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SchenTheRodian

Player's exploiting?

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I'm with those suggesting you have a chat with your players about narrative systems. There are some games out there meant to be more like simulations of reality, but Edge of the Empire (and the other FFG Star Wars games) isn't among them. This is something I've had a little trouble with from time to time, because I was brought up on more simulationist-style games, but I'm mostly over it. I hope. (I better be... I start a new campaign this coming Friday! *chuckles*) 

 

I like Doc's way of thinking - let shots that do extra damage (by virtue of more successes) be head-shots and the like - because it gives a nod to my more simulationist roots.

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Called shots refer to equipment and weak spots precisely; they shouldn't ever be used for instantly killing something unless part of a greater climatic. People can't be targetted by their limbs as thats what crits, advantage and threats are for; but rather you can target their gear in a non-damaging blow.

 

To be honest this abstract system is meant to deal with combat over a period of time. An "attack" is often an exchange of blows rather then a single targetted blow. And even so; not even the most heroic of people can simplys shoot a big bad between the eyes, it's a unspoken assumption that simply doing that isn't that simple. Certain talents; such as Anatonly lessons, is all about damage.

Edited by Lordbiscuit

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Im seconding all the comments saying that every standard attack in this system is representing the players attempts to cause as much damage as possible.

 

Each round could be as much as a minute of time, each action is not intended to be a single shot, but rather a volley of shots, part of the reason ammo is not tracked for most weapons, even slug throwers.

 

The calling of shots is intended to be used when a player wants to do something other than cause damage, or reduced damage and an effect.

 

Remember that this system is designed to put the dice roll in the middle of your turn, not at the end. by that i mean that you are supposed to do the following:

  1. loosely describe what you action is going to be
  2. assemble a dice pool representative of you abilities in the given task
  3. GM assigns difficulty dice based on the task being attempted and the environment in which its being done
  4. Roll
  5. Asses dice pool, look at WHERE the results came from (your training got you over the line, but the environment caused some threat)
  6. DESCRIBE the way in which you completed OR failed the action. 

step 6 is where your players should be saying things like:

  • PC: "I rolled enough success to cause 4 extra damage, therefore i have taken my time, slowed my breathing, kept my target in the crosshairs and waited for that perfect shot, so i hit them in the head to cause such a severe amount of damage."
  • PC: "I failed, but i rolled 4 advantage, with that I'm going to say that just as i pulled the trigger my target made a sudden movement, the spot on their chest i had been aiming for was where their pistol ended up being, that pistol is now on the ground a couple of meters behind them. They are caught flat footed by this so the next PC gets a boost to their roll"
  • PC: "A success! but 4 of threat." GM says: "that headshot you had been going for was a glancing blow, the target is now angry, very angry. your party member who was close and about to engage using her vibro-axe is now not so sure, she takes a setback to her next action. this has caused you some stress as well take 1 strain, your heart rate is up, hands shaking a little, you also accidentally knock over the crate in front of you that you had been using as cover.
  • PC (after calling a shot on the escaping NPC's legs): "A Hit, and no success, so i got him in the legs!" GM: "Great stuff! Either he takes strain damage and falls prone, or he could take the Staggered condition instead for the next 3 rounds, this will mean he can not perform actions or trade his action for an extra manoeuvre, he won't be running for a while"

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Definitely have a chat with the Players. Just because you're new to the GM business doesn't mean you have to let them screw around. Keep it friendly, fly casual, but make sure they get that this is a very narrative roleplaying game, as opposed to one where you're calling shots left and right. The game already assumes you're doing your darndest to put the bad guys down. If they call a shot, it should be for a narrative purpose, not to work in some extra damage.

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I recently had a player decline the new Age of Rebellion campaign I'm beginning because he is a tactical player. He loves Warhammer 40k and D&D 4E (Or D&D Tactics as we call it) because it is all about the turn by turn tactics. He sees the value of EotE, but it's not for him. He doesn't like the vague rules and cinematic aspects of it. He wants hard rules and tactical finesse to win battles.

 

That being said, if you are playing EotE and your players are "going for only headshots" and complaining that enemies should be dead because "they are shot in the head", they are playing EotE for the wrong reasons. This isn't a tabletop RPG for you to "win", this is a game that DM and players alike get together and create an amazing cinematic story. Battles should flow and be a fun experience, not a "boom headshot I win" moment.

 

Honestly, reading your initial post I'm not sure there is a fix for your problem other then a new system to play. If you really want to stick to Star Wars, try Saga Edition, that's more rules and tactical oriented.

 

And yes, I am being that snobby hipster at a mom-and-pop coffee shop telling the younger cool kids that this coffee isn't for them and that they don't appreciate it. :angry:

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My advice is:

 

First make him/her roll, and if the result is enough good, then can impact the head if scored enough damage or scored a critical.

This isn't problematic narrative, the problem is the player expecting a hit to the head to per se have some additional mechanical debuff or be an insta-gib simply because it's a hit to the head. 

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My advice is:

 

First make him/her roll, and if the result is enough good, then can impact the head if scored enough damage or scored a critical.

This isn't problematic narrative, the problem is the player expecting a hit to the head to per se have some additional mechanical debuff or be an insta-gib simply because it's a hit to the head. 

 

 

Right, and when they say they want to do that, you say "make your attack roll and if the result is good enough, then you hit them in the head. If it's not, then you didn't."

