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Aramur

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  1. Yes I agree. I try to do this as much as possible. I just noticed more 'gaps' in common tasks that I'm used to from other games. More of a challenge for the game master to put together encounters that have a satisfying role for most characters. Our party has five people, two high Agility characters, both pilots, technicians, gunnery people. The other three are more Brawn or Willpower focused, with some melee, some force powers and some social stuff etc. into the mix. But no piloting, mechanical or gunnery skills to speak of and a range of 1 and 2's in the relevant abilities. In the typical roles available in space travel (and combat in particular): they (to say it bluntly) suck. With regards to social skills, there are differences, but they are small, so everyone participates. With close-quarters combat, the pilot/mechanic is a liability. A couple of stray shots from some minions that would only put perhaps just a scratch on the high-soak and defense melee people would put him down. Sometimes, when the skills and situation synergize, you have great play. But some of the more standard situations (and you see them in some published modules as well) the required mix of skills is not offered. At the start of play, the differences were there and small enough that one could stand in our take over from another PC, but as XP and skills grew and PCs become more specialized, the challenges we tackled become larger, the PCs could not longer stand in for each other. "No more, I'll hold them off for a couple of seconds while you use the stimpack on your buddy", no more "I'll just take the wheel of the speeder in this city chase while you try and patch the damage." Social encounters still feel like a group effort with everybody can pitch in, even though with varying degrees of success, but some other challenges.... nope. I have not had an effect this pronounced with some other RPGs that I have played. We are trying to 'fix' the issue by acquiring a broader set of skills, but the game mechanics seem to tell us that investing XP into non-class skills and abilities with 1's or 2's is a waste of precious resources and the way to go is to hyper-specialize.
  2. It is a valid way too look at it. It is just not the way my Trandoshan Marauder would look at it. And he definitely isn't taking anyone to court. There are more efficient ways to handle such matters. But yeah, if the mechanic sells his service as a lottery ticket, then that is what you would be buying. Can be simply part of the price negotiation. But getting an actual quote might enable you to gauge the risk better. If the tech is going to mod a 5,000 credit attachment, it serves to be more careful when negotiating prices.
  3. When searching for opposed skill check, this thread came up first: In it you indeed explain how you handle social rolls, which seems to closely mirror my approach.
  4. Yes, if you consider the dice as leading the narrative instead of a tool to assist the narrative, then your position is sound and valid. I see game mechanics more as a tool to enhance narration rather then it actually creating the narration, but I your interpretation is a sensible one. For me, I could run the same story with the same characters in different game systems, and they outcomes should not differ too much because of the mechanics used. In your case, results would be likely much more different. I honestly didn't imagine there were people who rolled social checks first and then played the encounter, but it is a valid interpretation of the rules and the way you handle fear checks makes total sense from that angle. I hope you understand that from my style of play, it feels odd. In combat we play like: PC: 'I try to dive between the creature's legs, come up behind him and slash him with my vibroaxe" GM: The mechanics of that action is to roll X and use resource Y. PC: Rolls. Success with 2 advantage. GM: "You dive between its legs, come up on the other side and" (what do you want to do with your advantage..) "hit it driving it towards your friends so they have a better angle for their shots". So it start with narration, the narration determines if there is a challenge point that requires a roll and the mechanics are consulted. The outcome of the mechanics are used in further narration.
  5. In your game charming, deception and coercion is determined by rolls only? Wow, then you have a really odd game. In my game most of these things happen because of role-play, not because of roll-play. But I don't think your game works like that. I think most of your narrative is determined by what PCs and NPCs say, and not what roll they make. And you probably only initiate rolls on important decision points. Because now you sound like you roll for Charm or Coercion before the actual conversation, and then tell your PCs how to respond. I believe you start the conversation first and let any rolls flow from how the narrative develops and have those roles inform rather than determine how the narrative continues. And please do not misrepresent my position by saying such things as 'you have removed social skills from the game', just because I let opposed skill rolls initiated by NPCs inform and not dictate the narrative. Such qualifications don't help clarify your point (which is a valid one).
