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Everything posted by beeble530

  1. If I remember right, Luke seems kind of shocked that Biggs is planning to defect. Out on Tatooine, the Imperial propaganda machine must still be working. Luke wants to join the Imperial military right up until Ben tells him of its evils and, of course, his family is murdered.
  2. I think the key is that what we see in ANH is the "Alliance" to Restore the Republic. The key word is Alliance. Prior to its founding, there were plenty of other groups of various size and influence. Just prior to ANH they unified under a common flag.
  3. Back in the Saga days, I would always be sure to include an encounter every once in a while that would have been somewhat challenging in the past, but is considerably easier now. It's no fun when your enemies continuously get stronger at the same rate you do. That was one of the biggest problems with Bethesda's Oblivion. Be sure to throw in more difficult encounters using more minions and stronger rivals, but remember to leave some weaker enemies around for your players to refer to when comparing strength.
  4. Overall, the atmosphere of the Wheel was very underutilized. Any of the scenes could have taken place on any world with a moderate criminal element. Flying through the ship docks and doing some actual gambling would help differentiate the setting beyond GM description.
  5. Well, characters with names just don't get "insta-killed" in Star Wars. They get gruesome injuries that are inconveniences, like losing their hands. Minions die instantly from critical injuries, but pretty much nobody gets insta-killed. Your house rule is already built into the system too. On pp. 218: "Each Critical Injury a character suffers from adds +10 to any subsequent Critical Injury check." This means that if you did activate multiple crits, each one would stack with that +10 minimum you described. It wouldn't be a reroll, just a flat +10 to whatever comes up, placing the effective minimum at # of Crits x 10 +1.
  6. I was thinking more about the In Media Res start more and came up with an idea. I think the first episode is rather dull as written, with the only serious possibility for combat or action being the attempted kidnapping of Eyetee-three at the end of the sequence. Instead of the normal, rather dull opening situation, the PCs will be on retainer to IsoTech, moving parts in return for credits. Roem receives word directly from the star liner captain that they have recovered a hyperspace message pod with Separatist markings addressed to IsoTech via his father, who was arrested by the Empire for his Separatist leanings following the end of the Clone War and was never heard from again. Roem has asked the PCs to recover the pod from the star liner, which is moored clear on the other side of station. They elect to fly their to save time. The pod in their hold, they find themselves being tailed by a pair (or more) of Z-95s on their return trip. The Z-95s, marked with the symbol of the Yiyar clan, open fire, resulting in a chase through the traffic and superstructure of the Wheel's docks. In mid chase is where the adventure will open,as the PCs attempt to shake the Yiyar snubs and reach the IsoTech docking bay. As an aside, this scene will also put some heat on the PCs because the public chase through the docks will bring attention to any further efforts they make during discovery. The chase also introduces the primary villains right away. I plan on emphasizing some mystery regarding the fate of Roem's father at the hands of the Empire. Though his death is assumed, Roem and his sister will still value that information and the search for the Sa Nalaor can be viewed as a mission to learn the fate of their father and his work rather than simply a mission to make some cash with some cool tech. Eventually, the ISB agents can reveal his death at their hands, providing a good "evil" moment that Star Wars stories all need. Additionally, I am considering spicing things up by using the sabaac rules from Sons of Fortune/Under a Black Sun. The infochant, rather than selling the information for a flat fee, will gamble information in a game of sabaac. Winning hands will progressively score the PCs more information, while losing will require them to reveal information about their mission which the infochant can then sell to their rivals. If they refuse to reveal information upon losses, the infochant can increase the heat on the PCs by revealing their movements to the Imperials or the Yiyars, possibly provoking an altercation.
  7. The upcoming GM screen is said to include mass combat rules, which I'm assuming will include rules for integrating PCs as the leaders of minion squads. Stay tuned.
  8. I'm planning on starting this adventure soon and had some ideas and questions. First, I plan on portraying IsoTech as a bit less powerful and more struggling to get buy. Their offices on the wheel will be cheap and run down, nothing too impressive. I also plan on making Roem's motivation more of family matter than just business. He wants the tech, but he also wants to know what his father was working on and why it cost him his freedom and eventually his life after he was kidnapped and imprisoned by the Empire as a "Separatist conspirator." Next, I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas or experiences with beginning in media res? I was considering beginning with the players already having accepted the job from Roem, but moving the message pod out of his hands and opening with the characters in the process of acquiring it. One scene that came to mind was placing one or two characters aboard the ship that found the pod, captured red handed on their way out with the pod. The remaining characters would then have to bail them out and return to Roem with the message.
