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Vonkrieg

Players becoming frustrated with the Force

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I think I've made this argument before, but the reason why the PT jedi we see are so powerful is that they basically start their adventuring careers at age 11, by the time we meet them they are worth 7-800 xp with people like oboe-wan and other members of the council probably having 1500-2000 xp, your frustrated friends are beginners, novices, it'll change.

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Random aside...

 

I've found that many RPGs start out the abilities of PCs on the assumption that they're very raw and kinda clueless.  One sort pushes a very grindy, suffer-for-every-lesson approach to advancement, and some rocket up the scale at breakneck speed. 

 

I'd like to see more RPGs assume that the default PC isn't a naive and bumbling barely-adult or adolescent, or just newly introduced to the greater world of the setting. 

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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I agree that they are over reacting, we have read the rules and it does not really seem that bad, but the idea of using the Darkside seems off to them from a role-play perspective.

I think things will get better in the long run, they are just unhappy right now.

As the poster above said, they aren't actually using the Dark Side. They are tapping into their emotions to use the force. Using a dark side point is like having a player using up themselves in order to tap into the force. The effect of this is to cause actual strain to their mind and body. Rolling dark side points means that they are not able to calm their mind enough to just focus, and that they can only achieve what they want is through brute force and exertion. This is why there are more lightside faces with 2 pips than there are darkside faces with 2 pips, because concentration and calm can be more precise and powerful than brute force and emotion.

Tell your players that using a dark side point is the equivalent of giving up some of their own energy to power a force effect, and that the dark side in turn is able to feed off that energy and tempt the user to give them more in the future. In a way, it's almost a noble act of self-sacrifice by the force user...

This omg this... sums up my thoughts on this post. Also going to copy and paste this and use it to explain it to my players in my next F&D game. Perfectly worded sir.

Not sure how I messed up the quotes, sorry for the sloppy post.

Edited by zypher

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The thing is that starting characters aren't jedi or sith, they are little smucks with no real training, at 150 xp (after character creation) you might be (based on how you spent the xp) at the level of a fresh padawan from the prequel trilogy era.

 

Eh, this has never sat right with me. 150xp given to characters from any other book results in a wrecking ball character probably at the level of the main cast in Return of the Jedi, if not better.

 

I think it would be easier to conceptualize that there's a special "Jedi Padawan" specialization that has 2 or 3 cheap (like 10 or 15 xp) Force Rating +1 talents at the expense of lacking in real-world skills. Makes more sense that way.

Nah I don't think so, it's just that jedi knights from the PT era are that good, that powerful. These jedi knights are great at the jedi stuff (using the force, lightsaber combat, knowledge stuff) AND they are skilled pilots, mechanics, negotiators etc. In addition the best of them are skilled strategists and tacticians (those that became generals in the war).

With all that in mind it doesn't make strike me as weird that fresh padawans have +150xp.

This interpretation is not supported by the movies in which the Jedi are depicted as mosty just being good at Lightsabers and the Force and need to rely on normal people or children to help them out with anything else.

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Random aside...

 

I've found that many RPGs start out the abilities of PCs on the assumption that they're very raw and kinda clueless.  One sort pushes a very grindy, suffer-for-every-lesson approach to advancement, and some rocket up the scale at breakneck speed. 

 

I'd like to see more RPGs assume that the default PC isn't a naive and bumbling barely-adult or adolescent, or just newly introduced to the greater world of the setting. 

You could just start off with an experienced character instead of a fresh level 1 you know.

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Random aside...

I've found that many RPGs start out the abilities of PCs on the assumption that they're very raw and kinda clueless. One sort pushes a very grindy, suffer-for-every-lesson approach to advancement, and some rocket up the scale at breakneck speed.

I'd like to see more RPGs assume that the default PC isn't a naive and bumbling barely-adult or adolescent, or just newly introduced to the greater world of the setting.

Shadowrun is a good example of that. My players would complain at how little xp they'd get in the system and how slow advancement was. But the reason for that was simple, you characters start out as really good. As I would tell them, you're already the top ten percent and way better than most people. You're not climbing from the bottom to the top, you're climbing from being the best ten percent to the best one percent in the world.

