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Vondy

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  1. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from Underachiever599 in High powered characters question relating to Obiwan   
    My players love the kooky dice, but hate the "wall of talents" and trying to remember everything their characters could do during a session. Often times they would forget. And me? I'm not going to remember what all three player characters and all the NPCs can do while making seat of my pants decisions running a game. We decided, when the player characters reached three full trees, dipped into a signature talent tree, and had 4-5 force powers with one or two highly upgraded, to render the characters "iconic." In other words, we stripped them down, figured out their core concepts and abilities, rebuilt them like they were NPCs. We also renamed adversary "protagonist" and used that instead of remembering the sense upgrade (they all had it maxed out). I was initially concerned that would be too much of a power up (not committing a force die), but after running the characters for a while, giving each 2 "protagonist dice" hit the mark.
    This would not work for groups with players whose primary psychological reward is constant advancement and power-ups, but my group reached a point where they felt like they had the characters they wanted and had become more interested in the in-story rewards and characters arcs. 
  2. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from Ghostofman in Starship defense supposed to equate to shields?   
    I've always taken Star Wars shields to operate more like "deflectors." Ergo, an angled energy field or field of charged particles that serve to redirect rather than absorb incoming fire.  As such, range and angle of attack vis-a-vis the deflectors would be critical, as would the intensity of the field vs. the strength of the attack. Big ships simply generate much more powerful fields at a greater distance from the hull than small ships, which would redirect or dissipate larger blasts from more angles (unless you are a small ship inside the field).
    A more common scenario would be the Faclon vs. a tie fighter. The tie-fighter will be jockeying for a direct shot with an angle of attack that can score a hit rather than being deflected. Whoever is flying the Falcon is making the opposite effort: keep them firing at the area the deflectors are angled until you can work a firing solution for your turret.
    Its a similar, but not identical, principle to the front armor of modern battle tanks. They are angled so as to deflect the majority of the blast away from the crew compartment when struck. Several nations have programs to take this to a science fiction level. The US, UK, and Israel all have "force field" development programs for tanks. The general principle is a supercapacitor energizes the armor material with an electromagnetic charge that, if the discharge is timed correctly, repels the incoming fire and reduces or eliminates the force the armor has to absorb.
  3. Haha
    Vondy got a reaction from DarthHammer in Some doubts on Lightsaber Mods   
    Personally, I had no idea that it could be raining emitters, let alone crystals. That's fascinating and this thread has taught me a lot!
  4. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from Donovan Morningfire in I Have you now   
    My personal take is that fans have a fetishistic tendency to overestimate and inflate iconic character's abilities. Add in the gamer tendency to maximize power-crunch and enough experience to build Jedi Masters in-their-own-right and perspective is lost.  What do we actually see Vader do in the movies?
    He takes down a corridor filled with rebel troopers. He force chokes some dudes.  He fights Obi-Wan Kenobi in a lightsaber duel on the Death Star, but Kenobi lets him win. He force chokes some dudes. He leads the raid on Echo Base and some snow troopers die while flanking him. He force chokes some more dudes. He fights Luke Skywalker (a Padawan) in the Cloud City and wins handily. He force chokes some more dudes. He fights Luke Skywalker (a greenhorn Jedi Knight) in the Throne Room and loses. He chokes out due to respirator removal. Yes, Vader is big and scary. Yes, Vader is "The Dragon." But nothing in the movie canon suggests he can take down a group of Jedi Masters single handedly.
    I would build Luke in RoTJ with FR 3, Lightsaber-4, Improved Parry-4, Improved Reflect-4, and unmatched destiny. He's a "Jedi Knight," but not really a master, and he should have lost when stacked up against Vader pound for pound. He made liberal use of destiny points and drew on his hate to take Vader down before realizing that was not the Jedi way.
    Now, if we include Rebels, we do see Vader:
    Take on Ezra and Kannan at one time. Basically, a Padawan close to knight-level ability and a newbie padawan. Fight eventually overwhelm Asokha. Grown up Asokha is formidable and basically a full-fledged Jedi Knight in-her-own-right. Again, we see nothing to suggest Vader should be able to take down a group of Jedi Masters or even a group of fully-trained Jedi Knights. In other words, there is no evidence he should be able to take down a group of player characters who have risen to become full-fledged Jedi Knights (or Masters) in their own right.
