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Skills Feedback Thread

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Librarian said:

 ofcourse having one skill and talents that grant boost dice to that skill when your surprised would have been too much work I guess.

No, more like it would have made it much to easy for one specific type of character to potentially dominate Initiative checks, as was frequently the case in the d20 versions.  I played a Human Jedi in an NJO Saga Edition campaign that was just about guaranteed to go first in combat because I'd taken a talent that let me use my Use the Force skill in place of the Initiative skill, and had taken Skill Focus (Use the Force) as one of my two starting feats.

In the setting material, it's only Force-users that have superhuman reflexes when it comes to sudden danger.  Mara Jade had a finely tuned danger sense, Anakin was able to pod-race at 9 years old and still be a great pilot afterwards because of those same superhuman reflexes, and Luke inherited that same trait from his dad, making him "one of the best bush pilots in the Outer Rim," at least according to his buddy Biggs.

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 Been going through the skill list and I feel like there's one BIG hole that I've noticed:

 

What skill is intended to be used to set explosives? Or sabotage in general.

 

Looking through our current skill options, I think it falls into Skulduggery (most similar to "physically disabling security devices" and "criminal activities"), but I can see arguments for made for Mechanics (where it fell in the Saga system).  I definitely think it should be an application of a "Cunning" skill, though.

I don't think it needs it's own skill, just clarification of WHERE it lands in our new organization.

 

-WJL

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LethalDose said:

 Been going through the skill list and I feel like there's one BIG hole that I've noticed:

 

What skill is intended to be used to set explosives? Or sabotage in general.

 

Looking through our current skill options, I think it falls into Skulduggery (most similar to "physically disabling security devices" and "criminal activities"), but I can see arguments for made for Mechanics (where it fell in the Saga system).  I definitely think it should be an application of a "Cunning" skill, though.

I don't think it needs it's own skill, just clarification of WHERE it lands in our new organization.

 

-WJL

Interesting point!

I think it would fall under a variety of skills depending on the situation. Setting explosives and setting machines to fail would fall under Mechanics, I'd think, while computer viruses and other digital tomfoolery would fall under Computers. Skulldugery might cover knowing where to place things in order to cause the most trouble and good rolls might increase the effectiveness of the Mechanics or Computers rolls to pull it off.

Either way, I agree that some clarity in the rules would be nice. A sentence or two would suffice, I think.

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 Forgive me if these two points have been brought up but:

 

Why is Negotiate not opposed by Negotiate? I understand the reasons the book explains how cool works (keep calm and understand what they are really asking for in a negotiation and use that to your advantage) but its Negotiating, not insult throwing. By the very nature of the way negotiating works if you are good at getting something you are good at understanding what the other person is trying to get. If you didn't you wouldn't be able to offer them what they want to get what you want! Maybe its a game balance issue but If I have a high negotiation and a low cool it means when I make the check I'll mostly win, but if someone negotiates back I'll loose. 

You can use Negotiation to both buy goods and sell them, but somehow if someone wants to buy or sell something TO/FROM ME instead of me buy or sell something FROM/TO THEM I somehow use a different skill. See my point? Once a skilled haggler always a skilled haggler. If the book had stated it was vs Negotiate from the beginning no one would say it should be vs cool. 

 

Second, and I'm sure this is being talked about elsewhere:

Why on earth is ranged (light) not a more common career skill? Every character in start wars carries a blaster, especially on the fringe worlds. I think the only characters we never see with a gun in the triology are thedroids. Its a dangerious world. I'm not saying every class should have it but a lot more should. 

All the following should have it. 

Assassin, Survivalist, Scout, Pilot, Thief, OUTLAW tech.

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Sorthlador said:

 Forgive me if these two points have been brought up but:

 

Why is Negotiate not opposed by Negotiate? I understand the reasons the book explains how cool works (keep calm and understand what they are really asking for in a negotiation and use that to your advantage) but its Negotiating, not insult throwing. By the very nature of the way negotiating works if you are good at getting something you are good at understanding what the other person is trying to get. If you didn't you wouldn't be able to offer them what they want to get what you want! Maybe its a game balance issue but If I have a high negotiation and a low cool it means when I make the check I'll mostly win, but if someone negotiates back I'll loose. 

You can use Negotiation to both buy goods and sell them, but somehow if someone wants to buy or sell something TO/FROM ME instead of me buy or sell something FROM/TO THEM I somehow use a different skill. See my point? Once a skilled haggler always a skilled haggler. If the book had stated it was vs Negotiate from the beginning no one would say it should be vs cool. 

 

If you think two characters are actively haggling against each other, you're right, it may be more appropriate to have Negotiate opposed by Negotiate, or even make it a competitive check (see page 21).  In general, it seems the devs tend to pit more "active" skills (Negotiate, Deceit, Stealth, Surveillance, etc), against "passive" skills (Cool, Discipline, Resilience, etc).  This is painting in really broad strokes, but looking at it like this gives some more insight on why they did it.

