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Ebak

Can't believe I am doing this again - Blind Pilot...

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I'm really not sure what makes this a fun trope but I'm biased and not the authority on what's fun. In my experience, though, the only time blindness gets to seem fun is when a character has super awesome other senses to the point that they're as or even more capable than sighted people like Daredevil and, it's seeming, Kanan.

If that's what a player is after, then there's no reason to make special rules for it. Just have them behave like sighted people and attribute their Mountain Dew fetching proficiency to other senses. Other than the comic relief aspect of it ("Wait. SHE'S DRIVING???") or some fun with Advantages ("He had hotdogs for lunch... yesterday."), be done with it.

In that case, as for seemingly impossible feats like ship piloting, it's up to the player to make it happen. Normally, I would have no argument with the ruling that says a blind person simply can't drive. However, in the shared fantasy of a Star Wars game, anything might go. But no one should assume special treatment. That would be unfair to everyone not getting such treatment. The GM can apply penalties, as necessary and the player can buy the skills and Talents to compensate.

Verisimilitude can be preserved by attributing his unexplainable abilities to the will of the Force. We don't know that Chirrut Imwe was anything but a believer in the Force but it surely seemed to help when his actions were what seemed to be in line with the will of the Force. Considering how open he was about those beliefs, if he actually showed any true talent, it seems logical to guess the Empire would have picked him up at some point.

If he's not asking to make an advantage out of blindness, what's the harm?

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I think that’s your definitive and authoritative answer there, from the young lady herself.

I challenge anyone on this board to find a more qualified person to speak intelligently on this subject.

Everyone else can go home now.

Edited by bradknowles

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I think that’s your definitive and authoritative answer there, from the young lady herself.I challenge anyone on this board to find a more qualified person to speak intelligently on this subject.Everyone else can go home now.

Since she doesn't have super-senses or piloting skills, she's no more qualified than anybody else. In fact, since the character in question is explicitly not hampered by being blind in any way, I'd say that she has no particular qualifications in speaking on this issue.

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Since she doesn't have super-senses or piloting skills, she's no more qualified than anybody else. In fact, since the character in question is explicitly not hampered by being blind in any way, I'd say that she has no particular qualifications in speaking on this issue.

As I believe you know quite well, Haley is uniquely qualified to speak for what a blind person could or could not reasonably do.

For everyone else on this forum (and for readers in the future), Haley is a lovely young lady who also happens to be blind [1]. My understanding is that she uses a screen reader to access these forums. She has talked/written in the past about her various exploits in this game.

Towards that end, I don’t believe that there is another person on this forum who is better qualified to give the final word on this thread.

She may not have “super-senses”, but I am pretty certain that her hearing is much better than anyone else on this forum, and I’m sure her other senses are also heightened.

She may not be a pilot, but she does go through her life navigating the buildings, vehicles, and various other places where she might be or want to go.

I challenge you to find any other person on this forum who would be better equipped to address what a blind person might reasonably be able to do without extraordinary technology — or the ability to use The Force — and therefore can most reasonably extrapolate what it might take to be able to do those things by someone who has that same condition.

[1]: I hope I don’t offend anyone by using that word to partially describe Haley, as it is just a small part of her life. However, it is quite important to this topic to understand that she has this unique “perspective” from which to speak, and I don’t want to obscure the conversation by using more politically correct terms.

Edited by bradknowles

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Since she doesn't have super-senses or piloting skills, she's no more qualified than anybody else. In fact, since the character in question is explicitly not hampered by being blind in any way, I'd say that she has no particular qualifications in speaking on this issue.

As I believe you know quite well, Haley is uniquely qualified to speak for what a blind person could or could not reasonably do.

For everyone else on this forum (and for readers in the future), Haley is a lovely young lady who also happens to be blind [1]. My understanding is that she uses a screen reader to access these forums. She has talked/written in the past about her various exploits in this game.

Towards that end, I don’t believe that there is another person on this forum who is better qualified to give the final word on this thread.

She may not have “super-senses”, but I am pretty certain that her hearing is much better than anyone else on this forum, and I’m sure her other senses are also heightened.

She may not be a pilot, but she does go through her life navigating the buildings, vehicles, and various other places where she might be or want to go.

I challenge you to find any other person on this forum who would be better equipped to address what a blind person might reasonably be able to do without extraordinary technology — or the ability to use The Force — and therefore can most reasonably extrapolate what it might take to be able to do those things by someone who has that same condition.

[1]: I hope I don’t offend anyone by using that word to partially describe Haley, as it is just a small part of her life. However, it is quite important to this topic to understand that she has this unique “perspective” from which to speak, and I don’t want to obscure the conversation by using more politically correct terms.

 

I believe that Haley's point was that these people don't actually want to play someone that's blind, at least not in a way that the blindness is anything more significant than their hair color. If they really want to play someone that's blind then maybe they should consider actually doing so without expecting it to have no significant effect. I'm sure can can tell you it has a significant effect on a great many things.

