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Moomanchew

Intellect to be used for flying silhouette 4+

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Posted (edited)

I'm mainly posting this to get an idea of what everyone else thinks.  Ever since the Genesys book came out my Star Wars: Edge of the Empire DM has had us use intellect to pilot large capital ships instead of agility.  His reason being that the Genesys book contains the rules as they were meant to be in the EotE core book.  Just wanted other players/DM's thoughts on this.  I personally dislike him using it as a new rule due to the fact that most all of our rolled characters who are meant to be pilots were rolled with agility in mind, not intellect. 

Edited by Moomanchew

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Seems problematic.  I mean, I get what he is going for.  Piloting a fighter takes quick reaction times.  Piloting a Star destroyer is more about tactical ability than how fast you can move the stick.  I understand the argument.  However, if this wasn't stated prior to rolling characters, and agreed upon by all players, then it's kind of a jerk move to drop this info mid game.

My group will make changes to rules over time as we find better ways to handle them.  Various rules in the core are over or under powered by large degrees, so we've modified things a bit.  But it's always discussed, debated, and any change needs to be accepted by all players.

Making the argument that Genesys rules should have been in EotE is a weak stance that's not supported by anything I've seen.  Genesys might be a refines set of rules, but it doesn't mean that they would have done anything differently in the various core books for Star Wars.

On top of that, the cutoff at Sil 4 is well, odd.  This is probably the weakest element of this change.  There are a number of heavy fighters and light frieghters that fall into the Sil4 range including the Millennium Falcon and Slave 1.  We've seen both of these craft dogfight and pull various fighter type manuevers that are based more on agility than tactical thought.  If he made the argument for Sil5+, I could possibly see it.

Even at Sil5 you have a problem though.  Piloting, even large craft, takes a degree of physical skill.  They still have to maneuver a ship to fit into tight places, line up docking bays, etc.  They still have to maneuver the ship into position to fire weapons, or evade shots.  They still have to pilot through debris fields, asteroid fields, etc.  Those are things that are going to take precise piloting skills.

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1 hour ago, kmanweiss said:

Seems problematic.  I mean, I get what he is going for.  Piloting a fighter takes quick reaction times.  Piloting a Star destroyer is more about tactical ability than how fast you can move the stick.  I understand the argument.  However, if this wasn't stated prior to rolling characters, and agreed upon by all players, then it's kind of a jerk move to drop this info mid game.

My group will make changes to rules over time as we find better ways to handle them.  Various rules in the core are over or under powered by large degrees, so we've modified things a bit.  But it's always discussed, debated, and any change needs to be accepted by all players.

Making the argument that Genesys rules should have been in EotE is a weak stance that's not supported by anything I've seen.  Genesys might be a refines set of rules, but it doesn't mean that they would have done anything differently in the various core books for Star Wars.

On top of that, the cutoff at Sil 4 is well, odd.  This is probably the weakest element of this change.  There are a number of heavy fighters and light frieghters that fall into the Sil4 range including the Millennium Falcon and Slave 1.  We've seen both of these craft dogfight and pull various fighter type manuevers that are based more on agility than tactical thought.  If he made the argument for Sil5+, I could possibly see it.

Even at Sil5 you have a problem though.  Piloting, even large craft, takes a degree of physical skill.  They still have to maneuver a ship to fit into tight places, line up docking bays, etc.  They still have to maneuver the ship into position to fire weapons, or evade shots.  They still have to pilot through debris fields, asteroid fields, etc.  Those are things that are going to take precise piloting skills.

Elements of Mechanics,  Medicine, Skulduggery, and Survival all take physical skill too (and Stealth is arguably more based on Cunning than Agility), but the game pairs each skill with one Characteristic.

For large vessels where "Operating" is more appropriate than Piloting,  Intellect works fine. Between automated systems and assisting crew,  the operator is really just deciding where the vehicle is going to go and entering the course and speed. Beyond that it's about timing and teaching relative positions and velocities, something gar more mental than physical. 

I too feel that this should only apply at Sil 5+ rather than 4+ as that's already the dividing line fir other measures. 

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17 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

Elements of Mechanics,  Medicine, Skulduggery, and Survival all take physical skill too (and Stealth is arguably more based on Cunning than Agility), but the game pairs each skill with one Characteristic.

Actually, just a few days ago I noticed something in the Skulduggery rules that applies here. On page 116 of EotE core, it says, "At the Game Master’s discretion, a particular Skulduggery check may use Agility instead of Cunning, to reflect a more physical approach." So that's at least one case where RAW it's suggested that you can use a different characteristic for a skill.

I thought that was pretty interesting and I'm going to be looking for situations where I can roll this out.

