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So in the Developer Answered questions there is this question/answer regarding the use of Ebb/Flow and Draw Closer (credit to question and submission to EliasWindrider) that was just posted.

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Rules Question:
Suppose a niman disciple with draw closer has ebb/flow Can they be used on the same roll? I know you wouldn't get to add the force dice twice (because it's far to abusable) but could they share dice between the power and talent, for example if they have a white pip that they don't need to hit the target can they use it to get a strain (or 2 depending on upgrades) back?

 

Hello Keith,

You may, but you would not add the Force dice twice (as you noted).

Hope this helps!

Sam Gregor-Stewart

RPG Manager

Fantasy Flight Games

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My question is where should the line (if any) be drawn regarding how Force Powers/talents "stack". A previous ruling (which I have not posted here), suggested you cannot 'stack' Force Powers or Talents in any way; you pick what power/talent you intend to use and can only use Force Pips to fuel the effects of that power or talent. However this answer now stands that up on its head. You can conceivably use any effect(s) you want from stacked Powers or Talents, with the proviso you only get to roll your force dice once. And what about the action economy? Most force powers and talents are actions. How do you use two force powers that are both actions on the same roll? My initial answer would be "you can't." This developer answered question suggests otherwise by allowing Ebb/Flow to work with Draw Closer.

All in all, I can't really say I like this answer, and am reluctant to use it my table. Maybe I am over thinking it?

Edited by Magnus Arcanus
grammar

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You can still only activate one Force Power at a time so I don't think it will get too out of hand.  The Ebb and Flow Force Power is slightly different in the others in that it is activated when making a skill check.  Draw Closer requires a skill check to activate and is not a Force Power so that is why it works well with Ebb and Flow.

E&F will probably easily work with other Force Talents if and you can split the dice but I don't think other Force Powers will be able to be used as they require their own action.

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39 minutes ago, Varlie said:

You can still only activate one Force Power at a time so I don't think it will get too out of hand.  The Ebb and Flow Force Power is slightly different in the others in that it is activated when making a skill check.  Draw Closer requires a skill check to activate and is not a Force Power so that is why it works well with Ebb and Flow.

E&F will probably easily work with other Force Talents if and you can split the dice but I don't think other Force Powers will be able to be used as they require their own action.

If you can only activate one Force Power at a time, how can you activate Ebb/Flow and Draw Closer at the same time? Because one is a Force "Power" and one is a Force "Talent"? I have a very hard time with that level of parsing words.

Even if the argument is this 'stacking' can only occur with Ebb/Flow, there are a lot of Force Powers/Force Talents that have a skill check as part of the roll. This would imply you could use the augmentation effects of Ebb/Flow in addition to whatever benefit the Force Power/Talent in question offers.

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If you can stack a Force Power and a Talent (Ebb/Flow & Draw Closer) then why did they rule that you cannot stack a Force Power and a Talent (Influence & Scathing Tirade)?

As time goes on, it becomes painfully apparent that the developers do not make a strong effort to maintain consistency. In other games, this often happened before a new/revised edition was released to wash away the mess. Wouldn't that be grand?

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Interestingly, here is an answer from Sam back in 2014 on "double dipping" Force powers:

Overwhelm Emotions

Question asked by Jamwes:
Is there "double-dipping" in EotE for talent Overwhelm Emotions and Force Power Influence Control upgrade for adding white pips to some skills? Overwhelm Emotions adds a Force Die per Force Rating while Influence allows an Influence Power check as part of the dice pool.

 

Am I correct with my understanding of how these work with Force Rating 1? If I roll a Coerce check I add a force die (from Overwhelm) as well as a power check (from Influence). The net result is a skill check with 2 force dice.

 

 

Answered by Sam Stewart:
No, you cannot "double dip" in this case. You must choose one or the other.