Edited by HappyDaze

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BTW, I'd also be opposed to having a four-limb amputee martial artist in the group that refuses to use prostheses and just wants the missing limbs "for flavor" so he doesn't accept any mechanical drawbacks obvious to such a condition. It's clearly asinine.

Edited by HappyDaze

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This new group is interesting, we have some fantastic characters...including a blind force user (this is pre-Rogue One coming out I will have you note).

 

Okay, so he's a force user? Allow me to direct the nay-sayers to the "Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them" line from Star Wars. Even before you get to the Blind Master thing (A trope that was around in Kung Fu flicks well before R1 made it popular), clearly Jedi don't necessarily need to see a target before interacting with the target.

 

It's just fluff. I say let him have his fun, upgrade the difficulty where you see fit ("Trying to defuse a bomb? That'll be two red for you!") perhaps occasionally have it pay out ("That flash grenade goes off . . .  and everyone suffers a black except for the blind guy") and let him play. Game on!

Edited by Desslok

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So I just have to wonder if this thread is less about a player who wants to play a blind pilot, and more about a player who is (intentionally or otherwise) a contrarian and is frustrating his GM as a result. The OP suggests the player in question vexes his GM, to the degree that the GM is willing to end the campaign, even if it means the end of the gaming group. I could be reading way too much into the post, but the campaign is to be heavy in starfighter & ground combat. Being blind is  rather contrarian to this plot line. I mean it could be worse I guess, he could have chosen to be the 'pacifist diplomat who has never piloted his own air speeder ever in his life." But it sounds to me there is more going on with the OP than just "one of my players wants to play a blind pilot."

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To be fair, I didn't help the situation, at least I don't think I did.

 

We originally started as a Yuuzhan Vong campaign as I wanted to explore doing that as a campaign. In the end it proved too much for me and I couldn't come up with a decent plotline that wasn't in some way just replicating the events of those books. So I switched to a setting I was much more familiar with: The Galactic Civil War. My players agreed to this, seeing how I was not enjoying the original concept and was getting stressed out with it.

In the switchover, I made the concept clear and told people they are free to make new characters, adjust their current ones, or merely import their old characters.

 

Three of the five players took the opportunity to make brand new characters that were very different from their Yuuzhan Vong campaign characters.

 

The two that didn't: someone playing a Verpine. Arguably my favourite character in either campaign and easily transposed from one campaign to another being he is a technician. The player stated early that he isn't a roleplayer, but he has really surprised me and made me proud that I accepted him into my campaign as his slightly unhinged Verpine is a hoot in games often serving as the comic relief and foil for the group while not being stupid.

 

The second player is the player who is playing the blind character. This character is his 'cookie cutter' character. I say that with the most respect for him as he is a good person and I know him very well (perhaps this is partly why I am so conflicted with going against him, I am by my nature a very easygoing and friendly person). This character is the same character he plays in every RPG campaign ever. Same name, same shtick; he's blind, and he's a defensive based character: A Guardian, Protector with a buy into the Pilot tree. The latter being something I have given all characters as a freebie to represent basic pilot training.

 

It's also worth noting, that these two players, do not know Star Wars very well, something they share with the Astromech player (who I will get into later as an aside). Their lack of knowledge is not really an issue since I am extremely knowledgeable in my local area when it comes to Star Wars. Any lore question? 'Ask Ebak' tends to be the answer. This I think is important to point out since the guardian player regularly grumbles about conflict and the force, stating they are not sold on the 'Jedi' side of things and merely wanted to play a highly defensive character. Not sure if that's my fault with me not adequately explaining the force and mechanics of it. However, I do remember having a sit down and telling him about it one on one when he was making his character for the original 'vong campaign. This also leads to me being conflicted, since most of the issues come from his character because he has a lot going on: The blindness, the conflict, force user. It might make me feel I am against him when it's really the rules that I have to adhere to.

 

I want to work with him, but I don't know if he is a good fit, and I also don't know if I am brave enough to potentially damage my friendship with him and tell him straight that he's not suited for this game, thank you for coming but let's call it a day. It also puts in danger the Verpine players' attendance since they are housemates, although I know the Verpine player seems to understand my awkward situation. I've always had a problem with being straight with players, I have never outright thrown someone out of my games and always do what I can to work with them. I am not a dictator after all, a GM has to be willing to listen to his players.

 

I gave opportunities for the player to respec, I am still giving chances for respec for players. Plus he has ways to deal with his blind condition in game, yet has refused to do so, which is his right...but you do that in full knowledge that there will be consequences.

Edited by Ebak

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Hey, Everyone.

 

Fascinating topic to read.

 

Unfortunately, I've had way too much experience with issues like this, but I don't know how helpful I can be.  Indeed we have a player who routinely shows up to every campaign with a very inappropriate character, played inappropriately. 

 

He's single-handedly killed three campaigns so far . . .

 

And we're still trying to figure out how to fix this issue (before he destroys our SW RPG game).

 

 

I have two contradictory thoughts for this current situation.

