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Ghostofman

Rise of the Separatists Era Book

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Just now, Ghostofman said:

I heard a rumour they switched after the boat impounding incident. Is this just rumor, or did they really switch to a printer in 'merca?

I've heard whispers of that as well which is why I mention it.  Right around Dawn of Rebellion I think books started coming in faster, but the ones that were already in the pipeline still took a while.  I'd guess because those contracts were already set up.  so newer books were coming out before older books hit the shelves.  I'm sure it costs them more, but if it gets rid of the massive delays it would be better in the long run IMO.

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2 hours ago, Ahrimon said:

I've heard whispers of that as well which is why I mention it.  Right around Dawn of Rebellion I think books started coming in faster, but the ones that were already in the pipeline still took a while.  I'd guess because those contracts were already set up.  so newer books were coming out before older books hit the shelves.  I'm sure it costs them more, but if it gets rid of the massive delays it would be better in the long run IMO.

I heard their printer went bankrupt.

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On 9/9/2018 at 11:51 PM, Ghostofman said:

I heard a rumour they switched after the boat impounding incident. Is this just rumor, or did they really switch to a printer in 'merca?

Let's hope FFG did find a US based printer, at the same rates as China was printing, otherwise the cost of books might increase very soon:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/17/donald-trump-united-states-threatens-to-impose-200bn-import-tariffs-on-china-in-trade-war

 

 

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On 8/15/2018 at 1:54 PM, rogue_09 said:

If they include Episode II material (the very, very early part of the Clone Wars) I could see Jango as a listed adversary. Zam Wesell would be neat, but even less likely.

Well the book is the Rise of the separatists and jango was still alive when the separatists were rising so we could actally see him in the book.

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This is one of my favourite analog computers: 

 

A weird attempt to create a simulation of the economy using the flow of water between various chambers according to economic 'laws'.

E: Oh wow it converted that link into a COLOSSAL inline video.

Edited by Talkie Toaster

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Indeed! I'm fairly certain most of the conversation on the forums regarding my work in the book will focus on attributes and skill ranks chosen for iconic NPCs (because basically everyone on the internet is going to have a different idea of what those should look like, depending on their interpretation of the character and how much XP their home game is at). But I'm really proud of my work in this book. The Clone Wars is one of my favorite eras for Star Wars stories, and I did my best to give GMs and players a lot of hooks and frameworks for dealing with the bureaucracy of the Old Republic and making it interesting (or at least hopefully understandable). This is probably my favorite book I've worked on to date for FFG. So I really really really can't wait for it to come out. 

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22 hours ago, KRKappel said:

Indeed! I'm fairly certain most of the conversation on the forums regarding my work in the book will focus on attributes and skill ranks chosen for iconic NPCs (because basically everyone on the internet is going to have a different idea of what those should look like, depending on their interpretation of the character and how much XP their home game is at). But I'm really proud of my work in this book. The Clone Wars is one of my favorite eras for Star Wars stories, and I did my best to give GMs and players a lot of hooks and frameworks for dealing with the bureaucracy of the Old Republic and making it interesting (or at least hopefully understandable). This is probably my favorite book I've worked on to date for FFG. So I really really really can't wait for it to come out. 

how much of your jedi council game influenced your builds?

 

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19 hours ago, Daeglan said:

how much of your jedi council game influenced your builds?

 

TL;DR: Almost zero.

So in that Jedi Council epic play adventure I did, the Jedi Council were player characters, and really the whole thing was an experiment to see what happens to PCs when they hit 2,000 XP or so, and does the game break and just stop working. (I had seen a lot of complaints/assumptions that this would be the case on the forums, and wanted to find out for myself). So I went all out just as an experiment to see if combats could still be challenging, etc. (Turns out this game scales up incredibly well at the 2000 XP range for F&D, though the high end number is certainly less for AOR and EOTE). 

So, with that in mind, each one of those PCs was like, a 15 page document to list all the various Force powers and talents in most of the character sheet generation things that would make them actually usable at the table to a PC. 

Now, if I turned in a 2,000 word NPC stat block (which would be like 3 pages long in a print book), they'd laugh me out of the industry. Design philosophy for NPC building vs PC building is really very, very different. So when I worked on the iconic NPCs (they mentioned Padme in this article, and showed Kenobi and Dooku in a previous one), I'm building them in as streamlined a fashion as possible, so a GM doesn't bog down play trying to figure out which attack to use, or which talents can help them in a given situation. If we tried to give an Iconic NPC every talent we see them possibly use in the Clone Wars cartoon, or even the film, the stat blocks would be unusably long, and there would be long pauses in gameplay as they consulted sheets, potentially leading to some analysis paralysis. 

PCs have the advantage of only needing to be familiar with one profile, so by design most RPGs allow them to become more complex over the life of a campaign. Players only have to learn one new ability every or every other session or so. Players who want to keep track of less can buy passive talents and skill ranks instead, allowing a level of customization to how complex their stat block gets, and how much they need to track at the table. GM's have to juggle a lot more than one stat block, so I try to keep them as simplified as possible. 

I also have the advantage in NPC creation of being able to add special qualities, which can often take the place of multiple talents, or otherwise power an NPC up within their core strategy for accomplishing things significantly (though sometimes these just add a cool flavor that marks the character as unmistakably them). 

