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ddbrown30

How does the Cloud City Grand Prix work?

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I'm reading through the rules for running the race and I must be getting tripped up on something because they don't make sense to me. From what I understand, in each leg of the race, whatever your current speed is determines your position relative to the other racers, but after each leg, you add each racer's speed to their place value, which determines who wins. 

Is that right? That can't be. With the way I'm reading this, with enough advantages and triumphs, you could be in last place every leg (due to having the lowest speed) and still theoretically win.

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Also, the book says that each round, the pilot's action is the competitive piloting check. How are players supposed to use their fun talents, like Full Throttle (without the Improved talent, obviously)?

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Beyond the mechanics, the race is nonsensical. The idea of "blasting the other racers, but enough to take them out" doesn't work with the power of the weapons involved, and beyond that, the reasons for PCs to get into the race in the adventure are absurd. Sneaking in by being the center of attention is idiotic.

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Posted (edited)

The whole reason for doing the Grand Prix, is it allows the players to be at the party where the Jewel of Yavin is going to be auctioned if they win.  Also the Writers wanted to include the iconic cloud cars in some way.  There are other ways to get to the auction.  It is up to the players what method to use.

Having done numerous races in my game.  usually I just keep track of speeds at each leg, and separate the participants based on the speeds and Success/failure.  a lot of fudging is involved and usually try for a "photo finish" at the end. 

Leader  = Top speed and Success
2nd place = Top speed and Failure
3rd place = Next highest speed and success
4th Place = Next highest speed and Failure.

I usually start by describing the leg, and what the other participants are doing.  Let the player know the setback dice for the leg.  An ally can "plot a course" to reduce the setback by one die.  The player then sets their speed and create their dice pool for the "Race"  it is assumed that every participant is using a maneuver to Fly/Drive.  and can use their action like normal, or as another maneuver except fly/drive (Full throttle, Punch it!, Evasive maneuvers, etc).  Really helps to "Pre-roll" the NPCs or have other non-participating players roll for the NPCs.

same method can be used for chases, and when they move to same "place" it is close range for combat type stuff to happen... even Riders attacking Riders/Vehicles or Jumping from one vehicle to another.

Edited by kinnison

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When I have done races in the game I would separate the race in to a certain number of stages or sections.  

The starting dice pool is based on the chase rules, Speed and Half Sil size.  Then I would modify their roll for each section based on terrain or other factors, Upgrades for serious hazards or items to crash in to, and setback for weather, lighting, or aggressiveness of other drives.

Flat Terrain on clear day - no added dice. 

Flying through the dark section from Episode 1 with plenty of things to crash in to  - 1 or 2 setback and 1 or 2 upgrades. 

 

If the roll is successful they players gains points equal to their current speed, if they fail the roll then they earn half the point of their speed.  Keep track of everyone total through each stage of the race to see how they are doing. At the end of your segments who ever has the most points wins.   I also say they can only use advantages or threats to effect the racers who are close to them, with 2 or 3 points up or down.  

If they are running laps then at the end of the track they can make cool checks to regain strain, as they are more familiar with the track and gain some confidence. Then add a boost for each lap they finish. 

We normally have only had 1 player in the races, so let the other players be involved I will make them NPC racers for them to use.  Then to encourage them to not just throw the race and let the player win,  I offer 25 exp to the winner if they are playing an NPC.  Only once did I have an NPC beat the player. If there is a main rival against the racer then I would handle their racing versus giving it to a player. 

This helps to make the speed of the vehicle more important in the race and encourages the players for taking risks to get in the lead.

This has worked well for me and my players liked it.

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Racing is the only time I usual visual aids and map grids to help. Each square is relative to a value of speed. Checks are based on speed plus half silhouette with setbacks from terrain and distance from other racers. Boosts come from advantages/triumphs. Each round at least one maneuver is a piloting check and other actions/maneuvers can be taken.

 

A lot has to be done on the fly as players will come up with great ideas (following in someone's wake to cut resistance, ramming, distracting behaviour).

