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  1. You're right, specified is a bad term on my part! I will shift my phrasing in case that brings a bit more clarity. I have a bad tendency to write these posts in the mornings and evenings when I'm not entirely awake. Healing grants 1 wound per success, and 1 strain per advantage. Negotiation grants a 5% profit per success. Charm and leadership add extra scenes for each success, and bystanders for advantages. Can these skills also do other things? Yes, I understand they are not limited; this is a narrative game and not all situations are going to warrant these defined uses. In fact I prefer a more open-ended interpretation, that's usually the way we play at the table. I come here to discuss system design so I might be giving a far different impression of my gaming style than is actually the case! But a given conversion - 5% for each success - is a quantified definition. It's not 10%, 3%, some vague term such as "improved" - it's a quantitatively defined 5%. Xenology could gate the attempt to use these skills, it could add blue or black dice, it could change the percentage of profits/the wounds healed/etc. There are any number of things it could do, but if it's vital, then it should be doing something to change the given numbers, whether that change is in the dice, the tally, or the final result. Once I am told that negotiation adds a 5% profit per success, I want to know how a "vital" xenology roll affects that. If the negotiation results had been left entirely up to the GM, with no systemic guidelines, then I wouldn't find xenology being the same 'left to the GM' as odd.
  2. Yes, this is what I'm trying to get at exactly. If my healing roll is defined as 1 wound per success, with 1 strain per advantage, and I am told that Xenology is vital to healing ... I need to know what it does. If it does not affect the defined rate of healing in any way, it is not vital because it does nothing. There'd be no dilemma if healing (bargaining, attacking, etc) was not so specifically defined. But it is. Therefor Xenology is confusing, because it states that it is important, but in actuality it does nothing to affect the system - which makes it effectively unimportant.
  3. Oh, I don't think it sucks. Far from it. As Lorne said: According to its description, it is vital for everyone. Want to heal an alien? Xenology. Want to negotiate with an alien? Xenology. Want to protect an alien? Xenology. Fight one? Xenology. It doesn't specifically state that in order to modify or create tech or weapons for an alien you'd use Xenology, but is there anyone out there who wouldn't use it when encountering alien technology? Everyone in my group wants it. I'm about to pick up a new specialization, not because I particularly want that specific specialization, but because I just want to get xenology as a class skill. Because as described it does everything for everyone whenever you're interacting in any way with something not of or for your species. Which in Star Wars, on the fringes of the universe, is pretty much all the time. Leaving that "everything" aside - My puzzlement with it is that for a skill described as being vital, the system gives you nothing on how to use it. If it's vital - it should impact the system in some way. But as written, it doesn't. Any actual impact it has is completely up to the GM and the group. To me that's like providing a list of weapons with descriptions, but no actual stats. Melee requires the use of weapons! A sword is a melee weapon with a blade! But we're not going to tell you how much damage it does... When I evaluate systems, I ignore anything left open for narrative, because narrative is entirely open to the group's idea of fun and has as much or as little impact as the group decides it should have. So if a skill tells me it's vital to doing things, and those things have systemic rules, I want to know how that vital skill impacts said rules. We use it as an optional roll to potentially add blue dice. Not having the skill in a situation that warrants it, or failing the roll should you choose to try it, grants black dice. But there are so many creative people with interesting methods of playing on these forums, often doing things that are really cool that I would never think of on my own, so I was curious what other people were doing with it.
  4. I reserve murder hobo for the players who murder. And for them, I don't think a mechanic will mean anything. The last murder hobo I met, for example, we had to ask him not to return because he was outright murderous. I was playing a millionaire playboy, his wife was playing a homeless destitute. My chauffeur wouldn't let his wife into my car, so he killed him. Literally cut the chauffeur's head off. His response to being asked to protect a town from pirates was to burn the town down, because if there was no town, there was no problem. And he honestly could not understand why the rest of us objected, both in and out of character. I highly doubt mechanics will incur any hesitation for people like that, especially if it's only 2 strain (I don't have the book, am just going on what was presented in the first post).
  5. What is uncool about Supreme Inspiring Rhetoric? O.o Nothing! But Unmatched Expertise has so much awesome attached to it. We're so good, we don't just make it look easy - it is easy....
  6. What is uncool about Supreme Inspiring Rhetoric? O.o
  7. I suspect that we'll see MANY different stats for the characters. The stats for Lando in JoY did state that that particular writeup was simple a shorthand representation of Lando for the role he played in that particular encounter.
  8. It's more likely a matter of focus. Specialty shops will generally have better coverage of specialty items than general "we only want to carry what will sell to the most people" stores. Which means a greater selection and a faster response time to new specialty items. And gaming is very much 'specialty.'
  9. No need to apologize. I was pretty unclear in what I asked. I'm just really bummed that the distributor has screwed up so I won't have the book for gaming tonight.
  10. I would say a good houserule is one that improves the fun of everyone at the table. Balance is secondary to fun, especially since balance can greatly depend upon the style of the group. You can read the thread about healing to see a great example of how differing playstyles greatly change the balancing of the doctor tree.
  11. Will someone give me the skinny on what the other signature ability does? My gaming store had a distributor problem so won't have my copy until next week.
  12. No, my local gaming store doesn't have it yet. But I'm more interested in the other talent I think. I don't heal enough to worry about it - the free stimpack from my medpack is usually enough to handle our healing needs. I am much more the face than the doctor. I use the socials far more often and to much greater effect, and there is far more roleplay in situations using Charm, Negotiate or Leadership than there is in healing medicine rolls. That's what I'm frustrated with more than anything, stimpack accessibility obviating so much of the need for healing. But this thread has helped me immensely, in that it helped me pinpoint precisely what it was that I felt the Doctor tree was missing. So now I say - Hey! I don't work for FFG, but I am a game designer! I'll just make my own Street Chemist specialization! My GM is on board with my basic outline so far, although he changed the class skills I'd picked. I'd picked Knowledge (Underworld), Knowledge (Xenology), Medicine and Charm - He had me swap Charm for Negotiation. Though I'll admit that one is tempting for those politico charm checks. :>
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