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DidntFallAsleep66

I'd like to pick player's brains.

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 I thought I'd post here to get the thoughts/rants/ideas from players and GMs rather than in the GMs section.

My first thoughts for a F&D campaign is to say NO to players from choosing one of the six (seven?) 'Form' Specializations at PC creation, as my plan is to bring in a Mentor or a plot line where they can then buy into the Trees, by uncovering artifacts, sites, books, (maybe even the magic teaching boxes known as Holocrons - which I've always considered as something that should be something extremely rare, not having a vault containing hundreds). I've found images and inspirational stuff that have sent me down a different path from the original plan just before Lockdown started.

So, to players mainly, how would you feel if those spec trees were denied you at PC Gen?

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Like most things, it comes down to communication with your players. If they're all on board for that type of narrative, go for it. I think it's a cool idea to give flavor to a campaign. If everyone wants to immediately be combat monkeys, save this plan for the next go 'round.

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5 minutes ago, SufficientlyAdvancedMoronics said:

For me, as long as there's a narrative reason why the GM wants to restrict skills or careers, that's fine. 

and as long as everyone is on board with those narrative reasons. it really comes down to communication. 

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You can be combat capable without lightsaber trees. As a GM, your stance makes sense. As a player, I'd be totally on board with it. It's a very small limitation, and it's not like I've already built a character around it. It's easier to build a unique and interesting character when you take a more flavorful spec. The form trees should be supplementary.

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I don't really care for the form specs. I tend to make not combat-based Force users. But I would be teed off at some specs randomly being off limits.

But what makes the form specs more in need of a specialised teacher than specs like Teacher, Ascetic, Magus, Sentry, Healer, Alchemist...?

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I started my campaign that way, no combat trees. It let player focus on their main career a little before getting a combat tree.  Also it allows them to have an adventure to get access to them and something earn is appreciated more than something given....

Just adjust the encounters for before and after trees. Lightsaber and Reflect quickly change the difficulty of combat.

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1 hour ago, micheldebruyn said:

I don't really care for the form specs. I tend to make not combat-based Force users. But I would be teed off at some specs randomly being off limits.

But what makes the form specs more in need of a specialised teacher than specs like Teacher, Ascetic, Magus, Sentry, Healer, Alchemist...?

...mainly the teaching of any tree that supplies l/saber techniques really,narrative fluff. The carrot/stick will be they will be cheaper to purchase with XP later. I'm AFB so there may be other restrictions on trees...

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If I was doing a straight  F&D campaign, where my character was going to become a jedi later, I'd want one of the following 3 specs to be my starting spec

Warrior: steelhand adept 

Sentinel: sentry (which is a half lightsaber spec,  which I think doesn't mesh without narrative plans)

Consular: niman-disciple 

If I was playing in a F&D campaign with no intent to become a jedi (i.e. a source sensitive but otherwise stereotypical smuggler), which I think also doesn't mesh with your narrative plans, I'd want to start sentinel: racer

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, DidntFallAsleep66 said:

...mainly the teaching of any tree that supplies l/saber techniques really,narrative fluff. The carrot/stick will be they will be cheaper to purchase with XP later. I'm AFB so there may be other restrictions on trees...

Let me rephrase that...

What makes learning saber techniques more in need of a specialised teacher than other specs, including many from non-Force careers.

Anyway, I generally just don't give starting characters lightsabers.

Edited by micheldebruyn

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I've ran a couple different campaigns where I just let the players know, up front, "Hey, we're playing in the post-Order 66 era. You are not gonna have Lightsabers for... a good while. So... consider that when building your character." Later in this campaign, the characters had the opportunity to pick up Shien Technique (all PCs happened to end up with 3 Cunning) via a holocron, regardless of their Spec, as well as craft sabers (using crystals they stole from a Empire museum that didn't know what they were).

They can still buy the Ancient Sword, they can still do whatever they want, but they know they're not gonna have that tool they built their character around for... a while.

Just as I've had session 0 conversations where I said, "Hey, I don't like or enjoy the space combat rules very much. And most of this game is gonna take place on a planetary level. So... consider that when building your character."

They can build a space pilot if they want, but they can't be surprised when they only get into two dog fights in space over the course of the whole campaign.

Which is to say; maybe don't give them hard restrictions.

Instead, tell them about the kind of game you are envisioning, and the kinds of characters that (don't) line up with that.

Leave them the choice to do whatever they want, including that thing which you warned them might not be as fulfilling as "normal".

In your case, sounds like they'd be choosing to pay XP for things that the other players will be getting "for free" later.

That's their choice. I like to let my players have their choice. Players generally like to have a choice.

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Communication and expectation management are crucial in this case.

For example, if you're keeping the Form trees off-limits at the start, then make sure that no one is planning a character who's a former padawan who escaped Order 66 back in the day. Such a concept would technically be able to justify having a Form tree. (Or "remembering old teachings" once they get their hands on a lightsabre.) Let them know that that concept would suit a different campaign, and ask them to keep it for then.

