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Tyberius_Deangelo

A Jedi, a rebel, and a smuggler walk into a cantina......

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A few weeks ago I posted on this forum that I wanted to convert the Dawn of Defiance games over to the FFG template.  Since posting that  thread I have met with my friends and talked about the campaign setting.  I have three people who will be playing in the campaign and they chose  the following character types: a force sensitive character on the path to becoming a Jedi (or he hopes), a rebel ace pilot, and a smuggler bounty hunter.  I was really hoping they would pull characters from the same core book, but I also wanted them to have the freedom to play what they wanted and to have fun.

Now my next issue is how to start them off.  Dawn of Defiance has a good introduction scenario, but I think given the dice mechanics of FFG's system is so different from D&D, which my friends are more accustomed to, they need to start off with one of the beginner games.  But I have no clue which one would be best?  Do you recommend the EoE, AoR, or FaD beginner game and why?

Once again thank you so much for your help.  I have been very appreciative of everyone's helpful remarks in the past! 

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Or get the app for a phone or tablet. We don't use any physical dice at the table, just the app. Makes life a lot easier!

I'm in the process of converting Dawn of Defiance over at the moment, as well. If you have any questions, I'm happy to help!

Edited by Daronil

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17 minutes ago, Daronil said:

Or get the app for a phone or tablet. We don't use any physical dice at the table, just the app. Makes life a lot easier!

I'm in the process of converting Dawn of Defiance over at the moment, as well. If you have any questions, I'm happy to help!

I do have the app installed on my tablet that I will use when I GM.   I would love to hear your thoughts on Dawn as you progress.  I am about half way through the first scenario.

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2 hours ago, Tyberius_Deangelo said:

I do have the app installed on my tablet that I will use when I GM.   I would love to hear your thoughts on Dawn as you progress.  I am about half way through the first scenario.

Just a couple of observations off the top of my head:

One of the lovely things about FFG is that advancement / XP isn't tied to combat, whereas SAGA is very D&D-ish; "CR 4 nets you n XP" etc. DoD, therefore, is more combat-heavy than I would like. One of the things I tried to do for most of the encounters was drop in ways for the PCs to achieve a particular goal, rather than "Fight this guy". So, for example, in the opening scenario, DoD as it stands has a fight with a couple of stormtroopers and a couple of informants, from memory. The idea behind it is that they are trying to rescue Maya to get the information she has. Rather than "FIght!", I reset the encounter so that the goal was "Get Maya's information". How they get it is entirely up to them - they might initiate combat, or they might create a diversion by revving up the crowd, or use a droid to hack a nearby console to spew smoke so they hide Maya and hustle her off the Promenade, etc, etc. 

I did this in my conversion of "Planet of the Mists", and it worked extremely well - I would guess about half the combat encounters become other-than-combat encounters. Some are purely roleplaying, some become and environmental hazard, some become a problem-solving scenario, etc. Point is that because XP is now decoupled from combat, and instead attached to goals, you can really have some fun with the encounters. 

The other thing I'm doing is changing one of the major premises of the campaign.

I found the idea that Operation Sarlacc is about the construction of the Sovereign-class SD to be a bit anti-climactic. Instead, I'm dropping hints about the movement of materials regarding Operation Sarlacc being about kyber crystals. My players will assume it's to do with the Death Star construction, but it's actually going to be about the "precursor" to the DS - the Eclipse-class SD with a superlaser spinal mount, from the "Dark Empire" series. The idea is that the heroes will eventually disrupt the construction of the Eclipse, which was being used as a test-bed for the superlaser. This brings about the delays to the project for which Krennic hunts down Erso to fix - I just have to fiddle about to make sure I get the timeline right! :)

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18 hours ago, Tyberius_Deangelo said:

Now my next issue is how to start them off.  Dawn of Defiance has a good introduction scenario, but I think given the dice mechanics of FFG's system is so different from D&D, which my friends are more accustomed to, they need to start off with one of the beginner games.  But I have no clue which one would be best?  Do you recommend the EoE, AoR, or FaD beginner game and why?

It's not really about the dice.  That takes about 20 minutes to settle in, even for stodgy old-timers like my group, and the skill progression is pretty intuitive.  It's more about how to spend advantages and threat, the usefulness of boost and setback dice, and the value of talents that upgrade or downgrade pools, or remove setback.  If your mechanic isn't going "dang, I sure wish I could get rid of those setback you keep applying...wait, what's this 'Gearhead' thing?", then your group hasn't really grokked the system.

So I think the beginner game is a good idea, never mind that it comes with a set of dice, and you can download a PDF extension to each adventure which gives you anywhere from 2 to 5 extra sessions depending on how much you add yourself or how many wrinkles the PCs introduce.  It might be useful to just treat the beginner game as a one-off, that way when the players create their PCs they'll have a much better idea what choices to make.

