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Archlyte

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  1. Archlyte

    Open Attempts vs. Exclusion by Talent

    Thanks again for the long response I actually love the big discussions so I appreciate your time and attention. I agree that you can't have people just doing whatever they want, but that also wasn't my intended use of some of these sequestered abilities. I think that they are often just some normal ability but with a canned narrative description. I think it comes down to whether or not you feel the world you play in is this sort of mechanical place where the rulebook physics are always concrete and in place, or if it is a place where sometimes things happen that are unusual and different. There is if course a "too far" there, but I'm basically talking about the case of saying Never and Maybe in the right circumstances. You are on the Never side if I am understanding you correctly, and you state that it is game mechanics that dictate what you can do. You gave an example of the character having a talent to accomplish a social skill, and my answer for which method works (exclusion or open approach) I would say both are acceptable. If the character is not able to do something by your adjudication of what the player is capable of then I would say they shouldn't be able to do it well in normal situations, but if impressing the Royal Princess is something crucial to his mission the character may have a moment of focus and decide to try and talk to the person in an appropriate manner. Then the player actually role-plays the conversation and turns that crass demeanor into something the Princess respects because the character explains their background and life where they are from. Is it not possible to do all of those social "smooth talking" type things by actually smooth talking? If the character was raised in a cave and knows nothing of how to converse then ok, it's not in character to be able to talk your way out of it, but if the character has some social experience and understands the context then those sorts of conversation powers are not the same as levitating a rock. So in the case of the guy who made the claim to be the lore master of his people, was that something that you actually challenged or did it come to a head only when he tried to roll 2G for checks? Did the character think he was something that he wasn't, or was the player just making that a part of his concept but didn't have the points to build it to match the mechanics (assuming he didn't put everything in Ranged(light) or something and just used his points to min/max)? Were his people living in mud huts on a world that was isolated and therefore their lore wasn't very expansive? I think that you could have given him an auto-pass on the Lore checks if there wasn't much to know, but if the whole adventure rested upon this guy knowing if his ancestors knew or did something then I guess you would have to hold that line. But let's say you did and then he spends XP to now get ranks of Lore. How did that happen and why does he know it now but not before? Why did he say he was a lore master when he wasn't and now has that skill so is he now a lore master? There are problems with powers and knowledge that materializes suddenly after killing a bunch of Jabba's thugs in a mission to retrieve a stolen ship. Hey we did all that and now I know my people's lore! I think that having the mechanics make all the decisions is as risky as using common sense to determine if someone can attempt something covered by a formally written Talent because the mechanics can do weird things just in the other direction. Thanks again for the ongoing discussion and your polite response, I appreciate it.
  2. I like to tinker and question the way things work in systems I play, but of all the systems I have used in the last 10 years or so SWRPG has become my favorite game to play and caused me to ditch my own Star Wars hack made for another system, and D20 games have no interest for me any more. It really has opened up a lot of doors for narrative description by the players I play with and also when I have been able to play in the system. I feel like the game captured the feel of the setting in how the rules play out for the most part. It plays like Star Wars. The system is also designed in such a way that you can add-on and subtract while still keeping the core mechanics intact as far as feel, and I haven't found that to be the case in other systems I have used and tinkered with in the past. The artwork and the specific content makes you feel like you are using an excellent product that was designed with serious thought and testing. The small integer characteristics and set damage numbers make combat flow quickly. The dice pools are not as instantly intuitive as D20 or D100 games so there are often surprising results. The extra axis of the dice provides room to be creative in either spontaneous or pre-arranged ways. This makes custom tables very interesting to make and use. The game has an open approach for characters meaning that you can generally try to do something even without having put points into a skill. I feel you can do this with other aspects too given the right circumstances. Prep for a game is easy as I have ever seen. It is amazingly easy to do the rules-oriented prep for this game. What are some of the things you love best about EotE, AoR, and F&D?
  3. Archlyte

    Karen Traviss novels?

