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Grathew

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Hello all, I am a new to the system DM from good old DnD 5e and I have a few questions before I pitch my first game. 

Firstly how would you recommend forming the party? I tend to gently guide players into interactions and then throw something out that they have to deal with. Like a large monster breaking into town, being killed by the party. As the party members are from out of town they will end up getting arrested because they are all outsiders. Than either breaking out of jail together or working together to clear their names. I'm assuming this set up doesn't work in the edge of the empire, so what would be recommend? 

Secondly how do I esculate threat? I understand the basics of the minion system but what would a low intensity conflict look like contrasted to a high intensity one. For example would using local milita troups be recommended if I wanted the stormtrooper to be the bonafied badasses they are supposed to be. Also how do I make stormtroopers truely terrifying for the players? 

I'm also thinking having the players stuck on a planet for at least the first 'adventure' is this recommend? If so how should I go about it? 

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Welcome to the game.  If the Characters are all from seperate paths and just joining up for the first adventure, have them stuck at the starport of whatever random planet you are starting with.  A computer glitch or a random attack on the base has caused a huge delay in people being able to leave.  As you may not want them having multiple ships, maybe they had booked passage on a ship that has now been grounded for smuggling and now they have to work together to find other passage.

Individual stormtroopers can bu the badass that you are looking for, just make them as a Nemesis character.  Several published adventures have writeups for such stormtrooper commanders/leaders.  Typically if you leave them as Minions, your players will eat them up.  That being said, if you give them the right weapons, minions can be quite nasty in their own right

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48 minutes ago, Varlie said:

Welcome to the game.  If the Characters are all from seperate paths and just joining up for the first adventure, have them stuck at the starport of whatever random planet you are starting with.  A computer glitch or a random attack on the base has caused a huge delay in people being able to leave.  As you may not want them having multiple ships, maybe they had booked passage on a ship that has now been grounded for smuggling and now they have to work together to find other passage.

That's a good idea. It could also set them at odds with the local governor or crime lord, probably both. 

48 minutes ago, Varlie said:

Individual stormtroopers can bu the badass that you are looking for, just make them as a Nemesis character.  Several published adventures have writeups for such stormtrooper commanders/leaders.  Typically if you leave them as Minions, your players will eat them up.  That being said, if you give them the right weapons, minions can be quite nasty in their own right

After reading the minion stormtrooper options I was thinking deploy them in groups of ten, two groups of four man regulars and a two man LMG group, also use the grenades (once I wrap my head around how they work). Also give them better access to reinforcements, transports, airstrikes and other expensive assets. I'm not sure how that would work mechanically. I read a bit stating vehicular weapons deal 10X damage to people but wouldn't that be overkill for most players? 

My hope is to get a measure for difficulty before I start to plan the first adventure. I want to run it in a way where the PCs aren't worried when the local Moff publicly announces the bounty on their head. Conversly when their names land on Tarkin's desk I'd like some panic. Similarly an Imperial Agent is hunting you, vs Darth Vader is hunting you. 

Edited by Grathew

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You can also occasionally buff the stats of minions (i.e. one extra rank per skil, a little additional WT, etc.) but this should be carefully considered and probably not until much later in the game. Something to keep in mind for that is: "Why are these minions better? Is there any IU reason for them to be?" An answer to these questions could be: "These are an elite unit of Navy Troopers assigned to clamp down on smuggling in this area." As opposed to (what I think is) the D&D logic of: "The players need a challenge, so the monsters level up as the do."
Another thing you can do is send in more rivals.

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3 minutes ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

As opposed to (what I think is) the D&D logic of: "The players need a challenge, so the monsters level up as the do."

It's more, at least at my table, the monsters get better equipment and tatics as you go up in level if the bigger monsters aren't on the table. Even then the bigger monsters have more abilities and capabilities which would put the progrssion, more as low levels are all minions, mid levels are leaders(?) And the end game would be all rivals. Unless I'm mistaken on how the NPC types work in edge which I probably am. 

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In EotE, AoR, and FaD the NPc ranks are such: Minion: the lowest level, do not individually possess skills, do not possess a strain threshold, but gain ranks in certain skills the more of them there are. Rival: the middle level, do not possess a strain threshold, but possess individual skills and range from starting PC level and lower up to on par with 200 XP PCs. Nemeses: The highest level, possess a strain threshold and range from tending to easily overpower 200 XP PCs of a comparable focus (1-on-1) to literally the Emperor.

