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Everything posted by Kavadh

  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. :>
  13. They told me they don't know why they don't have it yet. They ordered a bunch of them and normally FFG's stuff arrives reliably. Interestingly, they did have Arda.
  14. This broad stroke isn't valid.I prefer classless systems, I however wouldn't say they are "better". There are elements in many systems I prefer, the dice in this one for instance, that have or nothing to do with class. My favorite system, GURPS, falls down in many places for me and I wouldn't blindly suggest it to new gamers (in fact I'd suggest they go play WotC 3.5 Core D&D first*). My first question when I face a game system is this one: Can I make these three heroes with out "strange convolutions" withing the rules: 1 - Conan 2 - The Grey Mouser 3 - D'Artagnan I can do that in every classless system I've run into. I can do that in this game despite the classes, which is a massive selling point! (ignoring that for a Sword and Sandal, a Mysterious Fantasy, and a Renaissance Swordsman game I'd need completely different Talents). * It's a good mid-point between "extremely limited choice Class-based" and "free-wheeling Classless". Also it's a nice mid point between simulationist and gamist. If D&D 5e is as "good" as the designers are claiming it is, I might shift my "first recommendation" there, as it includes some narrativist elements. I always try to make the charming rogue type. That's my standard way of testing out whether I like a new system or not - can I make a character inspired by Errol Flynn? For all that I rail about specific things (like medicine, stimpacks and surgeon - hahaha) I do love the system in general. Everyone can be Errol Flynn!!! Everyone!!! How freaking awesome is that?
  15. I can't get the whole thing to load, I have real problems looking at things in google drive. But have you looked at the way Shadowrun 5th handles contacts? It might give you some ideas for pointing out relationships. The game I'm playing in is focused in a central location, so it sounds like we're doing something like what you're working on. It's working fine for us without worrying about any changes to the system - but thus far none of us have worked through our background obligation, nor have we done anything to try and raise our obligation. Our GM thinks that obligation should only come into play when we the players deliberately make the choice to raise it in exchange for something, so despite playing for a year now, it's not come into play yet. edit: (It comes into play when he rolls it in the beginning and our pasts come haunting us - I just meant that the numbers changing hasn't happened yet.)
  16. Those are straightforward uses, yes. But the example in the book is using Xenology to know the difference between good bargaining tactics when dealing with a Twi'lek vs a Wookiee. This seems to me to be what Negotiation is for. Neither Twi'Leks nor Wookiees are what you'd call rare aliens (especially both are player character races), and negotiation is, well, bargaining. So taking this example at face value, suddenly you need to make two rolls any time you're dealing with an alien - but to what purpose? Doesn't the negotiation roll already take that sort of thing into account by tallying how well things go with successes and advantages? This made me laugh so hard my cat came running in to see what was so funny.
  17. It's described as vital to those who need to practice medicine on aliens. But the doctor doesn't have it. It's described as vital to those who regularly deal with aliens. But the Politico doesn't have it. It's described as aiding in harming aliens. But the assassin does not have it. It also helps in aiding aliens. But the bodyguard does not have it. You roll it when you encounter new aliens, and it's described as aiding in dealing with alien species. But how? Is it a gateway skill and you need to roll it before you use another skill when dealing with aliens? Meaning, I meet an injured alien of a type I've never encountered before. Before I can heal him, I must roll Xenology... And if that's how it works, then does it grant advantages? Poor rolls give disadvantages? Does it put a cap on the number of success I can actually use with my medicine roll (a la Shadowrun attribute limits?) What do you do with it? It aids in harming alien opponents - again, how? Extra damage, with less damage for failed rolls? This is the one skill that I've been completely unable to wrap my head around. As described, it has no systemic effect at all that can't just be done with the skills in question as par for the skills' course. There's no mention in the medical skill or section on healing, for example, of having problems healing an alien if you don't have xenology. No way to heal more if you are familiar with a species. The Xenology description says it is vital for medical attention on aliens - but again, it gives no actual systemic function. The same with charm, negotiation, leadership, coercion even attacking. And if it does nothing - why even have it at all? My GM handles it by handing out black dice in situations that seem to merit the use of xenology unless a successful check is made. He even gives them to the poor slicer when he's trying to hack into computers and commlinks used by aliens, with the logic that the language and coding syntax is different. He's said that blue dice will come from successful rolls, but none of us have it yet so we're not exactly flush with successful uses of it. Making two rolls seems to me to be in opposition to the general actiony type feel of the game, but we haven't been able to figure out anything else to do with it. So I'm curious, how are other people handling this skill and its complete lack of description for how it actually functions mechanically?
  18. I must weep... weep... My local gaming store has had their delivery for today ... and still no Far Horizons.
  19. There are talents to do that last part with stim packs in the Medic's tree, so I shouldn't get it for free. I just do it as a maneuver so everyone else can keep shooting. And yeah, I am making them out of combat. I specialize in knockout drugs. Our scout slips spiked mickeys into our target's drinks when we need to extract someone from public places. I also make knockout darts and the equivalent to chloroform cloths for close range work. It seems like such an easy use of medicine that it's a real shame they decided to go with such a limited aspect of medicine in the talents. Although there is an argument to be made that stim application is the drug creation... At this point after this conversation I'm much less dissatisfied with the talent tree. It's really only the cheap and abundant stim packs that bothers me at the moment. I am tempted to try and design a new specialization though. Give it talents to create drugs, maybe something like "Bedside Manner" that would utilize the doctor's social skills to gain a blue die on charm checks, snake the scholar talent and change it to institutions of medicine, or perhaps something that would aid in dealing with criminal figures who would want a street doctor... could be interesting.
  20. You may find this page helpful, if you are looking for layout tips. http://desktoppub.about.com/od/layout/tp/composition.htm It gives some solid advice that isn't program specific and doesn't require advance knowledge or skills to put to use.
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