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Concise Locket

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About Concise Locket

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  • Birthday 06/13/1978

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  1. Concise Locket

    Lets talk Coercion!

    Failure with enough Disadvantage (say 2 or more) on a Charm test can result in the PC unintentionally mocking an NPC, resulting in an "incident." Failure on a Negotiation test can result in the PC coming off us untrustworthy. Any failed Social test can have a nasty outcome if the GM and players put a little thought into it.
  2. Concise Locket

    Prepping the Next Campaign: A Quasi-Hexcrawl Approach

    Well, after I started prepping this campaign, I realized that the lack of environmental diversity in the presented Hutt Space materials was going to put a damper on my plans. I'm keeping the Five (now Six) Faction Tracking System but I'm moving the campaign to the Corellian Sector and changing the groups up. They will be: Black Sun Baron Benton Kaldo's crime family The Gorensla kajidic The Zann Consortium The Corellian Diktat The Sacorrian Triad Black Sun, given its ubiquitous nature in the Star Wars setting, is an obvious choice and they're the ones who want to keep things the way they are. Baron Kaldo is the Local Boy who wants to get big. The Gorensla kajidic is heavy into smuggling and if the PCs want to play a Hutt, they're a good go-to for jobs. While I don't see CorSec or the Empire giving the Zann Consortium the opportunity to fly Keldabe-class battleships around the sector, I could see smaller, pirate-like, Zann crews sowing chaos. Corporate/government clients are a mainstay of modern and sci-fi crime fiction, so the Corellian Diktat would be a good employer. The Sacorrian Triad is a creepy dictatorship that's likely engaged in underhanded deals. Having an even number of factions allows me the option of assigning each faction someone they perceive as an ally and someone they perceive as an enemy. This is a good way to keep the waters churning as helping or harming someone will help or hurt someone else. Assigning each group an ally and an enemy is a good way to keep the waters churning as helping or harming someone will help or hurt someone else. And that will keep the PCs perpetually in-debt to someone as they have to pay off the damage they caused. Black Sun is allied with the Corellian Diktat as their business interests overlap. Black Sun's primary enemy is the Gorensla kajidic who they see as horning in on their territory. The Corellian Diktat is allied with Black Sun (see above). The Diktat's primary enemy is the Sacorrian Triad as the Triad won't allow Diktat-backed businesses to operate on Sacorria. The Sacorrian Triad is allied with the Zann Consortium as the Consortium's ships and resources can be used to hassle its enemies off-world. The Sacorrian Triad's enemies are the Diktat (see above). The Zann Consortium is allied with the Sacorrian Triad (see above). The Zann Consortium's primary enemy is Baron Kaldo as he keeps them out of the Corellian System. Baron Kaldo is allied with Gorensla kajidic as they have overlapping business interests. His primary enemy is the Zann Consortium. Gorensla kajidic is allied with Baron Kaldo (see above). Their primary enemy is Black Sun (see above). I've also created a table map of the Corellian Sector. A good Western and a good crime story relies on really strong and really charismatic black hats. For my next post, I'll talk about possible reoccurring NPCs.
  3. Concise Locket

    Slugthrowers: Pointless?

    In a narrative game, equipment serves the narrative. Traditional games put an emphasis on buying or acquiring bigger or better equipment because traditional games have steep power curves. The curve is pretty shallow in FFG SW. In the games I run, if a player is hankering for a particular bit of gear, I'll make sure he gets it sooner rather than later. Those career books that offer slug throwers provide story suggestions for how they can effectively be used.
  4. Concise Locket

    Prepping the Next Campaign: A Quasi-Hexcrawl Approach

    After a lot of thinking on the subject, I've decided to set the campaign in Hutt Space. I need to run a Star Wars game that doesn't feel like my Age of Rebellion campaign and a region dominated by non-Humans fits the bill. For this game, I want to introduce some sort of faction tracking system as I'd like to see the characters navigating through competing interests and making choices with consequences. Five factions feels like a good number. Any more than that and it risks becoming unmanageable and any less than that and all the choices become either/or. Two competing Hutt factions seems appropriate; one which is a Clan of the Ancients and one not. Black Sun, operating with Besadii blessings, works. I like the idea of the Zann Consortium getting aggressive and either directly moving into Hutt Space with force of arms or engaging in criminal cold war style antics. As a fifth faction, the Sakiyans might work: they're an independent and technologically advanced species that lives in the center of Hutt Space and have managed to avoid being subsumed for centuries. My next step is create a map, like what I did for the Tion Cluster. The map in Lords of Nal Hutta is fine for what it is but I want a prop that acts as a table center piece and that players can look at during the game.
  5. Concise Locket

