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The rules themselves cite that the GM is free to cheat when it comes to NPC stat blocks, especially if it's in the interest of simplifying things on the part of the GM.  They did the same in Dawn of Rebellion, in particular with a Force users and the Move power, so it doesn't surprise me that they'd do the same in this book.  Heck, FFG has been doing this since the Edge of the Empire core rulebook with some of their Adversary stat blocks, so not like it's a new thing to have NPCs not follow all the same rules that the PCs do.

Keith Kappel and Sam Stewart have both said with regards to Dawn of Rebellion that the Adversary stat blocks were written with a mind to "provide the GM something they can use that doesn't bog the game down."  There are NPCs that break that, but they're high-end monstrosities like Vader, Yoda, and Palpatine, the later two of which pretty much take up full pages for their stats.

Sadly, some folks like HappyDaze are so hung up on "the rules need to be followed!" (unless he makes his own exceptions, which is quite convenient for him) that when the writers go outside the written lines, those folks get their knickers all in a twist.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

The rules themselves cite that the GM is free to cheat when it comes to NPC stat blocks, especially if it's in the interest of simplifying things on the part of the GM.  They did the same in Dawn of Rebellion, in particular with a Force users and the Move power, so it doesn't surprise me that they'd do the same in this book.  Heck, FFG has been doing this since the Edge of the Empire core rulebook with some of their Adversary stat blocks, so not like it's a new thing to have NPCs not follow all the same rules that the PCs do.

Keith Kappel and Sam Stewart have both said with regards to Dawn of Rebellion that the Adversary stat blocks were written with a mind to "provide the GM something they can use that doesn't bog the game down."  There are NPCs that break that, but they're high-end monstrosities like Vader, Yoda, and Palpatine, the later two of which pretty much take up full pages for their stats.

Sadly, some folks like HappyDaze are so hung up on "the rules need to be followed!" (unless he makes his own exceptions, which is quite convenient for him) that when the writers go outside the written lines, those folks get their knickers all in a twist.

****. Adversaries have the adversary talent specifically to make it so they dont have to deal with dodge, sidestep, sense, etc. Adversaries dont use talent trees. They have never worked like PCs.

Edited by Daeglan

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Speaking to this bending the rules for these special adversaries, the box on page 6 states,

"GMs should think carefully before allowing PCs to defeat NPCs such as these through death or other permanent means. In the films, these characters usually have preplanned escape routes or plenty of minions to ensure their safety, so GMs should endeavor to ensure they have the same whenever using them. Destiny Points are also an excellent method for facilitating NPC survival; it helps to make certain a dark side Destiny Point is always available when these NPCs are in play."

I was considering this as I was thinking, does dropping an epic level adversary to 0 HP always have to mean death or critical injury? When fighting canonical Grievous, when he arrives on scene, for the sake of the feeling of, "OH JEEZ ITS GRIEVOUS! STOP HIM! RUN!" could the players just call dropping his hit points brings him to narrative defeat with a preplanned escape? Is that really a bad thing? It does still result in stopping Grievous from fulfilling a nefarious plot or interfering, or just may lead to players saying that its not worth it to battle him, hes to strong and go into a chase. Obviously I would discuss this with my players and say this only applies to the major hitters of Star Wars. Call it Destiny or what have you but you can not kill them permanently. 

Going along with this, I would think it cool to make it so that by narrative structure, if you wanted to kill one of these massive Star Wars characters, it would require the proper planning. Like a skill challengish way of bringing down Palpatine. If Palps shows up any other time, he has an escape route. But if you succeed with a narrative challenge of getting him alone by some means, trapping him, running through a gauntlet of lesser villians, whatever.... you then can face him to the death.

This might be useful for BBEGs of campaigns so they can face the PCs in combat and be a threat without accidentally killing him in act 1. 

Just kicking around ideas of whether this would be a terrible idea or not. The whole game is narrative, so I guess why can't killing major villains be a narrative thing as well?

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19 minutes ago, Drig said:

Speaking to this bending the rules for these special adversaries, the box on page 6 states,

"GMs should think carefully before allowing PCs to defeat NPCs such as these through death or other permanent means. In the films, these characters usually have preplanned escape routes or plenty of minions to ensure their safety, so GMs should endeavor to ensure they have the same whenever using them. Destiny Points are also an excellent method for facilitating NPC survival; it helps to make certain a dark side Destiny Point is always available when these NPCs are in play."

