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Farwanderer

Mon Calamari Race Trait: Amphibious

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Hey all,

 

Looking over the rules of the Mon Cal's and thought that the race trait under amphibious should also have the additional rules: 

 

If the Mon Cal character is in excessive arid conditions, such as on the Dune Sea on Tatooine, without a chance to have moisture that they suffer either a point or two of stress or a setback die used in any rolls until that character can get to a more 'humid' area (starship, building or even a moisture suit).

 

One of the many things that bothered me about Star Wars: Episode One was that you had Jar Jar Binks, who is also amphibious, running around the hot dry weather of Mos Espa and not seeming to be bothered by it at all when one would figure that his skin should be drying out and chapping so bad that he would wish he had a body sized container of 'Chap Stick' to use.

 

Any thoughts on this?

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That's an interesting idea, though it'd cancel out a lot of the bonus from Amphibious and probably mandate a higher stating XP to compensate.

 

As for Jar-Jar on Tatooine, he already did say it was 'murder' on his skin.  And are you telling me you wanted to watch Jar-Jar slathering himself with lotion? I don't know what to think about that.

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That's an interesting idea, though it'd cancel out a lot of the bonus from Amphibious and probably mandate a higher stating XP to compensate.

 

As for Jar-Jar on Tatooine, he already did say it was 'murder' on his skin.  And are you telling me you wanted to watch Jar-Jar slathering himself with lotion? I don't know what to think about that.

Oh, I never said I wanted to see him slathering himself in lotion. I would have rather seen him dry up into Jar Jar Jerky to feed to a Dewback. 

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Okay you'll get no argument about Jar-Jar hate from me, but I think all of you are missing something.

 

In most games Amphibious is a pretty worthless power.  How often do adventures take place underwater?  Be honest now.

 

In the movies Amphibious allowed Jar-Jar to swim to the Gungan city without a device.  Which the Jedi he was with already had.  Meaning it had no real affect on the plot.  At all.

 

Think about it.  Would you rather have two non-class skills or be amphibious?  The skills will almost certainly come up at some point in a campaign.  The amphibious?  Probably not.  It's no fun if only your Mon Cal can go on the adventure.  Even if there is a point at which it matters can you see it happening as often as you'd use those two skills?

 

Why do you want to ladle more pain onto the Mon Cal which are already underpowered.  They get a crappy skill and a crappy racial ability.

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I say let the player be narrative about their skin feeling all dry. Have them suffer normal high-heat setbacks common to everyone, when it comes up. Have them roleplay feeling dehydrated and trying to keep out of the sun(s).

 

angelicdoctor mentioned AD&D. Much as I enjoy AD&D, this system ain't it. I mean, during the reign of the Galactic Empire, you have precious little going for non-humans. It's actually more advantageous to be a human in most regards, except for that you can't get to a 5 in any Characteristic with a human's starting XP. Plus that, the mechanics are balanced entirely differently. So while there can be a lot of knowledge from previous systems that gamers can use to good effect when playing & GMing this system, this is (IMO) not one of them.

 

My advice: Keep It Simple, keep it narrative.

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This is a narrative system, not D&D of any edition (thank the maker!)

 

Amphibious is fine since as Aservan noted, it's not going to come into effect all that often unless the GM is running a campaign that's set on a predominantly aquatic world.  The only time such a thing came up in the movies was the scene in TPM where Jar-Jar lead Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to the Gungan city, and it didn't really provide Jar-Jar with any real benefit since the Jedi had their aquata breathers handy (either as part of their regular equipment load out or more likely by simply flipping a Destiny Point).

 

Twi'leks in EotE get a bonus in hot/arid environments (namely removing a setback die imposed by such), and yet there's no corresponding rule in game that says they suffer a penalty for being in cold/frigid environments.  Which if going by the OP's logic regarding Amphibious, they should have, and yet they don't.  Simply because FFG's system isn't the same style of game as D&D, particularly the d20 versions that strove (and often failed) to have everything be as balanced as possible.

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In a narrative system wherein physical and psychological stress is interpreted as suffering strain mechanically, I don't believe that the OP's suggestion is beyond reasonable.

It's not a question of reasonable, but rather a question of is it really necessary to have mechanics for it.  Hell, as the OP noted, there's canon evidence (whether he likes it or not) that being an amphibious species doesn't incur penalties for being in an arid environment.

 

Again, this isn't D&D or d20 where "everything has a rule and there's an exact rule for everything."

 

Hell, by the default rules, most species are going to suffer a setback die from being in a hot/arid environment if the GM feels it's bad enough.  And with the various means of removing setback dice, it's so minor a penalty as to not be worth wasting ink on it.

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I'm ok with no default penalties, but if I were to impliment one, I would make it simple. Give the aqautic character a setback dice due to survival and resilience checks made to withstand arid environment. No long-term penalty, just a 1-time (or more depending how often you make these checks) penalty.

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Mr. Stevens,

 

I appreciate your point of view and I can understand to a degree your misgivings, however, the suggested rule is neither contrary to good common sense nor is it cumbersome in my opinion.

That's the trick though.  In your opinion.  As it should be obvious, not everyone shares your opinions on various matters.

 

To me, the fact that it enforces a penalty for a species trait that's not likely to see a ton of use is quite contrary to common sense, since it's a penalty with more likelihood of showing up in the game than situations where the entire party has to deal with scenarios that Amphibious would truly be an advantage.

 

If you or Farwanderer want to have such a penalty in your games as a house-rule, that's your call.  But I really don't think it's needed for the official rules, unless you're also going to give the Mon Cal a significant increase to their starting XP as said change would make Amphibious more of a penalty than a benefit.

