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Everything posted by Garran

  1. There's a disconnect between the "movie characters aren't beginners" rationale and the presentation in the game material of starting characters as competent in their field. Moreover, if you're going to use a particular setting for a game, going down the "NPCs are all cooler than you" path isn't a great way to foster enthusiasm. As with a couple of other posters, I feel that the requirement to flip destiny points to use dark side pips effectively hamstrings it as an option, even though it's supposed to be one that the PCs make at least some use of during play, and it doesn't help that it often puts Force-using characters in the position of needing to flip DPs to use their abilities at all, while everyone else only spends DPs to use their abilities a bit better than usual. Dropping the requirement to flip a DP to use dark side points also opens up the option of allowing a DP flip to roll an extra force die (effectively upgrading the check, just like everyone else does). Conflict is fine (it's the story thing that's actually supposed to matter in all this) and strain isn't much of a problem (it comes and goes quickly anyway), so they can both stay.
  2. I don't feel that they should be made stat-gods or essentially be designed as unbeatable. Vader doesn't keep minions around in dangerous situations just so they can be cinematically shot up by the good guys - he keeps them around because, even though he's capable, being outnumbered and/or in a situation where he hasn't set the terms of the meeting could and probably would end badly for him. You only see him doing his I-am-unbeatable routine when he's dealing one-on-one with someone less capable than he is or when he HAS set the terms of the meeting to his advantage (or both). For that matter, the various Imperial officers that he's always threatening could probably put a blaster shot into him in an unguarded moment if they really wanted to. They don't simply because they know there'd be very unpleasant consequences for plugging the Emperor's right hand man.
  3. Conflict comes from using dark side points, regardless of which type of force user you are. If you want to use pips of the opposite type to your own you pay the Destiny Point and strain cost. You never need to spend them to use your own pip type.
  4. To some degree it'll depend on how much the character(s) are actually likely to use it. As an example, my Sage character - the only force-using character - in one RL group has a saber, but being a non-combative personality (actually, the least combative personality of the lot), he doesn't use it as a combat weapon (if pressed, he uses a blaster pistol); to him it's essentially a curio that has the occasional practical application. (Group can't get that blast door open any other way? He'll use his 'plasma cutter' to do it.) In the case of an all-Force group, starting everyone with sabers is an initial power-up, but it won't make a huge difference in the long run since it's expected that anyone who wants one will get one within a few sessions anyway. In the typical F&D era the group will also need to be somewhat careful about pulling the things out since that will draw a lot of unwanted attention.
  5. As a loose rule of thumb on skill checks, the PC will have a reasonable chance of success when they have more ability/proficiency dice than there are difficulty/challenge dice and setback/boost are equal. This falls off with bigger die pools where two+ more are needed. Having more than that makes success very likely, while having an evenly matched die pool means that the PC is going to fail about or at least half the time. When it comes to combat, lowball the difficulty. It's MUCH easier to add reinforcements for the opposition as the fight progresses or to simply let the PCs have an easy win than to deal with the "oops, that was too much" version, especially when you're getting used to a system.
  6. This one sounds like a case of players who are worried about "you got ambushed, you're out of position, the bad guys get N rounds of free shots while you're scrambling into place" scenarios or who have actually endured them, perhaps routinely. If so, it can be solved by making it clear that this sort of thing won't ever happen - it's a house rule that if the ship is attacked, they ALWAYS get to battlestations in time to deal with it and the opposition never gets any edge on them as a result. And you then stick to that, no matter what the "rant rant realism" crowd might say.
  7. I'd actually want to hear the details of this one because you don't normally coerce allies. If it's something like 'grab him by the arm, drag him outside, and demand to know what he's playing at' (after he just needlessly insulted the important NPC), that probably isn't coercion in the morality sense.
  8. Not a problem. Group designs and runs the hirelings that their main characters paid to do the job. Makes for a side story and potential recurring NPCs (or replacement PCs). ** As for the "keep them hungry" nonsense, there's a direct correlation between piddly payouts and PCs who strip every opponent/location/etc they deal with for resources. If you don't want the latter, don't do the former.
  9. If they're viewing obligation as a penalty then it's because they are, at least in part, right. Duty gives the players a boost (increased wound threshold) and morality can go either way (magnifies the conflict roll), but obligation slaps the party with a negative (reduced strain), and it's not like Edge characters get something else to offset that. Altering this aspect of obligation to something non-punitive might help. Dropping the strain penalty when obligation comes up and instead providing a boost when something pertaining to obligation is successfully resolved (the plot event is dealt with, obligation value is paid down, etc) is probably the simplest way to do it.
  10. Unless there's something that would actively prevent it, they just do. Making everyone roll individual checks and/or forcing people to do it in turn order is pretty much guaranteed to result in someone being left behind (bad, no matter how it pans out), or that the players never even bother because the collective odds are so poor.
  11. With the group at creation + 350 XP, insisting on the new guy starting at baseline, even with some multiplier, means umpteen thrilling sessions of twiddling their thumbs while the established characters do everything - including doing a better job of everything that the new guy's character is supposed to be specialized in. Unless chasing off any new players is the intention, the existing set ought to recognize that everyone playing the game now ought to be having equal fun now. It's not like the fun they (hopefully) had before suddenly disappears because someone else joins as an equal. Is the Charm focus excessive? Maybe, but given that it can only do so much (although anyone with Presence 6 will be decent at several other relevant skills), the fact that they probably wrote the Star Wars' universe equivalent of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" doesn't inherently break anything; you can get a lot of mileage out of a silver tongue and a winning smile, but even those only go so far. If the other players haven't specialized by the time they've hit creation + 350 and/or don't have stats higher than 3, that's a deliberate choice they've made. They've hardly been starved of the means to do it.
