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BarbeChenue

Having to eyeball everything gets a little tiring

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Vehicles- now I will put this out there as an important part of the game. Because often the Players space ship, space truck or whatever they're rambling around in, is both an important set-piece and part of the group itself. Hurting it, is like hurting a player and losing it is like a player death.

But, in this system, Vehicles are just bloody awful, there's no real way to put it otherwise.

 

 

It isn't awful, but it is very different then a lot of people expect. Other systems as well as other genre have taught us to expect vehicle combat to last a while (and usually that tie fighters are junk). 

 

This system seems to be based more on what you actually see in the films. Short active fights that don't last more then a few minutes (which means a matter a rounds in this system). Even chases don't last all that long, though they do go a smidge longer. As an added bonus ties actually make some sense.

 

Keeping the encounter design and direction in that perspective helps a lot. Small focused encounters carefully considering the involved craft will run smoother and more predictable then some overblown set piece that assumes the players high xp will carry the day.

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I'll touch on it briefly as its not entirely on topic and not what the OP has a specific problem is, (I try to be useful here :)) my main problem with ships behaving like they do in the movies is that the movie has a set, fixed plot line and what will happen is what is written.

Hero(s) will enter the scene, Baddies enter the scene *biffo happens*, maybe a few close scrapes and hero's leave the scene.

 

However, we're still dealing with a mechanic in an RPG where there is an element of random activity that will happen (dice) and there's a really good chance (no plot armour here!) that they won't be coming out the other end in anything more than a busted ship, floating powerless in space... which is both dull and kind of anti-climactic.

Sure I can introduce NPC's to rescue them, but that cuts out the part where your heros effect on the scene is lessened, players don't feel as useful and its all a bit rail-roaded.

Players actually have big issues with being rail-roaded, if you're going to do it that way it takes a lot of talent to make them feel like they aren't headed helplessly into the inevitable.

 

it also limits quite a lot of what I can use to be cinematically interesting, like in the movies.

Being chased in a Star Destroyer with a handful of TIE's on your tail for example which we've all seen in movies- is going to end BADLY for the PC's and really badly for their ship. Because realistically and statistically 30-40 turbo lasers shooting in your direction, 4-5 TIE's out of its 72 it carries shooting at you- will stop pretty **** near anything!

 

There's a realistic reason they wouldn't shoot at you with everything you have?

Why would I only order 5-6 TIEs out of my 72, why not 12-15 and actually get the job done?

After all, not every Imperial is an idiot or incompetent at their job. Even if they're grossly compentent, chances are when numbers are factored in, even idiots get lucky once in a while like a broken clock is right twice a day! :)

 

So there's a mix of whats believable with what's actually fun and cinematic that can be very hard to produce and direct when it comes to vehicles.

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Vehicles- now I will put this out there as an important part of the game. Because often the Players space ship, space truck or whatever they're rambling around in, is both an important set-piece and part of the group itself. Hurting it, is like hurting a player and losing it is like a player death.

But, in this system, Vehicles are just bloody awful, there's no real way to put it otherwise.

 

 

It isn't awful, but it is very different then a lot of people expect. Other systems as well as other genre have taught us to expect vehicle combat to last a while (and usually that tie fighters are junk). 

 

This system seems to be based more on what you actually see in the films. Short active fights that don't last more then a few minutes (which means a matter a rounds in this system). Even chases don't last all that long, though they do go a smidge longer. As an added bonus ties actually make some sense.

 

Keeping the encounter design and direction in that perspective helps a lot. Small focused encounters carefully considering the involved craft will run smoother and more predictable then some overblown set piece that assumes the players high xp will carry the day.

 

It also basically operates like character combat.  Run a few practice space combats so everyone understands the minor differences. 

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I've been very impressed with this rule set. Because it's been the only one I remember ever actually using. Usually my groups seemed to go all Free Kriegspiel pretty quickly.

