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Sanguinous Rex

The Destiny Dice Dance and Powergamers... help?

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Ok, so the game is tomorrow (time flies, eh?) and I think I have one last question:  The Destiny Dice.

 

How can this feature NOT be abused by Power Gamers?

 

From what I've read, the initiator of an action has to decide whether or not he/she is going to spend a Destiny Die.  After that, the the one receiving the action (whether its a PC, NPC, event, etc.) can respond with a Destiny Die.

 

This is where I can see a power gamer abuse the hell out of this: IF the Initiator doesn't use a die, and the receiver does, the initiator cannot add a die in response.

 

What this means is that if there is a fairly even pool of Light or Dark Side dice, the ENTIRE SESSION could be the GM using a Dark Side Point to get a Red Die, and the players immediately flippin' that Dark Side Point have to Light Side to add a Yellow Dice.  Heck, even if the players have at least ONE Light Side Point they can do this every time!

 

If they have 0, and the GM uses a Dark Side to throw in a Red Die, can the players immediately use that point that was just generated?  If so, they can use Destiny Dice with every roll.

 

Repeat, over and over and OVER.

 

Is this about right?  Anyway, someone PLEASE explain the Destiny Dice better please.

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If players are trying to abuse them, then the simple solution is to give them a big enough challenge so that they have to use them without the GM needing to use any in return, until the players don't have a ton of them.

 

That's the thing, isn't it? The GM doesn't need a Destiny Point to make a difficult encounter, only to buff an individual action. So, if player's were just using them every time they got them, I'd just throw a bit more of a challenge their way and not use my own quite as much.

 

On top of that, if you have a Force User in the group, they're going to be blowing Destiny Points like crazy whenever they tap into the Dark Side. And most groups of Powergamers are going to have at least 1 Force User.

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Page 27...

"When the player spends a light side point, it is converted into a dark side destiny point after the current action is resolved. When the GM spends a dark side destiny point, it is converted into a light side point, in the same fashion. Conversion takes place at the end of the action during which the destiny point was used, preventing players or GM's from using a just converted destiny point..."

 

Hope that helps! :)

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I feel it's intended to be use generously. Wednesday, we played a game with 2 players plus me. They rolled 1 Light and 1 Dark destiny. The entire session I had to use them regularly (turn to the light side), so that they could use them when they needed it.

 

My players don't always improve their dice pool when they attack, nor do they increase the difficulty all the time they are being attacked. They have figured out that they need to use them when needed, not all the time, otherwise, when they really need them, they might not have any left.

 

But, yes, the initiator decide first if he wants to use a destiny point to upgrade their dice pool, then the other party decide if they want to upgrade the difficulty. That's it, no coming back. In our games, the destiny points are flowing, and I feel it's important, it makes even the non-combatant PC able to shine at his time once in a while. That Frag Grenade the Politico player just sent (upgrading his dice pool from a green die to a yellow die), allowed him to roll a Triumph, what a great event!

 

On the other side, the minions who were being beaten easilly, just were harder to hit this round (upgrading one die to a Challenge (red) die), causing a Dispear! Now they need to run for cover, the Bounty Hunter's blaster is empty!

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I think the problem here is perception. Destiny Points are meant to help steer the narrative. First, GMs do not need to spend Destiny to add red dice. If the situation is risky enough, the GM simply adds challenge (red) dice as he sees fit. So that isn't really a "game" the players can "win."

 

This game isn't about optimizing your "sweet toon." It is about telling a story and having fun within that story. The GM and players should be spending Destiny Points when it makes sense for the story to up the drama a bit here and there, or (in the players' case) drop a "fact" to help advance the story.

 

One of the best uses for a Destiny Point I have seen was a character saying "We need to escape NOW. I spend a Destiny Point to find an unattended speeder that I can hot wire."

 

GM Response, "OK."

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I think the problem here is perception. Destiny Points are meant to help steer the narrative. First, GMs do not need to spend Destiny to add red dice. If the situation is risky enough, the GM simply adds challenge (red) dice as he sees fit. So that isn't really a "game" the players can "win."

 

The book in fact specifically mentions that the GM should just add challenges anyway if the players hoard their points. Look at page 28 for this bit of info. 

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Ok, so the game is tomorrow (time flies, eh?) and I think I have one last question:  The Destiny Dice.

 

How can this feature NOT be abused by Power Gamers?

 

From what I've read, the initiator of an action has to decide whether or not he/she is going to spend a Destiny Die.  After that, the the one receiving the action (whether its a PC, NPC, event, etc.) can respond with a Destiny Die.

 

This is where I can see a power gamer abuse the hell out of this: IF the Initiator doesn't use a die, and the receiver does, the initiator cannot add a die in response.

