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Kaigen

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  1. Like
    Kaigen reacted to Donovan Morningfire in XP awards are supposed to be explained?   
    I usually go by the following guidelines for awarding XP (based upon a suggestion made by Jay Little during the early days of the system):
    5XP as a base (the players showed up and played the game)
    Then, +5XP for each hour spent actually playing the game; time spent on out-of-game conversations (such as what's being ordered for dinner) doesn't count towards playing the game.  This usually works out to about 3 hours on average for my more regular groups.
    Next, I award a +5XP bonus or the character doing a really good job of playing to their Motivation and/or their Obligation/Duty/Morality.
    Lastly, I award ad hoc XP bonuses for major accomplishments made during the course of the story arc, usually around 5XP per accomplishment.
    This tends to average around 20 to 25XP per session, upwards of 30 or more for end-of-adventure awards.  Which is fine, as it allows the players to always have enough XP to purchase some new thing.. provided the player remembers to spend their XP; I've had a couple players forget to spend their XP in between sessions.
  2. Like
    Kaigen reacted to Donovan Morningfire in Rise of the Separtist's release date?   
    Mon Mothma was leader of the Rebellion, and she'd crumple like a wet paper towel in front of a semi if put into field combat.  So positions of authority doesn't automatically mean one is going to be dominant force in whatever situation they find themselves in.  After all, we see a trio of Jedi Masters with expanded lore accolades galore to their names go down like absolute punks in RotS when confronting Darth Sidious, and yet some folks like Tramp and the long-gone and not-remotely-missed forum troll AluminumWolf insisting insisting that Jedi Master must mean overpowered unstoppable badass.  While Yoda likely didn't become the Grand Master of the Jedi Order by collecting bottle caps, that doesn't mean every version built of him has to be an unstoppable Force of nature in every circumstance.
    As for restricting or limiting what a character can do based upon certain guidelines, that's entirely up to the person creating the stats in question.  There was a guy over on the F&D sub-forum effectively pitching a fit over the Vader stat block from Dawn of Rebellion not being able to stand up to his PCs, when those PCs had a few thousand XP under their belts, while Vader himself (whose stats really only cover what's seen in the films and Rebels) was built to be an extremely formidable challenge for PCs with a more normal range of XP.
    A couple of guys have in the past on these boards created perfectly viable Knight Level builds of Obi-Wan as of the start of TPM (using XP earned during events of the movie to purchase abilities he displays later in the film) and Kanan Jarrus (same general notion of using XP to add abilities he displays after his debut) for his initial appearance in Spark of Rebellion.
    To say nothing of the fact that there are folks who prefer to stick strictly to the movies, and ignore everything else, canon or not; personal example, GM for a game I'm currently in has cited that as far as he and his campaign are concerned, the various events of the Clone Wars series never happened, so if he were to come up with a Yoda stat block, it'd likely only focus on what Yoda does in the prequel films, and it'd be questionable if Ahsoka even existed in his version of the 'verse.
    Your remarks underline the core problem with creating stat blocks for named characters, in that there's too much effort on trying to get the character build to cover everything that said named character has done in all Star Wars media.  And while the Disney reboot makes this less of a headache than previously given the sheer volume of material created for the Expanded Universe, it can still be more hassle than some GMs want to bother with when coming up with a stat block for "specific named character X."  Even FFG didn't try to go that route with providing stats for named characters in Dawn of Rebellion, instead focusing on what was critical for this particular character to be able to do, rather than creating a laundry list of effects to replicate the "one time they did that one thing that they never did again."
