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Mefyrx

Piloting, is it overated?!

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We are still kind of new to the game mechanism.... Everything we did thus far was to fly to a planet and hyperspace flee a combat....on that planet we were on foot 99% of the time...

 

So when you talk about piloting, its almost the same as saying should you be good at driving a car....so of course, yes we all would like to be good at it...

 

But when i read in the book the example where piloting skill would be usefull, and i dont have the book in front of me at the moment, it was like if you want to race with someone......piloting would determine the winner....id assume at same vehicle speed... ...well i dont intend to enter a pod race or whatever.......and there was two more meaningless example...

 

When i looked at the maneuver during combat that you could do .....i think there was only one of them that talked about making a piloting check.....

 

So my question becomes simple.....how can the piloting skill affect the fight.....on a starfighter or for instance a freighter where you have crew using turrets...

Is piloting useful somewhere else...or should you just put 1 point and rely on your agility

Beside id assume that shooting would require gunnery on a ship even if your flying a tie fighter

 

 

So far im playing a slicer....and the slicer tree is disgusting...im.also force sensitive exile and used couple of xp to get blue dice...which are realy nice.... Im a melee fighter, stealth and hacker....

Since we are all experiencing and playing the game for the first time, our gm allows us to change our character (re-spec).... And im tempted to change to a pilot probably from another book but something similar....and put points in computer....basically increase my piloting of 1 and decrease my computer of 3... change my strenght basically...but most important the talent tree

Slicer seem to have good upside for what you could do....but putting points in computer skills might as well cover the need for it...while piloting might be more useful....well it depends on what answers im going to get here..

 

With me there is also a robot bounty hunter thats all about damage and a scout in the team who started to lean toward diplomatics

Edited by Mefyrx

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It depends on your GM. Personally I like to let players make whatever characters they want, and from that I can see what kind of things they want to do in the system. If a player comes out with a pilot character then I know I must include piloting in each session.

Now, it’s important to know that this system works extremely well when the party splits up. It’s actually quite simple to run an encounter where everyone is separated, doing different things. But to do it requires a gm willing to tell a story in such a way. But if it’s possible then it really opens the chance of specialist characters to do their thing without the entire encounter being focused on them.

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I've found that being "the pilot" is a weak concept in this game. Far better to be something else and just do a little piloting alongside your main thing. If you're a dedicated pilot, chances are that others will be bored silly if the game has to shift to starship/vehicle combat all the time just so you don't feel useless.

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Just now, HappyDaze said:

I've found that being "the pilot" is a weak concept in this game. Far better to be something else and just do a little piloting alongside your main thing. If you're a dedicated pilot, chances are that others will be bored silly if the game has to shift to starship/vehicle combat all the time just so you don't feel useless.

Being dedicated to any single skill is a bad idea, this isn’t d&d where every encounter is a combat encounter. 

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1 minute ago, Richardbuxton said:

Being dedicated to any single skill is a bad idea, this isn’t d&d where every encounter is a combat encounter. 

Yet we have many Specializations that push things in that direction, such as Slicer (Computers), Mechanic (Mechanics), Doctor (Medicine), and the numerous lightsaber form specs (Lightsaber). Sure, each of these actually requires a set of skills--and truthfully, so does Pilot--but they really expect to get a lot out of a single primary skill. Sadly, the Piloting skills don't offer as much as the others.

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As I agree that you should not put all your cards on one skill you nevertheless need a good pilot in your team, at least that´s my expierience.

When you enter your first battle against some very good pilots and gunners you will value the pilot in your team.

In our group our pilot is pilot/mechanic/and an able shooter. Always something to do for him.

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1 hour ago, dreenan said:

As I agree that you should not put all your cards on one skill you nevertheless need a good pilot in your team, at least that´s my expierience.

When you enter your first battle against some very good pilots and gunners you will value the pilot in your team.

In our group our pilot is pilot/mechanic/and an able shooter. Always something to do for him.

I don't think a good pilot is nearly as important as good gunners, but that's because this starship/vehicle combat game is about hitting first and hitting hard with piloting having very little effect on such a battle unless the pilot has some very expensive talents. Even then, I haven't found them to be needed, just a bonus.

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Piloting in this game is what you and your GM make of it.

Unless the GM is running a pilot-heavy campaign you should always have a sidespec to run with to make a satisfying character. Piloting is very fun when done right and a lot of the talents allow you to pull off more garish and fun things when your time is due to do so. 

 

You won't be 100% relevant at every point in the game but when is anyone? Like with anything in this game it's not a simulator it's a ruleset to allow for narrative roleplay.