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On 6/16/2020 at 4:22 PM, emsquared said:

I've ran a couple different campaigns where I just let the players know, up front, "Hey, we're playing in the post-Order 66 era. You are not gonna have Lightsabers for... a good while. So... consider that when building your character." Later in this campaign, the characters had the opportunity to pick up Shien Technique (all PCs happened to end up with 3 Cunning) via a holocron, regardless of their Spec, as well as craft sabers (using crystals they stole from a Empire museum that didn't know what they were).

They can still buy the Ancient Sword, they can still do whatever they want, but they know they're not gonna have that tool they built their character around for... a while.

Just as I've had session 0 conversations where I said, "Hey, I don't like or enjoy the space combat rules very much. And most of this game is gonna take place on a planetary level. So... consider that when building your character."

They can build a space pilot if they want, but they can't be surprised when they only get into two dog fights in space over the course of the whole campaign.

Which is to say; maybe don't give them hard restrictions.

Instead, tell them about the kind of game you are envisioning, and the kinds of characters that (don't) line up with that.

Leave them the choice to do whatever they want, including that thing which you warned them might not be as fulfilling as "normal".

In your case, sounds like they'd be choosing to pay XP for things that the other players will be getting "for free" later.

That's their choice. I like to let my players have their choice. Players generally like to have a choice.

Also Session 0 should be a 2 way street. You may not be thinking of a starfighter game. But if a player says they want to play a starfighter ace. Maybe you should include more space combat than you were planning on. Dont be so focused on your idea of what the game should be that you leave out what your players want.

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21 hours ago, Daeglan said:

Also Session 0 should be a 2 way street. You may not be thinking of a starfighter game. But if a player says they want to play a starfighter ace. Maybe you should include more space combat than you were planning on. Dont be so focused on your idea of what the game should be that you leave out what your players want.

That's a really great sentiment, but... truth is - in my experience, anyway - the vast majority of ppl, and groups, don't actually care at all about what you're trying to assert is proper etiquette here.

In my experience, most ppl look to the GM to come with an interesting campaign premise, around which they can create any one of the dozens of PC concepts they've been itching to play.

It's not like it's D&D Adventure League or something.

Particularly with F&D, you don't even necessarily start with a starship. It's inherently a more planet-bound setting.

It's easier to change a character concept than a campaign premise. The collaborative thing to do is not demand that the GM change a fundamental element of the campaign premise for you alone.

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33 minutes ago, emsquared said:

That's a really great sentiment, but... truth is - in my experience, anyway - the vast majority of ppl, and groups, don't actually care at all about what you're trying to assert is proper etiquette here.

In my experience, most ppl look to the GM to come with an interesting campaign premise, around which they can create any one of the dozens of PC concepts they've been itching to play.

It's not like it's D&D Adventure League or something.

Particularly with F&D, you don't even necessarily start with a starship. It's inherently a more planet-bound setting.

It's easier to change a character concept than a campaign premise. The collaborative thing to do is not demand that the GM change a fundamental element of the campaign premise for you alone.

Pretty much the only situation in which the amount of "starship" combat is a fundamental premise of a campaign is when that amount is high, i.e. PCs are pirates or starfighter pilots, in a campaign bound to a single planet you can substitute airspeeder combat for star fighter combat to accommodate an ace pilot character concept.  You're presenting the issue as players wants vs GM wants, when RPGs in general but especially ffg star wars is supposed to be collaborative storytelling.   In my experience, it's not as formal as a session zero, i.e. it could be handled in emails or w h en ending a campaign, but most GMs pitch more than one campaign concept either one at a time in order of their preference or multiple at the same time to see what their gaming group bites at.  The group will settle on a campaign concept, one or more players say i've got this character concept that doesn't quite fit but it's  close and the GM makes a compromise (like the airspeeder instead of starfighter combat example) or outright accommodates the player.  @Tramp Graphics is the only GM I've ever played with who refused to compromise a little to accommodate a players character concept.

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4 minutes ago, WolfRider said:

 @Tramp Graphics is right. The GM proposes a story concept and it's up to the players to adapt their character concept to it, not the opposite. Then it's easier for the GM integrate characters backgrounds in the story he / she creates.

The GM should be accommodating to players, but within reason. Sometimes things just don't fit with the GM's plans and they shouldn't bend over backwards to include something that might mess up other things.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, WolfRider said:

 @Tramp Graphics is right. The GM proposes a story concept and it's up to the players to adapt their character concept to it, not the opposite. Then it's easier for the GM integrate characters backgrounds in the story he / she creates.

So it's ok for a GM to mandate a player play a teenage padawan sidekick to his GMPC, not letting the character have the surname Sunrider, not letting me have the color lightsaber  I wanted, and a full page more issues I'm not going into... wait one more I had to refuse to play at all before he let me choose for my character not to be over weight.  tramp micro managed my character concept, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and he taught me I should have trusted my instincts.  I kept giving him second chances because I figured he had a plan. Before gaming with Tramp I didn't believe there were GMs out there that would screw over a player for no good reason.