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On 3/1/2019 at 7:19 PM, ddbrown30 said:

Also, the book says that each round, the pilot's action is the competitive piloting check. How are players supposed to use their fun talents, like Full Throttle (without the Improved talent, obviously)?

Hello there. As far as I recall, the chase rules still apply here. So, there is an out of turn pilot check against the difficulty (speed and size) and any terrain features (described in the adventure). This gives you room to use "the fun talents" and other actions.

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Posted (edited)

This is how I ran a race for my game:

1) GM draws a map of the course and pre-sets the recommended speed and the difficulty on each area where he wants a check.  Remember that speed and difficulty are inversely-related but separate.  The higher the difficulty the lower the recommended speed and vice versa.

2) During the race the GM gives a description of the oncoming leg of the course and any obstacles to the rider(s)

3) The Player(s) determines the speed he/she want to go for that leg.  Dice pool is piloting skill + maneuver as boost dice.  Difficulty was preset by the GM but for each point faster than the recommended speed upgrade the difficulty with challenge dice.  Any despair is an auto-fail even if Triumphs are rolled.

4) This is where I added some risk-factor.  If the rider fails a check he must take strain equal to the difference between his speed and the recommended speed and RE-ROLL THE CHECK.  The rider can choose to change speed if s/he wants.  If accumulated strain is greater than the rider's strain-threshold + the vehicle's strain threshold the rider crashes and must roll for a critical injury.  

5) If check successful add your successes to your SPEED (Vehicle Speed + any modifiers) to get your score for the leg.  Highest total score at the end of the race wins.

I like this format because it expresses the true spirit of a race.  He who goes faster wins.  It also ties the mechanics of the race in closer with the attributes of the vehicle and there is some element of choice on the part of the player so it's not just a game of YAHTZEE. 

Faster more maneuverable vehicles get an advantage.  A crack pilot is not going to somehow beat a Swoop with a load-lifter no matter how good he is.

I also like elements of danger, upgrading the dice for "speeding", and taking strain on a failed check, because the faster you go the more risks you take.  It's important to keep this in the game for balance when your pilot wants to use his "Full Throttle" talent as he's winding through a cavern full of stalactites.

Let me know what you think.  Tell me how your game goes please!

Edited by sithlord78
Typos

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On ‎3‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 2:10 AM, HappyDaze said:

Beyond the mechanics, the race is nonsensical. The idea of "blasting the other racers, but enough to take them out" doesn't work with the power of the weapons involved, and beyond that, the reasons for PCs to get into the race in the adventure are absurd. Sneaking in by being the center of attention is idiotic.

"Herp, you can shoot eachother, as long as you don't shoot eachother out of the sky or kill anyone, you are totally cool."

To me, kinda sets the tone where they don't really know whether they wanted to make an illegal race (which strangely enough, given Cloud Cities status as an illegal operation, it's sudden shine is amusing) or a legitmate sponsored race an in illegal operation? So they kinda went for a hodge podge of the two ideas.

Sithlord78 has the right idea. I've seen so many times that my GM just assigns a difficulty based on speed and sil, without any consideration on what we are actually doing. So arguably, going super slow is faster then going, faster? Strange.

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OKay beyond the gaming mechanics, how does this race actually work?

Like, where is the start line?  Where is the finish line?  What vehicles are permitted to be used?  Air speeders?  Is this a "Pod race"?  Can I field a Star Ship?

Are there laps?

Are there obstacles?

Is the race done exclusively over Cloud City or are the racers going to spend time over Bespin?  Because if you stall out over Bespin you have really good odds of dying permanently.  

 

So, I'm not familiar with the canned spam adventure associated with this race and I'm not going to use this race IMSWU, BUT I'm morbidly curious.

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1 hour ago, Mark Caliber said:

OKay beyond the gaming mechanics, how does this race actually work?

Like, where is the start line?  Where is the finish line?  What vehicles are permitted to be used?  Air speeders?  Is this a "Pod race"?  Can I field a Star Ship?

Are there laps?

Are there obstacles?

