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Kalrunoor

Bad Motivator talent

115 posts in this topic

Most acts of sabotage take more than a single action to accomplish, and they likely require tools. I don't require tools for Bad Motivator because of the "notice an existing flaw and just put a little stress on until it fails" idea. Also, Bad Motivator is often pretty subtle - even if the mechanic is the one that triggers the weak point, it appears to be normal system failure rather than sabotage (which is often easy to detect by a trained eye).

 

I disagree.

 

Effective sabotage doesn't call attention to itself. For example I could cut the break line on a car, or I could simply loosen a radiator hose. Either way my victim won't get there anytime soon. The radiator excuse also isn't likely to kill anyone which won't draw undue attention. Loosening a radiator hose only requires a screwdriver that a creative PC could improvise in a snap (or just have in his pocket).

 

The more complicated the system the easier it is to sabotage. Computers can be easily sabotaged just by unplugging a cable. You'd be suppressed at how long it can take some of my colleagues to realize that the Ethernet cable was stolen. Unplug a wireless access point and you can shut down connectivity for everyone. No tools required.

 

If you don't work in a technical field you might not realize how simple it is for even a moderately cunning person to wreck mayhem. Technical systems are usually designed to be accessible so that they can be easily fixed or modified. This saves time and money, but makes the systems vulnerable to anyone with the know-how and malicious intent.

 

Clever PCs should be able to shut a system down with a Mechanics/Computers check easily if they don't care how long the system is out. Bad Motivator costs XP above and beyond the normal skill points. You are being mean to a PC who purchased it when you nerf it with all these restrictions.

 

To allay your fears. Military tech is designed in most cases to resist sabotage, utilizing redundant systems and trained personnel. There is a reason beyond corruption and graft that it costs so much more. Unplugging a single switch in a casino isn't likely to shut down the security system as there are probably backup systems. If you could get the backup too then it's a different story. More obvious though.

 

Businesses are likely to have critical systems protected in some manner, but everyday systems? Not so much. How often do you look under the hood of your car to see if there are any new parts?

 

Active sabotage shouldn't require talents. When it comes to Bad Motivator it's perfectly acceptable for the GM to say, "No, that won't work. They scrupulously maintain this system." A PC should understand that.

Edited by Aservan
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I think the safeguard for Bad Motivator is that it needs GM approval, which would prevent spontaneous explosions of death stars or super weapons. The extreme examples that HappyDaze mentions would be things I wouldn't allow anyway, but the speeder example I think is a perfect one. Besides Bad Motivator is a once per session type thing that isn't game breaking from my point of view. Listening to Andy Fischer's comments on it is that it is intended to work precisely as the speeder example shows. However, it really is up to GMs to choose what works best for their campaigns.

The once per session aspect really needs to be stressed.

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I think the safeguard for Bad Motivator is that it needs GM approval, which would prevent spontaneous explosions of death stars or super weapons. The extreme examples that HappyDaze mentions would be things I wouldn't allow anyway, but the speeder example I think is a perfect one. Besides Bad Motivator is a once per session type thing that isn't game breaking from my point of view. Listening to Andy Fischer's comments on it is that it is intended to work precisely as the speeder example shows. However, it really is up to GMs to choose what works best for their campaigns.

The once per session aspect really needs to be stressed.

 

 

Honestly I hate "Once per session" as a restriction. depending on session length and what's going on this can mean your character is using it in-universe 4 times in an hour (major battle that takes a lot of real-world time or just very short sessions), or only once in three months if there's an extended downtime.

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I think the safeguard for Bad Motivator is that it needs GM approval, which would prevent spontaneous explosions of death stars or super weapons. The extreme examples that HappyDaze mentions would be things I wouldn't allow anyway, but the speeder example I think is a perfect one. Besides Bad Motivator is a once per session type thing that isn't game breaking from my point of view. Listening to Andy Fischer's comments on it is that it is intended to work precisely as the speeder example shows. However, it really is up to GMs to choose what works best for their campaigns.

The once per session aspect really needs to be stressed.

 

Honestly I hate "Once per session" as a restriction. depending on session length and what's going on this can mean your character is using it in-universe 4 times in an hour (major battle that takes a lot of real-world time or just very short sessions), or only once in three months if there's an extended downtime.