    I won't read her books because of what I have heard about the content but mainly because she stated that the IP is Science Fiction to her and she writes for it that way. I feel that is just arrogant and erroneous.
  4. Archlyte

    Open Attempts vs. Exclusion by Talent

    So characters and what they can do starts at CHARGEN and improves based on XP which the GM Awards. So if I say that a character quickly executes drawing a weapon and firing before the enemy am I then breaking the rules or am I simply using description to detail some part of the scene in a manner that is within the purview of the GM in your opinion? Have you ever narrated a resolution to some situation in-game that was not completely done by the letter of the rules? If you have then you have allowed the character to do something that is not covered by experience or progression. I think there are cases when this happens in games as the GM switches gear in narration or is trying to emphasize something. It doesn't seem to me like this is something that breaks the game, certainly not to the level of overpowered but "legit" Talents or Items (which often end up on character sheets where they can bypass the Rarity code). The occasional unorthodox use of a Talen by a character who does not have it is the same as description of the character doing something like that talent. You draw your pistol in a flash and fire as you move close to your target and take cover. Draw as incidental, move a range band, interact with environment.
  5. Archlyte

    Open Attempts vs. Exclusion by Talent

    I appreciate the effort but maybe if you could point out to me how you got the idea that I want to narrate everything and not use any of the rules in the game that would be great. Also if you can maybe explain why my thread was offensive that would also be helpful.
  6. I've seen this issue come up a few times in other discussions and it seems like it is usually described as a phenomenon associated with high skill numbers vs. static challenges. The larger the number of dice the more normalized the results will be according to the FFG guys, which I took to mean that the more dice you add to the pool the more toward the middle the results tend to be. That was supposed to be the check on the advancing number of positive dice used in the course of the progression scale as I understand it. The more dice were added on both sides of the pool the more the result would tend toward the middle so having a ton of skill would not be super powerful as long as the difficulty challenge and setback went up as well. I don't like balancing combats and checks to the characters, but I think I hate facerolled stuff even more. My suggestion earlier in the thread was to take one of the factors in this, namely expected rapid and linear progression, and alter that to be slower and more random. But most people cannot handle the idea of retarding the progression of this game because it is built on the future plans for the progression of the characters. Given that there is no appetite for slowing the progression juggernaut, the problem is how do you provide a challenge for overblown skills that the character has at max levels because the player was shooting for having tasks challenge largely removed. PLAYER = wants to have challenges ever reduced by Characteristics, Skills, Talents, Powers, and Equipment. SYSTEM = wants to have challenges ever reduced by Characteristics, Skills, Talents, Powers, and Equipment. Supplies difficulty upgrades but still promotes progression as a main tenet of Playing a Character. GM = Wants to present challenges that the Players will find fun by the players having a sense of accomplishment when they defeat or overcome a challenge. As players defeat more and more things without significant resistance the risk of satisfaction nosediving increases. The players will soon see that challenges are not actually challenges. The Gm then tunes enemies to have the same capabilities as the Player Characters, balancing the pool. Players see this new challenge and respond by using the FFG-endorsed Player Prime Motivation: Progression through the Trees. the power treadmill loop is perpetuated Some people have advocated just varying the challenges to hit Dump Stats or lesser skills, and to split the party up. I feel that these are great solutions, but they do not address the underlying cause. Having them do other things simply gets them to spread XP to other skills bringing those up as well, effectively slowing XP into the favored build skills for the character. Slowing the progression will extend the duration of challenges, but eventually the character will get to the point of reducing challenges to easy actions. XP feeds Progression, Progression leads to lack of challenge, Lack of Challenge kills the Tension provided by risk of defeat or death. Obviously no one is going to change the way XP works in the game, but my point is just that it is a powerful force that should be handled purposefully. I'm going to use the Uncle Ben line and say that with great XP comes great responsibility. Playing the game like a pure game is also another cause here because approaching an RPG like a typical win-condition game leads to using everything you have every time in the pursuit of the win. For some people that style of play may be your thing and the whole reason you like the game, and if so then it's going to be about Player and GM having a referee and player relationship with the dice as the deciding factor. But if it's to be a role-playing game where story and characters are just as important as winning, the maybe players shouldn't do something repeatedly and every time just because they can. I think if you have 4Y 1G in Ranged(Heavy) it's kind of going to happen that you are gonna shoot like a demon, but every player who isn't 10 years old knows when it is gratuitous and getting old.
  7. Archlyte

    Embracing the dark side

    I don't feel like PC's need to feel that they are going to be able to eclipse the main characters though. I would never put it to them like that or participate in a discussion about it, but I don't feel PC's made in this system would not be able to measure up to the movie primary characters in many ways. Heroes are not gong to be as influential, and bad guy characters would be laboring under a delusion of being more powerful than Vader or Palpatine. I don't know why you would set out to do that and see it as a condition of enjoying the game. I'm gonna blow up 3 death stars so that Luke looks like a loser compared to my character Bruce Starnugget. But I'm open to hearing how I am getting this wrong.
  8. Archlyte

