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Sylrae

Criticals Underwhelming?

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I got to finally run a game of EotE last weekend.

 

I ran "Debts to Pay" from the GM's Kit, and I found the fights in the module took forever! (6 adversary enemies, 4 adversary allies, and 4 PCs makes for a long combat round).

 

Anyways. Eventually we had a couple of criticals come up, and the player rolled 100 on the dice, and was quite disappointed that his best possible roll was so underwhelming (we had expected rolling 100 would be a very big deal - like an insta-kill, not just an inconvenience for the enemy for the rest of the fight.)

 

Has anyone else had this come up?

 

Does it sound like we misunderstood something? The players asked if I could houserule Criticals to pack some more punch, but before I do anything like that I thought I would come on here and ask people about it; so, Thoughts? Is a critical just not that big of a deal unless you activate it 5+ times and roll really high?

 

As for how I would make criticals more punchy, if I do so - which I may or may not do - (after a bit of group discussion):

 - Condense the whole table from its current 1-150 range into a 1-100 range.

 - A) Activating multiple criticals gives you: "Roll X Number of times, and take the best result". or
 - B) Activating multiple criticals gives you a minimum roll, of +10 per extra critical. Rolling under it means you reroll. 

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Remember that some weapon have the vicious quality (+10 per vicous rank on the critical roll) and that every critical hit taken add to the next critical roll until it has been healed. So even if the critical wound effect last only for an encounter, it could be a greater problem later. 

It is Star Wars, player character are heroes. They are not supposed to die from the first blaster shot that critical hit...

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I think you need to play a little more before making that judgment. I've had plenty of PC arms and legs come off, and there is the super deadly "Roll the same attack over again" Critical.

 

Also remember that a critical auto-kills a minion.

 

And as Xalendar said, you are completely negating the Vicious quality if you modify the table to 1-100.

(You're also going to get a lot of PC deaths.)

Edited by Grimmshade

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Well, characters with names just don't get "insta-killed" in Star Wars. They get gruesome injuries that are inconveniences, like losing their hands. Minions die instantly from critical injuries, but pretty much nobody gets insta-killed.

 

Your house rule is already built into the system too. On pp. 218: "Each Critical Injury a character suffers from adds +10 to any subsequent Critical Injury check." This means that if you did activate multiple crits, each one would stack with that +10 minimum you described. It wouldn't be a reroll, just a flat +10 to whatever comes up, placing the effective minimum at # of Crits x 10 +1.

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I think, going by your comments, that you may have had your players roll crits for the wrong enemy types.

Also, when a character goes to zero wounds he/she crits and is out cold as far as I know so that would be quite an inconvenience if you ask me...

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I'd definitely echo the suggestion that you play the game a bit more before you make changes. It's already pretty dangerous to be a PC, and "lethalizing" the crit table could make it downright deadly.

 

You're not going to one-shot a lot of things in the early game (except for minions), but once your players start getting actually good at shooting things, their odds of scoring multiple critical hits in a single shot is going to increase. Which does make it possible to roll well above the 100 crit.

 

This goes double for PCs who are more likely to come under fire a lot and might end up walking around with various critical injuries (since they don't go away that fast).

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Hmm.

 

Alrighty then; I shall hold off on this until we've played a few more games. They players didnt seem to get all that much effect out of a critical on the 6 adversary gamorrean guard enemies in the module, and I thought perhaps the critical system just doesn't hit that hard.

 

One thing I will note; I hadn't realized that the +10s stuck around; I totally misread that rule.

 

"Activate Critical 2x" I took as meaning "Make a critical roll at +10", not "Make two critical rolls, one of which is at +10, and whoever gets a critical on this character after you gets +20, etc." So that right there will contribute to the criticals coming off as less lethal.

 

We'll see how it goes next game then. Thanks guys. :)

 

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A big part of this could be what Critical Injuries are for.  From my perspective, it's not so much about putting somebody permanently in the ground, it's about the scene becoming about fighting through the pain.  They're an obstacle to overcome - the afflicted character gets a mini-story about how your characters face adversity.

