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HistoryGuy

Giving Conflict

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I just ran my first F&D game. Very excited. However, one of my PCs just picked up a disruptor pistol. Now, knowing the distructive potential of these weapons should he: 

A. Get a conflict at the beginning of each session for having it.

B. Get conflict when he uses it.

C. Its not a big deal.

I was thinking A and B but i just want to know how other GMs used it.

Edited by HistoryGuy

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C.... ish. There's some B in there.

Remember that Conflict isn't about "evil" so much as evil that causes you to feel... well... conflicted.

Just having, or using, a disruptor pistol can cause you problems, but not necessarily generate Conflict.

Now... that said, Disruptors are known for being nasty painful ways to kill people. That's the reason they are outlawed. They kill, but they also hurt like ---- when you get hit by one. There's literally dozens less painful ways to kill.

So using one against droids or something isn't that big a deal. But using one on a person or other living being means going in knowing even if you don't kill em, they are going to be in a lot of unnecessary pain, and probably hurt in away that does permanent damage (not to mention give you a bit of a reputation as a rather vicious individual). However, if you find yourself in situation where that weapon is probably the only way out... it's war, you can't always be nice to people.

 

So... looking at pg 324, cruelty to an animal is 6-7 Conflict, and torture is 10... so using a disruptor on a person or other sapient creature without a bloody good reason better than "it's a powerful weapon I can use to win this combat" is probably somewhere around 8 Conflict.

I wouldn't slam him with 8 per-use unless he got silly with it, but 8 per encounter used is probably sufficient.

Don't forget to be extra descriptive when he uses it to drive home what a horrible monster he is.

"The beam lances out hitting the thug's chest. He's there long enough to look you in the eye, the realization of death clear on his face. He start to scream, but is cut short as the molecular disruption cascade quickly expands to consume his entire body. In an instant he's gone, his scream echoing for a moment as the smell of burning hair and flesh fills the air and the ashes are caught in the breeze and blown away like any other dust. All that remains of your target is a pair of scorched boot prints. Everyone pauses for a second, the event taking time to process. Then the rest of the thugs turn and run, one making a comment that he's "not being paid enough to for this." You've won... though you can still hear that scream echoing in your head, and that look he gave you will haunt you for a long time..."

Edited by Ghostofman

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Yeah, pretty much C with just a pinch of B if he gets in the habit of indiscriminate slaughter. Used in self-defense against some Imperials? Should be fine. Used to gun down a fleeing petty thug? Yeah, that's overkill, worth some conflict. Not that gunning down a petty thug wouldn't be questionable anyway -- this is just a more insidious, cruel weapon. A Jedi lightsaber can be used as a tool and in defense, but a disruptor is just a killing machine. Very un-Jedi.

The real penalty for having a disruptor, though, is the fact that it's so insanely illegal. With such telltale wounds, leaving behind a string of victims with it will bring the Empire to your doorstep. Disruptors are serious business. 

Edited by Qui-Gon Jinn

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C, with a slice of D now and again. What is D? It's narrative consequences, shooting someone in a way you didn't intend or shooting someone you didn't intend to.

Probably the best option to this is to use the despair results generated from a combat check to write hole how nasty this is. I'm thinking saving privert Ryan kinda stuff, shot through the stomach, is screaming butbut before the telling blow is delivered covering fire forces you to seek cover, fumbling with a rapidly disintegrating picture of family and just describe it as an all round unpleasant final moments before the radiation finally claims his lungs. There? I would definately hand them a bucket load of conflict for making someone die an undignified way that would have strong narrative consequences for a force  sensitive who would have no choice but to withstand the dying scream of the force.

Key thing is, conflict isn't an arbitrary value that you just hand out, many thousands of clone troopers died during the war without anyone falling but it is more about the emotions held towards those consequences that is more interesting. A true fall to the darkside is becoming entirely apathetic or revelling in suffering caused; a true case of spiritual depravity. 

Edited by LordBritish

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15 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

Definitely C.

Lightsabers are WAY deadlier and you don't get conflict for wearing one of those.

In fact, as a Force Sensitive, you're encouraged to use one.

Technically no. Disruptors are more deadly. A saber is easy to get someone beyond their wound threshold, but a disruptor with it's vicious rating and long description is more likely to generate a "dead" result on the crit table, or just plain hurt someone.

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13 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

Once you get into FnD several sabers have a couple of levels of vicious too.

Major difference being that disruptors have a minimum crit result, in that anything below the Maimed level gets automatically bumped up to a Maimed result when you trigger a crit with a disruptor.

That alone makes a disruptor a far more vicious weapon than most lightsabers, as none of the lightsabers have a rule that says "any crit result below a certain result gets bumped up to that result."

And since disruptors are Crit 2 weapons by default, it doesn't take much to inflict a seriously nasty injury to the person you're shooting, where a lightsaber may score more raw damage, but there's a better-than-even chance that the first crit result isn't going to literally cripple your target.

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The standard lightsabre from EotE is Crit 1, Vicious 2, by the way; I consider it general issue for a Jedi Knight.

As far as I recall, a hit by one has, nigh always, resulted in a severed limb, or worse.

 

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2 hours ago, Grimmerling said:

The standard lightsabre from EotE is Crit 1, Vicious 2, by the way; I consider it general issue for a Jedi Knight.