I never played WOTC but I played WEG for years, and Jedi weren't op until they were really Jedi, about six or seven dice in Control, Sense, and Alter. That took a ton of experience. They did reflect the reality of the setting that at that point they were scary, and quite capable, like Luke, of stomping on a group like Jabba single handed.

I like this system but do feel that at 150 xp you aren't in knight level play, no where close. You're at Padawan level play. Like WEG the Jedi in F&D are experience point sink holes, pretty much demanding at least two specializations, lightsaber and another one, to be rounded as characters, and having to buy force powers on top of that. To me an actual Jedi Knight, just a basic one competent in a few force powers, is probably 450 xp. Maybe more.

Edited by Defenstrator

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The Jedi Academy is long gone.

 

The force users of the prequels and Clone Wars were able to learn from many different masters that all had different specialties, and they were taught from 1 year old.

 

The force users in Force and Destiny campaigns are basically adults before they even attempt to learn about the force. They've got to figure it out as they go, without the vast stores of knowledge the old Jedi had access to.

 

They have to scour the universe finding lost shreds of info to unlock their power. I for one think that is very neat, if players want to play as laser wizards, I think the older editions of the RPG allowed for that.

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The thing is that starting characters aren't jedi or sith, they are little smucks with no real training, at 150 xp (after character creation) you might be (based on how you spent the xp) at the level of a fresh padawan from the prequel trilogy era.

 

Eh, this has never sat right with me. 150xp given to characters from any other book results in a wrecking ball character probably at the level of the main cast in Return of the Jedi, if not better.

 

I think it would be easier to conceptualize that there's a special "Jedi Padawan" specialization that has 2 or 3 cheap (like 10 or 15 xp) Force Rating +1 talents at the expense of lacking in real-world skills. Makes more sense that way.

Nah I don't think so, it's just that jedi knights from the PT era are that good, that powerful. These jedi knights are great at the jedi stuff (using the force, lightsaber combat, knowledge stuff) AND they are skilled pilots, mechanics, negotiators etc. In addition the best of them are skilled strategists and tacticians (those that became generals in the war).

With all that in mind it doesn't make strike me as weird that fresh padawans have +150xp.

This interpretation is not supported by the movies in which the Jedi are depicted as mosty just being good at Lightsabers and the Force and need to rely on normal people or children to help them out with anything else.

OK I have to ask,can you give some examples because I have the opposite impression.

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Are all the characters force-users?

 

If so,l the balancing issue is moot and you won't get much guff for being more laxed.

 

In my game, I allow them to use dark-side points at a cost of one (1) strain but do not automatically conflict.

 

Conflict only gets applied if they use the Force - light or dark points - for evil / selfish / dark-sider ends.

 Vondy, did you spy into my house while I run my games... Cause that is pretty spot on to what I do.  

 

For mine I let them use the dark side for the normal conflict.  If one of them is Light or Dark side, and use the other force pip thats when all the rules come into effect in my game.  For me it makes more sense as well.

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In our sessions we have modified the rules to where you don't flip a destiny point for using dark side pips, only conflict is gained. I feel it frees you a little bit, especially early on when you only have that one force dice. Otherwise rolling dark side points really sucks, because the base rules are too punishing. Its really silly that you lose destiny, gain conflict, AND suffer strain. It should be much longer and drawn out IMO.

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I'd like to see more RPGs assume that the default PC isn't a naive and bumbling barely-adult or adolescent, or just newly introduced to the greater world of the setting. 

 

Be careful what you wish for! :)  The Traveller RPG, for example, plays with a very different dynamic, without the incredibly swift increase in skills this StarWars game provides. For example, in about a year of in-game time, the characters in our first game went from 0 to 800 or so earned XP. (I can just imagine what Teemo the Hutt will say when we run into him shortly... Whoa - isn't that the idiot I condemned for landing my freighter upside down and was one of that group who betrayed me to Jabba a year ago? How did he become so good a pilot/gunslinger/mechanic/tactician in just a year??)