    It's frankly blind fanboyism that says "oh, this is a named character from the films, so they must be utterly badass at everything they do!" that leads to the sort of bloated builds that again try to cover every little thing the character has ever done no matter how obscure the media, especially when trying to create an NPC stat block that's actually usable in an encounter without overloading the GM with too many options.  The guys that did the Knight Level builds of Obi-Wan and Kanan got crap for their builds because of that same blind fanboyism that couldn't accept that neither of those two individuals were truly experts at what they did at the time we first met them.  Part of that blind fanboyism is possibly fueled by WEG's rather ham-handed efforts to stat up the Heroes of Yavin with the misguided notion that the characters needed to mathematically succeed every time they attempted a task seen in the films, rather than acknowledge that the stat blocks only needed at least a decent chance to succeed, and that the characters had what a friend of mine calls "movie hero dice" and simply got really good rolls for those adventures, with Luke being a prime example of a character whose player rolled exceptionally well during most of his critical moments in the original trilogy, with ESB being a notable exception to this.
  3. Like
    Kaigen got a reaction from OriginalDomingo in Lets talk Coercion!   
    Another thing to remember about Coercion is that it's not just limited to physical threats, but can encompass a variety of negative consequences that you promise to inflict if the target doesn't do what you want. In this way, it's the mirror image of Negotiation: Negotiation involves offering them something they want to get what you want, Coercion involves promising to do something they don't want to get what you want.
    Telling someone to approve your request or you'll bury them in so much red tape they can't go to the refresher without a form signed in triplicate? Coercion.
    Threatening to tell everyone that a shop sells subpar goods unless you get a discount? Coercion.
    It's not just "I'll beat your face in." It's also "I want to talk to your manager."
  4. Like
    Kaigen reacted to Smog in Rise of the Separtist's release date?   
    I can tackle both of these at once, I think.

    I run my Star Wars games in a similar pacing and style as the movies, which is to say villain cutscenes occur after a specific trigger in which the player characters can no longer alter the course of what those villains are going to do. In other words, they give insight into what the villains are doing just before they act.

    I don't have a specific example of my own at work, but all you have to do is look to the movies for the best possible examples. Empire Strikes Back is the best one to use, I think. Imagine giving the players (Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewie) the scene where we see the Executor looming above Hoth, and Vader emerging from his meditation chamber so that Veers can inform him of Ozzel's incompetence at emerging from hyperspace too closely to Hoth. It gives great insight into one of the big bads (Vader), into the new nemesis that is about to face the PCs (Veers), and most importantly: it's already too late for the PCs to use this information to metagame. The invasion of Echo Base is the very next scene, and it only gives some additional context into what the PCs already suspected (due to the encounter with the probe droid).

    So, as I said, scenes shouldn't be used too early. They should be triggered by specific player actions, and only utilized in a way that minimizes or entirely eliminates the potential for metagaming (though to be fair, my players don't metagame anyway, because it is neither fun nor interesting). Not only does it make the game feel more like Star Wars and more like a movie, it makes the antagonists feel real --  like they're actually out there in the galaxy working towards their own objectives and living lives rather than just popping into existence at predetermined times to oppose the PCs.
    Finally, one small point is that players should be involved in the delivery and reading of the scenes. Have one player do the narrative pieces (reading the descriptions of actions, the rooms, etc), and the rest of the players voice the cast. Scenes are, in my opinion, boring if the DM just reads through the entire thing expecting the players to listen to him monologuing and having a conversation with himself between multiple characters. Letting players read the NPCs lines also gives them a small amount of investment with that NPC and makes them feel a bit more alive and not just some fragment of the DM's personality. I have players that will pick an NPC and then read that NPC's scene lines for the entire campaign because they connect with them or grow to enjoy them. Another secondary benefit of this is that your players might give them some additional personality or quirks you wouldn't have thought of that breathes even more life into them (a specific way of speaking or interacting with specific other NPCs, for example).
    Antagonist scenes aren't an exact science, but I strongly believe them to be an amazingly versatile, fun, and a perfect piece of Star Wars theme. Give them a try in your own game, modeling them after the antagonist scenes in the original trilogy in terms of timing and length, and think of them in terms of "how much does this scene really allow my players to change the course they're already on?" In terms of structure, if you're unsure how to lay them out, look up examples of screenplay formats online. That's how I write mine (and as this is a cinematic universe, it's pretty appropriate). Make sure to include those classic Star Wars screen wipes.