  6. I think you are now misreprenting my position, By a lot. 1. Actively using social skills is exactly as it is in your game (you try to Coerce the NPC). 2. Passively using social skills (the NPC tries to Coerce you) is slightly changed for some skills in comparison to your use: you are less restricted in your options. As I said, most players enjoy the added freedom and no one has even complained about 'making their social skills and talent useless'. The only disagreement about social issues I have ever received is when a more mechanically minded player just tells me 'I coerce the NPC'. Im such case I always ask for context and actual role-play. Because you know, context matters. If the Hutt crime boss threatens to blow up the PCs ship, the Coercion roll tends to add nothing to the situation but confusion. If the Hutt fails his roll, what should the PC do? The roll to Coerce has nothing to do with if the Hutt really makes good on his threat. Merely if he can use the threat in an effective way to leverage his position. If the PCs have been double-crossed by an NPC three times and you add three setback dice to his fourth Deception roll, are the PCs forced to go along with him again wjem they fail the opposed roll in your game? Or are you artificially increasing the difficulty of the roll (thereby deciding for you players what they should and shouldn't believe). I simply let the NPC make the roll, and merely say 'he sounds convincing, maybe this time he really means it', or 'you sounds like he is trying to play you again' and then have them make the decision. That is informing the narrative and not forcing the narrative.
  7. Oh, the dice do, but they don't force the narrative, the inform it. And that is a big (and for me crucial) difference. The dice inform a player that X is really intimidating, that Y is really convincing or that Z appear truthfull. But the players choose what to do with it narratively. In my game they just receive more freedom than a typical game I guess when I see the responses.
  8. It is completely up to them. There is no penalty. The penalty (as far as I'm concerned) is just a mechanical representation for characters who act the same as if they don't fear it. I tend to not penalize characters for them playing like they have a certain emotion, them playing like it is penalty (or bonus if you look at it narratively) enough. What I see is people trying to flee, not being the first one to get eaten by it, trying to appear dead, hiding behind the toughest of them, doing a lot of cursing, swearing and sweating.
  9. Well, that is I guess that is a large difference between our playstyles. As said, for me the mechanics follow the narrative as for as social encounters are concerned. And this is largely because of my basic principle that GMs never instruct players how their character should think, feel or react. That is the power of RP for me, the freedom to make your character's choices. I have played in games by starting GMs who kinda railroaded players in the sense of: "Ah, you fail your Discipline roll: now your character will investigate room X because he just can't resist the temptation." That is understandable, but not fun to me. The dice (for me) never determine how a PC feels, they just inform the PC. The influence power is perfectly fine to me. It functions a bit like 'magic', but normal social interaction should not have such 'magic' effects. If the sultry NPC makes a Charm check, then I inform the PC how convincing she appears, but it is up to the PC to make the decision what to do with that. Perhaps the PC has taken a vow of abstinence, perhaps he is prejudiced against the seducers person's race or sex. A failed roll to resist Charm simply doesn't make a straight person gay or vice versa unless the players wants to. However, I will explain to them that the Charmer appears really convincing and attractive to them. And you know, most players relish the freedom to make their own informed choices and their characters tend to react appropriately. I feel no to 'force' players to have their characters to make certain choices in a cooperative narrative game. If they don't want to have sex with some seductress, that's perfectly fine, they just can't deny that she appears really charming: because that is what the dice inform everyone of. If we were ever to play together I believe you wouldn't immediately notice any difference between how I play social encounters and you probably play them, unless some issue came up that was really central to your character. I would then allow you to make the choice that fits your character best, and you would probably ask me to change my character's response to something that fit the dice best. Or you would have the Mouse Droid make a Impossible Charm check to get it to seduce the Wookie to have sex with it with its sultry beeps of seduction (and, with the right skills, mouse droid could probably still succeed, but I guess you would never create such a situation or ask for such a roll in the first place to prevent having to play out what the dice tell you)
  10. You do not allow characters with odd quirks in your campaign? I honestly think C3PO's responses in some of the Star Wars films are totally unsuitable to what is happening, but they are perfectly in-character for the droid. He would 'tell someone the odds' at an inappropriate time. That is fine. He just has to face the consequences. Same with a character that wants to pet a hungry Rancor: they tend not to live long. The player would be invited back of course, unless he complains that his characters keep being eating by Rancors. ?
