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ddbrown30

Cloud City Grand Prix Gunner

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I'm sure this topic must have come up before but I'm unable to find anything. I'd like to know what others have ruled with the gunner in the Cloud City Grand Prix. The book says that you can shoot at other racers to disable them but the RAW say that inflicting damage that exceeds the hull threshold of a silhouette 2 or lower vehicle destroys it. Yes, it does also say that the GM can rule that it's just disabled, but then why wouldn't you get the upgraded weapons (which the book warns could be too destructive)?

Also, what exactly would a disabled cloud car look like? If it's disabled, wouldn't it just fall out of the air?

Anyway, if you've run the race and have any experiences you'd like to share or tips for how to run it, I'd appreciate it.

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It has come up. My feeling is that the race is just terrible,  both in mechanics and in the idea that it's the best way into the gala.

As written,  use of weapons probably takes out an opponent and disqualifies the shooter too. Being a disabled cloud car in the atmosphere of a gas giant doesn't have to be immediately deadly if the GM wants to rule the atmosphere is really dense and the cloud car is buoyant. It's SW, so it only has to be 10% science.

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11 hours ago, ddbrown30 said:

The book says that you can shoot at other racers to disable them but the RAW say that inflicting damage that exceeds the hull threshold of a silhouette 2 or lower vehicle destroys it. Yes, it does also say that the GM can rule that it's just disabled, but then why wouldn't you get the upgraded weapons (which the book warns could be too destructive)?

The Adventure outright says the destruction of another racer's is an automatic DQ and likely criminal prosecution. 

As such firing on another racer's car is risky.

Ideally you'll crit them and generate a Crit result that either hobbles them or otherwise gives you an advantage.

If you're doing a more hybrid approach and especially damaging hit combined with a proper social check and a radio might force a racer out.

A single shoot down could be easily justified as a disabled hit by the GM, though repeated attempts the GM would be just as justified as a DQ if the players are being especially bloodthirsty.

Advanced rulings would also allow called shots to have specific disabling effects.

 

So... Upgraded weapons can be an advantage or a red herring depending on how the gm rolls with it. 

 

11 hours ago, ddbrown30 said:

Also, what exactly would a disabled cloud car look like? If it's disabled, wouldn't it just fall out of the air?

Pretty much. There's a box in the book that covers this, and how there's a rescue team on standby. So a rescue speeder would swoop in, tractor the crippled speeder back to a pad, and all's good.

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Disabled for purposes of a race doesn't necessarily mean that it's disabled for the purpose of being able to fly and survive.  Think Wedge in the Trench Run - "I'm hit, I can't stay with you."  His X-Wing wasn't destroyed, and was still spaceworthy, but couldn't maintain the speed necessary.  The same could be applied to a speeder in the race.

But yeah, I'm not a fan of the gunner in the race.  When my group ran it, I was the gunner, but if I recall correctly, our pilot was good enough that there wasn't much in front of us to shoot at.  *shrug*

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11 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

The Adventure outright says the destruction of another racer's is an automatic DQ and likely criminal prosecution. 

Right, except it also implies that shooting is legal as long as you don't destroy and the guidelines for running some of the NPC teams specifically call out that they will shoot but will try not to destroy. This means that the design intent is to encourage careful shooting, but they've not provided us with rules to cover it.

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3 hours ago, Subhntr said:

Disabled for purposes of a race doesn't necessarily mean that it's disabled for the purpose of being able to fly and survive.  Think Wedge in the Trench Run - "I'm hit, I can't stay with you."  His X-Wing wasn't destroyed, and was still spaceworthy, but couldn't maintain the speed necessary.  The same could be applied to a speeder in the race.

But yeah, I'm not a fan of the gunner in the race.  When my group ran it, I was the gunner, but if I recall correctly, our pilot was good enough that there wasn't much in front of us to shoot at.  *shrug*

Right, I get that, but my question is how does it work mechanically? AFAIK, the RAW don't cover targeting subsystems directly. This means you're hoping for a low damage crit which is such a weird exploitation of the rules. There's no way that's intended.

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13 hours ago, ddbrown30 said:

Did you ever run it?

The adventure? Yes.  The race? No. My group thought it was a stupid way to get into the gala,  so our slicer and scoundrel worked together to forge credentials and pull a scam to get in unobtrusively.

