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Bucho

soak....really?

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3 hours ago, Bucho said:

I mean people who are familiar with this game is it legitimately well thought out or as slapped together as it seems at first glance?

Slapped together? Hardly. Although it is hard to determine what your issues are since beyond the word "soak" nothing else is clear. Hard to address your concerns since you haven't voiced them. That is if you even want them addressed.

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I tend to agree with the majority of the other posters here.  While I can understand that "soak" might not be the best term, it is one that has been used many times in the history of RPGs, is concise, and reasonably intuitive.

The developers are meticulous in ensuring that no two things (talents, skills, careers, specializations (in the Star Wars system), pieces of gear, item categories, characteristics, weapon qualities, etc.) have the same name, to avoid confusion.  In fact, the one time I can think of where two things did have the same name in the Star Wars game - Force rating the pseudo-characteristic and Force Rating the talent that increases it - there continues to be a fair amount of confusion between the two.  Since "Defense" is already your ability to add Setback dice to attacks targeting you, and "Armor" is already the name of a type of gear, those two names aren't useable for the quality that directly reduces the amount of wounds you take from an attack.

So they used a term that has been used for many other RPGs.  If it's not one you're familiar with I can see how it might appear silly at first glance, but since FFG didn't create the term, it's not really their fault.  I hardly see how using a classic gaming term constitutes "slapped together."  And as someone who playtested Genesys, while I can't give any details, I can say that it the development was very thorough.  With that, on top of the fact that the system and its quirks have been refined through five years of the Star Wars RPG, it's very robust.  Maybe it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it is well-built. 

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11 minutes ago, Absol197 said:

The developers are meticulous in ensuring that no two things (talents, skills, careers, specializations (in the Star Wars system), pieces of gear, item categories, characteristics, weapon qualities, etc.) have the same name, to avoid confusion.  In fact, the one time I can think of where two things did have the same name in the Star Wars game - Force rating the pseudo-characteristic and Force Rating the talent that increases it - there continues to be a fair amount of confusion between the two.  Since "Defense" is already your ability to add Setback dice to attacks targeting you, and "Armor" is already the name of a type of gear, those two names aren't useable for the quality that directly reduces the amount of wounds you take from an attack.

Also Stun Quality and Stun Damage.  But I think some of that was an attempt to stay in-universe for Star Wars.

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10 hours ago, Bucho said:

How about armor then or any of the alternatives that didn't involve damage? We've quickly been able to come up with  numerous alternatives,  does anyone think that if the list we made got focus grouped soak would come out as the top pick?

Here's the thing I'm a bit gun shy about FFG at this point having watched them make numerous bizarre design choices lately.  So when I don't get farther than promotional photos before face palming....   I mean people who are familiar with this game is it legitimately well thought out or as slapped together as it seems at first glance?

Having played Star Wars, I'd say the system plays remarkably well. I'm not a huge fan of damage reduction mechanics in general but I like the way combat flows compared to d20 based games. Give it a shot, some people love it, some don't.

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As with any new system, I'd recommend an approach with new eyes. Pretend it's the first game you ever picked up, and read the rules without using your gamer lenses. Let the game succeed or fail on its own merits, not because of how its design squares up with games you've played in the past. 

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14 hours ago, Richardbuxton said:

The core rules are a slightly revised version of rules from Star Wars that have been in constant heavy use for over 5 years.

OHHHH that's what the wacky dice are about....

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6 hours ago, Bucho said:

OHHHH that's what the wacky dice are about....

If you start at Chapter 1, you will see that the dice are the first thing they talk about.  

Perhaps you might want to watch some videos of people actually playing Genesys or Star Wars to get a feel for how it all works.  

Edited by TheSapient

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7 hours ago, TheSapient said:

If you start at Chapter 1, you will see that the dice are the first thing they talk about.  

Perhaps you might want to watch some videos of people actually playing Genesys or Star Wars to get a feel for how it all works.  

Or just look for red flags without reading the book.

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Why do I feel like I am back on the boards when EotE first came out? If you have a concern, bring it up if you want it addressed. If all you want to do is complain then I would say the game is not for you. The mechanics have been well established over the course of the Star Wars game and continue to work well. No system is perfect hence why I enjoy so many.

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On 3/2/2018 at 6:00 PM, awayputurwpn said:

As opposed to a different solution that you have in mind?

I wish. What I like about Genesys is that its a game that put narration forward... but how do you reflect soak in the narration ? Near misses ? Parry ? but somehow damages still get through ?... weird isn't it.

I understand why soak is there. It allows you to modulate easily the lethality of combat. However, I find it counter-intuitive to reflect its effect in narrative terms. What is exactly soak versus a blaster shot, a 50cal or a swing of an axe to the head ? You only get half lobotomized ?

Edited by Tabulazero

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8 minutes ago, Tabulazero said:

I wish. What I like about Genesys is that its a game that put narration forward... but how do you reflect soak in the narration ? Near misses ? Parry ? but somehow damages still get through ?... weird isn't it.

I understand why soak is there. It allows you to modulate easily the lethality of combat. However, I find it counter-intuitive to reflect its effect in narrative terms. What is exactly soak versus a blaster shot, a 50cal or a swing of an axe to the head ? You only get half lobotomized ?

One attack does not equal a single pull of the trigger, but a series of attacks over a period of abstracted time. This game isn't d20 where one turn equals 6 seconds. A single turn in this game is how long the narrative requires it to be. 

