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Ilderfant

Defense house rule? Opinions?

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So, from what I know, the rules for Defense still hasn't been re-evaluated by the developers (like mentioned in the FAQ thread). I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that the rules for Defense, as they stand now (only the best source of Defense counts) just doesn't make much sense. 

So I've been thinking about an alternative way of handling Defense in my campaign. This is very much a house rule, that will have an effect on how combat plays out, but let me know what you think. Have I missed some important balancing element in the rules if make this change? 

So, the house rule is simple. Instead of having Defense as Setback dice, each point of Defense works by increasing the Crit rating for the attack (just like Massive for vehicles). This works for vehicles too, and stacks with Massive, meaning that huge capital ships will be even more difficult to inflict Crits on (which makes sense in my opinion). Also, when using this house rule, Defensive and Deflective qualities stacks with static Defense like that from armor and cover.

Using this house rule will keep the die pools smaller, and gives Defense a specific protective function, much like Soak.   

-E. 

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Terrible, awful idea. Redefining defense as making it harder to get a crit will have the effect of making it easier to be hit by an enemy, and thus taking damage. Setback dice have a direct, and consequential, effect on an enemy's odds of scoring a hit. If you don't get hit then you can't take damage, no matter what the crit rating of the weapons used.

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How much space combat have you actually done? Using this rule means that an ISD, will never, never, never... never, never, ever go away. It would increase all crits by 5-6 on each side, unless you have extremely experienced gunners, no one is going to hit and get 7-8 advantage (proton torpedo crit), unless that is their character's only goal in life. It would make ships above sil. 3 almost impossible to destroy, I would advise against using it.

Edited by Imperial Stormtrooper

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ShadowWarrior: Well, I should have mentioned that the intention with this house rule is to change the function Defense has in the game. From making it harder to hit, to making it harder to score a crit. I'm aware of this. 

Imperial Stormtrooper: As for space combat, I think Star Destroyers should be extremely hard to score a hit on. Taking down a Star Destroyer, in my opinion, should be more about attrition. An attack on an Imperial Star Destroyer with a Turbolaser would need 8 Advantages to score a Crit, 7 if the attack is in the rear arc. Let's use a classic example: four Minion Starfighter Pilots makes an attack run (Stay on Target) in Y-Wings, while the gunners in the ships Aim the round before firing. That would be 4 Yellow, 1 Green and 2 Blue vs a single Purple. Did a test just now. Crit on the first try, while also doing 9 damage past the armor. :)

E.    

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23 minutes ago, Ilderfant said:

Imperial Stormtrooper: As for space combat, I think Star Destroyers should be extremely hard to score a hit on. Taking down a Star Destroyer, in my opinion, should be more about attrition. An attack on an Imperial Star Destroyer with a Turbolaser would need 8 Advantages to score a Crit, 7 if the attack is in the rear arc. Let's use a classic example: four Minion Starfighter Pilots makes an attack run (Stay on Target) in Y-Wings, while the gunners in the ships Aim the round before firing. That would be 4 Yellow, 1 Green and 2 Blue vs a single Purple. Did a test just now. Crit on the first try, while also doing 9 damage past the armor. :)

E.    

Sorry, but it would not be 4 Yellow and a Green, four minions would have Gunnery 3 (4-1), Leading to a pool of 3 Yellow plus a Green only if you used stay on target (so you better be in range already). Minions cannot suffer strain to take two maneuvers, so at most you would get 1 Blue if the GM said the gunner could add one (which makes sense). So the most advantage you could get from that is 9 with 1 hit from the boost die, that is with no difficulty, add that in and it looks less likely since you would still need to roll that 8 or 9 advantage. What your idea would do, and it would make sense, is that having ranks in Gunnery better, since you would have a chance at Triumphs which can crit anyways.

 

The whole thing would depend on who was shooting, the gunner can aim once, and possibly get a boost from the pilot somehow plus stay on target, or the pilot can stay on target and get a boost from the gunner.

 

EDIT: Plus you can only do that every other round and a maximum of 6 times per minion group.

Edited by Imperial Stormtrooper

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But Y-Wings have gunners and pilots, right? So the gunners Aim two maneuvers on the round before the attack while the pilots do Stay on Target, which upgrades every attack from that ship. Thats how it works, right? 

Torpedoes are Crit 3, Rear Defense for the Destroyer is 2 and it has Massive 2. Thats 7 Advantages needed. 

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The defender picks the defense zone, not the attacker, unless you have Gained The Advantage beforehand. And a Y-wing's gunner controls the turret-mounted ion cannon. Not sure that s/he has control of the forward-mounted torpedo launchers.

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From my understanding the pilots control the proton torpedoes, at least that's what I've seen on Clone Wars and Rebels, while the gunner controls the turret weapon. The Torpedoes crit is 2, so if you could get to the rear it would be 6, but in my experience minions are not going to reach 4 every time, as these examples (the first two I rolled) show;

: 3eP+1eA+1eB+1eD 3 successes, 3 advantage, 1 Triumph
p-tr.pngp-a-a.pngp--.pnga-s.pngb-s-a.pngd--.png

 

: 3eP+1eA+1eB+1eD 3 successes, 2 advantage
p-a.pngp-s.pngp-a.pnga-s-s.pngb-s-a.pngd-f-th.png

Edited by Imperial Stormtrooper

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2 minutes ago, ShadoWarrior said:

The defender picks the defense zone, not the attacker, unless you have Gained The Advantage beforehand. And a Y-wing's gunner controls the turret-mounted ion cannon. Not sure that s/he has control of the forward-mounted torpedo launchers.

