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GandofGand

Dealing with Gear Creep

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58 minutes ago, whafrog said:

To second the pirate's point, you are not obligated to make every item in the equipment list available, or even findable.  But I get around a lot of that because I don't really ever give my players time to "go shopping" (nor do they really have the money).  It's a story, not a treasure hunt, and I pretty much said that from Session Zero.  If they get equipment or mods, it's because it's found...because I put it there.  People coming from D&D and video games think they're in a never-ending arms race against ever nastier bosses.  But when you think about Star Wars, that's not really how the stories happen.  Basically, they're always running from Star Destroyers and Stormtroopers, and it doesn't get much worse.  The only character who goes through something like a standard boss arc is Luke, and in the end he decides not to fight and lets his dad fix everything.

I really hate the Star Wars/Amazon set up of just roll dice and purchase stuff based on skill rolls.  I would've rather they left the whole check on rarity out completely and the only roll would be over prices.  I've always required my guys to RP out locating contacts who can provide gear, and not just have some generic Bob's Guns and Liquor outlet on every friggin planet.

1 hour ago, whafrog said:

You're not alone here.  I've been GMing since the original D&D box set, and this game made me completely revise how I run games (for the better, I think).  Perhaps run a beginner game first, there's a lot of value in both the product and the sessions spent learning the system.

I remember chits in the D&D box set.....Warhammer was a RPG first....etc

Quote

c. The Early 1970s: Polyhedrals Meet RPGs
Meanwhile in an Educational Store Somewhere in the Midwest...

So the story goes that in the earliest days of TSR, one of the founders found these odd-shaped dice in a store specializing in teaching tools (many of the patents held on polyhedral dice are actually educational in nature), and D&D was adapted to use all these odd dice. This makes a ton of sense. Look at Chainmail. It generically refers to "die" and "dice." When it does reference more than one type of die, it's in color only. Now, take a look at the Men & Magic white box book. Where does it say you can get polyhedral dice? From your gaming shop? Noooooo! From TSR! (Ah, so it's a profit deal.)

FYI, never buy polyhedrals from game vendors, way overpriced.  Go to education supply sites, better dice, better prices.

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1 hour ago, 2P51 said:

 I've always required my guys to RP out locating contacts who can provide gear, and not just have some generic Bob's Guns and Liquor outlet on every friggin planet.

This is huge, and underscores how the simplest things according to some RPGs are instead a primary source for adventures. My table's last session -- breaking up a trade of (re-)stolen materiel so they could get into the good graces of an arms dealer -- was probably our most exciting night yet.

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Which attachments/modifications are you concerned with? I don't have the list memorized, but I don't remember any making anything too ridiculious (which wasn't already). Example: HBR autofire is still an issue without attachments/mods. 

Based on some of the responses to this thread, it seems more people are worried for you having PCs getting crazy weapons, not attachments/mods to those weapons. This is a seperate topic from what you asked about.

Also, in order for power creep from modifications to be an issue the group needs someone to reliably do those modifications. If the best a group can come up with is 3 greens then the 1st mod they do on each attachment only happens 48% of the time since mods start Hard and only get worse.  

IMO, run it as is and don't pull any punches or throw them bones when they go to modify. Once they fail they can't put that mod on that attachment (and you can deny their request to have a triumph mean they can try again). To most players, failing to apply a mod in their heads means they need to get another attachment and try again since they'll never have a "full" attachment. Remember to flip DPs when they mod and spend Despairs to ruin the whole attachment. Even if someone is YYYYYG, by the 3rd mod they'll be against PPPPRBB (assuming you flip and apply Setbacks) and still fail 35% of the time. As long as you make it clear upfront you won't pull any punches on modding then they should be fine with it since it's all RAW.

Lastly, I don't think any crafting characters are good at combat (except for jury rigged autofire gadgeteer, which doesn't even need Intellect/Mechanics to work). These characters' way of helping in combat is improving their allys' gear; if you nerf modding then you're indirectly nerfing how much these characters help the group. If you make mods bad, the PCs might decide it'd simply be better to have an extra combat character rather than a dedicated crafter.

Edited by Hinklemar

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Okay, what do you do when they go over the line?