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Well, that is what the question is about, would such a thing be good in the official rules or as a house rule, either way I see no reason it hurts the narrative style of role play. IF something like this is put into the final draft I can see it as something a player can use to imagine his character and how they would play it in an environment hostile to where it came from. If not (as I sure it will not be being that this is just an idea being harmlessly kicked around) it could alway be incorporated into house rules which this system is VERY friendly to, thank you FFG team! 

 

Having been (and am) a 1st ed AD&D, D20, OGL 3.5 player I find the over use of rules really got into the way of great game playing and I feel anything put in the rules should help players Role their character, not Roll. I expressed this to Jay Little on the reasons I loved playing EotE. Either way seeing this added or not added does not bother me in the least, but I think it is more of a Role then Roll thought.  :)

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Of course it is my opinion.  But isn't this forum dedicated to opinions related to a discussion of such things in an effort to collaborate for a better rules system for what is already an excellent game?  Even so, whether or not my opinion is in the majority or the minority it is of little relevance to the discussion.  Easy, Mr. Stevens.  You may be giving me the impression that you have something personal against me.  ;)

 

This sort of penaly is not without precedent in this iteration of the Star Wars role-playing game in particular, cf. the Gand.  I could easily live with a write-up similar to what has been given for that already included species and I doubt many will not jump at the opportunity to play a Mon Cal simply due to this minor modification.

 

My two credits.

Edited by angelicdoctor

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This sort of penaly is not without precedent in this iteration of the Star Wars role-playing game in particular, cf. the Gand.

Except the Gand get the benefit of 10 extra XP if they choose to have lungs, or conversely get to be immune to a type of  environmental hazard.  And the fact of them having lungs isn't usually a major issue, since they get a free respirator to overcome the issue.

 

What you're suggesting is to add a further penalty with no additional benefit, particularly as this system doesn't really deal in "species penalties" outside of a reduced Characteristic, and even that is off-set with an increased Characteristic (roughly a net gain of 10 XP if compared to a Human)

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This world's deserts are inhabited by tons of amphibians.

Mind you, these are amphibians that do not have the mental capacity to travel space and visit other worlds... I think if they were that advanced they would find a perfectly reasonable way to deal with it.

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This sort of penaly is not without precedent in this iteration of the Star Wars role-playing game in particular, cf. the Gand.

Except the Gand get the benefit of 10 extra XP if they choose to have lungs, or conversely get to be immune to a type of  environmental hazard.  And the fact of them having lungs isn't usually a major issue, since they get a free respirator to overcome the issue.

 

What you're suggesting is to add a further penalty with no additional benefit, particularly as this system doesn't really deal in "species penalties" outside of a reduced Characteristic, and even that is off-set with an increased Characteristic (roughly a net gain of 10 XP if compared to a Human)

 

 

That is not what I am suggesting.  In fact, I would be open to such a recommendation respecting the XP adjustment though I would be in favor of a lesser amount given.

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Personally, I'd just chalk that up as a circumstantial modifier that would be applied if appropriate and not dramatic or important enough to warrant mentioning in the text. GMs are smart, and Edge/AoR isn't really in the habit of spelling out every possible modifier or action. For example, I personally don't need the book explicitly telling me that a soldier suffering from fatigue and sleep deprivation during a long siege should take setback dice to her checks, that just seems narratively and mechanically appropriate to me.

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Lol, let's just add random penalties to all the races. The game is not suppose to be Rolemaster. However, if you want to house rule screwing over certain races go right ahead.

Personally, what I read here from the OP is "I don't want Mon Calamari in my game so how can I reasonably set a penalty so no players will want to play that species?"

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Huh. I had the opposite reaction when I read Amphibious. I found that it seemed rather underwhelming compared to the other racial bonuses. For example, the Gran get a rather powerful ability to remove setback dice during circumstances that will inevitably arise often. And they have more flexibility in where they apply their bonus skill rank. Mon Calamari are stuck with Knowledge (Education), which is for most folks a lot less exciting than either Charm or Negotiate and a promise not to receive penalties in a situation that really doesn't come up all that often in the Star Wars universe.

 

While I recognize that, as a GM, it would be prudent to include some water scenes for the Mon Calamari character to shine in, such scenes would feel far less organic, I think, than a scene where the Gran can use his similar, physiology based ability.

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Huh. I had the opposite reaction when I read Amphibious. I found that it seemed rather underwhelming compared to the other racial bonuses. For example, the Gran get a rather powerful ability to remove setback dice during circumstances that will inevitably arise often. And they have more flexibility in where they apply their bonus skill rank. Mon Calamari are stuck with Knowledge (Education), which is for most folks a lot less exciting than either Charm or Negotiate and a promise not to receive penalties in a situation that really doesn't come up all that often in the Star Wars universe.

 

While I recognize that, as a GM, it would be prudent to include some water scenes for the Mon Calamari character to shine in, such scenes would feel far less organic, I think, than a scene where the Gran can use his similar, physiology based ability.

 

This. It makes sense for the Mon Cal to get the amphibious feature, but I would like to see another bonus besides the ones offered. Or a change in bonuses.

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For the version that Cyril did for the USM, he used the Saga Edition version as his baseline, and gave the Mon Cal a bonus rank in Perception, while also using a different Characteristic than Cunning for their "dump stat" (believe he used Brawn).

 

Personally, I'd like the option to choose between Perception or Knowledge (Education).

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If the Mon Cal character is in excessive arid conditions, such as on the Dune Sea on Tatooine, without a chance to have moisture that they suffer either a point or two of stress or a setback die used in any rolls until that character can get to a more 'humid' area (starship, building or even a moisture suit).

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

I would penalise all their social rolls with an extra Setback die.

 

Cheers,

 

Chris.

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