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Jaenus

Roll for Initiative! Vigilance vs Cool? [Unfair?]

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In my Sunday game, a friend playing Pash had to roll for initiative.  He was expecting the fight, so the game said to roll his cool.  If he wasn't, the game said to roll his vigilance.  But wait, Pash's cool is BETTER then his vigilance.  On second thought I'm thinking he might have misread the character sheet...  anyways,

 

He complained that it didn't seem fair that because he was expecting a fight, he would be punished by using the worse skill between the two and likely get a lesser initiative.

 

I agreed and let him use his cool instead.

 

Has anyone run into this yet? 

 

What are your guys' feelings on this?

Edited by Jaenus

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I'm thinking you read/wrote that backwards.  Cool is for when you're expecting the fight and you don't want to give it away (such as in an ambush), Vigilance is for when you're *not* expecting the fight.

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my group ran into this during the beginner game.  While it is a little wonky they do fit the scenarios well.  Pash is a smuggler, not a soldier.  He isn't necessarily used to planning an attack.  However, being a smuggler and a pilot he would have honed his reflexes to react to a given sitation better than the average person. 

 

Essentially, since this system is thematic and based on story telling the above rational or ones like it may help to add flavor and ease any perceieved unfairness by the player.

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I'd say that's a player who doesn't understand what Cool is.  You could say that about several skills and characteristics.  I mean, why should he be punished in Melee if he's better at Brawl?  Why can't he use Agility for Melee because he's more precise?

 

In any case, by giving him that, you're penalizing the player who has good Vigilance.  Some people are better with the unexpected, some people relax too much when something is expected.

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True, and I was going to look for the character sheet only to find I left it at work (some on-lunch reading).

 

He may have read it incorrectly.  I was citing it off memory.  I'll have to edit and modify when I see the character sheet.

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I see this complaint a lot with players, they want to just use the best ability all the time. I've explained it that you should consider your character's tactics based on what attribute you prefer. If you have high Vigilance then you should walk into places action hero style and wait for trouble to erupt. If you have high Cool then you should look to be sneaky and set up ambushes.

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Also remember that your initiative roll does not effect you personally.  It is to the benefit of the entire group, and those slots that come up based on your roll are going to be used by whatever PC benefits the most at the time.

 

So, don't worry too much about being a god at both Cool and Vigilance (or whinging that you're not great at either); when it really comes down to it, if it makes sense for your character to be better prepared for a scene, there'll probably be an iniative slot open for you.

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I'd say that's a player who doesn't understand what Cool is.  You could say that about several skills and characteristics.  I mean, why should he be punished in Melee if he's better at Brawl?  Why can't he use Agility for Melee because he's more precise?

 

In any case, by giving him that, you're penalizing the player who has good Vigilance.  Some people are better with the unexpected, some people relax too much when something is expected.

 

Perfect answer +100

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Also remember that your initiative roll does not effect you personally.  It is to the benefit of the entire group, and those slots that come up based on your roll are going to be used by whatever PC benefits the most at the time.

 

So, don't worry too much about being a god at both Cool and Vigilance (or whinging that you're not great at either); when it really comes down to it, if it makes sense for your character to be better prepared for a scene, there'll probably be an iniative slot open for you.

 

Right, initiative is a team game now and some players can spend XP into Cool and others Vigilance and the heavy hitters can still go first :)

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The more I play this game, the more each skill makes sense. It's truly an elegant system, with the skill options honed as sharply as possible. They are just unique enough to be individually meaningful, and just general enough to be powerful and effective in the right hands. 

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I see this complaint a lot with players, they want to just use the best ability all the time. I've explained it that you should consider your character's tactics based on what attribute you prefer. If you have high Vigilance then you should walk into places action hero style and wait for trouble to erupt. If you have high Cool then you should look to be sneaky and set up ambushes.

 

I've told you that isn't my complaint! My complaint is that preparing for a fight and ambushing a target should never give you less initiative than being ambushed by said target. Vigilance should be the minimum initiative rolled and Cool should only be used as an option if it is higher than Vigilance in situations where Cool can be used. 

 

PS: My Jawa being FSE and having excellent Vigilance is not the reason this rule upsets me, it's the flawed logic

PPS: I built my Human non-FSE in the other game specifically to have the exact same Cool and Vigilance just so I don't get riled up on initiative checks in that game. GM says roll for initiative using (I block this part out mentally) and then I roll my dice.