Any of the beginner games (if you follow through with the PDF add-on) will probably give enough player experience.  Personally I think the F&D game is the worst of the three; EotE has a great start, and a moderate followup that is a bit linear; and AoR has an okay start and a great followup that is very modular.

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9 hours ago, Daronil said:

Just a couple of observations off the top of my head:

One of the lovely things about FFG is that advancement / XP isn't tied to combat, whereas SAGA is very D&D-ish; "CR 4 nets you n XP" etc. DoD, therefore, is more combat-heavy than I would like. One of the things I tried to do for most of the encounters was drop in ways for the PCs to achieve a particular goal, rather than "Fight this guy". So, for example, in the opening scenario, DoD as it stands has a fight with a couple of stormtroopers and a couple of informants, from memory. The idea behind it is that they are trying to rescue Maya to get the information she has. Rather than "FIght!", I reset the encounter so that the goal was "Get Maya's information". How they get it is entirely up to them - they might initiate combat, or they might create a diversion by revving up the crowd, or use a droid to hack a nearby console to spew smoke so they hide Maya and hustle her off the Promenade, etc, etc. 

I did this in my conversion of "Planet of the Mists", and it worked extremely well - I would guess about half the combat encounters become other-than-combat encounters. Some are purely roleplaying, some become and environmental hazard, some become a problem-solving scenario, etc. Point is that because XP is now decoupled from combat, and instead attached to goals, you can really have some fun with the encounters. 

The other thing I'm doing is changing one of the major premises of the campaign.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

I found the idea that Operation Sarlacc is about the construction of the Sovereign-class SD to be a bit anti-climactic. Instead, I'm dropping hints about the movement of materials regarding Operation Sarlacc being about kyber crystals. My players will assume it's to do with the Death Star construction, but it's actually going to be about the "precursor" to the DS - the Eclipse-class SD with a superlaser spinal mount, from the "Dark Empire" series. The idea is that the heroes will eventually disrupt the construction of the Eclipse, which was being used as a test-bed for the superlaser. This brings about the delays to the project for which Krennic hunts down Erso to fix - I just have to fiddle about to make sure I get the timeline right! :)

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

I have noticed that the Dawn adventures are very hack and slash in their narrative, and like you I need to change that up a bit to provide more roleplaying and giving the players other options to achieve goals.  I loved your idea for modifying Dawn; do you mind if I steal your concept?

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2 hours ago, whafrog said:

It's not really about the dice.  That takes about 20 minutes to settle in, even for stodgy old-timers like my group, and the skill progression is pretty intuitive.  It's more about how to spend advantages and threat, the usefulness of boost and setback dice, and the value of talents that upgrade or downgrade pools, or remove setback.  If your mechanic isn't going "dang, I sure wish I could get rid of those setback you keep applying...wait, what's this 'Gearhead' thing?", then your group hasn't really grokked the system.

So I think the beginner game is a good idea, never mind that it comes with a set of dice, and you can download a PDF extension to each adventure which gives you anywhere from 2 to 5 extra sessions depending on how much you add yourself or how many wrinkles the PCs introduce.  It might be useful to just treat the beginner game as a one-off, that way when the players create their PCs they'll have a much better idea what choices to make.

Any of the beginner games (if you follow through with the PDF add-on) will probably give enough player experience.  Personally I think the F&D game is the worst of the three; EotE has a great start, and a moderate followup that is a bit linear; and AoR has an okay start and a great followup that is very modular.

Thank you for the information in the beginner games.  That is exactly what I needed.

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7 hours ago, Tyberius_Deangelo said:

I have noticed that the Dawn adventures are very hack and slash in their narrative, and like you I need to change that up a bit to provide more roleplaying and giving the players other options to achieve goals.  I loved your idea for modifying Dawn; do you mind if I steal your concept?

Not in the slightest. :) 

It's the essence of GMing - most of my best games have come from listening to the players discussing their speculation on what's happening, and me thinking: "Hey, that's way better than my plot! I'm stealing it, and the players will congratulate themselves for being master sleuths!" :)

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The Dawn of Defiance adventures, especially the earlier ones, were written with the mindset that the PCs would most likely resort to violence to overcome encounters, because for a lot of gaming groups, the shortest path to success is over the broken bodies of your enemies.

That said, it's a simple matter to allow the players to try unconventional approaches to solving issues, especially since FFG's experience allocation method has more to do with achieving goals than defeating encounters.  I know Saga Edition and to an extent d20 systems in general tried to say that defeating an encounter didn't always mean literally defeating it in combat, but when most player classes are fairly heavy on combat abilities by default.

FFG's Star Wars doesn't have that, since it's entirely possible to build a PC that has zero combat prowess (no talents that directly affect combat as well as zero skill ranks in combat skills), the GM just needs to be sure to be accommodating to players that come up with non-combat solutions.

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