In our last session, one of our newer characters was cornered by a couple of bounty hunters. (1 Nemesis & 3 mooks).  The mooks with the Heavy Blasters, couldn't touch this guy, but the Nemesis dropped two missiles on him with a missile launcher . . . and HE SURVIVED!

So, the other players and I are looking at our character sheets and wondering, how . . . ?!?

So I did an audit (informally) and yeah . . . this guy could have enough soak to blow off up to 9 points of damage (If he had the money to buy this stuff, which he doesn't appear to have had - separate issue) between Armor upgrades, Talents (Hired Gun Marauder) and Cybernetics upgrades.

Yeah.  He is practically immune to all small arms.

So now what?

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5 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

Yeah.  He is practically immune to all small arms.

So now what?

As you said, if he'd had the money....

That said, I had a marauder who was at 8 soak and I found the answer to be talents. If an enemy was going to be focusing on him then deadly accuracy usually was fine, but if the enemy was going to be targeting squishier PCs as well it was usually one of the "flip a DP for characteristic damage" ones. With these, you get enough of a bump in damage to overcome the high soak without gearing up the npc rival(s)/nemesis. 

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2 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

Okay, what do you do when they go over the line?

In our last session, one of our newer characters was cornered by a couple of bounty hunters. (1 Nemesis & 3 mooks).  The mooks with the Heavy Blasters, couldn't touch this guy, but the Nemesis dropped two missiles on him with a missile launcher . . . and HE SURVIVED!

So, the other players and I are looking at our character sheets and wondering, how . . . ?!?

So I did an audit (informally) and yeah . . . this guy could have enough soak to blow off up to 9 points of damage (If he had the money to buy this stuff, which he doesn't appear to have had - separate issue) between Armor upgrades, Talents (Hired Gun Marauder) and Cybernetics upgrades.

Yeah.  He is practically immune to all small arms.

So now what?

I'd like to know how he survived missile hits. Damage 20, crit 2, Breach 1.  I smell bull****.

Edited by 2P51

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2 hours ago, 2P51 said:

I'd like to know how he survived missile hits. Damage 20, crit 2, Breach 1.  I smell bull****.

This is what I was going to say. Your player in no way was able to take 2 missile hits. Even just with one, unless they had well over 20 wound threshold and were not previously damaged, they'd be incapacitated by that hit.

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For a marauder in cortis armour or using the signature ability which reduces damage. This is pretty doable.

Otherwise tanking first is going be easy enough, plenty of wounds from toughened and brawn. Second one though, not so much. 

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My equipment lists don't include ANY of the named weapons offered in the supplements, while offering named weapons as creations of base items with attachments (only). This needs an explanation.

For example, blaster rifles in my gear list only include Blaster Carbine, Blaster Rifle, and Heavy Blaster Rifle. Those named ones added in other supplements are not available, but created differently. For example, the A280 Blaster Rifle found in one of the supplements (iirc) can't be chosen by a player. But, I offer an A280 Blaster Rifle that comes with the Telescopic Optical Sight attachment already included that has it's price increased and HP's reduced since it comes stock with it already. I also offer the A295 which is again the basic Blaster Rifle, but comes with the Folding Stock and Telescopic Optical Sight attachments, again with price and HP's adjusted. This was the core reason for making all of those cards of Sturn's Locker a couple years ago (to keep track of how I interpreted named items using the attachment system only). Thus, you can't go buy a more powerful rifle in one of the new supplements AND add a bunch of attachments. Everything is still only Core plus Attachments.

The basic weapons in core haven't become obsolete after the supplements came out it brings the power creep down a slight bit.

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22 minutes ago, Sturn said:

My equipment lists don't include ANY of the named weapons offered in the supplements, while offering named weapons as creations of base items with attachments (only). This needs an explanation.

For example, blaster rifles in my gear list only include Blaster Carbine, Blaster Rifle, and Heavy Blaster Rifle. Those named ones added in other supplements are not available, but created differently. For example, the A280 Blaster Rifle found in one of the supplements (iirc) can't be chosen by a player. But, I offer an A280 Blaster Rifle that comes with the Telescopic Optical Sight attachment already included that has it's price increased and HP's reduced since it comes stock with it already. I also offer the A295 which is again the basic Blaster Rifle, but comes with the Folding Stock and Telescopic Optical Sight attachments, again with price and HP's adjusted. This was the core reason for making all of those cards of Sturn's Locker a couple years ago (to keep track of how I interpreted named items using the attachment system only). Thus, you can't go buy a more powerful rifle in one of the new supplements AND add a bunch of attachments. Everything is still only Core plus Attachments.

