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KungFuFerret

Your house rules

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So I was curious what house rules others have introduced into their FFG games.

 

Personally, I removed the "Must flip a Destiny Point to use the Dark Side" rule, as it's just not very practical with my group.

 

I have 2 players, and we consistantly have very small Destiny pools, which seriously limits using them regularly in game.  I even started having the GM (me), roll as well, just to try and actually increase the volume of points to play with.  Which has helped a bit, but I found that they will sometimes be unable to use the Dark Side, because I just simply haven't flipped any Destiny Points for them recently.  I've already made various scenes hard as it is, with setback dice and other factors, and I'm reluctant to upgrade the check as often as I would have to, in order to keep them in a constant supply of Light Side Destiny Points.  This was mostly spurred on by last weeks session, where I had them finally meet the BBEG, complete with Adversary 2, and lots of setback dice because they encountered the BBEG in a Dark Side site, and thus had failed some fear checks. The fight was already meant to be tough, to show them how outclassed they were.  And one of the players, couldn't use the Dark Side.  I was momentarily confused, and he said "I don't have a Light Side DP to flip".  Which annoyed me, because if there was ever a time to channel the Dark Side in a moment of fear and tension, it's fighting a BBEG in a Dark Side site. :)

 

So, I've done away with it entirely, because it feels very limiting, and the Dark Side is supposed to be the "quicker, easier, more seductive" path.  So now, it's even easier for them to be tempted by the Dark, and it allows them to use their DP for other things, like triggering talents, or influencing the structure of the scene by introducing new elements.  I've boosted the strain cost by +1, so they run an increased risk of overtaxing their character, and I think it will work out going forward.

 

So what about you?  What house rules have you incorporated for your game, and why?

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My house rules have less to do with my disagreeing with RAW, and more to do with ease of play in a PbP medium. The rules are thus:

 

AWARDING XP: All XP earned in a Chapter will be given equally to all characters. The sole exception to this is XP earned through Motivation, which will be awarded to the relevant PC alone. If a player is awarded XP for Motivation, he cannot earn this award again until a full Chapter has passed.

 

CHARACTER STATS: As part of their application, all players should have created a page for their character at www.swsheets.com. A link to a character's sheet should be accessible from the bottom of their Details Page (using the "Link URL" and "Link Title" fields). Players are on the Honour System where their sheets are concerned: unauthorised changes to a character's stats, credits, or other values will result in immediate dismissal from the game.

 

DESTINY POINTS: Destiny Points are rolled for at the start of each Chapter of the game.

 

DICE ROLLS: All dice rolls should be made using the board's dice roller, and must be sent to me directly (by clicking on my username in the "Send roll to..." list). If I do not receive your results via email, you will be asked to re-roll.

 

INITIATIVE: Initiative will be rolled by the character with the best appropriate score (whether Cool or Vigilance) on each side in situations requiring structured gameplay. The winning side will be able to elect to go first or second. (There may be situations where going second is better.)

 

OBLIGATION, DUTY, AND MORALITY: A single d100 will be rolled at the start of each Chapter, and its result will be checked against the Obligation chart, Duty chart, and Morality value (see below). I will not be rolling for each individual trait.

 

SPENDING XP: XP will be awarded, and can be spent, at the end of each Chapter. All expenditures must be justified either through in-game events/actions, or through the character training during "downtime" periods. No skill can be increased by more than 1 rank between Chapters, and no changes should be made to character sheets until I have approved any XP expenditure requests.

 

TRIGGERING MORALITY: A character's Morality will only be triggered if the aforementioned d100 result lies within five points of its current value. (So a Morality with a value of 50 would be triggered if the d100 resulted in a number between 45 and 55.)

 

WOUNDS, STRAIN, AND CRITICAL INJURIES: It is the responsibility of each player to track a PC's Wounds, Strain, and Critical Injuries on their character sheet. Each of the above should be added, modified or removed at my request, and at no other time.

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Hmm, interesting to see what others do.  I actually try to minimise the number of actual rules changes, because there are so many setting changes for me... Mostly the rules changes address my changes to the setting. Lets' see:

 

 - you can only be Force-sensitive at character creation, not after.

 

- 'Restricted' items of all kinds will attract negative attention from whatever local force is in power, so for the most part, the missile tubes and armour are left at home

 

- Obligation, Duty and Morality exist and affect the story, but are not tracked or numbered

 

- lightsabers don't have an 'on' switch and can only be used by Force-sensitives

 

- can't take non-career specialisations, under any circumstances. Controversial I know, but that's always been the case with any game I run since AD&D

 

- Force use in general is more yin/yang, measured mostly by law/chaos rather than good/evil. and every person has elements of both. It still costs Destiny to tap the pips of the 'other' side you're not currently in.