 

In the real world, it's said that it takes 10,000 hours (5 years of 40 hour weeks, after training/college/etc.) to gain a journeyman level at some skill/profession. So the Traveler-type system is probably more "realistic", where characters are skilled per how long they've previously spent working themselves up in a few areas and can't really gain years worth of experience in new areas once adventuring... at least without spending years getting it.

 

Both types of systems are interesting in different ways. But they definitely have a different feel.

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Again the GM has to decide if he wants a game in dark times or in a different time. In a different time I would give jedi 150 more xp than non-jedi jedi and give non jedi something else to compensate. So I would probably start jedi at 150 xp if padawan. If running a knight game I would start jedi at 300xp and non jedi at 150 xp and again compensate the non jedi in equipement, minions, 2nd character, and or narative bonuses

 

That something else you give to non-Jedi, should be the same amount of XP.

 

Instead of getting a lightsaber, the non-Jedi get a large amount of credits to use to buy equipment.

 

But this is gone over in the rules for Knight Level play already.

 

Having the Force and a lightsaber will make them feel like accomplished Jedi, and feel pretty powerful.  Don't hamstring the Non-Jedi (further) with an XP deficit.

 

Agreed; equal XP for all if you're going to do this.

Agree to disagree. Jedi in non dark times to Me and my group have more xp. There is no hamstring if my table and some others believe jedi of old Republic are more than normal characters of same xp and that balance is not always the most important thing when trying to role play a fictional story we perceive more important than game balance. When running a superhero game superman and batman don't get the same xp just because we want balance.

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Again the GM has to decide if he wants a game in dark times or in a different time. In a different time I would give jedi 150 more xp than non-jedi jedi and give non jedi something else to compensate. So I would probably start jedi at 150 xp if padawan. If running a knight game I would start jedi at 300xp and non jedi at 150 xp and again compensate the non jedi in equipement, minions, 2nd character, and or narative bonuses

 

That something else you give to non-Jedi, should be the same amount of XP.

 

Instead of getting a lightsaber, the non-Jedi get a large amount of credits to use to buy equipment.

 

But this is gone over in the rules for Knight Level play already.

 

Having the Force and a lightsaber will make them feel like accomplished Jedi, and feel pretty powerful.  Don't hamstring the Non-Jedi (further) with an XP deficit.

 

Agreed; equal XP for all if you're going to do this.

Agree to disagree. Jedi in non dark times to Me and my group have more xp. There is no hamstring if my table and some others believe jedi of old Republic are more than normal characters of same xp and that balance is not always the most important thing when trying to role play a fictional story we perceive more important than game balance. When running a superhero game superman and batman don't get the same xp just because we want balance.

 

They do in a game if you don't want to piss off players. It is fine in a book for characters to have different XP. It is less ok in a game where you end up giving one player far more capability. Which is really not cool. 

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I'm sure most of us are familiar with how the Conflict system works.  However, I think it bears mentioning.  At the end of every session, you tally a players total Conflict, and then roll a D10.  Compare the D10s results to the Conflict.  However much the roll exceeded the Conflict, that's how much your Morality increases.  If the roll and the Conflict are equal, there's no change.  If the roll is below the Conflict, then you lose Morality equal to the difference.  This being said, you can average 4 Conflict a session and still progress upward in Morality (at least mathematically speaking).

 

The point is, a few Conflict every session doesn't really hurt you in the long run.  I think this is the fundamental issue a lot of new players don't understand.  I've had to break one player already of the whole "dark side points bad" belief.  Using 3-4 dark side points a session isn't really a big deal in the long run.

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Be careful what you wish for! :)  The Traveller RPG, for example, plays with a very different dynamic, without the incredibly swift increase in skills this StarWars game provides. For example, in about a year of in-game time, the characters in our first game went from 0 to 800 or so earned XP. (I can just imagine what Teemo the Hutt will say when we run into him shortly... Whoa - isn't that the idiot I condemned for landing my freighter upside down and was one of that group who betrayed me to Jabba a year ago? How did he become so good a pilot/gunslinger/mechanic/tactician in just a year??)

