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  1. So I initially had a mechanics/computers action similar to damage control to restore lost shield points. It was too good, I took it away. Instead I use a slightly modified version of the Boost Shields action. It didn't slow down combat beyond the necessity of tracking a third pool of points. My changes did however turn a 2 round rocket tag match into a 7 round dogfight. This may not be what some groups want, but my group enjoyed it. If the shields aren't going to come back on their own, but you're going to allow an action to recover them, I'd keep them at 5 points per 1 defense. If there is no way to restore the pool during an encounter, I think 10 would be fine. I do allow angle deflectors to move shields around still, so an x-wing could put both defense points forward, and have 10 shield points there, and regenerate 4 points per round. This works just fine in my overhaul, as maneuvering around and lining up shots matters, so leaving a zone unprotected could lead to a bad day pretty quickly. Taking away a self recharge and making an action could be interesting. However, I believe it may be too much additional bookkeeping, on top of what I've already added. My overarching goal with my overhaul was to make maneuvering into position matter, let shields absorb some damage without being too much or too little, and in general, make space combat more fun for my group. So much of space combat felt like you had to pay a "talent tax" to do anything cool, where as ground combat doesn't feel like you have to pay the tax to do the cool stuff, just to do the cool stuff better.
  2. I see knowledge check information as what something like an encyclopedia or history book would say about the planet. This is planet X, it is this large, has this(these) kind(s) of environment(s), this many people, these kinds of critters, this many cities, a Y hour long day, a Z day long year, major event A occurred here B years ago, etc. I see Familiar Suns information as a more personal nature. Either the player has been here before, or they heard about it from someone else who had been there. Take a bunch of sailors at a shore duty, who all did sea tours in different parts of the world. The sailor who did Atlantic deployments will have different stories about different places than the one who did Indian Ocean deployments, the one who did Pacific deployments, and the sailor who did Mediterranean deployments. The junior sailor who has never been on a deployment will soak up all these stories. So take the young sailor, who heard a bunch of stuff about all these places. They they go to their first sea tour. They find out where the first place they're pulling into is. So they go online, and research it. This would be the knowledge check. A lot of statistical information, current politics, current economy, maybe some major movers and shakers and what's what. Then they get there, and they're walking around, being a tourist, and maybe they get lost, or get involved in a weird cultural custom, or whatever. Now you get a Familiar Suns check, which could let them figure out stuff based on what's currently presented to them and what they heard from one of the stories told to them before. Really, I see Familiar Suns as a way to insert all the, "So I heard about the X on planet Y from spacer Z, and we should probably avoid doing A or B, and focus on doing C and even D," statements that some characters could have, without forcing the player to have a character background index for all the stories they've ever been told or all the places they've ever been to.
  3. Just FYI, those are from Imperial Assault, in case you also play that, or know someone who does.
  4. For reference, this is stated on page 154 of the CRB under the Item Qualities section, just above the description of the accurate quality.
  5. So I have a pretty extensive overhaul of space combat that I have been play testing and tweaking, both in actual play and scenarios to test extremes. One day I'll post it. For now, this is what I do with defense: I have used defense as a shield pool that can absorb incoming damage. At first, I was using 1 defense = 10 shield points, and each round at the beginning of that ship's first initiative slot (for ships with multiple initiative slots for whatever reason) that zone would regain 1 shield point for each point of defense. Now I instead give 5 shield points for each point of defense, and they regain 2 shield points for each point of defense. In both of these cases, I did not reduce damage by the armor rating until after shields were down. If an attack did more damage than shields were left, I then applied armor rating. This often caused most attacks that "popped" the shield to not have enough left over to actually hurt the ship. This has helped smaller ships last a little longer (not much longer, but enough to make it not a completely insane choice to climb into a snub fighter). It also makes larger ships less likely to get "chumped" easily. It also means that to disable vessels quickly you have to continuously attack them, because not hitting them for a round or two brings more shields back.
  6. The only problem I ran into with my group having 1 silhouette 5 ship and some fighters, is that silhouette 5+ ships are boring to fly in. They can't evade, they can't gain the advantage, they can't punch it. They just speed up, slow down, and move around, all very slow, like a whale. A pair of light freighters could potentially do all of that, times 2. Which I think would be pretty fun. Plus, in space combats, enemies would have two targets to deal with, which can lighten the load one ship has to bear.
