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MTaylor

How does 'The Force Awakens' affect your FFG game?

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Feels a bit 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin' to me.

 

In movies, TV shows and RPGs, travel mostly happens by 'speed of plot'. In the Star Wars films, we don't see a lot of travel; mostly Han just says 'we need to go to Planet Z!' and there's a screen wipe to the Falcon arriving there.

 

Okay, some RPGs like 'One Ring' make the travel the focus of the adventures, and they have lots of skills and talents for it.

 

But serious question here... How many of you are really obsessing about this stuff at the gaming table? Do you make the players intricately plan out their routes, or just handwave it with an Astrogation check? If you spend a lot of time on this, won't the other players get bored? Unless the whole adventure is a race or something, does it matter how long a journey takes anyway?  Most of the time, don't we just say 'okay, you've travelled to the planet you need to be on, now you're here.'  Long travel scenes and lots of dice-rolling on minor stuff doesn't usually make for exciting pulp sci-fi adventures, surely?

 

It strikes me that Lucas just had Han talk about the Kessel Run as something cool to say. "I did this difficult thing in record time, because I'm so badass'.  I don't think he knew what a 'parsec' was or had any specific distances in mind.

Edited by MTaylor

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My players actually bring the galaxy atlas to the table. Figuring out clever routes to throw off the empire's tracking and bypassing common trade routes is something very fun to them.

Plus with the rules in the Fly Casual sourcebook we had toon's of fun. Like selling new routes for credits to the Imperial Bureau of Hyperspace travel. Good routes can be worth money!

 

I see it that way, if it is important to the plot how long a journey through Hyperspace takes and how important the route is, I play it up. If it's unimportant, I play it down.

 

 

It strikes me that Lucas just had Han talk about the Kessel Run as something cool to say. "I did this difficult thing in record time, because I'm so badass'.  I don't think he knew what a 'parsec' was or had any specific distances in mind.

 

Actually he did. The input for the Maw (the cluster of black holes surrounding Kessel) stems from Lucas and was given to some EU-writers. So yeah, the Falcon's merit here is it's sturdiness in surviving a lot.

 

See TFA and count the times the Falcon hit's something and keeps flying.

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Feels a bit 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin' to me.

 

In movies, TV shows and RPGs, travel mostly happens by 'speed of plot'. In the Star Wars films, we don't see a lot of travel; mostly Han just says 'we need to go to Planet Z!' and there's a screen wipe to the Falcon arriving there.

 

Okay, some RPGs like 'One Ring' make the travel the focus of the adventures, and they have lots of skills and talents for it.

 

But serious question here... How many of you are really obsessing about this stuff at the gaming table? Do you make the players intricately plan out their routes, or just handwave it with an Astrogation check? If you spend a lot of time on this, won't the other players get bored? Unless the whole adventure is a race or something, does it matter how long a journey takes anyway?  Most of the time, don't we just say 'okay, you've travelled to the planet you need to be on, now you're here.'  Long travel scenes and lots of dice-rolling on minor stuff doesn't usually make for exciting pulp sci-fi adventures, surely?

 

It strikes me that Lucas just had Han talk about the Kessel Run as something cool to say. "I did this difficult thing in record time, because I'm so badass'.  I don't think he knew what a 'parsec' was or had any specific distances in mind.

I use an online astrogation calculator. Unless players state otherwise, I assume they are taking the most direct route but they are following established routes. The exception being the Kessel Run, which I see as something each smuggler tends to figure out and then hold that information close, and they make much more difficult checks for that.

 

And while I agree that Lucas just thought "parsec" sounded cool, in the script it said that Han was bluffing. He just wanted to impress two desert yokels so that he could overcharge them. Notice that Obi-Wan doesn't appear to be particularly impressed in that scene.

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I had my players in a situation where an old Hutt advisory had captured them, stripped them of their weapons and gear, and made them fight in an area for his amusement. 

 

When they refused to fight each other, the Hutt lord decided to loose a Rathtar at them.

 

So, far, this i the only thing from The Force Awakens that has made it onto my Original Trilogy era campaign.

Edited by Satyrgreen

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I haven't read all of the posts, and might not read in entirety. I have some thoughts, which may or may not already have been posted. 

 

"Bind" seems realistic for stopping a blaster bolt. Perhaps "Protect" but then I would rule that one would commit a Force die to keep the bolt there. Not sure what I would use to make an "attack" when releasing the bolt. Probably a Vigilance check would be closest to waiting for the right moment to release it. And that also requires the target to move, or be moved, into the path of the held bolt.

 

The difficulty of a hyperspace jump through shields or into an atmosphere. I'd still say that such a feat is impossible. Fortunately, FFG provided a ruling for accomplishing "impossible" tasks. 

 

I've gone back and forth on the ruling of Melee for Lightsabers. I think if it comes up in my game (the Archaeologist did find a lightsaber, but no one has tried using it yet) I would house rule it so that it can be used with melee, but with an upgrade. A Despair could mean a hit on yourself, even if your attack succeeds. (follow through is so important) 

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According to the Clone Wars movie, hyperspace routes are important, since the opening crawl stated that the Separatists had gained control of major hyperspace lanes, cutting the Republic off from most of its army. If hyperspace lanes were just common routes but all you actually needed were coordinates to plot a new one, this wouldn't have been an effective tactic.

 

Also, if all you need to quickly map a route was a set of coordinates, then there's no reason to have vast unexplored territory in a galaxy where interstellar travel is largely trivial.

 

All of this points to known routes being very important for travel. Obviously there has to be some way to scout and establish new routes but the EU material stated that this is a dangerous and time-consuming process. While not explicitly stated in any canon sources, it does seem to be heavily implied.

