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Warlordzair

NPC Combat Attacks

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I just got the game and haven't played yet and I'm having trouble with combat from the NPC's perspective, Players add up their pool roll success hits and fail means they miss. My question is what happens when a player is attacked, do I make a pool against the player and roll just like the player would, that seems to be what I understand, but that leaves the player just there to watch the fate of his character as I roll the attack pool. If that's the case could I perhaps change things for a more player controlled encounter.

 

Perhaps when a player attacks he is in turn countered, success the player hits and fail the enemy hits, the player I imagine would hit more often so to balance it out, disadvantages are scraping hits (sorry can't think of a better word right now) dealing a point of damage per one rolled, example the player succeeds but takes three damage from a scraping hit, The problem with this scenario would be advantages and disadvantages would have to not cancel each other out. Oh and triumph would do its thing as normal but despair would mean the enemy hits also. 

 

Or maybe the players make defense rolls using vigilance, one roll using the skill and opposing purple and red dice as the enemy's attack roll. This however would mean you'd have to throw range difficulty dice out the window using it only as a max range for the weapon. 

 

So could someone either explain how combat works within the rules or comment on which of these would work or if neither does and perhaps make some suggestions.

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Exact same as if you were rolling as a PC. Create the dice pool, roll the dice, if there is at least one un Ycancelled success, the attack hits.

Spend advantage as a player would, and have the player spend threat (or the other way around, whatever floats your boat).

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Nah, it's like you first say it - defensive rolls are essentially the same, a PC makes a shot at an enemy at short range, it's 1 difficulty; an NPC makes a shot at a PC at short range, it's 1 difficulty.

 

There are things that can change these though. Players and NPCs can duck behind cover and earn defense, or they can equip gear that grants defense as well. NPCs can have a talent called Adversary that inherently upgrades attacks against them. And PCs can take talents that allow them to perform maneuvers/incidentals that allow them to upgrade certain types of attacks against them at the cost of strain, and force users can also automatically upgrade incoming attacks when they have a force die committed under an upgrade for the Sense power. And there's the general ability for PCs to just start stacking up on Soak, which lets them just be beasts when they start amassing enough.

 

So check out the game some more, and run some sessions first before trying to alter combat. It works pretty great as it is, and is meant to be a bit on the deadly side - but also keep in mind that when PCs go over their Wound Threshold, they don't die, they just take a critical - so things still stay pretty tense and deadly, without the PCs really being in too much of a risk. But another thing to keep in mind is that unlike certain RPGs, the main premise of the game isn't just combat. It's being a Star Wars character on the edge, trying to scrape by through talking to shady people, and avoiding trouble whenever possible. That's not to say you can't make a campaign that's mostly combat-focused, but it's important to keep that in mind since there's less only combat-focused talent trees in Edge of the Empire compared to Age of Rebellion.

 

If after you play for a bit, you still feel the need to change things for players, then I'd personally not recommend either of your current solutions. The first one just makes the system more complicated and a lot of what you propose is already implemented into the system - say a player misses, but he gets a bunch of advantages: he knocks the enemies gun out of his hand, or adds setbacks when attacking the group. Or if an enemy hits but gets a bunch of threat: his gun overheats and now he needs to let it cooldown for a turn or something. Second solution also changes the system a lot; and particularly with the use of Vigilance, that's asking for players to stock up on Willpower, the basis for Discipline, which is so far, the basis of dealing damage with Force Powers. That's pretty much asking for players to create untouchable Force-wielding gods.

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Not having a defense roll is one of the things I love about this game. No one can dodge a bullet! You can make it harder, by taking cover or moving maybe, but there is no way to dodge a bullet, arrow etc. Brawl is the same, it's not hard to punch someone it's hard to do it well if you've never done it before. That's it.

Trust me I'm from Texas. We're issued handguns the first day of school and are encouraged to solve our problems with fist fights before we ride home to the ranch on our horses. I know what I'm talking about.

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but that leaves the player just there to watch the fate of his character as I roll the attack pool.

This is...a little dramatic. It's really not that bad or that serious in most cases. If a PC flat-out dies, you can guarantee they did something to put themselves in that situation. One-shots are very difficult to perform barring shooting them with vehicle weapons, and even maxing out WT doesn't put you on the edge of death. On top of that, having separate rules for how players roll vs NPCs and how NPCs roll vs players is a bad idea and overcomplicated for a number of reasons.

 

 

So could someone either explain how combat works within the rules or comment on which of these would work or if neither does and perhaps make some suggestions.

Combat really works pretty fine by the RAW. Everything is the same for PCs and NPCs, with a slight difference on how minion groups work, track damage, and upgrade their pools. 

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I'm not sure how having the NPCs roll versus a mostly static difficulty pool is different than how pretty much every other system handles combat. In D&D, you're still taking a D20+modifier and comparing to the PCs AC, for instance.

 

In the FFG system here, you at least have options like Dodge, Defensive Stance, and Side Step to help mix things up, not to mention spending those oh-so-important Destiny Points.

 

Allowing a free counter-attack or basing difficulty off of player skill will imbalance combat drastically, trust me.

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Alright that all makes sense changing the system would have messed things up. I don't know what I was thinking really I've rolled attacks against them in D&D, RCR, Saga, its all the same they just need to play a little different in this one. I'll just make sure to explain things such as cover and defensive fighting as they design their characters and play them.

