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Boost and Setback Dice vs. Difficulty

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Okay...I know I should have this down by now, but honestly sometimes it's hard to figure out when to use a purple die vs. when to use a setback die. 

 

I think at least part of this is because I think of difficulties as inherently encompassing the environmental factors. If someone is slicing a computer terminal and the terminal is state-of-the-art, I'm going to say it's a hard difficulty instead of, say, average difficulty with two setback dice. It's easier to determine what needs to be a setback die in the event of, say, weather or time constraints, but after looking through the rulebook's suggestions for when to add boost and setback dice, I have to say I'm still a bit confused. 

 

Does anyone else have some helpful advice on determining when to use a Boost or Setback die versus just raising and lowering the difficulty? 

 

Also, I thought the Order 66 podcast had covered the issue, but I've been searching their archives and I can't find anything on the topic outside of the skill monkey episodes that cover how to interpret success, failure, and the rest. 

 

Just a warning, I may ask some clarifying questions to answers.  ;)

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First off, try and add setback to most checks. One of the things in this systems is the talents that remove setback dice, so you want to have them be there for the players to remove so they know they are getting their XP's worth.

 

Now for difficulty vs setback. You seem to have been around a bit so I'll assume you've played other games and systems. In other games they tend to have modifiers like "add +2 to the difficulty if the goblin has the higher ground" or some thing like that. Setback work essentially the same way. Most difficulties will be based out. "Climbing a ladder is Easy P" and the setback will add on to that "but it's a shaky ladder so add 1 Setback."

 

In the case of your computer it's essentially the same:

Accessing tier 1 data like storage room inventory is easy to moderate, accessing tier 2 like the armory inventory is moderate to hard, and so on. Then add setback to represent additional encryption and intrusion countermeasures. +1 setback for a civilian net, +2 for military or corporate, +3 for a black site... so on.

 

Boost works essentially the opposite direction, but the same way. You beat a Triumph or two out of that guy you were interrogating earlier, so he told you what software they use to secure their net, allowing you to know what to look for when slicing it, +1 boost.

Edited by Ghostofman

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Here's how I go bout doing things when I gm.

I ask myself "how hard, without any other factors involved, would this check be?" If They are shooting at a mook from medium range I'm going to say average 2 purples. If a pc is trying to throw a grenade into a small slit short range away, I'm going to make it hard 3 purple minimum. And probably spending a destiny point for the upgrade cause i got a good idea for that despair.

Then I ask myself "what extenuating circumstances are involved in the encounter?" Is it dark? How's the terrain? Atmospheric oddities like most, low gravity, etc. all these things add setback in my book. I try to include 1 setback to any roll when initiative has been rolled. If no initiative order has been established I'll look at the event and see if something logical stands out. IE. I don't want to put a setback on an astrogation check when there's no stressors involved. If no stressors exist, story tell some (or the potential for some. Like gas tanks, power couplings) in and spend threat produced by players introducing the stressors.

Finally I look for adversary talent for the Reds. I like to ask myself "is there something awesome that can happen in the current circumstance that would be perfect for despair roll?" If so I spent a destiny point and upgrade a purple for a red.

As for boosts, usually they are from equipment are aiding/assisting each other or advantages spent. Be mindful that setbacks could be boosts if you have creative players. IE heavy gravity can make things tough however i have given successful melee attacks an extra boost die for potentially more damage or advantage cause it makes sense to me. A 10 pound sledge will hurt more if the gravity makes it now 50 pounds. Might be harder to hit with but if you to.

In your example, hacking into a system would be 2 purple to me. Unless it's got security, now we are going 3 purple. Is it a bank? 4 minimum. Now let's think of environmentals, active security protocols? Add a setback. Encrypted? Setback there. Active security antihacker involved now? Opposed check, don't forget bout the opposed checks. Now that's adding reds. You can even start with a red or 2 if you think the system is military grade or high tech savvy syndicates. But I like adding reds from npcs since that leads to more story hooks.