I think it is a "fun thing" more than anything else.... You do it once per session to have your moment in the spotlight but without hogging it. Of course it is not realistic but I wouldn't think using it more than once in 4 hrs of gaming would be a lot of fun...

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Point taken but session length can vary wildly, I have one group that averages about an hour and a half per session, and I once played in a marathon game session where we started at 9 am and ended around midnight. It's more a pet peeve than anything.

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I would define session as a 4hr period when it comes to the rulebook (in fact I believe Jay Little said something along those lines as well on the Order 66 Podcast) If I would play such a mammoth session (sounds more awesome than marathon ;)) I would reset all session based talents every 4 hours.

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I would define session as a 4hr period when it comes to the rulebook (in fact I believe Jay Little said something along those lines as well on the Order 66 Podcast) If I would play such a mammoth session (sounds more awesome than marathon ;)) I would reset all session based talents every 4 hours.

 

When my group plays on a weeknight the session runs about 4 hrs and on a Saturday we may hit 6 with an extra long session. I think that is pretty standard.  As Dante said if I were running for longer than that I would reset the session at 4 hrs and just make that nights game two back to back sessions.

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I'd focus on limiting its use based on how plot-relevant and closely watched the device is. I could see an enemy fighter's astromech overheating in the middle of battle, but not a police droid that has the party dead to rights. I'd allow the mechanic to cause one of the droids at the droid dealer to start giving off smoke to distract the employees while other party members search through customer records. It wouldn't work on an enemy's blaster during combat, but it could cause a short in the lighting system for the room.

 

At the very least, the more obvious the device, the more likely the mechanic will get caught. It won't raise any eyebrows if a door or two won't stay closed for some reason, but if every door between the hangar and the detention level is wide open, there will be consequences.

Edited by intothenight

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It was great when R2-D2 used it on R5-D4, so that Owen would instead buy R2. And R2 didn't have to do anything to the droid. It just happened because R2 triggered it to advance the story.

 

For me, any potential issues come about due to the passive/narrative license aspects of the talent, and how the GM-Player relationship is built. If the GM and players are co-storytelling, its a great opportunity for fun. If the GM and players have a more adversarial relationship, the talent is doomed to failure.

 

So, IMHO, the level of trust can have a big impact on how this thing works in play.

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I'm always kind of surprised to see how most GM's push against allowing their PC's to really shine and be cool.

 

I empathise, though.  As a GM you want:

  • to make things a challenge.  Choosing to disable the assassin droid's optics with 1 roll (rather than a random crit) can put a dent in that.  Fighting on the outside of a hull?  Wouldn't it suck if the bad guy's suit stopped working?
  • things to be fair.  If Dave pays X for a talent and Jane pays the same for another, they should be equally effective.
  • verisimilitude.  (The appearance of believability, really.)  If crap's going wrong every bit of tech in the galaxy you start to wonder why people trust it.

 

There is a line that needs to be drawn, however.  For me it's always been, "If someone has paid to do something, it works how we've agreed it works."  If that upsets my plans, it's my fault for not making the plan more robust.

Edited by Col. Orange
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I'm always kind of surprised to see how most GM's push against allowing their PC's to really shine and be cool.

 

I empathise, though.  As a GM you want:

  • to make things a challenge.  Choosing to disable the assassin droid's optics with 1 roll (rather than a random crit) can put a dent in that.  Fighting on the outside of a hull?  Wouldn't it suck if the bad guy's suit stopped working?
  • things to be fair.  If Dave pays X for a talent and Jane pays the same for another, they should be equally effective.
  • verisimilitude.  (The appearance of believability, really.)  If crap's going wrong every bit of tech in the galaxy you start to wonder why people trust it.

 

There is a line that needs to be drawn, however.  For me it's always been, "If someone has paid to do something, it works how we've agreed it works."  If that upsets my plans, it's my fault for not making the plan more robust.

 

 

Personally I'm always a fan of the "yes but..." and the "no but instead...".  Sure his o2 tank wasn't filled properly, but he took it from your locker and none of yours are either, better get inside in the next five rounds or you'll all be making resilience rolls, you know this, he doesn't", or "The droid's optics are in good repair but the sight on his rifle is bad so all his shots with it will have the difficulty upgraded twice since it's integrated into his hud".