 

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At my table I generally get very vocal at the concept of "double dipping", in my opinion you can only use the force for one thing at a time during your turn. You can't ebb/flow and draw closer, you must chose one or the other to commit to each round. I just feel it's thematically wrong to effectively double your force rating in a single action; I was equally miffed when essential kill (executioner talent, don't remember which one) started being used alongside Unleash and so fourth. Well, in that case I guess no one will have any problems if I ebb and flow and Hawk Bat swoop at the same time and just laugh as I destroy my enemies! IT'S PERFECTLY LEGAL AFTER ALL! GAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH UNLIMITED PO-

*Ahem*

Needless to say, I strongly disagree with the game designers on this one, to the point I genuinely wonder whether they test half this stuff. The hard rule I prefer to make is that a character must either spend his force dice on one or the other for the reasons described above, though I can see a case where one may alternatively divvy up their force pips between the two powers to activate both at the same time, your total dice rolled being limited by the available force rating. That sounds pretty fair.

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You don't quite "double dip" as you only roll your FR once, but it allows for spending on two (or more, possibly much more) menus of options in one turn, and when FR is 3+, that can get very strong.

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While I don't fully agree with Sam's answer regarding Ebb & Flow, I think i can see where his answer is coming from.

Ebb & Flow is different from the majority of Force powers in that using E&F is essentially an incidental, not requiring an action of its own and is used as part of another action in the form of a skill check.

So with regards to using E&F in tandem with Draw Closer or similar talents that let you roll Force dice with a skill check (Hawk Bat Swoop, Overwhelm Emotions, and so forth), it works because you're not trying to do two separate actions at the same time, as would be the case with using Influence's affect mind Control Upgrade and the Overwhelm Emotion talent, though that might have a bit more to do with how Overwhelm Emotions handles Force pip results.

For the combo of Influence control upgrade to add dice to social checks and Scathing Tirade, it's likely a case of splitting hairs as with using the talent, you're not making a Coercion check as your action, but the action is using the talent, which just so happens to require rolling dice equal to your Coercion rating.  As I said, it's splitting hairs, and I'd probably allow a PC with that combination (or Inspiring Rhetoric or other talents that require a check using a skill that the Control upgrade cites) to go ahead and roll their Force dice as part of the check.

Personally, I'll likely be doing similar to LordBritish and only allowing one Force-based effect per roll.  Part of my issue with allowing E&F to be used with any roll is that for those PCs with a high Force Rating, it can make strain recovery a far more trivial matter, as they can easily dump any unneeded Force pips after they get what they need for the desired Force effect into recovering strain, which is a godsend for a PC that frequently makes use of Parry/Reflect in a fight.  For instance, a PC with FR2, Ebb/Flow, and Saber Throw that rolls 4 light side pips can not only get their ranged 'saber attack but also recover some strain in the process.

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2 hours ago, LordBritish said:

At my table I generally get very vocal at the concept of "double dipping", in my opinion you can only use the force for one thing at a time during your turn. You can't ebb/flow and draw closer, you must chose one or the other to commit to each round. I just feel it's thematically wrong to effectively double your force rating in a single action; I was equally miffed when essential kill (executioner talent, don't remember which one) started being used alongside Unleash and so fourth. Well, in that case I guess no one will have any problems if I ebb and flow and Hawk Bat swoop at the same time and just laugh as I destroy my enemies! IT'S PERFECTLY LEGAL AFTER ALL! GAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH UNLIMITED PO-

*Ahem*

Needless to say, I strongly disagree with the game designers on this one, to the point I genuinely wonder whether they test half this stuff. The hard rule I prefer to make is that a character must either spend his force dice on one or the other for the reasons described above, though I can see a case where one may alternatively divvy up their force pips between the two powers to activate both at the same time, your total dice rolled being limited by the available force rating. That sounds pretty fair.

