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Everything posted by Vondy

  1. Once people start talking about boosting lightsaber damage to 11+ I stop worrying about EoTE sabers being total beasts.... ?
  2. I had this exact same problem. I was the GM 80% of the time with occassional relief from two of the players. It made sense to have the character I played when they ran around and it added a little extra muscle to the party. In fact, when I wasn't running these characters the other players often went and got them. I was, if I don't say so myself, very good about it. My character role-played / interacted with the other PCs and helped out, but did not take the lead or make much in the way suggestions (except when I was just a player when this character oddly became the defacto and implicit leader). But, the players kept asking my character for plot advice, so I adamantly stopped running them. With my current group there is a frequently appearing NPC that feels a bit like a GMPC, but I really don't want him to be that.
  3. Ornate and shiny heavy armor with fillagree, plumes and flowing cape... And medals. Lots and lots of ribbons and medals. And a dress sword. You see where I'm going with this, right?
  4. An Illum crystal wouldn't be my go-to crystal, either. Because EoTE sabers are such beasts we did ultimately use a F&D sabers instead. All three Jedi in our group (actual Jedi survivors) have now-modded Etaan Crystals. I guess that makes the Etaan crystal our "baseline crystal." The characters all have different specs, skill focuses, stories, styles, and personalities so having the (mostly) same crystal hasn't proven problematic.
  5. I already responded to an almost identical reaction above. Like I said: people should do what makes them happy. I'm for it. If you want to include those elements of the EU and non-live-action canon in your games I say "Excelsior!" But, for me, I found those elements groan-worthy, utterly ignorable, and off-tenor when I encountered them. For me, animated shows like Clone Wars and Rebels are a sometimes dissonant sub-canon. As such, I shall omit the parts I don't like from my games and leave potions and spells for D&D. I know, its bad-wrong-fun, but its my bad-wrong-fun.
  6. I agree the EoTE sabers are nuclear murder sticks. I think having all saber crystals be Illum crystals unless a special exception is made would be an excellent compromise. But, for me, exotic crystals should remain exotic. This is for the reason you state: I want crystals to more closely model non-gaming crystals. The gazillion and one crystals and gazillion and one mods is unique to tweaky gamer culture.
  7. From a mechanical and optimization tweaker standpoint that is a fair point. If that is the norm for a group or a given table, then it would be essential. My players, however, aren't optimizers. They don't do much in terms of modding anything so its never cropped up as an issue in our games. They love the narrative dice system but really don't like digging into the crunchy mechanical details. That's stuff they expect me to deal with. I can do that digging (I can optimize with the best of them), but don't love it. I'm more story, character, and trope focused. It could be, fantastic books and delightful dice system aside, this isn't the game for us. FFG has all but fetishized the options/optimization/variables crunch. As a result, my relationship to the system is love/hate. A good deal more love than hate, but if we're being honest, our style is less crunchy.
  8. I have a similar concern: excessive modding renders sabers mundane. Lightsabers are the most awesome things ever. "Oh My God! Oh My God! Oh My God! Its a lightsaber!" That should be the reaction. Period. Not, "Yeah, but its a just stock lightsaber with a pedestrian kyber crystal in a standard hilt... yawn... boooooooring!" When you hear that ignition sound and thrum-thrum-thrum you should be giddy. I know tweakers got to tweak, but excessive tweaking kills the inherent mythic romance sabers bring to myimagination. Make it a beast and say "customize your color and hilt style" and I'm happy.
  9. By my lights what you are describing is mostly aesthetic differences. If they all have Illum crystals with similar mechanical properties, then your dealing in style rather than substance. If the actual properties vary, then that's a substantive difference.
  10. And I say "more power to you!" Get down with your Age of Aquarius crystal loving self. For me, I love the iconic appeal of "your father's lightsaber."
  11. I have a similiar problem in our F&D game: too many options and variables. As characters grow in experience and work through threes they often turn into lists of talents and dice pool modifying abilities. Add in powers and skills on top of talents and my players often forget all the things their characters can do. I format character sheets so its all on one page and with the dice symbols for ease of reference, but they still forget. They are very dialed in vis-a-vis character and story and love the narrative dice, but the mechanics present too many variables. I have yet to find a satisfying way of simplifying / streamlining it.