    I'm happy to answer any other questions around this tool. They're one of both my and my players' favorites.
     
  5. Like
    Kaigen reacted to OggDude in Another Character Generator   
    Also, people seem to have this notion that I have a secret stash of all items with all detailed descriptions from all the books.  Nope   When I add new items from new books, the only descriptions I have are "Please see page..." blah blah blah.  I haven't even added them for my own person data.  For that, I use a custom data set that someone put together (I own all the books, so I have no problem doing this).  I barely have enough time to do releases now and again, I really don't have the time to type in all descriptions for everything from the books.
    I do appreciate the time it took others to do this, however, just as I appreciate the time it took for the original authors to add descriptions in the books.  So, make sure you own the books before adding a data set for descriptions.
  6. Like
    Kaigen got a reaction from DarthHammer in Special Modifications - Crafting   
    You improve already-built weapons with attachments and mods. Some of these can be flavored as building or refashioning new bits of the weapon, such as the filed front sight or the custom grip.
  7. Like
    Kaigen reacted to ColonelCommissar in Rise of the Separtist's release date?   
    My group use Play by Post on a forum, so we've elected to wait since two players want to be Jedi, two more want to play Clones and the other two want to see the Universal Specs before committing, and a lot of characterisation is down to what will be in the specs and how they work out. How have you found it running the game without the crunch?
  8. Like
    Kaigen reacted to Yaccarus in How many times do you let a player attempt a task?   
    The way I see it, failure means “you’ve tried everything and none of it worked.”
  9. Like
    Kaigen reacted to 2P51 in How many times do you let a player attempt a task?   
    Once. I don't set up plot choke points with rolls though.
    Always ask when you are designing a session do you really even need dice to be rolled? I find as I've GM ed longer n longer there is far less need for dice rolls than many people bother with imo.
    If so, insure there's more than one option for skinning the narrative cat. Consider different skills applied in different ways to accomplish the task.
    Make sure you're checking for the correct outcome. I always use the locked door example, are you intending to just pick a lock? Probably not, you're trying to get through a locked door and you're using narrative dice to describe that event. Succeed and you're in, succeed wildly and you disable the building's alarms in the process. Fail, you're in but broke your tools, fail miserably, you're in but were heard and are ambushed by security, the alarm starts sounding, etc.
    One opton allowing for multiple checks is exactly like combat, require multiple successes to achieve the goal during an structured encounter. So when the shootout is raging in the data center, the slicer needs 10 successes to DL all the info. That might take 1 round for an elite hacker, or 5 for a not so much.
    It's called the narrative dice system so narrate with the dice, don't just generate pass/fail checks.
  10. Like
    Kaigen got a reaction from Silim in Your favorite Force power   
    And then there's the Baran Do Mentor benefit in Disciples of Harmony that lets you use Unleash a couple of times a session without Conflict. If that wasn't written to enable "Electric Judgement"-esque fun I'll eat my hat. 
  11. Like
    Kaigen got a reaction from Dayham in Countering Sense   
    I think this scene from KOTOR 2 is useful both for thinking about what kind of information you might be able to get from Sense, and what a highly disciplined character passively resisting Sense might look like. Unlike the other characters, who are each in a room by themselves ruminating and thus vulnerable to giving up sensitive thoughts when unwittingly eavesdropped upon, Atton always keeps his mind focused on mundane matters, revealing nothing important. And a person using Sense on him cannot be sure if that is because he has something to hide, or if he is just a boring person.
    It also touches briefly on the ethical concerns, as Atton notes that both light and dark force users eavesdrop on people's thoughts more than one would expect, but the PC is the only one who has ever apologized for the breach of privacy. The game doesn't give you DSP for sensing thoughts like this, and I wouldn't necessarily give out Conflict for it at my table, but that doesn't mean there won't be consequences if other characters find out that a PC has been walking into their house and rifling through their things without their knowledge, so to speak.