  9. I know they haven't really done this for Dangerous Covenants, but they did release Enter the Unknown and Beyond the Rim at similar times and both were clearly exploration based books. Could the release of Jewel of Yavin be an indicator that the smuggler book is up next? It certainly would make sense to release adventures related to the career books at similar times as they both serve as complements and could potentially capture both GMs and players in a party, whereas a group could just split a career book.
  10. I have some experience gaming online with Google Hangouts and Roll20 and have had some mixed experiences. Sometimes it's technology failures or complications, but sometimes things just don't seem to vibe as well when playing with a virtual tabletop. However, I've heard of and watched (on YouTube) some great online play. I was hoping that some people who have had success (either long-term or one-shots) with virtual tabletops or Skype/Hangouts could share what they find makes things easier and more comfortable during play, from both a player and a gamemaster's perspective.
  11. That's what I was thinking. The question is how to divvy up wounds/strain based on the result in a fair way. Despair is a crit? Failure is max wounds? But how many? Success reduce wounds, that seems obvious. I think that threats/advantage could determine strain in some way.
  12. By mass combat, I'm talking about some features so that the PCs can feel like they are in a warzone. Artillery is a pretty big part of that. While I do think that eventually heroes might find themselves making fleet and regiment level decisions, I'm talking about trench level stuff.
  13. I was surprised to see only 2 agility for the gunner too. They have 2's in all abilities. However, you have to remember that minions don't have skill ranks, they only gain them through additional members of their groups. So your base, 3 agility gunner should start at 3.0 and move up to 3.3 after grouping into a 3 gun battery. If we stick with 2 agility, they start at 2.0 and move up to 3.2 after grouping.
  14. While I know lots of people were expecting some sort of mass combat rules in AoR, as well as some guidelines on warfare hazards, personally I'm okay with them saving most of that stuff for the Commander and Soldier splat books. However, I would like to have some discussion on how to implement the effects of, say, an AT-AT barrage or a TIE/SA Bomber bombing run in a reasonable manner. Does anyone have any ideas? Using simple attacks on individual characters seems boring and unfair, since every round only one character will be targeted and if they're hit, they're pretty much toast. I'm thinking of some variation on the falling damage table, where the characters take base strain and wounds, negated by the results of a check, but I'm stuck on what kind of numbers would be fair.
  15. I'll be honest, I haven't had to use capital ships yet, but I have given it some thought. Minion rules for capital ship batteries are presented on page 238. Basically, you upgrade the check once per emplacement. So say we got a Nebulon-B with six turbolasers on each side. I'd break them up into four minion groups of three and upgrade the Gunnery check to something like [Y][Y], down from [G][G]. I'd do the same thing for the three laser cannons in each firing arc. That means I'm making five rolls tops for the Nebulon-B if it is only engaged in one firing arc. More likely, the opposing ship or ships will try to restrict themselves to one side instead of aft or forward, so I'll only have to roll three times. Though there is some confusion in some of the ships though. Some list their turbolasers as batteries, while others just list them as turbolasers. Some do both, like the CR90 which lists its medium dorsal and ventral turbolasers as "batteries", but its light port and starboard turbolasers are without the battery label. Reading up on the CR90 via Wookieepedia, it looks like the standard load out has only one turret on top and bottom, so I'm just dropping the battery label where it appears in stat blocks. I would suggest porting the Imperial Gunnery Corps stats from pg 214 in AoR Beta. These dudes have 2 Agility and the Gunnery skill, so when used as minions they start with base [G][G] and move up with more [Y] and, eventually, add more [G], which then switch to [Y] and so on. As for aiming, pg 231-232 of EotE seems to imply that characters in capital ships cannot spend more than one maneuver per turn, regardless of whether they want to spend strain to do so. Anyways, with minion gunners, spending strain to double aim would kill them off pretty quick, so it doesn't seem reasonable. I would allow single aiming, but in reality I would probably just make my rolls and be done with it. Another thing to consider when using capital ships and batteries in EotE is the context in which you're using them. Unless there's a capital ship vs. capital ship or capital ship vs. a dozen or more fighters situation, a capital ship would be unlikely to bring all of its weapons to bear on a single fleeing frigate. That's a huge energy and manpower investment from a fluff perspective, so feel free to only use a couple of their weapons at a time.