    Nor do we ever see Vader put himself in a position where he would be forced to fight such a group. He does not engage if he doesn't have the advantage. His biggest strength is that he's smart and picks his battles. He seeks to control the ground, ensure numerical advantage (at least qualitatively-speaking), and to maintain the initiative.
    Honestly, if Vader is in a slug-fest with 3+ Jedi all at once on neutral ground with no backup the game-master has made a serious error and, I will say it, is doing it wrong. Our group has three Jedi around the book-Ahsoka's level and I would never let that happen. I'd make sure that no more than 1-2 could engage him at once, I'd engineer the space to have elements he could use to his advantage, and he'd have some sort of back-up on hand or ticking-clock or objective in play to complicate the issue.
    They have gone up against him once and their goal was a fighting withdrawal. One of them put up an impressive fight and held him long-enough to make it a "win" in their book, but that character has three full trees, was built for saber fighting, and the player was extremely creative and had hot dice. Our groups compact is, when a character gets to that point they become iconic in their own right and are rebuilt akin to the iconic's in the book. Aside from tweaks, what growth do they need?
    If a character has 3600-experience and 9 trees (just wow) they have outgrown the intended parameters the system was designed around and deserve to give Vader a single-handed beat down. There comes a point where linear character growth turns you into a god among gods and we have left the realm of mere mortals. It becomes the stuff of comic books and videogames. Oh, look, its Starkiller! More power to you! But, at the same time you can't have unlimited linear growth without, at some point, breaking the system and exceeding reasonable interpretations of the source material.
  5. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from Silim in I Have you now   
    My personal take is that fans have a fetishistic tendency to overestimate and inflate iconic character's abilities. Add in the gamer tendency to maximize power-crunch and enough experience to build Jedi Masters in-their-own-right and perspective is lost.  What do we actually see Vader do in the movies?
    He takes down a corridor filled with rebel troopers. He force chokes some dudes.  He fights Obi-Wan Kenobi in a lightsaber duel on the Death Star, but Kenobi lets him win. He force chokes some dudes. He leads the raid on Echo Base and some snow troopers die while flanking him. He force chokes some more dudes. He fights Luke Skywalker (a Padawan) in the Cloud City and wins handily. He force chokes some more dudes. He fights Luke Skywalker (a greenhorn Jedi Knight) in the Throne Room and loses. He chokes out due to respirator removal. Yes, Vader is big and scary. Yes, Vader is "The Dragon." But nothing in the movie canon suggests he can take down a group of Jedi Masters single handedly.
    I would build Luke in RoTJ with FR 3, Lightsaber-4, Improved Parry-4, Improved Reflect-4, and unmatched destiny. He's a "Jedi Knight," but not really a master, and he should have lost when stacked up against Vader pound for pound. He made liberal use of destiny points and drew on his hate to take Vader down before realizing that was not the Jedi way.
    Now, if we include Rebels, we do see Vader:
    Take on Ezra and Kannan at one time. Basically, a Padawan close to knight-level ability and a newbie padawan. Fight eventually overwhelm Asokha. Grown up Asokha is formidable and basically a full-fledged Jedi Knight in-her-own-right. Again, we see nothing to suggest Vader should be able to take down a group of Jedi Masters or even a group of fully-trained Jedi Knights. In other words, there is no evidence he should be able to take down a group of player characters who have risen to become full-fledged Jedi Knights (or Masters) in their own right.
    Nor do we ever see Vader put himself in a position where he would be forced to fight such a group. He does not engage if he doesn't have the advantage. His biggest strength is that he's smart and picks his battles. He seeks to control the ground, ensure numerical advantage (at least qualitatively-speaking), and to maintain the initiative.