 

- really only for flavour purposes, but we reskinned Signature Abilities as low-level, non-Sensitive Force use. And calling it 'the Force' is mostly a Jedi thing, and plenty of people call it something else, be it 'magic' or 'psionics' or whatever. MidiMitochondrionChlorians exist, but nobody knows what they do or what they measure, apart from diabetic blood sugars, possibly.

Edited by Maelora

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I let my players wear 2 pieces of Armor as long as they can justify it.

Also I don't really award credits. They have to do missions, buy/sell cargo, or loot the bodies, I start the sell value at 70% of the listed price and adjust it for item description. They do a negotiation check, successes add 10%, failures subtract 10%, triumphs roll a percentage and add the value, despair roll a percentage and subtract the value.

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I have a habit of coming up with a lot of house rules and never implementing them. I just like looking at rules and seeing how I would do it if I had to do it differently.

At this point, I think the only rule I change is that everyone has a morality, but it has no mechanical effect beyond determining which pipe you can spend without flipping a token over.

For the morality/duty/obligation, I make everyone track duty and obligation as the rules dictate. Duty to a criminal empire, or to establishing your own mark on the universe, it still compelled andnguides role play. Duty to the Force tradition you wish to follow, boons and knowledge for holding true to it. Players determine which of these they want to buy up or down at character generation.

Also, I use a broader spectrum of morality. But I think I shall post a separate topic about that.

Edited by Comrade Cosmonaut

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Here's the few that show up when I'm running:

 

1) XP Awards - I use Jay Little's suggestion of a base 5 XP (pretty much for showing up to play) plus 5 XP for every actual hour of gaming.

 

2) Despairs rolled when shooting into a melee that involves an ally - I don't have the Despair automatically override the attacker's successful shot, especially if the only other person in the melee is an ally.  Instead, I consider it an option, and typically will only use the "hit a different target" to have the shooter's attack go from a major adversary to plug a lesser adversary, though even that feels a bit cheep.

 

3) Attacking to Trigger an Active Weapon Quality - I don't always use this one, but I will allow a PC to attack a target with the express purpose of having a successful attack trigger a non-damaging weapon quality (Ensnare, Knockdown, Sunder) with the trade-off being that they don't inflict any damage.

 

4) Morality rolled at end of the adventure, not session - pretty self-explanatory, I find this helps slow down the leap to LS Paragon, but mostly it causes the PCs that want to walk on the light side to really be wary of earning too much Conflict in one session, since they don't always know exactly how many sessions they've got before the d10 gets rolled.

 

5) Assigning Conflict - the main change I made is that I don't tell the PCs in advance if an action will earn Conflict or how much, mostly as my players are grown adults, are aware they are playing in a setting with an absolute morality scale (light/good and dark/evil), and generally aware that certain acts are going to earn Conflict without my warning them of it.  I also don't assign Conflict for petty/trivial reasons either, which helps, as by the time I inform a PC that they've got Conflict coming their way, the player already knows they've done something to deserve it.

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I'm trying to mix all styles of PC drives in play. Obligatoin, Duty and Morality.

For the most part I try to link Obligation to a PCs Dark Side Morality &  Duty to their Light Side Morality.
Basically the Dark Side drives you towards it with fear, anxiety and hatred, The light side rewards you with inspiration and drive.

What is most interesting is that Obligations, thought tougher on the PC's to start with, kinda ends up driving more challenges to Morality and thus increases to Morality. The PC's have been surprisingly good and avoiding NPC death and conflict. Where-ever possible they hand over the bad guys to some local authorities to take care off. Though they are not above corruption, they are actively working to clean up the worst corruption. Being a bit Robin Hood for the EoE campaign I imagined, giving away wealth and goods from Crime Lords warehouses to feel local orphans, provide medicines to the poor and arm freedom fighters and stuff. I'm going with their way for the moment. 

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Not much of a big deal, but in our game, since Discipline is used as a form of meditation, force checks, and resisting the force. When constructing lightsabers, we can use it in addition to the mechanics or lore check.

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Here's the few that show up when I'm running:

 

1) XP Awards - I use Jay Little's suggestion of a base 5 XP (pretty much for showing up to play) plus 5 XP for every actual hour of gaming.