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Also remember - a head shot (and other sorts of incapacitating attacks) is a typical example of a critical hit

 

The players are confusing the mechanics of the critical hit with the narration of 'I shoot him in the head'.  Use the existing mechanics (aiming, critical hits, etc) to your advantage.  The player can't say 'I shoot him in the head'.  He/She can say 'I shoot at his head' - at which point you can apply the setback dice as appropriate for aiming, you can apply a critical result you prefer (rather than rolling) should the roll sufficient advantage or a triumph, etc.

 

If a player says 'I ALWAYS go for head shots' - then you should ALWAYS apply the setback dice appropriate for aiming in that fashion, requiring the PC to use maneuvers to do so, etc.  (until such an order is countermanded, at least)

 

Don't let players negotiate their way into an exploit.  When in doubt, use rule zero.

Edited by blaked

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Also remember - a head shot (and other sorts of incapacitating attacks) is a typical example of a critical hit

 

The players are confusing the mechanics of the critical hit with the narration of 'I shoot him in the head'.  Use the existing mechanics (aiming, critical hits, etc) to your advantage.  The player can't say 'I shoot him in the head'.  He/She can say 'I shoot at his head' - at which point you can apply the setback dice as appropriate for aiming, you can apply a critical result you prefer (rather than rolling) should the roll sufficient advantage or a triumph, etc.

 

If a player says 'I ALWAYS go for head shots' - then you should ALWAYS apply the setback dice appropriate for aiming in that fashion, requiring the PC to use maneuvers to do so, etc.  (until such an order is countermanded, at least)

 

Don't let players negotiate their way into an exploit.  When in doubt, use rule zero.

 

No one has pointed it out yet, but when someone uses a manoeuvre to aim for a specific body part they receive 2 setback to the pool, they do not also receive the boost normal associated with aiming. if they double aim, that penalty is reduced to 1 setback dice, but still no boost die are rolled. this is important in ensuring they understand the benefits received are after the roll is made, not in making the roll itself. I would also rule as GM that you MUST take an aim manoeuvre to perform the targeted part action, this limits their manoeuvrability or forces them to take more strain than they otherwise would normally to always go for the head.

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No one has pointed it out yet, but when someone uses a manoeuvre to aim for a specific body part they receive 2 setback to the pool, they do not also receive the boost normal associated with aiming. if they double aim, that penalty is reduced to 1 setback dice, but still no boost die are rolled. this is important in ensuring they understand the benefits received are after the roll is made, not in making the roll itself. I would also rule as GM that you MUST take an aim manoeuvre to perform the targeted part action, this limits their manoeuvrability or forces them to take more strain than they otherwise would normally to always go for the head.

Your clarification is important here.  Also - you have to spend the maneuver(s) and you can't move when you aim.  

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The double aim thing is important - because as a GM, you should be hitting them in the strain all the time or encouraging them to use their strain for things. Sure, they can double aim all the want at the start of the fight, but at the end? They should be struggling. Strain management is huge in this game, a factor that tends to get overlooked.

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This...

The double aim thing is important - because as a GM, you should be hitting them in the strain all the time or encouraging them to use their strain for things. Sure, they can double aim all the want at the start of the fight, but at the end? They should be struggling. Strain management is huge in this game, a factor that tends to get overlooked.

 

 

A party that is pushing the limits of their characters and using the system to the maximum will hit the strain limit well before they are downed by reaching their wound thresholds.

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I have a simple policy. Players are, unless otherwise specified, shooting to kill, so saying you aim for the head is superfluous.

 

Narrative prior to the roll is kept to a minimum. "I take an aim action and shoot at the Trando" is sufficient. In character narrative happens afterwards. Got a Triumph or finished him off? There's your head shot... The problem is that if you try to narrate in exacting detail before the roll, then when the dice don't support your description, you have problems. If you narrate after the roll, then the system flows beautifully.

 

EDIT: I once had a player who did exactly what yours are doing. Once he understood that he got to narrate cool stuff after the roll rather than before, things went better.

Edited by MuttonchopMac

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I have a simple policy. Players are, unless otherwise specified, shooting to kill, so saying you aim for the head is superfluous.

 

Narrative prior to the roll is kept to a minimum. "I take an aim action and shoot at the Trando" is sufficient. In character narrative happens afterwards. Got a Triumph or finished him off? There's your head shot... The problem is that if you try to narrate in exacting detail before the roll, then when the dice don't support your description, you have problems. If you narrate after the roll, then the system flows beautifully.

 

EDIT: I once had a player who did exactly what yours are doing. Once he understood that he got to narrate cool stuff after the roll rather than before, things went better.

Excellent policy mate.

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Thanks!

It's kind of backwards compared to less narrative oriented games. SAGA Edition answered "Yes" or "No" for the roll, so any fancy stuff had to be described beforehand. You want to called shot, autofire, or to knock your opponent off balance with a hit? Use your feats and get a "Yes" or "No" out of the GM. Everything cool came before the roll.

 

Most traditional RPGs function this way. When you use a narrative heavy system, you have to reverse the process, which is in my mind the beauty of it. There's no excitement to let down with a failed roll that is just, "No; you failed altogether. Next!"

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Thanks!

It's kind of backwards compared to less narrative oriented games. SAGA Edition answered "Yes" or "No" for the roll, so any fancy stuff had to be described beforehand. You want to called shot, autofire, or to knock your opponent off balance with a hit? Use your feats and get a "Yes" or "No" out of the GM. Everything cool came before the roll.

 

Most traditional RPGs function this way. When you use a narrative heavy system, you have to reverse the process, which is in my mind the beauty of it. There's no excitement to let down with a failed roll that is just, "No; you failed altogether. Next!"

 

 

This should be printed on a big leaflet and put in every copy of the FFG SW rules books.

 

When a role-play group get this suddenly it becomes one of the greatest systems made.

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