The basic weapons in core haven't become obsolete after the supplements came out it brings the power creep down a slight bit.

Out of curiosity, do you allow characters to build their own by using the stock model with attachments and mods?

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2 hours ago, Ahrimon said:

Out of curiosity, do you allow characters to build their own by using the stock model with attachments and mods?

Yes. So it's a slight tweak on power creep, but you can still build powerful stuff. I didn't want to take away completely one of the fun aspects of the game for Mechanics. My method just limits Uber Supplement Armor/Weapons + Attachments/Mods to Basic Armor/Weapons + Attachments/Mods, while still being able to pick up named items for the narrative coolness.

Edited by Sturn

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I've also reined in weapons and haven't out right banned the supps yet, but my guys aren't in a position to shop anyway at the moment in the campaign.  I likely will poo poo the supps though as it's just getting OP silly, and I am not a fan of page flipping at the table.

I'm also not a fan of crafting in general RAW for weapons so what I did is to allow the tinkerer or whomever the option of rolling on the crafting chart to improve on an existing base weapon.  For each 'thing' they add to the weapon it uses up a HP.  With a good roll you get to some items that are similar in power level to the stuff in the supps, but you're out of HPs and can't stack a bunch of attachments on top of the OP crafted weapon to make the death wand.

Edited by 2P51

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I'm in the total theory-crafting phase since my crafting character hasn't gotten the chance or money to actually make anything.  But I've been looking at my options and it really seems like the power creep comes from the mods and not from basic crafting.  Just crafting a blaster rifle it takes a ridiculous amount of advantages to create something that is more than just a small power boost.  To build the basic blaster rifle you need a hard check with two advantage for the stun setting.  And all that gets you is a stock weapon at half the price (which is admittedly a nice bargain).  I guess if they constantly reduce the difficulty down to 0 and then attempt to build their "super weapon" cool, but from what I can tell you'd need 3 or 4 triumphs or 12 advantage to really make something a super weapon.

Not that it's not possible; but having not actually seen it in play yet I keep wondering where the horror stories of crafting gone wrong come from.  From what I've seen the real problem lies in some of the attachments and mods.

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Yeah, I don't have access to any of the supplements and so I don't see a big issue if you use just the core rules for weapons and armor modifications.

I also did an extensive audit of the aforementioned combat and even though the GM was rolling garbage on the to hit rolls, unless the PC had gotten two additional toughened talents, he should be dead!  And I don't see how he could have . . .

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47 minutes ago, Ahrimon said:

I'm in the total theory-crafting phase since my crafting character hasn't gotten the chance or money to actually make anything.  But I've been looking at my options and it really seems like the power creep comes from the mods and not from basic crafting.  Just crafting a blaster rifle it takes a ridiculous amount of advantages to create something that is more than just a small power boost.  To build the basic blaster rifle you need a hard check with two advantage for the stun setting.  And all that gets you is a stock weapon at half the price (which is admittedly a nice bargain).  I guess if they constantly reduce the difficulty down to 0 and then attempt to build their "super weapon" cool, but from what I can tell you'd need 3 or 4 triumphs or 12 advantage to really make something a super weapon.

Not that it's not possible; but having not actually seen it in play yet I keep wondering where the horror stories of crafting gone wrong come from.  From what I've seen the real problem lies in some of the attachments and mods.

A not particularly overwhelming crafter with rank or two of Eye For Detail, a shop, tools, help, etc, is going to blow away a Hard check easily and have way more than a pair of Advantages.  That roll you pose is what someone in Session 1 could easily do, by session 10 a couple Triumphs and half a dozen Advantages is not crazy to expect seeing pretty routinely.  Then you're talking about a rifle with Autofire, a couple ranks of Accuracy, and 4 HPs.  That's a death wand.