  7. I've played several different systems, some to a much higher degree than others, here are the ones I've played/GM'd for longer than a one shot / trial run. D&D 3/3.5/4/5/Pathfinder - many, many, many games of these. Old World of Darkness - Vampire/Werewolf/Mage - a few campaigns, not as many as I would have liked. Shadowrun 3/4/5 - many, many games of Shadowrun. Mutants & Masterminds 2/3 - tried this one a few times, not as a hero game but as a baseline for other styles of games. I really love the free-form feeling of this game, but I just haven't managed to get one to keep going, mostly due to the home-brew nature of what I tried to do. Call of Cthulhu d% - one great campaign I played in college, which unfortunately was done so well that I don't think I could ever play this setting again without feeling like failing. Only War/Rogue Trader/Dark Heresy - these are a bundle of, IMO, terrible systems, but I love the fluff of the setting, and I was trying what I could to hopefully find a nice compromise. No success in the long run. Star Wars d20 - as much as I love Star Wars, I just couldn't get into this adaptation of d20. d20 Modern - played this until I was introduced to Shadowrun. Gamma World - This is a d20 Modern supplement for a post-apocalyptic setting. It is somewhat interesting. Iron Kingdoms/Unleashed - both the current standalones and the old D&D 3.0 supplement - I do rather enjoy the world of Iron Kingdoms, and I enjoy rping in it, however the current system does make it easy to fall into a pit of kill, loot, level, repeat. Probably the downside of a system built from a hyper-competitive miniature wargame that was built from a D&D 3.0 adventure supplement. And of course, FFG's SWRPG, all 3 lines. I can't enjoy this system enough, and I am constantly theorycrafting ways to incorporate other settings into this system.
  8. Double or Nothing, and it's Improved and Supreme versions, are talents in the Gambler specialization. Base form doubles all remaining advantages after cancellations. Improved doubles all remaining successes after cancellations. Supreme doubles all triumphs and despairs. It is an incidental that causes two strain to the user, taken before a check. It also increases the difficulty of said check by one.
  9. If you are using adversaries that can be removed from the situation by a single player's round, then use more adversaries than players. 4 PC initiative slots vs. 6+ adversary initiative slots. Even if all 4 players go first, you'll still have some enemies. Use triumphs on your checks and despairs on your players' checks to call in reinforcements, like having another minion squad show up. Add more minions to each group of minions. 1 stormtrooper is generally a pushover. 6 in one group are scary, as they throw YYYGG with blaster rifle without any other modifications. Even after losing 1 or 2, they still throw at least YYY. Don't be afraid to alter the classification (minion/rival/nemesis) as necessary to suit your story. If the party is fighting a bunch of stormtroopers, and you want a tense scene involving an E-Web repeating blaster, make the guy carrying the E-Web a nemesis (even if he's a regular stormtrooper) and assign him some regular stormtrooper minions to form a squad (AOR GM Kit contains squad rules). This allows the E-Web user to last a little while longer than if they were just a minion or lone rival. Have your combats take place in a "rolling" environment. Don't let the group just stand, aim and shoot. Make the combat part of something larger, like, "You have 15 minutes to get to the landing platform before the mcguffin is loaded on the transport and that transport flies away." Have each combat round take 1 minute, or 30 seconds, or make it variable. That way, the goal isn't to kill all the bad guys, it's to get the mcguffin and escape before the bad guys overwhelm and annihilate the group. Remember, you are allowed to make combat encounters part of the larger narrative. You don't have to start an encounter with X bad guys, and end with 0 bad guys. Sometimes bad guys (like stormtroopers) should seem endless, with more showing up every couple of rounds or so. You don't have to run this like a dungeon crawl, where while the party fights monsters in room A, monsters in room B twiddle their thumbs until the party enters their room. Sometimes, add in something extremely dangerous, with as much menace as you can muster, that forces the players to move beyond the, "Hit it until it stops moving," mentality. As for disruptors, they are powerful. If you're worried about your BBEG getting one-shot by one, that's normal. Ranks of adversary can limit how many advantage the disruptor gets, limiting how many times you can stack up on a critical injury roll. Ranged defense can add more failures/threats. Ranks of the Durable talent on your BBEG will limit how debilitating each critical injury roll will be. Imperial Valor (an ability on most imperial officers) can be carbon copied onto most BBEG's to represent many different narrative reasons for why a minion got in the way and took the shot for them. Also, squad rules can help out in a similar manner.
