mission could probably be utilized by clever PCs to sabotage the ship, especially if you've set the tone that it escaping would be the end of things on Xorrn. Even so, once the combat moves to the ground, the Imperials are still harassed in orbit. Vessels there are on the back foot, but they could finish off a damaged Raider with hit and run tactics or try to weaken a vessel until they are chased off and show up later in Phase V. Yes, a new officer captains the Gladiator once the man in charge descends to the planet to engage in shenanigans, but things probably seem to be going well, so they'd commit. Once the local Rebels arrive - and it looks like they've committed serious firepower, which makes sense given they knew ahead of time and this has been set up, at least in my game, as a very important ally of the Rebellion - the adventure has the Gladiator immediately come under heavy fire from a ship much larger than it. It escapes, and, from a sensible point of view, this is what any sane captain of the vessel would do. We see small ships escape from large ships all the time by plotting hyperspace coordinates. Does that mean it's unreasonable for the Gladiator to have fallen? No. It's surprised, first of all - remember, they have no idea their attacks wasn't an utter surprise. They might assume that, given how the fight is going for them, but it could also look like Xorrn was just more prepared than originally indicated. They have no idea a sizable armada is arriving to cut them off. Perhaps they get trapped in the gravity well (it's been shown that you can jump to hyperspace from within a gravity well, but it's also been shown to be a totally desperate act performed by mavericks, so maybe this new captain is rigidly Imperial and believes it impossible). Maybe the new captain isn't confident or experienced as a commander and can't scramble to order the retreat in time. If the PCs were clever or lucky, maybe the Gladiator is damaged in such a way that prevents it from leaving. If you want to be really forgiving (and this is where I'd say it gets "storybook") , perhaps the Rebels stole and Interdictor and committed it to protecting the most important free shipyard in the southern Rim. What I'm saying is, you're absolutely right that, from a simulationist (or even properly narrative) point of view, the Imperials would leave the moment they could, but that doesn't mean they will. It's only because you want to that things end bleakly. There isn't anything wrong with that - it's your **** game, and I'm not here to tell you how to run it. But there is no reason to argue with someone else who doesn't want that to be the ending when it is just as reasonable the Imperials could be defeated. It isn't "storybook" or "deus ex machina" if you set it up right and your players are clever. It's stated from the get-go that a Rebel fleet is arriving. There are plenty of plot devices you and the players can use to damage, disable, or render incompetent the Imperial flotilla, and they are perfectly reasonable outcomes for a battle. If you want to change the expectation and tone of the game - a desperate fighting retreat only made possible by 48-hours worth of preparation - and that works for you and your players, go for it. If, instead, you want to change minor detail of the ending so that the premise and tone of the adventure stays the same that's just as valid. Ideally, you'd go full simulation and tell the players that they can save Xorrn if they're incredibly lucky and skilled, but should be prepared to abandon ship. That makes sense. You build up what you can and do what you can to survive and ensure there aren't witnesses, but there are consequences if you fail and you can fail. As it's set up, the Gladiator auto-escaping is just as ham-fisted and stupidly storybook as you seem to believe saving Xorrn is, because the players have no chance to effect it. The only reason FFG did it is because, to them, it's clearly a non-issue: all advice on future campaign hooks imply the Imps never return, which, as you've stated, is unreasonable. To make it work, you have to change something. Either you have to change the adventure so the players know it'll end in an evacuation, or you have to change the ending so they can save Xorrn. As written, the adventure doesn't work. Pick one, pick the other, pick "possibly both, depending on my players", whatever. The goal here isn't to say who's more right about trying to fix the adventure, it's about listing ideas GMs can use to fix it for themselves. Me? My players have abandoned enough bases to the Empire, after Arda I. I'm not sure things will go super well for Resolute Base, either. I'm giving my players the opportunity for a win, both so they can secure allies for their new cell-turned-Sector-Force and advance the theme I'm presenting and so they can feel like they've achieved something (or had the chance to), and I'm giving them the resources to do it so they don't feel cheated. And I might still let them fail. I like narrative, but I don't feel there's anything wrong with my choices in terms of in-setting immersion. It's what I strive for in my play-by-post (of course, I run pre-written modules, so we've obviously had to suspend immersion for some of the stupider details, like how the Imps in Onslaught have a traitor on their side and still somehow can't manage to wipe out all the Rebels before most of them escape). Your big point on immersion seems to be the actions and motives of the Imperials, and I, at least, haven't disagreed with you on that point at all. My big point is that you have the power from before you start the adventure to adjust things so that, motives aside, the Imperials don't get what they want. I'm not saying you suddenly have Home One and Rogue Squadron show up with three Interdictors they somehow stole and curbstomp the Imps so you can all have a party with some Ewoks (who inexplicably show up because arc-ending parties tend to have Ewoks); I'm saying you go into the module knowing it's rather hopeless as written and seed expectations in before the game even starts so when more help than written shows up or more damage than is written happens to the Gladiator, your players still feel immersed. TL;DR: in any case, bad, sudden, or unexplained change feels like you've cheated your players and breaks immersion, but there's no reason you can't maintain in-setting realism as long as you plan in advance for whatever sort of Friends Like These you'd like to run. I mean, you could set the whole thing up as an independent farm that ships food and medicinal/steroidal chemicals to various organizations, Rebels included, that you have to defend, and that wouldn't feel out of place as long as you planned for that and made it feel real to the players.
  14. Just ask yourself this: You're the GM of a pre-written adventure, now in charge of how it progresses after FFG made decisions you find questionable. They say Imperial forces are supposed to escape an engagement and you feel this invalidates the point of the adventure as a whole. You are able to change thing as you see fit. What would you do before running the game?
  15. I agree with Jedi. The back and forth about what the Gladiator does or does not do - at least to the degree that it's this heated - is useless. Now, I'm the first in line to run things as close to RAW as possible (if I didn't want RAW, I'd not have bought the book, after all), but if you care this much... change it. IIRC, it's not a hard change to make. You can use literally the entire adventure up to Act IV as written and alter a few details of the last battle. It's been a bit since I've poked too heavily into it (we're not running it for a while yet), but the current Gladiator Captain has done everything he can to make this mission secret. I can't remember if that means the Imps have no idea where he went or not, but I thought he was taking the Raiders on a "training exercise" out and about space. He specifically doesn't want people to know where he's going because he's partially trying to cover up a truth about him as much as he is gain an advantage in the political pecking order by dealing a blow to the Rebels. All you have to do is give the Rebels more opportunity to ensure there aren't survivors. That can include involving the PCs more heavily, or just bringing the Rebel ships in soon enough to trap them between the planet (which was heavily prepared for them) and space, finishing them off. Oh, and nowhere does it say that this is the Rebel Fleet (the one with Mon Mothma and Luke and co. wandering the starts looking for a new home after Yavin). I don't know about your game, but in mine, a lot of Sector Forces either have access to or are entirely comprised of ships of the line. The big stuff and the technologically advanced stuff is reserved for the home fleet, but even the Sector Force on Arda I has a "Rebel cruiser" (which is not used during the course of the game at all except to have a meeting on, which is bad form but a different discussion); I've framed it as an MC30c that's understaffed and in disrepair. I'm not saying the Imps wouldn't chase down Rebel vessels anywhere they were seen - my game takes place a few months after Yavin and the Empire is cracking down hard on Rebel activity - but they also have a lot on their plate. Food for thought.
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