Maelora

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About Maelora

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  1. Yep, that's why six Universals are a huge deal for us. And yeah, Genysis does away with the entire class and career system. But I've never allowed multi-classing in any game I've run, and my players are used to it now. It actually makes them try classes they wouldn't have if they could just pick the best of everything. And they start out with quite a bit of XP - the MarcyVerse PCs are meant to be the big dayum heroes of the setting, your Aragorns or Skywalkers.
  2. The chemicals are working and the weekend actually promises to be good!
  3. Oh yes, Force careers already have a ton of stuff to buy anyway, between specs, Force powers and Signature abilities. The characters who mostly benefit from the Universals are the mundanes or Force Adept types who've already maxed out most of what they want. Also, some players would sell their vital organs to get that third Force Dice I'm happy with our restrictions, but a bunch of Universals really should breathe some new life into old characters, some of whom have been playing since EoE was released. It will be fun for Cynn to take Cadet or Ship's Captain, or for Jo to start taking her powers seriously for a change! Initiate and Adherent don't add much to a Force career really (they already have loads of goodies), but an Exile really does gain an extra dimension from these new specs.
  4. Scoundrel = Admiral, that's just in-game language. Someone wanting a Han Solo type would start as a Smuggler, with Scoundrel and Pilot. Later take Cadet and Ship Captain, get promoted to 'Admiral' by one of the various factions. Han didn't really strike me as having leadership type talents - he's just a smuggler who got promoted to General because he was sleeping with the boss Kyle Katarn doesn't translate too well to the MarcyVerse - not all concepts do, nor are they intended to. I guess he'd be a Bounty Hunter who'd take Padawan Initiative, maybe sign up with the AIS and take Emergent. That gives him decent Force powers and fighting skills. We have a Bounty Hunter turned Force adept in our game, and she's a colossal badass, both in-game and in-universe. We intended to have a clear demarcation that Force classes are the way to go if you want Force powers. But we have a whole bunch of PCs with Exile or Emergent who are nonetheless potent characters. Also, in-universe, the Jedi rarely take members later in life. Most Force powers manifest in puberty and most Jedi are born into it. A young Adept picked up early as an apostate would probably get trained, but Kyle's already a guy in his thirties with a reputation. The Jedi simply don't take on people like that. The AIS do take on people like that as Emergents, but then you're dead by forty, burned out by all that power coursing through your body without the proper training of a Force career. Me, I'd keep Kyle Katarn as a straight bounty hunter. He was already badass. Like Leia, they only made him a 'Jedi' because they were pushing him hard at the time and 'Jedi' is shorthand for 'important person'. His character concept worked fine in Dark Forces without having to give him space magic.
  5. Hi, I wanted to throw around some thoughts without derailing the other thread. Thanks to Lady Absol and others, we've had quite a bit of debate about the new Universal specs, because I don't allow spending XP on non-class specs. Therefore a few characters who are waiting for their books or have already bought the stuff they want have unspent XP which they were hoping to put towards some of the new ones. Now, I imagine it's a Disney thing (that they really want FFG to push their new canon stuff) but the design process behind the new book seems very different from what's come before. A deluge of 'canon' stats when previously they've been very coy about these? Really specific spec restrictions where previously they've been vague and open to everybody? I dunno; it just feels odd to me. Whether it's a Darth Mickey-induced one-off phenomenon or a new design focus before we all get officially folded into 'Genysis', I have no idea. But I've been speaking to players (from my sickbed!) and generally thrashing out how we want to treat these. And wondered if other people intended to restrict these new specs as per the book or just let anyone who wants them take them as was the case in the past. I actually think that D&D3-style 'Prestige Classes' can benefit any game if done properly. Having in-universe specs tied to races, or organisations, can actually give the whole game some flavour. In our games, the Jedi are feared for a reason. But I'm already very restrictive on the whole non-career spec thing, so given that it likely behoves me to be as open as possible with the Universal specs, if only so PCs have something to spend XP on What follows is a Marcyverse take