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gdotbat

Holy Advantage!!

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Like seriously! It's almost as if my group was rolling nothing but advantage all night long! It got to the point by the end of the night I was handing out re-rolls cuz I was sick of trying to come up with something interesting to happen when they kept failing checks, but are rolling 3, 4 or even 5 Advantage symbols! I think there were even a couple times where I was like "forget it, you fail, I don’t care that you rolled 15 advantage symbols!!!"

 

I get that it’s a cool mechanic to make something interesting happen on a failed roll, but COME ON! I swear there wasn’t a single roll all night that did not have advantage on it! I figured this was supposed to be an occasional thing, not every stinking roll.

 

It really made it so that Advantage was not a special thing. Strain was a complete non-issue as they kept recovering it, ALL THE TIME! I know the core book has suggestions for using advantage on skill checks, so I started using those, but it really ended up feeling very non-special it was occurring so often.

 

How do you guys handle this? Is this overabundance of Advantage being rolled and normal thing?

 

EDIT: This was our first session and we played the Beginner adventure

Edited by gdotbat

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As PCs advance they will be burning way more Strain triggering Talents and those Advantages will be gobbled up recovering that.  Plus as they get more advanced weapon options, as well as some Talents, they'll need the Advantages to trigger them as well.  You've got a lot at first because you don't have as much to use them for at first.

 

You want them to feel the Strain pinch a bit more and use them up, throw a lot of stun grenades.

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If this is the beginner adventure, then the PCs shouldn’t be rolling enough dice to get 15 Advantage. Each die can have no more than two Advantage symbols on it, so that would be at least seven or eight dice that they’d have to be rolling.

Also, as GM one of the things you need to get good at is to know when to roll and when not to roll.

Another thing you need to get good at is figuring out what you would do with various weird dice results BEFORE the roll is made — if you can’t figure that out, then you probably shouldn’t be rolling.

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The key to this is learning the technique of "Failing Forward".  Given the non-binary nature of this system, it is easily possible to use this.  The technique is used to continue to move the narrative and action forward while still throwing a wrench (or spanner if you are across the pond) into the works. 

 

For example, in ANH when Han, Luke, and Chewie are rescuing Leia from the prison block, Leia obviously fails her attempt to find an alternate way out of the prison block, but evidently spotted what she thought was a ventilation duct.    In Game, this could easily have been a failure with an advantage that she spent to notice more about the situation.  The net result is that they got out of the cell block, but did not actually escape.

 

So learning from this, If your group is trying to pick a lock to get into a facility; you have 2 primary options pass and fail.  If they Pass then they open the Door.  However, failure should not necessarily mean that they fail to open it (that is old school binary decision).  Now, they have the second axis of Threat/ Advantage.  Which is; something good happens or something bad happens. 

 

These combine to give 4 general results:  They 1) succeed with something good happening, 2) they succeed with something bad happening, 3) they fail with something good happening, and, finally, 4) they fail with something bad happening.

 

1) They open the lock and everyone can get through and they recycle the door lock before a passing patrol comes by.

2) They open the door, just as the patrol is coming

3) They open the door and manage to get everyone through but the patrol comes by as the door is closing.  With more advantages, they can relock or jam the door shut

4) They open the door, but set off an alarm AND the patrol is coming around the corner and they call in to lock the door open.

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There is some really good advice in here, but another thing I'd like to add, is that it is not the sole responsibility of the GM to interrupt the dice results. Advantage and Triumph are suppose to be spent even on failed rolls by the players, but they do still have to have the GM's permission to spend them in such ways. 

 

It is not always on you to come up with how to spend that 5 advantage they just got on a failed computers check. Ask them, "how would you like to spend that advantage?"

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Gdotbat,

 

One suggestion for you regarding advantages.  Get input from the players.  Triumph, Advantage,  Threat, and Despair results can be suggested by the players with completely creative results.

 

As a player I'm always looking for ways to creatively apply secondary results.

 

One example that comes to mind, we were in a pretty intense fight and numerically we did not have a good advantage.  We were fighting 1 sophont and a bunch of battle droids, and the linchpin for this encounter was the sophont.

 

My character took the shot at the fleeing sophont and Failed!  However I translated the three advantage to having my blaster bolt hit the floor and ricochet a bit of the flooring into the guy's leg, tripping him up.  No damage, but the narrative result gave us the option to later capture the guy.

 

Once you and your players understand the imaginative ways that they can translate the die results into shaping the events, the more creative they will come.

 

And as everyone else is pointing out, we don't roll dice a lot during our sessions, either.

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There is some really good advice in here, but another thing I'd like to add, is that it is not the sole responsibility of the GM to interrupt the dice results. Advantage and Triumph are suppose to be spent even on failed rolls by the players, but they do still have to have the GM's permission to spend them in such ways. 

