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Icosiel

Jetpack Disrupting Game Balance

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Enact your power as GM, and strike him down with the power of your destiny pool. Sniper maneuvers to grenade, Sniper maneuvers to pick up the grenade, Sniper takes 2 strain to throw the grenade back, flip a destiny point. Successful roll doesn't have to blow the person to smithereens, but maybe destroys his jetpack, causing him to crash land near the Sniper. Various rolls here, if he survives / Sniper survives, queue the duel of fates song on your local stereo and battle commences. Allies are well away. Sniper also has a reputation for cracking skulls, put the fear of into his heart. He will never defy you!!!!

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Can the jetpack move that far in one maneuver by the RAW and RAI?... If the speed is 1, iisn`t that like AT-Walkers and slow speeders? Or am I remembering this wrong?

I have only ever used the speed rules in a chase on-planet, with a wayfarer , speeder- and swoop bikes.

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A few comments I have:

You made the PC make pilot checks which means there must have been flight traffic, hazards, weather, take off and landing checks. Either way that took an action if he made a pilot skill check. The way you described it your PC took 3 actions and 5 maneuvers.

Actions:

- Pilot

- Attack

- Pilot

Maneuvers:

- Increase speed

- Move to target

- Draw thermal detonator

- Move away from target

- Decrease speed to stop

Clearly this would have taken more than 1 round to complete.

In addition:

NPC from extreme range fires and starts initiative.

1) Make this NPC a nemesis. This does 2 things

- he gets strain allowing aim twice

- he gets to act in his initiative and again at bottom of round per the edge GM screen rules. This gives him more action economy

2) make him harder to hit

- give NPC ranks in Advisary talent upgrading the attack

- sniper has cover right. Addin setback

- he has armor with defense adding setback

Then:

Hazards

1) what is weather

2) what is time of day

3) what was traffic he had to fly through

Lastly:

Use threat and despair to cause complications fuel damage vehicle crit etc.

Have NPC sniper target jet pack increasing difficulty once. This will allow him shoot PC out of sky enroute. Did someone say falling damage.

Boom at short range.

Did bad guy die was PC caught in blast?

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Can the jetpack move that far in one maneuver by the RAW and RAI?... If the speed is 1, iisn`t that like AT-Walkers and slow speeders? Or am I remembering this wrong?

I have only ever used the speed rules in a chase on-planet, with a wayfarer , speeder- and swoop bikes.

The issue comes from the difference in range band scales. Since all the personal scale bands (engaged all the way to extreme) can be found within the Close range band, and individual characters don't have a speed rating. The argument is being made that the jetpacker is moving at planetary scale, allowing a single Fly/Drive check to cover the "move within the Close range band" maneuver effect to let a character move pretty much anywhere they like in the personal scale band system.

 

The problem here is that a vehicle can operate within the personal scale band system in an encounter.

 

Pg 225 states in no uncertain terms that the GM can set the encounter up at person scale if they wish, and is further supported in areas like the chase mechanic (which calls out the engaged range band), or vehicles that mount personal scale weapons with personal range limitations (worthless if you're stuck at planetary scale). But this also brings up the issue of how to translate speed down to personal scale. It can't go 1:1 because then you end up with weird things like a Speed 1 vehicle moving slower then a walking human.

 

Interestingly:

EotE Pg 202 has a breakout box explaining flight. There it says that creatures with the Hover ability can move vertically and ignore difficult terrain. Combine with the Black Sun adventure this suggests that in many personal scale encounters a jetpack simply  grants the Hover ability... easy peasy. Moving on it says that creatures that are actually in flight, and need to move to stay aloft, must spend a single maneuver every turn just keeping in motion. They don't have to change range bands they just gotta blow the maneuver. Again, no big whoop. Next however it seems we have the solution. Flying creatures can also move from long range to short in a single maneuver (which can also be your "staying in motion" maneuver). Sweet...

 

 

 

 

Now we get into my latest interpretation, where I think I may have finally cracked this nut!

