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Always Get My Mark OP?

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On 5/10/2020 at 11:33 AM, bitbyter said:

Yeah, I did initially read that but I think I'm still going to stick with my alterations to move it's use to the end of a session and its effect taking place the following session. It just makes me far more comfortable with the ability from a GM perspective. 

Hopefully you've also reduced the price of buying the Sig abilities. I would be super pissed if I spent all these points getting to the bottom of the tree, dropping 30 more points on the ability itself and then X points buying the subtree so I can be a badass expert of my field only to have my badassery cut out from under me.

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On 5/10/2020 at 7:15 PM, bitbyter said:

No, I don't think I am. I think you are missing my point. The main issue is that with the RAW it takes plot control away from the GM and may force him to say "no" or come up with some poorly conceived way to keep his named, plot important NPC, in play on the fly. Some GM's are good at this, others are not. 

PC "I'm using Always Find My Mark and Bilbo The Hutt is my mark." The PC rolls really well and now he is in the PC's custody. The thing is that Bilbo is a plot important NPC who needs to be around for several more session before the PC's do something about him. The GM has nothing prepared for how to handle the new situation that the PC has created without the GM being forced to say 'No,  you can't target Bilbo The Hutt". come up with some other excuse or engineering /manipulating the encounter so that the vital NPC gets away (you can only do this so many times before the PC will feel he wasted XP on the ability).

All my rewrite does is:

  1. Give the GM time to come up with a planned encounter.
  2. Allows the GM and PC to discuss whether using a known named NPC disrupts the plot or not.

Maybe it gets the GM thinking in a new direction and actually improves the plot, maybe it doesn't, but with the re-write it makes it more of a collaborative process than one that is specifically disruptive to the GM.

The minute your PC gets this ability you start to think about it. If it "surprises" you, than you are not doing a good job preparing.

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It seems that it all comes down to what style of GMing you are using. Some systems put a lot of the plot control in the hands of your players intentionally and they work as well as any other system, as long as it fits the table.


I'm running mostly the "galactic force" style and I don't fear to bypass any encounters. It can bring forth great narrative scenes and even if you start with the target in custody it doesn't mean that getting away with it can't lead to a great encounter.


As a player, I'm quite a source of plot derailment by running after "plot hooks" that weren't even meant to be one. And this doesn't mean the GM did his job poorly - it is just me being me.


Right now with all the online sessions we are running it gets somewhat complicated, especially if you are using battle maps. But we managed to get by with some simple drawings and a lot of narration in those scenes. Still no real problem.


But as I said it all comes down to what GM-Styles are brought to the table. The group should be able to work with and respect the limitations of those.
How to be a Great Gamemaster has videos on GM-Styles and they actually helped me to understand differences and understand my own style better. Certainly a big recommendation here.

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1 hour ago, Malashim said:

But as I said it all comes down to what GM-Styles are brought to the table. The group should be able to work with and respect the limitations of those.
How to be a Great Gamemaster has videos on GM-Styles and they actually helped me to understand differences and understand my own style better. Certainly a big recommendation here.

I can definitely second that.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/10/2020 at 12:15 PM, bitbyter said:

No, I don't think I am. I think you are missing my point. The main issue is that with the RAW it takes plot control away from the GM and may force him to say "no" or come up with some poorly conceived way to keep his named, plot important NPC, in play on the fly. Some GM's are good at this, others are not. 

PC "I'm using Always Find My Mark and Bilbo The Hutt is my mark." The PC rolls really well and now he is in the PC's custody. The thing is that Bilbo is a plot important NPC who needs to be around for several more session before the PC's do something about him. The GM has nothing prepared for how to handle the new situation that the PC has created without the GM being forced to say 'No,  you can't target Bilbo The Hutt". come up with some other excuse or engineering /manipulating the encounter so that the vital NPC gets away (you can only do this so many times before the PC will feel he wasted XP on the ability).

All my rewrite does is:

  1. Give the GM time to come up with a planned encounter.
  2. Allows the GM and PC to discuss whether using a known named NPC disrupts the plot or not.

Maybe it gets the GM thinking in a new direction and actually improves the plot, maybe it doesn't, but with the re-write it makes it more of a collaborative process than one that is specifically disruptive to the GM.

I hate to break the news to you but you really dont ever have plot control. the players do.

1. what were you planning on having happen when the players caught Bilbo the Hutt? If a PC has this ability why have you not taken it into account since the player has it?
2. given that MS13 is able to run their gang from inside a prison why wouldnt a HUTT be able too? I think you are seriously hampering your self. Why do they have to get away? Maybe Bilbo the Hutt wanted to get captured so he has access to kill one of his underlings that spilled secret while in prison.

 

You can even have schroedengers plot dont decide what the truth is till the players act.

Edited by Daeglan

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I do kinda second the notion that marks should only be applicable to npcs that have a Bounty on their head. It makes no sense that Bilbo is in custody just bc of some player ability if no one wants to imprison him. Now if you have to take him out but dont want to fight your way to him, you could try and scheme to get a Bounty on his head. Once he is fair game for the Bounty Hunter, activate the ability and bring him in. For empire and rebel npcs there should obviously almost always be a Bounty from the opposing party. 

