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Dupre Vanhaus

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About Dupre Vanhaus

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    Nashville, TN
  1. I've been wanting to run a Firefly game (but actually using Cortex Plus, not replacing it). I like the new Cortex Plus system and would actually run that for Firefly... only because MWP has done a good job of marrying the two together. Cortex Plus uses a combination of the old Cortex system with a mixture of Fate. The way the assets/complications work in Firefly make that system vastly different in my experience. Before you try to tweak too much, you should probably experience a few games to get a better feel. (I don't know if you've actually played or not, so message was assuming you haven't). The Edge game that I am running has been kind of a Firefly feel to it already... Read up on the way Firefly uses episodes and try to emulate that. I try to use that with a "super" arc and a "minor" arc and each episodes with a number of "acts". In my edge game, the party is about to get the information they need to identify the over reaching arch. Up until now, there have only been minor hints as I've been building the party up. If you're going to go w/ FFG Edge of Empire rules, I'd go all the way or not at all. But that's only my opinion and others may have some better suggestions.
  2. On the comment about note taking... RANT ON I find 99% of my players in my almost 25 years of gaming do NOT want to take notes and then rely on me to "remember" details all of the time. Sometimes, I have no problem with them prodding for information again... sometimes I do... when they hear the name for the 10th time, they should remember it. Ugh... RANT OFF
  3. Didn't feel that you were encouraging, don't worry. I don't mind if others play the game. I'm interested in the material as any Star Wars fan is, personally I really enjoy the Sagas edition of the game, but that's neither here nor there. I simply have no wish to play it. Saw Firefly at Gencon, haven't had the chance to play it. A buddy of mine bought it, I hope that I'll get the chance to play it after we get done with our current Pathfinder game. I have the Firefly game in both dead tree and pdf formats. I love the system, I just can't seem to find a group wanting/willing to play it. Most folks are interested in the 'Verse, just not to actually play -- sigh. The adventures they produced for the new version are pretty good. So when you get a game started, they are worth a good look.
  4. The way I typically do this is like this... They have to be a certain distance from the planet. The exact distance is not defined... I just decide how long they have to fly away from the planet or to a certain set of points. It's based on "Speed of Plot" that Joss Whedon often speaks of. For example, in one case, the crew was clearing a space station in an asteroid belt. Because of this, it required that they get out of the immediate belt before they could jump. This time, it took a while. Other times, when the plot doesn't require it, they get there fast... I don't recall ever actually defining the amount of time directly.
  5. @ThenDoctor -- I understand your apprehension and reluctance to enter into another system with custom dice... at first, I felt the same way about The Edge of the Empire/Age of Rebellion. The only thing I can say about the dice and the new SW games is that the dice mechanic used is special. I had to try the Beginner Box version to appreciate it. Please note that I am NOT encouraging you to try/play/purchase/etc. Margaret Weis rewrote Firefly to use the standard dice sans d20, but still a narrative style game. It is using Cortex Plus w/ a slight variant of Fate (sort of). It works pretty well.
  6. I'm the GM in our group and I came across an adventure the Margaret Weis' Firefly called Shootin' Fish... it's basically about the group performing a dirty boat race. Of course, it had the obligatory corrupt law officer/land baron, cut throat racers, and lots of gun fire. I just had to adapt this to Edge of the Empire. In short, the group was hired to win a skiff race to save the orphanage and farm. They had access to a "used skiff" that would take some work to get up to snuff, but the party decided instead to buy their own that they could put on their freighter and use as a mule. The race was to take place at a remote place on Tatooine, and the rules were simple... the first skiff across the finish line with at least three people alive won. It was expected to have lots of shooting so weapons were fine. Because they bought their own skiff, they short circuited some parts of the planned adventure, but thinking outside the box should be rewarded. The race would go through rocky canyons. Then after a few miles, would enter a large underground cavern with glistening walls -- that turned out to be water. Upon leaving the caverns, they would race across the dunes. Rounding the last "turn", they raced across water evaporator farms. All told the race would take about 40 minutes (game time, not play time). The group split up to handle different tasks. The pilot and mechanic found the skiff, reinforced the skiff and mounted a weapon on the skiff. The explorer and bounty hunter did some scouting work. They plotted out the most likely best route, and found a few places where it was likely to have snipers working for the other groups. They also discovered an underground lake of Alkaline water on Tatooine. The droid was working on upgrading items and doing general things to help the party. Everyone had some tasks to do. The bounty hunter managed to get a job in town doing day labor in an effort to find out details about the other racers, and to find where their skiffs were. He expertly managed to sabotage several, and get the Jawa