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FFG_Sam Stewart

Starship and Vehicle Feedback Thread

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Ah, cool! This makes it easier, then! I already have some feedback. Had posted it in one thread, but reposting here since we now have official feedback thread.

Now, these might be in the rules but I missed them. However, as I could not find this info, I will ask:

1) Regarding adding ship weapons: I would assume that adding a ship weapon is not a single hardpoint per weapon, and that some weapons, being bigger, are going to take up more slots then others. This is based on it listing the Hardpoint cost of weapon mounts as "variable" and referencing the weapon list table. Unfortunately, the table of starship weapons does not list the hardpoint costs of the individual weapons.

2) Each system for a ship includes a Base Stats, and a modification stats. Now, I am assuming that the Base is when you are paying hardpoints from the ship…what determines the limits you can modify a system?

3) Is it possible to trade cargo tonnage for extra modifications/hardpoints, or to trade hardpoints for cargo tonnage/consumables?

(Ship modification has always been one of my favourite parts of the Star Wars setting…I am hoping for more rules on this, especially as the Edge of Empire's area of focus is very much towards where this would be a key thing, especially with regards to the Mechanic and Smuggler careers)
 

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 Could there be a chase mechanism?

There are maneuvers to cover changing ranges versus an object, but they don't seem to cover a chase.  As I read it, a player could still maneuver his ship closer to a ship that is actively fleeing him, regardless of their relative speeds. 

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How does the Deadly Accuracy talent work when picked with the Gunnery in ship scale combat? The talent adds the skills rank to damage rolls with all associated weapons. Damage in ship scale strikes me as tweaked slightly lower, or at least more closely spaced (where the difference between blaster pistols and blaster rifles may be 4-5 damage, ship-borne blaster cannons to laser cannons only have a difference of about 1-3 damage) compared to ground scale weapons.

Should/could a character be able to add up to 5 more damage in ship scale just because they're that more accurate?

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KommissarK said:

Should/could a character be able to add up to 5 more damage in ship scale just because they're that more accurate?

Like hitting the thermal exhaust port of a large space station with proton torpedos?gui%C3%B1o.gif

 

It does make things a bit odd if a character with added gunnery damage then turns it back on character scale targets for x10 damage on each of those point increases.  Granted the dozens of points of damage a single creature is going to take will make the added damage rather moot, but on large groups of minions it could have a very noticable effect for strafing runs.

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We did a starship battle and the number one response was it's too easy to hit.

We did the two Cloakshapes with the minion pilots from the adventure vs. a YT-1300 with a good pilot (agility 3, pilot 2) and good gunners (agility 2, gunnery 2).

The Cloakshapes ate them up.

In general here is where the starship rules could use tightening up:

1. What exactly are the rules with minion pilots? They have to make skill checks as a group, but how do they take damage?

2. Sensors: The YT-1300 and Cloakshapes have very short sensors. I started the battle at long range but then realized neither would see each other. So I had to start it at close range. Seems like there should be more time to make a plan before the shooting starts. Will all battles have to start at that range? And with capital ships having better sensors they can just shoot at other ships that can't even detect them/know where they are?

3. Number one complaint. Way too easy to hit. Even with the defensive maneuvers the minion pilots were easily getting double hits with the concussion missles and took out the YT in no time. The YT did not feel like heroes were flying it. The YT had a good pilot and the minons against them were not very skilled. But with these hit difficulty rules it wouldn't matter if Han and Chewie were piloting.

I really think Pilot skill should upgrade the difficulty to be hit in starship combat for a sillouette of 4 or lower. You'd probably need to take the ship's handling into account too. Maybe make it an opposed check gunnery vs. piloting. Then a good pilot matters. Either that or grant a die for each success then they take defensive maneuvers--not just one die total. Or maybe speed should matter more in upgrading hit difficulty. There should be more a good pilot can do to keep from getting hit. I know there is a little there but it's not enough.

It doesn't seeem like there's much more success to be had by a Pilot skill of 5 over a Pilot skill of say 2-3.

4. Maybe add a few more options for crew members to help in the fight.

Here's what I like--for the most part it's a good system and pretty close except for the one big easy hitting problem:

Good, quick abstract rules. Quite elegant actually with silhouette and handling. A lot can go on with a few roles. Fun stuff.

Weapon damages and capabilities were right on.

Starship stats and characteristics are well done.

Maneuvers and actions (Evasive maneuvers, stay on target, punch it, etc.) are good.

I'd just like to see a good pilot to be able to do more to not get hit--especially by minions.

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usgrandprix,

Did you use the rule in page 147 regarding Defense,

According to which, "each point of defense adds a [setback die] to any incoming attack made against the ship or vehicle" 

and most importantly,

"the amount of [threat] generated by the [setback die/dice] added to the attacker's dice pool has the potential to greatly reduce or even negate any damage from the attack or collision" ?