    Strain for using the Microwave

    You should always be rolling to recover Strain at the end of an encounter. Doesn't matter if the GM doesn't want to do it.
  6. Concise Locket

    Slicing Remotely

    My unsolicited opinion: No, I would not allow this for the very simple reason that every single Star Wars story features main characters who are risking physical harm. The PC is a main character. If he isn't risking his life and limb he isn't playing a Star Wars game. Also an unsolicited opinion: the HoloNet isn't the Internet, or at least, not how we think of it in the modern world or how science-fiction thinkers portray it in cyberpunk fiction. It's an instantaneous visual broadcast device, not a system for sending and retrieving stored digital documents. We've seen it used to dial friends, broadcast propaganda, and contact ships. We saw a remote Imperial "early warning"-style spy ship take control of Chopper in an episode of Rebels but that required Chopper physically accessing a restricted terminal which uploaded a bug into his program. And this was the same episode where Hera juiced up Chopper to send back an amplified signal that blew up the spy ship like feedback in an electric guitar amp because that's how tech works in a space fantasy. Another word for "wireless" is "radio." We do see datapads and I think it's reasonable to assume that two machines within line of sight can send messages over a radio signal, like what we've seen droids do. However, a galactic level and instantaneous Internet-style network with cloud-style computing would mean that droids would turn into machine gods(!) with the sum totality of thousands of cultures' worth of knowledge at their disposal. Great for Iain M. Banks' Culture-style games. Not so great for Star Wars. People can do what they want. But including the Internet as an option in your space fantasy setting ruins the suspense of having to physically find lost information or obscure lore. And it basically nerfs the utility of Knowledge skills.
  7. Concise Locket

    Strain for using the Microwave

    Requiring a roll means the task taken has some sort of risk involved. Mental or physical strain are perfectly reasonable costs if nothing else fits the situation.
  8. Concise Locket

    NavComputer and Plantery knowledge

    I think you're being overly granular about what is or isn't in a ship's navigation computer. If you want that information in there because it serves the plot, it's in there. If it isn't, make a roll. EDIT: If you want to maintain setting verisimilitude, planets located along any publicly-known hyperspace route will be in the database. Mystery planets wouldn't be and those planets only exist to serve the plot.
  9. Concise Locket

    The whole Imperial Army thing...

    That basically jives with what I've assumed for years. Stormtroopers are the foot soldiers. Imperial Army are the vehicle drivers and artillery specialists. That doesn't mean Imperial Army aren't soldiers, they're just not infantry specialized. I'd assume there's some sort of "every stormtrooper is a rifleman" adage in the Imperial military. They're good at shooting things - just not our heroes - and bullying the locals.
  10. Concise Locket

    Pacing: The Philosopher's Stone

    A crawl-heavy game isn't necessarily a slog. What turns crawls into slogs are the mechanics by which resolutions to tasks are determined. Dungeons & Dragons - especially 3.5 and Pathfinder - turn crawls into slogs because they require each active participant to make multiple rolls in order to resolve a task that would take a split second in a movie or in real-life. Compound that with a table of 5 - 6 participants and it's a recipe for boredom; unless you just really like watching people push miniatures around on a battle map. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Burning Wheel's Torchbearer game is very much a love-letter to D&D that focuses on dungeon-style adventures but resolves encounters much more quickly by eliminating a lot of the rolls and focusing more on choices that are committed to early on in the encounter. Leaderlessness can be a problem with gaming groups but, like all primates, human beings eventually fall into social orders and someone eventually becomes the table leader, either through smarts or aggressiveness - even if their character, in game, isn't the PC leader. Typically, leaderlessness is a result of overpoliteness - often in new groups where people are still getting to know each other - or general distraction. Unfortunately, the nature of traditional TTRPGs is that the game does run at the GM's pace as the GM is basically the biological XBox that responds to player choice. There are tricks that GMs can learn to pick up the pace, primarily not being overly-reliant on box text when setting scenes and being well prepared (easy to find notes, cheat sheets, cards, etc.). Where players can engage in shared narrative control is adding flourishes to a scene that help their character. For example, saying something like, "My character finds a crate near the stormtroopers to hide behind. He's going to spring out at them with a vibroknife on his next turn." The GM may not have mentioned crates but in a setting of something like a military encampment, it's not unreasonable to think that such an item would exist. This approach puts the onus on the players to create their own advantages rather than asking the GM to create a list of advantages for them to pick through. This speeds up play and helps avoid analysis paralysis. This is also why using miniatures and battle maps both slows game play and limits player contribution; what's on the map is all that players will be willing to consider. My useful tool for avoiding drag is, when there's a lull in player action, I ask, "Okay, what are you doing now?"
  11. Social encounters need to be treated like they are: encounters. Encounters are rarely overcome with a single roll just like a single Combat roll isn't going to overcome - in most cases - a room full of armed bad guys. The burden of the GM is to parse up Social encounters so that they require multiple rolls. An easy approach is to have a Charm check be used against a target's Strain threshold. This can apply to both PCs and NPCs. It's not unreasonable to hold what's acceptable in the context of the setting as a benchmark for what can be done. A Force test could convince a target to do something they wouldn't normally do but a Social check isn't going to do that and shouldn't be a possible end-state for a Social encounter.
  12. Concise Locket

