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Erithtotl

Observations and questions from our E of E campaign

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We've been playing sporadically in an Edge of Empire game for the last few months.  We've had some good fun but we've had the following issues come up, and I'd love to hear people's opinions and observations about how to handle them.

1) Destiny Points haven't really been working well for us.  Every session, when we roll the dice, we end up with WAY more dark side than light side, like usually something like 2 to 6 (for a 5 person group).  The result is we never want to use them for fear that the GM will start heavily retaliating.  Perhaps the course here is for the GM to routinely burn a bunch early, but its not like we are regularly crushing all challenges before us, so this could be debilitating resulting in failure after failure.  The game is already rigged against players, in that even dice on both sides has a higher chance of failure than succeed. 

2) Force users suck.  I know that the force sensitive exile is not supposed to make you a jedi, or even a shadow of one.  But it requires so much XP to be even mildly useful, meanwhile nerfing everything else the character could do.  I think the biggest frustration is that the FSE tree is very specific.  If you aren't taking a perception/streetwise type build you are wasting points moving you way through the tree.  If it was more flexible on where the bonuses go it would feel way less wasteful.

3) Soak v. dodge.  This is a big pet peeve in that in the Star Wars fiction and movies the main characters basically dodge almost everything,  while getting hit is very rare.  But the combat system for EotE, dodging is non-existent and its all about wearing super heavy armor.  This just doesn't feel 'star wars' at all.

4) Stimpacks are awesome.  There's a whole doctor archetype, but medical skill, except for healing crits, is way worse than just using Stimpacks.

5) Advantages and disadvantages.  These are SOOOO common that they lose any 'specialness'.  Our group finds ourselves stressing out how to interpret a 2 success - 4 disadvantage roll when you are trying to do something relatively straightforward.  We also find that we have trouble being 'narrative' because we are actually tied to the dice rather than just coming up with stuff and roleplaying.  We are really struggling with this that we are trying to find better ways to handle it than how its written because are having so little fun dealing with it.

6) While individual combat is pretty fast, space combat seems slow and cumbersome and doesn't give great roles to all the players.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

The result is we never want to use them for fear that the GM will start heavily retaliating. 

If your GM takes action against you for using DPs, then you have a terrible GM.

Will the GM use them? Yes, absolutely - but then they can already do what a DP can do, upgrade your attacks and change the setting to suit their whims already. The very nature of GMing allows you to manipulate the environment and set difficulty, so you are not holding them back from anything.

(And if I were GMing and the players were trying to game the system by hording the points on purpose? I'd proclaim a vergence in the force and flip them all to dark. I can do that because I'm the GM.)

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

Force users suck.

Welcome to every single Star Wars role playing game ever. D6 Jedi stank right out of the gate. D20 Jedi stank right out of the gate. Jedi under the NArDS also stink from the get-go, but they dont completely overpower non-jedi in the later game like the other two engines did.

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

I think the biggest frustration is that the FSE tree is very specific.

Have you looked at the other universal force sensitive tree? That might be more to your liking. Also, you could just drop the 20 points, collect your force die and ignore the tree.

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

This is a big pet peeve in that in the Star Wars fiction and movies the main characters basically dodge almost everything,  while getting hit is very rare.

Yeah, as a LONG time player of D6, this was a hard one for me to wrap my brain around too. The thing is - handle you dodge narratively. The wounds to to the soak aren't necessarily getting hit by [ATTACK], that's a condition more inflicted by crits. Think of it like the truck chase from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indy is throwing down with the Nazis, getting dragged behind the truck, and generally getting nickled and dimed in the Wounds and Strain. The Nazi who shoots Indy in the arm? That's a crit against out hero.

Same thing here - the blaster bolt hits the wall next to you, showing you with sparks (hitting your strain), or that the blaster bolt hit the bible you carry in your breast pocket (wounds).

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

and its all about wearing super heavy armor

Actually, my engineer - she has a 2 soak leather duster and that serves her more than well enough. You don't need Mandolorian armor to get by in this game. (also, combats are not super long dice throwing extravaganzas like in the D6 and D20 engines. If you have a combat lasting longer than 6 turns, you're recreating the battle of Hoth.)

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

Our group finds ourselves stressing out how to interpret a 2 success - 4 disadvantage roll when you are trying to do something relatively straightforward.

So just go for the easy stuff. "I fire off a volly of shots at the stormtroopers and duck back behind the crate to catch my breath" (use them to recover strain) or "My shots miss but they distract the stormtroopers enough that they expose their flank to Joe" (pass a blue to the next character).