With any other gm you might have a point, but until you've played in a game GM'd by @Tramp Graphics you have no basis for making that statement about him.  He has mellowed slightly in the last 15 years.

Edited by EliasWindrider

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9 hours ago, EliasWindrider said:

So it's ok for a GM to mandate a player play a teenage padawan sidekick to his GMPC, not letting the character have the surname Sunrider, not letting me have the color lightsaber...

Well, Tramp is right in theory on this even if he's about as wrong as you can get in practice.

If the GM has written a campaign about the PCs trying to rebuild the Jedi order, the the guys that want to play the cool Mando Boba lookalike bounty hunter who couldn't care less about Jedi and their order, and the guy who wants to play an undercover Sith infiltrator who just hates the Jedi, can rethink their character concepts into something not quite as disrupting to the story, or take a hike.

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6 hours ago, micheldebruyn said:

Well, Tramp is right in theory on this even if he's about as wrong as you can get in practice.

If the GM has written a campaign about the PCs trying to rebuild the Jedi order, the the guys that want to play the cool Mando Boba lookalike bounty hunter who couldn't care less about Jedi and their order, and the guy who wants to play an undercover Sith infiltrator who just hates the Jedi, can rethink their character concepts into something not quite as disrupting to the story, or take a hike.

The thing @eliaswindrider failed to mention is that there were specific rules set up for the campaign before he joined. Among those rules was that any player’s two characters could not have any connection nor relation to one another, nor could the player’s master character be the master of his or her own starting character. They had to be complete strangers. He knew that going in and yet tried to play a set of brothers, one training the other.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tramp Graphics said:

The thing @eliaswindrider failed to mention is that there were specific rules set up for the campaign before he joined. Among those rules was that any player’s two characters could not have any connection nor relation to one another, nor could the player’s master character be the master of his or her own starting character. They had to be complete strangers. He knew that going in and yet tried to play a set of brothers, one training the other.

Different campaign Mike, I'm talking the one from 2005. 

Regarding the recent play by post campaign that died at your hands before the first session ended, when the point is to rotate the GMing duties, one player does not get final say on the parameters of the campaign, when everyone at the table is going to take a turn at GMing, you put a point of contention to a vote and majority rules.  You also have trouble following your own rules, even when they are designed to favor your characters over everyone else at the table.  Moreover the "one training the other" is a straight out  lie.  Chemdat's purpose was twofold  1) so no one else at the proverbial table would have to endure the abuse I knew you would put your padawan through... I was trying to help you get the rp experience you wanted because no one else would have put up with it, Chemdat was a character I didn't want to play/wasn't emotionally invested in specifically so I would be able to tolerate the abuse, and 2) bringing Chemdat to Korath was the narative justification for Elias leaving Ossus.

You also drove several players out of the campaign whose characters did fit the stated parameters of the campaign, because you wouldn't compromise on character concept (anyone who doesn't comply gets kicked off your ship and to enforce them exiting the campaign no one else can have a ship). The GM at the time had to retcon from your character Korath (Captain of the ship) being shot dead to being only stunned because another player (not me) wouldn't put up with you trying to control their character choices when it wasn't even your turn as the GM. She dropped out of the game shortly thereafter.

Edited by EliasWindrider

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, micheldebruyn said:

Well, Tramp is right in theory on this even if he's about as wrong as you can get in practice.

If the GM has written a campaign about the PCs trying to rebuild the Jedi order, the the guys that want to play the cool Mando Boba lookalike bounty hunter who couldn't care less about Jedi and their order, and the guy who wants to play an undercover Sith infiltrator who just hates the Jedi, can rethink their character concepts into something not quite as disrupting to the story, or take a hike.

The point I was making is if a character was close to fitting, the GM should accommodate the player.  Those two examples aren't even close to fitting.  And if no one of the gaming group, besides the GM, is interested in the GM's campaign idea then it's time to pick a different campaign idea.

Edited by EliasWindrider

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Posted (edited)

This is me issuing a formal apology to @Tramp Graphics, I did not intend to bring up old grievances, and snipe at him in an unprovoked character assassination.  I only brought it up as an example of what happens when a GM refuses to compromise on campaign concept.  It's not supposed to be black and white, everything that the GM wants at the expense of the players or vice versa.  It's not a  hard fine line dividing black from white, there are shades of grey in the middle.  If there's a universal right answer, it would be that the correct choice is some shade of grey rather than pure black or pure white.  There is no universal correct answer about where in the transition region between GM and player wants is the correct place to meet.  Compromise is needed to meet in the grey transition region.  The only example of a GM refusing to compromise at all that I have involves @Tramp Graphics and that was my only reason for bringing him up.  This is not an all or nothing proposition, at least it shouldn't be, and if one party insists "it's my way or the highway" (insisting that it can only be all black, or it can only be all white) then the result is almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Edited by EliasWindrider

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Character concept mostly has to be discussed among GM and Player. The Player should be allowed to play the char he wants within the setup provided by the GM. The Char needs to fit in the campaign, otherwise neither GM nor Player will get a lot of fun. If neither Player nor GM are willing to give any ground, they should not play in the same group.

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