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Absol197

Adjudication for an Awesome Idea

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Hey there,

On Friday we finally had an encounter that has been brewing for the past 4 sessions: an Inquisitor showed up with a pack of stormtroopers to apprehend the party.

The encounter started off fine, but after the two NPCs went down, things stayed going south. As a desperate attempt to get his crew to safety, our captain, struggling against an Agonizing Wound, took a frag grenade from a downed Stormtrooper and chucked it at the Inquisitor.

But with his wound and her ranks in Adversary, he missed and couldn't even activate Blast for some extra damage. I decided to narrate the failure as her grabbing the grenade in mid-air with the Force and tossing it aside into the forest, where it detonated harmlessly. However, on his next turn, the captain came up with a brilliant plan: if she's gonna catch his grenades, let her, then shoot it so it blows up in her face!

The captain had started out this encounter by blasting a grenade hanging on a Stormtrooper's belt, causing a distraction so everyone could get their weapons out, so he had proven he could do it, and the sheer epicness of the idea narratively seemed like it should increase his chances. To keep the game moving, we ended up having him spend a maneuver to throw the grenade, a second to aim at it, and his action to shoot the grenade, with a Destiny Point flip for the awesome value. But I was curious: how else, mechanically, could I have run this? How might you have done it? Just have him attack with the grenade but give him some Boosts? Something else I didn't think of?

Let me know!

Edited by Absol197

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Technically throwing a grenade is an action, as is shooting it.  If he was hell bent on it, I would make him dual wield (I forget the penalty for unequal weapons), then add the called shot penalty.

 

What I would rather do is just narrate the blast on 3 advantages to be caused by him shooting the grenade.  Same effect, no extra rules.

 

What could be interesting though is if 2 people cooperate to do that, like in ***** shooting.  "Pull!"  1st character attacks with grenade.  If total failure, 2nd character attacks grenade with called shot penalty to activate blast.

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Technically he wasn't trying to hit with the grenade: he was expecting her to grab it and toss it aside again, so getting it close enough for her to react to it was all he needed for that part. I figured a maneuver would suffice. The character has Quick Draw, too, so no squabbles over the "draw weapon" part needed, either.

As for dual wielding, they're both Ranged (Light) weapons, so it would only have been +1 Difficulty (although that would be on top of the +1 from his Agonizing Wound, pushing the difficulty fairly high).

Edited by Absol197

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Shooting a grenade almost never makes it blow up. The people who make grenades have gotten pretty good at making sure that they never blow up unless you’ve pulled the pin and you let go of the spoon, at which point it’s pretty much a sure thing that it will blow up. Otherwise, shoot them, pound on them with hammers, or whatever, and they don’t go off.

So, the question I’d ask is how did the Inquisitor catch and hold the grenade in mid-air without having it blow up the first time? I mean, the spoon pops off when the grenade is thrown, so all you’ve got is a second or two to redirect the grenade before it blows up on whatever the original timer was.

If the original timer wasn’t stopped and she did just redirect the first grenade, then I could see that you could distract her with two simultaneous attacks, by hitting her with the blaster after she’s caught the grenade but before she’s had a chance to redirect it.

But then the problem is that throwing the grenade is an action (you have to roll to hit), and firing the blaster is also an action (you have to roll to hit). You could choose to drop your action for a second maneuver which doesn’t cost strain, but you can’t trade a maneuver the other way.

So, how did the Captain get two actions in the same round?

Of course, if the Inquisitor catches the grenade in mid-air and redirects it before it blows up, what is the risk that the grenade is caught when it is within Engaged range of one of your cohorts but not her? Therefore they are the ones to suffer the potential Blast effect, instead of the Inquisitor?

Now, if there was a second character in the party who could have been doing actions as well, then I’d let them do an extra roll for a Coordinated action so that they can time things just right and throw the grenade at the same time as the blaster is being fired, or however they want to describe it narratively.

But that would require a second character in the party who was able to participate in that process.

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As for dual wielding, they're both Ranged (Light) weapons, so it would only have been +1 Difficulty (although that would be on top of the +1 from his Agonizing Wound, pushing the difficulty fairly high).

But they’re very different Ranged (Light) weapons, so I’d be inclined to rule that you would increase the difficulty by another die as well.

