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Spjork

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Everything posted by Spjork

  1. I just recently picked up this game and had my first 3-player session. It was a little rocky, but I think we all learned a lot about the mechanics and ought to have a better session the second time through. I think if your players are more concerned with having fun with the storytelling aspects of the game than they are with the win-loss mechanics, then a two player session ought to work out fine. Where it might break down is in competing over those quests. Since every matchup will be 1v1, they might get a little predictable. I found that even in a three player session, it wasn't that hard to keep track of how many cards each player was holding. Since the player with the largest hand will always win, the one with fewer cards might just skip the quest entirely. The only thing that shook up the contests in a three player session was wondering if the Writer would get involved and which side he would come down on. For a two player game I'd recommend, at a minimum, incorporating all the optional rules. The more ways the players have to gain and spend story cards, the more difficult it becomes to know what the other player is holding. Alternatively, you could deal out cards for the Writer and treat that as a bonus hand that can only be used by the player who's currently lagging behind on the Memory Track. If both sides are tied, then the Writer characters just fade into the background.
  2. Well, if we had free rein of our galaxy, I imagine the population of earth would be much, much smaller. To use a nation-level analogy, I recall hearing somewhere that a few Caribbean countries have a near-equal or greater number of citizens outside their borders than in them. Perhaps this is the same phenomenon at work. What starts as the immigration of a few opportunity-seekers turns into burgeoning off-world communities that start to surpass the size and richness of their homeworld cousins. In that regard, the numbers seem like fairly consistent speculative sci-fi.
  3. I'll admit that this version takes a heavy dose of those creative liberties I mentioned earlier. It's not so much a design built off of Asajj than it is the impression I got of Rattataki/Vollick in general. We have a world whose population is slowly warring itself to extinction. Reading between the lines, those individuals whose bloodlines have so far managed to survive are likely fittest of the fit (hence, higher than average WT and BR/AG). Again, my own mental image of these people is that they fight until long after an average human would have lost consciousness. Given the culture of tribal warfare, the population is probably fairly desensitized to violence, and this is likely the sort of world where children learn to wield a weapon at a fairly early age (which motivated the generous skill option for a weapon-of-choice). I did second-guess a few of these decisions as everything did slant heavily toward a combat advantage. But if any world in the galaxy qualified for the title "Planet of the Murder Hobos," I figure Rattatak would probably be it. It seemed to be the kind of place that forged some of the most vicious fighters in the galaxy, which is probably why Dooku went there to shop for a new lackey. The final experience amount was just an effect of swapping X for Y on the Twi'lek design. As you say, the skill choice is a little more powerful than anything in precedent, so it probably does warrant more weight in the xp department. So far, I haven't had any players with a desire to design a Rattataki, so I haven't had anyone try to min-max off of it. My one pregen is an Outlaw Tech and she hasn't seen a whole lot of screen time.
  4. Donovan's suggestion was actually my initial design for a Rattataki pregen character. My 2nd-gen version uses the Twi'leks as a rough model. Brawn: 2 Agility: 2 Intellect: 2 Cunning: 2 Willpower: 2 Presence: 1 Wound Threshold: 12 + Brawn Strain Threshold: 10 + Willpower Starting Experience: 100 Special Abilities: Rattataki begin the game with one free rank in the combat skill of their choice. They still may not train any combat skill beyond Rank 2 during character creation. When making skill checks, they may remove one setback due to hot, arid environments. Subspecies: The natives of Rattatak are divided between two warring subspecies: the Near-Human Rattaki, and the Vollick. Near-Humans start with Dexterity Rank 3. The Vollick start with Brawn Rank 3.
  5. The closest you'll probably find to canon references are the few appearances that Rattatak makes during the Clone Wars, which would have been 20-ish years before EotE. This is one of those planets (and species) that's far enough on the fringe of canon, that you could probably take whatever creative liberties you wanted in your campaign. If you want to populate the galaxy with Rattataki, I'd say go for it.
  6. I was curious about that one. Does Scientist differentiate itself from Scholar? Or would the two share strong similarities, like Big Game Hunter & Survivalist?