on things, but I'd be interested in what other people were doing if you care to comment. With Phee's generous summation of the specs on the other thread, and general player moaning while I'm drugged up to the eyeballs with antibiotics, I've pretty much decided that anything goes, providing there's a reasonable in-game explanation. So let's take them one by one. Force Adherent: This is obviously based on Chirrut in Rogue One, but our campaign has lots of Traditions and pretty much all of them would have people like this. I think it's a take on a monk-like character, one who follows a spiritual tradition, as opposed to the Bounty Hunter's MMA fighter spec. For a Sensitive, it allows a Shaolin style character, possibly someone like Rey in the new movies. For a non-Sensitive, it represents the followers and elite support staff that any Tradition will have. It models a Bruce Lee type, or Tony Jaa's character from 'Ong Bak', someone to whom a spiritual element is as important as kicking somebody in the face. I actually like the concept that muggles can use the Force in subtle ways; it's supposed to touch everyone, right, not just people who can throw lightning or spaceships around? In short, I think pretty much any PC wouldn't find it too hard to pick this one up from any Tradition, of which there are many. We'll keep the title because it's vague and cool: Force Adherent: 'You mix martial and spiritual traditions, which you learned studying a Force Tradition, whether you are Sensitive or not'. Imperial Army Cadet: This one feels oddly restrictive. Even in the game, wouldn't the Republic have had elite colleges and piloting schools? Anyway, the concept of an elite anything involved with the Imperium is an oxymoron for our campaign. The Empire's entire shtick is that they get all their stuff from IKEA - it might look shiny but it will fall to pieces under any pressure. They have loads of cheap ships, endless amounts of cannon-fodder, and they will throw all that at you in numberless waves until someone wins. The TIE perfectly exemplifies their military doctrine - it's a flying coffin and you're not intended to survive; as long as you do some damage, you did your job. Anyway, in-game, after twenty years of fighting the Galactic Civil War, I'd assume most factions have some kind of elite pilot schools. The Jedi have plenty of non-Sensitive support and the Systems Alliance have people like Wedge or Poe Dameron plus all the elite pilots from species like Duros, Mon Cal and Sullustans. Further, guys like Han Solo were supposedly Republican Cadets at some point. It seems very fitting that an Independent PC could learn this stuff from someone like that - Han's already a retired den-father to some of the PCs and I can see him saying: 'All right, you're ready for me to teach you some of the tricks I learned at the Academy when I was young - which was before any of you were born'. So, let's simplify this one: Cadet: You attended an elite piloting school or learned from someone who did'. Padawan Survivor: Well, this one seems very Jedi-specific, all those 'secrets' skills don't really apply to one of the smaller Traditions. Now, we have a full Jedi faction, so there's no need for them to be 'survivors' - Jedi training isn't gentle, but they're not trying to kill their initiates, either. Being a Jedi or Sith comes with baggage, in-game - but there are plenty of important people who are ex-Jedi (Ben, Yoda) or who were trained by one (Lars). One of the PCs is an ex-Jedi teacher, and a few PCs are still on more or less good terms with the Order; any of these would know this stuff and could teach it. Further, sometimes Jedi or Sith go rogue and train their own students far from the Order, and providing they don't actively oppose the Jedi, most of them get left to their own devices. There's actually enough NPCs of note that finding a trainer isn't actually that difficult. PCs who were Jedi or taught by Ben would already qualify. While the Lightsaber stuff is good, a glowstick is as dangerous a weapon to carry in the MarcyVerse as it is in canon - in Jedi territory, it's the mark of an apostate (unless you actually ARE a Jedi or Sith, and that comes with baggage), and everywhere else it's the mark of an enemy. So let's call it thusly: Padawan Initiate: You were brought up as a Jedi or Sith, or you learned about the Force from someone who was. The Jedi clearly don't like people learning their secrets, so that's something the character will have to face in the game. Pirate: Looking at this one, I'm tempted to have it as a general scum-and-villainy spec. There are loads of people who would have these skills, some PCs are already a lot like this (Kandy and Reya). Almost any Edge character will have some dealings with the Shadow Collective in all its various guises - even for an Independent, it's the price of doing business. Some PCs are already connected to Black Sun