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Kalrunoor

Bad Motivator talent

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Talent states that I can make a hard mechanics check to make a device fail. Can i use this to break an NPC droid? What about a PC droid?

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How would you rule it if a Pc wanted to use this against another PC?

A Droid PC is not a "device." It's a character. IMO, this kind of thing is definitely going against the intent of the talent. However, some droids could certainly be considered "devices" or "equipment." If the droid is attacking the PCs or otherwise directly engaging them, I'd say no to the use of this talent on that droid. But if it's a background droid, or if someone else is using the droid to do something, then totally I would allow it. 

 

"Uncle Owen, this R2 unit has a bad motivator!" 

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Talent states that I can make a hard mechanics check to make a device fail. Can i use this to break an NPC droid? What about a PC droid?

Ultimately depends on if the GM allows a droid (NPC or PC) to be deemed a device.

 

Personally, I might allow it for an NPC droid, but I sure as hell wouldn't allow it be uses on a PC droid.

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As others have stated it depends on the droid. If it is a PC droid I would not allow it. An independent PC droid doing something critical I would not allow it.  An NPC droid that is just being used for something I would allow. For example, if the PCs are being chased by an Y-wing that is using a R2 unit for a navicomp I would certainly allow this talent to cause the R2 unit to fail (hopefully actually due to a bad motivator lol)

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A better question would be why is a PC using it on a PC?

To be a jerk to a fellow PC with the excuse "because I can!"

 

Sadly, that type of behavior tends to crop up far more than most of us are comfortable with.  Especially if the players are adolescent boys with entitlement issues.

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A better question would be why is a PC using it on a PC?

To be a jerk to a fellow PC with the excuse "because I can!"

 

Sadly, that type of behavior tends to crop up far more than most of us are comfortable with.  Especially if the players are adolescent boys with entitlement issues.

 

Or 20-something boys with bad roleplaying habits 

2P51 and billw2 like this

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I was hoping for "because the dread Dr. Sticky Fingers used his droid control ray on Bob's character so we were trying to disable him".

Edited by 2P51

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I was hoping for "because the dread Dr. Sticky Fingers used his droid control ray on Bob's character so we were trying to disable him".

Could just use Bad Motivator on Dr. Sticky Fingers' control ray... :)

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To me this Talent is dangerously vague, because the word "device" is never defined as a term of art. The GM approval helps, but also is not unlikely to start an argument.

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To me this Talent is dangerously vague, because the word "device" is never defined as a term of art. The GM approval helps, but also is not unlikely to start an argument.

This is why I start each session with a reminder to my players, something to the tune of, "I am the gamemaster, and throughout the game I'm going to have to rule things on the fly so as to keep the game moving. Even if you think you know better, please just go with it, because my aim is that we all have fun tonight." And I get my players to agree. 

 

If there is an argument that arises, I just remind people of the agreement we made at the start of the session and ask them to honor it. 

kaosoe, 2P51 and DanteRotterdam like this

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To me this Talent is dangerously vague, because the word "device" is never defined as a term of art. The GM approval helps, but also is not unlikely to start an argument.

Wwll... Since the term comes from a malfunctioning droid in A New Hope it would be weird if it would not fall into that catagory.

Pc on pc use I would allow and then tell the player that did it that it has been fun playing with him/her while it lasted but he /she is no longer welcome at our table.

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We've house ruled that this talent can only be used out to Engaged range (personal scale) and that the character using it must actually spend the action closely examining and or actively tampering with the system it's used upon. This prevents things like disabling the Death Stsr tractor beam or a pursuing ship's ion drives from the outside.

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This prevents things like disabling the Death Stsr tractor beam or a pursuing ship's ion drives from the outside.

That scale of thing was my concern, but...

 

We've house ruled that this talent can only be used out to Engaged range (personal scale) and that the character using it must actually spend the action closely examining and or actively tampering with the system it's used upon.

This is quite a substantial nerf.

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The range restriction is pretty reasonable, maybe short is ok too.  I don't think it requires extensive examination though, since the talent implies the Mechanic notices the flaw, seems like the examination is reflected in the hard difficulty.

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Personally I wouldn't allow it on PCs without the targeted player's permission, I and a lot of the guys I game with don't mind these if they make sense and aren't just used as a way to grief people. Same for npc Droids that are meant to be "PC level" in terms of what they can do and how much of a character they are. Others I would allow with varying setback and upgraded difficulties.

 

Something plot relevant like the deathstar's tractor beam would be a flat "no". GM fiat. Do not pass go do not collect 200 dollars. I would make that clear to the guy taking the talent before they spent the XP though.

