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Bellyon

The Narrative Dice System of Genesys

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Right now we can't play the system, but a lot of members already know the Star Wars and the narrative dice system will remain the same. What I want with this topic is...

1) Discuss the potential of what we can do with Advantage, Triumph, Threat and Despair to create something really cool to improve the narrative. Ignore common things like critical, weapon powers, talents, etc.

2) Bring to us cool examples of what happened in your games to give some ideas and insights.

I believe that especially Triumph and Despair are what makes the dice roll so dramatic and game changing.

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Triumph and Despair should be allowed to break the rules.

At the tail end of one of my pilot SW games, the team was being chased by two speeders as they tried to dash back to their ship. Being on foot, they were going to get caught for sure. So,  the heavy weapons expert elected to stay behind to set up his repeating rifle so that the rest could get on-board and fire up the turbolasers.

On his very first attack roll, he rolled a Triumph. Before computing for damage against a vehicle, I asked him what he'd like to do for his Triumph.

He said he wanted to force the targeted speeder into a high-speed crash with the other, movie-style.

So it did.

Speeders collided, crashed and threw out their riders. The character stood up, smirked, packed up his weapon and turned around to walk nonchalantly back to the awaiting ship as its engines roared to life.

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It really depends on the era/genre in which you're playing, as well as the comparative wealth levels of the PCs and their gear. Order 66 have covered the use of adv/thr/tri/des in great detail, too.

On thing I like for the idea of games with melee or brawling as common place combat is - "Ah, bugger, I didn't succeed but I had X advantage. I crit with a Y, so that's not enough. I want to spend that advantage to shove them back a few steps, so they're out of engaged range".

Next move, they have to spend a manoeuvre to get back into engaged, limiting their options.

It doesn't have to just be swords and boards combat either . Martial arts films make use of this idea all the time, as do action films.

You can read this entire fight as James Bond spending most of his advantage situationally to mitigate Obanno's machete:

Things like -

* Using the advantage to keep Obanno at short range so he has to move back into engaged, where Bond can punch him, and spend subsequent advantage keeping distance

* Using a Triumph to be allowed to bunch his dinner jacket around his left arm for some soak

To me this scene shows the way in which you can use this dynamic and verstaile system to support narratively interesting and diverse sets of actions. You can do this with fight scenes, or even a good social combat scene.

I think the easiest thing you can do is find a film/tv scene, be it some sort of dialogue or action, and try and explain it in narrative dice terms.

 

Edited by Endersai

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My son used a Triumph this past weekend for narrative injection.  He's playing a Jedi doing a murder investigation, and was at a bank checking records.  He completes his task, steps out of the bank, only to have a speeder glide up, windows roll down, and blaster fire spraying out of it (...not random, consequence of an earlier Despair which alerted a nemesis to his meddling...).  The crowd in the street dives for cover.  He manages to fend off the worst of it with his lightsaber, but takes the "staggered" crit.  So he runs back into the bank, leaps up to the second floor walkway and tries Stealth.  Failure + Triumph.  The gang bursts in, and he decides the Triumph is this:  the bank was about to be robbed, with bank robbers all placed and ready around the first floor, and they think the gang is the cops because they see the Jedi leap.  So a firefight ensues between two opposing parties, with the Jedi trying to avoid both.  Unfortunately (or fortunately...!) we had to end the session there, on a cliffhanger.

Now granted, I think that's a bit much for one Triumph, but it was too fun not to allow...and I have ways to balance it out... :)

 

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On 2017-09-02 at 9:47 PM, Radon Antila said:

Triumph and Despair should be allowed to break the rules.

Generally I agree.  However, while they can be a huge source of fun and inspiration, it is also important to not give them too much weight.  When you're new to the system they seem like a big deal.  But once the PCs are rolling 3 or 4 yellow dice, Triumphs can almost become common, and double Triumphs aren't exactly rare.  The combat chart for Triumph allows you to upgrade your next attack, or upgrade the difficulty of an opponent...these aren't exactly game-changing.  So, if you're GMing, don't be afraid to temper your player's enthusiasm if their request feels overpowered...

...he said while not practicing what he preached...

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2 hours ago, whafrog said:

Failure + Triumph.  The gang bursts in, and he decides the Triumph is this:  the bank was about to be robbed, with bank robbers all placed and ready around the first floor, and they think the gang is the cops because they see the Jedi leap.  So a firefight ensues between two opposing parties, with the Jedi trying to avoid both.  Unfortunately (or fortunately...!) we had to end the session there, on a cliffhanger.