Edited by ghatt

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The real question is how you reflect damage and wounds in the narrative. Do you see characters as a big pool of hit points, and you are just wailing on each other, connecting solidly with each hit while the health meter slowly depletes, video-game-style? 

Once you figure out what damage and wounds represent for your game (I've found that everyone has a fractionally different take on how to narrate wounds & strain, where the two intersect, and the difference between a large amount of wounds & a critical injury), soak is easy.

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41 minutes ago, Tabulazero said:

I wish. What I like about Genesys is that its a game that put narration forward... but how do you reflect soak in the narration ? Near misses ? Parry ? but somehow damages still get through ?... weird isn't it.

I understand why soak is there. It allows you to modulate easily the lethality of combat. However, I find it counter-intuitive to reflect its effect in narrative terms. What is exactly soak versus a blaster shot, a 50cal or a swing of an axe to the head ? You only get half lobotomized ?

Keep in mind that actual, wounding blows in this system are exclusively represented by critical hits. The wounds stat represents the fatigue and general wear and tear that comes from just actively participating in combat. As you get more and more tired from ducking and weaving, slamming against walls for cover, and so on, it becomes more and more likely that an attack will actually land a solid hit and cause a “critical injury”, ie something that requires medical attention. Soak represents your ability to absorb that miscellaneous banging around without effect. 

 

Blaster shot? Leia got winged in the arm on Endor, but it wasn’t that bad. 

50 cal? Shot the wall next to you, spraying splinters into your eye. Or it hit the ground in front of you and kicked a rock into your chin. A big tough guy shrugs that off but a pencil neck reals from it. 

Axe swing? You blocked the swing, but the powerful blow jarred your arm something fierce. Soak is how well you handle that jarring impact. 

Edited by Forgottenlore

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As said by others, the narrative interpretation of soak depends on the narrative interpretation of damage. Something that will vary from table to table, from character to character, and from different instances of damage. Soak might represent your ability to withstand the fatigue of mounting various defenses against attacks (running, parrying, rolling with a punches), much like damage against fatigue in the L5R 5th Edition Beta. It might represent the shock absorption of your armor against blows. It might represent overcoming physical symptoms of the heavy mental rattling that close calls bring. It can be your ability to withstand and ignore pain. Since 'injuries' are abstracted to both damage and critical hits, there is a lot of room for damage and soak to fill many narrative purposes. Genesys and its predecessors tend away from the specific and allow the narrative to flow naturally from the whims of the group and the dice. Damage generally represents superficial/minor scratches and bruises, physical exhaustion, pain,  and just about every form of physical battering you can imagine that falls short of major injuries and hindrances. Soak represents the counters to such, and is just as open ended in practice.

As for the term itself, I recall coming across soak as meaning to absorb and withstand damage from fantasy and sci fi before I even approached table top RPGs. V:tM 2ed is oldest table top exposure I can recall, never having played Ars Magica, but I don't recall ever questioning the term or finding it odd. I am not saying this as a brag or to say your confusion is wrong, but to show a different experience. We all have different experiences, and while the term has been long in place in the hobby and the literature that inspires it, I can see where someone could miss the associations that familiarized the intended meaning I have. English is a funny mistress.

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33 minutes ago, awayputurwpn said:

The real question is how you reflect damage and wounds in the narrative. Do you see characters as a big pool of hit points, and you are just wailing on each other, connecting solidly with each hit while the health meter slowly depletes, video-game-style? 

Once you figure out what damage and wounds represent for your game (I've found that everyone has a fractionally different take on how to narrate wounds & strain, where the two intersect, and the difference between a large amount of wounds & a critical injury), soak is easy.

I am tempted to put soak to 0 and see how it goes. 

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4 minutes ago, Tabulazero said:

I am tempted to put soak to 0 and see how it goes. 

The immediate change I expect is an increased rate of critical hits and unconsciousness. Not only will combat be more lethal there will be less opportunity for characters to flee or even be encouraged to flee with threatening attacks. Getting the jump on your opponents will increase as the game of rocket tag will be more greatly emphasized.

Another expectation is a devaluing of Brawn. Brawny characters will lose some of their edge in all forms of combat. The difference between a more frail and a hardy person when suffering from minor physical trauma will be reduced. As will the difference in likelihood that such characters receive major traumas in the form of critical hits.

Combat will feel less pulpy or cinematic. There will be a greater grit. There will probably me more avoidance of combat in general, and definitely straight up in your face combat. Combat from a position of strength and surprise will be more highly valued than is currently. As will skills and talents that play into initiative.

My suggestion if you want to keep near hits, close calls and glancing blows common would be to remove the Brawn addition from melee attacks but make everything 0+Brawn a 1 damage, and reduce other weaponry damage by 2 or 3. Brawn weaponry then only gets the input from the dice of Brawn. That might seem more natural to you.

I'm not saying either of those expectations are wrong or bad, just what I expect the effect on the system and play behavior to be.

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10 hours ago, awayputurwpn said:

@Tabulazero have you played the game at all yet?

We did a one-shot with my group and liked it very much. The only thing that caused an issue is the fact that the fight fell a little too "heroic". It made using violence to solve the player issue a too tempting solution.

We plan to do another one-shot focusing on other aspects of the game (magic for instance) before launching our homebrew campaign

@GM81 Protocol Droid thanks for the analysis. Very useful. What you describe is pretty much the "feel" we want for our game.  We want to play a pretty "grity" version of Genesys. Any ideas that help us achieve that are welcomed.

Edited by Tabulazero

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