The rulings work together and it all makes sense. The heart of the 1st ruling is you don't get to multiply your force rating by the number of force effects you can apply to the roll. The 2nd ruling states you can spend force pips on any effects that can apply to the roll provided those extra effects don't require their own separate action to activate. So yes this does make epp and flow a very useful power and highly thematic as masters of the force use it to quide all their actions making it less stressful for them. Remember the base effect of removing or inflicting strain is the only one that effects the current roll. The upgrades to add advantages or successes only apply to further uses of the skill before the end of your next turn. So you could always just attack with epp and flow one round and then hawk bat swoop with some auto advantages from the previous round. This just let's you combine so you could choose to spend each pip for an extra advantage on the current roll (hawk bat swoop) or to inflict/recover strain now/add extra advantages to your next roll (epp and flow).

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4 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

Ebb & Flow is different from the majority of Force powers in that using E&F is essentially an incidental, not requiring an action of its own and is used as part of another action in the form of a skill check.

I am struggling with this interpretation. How is Ebb & Flow really any different from any other Force Power that adds a rider to what is otherwise a skill check? In most (but not all), skill checks are already Actions; the Force Power merely adds an extra benefit or option to this skill check. 

For example, how is it any different to use Ebb & Flow on a Charm check than it is to use Influence on a Charm check? They both allow you to add your Force Dice to a skill check, and they both give options for modifying that Skill Check by spending Force Pips. Or consider this example: 

A player is using Misdirect with the Control talent to change the appearance of an object. This requires an opposed Deception vs Vigilance check. Under the rule Sam gave for Ebb & Flow + Draw Closer, it would be easy to intuit you could 'stack' the Ebb & Flow rider into this opposed check. So unused FP could for example recover strain, or inflict strain. But what if I have the Influence power + control upgrade that adds success/failure to skill checks using Deception? Can I use this power to add success/advantage to the roll if I want?

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Imo, you can't use both Ebb / Flow and Influence on the same skill check. The rule that forbid to double dip Force Dice implies that you can't use two Force Powers for the same action and / or skill check. And Force Talents are different from Force Powers so you can use a Force Power in conjunction with a Force Talent like with Ebb / Flow + Draw Closer.

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11 minutes ago, WolfRider said:

Imo, you can't use both Ebb / Flow and Influence on the same skill check. The rule that forbid to double dip Force Dice implies that you can't use two Force Powers for the same action and / or skill check. And Force Talents are different from Force Powers so you can use a Force Power in conjunction with a Force Talent like with Ebb / Flow + Draw Closer.

This makes no sense. 

The ruling (not the rule; there is no explicit rule) on double dipping uses the exact example of a Force Talent combined with a Force Power. The answer was you cannot double dip. So I am totally lost regarding the argument that Force Talents are "different" from Force powers and as such you can use a Force Power in conjunction with a Force Talent. 

All in all, while it is nice to have the ability to ask a rules question of the Developers, my experience is that the person answer the question answers exactly the question being asked, in exactly the context it was asked in, and no more. The answers tend to be very brief, in some cases too brief to fully understand. I also suspect there isn't much actual 'research' into the rules by the person answering the question to see what the relevant rules have to say on the issue. 

Which to me, while it is nice developers will take time out of their work day developing games to answer questions, I hold no illusions of the "infallibility" of their answers, especially considering I've gotten opposite answers to the same question I've asked in the past. Happy Daze pretty much nailed it in a previous post: There is little consistency in answers these days. 

 

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20 hours ago, Magnus Arcanus said:

This makes no sense. 

The ruling (not the rule; there is no explicit rule) on double dipping uses the exact example of a Force Talent combined with a Force Power. The answer was you cannot double dip. So I am totally lost regarding the argument that Force Talents are "different" from Force powers and as such you can use a Force Power in conjunction with a Force Talent. 

All in all, while it is nice to have the ability to ask a rules question of the Developers, my experience is that the person answer the question answers exactly the question being asked, in exactly the context it was asked in, and no more. The answers tend to be very brief, in some cases too brief to fully understand. I also suspect there isn't much actual 'research' into the rules by the person answering the question to see what the relevant rules have to say on the issue. 