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

space combat seems slow and cumbersome and doesn't give great roles to all the players.

You are correct. The consensus generally is that vehicle combat stinks.

EDIT - actually the consensus is that vehicle combat is too lethal, and not so much that it unilaterally stinks.

Edited by Desslok

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Sounds to me like your main problem is the GM. Just a hunch, but if you're playing under the fear of constant failure and metagame retaliation, and if the players aren't feeling like their characters are doing awesome things, and if he isn't offering guidance on how to spend Advantage (or Threat, if he's letting the players spend it for enemies), then I'd say he's not doing his job right.

You've also got the dice wrong. They're weighted for Success with Threat, not Failure. 

The Force Sensitive Exile is a tree has always been one of my favorites, my space combats are exciting, and I have been abstracting game-mechanical "hits" and "damage" as near-misses, grazes, shock, scrapes, etc since I first started playing d20 games.

I've had a higher player-retention rate with Force users than with non-Force users, and several of my players have gone through entire campaigns with nothing more than their padded armor or armored clothing that they started the game with.

So I guess my experience has been really different from yours! As a player and as a GM, this game remains one of my favorites and, IMO, has made me a better gamer.

Edited by awayputurwpn

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1.  It's a downgrade/upgrade mechanically, you're conflating it into way too much dread, just flip the **** things it'll balance out.

2.  Force advancement is ponderous in the game but given what they can ultimately do it either has to be ponderous and take time or be watered down to mitigate it.  

3.  I see more of characters just plain being missed as opposed to dodging in the movies personally, boils down to narrative interpretation of the dice pool results.

4.  Your GM isn't putting you into enough combat scenarios in a 24 hour period.

5.  Not every dice pool has to be an Oscar level performance, it's ok to just have 2 Successes and 4 Threat mean you accomplish the task but it's way more tiring than you expected so you suffer some Strain, done.

6.  Space combat requires the GM to put more thought into the environment.  If they run it simply as ships shooting at one another in space that's the equivalent of having every ground combat occur in the middle of a field of grass.  The battle requires context narratively and tangible environment to be interesting.  In regards to roles, Pilot leaves some people wanting but once a Pilot is advanced they shine quite bright.  Everyone else if they're on a gun, doing damage control, or spoofing ordinance has plenty to do in ship combat.

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1) I don't think the GM really would retaliate at us out of spite for Destiny Points.  It only feels that way because each session it starts so horribly skewed towards the Dark Side.  I honestly think the GM doesnt use them because it feels cruel.  I'm not kidding, EVERY session its at least 1 to 2 ratio of light to dark side and usually worse.  Last couple have been 2:5 and 2:6.  Is this by design?  

2) In general, I think 'suck early, get awesome late', ala 1st Edition D&D Wizard, has generally become a no no in game design.  

3) I get that people are making 'interpretations' in order to explain the soak mechanic in Star Wars terms.  But it sounds like basically bending over backwards to explain a mechanic that doesn't really make sense.

4) Just how much combat should be in this game?  Perhaps we have misinterpreted how we are 'supposed' to be playing.  But it'd take like 3 combats per day for stimpacks to start becoming an issue most likely.

5) I does seem like we need to simplify the interpretation of the advantages/disadvantages.  Frankly we've found it exhausting and limiting rather than encouraging narrative.  It makes us wonder why we need these fancy dice and yearning for a good old d20.

6) Rolling dice once per round to give an advantage or disadvantage isn't very interesting.  The pilot gets choices at least.  Everyone else likely has one or maybe two options if they have a lot of technical skills.

I know people who like this game are very aggressive to defend it and I understand that.  We've all played a LOT of RPGs.  My GM is very experienced and I'm a very experienced GM as well, so its not like we don't know how to play RPGs.  We have both struggled with this and it may be this just isn't the system for us even though we love Star Wars.

 

One other issue I mentioned is that a lot of low tier talents feel like bad MMO level ups.  Gain a boost die in this very narrow circumstance.  Remove a black die once per day, etc.  It's only until you get deep into the trees that have any influence on how you might play.  It feels tedious and unrewarding.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

It only feels that way because each session it starts so horribly skewed towards the Dark Side.

You must be having terrible rolls. Last nights session, we started out with maximum Destiny Points and they were all on the light side.

If the GM dominates the communal resource, then I would go crazy - at least for a little while - and restore some balance.

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

In general, I think 'suck early, get awesome late', ala 1st Edition D&D Wizard, has generally become a no no in game design. 