 

In the real world, it's said that it takes 10,000 hours (5 years of 40 hour weeks, after training/college/etc.) to gain a journeyman level at some skill/profession. So the Traveler-type system is probably more "realistic", where characters are skilled per how long they've previously spent working themselves up in a few areas and can't really gain years worth of experience in new areas once adventuring... at least without spending years getting it.

 

Both types of systems are interesting in different ways. But they definitely have a different feel.

 

 

That's a bit subjective.  My current group is at about 2 months in game, and have earned barely 70 XP.  At a year, that means they'll just be breaking 400 XP.  It depends a lot on what type of game you play.  My group of players do a lot of shipping/smuggling and "odd jobs" for work.  So they spend large amounts of in-game time cruising through hyperspace.

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I'm sure most of us are familiar with how the Conflict system works.  However, I think it bears mentioning.  At the end of every session, you tally a players total Conflict, and then roll a D10.  Compare the D10s results to the Conflict.  However much the roll exceeded the Conflict, that's how much your Morality increases.  If the roll and the Conflict are equal, there's no change.  If the roll is below the Conflict, then you lose Morality equal to the difference.  This being said, you can average 4 Conflict a session and still progress upward in Morality (at least mathematically speaking).

 

The point is, a few Conflict every session doesn't really hurt you in the long run.  I think this is the fundamental issue a lot of new players don't understand.  I've had to break one player already of the whole "dark side points bad" belief.  Using 3-4 dark side points a session isn't really a big deal in the long run.

As long as one is paying attention to how much conflict they have and is not flippant about it they will tend to go up. As a GM you need to pay attention to their actions and keep a tally of their conflict. As force points are not the only source of conflict. 

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As long as one is paying attention to how much conflict they have and is not flippant about it they will tend to go up. As a GM you need to pay attention to their actions and keep a tally of their conflict. As force points are not the only source of conflict. 

 

 

Very true.  My point though was just to emphasize that using the occasional dark side force point (especially in critical situations), isn't something you should fear.

 

Side note, I saw a house-rule earlier in this thread I've co-opted into my games.  Using a dark side force point, when you're a light side character, does NOT force you to flip a Destiny Point.  You still suffer Conflict and Strain as normal.  After all, the dark side is suppose to be seductive, and it's hard to sell that to players when there's several restrictions to use the points.  The same is true for a dark side character using light side force points.

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In our sessions we have modified the rules to where you don't flip a destiny point for using dark side pips, only conflict is gained. I feel it frees you a little bit, especially early on when you only have that one force dice. Otherwise rolling dark side points really sucks, because the base rules are too punishing. Its really silly that you lose destiny, gain conflict, AND suffer strain. It should be much longer and drawn out IMO.

I consider this a legit house rule, but only when the whole party is Force active.

In that situation, burning the party resource is uninteresting, but the personal costs still are. It's more interesting to use Destiny for dice rolls, etc.

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Again the GM has to decide if he wants a game in dark times or in a different time. In a different time I would give jedi 150 more xp than non-jedi jedi and give non jedi something else to compensate. So I would probably start jedi at 150 xp if padawan. If running a knight game I would start jedi at 300xp and non jedi at 150 xp and again compensate the non jedi in equipement, minions, 2nd character, and or narative bonuses

 

That something else you give to non-Jedi, should be the same amount of XP.

 

Instead of getting a lightsaber, the non-Jedi get a large amount of credits to use to buy equipment.

 

But this is gone over in the rules for Knight Level play already.

 

Having the Force and a lightsaber will make them feel like accomplished Jedi, and feel pretty powerful.  Don't hamstring the Non-Jedi (further) with an XP deficit.

 

Agreed; equal XP for all if you're going to do this.

Agree to disagree. Jedi in non dark times to Me and my group have more xp. There is no hamstring if my table and some others believe jedi of old Republic are more than normal characters of same xp and that balance is not always the most important thing when trying to role play a fictional story we perceive more important than game balance. When running a superhero game superman and batman don't get the same xp just because we want balance.

They do in a game if you don't want to piss off players. It is fine in a book for characters to have different XP. It is less ok in a game where you end up giving one player far more capability. Which is really not cool.

