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Ilderfant

Defense house rule? Opinions?

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5 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

Probably shouldn't expect a change to a core rule mechanic before all of the baseline career books are out.

You mean for the entire product line, because they're all out for EotE. If we have to wait for all of them, we've a long wait ahead. Still. But if that's FFG's intention, it would be ... considerate if they'd just tell us that. Instead of being maddeningly vague.

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5 hours ago, ShadoWarrior said:

Don't hold your breath for it. FFG has said it's in the works for months (I think well over a year, it's been so long I've lost track).

Just out of curiosity, is there a problem with how defense works now? (I have played in over a year, just starting up again with my girlfriend) 

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There are a couple of problems with how Defense works. First, it seems a bit counter intuitive that defense from armor does not stack with defense from cover. Most armor have 1 or 2 in defense, and cover can also give 1 or 2 in defense. So a character with, say, Armored Clothes, would not gain any benefit from all but the heaviest cover, and those with defense 2 armor, would never benefit from cover at all. 

Second, and perhaps even more frustrating, qualities like Defensive and Deflective doesn't stack with armor and cover. In the rule book, it says it does, but later, the devs have said that it doesn't and stats in later books like adventure modules and such, reflect this. So a character with Armored Clothes (Defense 1) would not gain any benefit from using gear with Defensive/Deflective 1, and, as mentioned above, he would not gain any benefit from taking regular, Defense 1 cover.

It just doesn't make sense to me.

Of course, I could let them stack, but then I'd have to check every NPC in the adventure modules we play. And since we love using OggDude's Character Generation program, that would also be a bit difficult to use correctly, since that program calculates Defense "correctly" (as in never stacking).

Edit: I want to add that the reason that the thing with Defense bugs me so much might be because the rest of the rules are so good and playable, in my opinion. This makes the weakness in the Defense rules so much more noticable. 
I've seen many other rpgs that handle armor and other protections much worse. There are even some game that will make a character wearing armor easier to kill than one wearing nothing at all. :P

E.  

Edited by Ilderfant

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8 hours ago, Ilderfant said:

There are a couple of problems with how Defense works. First, it seems a bit counter intuitive that defense from armor does not stack with defense from cover. Most armor have 1 or 2 in defense, and cover can also give 1 or 2 in defense. So a character with, say, Armored Clothes, would not gain any benefit from all but the heaviest cover, and those with defense 2 armor, would never benefit from cover at all. 

Second, and perhaps even more frustrating, qualities like Defensive and Deflective doesn't stack with armor and cover. In the rule book, it says it does, but later, the devs have said that it doesn't and stats in later books like adventure modules and such, reflect this. So a character with Armored Clothes (Defense 1) would not gain any benefit from using gear with Defensive/Deflective 1, and, as mentioned above, he would not gain any benefit from taking regular, Defense 1 cover.

It just doesn't make sense to me.

Of course, I could let them stack, but then I'd have to check every NPC in the adventure modules we play. And since we love using OggDude's Character Generation program, that would also be a bit difficult to use correctly, since that program calculates Defense "correctly" (as in never stacking).

Edit: I want to add that the reason that the thing with Defense bugs me so much might be because the rest of the rules are so good and playable, in my opinion. This makes the weakness in the Defense rules so much more noticable. 
I've seen many other rpgs that handle armor and other protections much worse. There are even some game that will make a character wearing armor easier to kill than one wearing nothing at all. :P

E.  

Huh, I guess I must've glossed over that rule when playing so long go. I always let Defense stack with cover & armor.  Thank you for explaining it for me. I don't know if I'll move back to the "correct" way though unless it gets too broken with my girlfriend and I.

But I have another questions, if I can still bother you, what is Deflective? I mean I assume it is the ability to deflect ranged attacks (Blasters?) but I don't remember seeing Defensive or Deflective as a different quality, only ever seeing Defensive. I have Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion but I've only started to read Age of Rebellion all they way through.  So maybe I've missed it as well. 

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7 hours ago, Ilderfant said:

There are a couple of problems with how Defense works. First, it seems a bit counter intuitive that defense from armor does not stack with defense from cover. Most armor have 1 or 2 in defense, and cover can also give 1 or 2 in defense. So a character with, say, Armored Clothes, would not gain any benefit from all but the heaviest cover, and those with defense 2 armor, would never benefit from cover at all. 

Second, and perhaps even more frustrating, qualities like Defensive and Deflective doesn't stack with armor and cover. In the rule book, it says it does, but later, the devs have said that it doesn't and stats in later books like adventure modules and such, reflect this. So a character with Armored Clothes (Defense 1) would not gain any benefit from using gear with Defensive/Deflective 1, and, as mentioned above, he would not gain any benefit from taking regular, Defense 1 cover.