All starting characters - Jed, non-jedi, whatever - are going to suck at first. It's just the end game that's important. We just crossed the 900 point barrier, we have 3 Jedi and one non - and my non-jedi engineer is just as awesome and fun to play as the others.

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

But it sounds like basically bending over backwards to explain a mechanic that doesn't really make sense.

The whole game is narratively driven. There are tons of instances where the the rules are vague and left to the GM (and player) interpretation because the devs are counting on the players to do what makes sense at that moment more than be restricted by a Modifier Table.

I'm GMing a Jedi in a duel, and he gets disarmed. Instead of spending a maneuver to bend over and pick up the lightsaber, the player goes I use TK to pull it into my hand (despite not actually having the TK power). This is cool, it's thematically appropriate and is mechanically no different than bending over. I'll go ahead and say "Yeah, go for it!" Same thing with applying wounds and strain - go with what makes sense.

The dodge talent - upgrade the difficulty of incoming ranged attacks for a couple of strain - is really a powerful one. If you hand that talent out to everybody at the table, the system is gonna break in real short order. Plus you've just cut the legs out from under the guy who actually has to pay for the talent.

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

Just how much combat should be in this game

How high is up?

I've had sessions where not a single person drew their blaster and I've had sessions that were nothing but fights.

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

Frankly we've found it exhausting and limiting rather than encouraging narrative.

It's like any other muscle. The more you work at it, the easier it comes. And not every single roll has to change the balance of power on the battlefield. Sometimes you just recover some strain or pass a blue.

1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

  It's only until you get deep into the trees that have any influence on how you might play

Man, I love the **** out of my Remove a Black Die on Mechanics checks talents and most of them are on the 5 and 10 tier levels. How else am I going to fix a hyperdrive without proper tools while on fire (the engineer, not the ship), as it crashes out of control and she's coming down from an all night bender with a massive hangover.

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20 minutes ago, Desslok said:

You must be having terrible rolls. Last nights session, we started out with maximum Destiny Points and they were all on the light side.

If the GM dominates the communal resource, then I would go crazy - at least for a little while - and restore some balance.

All starting characters - Jed, non-jedi, whatever - are going to suck at first. It's just the end game that's important. We just crossed the 900 point barrier, we have 3 Jedi and one non - and my non-jedi engineer is just as awesome and fun to play as the others.

The whole game is narratively driven. There are tons of instances where the the rules are vague and left to the GM (and player) interpretation because the devs are counting on the players to do what makes sense at that moment more than be restricted by a Modifier Table.

I'm GMing a Jedi in a duel, and he gets disarmed. Instead of spending a maneuver to bend over and pick up the lightsaber, the player goes I use TK to pull it into my hand (despite not actually having the TK power). This is cool, it's thematically appropriate and is mechanically no different than bending over. I'll go ahead and say "Yeah, go for it!" Same thing with applying wounds and strain - go with what makes sense.

The dodge talent - upgrade the difficulty of incoming ranged attacks for a couple of strain - is really a powerful one. If you hand that talent out to everybody at the table, the system is gonna break in real short order. Plus you've just cut the legs out from under the guy who actually has to pay for the talent.

How high is up?

I've had sessions where not a single person drew their blaster and I've had sessions that were nothing but fights.

It's like any other muscle. The more you work at it, the easier it comes. And not every single roll has to change the balance of power on the battlefield. Sometimes you just recover some strain or pass a blue.

Man, I love the **** out of my Remove a Black Die on Mechanics checks talents and most of them are on the 5 and 10 tier levels. How else am I going to fix a hyperdrive without proper tools while on fire (the engineer, not the ship), as it crashes out of control and she's coming down from an all night bender with a massive hangover.

The engineer was on fire?

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3 hours ago, Erithtotl said:

2) In general, I think 'suck early, get awesome late', ala 1st Edition D&D Wizard, has generally become a no no in game design.  

"Suck" is a relative term. 1) Have you heard of Knight Level, and 2) Have you seen Star Wars? How many groups of Stormtroopers do Luke, Chewie, and Han mow down in the first two films?? They spend all their time running from  the Empire. You don't hear Luke complaining about poor game design when he can't do mind tricks like Obi-Wan.