Characters in this system advance differently than in D&D, so I would throw pretty much all you know out the window when it comes to how to handle NPC progression. Characters will attract more dangerous NPCs as they cross the wrong people, gain more notoriety, and try to knock off harder targets. But I strongly suggest that you stick with RAW stats as much as possible and only tweak them when you have good in-universe reasons to do so. Aside from statting new stuff, that is. When you need to stat new stuff you need to choose what level it is going to be. If it is a temporary antagonist, not meant to be a major threat or stick around for long, it should probably be a Rival and that would be early game or the "calm-before-the-storm" (so to speak) in the mid game. If it is the "Big-Bad" it really needs to be Nemesis level. For anything you do, compare it to the base stats for similar things and try to balance it likewise.
One fun thing to do for the "Big-Bads" is to build them like PCs, with talent trees etc. If you do that, I would suggest giving them X XP and then sticking to it, but you can increase their XP as the campaign goes on.

A couple examples of adjusting stats/equipment: Aforementioned elite Navy Troopers clamping down on smuggling, Navy Troopers guarding a prison transport get Melee as a group skill because they are also being given 1-ended electro-staffs, and they also get Ranged (Heavy) because for crisis situations they have flamethrowers.

One thing to be very careful of is not padding the stats of your Nemesis NPCs too much, here's a thread where that happened and it created big problems: 

 

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Tweaking base stats isn't my plan, if anything it's ranking up the group.

IIRC the base securtiy gaurd as an aglility of 2 and light ranged and a blaster pistol and some token armor. The Imperial Army Troopers have an agility of 2 as well but more hitpoints and the armory gives out carbines and functionalish armor. Making a squad of 3 Inperial Army more dangerous than 3 security gaurds. As for the Stormtroopers they have agility 3, heavy weapons and more hitpoints again and strong armor. Making them the most dangerous minions. 

Thus security < army < stormtroopers, which makes me think of the Goblinoids. Goblins are low stats and not usually threatening. Bugbears are significantly stronger than any goblin but, aren't much smarter. Hobgoblins are physically weaker than bugbears but have access to proper weapons and armor, so goblins < bugbears < hobgoblins.  

All three have rival equivalents, with some ablitlies and usually better mental stats, and a spellcaster to provide utility. With Volo's guide to Monsters you could make a Nemisis version which would be a PC run by the DM. Which frankly should only be used as the BBEG or one of the BBEGs should there be a ring, but never run more than one or two of them in an encounter unless you are trying to kill the party.  Even then one really shouldn't mess around with PC strength NPC opponents. 

So my NPC progression using the goblinoids:  goblins < goblins with leader or spell casters = bugbears < goblins with leaders and spell casters = bugbears with leaders or spellcasters = hobgoblins < bugbears with leaders and spellcasters = hobgoblins with leaders or spell casters < hobgoblins with leaders and spellcasters < PC goblin with group < PC bugbear with group < PC hobgoblin with group.

Replace goblin with local security, bugbears with impeiral army and hobgoblins with stormtroopers and that's what I'm trying to do. Assuming the translation lines up. If anything I may go and enhance the weaker groups with better tatics and some better equipment when the better units are in the area.

Like the security will immediately take cover once engaged instead of just shooting back. Myabe a few squads have scavaged some better armor, or carbines instead of just pistols. The imperial army might begrudgingly work with some stormtroopers adding a captain or scout trooper team to their patrols. Etc etc. 

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I would recommend try out minion groups on the party before doing anything. A party of 5 stormtroopers can be very lethal to 3 starting PCs. Sure they die from 3 shots (if the pcs have heavy weapons) but they hit like a truck. Minions are not that useless, especially not at the start.

And don't forget, this system works best when you narrate it. Number crunching is not really effective here

Edited by Rimsen

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Well the situation is what the DM defines it. As who knows who is listening, who is going to snitch, who has bad intel, or who was set up? 