or KanjiKlub. Not all the Talents will suit everyone (not every person who smuggles contraband knows about boarding and piracy) but I wouldn't have a problem with any Edge character picking this one up to round out their skillset. So - Pirate: You're a tough, wily veteran of the Fringe, whether you're a part of a space-going criminal organisation or just familiar with them. Retired Clone Trooper: This, I think, will be one some people will want to respec. Honestly, restricting PCs by gender and species seems outside the spirit of the game to me. Also, 'Retired Clone Troopers' aren't a MarcyVerse thing. Even if the Jedi don't actively abuse their troops, they're still disposable assets; there's no retirement plan, you just get patched up and sent back out to fight. When you get old and slow, you'll just get killed in battle eventually, which is something they all aspire to do, as the ultimate expression of their service. And the Imperium does cynically abuse their own clones, to the point they push production beyond safe limits and don't understand the stolen Kaminoan technology (our Jedi clones look like blandly-handsome Aryan Ubermensch, while Stormtroopers are mutated and misshapen with too many fingers and melted features - they look horrible underneath the armour, which exists as much so their commanders don't have to look at them as for intimidating their foes). The only 'retired clones' that exist, then, occurred when some Jedi absconded with their favourite troops, possibly reversing the clone's lobotomies in the process. Some do live quiet lives on the fringe with their companions, but they obviously tend to keep their heads down and aren't a likely source for a PC trainer. So, this one kind of needs a total respec for us. The Galactic Civil War has raged inconclusively for over twenty years now, so there must be significant numbers of veteran badasses, whether still in active service or burned-out and propping up a bar somewhere. This one sits properly as the big brother to 'Recruit' then - if 'Recruit' is 'you survived boot camp where they taught you to kill stormtroopers with a spork', then this spec is 'survived three tours of duty and then went back for more (and you've killed more stormtroopers with sporks than most people have had hot dinners)'. This spec then suits PCs who have long service records (Karae), are in-universe badasses (Jaleela) or are otherwise experienced vets who have distinguished themselves in military conflict. I think its' even possible to learn this one from some former badass in a bar; there must be mercs who were former vets willing to pass on their tricks for beer money. So, we then have: Veteran: You are an experienced combatant with a long and distinguished career in the Galactic Civil War, or you learned how to fight from someone who was. Ship Captain: Honestly, this is what I hoped the Universals would look like. It's specific but it's vague and not restricted by height, hair colour or sexual preference. It's basically 'Commodore' for people who aren't Commanders, or adds new stuff for those who are. A lot of people, PCs and otherwise, command a vessel of some sort or are used to leading crew. From smugglers, career pilots to lone bounty-killers, I honestly can't see any reason why someone who wanted this one couldn't pick it up easily. Anyway, that's my thoughts, long and rambling, as the warm brandy and Doxycycline cocktail kicks in! Your thoughts and suggestions are invited. If your new Snow Wookiee PC wants to start as a Retired Clone Trooper, are you gonna let him? Marcy
  6. Dawn of Rebellion Sourcebook

    I give a chunk of starting XP to starting characters, on the basis that they can't ever take non-career specs. They're either an established in-game badass or someone like Rey who's some sort of awesome prodigy. As we seem to be slightly derailing the book thread, maybe I'll start another one purely for reskinning specs?
  7. Dawn of Rebellion Sourcebook

    Why the change in FFG and mods attitudes, Keith? I get what you're saying, but spoiling and discussing new books is an old forum tradition that goes back to the start of the game and nobody's ever questioned it? I had the honour myself with Special Modifications and it was fun for me and everyone else. I mean, I'm pretty sure we will all be buying the books as soon as they physically arrive (which might be weeks or months for those outside the US). And others will want to put the new stuff into Oggdude's editor ahead of time. Also, please note we're in an unprecedented famine of new stuff to debate and discuss, and are generally beginning to feel like the red-headed stepchildren, when the new shiny collectible stuff like Destiny and Legion are getting almost daily updates. Is it a Disney thing I wonder? Sure FFG can start playing hardball but that's a change of direction for you, and right now it's a rather strange time to do it.