I asked about Knight Level because it feels like it's being discounted here :)

Edited by awayputurwpn

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3 hours ago, Erithtotl said:

1) I don't think the GM really would retaliate at us out of spite for Destiny Points.  It only feels that way because each session it starts so horribly skewed towards the Dark Side.  I honestly think the GM doesnt use them because it feels cruel.  I'm not kidding, EVERY session its at least 1 to 2 ratio of light to dark side and usually worse.  Last couple have been 2:5 and 2:6.  Is this by design?  

2) In general, I think 'suck early, get awesome late', ala 1st Edition D&D Wizard, has generally become a no no in game design.  

3) I get that people are making 'interpretations' in order to explain the soak mechanic in Star Wars terms.  But it sounds like basically bending over backwards to explain a mechanic that doesn't really make sense.

4) Just how much combat should be in this game?  Perhaps we have misinterpreted how we are 'supposed' to be playing.  But it'd take like 3 combats per day for stimpacks to start becoming an issue most likely.

5) I does seem like we need to simplify the interpretation of the advantages/disadvantages.  Frankly we've found it exhausting and limiting rather than encouraging narrative.  It makes us wonder why we need these fancy dice and yearning for a good old d20.

6) Rolling dice once per round to give an advantage or disadvantage isn't very interesting.  The pilot gets choices at least.  Everyone else likely has one or maybe two options if they have a lot of technical skills.

I know people who like this game are very aggressive to defend it and I understand that.  We've all played a LOT of RPGs.  My GM is very experienced and I'm a very experienced GM as well, so its not like we don't know how to play RPGs.  We have both struggled with this and it may be this just isn't the system for us even though we love Star Wars.

 

One other issue I mentioned is that a lot of low tier talents feel like bad MMO level ups.  Gain a boost die in this very narrow circumstance.  Remove a black die once per day, etc.  It's only until you get deep into the trees that have any influence on how you might play.  It feels tedious and unrewarding.

 

 

 

Destiny points are flavor, not game changers. Spend then frequently and often and demand that the GM do the same. If you both spend 20 destiny points during the game session then the fact that you started out 1 light 11 million dark is pretty irrelevant.

I dont like the wounds/soak mechanic all that much because it tends to push towards armor a bit more than the movies seem to say helps. The thing is, unless you push very hard towards high soak and a high brawn it doesnt really matter. My 1 brawn 1 soak twi'lek can still take 2 hits out of blaster pistol, and I dont want to get shot three times period in the game. That would still apply if I was in soak 3 armor and had a 5 brawn.

God I hate stimpacks. If they are needed to make the game run right, the game needs adjusting. If there were one piece of equipment I would remove it would be them. I avoid using them in game as much as possible.

Being an experienced gamer is probably the problem with advantage and threat. It takes time to get into the right mindset to let the ideas flow, and more importantly to know when to say to heck with it and just take/heal some strain. It took my group a couple years to get comfortable with it. We eventually got to where the first idea was used and if that took more than a few seconds we just defaulted to the table. Dont look for the best idea, just take a good one, or even a fair one, and move on. Now we make jokes in other games about wanting to have advantage or spend destiny points to make things smoother.

Space stuff is pretty poor in this game. It isnt very user friendly in how it is explained or implemented. Then again, that is true of alot of games. I really wish that the whole game line had been compatable and we had rules for using x-wing for space combats

Lastly, alot of low level, and even some high level, talents are a bit weak. Part of being a first edition of a game. Dont overlook some of the effects tho. A couple setback removed can be a real life saver when the chips are down

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3 hours ago, Erithtotl said:

1) I don't think the GM really would retaliate at us out of spite for Destiny Points.  It only feels that way because each session it starts so horribly skewed towards the Dark Side.  I honestly think the GM doesnt use them because it feels cruel.  I'm not kidding, EVERY session its at least 1 to 2 ratio of light to dark side and usually worse.  Last couple have been 2:5 and 2:6.  Is this by design?  

2) In general, I think 'suck early, get awesome late', ala 1st Edition D&D Wizard, has generally become a no no in game design.  

3) I get that people are making 'interpretations' in order to explain the soak mechanic in Star Wars terms.  But it sounds like basically bending over backwards to explain a mechanic that doesn't really make sense.

4) Just how much combat should be in this game?  Perhaps we have misinterpreted how we are 'supposed' to be playing.  But it'd take like 3 combats per day for stimpacks to start becoming an issue most likely.

5) I does seem like we need to simplify the interpretation of the advantages/disadvantages.  Frankly we've found it exhausting and limiting rather than encouraging narrative.  It makes us wonder why we need these fancy dice and yearning for a good old d20.