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5 minutes ago, ddbrown30 said:

Right, except it also implies that shooting is legal as long as you don't destroy and the guidelines for running some of the NPC teams specifically call out that they will shoot but will try not to destroy. This means that the design intent is to encourage careful shooting, but they've not provided us with rules to cover it.

Yes they did, as I said in my post:

 

11 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

Ideally you'll crit them and generate a Crit result that either hobbles them or otherwise gives you an advantage.

If you're doing a more hybrid approach and especially damaging hit combined with a proper social check and a radio might force a racer out.

A single shoot down could be easily justified as a disabled hit by the GM, though repeated attempts the GM would be just as justified as a DQ if the players are being especially bloodthirsty.

Advanced rulings would also allow called shots to have specific disabling effects.

This is both typical FFG leaving things open to GM interpretation, but also typical RPG publication in general. There's only so much page space available, so they don't reprint a lot of fine details, and instead assume you'll be familiar enough with the rules to work it out on your own.

Fortunately we live in 2019, so you can save a lot of time by asking us when you aren't totally clear.

 

But to answer your question in a little more detail:

1) A single attack with sufficient Advantage/Triumph will allow for the players to inflict a crit. A result like Tailspin, Engine damaged, or Component hit would put the target at a disadvantage. The damage rating of the blasters are unlikely to cause enough damage to the target to HT in one shot. Though multiple hits would HT him and potentially DQ the player if the GM doesn't intervene.

2) Shooting another racer and then getting on Comms and bullying them may be sufficient to get one to voluntarily DQ themselves in fear you'll intentionally shoot them down. This might be a good option for a group with little Gunnery skills, but a high Coercion.

3) If the GM wants, he can hand-wave it, but probably should save this for "oopsies" when tryin to do something else, though it also might be a good option when the group's composition doesn't leave many other options to get in the top 3. Remember, not every group is going to have that perfect D&D style composition, so it's possible that shooting down all the other racers is the safest bet for the party to win.

4) There's vague rules for called shots in the core, but in Mask of the Pirate Queen they expound on this a little more. It's harder, and requires you do a certain amount of damage, but in exchange allows you to essentially skip to a specific crit result (that being Major System Failure). This option essentially works the same as option 1) but with more predictability, assuming you can meet the requirements. Here's where upgrading your weapons might actually be more valuable, as you'll be more likely to generate Failure, and need to do a minimum amount of hull damage to get that result you want.

So shooting is a valid, if risky, option.

 

3 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

The adventure? Yes.  The race? No. My group thought it was a stupid way to get into the gala,  so our slicer and scoundrel worked together to forge credentials and pull a scam to get in unobtrusively.

On this I kinda agree with Happy. 

By winning, you're making yourselves famous. So getting caught during the heist just causes additional problems, since everyone knows who you are. If you do run the race, the players will want to do so incognito. Fortunately Star Wars is a rather pulpy setting, so running the race incognito is as appropriate as Robin Hood taking part in the King's archery competition incognito. It's just that they players have to remember to do so, or suffer the long term consequences....

 

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2 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

The adventure? Yes.  The race? No. My group thought it was a stupid way to get into the gala,  so our slicer and scoundrel worked together to forge credentials and pull a scam to get in unobtrusively.

That's a cool idea. I'll be sure to leave the door open for the players to do something else. One of my players' PC is built around racing, though, so I imagine they'll want to take that path.

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22 minutes ago, ddbrown30 said:

That's a cool idea. I'll be sure to leave the door open for the players to do something else. One of my players' PC is built around racing, though, so I imagine they'll want to take that path.

By all means run the race as a side plot for fun. I just find using it as the way into the gala ro be stupid. Also,  if that's your only way in,  what happens if you don't win the race? If there was another way, why make it seem like the race was important to getting in? 

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2 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

This is both typical FFG leaving things open to GM interpretation, but also typical RPG publication in general. There's only so much page space available, so they don't reprint a lot of fine details, and instead assume you'll be familiar enough with the rules to work it out on your own.

I general, I agree, but I completely disagree with this in this case. This isn't about them not reprinting the fine details (or any details), it's about the fact that these rules don't exist at all.

 

2 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

But to answer your question in a little more detail:...

etc. etc.

So shooting is a valid, if risky, option.