  7. My reasoning behind the Duelist, or some similarly named spec, is that this is someone who does bring their education and smarts to bear. It just so happens that that education and those smarts are more focused in the realm of classical fighting styles. To use a Wild West analogy, this would be someone who draws an epee or a katana in the midst of a saloon brawl. I'm thinking it would do for the Colonist what Big Game Hunter did for the Explorer, add a combat-saavy spec without stepping outside the bounds of the Career's archetype.
  8. I think Colonist might be a good place to drop in a new Brawl/Melee spec. Something with a little more finesse than the Marauder's heavy hitter. A Duelist, maybe. Open enough to interpretation to include spoiled, adventure-seeking nobles and wandering martial artists. And for my own wishes, I'd love to see an Infiltrator spec or something along those lines. A sneak who's a little more white collar than the Assassins and Thieves already populating the galaxy. Think royal agents, corporate fixers, etc.
  9. I like that this ascends the canon characters to "legendary" status and clears the decks for the players to be the biggest heroes in the galaxy. I'd be curious how that Imperial central power will maintain structural integrity following the emperor's death. Do you have a Grand Moff or an heir in mind to step up and assume control? I'm not up on Imperial politics, especially where the EU is concerned, but just thinking of historical precedents: When Alexander the Great died without an obvious heir, it pretty much kicked off a real-life Game of Thrones. To emulate something similar in the Star Wars Universe, you could have shifting alliances form among the Grand Moffs while the most powerful among them consolidates power as Emperor II. The Core Oversectors might stay together and maintain some semblance of Imperialism, but a few of the fringe Grand Moffs might vie for their own fiefdoms or end up falling to rebel uprisings. Caesar's assassination might be a more apt analogy. In that, the rebels were surprised to encounter public backlash against what they'd done; but even at that, there was still some significant infighting within the empire. First you had Octavian/Antony leading the army against the rebels, and then once they were out of the picture, it was Octavian vs. Antony/Cleopatra. Without a clear line of succession, I'd expect at least a little infighting among the highest tiers of power; though probably not to the extent of "Every Moff for Himself."
  10. I wouldn't say you must have someone at each station, but if you're running with less than a full complement, then you might have folks hopping between seats to angle shields, jam communications, or plot a jump. Most of the time that can probably be hand-waved with narrative; but in combat, you could represent that by having characters spend a maneuver to switch between stations. As far as minimum required crew, I'd probably shoot for 10%-20% of what the book lists as "Crew Complement" to be a bare bones skeleton crew. A ship with a crew of 10 can probably be kept aloft with just 2 people in the cockpit, but maintaining it and keeping the core systems running would probably require those two members to put in a lot of overtime.
  11. I think the Burn quality would bring Soak into play, since it's related specifically to weapons and combat checks; but the ratings on table 6-8 would ignore soak. My reasoning on this has to do with the flame projector. In the table, it's listed with a rating of 3-5. The weapon itself applies 8 damage over 3 rounds if the Burn quality is triggered. I think it would be safe to say that the average PC's soak is somewhere in the vicinity of 3-5, so that would bring the two paths to about the same net damage. Either 8 damage minus soak or 3-5 damage ignoring soak. I'd probably only consider the hazard suits and high-end armor to be flame resistant enough to ignore a couple points of fire rating.
  12. Careful with this caveat. This implies that in a single encounter, someone could get shot....patched up....immediately shot again. So, can he be treated again right then and there? Or does the single-heal-per-combat-encounter still apply and he's got to wait a little bit? So far it hasn't been an issue, but that's partly because we treat "complex" skill tasks as multi-round endeavors. Since a medic is likely performing several maneuvers and actions in one check (fishing through his pouch for an item, loading a stim injector, unravelling bandages, etc.), it might take 2-5 rounds for him to complete his medicine task. By then, a short encounter is usually almost over. In a more drawn-out fight, this amps up the tension because the medic will likely need protection while he works. It lends a very war-movie feel to being a battlefield medic. So with that, my players really only resort to in-combat treatment if it's a dire emergency. And even at that, if a patched-up PC take further wounds two rounds later, he's likely in a world of hurt, and that second check probably won't break anything. At least it hasn't yet.
