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NicoDavout

Mechanics skill - too much in one skill?

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Hello,

 

I am a D6 "veteran" and I find technical side of the SW too simplified in FFG. In old D6 there were a lot of "repair" skills making it unlikely for the PC to be good at everything. Here everything is in one skill. Same goes with Computers skill which allows everything that was in Computer Prg, Droid Prg, Sensors, Communications and Security skills. I like simplifications and I was joining skills in D6, but here it is too much for me. Making all repair skills in one skill is like making one skill for all the weapons, but we do not have such simplification. There is no simplification with interaction skills. Why the technical side of the universe is ignored? Does anyone feel the same?

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Great memories with D6 WEG games. In fact I am preparing/converting Graveyard of Alderaan now. On the Skill thing. The authors of FFGSW:EotE encourage the creation of custom skills on page 102 of the core rulebook. If it were me, I might eliminate the Computer and Mechanics skills and create the more narrow skills from WEG. Or keep the generic versions treating them like JoT skills that have increased difficulty for any skills you choose to create more specified versions of.

  One could also expand these under the Knowledge skills. Having perhaps the core skill: Computer or Mechanics before you can take (or maybe even attempt) the new Knowledge skills you create... these are just off the cuff ideas. Remember, it's your game- do whatever you want!

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I haven't played the D6 game, but if it's anything like the D20 game, then your concerns can be put at ease, as it's not an issue.

By this, I mean that in those types of systems, character progression was done by "leveling up", you get a set amount of XP then you get a large set of HP, abilities and skill points.

 

In EotE, there is no "level up", you don't get a bundle of anything. When you get XP, you spend that XP (usually between 5-20) to improve your character's skills or talents which can cost between 5-25XP each. You can't spend XP after character creation to increase your base stats aka "characteristics" so PCs can't get extremely over powered stats, their HP (wound and strain thresolds)  can't increase unless PCs go down their job trees and pick up the 1-2 talents that increase that number by only 2, so again... lack of leveling up shows how much of a different system this is.

 

So even if a character optimizes so they can repair things, they'll end up suffering because that XP wasn't spent improving other things like being able to aim a weapon (melee, ranged or brawl -mechanics only have the brawl skill), pilot a ship or better their NPC interaction skills (charm, deceit, etc)

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I haven't played the D6 game, but if it's anything like the D20 game, then your concerns can be put at ease, as it's not an issue.

By this, I mean that in those types of systems, character progression was done by "leveling up", you get a set amount of XP then you get a large set of HP, abilities and skill points.

 

In EotE, there is no "level up", you don't get a bundle of anything. When you get XP, you spend that XP (usually between 5-20) to improve your character's skills or talents which can cost between 5-25XP each. You can't spend XP after character creation to increase your base stats aka "characteristics" so PCs can't get extremely over powered stats, their HP (wound and strain thresolds)  can't increase unless PCs go down their job trees and pick up the 1-2 talents that increase that number by only 2, so again... lack of leveling up shows how much of a different system this is.

 

So even if a character optimizes so they can repair things, they'll end up suffering because that XP wasn't spent improving other things like being able to aim a weapon (melee, ranged or brawl -mechanics only have the brawl skill), pilot a ship or better their NPC interaction skills (charm, deceit, etc)

 

Comparing d6 to d20 is like comparing oxygen to a rabid womprat. As in, there is no comparison.

 

In d6, you had 6 attributes: Dexterity, Perception, Knowledge, Strength, Mechanical, and Technical. Dex covers all your personal-scale fighting skills, as well as movement. Per covers interaction skills, sneaking skills, and notice skills. Kno is, well, your general knowledge. Strength is a combination of strength and toughness, covering "soak," melee damage, stamina, etc. Mechanical is all about using tech, vehicles, and ships. Technical is all about fixing tech, vehicles, and ships.

 

You spent CP (character points) to improve skills one at a time, gaining pips. So you went from 2D to 2D+1 to to 2D+2 to 3D. All skills start at your attribute die code, and improve from there. So if you were a mechanical genius (Mech 4D), all of your piloting and gunnery skills started at 4D, so 1D in Starfighter Piloting meant you were rolling 5D to dodge and move.

 

d6 had a lot of skills, but the differentiation wasn't bad. Repulsorlift repair was different from starship repair—the former allowed you to repair an X-38, while the latter was needed for an X-wing or YT-1300. However, EotE seems to be less concerned with what's being repaired, and more concerned that it's being repaired, so you can get on to the next adventure.

 

If you think about it, if you're an old hat at repairing your freighter, when your buddy's landspeeder breaks down, you can repair it, with perhaps a setback die or two for it being just a bit different from your freighter. Really, though, a freighter's repulsorlift coils are just like a landspeeder's coils.