 

I don't think it's a matter of hyperspace routes being 'set in stone'.  Just that routes which are both *safe* and *fast* are hard to come by.  There's all sorts of EU/Legends mentions of 'smugglers' routes' which aren't well known, but are also either much slower, or riskier, or both.  If the route is *enough* slower, it's almost effectively the same as not being there, since a spy could watch the fleet leave, and get word to the enemy in time for them to *still* be waiting at the destination in force.

 

Think of it as having the choice to take the Interstate somewhere, or having to pick your way through a vast, network of back roads that haven't been touched or even *labeled* in decades.  You'll get there *eventually*, but the enemy may have had time to attack where you left and still get back to be there in time to block you when you arrive.

 

That explanation still relies on routes vs the argument that all you ever need is a set of coordinates. Smuggler routes are still routes just like side roads are still roads.

 

Plus given how fast hyperspace travel is, it seems hard to imagine that most routes would be so slow as to be completely impractical. Also, if coordinates were enough and routes weren't really important, you could blaze your own trail and your enemy wouldn't know where you were going, thus even if the main route was faster they couldn't beat you to the destination unless they had intel on exactly where you were headed.

 

 

Literally *any* method of moving from point A to point B is a 'route', unless it involves teleportation.

 

Remember when the Falcon had to 'limp' to Bespin on it's backup hyperdrive?

Boba Fett had time to get there, notify the Empire (which had already jumped out of the Hoth system to some other destination), have the Empire arrive, unload stormtroopers and Vader, and make scarce with the Star Destroyer(s).  In that case, it was a slow hyperdrive.  A dangerous, or round-about path could have the same effect of causing the trip to take *much* longer than normal.

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Force users can attempt any Force power and depending on what they want to do there is a cost of FP that must be met.

So basically you give all force powers for free, and adjust the FP requirement for every effect?

Yep.

May I suggest a different approach, which goes with the normal rules and is in fact a bit more ralistic? In-Game XP Spending. Tell your players, they may attempt any force power during game, if they have the XP to buy it. That would represent such a force-epiphany nicely imo.

I don't really want to use the force power trees. I want to keep it light and simple.

 

 

Like in the old WEG? Believe me down that road lies nitpicky discussions with players till no end. The trees are the first really good force-leraning rule I have seen in over 16 years as a Star Wars GM. The rules are set and the player can read and see what he can do. No stupid discussion ensues, no stalling of the game, no aggravated co-players.

 

Seriously it happened several times with different players. Led to me banning force powers altogether, because it was so vague.

 

 

Here's the problem in not using Force trees: you'll end up playing 'Glowstick Guy and his Mundane Sidekicks' again, like every other Star Wars RPG before this one. 

 

One of the checks & balances on Force-users is that they CAN become awesome, but you need a LOAD of XP to master a lot of powers.  This allows the mundanes, like smugglers or pilots or bounty-hunters, not to be hopelessly overshadowed by the Space Wizards.  FFG actually took its time in giving us the Force in this RPG and I think it's the best balanced system yet.

 

By allowing every Force-user to have all the Force powers for free, it completely destroys that balance.

 

Of course, if you're just playing with your kids, maybe that's not an issue.

Edited by MTaylor

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Force users can attempt any Force power and depending on what they want to do there is a cost of FP that must be met.

So basically you give all force powers for free, and adjust the FP requirement for every effect?

Yep.

May I suggest a different approach, which goes with the normal rules and is in fact a bit more ralistic? In-Game XP Spending. Tell your players, they may attempt any force power during game, if they have the XP to buy it. That would represent such a force-epiphany nicely imo.

I don't really want to use the force power trees. I want to keep it light and simple.

 

 

Like in the old WEG? Believe me down that road lies nitpicky discussions with players till no end. The trees are the first really good force-leraning rule I have seen in over 16 years as a Star Wars GM. The rules are set and the player can read and see what he can do. No stupid discussion ensues, no stalling of the game, no aggravated co-players.

 

Seriously it happened several times with different players. Led to me banning force powers altogether, because it was so vague.

 

 

Here's the problem in not using Force trees: you'll end up playing 'Glowstick Guy and his Mundane Sidekicks' again, like every other Star Wars RPG before this one. 

 

One of the checks & balances on Force-users is that they CAN become awesome, but you need a LOAD of XP to master a lot of powers.  This allows the mundanes, like smugglers or pilots or bounty-hunters, not to be hopelessly overshadowed by the Space Wizards.  FFG actually took its time in giving us the Force in this RPG and I think it's the best balanced system yet.

 

By allowing every Force-user to have all the Force powers for free, it completely destroys that balance.

 

Of course, if you're just playing with your kids, maybe that's not an issue.

 

 

I agree so much with this! I played as a GM the WEG D6 for 6 years, then I was fed up with how it handled the force, so I used some Savage Worlds Conversions for Star Wars RPG. Worked better, but still Jedi were too good. SAGA I played once, hated it's d20 mechanic.

 

I was very skeptic of this game but I must say, that the way the force is handled is not only interesting, but also represents the learning process of a power better than anything I have ever seen. Plus after some long playruns I have to say, that even in High-XP groups, the difficulty never seems to vain that much, which is great!

 

But yeah, kids are kids. They learn that too much power is boring in games soon enough.

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Like in the old WEG? Believe me down that road lies nitpicky discussions with players till no end. The trees are the first really good force-leraning rule I have seen in over 16 years as a Star Wars GM. The rules are set and the player can read and see what he can do. No stupid discussion ensues, no stalling of the game, no aggravated co-players.

Old WEG are way different to canonical Force user than FFG's

in weg there are different skill and each power use one, two or three skills, each one with different difficulties etc.

also, acquiring power is not tied to xp point but based on "learning from a Master"

Way different from every Force user seen past OT...

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