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About CaptainRaspberry

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  • Birthday 07/02/1989

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    Acton, MA, USA

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  1. CaptainRaspberry

    Rule question for cumbersome and unwieldy

    I'd call that valid on a case-by-case basis. If they have the weapon drawn and are performing a check that would require the use of their hands otherwise—such as plugging in an astrogation course—I could see upgrading that check as well. My reasoning would be that, since the weapon is too cumbersome for them to begin with, it's making secondary tasks difficult, too. But I'd probably let it slide for a social check. Maybe ding them with a Setback die, since it's hard to coerce someone when you can barely hold up the weapon you're using to threaten them.
  2. CaptainRaspberry

    Beanstalk PDF?

    Terrinoth and L5R both took a couple of weeks to come out in PDF, so we'll probably see it in early March.
  3. CaptainRaspberry

    Special Arrows

    My understanding is that samurai don't generally pay for things. Instead, they ask their lord, who either provides them or doesn't. You'd only "purchase" something from a peasant (probably by demanding they give it to you, as a samurai) and I'm not sure if the peasants would know how to make—let alone be permitted to keep—any of the special arrows.
  4. CaptainRaspberry

    Ideas needed - Abandoned Station

    To fit this into existing Star Wars lore, all you have to do is have the AI be an integrated droid brain. It wasn't wiped, so it developed a personality and went crazy. The experimental part comes from the fact that it had more automatic control over the station, whereas most Star Wars stuff is very analog and manual.
  5. I really enjoy the fiction! But what I'm talking about is a literal timeline, where it describes what happens in which season of each year. For example, I can't tell from the fiction if we're up to Fall 1123 yet or still in summer.
  6. We just finished "The Topaz Championship" this past Saturday, and we'll be starting "In the Palace of the Emerald Champion" this weekend. While my wife and I have played 4th edition before, none of us were experienced with FFG's system prior to starting, and the other five players have never played in this setting before. Everyone used the beginner box characters, and we all had a blast. Things dragged a bit with the tests, but the tension was high. Most of the players did fine, with two even getting enough points to complete their gempukku on the first day. One narrowly finished by the end of the second, and one actually missed it by a single point—which gave me the chance to have Akodo Eiko and Kakita Tashimoko intercede on her behalf after they captured Bayushi Sugai. (Without the help of the previous Topaz Champion, in fact.) There were some surprises. Isawa Aki ended up winning the championship, blowing Kakita Riku out of the water with three bonus successes. Bayushi Kyo had earlier managed to acquire a small vial of poison, and they slipped it to Sugai before he was led away, allowing him to kill himself in captivity rather than spill Hitoshi's secret. But the chase through Tsuma went well, they beat down the ronin after getting almost wiped in the earlier sake house brawl, and Sugai trying to get away didn't seem to bother anybody. As to your question about chronology, the lack of official (or even unofficial) resources to address that question is annoying. However, I've been piecing together a timeline myself, and I'm pretty sure the Topaz Championship either happened shortly before Akodo Arasou is killed at Toshi Ranbo, or it happened concurrently. So word would not have reached Tsuma yet.
  7. CaptainRaspberry

