Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
CitizenKeen

Expected Power Level of Published Adventures

13 posts in this topic

So I was flipping through Mask of the Pirate Queen at my FLGS at lunch, and I noticed something. There's no indication of power level, that I could see. I'm used to things like D&D where a published adventure would be Assault on Castle Deathtrap: An Adventure for Characters Levels 3-12.

Hypothetically speaking, I've got one group of players who just made their fresh new characters. And another who have been through two years worth of EotE. How do I know what power level a FFG adventure is calibrated for?

(Apologies if this is obvious or I've overlooked something.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed that FFG generally tends to lowball the power levels. There's a couple of exceptions - I wouldn't run JoY with anyone less than 200 points, as written. But that's the odd man out, as far as I recall.

The up side is that the power levels are really easy to adjust in this game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Desslok said:

I've noticed that FFG generally tends to lowball the power levels. There's a couple of exceptions - I wouldn't run JoY with anyone less than 200 points, as written. But that's the odd man out, as far as I recall.

The up side is that the power levels are really easy to adjust in this game.

Yeah, but how do I know this? Is it advertised anywhere?

There's another thread talking about characters with 800 points. Is there any semblance of acknowledgement that a 110 XP character and an 800 point character have different power levels?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC, there is a blurb about what its as written state is suitable for in the opening pages of an adventure. Don't look for numbers; it'd be something like "suitable for starter characters" or "for characters who have had a few adventures." They also have (probably in the same area) advice on scaling it up or down.

IMO, the reason they don't need to put numbers to any of this is because the game/characters get so diverse so fast that they really have no way to estimate how powerful a group is for any given encounter, let alone the whole adventure. 

ThreeAM likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are supposed to view them as starting points. Meaning a fresh group could do it. And I know this is not a very good answer, but anything beyond that and a GM would kind of instinctively know what will and won't pose a challenge to their group by simply matter of comparison and experience to what are they currently throwing at their players.  The module says 2 groups of street thugs, well my players took out 6 sith inquisitors last week so i think ill make that 4 groups of thugs with double the number of minions.

Edited by ThreeAM
CitizenKeen likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Power level is rather hard to judge for SW in my experience. If players go for breadth instead of specializing, then you can have a lot of XP in the characters without actually being worried about an appropriate power level.

You'll see most balance issues with combat, since other challenges are much easier to adjust on the fly by the GM and have less serious consequences if things go badly. But yeah, if nobody in the party can actually fly a speeder worth a **** (nonskilled Agility 2 or lower) an encounter that involves the players being involved in a speeder chase is probably wasted regardless how many XP the players have amongst each other.

As far as I can see, power level rises fairly fast from 100-350 XP awarded and then tapers off sharply because it will become more about having options rather than being extremely good at something. For 350 total XP you can be extremely good at your chosen field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things I love about this game is that characters of disparate "power levels" can interact and contribute meaningfully. Since things like combat checks and many non-combat skill checks use flat difficulties, a starter character can still do her thing, even in a group of 800 XP PCs. Where the difference lies is in opposed rolls, resource management (WT & ST), and getting Advantages and Triumphs to make talents and weapon qualities pop. A "low-level" PC is never going to be able to compete in those areas, but can still have a good time and can always assist others (lame, but valuable).

So far as I know, none of the published adventures are designed for a particular level of XP. As mentioned, Jewel of Yavin isn't recommended for beginners, but that comes from the experiences of the community and not from the publisher. In my (admittedly limited) experience, gear makes a bigger difference at lower XP levels. Adding cool toys to make up for skill deficiencies, or adding points of Defence, Soak, and damage output can really give a false sense of security. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, CitizenKeen said:

Yeah, but how do I know this? Is it advertised anywhere?

There's another thread talking about characters with 800 points. Is there any semblance of acknowledgement that a 110 XP character and an 800 point character have different power levels?

That is a difficulty with GMing this game, you have to get comfortable with how to scale the difficulties according to your table.  It's not like D&D where you can look on a chart to find a suitable challenge.  I generally ignore the stated difficulties and refactor them to suit the party.  For example, if I was running Act 2 of Beyond the Rim with a very wilderness-savvy group, I'd probably up the difficulties by 1, make Fear checks tougher, and possibly add Adversary to a couple of the beasts.

Assuming you generally want the party to succeed, a rough guide to scaling might be that if you want the PCs to experience success about half the time, you need to make the difficulty one less than their positive dice pool.  This seems to be the basic level of most of the modules  Success require a net of 1 success, so if your party is throwing 2 positive dice, you're kind of stuck making those challenges Easy.  But if they're throwing 4 positive dice, you can make the challenges Hard, or Average with a couple setback.  This scaling tends to give a lot of either success with threat, or failure with advantage.  Yellow dice don't really change the odds of success by much, but they do push the narrative axis towards advantage (red dice pull the other way).

I think most of the modules (except JoY) are designed so that most of the checks are Average, meaning they expect the party to be somewhat fresh out of chargen, with at least 3 dice and a couple skill ranks in their core competencies.  There are a few Hard checks, and for those it's probably expected that the PCs will Assist, or find some other way to add boost dice or use the DP pool.  If you find that your very experienced group can apply 4 dice as a base pool to most of the challenges, then just up everything by one difficulty and be liberal with the setbacks, especially with those PCs with setback-removal talents.

 

CitizenKeen and Jedi Ronin like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, CitizenKeen said:

 

There's another thread talking about characters with 800 points. Is there any semblance of acknowledgement that a 110 XP character and an 800 point character have different power levels?

As mentioned, there is no power creep in this game. A person with a hundred points past creation is just as viable as someone with 400, just maybe not as diverse.

Also if you get around 800 points you should start to look at a capstone adventure to retire the characters. The game recommends reducing experience given per session to prevent xp from getting to these ludicrous levels.

CitizenKeen likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

800XP is ludicrous?  That's ludicrous! :) 

Honestly, 800XP is nothing if your players spread it out.  I've seen plenty of people here talk about their 1000XP+ campaigns.

2P51 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My current campaign is probably sitting at 500ish xp and I have a PC who is still a complete train wreck in combat as the face guy, juxtaposition him to the rest of the group and they're collectively completely F-ing lost in social encounters without him.  They've got one actually good healer, with a couple that can fake it but nothing you wanna bet your PC life on with the wrong crit.  Only one truly good pilot.  They've got a couple solid Mechanics, and most are good at combat.  They all could easily spend the next 100-300 xp cross specializing to give themselves more depth.

This game eats xp to fully realize a PC. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually was just looking at Friends like these last night, Finally picked up a copy,  It suggests 150xp past starting

Chronicles of the Gatekeeper Suggest new and Seasoned

Onslaught & Beyond the Rim suggests starting but can be scaled upwards

Nohing listed in the Introduction of Mask of the Pirate Queen

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0