 

What this means is that if there is a fairly even pool of Light or Dark Side dice, the ENTIRE SESSION could be the GM using a Dark Side Point to get a Red Die, and the players immediately flippin' that Dark Side Point have to Light Side to add a Yellow Dice.  Heck, even if the players have at least ONE Light Side Point they can do this every time!

 

If they have 0, and the GM uses a Dark Side to throw in a Red Die, can the players immediately use that point that was just generated?  If so, they can use Destiny Dice with every roll.

 

Repeat, over and over and OVER.

 

 

 

I think others have mentioned this, but as I understand it, one character can spend one destiny point can alter one action, and it isn't flipped until the dice has been rolled. The GM can toss in a Dark Side destiny point that is separate from the one being flipped, but again it isn't flipped until the dice roll is over. In most gaming sessions with 4 people, you're going to have 4-8 destiny points available in a pool. If this one-upmanship happens, at most it can be used 4-8 times in a single turn before the destiny points are committed before a given roll.

 

So say in a powergaming session one character chooses to toss in a destiny point to upgrade one of their ability dice to a proficiency dice. The GM can counter and upgrade a difficulty dice to a challenge dice, rather than tossing in a setback dice, but uses a *separate* destiny point to do so. A player can only spend one destiny point per action, anyway, so there's can't be a raising of the stakes. Once both destiny points are committed, the dice are rolled, and then both points are flipped, essentially balancing each other out.

 

I don't see this as a problem... 1 action 1 destiny point from the player + 1 destiny point from the GM at most. Other players can't toss in their own tokens for a given action...

 

In addition, as others have noted, destiny points can also be used to find cover where it might not have existed before, or the keys to a nearby speeder to facilitate a timely getaway. Chances are I might use them more in this regard, rather than altering dice rolls personally. :)

Edited by Agatheron

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Yeah.  The destiny points are meant to be used that way.  Maybe not necessarily on the same roll every time, but they are meant to be used fairly frequently.  However, while adding a proficiency die to a pool when a challenge die comes into play can help increase chances for success, all the success in the world isn't going to negate that Despair symbol.  So, even if they succeed, there's still a chance that something bad is going to happen, and even a Triumph won't stop that.

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I am very fortunate in the fact that i'm running a game for a bunch of folks well versed with Fate. The point economy get used occasionally for scene declarations, narrative advantage or for epic action, not for turn-after-turn accountant wars. I have no idea how to explain the Destiny Point pool to a powergamer outside of trying to describe what the system is intended for in spirit. As mentioned above you can throw in challenges to balance the dice out if it becomes an abused or boring mechanic.

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I honestly feel that the biggest challenge this game line has to overcome, is that there ARE a lot of power gamer min/maxers out there among Star Wars players, and they are very used to the traditional adversarial relationship between player and GM. This game flips that paradigm on its head, and the GM is instead a facilitator. It is their job to say "okay, you can do that." to almost every idea a player has. It is a storytelling game first and foremost. The adversarial nature comes when two members in the party have conflicting obligation/motivation. That sets them against each other, to a point. I'll be curious to watch how players and GMs alike adapt to this different style of play. For the record, I love this game.

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I started a thread about this a while back:

 

http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/78389-destiny-points-when-both-sides-use-over-and-over-and-over/

 

The thing about this – and I think this makes it worse an issue – is that it's not a powergamer move. You are encouraged to spend DPs on important rolls. It makes sense for both players and the GM to use them on those rolls. When else should they be used?

 

There are a few easy fixes. The one I'm going with is to only allow 1 DP die upgrade per roll from either side. I'll give the active player/NPC first choice and then if they don't, then the other side can raise the stakes. Problem solved.

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There are a few easy fixes. The one I'm going with is to only allow 1 DP die upgrade per roll from either side. I'll give the active player/NPC first choice and then if they don't, then the other side can raise the stakes. Problem solved.

 

That's exactly how the rules work. You just solved a nonexistent problem. ;)

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I honestly feel that the biggest challenge this game line has to overcome, is that there ARE a lot of power gamer min/maxers out there among Star Wars players, and they are very used to the traditional adversarial relationship between player and GM. This game flips that paradigm on its head, and the GM is instead a facilitator. It is their job to say "okay, you can do that." to almost every idea a player has. It is a storytelling game first and foremost. The adversarial nature comes when two members in the party have conflicting obligation/motivation. That sets them against each other, to a point. I'll be curious to watch how players and GMs alike adapt to this different style of play. For the record, I love this game.

Honestly I find that the adversarial relationship comes more from when people try to game the game. Something fairly ubiquitous in d20 since everyone, player and GM, used to use the same rules for all intents and purposes. It became a competition to see who can use the rules the best. That's why I like systems like Spycraft, Savage Worlds and EotE where opponents are left more open-ended in their creation. It means I can create opponents that challenge them but they have no idea what to expect. I've always tried to be a facilitator no matter what game I play, as I usually GM for the most part.

