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One thing that has always sort of broke the verisimilitude of SW games for me, in this system, was the over abundance and reliance on stims.  It is very much a video game mechanic ported over to the pnp game.

So, since I am in between games atm, I figured why not do the mental exercise (and crowd source here) the possibility of removing stims from the rpg as a house rule.

Just off the top of my head:

  • Increase base Wound Thresholds to compensate?  By a range of 5-8 perhaps?
  • Boost natural Wound recovery?  2-3 points per day of rest?

I am afb at the moment, what else am I overlooking?  Are stims too widespread through all supplements that removing them would be a massive undertaking?

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Perhaps don't alter the mechanics of it, but instead re-flavor stimpacks to something like spending hit dice in D&D 5e? "Wounds" are already not necessarily wounds, but a combination of pain, overall physical exhaustion and a few small wounds here and there; ergo, it's not unreasonable that recovering wounds doesn't always have to be a medical or technological thing, but could instead be a burst of willpower, pushing aside the pain and exhaustion to try and stay in the fight. The diminishing returns of stimpacks would also make sense in this context, given that pluck and determination are only going to go so far in terms of keeping you up - eventually, even that will get exhausting in and of itself. For droids, these could be quick diagnostic checks, strictly internal repairs that, again, can only do so much - much like your desktop, you can only go without a reboot or proper repairs for so long before the system starts chugging and failing.

About the only mechanical change I see with this would be removing the need to spend money on stimpacks, for hopefully obvious reasons. I don't think this would be too big a change, given how inexpensive they are, but something to consider all the same.

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I've toyed with the notion of removing stims, and instead bringing in the Saga Edition/4e mechanic of a "second wind" where the PC can, once per encounter, spend an incidental on their turn to recover wounds equal to 1+Brawn.  And with stims themselves being changed to "heal 5 wounds, but can't benefit from additional stims until after the patient has had a full night's rest."  You've still got "on demand" healing without needing to carry a bunch of drugs, but it's not infinite and it's not as effective.

Never really pursued it, as none of the other players in the games I've run or played in have had an issue with stims being a thing.  But, it's an idea that might be worth considering for your game.

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Considering after each use a stim loses its potency. Think it start at 5 so at the 3rd stim it heals only 2. At the 5th nothing. Also effects with the heal power. They don’t heal criticals. Even though it renews everyday I think could have it cause a dependency or addiction potential if used within a same week after use X amount of them. Or have it be a week before it renews it’s effectiveness. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

I've toyed with the notion of removing stims, and instead bringing in the Saga Edition/4e mechanic of a "second wind" where the PC can, once per encounter, spend an incidental on their turn to recover wounds equal to 1+Brawn.  And with stims themselves being changed to "heal 5 wounds, but can't benefit from additional stims until after the patient has had a full night's rest."  You've still got "on demand" healing without needing to carry a bunch of drugs, but it's not infinite and it's not as effective.

Never really pursued it, as none of the other players in the games I've run or played in have had an issue with stims being a thing.  But, it's an idea that might be worth considering for your game.

I like this idea. Could do with some tweaking, but sure what at the moment.

It also would be interesting to play around with the advantage/strain recovery mechanic, but that might be a little too swingy.

Edited by kaosoe

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Honestly just remove them. In most sources, it's pretty clear that getting shot is a big deal unless you have really good armor. Wounds should be serious. Increasing wound threshold or increasing the rate of recovery seems silly when being shot by a blaster rifle is already not that bad.

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

I've toyed with the notion of removing stims, and instead bringing in the Saga Edition/4e mechanic of a "second wind" where the PC can, once per encounter, spend an incidental on their turn to recover wounds equal to 1+Brawn.  And with stims themselves being changed to "heal 5 wounds, but can't benefit from additional stims until after the patient has had a full night's rest."  You've still got "on demand" healing without needing to carry a bunch of drugs, but it's not infinite and it's not as effective.

Never really pursued it, as none of the other players in the games I've run or played in have had an issue with stims being a thing.  But, it's an idea that might be worth considering for your game.

Don't change the rules, just replace stims with a second wind maneuver that works the same way mechanically. That's what we do in my game. 

Edited by DaverWattra

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12 hours ago, Inquisitor Tremayne said:

One thing that has always sort of broke the verisimilitude of SW games for me, in this system, was the over abundance and reliance on stims.  It is very much a video game mechanic ported over to the pnp game.

Totally agreed.  I have completely removed them (except for rare special one-use items that aren't purchasable):

  • I don't incapacitate at WT, instead this happens at 2xWT
  • I allow a second wind (as per @DaverWattra ) except once per encounter, using Resilience, heals 3 wounds + successes, advantages can heal strain.
  • At WT a character is Disoriented for a round.
  • After WT they still take crits on new damage.