  16. beeble530


    I see what you're getting at, but from the way I interpret the Duty mechanic I don't have any issues. The way I see it, the GM should design or modify adventures to fit the history of the campaign. This means that as a GM I should be excited that my players now have a MC80 scale capital ship to call their home base, and I should design encounters that allow them to utilize their new resources and still challenge them. Say they are involved with a ground assault on a secret Imperial laboratory. Instead of getting inside to blow the prototype up, the mission is now to disable the shield generators so that the MC80 can bomb the whole lab from orbit. Both are cool missions, but in the second one the players feel powerful and they feel that their previous efforts have paid off directly. Duty is just a way to track how close players are to that next big step. As GM, it's up to me to limit where they go with it. You could theoretically run the exact same story in an EotE game, complete with debts to pay off, bounty hunters just around the corner, and a chronically ill sister to take care of back home, without the Obligation mechanic. The mechanic is there to provide some subtle mechanical flavor to go along with what in other games would be purely fluff. Pay off your Obligation and you no longer have to worry about that Hutt in the story, but you also don't have to worry about having your strain threshold dinged 4 points every session. You could easily drop the mechanical bit and it would still be fun, but the players and GM wouldn't have guidelines on where to go next with the story if they get lost. Same with Duty and its rewards. Sure, you could do away with them. But by allowing players to accumulate Duty points, they can see and guide the benefits of their work. It gives them a little reason to high five at the end of a session if they did well. And after a few sessions, they can cash in and grab a sweet, GM-approved prize. I think that's tight, since it gives the players agency in a setting where they'll mostly be taking orders. I agree that, as presented in the Beta book, Duty and Contribution Rewards are a bit too vague and some GMs could end up in situations where they've allowed their players to overstep to the point of damaging the fun of the game. But then again, many thought that Obligation had similar vagueness problems during EotE's beta too, and now most folks love it. I think once they clarify how to use Duty in the final edition, it will be just as powerful of a mechanics-story bridging tool as Obligation is.
  17. beeble530


    No, I mean I'd give them a MC80 to command on a permanent basis once they reached the appropriate level of Duty/Contribution. Or a crack squad of SpecForce commandos. Or whatever composition of fighter squadron, complete with backup wingmen and support staff, they end up designing. These wouldn't be case by case through Duty, they'd have their "reward" as a recurring resource. I'd imagine that Luke kinda scored Rogue Squadron in a similar manner. The Alliance will only take it back if the PCs really start going rogue, which I imagine they won't, knowing my players. But hey, it could make an awesome story for some groups. Apocalypse Now and all that. I still would reserve the right to introduce resources on a case by case basis, but the Alliance will put Duty related rewards under their permanent care.
  18. beeble530


    Firstly, I doubt the Rebellion has their hands on many Dreadnought-class Cruisers. Even if they could find or afford them, they wouldn't be able to man them. They are known in universe for being incredibly inefficient as far as manpower goes. Secondly, if, for some reason, my players got their hands on a Dreadnought-class Cruiser via Duty and decided they wanted to sell it, I'd tell them "good luck". Where would you unload such a thing without immediately facing the wrath of the authorities? Finding a buyer would be an adventure itself! And what about the crew? The players would immediately find themselves the victims of a mutiny, and the Alliance would turn its back on the characters as well. I could see myself supplying PCs with up to a MC80 and crew with enough acquired Duty. But the moment they start to abuse it, they'll have the Alliance on their behinds to get it back.
  19. I've just added boost dice during initiative. Combat is supposed to be abstract and narrative. Rounds and actions aren't taking place by roll, they are taking place simultaneously. This means that even if the PCs some how lose out on the rolls and they all end up going after the victims of their ambush, then the targets realized they were walking into a trap and managed to get their shots off while coming under fire. Just because you haven't rolled yet doesn't mean you haven't started shooting. It just means you won't mechanically hit. GM: "Alright, you're all set up in ambush positions. Roll discipline for initiative, plus two boost dice each since you have superior position and know they are coming. The Trandoshans will roll vigilance." [Rolls] PC: "Dang. How did we all roll blanks? No successes for any of us." GM: "The bounty hunters walk slowly down the dusty desert canyon, their captured mark in tow. You watch patiently from above, confident that you have them in your trap. Suddenly, their Trandoshan leader stops, sniffs the air, and holds up a closed fist, indicating to his team to halt. You open fire, but it is too late. The gang scatters behind the rocks for cover while spraying the cliffs with blaster bolts. One catches you in the leg before you manage to line up a clear shot." See? Mechanically, the enemy might still go first, but you can still describe the scene as the PCs initiating combat. Basically, the system encourages you to combine the traditional stealth/perception rolls and initiative rolls used to determine "surprise rounds" all into one roll.