Which leads me back to my inital question how do I make genaric minion stormtroopers scary to the players? I want them to have enough impact for the players to notice. For example we need to steal from goverment building X: local gaurds? No problem. Imperial Army/Navy? Let's do this carefully. Stormtroopers? Nope, time to go find another employer.

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Oh, they will be.

More seriously though, make Stormtroopers more rare. That is pretty much the only way aside from tweaking their stats, which I do not suggest. Also, if you tend to have lesser minion groups in smaller groups and then the more dangerous ones in larger groups it enhances the "Oh, nooo" factor as the roll improves significantly. Minions don't have to be in groups, if you want to represent them as pushovers, instead of having a group of 2, have 2 groups of 1, and then once they knock them off without taking any hits, it gets much scarier when 4 Stormtroopers show up and roll 3 success on their first attack. If you have a couple medium-large groups backed up by a Rival (i.e. 2 groups of 4 Stormtroopers and one Stormtrooper Sergeant), it will be very hard for the PCs to get off without at least one member getting WT'd.

If the PCs are at least somewhat focused on fighting, it will be somewhat hard to actually scare them, if they barely have any combat training, a minion group of local guards (flat 2s, ranged (light), blaster pistol) ought to be slightly terrifying. I've got a party of 4: a gunslinger (Soldier: Sharpshooter/Commando), a sniper (custom), a brawler with an LRB (Soldier: Vanguard), and a Saboteur, so it is rather hard to scare them because they are focused around fighting, but a full squad of Stormtroopers still does the trick (especially when their first attack against the PCs rolls 2 Triumph [actually happened]).

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Welcome to FFG Star Wars.

 

Good questions and I think the first hurdle for you to cross is getting comfortable with the new dice mechanics and coming up with narrative results from the dice.

A lot of this will come from just playing the game.  It's sufficiently different from D&D that there's a learning curve to climb, but it's not too bad.

 

As for how to handle Storm Troopers?

The reality is that capable PC's (especially well trained and lightsaber armed Force Users) can cut through a battalion of Storm Troopers like a Cuisinart can dice up a can of chopped nuts.

What I have done to make Storm Troopers a force to recon with is:

  1. They're ALL Nemisis.  ALL of them.  From the lowest Private to the highest Sergeant.  Each individual Storm Trooper is a capable combatant.  (Even the officers are Nemisis level).
  2. They work as a TEAM.  
  3. I've made the Lamilar Armor that they wear twice as effective.
  4. They're not suicidal.  They won't just line up and let themselves (or their buddies) get slaughtered.  If they're taking a beating, they take tactical retreats and run for cover.
  5. They use cover.
  6. If the PC's seem really well armed and really hard to defeat, the Storm Troopers will deploy an E-Web.
  7. If the E-Web doesn't work, they'll use the crew served weapons on their IFV.
  8. TIE Fighters have also been called in to help.

So those are the kinds of things that I do to make Storm Troopers seem a bit more of a challenge.

Don't use the Minion Rules.  (Okay I do use them on occasion . . .)  But if you want to make a group 'challenging' for the PC's don't use minions.  Unless it's an encounter that is pro-forma.  Like a nest of womp rats, a group of street toughs, or the local farmers show up with pitchforks and torches.  I wouldn't use Minions for any group that's supposed to have any level of combat training.

 

As for what kind of stories work well in Star Wars FFG?  The Edge of the Empire type campaigns seem to work well, where the PC's are interacting with the underbelly of society and depending on whether your players want to wear black or white hats, you can generally make both work.  But any conflict with a western or frontier feel works.  There are legitimate shortages everywhere, and even an established colony can have a disaster or shortfall that needs the assistance of a plucky band of heroes to solve.

I like the Age of Rebellion campaign as it gives the players (and the GM) a good structure to hang the campaign on.  It's also an easy point of conflict for the players to wrap their heads around.

Also, don't be afraid to ask the player what type of campaign their interested in.

 

Starting the campaign on a single world or single city, or single town is very appropriate. I've seen some people get overwhelmed by a galaxy spanning campaign and putting in some limits in place up front can greatly help you focus on getting the new game mechanics down.  Once you're comfortable with those, then feel free to expand the scope of the campaign.

 

Escalating threat?  There are two ways to do that.

First and easiest: increase the number of opponents.