I was considering this as I was thinking, does dropping an epic level adversary to 0 HP always have to mean death or critical injury? When fighting canonical Grievous, when he arrives on scene, for the sake of the feeling of, "OH JEEZ ITS GRIEVOUS! STOP HIM! RUN!" could the players just call dropping his hit points brings him to narrative defeat with a preplanned escape? Is that really a bad thing? It does still result in stopping Grievous from fulfilling a nefarious plot or interfering, or just may lead to players saying that its not worth it to battle him, hes to strong and go into a chase. Obviously I would discuss this with my players and say this only applies to the major hitters of Star Wars. Call it Destiny or what have you but you can not kill them permanently. 

Going along with this, I would think it cool to make it so that by narrative structure, if you wanted to kill one of these massive Star Wars characters, it would require the proper planning. Like a skill challengish way of bringing down Palpatine. If Palps shows up any other time, he has an escape route. But if you succeed with a narrative challenge of getting him alone by some means, trapping him, running through a gauntlet of lesser villians, whatever.... you then can face him to the death.

This might be useful for BBEGs of campaigns so they can face the PCs in combat and be a threat without accidentally killing him in act 1. 

Just kicking around ideas of whether this would be a terrible idea or not. The whole game is narrative, so I guess why can't killing major villains be a narrative thing as well?

Killing a major lore figure is a tricky subject. To some it's tantamount to letting players run amok and poor GM planning/imagination... to others it may be an opening to tell a new story within an established cannon. However you feel about it, you should make sure your GM and players are of one mind. I am not opposed to alternate timelines, as long as they are well thought out and supported.

For example, what might have happened with a CIS victory and what might that victory look like? How might Palpatine have used his role leading that force to secure his grip on the galaxy. What force might have risen to oppose them? How might other figures lives been changed. What would rally public support or outrage? How might the power dynamics change within society and organizations? 

It's a fun thought experiment, and that would be a campaign I would like to see play out, if done right. 

All that said, if I were in a group that set out to kill Jyn Erso just to wield her linked weapon, well, I wouldn't be with them long. Murder hobos and munchkins are not narrative, they are just self aggrandizing.   

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Yeah, I agree. I wouldn't do the whole kill Jyn Erso thing either. My comment was more in regards to the book existing at all. I want to use these characters as action scene threats and I feel like not having the option to murder them outright but having HP represent removing them from the scene was a cool way of capturing that overwhelming feel and episodic bad guy element to a story.

That said I realize that the PCs should be able to remove the villain from the scene without dropping the HP if they come up with a creative solution. But I was just thinking this would be a fun way to essentially put rules to the Dooku, Grievous, Vader, etc... villians where they are unbeatable but still a threat that can be introduced and then removed without oops I killed Boba Fett, which has happened to me in my gaming career. Was more awkward then anything. Not as satisfying as it should have felt.

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2 minutes ago, Drig said:

Yeah, I agree. I wouldn't do the whole kill Jyn Erso thing either. My comment was more in regards to the book existing at all. I want to use these characters as action scene threats and I feel like not having the option to murder them outright but having HP represent removing them from the scene was a cool way of capturing that overwhelming feel and episodic bad guy element to a story.

That said I realize that the PCs should be able to remove the villain from the scene without dropping the HP if they come up with a creative solution. But I was just thinking this would be a fun way to essentially put rules to the Dooku, Grievous, Vader, etc... villians where they are unbeatable but still a threat that can be introduced and then removed without oops I killed Boba Fett, which has happened to me in my gaming career. Was more awkward then anything. Not as satisfying as it should have felt.

Han probably felt the same lack of satisfaction at dropping BF on Tattooine.

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If you kill Jen Erso before Rogue One then Luke will likely never leave the farm... the 25 Death Stars will terrorize the Galaxy, the Emporer will drain the life of everyone on Coruscant in order to achieve immortality, the Galaxy will live in darkness for thousands of years, etc.

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9 minutes ago, Eoen said:

If you kill Jen Erso before Rogue One then Luke will likely never leave the farm... the 25 Death Stars will terrorize the Galaxy, the Emporer will drain the life of everyone on Coruscant in order to achieve immortality, the Galaxy will live in darkness for thousands of years, etc.

Not if you pull off a time heist...

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Daeglan said:

****. Adversaries have the adversary talent specifically to make it so they dont have to deal with dodge, sidestep, sense, etc. Adversaries dont use talent trees. They have never worked like PCs.

Exactly. If my players somehow got access to Jyn’s truncheons, which is super unlikely, they’d find out real fast that she had a special talent that let her be that deadly with them, because they’d just be truncheons with superior weapons customization in their hands, which actually ain’t all that bad either.

Edited by AnomalousAuthor

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37 minutes ago, AnomalousAuthor said:

Exactly. If my players somehow got access to Jyn’s truncheons, which is super unlikely, they’d find out real fast that she had a special talent that let her be that deadly with them, because they’d just be truncheons with superior weapons customization in their hands, which ain’t all that bad either.