 

-EF

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Hello,

 

I am a D6 "veteran" and I find technical side of the SW too simplified in FFG. In old D6 there were a lot of "repair" skills making it unlikely for the PC to be good at everything. Here everything is in one skill. Same goes with Computers skill which allows everything that was in Computer Prg, Droid Prg, Sensors, Communications and Security skills. I like simplifications and I was joining skills in D6, but here it is too much for me. Making all repair skills in one skill is like making one skill for all the weapons, but we do not have such simplification. There is no simplification with interaction skills. Why the technical side of the universe is ignored? Does anyone feel the same?

I loved D6 back in the day, and still think it's a pretty good game, but one of the problems was that D6 simply had too many different skills that did roughly the same thing, such as the various repair skills for each type of vehicle and item out there, or the multitude of different piloting skills.  So for me, skill consolidation into a much smaller number of skills is a good thing.

 

Also, not everyone grooves on the technical side of things, with most groups simply wanting to know what to roll so they can fix whatever it is they are trying to fix, and forcing the PCs to spend their valuable XP on increasing several different repair skills makes playing a "repair monkey" character a lot more unpalatable.

 

On the interaction skills, they're broken out as they are very different ways of approaching a problem.  Same with combat skills to an extent, mostly to avoid creating a single "god" skill that everyone's going to take ranks in.

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Great memories with D6 WEG games. In fact I am preparing/converting Graveyard of Alderaan now. On the Skill thing. The authors of FFGSW:EotE encourage the creation of custom skills on page 102 of the core rulebook. If it were me, I might eliminate the Computer and Mechanics skills and create the more narrow skills from WEG. Or keep the generic versions treating them like JoT skills that have increased difficulty for any skills you choose to create more specified versions of.

  One could also expand these under the Knowledge skills. Having perhaps the core skill: Computer or Mechanics before you can take (or maybe even attempt) the new Knowledge skills you create... these are just off the cuff ideas. Remember, it's your game- do whatever you want!

 

Please, share with us the conversion in the future. I love WEG's adventure, especially the old one, Starfall was my favourite.

I am thinking of adding "Com-Scan" skill to operate comms and sensors, and to detect, tap, decode or jamm enemy communication, although this skill would be useful only in case of some rebel spec ops campaign.

"Weaponsmith" skill (not a very SW skill name, I know) to cover repairs and modifications of all the weapons and weapon systems only.

"Demolition" skill for explosives.

Thinking also about "AI/Droids" skill that would allow to create viruses and program new skills into the droids memory (I like the D20 revised rules about the droids, how to program them to give new skills (NPC droids only)).

 

So even if a character optimizes so they can repair things, they'll end up suffering because that XP wasn't spent improving other things like being able to aim a weapon (melee, ranged or brawl -mechanics only have the brawl skill), pilot a ship or better their NPC interaction skills (charm, deceit, etc)

 

I agree, but still one skill that allows everything in a specific area is too much for me when I think in terms of a long campaign.

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Something to think about if you're worried about dealing with XP and power-creep in a long-term campaign.  Have everything during character creation work as normal, but *after* that introduce the sub-skills, and any progression from that point on goes into ranks of those sub-skills (which are added to the core skill ranks to determine the rank in the sub-skill).  That takes care of ensuring that the starting characters at least *begin* on the anticipated power level.

 

The trick will be breaking up the various skills into the proper sets and maintaining balance there.  Which skills *need* to be split up?  Which don't?

 

Does Athletics need to become Climb, Swim, Jump, and Run?  Should it just stay Athletics?

 

Does Ranged (Light) become firearm, thrown, and primitive?

Or blaster, slugthrower, thrown, and primitive?

Or hold-out blaster, light blaster pistol, blaster pistol, heavy blaster pistol, slugthrower pistol, grenade, thrown, etc...?

 

What do you do when two of the current, broad skills overlap, when you split them out into sub-skills?

 

What do you do about Talents?  Most of them have only one effect, so if improving skills has suddenly become more expensive, how do you rebalance the Talent costs so that they don't become comparatively cheap?

 

And remember, no matter how you do it, if you split out the skills you'll end up needing custom character sheets.

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In my opinion, Edge its the super evolved version of D6  :D

 

Thanks to the easy and adaptable Edge mechanic you can separate those skills like Repair (Vehicles) and Repair (Starhips) like in D6 or like Edge suggests itself if do you need some new skills.

 

In my games I will add suggested skills like Perform or Playe... Animal Handling (XD) and a few Knowledges.

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And remember, no matter how you do it, if you split out the skills you'll end up needing custom character sheets.