  12. My feeling is that the Influence/Control effect is getting a discount because there's a lot of overlap (they're all social skills) and it's unlikely that any character will be heavily invested in more than 2-3 of them anyway (due to XP costs, mechanical redundancy, and thematic concerns). It can't be straightforwardly compared to Enhanced Leader because, as a talent, EL could potentially appear with a cost of anything from 5-25 in any given talent tree, talents don't necessarily have equivalent costs in the first place, and from what I've seen, talents that allow you to add force dice are more expensive in general than force power elements that do the same thing.
  13. An awful lot is going to ride on what sort of tragic failure occurs. Unless the person was outright negligent or otherwise directly contributed to the bad outcome, they aren't likely to wind up on trial because of it.
  14. I suspect that Athletics/Coordination usually appear together because those tend to be situations where everyone needs to roll and it avoids penalizing the low-Brawn (very common)/low-Agility (less common) races while still rewarding those who invested in the relevant skills. As such, those skills tend to define a character's style rather than their capability. Coordination is mostly relevant to infiltration/espionage/escape scenarios though, so if you aren't dealing with those very often, it won't see much use. (I suppose it could have corner-case social uses though - a contortionist act is probably just as popular in the SW universe as it is in ours.)
  15. The two despairs were part of the Negotiation check to buy the droid, so rather than having the droid itself be the source of trouble (evil/incompetent/etc), make it something relating to the negotiations or perhaps to the droid's history. The seller didn't actually own it (and a very angry owner has put a bounty out on the latest 'thieves'), the droid is in possession of - or just thought to be in possession of - critical information relating to some group that another group is after ("That IS the droid we're looking for!"), or the seller is under investigation for other things and now the PCs are considered to be persons of interest in that case due to having dealt with him, leading to complications down the line.
  16. It's important to state that though because some rules systems treat "creature" and "object" as distinct entities ("Target: One object" means it won't work on a creature, etc), and people coming from those other systems may assume it works the same way in this one.
  17. The only advantage to having a long-range weapon is that it can shoot at a long-range target. There's no inherent benefit to using one at shorter ranges, and if you're engaged, it's usually detrimental because long-range weapons tend to be Heavy and therefore take a bigger penalty. It's worth pointing out that long-range weapons also tend to have better base damage and crit values (again, because they're Heavy), and they don't really need boost dice on top of that.
  18. The game rules are written around the assumption that you start with 0 wounds/strain, count upward as you take damage, and count downward when you receive healing. Once either count exceeds the relevant threshold, the character is disabled. If you're trying to completely disable the character then the wounds/strain should be set to 1 point above the character's thresholds. (A character with a wound threshold of 14 and a strain threshold of 11 would be set to 15 wounds and 12 strain.)
  19. It sounds as though the group doesn't particularly WANT to engage in space combat scenarios, in which case throwing space combat scenarios at them isn't going to pay off for anyone. They might be happier with something that involves environmental/ambient hazards that aren't just about shooting and dodging - ask them about that first - but otherwise you're probably best off to stick to other aspects of the game that they do like.
  20. In the case of Move, everything is an upgrade of the basic power. The two Control traits change the way the basic power works rather than replacing it, so you need to activate the basic power every time. In the case of Influence, the two Control traits are completely separate functions that you are using instead of the basic power. They're effectively basic powers in their own right that you have to buy your way to and that use the same upgrade set.
  21. Something to keep in mind is that the character doesn't necessarily need to have ranks in all of those skills to be reasonably effective at them under typical circumstances. Simply having an Intellect of 3 would be sufficient to cover Astrogation/Mechanics/Medicine/Outer Rim/Xenology, for example; ranks are only needed if the character is supposed to be specialized in that field. In the case of Piloting skills, those aren't needed just to drive/fly around under normal conditions, so again, you don't need to worry about those unless the character is supposed to be a specialist.
  22. Rather than 'random good deeds' - which usually don't make much sense anyway - reducing the conflict created by an action would best be dealt with by taking responsibility/making amends for the action that generated it. This is mostly a thematic thing, although it could have mechanical costs of some sort as well. IE: if you destroyed someone's property without good cause, you're going to have to (meaningfully) apologize, replace it, perhaps deal with legal ramifications, etc. Essentially, a smaller-scale version of what someone has to do when they've gone fully dark side. Of course, this only works if the character is actually learning something from the experience - if they're routinely smashing stuff up and apologizing afterward, it's not going to be effective anymore.
  23. The idea of a heretofore unrealized contact in the agency is a reasonable one, but what came to my mind is that the triumph could provide some crucial knowledge about the ruins themselves - something that the IRS itself doesn't know and that can be used against it, or at the very least, to work around it.
  24. You know, I keep seeing blowing up the Death Star used as an example of dark-ish behavior, yet this was also the point that we had force ghost Obi-Wan directly telling him to "Use the Force, Luke!" It's REALLY unlikely that he'd have done that if it actually was a dark side action, mitigated or not. Sure, Obi-Wan had some unresolved issues, but not to the point that he'd deliberately risk putting Luke on the "Vader, Mk II" path.
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