Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
FFG_Sam Stewart

Edge of the Empire Beta Update: Week 3

61 posts in this topic

FFG_Sam Stewart said:

Hi everyone!

Big update this week; we're doing a lot of adjustments with weapon damage and some weapon qualities.

Going forward, I'd like to get some people's thoughts on the Auto-Fire and Blast qualities (or other qualities and abilities that allow you to hit multiple targets, or a single target multiple times). Thanks!

I also posted in the equipment thread about this:

Autofire seems too cheap to activate with just one adv, especially since it can be activated multiple times and it only tends to appear on weapons that already have high damage output (Rifles and repeaters).  This was initially a concern on the theory side (essentially doubling damage for a single advantage), but was independently repeated by my players after they saw it in action.  My advice: increase the cost of activating autofire to at least 2 adv

Burst:  I think this is great, but there are some recent posts in the equipment section regarding TDs.

 

-WJL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LethalDose said:

FAutofire seems too cheap to activate with just one adv, especially since it can be activated multiple times and it only tends to appear on weapons that already have high damage output (Rifles and repeaters).  This was initially a concern on the theory side (essentially doubling damage for a single advantage), but was independently repeated by my players after they saw it in action.  My advice: increase the cost of activating autofire to at least 2 adv

 -WJL

Regarding Autofire, just a thought, but maybe instead of changing the cost, alter the game effects so that you can only hit a target once, and that Autofire only lets you hit additional targets, with minion groups called out as the exception to this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I. According to my own experience, I think Auto-fire is fine as it is.

This considering,

1. On one hand, the added difficulty to use auto-fire (+1 [P]), which, beyond the first hit, only lets the active player spend an [adv] to shoot again vs. the first target or another target (but only 1 more) "engaged with the first target", as many shots as spent [adv] but only to a maximum of 2 targets. And only then when they are engaged with each other (which is a condition that rarely applies). If there is no target engaged with the first, auto-fire only applies to the first target.

and then there are the walking fire rules by which you must add two difficulty (+2 [PP]) to the targeted enemy which is in the first place the most difficulty to hit amongst all the selected targets, in case you want to hit anybody else beyond the original target and the one (just one) target that is (eventually) engaged with him.

There is clearly a trade-off and a gamble here that makes sense and is fun to play.

Specially as the adversaries will scatter and add the most setback dice as they can manage with cover, high ground, prone position, etc… These add up and can be a lot.

2. On the other hand, the results I witnessed so far were very cinematic and not unrealistic at all.

Come on people, this is a Galaxy where a blaster shot is gonna hurt, let alone a E-web or light saber wound. Thermal detonators should kill, or at least KO everybody in the room, or within the blast radius.

This weapons are dangerous, and that is according to the player's expectations and as such they help facilitate a more envolved story to be told and shared at the table, as far as I am concerned. They promote sound tactical decision making  and roleplay on the part of the players (GM included, on behalf of NPC's).

 

II. I have a different opinion on the mechanics regarding jet packs and grenades, where i feel there is substantial room for improvement.

Jet pack rules could be more simplified and easy to use, according to the poster Ferretz on the Equipment Feedback Thread (page 4, first post).

The blast rules as they stand now don't make a lot of sense, as they give the active player the sole control whether they activate or not.

 

III. What I am trying to say is that there is really no point in tonning down the inerent danger level of some weapons below what is expected.

I have found that is not an impediment to telling good stories and having criative combat engagements. Quite the contrary.

Players adjust accordingly as they better understand the system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

selderane said:

 

GM Chris said:

 

I actually really like the idea of lightsabers and vibro-swords having Defensive 1.

Remember, Defensive only applies to melee attacks.  And those two weapons (basically, swords…) should be able to be used in that capacity, force-abilities or no.  It's just a part of fencing.  You're using your sword AS a shield, basically - to block incoming melee blows.  This is the FIRST thing a fencer learns.

 

 

Emphasis mine.

Learning means skill.  I have no problem with Defensive being an extension of the Melee or Lightsaber skills.  But inherent to the item itself?

Your own definition says no.