  13. It seems this is will really vary based on the personalities at the table. At mine, I permit characteristic "refunds" without any limits, and so far it hasn't been a problem. But then again, all my players are either novice enough to prefer one of my pregen builds, or they've taken a very middle-of-the-road approach to choosing stats and skills. If I ever had a player who liked to test the boundaries, I probably would institute some caps on this kind of customization.
  14. The encounter thing bugged me as well and felt a little bit meta-gamey at our table. "Can we heal now?" was asked quite a few times in our first Beginner Box run. I instituted a couple house rules that, so far, have worked out well. Base Medicine Rule: Each medicine check reflects everything that that particular doctor was able to do for the patient in those particular circumstances. So, there are only three situations in which a patient can receive another check: The patient receives fresh wounds since his last check. The patient finds medical facilities that are better (i.e. have more dice) than where he received his last medical check. (see the Triage Rule below for more details) It's been 24 hours since the patient's last check. This permits a follow-up check to change bandages, administer extra doses of medicine, address complications, etc. Triage Rule: If a patient receives medical treatment out on a battlefield and then comes across a proper medical facility, he can receive treatment there. But, if he hasn't received fresh wounds since his last check, then this new medical facility must roll successes above and beyond what the doctor accomplished out in the battlefield. Example: A smuggler takes 8 wounds out in the desert. A jawa medic patches him up a bit with 4 success. Later that day, he finds his way to civilization, where there's a local clinic. He goes in for treatment (not trusting the jawa's handiwork) and the doctor there rolls 6 success. This only removes 2 wounds on top of the jawa's 4. Droid repairs: Droids still follow the base rule above for quick patch-up jobs, but outside of that, they can be repaired at any time, provided a mechanic has the parts, tools, and time to do so. The mechanic performs a check to reflect a 1-hour repair job. That number can then be multiplied as many times as necessary to repair the droid. So if a Mechanic rolls a 3 on a droid suffering 10 wounds, it's four hours for a full repair job. If he's got that kind of time, the droid can walk away from the procedure with 0 wounds.
  15. I agree, but as Moses said, you need a yellow dice to do that. Also, thanks to everyone for keeping a heated debate civil. It's appreciated. I'll echo Maelora's appreciation on that. Even though few minds are getting changed on the matter, it's been a nice exercise to think critically about character builds. Regarding Knockdown, I have a feeling it has to do with incentivizing 1 or 2 ranks in Melee, but no more. If a Fringer or an Archeologist picks up the talent, they'll probably buy enough ranks in Melee to use it, but they won't typically invest in becoming world class swordfighters, which a career skill might invite. That might be the same reasoning behind Scout-Stealth. There's enough there to tempt a couple non-career ranks, but not enough to make him as ninja-like as the thief or assassin. [\ speculation]
  16. You're moving the goal posts, here. If it's open season on non-career skills, then the Scout has skill ranks to match every talent in his tree.
  17. I just think that separating career skills from talents reinforces the generalist vs. specialist trade-off. Pilots and Thieves have skills to align with their talents, hence their specialization in each. The Scout has skills in one, talents in another, which spreads him out a little thinner. If a Scout were to group up with a Doctor, Pilot, Thief, and Survivalist, he'd be playing second fiddle to everyone at the table. But if the Doctor ends up taking a nasty wound, or the group suddenly needs to pilot more than one vehicle out of danger, then the Scout is there in a pinch.
  18. When I first read the write-up on Sudden Discovery, something about it seemed familiar. It was only in digging back into the CRB for this topic that I realized it reminded me of Familiar Suns. I'd definitely reward investment in Familiar Suns over and above a standard knowledge check. If a Scout with Familiar Suns had been with the group on Endor, I probably would have given him the idea that there might be a tribe of natives near the Imperial installation. Perhaps they could have made proper diplomatic introductions rather than coming in on spits. Not to mention that a Scout with Heightened Senses might have helped the group detect those extra scout troopers and avoid losing the Diplomat.