 

So for the Jetpack this gives us a nice pair of options to a user. Option 1 is hover mode. You just kick it in and move normally, this would cover a lot of the basic jetpack use we see in the films. Cool. Option 2) You actually kick on the thrusters and fly. This requires the usual vehicular operation maneuvers (accelerate, fly/drive) and kicks in a  maneuver spent every turn just keeping you in motion. But now you can really haul. So it has it's purpose. Using a maneuver to switch between hover and fly seems reasonable and this would allow the player to do things like swoop in fast and kick on hover to get in close like we see in the assault on Jabbas palace in the Clone Wars.

 

So... taking something like a speederbike or landspeeder we get going in roughly the same direction. Treat the moving speeder like a flying creature and require a maneuver each turn (fly/drive terrain check when changing bands, but a simple maneuver when circling) then that covers the speed of the vehicle, allowing it to quickly zip from Long to Short and back again, or just hold at a specific distance. The speed to do this has to be at least 1, but some vehicles will want to go up higher for special maneuvers. Fine, no need to further effect this scale of movement though.

 

Vehicles can also slow down to a crawl, and move at the same pace as a person, similar to Hover. Probably won't want to do this too often, but that'll cover the occasional situation where you want a vehicle escorting dismounted personnel, or something like the AT-STs picking their way through Endor.

 

As an added bonus, we get hover. So if you've got a situation like a LAAT... that bad boy can also just go into Hover mode like our jetpacker, sacrificing speed for the ability to make close in maneuvers.

 

What do you think? I'm looking for holes, but so far all I've got is this creates an odd Speed of .5, something that's slower then 1, but faster then 0. It's still covered by maneuver usage though, and for the purposes of vehicle on vehicle action, it's probably fine to assume speed .5 is close enough to speed 0, so maybe it's not an issue...

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 Landing may require two Maneuvers (one to slow down and one to land without injury).

I hadn't even given consideration to landing. It's definitely a maneuver to slow down, but I'm not sure it should be one to land (assuming he's slowed to Speed 0) because the text is something like "moves normally" If he doesn't slow down, he definitely needs a tough Piloting check to land without major injury.

But that raises a related question. Does he throw the TD while moving at Speed 1?

Or should he need to do something like this:

- Maneuver to go from Speed 0 to Speed 1

- Maneuver to reach the NPC

- Maneuver to stop (Speed 0)

- Action throwing the TD

-Maneuver to Speed 1

-Maneuver to fly away

 

So that's about three rounds. Presumably he could attempt the combat Action at Speed 1 with some Setback or Upgrade (Setback seems right, but I'm not sure) which would maybe allow him to manage it in two rounds, but then I wonder if he needs a Pilot check to avoid crashing into the building the NPC is in since he's doing a hairpin turn. Or maybe you just have him check incoming and add the Setbacks?  

 

 
I'd go with something more like:
 
- Maneuver to go from Speed 0 to Speed 1 (this should get you the the NPC and there is no indication in the RAW that it wouldn't)
 
- Action throwing the TD - No need to stop just add the appropriate Setback(s) for travelling at speed
 
-Maneuver to fly away (2 Strain + 2 System Strain on the JP) you can slow down while this is going on.
 
End of Turn
 
-Maneuver to land

 

you cannot accelerate and move in the same maneuver. 

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Kaosoe, Ghostofaman and furiousgreg all made valid points... great ones at that...

 

Don't forget that your players earned that Jet Pack and Thermal Detonator... you can't just sabotage what they earned so they feel it's useless.

Always setup your encounters to exploit your characters strength and weaknesses. But don't make it too easy for them.... some pointers...

 

Don't let your Uber Bad Guy be alone... give him a few Storm Commandos to cover him, in the Snipers platoon... using platoon rules, he can sacrifice a minion to soak all damage from an attack....

Players scores enough advantages to trigger Blast, too bad! Blast radius on a thermal detonator is Short, so he also gets hit....