  12. Sometimes less is more. I generally prefer the EoTE lightsaber, but it is a total beast damage-wise. A few minor mods or aesthetic flourishes is good, but a million and one crystals and other mods is too fiddly for me. Too much fiddly modification can draw the focus off the wielder. I don't want that. Unless I'm running a game where the theme and focus is lightsaber construction and modification, of course. At that point, bring on the options. I know a lot of gamers love tweaking gear and if that's the game they want so be it. But, overall, I'm not telling stories about building lightsabers. Just characters wielding them. At the same time, the notion that a generic lightsaber crystal can be refined by a force wielding is interesting, at least. Maybe one crystal type with a list of crystal mods and "you can take two" would be a decent compromise point. But, as it is, I generally run standard EoTE sabers.
  13. Be that as it may, the RAW Conflict system does not sit well upon everyone's brow. Its one way of dealing with these themes in play, but its not the only way, and different methods will appeal to different people. I, personally, don't use it. Why? Because it doesn't work for me. If it works for you, great. Soldier on! Our group uses both the oath rule from Forsooth! and FATE-style aspects for defining codes, motives, and personalities. I do impose strain and flip destiny tokens, but I don't have a light-dark sliderule I apply to the characters or story. A definition of the character as light-side / dark-side is combination of role-play and ongoing discussion.
  14. Fair enough. I recall the night sisters animated episodes and have always found them shrug-worthy and wholly ignorable. With hundreds of animated episodes you invariably end up with canon creep and concept dilution. Yes, they do appear in the animated addends of indisputable hit-you-on-the-head-with-it holy canon. And yet, I still don't want that stuff in my games and won't be including it. I use the movies plus selected bits that I actually like from rebels and the clone wars, but not all of them. Others should, as always, do as they please.
  15. What follows is wholly subjective and rooted in personal aesthetic tastes. I love the makashi and seer archetypes and have happily used them as the basis of a character I enjoyed playing. But this book, which I waited a long time for, was simply not for me. This it seemed too heavily slanted towards space fantasy / D&D in space for my tastes. Potions, conjuring, and ritualized force-witch style powers cross beyond the aesthetic of how Star Wars feels to me. These elements, too varying degrees, do appear in the expanded universe, and people who want them should enjoy. But this book vibed too fantasy and too magical for me; more "force wizard" than "mystic warrior." That said, there are lots of neat bits in this book and the production values are, as always, fantastic. For instance, the prophecy tree is interesting from a narrative "drive the story" sort of way. The completist in me is happy to have it on the shelf, but most of it will never make an appearance in my games. If I want to quaf a potion, conjure an object, or use rituals for magical effects I'll play D&D. Others will, of course, disagree.
  16. Which is unfortunate because Vader himself, the first and probably most iconic and representative "dark sider" we meet, clearly does have standards and perceives conflict as "needless" and paints himself as pursuing "order." Now, he's totally kill-crazy and diabolical, but I'd call him "lawful evil."
  17. Nowhere did I say those themes should have been in this movie. Rather, I was largely reacting to and critiquing the title. "Solo: A Star Wars Story." I walked out thinking "Not a Star Wars story." This was a story that happened to go down the same universe. That's fine. I liked the movie. I like EoTE, too. I just would have called it something elese. Scratch that. Anything else.
  18. My advice: worry about the character's high concept, aesthetic, and personality. Distill your descriptions down to one line. That's right. One line. No more. And in terms of a build, don't plot out all the mechanics or try to do too much right at the beginning. Go the opposite route. Where is this character beginning? Distill it. Pick one tree. Work that tree hard. A dozen or score of sessions down the road, branch out if its appropriate. Here is a fantasy character as an example: Name: Clodya se Sigwif. Concept: Fierce & Beautiful Shield Maiden. Story: Hrothgar One-Eye's Half-Sister. Trouble: Sybarite - Revelry! Ribaldry! Riches! Heroism: Do-Gooder - Big Damned Hero! Bond: Crazy in Love - Will do anything for Ritz! Style: Dashing! Daring! Devil-May-Care!
  19. I'd go with: "Evil has standards." Playing a dark-sider doesn't have to mean "chaotic evil" or "chaotic psycho." An ostensibly evil character or darker anti-hero may have a personal code, set of standards, or oath they live by. In fact, almost every good villian has a motive and ethos that drives The almost rules non-existant Shakespearean story game "Forsooth!" uses oaths. A character has to be built with an oath that should only be broken if it advances the theme and plot of the tale. Ergo, is it dramatically appropriate to break it. At that point the character becomes "Foresworn." Other players award "applause," which serves as a sort of scoring mechanism. For Star Wars, awarding light or dark destiny points could be an interesting alternative. Another option for defining a characters morality would be creating Fate-style aspects for characters and having players and the GM flip destiny points as appropriate when "invoking them." That would work for light-siders, too. Personally, I don't like affixing numbers to ethics-morality-standards. It just doesn't sit well with me. I'd rather see something that more directly impacts the theme and flow of play.