    Open Attempts vs. Exclusion by Talent

    Yeah but 2P in another thread we established that most people don't tie XP to experience in this game. Couldn't experience be also described as what the character has done throughout the lifespan of the character and in extraordinary moments?
  9. Archlyte

    Open Attempts vs. Exclusion by Talent

    Thanks for the in-depth response I enjoyed reading it and I think you make great points. Well you bring up the problem of Paying for the Power, which I would agree is necessary if the character is going to be able to do it with any regularity, and perhaps a Destiny Point would be enough pay for you, but maybe not. But then again, what is this idea of Paying all about? Most people seem to give XP in this game every session with something like 15-25 points being average. Many people feel that the XP in this game isn't even tied to the experience of the characters but is actually just a mechanism to be used to have a schedule of advancement. The characters are supposed to get more powers as the game goes on, so If a Player makes a Bounty Hunter Gadgeteer he will get Dedication at some point. This game is about career planning, like in a video game. Given the low lethality of the system it is likely that our BH will hit Dedication for sure, and I think that box is aptly named because what it represents more than anything is playing the character until that box is reached. So did the Player/Character really earn anything? My suggestion is that the only trade off is the direction you go, because the advancement nearly assured and not a very big achievement at all. Giving permanent 100% available Talents based on XP disconnected form anything done in play seems like a meta participation award used to guarantee power climb on the graph. In reality this means that the GM is basically saying "Yes you can get that box now," based on the convention of this game's guaranteed meta advancement schedule. It seems to me just as ok to say "Yes you can draw that gun as an incidental" maybe even for something they described or did that was situationally appropriate for that action. I think it is definitely easy to make a case for exclusion, but I also think that you can just as easily narrate that bodyguard having a moment of lightning reflexes even if he normally does not demonstrate such ability. People can do extraordinary things under extraordinary circumstances, so narratively it can easily make sense for someone t demonstrate some weird ability in a fluke that they might never otherwise. I definitely see the point of such exclusions when it comes to The Force/Magic where the effort is extra-physical in nature. But for something that a person can do regularly if they have the talent I feel like it makes sense that someone else could attempt that under the right circumstances. I think keeping these things only for the characters who actually have the ability is a brain-energy saver that uses the game conventions to keep order. But if you are able to provide objective oversight to the narrative, and with the help of the players, you can open up such possibilities without disaster. The idea that only a guy with Quick Draw can do this makes it some sort of hyper-tuned ability. I knew an actual trick shooter in real life and he was a pretty ordinary (and slightly overweight) older guy whom I saw act in other fighting situations (we both worked in a facility where you had to physically stop people from hurting us and them) and he wasn't Spiderman. But he could pull that revolver lightning fast. He was teaching me to do it and I couldn't do it regularly, but twice I got a draw that he said was quite fast, and more times than that the weapon ended up on the floor when I lost control of it lol. Anyway, my point is that yes, there are things you won't be able to do, but the story might benefit if there is some flexibility to this.
  10. Archlyte

    Open Attempts vs. Exclusion by Talent

    Thanks for the response. I too noted that some mods could give that ability. Imagine a character who is a Hired Gun Bodyguard and he is guarding an attractive senator from Corellia and is expecting trouble. The player is describing how he has his hand ready to unholster his blaster pistol should anything seem amiss. The group gets an amazing roll for an initiative slot when 3 robed men at the side of the room pull carbines from their voluminous robes. Would that instance be a possible time when the Bodyguard gets to draw as an incidental? Also did the character who doesn't have quick draw at creation but picks up a new specialty which has it never achieve that effect before in his life? Is it actually physically impossible for those who do not have the Talent box?
  11. Archlyte

    Embracing the dark side

    Yeah but that is basically the situation I was describing, namely edgelord posing. I hope it turns out good for you and I imagine you won't have any trouble with the situation but the cosmetic evil thing kind of irritates me. It gets into the problem of whether or not the person is being evil or just persistently rude. I would say if they are perfectly cooperative and can work together without death and betrayal they are just playing at being "dark," not actually evil. IN which case when real evil shows up the contrast will be pretty apparent.
  12. I think the main thing is to make sure you temper two aspects: Cause and Effect Story Cause and Effect will make the consequences of stealing that ship a factor in future situations. To my mind it's more of a hindrance than a boon and they could book passage for less trouble unless they never go near anyone who would gain from turning in some Imperial ship thieves. Also stealing something and getting away with it is a tacit announcement that stealing will work quite well for you so go ahead and do it. You don't have to say that, you are showing it. I am not saying the owner of stuff has perfect intelligence and will catch you every time, just that if they steal something, get away with it, and the ship just becomes their ship free and clear they will do this sort of thing again and again. Story would be the aspect of this where you make that cause and effect event happen at an interesting point in the adventure, as in usually when it is least desired by the players or when their deeds catching up to them has the most dramatic impact.
  13. Archlyte