If he argues that he flew away, tell him a Storm Commando threw the Thermal Detonator away while he was flying to cover.

 

Also, make him use his Jet Pack to counter some evil plans, even having to spend System Strain and blow it up to achieve some greater purpose.... The Imperials have rigged some poor civilians with some Detonite and will blow up unless someone flies to them... at the same time, the Imperials are assembling a Heavy Repeater blaster behind full cover, it's gonna be hell when they do so the Jet Pack Guy must fly to stop them before its complete.... where will he go ? both ? can he pull it off ?

 

Your player will feel cheated if you cockblock his shiny toy.... but he'll feel heroic if he blows it up himself, blowing a few Destiny Points, and saving the civilians and stopping the Imps from getting that Heavy Repeater on his friends. While he's doing all that, the other players are taking care of the sniper and his Storm Commandos.

 

 

Use your players toys to build a rewarding challenging encounter :)

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This didn't sit well with me at all. He flew a mile, threw a detonator, and then flew a mile back. In, like, the soan of a minute.

Your combat rounds seem too long to me. If he can only get maybe one shot off in 30 seconds, something is off. Your jetpack character should be a sieve before he even gets close, unless he's very, very lucky. Never mind jetpacks don't have counter-thrusters, so I'm wondering why he didn't crash if he floored it like that. Style and plausibility > RAW, always. If your players argue, tell them any trick they show you, and insist on working, NPCs may use as well. They're not the only ones with jetpacks in the galaxy and smart players, well, smart players don't teach their GMs how to exploit the system.

 

That said, it helps catering to your player expectations and wishes. If they're dead set on Buck Rogers meets Mad Max, as a poster above suggested, deliver. They will love it, even if you toss half the rulebook out the window in the process and make piloting more challenging/realistic. JP also gives some rock solid advice up there, when they say that presenting your player with the illusion it was all because they did something is the best way to subtley nudge your game back on track. Players, tendentially, will give up their baubles if they think it was worth it or fun enough.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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Guys, don't forget that "Engaged" is NOT a range band, but rather a subset of short range.

Furthermore, Engaging with anything requires its own separate maneuver and is completely distinct from the Move maneuver.

Therefore, it's 1 maneuver to accelerate, 1 to move, and an additional 1 to engage. Then he'd probably have to slow down, too. So altogether that's 3-4 maneuvers.

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Just because you're at short range from something doesn't mean you are Engaged. You have to make a specific maneuver to go from Short->Engaged. Something I learned the hard way when one of my PC's picked up a Flamestrike and started torching entire Minion groups because I thought they were close enough to be engaged.

 

Back on topic, Unless you have already informed the PC's otherwise, have the sniper survive the encounter (as others have noted). Your PC flew up dropped a detonator and then immediately flew away leaving plenty of time for the sniper to scramble to safety (especially since as a Nemisis he should get another action at the end of the round easily moving out of Short range of the detonator). AND now he knows better, if/when he shows up again, he could target the Jetpack specifically, damaging or destroying it. I prefer damaging it and then when the PC tries to do the same thing (Because he probably will) it fails midflight/blows up on activation etc etc.

 

So really, your PC thought he was doing a really cool thing, when really he made a very, very large mistake.

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Guys, don't forget that "Engaged" is NOT a range band, but rather a subset of short range.

Furthermore, Engaging with anything requires its own separate maneuver and is completely distinct from the Move maneuver.

Therefore, it's 1 maneuver to accelerate, 1 to move, and an additional 1 to engage. Then he'd probably have to slow down, too. So altogether that's 3-4 maneuvers.

You don't have to be engaged to use a grenade, so it's only 2 maneuvers to get there. Still, that's 2 system strain & 2 strain just to get on target. Not sure how far he would be able to actually throw it (it's a close weapon but there are some talents to extend that), but he's floating there in the area when that goes off -  no way to get back until next round.