racers and the Droid racer teams to blame each other and that added a whole new level of entertainment. Our droid and explorer investigated the underground lake and found an operation to purify the water. Believing (rightly so) that the land baron was the one behind it, they sabotaged the operation. This just added some confusion to that particular team, although how much, the party wouldn't know. The mechanic and wookie worked on the plans for the race and working on ways to make sure they had some advantages. This resulted in numerous boost die during the race. During the race, the explorer and bounty hunter were busy removing sniper threats by tusken raiders for the first leg. They didn't manage to get the snipers for the corrupt law officer/land baron, but they got other teams and not the party at this point. The pilot made some awesome rolls and moved up through the ranks, and a few other teams had some misfortune. The crew on the skiff also managed to take out a few other teams through gunfire and their mounted cannon. When they got to the caverns, one of the barons teams and our heroes got into a fight with skiffs banging off each other and the walls. The fighting was tense, and after successfully taking out the other team members, the pilot managed to dodge the wreckage as it careened off the walls. As the race was entering the second half, our explorer and bounty hunter regrouped at a stretch that was also a good sniping point. They managed to beat the other sniper team and removed that threat before the skiffs could get there. As they cleared the other team, a few skiffs that were 'cheating" started moving in with armed thugs. The skiffs lined up to blockade the other skiffs with the intent to allow their boss to continue unchallenged. Our skiff took out the last of the goon skiffs and only had the big bad guy and his blockade between them an victory... unfortunately, they had the blockade between them, and they had a lot of guns. As the big bad guy was trying to go on to victory, our bounty hunter and explorer took the speeder that the other sniper team was using and rammed the skiff sending it into the sand. About the same time, our heroes on the skiff managed to take out the rear blockade skiff and created an opening. Our pilot hit the dune and skiff and sailed past the line and moved toward the wrecked skiff. The wookie gunner targeted the big bad guy, and hit him with the mounted light blaster cannon... ummm... 50+ points of damage... well, the big bad guy was alive... The party then went on to win the race. The town initially was celebrating, after all, they were under the corrupt control of the land baron. So the party won, but they also created a power vacuum. The Black Sun is not happy... the big bad guy was one of them... it was an awesome session, took 5 hours, and was fun every minute. Every member of the party had something to do.
  7. Funny, as this seemed like a foregone conclusion right from the start. Obviously you're not forced to play the game and ultimately, it's not our job to persuade you that you should. We're not sales people for FFG, just people who like the game. We're doing our best to answer your questions but I do feel there is a slight expectation on your part that we're supposed to sell you on it with the way you keep finding ways to dismiss our suggestions. The game is what it is which is why most of our suggestions are just pointing out that you can make it work for "high level" play quite easily if you want to, or drop Obligation if you want to. All games have a focus. If you don't like the focus, you're going to have to do something like say "I wont use Obligation" or "I'll give 200XP to start, instead of 100XP". If those aren't concessions you're willing to make... But I do think you don't understand what the numbers really mean. After reading through several pages and seeing people answer numerous times the same way more or less, I couldn't have sent it any better. I will say that if this is a game that he doesn't care for, he will also want to avoid Margaret Weis' Firefly as it is even more dynamic.
  8. Use the existing items as a base and try to keep similar items about the same in abilities and cost. You can also add rules since the weapons are "prototypes", so that if they roll really poorly (ie Despair or multiple threats) that something bad happens... maybe the weapon breaks, loses it's charge, blows up in their hands, etc.
  9. Looking at page 390 Rivals have a couple of distinct draw backs that make them weaker: 1) Rivals suffer Critical Injuries normally - but when he suffers more than his wound threshold, he can be killed outright 2) Rivals cannot suffer strain, they get a number of wounds instead. This essentially means they can't take a second maneuver without hurting themselves... threats hurt because they can't take strain... etc... Note that in the description text, it says they are generally less skilled than the PCs and seldom possesses skills of more than two ranks in any one skill.
  10. You are putting FAR too much focus on the Characteristics. I have to agree with Serif here. I find that about half my players boosted their characteristics, and half went with skills/specializations. It all depends on what they want to do. Half rolled 3 ability dice for a lot of things because of a lack of skills, and others rolled 1 or 2 yellow because they left characteristic at two, but bought level 2 skills (or from character creation). These players had a lot more yellow dice at the start because of that. To be honest, until late in game, most people aren't going to have more than 3 or 4 ranks in a skill anyway as it is very expensive to raise them. I have one that raised computers to 4, so unless he REALLY has a lot of things going against him, he is almost certain to have a success, even though his int is only 2.