Which to me, while it is nice developers will take time out of their work day developing games to answer questions, I hold no illusions of the "infallibility" of their answers, especially considering I've gotten opposite answers to the same question I've asked in the past. Happy Daze pretty much nailed it in a previous post: There is little consistency in answers these days. 

 

I believe that this is a special case because of the unique properties of the Ebb/Flow power. 

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10 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

I believe that this is a special case because of the unique properties of the Ebb/Flow power. 

What evidence to you have to support this supposition? Where does it state Ebb/Flow is so much more of a special case than any other Force Power or talent? 

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6 minutes ago, Magnus Arcanus said:

What evidence to you have to support this supposition? Where does it state Ebb/Flow is so much more of a special case than any other Force Power or talent? 

Because Ebb/Flow is specifically designed to be combined with other skills, and such, rather than as an action in and of itself. As others have said, it's basically an Incidental to use. If you read both its bullet text and full text, Ebb Flow is always used as part of another skill check, whereas every other Force power can be (or is always) used independently as its own action. That is what makes it a "special case". 

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My reading of the no double dipping response seems more that you don't get to roll your force dice twice as the poster had asked. The responses often seem rather simple and direct.  Rolling your dice twice as was asked is clearly an abusive and bad interpretation so was declared wrong and they moved on. When a more detailed and reasonable interpretation was asked about it was declared valid. The two rulings don't contradict each other instead the second serves to provide greater clarity on the issue. 

Edited by Nihil84

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1 hour ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Because Ebb/Flow is specifically designed to be combined with other skills, and such, rather than as an action in and of itself. As others have said, it's basically an Incidental to use. If you read both its bullet text and full text, Ebb Flow is always used as part of another skill check, whereas every other Force power can be (or is always) used independently as its own action. That is what makes it a "special case". 

I fail to see how Ebb/Flow is any different than any other Force Power that allows you to add your Force Pool to skill checks. There is nothing about it that lends itself to be qualified as an 'incidental'. Further there is nothing in the rules or fluff text that lends to this interpretation. Or looking at it from a different angle, there is no more justification for Ebb/Flow being an incidental that is stack on top of an underlying skill check, than there is any other Force Power that adds Force Rating to the Die Pool.

Consider these examples from a standpoint of Action Economy:

How is using Influence to add your Force Rating to Intimidate checks any different than using Ebb/Flow to do the same thing? How is using Enhance to add your Force Rating to Athletics checks any different than using Ebb/Flow to do the same thing? How is using Seek to add your Force Rating to Perception checks any different than using Ebb/Flow to do the same thing? How is using Manipulate to add your Force Rating to Mechanics checks any different than using Ebb/Flow?

In every one of these scenarios you are adding your Force Rating to a skill check, and skill checks are usually Actions. The only difference is in how you spend the Force Pips generated to create a mechanical effect that modifies the skill check in question. 

I am sure, next, some one will try to claim it is this difference in mechanic effect that sets Ebb/Flow apart and makes it such a unique power that it violates the rules of all other Force Powers out there (a violation that is neither explained, nor justified in any of the text of the power in question, but is instead being implied from an incredibly nebulous set of posts from a Game Developer who quite possibly didn't even look up the relevant rules in the Core Rule book before giving an answer*)

* Caveat: This is in no way disparaging Sam Stewart or the RPG. The reality is we presume far more infallibility in these folks knowing and understanding the rules of the game than is fair. The reality is most game designers don't even play the games they design. One game designer for a different RPG system (Hint: It has lots, and lots, and lots of charts) admitted that not only does he not play the RPG he designed, he has never even played ANY RPG ever, and had no real desire to. He was an author by trade, and he was simply getting paid to do his vocation. Ultimately, there is a reason I've stopped bothering to send questions to the Developers. 