6) Rolling dice once per round to give an advantage or disadvantage isn't very interesting.  The pilot gets choices at least.  Everyone else likely has one or maybe two options if they have a lot of technical skills.

I know people who like this game are very aggressive to defend it and I understand that.  We've all played a LOT of RPGs.  My GM is very experienced and I'm a very experienced GM as well, so its not like we don't know how to play RPGs.  We have both struggled with this and it may be this just isn't the system for us even though we love Star Wars.

 

One other issue I mentioned is that a lot of low tier talents feel like bad MMO level ups.  Gain a boost die in this very narrow circumstance.  Remove a black die once per day, etc.  It's only until you get deep into the trees that have any influence on how you might play.  It feels tedious and unrewarding.

 

 

 

1.  Dice are random whether they are numeric or the narrative dice.  You roll them once a session for DP generation, so random is random, you guys have had bad luck.  Bottom line is if the PCs and GMs use them it doesn't really matter, they should be used liberally.

2.  I don't know what the build was so I can't really comment, but after 5 or 10 sessions xp if a Force based character is still viewed as poor, unless I see how it was built versus what the PC wanted to accomplish I can't really comment.

3.  I just don't understand, there is a Dodge Talent, Side Step, etc.  So a more active impact on a dice pool via Talents is possible, depending on spec very early on in character dev, and definitely after several sessions xp, so I just don't see the issue personally.

4.    I still say your GM isn't stressing you much if you only have one combat every 24 hours.  That's got nothing to do with this system, in D&D it's the equivalent of getting into a fight in one room and then leaving for the day.  Is that how you'd run things in a D20 game?

5.  I can't speak to personal tastes, those are yours.

6.  I can't speak to how people build their characters but it seems to me if you build a character that isn't useful in ship combat you shouldn't expect to be useful in ship combat.  I don't really see the point here.  In any system if you build a character that's no good at one aspect of the system at all, then you aren't going to be good at that.  The manner in which the dice pools are built anyone who says they are terrible at something is likely a munchkin that neglected a stat and just chose to suck, that's on the PC imo.  If you've got a 3 Agility or a 3 Intellect you can absolutely be relevant in ship combat and that's session zero characteristics.

 

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19 hours ago, Erithtotl said:

We've been playing sporadically in an Edge of Empire game for the last few months.  We've had some good fun but we've had the following issues come up, and I'd love to hear people's opinions and observations about how to handle them.

1) Destiny Points haven't really been working well for us.  Every session, when we roll the dice, we end up with WAY more dark side than light side, like usually something like 2 to 6 (for a 5 person group).  The result is we never want to use them for fear that the GM will start heavily retaliating.  Perhaps the course here is for the GM to routinely burn a bunch early, but its not like we are regularly crushing all challenges before us, so this could be debilitating resulting in failure after failure.  The game is already rigged against players, in that even dice on both sides has a higher chance of failure than succeed. 

2) Force users suck.  I know that the force sensitive exile is not supposed to make you a jedi, or even a shadow of one.  But it requires so much XP to be even mildly useful, meanwhile nerfing everything else the character could do.  I think the biggest frustration is that the FSE tree is very specific.  If you aren't taking a perception/streetwise type build you are wasting points moving you way through the tree.  If it was more flexible on where the bonuses go it would feel way less wasteful.

3) Soak v. dodge.  This is a big pet peeve in that in the Star Wars fiction and movies the main characters basically dodge almost everything,  while getting hit is very rare.  But the combat system for EotE, dodging is non-existent and its all about wearing super heavy armor.  This just doesn't feel 'star wars' at all.

4) Stimpacks are awesome.  There's a whole doctor archetype, but medical skill, except for healing crits, is way worse than just using Stimpacks.

5) Advantages and disadvantages.  These are SOOOO common that they lose any 'specialness'.  Our group finds ourselves stressing out how to interpret a 2 success - 4 disadvantage roll when you are trying to do something relatively straightforward.  We also find that we have trouble being 'narrative' because we are actually tied to the dice rather than just coming up with stuff and roleplaying.  We are really struggling with this that we are trying to find better ways to handle it than how its written because are having so little fun dealing with it.

6) While individual combat is pretty fast, space combat seems slow and cumbersome and doesn't give great roles to all the players.

 

First, if you've decided this isn't the game for you (which I kind of get the impression you have), nothing we say is going to change your mind. But if you really are on the fence, I'll echo a bit of what the others have said and give a few more ideas to pep things up in your game.