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There are a few easy fixes. The one I'm going with is to only allow 1 DP die upgrade per roll from either side. I'll give the active player/NPC first choice and then if they don't, then the other side can raise the stakes. Problem solved.

 

That's exactly how the rules work. You just solved a nonexistent problem. ;)

 

 

No, currently the active player and the defender can both spend DP. The rules explicitly allow this. 

 

My suggestion is to only allow one or another, not both. So, if you spend a DP to bump up your blaster attack, then the defense can't.

Edited by Doc, the Weasel

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I honestly feel that the biggest challenge this game line has to overcome, is that there ARE a lot of power gamer min/maxers out there among Star Wars players, and they are very used to the traditional adversarial relationship between player and GM. This game flips that paradigm on its head, and the GM is instead a facilitator. It is their job to say "okay, you can do that." to almost every idea a player has. It is a storytelling game first and foremost. The adversarial nature comes when two members in the party have conflicting obligation/motivation. That sets them against each other, to a point. I'll be curious to watch how players and GMs alike adapt to this different style of play. For the record, I love this game.

Honestly I find that the adversarial relationship comes more from when people try to game the game. Something fairly ubiquitous in d20 since everyone, player and GM, used to use the same rules for all intents and purposes. It became a competition to see who can use the rules the best. That's why I like systems like Spycraft, Savage Worlds and EotE where opponents are left more open-ended in their creation. It means I can create opponents that challenge them but they have no idea what to expect. I've always tried to be a facilitator no matter what game I play, as I usually GM for the most part.

 

I think there's a fairly sizeable community for this kind of play now. Savage Worlds and Fate are just a couple examples of a different mindset that has been growing in gaming especially over the last decade. There will be some d20 folks that like Edge quite a bit, but I'm also prepared for a wall of vitriol from the chess and simulation clubs that can't or won't get into it. I can appreciate both styles of play myself, but I'll admit anytime I see a "stupid, weird dice" or "lol narrative" post I really do want to just give those people a big, digital hug. Not in a creepy way, of course. 

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There are a few easy fixes. The one I'm going with is to only allow 1 DP die upgrade per roll from either side. I'll give the active player/NPC first choice and then if they don't, then the other side can raise the stakes. Problem solved.

 

That's exactly how the rules work. You just solved a nonexistent problem. ;)

 

 

No, currently the active player and the defender can both spend DP. The rules explicitly allow this. 

 

My suggestion is to only allow one or another, not both. So, if you spend a DP to bump up your blaster attack, then the defense can't.

 

 

Why? Also, the GM can increase the difficulty of an attack without using DP anyways, so what good is this rule?

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There are a few easy fixes. The one I'm going with is to only allow 1 DP die upgrade per roll from either side. I'll give the active player/NPC first choice and then if they don't, then the other side can raise the stakes. Problem solved.

That's exactly how the rules work. You just solved a nonexistent problem. ;)

No, currently the active player and the defender can both spend DP. The rules explicitly allow this.

My suggestion is to only allow one or another, not both. So, if you spend a DP to bump up your blaster attack, then the defense can't.

I don't see the problem, sometimes Destiny is on your side, sometimes it's not, and sometimes it stays out of this mess you've gotten yourself into. If this happens, at the end of the turn everyone gets Destiny back. I'm also confident that I won't blow Dark Side just to stymie Light Side points my players spend. Then there's the fact that there are 4 other players at my table who will hopefully be making use of those tokens. If one player seems to be gaming the system I will just have to find more reasons for the others to enjoy their use. The group will quickly realize that the narrative implications of a spend will far outweigh the purely mechanical. Edited by Mark It Zero

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In addition, Destiny Points can be used for more than just dice rolls. They could be used for the players to adjust the narrative to their advantage, such as by adding important and useful details to a scene. If they just keep blocking the GM's use of DP (which is kind of silly as the GM can just use other methods if it comes down to that) they won't have any points left over for this kind of thing. 

 

And if the GM keeps blocking the players' use of DP, they've got a horrible GM. 

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I don't see the problem, sometimes Destiny is on your side, sometimes it's not, and sometimes it stays out of this mess you've gotten yourself into. If this happens, at the end of the turn everyone gets Destiny back. I'm also confident that I won't blow Dark Side just to stymie Light Side points my players spend. Then there's the fact that there are 4 other players at my table who will hopefully be making use of those tokens. If one player seems to be gaming the system I will just have to find more reasons for the others to enjoy their use. The group will quickly realize that the narrative implications of a spend will far outweigh the purely mechanical.