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I'd tend to say that it causes one part of the droid to fail.  (One leg, one arm, one built in weapon or system, heuristic processor, etc.)  In this way, I'd treat it like a cybernetic part on an organic being.  You want the talent to have a use, but not make it game breaking.

 

I also agree with the others that pvp stuff is a no-no at my table.  I make it very clear at the start of the campaign and remind players if things get terse between them.  They need to settle their differences in such a way as they can still function as a group and not a bunch of individuals.

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The range restriction is pretty reasonable, maybe short is ok too.  I don't think it requires extensive examination though, since the talent implies the Mechanic notices the flaw, seems like the examination is reflected in the hard difficulty.

We don't go with Short because we ruled that, even though the talent allows you to notice an existing flaw, you still need to take action - even if relatively minor and not something that appears to be obvious sabotage - to cause that discovered flaw to activate. We have overwritten the text that has the item just 'coincidentally fail' at the time of the character's choosing. The advantage of Bad Motivator in our game is that it allows for quick and covert sabotage (as opposed to the work you would normally do with Mechanics, not to mention the obviously destructive methods of blasters or explosives).

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I can see the range restriction but I guess my question would be is the talent so literal you have to act on the piece of equipment to cause the failure?  For example, if you see the droid's wheel is wobbling, why couldn't you loosen a deck plate it's about to run over that would knock it off?  Or a blast door that is squeaking bad and sounds like it is about to break, so you set off the fire alarm and cause it to slam shut causing it to fail in the closed position.  Couldn't you notice the flaw and do something environmentally that would cause the device to fail.  Just some thoughts.

Edited by 2P51
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I can see the range restriction but I guess my question would be is the talent so literal you have to act on the piece of equipment to cause the failure?  For example, if you see the droid's wheel is wobbling, why couldn't you loosen a deck plate it's about to run over that would knock it off?  Or a blast door that is squeaking bad and sounds like it is about to break, so you set off the fire alarm and cause it to slam shut causing it to fail in the closed position.  Couldn't you notice the flaw and do something environmentally that would cause the device to fail.  Just some thoughts.

Those all sound pretty reasonable. The range we work with assumes you have to touch the device directly, but your examples have convinced me that there are exceptions that could be allowed with appropriate description.

 

Yes, you have changed someone's mind - on the internet!

 

I will still require that the character actively DO something to make the failure happen.

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I will still require that the character actively DO something to make the failure happen.

To me that seems very much counter to what the talent represents and approached fom a traditional rpg mindset, it sort of takes the fun away from the talent to be honest... Mind you, if it works at your table then who am I to judge.

I find the talent extremely funny and have it seen work wonders at our table as a narrative tool.

"The scouts trooper jumps on his speeder, racing back to the squad he wws deployed from."

"The speeder near the gates?"

"Yeah..."

"The gates we just came through?"

"That speeder seemed broken to me. Something wrong with its steering mechanism.... (Will you allow a bad motivator check here?)"

"Sure, go ahead."

<rolls a succes>

"The scout takes off at full speed and runs straight into an enormous tree tossing the body of the sout into the air like a ragdoll!"

"Awesome!!!"

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I will still require that the character actively DO something to make the failure happen.

To me that seems very much counter to what the talent represents and approached fom a traditional rpg mindset, it sort of takes the fun away from the talent to be honest... Mind you, if it works at your table then who am I to judge.

I find the talent extremely funny and have it seen work wonders at our table as a narrative tool.

"The scouts trooper jumps on his speeder, racing back to the squad he wws deployed from."

"The speeder near the gates?"

"Yeah..."

"The gates we just came through?"

"That speeder seemed broken to me. Something wrong with its steering mechanism.... (Will you allow a bad motivator check here?)"

"Sure, go ahead."

<rolls a succes>

"The scout takes off at full speed and runs straight into an enormous tree tossing the body of the sout into the air like a ragdoll!"

"Awesome!!!"

 

That's the kind of thing I don't want to see. It can lead to the 'comedy of errors' type situations that I don't find awesome at all. It can also lead to extensions beyond what you've shown - including replacing "speeder bike's steering mechanism" with "Death Star's targeting mechanism" ("The Death Star fires but misses Alderaan entirely," most certainly falls into the comedy of errors issue that I dislike).

 

Considering that the talent is dependent upon the Mechanics skill of the user and that it requires an Action to do, it seems reasonable to me and my group that the character should actually have to be doing something to interact with the device it is used upon (although I'm now inclined to be more lenient on the range).

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