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baterax

So, skills!

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Players are talking about how to improve skills or buy new ones.

 

So I gave them the book rules: Number of ranks x5 = XP cost, and +5 if they're not in your career or spec lists.

 

But I want to impose a restriction that a character can't gain more than 1 rank per skill per session played. Makes sense, right?

I don't see why a player should gain like 3 ranks after one session of play, even if he does have the XP to buy it.

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to be clear its:

5+10 from rank 0-2, so 15xp to go from no ranks to 2 ranks in a skill

0-3 is 5+10+15 or 30xp total

0-4 is 50xp

0-5 is 75xp (or the cheapest cost to get a dedication talent)

5 is the cap so no further increase available (unless cybernetics are used to get that to 6 ranks)

 

 

most players are getting around 20xp for a session, so its almost 4 sessions to go from 0-5 ranks in a skill, not that fast IMHO. of course if your handing out more xp thats 'only' 3 sessions, still other players will be getting a lot more for their xp by spending on cheaper talents and skills in that time

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Yeah but the argument is, they ask me "Why can't I get more than one rank at once, provided I'm willing to spend the XP?"

 

I answered "Because you'll get too strong too fast and that's not fun, and that adds up more dice to the pool quick and we're all new to the system. Not fun either"

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all that said the standard is that nothing above rank 2 at character creation. Then if you use the Knight Level rules for creating slightly advanced characters then your capped at 3 ranks. Basically you could set a cap based on total xp the character has, but the most functional solution is to tell the Players "knock that **** off"

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very true, but this is a system thats easy to hit them in the dump stat

 

 

edit: by that i mean there is much more than just combat in this system. 

 

So true, the deadliest encounters my players face is when I make them do athletics to avoid falling, or resilience for some other debilitating effect. So far I've only made them take half damage, but last session I told them the kid gloves were off.

 

I even gave them a few sessions where Athletics and Resilience were discounted by 5 points at the end. Only 1 person bought a rank. The strength of the Jedi careers is also a weakness: you can get by with other stats instead of Brawn for lightsaber combat.

 

Warrior and Armorer(Guardian) are the only 2 paths that reward you for investing heavily into Brawn. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. But people forget that in this system, many skills have uses, so even high Brawn characters have a chance to shine during skills checks where as in other systems, Strength characters have limited options outside of combat.

 

The highest brawn in the group I gm for is a single character with a 3! I can usually use that as a way to throw challenges at them.

 

In my games I have not restricted the players on how fast they can rank up their skills. I even let them use experience points in the middle of encounters if they need a skill. The rational was watching Ray in Force awakens, when she suddenly gains 4 ranks in Lightsaber during the middle of the ending fight.

Edited by Vulf

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So true, the deadliest encounters my players face is when I make them do athletics to avoid falling, or resilience for some other debilitating effect. So far I've only made them take half damage, but last session I told them the kid gloves were off.

 

I don't want to presume to tell you how to run your game, but I'll offer up a little piece of hard-earned advice: Be careful about "punishing" PCs for failing checks to climb/jump and so on. Some of the coolest moments in a game like this comes when a player tries something crazy and heroic in spite of not being incredibly good at that particular skill.

 

A player with a 2-Brawn character might want to pull a Die Hard-moment and jump from a roof holding a fire hose, swing through a window four floors below, roll into the room and attack the NPCs holding his friends hostage, but if the player hears "That takes a Daunting: Athletics check and if you fail it you fall down and die" that moment of awesome will never happen.

 

Falling down and getting hurt is something that should mostly happen with a Despair; a plain failure usually means that the thing you tried to do didn't work or didn't come off precisely as intended.

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So true, the deadliest encounters my players face is when I make them do athletics to avoid falling, or resilience for some other debilitating effect. So far I've only made them take half damage, but last session I told them the kid gloves were off.