Second and this takes some experience and tweaking, based on your group.  There is an adversarial talent called "Adversary" which I use.  It makes attacks against that adversary harder.  This is another good intermediate tool to use to make a specific Nemisis more challenging to defeat.  I use this liberally with Inquisitors and other high level opponents.

And once you get comfortable with Talents, make sure to apply them for Rival and Nemisis opponents.

 

This last bit is unsolicited and I hope that I can make this make sense: 

Cargo is not a McGuffin.  It's a transitory plot device.  (So are passengers).

At first cargo can seem overwhelming, but it shouldn't be.  Most cargo that is going to be transported in the galaxy will NOT be shipped on a ship like the ones that the PC's fly.  Most of the cargo appropriate for the PC's will be appropriate for the PC's ship.  And there won't be a lot of options at each port.

The next important bit is that the cargo will need to go where the GM needs the PC's to go.  (or where the GM is prepared for the PC's to travel).

So when you're ready for the PC's to ship out, you can help narrow down the options by having cargo available for the PC's going to worlds where you think you can keep the campaign interesting.

 

I think this should get you started and good luck.  Don't hesitate to ask questions as there are a lot of helpful people on these boards.

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I disagree with @Mark Caliber on using minions as Nemeses for a variety of reasons. One big one is initiative. If you have 8 Stormtroopers, that can be 2 initiative slots for 2 groups of 4, or it can be 8 slots for 8 individual Stormtroopers. The reason minions are the way they are is because it allows the game to move much faster and more smoothly. If you want to have independent Stormtrooper opponents who are more skilled than the base, I would suggest having some sort of recurring antagonist squad of advanced/elite/spec ops Stormtroopers. Similar to the SCAR squad from the Star Wars comics. Also, if you have 8 skilled Stormtroopers fighting independently, your PCs will (probably) die within the first 2 rounds.

For use of adversary I would suggest the following guidelines based on my observations from the RAW stats: Adversary 1 for mid to high level Rivals, Adversary 2-4 for Nemeses depending on their importance and combat skills (i.e. Padm`e is Adversary 2, General Grievous is Adversary 4).

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Minion groups are one of the best mechanics in this game. They allow you to have a large amount of enemies in play without tracking all their info individually.

The word "Minion" doesn't sound scary, but that doesn't mean a group can't tear up a PC in a round or two. A group of four Stormtroopers is rolling image.png.ce43c334a5edabf29bf6e2f331b2a511.pngimage.png.ce43c334a5edabf29bf6e2f331b2a511.pngimage.png.ce43c334a5edabf29bf6e2f331b2a511.png which is nasty, especially against starting level PCs. Now make a patrol of 12 troopers and a Rival Sergeant, think how hairy that encounter can get. My players are around 600 earned XP and can still get leveled by a few Minion groups if they don't fight smart.

And if the PCs roll well and tear through them instead? That's what makes the heroes the heroes! But that last Despair someone rolled? Well, they sounded the alarm and the rest of the garrison is being deployed....

It will take you some time to get the hang of things, especially since there's no Challenge Rating to eyeball encounter balance. Start small and adjust as needed. Or just go nuts; have them fight four groups of six troopers, two Sergeants, and a Nemesis officer; and make certain they know running away is a perfectly viable option.

 

I would play with @Varlie's suggestion for your first session: The PCs are all stuck in a crowded space port. The Empire has grounded most ships and the few that are allowed to leave are taking passengers via random lottery. A local gang has decided to shake down people for their travel vouchers and now the PCs can get into a simple encounter with a few thugs (2 groups of 3 Minions). Depending on how that goes, maybe some security officers barge in as well (2 groups of 2 and one Rival officer).

If they win, the PCs now have all those travel vouchers. Do they skip planet or give them back? Maybe the scuffle catches the eye of a smuggler who's taking on illegal passengers, or is looking to crew up for a job, and they hop in with them instead. But whoops, on the way to the secret hangar, the Stormtroopers are out looking for the wanted thugs! A chase through the streets!

 

On top of all this, if you haven't tried a Beginner Box, I highly recommend it. They're a ton of fun and fantastic at teaching the game to both players and GMs.

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1 hour ago, Mark Caliber said:

Welcome to FFG Star Wars.