Beyond the needs of the table, also remember it's a print book. So there's this tug of war sort of element between spending word counts on NPC profiles, and spending word counts on other content. So for that purpose alone, I tend to aim for streamlining a profile as much as possible, while still staying as true to the character as possible. There's a balance there that you need to achieve in working for print. 

So yeah, for me, the entire process started from scratch again, because really, the design goals were so far apart. 

Edited by KRKappel

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6 hours ago, KRKappel said:

TL;DR: Almost zero.

So in that Jedi Council epic play adventure I did, the Jedi Council were player characters, and really the whole thing was an experiment to see what happens to PCs when they hit 2,000 XP or so, and does the game break and just stop working. (I had seen a lot of complaints/assumptions that this would be the case on the forums, and wanted to find out for myself). So I went all out just as an experiment to see if combats could still be challenging, etc. (Turns out this game scales up incredibly well at the 2000 XP range for F&D, though the high end number is certainly less for AOR and EOTE). 

So, with that in mind, each one of those PCs was like, a 15 page document to list all the various Force powers and talents in most of the character sheet generation things that would make them actually usable at the table to a PC. 

Now, if I turned in a 2,000 word NPC stat block (which would be like 3 pages long in a print book), they'd laugh me out of the industry. Design philosophy for NPC building vs PC building is really very, very different. So when I worked on the iconic NPCs (they mentioned Padme in this article, and showed Kenobi and Dooku in a previous one), I'm building them in as streamlined a fashion as possible, so a GM doesn't bog down play trying to figure out which attack to use, or which talents can help them in a given situation. If we tried to give an Iconic NPC every talent we see them possibly use in the Clone Wars cartoon, or even the film, the stat blocks would be unusably long, and there would be long pauses in gameplay as they consulted sheets, potentially leading to some analysis paralysis. 

PCs have the advantage of only needing to be familiar with one profile, so by design most RPGs allow them to become more complex over the life of a campaign. Players only have to learn one new ability every or every other session or so. Players who want to keep track of less can buy passive talents and skill ranks instead, allowing a level of customization to how complex their stat block gets, and how much they need to track at the table. GM's have to juggle a lot more than one stat block, so I try to keep them as simplified as possible. 

I also have the advantage in NPC creation of being able to add special qualities, which can often take the place of multiple talents, or otherwise power an NPC up within their core strategy for accomplishing things significantly (though sometimes these just add a cool flavor that marks the character as unmistakably them). 

Beyond the needs of the table, also remember it's a print book. So there's this tug of war sort of element between spending word counts on NPC profiles, and spending word counts on other content. So for that purpose alone, I tend to aim for streamlining a profile as much as possible, while still staying as true to the character as possible. There's a balance there that you need to achieve in working for print. 

So yeah, for me, the entire process started from scratch again, because really, the design goals were so far apart. 

Thanks for sharing the thought process :)

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I suspect the primary influence that Keith's Jedi Master pre-gens for his con module had on the RotS stat blocks could be boiled down to "what sort of skill levels and abilities would a Jedi Master have?"

Having had a chance to see some of those Jedi Master characters while Keith was running the adventure at GenCon and speaking with a few of the players afterwards, I don't doubt that they'd be unusable for an officially written product just given the sheer volume of things they had going on.  But even on a subconscious level, I'd be surprised if they didn't at least provide a starting point for what sort of traits notables such as Yoda and Mace Windu would have, even if those traits were by necessity extremely streamlined to make it appropriate for a sourcebook.

Given how cumbersome high-end NPC stat blocks could get not only in d6 and especially in the various d20 games, I for one appreciate the FFG approach of having such high-tier opponents not having nearly as many 'moving parts' that a GM has to keep in mind during an encounter.

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7 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

Given how cumbersome high-end NPC stat blocks could get not only in d6 and especially in the various d20 games, I for one appreciate the FFG approach of having such high-tier opponents not having nearly as many 'moving parts' that a GM has to keep in mind during an encounter.

A fun thing to do when you DO want a high-overhead NPC once in a while as GM is to use a split party to your advantage and have one of the players run that NPC.

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4 hours ago, Stan Fresh said:

A fun thing to do when you DO want a high-overhead NPC once in a while as GM is to use a split party to your advantage and have one of the players run that NPC.

Problem with doing that is more often than not, the player has very little idea of how to best make use of that NPC, and you wind up with an underwhelming encounter.  This is especially true in systems where the bad guy's stat block takes up an entire page, as the player is almost certain to get hit with analysis paralysis and just wind up using the simplest options even if they're not the most effective one available to the NPC.

Prime example I heard about was a friend running the Curse of Strahd D&D campaign, with the DM handing off the main baddie himself to a player whose character had gotten killed earlier in the session.  The amount of options that Strahd has available to him is overwhelming for somebody that hasn't studied the stat block, and that's not even getting into his spell list (because of course he's a potent spellcaster in addition to being a physically powerful vampire with all the classic Dracula cinematic tricks).  To say the encounter was underwhelming was an understatement, especially since Strahd had shown up before in the campaign and proved a very daunting foe to just survive against.

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