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Both Pilot and Slicer have one thing in common, they are at their strongest when GM is designing encounters with them in mind.

Pilot skill doesn't really shine until the Pilot is having to dodge obstacles during chase or combat. Pilot talents can also massively help get away (Full Throttle) in a chase or keep a ship intact (Briliant Evasion, Defensive Driving etc) in a combat, or counter the challenges of a badly handling ship or poor conditions (Skilled Jockey).

Slicer doesn't really shine until they are regularly doing slicing focussed missions, and protecting against other slicers. You pretty much need electronic war going on half the time to make their varied (and otherwise weak) talents shine.

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The thing with any of the piloting specs is they will have a good Agility, so even with no training and just a decent pistol they will be helpful in a fight, and Stealth!

The other characteristics you choose to invest in at the start is what really matters for your diversity. You can put a 3 in any of Intellect, Cunning, or Presence, and you will have something to do in almost any encounter. You don’t even need training to be able to do plenty.

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I have found that piloting is a fairly useless skill . . . right up until you need to move a starship.

There have been a handful of encounters when a PC has jumped into the pilots' seat of a vessel (during combat) and then blanched when I asked what their piloting skill was . . .  Those experiences have turned from, this is a "great heroic idea," to a "comedy of errors."  Cue the Benny Hill theme song.

Space combat is also pretty dry an unremarkable, unless the PLAYERS understand their available actions.  If you have inactive players who are too lazy to pick up the single page Starship actions sheet OR who assume that because they can't pilot & can't man a gun, then your vehicle combats are going to be dry and boring.

When the players actually spend a minute or two reading that sheet, then vehicle combat becomes rather dynamic and dramatic for everyone!

 

As an aside, my RPG group is a Special Operations Group team and their missions have little to do with getting involved in space battles.  They are specialized to do things that are not piloting.  We have an NPC Pilot (specialist who is a former fighter jock & smuggler) and a new NPC gunner (former Imperial academy trainee.  He is the HAWSS!  He also has more Tie Fighter kills than most Rebel will ever dream of! :o  Kind of why he's a "former" trainee ;))!

As I've gotten better at running this game, there are a LOT of skills that the players are finding that they should probably spend more points in.  Some are even thinking about putting some training in on the flight sim.

However, its kind of cool, when your smuggler/pilot pulls off a Gain the Advantage skill check against a TIE Fighter pilot and overcomes 6 black dice to drop behind the TIE and let the gunners follow up with a volley of withering fire.

But yeah.  Piloting is useless.

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1 hour ago, Mark Caliber said:

However, its kind of cool, when your smuggler/pilot pulls off a Gain the Advantage skill check against a TIE Fighter pilot and overcomes 6 black dice to drop behind the TIE and let the gunners follow up with a volley of withering fire.

But yeah.  Piloting is useless.

It's not useless, but a good gunner probably could have just used the initiative slot the pilot spent on GtA to blow up the TIE even sooner without needing anything from GtA.

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Piloting is like all the Skills, you need to be creative in how it's applied.  Although in space combat a GM should be calling for obstacle rolls constantly for things like unexploded ordinance, other vessels darting hither and yon, chunks of destroyed ships, etc.

Out of combat I could see a Pilot PC applying the skill when the group goes to Fizzlebottom's used ship lot and assesses which ships are in the best shape and the best price.

The group for whatever reason comes across a crashed vessel and the Pilot takes a look at control surfaces on the ship and the instruments in the cockpit to determine a hidden reason for an inexplicable looking crash.

The group is tasked with setting up a base and the Pilot makes a check of terrain to help position it in an ideal location for flight OPs.

The team is looking to set up a secret hideout in an asteroid field and the Pilot spends time examining the pattern of the drifting debris to pre-map out the safest fast entrance and exit points to the field, or places to lead adversaries into 'box canyons' in the field.

There are many more ways to use the Skill aside from just flying casually, all it requires is imagination.  No RPG book is going to provide that, GMs and players need to bring that to the table with them. 

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2 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

It's not useless, but a good gunner probably could have just used the initiative slot the pilot spent on GtA to blow up the TIE even sooner without needing anything from GtA.

Yeah, but when the GM declares that the TIE Pilots are flying defensive and the best gunner in the crew is shooting with 1 Yellow & 1 Green . . . GTA for the WIN!

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4 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

Yeah, but when the GM declares that the TIE Pilots are flying defensive and the best gunner in the crew is shooting with 1 Yellow & 1 Green . . . GTA for the WIN!