 

I don't want to presume to tell you how to run your game, but I'll offer up a little piece of hard-earned advice: Be careful about "punishing" PCs for failing checks to climb/jump and so on. Some of the coolest moments in a game like this comes when a player tries something crazy and heroic in spite of not being incredibly good at that particular skill.

 

A player with a 2-Brawn character might want to pull a Die Hard-moment and jump from a roof holding a fire hose, swing through a window four floors below, roll into the room and attack the NPCs holding his friends hostage, but if the player hears "That takes a Daunting: Athletics check and if you fail it you fall down and die" that moment of awesome will never happen.

 

Falling down and getting hurt is something that should mostly happen with a Despair; a plain failure usually means that the thing you tried to do didn't work or didn't come off precisely as intended.

 

John McClane failed his athletics roll on that jump and suffered short range falling damage.  After all, he swung off the top of the building, and hit the glass window, without it breaking the first time.  Then he had to take an action to shoot out the glass (successful), then make a coordination check to untie himself before being dragged out the window.

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Spending XP on skills can be an inefficient way to advance your character. If they're spending XP on skills they're not "drilling down" to the attribute bump (which if they've built their PC around that Attribute-Skill synergy can earn you many many skill bumps), and they're not getting the talents along the way. It's a different strategy, why punish one approach over another?

This game is so well balanced that I think a house rule like this is unnecessary, so long as you as GM are not allowing them to just skate by as a 1 dimensional PC. The problem is not the advancement system, so why try to fix something that's not broken?

Edited by emsquared

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How about instead of restricting them like that, you could rather not give them too much XP-points. OR make them use other skills more often than the ones they have been using constantly.

 

Make every skill useful and they will spread out a bit more. That's how it goes in our game. Our GM is a really good at making use of all of our skills.

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Generally I try to save giving XP to "in-story downtime".  I have offered it after each session, but we had a fairly long intense series of sessions which only spanned about 8 hours of time in the game world, and the players actually requested that I hold off on giving XP because it made no sense to be able to spend it while between, or in the middle of, firefights.*

 

Maybe I have strange players...

 

Anyway, since then I've decided that the "session" is rather arbitrary, and it very much depends on how the story is run.  Mine tends to be clumped into 2-3 session arcs, at the end of which I can say "...and for the next couple of weeks you go back to handling your normal courier business...".  Depending on how long that downtime is, they can spend whatever they want.  I don't think jumping from 0 ranks to 2 ranks is a problem, and higher levels are limited by the cost.

 

----------------------

* I don't have a problem with exceptions though...I would certainly allow a new Talent or Force power upgrade if the PC had the XP to spend, because the media is littered with "you're desperate, you learned something new just NOW..." tropes, e.g.:  Ezra from Rebels Force-pushing Agent Kallus to save Zeb.  But I don't think I'd allow more than one rank if done that way.

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So true, the deadliest encounters my players face is when I make them do athletics to avoid falling, or resilience for some other debilitating effect. So far I've only made them take half damage, but last session I told them the kid gloves were off.

 

I don't want to presume to tell you how to run your game, but I'll offer up a little piece of hard-earned advice: Be careful about "punishing" PCs for failing checks to climb/jump and so on. Some of the coolest moments in a game like this comes when a player tries something crazy and heroic in spite of not being incredibly good at that particular skill.

 

A player with a 2-Brawn character might want to pull a Die Hard-moment and jump from a roof holding a fire hose, swing through a window four floors below, roll into the room and attack the NPCs holding his friends hostage, but if the player hears "That takes a Daunting: Athletics check and if you fail it you fall down and die" that moment of awesome will never happen.

 

Falling down and getting hurt is something that should mostly happen with a Despair; a plain failure usually means that the thing you tried to do didn't work or didn't come off precisely as intended.

 

John McClane failed his athletics roll on that jump and suffered short range falling damage.  After all, he swung off the top of the building, and hit the glass window, without it breaking the first time.  Then he had to take an action to shoot out the glass (successful), then make a coordination check to untie himself before being dragged out the window.