Hope this helps.

Edited by jaradaj

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It's easy to get caught looking at environmental conditions like weather as a setback, but I think they add to difficulty if they're built in to the task. Climbing a wet cliff on a stormy seashore means it's a high difficulty climb. Being slippery isn't a setback, it's part of the challenge. Being shot at while climbing, that's a setback.

 

Mechanically, one simple way to look at it is whether the things adding to the challenge are part of the specific skill check or not. I'll admit, this doesn't work in every situation, but for basic tests I think it's quick enough. You're testing brawn for carrying a crate, difficulty roll determined by weight. There are a number of hazards on the ground that make it tricky footing, which is more of an agility issue. That's a setback. 

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It's easy to get caught looking at environmental conditions like weather as a setback, but I think they add to difficulty if they're built in to the task. Climbing a wet cliff on a stormy seashore means it's a high difficulty climb. Being slippery isn't a setback, it's part of the challenge. Being shot at while climbing, that's a setback.

Mechanically, one simple way to look at it is whether the things adding to the challenge are part of the specific skill check or not. I'll admit, this doesn't work in every situation, but for basic tests I think it's quick enough. You're testing brawn for carrying a crate, difficulty roll determined by weight. There are a number of hazards on the ground that make it tricky footing, which is more of an agility issue. That's a setback.

That is certainly one way to look at it. Admittedly some enviromental effects combined with certain skill checks could not only add a setback but could potentially upgrade the purple to a red. in this example of climbing while it's raining in the mud, as a GM I would upgrade that from 2 purple to 1 purple and 1 red. This just me.

Also, another tip, keep in mind how many setback you are tossing around. 1-3 is the most I like to use. I use post-it notes with the reason for the boost or setback. Blue ones for boosts and red for setbacks. I like to see setbacks as potentially removable or alter able in combat. While purples and reds as more permanent.

Edited by jaradaj

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Difficulty is generally baseline level of challenge of a given task.  Boost and Setback dice are for unseen environmental and personal circumstances.  Upgrading a Difficulty can be a pre-determined plot thing to insert Despair chances, a DP usage, or some kind of direct counter intervention by a Nemesis-ish NPC.  That's the sort of quarter I flip when I make up my mind.

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It's easy to get caught looking at environmental conditions like weather as a setback, but I think they add to difficulty if they're built in to the task. Climbing a wet cliff on a stormy seashore means it's a high difficulty climb. Being slippery isn't a setback, it's part of the challenge. Being shot at while climbing, that's a setback.

 

I think you're wrong on this one...

 

If the same cliff was inside a training facility, perfectly dry with no winds or waves, what would be the difficulty ? 2 purples, then 2 purples is the difficulty. Now it's slippery because of the waves, add a setback. There is also a big storm, so add another 2 setbacks. Being shot at, add another setback. Difficulty is now PPBBBB.

 

Climbing a broken ladder is a tricky one... Personally I'd advocate easy roll, difficulty upgrade for being broken and setback for being shaky. So RB for a broken ladder.

 

The difficulty is always how hard is the task in a perfectly controlled environment without any outside interference. Anything else that might change the difficulty of the task is a setback.... ice, snow, wind, rain, fear, time constraint, being shot at, etc.

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It's easy to get caught looking at environmental conditions like weather as a setback, but I think they add to difficulty if they're built in to the task. Climbing a wet cliff on a stormy seashore means it's a high difficulty climb. Being slippery isn't a setback, it's part of the challenge. Being shot at while climbing, that's a setback.

 

I think you're wrong on this one...

 

If the same cliff was inside a training facility, perfectly dry with no winds or waves, what would be the difficulty ? 2 purples, then 2 purples is the difficulty. Now it's slippery because of the waves, add a setback. There is also a big storm, so add another 2 setbacks. Being shot at, add another setback. Difficulty is now PPBBBB.