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I'll touch on it briefly as its not entirely on topic and not what the OP has a specific problem is, (I try to be useful here :)) my main problem with ships behaving like they do in the movies is that the movie has a set, fixed plot line and what will happen is what is written.

Hero(s) will enter the scene, Baddies enter the scene *biffo happens*, maybe a few close scrapes and hero's leave the scene.

 

However, we're still dealing with a mechanic in an RPG where there is an element of random activity that will happen (dice) and there's a really good chance (no plot armour here!) that they won't be coming out the other end in anything more than a busted ship, floating powerless in space... which is both dull and kind of anti-climactic.

Sure I can introduce NPC's to rescue them, but that cuts out the part where your heros effect on the scene is lessened, players don't feel as useful and its all a bit rail-roaded.

Players actually have big issues with being rail-roaded, if you're going to do it that way it takes a lot of talent to make them feel like they aren't headed helplessly into the inevitable.

 

it also limits quite a lot of what I can use to be cinematically interesting, like in the movies.

Being chased in a Star Destroyer with a handful of TIE's on your tail for example which we've all seen in movies- is going to end BADLY for the PC's and really badly for their ship. Because realistically and statistically 30-40 turbo lasers shooting in your direction, 4-5 TIE's out of its 72 it carries shooting at you- will stop pretty **** near anything!

 

There's a realistic reason they wouldn't shoot at you with everything you have?

Why would I only order 5-6 TIEs out of my 72, why not 12-15 and actually get the job done?

After all, not every Imperial is an idiot or incompetent at their job. Even if they're grossly compentent, chances are when numbers are factored in, even idiots get lucky once in a while like a broken clock is right twice a day! :)

 

So there's a mix of whats believable with what's actually fun and cinematic that can be very hard to produce and direct when it comes to vehicles.

How often in the movies do we see the stardestroyers fire all forty guns at a ship? Why would you ever do that to your players? We usually see them fire one or 2 guns as they are trying to capture not destroy. If you destroy them you can't question them. 

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Vehicles- now I will put this out there as an important part of the game. Because often the Players space ship, space truck or whatever they're rambling around in, is both an important set-piece and part of the group itself. Hurting it, is like hurting a player and losing it is like a player death.

But, in this system, Vehicles are just bloody awful, there's no real way to put it otherwise.

 

 

It isn't awful, but it is very different then a lot of people expect. Other systems as well as other genre have taught us to expect vehicle combat to last a while (and usually that tie fighters are junk). 

 

This system seems to be based more on what you actually see in the films. Short active fights that don't last more then a few minutes (which means a matter a rounds in this system). Even chases don't last all that long, though they do go a smidge longer. As an added bonus ties actually make some sense.

 

Keeping the encounter design and direction in that perspective helps a lot. Small focused encounters carefully considering the involved craft will run smoother and more predictable then some overblown set piece that assumes the players high xp will carry the day.

 

It also basically operates like character combat.  Run a few practice space combats so everyone understands the minor differences. 

 

 

It does, which makes it look deceptively easy to plan. But unlike ground combat you have to design the encounter to the craft more then the characters operating it.

 

It's kinda like the  reverse of the nemesis issue, where people expect nemesis to survive simply because they are nemesis level. You can't just toss a pile of TIEs as the players and expect them to survive because "it's just a bunch of TIEs" In this system, TIEs, while fragile, are also darn efficient when it comes to leveraging the mechanics, and can actually do quite well in a dogfight simply by tempting the players to make bad choices.

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As a player of this system, and a GM of several other systems, I know exactly where you're coming from.  I was raised on 3.5/PF and it's still the system I most enjoy.

 

If I had to sum up in one word the issues you seem to be having it would be versimilitude.  There are aspects of the rules that just don't track and certain areas of the rules seem to lead to specificity where there is nothing.

 

All systems have their quirks, but the 'narrative' aspect of this system tends to make quirks where one wouldn't normally expect there to be in order to remove quirks that one would think to be present.