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4 hours ago, whafrog said:

I don't incapacitate at WT, instead this happens at 2xWT

Yeah, RAW always seemed like a letdown.

At WT or HT, every hit deals a crit.

Whoa!

But you're incapacitated or disabled.

Oh.

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Posted (edited)

So, on the 2xWT topic Whafrog, are you still applying Crits at WT or 2xWT? If still applying them at WT and the players are getting crits every hit while still, "up", how has this affected game play?

ETA: I've been using diminishing returns on Stims.

Edited by Sturn

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Personally, I've never seen the issue with RAW in terms of stimpacks. It just means I can throw more at them, they feel cinematic and badass, and everyone has fun.

However, changing around talents seems like a lot more work than is needed than a much simpler one:

Make each stimpack 1 encumbrance each, or a pack of 2 or 3 equal a certain number of encumbrance.

It limits how many you can carry, doesn't negate any healer talents, and has the least mechanical change of the game. 

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4 hours ago, Sturn said:

So, on the 2xWT topic Whafrog, are you still applying Crits at WT or 2xWT? If still applying them at WT and the players are getting crits every hit while still, "up", how has this affected game play?

At WT.  This has had the intended consequence of the PCs not sticking around to "hold the line" or whatever D&D-inspired moves they sometimes seem to want to default to, which always feels very un-Star-Wars to me (unless it's a major player/PC sacrifice).  It's more like "holy **** I nearly lost a limb, time to bail!".  But at least now they have the option to bail, rather than down for the count in two "hits", and it keeps things moving.  I am pretty liberal with "healing" once they find a safe place to rest a while, but crits are still hard to get rid of.

I have been toying with dispensing with WT altogether, or make it more like Strain in that it's a currency the players can use to take extra actions or exert themselves in some special way.  Crits then are actual wounds, not something to take lightly, a bit more like Savage Worlds or even the old WEG.  The challenge is then scaling damage output to Soak, etc.

3 hours ago, GameboyAK said:

Personally, I've never seen the issue with RAW in terms of stimpacks.

I never saw Luke use a stimpack.  The entire TCW there isn't a stimpack, unless it's a clone medic giving a painkiller, and those clones who receive it aren't back on their feet.  I find it destroys the verisimilitude and turns it into a video game.

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1 hour ago, whafrog said:

At WT.  This has had the intended consequence of the PCs not sticking around to "hold the line" or whatever D&D-inspired moves they sometimes seem to want to default to, which always feels very un-Star-Wars to me (unless it's a major player/PC sacrifice).  It's more like "holy **** I nearly lost a limb, time to bail!".  But at least now they have the option to bail, rather than down for the count in two "hits", and it keeps things moving.  I am pretty liberal with "healing" once they find a safe place to rest a while, but crits are still hard to get rid of.

I have been toying with dispensing with WT altogether, or make it more like Strain in that it's a currency the players can use to take extra actions or exert themselves in some special way.  Crits then are actual wounds, not something to take lightly, a bit more like Savage Worlds or even the old WEG.  The challenge is then scaling damage output to Soak, etc.

I never saw Luke use a stimpack.  The entire TCW there isn't a stimpack, unless it's a clone medic giving a painkiller, and those clones who receive it aren't back on their feet.  I find it destroys the verisimilitude and turns it into a video game.

Actually in Clone wars we see them a couple ti.es. we also see ig11 use ine on the mando

 

 

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58 minutes ago, whafrog said:

I never saw Luke use a stimpack.  The entire TCW there isn't a stimpack, unless it's a clone medic giving a painkiller, and those clones who receive it aren't back on their feet.  I find it destroys the verisimilitude and turns it into a video game.

I disagree. This game is incredibly lethal, and the fact that all the main characters in the movies had plot armor did not necessitate them having stimpaks, and the only time serious injury occurs, it is either glossed over or immediately addressed to avoid dragging the movie down.

All they are is the equivalent to other TTRPG healing items, like health potions. Call it something else, an adrenaline shot, combat stim, etc. but saying it makes the game a video game is not exactly the best comparison (especially since in a majority of Star Wars games, you don't even use stimpaks but medpacs instead, and they don't have diminishing returns). All they really are is just a shot of bacta that courses through the blood stream or applied to an affected area. ****, rename them bacta patches, which are actually a seen thing in Clone Wars if it makes you feel better.