  20. Absolutely. Right our of the gate. I'm not running a game about maintaining, mortgaging, refinancing, and upgrading space-ships. I'm not running a game about hard-scrabble ne'er do-wells who can't make ends meet trying to save up for a star-lambo because they hate their space-pinto. If those were themes in the games I run then I would give them a space-junker to start. Space-ships in my game are mostly dues ex-machinas. They get you from point A to point B or for staging exciting space-chase and battle-scenes. Even the iconic "hunk of junk" Falcon is touted as being one **** of a fast ship that has all sorts of upgrades. But, my games aren't about the ships. They are about the people flying in them. And those people (created by the players) like having a "cool ship" without sweating too many of the technical details. Fuel and supplies are occassionally plot-points, but overall: unless your players *want* to have "getting a better ship" be a major goal / theme for the game, I say give them a ship they like so that they focus on everything else. Like heists, intrigue, rebel missions, or lightsaber-fu. Our current group has a YT-2400 with an upgraded hyperdrive, rotating counterfeit transponders, and a holo-net tap. Another character (long-running) has a M-12 Kimoliga with major mods (but he "commandeered" it that way, he didn't spend all his time trying to tweak it).
  21. This should not have been titled Solo: A .Star Wars Story. It should have been titled Solo: An Edge of the Empire Story. I had very mixed feelings walking out of the theater. Don't get me wrong. The casting and performances were solid, the cinemetography and editing were good, it had a fun story and was well paced. It also had some great set-piece scenes that are fodder for both rewatching and inspiring scenes in game.. It also made excellent use of the Star Wars universe and had a good sense of making all the right nods without being too heavy handed about them. Now, I've always been a Luke Skywalker fan as opposed to a Han Solo fan, but I like the character and I think canonizing his backstory was handled well. But, there is a but: there is more to Star Wars than its setting. Star Wars has always been strongly rooted in the themes of the Jedi, the Force, and the Rebellion. Without those elements it didn't feel like a Star Wars Movie (TM) to me. Aside from Maul's gratuitious and fan-****-wonderful lightsaber ignition this was, for the most part, a neo-noir science fiction film that happened to occur in the Star Wars universe. And, in that vein, it was more "Han and friends" than Solo. You always have a plucky, colorful team for a heist. But, out of necessity, that meant it was less focused on the title character than one might expect. Now, that said, this was a solid backstory, a great heist movie, and was a joy to watch. I really enjoyed it and it would be great if it were setting up a sequel focused on more scum and villiany (even though we know they aren't). Also, I love the clothes, especially the preponderance of capes. Its just, for me, it felt like "stuff happening around Star Wars" rather than properly Star Wars.
  22. This is the book I have been waiting for.
  23. For our game, we assume hyperspace communication equipment is expensive and restricted. In general, only well-funded organizations with logistical wherewithal will have access to it. The imperial bureaucracy, some planetary governments, major corporations, the rebel alliance, etc. And, even then, the Empire controls the Holonet and most hyperspace communications nodes that corps and planets rely on to communicate across hyperspace. Setting up private nodes or networks would be a quite a feat. Also, the amount of said equipment depends on how developed the world you are on is. On Coruscant there are probably private communications companies you can pay not insubstantial fees to send messages over the holonet (insofar as there is a receiving station on the other end). But out on the Rim? Good luck! This is not to say hyperspace transceivers don't exist or that players can't lay their hands on them, (our group has one on their ship). However, we generally assume its not the galactic norm. Most have to rely on the Holonet. Another limitation we imposed for our games is that near-instantaneous communication and alerts may be straightforward, but real-time updates of the entire Holonet? We treat that like major database replication-update on the Internet. That's a lot of data! It happens at scheduled intervals. And what is more, highly sensitive data may not be included in that update. Heavily need-to-know or classified information may require a courier and ship for secure transmission. As a result, the Imperials you are dealing with today don't always have the most up to date information. In fact, on a few of our character's operations, knowing the Holonet update schedule for a certain system was critical to the PCs slipping through the Empire's grasp.
  24. After watching TLJ I'm starting to think Chewbacca is a better pilot than Han. Han is a talented pilot who flies by the seat of his pants and relies on luck that he stretches like taffy. Hera, Lando, Luke, and Chewie all do more sophisticated maneuvers [not to be confused with damned fool stunts that skill won't cut the odds on]. And, god help the first order if Poe ever pilots the Falcon. But, overall, in terms of raw skill, I think I will now interpret all of Chewbacca's roaring when Han is piloting as terrified Shriiiwook for "Let me drive, dammit! I'm a better pilot than you! Let me drive!"
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