  20. While we will most definitely get info on explosives in Dangerous Covenants, I don't think that's a good excuse for us not to receive some basic mechanics for them in Age of Rebellion, where campaigns have a strong likelihood of consisting of warfare elements. Additionally, I feel like a mechanic for explosives would really need extensive playtesting to get right, especially since a good number of players are likely to build their characters around that ability. Therefore, I am hoping that the developers include some sort of explosives mechanics as a addition to the Gunnery, Skullduggery, or Mechanics skill in the upcoming beta updates. Additionally, I agree with you that either Gunnery needs to be extended as a career skill for the Saboteur specialization and at least some, if not all, the specializations in the Soldier career. When I'm building a heavy weapon specialist, the type that uses a heavy repeating blaster or missile tube, I don't want to have to pay a premium or switch to the Ace career specializations to buy ranks in my basic skill. And if Gunnery is going to be used for mines, and by extension other explosives, then making those sorts of switches will be even more important.
  21. I would still try to encourage open rolling as much as possible. Try to mix up the effects of threat and despair and make the results more immediate so that players only have a split second at most to react. For example, I don't let my players roll perception unless they are actively looking for something. The success/failure axis determines whether or not they find the specific thing they are looking for. The advantage/threat axis determines the accuracy of the information, but in a way that only I know. I'll throw them both true and false facts on success/threat situations, which forces them to sort through the accuracy of their results on their own. On failure/threat situations, I'll normally avoid false facts, since they already know they failed. Alternatively, I'll drop setback dice or strain damage as a result of their focused search, such as dust in their eyes on Tatooine or being so distracted by what they saw/didn't see that they cannot focus on other tasks at hand. For the assassin example, I would usually choose vigilance versus stealth unless the PCs are actively searching for him. I would not ask for a check until the assassin tries to perform a task that would have a direct and immediate effect on the PC. I would then either allow an opportunity to preemptively react depending on the success of the vigilance check. This "instant results" strategy can work for other situations too. In your coerce situation, I would have avoided the false fear outcome. That outcome would be saved for a successful result with threat, and I would then provide real facts mixed in with false support. If I do this often enough, the players don't know which parts of my information to trust, but they will have to trust some of it. For your failure/despair result, the victim would probably outright defy the PC in question, maybe even having the guts to attempt to call in support through yelling/hidden comlink or offing themselves with cyanide pill or hidden grenade or such.
  22. Dono, I agree that they are deliberately specialized, but the way that they have been mechanically specialized has been done, in my opinion, a way that makes some species inherently less fun to play. Again, this is mainly from a mechanical perspective. I think that if you want to play a species and concept, you should play that species regardless of its mechanics. But at the same time, that species should have a set of abilities that make them feel like you're playing that species at least once a session. Mechanics should enhance role-play. I am a firm believer that that is a fair and noble design goal. Personally, I don't think that Mon Calamari, Sullustans, or Duros are mechanically inferior to the other species. I do argue that the way they are presented seems uninteresting to play and that not enough has been done to make their "theme" run throughout multiple aspects of the game.
  23. I don't think the fact that more often than not people will choose Humans is really the problem here. I think the problem is more that the other species don't have abilities or bonuses that are flexible enough or interesting enough to provide exciting and unique play. Ithorian Bellow, Trandoshan Regeneration, Wookiee Rage, Gran Perception, and Gand Respirators are all very unique and useful abilities. I don't know why, but Twi'leks, Rodians, and Bothans all feel more interesting, useful, and unique than Duros, Mon Calamri, and Sullustans.
  24. I would agree that they are plenty capable in personal scale challenges, but are they interesting enough to draw players to them? Overall, I'd like to see more unique species abilities and more diversity in what they are capable of. Right now, there's not much flexibility for Duros, Sullustans, or Mon Calamari. They all seem very "typecast" into their various roles. On the other hand, Humans (any 2 non-career skills), Ithorians (bellow and survival, not super related), and Gran (social and perception, very dynamic) have abilities that allow them to succeed in unique and interesting ways in a variety of situations. While a Wookiee might not gain anything in a space based game, I think the assumption that a majority of GMs will run their games with at least 50% of the encounters on the ground would be a fair one to make. I don't think designing not one, but two species with special abilities tailored just for starships and vehicles is really an ideal design decision. Functional? Sure. But could it be better? I think so, and that's why we're beta testing.
  25. Sullustans also get a rank of Skilled Jockey for free. They are actually really strong in space. But otherwise I agree, they need some work in land based abilities.
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