 

Yes he did, and that's a perfect example of how a failed check leads to more excitement and more interesting situations. Now, if he had instead lost his grip on the hose and fallen 20 stories and died, the rest of the movie would have suffered somewhat.

 

Oh, and so I won't derail the topic any further I better reply to the ongoing conversation. :P  I give out XP after each session, and my players can use it right away so long as we're not stopping mid-combat or anything. The exceptions are new specializations, new Force powers and Signature Abilities; those are only available between adventures. And I, too, limit skill advancement to one rank at a time, but when it comes to talent trees I have no problem letting them take multiple talents. My reasoning is that skills only go as high as 5 ranks so I feel progression should take at least a little time, while talent trees have many more "entries".

Edited by Krieger22

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In my games I have not restricted the players on how fast they can rank up their skills. I even let them use experience points in the middle of encounters if they need a skill. The rational was watching Ray in Force awakens, when she suddenly gains 4 ranks in Lightsaber during the middle of the ending fight.

 

This is NOT what happened. She doesn't improve her skill, she gets the Force to come help her.

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In my games I have not restricted the players on how fast they can rank up their skills. I even let them use experience points in the middle of encounters if they need a skill. The rational was watching Ray in Force awakens, when she suddenly gains 4 ranks in Lightsaber during the middle of the ending fight.

 

This is NOT what happened. She doesn't improve her skill, she gets the Force to come help her.

 

Or she learned the Commit Sense upgrade for defense, and Kylo kept rolling too many Threats and Despairs.  I'd completely allow that kind of thing if it was dramatically suitable.

 

I'm assuming Vulf was being hyperbolic at "4 ranks in Lightsaber"...  they both still sucked at it :)  Need room to grow for E8 and E9...

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So true, the deadliest encounters my players face is when I make them do athletics to avoid falling, or resilience for some other debilitating effect. So far I've only made them take half damage, but last session I told them the kid gloves were off.

 

I don't want to presume to tell you how to run your game, but I'll offer up a little piece of hard-earned advice: Be careful about "punishing" PCs for failing checks to climb/jump and so on. Some of the coolest moments in a game like this comes when a player tries something crazy and heroic in spite of not being incredibly good at that particular skill.

 

A player with a 2-Brawn character might want to pull a Die Hard-moment and jump from a roof holding a fire hose, swing through a window four floors below, roll into the room and attack the NPCs holding his friends hostage, but if the player hears "That takes a Daunting: Athletics check and if you fail it you fall down and die" that moment of awesome will never happen.

 

Falling down and getting hurt is something that should mostly happen with a Despair; a plain failure usually means that the thing you tried to do didn't work or didn't come off precisely as intended.

 

John McClane failed his athletics roll on that jump and suffered short range falling damage.  After all, he swung off the top of the building, and hit the glass window, without it breaking the first time.  Then he had to take an action to shoot out the glass (successful), then make a coordination check to untie himself before being dragged out the window.

 

Yes he did, and that's a perfect example of how a failed check leads to more excitement and more interesting situations. Now, if he had instead lost his grip on the hose and fallen 20 stories and died, the rest of the movie would have suffered somewhat.

 

Oh, and so I won't derail the topic any further I better reply to the ongoing conversation. :P  I give out XP after each session, and my players can use it right away so long as we're not stopping mid-combat or anything. The exceptions are new specializations, new Force powers and Signature Abilities; those are only available between adventures. And I, too, limit skill advancement to one rank at a time, but when it comes to talent trees I have no problem letting them take multiple talents. My reasoning is that skills only go as high as 5 ranks so I feel progression should take at least a little time, while talent trees have many more "entries".

 

If John had been one member of a group of five heroes and had fallen to his death, the story would go on just fine.

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If John had been one member of a group of five heroes and had fallen to his death, the story would go on just fine.

 

Except for John's player, who would almost certainly never try something that cool again. Which is my point: do you want your players to do cool things and feel like heroes, or do you want them to tiptoe around every problem in order to find the safest approach?