 

Good questions and I think the first hurdle for you to cross is getting comfortable with the new dice mechanics and coming up with narrative results from the dice.

A lot of this will come from just playing the game.  It's sufficiently different from D&D that there's a learning curve to climb, but it's not too bad.

Making narrative results from dice is what a DM does. If anything the FFG dice make that a lot easier than the standard DnD dice. Most of the challanges, don't tell my players, don't have fixed DCs to them its more X+ is pass no issue, Y to X is pass with some issue Z to Y will let someone try to save you and below Z is doomed to fail.  Outside of combat thats how it works with narritve overruling dice when it comes to NPC feats or lack there of. 

1 hour ago, Mark Caliber said:

As for how to handle Storm Troopers?

The reality is that capable PC's (especially well trained and lightsaber armed Force Users) can cut through a battalion of Storm Troopers like a Cuisinart can dice up a can of chopped nuts.

What I have done to make Storm Troopers a force to recon with is:

  1. They're ALL Nemisis.  ALL of them.  From the lowest Private to the highest Sergeant.  Each individual Storm Trooper is a capable combatant.  (Even the officers are Nemisis level).
  2. They work as a TEAM.  
  3. I've made the Lamilar Armor that they wear twice as effective.
  4. They're not suicidal.  They won't just line up and let themselves (or their buddies) get slaughtered.  If they're taking a beating, they take tactical retreats and run for cover.
  5. They use cover.
  6. If the PC's seem really well armed and really hard to defeat, the Storm Troopers will deploy an E-Web.
  7. If the E-Web doesn't work, they'll use the crew served weapons on their IFV.
  8. TIE Fighters have also been called in to help.

So those are the kinds of things that I do to make Storm Troopers seem a bit more of a challenge.

Don't use the Minion Rules.  (Okay I do use them on occasion . . .)  But if you want to make a group 'challenging' for the PC's don't use minions.  Unless it's an encounter that is pro-forma.  Like a nest of womp rats, a group of street toughs, or the local farmers show up with pitchforks and torches.  I wouldn't use Minions for any group that's supposed to have any level of combat training.

Alright there's a lot to unpack there. First it sounds like you've lost control of you game. If this amount of punch is *needed* to still be a threat you're not in control anymore. Or should be playing dnd where these level combatants become commonplace near the end of a campaign. 

Seccondly  why can't teams of minions take cover, work as a team, or retreat? Is there some rule that I didn't find stating they have to be useless? 

Thirdly unless I am missunderstanding soak the armor they wear eats the first 5 points of damage dealt to them. Meaning you need to deal 6 to hurt them. Each with 5 hp you'd need to do 10 damage to kill a single minion.  So by doubling their armor one would need to do 15 damage to kill one. 

Forth if they have heavy weapons why doesn't it have crew, likewise why doesn't the APC have gunners? Or is this APC crew dismounting to deal wtih the PCs? It makes zero tatical sense regardless. 

I'm not trying to be mean I just don't understand at all what is going on to result in this advice. 

 

6 minutes ago, rogue_09 said:

Minion groups are one of the best mechanics in this game. They allow you to have a large amount of enemies in play without tracking all their info individually.

The word "Minion" doesn't sound scary, but that doesn't mean a group can't tear up a PC in a round or two. A group of four Stormtroopers is rolling image.png.ce43c334a5edabf29bf6e2f331b2a511.pngimage.png.ce43c334a5edabf29bf6e2f331b2a511.pngimage.png.ce43c334a5edabf29bf6e2f331b2a511.png which is nasty, especially against starting level PCs. Now make a patrol of 12 troopers and a Rival Sergeant, think how hairy that encounter can get. My players are around 600 earned XP and can still get leveled by a few Minion groups if they don't fight smart.

And if the PCs roll well and tear through them instead? That's what makes the heroes the heroes! But that last Despair someone rolled? Well, they sounded the alarm and the rest of the garrison is being deployed....

I thought a group of 4 stormtroopers would roll 3Y 1G because they would have 4 ranks in heavy ranged and 3 agility. 

Also would 2 groups of 4 and a team of two light repeating blasters be a good squad? 