    Honestly, if Vader is in a slug-fest with 3+ Jedi all at once on neutral ground with no backup the game-master has made a serious error and, I will say it, is doing it wrong. Our group has three Jedi around the book-Ahsoka's level and I would never let that happen. I'd make sure that no more than 1-2 could engage him at once, I'd engineer the space to have elements he could use to his advantage, and he'd have some sort of back-up on hand or ticking-clock or objective in play to complicate the issue.
    They have gone up against him once and their goal was a fighting withdrawal. One of them put up an impressive fight and held him long-enough to make it a "win" in their book, but that character has three full trees, was built for saber fighting, and the player was extremely creative and had hot dice. Our groups compact is, when a character gets to that point they become iconic in their own right and are rebuilt akin to the iconic's in the book. Aside from tweaks, what growth do they need?
    If a character has 3600-experience and 9 trees (just wow) they have outgrown the intended parameters the system was designed around and deserve to give Vader a single-handed beat down. There comes a point where linear character growth turns you into a god among gods and we have left the realm of mere mortals. It becomes the stuff of comic books and videogames. Oh, look, its Starkiller! More power to you! But, at the same time you can't have unlimited linear growth without, at some point, breaking the system and exceeding reasonable interpretations of the source material.
  6. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from Khazadune in Dawn of Rebellion Sourcebook   
    Personally, stats for camels are indispensable for any Star Wars game.
    I know you meant "cameos," but I couldn't resist. 😈
  7. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from slope123 in Knight Level Play   
    Our group doesn't do per session XP. Instead, I prepare a story arc intended to run 3-5 sessions with character development handled when it over. Players generally tell me their development goals ahead of time and I often (not always) work that into the challenges or theme of the arc. Development is usually a few talents from a tree, improving force powers, and / or a skill improvement. It usually amounts to 40-50 experience worth of improvement. Over the long-term its slower than the recommended experience awards, but its less incremental and feels more like a "power up" to the players, which keeps them satisfied. Characters in our game also start a little stronger (knight level plus some resources) so the slower rise doesn't feel like an acute issue in the early game.
  8. Haha
    Vondy got a reaction from Aggressor97 in WWII Situations Suggestions   
    If your group is funny: Hogan's Heroes. A plucky team of Rebel prisoners who routinely break out of the Imperial military stockade to carry about rebel operations right under the Empire's noses. The Imperial Army Commander and senior-most seargeant are, of course, affably unwitting accomplices.
  9. Haha
    Vondy got a reaction from GreatCatWizard in WWII Situations Suggestions   
    You might look at the US Army and Allied strategy for Burma-China-India and the OSS operations that were run in that region. Since the Rebel Alliance doesn't field many "regular forces" and won't be looking for many major battles an the irregular / early special forces / espionage units and operations more directly map to what they would be doing. Basically, the idea was to take advantage of Japan being overextended fighting the US Navy and Marines in the Pacific to wreak havoc in their back yard. I've always run the empire as having too many worlds to effectively occupy or blockade all of them. As a result, they have to detail most of their ships and forces to major production centers, trade routes, and economic worlds. If the rebels can create a lot of havoc in one place and force the empire to concentrate ships and troops there, that means they are leaving other places undefended and opening the door to havoc elsewhere. Hence the Rebel's focus on special forces, sedition and dissent, and hit and run starfighter tactics. A few other WWII inspirations: Blacksheep Squadron, which inspired the TV show "Ba Ba Blacksheep," and SAS operations in North Africa, which inspired the TV Show "Rat Patrol." Both would work for more combat oriented Rebel games. Speaking of WWII inspired media, you could also do a Star Wars version of "The Dirty Dozen" or "Guns of the Navarrone." I'd probably avoid Bridge Over the River Kwai. The last thing we need is Obi Wan in Kahki shorts whistling The Colonel Bogey March....
  10. Haha
    Vondy got a reaction from GreatCatWizard in WWII Situations Suggestions   
    If your group is funny: Hogan's Heroes. A plucky team of Rebel prisoners who routinely break out of the Imperial military stockade to carry about rebel operations right under the Empire's noses. The Imperial Army Commander and senior-most seargeant are, of course, affably unwitting accomplices.
  11. Thanks
    Vondy got a reaction from awayputurwpn in Warriors rejoice   
    Wait a minute?! Are you suggesting fictional characters in stories have subjective points of view and may be unreliable narrators? Oh dear!
