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Azorius16

non-combat situations

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I have a lot of ideas for cool combat situations, but being relatively new I don't have much experience with non-combat and how to make it exciting. And also being a commander is another problem. And lastly, how do you recommend integrating a group of non-combative players and combative players. Thank you!

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Designing your encounters with thought is important for diverse parties. I usually look at each PC in turn and try to identify something they are capable of doing and putting it into the encounter. i don't do this every time, as its good to push them to be creative.

 

Dynamic encounters help, a large crowd, a need to be silent, a lot of background noise, poor weather, night time, time pressure

 

For social encounters putting the Party in a place that combat would be bad for them is a good start, a Cantina, a Library, a CorSec office, a Gang Base, a significantly outnumbered situation.

 

Give them a task that needs to be done without combat: Stealing plans unnoticed, negotiating a deal for a McGuffin, convincing someone to turn spy, easing tensions between rivals, perhaps dealing with innocents such as farmers.

 

Listen to 2 differen podcasts;

  • "Order 66 Podcast" in particular episode 6. these guys get into crunch, and also go off topic so skip forward if you need too.
  • "Tales from the Hydian Way" is great for narrative ideas and is a bit shorter than O66 so quicker to get through.

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Designing your encounters with thought is important for diverse parties. I usually look at each PC in turn and try to identify something they are capable of doing and putting it into the encounter. i don't do this every time, as its good to push them to be creative.

 

Dynamic encounters help, a large crowd, a need to be silent, a lot of background noise, poor weather, night time, time pressure

 

For social encounters putting the Party in a place that combat would be bad for them is a good start, a Cantina, a Library, a CorSec office, a Gang Base, a significantly outnumbered situation.

 

Give them a task that needs to be done without combat: Stealing plans unnoticed, negotiating a deal for a McGuffin, convincing someone to turn spy, easing tensions between rivals, perhaps dealing with innocents such as farmers.

 

Listen to 2 differen podcasts;

  • "Order 66 Podcast" in particular episode 6. these guys get into crunch, and also go off topic so skip forward if you need too.
  • "Tales from the Hydian Way" is great for narrative ideas and is a bit shorter than O66 so quicker to get through.

 

Thank you. This helped me get the creative ball rolling a lot. I will be sure to listen to the podcasts. Any ideas for commander players? They fight decently but will they do any commanding? Or should they be the group "leader"?

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Check out O66 ep 32 about use of knowledge skills in combat, should give ideas. also their Cap Ship episode about the Commodore Specialisation ep 49 "Now I Am the Master... And Commander"

 

Its a lot of listening i know, but basically this system is designed so that with a bit of creative thinking many skills can be used to complete a given task or objective. You and your players learning this will open up the system a lot.

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Commanders make quite good faces, especially for a group who are needing leadership to deal with large groups of NPC's.

 

I would recommend discussing the initial focus of your party as a group (AKA a session 0) before building characters, but all three of the commander trees can be roughly split into different columns giving the spec different flavour or focus depending on which branch you follow down.

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When it comes to social situations, the NPCs are, if anything, more important than the Players. The NPCs are the atmosphere in which the Players maneuver. Each named NPC should be unique. They should have motivations, flashpoints, and information for the Players. They should be described in detail. When they talk, it is helpful for the GM to speak in character. They should give off an aura, and Players should be able to read it. If the GM does not feel comfortable acting, the NPCs mannerisms can be described.

 

For example, my Players recently met a local crime boss. Everything about her office, her look, and her demeanor told the Players something.

 

***

You walk into what at first seems to be an empty room with a desk in the middle. However, as your eyes adjust to the light, you can pick out the recessed lines of hidden storage units in the walls. A pair of yellow sodium lights bathe the room in a healthy, if rather unusual, light. The desk looks to be made of the same glossy gray materiel as the walls, and is organized to an exacting standard. Only a datapad, a computer terminal, and a small holoprojector sit on its surface. Behind the desk, a tall chair seems to engulf a very short woman. Or rather, a very tall girl. She is clad in an armored red vest, with only a hint of fabric extruding over her shoulders. As you step closer, you are struck by what you initially think is green lightning, but is in fact merely the glint from her sharp veridian eyes. Her eyebrows curve harshly as she focuses on you.

 

"Took you long enough", she says casually. "Can we get down to business, or are you still admiring my home decorating?"

 

She leans forward and pulls her chair closer to the desk.

 

"So! You arrived here aboard the Revanant, hmm? No, don't ask how I know. I know everything that happens in this tiny system. Including the fact that a dropship just like yours blasted its way off the hidden smugglers base in the asteroid field with a hold full of heavy munitions just this morning! And yet here you are, empty hold, chatting up every doctor, arms dealer, and farming co-op in this town. Crazy coincidence! Almost like you need new suppliers. Maybe because your old one got burned down in your botched abortion of a shopping trip. So, tell me, please. Who do you work for?"

***

 

Right off the bat, that sets the tone for the whole conversation. The Players, a band of Rebels, are faced with someone who knows way too much about them and their plans. Frankly, it seems entirely likely that the crime boss knows exactly who they work for. So the Players have to dance their way through this minefield of a conversation, trying to answer their host's questions without coming off as too vague or accidentally giving away their true allegiance.

 

In other conversations, there might not be a need for nearly as much caution. Other NPCs may be extremely helpful, and all the Players might have to do is tell them what they need. All in all, the most important things are making sure the locations and NPCs seem unique, and also making the atmosphere feel real, which I commonly call "immersion". Immersion is one of the hardest things to achieve as a GM because it's so easy to break. One moment, three nervous Rebel Intelligence operatives are trying to evade a teenaged crime lord's over-exact line of questioning, and the next moment someone's making a joke about how colossally terrible the Redskins are as a football team. To maintain immersion, try to keep everyone as focused as possible. One of my favorite tricks is talking in a low voice so the Players have to pay extra-close attention. Eliminate extra sound in order to ease their ability to imagine the scene you present them. All in all, just keep it real.

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