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I empathise, though.  As a GM you want:

  • to make things a challenge.  Choosing to disable the assassin droid's optics with 1 roll (rather than a random crit) can put a dent in that.  Fighting on the outside of a hull?  Wouldn't it suck if the bad guy's suit stopped working?
  • things to be fair.  If Dave pays X for a talent and Jane pays the same for another, they should be equally effective.
  • verisimilitude.  (The appearance of believability, really.)  If crap's going wrong every bit of tech in the galaxy you start to wonder why people trust it.

 

There is a line that needs to be drawn, however.  For me it's always been, "If someone has paid to do something, it works how we've agreed it works."  If that upsets my plans, it's my fault for not making the plan more robust.

 

Personally I'm always a fan of the "yes but..." and the "no but instead...".  Sure his o2 tank wasn't filled properly, but he took it from your locker and none of yours are either, better get inside in the next five rounds or you'll all be making resilience rolls, you know this, he doesn't", or "The droid's optics are in good repair but the sight on his rifle is bad so all his shots with it will have the difficulty upgraded twice since it's integrated into his hud".

 

Sounds fun, but may be going too far the other way.

Your techie has now paid - and rolled! - to have their own oxygen run out!  :P

Edited by Col. Orange
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  • verisimilitude. (The appearance of believability, really.) If crap's going wrong every bit of tech in the galaxy you start to wonder why people trust it.

Since this is a once-per-session talent, and since it's unlikely that more than one person in a party would have this talent (it is pretty specialized), I think "every bit of tech" might be slightly hyperbolic :)

Edited by awayputurwpn

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Personally I'm always a fan of the "yes but..." and the "no but instead...".  Sure his o2 tank wasn't filled properly, but he took it from your locker and none of yours are either, better get inside in the next five rounds or you'll all be making resilience rolls, you know this, he doesn't", or "The droid's optics are in good repair but the sight on his rifle is bad so all his shots with it will have the difficulty upgraded twice since it's integrated into his hud".

 

Sounds fun, but may be going too far the other way.

Your techie has now paid - and rolled! - to have their own oxygen run out!  :P

 

An alternative narrative could be that the (rival/nemesis) enemy's O2 runs out and then on his next turn he runs to a nearby minion, rips off his oxygen tank, patches it in to his suit, and leaves the hapless minion to die his hapless minion death as all minions are fated to do. Boom! The Mechanic gets to use an awesome talent, the party gets a mechanical benefit from it, and the GM gets to show off the rival's/nemesis's character.

 

***

 

This whole discussion reminds me of planning encounters for Pathfinder: Always assume your 3rd level party will invisibly sneak past your "most vigilant" guardsman, your 5th level party will fly over your "uncrossable" chasm, your 7th level party will scry your BBEG's "hidden" base, and at 9th level you might as well give up any notion that anything is "unreachable" thanks to teleport. Worse, they can do all of that and more many, many times per session. Bad Motivator? pfft... whatever.

 

If you plan your sessions around the expectation that one device will fail spontaneously then you can start to design that in to your encounters. The Mechanic is the wizard of the party who can snap his or her fingers and suddenly solve a pressing issue that would have otherwise made things much harder for the rest of the party had he or she not been there. Once you start thinking of Bad Motivator in that way, you will see that it no longer trivializes encounters and instead it becomes the player ex machina that makes encounters solvable and possibly even memorable.

 

"Verily, these harpies would be easier to fight if we could meet them on equal terms in the air! They will tear us up one by one!" becomes "As long as that lift remains operational, there'll be no end to the onslaught of Stormtroopers on this platform! We cannot last!"

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I have to think that if my player used Bad Motivator to make an airtank fail, and I said "Okay, but that means yours is bad too", the player would instantly reroll a PC that could shoot stuff instead.

The EotE (and AoR, and hopefully F&D) "Classes" are awesome because they can make up a total non-combat character and still have loads of cool stuff to do in the game. If the mechanic gets to do something awesome to the big bad of the story once in a while, instead of the Heavy Weapons PC just blowing him up, I'm pretty happy about that.  :)

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I think the safeguard for Bad Motivator is that it needs GM approval, which would prevent spontaneous explosions of death stars or super weapons. The extreme examples that HappyDaze mentions would be things I wouldn't allow anyway, but the speeder example I think is a perfect one. Besides Bad Motivator is a once per session type thing that isn't game breaking from my point of view. Listening to Andy Fischer's comments on it is that it is intended to work precisely as the speeder example shows. However, it really is up to GMs to choose what works best for their campaigns.