    Fancy Clothing from Desperate Allies

    I would say "no" for the simple fact that the cut of clothing is affected by what's underneath it. There are some exceptions to the rule - armored clothing being the most obvious - but armor looks like armor, and clothes look like clothes. In the movies, the clothing worn by nobles is always diaphanous and/or robe-like. If clothes are going to provide mechanical bonuses to Social tests, then they should probably look and function how they're intended. To me, what you're proposing wouldn't be solved by buying multiple items from a rule book but by making a Mechanics test to create a custom piece of equipment.
  13. Concise Locket

    How do you organically grow your PCs network?

    This is a simple problem to solve. If the PCs are on good terms with an NPC, that NPC is a potential contact for future plot points. You don't have to do anything fancy; just say that NPC "Joe" who they met on Planet X has a potential lead for them. NPC-PC relationships are dependent on the players. My players aren't particularly good about remembering who they've met in the past, let alone using who they've met as a contact to solve a problem. However, I keep the Good Relationship NPCs in my back pocket as "Get Out of Jail Free" cards in case the PCs get nabbed by the authorities or as leads on unique items.
  14. Concise Locket

    GM Guide NPCs

    I've never used GM's Little Helper NPCs for the reasons you've listed. As a GM, I only intrude on cross-player discussion in order to correct misstatements and I don't need an NPC to do that. If, for whatever reason, the GM needs to move the plot in a certain direction, there are a myriad of other techniques for that.
  15. My major gripe with this movie is the origin of Han Solo's surname. It was unnecessary and took away from the otherworldliness of the Star Wars Universe by being so literal. "You're really greedy, Rodian, so I'm gonna call you Greedo!" My minor gripe with this movie is the inclusion of Darth Maul/the Shadow Collective in the finale. I don't want my Star Wars movies to go the way of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies with each installment doubling as an advertisement for an upcoming film. And nobody who isn't familiar with other Star Wars media is going to understand why he's back from the dead. Overall, and like Rogue One, Solo was an unnecessary but solid Star Wars prequel. Han Solo at Stars' End came out in 1979 and was a major influence on the Expanded Universe. It's ridiculous that it took 40 years for movie producers to realize that there's a place in this setting for stories of the seedy underbelly, considering that Western movies were a major influence on Lucas. After eight - soon to be nine - movies and two TV shows focusing on Jedi, I am bored to tears with space fantasy Kurosawa riffs focusing on Those Who Wield the Lightsaber. The Last Jedi only brought my attention back by making Luke Skywalker a burned-out post-hero, a la Unforgiven or, much more recently, Logan. Donald Glover was a great Lando, I have conflicting feelings about Social Justice Droid, I like that it embraced Western tropes including a train robbery and more arid settings, and it was nice to finally see Corellia. I appreciated that Qi'ra wasn't killed in the final showdown and seemed morally conflicted about her choices rather than simply being a femme fatale. Star Wars as a franchise isn't designed to give us anything new or to have its audience struggle with moral puzzles, like Star Trek. It's about remixing movie tropes in a visually interesting way. By that criteria, Solo works. If you want more than that, you will be disappointed.