    Ideas needed - Abandoned Station

    So one question you'll need to address—at least in your notes, even if it never comes up in the game—is what the station was for. After that, you need to decide why it was abandoned. I've got a few ideas: This was a refueling point for an old hyperlane, which also means there should be a gas giant, asteroid field, or star nearby to provide the raw fuel. (Raw, because there would need to be a refinery, too, which could be a separate operation.) The hyperlane deteriorated over time, so the occupants slowly packed up and left. The refueling facility itself should still be intact, even though the fuel was probably drained. There'd be space for services, such as a mechanic, a trading post, and a cafeteria. There would also be some options for staying a while, such as hotels. There'd be a central control room, and the computers would likely still have astronavigation data for the surrounding area, which you could use to seed future adventures. It was an observation post for something nearby, like some manner of stellar phenomenon or a planetary body. This would likely be operated by a government or a corporation, meaning there would be amenities such as a kitchen, common dining area, dormitory, and recreation area. Plus whatever's needed to complete its mission: a powerful sensor array, massive computer storage for the data, somewhere for the occupants to receive and analyze the data. It could have been abandoned for any number of reasons, such as if the reason for observation ended, or if there was a budgetary issue necessitating it closing down, or a mechanical fault that was too expensive for the government/company to care to fix it. It could also be a signals intelligence outpost for some war that was abandoned when the war ended. It could be some kind of research station, biological, astrological, or geological in nature. Maybe it was conducting research that's considered legally dubious, or else needed isolation in case of containment failure or corporate espionage. Aside from the usual amenities for the station staff, you'd also have research labs, observation rooms, analysis machines, posh conference rooms where the researchers could receive VIPs, a subject library, whatever special requirements they have for doing their particular brand of research. For fun, your PCs could discover an apocalyptic log detailing the outbreak of some disease or killer animal on the station, finding entries that string them along until they reach the station's command-and-control center where there's a final recording... explaining that everything was brought under control, but the company got spooked and decided to cancel the research. Once you have those, you can insert the horror elements as needed. Like you said, random malfunctions to make them jumpy, a red herring like I describe above, some atmosphere from Dead Space—and at the end of it, a station that can be used for their purposes but needs some service to get back up to full strength. And I'd say that's a key part of it. If you'll pardon the expression, no station like this exists in a vacuum. It had to be there for something, it needed resupply, the folks on board had to not go insane. Give that some thought, and you'll find tons of potential adventure hooks for later development.
  8. Welcome to the wonderful world of "On the Boat." Products can be stuck in this limbo for as little as a couple of weeks to roughly a year or more. The most egregious examples I can remember were Cyphers and Masks and Fly Casual. About the only reassurance I can offer is that, to date, FFG has never not delivered on a Star Wars product. Even if it's taken a year and a half, we always get the book.
  9. I think some lightsaber crystals have somewhere in the neighborhood of five mods. But then again, as long as it's your own crystal, you start at Easy difficulty rather than Hard.
  10. CaptainRaspberry

    Lightsaber Colours

    I get where you're coming from, and I don't disagree. However, Ahsoka never comments on her lightsabers' color in Rebels. No one, in fact, comments on her lightsabers' color. Personally, I tend to lean towards Kyla's point of view. While I don't discount Filoni's statements, it's true that it's not backed up by anything explicitly in canon. So while it's perfectly valid to see Ahsoka's color of lightsabers be a result of her lack of affiliation—since she does repeatedly deny being a Jedi, and as the only non-Jedi, non-Sith lightsaber wielder we've seen she's also the only one with white lightsabers—it's also perfectly valid to see the color as the result of something else. And honestly, even if she had stated outright, "My blades are white because I'm neither a Jedi nor a Sith," that's just, like, her opinion, man. Attuning a lightsaber crystal doesn't automatically give you encyclopedic knowledge of the process. She might believe that's why her blades are white, but there's nothing to suggest that's objective truth. It's a lot like the Nightsisters in The Clone Wars. Filoni said he believes they use actual magic, separate from the Force, and Mother Talzin says as much. But Mace Windu takes the opposite stance, saying that their magic is actually the Force, just used differently than how the Jedi do it. The show itself, and thus canon, don't answer it definitively either way, leaving it up to us to decide what's true. (For what it's worth, I tend to treat it as being the Force. It keeps things easy, both mechanically and narratively.)
  11. CaptainRaspberry