 

The difficulty is always how hard is the task in a perfectly controlled environment without any outside interference. Anything else that might change the difficulty of the task is a setback.... ice, snow, wind, rain, fear, time constraint, being shot at, etc.

 

 

I guess my perspective with this example is that I would compare an outdoor cliff face that is a bit treacherous to an indoor climbing surface that has man-made hazards, and call them equal difficulty. Say, compare running an indoor obstacle course with running through a tricky jungle with a similar array of challenges. So, it's particularly if, or maybe even only if, this was a prepared event. 

 

This is where I think GM discretion comes in. If the party says, "let's climb that wall," then the I as GM say, "It's this kind of wall, but these are the environmental conditions." That's definitely optimal conditions plus modifiers. But if you write your scenario with a part that says, "The party must scale a cliff face, difficult because of the environment, to continue," then it's all difficulty. In either case I would consider gear and foreknowledge (of terrain or hazards, for example) to be boosts. Unexpectedly bad environmental conditions, because I feel the group needs more challenge than they've been getting, is setback then.

 

I guess any formula for challenge can be subverted if you plan it that way. Which, I'll admit, is less helpful to someone looking for rule clarification. So, maybe I'm a little wrong anyway.

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i run it like this:

 

how hard is the actual task in perfect conditions? thats the difficulty (purple)

 

is there anything about this check that could go horribly wrong? thats the upgrades (red)

 

are there factors slowing down or hindering the task that won't adversely affect the player? that the setback (black)

 

are there factors that are assisting or speeding up the task? thats boost (blue)

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i run it like this:

 

how hard is the actual task in perfect conditions? thats the difficulty (purple)

 

is there anything about this check that could go horribly wrong? thats the upgrades (red)

 

are there factors slowing down or hindering the task that won't adversely affect the player? that the setback (black)

 

are there factors that are assisting or speeding up the task? thats boost (blue)

That's a good summary.  I'm new to the system but experienced in the GM role and wrapping my head around this has been mostly ok, but some of the subtleties are difficult to explain to the players... which means I don't have them solid in my brain either.  This thread has helped.

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It's easy to get caught looking at environmental conditions like weather as a setback, but I think they add to difficulty if they're built in to the task. Climbing a wet cliff on a stormy seashore means it's a high difficulty climb. Being slippery isn't a setback, it's part of the challenge. Being shot at while climbing, that's a setback.

 

I think you're wrong on this one...

 

If the same cliff was inside a training facility, perfectly dry with no winds or waves, what would be the difficulty ? 2 purples, then 2 purples is the difficulty. Now it's slippery because of the waves, add a setback. There is also a big storm, so add another 2 setbacks. Being shot at, add another setback. Difficulty is now PPBBBB.

 

The difficulty is always how hard is the task in a perfectly controlled environment without any outside interference. Anything else that might change the difficulty of the task is a setback.... ice, snow, wind, rain, fear, time constraint, being shot at, etc.

 

 

I guess my perspective with this example is that I would compare an outdoor cliff face that is a bit treacherous to an indoor climbing surface that has man-made hazards, and call them equal difficulty. Say, compare running an indoor obstacle course with running through a tricky jungle with a similar array of challenges. So, it's particularly if, or maybe even only if, this was a prepared event. 

 

This is where I think GM discretion comes in. If the party says, "let's climb that wall," then the I as GM say, "It's this kind of wall, but these are the environmental conditions." That's definitely optimal conditions plus modifiers. But if you write your scenario with a part that says, "The party must scale a cliff face, difficult because of the environment, to continue," then it's all difficulty. In either case I would consider gear and foreknowledge (of terrain or hazards, for example) to be boosts. Unexpectedly bad environmental conditions, because I feel the group needs more challenge than they've been getting, is setback then.

 

I guess any formula for challenge can be subverted if you plan it that way. Which, I'll admit, is less helpful to someone looking for rule clarification. So, maybe I'm a little wrong anyway.