1) First half, yeah, I guess, but it feels like such a weird exploitation of the rules. You're hoping for a low number of successes and a lot of advantage which is out of your control. Second half, disagree. After applying armor, with the gun doing 4 damage, you only need 3 successes to destroy a car (4+3-2=5). It's actually the case that someone who is really skilled at Gunnery will actually be *worse* at getting the desired result which is bonkers to me. Like, 5 Yellow vs 2 Purple, that ship is going down.

2) Yeah, that's not a bad idea, but I feel like that's in spite of the rules, not because of them.

3) Sure, I can hand wave anything. I can also just write my own rules for this too.

4) That's interesting. I just picked up that book so I'll have a look through it when I get home.

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4 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

By all means run the race as a side plot for fun. I just find using it as the way into the gala ro be stupid. Also,  if that's your only way in,  what happens if you don't win the race? If there was another way, why make it seem like the race was important to getting in? 

They do cover a bunch of backup plans for if the PCs don't win the race, but they all still revolve around the race.

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19 minutes ago, ddbrown30 said:

First half, yeah, I guess, but it feels like such a weird exploitation of the rules. You're hoping for a low number of successes and a lot of advantage which is out of your control.

Aren't you literally doing something like this every time you roll the dice though? You're always hoping for positive results knowing darn well you could bombo the whole thing.

If you look deeper into the rules, this is kinda how it works anyway. Check out use of personal scale weapons vs. vehicles. That's all about Critting, with many weapons not being able to even inflict Hull Trauma at all, especially vs. high Armor vehicles.

22 minutes ago, ddbrown30 said:

Second half, disagree. After applying armor, with the gun doing 4 damage, you only need 3 successes to destroy a car (4+3-2=5). It's actually the case that someone who is really skilled at Gunnery will actually be *worse* at getting the desired result which is bonkers to me. Like, 5 Yellow vs 2 Purple, that ship is going down.

First off, you need 4 success. not three. A Cloud Car has an HT of 5, so it won't be HTed until you hit 6 Trauma.

Second, run those numbers.

With a basic PP difficulty, no modifiers, a YYG roll will have a <6% probability of rolling 4 Success. 3Y is <7.5%, 4Y is just over 15.1%, and 5Y is 19.7%.

So the odds of taking a single shot and HTing an opponent are pretty small for most groups. And even a maxed gunner isn't going to reliably 1-shot grease an opponent in this race. 

49 minutes ago, ddbrown30 said:

) Yeah, that's not a bad idea, but I feel like that's in spite of the rules, not because of them.

This isn't in spite, this is an option. RPG parties, especially in Star Wars, can be widely varied. It's not like in D&D where you'd have one player in the party that dedicated to doing a certain block of functions to ensure success on that one thing. EotE specifically doesn't have a ton of Gunnery in it's trees, so there's nothing to say anyone in the group could shoot at all. This is also why in the book it gives options for what to do if players don't win the race, because it's totally possible that the group may not have a pilot at all.

But that goes into my 3rd point. What do you do if the players have a master gunner, but the pilot stinks, and they decide that shooting down the opposition is the solution? DQ them and end the adventure? That's a rookie GM mistake. Handwaving is an option, in this case one specifically in the Core Rule book, to allow such an action to take place and the adventure to continue.

And even then you've got options. Want not killing a "dead" cloud car to have a cost? Require a D-point flip. That's exactly what they exist to do.

If you aren't customizing encounters, adventures, and calls to the group... you're probably not being the GM your could be. This isn't a computer game, the rules are malleable for a reason. Sometimes its to keep the players from doing something silly, sometimes it to allow them to do it and survive.

 

56 minutes ago, ddbrown30 said:

) That's interesting. I just picked up that book so I'll have a look through it when I get home.

PG 77, Surgical Strikes box at the top. It may need tweaking to work here. Run the probabilities.

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Posted (edited)

I actually got a reply from the devs about this one:

 

Quote

Hello Dan,

When a vehicle suffers hull trauma in excess to its hull trauma threshold, it is disabled (stops being responsive to controls, coasts to a stop or crashes, or in the case of repulsor vehicles, may drift with the winds while slowly sinking as its final repulsors fail) and suffers a Critical Hit. Critical Hits are the only way to cause a vehicle to blow up in a fiery cloud of pieces (although the GM can narrate this happens to vehicles that are not piloted by important characters, such as TIE fighters). So that is one way to disable a vehicle without destroying it. Another is to inflict Critical Hits (since most Critical Hits don’t destroy vehicles) but that’s a bit more risky (since some of them do!)

 

 

Edited by ddbrown30

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