Is the race done exclusively over Cloud City or are the racers going to spend time over Bespin?  Because if you stall out over Bespin you have really good odds of dying permanently.  

 

So, I'm not familiar with the canned spam adventure associated with this race and I'm not going to use this race IMSWU, BUT I'm morbidly curious.

Answered via comlink.

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On 3/1/2019 at 9:10 PM, HappyDaze said:

Beyond the mechanics, the race is nonsensical. The idea of "blasting the other racers, but enough to take them out" doesn't work with the power of the weapons involved, and beyond that, the reasons for PCs to get into the race in the adventure are absurd. Sneaking in by being the center of attention is idiotic.

Regarding the blasting the other racers, it can be solved with the game mechanics. For example, use advantages to damage the ion turbine.

Other alternatives:

You can change the weapons of the racers with "special-Ion weapons."

You can interpret that surpass the damage threshold disable the ship and start to lose altitude, slow enough to be rescued by the emergency team of Cloud City.

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2 minutes ago, Rithuan said:

You can interpret that surpass the damage threshold disable the ship and start to lose altitude, slow enough to be rescued by the emergency team of Cloud City.

You could, but that's not what the rules say on exceeding HTT. The rules say you lose power. On a gas giant, that means you're probably going to die.

Of course, the fix would be to have the racers deploy emergency balloons to keep them afloat. It should be pretty easy to have a balloon with sufficient buoyancy to hold up a small vehicle high enough in the atmosphere of a gas giant that it isn't unrecoverable (or crushed). Using such would certainly put them out of the race though.

Unfortunately, this would make the race all about shoot first and don't get shot rather than actually doing any racing. In effect, it becomes a quick but uninteresting game of rocket tag. Better IMO to just eliminate the shooting aspects from the race altogether.

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Posted (edited)

Though any cheating by the PCs such as firing at other racers should be discouraged, the GM should be encouraged to have the NPCs cheat in such ways.  (It heightens the tension)

For my race I had a villain NPC hiding out at the course taking pot shots at the PC as well as a hidden mine at the finish line.  This gave the other members of the party something to do while the pilot was busy racing.

Edited by sithlord78
Exclamation and typo

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, sithlord78 said:

Though any cheating by the PCs such as firing at other racers should be discouraged, the GM should be encouraged to have the NPCs cheat in such ways.  (It heightens the tension)

For my race I had a villain NPC hiding out at the course taking pot shots at the PC as well as a hidden mine at the finish line.  This gave the other members of the party something to do while the pilot was busy racing.

It's not cheating,  but even if it were,  why should PCs be discouraged from doing it? PCs in this adventure are already assumed to be thieves and swindlers. Why race fair?

Edited by HappyDaze
?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, HappyDaze said:

It's not cheating,  but even if it were,  why should PCs be discouraged from doing it? PCs in this adventure are already assumed to be thieves and swindlers. Why race fair?

Well call me provincial, but I was assuming that your group liked to be the "good guys".  This is not to say your PCs can't defend themselves.  By all means.  But to simply come out and blast your opponents out of the race as a main strategy kinda cuts the fun.  But hey, you can let your guys play however you like.

Also, let's talk about blasting every other racer out of the sky.  I being a fair GM would probably have the race organizers call this foul play, renege on the prize, and sic the authorities on you for murder.  That and the simple fact that it's just not much fun.  But hey, it's your game brother, not mine.

Edited by sithlord78
Typos

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6 hours ago, sithlord78 said:

Well call me provincial, but I was assuming that your group liked to be the "good guys".  This is not to say your PCs can't defend themselves.  By all means.  But to simply come out and blast your opponents out of the race as a main strategy kinda cuts the fun.  But hey, you can let your guys play however you like.

Also, let's talk about blasting every other racer out of the sky.  I being a fair GM would probably have the race organizers call this foul play, renege on the prize, and sic the authorities on you for murder.  That and the simple fact that it's just not much fun.  But hey, it's your game brother, not mine.

The problem is the race is set up to allow the shooting. Don't hate the players that run with the scenario, hate the writer that came up with the stupid idea.

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