    Lightsaber Colours

    I use the canon explanation, with attunement describing the blade's color. Then I tell the players to make their lightsaber whatever color they want it to be. For NPCs, though, I stick pretty firmly to blue/green/red, depending—the PCs should always be special, after all. I also prefer that whatever color the blade originally was is the color it remains, no matter if it becomes attuned to a new user. For example, one of the PCs in my last campaign used her mother's lightsaber, which was green. Even once it became attuned to her (as opposed to her mother) it stayed green. The PC eventually found her own lightsaber crystal, which created a gold blade when attuned. The exception is purifying a corrupted crystal, in which case the blade will change color from red to the player's choice.
  12. My read has always been that, since you're focusing so much on evading, you're not focusing on targeting. Imagine you're flying an X-wing, and you're worried about a swarm of TIE fighters that's somewhere on your six. You start pulling evasive maneuvers—weaving between obstacles, spinning to make your silhouette harder to hit, and varying your speed all the while. If a TIE happens to fly past ahead of you, with all the maneuvering you're doing, it'll be that much harder to get a bead on it and hit it. And even if you do, maybe you're not paying attention to what's around that TIE, like your wingman or a building full of non-combatants. And thus, a Despair could be very important. It's no different if you're a gunner in a turret. If the pilot is focusing on dodging, they're not spending any time trying to line you up for a good shot. You have to wait for the right opportunity, if you get one at all. And if you do get that opportunity, the same perils apply. Think about the "Stay On Target" maneuver. It works in reverse: you're so focused on being able to hit the target that it leaves you open to being hit yourself. It's a constant trade-off.
  13. CaptainRaspberry

    A question (or two) of minions in combat

    It also has the benefit (for lower XP groups) of making their attack rolls less devastating. A four-minion trooper group will roll three yellow dice, compared to a two-minion trooper group rolling one yellow die and two green dice. Of course, once the group is a high enough level, consider making those larger groups.
  14. CaptainRaspberry

    How long is long enough

    I'm finishing a three-year campaign this Saturday. I planned it, in the sense that I knew we would have six "episodes," and each episode would be made up of anywhere from six to eighteen sessions. However, I also figured we'd max out somewhere around 75 sessions, just because I couldn't imagine it going much longer without a character reset. Here's some data: Total sessions: 65. Total earned XP: 1,255. Total number of players: 5. Total number of PCs: 7. Basically, everyone has been satisfied with the campaign. They felt like their characters really grew, became more competent and capable. However, they definitely felt like the experience plateaued around 1,000 to 1,100 earned XP. At that point, combat devolved into the PCs either walking out unscathed or getting almost wiped, with very little in-between. Social encounters stayed dynamic, but they didn't have a strong focus in that area. We could have finished this campaign sooner, in the sense that the players seemed like they could have been satisfied after about 30 to 40 sessions. Ours went on longer for story reasons, but the PCs had already come a long way by the halfway point. (In fact, the end of Episode III was a Star Destroyer heist that featured a duel with the Inquisitor who had been tailing them. If I'd stopped there, it still would have been a great ending.) I never really got tired of the characters or the setting, though there were definitely points at which I was suffering from "greener grass" syndrome. I experimented with taking breaks to do a few sessions in other systems, but it never felt great. If that's something you want to consider to break up a larger campaign, see if one of your players would want to run it. The group faded at around the same time as I started the conclusion, so I'd say I timed it well!
  15. CaptainRaspberry

    Unusual GM Approach (It's treason then!)

    I tend to think of RPGs as cooperative games by default. Which means that, if your GM wants to have this PvP aspect, they need to be up front about it. That's not to say you can't run this type of campaign. Playing an "evil" campaign can be a lot of fun, but everyone needs to know right at the beginning so they can set their expectations accordingly. Your GM also needs to lay more groundwork to get the group together in the beginning. In this case, I could have proceeded as you described, but then had an NPC attempt to betray the entire group, rather than convince one of the PCs to do it. The rest of the campaign would be dedicated towards getting revenge on the contractor—with substantial wealth and/or power at stake, giving the PCs reasons and occasional opportunities to off each other. (For best effect, be sure to sprinkle in some encounters where one of the PCs would have a swift path to victory. It keeps the group on their toes and makes them a little more reluctant to just straight-up murder each other, for fear that they might need someone later.) However, if I'd been a player, I think I would excuse myself from future sessions.