PPPS: I really love this game system and I hope that my strong hatred of this single rule doesn't make people think otherwise.

Edited by JaWaMike

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I see this complaint a lot with players, they want to just use the best ability all the time. I've explained it that you should consider your character's tactics based on what attribute you prefer. If you have high Vigilance then you should walk into places action hero style and wait for trouble to erupt. If you have high Cool then you should look to be sneaky and set up ambushes.

 

I've told you that isn't my complaint! My complaint is that preparing for a fight and ambushing a target should never give you less initiative than being ambushed by said target. Vigilance should be the minimum initiative rolled and Cool should only be used as an option if it is higher than Vigilance in situations where Cool can be used. 

 

PS: My Jawa being FSE and having excellent Vigilance is not the reason this rule upsets me, it's the flawed logic

PPS: I built my Human non-FSE in the other game specifically to have the exact same Cool and Vigilance just so I don't get riled up on initiative checks in that game. GM says roll for initiative using (I block this part out mentally) and then I roll my dice.

PPPS: I really love this game system and I hope that my strong hatred of this single rule doesn't make people think otherwise.

It's not my fault your Jawa is terrible at ambushes. I mean he totally thinks he's hidden but sometimes the enemy is vigilant and spots him first. He should spend more time (xp) on keeping calm and cool so that he doesn't give himself away too early giving the enemy a chance to act. :):D

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As I play it,  a successful ambush will give you a free round of attacks.  If the ambush fails (say, failing your stealth roll), the enemy realizes the trap before you're ready to spring it.  They roll Vigilance to react, you roll Cool to deal with the monkey wrench in your plan.

 

Now, if you're a group of Rebs, and you come around a corner and suddenly face a squad of Stormtroopers, you both roll Vigilance.

 

If you meet an enemy in a bar or at a fancy party, you might have a bit of banter before going for your guns, and both roll Cool.

 

Me personally, I'm much more Vigilant than Cool.  Jump out at me and I'll swing at ya like lightnin' (nevermind that my Brawl and Melee are zilch), but if I start thinking about it, I'm screwed.

 

Considering a few scenes from the movies:

Stormtroopers boarding the blockade runner: Cool vs. Cool

Tusken Raiders attacking Luke: Cool vs. Vigilance

Han Shot First:  Cool vs. Cool (and of COURSE Han is Cooler!)

Han, Luke and Chewie vs. "Where are you taking this... thing?"  Cool vs. Vigilance

Han chasing the stormtroopers, only to find a whole barracks:  Vigilance vs. Vigilance, though you could argue either way.

Luke vs. Vader: Cool vs. Cool

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Yeah, Vigilance shouldn't be a "base" initiative and Cool shouldn't be an "improvement" over the base initiative. They are good as separate skills. Cool isn't so much about preparing an ambush as it is about not flinching when the time comes to pull the trigger (poker face for your gambler, steady hands for your surgeon, and quick draw for your gunslinger). Vigilance can be about being almost paranoid, ready for anything to come at you, training yourself to not THINK first but to ACT first in order to survive. Cool is cerebral, Vigilance is visceral. A good soldier will eventually learn both, but a starting character at the Edge of the Empire has probably learned to get by with one or the other.

As I play it, a successful ambush will give you a free round of attacks. If the ambush fails (say, failing your stealth roll), the enemy realizes the trap before you're ready to spring it. They roll Vigilance to react, you roll Cool to deal with the monkey wrench in your plan.

Eh...this is pretty bad if you take the conceit that a combat round represents "about a minute" of activity. You're telling me that your ambushers get a whole minute to just wail on their opponents before the opposition has any chance to react?

Far better IMO to just give a very favorable initiative order (or bonuses to initiative checks based on Stealth, etc) to your players for setting up a good ambush, and play it RAW. Even if an NPC rolls really high on his Vigilance check and goes first, doesn't mean that they know where your PCs are :) Just means he senses the trap somehow and takes a maneuver to draw his weapon and look for cover, or favorable positioning behind some of his meat-shield buddies.

Edited by awayputurwpn

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Cool isn't so much about preparing an ambush as it is about not flinching when the time comes to pull the trigger (poker face for your gambler, steady hands for your surgeon, and quick draw for your gunslinger).

Considering that line, how can there be any justification for the Assassin not having Cool as a Career Skill?

Edited by HappyDaze

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I see this complaint a lot with players, they want to just use the best ability all the time. I've explained it that you should consider your character's tactics based on what attribute you prefer. If you have high Vigilance then you should walk into places action hero style and wait for trouble to erupt. If you have high Cool then you should look to be sneaky and set up ambushes.

