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Orius

High level game issues

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Guys,

 

I am in a group that we just hit 500 exp each and I am starting to feel bumbed and like we need to move on already....

 

Issue 1 --

 

The issue seems to be the dramatic shifts in successes and failures do to massive amounts of triumphs and despairs thrown around.

 

 

Let me explain - most characters have abilities in the 4-5 range for their primary abilities with some of them having 4 levels trained! that is ALOT of yellow dice with chances for triumphs.

 

Conversely we face lots of high level foes with adversary 2....and high skills themselves, meanings LOTS of red dice to face off against.

 

Dealing with all the triumphs and despairs is getting to be a pain....especially since they do not cancel each other.

 

 

Issue 2 --

 

Regardless of the triumph and despair issue the game use to be fun due to varied levels of success and failure with the advantage and threat system, now at higher levels of exp when we succeed it is dramtic with massive damage, vicious 4.....etc one shoting even big adversaries.....

 

Bad guys and good guys do not go up in Health that much but it seems damage done goes up ALOT. When you throw 5-6 dice (not counting blues) with superior weapons with link and a host of talents sometimes (in fact often) you are doing insta kill damage....

 

 

For instance our ataru striker jedi dude with hawk jump and saber swarm will do 20-30 dmg in one hit and he doesnt even have an uber saber (his is more defensive)

 

We also have a pilot who duel wields pistols and easily does 20-30 dmg when he hits.

 

You do NOT even want to know what the melee wookie can do.....

 

 

How have others dealt with this?

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You're already using Adversary, maybe if they are getting a little too crit happy, try ranks in Durable. Perhaps make your own Nemesis that should be a sufficient challenge to even your highly lethal PCs, or multiple Nemeses at a time.

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For instance our ataru striker jedi dude with hawk jump and saber swarm will do 20-30 dmg in one hit and he doesnt even have an uber saber (his is more defensive)

If I may inquire there: How does he get 20-30 damage? (did he also go down another spec to increase his force rating there? as normally he would only have force rating 1 if he only has that spec and thus has linked 1 only. )

 

Also additionally: How do those fights you mention look like: Are these enemies alone, do they have others with them (rivals / minions / vehicles),.... and do you also use traps,... ?

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vicious 4 is not going to 1 shot an adversary unless you roll 100. it will hurt them bad. The solution is using the squad rules from age of rebellion. attach a minion group to the bad guy. boom, now the first several hits just kill minions not the bad guy.
Never have your major bad guys alone. have them with several rivals and minions. a group of 10 minions will keep the minions very dangerous till they drop 6 to 7 of them.

Make sure your bad guys use cover and concealment in addition to adversary.

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none of these answers work for me save I like Daeglans charts from some other group those are cool additions of depth.

 

Maybe I am not describing the problem for you to understand? the issue is the mechanics of the game problems when you toss buckets of dice, so many effects go off, damage is done and despairs/triumphs show up.

 

Making a better adversary of ranks of durable doesnt solve this issue.

 

The ataru striker has force rating 2 from another tree but tonight he did a super hit one shotting the main nemesis with 5 successes and two advantages. He is agility 6 with 5 ranks in lightsaber.....He had 2 blue as well on the attack.

 

His blade does base 9 so 14 damage x2, thats 28 damage with breach. I think he had some other talents kick in as well when he hits, cant remember.

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vicious 4 is not going to 1 shot an adversary unless you roll 100. it will hurt them bad. The solution is using the squad rules from age of rebellion. attach a minion group to the bad guy. boom, now the first several hits just kill minions not the bad guy.

Never have your major bad guys alone. have them with several rivals and minions. a group of 10 minions will keep the minions very dangerous till they drop 6 to 7 of them.

Make sure your bad guys use cover and concealment in addition to adversary.

 

This isnt a workable solution always, what if you want a cinematic one on one duel? its basically a quick draw who wins iniative the other guy dies most time.

 

Every bad guy cant have super armor, with a super gun, stealth fields etc to stop him fromt aking one shot to the face and going down.....

 

The only characters that seem to be able to live beyond 1-2 shots are force usersi with ranks in reflect/deflect and a good soak.....I dont want every bad guy to be some sith lord...

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none of these answers work for me save I like Daeglans charts from some other group those are cool additions of depth.

 

Maybe I am not describing the problem for you to understand? the issue is the mechanics of the game problems when you toss buckets of dice, so many effects go off, damage is done and despairs/triumphs show up.

 

Making a better adversary of ranks of durable doesnt solve this issue.