IOW, you needed a better gunner (or two). Do you really have so few characters with Agility 3+ in your current group? With an Aim maneuver, 3 Green and 1 Blue is often enough to hit against even 2 Red.

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Thank you for everybody's input, I guess i'll be reading that starship action sheet.... lol  .....well I've read it once when we started playing 8 months ago...but we haven't made use of it so it's really a blur now....but I did remember that nothing felt like using piloting skill beside that advantage one.....

Taking a quick look at the pilot talent tree, it is much more interesting than slicer.....

....well I'm putting my effort on creating cards....but will eventually take a look at it and see what I could do....... but like many says, It depends on what you make of it

 

Edited by Mefyrx

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17 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

Yet we have many Specializations that push things in that direction, such as Slicer (Computers), Mechanic (Mechanics), Doctor (Medicine), and the numerous lightsaber form specs (Lightsaber). Sure, each of these actually requires a set of skills--and truthfully, so does Pilot--but they really expect to get a lot out of a single primary skill. Sadly, the Piloting skills don't offer as much as the others.

How do you kill a death star? 
With some pilots. 

How do you escape from Hoth?
With a working hyperdrive and some of the best pilots in the galaxy. 

How do you kill the emperor? 
You blow up his death star ... again. 

Who's job is it to fly into that second death star and do the job? The groups pilot again. 
Who saves the day in the last second with a dashing rescue? Right, the cavalry aka the pilot with the heavy guns or an quick escape vehicle. 

The piloting skills and talents (including gunnery) do in a lot of cases trump any other combat related skill set. Bringing a tank to a gunfight usually is better than bringing an oversize (laser)knife. The only issue with pilots are GMs who have problems with the escalation of things. And boy, do things escalate quickly when you have a rigger, a hotshot and a heavy with too many signature abilities and the will to use them. ?

 

11 hours ago, Darzil said:

Both Pilot and Slicer have one thing in common, they are at their strongest when GM is designing encounters with them in mind.

Pilot skill doesn't really shine until the Pilot is having to dodge obstacles during chase or combat. Pilot talents can also massively help get away (Full Throttle) in a chase or keep a ship intact (Briliant Evasion, Defensive Driving etc) in a combat, or counter the challenges of a badly handling ship or poor conditions (Skilled Jockey).

Slicer doesn't really shine until they are regularly doing slicing focussed missions, and protecting against other slicers. You pretty much need electronic war going on half the time to make their varied (and otherwise weak) talents shine.

Slicers are actually quite good in space combat to have. Love my little Astromech. ❤️

Edited by SEApocalypse

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4 hours ago, Mefyrx said:

Thank you for everybody's input, I guess i'll be reading that starship action sheet.... lol ....well I'm putting my effort on creating cards....but will eventually take a look at it and see what I could do....... but like many says, It depends on what you make of it

The action sheet is a very good start. But just as important might be all the tables for spending advantages, triumphs, despair and threat in Stay on Target. You get tons of suggestions for different environments. Nebula, debris fields, asteroid fields, larger space battles, etc

Spending advantages is the bread and butter of the narrative dice system. If your players are creative on their own, sure those tables are just suggestions and not necessary ... if they are not creative on their own, they or you should really look into those tables and get some ideas, because you can do all sorts of fun things this way. Removing opponents from the encounter, provoking collisions (critial hits!), becoming incredible hard to hit (essential for survival in star fighters), disabling sub-systems, etc so much stuff which makes a good narrative and interesting scene. 

Even ground combat is dry without this, but people seem to have at least an idea about the action, meanwhile it seems that a lot of players are a little less imaginative when it comes to their options in space combat. And a lot of the checks involved can be directly piloting, often rather easy checks with all those piloting talents. Add master pilot for defacto double actions and you can get a lot out of your piloting skills. Outmaneuvering targets, destroying others, while brilliantly evading turbolaser fire from the nearby capital ship, etc 

 

Edited by SEApocalypse

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16 minutes ago, SEApocalypse said:

How do you kill a death star? 
With some pilots. 

How do you escape from Hoth?
With a working hyperdrive and some of the best pilots in the galaxy. 

How do you kill the emperor? 
You blow up his death star ... again. 

Who's job is it to fly into that second death star and do the job? The groups pilot again. 
Who saves the day in the last second with a dashing rescue? Right, the cavalry aka the pilot with the heavy guns or an quick escape vehicle. 

The piloting skills and talents (including gunnery) do in a lot of cases trump any other combat related skill set. Bringing a tank to a gunfight usually is better than bringing an oversize (laser)knife. The only issue with pilots are GMs who have problems with the escalation of things. And boy, do things escalate quickly when you have a rigger, a hotshot and a heavy with too many signature abilities and the will to use them. ?