  12. Like
    Kaigen got a reaction from Donovan Morningfire in Countering Sense   
    I think this scene from KOTOR 2 is useful both for thinking about what kind of information you might be able to get from Sense, and what a highly disciplined character passively resisting Sense might look like. Unlike the other characters, who are each in a room by themselves ruminating and thus vulnerable to giving up sensitive thoughts when unwittingly eavesdropped upon, Atton always keeps his mind focused on mundane matters, revealing nothing important. And a person using Sense on him cannot be sure if that is because he has something to hide, or if he is just a boring person.
    It also touches briefly on the ethical concerns, as Atton notes that both light and dark force users eavesdrop on people's thoughts more than one would expect, but the PC is the only one who has ever apologized for the breach of privacy. The game doesn't give you DSP for sensing thoughts like this, and I wouldn't necessarily give out Conflict for it at my table, but that doesn't mean there won't be consequences if other characters find out that a PC has been walking into their house and rifling through their things without their knowledge, so to speak.
  13. Like
    Kaigen got a reaction from SavageBob in Alternative Social Skills   
    I think that's an interesting take, but I think that allowing Negotiation to go too far into intangibles treads on Charm's territory. The thing to remember is that Charm is not just about "flattery" in the sense of complimenting someone until they like you enough to do what you want, but also encompasses appeals to a character's better nature. "Look, one mechanic to another, is there anything to those rumors about new jobs in the Imperial weapons factory?" is a Charm-based approach because you are appealing to a sense of shared identity to get information without making any kind of explicit offer. You can frame that as transactional, as one character offering recognition of another's abilities in exchange for continued conversation on a given topic, but if that's the case, so is flattery, at which point why would you ever use Charm? There's always potential for overlap between social skills because situations can be fuzzy, but I think it helps preserve some kind of a niche for each if Negotiation is used primarily when there's an explicit offer on the table, and Charm is used when the only "offer" is warm fuzzy feelings or a sense of satisfaction. Otherwise characters might end up ignoring Charm entirely on the grounds that any social interaction can be characterized as a transaction, allowing them to use Negotiation all the time.
    All that being said, others have made good points about keeping dice rolling to a minimum, and along those lines, it's a good idea to ask yourself as a GM whether a roll to get information is even needed in the first place. If the NPC has no motivation or special consideration that makes them inclined to hide information from the PCs, then getting them to reveal it in the course of conversation should be a straightforward proposition that doesn't require picking up the dice. You call for a social roll when the PCs need to work for it.
  14. Like
    Kaigen got a reaction from the mercenary in Alternative Social Skills   
    I think that's an interesting take, but I think that allowing Negotiation to go too far into intangibles treads on Charm's territory. The thing to remember is that Charm is not just about "flattery" in the sense of complimenting someone until they like you enough to do what you want, but also encompasses appeals to a character's better nature. "Look, one mechanic to another, is there anything to those rumors about new jobs in the Imperial weapons factory?" is a Charm-based approach because you are appealing to a sense of shared identity to get information without making any kind of explicit offer. You can frame that as transactional, as one character offering recognition of another's abilities in exchange for continued conversation on a given topic, but if that's the case, so is flattery, at which point why would you ever use Charm? There's always potential for overlap between social skills because situations can be fuzzy, but I think it helps preserve some kind of a niche for each if Negotiation is used primarily when there's an explicit offer on the table, and Charm is used when the only "offer" is warm fuzzy feelings or a sense of satisfaction. Otherwise characters might end up ignoring Charm entirely on the grounds that any social interaction can be characterized as a transaction, allowing them to use Negotiation all the time.
    All that being said, others have made good points about keeping dice rolling to a minimum, and along those lines, it's a good idea to ask yourself as a GM whether a roll to get information is even needed in the first place. If the NPC has no motivation or special consideration that makes them inclined to hide information from the PCs, then getting them to reveal it in the course of conversation should be a straightforward proposition that doesn't require picking up the dice. You call for a social roll when the PCs need to work for it.