Do they say, "I've lost an arm, I'm bailing!" or is it "Is that the best you got... you.. pansy?"

 

They're rarely a small thing, either.  At least from what my group has seen.

CC-2N8 (our droid marauder) is built for Criticals.  Vibrosword + Mono-edge attachment means he Crits pretty much every round.  The Vicious quality of the weapon + multiple ranks of the Lethal Blows talent mean they're rarely pretty.

 

 

EDIT: excuse the pun.

Edited by Col. Orange

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"Activate Critical 2x" I took as meaning "Make a critical roll at +10", not "Make two critical rolls, one of which is at +10, and whoever gets a critical on this character after you gets +20, etc."

I'm not sure you have that right. Activating multiple criticals at once does only give you +10 per additional critical to the roll, not 2 critical rolls.

If it was my post that caused the confusion, I was actually talking about Critical Result 76-80 (Overpowered) which leaves the target open for a second immediate attack with the same die pool.

Edited by Grimmshade

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Others have spoken about critical hits in combat, but let me say that critical hits don't really have much staying power after the fight is over. With a doctor or medic (Age) in the group, most critical results (excepting some of the most severe ones) are going to be wiped away before the next encounter starts. I'm not a big fan of the "small chances of lasting consequences" experience that this produces.

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Others have spoken about critical hits in combat, but let me say that critical hits don't really have much staying power after the fight is over. With a doctor or medic (Age) in the group, most critical results (excepting some of the most severe ones) are going to be wiped away before the next encounter starts. I'm not a big fan of the "small chances of lasting consequences" experience that this produces.

 

QFT. It doesn't take multiple plays to realize that there are few real ways to kill players in combat. Since Doctors can take away crit injuries, you have to go through multiple encounters in what would be a very combat oriented adventure, or TPK, or have the character be untreatable (like falling off a cliff or something).

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Enemies with the Adversary talent.  Each rank of it upgrades the difficulty of all attacks against them (so your attacks hit them less often and (because of the success-based damage) the attacks you do hit with do less damage, keeping them around longer, prolonging the fight).

Rivals and Nemeses (chaps who can have Adversary) also get their own initiative slots.

Edited by Col. Orange

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But that's assuming there is a Doctor in the group.

The two groups I am running now don't have one, and neither does the third group I am a player in. Criticals are pretty terrible without a doctor.

I'm glad that with a doctor, they lose some bite, because it makes playing a doctor worthwhile. It would suck to play a doctor and be completely ineffective at healing people up.

You can always give crits more mechanical punch by making them more narratively difficult. I don't let a doctor just glue a hand back on after combat.

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I got to finally run a game of EotE last weekend.

 

I ran "Debts to Pay" from the GM's Kit, and I found the fights in the module took forever! (6 adversary enemies, 4 adversary allies, and 4 PCs makes for a long combat round).

 

Anyways. Eventually we had a couple of criticals come up, and the player rolled 100 on the dice, and was quite disappointed that his best possible roll was so underwhelming (we had expected rolling 100 would be a very big deal - like an insta-kill, not just an inconvenience for the enemy for the rest of the fight.)

 

Has anyone else had this come up?

 

Does it sound like we misunderstood something? The players asked if I could houserule Criticals to pack some more punch, but before I do anything like that I thought I would come on here and ask people about it; so, Thoughts? Is a critical just not that big of a deal unless you activate it 5+ times and roll really high?

 

As for how I would make criticals more punchy, if I do so - which I may or may not do - (after a bit of group discussion):

 - Condense the whole table from its current 1-150 range into a 1-100 range.

 - A) Activating multiple criticals gives you: "Roll X Number of times, and take the best result". or

 - B) Activating multiple criticals gives you a minimum roll, of +10 per extra critical. Rolling under it means you reroll. 