 

The ataru striker has force rating 2 from another tree but tonight he did a super hit one shotting the main nemesis with 5 successes and two advantages. He is agility 6 with 5 ranks in lightsaber.....He had 2 blue as well on the attack.

 

His blade does base 9 so 14 damage x2, thats 28 damage with breach. I think he had some other talents kick in as well when he hits, cant remember.

It is not 28 damage. if you are talking about saber swarm. It is 9+6-soak(Breach cancels 10 soak)+9-soak(breach cancels10 soak) so 24 damage max order of operations is important :) . Linked adds another base damage. it does not double the base damage plus successes. Same for someone dual wielding blasters. 2 advantage adds the seconds blasters damage. It does not add a second set of damage from the successes. Also the soak counts against that second hit. So you have first hit with successes minus soak+second blaster base damage hit-soak.

also durable helps with crits. IE it cuts out some of that vicious stuff.

Edited by Daeglan

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none of these answers work for me save I like Daeglans charts from some other group those are cool additions of depth.

 

Maybe I am not describing the problem for you to understand? the issue is the mechanics of the game problems when you toss buckets of dice, so many effects go off, damage is done and despairs/triumphs show up.

 

Making a better adversary of ranks of durable doesnt solve this issue.

 

The ataru striker has force rating 2 from another tree but tonight he did a super hit one shotting the main nemesis with 5 successes and two advantages. He is agility 6 with 5 ranks in lightsaber.....He had 2 blue as well on the attack.

 

His blade does base 9 so 14 damage x2, thats 28 damage with breach. I think he had some other talents kick in as well when he hits, cant remember.

It is not 28 damage. if you are talking about saber swarm. It is 9+6-soak(Breach cancels 10 soak)+9-soak(breach cancels10 soak) so 24 damage max order of operations is important :) . Linked adds another base damage. it does not double the base damage plus successes. Same for someone dual wielding blasters. 2 advantage adds the seconds blasters damage. It does not add a second set of damage from the successes. Also the soak counts against that second hit. So you have first hit with successes minus soak+second blaster base damage hit-soak.

also durable helps with crits. IE it cuts out some of that vicious stuff.

 

 

I think you are wrong about how Linked works.  This is a direct quote from the Linked rules:  "Each hit deals the weapon's base damage plus the total uncanceled <SuccessSymbol> scored on the check."  The wording is the same for Autofire and Two-Weapon Combat.

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none of these answers work for me save I like Daeglans charts from some other group those are cool additions of depth.

 

Maybe I am not describing the problem for you to understand? the issue is the mechanics of the game problems when you toss buckets of dice, so many effects go off, damage is done and despairs/triumphs show up.

 

Making a better adversary of ranks of durable doesnt solve this issue.

 

The ataru striker has force rating 2 from another tree but tonight he did a super hit one shotting the main nemesis with 5 successes and two advantages. He is agility 6 with 5 ranks in lightsaber.....He had 2 blue as well on the attack.

 

His blade does base 9 so 14 damage x2, thats 28 damage with breach. I think he had some other talents kick in as well when he hits, cant remember.

It is not 28 damage. if you are talking about saber swarm. It is 9+6-soak(Breach cancels 10 soak)+9-soak(breach cancels10 soak) so 24 damage max order of operations is important :) . Linked adds another base damage. it does not double the base damage plus successes. Same for someone dual wielding blasters. 2 advantage adds the seconds blasters damage. It does not add a second set of damage from the successes. Also the soak counts against that second hit. So you have first hit with successes minus soak+second blaster base damage hit-soak.

also durable helps with crits. IE it cuts out some of that vicious stuff.

 

 

I think you are wrong about how Linked works.  This is a direct quote from the Linked rules:  "Each hit deals the weapon's base damage plus the total uncanceled <SuccessSymbol> scored on the check."  The wording is the same for Autofire and Two-Weapon Combat.

 

I suppose i could be wrong there. But I pretty sure each separate hit applies soak. I would also not be afraid to through guys with reflect and parry. Parry soaks lightsaber damage.

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I suppose i could be wrong there. But I pretty sure each separate hit applies soak. I would also not be afraid to through guys with reflect and parry. Parry soaks lightsaber damage.

 

Pretty much this. Parry is the great answer to the breach quality on Lightsabers. And Reflect can work well against your dual wielder. Make sure to give your baddies plenty of strain to use them.

Edited by kaosoe

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also use things like these

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-n7ekVbbfnRcE9HUE14LWczaVk/edit

look at what they do with triumphs and despairs. make sure you have a list you can pull ideas from.