1) I think you've just had bad luck on Destiny Points. And I would reiterate what others have said: the Destiny Pool is supposed to be quite fluid, so you and the other players shouldn't be afraid to use them, and you shouldn't dread when the GM uses them on his go. The changing of a purple to a red isn't that dire; it just opens the door for Despair, which is mostly a narrative effect.

2) If Force use is going to be central to your game, I'd suggest picking up the Force & Destiny core rulebook. There are trees there where you start as a Force user (and therefore don't have to drop 20 XP on a second tree). But, as others have said, starting characters are starting characters. You start out being good at a few things but not great, and you earn XP to get better. I would disagree with you that this is an example of bad design philosophy, since a starting character should have at least one or two things he or she is good at, even if the Force isn't one of them out the gate.

3) I agree with others; you're over-tacticalizing the game by getting hung up on the rarity of Dodge (and Side Step). Each round of combat in this game is abstracted from up to a full minute of in-universe time, meaning that if an enemy shoots at you and misses, you may very well have dodged. But I also agree that we see little actual dodging in the movies. We see a lot more missing.

4) Doctors can power up stimpacks, and they can eventually heal for more than a stimpack can. But if you think stimpacks are overpowered, just don't use them.

5) Advantage and Threat are supposed to be common. As others have said, if you're stuck for what to do with them, just heal Strain on advantage or pass a Boost die to the next character, and take Strain damage for Threat or suffer a Setback die on your next check. But I found it really helpful to listen to a live-play podcasts and GM podcasts to get more ideas for how to use Advantage, Threat, Triumph, and Despair. There are two I can recommend off the top of my head. The first is "Skill Monkey," where you can find short episodes each focused on a different skill and how to interpret dice results for it. The second is Dice for Brains, where you can listen to an entire campaign play out with the GM and players offering dice interpretations. There's a learning curve, but it does get easier.

6) Be sure you're familiar with the "Additional Starship and Vehicle Actions" table found in each core rulebook. The game has more to do than just fly the ship; anyone else with a decent Agility can either copilot or be a gunner, the high-Presence character can do Fire Discipline to boost gunnery checks, the high-IQ character can plot a course or slice the enemy's systems,  the mechanic can work on boosting the shields or keeping the ship together, the Cunning-focused character can scan ahead and scout out the enemy forces, the Willpower monkey can spoof enemy missiles, even the high-Brawn character can try to do brute-force repairs on the ship to keep it flying. This is in addition to the space terrain suggestions others have mentioned.

Hope these suggestions are helpful. 

Edited by SavageBob

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The thing is that in this game you suffer wounds. It is how the game is designed. As such, having stimpacks (something you also do not see in the original movies, yup) is the way to overcome you suffering wounds.

If you want to go for a pure cinematic feel, avoid hitting characters in their Wounds. In fact, you should remove the wounds altogether. They either suffer critical hits (and that drops them to "slugg state", where they are at the mercy of the hitter), or do not suffer hits at all, only strain *if* they are doing things themselves. 

It can work. it will not be rules as written but it can certaibnly work. the current suystem is built with the assumptin that you suffer "small hits" (near misses, scratches, concussion,...) and you use stimpacks to be back to health. if you remove stimpacks you should change the first part as well. 

 

The only case where this is not the case is when Kylo ren is hit and does not drop. And that can be a Talent for sure. 

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This system is pretty pliant in a lot of ways, but I do think there is an adjustment period, especially if you are used to pass/fail dice and more typical advancement and hardiness of characters. The Destiny Point thing doesn't work unless the GM and the Players are both using it, and no one feels like it is the end all event in the game when one gets used. It shouldn't be like someone comes into the game and everyone excitedly tells them about how four weeks ago a Destiny Point actually was used! 

If you mean dodge in the sense of running or dropping behind cover then I agree that this is more important than soak, but you can't really juke away from incoming fire. If you want more realistic gun fights then make cover a necessity and being in the open suicidal. 

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First, I want to thank everyone who has chimed in.  I know when someone comes in and says bad things about your game there is a tendency to get real hostile and people have been pretty cool about this conversation.

I am actually the person in our group who is trying to make an argument for staying with the game.  Unfortunately the only real strong argument I can find to sticking with it is Star Wars (and we have people arguing to go with the old d20 rules instead).

The points people have raised about destiny points and advantages/threat are well taken.  I can see it being an adjustment period and learning curve.