 

Slicers are actually quite good in space combat to have. Love my little Astromech. ❤️

Luke killed the Death Star via his Force-assisted Gunnery.

The escape from Hoth was made possible through the giant ion boob gun and quality Gunnery.

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I treat all space encounters like a chase (with modified rules), so piloting is worth being good at.  Getting from A to B is quicker (less chance of getting tractored) and there are always the usual advantages of combat such as passing boost dice or upgrades around.

I also added an Action "Never Tell Me the Odds".  This action allows the initiating pilot to set the difficulty, and anybody who wants to keep up has to roll against that difficulty as well.  The consequences of failure and threat are ship damage, crits, etc., so you can end up losing pursuit or even taking them out just by them crashing into asteroids etc.

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19 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

I've found that being "the pilot" is a weak concept in this game. Far better to be something else and just do a little piloting alongside your main thing. If you're a dedicated pilot, chances are that others will be bored silly if the game has to shift to starship/vehicle combat all the time just so you don't feel useless.

 

14 hours ago, ALFRED1182 said:

Piloting in this game is what you and your GM make of it.

Unless the GM is running a pilot-heavy campaign you should always have a sidespec to run with to make a satisfying character. Piloting is very fun when done right and a lot of the talents allow you to pull off more garish and fun things when your time is due to do so. 

 

You won't be 100% relevant at every point in the game but when is anyone? Like with anything in this game it's not a simulator it's a ruleset to allow for narrative roleplay.

we are admittedly also struggling with how to make piloting interesting, beyond simple combat. We've tried things like adding astrogation checks to make difficult jumps and the time-honored "it'll take x rounds to jump, outfly or outfight the enemy" but given the nature of Star Wars, it's a pretty limp element to our gaming.

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15 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

I don't think a good pilot is nearly as important as good gunners, but that's because this starship/vehicle combat game is about hitting first and hitting hard with piloting having very little effect on such a battle unless the pilot has some very expensive talents. Even then, I haven't found them to be needed, just a bonus.

True, but only if you are only fighting Fighters, who tend to die in only 1-2 hits.

The space battle rules could use a little polishing. Like maybe making more of an emphasis on the Pilot's flying setting the difficulty to hit them.

....

Oooohh, What if the difficulty of hitting a ship was set to be the Pilot's Piloting(Space) skill, with the difficulty increased/decreased by the difference in Silhouette.

So a TIE Fighter flown by a pilot with Agi3 and Pilot(Space) of 1 vs a YT-1300 piloted by a PC with Agi3 and Pilot(space)2 would shake as follows,

Any PCs attempting to shoot the TIE Fighter would roll vs 3 purple and 1 red. While the TIE Fighter would roll vs 2 red dice(normally 2 red 1 purple, decreased by 1 because of the 1 difference in Silhouette).

So a TIE Fighter shooting a CR90 would decrease the difficulty of the roll by 2 steps. So even if the CR90 has an ace navigator with Agi4 and Piloting(space)2, the TIE fighter would only roll 2 reds.

 

Edited by BadMotivator

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2 minutes ago, BadMotivator said:

True, but only if you are only fighting Fighters, who tend to die in only 1-2 hits.

The space battle rules could use a little polishing. Like maybe making more of an emphasis on the Pilot's flying setting the difficulty to hit them.

....

Oooohh, What if the difficulty of hitting a ship was set to be the Pilot's Piloting(Space) skill, with the difficulty increased/decreased by the difference in Silhouette.

So a TIE Fighter flown by a pilot with Agi3 and Pilot(Space) of 1 vs a YT-1300 piloted by a PC with Agi3 and Pilot(space)2 would shake as follows,

Any PCs attempting to shoot the TIE Fighter would roll vs 3 purple and 1 red. While the TIE Fighter would roll vs 2 red dice(normally 2 red 1 purple, decreased by 1 because of the 1 difference in Silhouette).

So a TIE Fighter shooting a CR90 would decrease the difficulty of the roll by 2 steps. So even if the CR90 has an ace navigator with Agi4 and Piloting(space)2, the TIE fighter would only roll 2 reds.

Genesys has a revised set of ship rules, it’s still not perfect but it’s so much better it’s ridiculous. For one there’s a skill called Operating (Intellect) that’s used instead of Piloting on big ships (Silhouette 5+ generally). Then every ship moves every round unless it’s at speed 0. There’s a way to reduce the damage your ship takes by performing an Incidental just like Parry. And the difficulty to hit is based on Range and Silhouette, a much more consistent formula for the entire system.

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