But at a table where players want to create a story as big and similar to what they have seen in the old Republic and are all OK with it as long as they agree then it is cool

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Kilcannon, on 02 Jan 2016 - 12:16 AM, said:

 

Agree to disagree. Jedi in non dark times to Me and my group have more xp. There is no hamstring if my table and some others believe jedi of old Republic are more than normal characters of same xp and that balance is not always the most important thing when trying to role play a fictional story we perceive more important than game balance. When running a superhero game superman and batman don't get the same xp just because we want balance.

 

 

Every time I see someone comparing jedi to invincible superhero, I have a thought for the million of clone troopers that gunned down their jedi generals like dogs the day of Order 66.

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The problem with comparing staring characters to screen/book Jedi is that the Jedi you see aren't starting characters.

 

Take Kenobi. By the time of AotC or RotS he has been adventuring for twenty odd years. That is a massive amount of XP earned. Take a look at what he does in TPM and that is closer to a Knight level starting character but he still is slightly better than a starting character.

 

Skywalker Snr is not a starting character by AotC and RotS and while he doesn't have as much XP as Kenobi he keeps up by not caring about using black pips. This shows up in RotS because Kenobi is able to just out last him with better strain regeneration. During TPM Skywalker is a starting character.

 

Ahsoka Tano may well be a Knight Level character at the Clone Wars movie but by the time she leaves the Jedi she has earned 100xp per season at least.

 

It's about setting expectations. Would your players get disappointed at being a 2nd level mage in d&d and not being able to cast fireball? That is the sort of thing starting characters are about.

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Yeah, the big thing to remember about the named* Jedi that we see on the screen is that they're the superstars of the Jedi Order.  Kenobi is not typical of a Jedi character, and Anakin most certainly is not, especially during the time frame that occurs between AotC and RotS.

 

Remember that a FaD PC at the starting point is more akin to Luke Skywalker in terms of what they can do with the Force; i.e. not a whole heck of a lot beyond simply being sensitive to the Force.  And it took Luke the span of three films to become badass enough to effectively solo a combat encounter that would be a death sentence for most folks, a stark contrast to the naïve farmboy that he started out as.

 

*By named I mean the folks that have their names spoken on the screen in the films, not provided in supplemental material.

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I'm sure most of us are familiar with how the Conflict system works.  However, I think it bears mentioning.  At the end of every session, you tally a players total Conflict, and then roll a D10.  Compare the D10s results to the Conflict.  However much the roll exceeded the Conflict, that's how much your Morality increases.  If the roll and the Conflict are equal, there's no change.  If the roll is below the Conflict, then you lose Morality equal to the difference.  This being said, you can average 4 Conflict a session and still progress upward in Morality (at least mathematically speaking).

 

The point is, a few Conflict every session doesn't really hurt you in the long run.  I think this is the fundamental issue a lot of new players don't understand.  I've had to break one player already of the whole "dark side points bad" belief.  Using 3-4 dark side points a session isn't really a big deal in the long run.

 

Great point.

 

Also, Morality is the measure of how good/evil the character is - not Conflict.

The Force chapter does say that gaining Conflict to use DS results is due to the power of the darkside being called on so it's related to Morality (as you mention) and that the "temptation" is always there to convert DS pips.

Which is part of the flavor of the mechanic the game is designed to create: force users should feel the temptation of the dark side and most force users will at least brush with the dark side from time to time.  I'd even say that most Jedi even do so - because the dark side in this sense (using DS pips) according to RAW is simply getting a boost from anger, fear, hatred, etc which is something that is perfectly normal (as long as it doesn't get out of control).  Even for characters that want to be paragons of the light side this mechanics still adds narrative depth because the struggle is there to incrementally move towards the light side - a struggle that can easily involve the gaining of several Conflict per session.

Luke was very much moving towards the light side yet his portrayal in the movies shows him struggling with the dark side.  It's what makes the story and character interesting.

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"During TPM Skywalker is a starting character."
 
 
I disagree. "Little Annie" starts with a top notch speeder and several Warrior/Starfighter Ace talents that he uses to win the podrace. He has both Knight level credits and Knight level XP. He just didnt start with  a saber.

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