10 minutes ago, rogue_09 said:

It will take you some time to get the hang of things, especially since there's no Challenge Rating to eyeball encounter balance. Start small and adjust as needed. Or just go nuts; have them fight four groups of six troopers, two Sergeants, and a Nemesis officer; and make certain they know running away is a perfectly viable option.

Most of my players realize that running away is a good idea. Not always possible, many feeling PC groups have been arrested while trying to run away. 

 

16 minutes ago, rogue_09 said:

On top of all this, if you haven't tried a Beginner Box, I highly recommend it. They're a ton of fun and fantastic at teaching the game to both players and GMs.

I looked into the beginner box, frankly I was unimpressed. It didn't seem special enough to me, also I felt like it was kinda fanseeviscy.

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4 hours ago, Grathew said:

Which leads me back to my inital question how do I make genaric minion stormtroopers scary to the players? I want them to have enough impact for the players to notice. For example we need to steal from goverment building X: local gaurds? No problem. Imperial Army/Navy? Let's do this carefully. Stormtroopers? Nope, time to go find another employer.

I might have missed it being already addressed, but it's really important to note a few key differences in this game.

First is that the power curve in this game is nothing like D&D.  The power curve here is very flat, and it takes a very long time (if ever) that stormtroopers aren't a problem.  So you can't use the standard D&D approach of scouring the Monster Manual for "level appropriate" challenges.

Second, the game is set up to resolve combat quickly, which means it's geared towards attacker success more than defender success.  If your players are expecting to be able to take a stand in most situations, they are in for a world of hurt.  Even a "tanky" PC can be downed in a few shots from a basic blaster pistol, and that changes only incrementally for the life of a campaign.  I mean, you can buy +2 Soak armour right out of the gate, and it doesn't get much better than that.  Sure some armours might add Defense, but this is a mercurial benefit at most.  So the game is more about short fights, and frankly, running away a LOT.  This is a good thing, not least of which is that it encourages people to use skills other than combat.

Third is that this game is a lot harder to scale than D&D.  The DM Guide has a great resource to scale encounters from easy to deadly, but no such methods exist here.  A rule of thumb is to compare positive dice, and if you want the PCs to have a tough, but probably successful, time of it, then the opposition should be bringing 1 die less to the table, assuming similar numbers of attacks per round.

4 minutes ago, Grathew said:

I looked into the beginner box, frankly I was unimpressed. It didn't seem special enough to me, also I felt like it was kinda fanseeviscy.

They are very much worth it, especially for the free PDF download (which is about 3 times the material in the box).  Plus, extra dice, always useful.

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58 minutes ago, Grathew said:

I thought a group of 4 stormtroopers would roll 3Y 1G because they would have 4 ranks in heavy ranged and 3 agility. 

Almost. Each additional minion after the first adds a rank in the group skill.

So one Stormtrooper rolls: AAA.png
Two: image.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngAA.png
Three: image.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngimage.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngA.png
Four: image.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngimage.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngimage.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.png
Five: image.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngimage.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngimage.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngA.png
Six: image.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngimage.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngimage.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.pngimage.png.f93113bbf58515523496bd0438f211e9.png

 

Edited by rogue_09

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1 hour ago, Grathew said:

Also would 2 groups of 4 and a team of two light repeating blasters be a good squad? 

For me, I generally make a squad using the canon size--8 troopers and a sergeant.

Composition varies, most of the time (for me) it's 8 E-11 troopers, but when I include heavy weapons I do 2 squads of 3 E-11 troopers 1 group of 2 LRB troopers and 1 Sergeant.

1 hour ago, Grathew said:

I looked into the beginner box, frankly I was unimpressed. It didn't seem special enough to me, also I felt like it was kinda fanseeviscy.

That's your call, but I got the AoR Beginner Game for less the MSRP on eBay and was pleased at its contents. It gives you a bunch of chips (4 scout troopers, Stormtroopers, and navy troopers, 2 bounty hunters, smugglers, navy officers/adjutants, mynocks, 3 Rebel troopers, 6 PCs, 1 Moff, and 1 dianoga) and it gives you the dice. The other stuff in there is just related to getting you familiar with the game and it's decent, but, again, it is your decision, I think that if you can get it cheap(er) it is a good resource. In my opinion 2 sets of dice is the best number to make sure you don't have to reroll as many dice.