  8. Dawn of Rebellion Sourcebook

    Thanks to everyone who posted something. Gods know we're starved of gaming news around here lately and need something to debate. A word on the new specs... This book seems to be a fairly radical departure from the past, with reams of canon stats and very-specific specialisations. Not really something they've done before. Does it say anything about using (or restricting these specs) based on species? Can you have a snow-wookiee who's a 'Retired Clone Trooper' (or rather. one who has the spec)? How else would this spec get used seeing as how there's no 'clone' species? I mean, if they'd wanted specs called vague things like 'Initiate', 'Cadet' or 'Veteran' (for RCT) they would have done that, right? I mean, the old-timers are usually giving advise to newbies not to get too hung up on the spec titles and that taking 'Thief' doesn't literally mean your character must be a criminal or steal things. Does it say anything about restrictions on who can or can't have these specs? It seems unlikely, to put it mildly, that a wookiee or hutt or jawa would have intended an Imperial college (unless they were lab animals or something). Can these species still take the spec? Were they just taught by someone who did attend such a college? This is kinda important to the Marcyverse because we don't allow non-class specs at all, so having some Universals at long last really opens some options for many long-standing characters with spare XP...
  9. Dawn of Rebellion Sourcebook

    Wow, that's unexpected, and it made one player in particular very, very happy. Can you say 'killing spree'? Though some of these are already dead in the Marcy Cinematic Universe (Maul, most of the Rebels), and two are beyond anyone's reach (Emperor Tarkin and Bail Organa). Vader is top of that player's hit-list, and presents all kinds of problems seeing as how Anakin is long-dead. Someone suggested a Dagobah-style situation so the player can legitimately say they solo'd Vader and murderised him without it really affecting the story of the campaign. It also brings back some very old and sore arguments about Ahsoka, who came it at #3 on the list of NPCs the players hated, but I felt very uncomfortable with the concept of the players killing her off and simply said she didn't exist. :(
  10. Ugh, where's my 'ill' emoji when I need it I'd like to give thanks to Lady Absol for eloquently explaining our F&D Morality system! She certainly did it better than I could! We had extensive talks about how we handled Obligation and Duty before F&D came out. We ended up removing the numbers on these, so it was a no-brainer we'd do the same on Morality. Our aims were as follows: a) eliminate book-keeping. A clunky 1990's system feels odd in what's supposed to be a free-flowing narrative game. The Conflict mini-game feels really weird. By simply tracking what 'stance' a character is in, it greatly reduces keeping track of numbers. b) eliminates arguments. I tired of 'alignment arguments' back in D&D. I want to spend precious table-time enjoying the game. So this means no player debate about whether an action was 'enthusiastic' or 'reckless'. The system is player-driven and the choices they make determine current 'stance'. c) Let's use what F&D gave us. They gave us an intriguing game where - by default - you're not 'Sith' or 'Jedi', you're a Force Adept exploring the galaxy and learning about yourself and your powers. The game offers an intriguing system where 'Light-side' is not automatically 'Saint' and 'Dark-side' is not automatically 'Baby-eater'. So let's use that. Even by RAW, you can make a character who has an interesting mix of personality motivations. Problem is... RAW only rewards a rush to one of the extremes. We wanted rules that allow a character to explore their personality without being penalised for it. And that's the crux of an F&D game. Even if you fight for a cause or just for yourself, an F&D character's story is essentially a journey of the Self. You're exploring who you are, and your connection to the Force and the galaxy. Are you a burned-out Sentinel Jedi, anguished over the blood on your hands and the terrible things you've done for the Greater Good? Are you a Sith vigilante fighting tyranny and dictators and those who abuse their powers? Are you one of the Followers of the Temple, seeking self-enlightenment through Good Samaritanism, narcotics and the pleasures of the flesh? Or are you wandering the galaxy as a new two-being Tradition, with a small potted plant, healing the spiritual damage caused by the Galactic Civil War? Either way, you're discovering who you are and how you connect to the Force and the galaxy. Good and evil, law and chaos, your choices determine where you stand and how you deal with things. Our solution likely isn't for everyone - it doesn't even try to match the binary nature of the movies, because we were going for something wholly different, in line maybe with a more Eastern philosophy. But it's easy to use and remember, it has no book-keeping or stat-tracking, and it's wholly driven by player choices. It allows you to explore your own extremes without penalising you for doing so. Also, as a minor note, one of the things that came out of our conversations was that we never actually see a slow descent or redemption in the movies or games. Forgiveness is instant and immediate, as is 'falling to the Dark side'. Also, both happen fairly regularly with long-standing characters and there's seldom any consequences of it. Someone actually suggested this system as a joke to parody the endless Heel-Face turns in canon, , and we were surprised how well it worked when we treated it seriously. Anyway, if any of this helps someone looking for something different, I'm happy. It's likely that this system could be 'gamed' but only if you have poor players, in which case it's the least of your worries. And why would you even do that in a narrative game anyway?