Now granted, I think that's a bit much for one Triumph, but it was too fun not to allow...and I have ways to balance it out... :)

That was an AWESOME use for a Triumph.  :lol:

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In my last game, I had a group of players who are trying to evade a stormtrooper patrol on a crowded street.  The stormtroopers open fire (on stun, they were after prisoners, and didn't want to kill the crowd), rolled failure with a triumph.  I ruled that their spraying of stun bolts dropped a number of bystanders, and instituted a panic run/duck and cover.  All pedestrians disappeared immediately, leaving no crowd for the PC's to try to disappear into.

In a speeder race, they had an absurdly odd pilot roll at the end, something like 3-4 success, 2 triumph, despair, and 2-3 threat.  That one I had the PC ship and the closest NPC lock fenders and go into a flat spin as they cross the finish line, but the PC's ship crossed first, while still locked with an opponent in a spin, in a photo finish.  The racer had fairly major damage, but they won the race, and in an exciting way.

In combat, one of my PC's missed with a triumph, and had his shots collapse a wall on a squad of minion stormtroopers.  This effectively forced them prone, dropped weapons, but granted them cover.  They needed 2 maneuvers to dig out and ready their guns.  And the PC's were hightailing it away.

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So, for those of us who have never played the SWRPG (and don't want to), is there a resource somewhere that explains what "narrative dice" are? Because so far it feels like the FFG news keeps mentioning them as a key part of Genesys, without actually explaining them. (Unless I missed a news article that did, of course.)

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20 minutes ago, pklevine said:

So, for those of us who have never played the SWRPG (and don't want to), is there a resource somewhere that explains what "narrative dice" are? Because so far it feels like the FFG news keeps mentioning them as a key part of Genesys, without actually explaining them. (Unless I missed a news article that did, of course.)

https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/18/ff/18ff8afe-bf19-47a3-97e5-a313ded3d6b3/under_a_black_sun_lores.pdf

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32 minutes ago, pklevine said:

So, for those of us who have never played the SWRPG (and don't want to), is there a resource somewhere that explains what "narrative dice" are? Because so far it feels like the FFG news keeps mentioning them as a key part of Genesys, without actually explaining them. (Unless I missed a news article that did, of course.)

The first news article for Genesys explained them in basics, but if you read "Under A Black Sun" that 2P51 linked above you can get an idea how they work.

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Cool, thanks for the links and info. To be honest, it looks a bit complicated and confusing on the surface -- in particular because none of the symbols are at all intuitive (why is the advantage a cyclops smiley face while failure is a triangle??) -- but I know that doesn't necessarily translate to how it plays. I'll look for some reviews that discuss the system, hopefully with examples of play that go into what it's like using the dice.

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38 minutes ago, pklevine said:

Cool, thanks for the links and info. To be honest, it looks a bit complicated and confusing on the surface -- in particular because none of the symbols are at all intuitive (why is the advantage a cyclops smiley face while failure is a triangle??) -- but I know that doesn't necessarily translate to how it plays. I'll look for some reviews that discuss the system, hopefully with examples of play that go into what it's like using the dice.

http://www.uptofourplayers.com/comic/edge-empire-rulez-pt-1/

http://www.uptofourplayers.com/comic/edge-empire-rulez-pt-2/

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23 hours ago, pklevine said:

To be honest, it looks a bit complicated and confusing on the surface --

My kids got it in about 15 minutes.  My fossilizing friends who are all over 50 and were dubious because it wasn't a D20 got it within a half hour.  Though one friend insists on calling Advantage the "Soul-patch Rastaman" (you have to turn the symbol upside down...)

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23 hours ago, pklevine said:

Cool, thanks for the links and info. To be honest, it looks a bit complicated and confusing on the surface -- in particular because none of the symbols are at all intuitive (why is the advantage a cyclops smiley face while failure is a triangle??) -- but I know that doesn't necessarily translate to how it plays. I'll look for some reviews that discuss the system, hopefully with examples of play that go into what it's like using the dice.

The Advantage is similar to the Rebel bird/part of the the Jedi Emblem. The Failure symbol is the "Dark Side" symbol from KotOR, just as the Success Symbol is the Light Side 7-point star from the same game.

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Despite my leaving materials out for proper naming, my group still calls them Bang, Birdy looking thing, Jedi thingy, bad triangle, Tie Cockpit, and despair... I mean... at least they get one right... 

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On the subject of the dice, in this picture

gns01_dice.jpg

 

On the purple die. The face that is down and left you can see there are 2 symbols on it, a threat and what is the other one? It doesn't look like a second threat, it's too complex to be a failure, there shouldn't be a despair on the D8, what symbol is that?

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Unless someone can pose a reasonable explanation of why they would say they are using the exact same system, and then choose to F with their probability curves on one die, I am going with it's simply a Threat that can't be seen well, or a funky printing of a prototype die.

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