 

 Actually… I was thinking that it would be fine that lightsabers don't have a defensive quality and vibro weapons do, on the account that the later are solid and made to block and the former are almost weightless.But I am not sure. I know lightsabers (can) melt other objects. 

The thing is, I don't remember seeing, in the movies or elsewhere, a duel between a light saber wielder and a vibro sword one, so I am not sure what is being simulated here.

Maybe I am just not very knowledgable on the subject. 

But, what do you think, to let, in this kind of scenario, the light saber dude use threat from the opponent pool to activate the same effects described from the Sunder Quality. 

The thing is, Qualities appear to be designed to be used by the active player (mostly by spending advantage).

Would activating those effects out of turn unbalance the system or it's fair game regarding the rules that govern the use of threat?

What do you think?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OB-1 said:

On one hand, the added difficulty to use auto-fire (+1 [P]), which, beyond the first hit, only lets the active player spend an [adv] to shoot again vs. the first target or another target (but only 1 more) "engaged with the first target", as many shots as spent [adv] but only to a maximum of 2 targets. And only then when they are engaged with each other (which is a condition that rarely applies). If there is no target engaged with the first, auto-fire only applies to the first target.

and then there are the walking fire rules by which you must add two difficulty (+2 [PP]) to the targeted enemy which is in the first place the most difficulty to hit amongst all the selected targets, in case you want to hit anybody else beyond the original target and the one (just one) target that is (eventually) engaged with him.

So, first, I think you and I have had different experiences in the game.  Which is fine, it just shows were stress testing in in a different way.  I am a big proponent of keeping the combat lethal, but I feel the current state of autofire is just too much.

A portion of the autofire quality reads:

"Each time it [activates], the weapon deals an additional hit to the target or another target engaged with the first target."

I don't see how this is only limited to two targets.  If multiple targets are engaged with the original, each additional hit could be assigned to an additional target engaged with the original target.  But the above passage also refers to walking fire, pg 137, so I am very unclear if multiple targets that are engaged are even legal we didn't declare walking fire in advance.  Its a point that needs clarification.

My much larger concern does not deal with characters mowing down minions, or even henchmen, too quickly, but the opposite:  I found it was too easy for NPCs with autofire weapons to mow down PCs with a single roll.  And not even a particularly "lucky" roll at that, since advantages are plentiful to say the least.  

The moment I would provide the following example:  fighting Cordol at the end of the published adventure "Crates of Krayts".  The toughest, and well armored, player character had suffered a small number of wounds (three or so) earlier in the adventure.  When Cordol hit him 3 times (only requiring 2 Adv, granted to him by a pair of boost dice his cronies provided on their checks).  This floored him and crit him twice (also at +20 on the crit roll, and pierce 1).  Again, for effect:

Two advantages can be spent to triple the damage output of one attack on one target.

Maybe my players and I "Aren't doin' it right", but the amount of damage just those two adv caused seems very very concerning.  The source of my concern is not one adv is simply too cheap, its one (or more) advantages are simply too frequent and cause sitiuations like the one I described above.  This has concern about large numbers of advantages has been voiced on several other threads.  However, since I doubt we can reduce the rate with which adv are produced because dice are probably at the printers for the beginner set, cost and mechanism modfication are the only tools we have to balance these abilities.  As a GM, I would really prefer that I be able to play my villians to the hilt the same way that the PCs can, without concern that I have to pull punches too frequently (e.g. not use rolled results as effectively as possible).

That last line may be viewed as self-contradictory, but I have no problem "fudging" a roll on occassion. I just I prefer to keep it to a minimum, and hopefully with the narrative system, I'll be forced to do it less.

I think compared to other ways of spending individual advantages, this ability is just screamingly too effective, even given that its harder to activate.  At medium range, the difficulty make an attack with autoshot is "hard", three purples.  Not that bad, and even easier if other minions set up shots.

@ DM: I fail to see how limiting the number of hits is better than increasing the price.  A hit limit just doesn't fit with the autofire flavor, and seems very artificial.  Increasing the price simply moves the cost of activating the weapon quality to the 'default' level of other qualities (as described in on page 105).

 

TL; DR version: I want to be able to hurt my players and use autofire appropriately, without worrying I can drop one in a single common roll.  This is not currently the state of game.