 

 

4) Morality rolled at end of the adventure, not session - pretty self-explanatory, I find this helps slow down the leap to LS Paragon, but mostly it causes the PCs that want to walk on the light side to really be wary of earning too much Conflict in one session, since they don't always know exactly how many sessions they've got before the d10 gets rolled.

 

Yeah, I do the same with #1, though I also give out a +5 xp for "Amusing the GM".  If they do something particularly funny, or clever, or just flat out awesome during the session, I give them a bit more xp.

 

Oh, that reminds me of another house rule.  I sort of due the "stunting" rules from Exalted/Scion, from White Wolf.  If my players describe something really awesome that they want to do, that just screams epic cinematic coolness, I give them a boost die.   I want them to do cool ****, and I find they are far more inclined to try crazy/cool things, if they know it doesn't automatically mean insane difficulty.  Now they will still have to deal with various factors, and it still might be a hard thing they want to do, but if they describe it in a cool way, they're getting a boost die.

 

#4.  That's not a bad idea, as I've noticed in this game, even with a PC who started at 40 morality (i intentionally pushed her morality down at creation, as part of her backstory), they're both 1-2 points away from Paragon status.  Granted, they don't really do things to generate conflict, but part of that is due to the lack of light side pips to flip, hence the houserule I posted in the OP that started the thread.  I'm hoping this will encourage them to use it more often, and thus maybe knock them down a bit.  

 

 

Not much of a big deal, but in our game, since Discipline is used as a form of meditation, force checks, and resisting the force. When constructing lightsabers, we can use it in addition to the mechanics or lore check.

Ooh, I like that one.   Not so much of an issue for my 2 players, as I built their pregens with one having decent Lore, the other having decent Mechanics.  So they already have a good skill to build their lightsabers.  But that's a good idea for going forward.

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Just remembered a new one.  I don't do timed events.  Things like "you have 3 turns to accomplish this", just doesn't seem fun to me.  It's another bit of tracking I have to do, and I'm reasonably bad at it already, so adding that doesn't help me at all.  Plus, it's hard to gauge the right amount of time, so you end up giving them way too much, and there was no tension, or nowhere near enough, and it's frustrating.

 

Sooo, I adopted the Despair Tracker.  In scenes of really intense stuff, where, in a movie or whatever, this scene would have a countdown, instead, I track Despairs.  I have them always roll 1 Red dice on every roll in the event.  If they roll a certain number of Despairs, things go badly.  For each Despair rolled, another layer of badness happened.  This worked out really well actually in game:

I had my players in a transport ship, traveling from an Outer Rim planet to Coruscant, when there is a catastrophic failure on board, and they have to abandon ship.  Of course, other people are at risk, so they, being heroes, decide to go and try and help people, instead of heading straight to the escape pods.  The ship has been ripped in half, by a massive explosion amidships.   They are going to crash, no way to save the ship, but, for every Despair, I had another layer of environmental problems develop.  Despair 1, the ship begins to hit the atmosphere, and the interior of the ship heats up (+1 Setback die to all rolls).  Despair 2, the ship begins to tumble, making them like clothing in a dryer, (another setback die to all rolls).  Despair 3, the heat is getting unbearable, (-1 Strain every action), and so on, until they hit Despair 5, which is they crash.   It worked really well to ramp up the tension, as they were beginning to debate if they should just abandon the others to their fate, and save themselves.  They didn't, and stayed in the ship all the way to the ground...and made it out with some incredibly minor critical injuries...*mumble grumble*.   But overall,it was a really effective plan, as I figured "Eh, in movies, things get worse when it's dramatically appropriate, not based on a timer.  The timers in movies never actually synch up to real time anyway"

 

I plan on using it going forward for any kind of tension based situation, with a timer concept to it.

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I forgot which poster posted this but it's something I like because I don't like the way languages are handled by this system.

 

 

Languages:

Regarding adding languages to the game: I tend to want a concrete list of known languages, but my personal take is not to add an entirely new skill set, but rather to allow each rank of a Knowledge skill to also add a known language appropriate to the Knowledge.

 

Knowledge (Core) - would allow a language from species in the core

Knowledge (Rim) - species from the outer rim

Knowledge (Underworld) - species prominent in the underworld (Huttese would almost always be learned with Rank 1 for example)

Knowledge (Lore) - tending towards dead or outdated languages, but also could indicate languages from strongly religious cultures or prominent mystical groups

Knowledge (Education) - extremely common species or those with high technical aptitude

Knowledge (Warfare) - Warrior species

Knowledge (Xenology) - pretty much anything except your own species

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I forgot which poster posted this but it's something I like because I don't like the way languages are handled by this system.