But there's no problem with the GM deciding whats most appropriate given a situation.

Sorthlador said:


Second, and I'm sure this is being talked about elsewhere:

Why on earth is ranged (light) not a more common career skill? Every character in start wars carries a blaster, especially on the fringe worlds. I think the only characters we never see with a gun in the triology are thedroids. Its a dangerious world. I'm not saying every class should have it but a lot more should. 

All the following should have it. 

Assassin, Survivalist, Scout, Pilot, Thief, OUTLAW tech.

I think there are two explanations for this:

  1. Everyone still has access to the skill, its given as a specialization/career skill (therefore discounted) for the ones for which its MOST appropriate. It should be noted that exactly 3 careers or specs recieve each of the 5 combat skills as career or spec skills.  For comparison Pilot (Planetary) and Perception are the most common career/spec skills, held by 6 each.
  2. I think there is an intent in the design of the game is to mildly to moderately deemphasize direct combat, or at least encourage players to find ways to avoid it and find ways to use non-combat skills in combat situations.

 

-WJL

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Is the Mechanics skills worded correctly for repairing Hull integrity?

It states that Advantages restore Hull integrity as opposed to successes. On every other repairing/medicine check successes restore the "trait" and advantages do extra things.

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Fechik said:

Is the Mechanics skills worded correctly for repairing Hull integrity?

It states that Advantages restore Hull integrity as opposed to successes. On every other repairing/medicine check successes restore the "trait" and advantages do extra things.

The use of advantages to repair hull integrity is probably referring the advantages produced by checks made to repair system strain (e.g. checks made for the "damage control" action by the ship's engineer) or made to repair critical starship injuries.

 

-WJL

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Fechik said:

 

Is the Mechanics skills worded correctly for repairing Hull integrity?

It states that Advantages restore Hull integrity as opposed to successes. On every other repairing/medicine check successes restore the "trait" and advantages do extra things.

 

 

By the rules, the only way I could find to permanently repair hull integrity is 500cr per point while in a docking facility. I couldn't find mention of the PCs actually doing this work, though they probably should be capable. So being able to do it with advantages on a strain repair check seems pretty useful.

Note you can temporarily patch damage less than 1/4 of your ships Hull Integrity with Mechanics, but it's explicitly stated that the GM should consider these sorts of repairs only temporary.

While I kind of like the realism of the rules, I worry that it'll make getting into starship battles a very scary proposition…

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gribble said:

Fechik said:

While I kind of like the realism of the rules, I worry that it'll make getting into starship battles a very scary proposition…

All the combat in this game is a pretty scary proposition. I've found that freshly minted characters are typically only 3-4 hits from getting seriously mauled by their foes, and it takes time for CI's to heal, without the benefit of a bacta tank.  I love it because we're back to having real tangible consequences for combat, vs the kid gloves the d20 system wore.

 

-WJL

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Combat lethality definitely gives characters a reason to plan an assault or immediately case a cantina for side exits.

In starship combat you could end up with hair-brained ideas like "I'm going to dock at speed on the star destroyer because we can't take another hit like that."  Or…fly casual Chewie

From an ongoing standpoint it gives characters a real reason to invest in bacta tanks, worship the doctor in the group, find hideouts to retreat to in a star system with a hostile stellar environment, make excellent close and personal friends with an owner of a dry-dock.  Or…buy a warranty and insurance for your ship.  And my favorite…tactical withdrawl.

As a GM it is a bit of a paradigm shift to go from needing every rule in the book to keep your characters from breaking the game past level 10 to…responsibly using your destructive powers.  And I'm not talking about pulling punches.  Where you may have needed a dark side adept and three boba fetts to get your players to behave in a tense negotation with d20 star wars…a couple thugs and a scoundrel could have enough tricks up their sleeves to put Trixy the Bothan diplomat down so…assess the situation before putting a gun to anyone's head.

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LethalDose said:

All the combat in this game is a pretty scary proposition.

 

I don't mind scary combat. What I'm not so sure about is that when your ship gets banged up, the only way to get it usable again is by forking out a *lot* of credits. At least in personal combat, you have the option of bacta (expensive), or relying on your medic or natural rest. I can see PC ships getting into a slow death spiral, where they can't fix it faster than it takes damage…

 

Besides, it seems like a PC mechanic should be able to do more than just remove strain, which (as currently written) is fully repaired after each encounter anyway. Which by the way, I also think needs looking at - it should be repairable after a combat, but ideally not fully - I'd prefer something more akin to the personal combat rules.

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gribble said:

I don't mind scary combat. What I'm not so sure about is that when your ship gets banged up, the only way to get it usable again is by forking out a *lot* of credits.