  10. Increasing the amount of negative dice rolled increases the likelihood of rolling failures and threats. So adding setbacks make checks harder to succeed. Turning a difficulty (purple) die into a challenge (red) die, know as upgrading, doesn't much alter the likelihood of rolling failures. It does make the check more likely to include an extra threat, but that is rather negligible in my experience. Mostly, the whole point of upgrading checks is to introduce the 1 in 12 possibility that a red die will roll a despair. More red dice means more chances for a despair. Now, when you upgrade a pool and there are no purple dice left in it to become red, that is when you add a purple. Adding a purple through upgrading does increase the chances to roll failure and threat in a meaningful way. So any talent, ability, GM fiat, whatever that adds purple dice has huge impacts on the roll's difficulty. Setbacks do this to, but to less of an extent. Upgrading purples to reds, statistically, really doesn't alter how hard a check will be, but it does allow for despair results.
  11. Mask of the Pirate Queen's initial offering on the bounty is an amount equal to the number of players * 10000 credits. So, 4 players would be told the bounty is 40000 credits. It can increase at certain points in the adventure. The adventure in the CRB has Bandin Dobah's bounty set at 5000 (alive) or 3000 (dead) from Thakba the Hutt. Or 10000 credits (that has a huge amount of hassle in getting the full payout) from the Imperial garrison on Kessel for Dobah, dead or alive.
  12. I've got a small list of talents I like to use, that are simple, and that I will actually remember to use. Things like Adversary, Lethal Blows, Durable, Crippling Blow (this one is fun) and that's about it for on-the-fly adversaries. This is done so I can keep NPC actions (in either structured or unstructured time) short and sweet so that the players can shine. Since most of the time my off the cuff adversaries get dealt generally in a (semi)permanent manner, and aren't meant to reprise a role or anything, I don't see a need for me to put a lot of effort into them. However, I've had a couple NPCs somehow through narrative events kind of stick with my players, so after a session involving them, I take the time to build them much more in depth, and think of back story, and motivation, and other stuff. Most of these get jotted down/typed up on a page of NPCs, but a special few make their way to their own character sheets and become much more inclusive in my stories.
  13. For NPCs, I generally just make up some numbers in my head that fit whether I want them to be a challenge or not. So Option C. For weapons, I generally use basic weapons from the core books, as that tones down a lot of the looting desires of my group. So, sort of Option C except the list of options is conveniently copied on my GM screens. For vehicles, I will almost always go find one similar to what I want to use and use the published stats. This is usually Option A, but I generally already have an idea of what speeders I like to use for various task are in which books. Notably, the AA-9 Assault and Rush Troop Transport air speeders in Dangerous Covenants. I find these two are great for random security force response vehicles, so they often get used as such.
  14. Hutt PCs are considered to be between the ages of 100 and 200, so a young adult hutt. They don't get awkward, just ponderous. Awkward isn't attributed to the age of the hutt, but the stature of the hutt. Some hutts like Grakkus, probably won't have awkward, however old he is. Awkward is only listed under each Hutt adversary entry that has it. The CRB has the Hutt Crimelord, whose awkward is 3 setback. Lords of Nal Hutta has a Mature Hutt entry, whose awkward is only 2 setback. I'd use a hutt of Jabba's size as the standard for 3 setback. Slightly smaller, 2 setback. Smaller than that, but bigger than a PC hutt, 1 setback. Bigger than Jabba, 4 or more setback.
  15. Yes, ECM Suites let anyone know your ship is there, but they make it difficult to for other ship's sensors to lock onto you. They won't hide your ship from sensors, they just make the enemies' sensors' jobs more difficult. Hiding from sensors is what Nightshadow Coating is for. In my group, the ECM Suite will typically be left off until combat seems inevitable. Once combat is about to occur or has begun, the on switch gets flipped (often as part of narrative right before initiative is rolled, as space combat has rarely been a complete surprise, or otherwise as a maneuver). It's not something that should be left on all the time. That would cause issues, like you stated.
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