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whafrog

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  1. whafrog

    Death-defying leaps and other "instant death" checks

    First post: "There isn't one, if death isn't an option there is no real risk, no real risk equals no real reward." I don't know why death is the only option for "real risk", that's really the sole point of contention. I think there are many more options than death for "real risk". I reacted to the above (that death is the only option for real risk) as an overstatement, and you insisted it wasn't. Okay, we disagree then. I do agree death should be "on the table", I just don't bother entertaining it unless it's for dramatic effect, or unless the PCs are doing something really stupid. There's a lot more drama to work with in the character's arc than a binary dead/not dead choice.
  2. whafrog

    Death-defying leaps and other "instant death" checks

    Is death really more "interesting" than losing something precious?
  3. whafrog

    Death-defying leaps and other "instant death" checks

    So, in E4: Leia dies immediately because the stormtrooper forgot to set to stun. The droids are vaporized because the gunner shot before his commander said "hold your fire, there are no life forms". Luke dies in the bar because Obi-wan was too slow or he missed, and the ugly dude meant it when he said "you'll be dead!" Or Greedo shot first. Or they *were* the droids they were looking for... Any of these points could have meant death for the PCs, and pretty much an end to the story. So the player makes a new PC, but who gives a dang, they probably won't live until their next meal...not exactly what I'd can an "adventure", more like a random series of events.
  4. whafrog

    Death-defying leaps and other "instant death" checks

    I think you're overstating it. If death is the only challenge and risk, that sounds pretty boring, but I'm pretty sure you don't mean that. There are plenty of challenges and risk in the story itself: did you get the money; can you save the love interest; can you turn your father back to the light... Sure, the potential for death might be present depending on the severity of the situation, or how far along in the story you are, but if you make it available all the time your story risks becoming a slapstick mockery. "I died slipping on a banana peel, who knew farmer's markets were so dangerous?" In my games, while I expect the PCs to "win", I also expect it to come at a cost. Ultimately I what I'm going for is "satisfying", whether they succeeded with aplomb because of all that hard-earned investment in skill; or finally got that BFG10000 working and aimed true; or ended up like a Bruce Willis in a Die Hard movie, battered but triumphant; or gave their life to save others... Death is certainly possible at all times, but "satisfying" becomes beyond reach if the PCs keep dying. The success of any particular PC becomes more about lucky rolls (or avoiding bad rolls) than narrative investment. Plus I don't get to play enough to burn through PCs like paper, so that informs my gaming style. You still have to make the consequences meaningful. Good examples above. Loss of things the PC cares about (including their own limbs) is a great trope. Maybe the PC saves the princess, but got too close to the steam vent, and now he looks like Deadpool... If in doubt, pick a critical from the chart and make it "permanent".
  5. whafrog

    5 second default Combat Rounds?

    It seems to me this is the crux. If they play the game with any regularity, and you are GM'ing it appropriately, this shouldn't happen. Yes, it's kind of a default for people coming from other systems, but the narrative dice give everybody a reason to pay attention to everybody else's turn, either narratively because it's more fun, or even selfishly if it's just to make a case for receiving a benefit. Without this concern, I don't see the point. A danger is it feeds a different expectation, which is that a PCs turn doesn't overlap with others, but the rules are pretty clear that some overlap is accounted for.
  6. This decision depends more on the pacing you want and how much each check means. There's no reason it can't be two, but the more skill checks, the more the chance of failure, so you have to decide what failure means and try to avoid inadvertently turning one check into a roadblock. Fail forward, etc etc. If he makes two checks and climbing is the first, he's going to make it, it's just a matter of what shape he's in at the top. Failure could cause Strain (threat), Wounds (failure count), or even a critical hit (despair). He can spend his positive results as he likes, similar to combat, to give himself boosts or upgrades on his stealth check: he came up in a good position, away from prying eyes...or right behind a guard peering over the edge, one easy push... (queue Wilhelm scream) The most pointless checks are ones that only impact the next check but don't move the story forward. If there are no meaningful consequences other than trying to rack up boost dice or upgrades, then just do one check.
  7. whafrog