  15. Like
    Kaigen reacted to SavageBob in Alternative Social Skills   
    First, your players' system sounds like it's working, so that's great. It's definitely inventive, and I like it when players are creative with the rules.
    That said, my guess is that, per RAW, most of what you describe is supposed to fall under Charm. If the goal is to legitimately chat someone up in a congenial manner, that's plain ol' Charm. So, where does that leave your blue-collar mechanic trying to chat up the working-class moisture-vaporator tech? In that case, an alternative might be to let the PC first try a Mechanics check to establish that their character knows what common ground they share with the target. Then grant boost dice to the subsequent Charm check based on how well that Mechanics check goes.
    By RAW, you can already add boosts for various circumstances. So I'd grant a boost out of the gate for being of the same social class, species, or profession as the target (no roll required). Is alcohol involved? Another boost (or more depending on how drunk the target is). Then more potential boosts for that Mechanics check I mentioned. You might even take a page from the Genesys rules and let the PC guess one of the target's motivations with a couple of Advantage, granting another boost on any subsequent checks if they pander to it. At the end of the day, you make it so that your non-face characters can have a fighting chance of passing the Charm check in a believable fashion.
    That's how I'd handle this, but, again, your solution sounds fun, too.
  16. Like
    Kaigen reacted to DarthHammer in Alternative Social Skills   
    Something that helps me determine what skill to use in a given situation (especially for social checks) is to think about it from the perspective of what the character is trying to accomplish, rather than what the character is specifically doing.
    Even if they are trying to acquire information in a subtle manner by 'just talking' they are still making an attempt to get information out of someone as they would be with a more overt method. And the way they approach 'just talking' determines the skill to use.
    If they're striking up an honest conversation and hoping their charisma and personality will loosen the tongue of whoever their talking to, go with Charm.
    If they're being boastful and trying to impress the person with tall tales to bait them into one-upping them with the information they want, it would be Deception.
    If they're trying to demonstrate their relevant acumen so that the person feels they stand to gain from divulging this information (or stand to lose from not divulging it) you could use Negotiation, Coercion, Streetwise, or even a relevant Knowledge Skill.
    Of course, another option could be to utilize custom skills. If the players want a 'Griping' skill to represent proficiency with small talk and idle chatter, there's nothing stopping you from making a custom skill to let them do that. If you want to you can even have it 'keyword share' with another social skill (or multiple skills) for getting it as a Career skill and/or Talent usage.
  17. Like
    Kaigen reacted to emsquared in Countering Sense   
    Lot of good responses, but I want to reinforce a couple things @CaptainRaspberry touched on.
    1. If the NPC knows something that's going to ruin that much of your plans, then you should treat them as a Nemesis or Adversary. ie Make it an opposed check, I could see Cool or Discipline being appropriate depending on the circumstance. Maybe even Deception if they're actively trying to give false thoughts. The system gives you the flexibility to have different types of NPCs resist the Force in different ways.
    2. I know the bar is pretty low for sensing thoughts (assuming that's what you're having problems with) but allowing the Force to achieve great things for the PCs is a necessary part of a healthy Morality mechanic. If activatinf a Power isn't worth the Conflict, they won't seek that power.
    Lastly, savvy NPCs know the tricks of the Jedi. They will not let the Jedi near (forcing your PC to use more pips/risk Conflict), they will clear their minds (Discipline?), or "spam" useless thoughts when interrogated (Cool?), or fill their mind with false thoughts (Deception?), they will split truly critical bits of information among multiple parties so that no one person could reveal everything, they will use technology to store knowledge, so on.
    Moral of the story: The important information is always behind countermeasures. If it's not hugely important plot info, then just let it happen to encourage them seeking power thru the Force.
