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gtgauvin

Game Mechanics for the Jedi Archives

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Hi hivemind,

 

I'm running a Clone Wars campaign, and in the aftermath of the first arc, my characters are headed towards Coruscant to plan their next steps. My Jedi character ( and possibly her Gand Findsman companion) will be headed to the Jedi Temple, and if I know my Jedi, she'll be availing herself of the archives for some research. I'm wondering what kinds of advantage I should allot to any checks they may make. I'm thinking a couple of upgrades may be in order to any Knowledge checks, but I figured I would throw this to the community to see if anyone had other ideas.

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Perhaps instead of increases to Knowledge checks, the character can make Computers or Knowledge (Education) checks instead, with the difficulty being based off how easily found in the system it is rather than by how obscure the information is.

Alternatively, just give them the information as it's in the system and anyone who's done a library search before ought to be able to find it. "If it isn't in the archives, it doesn't exist!"

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The thing for me about knowledge rolls is determining the amount of information you divulge based on what degrees of success/advantage/triumph/threat/despair the player can generate. Here's an extract from my notes for a session I ran with some players:
 

After a few days in Hyperspace, it becomes apparent that there are vermin in the ship’s supplies. 

  • Survival[Average] to spot that there’s something wrong with the rations. 

  • Perception[Easy] when eating the food to realize it is spoiled. 

    • You have maybe a few days worth of viable food. The rest is spoiled.

    • Advantage the food has traces of animal droppings in it. 

    • (two advantage) You can see a dead Vrelt.

  • Knowledge(Xenology)[Average] Vrelts are unpleasant, omnivorous rodents which will eat things while they’re still alive. 

    • (Threat) They’re colloquially used as an insult to describe a bad omen [superstition] 

    • (Advantage) They usually nest in a single colony. 

    • (Triumph) They will follow the patriarch of the colony and congregate wherever he rests. 

    • (Despair) They have a love of spiced foods [not true, and has tragic consequences]

Here, the results of the roll dictate the information they get, and some of it is either misleading or plays on the superstitions of some of the party. 

 

Alternatively, a fun way to play research would be to make the challenge about the social interaction, instead of being about finding the readily available information. 

If I recall correctly, the archives are a pretty secure place and not just anyone can enter. It may be fun to have a grouchy librarian who's particularly snobby about their perfect library, or to force them to go to a certain master for permission to enter the archives. 

Once they have access, I'd assume that finding the information would be a trivially easy roll - on Computers or Knowledge(Education) as P-47 Thunderbolt indicated - but if they fail it they'll have to deal with the grouchy librarian again or request assistance from another Jedi.

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On 5/12/2020 at 8:32 AM, gtgauvin said:

Hi hivemind,

 

I'm running a Clone Wars campaign, and in the aftermath of the first arc, my characters are headed towards Coruscant to plan their next steps. My Jedi character ( and possibly her Gand Findsman companion) will be headed to the Jedi Temple, and if I know my Jedi, she'll be availing herself of the archives for some research. I'm wondering what kinds of advantage I should allot to any checks they may make. I'm thinking a couple of upgrades may be in order to any Knowledge checks, but I figured I would throw this to the community to see if anyone had other ideas.

I think this is part of the reason why Jedi Knight and Master have ranks in researcher

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On 5/12/2020 at 6:42 AM, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

Perhaps instead of increases to Knowledge checks, the character can make Computers or Knowledge (Education) checks instead, with the difficulty being based off how easily found in the system it is rather than by how obscure the information is.

I think a check like this would be useful to score some additional Boost or Upgrades on the subsequent rolls, but I feel like the individual Knowledge skills that my characters have bought into should come into mechanical play, augmented by their access to the archives.

 

17 hours ago, SufficientlyAdvancedMoronics said:

Alternatively, a fun way to play research would be to make the challenge about the social interaction, instead of being about finding the readily available information. 

I'm also digging this. The two characters in question aren't the most socially deft, so the prospect of their misadventures trying to get Jocasta Nu to personally assist them with research into forbidden lore could be very entertaining.