 

 

EEEHRMAGERD!!!!

 

Why haven't I seen this before?! Gimme gimme gimme thank you really much, so many wow! Such many wow. Many such mhmm yes wow!

 

Really nice one. Thank you for that.

Edited by Poseur

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Well one option is to change the challenges up.  If the BBEGs start hearing about how they heros just literally chop all the opposition in half in about a second they are going to escalate.  Big Bads will do everything they can to avoid combat with the PCs that doesn't give them home filed advantage.  (S)he will have traps, vehicles, air support, and so on and so on.  The bad guys shouldn't be stupid and charge the Master level Jedi unless they are minions and that is their job.

 

Rivals and nemsises will utilize technology that allows them to avoid the melee masters.  They will utilize their own high level marksmen to take care of their ranged support as well.  A well trained sniper with the right talents in the system can disable a PC in one good shot no matter the amount of XP your team has.  To avoid that annoying weapon stealing problem that crops up when you make custom weapons for your baddies is the gene-lock with the explosion mod.

 

The Bid Bad needs to be played smart or (s)he will always be brought down by a team in a round or two.  They should always have an ace up their sleeve.  If they are in an underground bunker they will most certainly have turrets that come out of the walls if the PCs get to them.  They will always have an emergency escape plan because more then likely they don't want to face the PCs.  A good big bad will eventually fight PCs but only after being an annoying thorn in their side so the defeat feels all the better.

 

So to recap, Air support, Vehicle Support, Artillery Support, Mines, Traps, Explosives, lots of mooks, and make sure the bad guys play as smart as the players.

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I have a suggestion but maybe is too late to apply it for your actual game, but you can implement it in future campaigns.

 

Based on your game lenght, try to look for a minimal justification for players PC's improvements, not just the "you have enough XP".

 

My player's main char have 2.430 XP, with 2 skills at 5, 4 at 4 and the rest between 0 and 3. This is a game that started on the year 1999.

 

When my players gets enough XP I don't let it just pick the talent or the rank level s/he wants. I told him/her that he must look for something to justify this or/and also let time pass to justify the he achieves the 3rd rank on skill meaning that he is training during that time period.

 

Of course that if your game is based on a "not so much sessions" campaign, you would like to just earn and buy things. But remember that ranks 3 and further means that you are among the best of the galaxy, and after that, thinks about how many time has passed inside the game. 1 week? 1 month?

 

As I said, this doesn't fix so much your actual problem, but maybe this will help you in future sessions :D

 

Also I have to add that Daeglan explanations are pretty good. Again, as said before, don't forget Armors, defensive talents and stances, shields, enviroment and other facts.

 

About Triumph/Despair fact, if the table samples aren't enough or are too repetitive (your players are so lucky too XD), use them to introduce new facts and scenarios that bring some extra emotion and awesome scenes to your game.

 

Hope that I helped mate and welcome :)

Edited by Josep Maria

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As far as mechanical fixes, I think your game is past the point of return.  Is it the system or are disatisfied with the level of power gaming at your table?  The examples of PCs you mentioned...it seems everyone is focused on combat and max damage. You have a PC that has invested over 100 points into a book that is still in Beta. I'm guessing Ataru Striker is 3rd Spec since you have to get Force Sensitive Exile or Force Sensitve Emergent first to get a Force Rating, so that's 40 XP for out of career and then 65 XP in the shortest path to the talents you mentioned.  If this PC actually started as an Ataru Striker and already has 500 XP awarded, that's the problem right there.  And I 'do NOT even want to know what the melee wookie can do?'

 

You say you are in a group...Are you the GM?  Does anyone else in the group feel the same?  In just about every system there is that tipping point where the game starts to get repetitive, lose fun, etc due to becoming too easy for the players/PCs.  If you can't find creative ways to challenge the PCs with story elements and new environments, it may be time to start anew, get back to the power level of the game you enjoy, and be a little more conservative with the XP rewards.

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How have others dealt with this?

 

There are plenty of people playing games where the characters have 1000+ XP and these issues don't come up.  With 500 XP and somebody with Agility 6...that sounds like a one-trick pony, somebody who went all-in with Agility at chargen and didn't look at anything else.  I bet they can't talk their way out of a paper bag though, or look up "how to make a lightsaber" on the Holonet.

 

The first solution is to invest in broader skill sets for the characters.  That "every character is highly specialized" thing is a D&D artifact, where, at least with 4e, you had trouble succeeding without a "well-rounded" party.  This game doesn't need that, in fact I'd argue it's a detriment.