 

 

Languages:

Regarding adding languages to the game: I tend to want a concrete list of known languages, but my personal take is not to add an entirely new skill set, but rather to allow each rank of a Knowledge skill to also add a known language appropriate to the Knowledge.

 

Knowledge (Core) - would allow a language from species in the core

Knowledge (Rim) - species from the outer rim

Knowledge (Underworld) - species prominent in the underworld (Huttese would almost always be learned with Rank 1 for example)

Knowledge (Lore) - tending towards dead or outdated languages, but also could indicate languages from strongly religious cultures or prominent mystical groups

Knowledge (Education) - extremely common species or those with high technical aptitude

Knowledge (Warfare) - Warrior species

Knowledge (Xenology) - pretty much anything except your own species

 

For languages, I generally just default to Knowledge (Xenology), with the primary exceptions being Huttese (Know: Underworld) and Ancient Galactic Basic (Know: Lore).  Still, if a GM wants a little more diversity in what skills cover what languages, that's not a bad approach to take.

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I forgot which poster posted this but it's something I like because I don't like the way languages are handled by this system.

 

 

Languages:

Regarding adding languages to the game: I tend to want a concrete list of known languages, but my personal take is not to add an entirely new skill set, but rather to allow each rank of a Knowledge skill to also add a known language appropriate to the Knowledge.

 

Knowledge (Core) - would allow a language from species in the core

Knowledge (Rim) - species from the outer rim

Knowledge (Underworld) - species prominent in the underworld (Huttese would almost always be learned with Rank 1 for example)

Knowledge (Lore) - tending towards dead or outdated languages, but also could indicate languages from strongly religious cultures or prominent mystical groups

Knowledge (Education) - extremely common species or those with high technical aptitude

Knowledge (Warfare) - Warrior species

Knowledge (Xenology) - pretty much anything except your own species

 

For languages, I generally just default to Knowledge (Xenology), with the primary exceptions being Huttese (Know: Underworld) and Ancient Galactic Basic (Know: Lore).  Still, if a GM wants a little more diversity in what skills cover what languages, that's not a bad approach to take.

 

 

 

Yeah, I've kind of wanted to try and set up a scenario where a group of players don't know Shreewook (or however you spell it), just like in the movies, but have the "translator" for the Wookie always misquoting him.  Like make an arrangement with another player, and intentionally explain what he says wrong. Basically this, but over a whole storyline.  

 

Edited by KungFuFerret

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He is an idea I've had, I am curious what people think of it.

I have been trying to think if a way to handle repeat attempts at a force power out of combat, or other structured encounter. There seems to be two schools of thought on this.

The first is that you can keep trying until you get enough pips. So assuming there are no time constraints or any penalty for failure, you basically just get the max possible number of pips. A bit like talking 20 in d20. The other approach is to rule that you only ever get attempt and if you fail you fail.

Nether of this really appeals to me, I don't think success should be automatic, but I do think you should have a better chance of pulling something off if you have time to meditate and prepare properly.

So here is my solution.

A player can have another go at activating a force power, but first they must pass a discipline check with a difficulty of 2 + the number of failed attempts. So that is difficulty 3 for the second attempt. I would chuck in boost dice if the player is able to spend a long time meditating or if the environment is particularly good. So a day spent meditatating in a jedi temple might neet 2 or even 3 boost dice.

So by my rule Luke fails his discipline check after failing to lift his X-wing, and goes on in a huff instead of having another go.

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If it's an instance where the PC isn't under duress and has no time constraints, I'd say just let them generate one Force point per Force die they've got, which in turn represents their "best effort."  And as was the case with Luke and the X-Wing, his "best effort" simply wasn't enough.  Also, in the source material we rarely see the characters making repeated attempts at using a Force power; either they succeed or they fail.

 

About the only time we do see repeated attempts at the same Force power within the same scene that immediately comes to mind of a main character trying a Force power more than once is Rey in TFA when she tries the mind trick for the first time on her stormtrooper guard; it takes her a couple of tries to get it; the first attempt the guy was probably too far away and she rolled a single DS pip, but for the second attempt the guy was engaged, and so she only needed a single Force point, with the GM Abrams letting her spend the Triumph she got on the opposed Discipline check to also suggest dropping the blaster as the trooper leaves the cell).

 

Personally, I think involving a Discipline check is more bookkeeping than is really needed, and that it is easier to just say the player gets one attempt per narrative scene.  Otherwise, as you said a PC could wind up spamming powers like Foresee and Influence until they get the results they want. 