  11. I don't see it as a flaw. I see it more as part of the back-story. As to taking more if you want to be less "feeble" out of the box... for an extra 5 obligation, you get either 5XP or 1000 credits. I personally don't see that 5XP as being all that much. 1000 credits however gets you some more items that might be useful. If you take 10 extra oblgation, you get 10XP or 2500 credits (don't have book in front of me but I believe that's right numbers). Yes, they might help some, but to be honest, not that much. So taking more obligation than necessary is not really needed. If this was a level-based game, character creation from RAW is like a level 1 character. Yes, you may have more gear, but not that much more. In this game, I don't expect my players to account for EVERY single little thing... You have to scrimp, save, and earn the money to get more gear, or take it from people that tried to stop you. (Please note, I do not condone murder-hobos) Alternatively you can give extra XP/Credits out of the gate... that's up to the group as a whole. I guess what I ultimately see is that it's the GM's job to give you a few slow balls out of the gate to get the money and gear to get started. Easy quests out of the gate are the norm. As you level up, so should the challenge... by the time you get 20 hours under your belt, you should have some decent gear to get by... you won't be rich, but you'll have basic armor and weapons.
  12. The way I see it is this... the average person is a minion more or less... sure there are a lot that are Rivals and Nemesis level, but most are minions. What makes our Heroes Heroes is that they actually DO something to rise above the rest. In my group, we started at the RAW character creation. I've given more XP than normally given out (according to RAW) to get them skilled up a little faster and I've set up the first few sessions to actually get the gear they need. It's up to the GM to make sure the party has what they need and keep power levels in check (internal to party and external)... this just takes practice and a GM that can back off if needed or increase pressure as needed. Remember it's a game, so if the GM needs to back up and fix something, they can do it if necessary... Part of the fun to me anyway is that my lowly character changes over the course of the game... my thoughts when I created the character may not be the same as when I've played for six months I don't entirely like Obligation. In my game, we have Faction Ratings that work better for most things. Understand that Obligation is actually a story teller's tool and helps keep things moving, but it should not railroad the characters or dictate the action every time they get together. It helps determine where they party can turn to sell/buy stuff or do other things... but it should not be used to totally screw the players.
  13. I guess I try to go relatively simple... My messenger bag contains the following items: Edge of the Empire Rulebook Edge of the Empire Screen (although it's used as reference and not a screen) Age of Rebellion Rulebook (sometimes) Cardboard markers from Beginner's Boxes Dry Erase Markers Dry Erase Eraser Pencils Bags of Dice (Star Wars and Polyhedral) My Tablet Computer (Windows 8.1 based) I use OneNote to keep track of EVERYTHING in the campaign. I've been known to scan pages out of the books if necessary and have them in OneNote for reference if I don't expect to have the book there. Again, I ONLY carry the corebooks... all other books stay home as I don't want to carry too much and some players carry their own copies. As I've told my players, they are responsible for anything not in the corebook. I carry a 24" x 36" dry erase board and use it for my game. I will probably be starting to carry my X-Wing minis since they do seem to add a lot to the game when we do space combat. To be honest, I've played a lot games without any minis at all. Since this is a narrative game, this works fine for me. I also will be running Firefly RPG from Margaret Weis and it is a narrative game and doesn't rely on miniatures. I love that as it tends to allow the narrative flow without restricting the players too terribly much... but minis sometimes add something when combat is intense!
  14. I rarely run adventures as written or prepared. 99 times out of 100, if I spend 100 hours on a large story arc, by the time we get to the end of it, it looks NOTHING like what I had planned other than overall plot... in 98 out of those 99, the story turns out to be better than what I had. The players will find ways to make it much richer. I've learned to instead detail a few key NPCs, grab a few minion groups/ships, and build together a few smaller arcs that fit into a larger arc, and go with it... at times, minor characters in the game become major NPCs... it adds a consistent feel to the game that way. An experienced GM will flow with whatever happens and can often find ways to "hide" the fact that things weren't planned exactly that way. Most of the time, my players can't tell I've "winged" a good part of the adventure. If the players do something that you don't expect, take 5 minutes as a break to set things up, think about the situation, and then go with it. Just make notes for your reference. Then reshape your story to fit what really happened and make it better. In my current Edge of the Empire game, the arc has been modified several times, but in the end, it won't matter because it will be EXACTLY where the story needs to be... my players are writing it... I'm just guiding them and filling in the gaps. My point is, like someone else said... don't penalize the players... instead think of how things would have changed and roll with it. The players won by out of the box thinking... congratulate and reward them! Remember as a GM, it is not a YOU vs THEM thing...
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