 

10 hours ago, Daeglan said:

I think this is part of the reason why Jedi Knight and Master have ranks in researcher

I hadn't even thought of this. Talents like this are the reason I like to heap on as much Boost and Setback as I can. Otherwise, there's no payoff for so much of a character's build.

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1 minute ago, gtgauvin said:

I think a check like this would be useful to score some additional Boost or Upgrades on the subsequent rolls, but I feel like the individual Knowledge skills that my characters have bought into should come into mechanical play, augmented by their access to the archives.

Here's an idea: Make a check to deal with the archives, whatever check that is, and then gain Boost, Upgrade, or ranks of talents to checks for certain Knowledge skills for the duration of the session. Gives more reason to "study up before a mission" even when they don't necessarily know what they're looking for. That also explains why they might fail at the checks.

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I believe the standard benefit from a holocron is to aid a check with a skill of 3 if the skill is appropriate to the holocron. Better holocrons might exist that offer higher skill ratings for aide checks or which could outright answer questions the individual holocrons specialized in, as would other devices that offer similar benefits. It is my understanding that only a force-sensitive indivivual can actually benefit from a holocron, but that their are other similar devices that non-force-sensitives will use (i.e. hologoggles). Holocrons would just be faster sources of information. Many holocrons also require a potential user to convince it to functions, which can take the form of additional skill checks.

My interpretation of the setting would be that all jedi and even most allies and friends might be able to get easy access to a "common" section of the archives that give access to knowledge equivalent to aiding a check with a skill of three; either through access to basic holocrons for jedi or access to more common electronic systems for friends and allies (same benefit, research takes longer, also applies to jedi keeping their research lower profile or those who are not in good standing according to the libraries keepers).  Certain forbidden knowledge would not be available in these more common archives.

Better holocrons with higher skill ratings for aide checks, or possibly access to forbidden knowledge. Jedi of high standing or who have gained the favor of the librarians would be able to access these higher quality resources and allies in good standing may be able to convince the librarians to research difficult topics in the secure archives for them.

If the jedi in your campaign hold some favor with either the librarians or the council, or just have a mission from the council that requires rare information, then access to resources that grant an aide check with a skill of 4 should be easy to acquire; perhaps with an average charm check to get on the good side of the nearest librarian. More difficult social checks or a direct mandate from the  council might be required to access the most secure resources that might simply be able to answer a specific question or provide a higher skill rating to aide in a check.

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On 5/17/2020 at 3:46 PM, sren said:

I believe the standard benefit from a holocron is to aid a check with a skill of 3 if the skill is appropriate to the holocron. Better holocrons might exist that offer higher skill ratings for aide checks or which could outright answer questions the individual holocrons specialized in, as would other devices that offer similar benefits. It is my understanding that only a force-sensitive indivivual can actually benefit from a holocron, but that their are other similar devices that non-force-sensitives will use (i.e. hologoggles). Holocrons would just be faster sources of information. Many holocrons also require a potential user to convince it to functions, which can take the form of additional skill checks.

My interpretation of the setting would be that all jedi and even most allies and friends might be able to get easy access to a "common" section of the archives that give access to knowledge equivalent to aiding a check with a skill of three; either through access to basic holocrons for jedi or access to more common electronic systems for friends and allies (same benefit, research takes longer, also applies to jedi keeping their research lower profile or those who are not in good standing according to the libraries keepers).  Certain forbidden knowledge would not be available in these more common archives.

Better holocrons with higher skill ratings for aide checks, or possibly access to forbidden knowledge. Jedi of high standing or who have gained the favor of the librarians would be able to access these higher quality resources and allies in good standing may be able to convince the librarians to research difficult topics in the secure archives for them.

If the jedi in your campaign hold some favor with either the librarians or the council, or just have a mission from the council that requires rare information, then access to resources that grant an aide check with a skill of 4 should be easy to acquire; perhaps with an average charm check to get on the good side of the nearest librarian. More difficult social checks or a direct mandate from the  council might be required to access the most secure resources that might simply be able to answer a specific question or provide a higher skill rating to aide in a check.

Nope. The standard benefit of a Holocron is that it grants the possessor (or party) two specific skills as career skills as long as it is in his possession.

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