 

It is not always on you to come up with how to spend that 5 advantage they just got on a failed computers check. Ask them, "how would you like to spend that advantage?"

 

Way to steal my thunder UnicornPuncher!

 

You may have beaten me THIS time, but Oooo!  Triumph!

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These combine to give 4 general results:  They 1) succeed with something good happening, 2) they succeed with something bad happening, 3) they fail with something good happening, and, finally, 4) they fail with something bad happening.

 

1) They open the lock and everyone can get through and they recycle the door lock before a passing patrol comes by.

2) They open the door, just as the patrol is coming

3) They open the door and manage to get everyone through but the patrol comes by as the door is closing.  With more advantages, they can relock or jam the door shut

4) They open the door, but set off an alarm AND the patrol is coming around the corner and they call in to lock the door open.

 

This actually highlights one of my few discontentments with the system; though it's quite possibly that I'm misunderstanding something about it, which is why I wanted to jump into this conversation.  

 

In this example, it seems like you're using failure and threat interchangeably.  If you're just going to treat a failure as a success with a complication (which is what I've done for decades with pass/fail systems in situations like this), then what is the point of having the Advantage / Threat axis?  

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Re-read carefully, none of te results are not identical.  They are subtly different, similar yes, but different..

 

Coming from just about every other RPG, you need to test for everything and can test multiple times for everything (unless prohibited).  However, this can lead to artificial road blocks, and leads to a catch-22 situation:  If you are going to allow the PCs to roll until..., then why bother rolling at all.  If not then you just possible ended the adventure (or at least delayed progress for a long while).

 

Case in point, I was a PC in a game and the GM loved to put in clues that were over our heads in complexity and we would be stuck on the puzzle for sometimes 2 to 3 sessions because we would fail our rolls and had to wait a week.  Yes, I realize it is not a failure of the system but the GM, but is does highlight the one roll and done approach.

 

In this system, you should reserve rolls only for things with a binary outcome (combat or healing/ repairs), grainy things (stealth, social rolls, ect), or to build tension (opening the door frin my example).

 

So in my hypothetical example, the PCs need to get through the door for some reason (rescue someone, kidnap an asset, steal something et al).  Now you can either do the one and done and have them bang their heads against the wall for hours/ sessions on end hoping that they will remember the alternate way in that you gave them when you described the building and 2 people were in the restroom, 1 was in the kitchen, and another was too busy filling their face and chewing so loudly that the 1 person was actually paying attention hear the cewing moret hen your description, OR you can let them in the door.  You just need to find a suitable way to "reward" the failure

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I find a lot of problems can be averted by looking at the situation and framing the check correctly. It's not a question of if they can get through the door, but can they do it before the patrol arrives. This allows the failure to introduce the patrol and threat to add extra complication on top of it (hence his example of not only the patrol, but also the alarm). A success with threat could just have easily triggered the alarm even through the group beat getting through before the patrol arrived.

 

On topic: Some nights are just like that. As others have said, let the PCs figure out what to do, it is their advantage after all.

Edited by Hinklemar

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These combine to give 4 general results:  They 1) succeed with something good happening, 2) they succeed with something bad happening, 3) they fail with something good happening, and, finally, 4) they fail with something bad happening.

 

1) They open the lock and everyone can get through and they recycle the door lock before a passing patrol comes by.

2) They open the door, just as the patrol is coming

3) They open the door and manage to get everyone through but the patrol comes by as the door is closing.  With more advantages, they can relock or jam the door shut

4) They open the door, but set off an alarm AND the patrol is coming around the corner and they call in to lock the door open.

 

This actually highlights one of my few discontentments with the system; though it's quite possibly that I'm misunderstanding something about it, which is why I wanted to jump into this conversation.  

 

In this example, it seems like you're using failure and threat interchangeably.  If you're just going to treat a failure as a success with a complication (which is what I've done for decades with pass/fail systems in situations like this), then what is the point of having the Advantage / Threat axis?  

 

 

 

Failure with Threat is "fail and something bad happens"

Failure with Advantage is "fail with something good happening"

Success with Threat is "succeed and something bad happens"

Success with Advantage is "succeed and something good happens"

 

That is the 4 quadrants of the possible results as this is a non-binary system of just success/failure.

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I'd say "fail with advantage" should be noticing another route of some sort. (Failure with threat or plain failure shouldn't be a roadblock either, but failure with advantage gives you a wonderful excuse to give them another way.)

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Well, I would have to say the Advatages aren't really a "special thing". They are part of the skill check results. They should be coming up on most rolls. They are not special snowflakes of the game. I think you are getting Advatage and Triumph confused. Triumphs come up pretty rarely, but after awhile, they can start to come up more and more often as the characters get more ranks in skills.