Not necessarily.  One of the first examples Jay Little gave during his interview on the Order 66 Podcast was increasing obligation to get such a task done.  You don't have the creds to do it… but you've got a contact on the outer-rim who can do it for FREE!  For a favor… of course…

Seems almost… designed… to work that way.  gui%C3%B1o.gif

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Just got my book and read this thread. I'm late to the cantina, but my 2 credits thus far:

Gallandro said:


GoblynByte said:

 

The game seems to lack Language skills or general methods for determining staring languages……

 

 

 

…….on the Order 66 the designers address this. Basically it was felt that it was not a needed skill since throughout the movies characters have no problems understanding aliens (Han and Chewie as an example). In situations where they can't that would be more of a plot driven device.

There are in fact instances in the movies of characters having problems understanding aliens. Han needed a translator to speak to the Ewoks. Luke only understand one of the cantina thugs, the other had to explain what he was saying. Just because Han could understand Chewie, don't think that implied everyone could. These are just off the top of my head. C3P0 commonly brought up how many languages he spoke. I think a Linquistics skill is needed or perhaps use Knowledge somehow.

I'm fine with Brawl including armed and unarmed combat. Sub-abilities in this broad category using talents could include different forms of armed or unarmed combat.

Kind of contradicting what I said about Brawl, but does anyone else have a problem with Ranged (Light) including both one-handed blasters and thrown weapons? I would prefer a Thrown weapon skill for spears, throwing knives, bolas, slings, hand grenades, bows? etc. I don't want my master Ewok spear thrower to also be a master with a Blaster Pistol he's never even seen before. I also don't want Han Solo to automatically be a master at throwing spears or using a sling..

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Sturn said:

 

 

There are in fact instances in the movies of characters having problems understanding aliens. Han needed a translator to speak to the Ewoks. Luke only understand one of the cantina thugs, the other had to explain what he was saying. Just because Han could understand Chewie, don't think that implied everyone could. These are just off the top of my head. C3P0 commonly brought up how many languages he spoke. I think a Linquistics skill is needed or perhaps use Knowledge somehow.

I'm fine with Brawl including armed and unarmed combat. Sub-abilities in this broad category using talents could include different forms of armed or unarmed combat.

Kind of contradicting what I said about Brawl, but does anyone else have a problem with Ranged (Light) including both one-handed blasters and thrown weapons? I would prefer a Thrown weapon skill for spears, throwing knives, bolas, slings, hand grenades, bows? etc. I don't want my master Ewok spear thrower to also be a master with a Blaster Pistol he's never even seen before. I also don't want Han Solo to automatically be a master at throwing spears or using a sling..

The nice thing about the system is that it explicitly states a "rule 0" implementation of custom skills: If you think you need a custom skill not listed in the book, use it.  Your implementation of Linguistics would be a good example if you thought you needed it.  I personally think they ability to speak or comprehend a language falls very neatly under the Education skill in the RAW.  If it was a completely unknown language or species, Xenology could be appropriate too.

Following that idea, I really don't think the game needs more skills (Linguistics, Thrown, etc).  As it stands there are 23 general skills, 6 knowledge, and 5 combat.  I personally think that's enough, especially given the complaints about two piloting skills from my players and elsewhere on this forum.  Besides, if you added thrown, you would be obliged to add it to at least one, and probably more, specializations as a professional skill, removing something else.  I don't think its a coincidence that every combat skill shows up as a career or spec skill exactly 3 times.

So yeah, I think I understand your points, but don't believe that these are changes needs to be added to the core book.

 

-WJL

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Clarification needed on Skilled and Unskilled Assistance.  For skilled assistance do both characters need to have ranks in the relevent skill to be able to work together?  

My instinct is yes, but this needs to be made clear in the rules and I could be completely wrong.

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lupex said:

Clarification needed on Skilled and Unskilled Assistance.  For skilled assistance do both characters need to have ranks in the relevent skill to be able to work together?  

My instinct is yes, but this needs to be made clear in the rules and I could be completely wrong.

It says under Skilled Assistance, "When a character with a higher characteristic or skill rating provides assistance…"  So the assisting character would not need to have ranks in the relevant skill if their rank in the associated characteristic was high enough to be of use.

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DailyRich said:

 

lupex said:

 

Clarification needed on Skilled and Unskilled Assistance.  For skilled assistance do both characters need to have ranks in the relevent skill to be able to work together?  

My instinct is yes, but this needs to be made clear in the rules and I could be completely wrong.

 

 

It says under Skilled Assistance, "When a character with a higher characteristic or skill rating provides assistance…"  So the assisting character would not need to have ranks in the relevant skill if their rank in the associated characteristic was high enough to be of use.