 

The wording could be clearer, but i interpreted it as: the defending player may opt to use [threat] symbols  from defense [setback dice] as (additional) [failure] symbols on a 1-1 basis.

I suspect this could go a long way to make your ships more durable, but mind you i haven't playtested the system yet.

If my interpretation is the same as the designers intention, then i think the wording of this rule should be made more explicit and repeated more often, as it is a substantial exception to the normal dice pool rules.

 

The reason I ask you if you used this rule is because i find that, although i like it in principle, I think it is not suficiently upfront and clear in its meaning. It seems a little lost amongst all the system rules. It should be clarified and brought to more exposure, namely, being re-estated in page 157, step 5 and table 7-7.

As this is the first post in these boards that conveyed some experience with the vehicle and ship combat system, I also would like to know your opinion on said special rule on setback threat use, or rather my interpretation thereof, irrespective of having used it or not.

Can this address some of the problematic issues you refer to in your post?

This is something I have been wondering for a while, and willing to playtest soon. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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If the difficulty of an attack were upgraded based upon the actual training ranks in the pilot skill, would that work?  That way you get away from someone with a wankish high agility being inherently harder to hit.  Seeing as opposed combat rolls seem to be against the design trend, simply upgrading the challenge based on training may help.  That way the tie fighter minions are facing a difficulty of two challenge dice in addition to any range modifiers against a starting 2 rank pilot. 

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OB-1 said:

usgrandprix,

Did you use the rule in page 147 regarding Defense,

According to which, "each point of defense adds a [setback die] to any incoming attack made against the ship or vehicle" 

and most importantly,

"the amount of [threat] generated by the [setback die/dice] added to the attacker's dice pool has the potential to greatly reduce or even negate any damage from the attack or collision" ?

 

The wording could be clearer, but i interpreted it as: the defending player may opt to use [threat] symbols  from defense [setback dice] as (additional) [failure] symbols on a 1-1 basis.

I suspect this could go a long way to make your ships more durable, but mind you i haven't playtested the system yet.

If my interpretation is the same as the designers intention, then i think the wording of this rule should be made more explicit and repeated more often, as it is a substantial exception to the normal dice pool rules.

 

The reason I ask you if you used this rule is because i find that, although i like it in principle, I think it is not suficiently upfront and clear in its meaning. It seems a little lost amongst all the system rules. It should be clarified and brought to more exposure, namely, being re-estated in page 157, step 5 and table 7-7.

As this is the first post in these boards that conveyed some experience with the vehicle and ship combat system, I also would like to know your opinion on said special rule on setback threat use, or rather my interpretation thereof, irrespective of having used it or not.

Can this address some of the problematic issues you refer to in your post?

This is something I have been wondering for a while, and willing to playtest soon. Thanks for sharing your experience.

I forgot about that. We did not use that, but we did use Defense in general. I think it's a fair interpretation. In general I'm trying to get a handle on how to implement Advantage, Threat, Thriumph, and Despair outside of the suggestions in the rules. I think I should allow them to have more immediate defense implications. It's an odd rule though as it seems to imply you use only Threats from the defensive setback die and not other threats. I haven't seen anywhere else say it matters what die you roll a symbol on.

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Callidon said:

If the difficulty of an attack were upgraded based upon the actual training ranks in the pilot skill, would that work?  That way you get away from someone with a wankish high agility being inherently harder to hit.  Seeing as opposed combat rolls seem to be against the design trend, simply upgrading the challenge based on training may help.  That way the tie fighter minions are facing a difficulty of two challenge dice in addition to any range modifiers against a starting 2 rank pilot. 

I think it's a good idea. Pilot ranks upgrade difficulty. Very simple, but it is adding a new mechanic. And you'd have to account for the ship's handling ranking. That's why I was thinking opposed would be simple.

By the way range and speed don't matter for starship base combat difficulty. Only diffference in silhouette maters. A minion pilot in a TIE only needs to overcome 2 difficulty dice and maybe one or two setback dice to hit a rank 5 pilot in a YT-1300. The military starfighter pilot minion in the book rolls 3 ability and 1 proficiency dice and that's only if there are two minons and they don't take any aiming. 

My other thought was to make Evasive Maneuvers a 2 difficulty Pilot check and each additional success upgrades the difficulty to be hit and to hit by one more. Then Gain the Advantage works the same way--success cancels one upgrade and each extra success cancels more. This would really favor a good pilot and gunner.

Just looking for more room for an extraordinary pilot to shine. I don't think there's enough in the starship rules for that.

That said, some of the later pilot talents are very good.