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Also, once the player is at that level to turn in Nemesis characters, he is at what? 250 earned XP or something?

Maybe just start cloaking the real baddies in shadows. No one even knows their name, you have to get to their underbosses (who at lower levels would be BBEGs in their own right) first. You can't bring in Keizer Soze if you don't know what he looks like. 

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1 hour ago, MaxXIII said:

I do kinda second the notion that marks should only be applicable to npcs that have a Bounty on their head. It makes no sense that Bilbo is in custody just bc of some player ability if no one wants to imprison him. Now if you have to take him out but dont want to fight your way to him, you could try and scheme to get a Bounty on his head. Once he is fair game for the Bounty Hunter, activate the ability and bring him in. For empire and rebel npcs there should obviously almost always be a Bounty from the opposing party. 

I'm sure "in custody" means the players have The Mark in custody (tied up in the cargo bay of their ship or whatever) rather than having handed The Mark over to whatever passes for local authorities where they are.

Spending 70 XP on an ability to capture an NPC and transform him into credits is a waste of perfectly good XP.

Spending 70 XP on an ability to capture an NPC so that you then have access to that NPC to talk with, interrogate, turn over to your side, sell off for credits... is neat.

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I assumed that's what in custody means. Except that to me it implies that the PC has a right to keep the NPC there. Otherwise it's just kidnapping. And you are right, the player should propably be allowed to use it if the NPC doesn't have a Bounty on them. But I would certainly make them pay for it bad as a GM. The Bounty Hunter just broke their code after all. It's not about the credits, it's about acting as a Bounty Hunter. You can still talk to and interrogate your mark before you turn them in. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MaxXIII said:

I assumed that's what in custody means. Except that to me it implies that the PC has a right to keep the NPC there. Otherwise it's just kidnapping. And you are right, the player should propably be allowed to use it if the NPC doesn't have a Bounty on them. But I would certainly make them pay for it bad as a GM. The Bounty Hunter just broke their code after all. It's not about the credits, it's about acting as a Bounty Hunter. You can still talk to and interrogate your mark before you turn them in. 

What else is a bounty hunter than a licensed kidnapper?

And the whole "bounty hunter code" is little more than a fiction they tell themselves to feel better about being terrible people who usually work for even worse people (but, how exactly would this break the code?).

Edited by micheldebruyn

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Because according to the code you can't just hunt people. Which is why anyone with a Bounty on their head stops being people and becomes an acquisition. Now if you have enough XP for always get my mark on Nemesis you are propably a high profile Bounty Hunter. And if you start just kidnapping people then the Guild will be after you. And if you are not with the guild your contractor will be after you. The purpose of a Bounty Hunter over some cutthroat is that they follow rules and are legitimate. If you ignore these rules people stop trusting bounty hunters to adhere to their code. 

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But I have a Bounty Hunter in my Force and Destiny group and we decided that he'd have the Code as his "morality", so I might be biased on what taking the Bounty Hunter Career entails. 

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35 minutes ago, MaxXIII said:

Because according to the code you can't just hunt people. Which is why anyone with a Bounty on their head stops being people and becomes an acquisition. Now if you have enough XP for always get my mark on Nemesis you are propably a high profile Bounty Hunter. And if you start just kidnapping people then the Guild will be after you. And if you are not with the guild your contractor will be after you. The purpose of a Bounty Hunter over some cutthroat is that they follow rules and are legitimate. If you ignore these rules people stop trusting bounty hunters to adhere to their code. 

You have a very exalted view of bounty hunters that is in no way supportted by any kind of canon, old or new. Or how much the guilds are operating legally and totally don't accept comissions from big time criminals like Jabba.

Nevermind that there isn't One Official Code, but rather than a thousand versions of it as practiced by the many competing guilds and individual freelancers.

Also, if you are a player character of any profession, in practically any game or setting, kidnapping people every now and then is just part of what you do.

Quote

But I have a Bounty Hunter in my Force and Destiny group and we decided that he'd have the Code as his "morality", so I might be biased on what taking the Bounty Hunter Career entails.

Honestly, that seems more like an Obligantion than a Morality. 

 

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There is a code and a guild according to the book by the same name. 

There's also the one printed on page 58 of the EotE CRB. 

I am not saying the code is making them good people, they can still accept bounties from hutts. Even more so since Hutt Space propably has its own laws which just say: Hutts can do what they want. 

 

And if you are a PC of any profession that is adhering to a code, and you break it, there should be harsh in world consequences. Even if you are not there should be consequences.

Finally:Obligation is just a rule set. 

The other players have character strengths and flaws, he has his code. 

Sorry for not quoting, I am on my phone and just want to reply real quick.

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Also this is getting sidetracked. 

If you want to play Bounty Hunters as a pack of scum and villainy, you are free to do so. 

For me that's what marauders are for. In my games Bounty Hunters are ruthless but honor the code. If they don't they get excommunicated, John Wick style. 