 

For a third perspective: If a regular, dry cliff with no wind is 2 purples, the wetness and risk of falling into jagged rocks below is an upgrade. Add a setback for wind making it more difficult, and one for being shot at, now you are at 1 Challenge, 1 Difficulty and 2 setback

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This has been a really helpful thread. 

 

The rule is quite good at explaining upgrades to ability, adding boost and setback dice, and determining difficulty. For me the scenarios where you should upgrade difficulty dice was never really explain, though maybe I have just missed it.

 

It's been bugging me as a GM because I was wondering when I was going to get those despair to play with. Looking forward to using this knowledge in our next session.

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These replies have really helped out!

I think one of the biggest lessons I've taken away is that every task has three factors:

1. The base difficulty

2. Environmental factors

3. The probability of things going horribly wrong

Another big lesson I've learned is that all three of these are pretty subjective. One GM might imagine a steep cliff face after a rainstorm and give it a difficulty of PPBB. Another might say it's PPPB, while another might say it's PPR, or even PPRB.

Here's my takeaways--

Almost always add environmental dice. At this point I think it'll be easier for me to figure out when Setback dice should be applied, which might be in the spirit of the game. Let the players come up with reasons to add a Boost die.

Add a Challenge die only if a Despair would make for a more interesting story. It shouldn't completely derail the game. So a slicer trying to slice her way into an Imperial garrison where the MacGuffin is shouldn't necessarily get a Challenge die, but if she's trying to slice her way through an interior hatch one could be added. I'm also going to say a Challenge die should be used if failing horribly is a very possible outcome (again, keeping in mind it's subjective).

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Another big lesson I've learned is that all three of these are pretty subjective. One GM might imagine a steep cliff face after a rainstorm and give it a difficulty of PPBB. Another might say it's PPPB, while another might say it's PPR, or even PPRB.

 

And if your GM is a hipster, he might even make it a PBR. 

(that might be a regional reference)

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Add a Challenge die only if a Despair would make for a more interesting story. It shouldn't completely derail the game. So a slicer trying to slice her way into an Imperial garrison where the MacGuffin is shouldn't necessarily get a Challenge die, but if she's trying to slice her way through an interior hatch one could be added. I'm also going to say a Challenge die should be used if failing horribly is a very possible outcome (again, keeping in mind it's subjective).

 

Great thoughts throughout and others have summed up nicely. The one additional point I would add is to flip a Destiny Point whenever your reason to upgrade is to introduce the chance of Despair (i.e. there's not already an Adversary Talent or Opposed Check present). This serves a dual purpose:

  1. Using the mechanic to introduce Challenge die prevents these upgrades from feeling arbitrary (I try to avoid a GM vs Players atmosphere)
  2. It encourages players to use them more freely, which means more chance for "awesome"

 

Edited because of a cardinal your/you're sin!

Edited by Mitrokhin

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i run it like this:

 

how hard is the actual task in perfect conditions? thats the difficulty (purple)

 

is there anything about this check that could go horribly wrong? thats the upgrades (red)

 

are there factors slowing down or hindering the task that won't adversely affect the player? that the setback (black)

 

are there factors that are assisting or speeding up the task? thats boost (blue)

 

 

 

I think that's an extremely good explanation.

Only one thing i want to add that may help in adjudicating purple vs black dice.

 

I use difficulty die to decide how difficult something is. That difficulty will never change for anyone that will ever attempt that task, at any other time or under any other circumstance.

 

Conversely, black/blue dice apply RIGHT NOW, but now always, and someone that is more skilled, or impaired (critical hits) might remove them.

 

So, climbing a steep cliff after a rainstorm should have the same difficulty dice as the cliff without the rainstorm. The rainstorm will not always be there (so its a black dice). Not everyone will always have climbing equipment (blue dice), it will not always be night. But it will always be the same cliff, with the same handholds and qualities and it will not change for anyone that will attempt the climb. (Of course, it the cliff itself is later modified in some way, the difficulty might change)

 

Now, some environmental things can also add to difficulty if they are always present.