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If it's an instance where the PC isn't under duress and has no time constraints, I'd say just let them generate one Force point per Force die they've got, which in turn represents their "best effort."  And as was the case with Luke and the X-Wing, his "best effort" simply wasn't enough.  Also, in the source material we rarely see the characters making repeated attempts at using a Force power; either they succeed or they fail.

 

About the only time we do see repeated attempts at the same Force power within the same scene that immediately comes to mind of a main character trying a Force power more than once is Rey in TFA when she tries the mind trick for the first time on her stormtrooper guard; it takes her a couple of tries to get it; the first attempt the guy was probably too far away and she rolled a single DS pip, but for the second attempt the guy was engaged, and so she only needed a single Force point, with the GM Abrams letting her spend the Triumph she got on the opposed Discipline check to also suggest dropping the blaster as the trooper leaves the cell).

 

Personally, I think involving a Discipline check is more bookkeeping than is really needed, and that it is easier to just say the player gets one attempt per narrative scene.  Otherwise, as you said a PC could wind up spamming powers like Foresee and Influence until they get the results they want. 

 

 

Don't forget Luke's multiple attempts to Move his lightsaber to his hand in the Wampa cave in Empire.    Seemed like a good example of "You failed to pull it this turn, but you can try again next turn....as the Wampa gets clooooseeer!" *dramatic music*.   

 

OT:  Out of combat, I've had players do this multiple times, usually in the form of "I want to practice my force powers today" kind of roleplaying.  I usually give them a handful of attempts, 4-5, and let them decide if they're going to use dark pips or not.   Then I color the narration of it based on that.  If they keep rolling dark every time, and simply refuse to tap into the dark side for it, I'll say something like "You can't seem to get your focus today, your mind is too clouded by thoughts and emotions, plaguing you.  The loss of your mentor, being stranded on this planet, your homesickness" etc etc.   The final choice was still the players, as he/she made the choice to not tap into the dark side, which is fine.   If they had tapped into it, they would earn conflict as normal, and I would color the scene another way "You get frustrated from your multiple attempts, your instructor's voice begins to annoy you, setting your nerves on edge.  In a moment of anger and defiance, you picture the box as your instructor, and are able to fling it across the room, with more force than you intended.  It slams into the wall with a solid thud, and your anger flows through you like a drug."   

 

If it's out of combat, but still something of a timed situation "We've got 1 hour to get across this valley and save the princess!" kind of thing, I would still set some arbitrary limit out of combat, to reflect them not spending all day trying this.  "Ok so, time is of the essence right now, so I'll give you *some number of tries*, after that you need to try and find another way to solve this problem, or simply bypass it."   It's worked so far with my players.  They appreciate the multiple tries, but understand "I can't just roll all day until I get my result".

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This was kind of brought up earlier by LadySkywalker, but Simple Initiative is something I do for every role playing game:

 

 

Entire sides of the conflict take their actions together.  Usually it's the players and all of their their allies, followed by all of the enemies.  Vigilance and Cool are often used to allow maneuvers or sometimes actions prior to the turn structure.

 

 

I don't think a turn based system will ever do a good job of capturing the fluid nature of time in combat, so I did away with the book keeping.  It also had the very pleasant side effect of my players suddenly thinking and acting more like a team, but that might have been the specific group in question.

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If it's an instance where the PC isn't under duress and has no time constraints, I'd say just let them generate one Force point per Force die they've got, which in turn represents their "best effort."  And as was the case with Luke and the X-Wing, his "best effort" simply wasn't enough.  Also, in the source material we rarely see the characters making repeated attempts at using a Force power; either they succeed or they fail.

 

About the only time we do see repeated attempts at the same Force power within the same scene that immediately comes to mind of a main character trying a Force power more than once is Rey in TFA when she tries the mind trick for the first time on her stormtrooper guard; it takes her a couple of tries to get it; the first attempt the guy was probably too far away and she rolled a single DS pip, but for the second attempt the guy was engaged, and so she only needed a single Force point, with the GM Abrams letting her spend the Triumph she got on the opposed Discipline check to also suggest dropping the blaster as the trooper leaves the cell).

 

Personally, I think involving a Discipline check is more bookkeeping than is really needed, and that it is easier to just say the player gets one attempt per narrative scene.  Otherwise, as you said a PC could wind up spamming powers like Foresee and Influence until they get the results they want.

Yeah, these are all the concerns I have with the idea. But I am not keen on the 1 pip per dice solution, as it still makes Force use too reliable. The discipline check means success is not guaranteed, and there is a risk to trying again as the roll can throw up threats, and maybe despair.

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