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Atticus Havelock

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About Atticus Havelock

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  1. Atticus Havelock

    Help with handling an optimizer please

    I’ve gotta say, I really don’t understand how optimization works in this system. It’s never come up in our games and I’m beginning to suspect it’s because our players really don’t care to tweek out their weapons. Most of our players rarely have more than one attachment and typically don’t mod it much. So is it gear that’s the issue? Or is there some combination of talents that put characters over the edge? I know that auto-fire has been criticized in the past, along with Jury Rigged, but that’s pretty much it. All of our players are experienced shooters in real life, so we would never consider “dual-wielding” even if it is mechanically better. So is that the problem? I feel for the OP. I haven’t had those kinda problems since gaming in high school.
  2. Atticus Havelock

    Alternative Social Skills

    And it has the advantage of keeping dice rolls to a minimum, which keeps the game moving. Very smooth use of rules as they currently exist.
  3. Atticus Havelock

    Alternative Social Skills

    In considering the responses many of you have given, it would appear the consensus is that Charm is the default “conversation” skill. I am prone to agree with this assessment. However, for the sake of discussion, let me pose a counter-argument. Social interaction is a subtle give and take. When people engage in conversation, and overt attempts to influence through flattery or deception or intimidation are not present, it is expected that all engaged parties interact with one another with the expectation they will obtain some benefit from doing so, even if said benefit is intangible. People talk to gain social acceptance, to seek validation for their beliefs, for catharsis, or because they simply like the sound of their own voice. If you can determine what a person expects to get out of a conversation, you can provide that to them and they will talk. If you misinterpret their desires, they will lose interest and break away from the conversation. If a person wants to share their ideas with a kindred soul, they might clam up if you are argumentative or present an alternate point of view. If they crave a debate, but you simply agree with them, they will become disinterested and cease the conversation. If they just want a shoulder to cry on, they might be put off if you pipe up too often. If you reveal an opposing set of beliefs, they may no longer be friendly or receptive to speaking with you. Understanding what your target wants and giving it to them in exchange for what you want is Negotiation. The default “conversation” skill. Edit: To expand upon this further by using the game mechanics as presented, a social interaction where both participants are angling to get a benefit could be Negotiation versus Negotiation. If one participant has no overt agenda and is being unwttingly negotiated against, it would be Negotiation versus Cool. Conversely, the player could be using Cool versus the target’s Negotiation to determine what benefit the target desires. A successful check would identify that desire and the conversation could then cater to it. In any case, trying to get information out of a target is a Negotiation check to barter this intangible benefit. If the player fails the check, the target gets wise to the player’s motivations. Then the player might have to change tactics or resort to flat out bribery of tangible benefits (i.e. credits) to continue the Negotiation. Or, worse, might have to give up some information they’d rather not. Too much of a stretch?
  4. Atticus Havelock

    Alternative Social Skills

    I like this idea too. We’ve used it from time to time, but never really codified the actual in-game mechanic. It’s come up most often when trying to impersonate a certain profession, typically of the Imperial sort. Very common with those Rebel characters who are Imperial defectors and want to go undercover using knowledge from their former lives to enhance the disguise. Using Knowledge (Warfare) or (Education) you can get a boost to Deception or Skulduggery checks by virtue of knowing something about the job you’re impersonating. Warfare for military officers, Education for bureaucrats.
  5. Atticus Havelock

    Alternative Social Skills

    You guys have a lot of great ideas! I really like the idea of using the “alternative” social skill to generate boost dice for the actual social check. I agree that Charm is the default “conversation” skill. I think the solutions you guys present are a good use of the game mechanics as presented. The Firefly example with Kaylee at the fancy party is a good one. I also like 2P51’s idea that a comversation without an attempt to “influence” uses other skills not for the act of conversing, but rather for the act of interpreting the information. That’s a great idea too. Thank you much! I think these ideas will be well received at our table. A very solid sort of compromise.
  6. Atticus Havelock