 

Regarding minions, one thing I haven't gotten a chance to try yet, but think would be fun is to use, say, battle droids (B-1) and let the PCs get a drop on a small group, or a couple isolated ones, etc. and then as they start to get more comfortable and start to see them as pushovers, send in a full on phalanx and watch their faces fall. (a Phalanx is basically a version of minion groups for lots of minions)

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4 minutes ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

For me, I generally make a squad using the canon size--8 troopers and a sergeant.

Composition varies, most of the time (for me) it's 8 E-11 troopers, but when I include heavy weapons I do 2 squads of 3 E-11 troopers 1 group of 2 LRB troopers and 1 Sergeant.

I went with ten because I built a squad of  two fire teams of 4 E-11 and then a supoorting element of one LRB per fire team bundled together to get the bonuses. Sargents would come when two or three squads were fielded. But at that point the PCs are battling a paltoon sized element. With what 10 actions? 

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38 minutes ago, Grathew said:

I went with ten because I built a squad of  two fire teams of 4 E-11 and then a supoorting element of one LRB per fire team bundled together to get the bonuses. Sargents would come when two or three squads were fielded.

That's fine, I play Age of Rebellion (and some Clone Wars) so I am more focused on the military structure and making everything make sense, but if that works for you then good.

39 minutes ago, Grathew said:

With what 10 actions? 

I'm not sure what you mean by that? What are you asking?

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/!\ Steep learning curve ahead . . .

While the GM is the final arbiter of narrative results let your players use their imagination as well.  They too can help come up with creative and neat ideas on how the narrative results pan out.  I think this game is richer and more interesting when the players help frame the narrative results too.

Have fun playing with the dice.  It's an interesting mechanic that I happen to enjoy.

 

Yes, I may have lost control of my group . . . but that's not relevant to this discussion.  ;)  (Let's be honest, I've completely lost control).

The campaign that I started had PC's begin with ~600 exp.  I have PC's that are in the neighborhood of 1,200 - 1,400 exp.  So they have some nifty powers and since I'm encouraging the use of Force Powers, some of the stuff that they can do is really really cool and powerful.

Using the guidelines that I have laid out (above), I watched 4 PC's cut through a battalion of Storm Troopers.  It was crazy.  It was a tough challenge for the PC's.  And it was a load of fun.

The question as to why the Storm Troopers don't indiscriminately start firing at the PC's with an E-Web or a Crew served weapons has a lot to do with the nature of our campaign.  The PC's in my game are Special Operators who pose as simple merchants.  So when they approach most Storm Troopers, they look (mostly) like unsuspicious civilians.  

And in my campaign the Storm Troopers (and most Imperials) aren't blood thirsty murderer's.  Most of them are decent upstanding soldiers or naval ratings trying to bring peace and order to the galaxy.

Usually the E-Web comes out shortly after one of the troopers screams "By George!  Jedi!  Set up the E-Web!"

 

Go with what you know about soak.  It's more important for you to get your feet wet and your hands dirty with this system than to worry about how my group handles damage and soak.

 

On the plus side, you're asking some intelligent questions and thinking carefully.  It's a great start.  I hope your group has a lot of fun with this game.  Keep the questions coming and hopefully you'll get the guidance you're looking for.

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I think that one of the pitfalls with your way of doing things is that you are working with very advanced PCs, and if those rules were used for starting level PCs they would be annihilated instantaneously.

I don't know if you have done this, but consider having the Empire get a little bit smarter about proactively hunting the PCs. Since the PCs are force sensitive, that makes it even more likely that someone will come looking for them. My practice in this regard is building NPCs like PCs from the ground up so that the PCs have to fight something on an equal or greater footing without a lot of arbitrary stat padding (see the "please help" thread regarding an OP [for Sidious] Sidious).

Maybe the Empire got their DNA and created Dark Side force clones! Ooo, that's interesting, if you use inverted Morality to build them (i.e. Jake has a morality of 51, so Ekaj has a Morality of 49), then maybe if one of the PCs falls to the Dark side, they can gain a new ally as his doppelganger joins the Light! They could have a force mind link, and when they get closer to each other, the presence of the other starts to block out their other thoughts and starts to force them to focus on the doppelgangers (i.e. 1 Setback when they are on the same planet, 1 upgraded difficulty when they are on the same ISD, and 3 upgraded difficulty when they are in the same room). Whether they are cloned in the more traditional sense or through force alchemy i don't know, probably the latter, it seems like a Sidious move, though I'm not sure he'd expend the effort.