    Capping stats at creation

    That's not true at all. That one die makes a big difference, especially if you have no skill ranks or other benefits, and the GM does his job of providing setbacks. Every game I've played the players have ended up happier with a 333322 stat line. Personally I encourage that, or a 433221 depending on species...and I've tweaked the human rules to allow the player to reduce one stat to 1 for 20XP so they can get that spread. I do think it is more amusing to have one area the PC is really bad at. But I also tend to cap at 4 mostly because I don't think the game scales well with 5 out of the gate. As the GM you end up having to create ridiculous challenges for the one-trick pony and more regular challenges for the other PCs, it creates a disconnect in the story.
  8. Well, I have to admit watching this has been some kind of torture. I like the animation, not necessarily the shading and textures, but the underlying character movement, camera views, and animation space. But every time there's a good scene it's practically ruined when the main character talks, and his sidekick literal-minded Nikto is beyond redemption. The animation and backdrops are really the only reason I watch. So the episode "Dangerous Business" was a bit of a nice surprise. The Nikto has only a bit role, and the main character shows development and actually accomplishes something. And the bird flight animation is the best I've seen yet in the industry, most animators make them like floaty floppy rag dolls (...okay, I'm a bit of a bird-watching nut, so I notice...) The stories are still too simplistic, it makes me wonder if the whole purpose of this show is to work out new animation technology...because they sure aren't driving any new ground in the storytelling department...
  9. Oh, that's easy. Given there is "hyperspace" which seems to share a 1:1 coordinate system with realspace, and purgils can travel both, perhaps their bodies are always slightly "tapped in" to hyperspace giving them something to push off of or float in, and gives them their locomotive ability in realspace.
  10. So much for "common sense". You referenced that before but it seems to me that's one of those fall-back positions of people who don't know things, and evidently don't want to know. Besides, it's so easy for you to verify on this google-machine, and you'll see that GoM, TG, and the pirate are correct about it. People freaked out about the Leia scene, but that was completely possible IRL, never mind fantasy-ville.
  11. Apparently, some people have no sense of humour...
  12. Have to disagree with that. The only parts people get fussed about in "fantasy" comprise a minuscule portion of the total physical and emotional reality of the setting. All the rest is assumed to be familiar, otherwise the audience couldn't relate. All the basic laws of physics and chemistry are preserved, people (or sentients) still lust for money and power. As the GM, it's just not on me to cater to the < 1% of the universe that makes it different from reality, I also have to confirm that the other > 99% still functions as expected, otherwise there's just confusion at the table. To me, anything that breaks these basic laws is suspect, unless it's covered by one of the noted exceptions (lightsabers, blasters, gravity generators, magic)...and most of these have at least a semi-coherent and contained "pseudo-scientific" explanation, so it's pretty easy. People get way too hung up on the differences because the similarities are just assumed, then they ignore the similarities and pretend they aren't there. I detest it when people want to throw out everything grounded just because "there are laser swords, so anything goes". I'm still not going to let you throw a rock all the way around Tatooine just because you have an awesome new cybernetic arm...and if you insist, well, that arm is going to have to accelerate that rock to orbital velocity in the space of about a meter, so that first and only throw is going to turn you in a fine mist...
  13. I'll have the same rule I have for Halflings and Gnomes at my table. Prepare to meet Gary the Stormtrooper:
  14. You know it's the end of the game line when they start putting out stuff like this... Edit: I'll still buy it, of course...
  15. If you get a chance, pick up Far Horizons and Desperate Allies sourcebooks. Both have great (but different) sections on running social encounters. One simple method is to use Strain in social contexts...those who go over their strain thresholds lose the scene just like combat. I'm a partial fan of this, but I don't like how it could bleed over from a social scene to a combat scene. One other very useful resource: https://theangrygm.com/systematic-interaction/ If you don't like his style, skip down to "Keeping Social Score", it's a pretty good framework for handling these kinds of situations.
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