 

The second solution is to have the party pulled out of their comfort zone on a regular basis.  From the sounds of it your game centers around a lot of combat.  I don't know if you're coming from other games (e.g.:  D&D) where the game tends to devolve to "combat, with the occasional boring skill check".  This game however, makes it much easier to put as much tension into a negotiation or a knowledge search as a shoot out.

 

I'll grant at high dice pools the game mechanics can get wonky, but not every triumph or despair needs to be a game changer.  The combat suggestions for these are actually pretty tame...upgrading somebody else's next attack, dropping ammo, etc.  If you feel the game is broken with your current characters, you might consider starting over, but with the restriction that nobody can have a characteristic more than 1 higher than the racial baseline.  With humans, that means you'll end up with three or four "3s", making each character a little more well-rounded.  I've started doing this myself and have watched the players go from agonizing over where to put that "4" (and holding up the game while doing so and then wanting to change their mind at the end of the first session), to being far more content with the extra 3s.

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Sadly I have to agree with Domingo - it might be too late to enforce mandatory diversification. See, my Politico is at just over 300 points and I barely have any taents above 10 points and skills that are better than 2. Why? Becuse I've been investing in new careers instead - and when each one costs 50 points, it slows down development just a touch.

 

But okay, that's an extreme example. You shouldn't force someone to buy 4 trees right out of the gate. :) However I think that encouraging folks to avoid maximizing the Murder Other People Good skills straight away is a good idea. Grab some social skills! Raise some mechanical and doctorin' skills!

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also use things like these

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-n7ekVbbfnRcE9HUE14LWczaVk/edit

look at what they do with triumphs and despairs. make sure you have a list you can pull ideas from.

 

 

EEEHRMAGERD!!!!

 

Why haven't I seen this before?! Gimme gimme gimme thank you really much, so many wow! Such many wow. Many such mhmm yes wow!

 

Really nice one. Thank you for that.

 

apparently you never listen to the order 66 podcast...you should remedy that :)

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Sadly I have to agree with Domingo - it might be too late to enforce mandatory diversification. See, my Politico is at just over 300 points and I barely have any taents above 10 points and skills that are better than 2. Why? Becuse I've been investing in new careers instead - and when each one costs 50 points, it slows down development just a touch.

 

But okay, that's an extreme example. You shouldn't force someone to buy 4 trees right out of the gate. :) However I think that encouraging folks to avoid maximizing the Murder Other People Good skills straight away is a good idea. Grab some social skills! Raise some mechanical and doctorin' skills!

instead of mandatory how bout throwing things they are not optimized for at them.

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You could do that - in fact I occasionally enjoy hitting the players where they aint.

 

However it might be best if everyone went into it with the "don't race to the endgame" mentality. Some time ago, my group did a Episode 1 era game with all Padawans. Since we wanted the game to run parallel to the new movies as they came out, we wanted the game to last a while. However Jedi in the WEG engine can get overpowering and out of balance really quickly.

 

So we as a group decided to spread the points out and keep things in check (like making Willpower stay level with the highest Force die code) and the like. Everyone was cool with that and we were able to keep the gaming running for the 6 or 7 years it took the movies to come out. We were a touch overpowered at the end, but we were able to make it work.

 

So I will always advocate being on the same page over the GM puling the cart any day of the week.

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How have others dealt with this?

 

I send them to strange and terrible places, have swarms of the small, bitey native wildlife nibble on them, plants that spit poison and environments that inflict punishing setbacks for the unprepared, climb tall buildings, sentient space herpes living in the ships life support... then sometimes I make them talk to people and draw on all those often neglected skills: Resiliance, Survival, Leadership and Medicine.

 

Which, they survived because about half the group aren't obsessed with 'raw damage' and the full-retard combat monkeys that do big hits eventually learned that they have to pull their weight in other areas. There won't always be a handy NPC that knows mechanics, can fly a ship, do some slicing or act as a native guide.

However, the combat monkey has their place, because they survive some of the more vicious conflict jobs by benefit of their skill at making things die.

 

Structuring combat is often difficult.

Don't be afraid to just pile in reinforcements to a conflict, wear down their resources, blow through stim-packs, grenades and if worst comes to worst as your favourite bad guy is surrounded by evil PC's in their bunker of last resort and they're hacking down the door with their lightbats, call in that airstrike, oribital bombardment or artillery.

"But sir, that's your position!"

"For the Empire!"

