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HappyDaze

What Were They Thinking?

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Let's have a bit of fun in the manner of Marvel's No-Prize with this little game:

  1. Find something in the FFG game books that doesn't seem to make any sense.
  2. Try to rationalize it within the game's setting.

Here's an opener:

The Hunter specialization is all about hunting beasts (no, really...) but the talent tree contains Sixth Sense (+1 Ranged Defense) and 2 ranks of Side Step (pay strain to upgrade Difficulty of Ranged attacks targeting you). Not too many beasts are going to be using Ranged attacks, so this seems a little off unless you're hunting with a partner like **** Cheney. More realistically, perhaps the Hunter is expecting to routinely encounter poachers, many of whom are likely to use Ranged weapons.

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What is up with the utility of the Protective Amulet? That thing makes you immune to fire, acids, toxic athmospheres, crushing gravity, drowning and even the vacuum of space. Has a difficulty of 1 to craft and costs 300 credits in terms of materials. The thing makes underwater or space survival gear worthless and would allow you to re-enter a planets athmosphere unaided without a space suit if you have the Sentry career.  It's crazy the amount of utility it has, and the amount of other gear and talents it renders worthless, for such a small cost.

Only reason I can come up with is Disney. There had to be something that made sure that Leia surviving would be a no brainer, this thing fixes that. Stuck outside the ship in vacum? No longer a problem, sure the explosion would still have been pretty bad, but the rest after that was no biggie.

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11 minutes ago, Darth Revenant said:

What is up with the utility of the Protective Amulet? That thing makes you immune to fire, acids, toxic athmospheres, crushing gravity, drowning and even the vacuum of space. Has a difficulty of 1 to craft and costs 300 credits in terms of materials. The thing makes underwater or space survival gear worthless and would allow you to re-enter a planets athmosphere unaided without a space suit if you have the Sentry career.  It's crazy the amount of utility it has, and the amount of other gear and talents it renders worthless, for such a small cost.

Only reason I can come up with is Disney. There had to be something that made sure that Leia surviving would be a no brainer, this thing fixes that. Stuck outside the ship in vacum? No longer a problem, sure the explosion would still have been pretty bad, but the rest after that was no biggie.

Come on, try to find an explanation that works within the game's setting. Saying 'cuz Disney (or "a wizard did it") doesn't really stay true to the game.

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3 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

Come on, try to find an explanation that works within the game's setting. Saying 'cuz Disney (or "a wizard did it") doesn't really stay true to the game.

It is the will of the force? Nah, that falls under wizard did it. It's the reason for why Jedi never seem to use enviormental gear? No wait, we saw Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon use breathing aparatuses for diving in Phantom Menace.  Anakin and Obi-Wan used diving suits when they were on Dak, so that doesn't gel. Jedi Exile had to use a full on space suit to visit the toxic sulphur/methane mix bar, before learning some meditation techniques, so that's not it either. So Jedi clearly need enviormental survival gear and Anakin clearly didn't have one since he caught on fire. Vader also clearly doesn't have one since Tarkin used flamethrowers at him.

Yeah I can't really come up with an explination that works in the games setting. I guess it just doesn't make sense, and if it doesn't make sense then you must acquit my client!

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3 hours ago, Darth Revenant said:

What is up with the utility of the Protective Amulet? That thing makes you immune to fire, acids, toxic athmospheres, crushing gravity, drowning and even the vacuum of space. Has a difficulty of 1 to craft and costs 300 credits in terms of materials. The thing makes underwater or space survival gear worthless and would allow you to re-enter a planets athmosphere unaided without a space suit if you have the Sentry career.  It's crazy the amount of utility it has, and the amount of other gear and talents it renders worthless, for such a small cost.

Don't have the book handy and haven't really had a chance to read it in depth yet, but I'll take a stab....

 

The galactic population in general, are a space fairing people as a majority in relation to the setting and perspective of the stories. They have been for many many centuries, and often encountered all manner of hazards at a moments notice from fire, to void, to acid spitting crickets, and so needed a way to economically* provide an all-hazards protection. 

*Economically in the space-travel sense. It had to be small, light, and have many purposes, as the physical object represents a fuel quantity needed to break orbit and travel. So every ounce you don't spend on heavy space suits is worth it.

Originally these items were developed by a very force-heavy species/culture. Likewise originally they represented significant R&D and materials. 

