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bonenaga

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  1. bonenaga

    Horror in the Galaxy

    I did two one-off horror-based adventures, both done for Halloween. One was a sequel to Death Troopers. A rebel cell got its hands on a sample of the virus and deliberately released it on the Imperial garrison, then released information about Imperial development of the bio-weapon plus footage of the resulting attacks on the citizenry. The other was a response to a distress signal coming from the Unknown Regions. The plot was based off of Alien except that they eventually discovered that there were actually two xenomorphs on board. I did a few things to add to the horror element on this one and they worked out well: Bonus XP whenever a character took an action in line with a horror trope. It's amazing how willing a player is to announce that he will crawl through the air ducts alone when you dangle XP in front of them. Players can spend destiny points to trigger horror-themed events for other characters, which also resulted in bonus XP. I made the xenomorphs physically powerful but not immortal. I tried to play up the cat-and-mouse games. Lots of random descriptions, like hearing strange sounds, creaks, distant banging in the vents, etc., even when there was no danger nearby.
  2. I think what might be a little easier is to say that the Battle of Endor unfolds as we saw on-screen. What changes is everything that happens next: There is still a massive Imperial fleet nearby. They pretend to retreat. The Rebels gather on Endor to celebrate their victory. Shortly after the closing credits, the fleet jumps back into the system. The moon is surrounded. Since the Imperial ground forces are now all dead or captured, the commander orders an orbital bombardment, razing the surface of the moon. The rebel fleet utilizes its scatter protocol in response to this attack, which makes it impractical for the fleet to track them all down. Shortly after, ships return to their normal sectors and await further orders from their chain of command. The Empire has still suffered a serious blow with the loss of the Emperor. Just as happened in canon and the EU, you can expect warring moffs and officers to all be vying for power, greatly weakening the Empire from within. The Rebellion is unable to quickly organize into a New Republic due to the loss of so many ships and key leaders at Endor. Thus a few worlds are willing to band together with mutual defence pacts, but we don't see a galaxy-wide government stand up. The Hutts are more than happy to take advantage of this chaos to expand their own influence. The Bothans find it in their best interest to remain neutral. They know that the shaky alliance of a few worlds is not strong enough should the Empire reorganize itself for a strong offensive. Thus they work with the Alliance, the Hutts, and even the Imperial Remnant to some degree to make themselves valuable to all sides. The CSA is utilized by the Empire as a proxy but many worlds also find it the most acceptable alternative. Most worlds have little in the way of military capabilities as a result of the Empire and now find themselves potentially lone. Those that felt oppressed by the Empire may not want to remain under that government but they want more than an Alliance backed by a small surviving fleet. The CSA may be a happy middle ground for them, either by hiring the CSA for protection or outright joining it. Many core worlds still remain loyal to the Empire as they were treated well under its rule and have little desire to be open targets for poorer worlds looking for targets to plunder. However, this still reduces the Empire to a shadow of its former self. No single faction has enough power and resources to effectively go to war without making itself too vulnerable to other factions. Since the Rebels have the plans to the original Death Star, it would be interesting to see both the Alliance and the Empire building a superweapon not to rule by fear but as a measure of deterrence. It could also spark some interesting morality decisions on the part of the Alliance. Ok you built it but are you really willing to use it? Or how can you justify the expense of this superweapon when you are still struggling to form a cohesive functioning government and there are still people starving from the economic collapse that followed the fall of the Empire? I like the idea of one of the Imperial warlords consolidating power by promoting a religion based around Palpatine. It brings to mind some of the communist personality cults in real world history.
  3. bonenaga

    Hyperspace experiment

    I'm interested to hear if you've playtested this idea or refined it since your initial post. My first thought is that it might be too much in favor of the Empire but then again losing a leader for one or two extra turns is going to be rough (no matter which side you're playing).
  4. bonenaga