On the point of always get my mark being op or not, I'd say it's playable bc it says in the rules the player can't declare a mark or set the circumstances of the custody without GM approval. It also explicitly states that sometimes the GM will have to decline an NPC as a possible mark (but they should offer an alternative in such a case, like an underling holding a vital clue).

 

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The Bounty Hunters Guild is a specific organization of bounty hunters, albeit a powerful one accredited by the Empire. Basically, if you aren't a member, you're not considered a "legal" bounty hunter under the current regime, but that doesn't stop you from taking jobs. It could just make things difficult when dealing with certain parties like the Empire, or maybe the client wants to hire someone whose identity isn't registered in any Imperial databases. There are benefits to belonging to the guild (members are able to access the Imperial law enforcement database for a fee, for example), but you're also shackled with a code of conduct that can be rather obtuse at times. So there are advantages and disadvantages that a GM could leverage when the party has bounty hunters

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Also, having the Bounty Hunter career is not required to be a professional bounty hunter. It's a career with a set of skills, good for tracking and killing ppl. You can limit yourself narratively however you want. Why would you put that in rule? Your PC can very much use this talent to only get legal targets. Why can't others have their way?

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I never said I would. Also we are only talking homebrew here, Noone is stopping people from doing whatever they want 😄 calm down. 

I only said I would as a GM set up harsh consequences for using it on illegal targets. Which is within the rules of the ability, so it's not even a change to the talent. 

I will assume if you take the Bounty Hunter Career that you are a Bounty Hunter. You can take a different Career and still be a Bounty Hunter of course. But that will not get you the always get my mark ability, so it's not interesting to this thread. If you want to take a Bounty Hunter Career but not be a Bounty Hunter or similar profession (eg private detective), I would be curious why you'd want to take the career. 

I will always talk to my players and find a solution together, but that is also not interesting to this thread because it should be assumed and will always help with narrative abilities.

To add to the discussion, another thing you can do when your player uses the ability and fast forwards over all your prep, is a montage: You play out all the scenes you had prepped (combat, obstacles, stealth). But instead of doing combat or skill checks, the players are assumed to succeed at everything they do. They now get to narrate how they succeeded instead. So you still get something out of your prep, and for their ability the Players get to really shine and get the NPC in custody without any resources lost

 

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3 minutes ago, MaxXIII said:

I will assume if you take the Bounty Hunter Career that you are a Bounty Hunter. You can take a different Career and still be a Bounty Hunter of course. But that will not get you the always get my mark ability, so it's not interesting to this thread. If you want to take a Bounty Hunter Career but not be a Bounty Hunter or similar profession (eg private detective), I would be curious why you'd want to take the career.

I pretty much ignore the name of the career or specialization in favor of the stats it gives and how well that matches the character concept. Likewise, as a GM as I am quite flexible when it comes to Signature Abilities and allow out-of-career sigs as long at they match the character concept well (though I do have veto power, and the "match concept well" is up to my judgement).

I misunderstood your post a bit originally, so my anecdote about playing a Sector Ranger through Skip Tracer is irrelevant, but as long as the stats reflect the character desired, I see no reason why you can't take a career or specialization for which the name doesn't match the concept.

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And I certainly agree with that notion. Bounty Hunter for me is a bit of an exception bc it gives you a license, which other careers don't do (does marshal give you a license? I'd have to check). So if you don't want to take up a profession that allows you to legally take people in custody, I'd want to see a concept that fits. I'd be far less worried about always get my mark than about people dipping into gadgeteer to min max something with jury rigged. 

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7 minutes ago, MaxXIII said:

And I certainly agree with that notion. Bounty Hunter for me is a bit of an exception bc it gives you a license, which other careers don't do (does marshal give you a license? I'd have to check). So if you don't want to take up a profession that allows you to legally take people in custody, I'd want to see a concept that fits. I'd be far less worried about always get my mark than about people dipping into gadgeteer to min max something with jury rigged. 

I actually ignore that bit about the license. If it is appropriate for a character to have a license (regardless of career), then they have a license. If not, they don't.

I don't know about Marshall, but I'd have the same answer.

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52 minutes ago, MaxXIII said:

If you want to take a Bounty Hunter Career but not be a Bounty Hunter or similar profession (eg private detective), I would be curious why you'd want to take the career. 

Because if you want to play a detective kind of character, and Sentinel isn't for you, Skip Tracer is practically essential.

Similarly, any kind of martial artist who doesn't want to do the whole Force thing is practically stuck with Bounty Hunter In Name Only.

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I already included the detective thing in the part you quoted. 

If you want to play a martial artist it makes sense to go without a license propably, but then if I'd be curious where your always get my mark ability comes from background wise. 

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13 minutes ago, MaxXIII said:

I already included the detective thing in the part you quoted. 

If you want to play a martial artist it makes sense to go without a license propably, but then if I'd be curious where your always get my mark ability comes from background wise. 

That's why I keep sigs flexible.

However, you don't always need a signature ability. For that character concept, it may be better served by taking another spec that has some ranks of Feral Strength (*cough* Marauder *cough, cough*).

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When you say flexible, do you mean disconnected from the careers? Would be an interesting concept, but if I did that I would propably throw some signature abilities out. Which would be fine given the range of choices all careers would then still have..

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