Over time, as the galaxy became "smaller" the materials became more easily accessed and the R&D fell by the wayside. Now, as an "alchemical" process it's creation is just a wrote process and not actual understanding of the "science" behind how it works.  This may be something simply lost to time, or have been a more semi-intentional action as the developing culture may have had it's own internal culture issues in relation to this "Science." So when you compare it to say, Nightsisters you have a parallel of them using "magic," when the rest of us say "They are using The Force with Smokey green flair". (Alternative comparisons: See Dune and it's use of Mentats due to cultural fears relating to "thinking machines." And Semi-plagerized in 40k where the Mechanus, has long lost a lot of it's R&D infrastructure over millennia of war/warp storms/ect. So they can still make a clunky, dangerous, plasma rifle per the 20,000 year old plans, but lack the understanding and even the R&D infrastructure TO understand how plasma containment actually really works, so they can't improve the rifle or develop a new plasma weapon, at least not without a lot of guesswork and risk (which under the quasi-religious structure of both the Mechanus and Imperium... Heresy!)

That said, as an Alchemical process not well understood, such an item is still somewhat limited in it's availability and utility when you get down to the nuts and bolts. (And I need to check, because I'm not sure it's quite as good as you suggest, at least not a broad spectrum sense. But again, I need to check as I don't have the book handy.)

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1 minute ago, Ghostofman said:

Alternative comparisons: See Dune and it's use of Mentats due to cultural fears relating to "thinking machines." And Semi-plagerized in 40k where the Mechanus, has long lost a lot of it's R&D infrastructure over millennia of war/warp storms/ect.

Make that fully plagiarized as the Mechanus are totally opposed to AI (Abominable Intelligence)--or at least they were a few years ago, not even sure anymore.

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7 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

 not even sure anymore.

It's ok, neither is GW! :P

 

Seriously though, I've only read a few Dunes but I get the feeling they could build a thinking machine if the desired to (and I think IX is suggested to have actually done so) where the Mechanus can't make a new fancy doo-dad because not only do they not know how, but they also would need a quantum extrapolator to actually figure out how, and they don't know how to make one of those either, and even if they did making a quantum extrapolator requires a Boson-particle scale, and only 3 guys in the Imperium even know what one of those is, one is an inquisitor that's keeping secret "just in case" and the other two are Mechanus mucky-mucks that also aren't telling because knowing stuff like that is how they stay in power.

Edited by Ghostofman

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2 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

 

Seriously though, I've only read a few Dunes but I get the feeling they could build a thinking machine if the desired to (and I think IX is suggested to have actually done so)

They had many thinking machines in their past, see reference to the Butlerian Jihad.

    Short version:  Human society used thinking machines in every aspect of their lives, and became dependent on them.  But, as always happens in scifi, things Went Bad, and a Great War between the machines and humanity ensued.  Humanity won, and instituted a galaxy spanning ban on thinking machines, to prevent it ever happening again.  But, since they still needed that level of computation to manage a galactic empire, they Scienced Themselves Smarter, using the spice, and a lot of Plot Device, to replicate all the abilities of a supercomputer, in the human mind.  Thus allowing for something like a Steampunk level of sophistication, while still allowing for space travel and the like.

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8 minutes ago, KungFuFerret said:

They had many thinking machines in their past, see reference to the Butlerian Jihad.

    Short version:  Human society used thinking machines in every aspect of their lives, and became dependent on them.  But, as always happens in scifi, things Went Bad, and a Great War between the machines and humanity ensued.  Humanity won, and instituted a galaxy spanning ban on thinking machines, to prevent it ever happening again.  But, since they still needed that level of computation to manage a galactic empire, they Scienced Themselves Smarter, using the spice, and a lot of Plot Device, to replicate all the abilities of a supercomputer, in the human mind.  Thus allowing for something like a Steampunk level of sophistication, while still allowing for space travel and the like.

Right, there's a cultural/historical reason to not manufacture them (see Butlerian Jihad), but the knowledge of how is still there. Anyone with the resources to do so could do so, assuming no one else found out and and stopped them.

By comparison 40k's mechanus is both not 100% keen on thinking machines (sometimes, maybe, depending on if it's Tuesday or not) but also the knowledge and tools of how are scattered, lost, hidden, corrupted, or being intentionally withheld. The mechanus, for all it's power and resources, is largely just making things to the original designs and specs with little insitutional understanding of how it actually works.