If you able to get 4-5 Advatages on almost every roll, I think you may be building your dice pools wrong. Are they rolling three green against 4-5 purple every time? I think that Setback dice are a great to expand the narrative of a screen, and help to control some of those Advatages. In combat, it seems that cover and defense don't do a lot to reduce damage, but can really help keep critical hits at bay as the Setback dice seem to come up with Threats more often than not, limiting the total number of Advatages left.

Are you canceling out the Threats and Advatages? Success and Fails cancel, Advatages and Threats cancel, but Triumphs and Despairs do NOT cancel out each other. Each T and D also have a S or F with them, and those can cancel out each other. Again, it seems from my reading of your post, you are getting the some of the mechanics of Advantages confused with Triumphs.

Also, on non combat skill checks, you should not be getting Strain back with Advatages. The CRB calls out that on Combat Checks you can spend Advatages to recover Strain. As the GM, you can what you like, but I suggest sticking to RAW, and it can help alleviate some of these problems.

I have been running this system for 3 years now, and while I do see some crazy things on the dice, it's not every roll. I have seen crazy things happen on D6 games, and on D20 games as well. For most of the checks that my characters have to make, most are Average to Hard, (2-3 purple) with 1-3 Setback dice. I try really hard to describe why the Setback are part of the pool, I just don't throw them in for no reason, and many characters start getting rid of those Setback dice very quickly from Talents. And if I can't think of a narrative reason for the Setback, I don't add them.lets look at Full Throttle really quickly. You can push your vehicle hard to go really fast. Add in the fact of traffic, and you can start to get a pool with a Hard check (3 purple) and two to three Setback. Now if a good pilot also has the Talents to get rid of those Setback dice, let's say 2, then his check is 3P1S. And his skill might be 2Y1G, and he is probably getting a Boost from somewhere too. His opponent has the same skill, but not the Talents, so his is 3P3S, 2Y1Gand probably no Boost. So we can se how decently skilled pilots can quickly reduce the threat of a situation by having other Talents. One pilot will probably make the check, with 2-3 Advatages left over, the other pilot probably won't make the check, but if he does, he will Threat left over, possibly hurting his speeder, limiting the distance traveled, or increasing the Setback next round.

It has been my (limited) experience with other GMs that the difficulty scale and Setback dice are pretty poorly understood and used wrong. It seems to me, that the few GMs I have had, either don't use Setback dice, and just increase or upgrade the difficulty. I have also heard of some GMs that if you have a Talent that can get rid of Setback, but don't have in the pool, you can get a Boost instead. I suggest not doing that. Stick to the RAW, and most problems will be solved.

My final thought. You played the Beginer Game (BG), which is like the EotE Lite. Most of the rules are there, but not all of them. The BG was designed to show and teach the GM and Players how to play the game in a simplified version. So it may not have had a lot of Setback dice. Remember, it's about teaching the basic concepts of the game, not an all encompassing look into it. The main purpose of the BG is to provide a fun learning experience for everyone, while not getting bogged down in a lot of minutiae. Keep playing and have fun with it.

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Re-read carefully, none of te results are not identical.  They are subtly different, similar yes, but different..

 

Coming from just about every other RPG, you need to test for everything and can test multiple times for everything (unless prohibited).  However, this can lead to artificial road blocks, and leads to a catch-22 situation:  If you are going to allow the PCs to roll until..., then why bother rolling at all.  If not then you just possible ended the adventure (or at least delayed progress for a long while).

 

Case in point, I was a PC in a game and the GM loved to put in clues that were over our heads in complexity and we would be stuck on the puzzle for sometimes 2 to 3 sessions because we would fail our rolls and had to wait a week.  Yes, I realize it is not a failure of the system but the GM, but is does highlight the one roll and done approach.

 

In this system, you should reserve rolls only for things with a binary outcome (combat or healing/ repairs), grainy things (stealth, social rolls, ect), or to build tension (opening the door frin my example).

 

So in my hypothetical example, the PCs need to get through the door for some reason (rescue someone, kidnap an asset, steal something et al).  Now you can either do the one and done and have them bang their heads against the wall for hours/ sessions on end hoping that they will remember the alternate way in that you gave them when you described the building and 2 people were in the restroom, 1 was in the kitchen, and another was too busy filling their face and chewing so loudly that the 1 person was actually paying attention hear the cewing moret hen your description, OR you can let them in the door.  You just need to find a suitable way to "reward" the failure

 

 

Your GM ever considered adopting parts of the "Gumshoe" Ruleset that is used in the RPG "Trail of Cthulhu" and in others?  Basically, long story short, if you have a skill in something, you'll discover some sort of clue, it's just that the clue you'll find if you "fail" won't be particularly good.  But it's still better than nothing.  Here's a review of one of the games that uses Gumshoe if you're interested in cannibalizing parts of it to get an investigation to move forward.