While I get the explanations about wounds and getting hit, I don't really like them.  Its definitely not intuitive, especially with the amount of damage that weapons can inflict.  The game assumes you are going to get hit, and hit a lot (without various dodge talents, you will get hit roughly half the time, and the damage will often be at least half your hits.  Even with cover you are getting hit 30-40% of the time, and this is by minions!).  The soak mechanic in other games is very much about absorbing damage.  Stimpacks basically don't exist in the movies, so making them a key part of the mechanics just seems like real bad game design.  Imagine if in the movies every scene the characters were slapping on stims? It just feels like they didn't design this combat system for Star Wars but another game and slapped it on here.

Again, back to the Force, I don't want a Jedi.  I just want someone who is equally competent at basic tasks that they are supposed to be good at and that isn't the case.  I do think its possible that our progression has been too slow, but someone mentioned after 5+ sessions you should be an effective force user, and that would imply 120 xp minimum to get the 2nd force die and that means a pretty fast progression, even assuming you dumped every point into the force tree and raised no skills or other effects.  And of course a lot of force talents require skill checks even after you've successful gotten force points.

I'm making a last ditch attempt to the group to salvage the game.

In addition to some obvious suggestions around Destiny Points and Adv/threat, I'm suggesting the following:

 

Restrict stimpacks to 1/day unless administered by a doctor.

Allow engineers to repair ships after combat at a much reduced cost if given correct facilities, and allow them to scavenge parts to make weapon mods (take a little damage to your ship, and you are basically instantly broke, and weapon mods cost more than most weapons)

Increase the amount of XP given out (I think our progression is too slow, by about %33)

The big one: Reduce minion base damage by half.  Compensate by having a few more minions per fight.  The will reduce the number of 5, 6 or more damage per hit that minions can score pretty frequently in a fight, reducing the need for stimpacks.

I'm not super hopeful.  The main issue is no one is finding anything about the game mechanics particularly 'Star Wars', basically making them want to at best port the 'fluff' to another system that people are more comfortable with like d20.

 

 

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For what you say, I agree with others that you might need to use another game system. There are plenty around. The important thing about RPGs is to have fun roleplaying. If the system gets in the way of the fun, ditch it. Always. 

I have a similar problem in my group. We played the starter modules, but it did not get into motion. real life got in the way as well, but it is more that people are not THAT interested in this system for what I am seeing in some conversations with them. I will play around with one of them to see if we can go forward with the system, but ditching it and using the supplements as reference material while using another rules system is certainly an option. 

A system where you manoeuvrer to avoid getting hit (as opposed to recover damage fast afterwards) sounds what you are looking for. 

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56 minutes ago, Erithtotl said:

In addition to some obvious suggestions around Destiny Points and Adv/threat, I'm suggesting the following:

 

Restrict stimpacks to 1/day unless administered by a doctor.

OK I just gotta ask: What is it about stimpacks that you find so unbalanced? I certainly get the 'Star Wars' flavor of them (or lack there of; they are more akin to the medpacs from the KoTR series of games). But as it is you can only use 5 per day, and the benefit decreases with every use; the first heals 5 wounds, the next 4 wounds, and down from there. Considering a single hit from a blaster rifle (a commonly found weapon) is doing 10 damage before soak, you'll probably need at least 2 stimpacks to bring your wounds down to 0 after a fight.

As for the rest of it, this game system does take some getting used to. I came from a heavy D20 background, and at first all of it was very jarring. I am still not a huge fan of the range band system, nor vehicle combat. But as time has gone on, I see the benefits of the system more and more, and I do like it.

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59 minutes ago, Erithtotl said:

While I get the explanations about wounds and getting hit, I don't really like them.  Its definitely not intuitive, especially with the amount of damage that weapons can inflict.  The game assumes you are going to get hit, and hit a lot (without various dodge talents, you will get hit roughly half the time, and the damage will often be at least half your hits.  Even with cover you are getting hit 30-40% of the time, and this is by minions!).  The soak mechanic in other games is very much about absorbing damage.  

Another way to look at it that may be more intuitive could be that this game is focused more on offense and less on defense. The reasons may be debatable but here are three examples below:

1. Combats are quicker and thus can play out more narratively.

2. It is more deadly. Which accurately reflects getting shot. Getting shot is pretty devastating (at max you can take 2-3 hits?), and we never see anyone in the movies be able to withstand multiple shots. So it stays somewhat true to source.

3. In any game: Hitting is fun, missing is not. If most rolls ended up as misses the game wouldn't be all that fun. So the designers skewed towards hitting more often. Its the mechanics, so it has to work both ways, players and NPCs.