 

 

I don't want to completely rehash the argument in old thread, but ...

It all comes down to the reason you spend DP to modify rolls. Do you spend them on random, trivial tasks or do you spend them on important ones?

 

If you believe that they should be spent on rolls that are important to the story – which makes sense both mechanically and narratively – and those rolls are important to both the players and GM, then it makes sense for both the GM and players to spend them on those rolls. 

 

If they aren't for important rolls, then when should they be spent?

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I don't see the problem, sometimes Destiny is on your side, sometimes it's not, and sometimes it stays out of this mess you've gotten yourself into. If this happens, at the end of the turn everyone gets Destiny back. I'm also confident that I won't blow Dark Side just to stymie Light Side points my players spend. Then there's the fact that there are 4 other players at my table who will hopefully be making use of those tokens. If one player seems to be gaming the system I will just have to find more reasons for the others to enjoy their use. The group will quickly realize that the narrative implications of a spend will far outweigh the purely mechanical.

 

 

I don't want to completely rehash the argument in old thread, but ...

It all comes down to the reason you spend DP to modify rolls. Do you spend them on random, trivial tasks or do you spend them on important ones?

 

If you believe that they should be spent on rolls that are important to the story – which makes sense both mechanically and narratively – and those rolls are important to both the players and GM, then it makes sense for both the GM and players to spend them on those rolls. 

 

If they aren't for important rolls, then when should they be spent?

 

 

But the GM isn't out to beat the players flat out. Important rolls don't need to be won by the GM.

 

Players use Destiny to make those rolls they need to make. They use Destiny to get Triumphs and do cool things and change the story.

 

The GM uses them to give something a bit of extra punch that's outside their normal range, or to land a Despair to use for an idea he had, but largely he spends them to give them back.

 

To the GM, his "important" rolls are not the same as the players, because his goal in the game is to deliver fun to everyone. He's Santa Claus, not the Grinch. He wants to make his Sith a threat so that the player's feel good about beating him, not so that he'll actually kill them.

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But the GM isn't out to beat the players flat out. Important rolls don't need to be won by the GM.

 

Players use Destiny to make those rolls they need to make. They use Destiny to get Triumphs and do cool things and change the story.

 

The GM uses them to give something a bit of extra punch that's outside their normal range, or to land a Despair to use for an idea he had, but largely he spends them to give them back.

 

To the GM, his "important" rolls are not the same as the players, because his goal in the game is to deliver fun to everyone. He's Santa Claus, not the Grinch. He wants to make his Sith a threat so that the player's feel good about beating him, not so that he'll actually kill them.

 

 

I think some of you are reading an antagonistic GM agenda where there is none mentioned. It isn't about beating the players. It's exactly as you said: making the players feel good about overcoming challenges. 

 

Challenges – and rolls accompanying them – that are important to the players are also to the GM. Everything that is important to the players is important to the GM. Otherwise, you end up with the GM running his own personal story and the players involved in something else. 

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Yeah but the question was ultimately referring to the potential for players abusing the Destiny system, to which I replied, "I don't think it will be a problem." In my usual long winded manner of course. :)

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But the GM isn't out to beat the players flat out. Important rolls don't need to be won by the GM.

 

Players use Destiny to make those rolls they need to make. They use Destiny to get Triumphs and do cool things and change the story.

 

The GM uses them to give something a bit of extra punch that's outside their normal range, or to land a Despair to use for an idea he had, but largely he spends them to give them back.

 

To the GM, his "important" rolls are not the same as the players, because his goal in the game is to deliver fun to everyone. He's Santa Claus, not the Grinch. He wants to make his Sith a threat so that the player's feel good about beating him, not so that he'll actually kill them.

 

 

I think some of you are reading an antagonistic GM agenda where there is none mentioned. It isn't about beating the players. It's exactly as you said: making the players feel good about overcoming challenges. 

 

Challenges – and rolls accompanying them – that are important to the players are also to the GM. Everything that is important to the players is important to the GM. Otherwise, you end up with the GM running his own personal story and the players involved in something else. 

 

 

Except that's not true.

 

To a player, the roll to jump across from one speeder to another in mid flight is an important, awesome moment. They are going to want to spend a Destiny Point on that. The GM has zero reason to make that harder and spend his own Destiny Point, except to be antagonistic.

 

To the GM, the early roll of a powerful enemy is a good time to spend a Destiny Point, when he's not too in danger of killing anyone with it. The PCs don't have as much reason to use a Point then, because they aren't on the ropes, but it still gives the Nemesis or Adversary some sting.

 

You can come at things from two different angles and still be interacting. Are there going to be times when both sides want to use them? Yeah. But most of the time that shouldn't be the case.

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