    The literary theory is strong with this one... 
  12. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from Silim in Warriors rejoice   
    Wait a minute?! Are you suggesting fictional characters in stories have subjective points of view and may be unreliable narrators? Oh dear!
    The literary theory is strong with this one... 
  13. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from Dayham in Warriors rejoice   
    Wait a minute?! Are you suggesting fictional characters in stories have subjective points of view and may be unreliable narrators? Oh dear!
    The literary theory is strong with this one... 
  14. Haha
    Vondy got a reaction from LordBritish in Warriors rejoice   
    Wait a minute?! Are you suggesting fictional characters in stories have subjective points of view and may be unreliable narrators? Oh dear!
    The literary theory is strong with this one... 
  15. Thanks
    Vondy got a reaction from StriderZessei in Warriors rejoice   
    Actually, it can. You may not like that answer, but telling me I'm not accurately representing my own opinions is not your place. I'm aware Abrams didn't direct TLJ, but he created the context it emerged from, was still involved at the creative and production level with the film, and will be directing the follow up. For me, TFA was a spectacular film, which is to be expected from Abrams, but spectacular doesn't mean meaningful or good. Elsewhere I've mentioned that I felt TLJ was more hit than miss, but that I felt it was an uneven film, and it did have some serious story and presentation flaws. A significant contributing factor to that was, in my estimation, a result of having to follow on the heels of TFA and to deal with (or actively not deal with) with all of Abrams unresolved BS enigmas and troperism. We are not merely going to have to disagree about what my problem with the movies are because, quite frankly, the only person who can speak authoritatively on my mind is, gosh, you guessed it, me.
  16. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from StriderZessei in Warriors rejoice   
    Here's what I want: a warrior who doesn't have to go outside his career to deflect blaster bolts with his saber.
    Really, that's it. I like the aggressor and shii-cho specs just fine. 
    A hybrid saber tree with some force talents, reflect, and another force rating bump would be dreamy.
  17. Haha
    Vondy got a reaction from Sarone in You Know You're Playing Age Of Rebellion When...   
    When your players embrace the fact that the adventure arc they are in the middle of is from a cheesy 1980's military action franchise!
    My daughter's padawan (on the cusp of being a full-fledged knight) just rescued her captured master from an imperial outpost with the aid of a crusty old clone pilot in a pair of "commandeered" rebel fighters.
    This, of course, was undertaken after the Rebel High Command refused to take action themselves.
    But, a squadron of x-wings was sent to rendezvous with them at the last minute after they carried out their aerial assault/rescue...
    She even played the "space rock" version of One Vision by the Naboo dissident band "Amidala" as she lined up her attack run and then proceeded into a dogfight. 
    Yes, that's right: Iron Eagle. 
  18. Haha
    Vondy got a reaction from immortalfrieza in You Know You're Playing Age Of Rebellion When...   
    You know your really running Edge of the Empire when...
  19. Haha
    Vondy got a reaction from Aggressor97 in You Know You're Playing Age Of Rebellion When...   
    When your three Jedi survivors composing an "impossible missions force" type-cell for the Rebellion engage a company sized scout battalion of Imperial troops. And... one of them force-leaps on top of an AT-ST to cut their way in, but another one slices through a leg with their lightsaber at the same time, sending it careening sideways with a BOOM into the middle of a platoon of stormtroopers. This leaves the Jedi who had been on top of the AT-ST to land in the middle of the stormtroopers screaming foul-mouthed explicatives and looking for egress. Meanwhile, the third Jedi grins and charges into the afray sending a head flying and howling "helmet's away!" These are full-on real Jedi who are now into their third talent tree with fairly robust powers and lightsaber skills. They manage to survive despite themselves. The force is with them, but very few Rebel soliders are because, quite frankly, (those three) "Jedi are freaking nutjobs!"
  20. Haha
    Vondy got a reaction from immortalfrieza in You Know You're Playing Age Of Rebellion When...   