Reminds me of a session I ran during the F&D Beta where the PCs ran afoul of an Elite ISB Agent equipped with a cortosis force pike and having the Parry talent.  One of the players, who'd come in from several years of D&D 3.X and Pathfinder, figured that if he got the pike then he'd be able to "parry" lightsaber attacks just as this NPC had, not grokking that it wasn't the weapon which let the Elite ISB Agent use Parry, but the fact that the NPC had a few ranks in the talent.

Regarding Jyn and her truncheons, I'm reminded of a statement that Jay Little made way back in the day with regards to the Forsaken Jedi, citing that the NPC had "behind the curtain" abilities that let him do things that PCs never could, such as his lightsaber having Defensive and Deflection (originally holdovers from the Beta) while the lightsaber in the EotE equipment chapter lacked those qualities.  So yeah, Jyn probably has a "behind the curtain" ability that makes her brutal with those truncheons, something that the PCs won't have access to, much the same as PCs don't get access to the Adversary talent.

Jyn's case isn't much different than Vader being able to use a streamlined and much more effective version of Bind, or even the Build-an-Inquisitor section of the F&D corebook having options to pick just the Harm or Unleash portions of Heal/Harm and Protect/Unleash respectively.  Heck, even WotC (they of the "NPCs must follow all the same rules as the PCs!") did it with the Skywalkers in the and OCR/RCR, giving Anakin, Luke, and Leia a custom special ability that made their Force Points much more effective and that a PC could never acquire.

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Just now, Nivrap said:

So what you're saying is that Infinity Stones are just Kyber Crystals? I can get behind that...

I'm saying there's hope that Scott Lang holds the secrets in undoing the horrors of Episodes VII-IX.

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21 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

I'm saying there's hope that Scott Lang holds the secrets in undoing the horrors of Episodes VII-IX.

Does he also hold the secrets of undoing the much worse horrors that were the prequels? 

 

On topic, I really dig the book, and even though I rarely get to play the game since i'm normally running it, I would very much like to make Lasat character one day. Also I have like 3 players who are dying to make Ewok characters now, so that is a good thing! 

One thing I'm considering doing is with my most advanced player group who are getting upwards of 300 XP or so,  is re-skinning the Vader or Sidious stats to non-canon character and testing them out against the players, see how they hold up. Will be interesting to see how they do against some higher level characters with decent gear. 

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On 4/19/2019 at 9:13 PM, jivjov said:

I'm sure I'm reaching here....but take a look at the insides of the covers for A&A. The cool graphics of ships and weapons and stuff make me think FFG might possibly be planning on compendiums of gear or ships or something in the future.

Called it.

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Finally got my copy of the book and found the scattered side bars with PC race profiles. Does anyone know of a list of how much the droids in the book each cost? I was hoping for that information as a sidebar but I couldn't spot one.

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On 4/26/2019 at 4:15 AM, Underachiever599 said:

I have been just roleplaying them solo as a pass-time, yes. And if you've got request, go for it. Might be a few days before I have the free time, though. Got a lot on my plate until next Thursday

Hope you do not mind if I join in on the Adversary vs Adversary simulations.  Tonight, I ran a Maul vs Grievous.  Maul from Dawn of the Rebellion and Greivous from Rise of the Separatists...

 

Grievous won fairly handily.  The final blow was a double death kill.  Crit chart was over 151 and Maul lost all of It's wounds.

Initially it was a even fight.  Grievous won the cool initiative and then missed on his first attack.  Maul took advantage and landed an early crit.  From there, Grievous took over with the linked quality, free second maneuver to keep pace with Hawk Bat Swoop, melee def, and higher adversary rating...

 

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9 minutes ago, Sincereagape said:

Grievous won fairly handily.  The final blow was a double death kill.  Crit chart was over 151 and Maul lost all of It's wounds.

Initially it was a even fight.  Grievous won the cool initiative and then missed on his first attack.  Maul took advantage and landed an early crit.  From there, Grievous took over with the linked quality, free second maneuver to keep pace with Hawk Bat Swoop, melee def, and higher adversary rating...

Unfortunately critical hits have proven themselves time and time again a pain in the proverbial backside for my GM before I took over. I had a character who at one point who was a Bounty Hunter-Assassin and had brawn 5, melee 4 and critical 1 crafted vibrosword (had vicious 6 I believe). It was an absolute mess because whenever we'd fight a nemesis I'd end up killing it in a single hit just by critting (average roll of 50, +60 from vicious, +30 from Killing Blows talent). To try mitigate that in games I've run myself I've banned crafting in most instances but it's not perfect. I have to make my nemesis incredibly difficult so they even pose a challenge. 