    Alternative Social Skills

    Thanks! My players have also suggested there needs to be a Griping skill. They usually improvise it by using, say, Knowledge (Outer Rim). “****** fuel prices are rising across the Allied Tion again. Third time this cycle! How’s the little guy s’pose to make a living like this, ama right?” Make friends through mutual belly aching. Adding in some alcohol usually provides a blue die.
  7. So this is something that comes up fairly often in my games. Quite often a character, typically one lacking social skills, will want to “strike up a conversation,” usually to illicit information in a low-key fashion. We typically handle this through RP, but as this is a dice game, there comes a point where the player wants to throw them bones. And what dice pool to use gets pretty creative. The arguments typically fall along similar lines. Charm is my default assumption, but that is countered by the player saying that they aren’t being flattering or flirty or using any particular social graces. They’re just talking. Not being deceptive, not being overbearing, not haggling over prices, not asserting their authority. So now it becomes the realm of alternate social skills. If the target of the conversation is the shady sort, Streetwise becomes the obvious choice. But what about when it’s just a mechanic or a low-level bureaucrat? Or just a normal cantina patron? We get a lot of arguments for using the Cool skill and the justification tends to be, “I’m just keeping it low-key; playing it cool, ya know?” Sometimes players argue to pair it with Cunning, because they’re trying to subtly steer the conversation to a certain topic. They’ll say, “The rules say you can sometimes use Skulduggery with Agility, so why not allow that exception with other skills?” Others will argue for Perception as a kind of “active listening.” They let the target talk and pay attention for any hints or clues the target inadvertantly lets slip. If the target is a Mechanic, they’ll want to use the Mechanics skill to start them talking about a subject the target is comfortable with. And if the target is a bureaucrat, players will make a great argument for Knowledge (Education) since the skill itself reads “Any time a character needs to interact with a goverment entity, an Education check may be the best way to proceed.” At our table, we tend to let these arguments ride, which allows less socially inclined characters to have something to do when words are flying instead of blaster bolts. On the other hand, it does tend to detract from players who have Diplomats or Colonists, as it’s not so simple for them to use Charm to shoot a blaster. So how do you guys tend to handle these sort of things? Curious to know.
  8. Atticus Havelock

    The Star Wars Universe

    Watch the show Firefly. It is an Edge of the Empire game set six years after the end of the Clones wars.
  9. Atticus Havelock

    Tweaking the Marshal

    I’ve been going over the Marshal specialization from Far Horizons and have found myself hanging up on the two talents that seem pretty core to the concept; Good Cop/Bad Cop. Thematically speaking, the two are appropriately named for the spec. However, I don’t much care for the effect. Good Cop/Bad Cop makes the Marshal a great supporting actor for other socially-inclined characters. However, the two talents don’t do much for the Marshal when he’s acting on his own. If your social skills are as good as the Marshal’s, or better, then the Marshal is a good partner and makes you better at his job than he is. If your social skills suck, he can maybe bring you up to his level, but at the expense of his chance to shine. If the character you’re aiming for is the lone sheriff on a remote world, then Good Cop/Bad Cop really doesn’t do much for you. Unless you deputize some locals and, even then, they get to be the one who gets the information or confession, which seems to be kinda anti-climactic. This is an acceptable situation for characters who are designed to be a support spec, like the Analyst or Advocate. They are intentionally in the background, the brains behind the face. However, the Marshal really feels to me like the guy who is at the front. And if he’s the primary social character for the group (conceivable since he’s a Colonist), then four talents in the middle of his trees and costing 55 xp just kinda suck. So, I’ve come up with a tweak and was hoping for some feedback. Replace Good Cop with Congenial and Bad Cop with Intimidating. This substitution would allow the Marshal to be good at his own schtick. It upgrades three of the four skills affected by Good Cop/Bad Cop and also gives the Marshal some defense against thos skills as well, but without treading on the toes of the Unrelenting Skeptic talent. And since the Marshal does not have Nobody’s Fool, it doesn’t get too crazy with social defense. Congenial and Intimidating usually come in pairs in other trees that have them. However, there are no specializations which have both. All of this being said, does this tweak seem reasonable? Does anyone have a reason to think this would be overpowered? Thanks.
  10. Atticus Havelock

    Musings on the Advisor

    Makes sense. Perfect for the Advisor who is kinda standing off to the side, sort of unnoticed, eyes closed as he listens to others talk, and then interjects at the appropriate moment.
  11. Atticus Havelock

    Musings on the Advisor

    Riddle me this. If you use the base sense power to detect a target’s emotions, do any of you offer a mechanical benefit for successfully doing so? Like adding a blue die, you know, the way Sense Emotions does. Just curious.
  12. Atticus Havelock

    Musings on the Advisor

    I just recently picked up Disciples of Harmony and have yet to give Ebb/Flow a good look yet. I’ll keep that in mind. On the surface, it did look pretty good. Enough so that I planned to buy it up in addition to Sense. I liked the whole Yes/No upgrade in particular. The Advisor scratches a lot of itches for me. I like social characters and this one gives me the best spread of class skills to which I’m usually drawn. And I do like the talents, in so much as they are useful at our games. Know Somebody (and Black Market Contacts) can typically be used in our games to generate contacts or to purchase information. And any of the talents that remove setback dice are useful because we tend to add black dice in lieu of bumping up difficulties. I’m sure most people just wished those talents added advantage dice (I know I do), but they don’t so we work hard at our table to ensure their utility. That means almost all skill checks have some kind of setback to them. Nobody’s Fool is great for social defense, which we do utilize in our games. I like the Smooth Talker talent, but it is a poor substitute for the better social talents like Congenial and Intimidating. I’m waiting for a corresponding talent for Deception to make its appearance.
  13. Atticus Havelock