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Can the jetpack move that far in one maneuver by the RAW and RAI?... If the speed is 1, iisn`t that like AT-Walkers and slow speeders? Or am I remembering this wrong?

I have only ever used the speed rules in a chase on-planet, with a wayfarer , speeder- and swoop bikes.

Treat the moving speeder like a flying creature and require a maneuver each turn (fly/drive terrain check when changing bands, but a simple maneuver when circling) then that covers the speed of the vehicle, allowing it to quickly zip from Long to Short and back again, or just hold at a specific distance. The speed to do this has to be at least 1, but some vehicles will want to go up higher for special maneuvers. Fine, no need to further effect this scale of movement though.

 

How would range bands work, are you suggesting that a speed 1 vehicle in this personal scale combat can move two range bands in one maneuver? Would going to speed 2 make that three range bands?

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you cannot accelerate and move in the same maneuver. 

Just re-read the RAW and you're right, once you are moving Acc/Decc just adds or subtract speed so you still move but from zero you don't get to move yet.

So Revised:

I'd go with something more like:

 
- Maneuver to go from Speed 0 to Speed 1 (Take off)

 

- Sub Action for Maneuver to move 

End of Turn

 

- Action throwing the TD - No need to stop just add the appropriate Setback(s) for travelling at speed
 
-Maneuver to Decelerate, as I understand it you still move but are at Zero speed at the end of your Move.
 
End of Turn
 
-Maneuver to land

So you can do it in two turns but get shot at at Close Range.

or:

- Maneuver Punch It to go from Speed 0 to Speed 1 (Take off) and Move (Take 1 System Strain)

 
- Action throwing the TD - No need to stop just add the appropriate Setback(s) for travelling at speed
 
End of Turn and Hope the TD killed the Sniper
 
- Maneuver to Decelerate, you still move but are at Zero speed at the end of your Move.
 
- Sub Action for Maneuver to land

 

End of Turn

So you can do it in two turns, maybe not get shot but with one System Strain

 

Edited by FuriousGreg

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First of all, vehicles can use either personal or planetary range depending on the story.

 

Secondly, somebody is either misreading or misapplying the rules, or whoever wrote them made an unintended loophole in logic. Fly/Drive says it takes 1 starship maneuver to move within close range of a target (planetary close being upwards of slightly beyond personal extreme range), or two starship maneuvers to move from close to short range (planetary) or from short range to close range while moving at speed 1. If you can catch up to an AT-AT on foot, which has a maximum of Speed 1, then it is roughly moving at 5-6 MPH, maybe 10? Is it just me, or is the math not adding up right?

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At the end of the day, the event happened, and to undo it would be folly. People keep saying the guy lives, but be careful with that. If he comes back that will invalidate what happened and cheapen the whole thing. Whether it was a jerk move to do that to the sniper or not, the player probably felt great.

So, honestly? The sniper lives, but the blast tore him up. He lost his firing arm, and maybe suffered some serious tissue damage. He comes back, swearing unholy revenge on the jetpack commando. He's got a modified sniper attached to a rig that keeps his aim steady and allows him to fire and target much more efficiently (a harness and a targetting computer?) He's more deadly than ever before.

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At the end of the day, the event happened, and to undo it would be folly. People keep saying the guy lives, but be careful with that. If he comes back that will invalidate what happened and cheapen the whole thing. Whether it was a jerk move to do that to the sniper or not, the player probably felt great.

So, honestly? The sniper lives, but the blast tore him up. He lost his firing arm, and maybe suffered some serious tissue damage. He comes back, swearing unholy revenge on the jetpack commando. He's got a modified sniper attached to a rig that keeps his aim steady and allows him to fire and target much more efficiently (a harness and a targetting computer?) He's more deadly than ever before.

Obviously a cybernetic arm & an eye with integrated targeting or HUD to display the data from the scope.

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Honestly, RAW is pretty clear on this. (posted multiple times, so I won't.)