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46 minutes ago, BipolarJuice said:

Unfortunately critical hits have proven themselves time and time again a pain in the proverbial backside for my GM before I took over. I had a character who at one point who was a Bounty Hunter-Assassin and had brawn 5, melee 4 and critical 1 crafted vibrosword (had vicious 6 I believe). It was an absolute mess because whenever we'd fight a nemesis I'd end up killing it in a single hit just by critting (average roll of 50, +60 from vicious, +30 from Killing Blows talent). To try mitigate that in games I've run myself I've banned crafting in most instances but it's not perfect. I have to make my nemesis incredibly difficult so they even pose a challenge. 

In the Clone Wars campaign I'm running, I had a Jedi Wookiee who essentially built himself to be a one shotting machine with his lightsaber. Super specialized to the point of near min/max with how many Lethal Blows he had as well as the Juyo Savagery talent. Considering I have a party of around 6 people, I have found stacking 2-3 Durable on larger/stronger characters is not unreasonable when you have to account for it. Otherwise, the one thing I can recommend is setting up the weakness of the one shot character: Send a TON of weaker guys to wear him down before the Nemesis, who can also have multiple turns in a single round depending on the party size (the stronger ones typically do in my games). Maybe have a super mobile nemesis? For instance, I'm having a Clawdite bounty hunter for the Separatists with a jetpack and a sniper rifle essentially run circles around the PC in the final encounter next week. There will be droids around, magna guard and B2s and the like but the Nemesis does not always need to be in your face to be a challenge.

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2 hours ago, BipolarJuice said:

Unfortunately critical hits have proven themselves time and time again a pain in the proverbial backside for my GM before I took over. I had a character who at one point who was a Bounty Hunter-Assassin and had brawn 5, melee 4 and critical 1 crafted vibrosword (had vicious 6 I believe). It was an absolute mess because whenever we'd fight a nemesis I'd end up killing it in a single hit just by critting (average roll of 50, +60 from vicious, +30 from Killing Blows talent). To try mitigate that in games I've run myself I've banned crafting in most instances but it's not perfect. I have to make my nemesis incredibly difficult so they even pose a challenge. 

Durable talent. 

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Just finished running another gauntlet.....match. 

Obi Wan - Kenobi (Rise of the Separatists) vs Maul (Dawn of the Rebellion)

Obi-Wan has the advantage in LS damage/critical rating, Defense of 1/1, adversary rating, and Cool Initiative.  Maul has the advantage in LS skill and Wounds/Strain.  Equal in Parry Skill.  These are straight LS duels.  No fear checks were made.  No Coercion checks.  No Hawk-Bat Swoop for Maul.  No Move from Obi-Wan.  Advantages were used to activate crits/regain strain.  Disadvantages decreased strain.  Triumphs activated crits, despairs upgraded opponents next attack (Obi-Wan rolled more despairs than Maul overall).

Round 1:  Rolled Vigilance for Initiative:  Obi-Wan wins initiative and scores an early agonizing wound.  It goes downhill from there.  Obi-Wan ends up winning in 4-5 rounds, maiming Maul on the 2nd round (Took out an arm), and maiming the second arm in the final blow that caused Maul to exceed Wound Threshold.  (Maul loses all four limbs to Obi-Wan if you count TPM).  Maul does get one hit on Obi-Wan, causing him to gain some wounds, but not more than half.

Round 2:  Rolled Cool for Initiative: Obi-Wan wins and ganks him.  2-3 attacks from Kenobi fight is over, ala Star Wars Rebels.  Obi-Wan ends overpowering Maul.

Round 3:  Rolled Vigilance:  Maul wins initiative and score an early critical.  Maul has Obi-Wan reeling, until Obi blinds Maul in the 2nd attack.  Maul begins to falter as Obi-Wan makes a comeback.  Very back and forth fight.  Lasting 6-7 combat rounds.  Maul brings Obi-Wan to 1 point left on the wound threshold.  Obi-Wan manages to pull it out by crippling Maul in the end.  Leaving Maul crippled and blinded.

 

Obi-Wan wins 3 out of 3 rounds. 3rd round could have gone either way. Biggest factors were initiative and the results of the critical wounds.

 

Not sure if Maul's stats from A&A are the same as his from Dawn of the Rebellion, but Maul's real threat comes from the LS damage he can deal.  I should try and incorporate Hawk-Bat Swoop and more strategic maneuvering in the battles.  There is just to much to keep track of. 

 

Next fight will be Maul vs Dooku than Maul vs Ventress.  (All Dawn of the Rebellion vs Rise of the Separatists because I do not own A&A).

 

Thanks. 

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