    The Traitor Deck

    That sounds pretty cool. I was going to design one that told the player to "optimize" skills in a manner where upcoming important checks would be failed. For example, max out Luck on the slider (thus minimizing Lore) on the turn where you are going to make a Lore check to seal a gate. The idea was to keep it subtle enough that most other players wouldn't notice that the player was sabotaging the effort.
  5. ...which are attached to the Star Destroyer...last time I checked, yes? Which are fairly long ranged. That's completely irrelevant to the point of relative speed, though. The range of the weapon isn't changing, and it's travelling at the same speed as the ship it's mounted upon, so the distinction is completely meaningless. It's like the stupid dad joke about, "it's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the bottom! Ha-hyuk!" It's not stupid, ask a skydiver. And I don't laugh like that. its more of a Muttly snigger. Your love of awful jokes aside, it still doesn't lend much credence to the argument of "the ship doesn't matter, it's the guns!". The ship giving chase and staying close is what allows the guns to continue to be effective. I can't believe that's a difficult mental obstacle for some. Start out standing next to someone holding a rifle. Now run away. How long does it take you to run out of the range of their weapon, on completely flat, completely open ground? I get what you're saying. However, if I was running with a buddy while someone was shooting at me from a static position I wouldn't say "Are you kidding, at the rate they're gaining?" I'd say something like, "Holy ****! We're about to get shot!" So while you have a valid point, I think there is nevertheless precedence for the significant speed of an ISD.
  6. I've always felt that contrary to game material (both RPG and video games), ISDs should be pretty fast. We don't see them launching TIE Fighters for every chase. The ISDs themselves are gaining on the Falcon and the Tantive IV. Yes the ISDs are large. They also have really big engines. Now we could argue that the Tantive IV may have been damaged before we even saw it on screen since the movie starts in medias res, which could be the reason that the Devastator is able to overtake it. Yet several times ISDs chase the Falcon. I think they should have good speed but poor handling. In ESB, the Falcon is able to outmaneuver them rather than outrun them.
  7. bonenaga

    Horror in Star Wars

    First, read the book Death Troopers. Right up until the author ruined it by introducing main characters, it was a great example of Star Wars horror. Generally, the same rules apply that would help any horror game. I ran an adventure based off of Alien. I downloaded the movie soundtrack to play in the background. Music can really help set the mood. Since there were only two aliens in my adventure, they couldn't be run like normal combats. Instead, I made them basically unkillable by normal weapons (of course I knew the PCs would try it anyway) so the party had to find creative solutions to end the threat. People fear what they don't understand. Players understand normal combat. When that doesn't work, suddenly everything changes. Plus I think the worst thing you can do in a horror game is reduce the encounter with the big monster into a few rounds of combat. The aliens stalked the PCs throughout the ship, striking when the party was split. Just that feeling of being hunted affected them. It's easy to play that up by throwing in random noises or making them regularly roll Perception and Vigilance checks (sometimes for no reason other than to make them think something is about to happen). Of course, the players know better than to split the party so it wasn't easy to set them up. I did a couple things. One way was having multiple time-sensitive objectives in different areas of the ship. That alone could have been used to force them to split up but I only wanted to encourage it, not shove it down their throats. What really helped was offering them bonus XP for taking any action that fit a horror trope. So if a player heard a strange noise and decided to check it out alone, that was extra XP at the end of the session. Next thing you know I had a character crawling in the air ducts, two others following the trail of acid holes, and another in a spacesuit on the outside of the ship. Nothing gives a player a good scare like being ambushed in a vacuum where a single hit could mean that the suit is torn.
  8. bonenaga

    Virtual Tabletop Recommendations

    I’ve tried maptool on OS X. I was never able to get it to work correctly. But you are right that it is another alternative that should at least be considered. Thanks! Interesting. I thought it worked on OS X but I run Windows and Linux so that was based purely on second hand information.
  9. bonenaga