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Technically throwing a grenade is an action, as is shooting it.  If he was hell bent on it, I would make him dual wield (I forget the penalty for unequal weapons), then add the called shot penalty.

That’s a good idea. I hadn’t thought of that one. Cool!

What I would rather do is just narrate the blast on 3 advantages to be caused by him shooting the grenade.  Same effect, no extra rules.

Agreed. Better results by just using the narrative instead of trying to find some way to jury-rig the mechanics to work the way you want.

What could be interesting though is if 2 people cooperate to do that, like in ***** shooting.  "Pull!"  1st character attacks with grenade.  If total failure, 2nd character attacks grenade with called shot penalty to activate blast.

So, they censored “*****”? Why on … Nevermind.

Anyway, that’s basically where I had also gone, but you described it better.

Thanks!

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Shooting a grenade almost never makes it blow up. The people who make grenades have gotten pretty good at making sure that they never blow up unless you’ve pulled the pin and you let go of the spoon, at which point it’s pretty much a sure thing that it will blow up. Otherwise, shoot them, pound on them with hammers, or whatever, and they don’t go off.So, the question I’d ask is how did the Inquisitor catch and hold the grenade in mid-air without having it blow up the first time? I mean, the spoon pops off when the grenade is thrown, so all you’ve got is a second or two to redirect the grenade before it blows up on whatever the original timer was.If the original timer wasn’t stopped and she did just redirect the first grenade, then I could see that you could distract her with two simultaneous attacks, by hitting her with the blaster after she’s caught the grenade but before she’s had a chance to redirect it.

As given in the description for the various grenade types in the CRB, they all have three types of triggers: pressure switch, timer, and impact. He was using the impact setting both times, so the grenade doesn't go off until it hits something. Which also gets around the, "shooting it doesn't make it go off," problem. I think a blaster bolt would count as a significant enough impact. Plus, as I said, we established at the beginning of the combat that spotting a grenade makes it go off, so talking that back mid-combat would have been rude on my part.

Plus, this is a cinematic, story-driven game. You can't tell me that shooting a grenade in an action movie would end in anything other than an explosion. Well, I suppose you could, but come on: cars explode in action movies, and they're not even designed to blow up!

 

But then the problem is that throwing the grenade is an action (you have to roll to hit), and firing the blaster is also an action (you have to roll to hit). You could choose to drop your action for a second maneuver which doesn’t cost strain, but you can’t trade a maneuver the other way.So, how did the Captain get two actions in the same round?

Come on. In the previous player turn, the Wookie took a single action and killed three Stormtroopers and knocked another three prone, all entirely by RAW. I don't care how powerful bowcasters are, there's no way that all happened with a single shot. We all know this is a narrative-driven game, a round can be up to a minute long, and a single action to attack does not mean only one shot/punch/whatever. An action to attack is the cumulative result of your efforts to harm the target during the round. The captain wasn't trying to hit the Inquisitor with two different weapons, or get multiple hits on her, he was trying to hit her once. That's entirely within the purview of a single action.

 

If we wanted to be that pendantic, Move-ing a Sil 0 object within short range requires an action and at least 1 Force Point.  Do we want to say the Inquisitor couldn't have done what she did because how can someone take an action on another character's turn?

 

Of course, if the Inquisitor catches the grenade in mid-air and redirects it before it blows up, what is the risk that the grenade is caught when it is within Engaged range of one of your cohorts but not her? Therefore they are the ones to suffer the potential Blast effect, instead of the Inquisitor?

Had the player's roll resulted in sufficient Threat/Despair, that certainly could have happened. It didn't, so the fact that I didn't think of that potential result didn't end up mattering.

Edited by Absol197

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What I would rather do is just narrate the blast on 3 advantages to be caused by him shooting the grenade.  Same effect, no extra rules.

In hindsight, this probably would have been a better way to go. Then both his maneuvers could have been aiming, and with the Destiny Point that gives him the increased chance we were looking for.

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As given in the description for the various grenade types in the CRB, they all have three types of triggers: pressure switch, timer, and impact. He was using the impact setting both times, so the grenade doesn't go off until it hits something. Which also gets around the, "shooting it doesn't make it go off," problem. I think a blaster bolt would count as a significant enough impact.