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On 6/4/2017 at 3:13 PM, whafrog said:

Why would that curtail any shenanigans?  If you're labouring under the assumption that the Force is overpowered like previous games, rest assured it's not.  It's very well balanced, and does a very good job of replicating the slow and difficult path of a Force wielder.  It is somewhat true that a one-trick pony can be created with some of the powers, but this is more about getting the player to branch out rather than dive deep into a power.  IMHO the system does such a good job that Force users may in fact end up frustrated by the slow pace of advancement if their expectations have been set by previous games.

So allow the Force, but encourage the player to develop Enhance and/or Sense initially until they work their way to a second Force rating.

 

Here is why I don't like force users, and it's not because of OP issues. First, Force Users don't fit the theme or setting. This is a book about shady characters operating on the fringe of space, not a prophesied space wizard destined to save the galaxy. All the force users at this time are either dead, or in hiding, with Vadar and the Empire actively hunting them down. Secondly, every game I've played in that has allowed force users the GM has stated that it's not as simple as spending the XP and you suddenly have access to said powers, and I rightfully agree. Most GM's require some mentor to teach the aspiring force user, however as I mentioned in my first point, not many people are going to be advertising that they are a force user. This usually results in the GM having to shoehorn in a teacher or jedi/sith holocron for the party randomly showing up, and it feels really out place. Thirdly, if option two isn't used, the PC's quest to fully understand their blossoming abilities usually derails the campaign, as then the rest of the party has to tag and the focus now is on one character and fulfilling their character arc. As most non-force users believe them to be myths or legends, it doesn't seem very credible that the rest of the party would want to just go off on a wild goose chase because one player believes he can unlock some mystical powers.

I like the concept of a untaught, force-sensitive exile, on the fringe of space trying to stay low and out of trouble, but in play it just seems more of a headache. I think this largely stems from the players who take force exile wanting to play fully formed Jedi, not the reclusive, untaught, rudimentary force user it was meant to represent. 

 

Perhaps you have found ways around these issues, but I just find having a force user too distracting, and takes away from exploring the more exciting elements of EotE, like dealing with shadier elements of the galaxy.

Edited by ramza82

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So first off thanks for all the helpful tips...now I just need to find the rules for finding contacts to acquire assets, I also need to find the rules for Gambling and Racing  (Think the latter will likely just be an initiative) and how to handle Income and create expenses. 

We had our first sit down to talk about character concepts, backgrounds, ties to each other and what brought them to their starting locale (Tattooine.). I've set the story 50+ years after TFA and basically there is no Jedi order, no Sith and Force users are generally reviled and highly distrusted (So no Force users allowed), they are all stuck on Tattooine with no ship, though the plan is for them to rebuild a junker down the road (One they sort of have but it's been mostly gutted.). So they started to setup a business, specifically a Medical Clinic...and here's what is making looking forard to running this game; 

Characters; 

Exiled Mandalorian Doctor / Martial Artist; exiled for being a pacifist - starts up Clinic to get some income 

Faleen Charmer - semi in-hiding after embezzling an entire sectors of a large chunk funds; totally trustworthy 

Human Hunter-Type - Rescued and Raised by Tusken Raiders after Slavers took her family 

Jawa Racer/Rigger - Groups Mechanic 

If I can keep them busy with other things they won't have as much free time to work on modding & crafting...8) 

I've set up the beginnings of a Jobs Board so they can pro-actively look for employment opportunities. Now I just have to see if I can come up with a list for random people showing up with weird injuries that could potentially lead into more adventures...

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10 minutes ago, ramza82 said:

Perhaps you have found ways around these issues, but I just find having a force user too distracting, and takes away from exploring the more exciting elements of EotE, like dealing with shadier elements of the galaxy.

The way around it is to not be limited by previous media as to what it means to be a Force user, nor by FFG's boundaries on setting and what you can and can't do.  Your objections imply that you can only play in FFG's setting and that Force users have to follow something like the Luke arc.  But neither are true.  For the former, the rules are setting and timeline agnostic, you really can use them anywhere.  For the latter, there's no reason to need a mentor or a holocron or a vision-quest at all, especially if the GM says at the outset that he's not going to give any special weight to a Force user's story arc.  Then it becomes a utility like any other skill, and roughly on-par power wise.