 

It's been posted and discussed by some others around the forums but a Hugely simple tweak/house rule to address this is simply double the soak any item provides. 

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31 minutes ago, Magnus Arcanus said:

OK I just gotta ask: What is it about stimpacks that you find so unbalanced? I certainly get the 'Star Wars' flavor of them (or lack there of; they are more akin to the medpacs from the KoTR series of games). But as it is you can only use 5 per day, and the benefit decreases with every use; the first heals 5 wounds, the next 4 wounds, and down from there. Considering a single hit from a blaster rifle (a commonly found weapon) is doing 10 damage before soak, you'll probably need at least 2 stimpacks to bring your wounds down to 0 after a fight.

As for the rest of it, this game system does take some getting used to. I came from a heavy D20 background, and at first all of it was very jarring. I am still not a huge fan of the range band system, nor vehicle combat. But as time has gone on, I see the benefits of the system more and more, and I do like it.

I feel like I made it pretty clear.  Its not Star Wars.  In Star Wars, people don't run around getting shot constantly and popping drugs, or using super heavy armor to resist damage.  They dodge, they take cover, and the bad guys generally are terribly inaccurate against heroes.  The game already makes minions easy to kill, but they still hit for full damage, which doesn't fit the Star Wars universe at all.

You described it perfectly.  In the movies (or Clone Wars for that matter), you can count on ONE HAND the number of times a major character gets shot.  A system where you ROUTINELY take most of your hits in damage every fight doesn't in the slightest represent Star Wars.  The wound/soak system feels a lot more like playing Diablo, where I'm spamming the 'potion' button in the middle of a fight.

 

 

 

 

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Themes will get stretched the more combat-heavy play gets, although the favor given to offense makes fairly clear and certain that outside of real powergaming, characters and ships aren't going to be wading into blaster fusillades. 

That said, I got around stimpacks by allowing Strain to be spent to mitigate half of incoming damage. It preserves the danger of combat while giving players a defensive resource that's about willpower instead of pharmaceuticals. Requires a few related houserules but works for my group.

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54 minutes ago, Erithtotl said:

They dodge

I can't think of an instance anywhere in the movies where a dodges. Jar Jar at the battle of Naboo maybe - but someone going full on Chow Yun Fat / Neo and running from a hail of bullets? Naw.

Cover, sure - although a great deal of the time they just stand out in the open and blaze away (Luke and Leia in the chasm, Luke and Han in the Control Room) - and the mechanic is simulated with a black die or two. But a full on dodge? Citation needed.

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To add, if you really wanted to make the concept of Wounds-not-really-Wounds concrete, you change Soak to something like Luck, Wound Threshold to something like Fate, and stimpacks are a controlled resource called Heroism or whatever. Meet your Fate Threshold, and your character finally suffers an injury of consequence.

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1 hour ago, Erithtotl said:

I feel like I made it pretty clear.  Its not Star Wars.  In Star Wars, people don't run around getting shot constantly and popping drugs, or using super heavy armor to resist damage.  They dodge, they take cover, and the bad guys generally are terribly inaccurate against heroes.  The game already makes minions easy to kill, but they still hit for full damage, which doesn't fit the Star Wars universe at all.

You described it perfectly.  In the movies (or Clone Wars for that matter), you can count on ONE HAND the number of times a major character gets shot.  A system where you ROUTINELY take most of your hits in damage every fight doesn't in the slightest represent Star Wars.  The wound/soak system feels a lot more like playing Diablo, where I'm spamming the 'potion' button in the middle of a fight.

 

 

 

 

Your position does make sense. I was simply ensuring there wasn't something that was being missed mechanically. Personally it doesn't bother me the way stimpacks are used, but I do totally understand that is not quite the Star Wars feel you get from the movies and is more 'video game-ish'.

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3 minutes ago, Desslok said:

I can't think of an instance anywhere in the movies where a dodges. Jar Jar at the battle of Naboo maybe - but someone going full on Chow Yun Fat / Neo and running from a hail of bullets? Naw.

Cover, sure - although a great deal of the time they just stand out in the open and blaze away (Luke and Leia in the chasm, Luke and Han in the Control Room) - and the mechanic is simulated with a black die or two. But a full on dodge? Citation needed.

Irrelevant.  my poiny is they dont get hit.  whether that is the incompetence of enemies or the power of the force or whatever, they dont get hit.  Even with cover the average minion is going to hit a player without a dodge talent about 30-40% of the time, for a lot of damage, and most significantly there is nothing you can do about it.

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