Climbing The Wall (in Game of thrones) might be a difficulty 4. However, it will ALWAYS be cold and unpleasant for anyone trying to climb it, no matter what gear you have. You might slap a difficulty 5 on that specific wall.

 

The same could hold true for climbing the sea-stations of Kamino (if you decide rainstorms will never stop and are part of the planet)

Edited by Madeiner

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Guys, just a quick appeal to game design when it comes to Upgrading Difficulty (changing a [Purple] Difficulty Die to a [Red] Challenge Die). I'm going somewhere with this, and it's not just a "you're doing it wrong because the rules clearly state X" rant, so please just bear with me :)

 

*Edit: somehow I completely missed Mitrokhin's post #16, so this ends up being a fairly verbose expansion on those thoughts.

 

Firstly, nowhere in the rules does it say, "If something could go horribly wrong, upgrade the difficulty." I'm not sure where that prevalent idea comes from, but it's most definitely not found in the rule books. There is the instance of upgrading when shooting at someone with whom your ally is engaged, and if a Despair comes up on a Success, you hit your ally instead. That's there, but that's a very specific case. There are also instances in the rulebooks where specific effects 

 

House rules are all well and good, I am a big fan of them, but this is (IMO) a pretty big deal that (again, IMO) is not supported by the rules, and there is a good reason for it.

 

Difficulty upgrades come from....

1) Spending a Dark Side Destiny Point (when you think things could go horribly wrong, THIS is your cue) 

2) Trained/prepared opposition (talents, Force powers, maneuvers, or opposed checks: an enemy pilot going evasive, a slicer-defense droid brain, a more-dangerous-than-normal enemy). 

2a) This would include Advantage/Threat on dice pool rolls during structured play, since only characters roll for skill checks, and the upgrades that can come from enough Advantage or Threat reflect the heightened stakes of the encounter brought on by the opposition. 

 

Here are the rules on the matter, from chapter 1:

[Challenge] dice may be featured ... during particularly daunting challenges posed by trained, elite, or prepared opponents. Challenge dice can also be added to a pool when the GM invests a Destiny Point for an important skill check.

 

and 

 

There may come times when the GM is unsure whether a situation should have the difficulty level increased or whether dice should be added or upgraded. ... Upgrading (or downgrading) dice is not usually necessary unless a specific rule or ability calls for it. These situations are defined by the individual abilities and are generally not applied arbitrarily by the GM.
 

Obviously, the GM is free to do what he pleases (I mean, speaking frankly, you can give an opponent Adversary 1 or 4 or 9 if you wanted, so in that sense you could just make up an effect that upgrades a specific check), but upgrading dice without having to spend Destiny Points or having some other specific rule in place does one thing that I'm not okay with: it cheapens the Destiny Point mechanic. When the GM says "hey something could go wrong here; a Despair would be really interesting," that's when you spend the Destiny Point and upgrade the difficulty. Otherwise you are exerting more power than is fair over your PCs and not giving them their due (flipping a DP over to the light side) so that they too can influence the narrative on such a powerful level.

 

So unless the rule specifically call for an upgrade from some effect, just bite the bullet and flip that Destiny Point. Only you can prevent willy-nilly difficulty upgrades.

 

 ---

 

TL;DR: For your players' & PCs' sake, all things being equal, please spend a Destiny Point when you want to upgrade their difficulties. That is what the DP mechanic is there for.

Edited by awayputurwpn

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Thanks for posting it, it was an interesting read. However, there are several things in there that I think the author got a little wrong. Not the maths (which I haven't the time to check) but the analysis. For example, he several times remarks that it is strange how a Challenge die can result in less chance of Threat than a Difficulty die and makes comments along the lines of the developers just guessed as to what feels right. He's bringing his assumptions into this incorrectly, imo. The reason Challenge die are like that is because the game is designed to favour "interesting" results. Failure with a pile of threats is just sucky. Success with a pile of threats is very interesting. So chances of threats do not rise in the same proportion as chances of failures.