An impact grenade would still have to be armed before a single impact could set it off. Otherwise, you’d have them going off every time someone bumped their head on a door.

I don’t care what galaxy you’re from, the manufacturers of grenades would have to make sure that it’s virtually impossible to set one off by accident — which would include being hit by small weapons fire, either on accident or on purpose.

Moreover, most grenades are going to have one type of function, not two or three. They might have an adjustable timer, but then they’re not going to have an impact setting or a pressure switch setting.

Plus, as I said, we established at the beginning of the combat that spotting a grenade makes it go off, so talking that back mid-combat would have been rude on my part.

Agreed. Once you’ve established a pattern like that, it’s hard to change it.

Plus, this is a cinematic, story-driven game. You can't tell me that shooting a grenade in an action movie would end in anything other than an explosion. Well, I suppose you could, but come on: cars explode in action movies, and they're not even designed to blow up!

Shooting either grenades or cars to make them blow up is one of the stupidest things done in any action movie I’ve ever seen.

Not to say it doesn’t happen, but it’s definitely one of the stupidest things I’ve seen.

Come on. In the previous player turn, the Wookie took a single action and killed three Stormtroopers and knocked another three prone, all entirely by RAW. I don't care how powerful bowcasters are, there's no way that all happened with a single shot. We all know this is a narrative-driven game, a round can be up to a minute long, and a single action to attack does not mean only one shot/punch/whatever. An action to attack is the cumulative result of your efforts to harm the target during the round. The captain wasn't trying to hit the Inquisitor with two different weapons, or get multiple hits on her, he was trying to hit her once. That's entirely within the purview of a single action.

RAW, throwing a grenade is an action, not a maneuver. You can house-rule it however you want, but that’s RAW.

Likewise, shooting at a target is an action, not a maneuver. It doesn’t matter how many times you pull the trigger or how many blaster bolts hit the target, it’s all considered “one shot” per that action, unless you’re doing something special like Auto-fire or Two Weapon Combat.

Also RAW, you can get two Maneuvers per round, but not two Actions.

Had the player's roll resulted in sufficient Threat/Despair, that certainly could have happened. It didn't, so the fact that I didn't think of that potential result didn't end up mattering.

Speaking as the player whose Wookiee was shot in the back — on accident — by his best friend, that is the sort of thing that the players should be thinking about.

That 1/12 chance of a Despair does actually come up every now and then, and according to Murphy’s Law, it’s going to come up at the worst times.

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Ehh, grenades are both ranged light weapons, don't overcomplicate matters by introducing additional factors that don't matter. Std duelweilding pen.

I say go for it though. Personally I would go for an attack, and only if it misses spend the dpoint for the trick shot. I would probably make the player take 4 stain for the excretion. A bit silly.

Another option is to simply plant the grenades, as si-fi devices are flexible. set a round in rounds and retreat. Blasting the grnade when inquis gets closer or, more sensibly, set up a trap when the timer runs down as she enters arc of fire.

Edited by LordBritish

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People, dont let rules get in the way of awesome.

 

For a plan to get his crew out of harms way, this is about perfect. Have the captain toss the grenade then try to shoot it. I would add some setback to account for the small size of the grenade. If he hits, one loud BOOM later and the impys are all on the ground stunned. If the players run away, then the captain's idea saved their bacon. If they try to go after the inqusitor, well, bad things happen.

 

All this talk of this is an action or that is an action, or this is a maneuver or whatnot is not the important stuff. This is a narrative game. If it is awesome, make a roll. If the dice come up good, it is awesomely good, if the dice come up bad make it awesomely bad. Dont waste a bunch of time arguing rules.

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Shooting a grenade almost never makes it blow up. The people who make grenades have gotten pretty good at making sure that they never blow up unless you’ve pulled the pin and you let go of the spoon, at which point it’s pretty much a sure thing that it will blow up. Otherwise, shoot them, pound on them with hammers, or whatever, and they don’t go off.

 

Counterpoint: grenades are clearly made of explodium and will detonate when shot.

 

Yes. in reality the timer starts ticking when you pull the pin, and not when you release that lever thing. However, Hollywood says that grenades only go off 5 seconds after the flappy thing is let go of.