 

New custom character sheets is what I do for dinner  :lol: .

 

Anyway I was not talking about such granularity for the "repair" skills like you give examples, but at the same time I am not happy with just one-god skill like Mechanics is now. Repairing weapons is something that should be separate IMO and here I will make division. Talents of course will be applicable for both skills, Mechanics and the new one for weapons.

 

In my opinion, Edge its the super evolved version of D6  :D

 

Thanks to the easy and adaptable Edge mechanic you can separate those skills like Repair (Vehicles) and Repair (Starhips) like in D6 or like Edge suggests itself if do you need some new skills.

 

In my games I will add suggested skills like Perform or Playe... Animal Handling (XD) and a few Knowledges.

 

I agree. Thank you all for sharing your opinions.

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rather than add new skills you could add a setback dice to the repair roll if they don't have training in a related skill. for example if you are repairing a computer and don't have training in computers then add a setback dice to the repair check. if you are repairing a light ranged weapon and have no ranks in light ranged then add a setback dice. similarly for piloting planetary, piloting space etc etc.

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If you think about it, if you're an old hat at repairing your freighter, when your buddy's landspeeder breaks down, you can repair it, with perhaps a setback die or two for it being just a bit different from your freighter. Really, though, a freighter's repulsorlift coils are just like a landspeeder's coils.

 

-EF

 

 

This plus the Knowledge skill suggestion could work nicely together. If you don't have the appropriate Knowledge skill (Speeder/Starship/Hyperdrive/Weapons/Robotics) then your Mechanics check receives setback or a downgrade.

 

If you want to get more complicated, downgrade your Mechanics check for each skill point your appropriate Knowledge skill is under your Mechanics skill. For example, you roll 2 Green and 2 Yellow for Mechanics (2 levels in Mechanics). You are a starship specialist with 2 levels each in Knowledge (Starship) and Knowledge (Hyperdrive). Attempting to fix your starships' engines, shields, hyperdrive, etc you are still able to roll 2 Green and 2 Yellow. But, you are asked to work on the protocol droid. You have no experience with working on droids - no skill in Knowledge (Robotics). Your 2 Yellows are downgraded. You roll 4 Green when working on a robot.

 

Edit: After reading the other posts above, instead of some of the Knowledge skills the requirement could be Computers, Ranged (heavy), Pilot, etc. You could then fill in the holes with new Knowledge skills?

Edited by Sturn

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rather than add new skills you could add a setback dice to the repair roll if they don't have training in a related skill. for example if you are repairing a computer and don't have training in computers then add a setback dice to the repair check. if you are repairing a light ranged weapon and have no ranks in light ranged then add a setback dice. similarly for piloting planetary, piloting space etc etc.

 

I actually did something similar to this in a game session I ran yesterday.  One of the PCs is a Wookiee doctor with a high Intellect and a rank in Mechanics, and he wanted to check something out on an HK-model assassin droid.  I threw in a setback die on the check to account for the fact that this sort of thing was very much outside of his realm of experience.

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Anyway I was not talking about such granularity for the "repair" skills like you give examples, but at the same time I am not happy with just one-god skill like Mechanics is now. Repairing weapons is something that should be separate IMO and here I will make division. Talents of course will be applicable for both skills, Mechanics and the new one for weapons.

 

I guess I don't really see Mechanics as a "god skill" because, honestly, how often do you expect weapon repair and other obscure things to even come up in the course of the game?

 

I mean, if the campaign you're running is set somewhere where regular weapon maintenance is going to be an issue (like a wet jungle or a sandy desert, gumming up the works often), and you want that complication to be a recurring problem, then a separate skill is probably warranted, and thankfully the system allows for that skill to be created.

 

In a standard Edge game, though, I don't see how the once-in-a-blue-moon odds of someone's weapon taking damage and needing to be fixed suddenly makes Mechanics too good.

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Anyway I was not talking about such granularity for the "repair" skills like you give examples, but at the same time I am not happy with just one-god skill like Mechanics is now. Repairing weapons is something that should be separate IMO and here I will make division. Talents of course will be applicable for both skills, Mechanics and the new one for weapons.

 

I guess I don't really see Mechanics as a "god skill" because, honestly, how often do you expect weapon repair and other obscure things to even come up in the course of the game?

 

I mean, if the campaign you're running is set somewhere where regular weapon maintenance is going to be an issue (like a wet jungle or a sandy desert, gumming up the works often), and you want that complication to be a recurring problem, then a separate skill is probably warranted, and thankfully the system allows for that skill to be created.

 

In a standard Edge game, though, I don't see how the once-in-a-blue-moon odds of someone's weapon taking damage and needing to be fixed suddenly makes Mechanics too good.