Were these brand new characters?  That module has them fighting rivals and no minions in that Gamorrean fight.  It's not exactly a new guy fight and if there weren't a lot of Joe Gun's in the group I can see why it took time.  Also crits shouldn't be show stoppers if they were new guys either.

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I think you need to play a little more before making that judgment. I've had plenty of PC arms and legs come off, and there is the super deadly "Roll the same attack over again" Critical.

 

 

Actually we wound up moving a couple of the crits down the table slightly - stuff like the Alex Murphy Special. If I'm going to blow off a limb, it's going to be part of the story and not on a random roll.

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I have a question: what did they spend to activate the crits? Was it advantages or triumphs?

To speed up combat, you can have NPC characters aid player characters, if I recall there is a rule for that.

I would also consider the opponents being faced. Most sapient/sentient life will have a overiding sense of self preservation. Don't have your opponents always fight to the death. Inflicting a critical can, depending on the severity, logically having a character willingly withdraw from combat.

An opponent that runs away, lives to be a thorn in the player's backside abother day.

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Samophlange, this is great advice, something I need to keep in mind more.

 

Far too often I forget to think about what my minions or rivals might be thinking, and just default to having them all fight to the death. It makes sense for some of them to get scared and flee the scene!

Edited by progressions

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I think keeping the fear page bookmarked is a good option... Not just for the players, but for figuring out when opponents choose to withdraw because the costs of staying in the fight are just too much. While minions drop on pretty much any hit of significance, they're not necessarily dead... So at some pint they'd clear out.

Remember one of the early scenes in Thor: The Dark World, where Asguardians are locked in battle, with many tides of minions. Thor shows up, as does the really BIG guy. Thor smacks knocks him into pieces, and all the minions surrender. What's to say battles can't go like that?

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Exactly, Agatheron. If minions are nothing more than hired cannon fodder, they may very well, decide their life is worth more than a 100 credits pay.

Droids however, will often fight to the death for me. Whether through programming, restraining bolt, or robo-cockiness due to backup memory and spare parts. Nemesis level enemies often excepted.

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Remember, as previously mentioned, Critical Hits against minions instantaneously kill them. Also, Critical Hits against Rivals and Nemesis are cumulative, which is previously mentioned. In additional, you can't trigger Multiple Crits with one hit, but let's say you get 6 Advantage and your weapons has a Crit 2 quality, you now get a d% roll, +40 on your critical roll. In addition to that, any talents, such as Lethal Blows, add additional +10 per rank. These are definitely potent effects.

 

Criticals can also be lasting if you lose a limb, because outside of Trandoshans, you're basically looking at adding a cybernetic limb. The Grusesome Injury I feel is a bit unfair to the PCs, but NPCs, fro the most part, won't be able to Crit a PC to that point, unless the GM has a sick desire to mess with their group, or the PC doesn't get healed.

 

Crits are extremely powerful, but different from most games where they just do more damage - a welcome take in my opinion.

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While we're on the crit conversation and minions, I have a question. How are people running multiple crits against minions? For example, if you can crit on 1 advantage and roll 2 advantages against a minion group. Do you kill off two minions or do you kill off one and tell the player to spend the second advantage on something else because a +10 to the roll doesn't matter when you don't get a roll.

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While we're on the crit conversation and minions, I have a question. How are people running multiple crits against minions? For example, if you can crit on 1 advantage and roll 2 advantages against a minion group. Do you kill off two minions or do you kill off one and tell the player to spend the second advantage on something else because a +10 to the roll doesn't matter when you don't get a roll.

 

Good question. Per RAW you can only crit once per attack, so if you're going by RAW only one minion killed can be allowed. That doesn't mean you can't allow two to be killed if it makes sense, but doing so may lead to scenes that are quite overpowering, especially with a Marauder at +30 with Lethal Blows, killing 4 minions in one swing of a Vibro-Axe.

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