 

As to what my suggestions would be as to how to deal with this would be pick 'legal' results that are more in line with what you're expecting.  For your disarm light saber example, instead of actually disarming them, consider giving them a lot of strain.  It's legal and more logical (cinematically) than disarming them with 3 threats.

 

To your grenade example, perhaps the character was unlucky and the grenade bounced into an open air vent, exploding harmlessly in a contained area.

 

The narrative element of this system allows the GM to select the results that best match their vision of the world.  So if all Jedi can't be disarmed of their light-sabers without losing a hand in the process, ensure that the only time you pick disarming is when it's a crit that costs a limb.  If the crit-dice say bye-bye to the nemesis, their sibling steps into frame from stage-right yelling NOOOOOO!

 

In short, nudge the game back in the direction you want it to go rather than picking the options you consider to be silly or belief-straining.

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That's what I argued to the group. I only listed it because it was something that caught my player's attention and strained their suspension of disbelief. Most examples come from our 14-hour long marathon session three days ago. The Agility 2 Scientist/Scholar who missed throwing a simple grenade was quite unhappy with my explanation for both in and out of character reasons.

 

Admittedly, it's possible I read the rule wrong, thinking the sentence 2P51 highlighted only applied to the Range Band AoE of a successfully activated Blast quality, as the previous sentence discussed (Engaged Range Band, etc.). Anyhow.

I think you have to accept the system is an adjustment for you and the players. When I first started I had a few players that loved it, some that where so-so and 1 regular player quit over the system. It also seems there might be some "trust" issues and rule lawyering from your players. This isn't the best system if the players think the GM is out to get them. I only mention this because you said you had to argue about the dud grenade.

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Look at the rule set I posted in this thread

http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/129042-off-topic-feedback-on-rpg-rules/

Based on your complaints about FFG star wars, as well as what you like about it, I think it will be a close to perfect system. It's a simple yet realistic universe simulator with streamlined tactical combat and a mechanics that emphasize narrative play while not neglecting tactical combat. There are 2 resources in the game character points and karma. Wealth is a skill (plot device mechanic) but can't buy anything that provides dice (you have to spend character points for that). It is a dice pool system that uses standard polyhedral dice between a d4 and d12.

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This is a key point.  Unlike most other games, I rarely have to open the book for a rule during a session.  The GM screen has almost everything I'd need specifics for.

 

Its the great irony in our group that the most useful supplemental product is the one that they encourage you not to use (open table dice rolling and not hidden behind a screen)

 

Back on topic

That said, the narrative systems are quite difficult as a GM to arbitrate as most of us come from binary systems where its just a yes/no in terms of success or failure. That fuzzy middle ground of you succeed/fail 'But' have advantage/disadvantage, makes it another level of complexity, which some people have trouble adapting to and you do have to be on top of your game as a GM to arbitrate results that everyone feels fits the scene, but not throwing out the good/bad results.

It takes practice and a relatively good handle of how things are running.

 

For me, the biggest challenge always seems to lie in finding the limits of the PC's skills and abilities so that I can present challenges to them which are appropriate for their xp, character types and the actual scene itself they're working in. Back in things like D&D and other games, they had 'Challenge Ratings' meaning the critter/NPC or event would be appropriate say for a group that was X-level of experience on average.

It was relatively easy

It wasn't always good, but it did give you a ballpark of roughly where things should be aimed and the rest you could fit in.

Plus as a GM, I like characters to feel useful, so their talents and skills get used and its kind of like being a 'Director' if you will, rather than a 'game master', if the group's pilot is away- its probably not fair to throw them into a full on, critical space battle with their ship for example. Instead, they might be the guys taking out the enemy command and control functions on a nearby space-station or moon base.

The critical space battle still happens in your storyline, but the perspective changes.

 

This is not easy to direct, especially if your group requires some regular degree of cat-herding... or beatings with a blunt object.