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Another thing you can do is throw several different things at them in each session, that make them debate diversifying.   For example I had a session where my 2 players had to prevent some npc's from basically revolting and following a really idiot npc, because he was trying to convince them to not listen to the Jedi.  AAAND, they had a combat scene as well.  AAAND, they had to try and repair the damaged ship so they could eventually get off the planet.  

 

It made the Artisan character really torn on where to spend his 25 xp that session.  "Do I buy up a rank in Lightsaber so I can fight better?  But I really want to be able to keep the other survivors on our side with a good Charm roll, maybe I should buy up a rank of Charm.  Or maybe I should invest in Influence, so I can just Mind Trick the Jerk NPC so he doesn't try and persuade them to turn against us so often. Gah! Too many things to buy!"  

 

That way, unless they are nothing but a combat monkey, and you do nothing but toss combat scenarios at them, they will be tempted to branch out.

 

But of course, no amount of work on that line will help if you just have a Munchkin-tastic MinMaxer who doesn't care about anything other than raising that One Stat, so he can be Mr. Uber Leetz.   Pretty much all that works for that player is "No, shut the hell up and sit down."

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If John had been one member of a group of five heroes and had fallen to his death, the story would go on just fine.

 

Except for John's player, who would almost certainly never try something that cool again. Which is my point: do you want your players to do cool things and feel like heroes, or do you want them to tiptoe around every problem in order to find the safest approach?

 

Just because he failed once doesn't mean he'll always fail, and it will make success all the sweeter for those that do pull it off Moreover, without risk, my players wouldn't feel all that much like heroes when they succeed.

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Another thing you can do is throw several different things at them in each session, that make them debate diversifying.

^ this.  I knew a couple of my players would gravitate towards "hit harder and more often" at the expense of other abilities, so the sessions contain a lot of Discipline, Vigilance, Cool, Resilience, and social skills.  At the very least, throw in a Fear check or two, no way they'll want their bad-azz character shrinking from a fight.

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If John had been one member of a group of five heroes and had fallen to his death, the story would go on just fine.

 

Except for John's player, who would almost certainly never try something that cool again. Which is my point: do you want your players to do cool things and feel like heroes, or do you want them to tiptoe around every problem in order to find the safest approach?

 

Players should certainly feel like heroes but in real life and in Star Wars, there are consequences to your actions. You might rush into a battle when you're too new at this whole Jedi thing and take on one of the Lords of the Sith in combat, only to utterly fail at everything and lose your hand.

 

If you ignore your debts and they turn into a bounty that can result in you being frozen in carbonite.

 

Sometimes you ignore your training, let your emotions take control of you and become a murderous psychopath I mean Lord of the Sith.

 

If you try some cool thing that is more complex than a maneuver, it would be an Action and there will be an appropriate skill used. If a player is going to attempt parkour when he's got 1 Ability for Athletics then he's likely to fail and likely fall. If he's trying this on high-rise buildings, he can try it but it's a stupid move when you know your ability at the task is bad. Success is possible but very unlikely.

 

 

 

If John had been one member of a group of five heroes and had fallen to his death, the story would go on just fine.

 

Except for John's player, who would almost certainly never try something that cool again. Which is my point: do you want your players to do cool things and feel like heroes, or do you want them to tiptoe around every problem in order to find the safest approach?

 

Just because he failed once doesn't mean he'll always fail, and it will make success all the sweeter for those that do pull it off Moreover, without risk, my players wouldn't feel all that much like heroes when they succeed.

 

Also this. ^

 

Actions should actually have consequences for all results. Success being the consequence you want, failure meaning the opposite. If you attemp to jump over a ditch and you fail, it's not like you just sat there concentrating and then just gave up. You actually attempted the jump, which means if you didn't make it, you fall. I would say a despair would just increase the drop height or make the coordination check to reduce damage gain some setback or something like that.

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