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 I agree with this.  During the Crates of Krayts adventure, there is no reason for the players to engage the enemy according to the RAW.  The enemy ships engage at Medium range, and thus have no weapons with which to attack the PCs.  Given that their speeds will by necessity be so similar (based on available starting ships to the PCs), they can remain at this range indefinitely, with no means of closing range… Even though the enemy star fighters have a faster speed rating, they spend maneuvers at the same rate as the PCs so the range will effectively never change.  

For that matter, unless an enemy has a significantly higher speed rating OR engages at Close range from the start, most weapons will never need be brought to bear… Which doesn't feel much like Star "Wars".

Am I just missing a glaringly obvious rule that helps overcome this or are the rules set up this way intentionally?

Personally, I would like to see the difference in Speed between two ships to determine if and how quickly the ships close or evade each other.  And, on top of this, enact a mechanic that impacts other actions depending on how fast a ship is traveling.  So, for example, moving at speed 1 might afford a boost die to all actions whereas moving at speed 6 might impose one or more setback dice.

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One thing that has come up, and it has come up in every single sw rpg so far, are Ion Cannons affected by defense (which represents shields)?

And, when a ship suffers strain above its threshold does it still have shields?  (the test just says that it cannot angle shields).

And the text for evasive maneuvers is a bit clunky, is the bonus against each enemy ships first attack, or just the first attack from any enemy ship?  And why is only the difficulty of the evading ships first attack increased and not all attacks made by the evading ship until the next turn?

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Large ships (particularly capital ships) have their defenses listed as three numbers but there's no mention of which defensive zones these cover. I know that's fluid, but why only three listed? Why write the CR90 and the Action VI as 2/1/1 when they could be 1/1/1/1?

Why is one defensive zone left "open" and which one is considered unprotected by default?

I wonder if it would be better to list how many defensive zones a ship has (2 or 4) then list a single number that is the sum of all defensive systems. So the CR90 would have 4 zones and 4 defensive points. The Nebulon-B would have 4 zones and 6 defensive points. That way the shield operator just decides which zones are protected when shields are raised, distributing the points as they see fit.

 

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 While I like the rules for smaller ships well enough (although I am a fan of using opposed checks, like usgrandprix suggests), I would like to see something fundamentally different for capital ships.  The PCs ships will not interact with a capital ship the same way they would another transport or fighter.  I would prefer to see capital ships statted as a series of encounters typical of the conflicts that PCs might have with them.  For instance, instead of statting a Nebulon B and Corellian Corvette, instead stat:

Bombing Run

Turret Fire escape

Chase along the ships surface

Shield Generator attack

Tractor beam escape

etc.

These encounters could be laid out in a simple and easy to run manner and then individual ships might add difficulty levels or particular challenges to them.  For instance a smaller, anti-fighter capital ship would be more likely to hit the PCs, but would probably do less damage and be more susceptible to PC attacks than larger ships.    Also, I would probably have capital ship weapons do significantly less damage than the current rules suggest and make them more likely to hit.  This would represent near misses.  The problem with the current model is that PCs will feel relatively little strain because the capital ship has a hard time hitting, and then BAM!! there ship is done in one hit.  The other benefit with this is that you don't need an exhaustive list of statistics for every possible capital ship.  Honestly, these rules are not made to run massive space battles with multiple capital ships per side.  So why stat the ships that way?

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 I want costs and rarity ratings for all vehicles and ships. Yes, even ships that aren't sold normally. There is an amount that the Empire pays for a star destroyer. I want a baseline in case my players decide to pull off a daring heist.  If you can put a price tag on lightsabers you can put a price tag on TIE fighters. 

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I would like to see two prices for normally not sold ships, one that is what the empire pays for each one and another that is what the empire claims it pays for each one so it can channel those funds into secret projects and death camps. 

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I would urge FFG to remove the text box on page 161 (Fatal Encounters) from the final product.

Firstly, it isn't entirely accurate based on what we know about hyperspace as written in most sources (that I'm aware of). When a ship enters hyperspace it goes into an alternate dimension and fears only the "gravity shadow" of objects, not the objects themsevles. While this is deadly to the ship itself, this does not suggest any danger to the object that is casting the shadow.

Secondly, despite the text box's accuracy, it creates a level of specificity that I think is a) unnecessary to the space opera theme and b) can be confusing to the perceived balance of power in the universe. I mean, what's the big deal about the big bad Empire being able to destroy an entire planet with their really expensive Death Star when a lowly starship tech can do the same thing all by himself and a rusty transport simply by shutting down the navigational fail-safes and slamming the puny craft into a planet?

It is a staple that, in space opera, we must often ignore certain sciences to hold onto our banality. I think things like this are simply best left explored.