  11. Character Artwork Thread

    I really should put this up on a website somewhere but I'm old and suck at Interwebs. When we started a Star Wars game in 2012, we did so with the goal of completely rewriting everything from the ground up. We played the rules straight, but changed every aspect of the lore. It wasn't so much a 'Star Wars' game but a homage to the themes of the original. It was aimed at a mature audience of players who were okay with horror or sexual elements in addition to the original themes of friendship, sacrifice and duty (the players largely wanted Game of Thrones and The Witcher; I wanted Mass Effect and Firefly - we mostly met in the middle...). We also wanted to throw out all the baggage of canon, threw out elements that were meant to shape a tightly-scripted movie, opening the galaxy up as befitted an RPG. We wanted a complex narrative and tough moral choices. The PCs would always be at the heart of the action and drive the story. Half a dozen different PC groups would be involved in a shared universe and plotlines would frequently cross between them. It was the result of many brainstorming sessions and contributions of over a dozen people, but as I was GM and collated the information (and had final say on it) it became known as the 'Marcy Cinematic Universe'; 'MarcyVerse' for short. It's kind of what Rian Johnson did with Last Jedi, but turned up to 111. And like that movie, it's not to everyone's tastes (all the fanservice pictures contrast quite significantly with the writing and probably give the wrong impression). But it was written for its audience, and it's been a fascinating project, one I'm honoured to have helmed while I still have my pre-senility role-playing wits and energy.
  12. I don't know if it's depressing or not, but the MarcyVerse has Cenobite Cubes instead of Holocrons, Eldritch Abominations, actually creepy Force Ghosts, Warp Demons, Mutated Clones, Talking Cacti and the most common cause of death for NPC enemies is 'being squashed by a thrown spaceship'. And 'shouting stormtroopers to death' of course; that never gets old, no matter how often you do it. ... and yet we're incredibly conservative about lightsabers. A grand total of six across thirty-odd PCs, and each and every one of them is a bog-standard single-bladed version. Not one helicopter lightsaber to be seen, in galaxy that's otherwise full of bizarre things (The characters themselves are not conservative, but that's another story.). Though I'm loving Desslok's Eyebrows Guy with the Flying Guillotine thingy. I'm following his video channel on YouTube now, and I need to see more of that.
  13. I guess what I disliked here was that the point was raised and then promptly forgotten about. Nobody raised it with anyone like Leia or Hondo and they just all went back to 'fairytale simplicity'. That's especially sad for Finn, seeing as how he's an ex-Imperial. His entire arc should be about thinking for himself and questioning power structures as a newly-free man. Instead, he essentially just traded Phasma for Rose Heh, this was a plot point between two of our PCs, an idealistic Jedi and a crippled, cynical Alliance pilot:
  14. Ah, never actually realised it was a kind of portmanteau. Still doesn't really grab me though, even if it's a bit clever. I guess at least it has a name, which is something our beloved SW game never really got