Look at the chances of success/failure and advantage/threat on difficulty and ability die for example. An ability die has a slightly greater chance of rolling a success than a Difficulty die has of rolling failure. So if you roll two Green and two Purple, the odds are slightly in your favour for successes. But an Abilty die has a slightly lower chance of getting an Advantage than a Difficulty die does of getting a Threat.

To put it another way, Ability dice offer you a good chance of success and an okay chance of advantage. Difficulty dice offer you an okay chance of failure and a good chance of threat. So with equal dice, the odds are mostly in favour of success with complications. Which is by design.

An upgrade of difficulty is actually out and out increasing the chance of failure, more than it is threat. (But then there is the despair which is worth at least a couple of threat).

Another place where the author goes wrong is talking about the Force dice. He concludes that they're weird and don't make sense, but in fact, he's simply missing the purpose. With a single Force dice, you are more likely to get Dark Side points than Light and he worries about players at low levels not getting the Force points they need. But that is the point - it forces a choice as to whether or not to dip into the Dark Side. Additionally, whilst you have less chance of rolling Light Side, you have more chance of the Light Side giving you more points. I.e. it's harder to get, but more concentrated in effect. That has a significant impact on the path of development of Force characters which works perfectly for what it is suppose to represent. Think about this -

Luke: Is the Dark Side stronger than the Light?

Yoda: Stronger? No... Easier.

FFG actually found a way to represent that which is amazing. In the EotE/AoR/FaD systems, the Dark Side is not stronger than the Light but it is easier. You have a 58% chance of getting Dark Side whereas Light is only 41% chance. However, you have a 25% chance of getting two Light Side, and only an 8% chance of getting two with the Dark Side. This means that the Dark Side wont be overwhelmingly more powerful, but it will ever be tempting to dip into it as it is there to fill in the gaps.

The more I study the mathematics of the system, the more I become certain that FFG knew exactly what they were doing.

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2) Trained/prepared opposition (talents, Force powers, maneuvers, or opposed checks: an enemy pilot going evasive, a slicer-defense droid brain, a more-dangerous-than-normal enemy). 

 

- This is a good point, but I tend to take is a half-step further and use it for upgrading when working against something it was designed to stop.  Take climbing over a fence:

Difficulty comes from the type of fence (Chain is easy to climb, concrete is harder)

Setback comes from environment (raining, tired, rapid, etc.)

Upgrades come from preparations designed to prevent it from being climbed. (Barbed wire, polished surface, electrified) 

- I've also upgraded the difficulty of locks for the presence of tamper-detectors.

 

On a related note, I've also on occasion listed 'delayed opposed' checks for things like custom digital security (opposed computer) or finding a sabotaged circuit (opposed mechanics)

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2) Trained/prepared opposition (talents, Force powers, maneuvers, or opposed checks: an enemy pilot going evasive, a slicer-defense droid brain, a more-dangerous-than-normal enemy). 

 

- This is a good point, but I tend to take is a half-step further and use it for upgrading when working against something it was designed to stop.  Take climbing over a fence:

Difficulty comes from the type of fence (Chain is easy to climb, concrete is harder)

Setback comes from environment (raining, tired, rapid, etc.)

Upgrades come from preparations designed to prevent it from being climbed. (Barbed wire, polished surface, electrified) 

- I've also upgraded the difficulty of locks for the presence of tamper-detectors.

 

On a related note, I've also on occasion listed 'delayed opposed' checks for things like custom digital security (opposed computer) or finding a sabotaged circuit (opposed mechanics)

 

 

Yeah totally, an opposed check could absolutely be a case of the NPC setting up something that the PCs encounter later. I have the PCs do that all the time (set the explosives now, make your Skulduggery/Mechanics/whatever check later, when it matters) and I definitely take into account their opponents skill when mounting defenses against intrusion (your examples of barbed wire etc, or say a slicer-defense algorithm left in place by a counter slicer, or an technician setting up a jammer that you've gotta make a really difficulty check to break through).