 

I've told you that isn't my complaint! My complaint is that preparing for a fight and ambushing a target should never give you less initiative than being ambushed by said target. Vigilance should be the minimum initiative rolled and Cool should only be used as an option if it is higher than Vigilance in situations where Cool can be used. 

 

PS: My Jawa being FSE and having excellent Vigilance is not the reason this rule upsets me, it's the flawed logic

PPS: I built my Human non-FSE in the other game specifically to have the exact same Cool and Vigilance just so I don't get riled up on initiative checks in that game. GM says roll for initiative using (I block this part out mentally) and then I roll my dice.

PPPS: I really love this game system and I hope that my strong hatred of this single rule doesn't make people think otherwise.

 

 

Except that vigilance makes no sense at all for a situation in which you are ambushing someone. Vigilance is being alert and watchful but when you are the one doing the ambush you have nothing to be alert and watchful for.  

 

The fact that your low Cool makes you less effective in ambushes represents that unlike the calm collected sniper that sits like a stone for hours on end you fidget, you make your move too early, you make your move too late, etc....  How many times have you seen a movie where a group is about to ambush someone and the commander is saying "Hold it....hold it...get ready" and then the young rookie jumps the gun and screws the whole thing up. He had a low cool. 

 

Since initiative doesn't necessarily indicate the slot you go in this shows how you jumping the gun might end up going first but your ally, surprised by your premature action, was unprepared and therefore has to scramble and goes later.

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Most of my players have crappy cool...so EXPECTING a fight gives them worse initiative...so I ruled that if Cool is applicable, they can choose Cool OR Vigilance, whichever is higher.

 

But if Cool is NOT applicable, only Vigilance is used.

 

However, in light of this description from PatientWolf:

 

"The fact that your low Cool makes you less effective in ambushes represents that unlike the calm collected sniper that sits like a stone for hours on end you fidget, you make your move too early, you make your move too late, etc....  How many times have you seen a movie where a group is about to ambush someone and the commander is saying "Hold it....hold it...get ready" and then the young rookie jumps the gun and screws the whole thing up. He had a low cool."

 

 

I might change that back to only Vigilance or Cool, depending on the situation.

Edited by Rookhelm

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We gloss over this part. It really doesn't make any sense that a soldier being ambushed has a better initiative then the soldier lying in wait.

 

Funny thing is, they gave the Sharpshooter Cool.

 

I honestly feel that they dropped the ball on Cool.  To much like Discipline to me.  Heck, go read them.

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I see this complaint a lot with players, they want to just use the best ability all the time. I've explained it that you should consider your character's tactics based on what attribute you prefer. If you have high Vigilance then you should walk into places action hero style and wait for trouble to erupt. If you have high Cool then you should look to be sneaky and set up ambushes.

 

I've told you that isn't my complaint! My complaint is that preparing for a fight and ambushing a target should never give you less initiative than being ambushed by said target. Vigilance should be the minimum initiative rolled and Cool should only be used as an option if it is higher than Vigilance in situations where Cool can be used. 

 

PS: My Jawa being FSE and having excellent Vigilance is not the reason this rule upsets me, it's the flawed logic

PPS: I built my Human non-FSE in the other game specifically to have the exact same Cool and Vigilance just so I don't get riled up on initiative checks in that game. GM says roll for initiative using (I block this part out mentally) and then I roll my dice.

PPPS: I really love this game system and I hope that my strong hatred of this single rule doesn't make people think otherwise.

 

 

Except that vigilance makes no sense at all for a situation in which you are ambushing someone. Vigilance is being alert and watchful but when you are the one doing the ambush you have nothing to be alert and watchful for.  

 

The fact that your low Cool makes you less effective in ambushes represents that unlike the calm collected sniper that sits like a stone for hours on end you fidget, you make your move too early, you make your move too late, etc....  How many times have you seen a movie where a group is about to ambush someone and the commander is saying "Hold it....hold it...get ready" and then the young rookie jumps the gun and screws the whole thing up. He had a low cool. 

 

 

Trap sprung early, the group isn't prepared for this, check their Vigilance.

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Sitting in wait at an ambush site not fidgeting and waiting till all targets are in the kill zone is best represented by Discipline not Cool if you ask me.

 

I see Cool working in social situations more so than in combat oriented scenarios. Along with Discipline having no place in social situations.