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As given in the description for the various grenade types in the CRB, they all have three types of triggers: pressure switch, timer, and impact. He was using the impact setting both times, so the grenade doesn't go off until it hits something. Which also gets around the, "shooting it doesn't make it go off," problem. I think a blaster bolt would count as a significant enough impact.

An impact grenade would still have to be armed before a single impact could set it off. Otherwise, you’d have them going off every time someone bumped their head on a door.

I don’t care what galaxy you’re from, the manufacturers of grenades would have to make sure that it’s virtually impossible to set one off by accident — which would include being hit by small weapons fire, either on accident or on purpose.

 

 

The grenade would theoretically be armed before it was thrown as a "decoy" at the Inquisitor, no? Doesn't explain the grenade on the hip, though, but I suppose you could try to hand-wave with "thermal something-something grenade, hit by superheated blaster bolt". I mean, that's got to be different than a regular bullet in our world, right? Eh, I get that grenade manufacturers would try to prevent this kind of thing - as a GM you could rule that, try as they might, they just can't. If you were inclined.

 

As for "stupid things in media", we could each sit down from our points of view and argue about what is and isn't stupid or wrong in media. As a student of psychology, I can absolutely find a high horse of soapbox to get about the representation of mental illness - heck, mental anything - or the mental health profession in media. Don't even get me started on all those people they call psychiatrists that are clearly not psychiatrists. Also, I attend a lot of seminars put on by the FBI, as a prospective employee with access to those kinds of things, and I can assure you that any TV show you've watched where an FBI Agent shoots at a fleeing car in the vain hope to disable it is completely and horribly wrong - it's totally disallowed by the Bureau. But, they happen in movies because the people who write movies and stories can't be Experts in All Things, and frankly, they don't want to be. They just want excitement! And/or to be idiots sometimes, but I digress.

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"It's completely implausible for the make-believe laser pew-pew gun to trigger a grenade being telekinetically suspended in the air by a space witch wielding a laser sword," argued no GM I want to play with ever.

 

The sheer absurdity of this quote made my morning.  :lol: 

 

As for other options in the scene - with the amazingly cinematic idea, and the flip of the destiny point to make it happen, I would have allowed the shot to "end" the combat - narrate the explosion as knocking the Inquisitor and the Stormtroopers to the ground in their surprise, giving the PC's a chance to flee before they get back up. 

 

It's a very cinematic end to what turned out to be a stalemate between the BBEG and the PCs (started out in the PCs favour, and turned to BBEG's favour mid-way) and would give both parties a reason to be preparing for their next encounter. All that increases the dramatic tension of the narrative and is well worth shortening a planned encounter to provide narrative flair, in my opinion.

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"It's completely implausible for the make-believe laser pew-pew gun to trigger a grenade being telekinetically suspended in the air by a space witch wielding a laser sword," argued no GM I want to play with ever.

 

The sheer absurdity of this quote made my morning.  :lol: 

 

As for other options in the scene - with the amazingly cinematic idea, and the flip of the destiny point to make it happen, I would have allowed the shot to "end" the combat - narrate the explosion as knocking the Inquisitor and the Stormtroopers to the ground in their surprise, giving the PC's a chance to flee before they get back up. 

 

It's a very cinematic end to what turned out to be a stalemate between the BBEG and the PCs (started out in the PCs favour, and turned to BBEG's favour mid-way) and would give both parties a reason to be preparing for their next encounter. All that increases the dramatic tension of the narrative and is well worth shortening a planned encounter to provide narrative flair, in my opinion.

Ooh, that's a good idea, Kyla! Unfortunately there were some extenuating circumstances that made running unlikely (there were already party members down, the bounty they were after was also there unconscious) so they felt they were in for the long haul, but I can see your ultimate point: I was thinking narratively, but just not narratively enough!

Also, Kyla, we all know your opinion on pink, but how do you feel about violet? As (I'm assuming) a fellow chromatophile, if like to know what you think of my favorite color!

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What the PC was trying to do was essentially a Deception. I would have required the Destiny Point flip then an Opposed Deception vs Perception. Success and the Inquisitor catches the grenade, smash close up on face noticing the blinking red light just before it explodes, apply Damage. If enough Advantages are generated activate Blast quality.