  19. Yeah, I'd say start low and give it room to go up if they start missing payments.
  20. Then why have Talents at all is what you are saying. If they aren't going to support what you do why would anyone spend the xp on them? In each example I was citing skill-without-talent and talent-without-skill. I'm not saying you don't need talents, I'm saying you don't need talents and skills on the same roll.
  21. I guess I just fail to see why career skills must, forever-and-always, have talents to complement them, and why talents have to point back to a career skill. If I'm rolling two yellows and a green on a pilot check, why does it matter that I don't have other perks to throw on top of that? Likewise, if I'm rolling three greens and two blues on a stealth check, why is my life as a sneak incomplete because I have no skill upgrades?
  22. A lot of good points have been made in support of Explorer/Scout, I'll see if I can add a couple more. It does sound like a lot of the unhappy customers are looking to play the Spy/Scout that Maelora mentioned. To me, it seems that infiltrating enemy lines, monitoring troop movements, and setting up ambushes would fall more in a Spy/Scout's wheelhouse. Being the grizzled outdoors-man with a rifle falls under Big Game Hunter or Survivalist. That leaves Explorer/Scout with his "Tour Guide" or "Boy Scout" role. Though I'd prefer to think of him as an "Everest Guide". His number one purpose is to make sure the "tourists" in the group make it home alive. Athletics means he's the first one up the rope, passing Boosts or upgrades to those who follow. Medicine is enough to make sure no one bleeds out from an injury, and Survival ensures the group is fed and sheltered. In a pinch, he can take the wheel of any vehicle, but he's better off riding shotgun and performing "Plot Course" to help the driver/pilot avoid danger. Strain mitigation means that he's alert enough to take the first watch while the rest of the group is sleeping off their aches and pains from the day's hike. Those Perception/Vigilance perks are all geared toward making sure the group isn't surprised by predators or ambushers. (Note that Heightened Awareness extends to Close range, not Short. To my knowledge this hasn't been changed in errata, yet.) I think having the Quick Strike and Disorient talents without combat skills points to the fact that he's more interested in blunting an attack than putting down the attacker (Which is what a BGH or Surivalist would do). Again, group protection is the name of the game. Then, of course, comes the 3 knowledge skills. With Familiar Suns (and possibly Sudden Discovery) I think Knowledge is core to his specialty. If a GM marginalizes that aspect of the game, the spec definitely suffers for it. I haven't had a Scout at the table yet, but if I was to build one, I'd probably try to get Brawn, Agility, Intellect, and Cunning each to 3. Early in the campaign, I'd probably invest 1 or 2 ranks in a single combat skill to complement my weapon of choice (5 - 10 extra experience hardly breaks the bank). Then I'd move in on Heightened Awareness and Familiar Suns as quickly as I could. After that, it would just be a matter of maximizing my career skills and filling in the rest of the talent tree to perform the above mentioned tasks to the best of my ability.
  23. I'd say it's Battle Armor. The illustrations aren't the only possible depictions for each armor type. For instance, padded armor might be the full body riot gear pictured, or it might be as simple as a vest and a helmet. We've had Heavy Clothing reskinned as trench coats, coveralls, flight vests, you name it.
  24. Ha! These two ideas reminded me of Joe Pesci's character from Goodfellas. And then it occurred to me that that would be an awesome premise for a campaign, if the players fell for it. I think I read somewhere that there's a law among Hutts that they don't kill each other. If the PCs are so willing to do Bargos' bidding, I wonder if they would be so bold as to eliminate a rival Hutt on his command. If they do pull it off without getting caught, give them a couple adventures to help Bargos fill that power vacuum and set him up to be a rising star in the cartel. Let both Bargos and the party think they got away with murder. Set the stage for his big promotion (perhaps with a trip to Nar Shaddaa or Nal Hutta). Then, bam. The Hutts settle the score. Bargos is out of the picture and the players have to make it out of Hutt Space alive. I imagine it could get pretty thrilling if the players took the bait.
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