 

 

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EDIT: This was our first session and we played the Beginner adventure

It sounds to me like you're not subtracting the negative results from the positive. The dice pools in the beginner game aren't really big enough for the kind of results you're getting. The most advantages I've seen is 9, and that was a shooter with a base of YYYG, and she'd been passed 3 or 4 boost dice from other PCs over the course of a turn. It was epic enough I let her crit three times and take out a group of minions (though that's not really allowed by RAW).

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Lots of really good feedback here, thanks guys! As far as the actual results, yes I was exaggerating, clearly we never rolled 15 successes, I was being sarcastic and thought that was clear. Sorry if it wasn't.

 

In any case, yes this was our first go at the system, and we used the beginner games and followed it to the T. So there did seem to be a lot of checks, but they were called for in the game guide. Most of the checks were standard 2 green one yellow VS 1 or 2 purple. I rarely used setback die, something I will definitely keep in mind moving forward.

 

The issue became most apparent during the end space combat scene which was pretty much all rolling. There were at least a couple times where the gunners were rolling to shoot the TIE fighters and rolled no successes and got 5 Advantages, and would then look to me "ok, I didn't hit, but what happens with 5 successes?" This happened a few times throughout, and yes we were canceling correctly.

 

I really favor RP over encounters, even when GM'ng D&D, so I think moving forward with my own campaigns there will be less die rolling overall, but with this we were just following the beginner adventure.

 

In any case thanks so much for all the info here, very helpful!

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The issue became most apparent during the end space combat scene which was pretty much all rolling. There were at least a couple times where the gunners were rolling to shoot the TIE fighters and rolled no successes and got 5 Advantages, and would then look to me "ok, I didn't hit, but what happens with 5 successes?" This happened a few times throughout, and yes we were canceling correctly.

 

I don't recall in the beginner game, but in the core book there is a handy chart.  For 2A they could apply setback to the TIEs, spend 1A on passing a boost to the next PC, and 2A on passing a boost to any other PC.  Done.

 

Once you have the core, give the players that chart so they can decide what to spend it on.

Edited by whafrog

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Also, just to give you an example of how a player can decide to spend their 5A, that's exactly what my son rolled when trying to break into the communications tower and failed his Deception roll against the woman officer there.  He says to me:  "I know her.  We've been having an affair and we just broke up, but she still has a thing for me."

 

That's what sold me on this system all those years ago... :)

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The issue became most apparent during the end space combat scene which was pretty much all rolling. There were at least a couple times where the gunners were rolling to shoot the TIE fighters and rolled no successes and got 5 Advantages, and would then look to me "ok, I didn't hit, but what happens with 5 successes?" This happened a few times throughout, and yes we were canceling correctly.

 

I don't recall in the beginner game, but in the core book there is a handy chart.  For 2A they could apply setback to the TIEs, spend 1A on passing a boost to the next PC, and 2A on passing a boost to any other PC.  Done.

 

Once you have the core, give the players that chart so they can decide what to spend it on.

 

Excellent! We all have the core, we just weren’t referring to it much as I figured the Beginner game was all we needed for that particular adventure. Good to know going forward though. Thanks!

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Also, just to give you an example of how a player can decide to spend their 5A, that's exactly what my son rolled when trying to break into the communications tower and failed his Deception roll against the woman officer there.  He says to me:  "I know her.  We've been having an affair and we just broke up, but she still has a thing for me."

 

That's what sold me on this system all those years ago... :)

HAHA! No way! I actually did that as well! The group got in through the side door and the Smuggler decided to stroll in ranting about the Krayt Fang being locked down and how he was late leaving on a task for Teemo. She leered at him knowing that the Krayt Fang belonged to Trex, he failed his deception on her, but of course rolled several A's. So I had her pull him aside and start quietly arguing with him about what he thought he was trying to pull here giving the Technician the perfect opportunity to hack a console and release the clamps. The smuggler then played it off as if he had been drinking and forgot what day it was. Annoyed she told him to leave but made sure they were still on for their date Friday night!!

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There is some really good advice in here, but another thing I'd like to add, is that it is not the sole responsibility of the GM to interrupt the dice results. Advantage and Triumph are suppose to be spent even on failed rolls by the players, but they do still have to have the GM's permission to spend them in such ways. 

 

It is not always on you to come up with how to spend that 5 advantage they just got on a failed computers check. Ask them, "how would you like to spend that advantage?"

 

Way to steal my thunder UnicornPuncher!

 

You may have beaten me THIS time, but Oooo!  Triumph!

 

 

Hey man, we were working towards the same goal, we just double teamed it!

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