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The encounter started off fine, but after the two NPCs went down, things stayed going south. As a desperate attempt to get his crew to safety, our captain, struggling against an Agonizing Wound, took a frag grenade from a downed Stormtrooper and chucked it at the Inquisitor.

BTW this is a successful encounter, don't let up on your Players because you think you are going too hard on them. Players don't remember the encounters they waltzed through but they feel real accomplishment when they almost don't walk away at all...

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"It's completely implausible for the make-believe laser pew-pew gun to trigger a grenade being telekinetically suspended in the air by a space witch wielding a laser sword," argued no GM I want to play with ever.

Okay, then. Make sure you don’t ever play in any of my games.

Personally, I’m all for allowing and encouraging everyone to bring “TEH AWSUM” to the game, but there are some things that are just a step too far and stretch my willing suspension of disbelief beyond the breaking point.

Give me a reasonable explanation for how you’re going to try to achieve the result you want, and I’ll almost certainly allow you to at least try it. Or suggest an alternative that is more believable to me and would potentially be able to achieve a similar effect.

But shooting a grenade to make it go off is not in that realm. At least, not for me.

You’re welcome to run your games however you want, and I’ll run mine the way I want.

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Well, they didn't walk away. On their own, at least. They've been captured, and next time they'll have to find a way to escape.

Even better! When they do escape, if they do, they will really feel a sense of accomplishment. Cakewalks are boring, the challenge, the excitement, and the fun come from not being the best but having to rise to the occasion. This is something Min-Max'ers and Rule of Cool'ers always seem to forget.

In the old WEG SW there was a bit of advice for GM that included something along the lines of: If you don't have something blow up each session you're doing it wrong.

Well thats a bit specific but the basic idea is true :)

Edited by FuriousGreg

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Also, Kyla, we all know your opinion on pink, but how do you feel about violet? As (I'm assuming) a fellow chromatophile, if like to know what you think of my favorite color!

 

Believe it or not, "Violet" is the color this is (at least according to the chromakey in the text box here)! As far as the actual color violet goes, the purple hues are my second favorite color! Followed then by Orange ... because most of my favorite flavors are orange..... mmm .... sherbert.

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I've also got a cool idea to tug at one of my Force-user's Morality: the Inquisitor is only after them because our Verpine Guardian (who was a Youngling who was out of the Temple when Vader showed up) got curious and decided to use the Seek power to seek out Vader through the Force. Vader felt it and got worried it was a full-fledged Jedi, and sent the Inquisitor.

Our Guardian, however, has been entirely silent to the rest of the party about being Force-sensitive. Oh, they suspect, but they're not sure. And the Inquisitor, upon meeting the group, could sense three Force users. The Twi'lek Shadow promptly tried to mind-trick her, and the Wookie used Enhance to up his Agility, making it obvious, but the Verpine? He kept silent yet again.

So, since she's not sure who the last sensitive is, the Inquisitor is going to try to torture it out of them. And, since incredible piloting skill is often a marker of latent Force ability, she's going to start with our dear captain, who is an amazing pilot. The facts that he's a former TIE pilot who deserted and she's mad at him for detonating a grenade in her face is PURELY coincidental.

Will the Guardian keep quiet and let the captain get tortured, or will he speak up and put a target on his own back?

Edited by Absol197

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Shooting a grenade almost never makes it blow up. The people who make grenades have gotten pretty good at making sure that they never blow up unless you’ve pulled the pin and you let go of the spoon, at which point it’s pretty much a sure thing that it will blow up. Otherwise, shoot them, pound on them with hammers, or whatever, and they don’t go off.

 

Counterpoint: grenades are clearly made of explodium and will detonate when shot.

 

Yes. in reality the timer starts ticking when you pull the pin, and not when you release that lever thing. However, Hollywood says that grenades only go off 5 seconds after the flappy thing is let go of.

 

When Mythbusters did 'Shooting a grenade' they found that a rifle shot would detonate the grenade. A shotgun dissassembled the grenade and a pistol knocked the primer out of the explosives.

 

If you think a blaster is more powerful than a slug rifle, it isnt all that odd that a blaster would detonate the grenade.

 

Then again, one could say than an energy discharge is alot more likely to detonate a grenade than a slug in the first place.

 

All this completely ignores that Star Wars isnt real life so making those analogies is really very suspect in the first place.

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