    When your three Jedi survivors composing an "impossible missions force" type-cell for the Rebellion engage a company sized scout battalion of Imperial troops. And... one of them force-leaps on top of an AT-ST to cut their way in, but another one slices through a leg with their lightsaber at the same time, sending it careening sideways with a BOOM into the middle of a platoon of stormtroopers. This leaves the Jedi who had been on top of the AT-ST to land in the middle of the stormtroopers screaming foul-mouthed explicatives and looking for egress. Meanwhile, the third Jedi grins and charges into the afray sending a head flying and howling "helmet's away!" These are full-on real Jedi who are now into their third talent tree with fairly robust powers and lightsaber skills. They manage to survive despite themselves. The force is with them, but very few Rebel soliders are because, quite frankly, (those three) "Jedi are freaking nutjobs!"
  21. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from Lotr_Nerd in You Know You're Playing Age Of Rebellion When...   
    When your three Jedi survivors composing an "impossible missions force" type-cell for the Rebellion engage a company sized scout battalion of Imperial troops. And... one of them force-leaps on top of an AT-ST to cut their way in, but another one slices through a leg with their lightsaber at the same time, sending it careening sideways with a BOOM into the middle of a platoon of stormtroopers. This leaves the Jedi who had been on top of the AT-ST to land in the middle of the stormtroopers screaming foul-mouthed explicatives and looking for egress. Meanwhile, the third Jedi grins and charges into the afray sending a head flying and howling "helmet's away!" These are full-on real Jedi who are now into their third talent tree with fairly robust powers and lightsaber skills. They manage to survive despite themselves. The force is with them, but very few Rebel soliders are because, quite frankly, (those three) "Jedi are freaking nutjobs!"
  22. Haha
    Vondy got a reaction from LordBritish in You Know You're Playing Age Of Rebellion When...   
    You know your really running Edge of the Empire when...
  23. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from Octavian84 in How do rules explain Poe's xwing getting damaged from the stormtroppers   
    It was an easy stationary target, its shields were inactive, and fighter's aren't tanks. Armored or no, they have ducts, canopies, exhaust ports, drives, etc that will be weak points. This is true of real world armored fighter craft, too. If you take an M4 and open up on an F-16 sitting on the tarmac you won't do much damage to the hull itself and probably won't disable it. If you walk around to the back and fire into the engine? You will screw that plane up royally. The cockpit, exhaust ports, exposed hydraulics where the landing gear is down, etc, are all weak points. A squad of marines opening up on a sitting duck fighter at infantry engagement range? Odds are they will hit something.  
  24. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from SirSaiCo in How do rules explain Poe's xwing getting damaged from the stormtroppers   
    It was an easy stationary target, its shields were inactive, and fighter's aren't tanks. Armored or no, they have ducts, canopies, exhaust ports, drives, etc that will be weak points. This is true of real world armored fighter craft, too. If you take an M4 and open up on an F-16 sitting on the tarmac you won't do much damage to the hull itself and probably won't disable it. If you walk around to the back and fire into the engine? You will screw that plane up royally. The cockpit, exhaust ports, exposed hydraulics where the landing gear is down, etc, are all weak points. A squad of marines opening up on a sitting duck fighter at infantry engagement range? Odds are they will hit something.  
  25. Like
    Vondy got a reaction from JRRP in How do rules explain Poe's xwing getting damaged from the stormtroppers   
    Oh, exiting! An X-Wing has "Armor 3"? You saw that in the movie somewhere? This is a giant contextonomy. The screen writers don't consult game books to check stats before writing nor are rules even remotely relevant to evaluating what we see on screen. The rules system emulates the movie, not the other way around. So, if the rules don't line up to what we see on screen its the rules that are wrong, not the movie. In this case I would suggest the issue is a lack of granularity in the system. Its simplified and uses a small range of integers to cover a lot of ground. So, no, an X-Wing is not closer to an infantry fighting vehicle because, on screen, we clearly see its not. It gets shot up just as easy as a modern fighter jet sitting on the tarmac would, which is probably what the writers had in mind. "Hey, Frankie, What is a space fighter analogous too?" "Gosh, Billy, an aerospace fighter!"  Armor 3? Bah!
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