21 minutes ago, GandofGand said:

So they started to setup a business, specifically a Medical Clinic... Now I just have to see if I can come up with a list for random people showing up with weird injuries that could potentially lead into more adventures...

That's a really cool idea!

 

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In this system there is no gear nor power that elevates the players into demigods and thus there is no real power creep issue. There is most certainly a power curve and fully modified and max out gear combined with 300+ xp gained gives you ... well, basically movie character like performance, but not much above that. 

Your ship can become better than that piece of garbage falcon, your fighter can be heavier modified than Vader's X1, but in the end your ship will not beat the 0.5 hyperspace rating of the falcon, nor will your single-seat fighter survive the hit from a modified YT-1300 quad-laser cannon any better than Vader's squad mates. ;-)

Actually the gear power curve helps with the force power curve and would make running with a Verpine Bounty Hunter in a otherwise force user group a perfectly valid choice and bringing even nasty surprise for Inquisitors when suddenly the guy who strikes them down is using 2 blasters, 1 thermal-detonator, micro-rockets and a flamethrower. Now Cybernetic zombies with all the resources of the empire, an environmentally sealed suit and an unmatched skill with the darkside is still OP, but it is kind of easy as GM to limit access to at least a few of those things. :)

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14 hours ago, GandofGand said:

Exiled Mandalorian Doctor / Martial Artist; exiled for being a pacifist - starts up Clinic to get some income 

I just saw this. You are a aware that the pacifist new mandalorians are a major group within mandalorian society?
They were the ruling faction of mandalore during most of the clone wars, controlling / representing about 2,000 neutral worlds of the mandalorian sector, overthrown by Maul and Death Watch during the late clone wars. 

Huge story potential here for a exiled Mando pacifist, even when the new mandalorians ain't in power anymore and the empire took over. :)

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As far as rules for racing, I like using the chase rules but set a round limit on it. So, swoop bike race through the city streets will last say 4 rounds. Then have each round move through a different section of the city. Round 1 - they take off on the highway, 2 sees them turn off on a curvy road introducing some environmental hazards, 3 is twisty alleyways, etc.

They're clunky at first, but the chase rules are fun. The Order 66 podcast did a really good episode on them as well.

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The majority of RPGs have sharp power curves that are heavily influenced by increasingly more expensive pieces of equipment that stack more and more bonuses. The majority of equipment in FFG SW is written up for use in specific situations, not as a hammer that fixes every problem. Yeah, some blasters and missile launchers hit hard. But once the PCs have those in their hands, there's nowhere else for them to go so they should fixate on game elements that don't revolve around bigger and better stuff.

I disagree with some of the sentiments expressed in this thread: I like how FFG SW handles equipment procurement as it's quickly resolved. There's little else that's more boring for a GM than to sit and twiddle your thumbs while players break open splat books and decide how to spend their ducats. My players, most of who are multi-decade Dungeons & Dragons veterans, have come to enjoy FFG SW more than the usual trad game because it quickly gets you past the gear acquisition stuff and into the actual interactive character and dice-rolling bits.

If my players want to stock up on missile launchers, I tell them to feel free. They know that combat is resolved in a couple of rounds of dice rolls and they also know that combat encounters only take up a small percentage of the game session. The majority of the game is spent on skill tests, investigation, and straight-up interacting with NPCs. I'm putting together notes for an improv Age of Rebellion campaign and I already anticipate the group spending more time trying to flip potential allies to the cause than exchanging blaster fire with minions.

Bottom line: if you don't want to deal with gear creep, don't make gear the primary mechanism by which success in your game is achieved. Give them opportunities to solve problems other than by shooting.

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2 hours ago, SEApocalypse said:

I just saw this. You are a aware that the pacifist new mandalorians are a major group within mandalorian society?
They were the ruling faction of mandalore during most of the clone wars, controlling / representing about 2,000 neutral worlds of the mandalorian sector, overthrown by Maul and Death Watch during the late clone wars. 

Huge story potential here for a exiled Mando pacifist, even when the new mandalorians ain't in power anymore and the empire took over. :)

I am aware of the Pacifist Clan, but he is apparently from one of the Warrior Clans (Not MY idea but I'll roll with it for now.) but we we haven't yet established who's in control of the Mandalorian systems currently. 

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