The game gives you a starship and expects you to make constant use of it. Mechanics is essential for keeping it running.

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rather than add new skills you could add a setback dice to the repair roll if they don't have training in a related skill. for example if you are repairing a computer and don't have training in computers then add a setback dice to the repair check. if you are repairing a light ranged weapon and have no ranks in light ranged then add a setback dice. similarly for piloting planetary, piloting space etc etc.

 

That is a good idea. Thank you  :) . Even "harder" for a technician PC than mine idea of adding "Weaponsmith" as it force the PC to invest into a lot of skills in order not to have any setback dice.

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breaking down large related categories into annoying super specific skills just means more bookkeeping, which isnt fun.  Do you also track ammo and fees/rations and stuff in your group?  Doesnt sound like fun to me.  RPG is about storytelling not spreadsheet comparison.

 

Besides anyone capable of repairing a repulsorlift could easily figure out/learn how to repair sub-light engines...the skills are all the same, its technical thinking and application of left brain.  Combining the skills makes sense and streamlines gameplay.  Plus this game is designed around 4 players, so there are plenty of group roles that need filling, you dont need multiple characters with X:subset of mechanics/computers.

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Our Mechanic does more "work" than anybody.

 

He is constantly repairing the stuff that gets broken on missions/jobs.  If it wasn't for him we would be out of work in no time flat.

 

As for the mechanics of repairing, we are happy with how it is.  The extent of the damage = time to repair and the "oddity" of the item or part that is in need of repair = difficulty (this is how our GM works it).  After net results the rest of us get to spend some time in town, find jobs, get in trouble or recuperate (usually one skill check a day for socializing, gambling, shopping whatever).  The way we work it, and I think the way it is intended, keeps things moving instead of bogging us down.  Occasionally we may need a specific part to replace and then our less than social mechanic gets to go out in public and that is always comical. 

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The biggest problem with making more skills especially breaking down mechanic skill is unless you are going to do the same thing with combat skills you put even more of a distance between characters effectiveness.

So you want your players to spend more xp on different mechanic skills which leads to them either specializing in a narrow area or being useless in combat. Not a great fix IMO, the set back die solution is a great fix if you want to make it more difficult and doesn't limit the player so much.

Edited by archon007

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Its not like I don't agree.. I'm an engineer myself.  Its a huge effort to understand every little thing you want to do.  So no... we don't don't just make s**t work. And nobody does it all.

 

However, I'd be careful about filling out the skill portfolio.  EOTE was balanced around having the number of skills it does, and working the way it does.  Adding more skills would be a real drain on how character development is meant to work.

 

I think its best to embrace the benefits fewer skills have to offer; like time to spend on the shooting range, and participating in other aspects of adventures.

Edited by UHF

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Comparing d6 to d20 is like comparing oxygen to a rabid womprat. As in, there is no comparison.

 

Oh, no, I've got a comparison. D6 was a warm brownie straight out of the oven that you left in ever so slightly too long (so it was just a bit burn, but still goddamn tasty). D20 was like getting punched in the jimmies by Bruce Lee while eating a brownie.

.

 

(I'm not a D20 fan)

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I have been playing EotE for 12 sessions so far and how many times have we had to repair a ship? Once and it was a computers check.

How many times have we had to fix weapons? Twice ever.

I do not think they are over powered skills and adding more skills would probably make your players want to re-roll something more fun,

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To be good at combat is easy, in almost ever RPG ever made. You only need one or two characteristic to be high and one or two skills and then bang, you are good at combat. Being good at anything else almost always makes a character a one trick pony, that is all they get to do, and it only comes up every once and a while; and they are a detriment to the party if they aren't doing their one thing. And the reason is because most systems divide up their skills so much. Consolidating skills allows a player to be a mechanic and not feel like that is all they are; in combat they sit around and do nothing, because they can't really fight very well.

 

I've never been against house rules, I use them myself. But when you start house ruling one game to be like another I would stop and ask if modding one game is the best idea, or just playing the other game is better; I don't mod Dark Heresy to play a Space Marine, I just play Deathwatch. Or if you start changing the rules so that only one type of player (the one who wants to be smart slicer or mechanic and not a kill everything hired gun who only needs two skills) is punished by having to divide up the xp even more, then I have to pause and ask, "really, lets take a step back and make sure that's for the best?" Because I think that adding more skills just to make that one player who wants to be a mechanic have a harder time, is not better for the game, the group and most of all it is not better for that player who now has to buy a dozen skills instead of one while everyone else only needs one skill to do their job and be useful.

Edited by TCBC Freak

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