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Yeah, like someone above mentioned, don't forget the Talents.  If you take some time and look through the talent trees, you'll see a lot of things like dodge, sidestep, etc....  These are things players can 'activate' on their turn so when they DO get fired upon, these things work sort of like defensive rolls by simply increasing the difficulty or adding setback dice of the attacking NPC.  It's different, but not that different.  It really works well, and as a GM you'll find just how much easier it is to run games in this narrative system.  GM work is a breeze lol

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Also keep in mind that when a player exceeds his wound threshold he doesn't "die". You've got to really do some heavy derping to stack crits high enough to lose a character, or have a GM that's out for blood :) A lot of players tend to get real flighty any time they take damage, probably due to conditioning from other systems. 

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Also keep in mind that when a player exceeds his wound threshold he doesn't "die". You've got to really do some heavy derping to stack crits high enough to lose a character, or have a GM that's out for blood :) A lot of players tend to get real flighty any time they take damage, probably due to conditioning from other systems.

Agreed. Death is rare and once your players know this, they'll loosen up a lot.

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Also keep in mind that when a player exceeds his wound threshold he doesn't "die". You've got to really do some heavy derping to stack crits high enough to lose a character, or have a GM that's out for blood :) A lot of players tend to get real flighty any time they take damage, probably due to conditioning from other systems.

Agreed. Death is rare and once your players know this, they'll loosen up a lot.

 

 

Heck, my dice rolls last night were on fire.  I rolled six crits across the group, and they suffered two more when they went over their wound threshold.  Then the droid stimpacked one of them back into the fight and it continued.  They never came close to death.

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I'd like to add that which setback & upgrade dice you use definitely affect how you can interpret the situation.

If one of the black die you add from taking cover helps push the failure over the edge for the NPC to "miss", then the cover helped, and (as I think whafrog mentioned in another post) the "volley" of laser blasts buffet off the item providing cover, leaving the PC safe.

Same with black dice added from defensive weapons (like lightsabers) or ship shields.

 

Someone in another thread advised to add black dice whenever you can, so that all those talents that remove a black die seem more justified.

 

Upgraded dice from, say, the Dodge talent that contribute to the overall failure could be interpreted as a successful dodge, and not a "miss" on the part of the NPC.  Is the NPC a bad shot, or is the player just that slippery?

And yes, destiny.  "I don't know how, but we got into the door just in time to avoid that blaster."

Edited by jameswilletts

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The difficulty die and challenge die both have one less fail than the ability and proficiency have successes, so they are fairly close. Instead of the GM rolling, you could have the player roll but swap the dice. So an NPC attack that has two ability and one proficiency versus two difficulty would result in the player rolling two ability versus two difficulty + one challenge. It would allow the player to roll with only a slight reduction in attack probability on the NPC's part. 

 

BTW-When I run D&D, the player rolls a defense versus the monster's attack rather than me rolling an attack vs the player's AC. 

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Exact same as if you were rolling as a PC. Create the dice pool, roll the dice, if there is at least one un Ycancelled success, the attack hits.

Spend advantage as a player would, and have the player spend threat (or the other way around, whatever floats your boat).

Brand new to the game as well do Minions and Rivals get extra damage for uncanceled successes as well. I assumed nemesis do because the rules say treat them like PCs. But the assembling the combat dice pools(pg. 205) seems alway refer to a player does this swing both ways? Because it feels like can then get wrecked a lot. Unless I have missed something about soak.

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Brand new to the game as well do Minions and Rivals get extra damage for uncanceled successes as well. I assumed nemesis do because the rules say treat them like PCs. But the assembling the combat dice pools(pg. 205) seems alway refer to a player does this swing both ways? Because it feels like can then get wrecked a lot. Unless I have missed something about soak.

 

Yes. Uncanceled successes add to a Minion's and Rival's base damage. That is then reduced by the target PC's soak. Yes, this makes minions potentially formidable. A minion group of Stormtroopers is something that your players should fear.

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Yes. Uncanceled successes add to a Minion's and Rival's base damage. That is then reduced by the target PC's soak. Yes, this makes minions potentially formidable. A minion group of Stormtroopers is something that your players should fear.

Thank you for the clarification

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Thats kinda what I like about this system. The base mooks are genuinely dangerous, but at the same time its very hard to actually die.

 

Instead you'll just get horribly maimed, need expensive prosthesis, or just be useless till fixed up.

 

The Strain mechanic also adds to the game. You might not get killed, but your entire party might get captured and shipped off to Kessel to work in the spice mines.

 

the only way you actually die in this game, per the rules, is if you get hit with enough Crits to roll over 140.

 

You will notice that getting to the max wounds you can take does NOT kill the PC. It actually caps out at double the Threshold.  All that happens is that he is incapacitated till he is healed to below his wound threshold. And unless a fatal crit comes up he's still alive, possibly having lost limbs and permanent reduction in characteristics, but still very much alive.

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You will notice that getting to the max wounds you can take does NOT kill the PC. It actually caps out at double the Threshold. 

I strongly suggest removing that cap. With it in place, characters with a higher WT can actually be taken down for much longer than characters with a lower WT.

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