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1 hour ago, Nihil84 said:

My reading of the no double dipping response seems more that you don't get to roll your force dice twice as the poster had asked. The responses often seem rather simple and direct.  Rolling your dice twice as was asked is clearly an abusive and bad interpretation so was declared wrong and they moved on. When a more detailed and reasonable interpretation was asked about it was declared valid. The two rulings don't contradict each other instead the second serves to provide greater clarity on the issue. 

It is certainly a fair interpretation, but it is also a fair interpretation to read "You must choose one or the other" as being literal. You choose one power, and only one power in all cases. 

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On 2/8/2019 at 8:13 PM, Magnus Arcanus said:

Interestingly, here is an answer from Sam back in 2014 on "double dipping" Force powers:

Overwhelm Emotions

Question asked by Jamwes:
Is there "double-dipping" in EotE for talent Overwhelm Emotions and Force Power Influence Control upgrade for adding white pips to some skills? Overwhelm Emotions adds a Force Die per Force Rating while Influence allows an Influence Power check as part of the dice pool.

 

Am I correct with my understanding of how these work with Force Rating 1? If I roll a Coerce check I add a force die (from Overwhelm) as well as a power check (from Influence). The net result is a skill check with 2 force dice.

 

 

Answered by Sam Stewart:
No, you cannot "double dip" in this case. You must choose one or the other.

 

The ruling seems to be consistent in that you only get to add force dice once.

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There are multiple ways to interpret the ruling, e.g. ebb/flow is a rider that is supposed to be always on regardless of whatever action you're taking or you can combine one force power with any number of talents as long as they don't require multiple action or you can overlap as many powers and talents that don't require different actions as you like.

We know for sure that you never get to add force dice twice.

Until we get clarification otherwise, I would allow ebb/flow to be used with enhance/influence etc. But I admit that we don't know this definitively.  

But I don't know of any other power besides ebb/flow that has the ability to overlap with others like that (besides comboing with ebb/flow)

 

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I don't think the focus should be on "can we use multiple force powers at once" ... the answer is clearly yes, almost every usage of a committed force die offers the potential for multiple simultaneous force powers, at least for characters of FR 2+. 

 

What I actually found surprising in the dev response from the OP is the bit where he's actually asking about bleeding pips between powers, implying that with one die, potentially sending one light-side pip to power 1 and the other to power 2 ... and the response was that was OK.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, sarg01 said:

What I actually found surprising in the dev response from the OP is the bit where he's actually asking about bleeding pips between powers, implying that with one die, potentially sending one light-side pip to power 1 and the other to power 2 ... and the response was that was OK

I'm starting to wonder if Sam and crew have opted to lean more towards "sure, why not?  Have fun!" when answering some of these.

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3 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

I'm starting to wonder if Sam and crew have opted to lean more towards "sure, why not?  Have fun!" when answering some of these.

So apathy then? Sounds about right.

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9 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

So apathy then? Sounds about right.

You've made it clear that apathy and bile are your modus operandi, but that doesn't mean everyone else is in the same boat.

Given the sheer volume of inane rules-lawyery questions that Sam and crew get inundated with, I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to not be so rules-lawyery themselves and just go with "have fun with it!"

I think everyone one these forums is aware of how little you like this game anymore, which makes me wonder why you don't head off to forums that you do enjoy playing as opposed to hanging around here and being miserable.

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2 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

You've made it clear that apathy and bile are your modus operandi, but that doesn't mean everyone else is in the same boat.

Given the sheer volume of inane rules-lawyery questions that Sam and crew get inundated with, I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to not be so rules-lawyery themselves and just go with "have fun with it!"

I think everyone one these forums is aware of how little you like this game anymore, which makes me wonder why you don't head off to forums that you do enjoy playing as opposed to hanging around here and being miserable.

Maybe I just hang out here for your company, snookums!

But in truth, there is a lot I do still like about this game. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad crap that goes with it.

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