 

1) If a player shows up with a character that is not appropriate for the campaign, inform the said player that the character concept isn't appropriate and recommend that they find a more suitable character concept.  The problem with bending that far over for an inappropriate incomparable character is that if the player's character is breaking your suspenders of disbelief, then he's likely breaking other player's suspenders of disbelief.  However, you have a "One Trick Pony" player . . . (So this ain't* a solution).

 

2) Could we handle this situation as a character delusion?  Yes there are some delusions so very strong that an individual believes the unbelievable.  It doesn't help the player per se, but it may help you retain sanity points.  For reference, there is a fascinating Hallmark channel movie call "What the Deaf Man Heard."  Invert this plot for the PC so that he thinks and acts blind, but everyone can plainly see that he's a bit off upstairs.

 

This solution has pitfalls too.  Sooner or later the PC's delusion is going to collide with the universe.  The player will react poorly.

 

 

Wow, I've tried a lot of solutions that don't work.  And I won't bore you with the details.  But solution One is my personal go to for this situation.  Good luck!

 

 

* "Ain't ain't no proper word in English!  It's a contraction!"

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Exactly. If, we imagine for a second, the player goes "Yeah, you're right - being blind is stupid" and changes his concept all around, and you think there's a poor fit for the group - it sounds like there's something running deeper than just one easily handwaved fluff facet of the character.

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With regard to blindness, there are mechanical penalties. Impose them, consistently. As for the 'droid PC "spotting" for the blind PC...

The 'droid will need to act before the blind PC, taking an Assist Maneuver, then the blind PC can build his Ability pool accordingly. The 'droid PC better look into purchasing a lot of ranks in Grit.

However, this assist "work around" got me thinking...

The blind PC is essentially mandating his Ability be based on the skill/characteristic values of the other PCs, all of them, thus he won't necessarily need to spend XP increasing his own skill ranks, thus he can spend it leisurely on maxing Force Powers and other things important only to that player. Think about this possibility: The 'droid player thinks "I'm going to increase skill X and...oh, wait, I gotta spot for Mr. Magoo, so I guess I'll be spending that XP to benefit him, instead." If that happens even once, even if you're not aware of it, you'll have resentful players, and THAT will become an issue that quickly snowballs.

Edited by Alekzanter

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The FFG SWRPG is a cooperative, narrative game. The goal, inasmuch as one exists, is to have fun, and that means the GM, too. I'm not so naive as to believe that consensus is always required to accomplish this, but if the GM is saying "I don't want to deal with this; it's too much and doesn't fit with the narrative I have in mind," then I think the player(s) should respect his/her wishes.

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One thing that crosses my mind: if the player wants zero mechanical drawback for blindness, will he still take the penalties others take for things like flashbangs and poor lighting?  If not, then he is trying to blag a cheat in, it might sound harsh but I would consider him a cheater in this case because he is trying to break the system for his benefit while not really bringing anything in.  If he is using the Force to see, then does that mean he can't see Droids?  Because, as the rules work for Droids and the Force, he won't be able to see them.  Is it just super training with his other senses?  In which case he should take the penalties for blindness and then apply the modifiers for whatever it is he is using to compensate, and accept that in many cases he just can't do it (like driving for instance, I don't care how good your hearing is there is no way you would know if someone was walking out into the middle of the road).  

 

Since it is him who really wants this then he should do the work of working out how this would work and be approaching you with how this all would work, including applying penalties to himself.  So far all it sounds like he has presented is how he would blag avoiding the penalties of being blind.

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I wasn't trying to be any sort of authority. In truth, I just wouldn't play with a sighted person who aimed to play a blind character. It's uncomfortable, at best, but probably worse. I was just trying to be objective by leaving my feelings out of it and just offering suggestions for the game where this person might play. So, while I appreciate the rationale, I agree that I am no more qualified than anyone else.

So, back to objective suggestions:

The spotter/shooter combo is potentially available to any two characters but, in this case, the exploit is clear. This isn't how it is intended. Obviously, both characters have to have some real (as in NOT luck based) chance to perform the task on their own. A well trained shooter isn't going to combine with their pet cat's comparably phenomenal agility to make a super spotter/shooter team.

If your expectations are that far apart, a GM has to put "Yes, and..." GM'ing on hold. It's an ideal goal to aim for but, until your expectations are closer together, "No, but..." is perfectly acceptable.

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I'd say go ahead, let him be a blind pilot. If he is force sensitive use appropriate force power with whatever limitations it comes with. If he's just blind, then take his ranks in pilot and pit it against the difficulty of being blinded, the construction condition. If he can afford it, their is a cybernetic interface, but it's not perfect, it doesn't totally compensate for being blind. So it would only slightly offset the penalty for being blinded. So here's gonna be a very horrible pilot. When he kills the group or crashes the ship, the group will tell him to knock it off.

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I'd also say he has no way of learning more ranks it piloting being blind so he stays with what he has unless he's force sensitive, and then he can only get more ranks if his force sight becomes as good or better then regular sight.

Edited by TheShard

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