  18. Thanks
    Kaigen reacted to KRKappel in Rise of the Separatists Era Book   
    Indeed! I'm fairly certain most of the conversation on the forums regarding my work in the book will focus on attributes and skill ranks chosen for iconic NPCs (because basically everyone on the internet is going to have a different idea of what those should look like, depending on their interpretation of the character and how much XP their home game is at). But I'm really proud of my work in this book. The Clone Wars is one of my favorite eras for Star Wars stories, and I did my best to give GMs and players a lot of hooks and frameworks for dealing with the bureaucracy of the Old Republic and making it interesting (or at least hopefully understandable). This is probably my favorite book I've worked on to date for FFG. So I really really really can't wait for it to come out. 
  19. Like
    Kaigen got a reaction from jmoschner in Slicing Issue   
    The defending slicer who actually wants to find out who this intruder is so that they can alert the authorities/send security to track them down. I mean, look at it from the defender's point of view: Sure, you could just keep reactivating the security program and waiting for the intruder to make a mistake before attempting a trace, but that runs the risk that the intruder will just decide that this is currently too difficult and disconnect to try again at a different time. And now you don't know who was trying to get in and for all you know they might try again when your shift is up and Jim the Dunderhead takes over.
     
    So instead you Trace User, because you only need one successful check to find out where they are and force them to move or be captured, or you start compiling their signature so that you can find out where else they've been slicing in (and possibly spook them into disconnecting in the process if you get too close). And once you have their signature, you can kick them out and make it stick.
  20. Like
    Kaigen reacted to Andreievitch in What speed when leaving hyperspace   
    I always assumed it was what ever speed you wanted to go? (within the ships limits, of course).  
    Coming out at top speed is very dangerous, cruising speed is typical, full stop sometimes necessary. 
  21. Like
    Kaigen got a reaction from Jareth Valar in Another Character Generator   
    Clearly you folks just need to start an open source character generator on Github and enlist every person in this thread who's ever asked OggDude to make it open source to help. Combine it with harvesting all the data in the app already (like the makers of this webapp did) to overcome the "depth of material" problem and I bet you'll catch up in no time.
  22. Like
    Kaigen reacted to Donovan Morningfire in knives under-powered?   
    Here's the thing.  In a regular fight in this system, a knife isn't a very dangerous weapon, even a vibroknife which benefits from Pierce 1 and a lower crit rating.
    Of course, a vibroknife becomes a very deadly weapon in the hands of someone that's extensively trained in their usage, primarily via talents such as the ones that Lukey84 noted.
    I would be extremely hesitant to allow any sort of "called shot" effect that lets a PC bypass the target's soak bonus from armor or soak in general, as the PCs are going to very quickly make that their "go to" option with any sort of attacks any time that they can.
    Now, if you want to do the instant stealthy takedowns that you see in videogames and stealth-based video games, especially if the target is a random mook (i.e. a minion), then the best way to do that is not with a combat skill check, but instead with an opposed Stealth vs. victim's Perception; if the Stealther wins, then they get to narrate out the victim is taken out.
  23. Like
    Kaigen reacted to Dr Lucky in Cyphers and Mask Now Shipping!   
    I've heard from multiple people that it is for sale. I'm pretty confident that the issue is that those who bought the book would rather use their limited convention time to enjoy the convention, rather than reading the book, much less reading and then posting online about it. 
  24. Like
    Kaigen got a reaction from 09/20/Thanos in Your favorite Force power   
    I haven't played enough F&D to have a favorite based on experience, but conceptually I really like Ebb/Flow. It's flexible in use and its mechanics flow beautifully from the narrative.
    One of these days I'd love to try a Protect specialist (Ideally with a Baran-Do mentor so I can occasionally use the Unleash side without gaining massive Conflict), as I think barrier mages are cool, but that requires a pretty big XP investment, so it's not likely to happen anytime soon.
  25. Like
    Kaigen reacted to Archlyte in You Know You're Playing Age Of Rebellion When...   
    You find yourself in character creation explaining to the players that it is actually important for them to see the Rebellion as something their character cares about.  
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