Itd be like asking the guys on the Ford factory floor to build a car with no help from any engineers. They could build you a car they already knew how to build, or make minor largely cosmetic tweaks, but if you asked them to make the engine more powerful AND efficient or invent and add an ejector seat they'd be working almost entirely off guesswork.

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2 minutes ago, Ghostofman said:

Right, there's a cultural/historical reason to not manufacture them (see Butlerian Jihad), but the knowledge of how is still there. Anyone with the resources to do so could do so, assuming no one else found out and and stopped them.

By comparison 40k's mechanus is both not 100% keen on thinking machines (sometimes, maybe, depending on if it's Tuesday or not) but also the knowledge and tools of how are scattered, lost, hidden, corrupted, or being intentionally withheld. The mechanus, for all it's power and resources, is largely just making things to the original designs and specs with little insitutional understanding of how it actually works.

Itd be like asking the guys on the Ford factory floor to build a car with no help from any engineers. They could build you a car they already knew how to build, or make minor largely cosmetic tweaks, but if you asked them to make the engine more powerful AND efficient or invent and add an ejector seat they'd be working almost entirely off guesswork.

Yeah, I'll take your word on the warhammer stuff, never was a fan of that franchise.   :P  

But yeah, there have been other scifi stories about that kind of technological understanding, and losing details and stuff.  I remember one book, about a generational colony ship, that was on such a long journey, that the current inhabitants of the ship, saw the maintenance crew as the religious figures.  And it was actually portrayed as a religion, they did the "Prayer of Diagnostics" and so on, none of them knowing what was really going on, but they had been trained over the generations to do the things that needed to be done, to keep the ship going, even without knowing how/why.

Very interesting story as I recall.

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43 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

Star Wars is an universe in which I wouldn't be surprised by creatures spitting venom or launching spikes at me.

And there are a few of these in the books, but not nearly so many as there are creatures that claw/bite/trample/smash you. If those abilities were intended to protect the hunter from beasts, it stands to reason that those three talents would have been replaced by the equivalents talents that protect from melee combat.

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There is also the universe using the same alphabet for 36 000 years as well as using pretty much the same data tech. So you could plug in a USB-equivalent in a 4000 + year old (that would be ancient egyptian) slot and expect it to work. Well, tech peaked at the Kwa, more or less. There hasn't really been all that much development and the thought of actual improvement to technology is alien to most peoples minds.

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6 hours ago, Edgookin said:

How about a Bodyguard spec that doesn't receive improved or supreme bodyguard talents?

I'll give this one a try: The Bodyguard spec represents a literal 'hired gun' that protects somebody, often unsavory characters, but does so by actively seeking out hostiles and killing them. They are less "close protection" and more the elite fighters of some local power's bodyguard unit. This bodyguard unit likely uses the best gear the local power can provide, and this also explains why they are trained with heavier weaponry covered under Gunnery and Ranged (Heavy) as well as why they have Barrage (rather than Point Blank, which would fit a close protection specialist). The Body Guard talent exists not specifically for protecting the boss (who is very unlikely to personally go into the field) but more for supporting other members of the bodyguard unit (it makes them an 'elite force' that gets better in numbers where they can support each other). Improved Body Guard wouldn't really fit though, as unlike the base talent, that actually means taking the pain for someone else, and that's not really what a hired gun is likely to do. Supreme Body Guard would fit the role, but it's a level of training beyond what the local powers can really offer. If you notice, nothing truly unique shows up in the Bodyguard spec's talents.

Edited by HappyDaze
Clarity

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20 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

The Hunter specialization is all about hunting beasts (no, really...) but the talent tree contains Sixth Sense (+1 Ranged Defense) and 2 ranks of Side Step (pay strain to upgrade Difficulty of Ranged attacks targeting you). Not too many beasts are going to be using Ranged attacks, so this seems a little off unless you're hunting with a partner like **** Cheney. More realistically, perhaps the Hunter is expecting to routinely encounter poachers, many of whom are likely to use Ranged weapons.

It's not just about hunting beasts. Per the description, they often find themselves pursuing The Most Dangerous Game, and with that comes the danger/likelihood of being shot at in return.

Sixth Sense and the various Vigilance boosting talents play into that aspect, along with the frequent theme of hunter types (nevermind force-sensitive hunter types) having an instinctive sense of danger, particularly hidden danger.

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