 

Being critical of the system so far

At the moment, the PC's have a little more advantage in material, GM's have a couple of adventures, some NPC's and a couple of modular encounters, but not exactly a comprehensive amount of material in terms of running games.

'How do I make my NPC's not suck and get gunned down in 1-round'

'A directors guide to making a story progress'

'Adding in dirty tricks and twists to the story'

All that sort of stuff I think is needed to help GM's along a little more, sure the PC's are the primadonas and stars of the show, but the Director of the story needs a bit more love. Sure you can point me at the O66 Podcasts (which I do like at lot) however, the bulk of the support material really should come from the actual company making it!

 

FFG does Player and Small-scale conflict really well, anything with less than 10 baddies and half a dozen heros works just fine and can make for a manageable and engaging encounter.

Once you get over that... it drags down into mechanics of throwing constant dice and that kind of sucks

In very big, grand scenes with lots of stuff happening- nope! Ain't going there, it really sucks to keep track of!

 

Vehicles- now I will put this out there as an important part of the game. Because often the Players space ship, space truck or whatever they're rambling around in, is both an important set-piece and part of the group itself. Hurting it, is like hurting a player and losing it is like a player death.

But, in this system, Vehicles are just bloody awful, there's no real way to put it otherwise.

 

FYI they do have rules for large scale combat and squad rules. They are in the Age of Rebellion GM screen(Squad rules) Onslaught at Arda 1 (Mass Combat rules)

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I'm starting to think that I'm actually at huge advantage for NOT having played any other rpg before Edge,sure some of the rules are vague (slicing comes to mind) but I'd rather us make up something because it's fun than having to use an overly fiddly system.

Some advice from a players perspective: don't use disrupters, your character might be an ******* but don't make him 100% a ****. My gm had a nemesis that had a disruper pistol and rifle, on top of two heavy blasters with superior and a jetpack. So we retaliated in kind by shooting the ship's laser cannon at him. Gm bitched a little because I actually wanted to take him alive for story reasons but he kinda started it by giving his wannabe Boba Fett disrupters. If your players want one hit them over the head with a rolled up newspaper, if they get one break it or otherwise remove it from their possession asap.

Otherwise the only time you should consider adding new mechanics is if you can answer "does it make the game cooler and more fun" with a solid yes

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I just stumbled upon this topic and just wanted to chime in with BarbeChenue so he knew that there are others that agree with his/her opinion.

Don't get me wrong! We love FFGs take of the Star Wars game but it is far from perfect. At first when I got Edge of the Empire I was delighted since the core rules are simple and flexible and covered my favourite type of campaign. But quite soon we started to discover cracks in the perfect fasade. First thing both me and my players started to complain about are the poorly organised rulebooks and adventures and still one of the things that bothers me the most.
We actually recently finished the Jewel of Yavin adventure and at the end of the adventure my book looked like a paper hedgehog since it was so full with Post-it markers to point out important details that where impossible to find unless you remembered exactly what page it was on. The rulebooks are a little better since they atleast have some sort of index but have often found that when I need to find specific information it was not to be found in the index. In came the Post-it markers again.

I have been playing through all the Star Wars RPGs since the first d6 edition from WEG. Many complain about WotCs Star Wars games but despite the rules being a bit wonky there we had a blast with those. So far the old d6 edition is still the best but a bit aged. But one of my favourite advantages with the FFG system is that the mechanics are way different but it is about the same scale so converting old WEG adventures have been so easy. I have converted the old Strikeforce Shantipole and Tatooine Manhunt adventure and plan to use them as soon as our current Edge of the Empire group have joined the rebel alliance. Who knows I might even post it here on the forums so others can use it.
The simple abstract system in FFG Star Wars has it's pros and cons. I agree BarbeChenue that simple is good but a more stable rules foundation is very nice with at least some options available for the ones that want it. If I need to make stuff up all the time I start to wonder whats the point in owning and expensive ruleset with special dices at all. Why not just freeform the game all together?