As far as I recall, a hit by one has, nigh always, resulted in a severed limb, or worse.

 

Firstly, that's not always the case in the RPG.  I'd wager that most "true hits" (i.e. an attack that inflicted a critical injury to the target rather than just dealing Wounds) made with a lightsaber have a tendency to inflict results that are far less permanent than a severed limb, even if the 'saber has been modified to have one or more ranks of Vicious.

With regards to visual media, we do see Luke land a pretty solid hit on Vader's should in their fight on ESB, with Vader crying out in pain yet the limb is still attached, so that alone shoots down the "lightsaber hits always maim" statement.  Obi-Wan Kenobi got taken out of the fight by Dooku in AotC with a pair of debilitating cuts that didn't remove limbs but still left Kenobi unable to fight.  You've also got Ezra in the Season One finale of Rebels who took a hit from the Inquisitor's hurled lightsaber, and came out of it with a minor set of check scars as opposed to missing an ear or his head, as well as Kanan who took a 'saber to the eyes in the Season 2 finale and yet was still very much able to fight.  Then there's The Force Awakens, where we see Finn take a nasty slice up the back but still have all his extremities attached, followed by Rey then doing a pretty solid job of disabling Kylo Ren in addition to giving him a significant facial scar, but no part of Kylo's extremities get removed.  So I'd say that's plenty of instances where getting "hit" with a lightsaber didn't result in a loss of a limb without even looking at other media.

Usually in the films, when a limb gets removed in a lightsaber fight, that ends the battle due to said limb usually holding the opponent's lightsaber, thus depriving them of the means to continue fighting, and also a fact of most of the combatant involved are highly skilled duelists as well as being subject to the needs of the narrative being told.  So it's easy for Obi-Wan to simply remove somebody's limb with a single strike, because he's not a PC whose actions are bound by the vagaries of chance that the various dice rolls represent.

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41 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

in FnD some of the light sabers have the vicious quality too and if you're playing in the intended timeline, the Jedi are criminals and outlaws too.  <_<

No matter which of the three RPGs you play, almost by default the PCs are going to be "criminals and outlaws" as far as the Empire's concerned.

in EotE, it's because the PCs are doing shady things just to stay afloat, being very much a "Firefly in Star Wars" type of game.  The PCs may have lines they won't cross, but they're still operating outside of Imperial law as a matter of course.  It simply boils down to how ruthless the PCs can stomach being in order to survive on the metaphorical fringes of civilization.

in AoR, it's because the PCs are part of a seditious military organization that's acting in direct defiance of the current legal galactic government, with your typical PC group likely racking up multiple of charges of treasonous activity by the end of the first adventure.  Heck, if the PCs start out with a Lambda-class shuttle as their group resource, they're already in violation of several Imperial regulations.

in FaD, even if in the unlikely event none of the PCs so much as glance at a kyber crystal much less pick up a lightsaber, that they are Force-sensitive and practicing those abilities as entities separate from and without Imperial approval makes them criminals and fugitives by default.  As far as the Emperor is concerned, if you're not working directly for him like the Inquisitors do, then you're a potential threat to his power, even if the PCs never so much as show an iota of interest in the Jedi Order.  Although if the PCs go looking for lore on the Force, odds are they're going to stumble across things pertaining to the Jedi Order, simply because the Jedi were the most prolific and generally successful group of Force users; it'd be akin to researching the roots of Christianity while completely avoiding anything and everything to do with the Twelve Apostles.

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For me it's about the narrative.  Whether it's a lightsaber or a disruptor you are just as dead.  But one is quick and clean while the other is horribly painful.  It's like the difference between shooting someone in the head or dropping them feet first into a wood chipper.  They're dead either way, but the person going into the wood chipper suffers horribly before they die.  The narrative behind a disruptor is that the target get's torn apart at the molecular level which causes immense pain and suffering.

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Before you consider whether to give out Conflict or not, I think you should discuss with your players why they want disruptor weaponry. Not only will that help inform your response, but it should help your players understand their own characters better as well. The question isn't so much as whether a tool or weapon is inherently Conflict-worthy, but rather how and why that tool is used.

However, as many of the comments above me have said, there's a noticeable difference between blasters and disruptors. While a blaster is meant to simply disable or kill an opponent, disruptors do that incredibly painfully. If there are no other options and one is in a tight spot, then it is what it is. But if a PC is standing in an arms shop and has the choice between blaster or disruptor weaponry, asking them why they specifically want to cause an immense amount of horrific pain over and above what is considered "normal" would be revealing, especially as it relates to their Morality.

For example, if a PC's Morality is Justice/Cruelty, then it seems to me every deliberate usage of a disruptor over any other less-horrible weapon plays into that. I can also see this playing into Compassion/Hatred. If the PC doesn't just want to catch the bad guy, but make them pay, then their usage of a disruptor is telling, and should absolutely generate Conflict.

Please note: I'm not saying that using or choosing disruptor weaponry automatically makes one cruel and torturous. But I do think that these are exceptional weapons, and deserve a little extra consideration. When a PC makes the choice to use one, I think that you as the GM should make it clear how horrible the results are. It's the difference between squashing a bug and pulling its legs off one by one. Sometimes that's the only way to kill it. Sometimes ... you really didn't need to do that.

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