I really like that idea, what do you think @Mark Caliber?

Edited by P-47 Thunderbolt

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12 hours ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

I'm not sure what you mean by that? What are you asking?

I was wondering if rivals get bonus actions or out of intuitive actions. For example the goblin boss, who is roughly equivalent to a stormtrooper sargent, can swith places with an adjacent goblin whenever attacked redirecting the attack as well. I didn't see anything along those lines but I got the minion rule wrong so I thought I'd ask. 

 

9 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

Yes, I may have lost control of my group . . . but that's not relevant to this discussion.  ;)  (Let's be honest, I've completely lost control).

It's a bit relevant, as I haven't started yet and none of my friends have played the game ever. So going in following advice on here's how you fight the OP Gods that the players have become might be a bit harsh. As Thunderbolt said:

8 hours ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

I think that one of the pitfalls with your way of doing things is that you are working with very advanced PCs, and if those rules were used for starting level PCs they would be annihilated instantaneously.

If that's the case I'd rather not rofelstomp them too early. But at the same time I was contemplating on how I would run stormtroopers from the 501st for when my players eventually get noticed by Darth Vader. 

 

Also how would minions work with medics? Because if there is a way to heal minion groups it could help separate the regular security from the swat teams or the patroling squad from the hunting squad. 

 

12 hours ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

That's fine, I play Age of Rebellion (and some Clone Wars) so I am more focused on the military structure and making everything make sense, but if that works for you then good.

IMO cannon Star Wars military structure and units don't make any sense. So I've been going off of current US Army structure and adjusting it from there. Again this would be for the stormtroopers who are canonically the elite of the elite. Also way to important for genaric duties out in the far rim. Now when my players eventually decide to start a rebelion.... 

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13 minutes ago, Grathew said:

I was wondering if rivals get bonus actions or out of intuitive actions. For example the goblin boss, who is roughly equivalent to a stormtrooper sargent, can swith places with an adjacent goblin whenever attacked redirecting the attack as well. I didn't see anything along those lines but I got the minion rule wrong so I thought I'd ask. 

No, nobody gets extra actions.  The equivalent of "solo" monsters doesn't exist.  Some people allow a Nemesis to take an extra action, but personally I don't.  If you want to protect a Nemesis, they get minions, and lots of them.

Just MHO, and I hope you don't take it the wrong way, but you are getting way ahead of yourself.  Most of us have had decades of experience with a variety of RPGs, including all the D&Ds from 1e up to 5e.  This game plays different.  You won't really know how different until you dive in, and it will take you several sessions to grapple with the changes.  Which is why the beginner box is key.  It takes you through the process of how different this game is, and how to adjust accordingly.  You'll get at least 4+ sessions out of it, so it's pretty cost effective on that alone.

It not only plays different, you have to GM it differently.  You have far less control over outcomes.  This is partly because the dice pool can swing wildly, unlike a D20 which gives pretty consistent results.  But mostly because the players, via the destiny pool or narrative results, can inject all sorts of wonderful (and sometimes frustrating) elements.  Example from playing the EotE beginner box with my son way back:  he gets 5 Advantages trying to use Charm on an Imperial officer.  He says "I know her, we used to date, and she still has a thing for me."  Well, that changes a few things, and sometimes requires a lot of flexibility on the GM's part to accommodate.

So before you get too involved in creating a campaign, worrying how the PCs meet, with specific encounters with fixed groups of opponents and wondering how they heal on the fly or whatever, either grab a beginner box, or run a few test sessions with basic opponents like thugs, with minion group sizes of no more than 2 or 3, with skill challenges in the Easy to Average range, and slowly scale up from there.  Otherwise, it's almost guaranteed that the wheels will come off.  We've certainly seen people come and go on these forums, sour on the game because they didn't get to know it first, or GMs who loved it but their players hated it because the players didn't know how anything worked.

Hope that helps!

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