 

We for example do often use miniatures. Even though it is not in a very detailed manner as the d20 system was focusing on but sometimes we do add more detail. For example in Jewel of Yavin when they had the break in at Figgs and Associates museum the plan they had laid out failed so miserably so they resorted to blowing the doors open and storming the place. I had printed and laminated a map of the museum so we could easily plan and write stuff on the plastic map when planning, and also showing the important NPCs as they moved throughout the museum during the auction that took place earlier.And for the combat it was just easy to place the miniatures on the map to show locations and where they took cover and such. Even though the scale was not correct that detail was enough for us. We have also made some house rules for the instances when we want even more detail. I normally avoid using battle maps but they have been used in some battles big and chaotic battles to give some sort of overview since it is hard to keep track of everything.

We have been playing a campaign weekly for over a year now and still going. But I do miss a more stable foundation to be able to lean against as a GM so I can focus on other things. Just because some doesn't want the extra details it shouldn't be at the expense of the ones that do want it. Between WotC dropping the Star Wars license and before FFG released Edge of the Empire I whipped together and tried some hacks (Basic RolePlaying & GURPS) during the limbo between WotC Star Wars and FFG Star Wars and they all worked surprisingly well and was like by my players. Especially the BRP version was popular since it was fast & simple but still enough detail to keep everyone happy.

I do sometimes miss the details in the Star Wars Saga Edition combats before they dropped the license. The combat rules actually worked quite nicely. What I never like through the WotC time was the clunky level based system and the rigid CR system that limited you as a GM when creating your own adventures. It just didn't feel like Star Wars. That is where FFG Star Wars is way more superior, but instead FFG do lack in just the areas where d20 Star Wars actually got it right. The parts do exists in the other Star Wars games but not even a single guideline exists to be able to combine them with the RPG. It would be great and solve those problems if there was some option and guidelines making it possible to use FFGs other Star Wars related games (X-Wing Miniatures, Armada and especially the new Imperial Assault game) in the RPG for the ones that want to but without making it mandatory. Even WEG gave the option to use their old Star Warriors game and in some instances their Miniature game in their adventures. I didn't use them (mostly because I didn't have the Star Warriors game) but at least the option was there for the ones that wanted to.

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Well from what people I know who have actually handled grenades while they are fairly reliable there are duds and some really weird **** will happen.

 

Also, throwing grenades is HARD! I had a chance to throw a dummy grenade at the WWII Recreationist open house last Memorial Day and getting a grenade (both the typical pineapple USA style and the grenade on a stick German style) is really hard. Also the explosion radius on them is much smaller than Hollywood would have you believe. According to my handler, unless you get the grenade RIGHT on top of the target, it may not be killed/damaged/effected.

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Personally I think FFG, is the best edition of the star wars rpg. I've played WEG, RCR, Saga, and FFG. Destiny pool is a great mechanic (in my home brew RPG system I hybridized it with destiny points from saga in term of what it could do, e.g. automatic critical hits, and Saga dark side points as a morality tracker), the FFG dice mechanic is better balanced and more interesting than FFG (e.g. triumph, despair, advantage, threat, one roll resolution as opposed to one roll to see if you hit and another to determine how much damage you do). I prefer WEG character points to FFG's XP (you could use character points to boost a roll), then there is obligation, duty, morality which are awesome. The thing about FFG star wars is that it's pretty simple so house ruling is easy (heck I don't know all the rules and I make it up as I go, and balance isn't an issue because it's so easy to eyeball and because the system is so well balanced, granted that I have steered clear of the force), maybe it's easier because I now have 22 years of gaming under my belt minus an about 8 year gaming hiatus in the middle), but this is the easiest official rules set I've played (I've read the book for marvel heroic role-playing and I think that's simpler but I haven't played it).

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