    Embracing the dark side

    That's fine when there isn't a supernatural yet objective Force that defines these things for Force users. The OP was talking about Sith Academies and such, not your average street corner. Well the character is evil you see, but only when it is convenient. By that I mean the whole thing is this sort of advantage-only version of evil favored by RPers where it is just used as an excuse to have the character aggress constantly and persistently. It's a bit like the D&D Chaotic Neutral meta-dodge of wanting to be able to do whatever you want to do without any internal constraints for the character. It's always a straightforward thing for me when a player chooses this behavior pattern because cause and effect isn't nullified by the excuse of "I'm eeevil." They always paint themselves into a corner.
  14. Archlyte

    Embracing the dark side

    Playing bad guys never seems to involve the penalties it should in games. The fantasy of doing what you want without consequence or conscience combined with controlling the exploits of a psychologically empty drone of a character makes it attractive to a lot of people. It seems to me that the dark side exacts a cost of your personal life and relationships in exchange for power. No ally is your ally if they can, by action or omission of action, jeopardize your power. Anyone whom you care about is a weakness to be exploited.
  15. Archlyte

    Skill Check vs. Role-Playing

    Yeah I think everything you said makes sense. I often assume that the Order 66 podcast represents the official line on things and that's not really true so when I do that it's in error. The podcast has that presentation of something that is designed to appeal to the widest audience possible. They never met a cliché' or silly character name they didn't like, but they also readily denounce overpowered stuff as being "cheese," which I think is an ingeniously gentle way of saying it's lame. I love the podcast, it's definitely a guilty pleasure for me. You are so right about the emphasis of the questions, and it is always about mechanical stuff and not role-playing considerations. This game is so powerful in its capabilities, and that is why I use it nearly exclusively for my games Star Wars or no, but I think that description is a great way to have fun in the game. There are specializations built on making social rolls that can be achieved with naked mechanics and not described or role-played. If you wanted to board-game a TTRPG, this would be one of the top contenders for system choice because of the way there is a roll for everything. I think that makes for a very flexible and powerful tool as long as the exclusionary stance (if you don't have it you can't do it) isn't taken for non Force/Magical stuff. But if not it's very collectible card game-like. I think FFG wanted to monetize the game highly considering they must be paying a hefty amount for the licensing, so the more you can create a slick graphic for each sub-version of an archetype the more you are suggesting that the game is more about using the official version of everything. In the past when I play a system I buy the minimal number of books needed to play and then I build everything else based on the examples. This game is about buying a lot of stuff for a new version of something that really isn't all that different like Droid tech vs. Droid Specialist. You could have had neither of those and just had GM's saying "Ok yeah you can deactivate the droid better than most people so go for it," but when you can have a big full color picture of a Droid Husbandry Expert and a Tree that gives him the ability to do Binary Poetry people say ok that is official and easily accepted because it's in the book, I'll take that. Card Games are the big money for some of these companies so it would make sense to take elements from those games as well as video games and MMOs in designing a product. Do you have the card for Quickdraw? Ok then you can't do it. I once challenged one of my players to start making a character for this game without thinking of any careers or trees. The player couldn't do it. He was not able to put together an idea because he wasn't able to know what tree he would have based on his description of the character. Career Planning is endemic to playing characters in this game, and because of that people are looking at their Talent boxes to know what their character is. I get that people really enjoy the build-a-character stuff, but it feels super meta to me for it to always be such a concern. Can you imagine making a Slicer or Bounty Hunter and just not putting points into your tree? If you can I'm sure you are in the minority. Characters have Trees with Talents, many Talents have a check associated with the Talent, and therefore the characters are identified by the way they can roll/resolve checks based on their Talents. It's literally the design of the game. Every game has mechanics, but this one has a brilliant mechanic for resolving situations narratively. By itself those dice make it fun to resolve even without description, but if you add description and role-playing on top of them it's just amazing. My decision has been to introduce instances of less rolling in some situations to heighten the experience of when the dice are used, and to help focus on description, but it seems that this is undesirable to some (which I understand) because it excludes the practice of rolling for everything, which they feel devalues the tree progression mini-game.
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