 

-WJL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LethalDose,

I appreciate the problem you are trying to convey better now. I haven't tested autofiring rules vs. the players yet, and your post further clarified your concerns.

The challenge seems to be encountering the sweet spot between the aplication of Difficult dice [currently +1 and +2 for auto-fire and walking fire, respectively] and the number of advantages needed to activate the auto-fire effect (hit with an extra shot). And I agree that the line between walking fire and auto-fire should be clarified.

As a GM I see myself using walking fire against my players rather than focusing fire repeatedly on a single one. On this respect I feel the walking fire rules on multiple opponents are more  balanced and that your main area of concern is less the rules for hitting multiple targets but more the rules for hitting a single target muliple times, which is the less difficult effect resulting from autofire, while at the same time is potencially the deadliest against the PCs. And this is where I am begining to think you may have really a point here.

Maybe this rules can be ajusted without loosing too much of their effectiveness, while at the same time answering the concerns you so have put so well.

I just don't know if simply increasing the adv cost will cut it, cause it may make the mechanic much less effective in some instances.

Maybe you could, per exemple, increase the adv cost for the extra hit while allowing for just for 1 adv cost to produce cool special effects such as suppressive fire, pinning down opponents, etc, with appropriate special rules, that either can take a manouver away from the opponent, or add a setback die for the lesser cost of only 1adv (which could be used multiple times for more seback dice: see links provided above regarding  lost ability to return fire).

But I don't know if these ideas, which codify some of the players creativity and are made of special cases would make things more complicated at the table or not.

And, for the sake of balancing arguments remember that by the current rules a player being down on wounds doesn't mean being necessarily dead. I think the risk to go down must remain real, even if not common. 

Autofiring rules should feel dangerous, and players should be affraid to walk stright into such a weapon in any circunstance.  

So even if feeling the need to nerf the current autofiring ruleset don't do it so much as to take away the players incentive of thinking tactically out of the box, as per example, trying to flank the opposition, and being mindful of risks in general.

tl;dr: I now understand your point when you say that being a "big proponent of keeping the combat lethal", you "feel the current state of autofiring is just too much". Just don't nerf the mechanic so much as to make an eventual future state of autofiring just too little.

Regarding fudging: I prefer to roll my dice in the open, and as a matter of personal preference I'd rather not to fudge dice results, but I have done that in the past and I also understand where you are coming from here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The more I think about it, the more I think that the basic autofire effect should be 2 Adv to activate.

However, I like the idea of reducing the Adv cost when using autofire to cause pinning or suppression, as suggested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WarrenH said:

What if auto fire required 1A for the first extra hit, 2A for the second, then 3A and so on?

It's okay, but I'd prefer a flat price the way it is now, just for simplicity, but what've you've described is certainly an improvment.

 

@gribble and OB-1 

Suppression and pinned down are great ideas, and I think they should be in the Star Wars RPG game, and given their more military in nature I think its more likely we'll see them in in Age of Rebellion vs the current book.  I think they are more akin to separate actions than activations of advantages (its very similar to apply setbacks or immobilize status), but if its what we get, I think they are much more balanced and less concerning options vs autofire as it stands.

Glad to see its leading to civil conversation, though.

 

-WJL

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LethalDose said:

I think they are more akin to separate actions than activations of advantages (its very similar to apply setbacks or immobilize status), but if its what we get, I think they are much more balanced and less concerning options vs autofire as it stands.

Yeah, I was thinking that as I ruminated over it - kind of a deal damage or instead effect rather than doing both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone willing to take a lightsaber (50,000 credits) for a firespray (40,000 credits)? Please do not allow "price" replacing the functionality of an availability system when you do have one already. An item can be rare and still be cheap.

Take the Gaffi stick as an example. It is probably just as rare as the lightsaber if not more. Why? Only one planet in the Star Wars galaxy produces the actual Gaffi stick. The material components and functional values between the two weapons are greatly different of course. Still, the sand people probably spend as much effort in creating their tribal weapon as jedis create their badge of office. I know this is a silly comparison, but I hope the meaning is not lost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0