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Darl_Loh said:

 While I like the rules for smaller ships well enough (although I am a fan of using opposed checks, like usgrandprix suggests), I would like to see something fundamentally different for capital ships.  The PCs ships will not interact with a capital ship the same way they would another transport or fighter.  I would prefer to see capital ships statted as a series of encounters typical of the conflicts that PCs might have with them.  For instance, instead of statting a Nebulon B and Corellian Corvette, instead stat:

Bombing Run

Turret Fire escape

Chase along the ships surface

Shield Generator attack

Tractor beam escape

etc.

These encounters could be laid out in a simple and easy to run manner and then individual ships might add difficulty levels or particular challenges to them.  For instance a smaller, anti-fighter capital ship would be more likely to hit the PCs, but would probably do less damage and be more susceptible to PC attacks than larger ships.    Also, I would probably have capital ship weapons do significantly less damage than the current rules suggest and make them more likely to hit.  This would represent near misses.  The problem with the current model is that PCs will feel relatively little strain because the capital ship has a hard time hitting, and then BAM!! there ship is done in one hit.  The other benefit with this is that you don't need an exhaustive list of statistics for every possible capital ship.  Honestly, these rules are not made to run massive space battles with multiple capital ships per side.  So why stat the ships that way?

 

This is a great idea, and represents the use of capital ships not as opponents, but as full encounters.  It really fits the narrative feel of the new system and, yeah, the use of capital ships in this way SHOULD be discussed in the book (GM section if nowhere else).  Saga edition tried this by implementing "encounter effects" for capital ships involved in the encounter, essentially making them encounter hazards.  I was never very impressed with the implementation.  

However, this doesn't mean that the statistics for the capital ship aren't useful and I think its fair that each ship should be fully statted out with the same attention to detail.  You may want to know just how much damage that corvettes turbolasers are going do deal to bridge pylons, or how long its going to take that ISD to go from Coruscant to Tatooine.  Some groups may want to see what capital ship combat feels like when a frigate dukes it out with a few corvettes, or the players may end up with a capital ship of their own.

I agree you don't need an exhaustive list of ships statted out, but you need enough to provide representation of the benchmarks.

 

-WJL 

 

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Ok.  I've got a suggestion, after running a game Saturday with both personal and starship combat.

 

WHY are there separate/unique range bands for personal vs. starship combat?  It confuses/complicates things unnecessarily.

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 I don't like that personal and planetary seem to have two completely different sets of range bands:

Personal: Engaged, Close, Medium, Long, Extreme

Planetary: Close, Short, Medium, Long

Could we possibly get them to line up?

Secondly, the description of starship/vehicle speeds and moving between the range bands seems to indicate that you can't move between certain bands at certain speeds, which is probably intentional for the slower speeds but it doesn't seem to be possible to move between Long and Short range at the fastest speeds (5-6)?

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I must echo an earlier post in this thread and ask about how to handle Minion pilots (which is the default starfighter pilot NPC). Are the ships also treated as Minons in a way?

As I mentioned some days ago in an earlier post, this could work very well with wings of starfighters. Imagine five Minion pilots, each in their Tie Fighter. The wing attacks once, with skill rank four. I think I'll have to playtest this next session. :)

 

Eirik

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WJL, thanks for the second.  I was never very impressed with Saga's implementation either.

LethalDose said:

  

However, this doesn't mean that the statistics for the capital ship aren't useful and I think its fair that each ship should be fully statted out with the same attention to detail.  You may want to know just how much damage that corvettes turbolasers are going do deal to bridge pylons, or how long its going to take that ISD to go from Coruscant to Tatooine.  Some groups may want to see what capital ship combat feels like when a frigate dukes it out with a few corvettes, or the players may end up with a capital ship of their own. 

I agree.  I was being a bit facetious.  I think I was just a little frustrated that those rules weren't already included.  I mean, this will be the 5th publishing of a Star Wars RPG and we still haven't figured out how to stat capital ships so that they can be conveniently used in encounters with PCs!! 

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Agree that there should be some guidance on treating wings of fighters as minions.

Also agree that the difference in range bands is strange.

I prefer the fully detailed ships but I think the encounter idea has a place as well depending on the scene.  Fighters engage the Capitol ship to start a bombing run or some such. 

I'm curious as to how the Capitol ship combat will work now. The nebulon b has all the guns detailed which means the star destroyer will have many more individual guns.  Even with attack, damage , and defense handled in one roll It would be cumbersome to roll once for each gun..  Especially in a large engagement.  

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adrick said:

I'm curious as to how the Capitol ship combat will work now. The nebulon b has all the guns detailed which means the star destroyer will have many more individual guns.  Even with attack, damage , and defense handled in one roll It would be cumbersome to roll once for each gun..  Especially in a large engagement.  

This may have been said before but they might do Gun Emplacement Minions, putting many, or most, of them in groups. So, one roll for multiple gun emplacements.

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