 

 

Under Unskilled Assistance it also states, "IF the assisting party does NOT have a higher characterisic or skill rating…." when speaking of using unskilled assistance. This agrees with what DR mentioned under Skilled Assistance. The helper only needs one of the two to be higher to provide skilled assistance. Kind of a misnomer I guess since the title is "skilled", but a person without any skill but a high characteristic can provide good "skilled" assistance. Talented Assistance?

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DailyRich said:

lupex said:

 

Clarification needed on Skilled and Unskilled Assistance.  For skilled assistance do both characters need to have ranks in the relevent skill to be able to work together?  

My instinct is yes, but this needs to be made clear in the rules and I could be completely wrong.

 

 

It says under Skilled Assistance, "When a character with a higher characteristic or skill rating provides assistance…"  So the assisting character would not need to have ranks in the relevant skill if their rank in the associated characteristic was high enough to be of use.

 

I've nicked lupex's book, so thanks for the quote. I think calling it Skilled Assistance isn't helping here.

The assistance rules have the advantage of being quick at the expense of some realism, which I can stand. I'd just remove the distinction between Skilled and Unskilled assistance and say something like.

"When more than one character attempts a task, they get a benefit from aiding one another. The group can either:

* Use the highest Characteristic and Highest skill of the group, or

* Use a single character's Characteristic and Skill, but gain a Boost die to represent the assistance given by the other characters

By the way, did you notice that there is no benefit to having more than 2 people working on something? I don't think it's a problem, just that it's interesting. Maybe add a rule saying that all involved characters can contribute any relevant Talents?

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dougnugget said:

By the way, did you notice that there is no benefit to having more than 2 people working on something? I don't think it's a problem, just that it's interesting. Maybe add a rule saying that all involved characters can contribute any relevant Talents?

In some circumstances it might make sense that only one assistant would really be beneficial.  But there are always going to be scenarios where multiple helpers could be rationalized.  In that case I think letting them add their Talents or gear or <something> is a cleaner way of adjudicating it instead of dumping more boost dice into the mix.  So Ted assists with a boost die, and Sally applies her <relevant talent>.  I like it.  Then again I generally like mechanics that trim up the dice pool (either in ease of construction or gross number of dice) without sacrificing the effects of choice and happenstance.

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dougnugget said:

By the way, did you notice that there is no benefit to having more than 2 people working on something? I don't think it's a problem, just that it's interesting. Maybe add a rule saying that all involved characters can contribute any relevant Talents?

It's in there - Page 22 under Assistance Restrictions, 2nd paragraph, mentions using more then two. It states that in most situations only one person can assist, but their may be situations in which more may assist (I imagine several persons trying to break open a large door). The rules state that only one person may assist with a characteristic or skill (skilled), all of the others provide a Boost die (unskilled).

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MULTIPLE CHARACTERISTICS PER SKILL

As pointed out above, there is already a precedent for this. Skulduggery (page 80) suggests using Agility instead of the specified Cunning in some situations. I would be all for expanding this to apply to other skills. The specified characteristic could just be considered the default or most-used one. Depending on the situation others could be used. For example, Pilot-Space. Piloting an X-Wing in a dogfight using Agility vs a bridge pilot of a Star Destroyer using Intelligence or Cunning. 

PILOT SKILLS

I don't like how the Pilot-Space and Pilot-Planetary skills are divided. I want two skills, I just don't like which vehicles fall in each category. I understand that diving your X-wing from space into an atmosphere does change things a bit, but you are still flying the same craft. I don't think this warrants a new skill. Also, Luke was quickly chosen to fly an X-wing against the Death Star without any training at all. Only his prior use of an airspeeder (Pilot-Planetary in RAW) was mentioned. Luke would have only been using his Agility and perhaps some force sensitivity. If piloting an airspeeder was grouped with piloting an X-wing, this would make more sense.

I would prefer Driver and Pilot. Pilot would be for any flying craft whether in space or in an atmosphere (airspeeders, frigates, X-wings, Star Destroyers). I would be all for using different characteristics with this Pilot skill depending on the craft and situation (see above). Driver would be for surface craft including landspeeders, walkers, tracked, wheeled, and watercraft

SKULDUGGERY and STEALTH

Argument up above about combining or not combining this. I don't recall the original poster's name without looking back, but a good analogy for his argument is a hunter. A hunter would need a Stealth skill, but wouldn't be skilled in criminal Skulduggery. If you combine these two any hunter you tried to model would also happen to be good at picking locks, picking pockets, etc.

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Last night, one of my players was trying to make a skill check during a combat to repair a repulsorlift, and another player wanted to assist them.  The assisting player went first, used a maneuver to assist the other player, then took his combat action to fire a shot.  Is that right?  I'm not sure if there's a distinction between assisting a skill check and assisting during combat.

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