This point of contention I don't follow. If you're wearing armor, you're trusting it to stop anything that hits you. If you duck behind cover, you're instead relying on whatever large object you are now hiding behind to protect you. Why these would stack I don't know. Mixing armor and a shield or something makes a bit more sense.

The problem I see is more that hiding behind a concrete or metal barricade often does less to protect you than putting on certain kinds of armor or shields, at least by raw, where it should be the other way around.

On topic, one problem with this new ruling is it kind of misrepresents what defense usually is; by raisin critical hit rate, it's kind of like soak, as if it softens the blow. This is fine for rigid sources of defense, like cover or hard armor, but talents like Superior Reflexes and Moving Target raise defense and they imply that they raise defense because the target is hard to hit in the first place. In other games, there might be an accuracy modifier (which makes the target harder to hit), and defense modifiers (which soften a direct hit); defense in this game works like both rolled together.

Maybe a fix is to remove the "ranged defense" and "melee defense" ratings, and create an accuracy modifier (which functions like defense does now) and a rigid defense (say, which adds auto-failure, in which case it would need to be capped at 2-3 or something). Probably not a perfect solution, and you'd have to work backwards and determine what increases the accuracy modifier and what raises defense.

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Cover provides defense, making you harder to be hit. Most armor provides soak, which lessens the effect of being hit. Some armor provides defense in place of or in addition to soak, though I've never understood the rationale for why/how armor provides defense. In answer to your question on wearing armor and hiding behind a large rock, consider that the rock will make it more difficult for you to be hit (the rock isn't so much soaking up damage as it is hiding most of your body from incoming fire). But, during that astoundingly long combat round, it's assumed that at some point an enemy might get a brief glimpse of you as you expose portions of your body to shoot back. At which point you'll be glad to have been wearing armor, because that enemy's shot just missed the rock and hit you someplace tender.

To me, a more serious issue is that FFG doesn't provide a mechanism for shooting through weak cover (such as a tree or table or crate), or for cover to be destroyed, leaving such things entirely up to the GM to deal with either narratively or through house rules. D20 assigned the equivalent of WT and soak for different materials. I wish there was something similar in this system. Especially for demolitionist characters.

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1 minute ago, ShadoWarrior said:

Cover provides defense, making you harder to be hit. Most armor provides soak, which lessens the effect of being hit. Some armor provides defense in place of or in addition to soak, though I've never understood the rationale for why/how armor provides defense. In answer to your question on wearing armor and hiding behind a large rock, consider that the rock will make it more difficult for you to be hit (the rock isn't so much soaking up damage as it is hiding most of your body from incoming fire). But, during that astoundingly long combat round, it's assumed that at some point an enemy might get a brief glimpse of you as you expose portions of your body to shoot back. At which point you'll be glad to have been wearing armor, because that enemy's shot just missed the rock and hit you someplace tender.

To me, a more serious issue is that FFG doesn't provide a mechanism for shooting through weak cover (such as a tree or table or crate), or for cover to be destroyed, leaving such things entirely up to the GM to deal with either narratively or through house rules. D20 assigned the equivalent of WT and soak for different materials. I wish there was something similar in this system. Especially for demolitionist characters.

If you're talking to me, I'm not asking why the two may or may not stack, I'm asking why people think they should, which was rhetorical and meant to be thought provoking, not to be answered.

In general, I think they view defense as "an outside source that makes it harder to hit/harm the target." That source may be a solid barrier (like armor or cover), the properties of a weapon, or the reflexes of the target. I think that's the logic the most recent developer question was operating under: melee defense from armor relies on eating an attack and hoping it stops it in some way, while melee defense from a vibrosword involves using the weapon to fight of an attacker and preventing them from harming you in the first place, while melee defense from Moving Target is just avoiding the attack by dodging. Apply similar logic to ranged defense. Problem is, while this logic train may make sense, it directly contradicts everything they said before, and there was no explanation or build up for it. There was no FAQ that presented an overhaul of defense--one day they defined defense as being stackable, then the next they said the opposite.

Another problem is that, logically, cover is not just going to make it harder to hit a target, but it should also reduce the damage a great deal, i.e. soak it up. But cover (and shields) don't soak anything.

Basically, defense as it is starts to run on fridge logic.

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16 minutes ago, ShadoWarrior said:

though I've never understood the rationale for why/how armor provides defense.

 

I'm not positive, but I think the idea is supposed to be that certain types of armor are designed to deflect incoming blows rather than absorb them. 

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2 minutes ago, Vorzakk said:

 

I'm not positive, but I think the idea is supposed to be that certain types of armor are designed to deflect incoming blows rather than absorb them. 