    Virtual Tabletop Recommendations

    It's not free. But if you've used it, can you tell me if only one player needs a copy or does everyone need to purchase it? Every client needs his own copy of the app, though with thousands of free tabletops in the steam workshop library it is kind of a steal. And there is the 4-pack which comes with a decent discount. Besides TTS is a one-time payment, no subscriptions or other strings attached and X-Wing for TTS is awesome as well. And yes, you can combine both games on one table, virtual or otherwise. Thanks for the info. Unfortunately that kind of kills it for us. It looks cool but not so cool that I can get everyone in the group to buy in vs just using a completely free program.
  10. bonenaga

    Virtual Tabletop Recommendations

    It's not free. But if you've used it, can you tell me if only one player needs a copy or does everyone need to purchase it?
  11. Somewhat unrelated, this reminded me of the days of WEG's Star Wars Minis game, where the blast radius of a thermal detonator was larger than its short range, so either you started off with a higher difficulty just for using it or as the rulebook put it you were "merely choosing an interesting form of suicide."
  12. bonenaga

    Quick Ship Battles

    Technically there is no such thing as a minion ship, just minion pilots. For the sake of brevity, if the pilot is a minion, I treat the ship as a minion of sorts and just apply system strain as hull trauma instead. I don't group ship HT together into one large pool but you certainly could if you wanted to and I doubt it would cause any real problems. You should also check out the rules for squadrons. It's another way to make things interesting without handling a dozen different actions each round. Having a handy cheat sheet of space combat actions and maneuvers definitely helps too. In my campaign, space combat isn't necessarily rare but it just doesn't happen with the same frequency as ground combat so the players seem to have a harder time remembering what they can do. I also apply some of the same tricks that I use for ground combat. Simple things like not having every enemy fight to the death can go a long way towards shortening the encounter, especially once you see that the balance is definitively tipped in favor of the PCs. Also, it doesn't have to go quickly as long as it is interesting all the way through. So just like ground combat is more interesting when all the combatants don't just go to cover and trade blaster shots, so too can you spice up space combat with things like unusual terrain, bystanders, other factions, or objectives for the encounter that involve more than "kill/stun that guy."
  13. bonenaga

    Maps for ruins

    I realize I'm a little late but for future reference check out rpgmapshare.com and the dunjinni forums. Both have sci-fi maps as well as fantasy maps (some of which would be suitable for temples or old ruins).
  14. bonenaga

    Virtual Tabletop Recommendations

    I am a fan of Maptool from rptools.net. It's completely free, the basic functions are very easy to use, and it has a lot of advanced capability if you really want to get into it. There are also other free programs from the same site, like Tokentool, which makes tokens that you can use in Maptool. It also has chat capability but text only. Another nice benefit is that being a Java program, it can run on OS's other than just Windows. It's very handy for having a visual layout for combat. If you want to use it for exploration, it has a Fog of War function, which blacks out the map for the players and then reveals the map as their tokens are moved around (you can define how far each token can see and define vision-blocking areas like walls). You can program macros to automate certain actions. There are complete rules frameworks available for download, including frameworks for FFG SW. I use it to track basic combat stats and it has a dice roller. You can input entire character sheets into it but since I use OggDude's Character Generator I see no need to create another sheet inside the program. I pair Maptool with Google Hangouts for video chat since I find that more conducive to roleplaying.
  15. bonenaga

    My custom close combat rules.

    I think melee rules are fine as is. I'll join the chorus of others as to why this proposed change is a bad idea. If you want epic melee duels, I think there are better ways to go about it. One would simply be to create a special list of threat and advantage uses that are specific to that duel (encompassing both duelling moves and the environment). For others, I look back to D&D. In 2e, there were optional rules for dueling where players would choose their own movement and attack while attempting to predict the same for their opponent, along with skill checks to "read" the enemy. In 4e, we used skill challenges, which could also be easily adapted to SW. Make a Deception check to feint, an Agility check to dodge, etc. Essentially it would be its own subsystem that used skills but was specifically for duels as opposed to trying to shoehorn duelling into a larger combat system that is intended to move quickly with multiple combatants on each side.
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