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Awayputurwpn,

 

First, I mean you no harm. (Sorry, the temptation was way too high.)  

 

Second, I think you've got a good point, and you are right--the rules do support that. The reason I mentioned where things could go horribly wrong is because in some of the published adventures, the difficulty is something like PPR or even PPPR. Unfortunately it's lunchtime and I'm away from my books so I can't give you a concrete example, but I recall in Beyond the Rim there are tasks that have a challenge die added to the difficulty, without the text stating that a Destiny point should be used. 

 

I would agree with the Destiny point mechanic issue you quoted, but this is kind of confusing.  Is there a rules shift while running published adventures, or is there a subtlety to upgrading difficulty checks that we were heretofore not aware of? This is where I got the "things could go horribly wrong" idea, which is more a matter of opinion on what could go wrong than a hard rule. 

 

Having said that, thank you for pointing out the rules in Chapter 1. Always a good idea to read the basics again and again. 

 

Personally, I thought the Destiny points were more to be used as a manifestation of how sometimes luck was on the PC's side or it wasn't. Sometimes you can make the impossible shot down the small thermal exhaust port with a Dark Lord of the Sith on your tail, and sometimes your hyperdrive fails and you fly right into a swarm of asteroids before going to your old friend for help who unbeknownst to you has been coerced into working with the Empire. 

 

 

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When I raised the idea that Challenge dice are for when things could go horribly wrong i was intending it to be about giving a mindset of what that dice is for, flipping the destiny pool is of course the most efficient way of upgrading. My personal feelings are that not having red dice showing up regularly affects the narrative of the story so much:

 

Luke shooting the door controls, only for Leia to tell him he just destroyed the bridge mechanism. thats probably GM Lucas flipping a destiny point.

 

I guess the bigger question is how to stop Players from hoarding the Light side pips.

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I guess the bigger question is how to stop Players from hoarding the Light side pips.

1. Be fairly liberal in spending them yourself so that the players realize that they come back again fairly quickly once spent.

2. Don't be mean about them and try to make every time you use them some cruel disaster. Picking a favourite villain to use them on is a nice touch - the players realize that this is a person favoured by the dark forces and get used to seeing tokens flipped when she arrives.

3. Some times spend them to do something other than upgrade difficulty dice. My players had piled up a tonne of them by the end of one session and everything was going well for them (they were about to obtain their prize and had an easy train ride to the drop-off). I began the next session by flipping them over one by one and listing each little thing that went wrong - a policeman wandering over to inspect their stolen speeder bike, a sudden rush of people getting off a train coming between them and their nemesis, etc. All little twists of fate conspiring together to make it One Of Those Days. In short, make a game of it - these points are Fate. Make it a fun part of the game and the players will spend them because they like fun.

4. Make sure there are plenty of risky things occurring in the game so that the players want to spend them to have a better chance of pulling something off.

The Destiny Pool shouldn't be a major decision point to use, keep it scaled down as a fun back and forth in the game and don't let it be built up as a colossal factor. I might use it as some have suggested when something particularly dangerous occurs, but then those things are alreadly, by definition, particularly dangerous. Instead, I use them when some dramatic reversal of fortune could occur. That can be the same circumstance, but it doesn't need to be. Destiny can work just as well by some poor stormtrooper getting away to sound the alarm because of suddent rupture of a steam pipe as it can by Darth Vader being even extra dangerous with his lightsaber than he was already.

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Id love a list of options for setback -- maybe something that you guys have used over and over that makes sense. I'm fairly new to GMing this and mixed up the diff by adding the factors in and not using setback all-- so I have to make sure I set the diff and add setback for factors instead. Compile the diff plus factors than ask my players for possible boost options and or removals or factors etc

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