You're probably right. I've always puzzled over why "armored clothes" provides soak 1 defense 1, yet padded provides soak 2. It makes sense that the thicker armor provides better absorption. But what aspect of the armored clothes deflects blaster bolts? And more importantly, why doesn't laminate have defense? (IMO, laminate should have been given 2 soak 1 defense, and heavy battle armor 3 soak and 1 defense).

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20 minutes ago, ShadoWarrior said:

To me, a more serious issue is that FFG doesn't provide a mechanism for shooting through weak cover (such as a tree or table or crate), or for cover to be destroyed, leaving such things entirely up to the GM to deal with either narratively or through house rules. D20 assigned the equivalent of WT and soak for different materials. I wish there was something similar in this system. Especially for demolitionist characters.

There is some precedent for it.  In Special Modifications there's the Sonic Scope that provides the following benefit.

Base Modifiers: The character may observe and target enemies who are completely hidden by solid objects that the weapon can penetrate At the GM's discretion. the target might receive additional defense or even soak to reflect shooting through a solid object.

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Imho i think the FFGs solution is kind of illogial and not very well thought through. If they were so worried about the dice-pool size, it would have been alot easier to just set a cap to the amount of setbacks you could get, instead of going countrary to what is actually written in the books. Also, the fact that you have to dig through forum posts to find this "info", instead of it being in an easy to find errata kind of bugs/annoys me. (atleast i havent found it anywhere else) 

 

Personally i think a "highest Defense" + "Highest "Defensive/Deflective" would probably work out well, you're then capped at 6 from items atleast i believe.

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It cant be purely about dice pools though because offense can have huge pools as well.  6 of a green/yellow pool with between 1-4 blue dice according to maneuvers and talents I believe (on top of auto successes/advantages from things).  

So i cant really see how being able to have enough to survive once the game gets to levels like that shouldn't be a thing they want.  The offence will always out class the defense in any system (even real life) but having a decent chance shouldn't be an impossibility.  As it is now once a character or NPC cross into the 5 agility range they will literally never miss outside of fluke rolls or extreme ranges on "as good as you can get" defensive builds

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20 hours ago, Blackbird888 said:

Maybe a fix is to remove the "ranged defense" and "melee defense" ratings, and create an accuracy modifier (which functions like defense does now) and a rigid defense (say, which adds auto-failure, in which case it would need to be capped at 2-3 or something). Probably not a perfect solution, and you'd have to work backwards and determine what increases the accuracy modifier and what raises defense.

Imma go down the rabbit hole on this, mostly to illustrate how clunky implementing this could be.

So throw out what I said about throwing out ranged/melee defense, because we actually need to retain that. So this accuracy modifier (from here on out called "acc-") works like defense does now, it's just the sources differ. Defensive and Deflection both increase acc- (melee or ranged). Other sources can increase acc-, we'll get to that. Maybe create a maneuver that raises acc- for a round (Flail like a Uncoordinated Child?).

Defense adds auto-Failure. Cover can provide varying amounts of defense, from 1 for hiding behind a flimsy cafeteria table, to 4 or 5 for a large rock or metal barricade. Armor would probably never exceed 2-3. Problem is, just failing a check is boring, so there would have to be a way to reduce defense in some way. Pierce/Breach could maybe apply to defense as it does soak.

So, let's talk about talents. Off the top of my head, Precise Aim, Moving Target, Sixth Sense, Superior Reflexes, and Forewarning all effect defense, and I'm probably forgetting some. Most can apply to acc- as they already do to defense, though Precise Aim is debatable (precisely aiming to hit between joints in armor, or precisely aiming to hit the wildly flailing idiot?).

If that headache is any indication, this is probably more effort than it's worth.

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It is an imperfect system... however, it's attempting to consolidate the vast complexities of real world (cinematic) physics into a single die roll, and a simplistic one at that, in order to keep the action moving.

I happen to believe that hiding behind a rock in full armor still makes you harder to damage than hiding behind a rock in your farmer's tunic. I grew up on GURPS, so I am quite familiar with a separate die roll for hitting, which includes taking into account things like cover and your armor's ability to deflect a blow rather than absorb it... a different roll for your ability to dodge or parry the incoming attack .... and then a completely different roll for damage, taking into account the type of weapon used and the armor's ability to absorb or mitigate damage. 

But nobody wants that for Star Wars, because that's awfully lengthy and admittedly slogs down combat. Star Wars should be fast. Pew Pew! Boom!  Move on. As a GM, I allow cover and armor to combine, but I just lessen the effect instead of allowing it to stack, depending on various circumstances. Defense 2 armor hiding behind Defense 2 cover might garner 3 setbacks... but Defense 1 armor hiding behind Defense 1 cover may still be 2 against a single opponent, or only 1 against a group of minions who are able to spread out.

It's imperfect, but it's fast and exciting.

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