 

7 minutes ago, Daeglan said:

we also see ig11 use ine on the mando

A bacta spray, another common healing item. All the stimpak is meant to do is to fill that role in an emergency situation. Since we don't have super efficient healer classes from range outside of forcing an already XP starved Force User taking Heal/Harm, there should be something to fill that gap like the Medic, and by removing that item, it nerfs the overall immediate useability of that specialization. In my honest opinion, removing such a basic item because it makes you feel like it is "turns it into a video game" and disrupts an entire specialization as harshly as it does is rather counterproductive to the purpose of balancing the item itself, and therefore, the game.

Other solutions are there, but dismissing the item as a whole just seems so bizarre to me.

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23 hours ago, Inquisitor Tremayne said:

One thing that has always sort of broke the verisimilitude of SW games for me, in this system, was the over abundance and reliance on stims.

I agree.  I'm also not a real fan of healing potions and spells in D&D, and in this setting it seems especially weird.  I liked how in L5R, at the end of each scene, your Fatigue and Strife drop to half your threshold, and I considered implementing something similar.  I'm liking Dono and Whafrog's ideas a bit more, though.  Being kinda dark-minded, I kinda like the idea of Stims making your "second wind" more effective, but running the risk of addiction.  It's not very Star Wars, but there's a lot of sci-fi (also, you know, real life) where soldiers and warriors use powerful drugs to push themselves to the limit.

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Posted (edited)

I'm honestly confused by those comments which seem to imply that stimpack don't have diminishing returns. Is that a legacy of the Beginner Box's simplified rule set?

Unless a character has access to specific talents (Stimpack Specialization), stimpacks can only heal a maximum of 15 Wounds per day (5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1). Even with those talents, after that fifth stimpack they no longer work, and the 1/encounter first aid application of the Medicine skill - using a medpac or similar items -  becomes a character's only hope at that point. The bacta in the stimpacks works, but only up to a specific daily limit.

And like someone else pointed out, that 5/day limit is shared with the Heal power. Each successful application of the Heal power counts towards that 5/day limit (and vice versa). A Force user with the basic Heal power and Intellect 3 will produce the same amount of healing per person per day (3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3) as those 5 stimpacks. (A dedicated Force healer with a high Intellect and skill ranks in Medicine can do a lot more, of course, but then they've sunk a lot of XP into becoming that effective and are still reliant on swingy Force dice results.)

And like someone else pointed out, stimpacks don't heal critical injuries or remove Strain.

 

Edited by Bellona
Clarity.

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The concern isn't a matter of game balance.  The concern is that it's not very Star Wars to be in a blaster fight and everyone is getting shot up, and they're all jamming needles in themselves like junkies under a bridge. Dropping behind a stack of crates while the medic makes a Medicine roll for a round is a little more palatable, and more like something we see in action movies.

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Then make it an action to use instead of a manoeuvre and/or demand another manoeuvre to get the necessary equipment out. (For several reasons I was never quite comfortable with the idea of a bandolier of stimpacks - so much could go wrong with that.)

The game is balanced around this kind of healing being available; removing it entirely is not a good idea IMHO.

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36 minutes ago, The Grand Falloon said:

The concern isn't a matter of game balance.  The concern is that it's not very Star Wars to be in a blaster fight and everyone is getting shot up, and they're all jamming needles in themselves like junkies under a bridge. Dropping behind a stack of crates while the medic makes a Medicine roll for a round is a little more palatable, and more like something we see in action movies.

Star Wars has every non-important character drop from a single shot, so its not very Star Wars to have people standing up and taking blaster rifle shot after blaster rifle shot either. Super tanks isn't the way to solve this non-issue.

Alternative solutions:

-As @Bellona suggested, make it an action instead of a maneuver.

-Make stimpaks 1 encumbrance to make load out choices more important

-Reduce the amount they heal overall

-Only allow use after a certain point in WT (being below half rounded down as an example)

-Any combinations of the above

 

Removing a core item in the system should never, ever be a solution to solve a 'theme' problem, as it has a specific purpose to fill.

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On 5/7/2020 at 6:54 AM, Donovan Morningfire said:

I've toyed with the notion of removing stims, and instead bringing in the Saga Edition/4e mechanic of a "second wind" where the PC can, once per encounter, spend an incidental on their turn to recover wounds equal to 1+Brawn.  And with stims themselves being changed to "heal 5 wounds, but can't benefit from additional stims until after the patient has had a full night's rest."  You've still got "on demand" healing without needing to carry a bunch of drugs, but it's not infinite and it's not as effective.

Never really pursued it, as none of the other players in the games I've run or played in have had an issue with stims being a thing.  But, it's an idea that might be worth considering for your game.