  11. I have never had any issues with game balance. I don't know what that has got to do with it. I can see your point though, that if players count on social encounters being composed primarily of rolling (and mechanics) and not using the narrative as much, that they could feel 'cheated'. Do the dice inform the narrative, or does the narrative call for use of dice? I'm more leaning towards the latter interpretation. But what would you do with the example of the Hutt threatening to blow up the character's ship, and a character making the opposed check? Do you tell the player something like: "you are not coerced and refuse the Hutt's orders. He signals his underlings to set of the explosives."? Or do you have them make the check, and then decide if they want to be coerced, with only the people making the check having the option of not going along with it, and forcing the rest to abide by the rolled outcome? If the players fail to see through an enemy's Deception (by doing an opposed check), at my games, they can still choose not to trust someone. Failing the opposed roll just means they can't see any indication that the person is deceiving them. I'm not telling the players how they should play their characters: that is up to them. How do you feel about PC vs PC social checks?
  12. You are playing with characters that don't wet themselves in such cases? You need the players to roll a check for that? In most cases I see characters that do fear such an encounter, but in some rare cases they don't. A naive character going 'ooooh, Rancor, so cute, never seen one, can I pet it?' Is a perfectly allowable response. And the player should have the freedom to make that response, and not have the GM tell him 'you are not allowed to say or think that because the dice indicate you fear it'.
  13. I think the GM (or by extension, the checks he requires you to make) should never dictate how characters should feel, think and what choices the character makes. That should always be the sole province of the player. I do not understand why everyone makes an exception to this principle for the emotion of fear. I have never seen love checks, friendship checks, trust checks, excitement checks, hate checks etc. Perhaps its the same things as alignment in classic D&D: you are alignment X, so your character should do Y. This always felt like nonsense to me. Your character decides to do Y, so his alignment is X, was always my philosophy. If you see the fear check as an external force acting upon the players and its just a mechanical thing (the setback die takes care of the whole fear thing for example), then I can certainly imagine you using it. If you force the player to make a choice or change his emotions about something, that's a no-go area as far as I'm concerned.
  14. I beg to differ. I never use fear checks and the characters are afraid plenty of times. Fear is useful, it makes a character think twice about taking stupid risks. As far as I am concerned, the GM has the responsibility to make the story so immersive that he doesn't need rolls to force players to have their characters act and feel in a certain way. I would consider it heavy-handed GMing to do otherwise. That is how I feel about fear checks. Yes, I also never roll coercion checks against characters in that way. I find it completely unneccessary (and detrimental). I have the narrative take care of it. If the Hutt crime lord says he has explosives installed in their ship and will blow their ship up if they don't do the mission for him, the players will choose if they will let themselves be coerced or not by that. If the character has a background story of him never giving in to Hutts again, then it might trigger a beautiful in-character dilemma. If you are a DM which does require players to roll in such a situation, what would you have them do with a success? Can they still choose to be coerced because they fear losing their ship or should they be forced to play not being coerced and then lose their ship, just because they happened to have a high discipline skill? I find GMs mostly use rolls to dictate what characters should feel as a kind of hack. Situations where they aren't able to sketch the narrative in such a way that the players will choose to have their characters act fearful, coerced or charmed. I may sometimes use such rolls to inform the players' characters, like 'The Hutt sounds like he is not bluffing about the explosives' but never to dictate their thoughts and emotions. They are the masters of their own fate. Are your player's characters never afraid of dying, never afraid of looking badly to their peers, never afraid having their reputation tarnished, never afraid of their stuff and their credits being taken, never afraid of their loved ones being hurt, never afraid of their characters goals being opposed, never afraid of the people they owe coming to collect?
  15. What would you do if you went to the garage IRL to get new hubcaps installed on your car and you had to pay for parts up front and then the car comes back without hubcaps and the mechanic telling you 'sorry man, didn't work out this time' and then ask you for the rest of the money for the job? You would likely be livid and demanding your money back. And what would you do if the hubcaps fell off after your first trip after looking good initially? Would you shrug and say 'ah well, it was always a risk?' Getting something installed is not a lottery as far as the customer is concerned, even though it might be so mechanically. Characters don't care about the mechanics of the game. If one of my characters wants to get something installed, and the mechanic tells him he is basically buying a lottery ticket while also cannot inform him of the odds, then I would go tell them to **** off. The seller should make a reasonable price depending on how much effort and parts he (as the expert) estimates are needed to produce a success. That is what I'm paying for. Not some lottery ticket.
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