    Musings on the Advisor

    Well now, I’ll be. I don’t usually play Force users, so this totally escaped me. Spot on. Thanks!
  14. Atticus Havelock

    Musings on the Advisor

    Over the course of the past week, I have found my interests piqued by the Force & Destiny specialization known as the Advisor. In order to better understand the spec, I listened to Order 66 podcast episode 110, which covered the ins and outs of the Advisor. It was a thought provoking discussion, as the Order 66 podcast usually is. However, there were some points I felt they missed and so I am compelled to post my opinions to this esteemed forum. First off, I fully understand the perception that the specialization seems better suited to the Consular class, as that was my initial impression too. After delving into the spec a bit, I begin to see why it fits where it does. The GM’s on Order 66 characterized the class as being a Silver Tongue and an In the Know character. Being In the Know is exactly why it fits the Mystic class. This is the core essence of the Mystic and it largely achieves this moniker by being able to interact well with people, who often possess knowledge the Advisor wants. To this end, there are three core Force Powers that best suit the Advisor. The Order 66 GM’s hit on the obvious two, which are Influence and Ebb/Flow, but missed the other, which (in my opinion) is Sense. Specifically the Control upgrade that allows the user to read a target’s surface thoughts. When an Advisor is providing counsel on a trade negotiation or a peace treaty, being able to read the surface thoughts of the other side’s representatives would be a HUGE advantage to his side’s position. Obviously, this vastly increases his value as an Advisor. The left hand column of the Sense power also provides him with some aptitude in combat, in which the Advisor is severely lacking and adds to his all-around flexibility as a player character. When it comes to cross-specialization, there was one omitted by the GM’s and that I feel is eminently suitable to the Advisor. That is the Force-Sensitive Exile. While it might seem as though the principle benefit of the spec is neutered (that being the free rank in Force Rating), the spec still has a lot of benefit to the Advisor. Insight gives you Discipline as a class skill, which is useful for social defense and Influence’s “mind trick.” Force-Sensitive Exile offers two ranks of Uncanny Reactions and Senses. Uncanny Senses fits with the Advisors theme of In the Know, by virtue of their ability to more keenly perceive the world around them. Uncanny Vigilance is the same and acts as a support talent for group initiative. Since the Advisor has both Perception and Vigilance as class skills, there is good synergy here. There is similar synergy with Convincing Demeanor and Streetwise, both of which augment the Advisor’s class skills of Deception and Streetwise. Sense Danger and Touch of Fate are great all-around support talents that, with the Advisor’s Sense Advantage talent, round out the boosting trilogy. Then, of course, there is the center of the talent tree, which is the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Another rank of Sense Emotions to boost the Advisor’s focus on social interaction, plus Overwhelm Emotions, which can be boosted by the Advisor’s Knowledge is Power talent. This makes the Advisor an absolute beast in social combat (moreso than they already are). In the accompanying column, you have another means of stress recovery with Balance, which can also be boosted by Knowledge is Power. Then you get Intense Focus, arguably one of the best talents in the game. With Balance and Contingency Plan (from the Advisor, natch), you have plenty of ways to recover huge swaths of strain. Even more if you also count Ebb/Flow. With Sixth Sense and Superior Reflexes at the bottom of the tree, you also get more survivability in combat to add in with Sense. When it comes to races that are particularly well-suited to the Advisor, the Order 66 missed a really good one, which is the Pantiran. 3 in Presence, but 1 in Willpower might at first glance seem poorly suited for the Advisor, which wants a good Willpower stat. However, the Pantorans get 110 starting experience, which, by trading on Morality for 10 more experience, means that your three most importants stats (Cunning, Willpower, and Presence) can start with 3’s in two and 4 in the other. Plus, the Pantoran has a strain threshold of 11 plus Willpower, making it better than average. And Pantorans get a free rank in Negotiation or Cool, both of which are key to the Advisor. So that’s my analysis of the Advisor and my argument for why my Pantoran Advisor/Force-Sensitive Exile is gonna be badass. Lol. But if you like this class and want to know what the **** I’m rambling about, check out Order 66 episode 110 - Forceful Advice. It’s a good one!
  15. Atticus Havelock

    Which ship is your crew using?

    We’ve used a variety of ships in our games over the years. The GX-1 Short Hauler was popular, as was the classic YT-1300. The YV-929 was also en vogue for a while. Our current ship is a modified G-1A Heavy Starfighter. It’s a pretty serviceable ship and has some pretty good modifications. Plus, we put in a lot of effort designing the deck plans in a way that would actually work with the scale of the ship. I imagine we’ll stick with this ship for a while (though the KST-100 is attractive...).
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