 

23 hours ago, whafrog said:

Totally agreed.  I have completely removed them (except for rare special one-use items that aren't purchasable):

  • I don't incapacitate at WT, instead this happens at 2xWT
  • I allow a second wind (as per @DaverWattra ) except once per encounter, using Resilience, heals 3 wounds + successes, advantages can heal strain.
  • At WT a character is Disoriented for a round.
  • After WT they still take crits on new damage.

I am liking all of these ideas!  Thanks!

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7 hours ago, GameboyAK said:

I disagree. This game is incredibly lethal, 

Right, so going to 2xWT works fine.

7 hours ago, GameboyAK said:

and the fact that all the main characters in the movies had plot armor did not necessitate them having stimpaks, and the only time serious injury occurs, it is either glossed over or immediately addressed to avoid dragging the movie down.

You're kind of making my point.  First, no, serious wounds are not glossed over.  Loss of hand, Leia getting shot...basically there is no "damage" unless its "critical" damage.  All other damage is kind of incidental and rarely leads to incapacitation.  Second, my PCs have similar plot armour...that's the point of playing the game.  Your PCs have plot armour too...they're called "stimpacks".  I just prefer a different type of plot armour.  Third, you say they don't want to drag things down in the movie, well I don't want to drag my game down by having to resort to a bean-counting mechanic that has almost zero analogue in the media.  (Sure occasionally the media shows, say, a bacta-spray...but that's once in the entire season, and that's about as much "magical healing" as I like to provide in my games.)

Anyway, if you like the mechanic then carry on using it.  I'm not sure why you're trying to convince people to use a mechanic they don't like.

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6 hours ago, The Grand Falloon said:

The concern isn't a matter of game balance.  The concern is that it's not very Star Wars to be in a blaster fight and everyone is getting shot up, and they're all jamming needles in themselves like junkies under a bridge. Dropping behind a stack of crates while the medic makes a Medicine roll for a round is a little more palatable, and more like something we see in action movies.

Well except unless they are crits they are all super close misses, So miner burns scrapes etc, from dodging. everything about the mechanics of this game tells you wounds are very very minor injuries and crits are the major ones.

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The way I handle stimpack application is maneuver/incidental (depending on talents/equipment) to get the injector, for which you may have to drop what you have in your hands, and maneuver to inject. Further maneuvers can be taken at a 1:1 ratio. This probably either necessitates 2 strain or the loss of a turn for that bonus, and I generally run pretty quick combats (2-3 rounds) so the loss of a turn is a pretty big deal.

I also run with the narrative style of wounds = "hurt, but not that bad." Since my players are all wearing beskar'gam, this is even more plausible. Wounds from blasters become burns with varying degrees of seriousness and lightsaber blows would be (narratively, not mechanically) largely warded off, though it'd still hurt like heck and leave a pretty bad mark, it just wouldn't cut very deep. A stimpack is just a bacta mixture that relieves pain and facilitates rapid healing. Coagulating blood, protecting exposed tissue, etc.

I also like the narrative options you get from them:
'44 ducks behind cover as a bolt hits his shoulder plate, sending lancing pain into his body. It had to be my shooting arm. He feels his arm starting to go numb as he fumbles to pull the stim injector out of his belt with his uninjured arm. He injects it into his shoulder and gasps as the bacta starts to do its work. The pain starts to reduce and he's able to feel his fingers again.
That's two maneuvers. He could take the strain to have fired before ducking down, in which case:
A bolt hits '44's right shoulder plate, sending lancing pain into his body. He grits his teeth and squeezes off several shots at the droid who poked his head out to shoot, grimacing in satisfaction as he blows its head clean off. He ducks behind cover, groaning and regretting aggravating the wound. It had to be my shooting arm. He feels his right arm starting to go numb as he fumbles to pull the stim injector out of his belt with his left. He injects it into his shoulder and gasps as the bacta starts to do its work. The pain starts to reduce and he's able to feel his fingers again.
Next turn:
'44 scoops up his blaster and comes back up over his cover, firing at the remaining droid, glad he used that stimpack when he did. His shoulder still hurts, and it'll hurt like heck when the stim wears off, but for now it'll do its job.

I think this works best when the players are dedicated to roleplaying the effects of the stim past the mechanical effects. Small wounds (especially narrative wounds, like a small cut on the character's hand) may disappear entirely in a few minutes, wounds like those of '44 are going to still be noticeable for a while (but won't be too bad), while large wounds are only helped marginally and will need actual medical care to heal (crits, really damaging wounds, etc.). Also, the larger the surface area of the wound, the less narratively effective the stimpacks will be and the messier the wound will look, even if you get the normal stat increase.

I always try to look much deeped into the narrative effects of items than just their mechanical benefits, sometimes partially ignoring what the stats say in favor of crafting a better narrative.

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