"Godspeed sir, Delta-Zero incoming"

Does he survive as the PC's run away with poo coming out? Course he does, probably with some cyber-ears and medical treatment to turn up at a later date :)

Of course, if the PC's are too stupid to run away, hit them hard! Its REALLY difficult to kill them outright, they often fall down and bleed a bit, but actual death is pretty rare. That might also give you a bit of leverage if one of them gets captured and held hostage... "Tell us where your friends are and who sent you and the pain will stop!"

 

Minion Groups, don't be afraid to haul out the half-dozen organised groups of 5 or more that will deal out some good hits before they get hacked down or blasted. You can get them doing 3-4Yellow and 1-2 Greens to return the favour, they'll die horribly... but that just means you need to send in MORE of them and they just keep coming! 

"I mean really, what did you expect shooting that poor Stormtrooper? He does have friends you know..."

The purpose of this is that it gives your rivals and nemisis time to prepare- maybe they will bug out and scamper off to a waiting shuttle or maybe they're just getting into position to nail someone with a big gun, explosive device, ATST or something equally brutal that will rip some arse apart.

 

Long term consequences of being murderhobos should not be underestimated, especially if your group is inclined not to be very smart about how they murder people. It gets noticed, it gets powerful people annoyed and eventually it means a big stick gets pulled out and slapped down hard.

"Now look, we've sent in 100 troops and achieved no result"

"Scouts have located their ship sir"

"Bombard it"

They come back to a smoking crater in the ground because no one thought to buy $400 worth camo netting as they spent all their money on guns and no one bothered to stay behind to protect their way out! Now they're stuck and things get 'complicated', make things complicated, there is never a direct route to something which isn't paved with pain, misery or incredible amounts of suffering. And if it is a happy, yellow brick road to something, then it wasn't worth going to in the first place.

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Guys!! Your getting lost in the examples.

Ignore ALL of them and focus on the fact at high exp levels people rolls lots of yellow and lots of reds

Meaning lots of triumph and despair come up...like a lot....

How do you deal with these? Maybe it's an issue with my mind as I treat them as a BIG DEAL, when they aren't that bad at all?

Maybe I'll wait a few days I put my question up again reworded...

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Triumphs versus Despairs?

Maybe share the load — the GM only worries about narrating Despairs, and leaves the narration of the Triumphs to the players?

Seems to me like you should have a lot a practice in this area, so the narration of single Triumphs or Despairs shouldn’t be that hard. I would think that the double Triumphs or Double Despairs would be the really hard thing to narrate.

Oh, and Skill Monkey has a lot of nice narration of various Triumphs and Despairs.

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Guys,

Issue 1 --

The issue seems to be the dramatic shifts in successes and failures do to massive amounts of triumphs and despairs thrown around.

 

Issue 2 --

 now at higher levels of exp when we succeed it is dramatic with massive damage, vicious 4.....etc one shooting even big adversaries.....

 

How have others dealt with this?

Issue 1) I can see how a few T&D's can make combat almost comical. Even in our low-level group we had 3 or 4 of them in succession and had people falling prone 2x's and disarmed twice. I can only imagine having even more of them. I see that T&D's can be used as anything on the list.  They just might have to be a point of strain on either side Strain.  At least Despairs let you give the bad guy advantages. (free maneuver..to run..., bypass poor terrain, etc...)

 

Issue 2) Typically, our BEST sessions are ones where one major combat occurs and the rest is story with a few encounters. In the end, the final combat became about finally getting that pesky NPC after an evening of harassment.  It wasn't about "could" we defeat him.  It was about, can we corner him where we can fight him?  SO, it isn't about building the awesome NPC who can hold up to a barrage of weaponry (because none can!), but it's about playing "Hide-the-adversary" and antagonizing the PC's.  Imagine a pencil-necked paper-pusher with an attitude in the gov't who won't allow their permits or paperwork to come through. 

 

In another genre, a particular GM would always trick out the main bad guy and, typically, he'd die in the first round.  We always got the best swag with him running the game!   Seems to be a common theme in games. It never seems to work, IMO.  A handful of PC's will always defeat 1 or 2 uber-bad guys and some goons. 

 

Also, choosing to go at their weaknesses on purpose is a poor choice of actions. It poisons the well.  Imagine making a character where you KNOW the GM will make you pay for whatever you don't have.  Being fed a steady diet of social encounters when you're a brawler just so the GM can get over on you gets old quick. It sucks. You'll be playing another genre soon. I'm a big fan of letting the players do what they do well. If you have massive damage potential, then let them get a good hack in each session.  I think the satisfaction isn't in seeing if they can succeed, it's in getting that guy they've been after for five sessions. 

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