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If the GM changes things up mid-game, he should give you the option to rework your character.  It may keep you an outstanding Capital Ship commander but could hurt you when moving to smaller vessels

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3 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

Elements of Mechanics,  Medicine, Skulduggery, and Survival all take physical skill too (and Stealth is arguably more based on Cunning than Agility), but the game pairs each skill with one Characteristic.

For large vessels where "Operating" is more appropriate than Piloting,  Intellect works fine. Between automated systems and assisting crew,  the operator is really just deciding where the vehicle is going to go and entering the course and speed. Beyond that it's about timing and teaching relative positions and velocities, something gar more mental than physical. 

I too feel that this should only apply at Sil 5+ rather than 4+ as that's already the dividing line fir other measures. 

I think it really depends on the control scheme.  Control yoke, or an input panel.  Any kind of stick or yoke, you're dealing with agility.  There is most definitely some Sil 5 ships that are still controlled this way.  YZ775 (sil5) for instance looks to have  YT1300 cockpit and most likely still uses yoke control systems.

Star trek = Int, galaxy quest = agility

Sil 5 works as a breaking point because you are getting into a number of ships that are going to be input panel controlled at this point and higher.  Sil6 and up I'd be very confident in being input panel type piloting almost exclusively, but you also move into a territory where you probably have a multitude of pilots all handling varying elements of ship control.

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I thought I'd add my two cents into this issue as well. There is a difference between commanding a capitol ship and piloting it. The helmsman is the one piloting the ship, and even with a larger ship, that takes a lot of manual dexterity and control, not brain power. It is the captain of the ship, the one making the strategic and tactical decisions and commanding the helmsman that needs the higher Intellect, as well as Presence and Willpower for Leadership, and Knowledge checks. 

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40 minutes ago, kmanweiss said:

I think it really depends on the control scheme.  Control yoke, or an input panel.  Any kind of stick or yoke, you're dealing with agility.  There is most definitely some Sil 5 ships that are still controlled this way.  YZ775 (sil5) for instance looks to have  YT1300 cockpit and most likely still uses yoke control systems.

Star trek = Int, galaxy quest = agility

Oh really?

iJhbfVM.jpg

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On 7/7/2019 at 12:23 PM, Moomanchew said:

Ever since the Genesys book came out my Star Wars: Edge of the Empire DM has had us use intellect to pilot large capital ships instead of agility.  His reason being that the Genesys book contains the rules as they were meant to be in the EotE core book.

He's both overthinking it and under-thinking it.  A case could be made for Presence too, as Leadership can be more important than "operations" in getting stuff done.  Depends on the context and what the challenge is.  If he wants to toss in the occasional curve ball and make a challenge Intellect-based, as a GM I don't see anything wrong with that, but it should be rare and there should be a good story reason for it.

4 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

I too feel that this should only apply at Sil 5+ rather than 4+ as that's already the dividing line fir other measures. 

Yeah, the 4+ cutoff seems weird.  Han Solo isn't flying the ML on his brain power, in his case it's really more about Cunning, but we defer to Agility just to streamline the game.  And 5+ has the Ghost as an example, so I wouldn't even think about applying an alternative to Agility until 6+.

If he really wants to use Intellect he should add a new skill (Operations), and make it available to the techie types as a career skill.

On 7/7/2019 at 12:23 PM, Moomanchew said:

I personally dislike him using it as a new rule due to the fact that most all of our rolled characters who are meant to be pilots were rolled with agility in mind, not intellect. 

That seems the biggest sticking point.  He should have thought of it in Session Zero, not toss it in mid-campaign.

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@Moomanchew

First, as a group you need to discuss this new turn of events.

If I were going to implement a change, it would be based upon how the Ship's Complement is written.

If it says (for instance): 1 Pilot or 1 Pilot and 1 Co-pilot, I would use Agility.

If it says (for instance): Twenty crew, I would use Intellect.

Cheers!

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Posted (edited)

Star Wars material does seem to use 5+ rather than 4+ as the cutoff, although as noted, there are cases where it's inconsistent, so at the very least, I'd set the threshold at Sil 5+ in a SW game.

The idea of using Int for capital ship piloting isn't unreasonable, since maneuvering a ship like that is more about how the ship will handle (and how well you can work with that) as a cognitive task rather than how quick you are on the controls.

In the case of a ship where it's ambiguous (like the Sil 5 Ghost) I'd say 'Agility or Intellect'. It's not like the system and various adventures don't allow for multiple options depending on the approach/circumstance.

Likewise, if someone was specifically built as a capital ship pilot using Agi and not Int, then either they should be allowed to rebuild, or (more simply) heirloom in their use of Agi for the rest of that game.

Edited by Garran

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