The once per session aspect really needs to be stressed.
 

Honestly I hate "Once per session" as a restriction. depending on session length and what's going on this can mean your character is using it in-universe 4 times in an hour (major battle that takes a lot of real-world time or just very short sessions), or only once in three months if there's an extended downtime.

I think it is a "fun thing" more than anything else.... You do it once per session to have your moment in the spotlight but without hogging it. Of course it is not realistic but I wouldn't think using it more than once in 4 hrs of gaming would be a lot of fun...

 

Compared to the combat guys who are in the spotlight during combat all day and all night with no real limited uses on their combat powers?

 

 

It was great when R2-D2 used it on R5-D4, so that Owen would instead buy R2. And R2 didn't have to do anything to the droid. It just happened because R2 triggered it to advance the story.

I just...wouldn't read crunch into film scenes that much, personally.

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It was great when R2-D2 used it on R5-D4, so that Owen would instead buy R2. And R2 didn't have to do anything to the droid. It just happened because R2 triggered it to advance the story.

I just...wouldn't read crunch into film scenes that much, personally.

 

 

Yes but is useful as a way to give examples of something would look.

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It was great when R2-D2 used it on R5-D4, so that Owen would instead buy R2. And R2 didn't have to do anything to the droid. It just happened because R2 triggered it to advance the story.

 

I just...wouldn't read crunch into film scenes that much, personally.

 

First, you didn't. I did. So your sensibilities get to remain intact I suppose?... ;)

 

Secondly, this talent is clearly and directly influenced by that very scene. I'm not sure how one can imagine the application of said talent, and how it impacts the game, without that scene coming to mind.

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I think the safeguard for Bad Motivator is that it needs GM approval, which would prevent spontaneous explosions of death stars or super weapons. The extreme examples that HappyDaze mentions would be things I wouldn't allow anyway, but the speeder example I think is a perfect one. Besides Bad Motivator is a once per session type thing that isn't game breaking from my point of view. Listening to Andy Fischer's comments on it is that it is intended to work precisely as the speeder example shows. However, it really is up to GMs to choose what works best for their campaigns.

The once per session aspect really needs to be stressed.
 

Honestly I hate "Once per session" as a restriction. depending on session length and what's going on this can mean your character is using it in-universe 4 times in an hour (major battle that takes a lot of real-world time or just very short sessions), or only once in three months if there's an extended downtime.

I think it is a "fun thing" more than anything else.... You do it once per session to have your moment in the spotlight but without hogging it. Of course it is not realistic but I wouldn't think using it more than once in 4 hrs of gaming would be a lot of fun...

Compared to the combat guys who are in the spotlight during combat all day and all night with no real limited uses on their combat powers?

I cannot believe that is what you are taking away from what I wrote....

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It was great when R2-D2 used it on R5-D4, so that Owen would instead buy R2. And R2 didn't have to do anything to the droid. It just happened because R2 triggered it to advance the story.

I just...wouldn't read crunch into film scenes that much, personally.

 

The point, though, is that the droid purchasing scene on Tatooine is exactly where the "Bad Motivator" talent got its name from.

DanteRotterdam and PatientWolf like this

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Lets not for get that on the order 66 podcast one of the developers for edge descriped a situation in which the mechanic stares down a land speeder that is about to slam into the party. The mechanic asks the GM if he can make a Bad Motivator check, GM agrees, mechanic succeeds and the repulsor lift on the land speeder brwaks causing the speeder to tumble out of control saving the party. It was awesome, cinematic, and the mechanic did it without being anywhere near the speeder.

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Lets not for get that on the order 66 podcast one of the developers for edge descriped a situation in which the mechanic stares down a land speeder that is about to slam into the party. The mechanic asks the GM if he can make a Bad Motivator check, GM agrees, mechanic succeeds and the repulsor lift on the land speeder brwaks causing the speeder to tumble out of control saving the party. It was awesome, cinematic, and the mechanic did it without being anywhere near the speeder.

But WHY is that awesome? The character did nothing. Effectively, he is saved by blind luck or a comedic blunder on the part of the adversary. That doesn't make the character look awesome at all in my eyes.

whafrog likes this

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If you don't find that awesome I don't know what anybody here can say to change your mind.

Clearly, your play style is different.

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