 

It comes down to:
A) The sniper shouldn't have been instantly spotted. Even with an amazing vigilance roll for initiative. There's going to be a lot of penalties for that range alone, not including other stealth or environmental effects.

B) Jet pack allows the travel as stated, but needs to use more maneuvers than you had the player do.

C) Rounds can be seconds or minutes long and one action doesn't mean there aren't more shots happening, just one that cinematically matters; ignore those who scream that all that can't happen in a single minute.

D) Make fewer open field encounters.

 

Most importantly of all, talk with your players and get feedback on your game. If they are having fun and your story is moving forward, then roll with it.

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I think the problem is not the event itself, it's the players finding a supposed exploit and using it, and then dismissing the GM about it not feeling right. The game mechanics don't really support what happened (as multiple above have shown). The point is not undoing what happened; it's preventing it from happening again. Sit the players down, show them the rules and the evidence that what they did shouldn't work. If they accept it, you have excellent players. If hey don't, fetch the lye it is time for The Vengeance of the Sniper: Jetpack Cyborg with a Thermal Detonator, Part I, The Movie, The Game, The Movie, The Game, Part II.

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Hmm... been mulling this for a bit and something nags me about it.

And I figured out what it is.

Nobody walks around with their jetpack activated... he has to activate the jetpack, which is a maneuver.

So going from standing to moving all the way to the enemy must count as two maneuvers. One for activating the jetpack and another for moving to the enemy.
He can't move there and back in one turn unless the jetpack was already activated.

And if he spends one turn activating the jetpack before moving (to make a double move in one turn), then that'll catch his opponents eye for sure, and make him a target.

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Hmm... been mulling this for a bit and something nags me about it.

And I figured out what it is.

Nobody walks around with their jetpack activated... he has to activate the jetpack, which is a maneuver.

So going from standing to moving all the way to the enemy must count as two maneuvers. One for activating the jetpack and another for moving to the enemy.

He can't move there and back in one turn unless the jetpack was already activated.

And if he spends one turn activating the jetpack before moving (to make a double move in one turn), then that'll catch his opponents eye for sure, and make him a target.

It is one to accelerate one to move to your target. 

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To keep things fast-paced and simple to resolve, the jetpack user in my campaign gets the equivalent of 2 personal scale maneuvers with a successful Hard Piloting (Planetary) check while in combat. Accelerating, turning, hovering for a stable shot, etc. are all taken into account narratively. He uses the jetpack mainly for utility, rather than cheesing the system with gamebreaking antics. There haven't been any complaints and he remains well-balanced with the other players overall. 

Edited by verdantsf

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Hmm... been mulling this for a bit and something nags me about it.

And I figured out what it is.

Nobody walks around with their jetpack activated... he has to activate the jetpack, which is a maneuver.

So going from standing to moving all the way to the enemy must count as two maneuvers. One for activating the jetpack and another for moving to the enemy.

He can't move there and back in one turn unless the jetpack was already activated.

And if he spends one turn activating the jetpack before moving (to make a double move in one turn), then that'll catch his opponents eye for sure, and make him a target.

It is one to accelerate one to move to your target. 

 

 

Debatable, since accelerating from 0 to 1 also means he has already moved to his target (due to the very short ranges of personal vs vehicle).

 

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Hmm... been mulling this for a bit and something nags me about it.

And I figured out what it is.

Nobody walks around with their jetpack activated... he has to activate the jetpack, which is a maneuver.

So going from standing to moving all the way to the enemy must count as two maneuvers. One for activating the jetpack and another for moving to the enemy.

He can't move there and back in one turn unless the jetpack was already activated.

And if he spends one turn activating the jetpack before moving (to make a double move in one turn), then that'll catch his opponents eye for sure, and make him a target.

It is one to accelerate one to move to your target. 

 

 

Debatable, since accelerating from 0 to 1 also means he has already moved to his target (due to the very short ranges of personal vs vehicle).

 

 

Per raw you cannot do an accelerate and a fly drive maneuver as a single maneuver. 

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