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I see this complaint a lot with players, they want to just use the best ability all the time. I've explained it that you should consider your character's tactics based on what attribute you prefer. If you have high Vigilance then you should walk into places action hero style and wait for trouble to erupt. If you have high Cool then you should look to be sneaky and set up ambushes.

 

I've told you that isn't my complaint! My complaint is that preparing for a fight and ambushing a target should never give you less initiative than being ambushed by said target. Vigilance should be the minimum initiative rolled and Cool should only be used as an option if it is higher than Vigilance in situations where Cool can be used. 

 

PS: My Jawa being FSE and having excellent Vigilance is not the reason this rule upsets me, it's the flawed logic

PPS: I built my Human non-FSE in the other game specifically to have the exact same Cool and Vigilance just so I don't get riled up on initiative checks in that game. GM says roll for initiative using (I block this part out mentally) and then I roll my dice.

PPPS: I really love this game system and I hope that my strong hatred of this single rule doesn't make people think otherwise.

 

 

Except that vigilance makes no sense at all for a situation in which you are ambushing someone. Vigilance is being alert and watchful but when you are the one doing the ambush you have nothing to be alert and watchful for.  

 

The fact that your low Cool makes you less effective in ambushes represents that unlike the calm collected sniper that sits like a stone for hours on end you fidget, you make your move too early, you make your move too late, etc....  How many times have you seen a movie where a group is about to ambush someone and the commander is saying "Hold it....hold it...get ready" and then the young rookie jumps the gun and screws the whole thing up. He had a low cool. 

 

 

Trap sprung early, the group isn't prepared for this, check their Vigilance.

 

 

Well since that wasn't really even an argument I'm left trying to answer what I think you meant. I think you were meaning that if the trap sprung early that is something the group wasn't expecting so it still makes sense to use vigilance.  

 

However, your party planning an ambush is already at about their highest vigilance they will every get.  The point is not whether they were watching for something unexpected but whether they kept calm enough under pressure to act appropriately. 

 

Let me try a real life example from a quail hunt a while back. The bird dog had pointed and we were in position everyone ready to shoot when he flushed em.  We were vigilant. We were ready.  We were expecting the birds to fly up rapidly.  My uncle gave the dog the go ahead and he flushed the quail. Up went the birds and this one young guy, instead of shooting, just sort of flings his shotgun at em.  Vigilance wasn't the problem, Cool was.

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It's worth reminding everyone again, I feel, that Initiative is a team effort now. Just because one person "rolls low" on his initiative check doesn't mean his character has to take that initiative slot.

 

Sitting in wait at an ambush site not fidgeting and waiting till all targets are in the kill zone is best represented by Discipline not Cool if you ask me.

 

I see Cool working in social situations more so than in combat oriented scenarios. Along with Discipline having no place in social situations.

Discipline is used to oppose Deception, Leadership and Coercion, and is also used on Fear checks and Force powers. Give it Initiative and all the Cool applications (Cool is used to oppose the other social skills), and it becomes the Super-Must-Have-Skill that breaks the game. 

 

Better to have skills that have a bit of crossover rather than one super-skill. It's like the two Piloting skills or the several Knowledge skills.

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Great minds think alike; seems I'm not the only one a little bugged by the Cool thing. I actually kind of like the idea of different skills for initiative, but the actual distribution of the skills seems wildly at odds with the careers. The Assassin is probably the biggest one; you have a specialization pretty much based around carefully laid plans of attack and by the book they're faster if they just bump into the target in the street. The only people who get Cool in-career/specialization are scoundrels, doctors, and explorers; with the exception of the doctor none of these strike me as terribly cerebral careful thinker types as a definite rule (does Han Solo look like a careful man to you? :D). If anything I wish they'd reversed the distribution of Cool and Vigilance; I can buy combat professionals like bounty hunters and hired guns being better at planned attacks, while the explorers and scoundrel types seem like professions where quick reaction to sudden surprises (i.e. "Stop that ship. Blast 'em!") make a lot of sense.

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Cool, Vigilance, and Discipline are the only skills that we have "kind of" houseruled.

 

Being that we are starting way down at the bottom of the barrel in our campaign, we haven't ran into to many other rules that we may have too "tweek".  Considering that after three jobs we have ran for our employer we have made 80 Cr. apiece, we haven't had to deal with to many other aspects of the game.  Things such as hull repair, ship upgrades and all the other fun stuff that we will see in 6 months or so.

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