I though the attacker picked which zone to attack if the target is a capital ship. But I might be remember it wrong... 

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3 minutes ago, Ilderfant said:

I though the attacker picked which zone to attack if the target is a capital ship. But I might be remember it wrong... 

For targets larger than Sil-4, it's based on the position of the attacker relative to the defender. If you want to hit the ISD's rear, you have to attack from the rear.

Edited by ShadoWarrior

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4 minutes ago, ShadoWarrior said:

For targets larger than Sil-4, it's based on the position of the attacker relative to the defender. If you want to hit the ISD's rear, you have to attack from the rear.

I'm sure the Y-Wings could handle flying around to attack the rear zone. 

Anyway, we will test how this works next session. My group is quite frustrated with how Defense is supposed to work "officially"... 

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So your group, which is already unhappy with defense, prefers to make it easier for themselves to be hit? Or is their problem that their skills suck so they want to make it easier for themselves? Changing the game's rules to accommodate players who don't understand how the game is intended to work is not a good solution. If they dislike space combat then they should avoid it. And the GM shouldn't force it on them if their characters are poorly suited to it. Or the GM should provide allied NPCs that have sufficient skill.

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I just don't think a 'fix' that nerfs another part of the system (crits) is much of a 'fix'.

I doubt we'll see anything too dramatic in this 'review' by the devs since there is so much tied up in the careers/specs/system with Setback dice.

I think something more like allowing Defense to stack from individual sources similar to how Soak works will be the sort of thing that can be expected.

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Ok, clearly the Defense as increased Crit rating is seen as a good choice. :P

I think the frustration in my group is the same as with many other. Let's take an example with a guy wearing Armored Clothing, with a Vibrosword in each hand. In my honest opinion, I think his Melee Defense should be 3 and Ranged Defense 1. He wouldn't be much use in a gunfight, however, but he could take cover, which should bump his Ranged Defense up to 2 for regular cover, or 3 for heavy cover. 

But the rules, as I understand them from the FAQ, says that this character would never have a Defense of more than 1 (2 if he's in heavy cover). That just doesn't make sense.

But looking away from Defense as higher Crit rating (which, after some tought, and reading your constructive arguments, I agree is less than optimal), what would be the best option?

One criticism on allowing Defense to stack is that it can lead to too many Setback dice in the pool. Would a "max 3 Setback dice in a pool" be a good idea? Or maybe "max 3 Defense"?

 

E.   

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I've always stacked them when they are from different sources (using the best of each source)

I've always played it as:

Defense grants extra purple dice in all situations

Defensive grants black dice in melee (picking your best value, which will add to your defense)

Reflective grants black dice in range (picking your best value, which will add to your defense)

Cover grants black dice against all attacks where its reasonable (which can stack with Defense and Defensive/Reflective as appropriate)

Otherwise building a character around a defense based combat is next to useless unless you just become a soak monster which negates everything short of ship based weapons and makes little sense (to me at least)

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Quote

When a character can choose between two static defense values, (for example, if he is in cover and is wearing armor that has a defense value), he chooses the better of the two values. Then any armor, talents, and item qualities he has that “increase” his defense value are added to the static value he chose. (Cover has been clarified in the errata to reflect this.)

This is the ruling from the official FAQ. With this, defense would be "Superior Reflexes/Sixth Sense + armor or cover + one weapon with defensive/deflection." So your example of a character with armored clothing and two vibroswords would have a defense of 2 (another question asked if two weapons provide defense bonuses, and the answer is no).

Quote

3 Brawn
Sentinel: Shien Expert
1 Rank Defensive Training
Wearing Armored Robes
Wielding a Riot Shield (Left Hand) and a
Shoto Lightsaber with a fully Modified
Lorridian Gemstone and a
fully Modified Curved Hilt ? And why? How would the various defenses stack?"

Answered by Sam Stewart:
Ranged Defense 2
Melee Defense 3
 
The modified lightsaber would be the source of the defense, because it has the highest ranged and melee defenses. The shoto lightsaber has no innate defense, but the Llordian Gemstone comes with Defensive 1. Its mods allow you to increase the weapon’s defense. Same goes for the curved hilt, its mods also allow you to increase the weapon’s defense.
 
All of the other defensive sources are from different items, and do not stack

This is the developer question that caused all the confusion. It's more recent then the FAQ (it feels like the discovery of the Rosetta stone is more recent than the FAQ), but contradicts not just the FAQ, but other questions people have asked, and the language of how cover works (gained vs increases).

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I stopped having a problem with how Defenses stacked when I realized it was to cap setback dice and keep the dice pool a manageable size.

My suggestion: Put a hard cap on how many setback dice can be applied to a combat check due to personal scale defense (or total; Your call) and be done with it.

Edited by kaosoe

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The way I've been running Defense in my game is to just simply cite that ranks of Defensive don't stack with ranks of Defensive, and ranks of Deflection don't stack with ranks of Deflection.

I generally allow the static defense bonus from armor to stack with Defensive, Deflection, and cover, so a PC at my table with armored clothing and a vibrosword that's behind standard cover would have a melee and ranged defense of 2 each.

The only serious problem with the defense mechanics is when you allow multiple instances of Defensive to stack with itself, such as having a ryyk blade in one hand and a shield in the other.  Just set it to only allowing the highest Defensive value to be applied (same holds true with Deflection) and the amount of setback dice gets dropped quite a bit.

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