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Agility as Soak

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Ok random thought I was thinking about, looking as some of the heroes of the rebellion/films.. most do not get hit. None, barring an obvious exception, are a beef-cakes that could shrug off most punishment.

 

They do on the other hand, when they do get hit they, only ever seem to get scratched or winged, so blaster bolts clip an arm or what ever.

 

This potentially could be reasoned as they are always rolling with the punches, differcult to get a bead on etc...

 

dunno potentially you could put forward an option to allow any stat to be soak.. cinematically..

 

 

plus this would also remove the weighting of brawn, not only being for skills, but also for damage and soak.

 

 

 

willmanx likes this

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Cough - Agility Super Stat Munchkinism - cough...

/sarcasm

 

Not really, FATE does exactly that using Stunts.  You just have to find an appropriate trade-off.

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This would make Agility the combat characteristic par excellence. If you choose to go this way I'd at least advice not allowing your players to add armour soak to it. If your strategy is to not get hit at all, having armour add to it makes no sense.

 

The "real" reasons the characters in the movies don't get hit is that they have several ranks in talents like Dodge, Defensive Stance and Sidestep.

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Cough - Agility Super Stat Munchkinism - cough...

/sarcasm

 

Not really, FATE does exactly that using Stunts.  You just have to find an appropriate trade-off.

 

I'm sure it works just fine in FATE, but (insert obvious here). In any case if you're going to start changing base mechanics and then have to find trade-off to balance those changes (being careful to cover everything such a change might affect), then why bother. If you want a higher Soak bump your Brawn and wear armor.

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Wound Threshold, Soak, and Injury are not literally connected.

 

So if your players run a combat and are just  a point or two under their wound threshold they are not necessarily injured. They are getting tired, maybe a little sore, their trick knee might be bothering them, but at no time does the GM have to say a blaster bolt touched them.

 

Now... if the players have suffered a critical injury THEN they are hit, or tore a muscle diving for cover, or jammed a finger, or hit their head, or got little bits of metal in their eyes, or whatever.

 

That's why you auto suffer a Crit when you go over your threshold. Because at that point it's assumed your character is actually taking damage and not just wearing himself out. That's also why clothing can provide soak, it's not literally stopping blaster bolts (usually), it's stopping small bits of shrapnel, preventing bumps on the head, and letting the characters not wear themselves out quite so fast. And why a simple stimpack can restore WT instantly, it's not healing you suddenly, it's just a shot of adrenaline, some minor pain killers, and some anti-bacterials; you don't literally heal suddenly, you just feel better and are able to push on even with any real injuries you have. Also this is why WT healing and Critical healing are separate, because they aren't the same things.

 

ST is something else, that while kinda the same is more about mental focus then physical vitality. This is why performing extra maneuvers and activating talents like sidestep cost strain. The characters are actually mentally focusing on doing those things in addition to everything else that's going on. Just like WT represents physically wearing yourself out, ST represents this mental out-wearing. You can only divide your focus so much before you start losing track and make a mistake.

 

For a movie example: Han Solo chases the stormtroopers and the troopers hit a wall, or find a bunch of friends depending on the edition. As Han whips around the corner they fire and "hit" kicking in some points to Han's WT. Not exceeded Han wasn't hit, but that sudden stop and about-face he did wasn't exactly healthy, and if they kept shooting eventually one would hit for real. But after a little rest, cup of coffee, maybe a wookiee massage, and Han's all better.

 

Now, Leia's cover Han outside the shield bunker and a stormtrooper Crits her with a Agonizing Wound but DOESN'T exceed her wound threshold. So she's still in the game, just not real happy about it.

 

 

 

See, the system is actually pretty cool when you understand what FFG was thinking when they came up with it.

 

Bren_Waynero likes this

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Cough - Agility Super Stat Munchkinism - cough...

/sarcasm

 

Not really, FATE does exactly that using Stunts.  You just have to find an appropriate trade-off.

 

I'm sure it works just fine in FATE, but (insert obvious here). In any case if you're going to start changing base mechanics and then have to find trade-off to balance those changes (being careful to cover everything such a change might affect), then why bother. If you want a higher Soak bump your Brawn and wear armor.

 

 

People bother because they want something different than an out of the box experience.

 

While I run my games RAW in most cases, and enjoy their differences, I am not going to stand in the way of someone wanting to use their creativity to create a house rule.  And that is exactly what it would be: a house rule.  If he finds a good way to prevent game imbalance and his table enjoys it - more power to him.

Maelora and willmanx like this

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Meh, there's not a need to reverse-engineer scenes from the movies to fit with the mechanics of this game.

 

In any case, Agi doesn't make sense to me as Soak, because it has nothing to do with soaking damage from a hit that lands. If anything, Agi would make sense as providing a boost to Defense, but that would make it pretty much OP.

Raistlinrox and Rikoshi like this

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Part of the problem with making Agility automatically relate to defenses is that it puts even more of a emphasis on that one Characteristic.  Given that combat in this game is centered mostly on ranged weapons, Agility is already a valuable attribute to have a decent score in.  Having it also apply to Soak Value (the most common from of defense that PCs have against damage) makes it even more valuable, much how Dexterity was the primary attribute for the d20 versions since it affected ranged combat and difficulty to be hit.

 

I saw the mention of FATE, however in FATE you have to pay a cost (in Refresh) to be able to use a different skill than the usual.

 

Now that said, if there was a cost involved, such as a sufficiently expensive and/or difficult to acquire talent, then I could see this being an option, but again it shouldn't be the default.

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Part of the problem with making Agility automatically relate to defenses is that it puts even more of a emphasis on that one Characteristic.  Given that combat in this game is centered mostly on ranged weapons, Agility is already a valuable attribute to have a decent score in.  Having it also apply to Soak Value (the most common from of defense that PCs have against damage) makes it even more valuable, much how Dexterity was the primary attribute for the d20 versions since it affected ranged combat and difficulty to be hit.

 

I saw the mention of FATE, however in FATE you have to pay a cost (in Refresh) to be able to use a different skill than the usual.

 

Now that said, if there was a cost involved, such as a sufficiently expensive and/or difficult to acquire talent, then I could see this being an option, but again it shouldn't be the default.

 

Yup, there has to be a balance.  

willmanx likes this

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They don't get hit because they are high "level" and have defense talents, and unlimited force on their side, and oh yeah it's a movie so it really has nothing to do with the rules of a game. You can't compare them.

Raistlinrox and Kshatriya like this

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Thanks for all your feedback on this, but what I am getting at is why make Brawn the focus stat for soaking damage.

 

Yes it is because it make most sense in a reality simulation sense, tough people can take most damage...  But this is a narrative system, this is meant to simulate cool star wars heroes, those people never in the way for that punch, those just too **** obstinate to stay down when shot with a blaster, those who can calculate trajectories of blaster and not be in the way.. (or the last may be a little stretch)

 

So why not use any stat as soak..  yes any stat.. for that hero who just seems to stand out in the open and never seems to get hit solidily (presense), for that guy who seems to know where his opponents are going to strike (cunning) etc..

 

I'm sure they is a way to so this for every stat..

 

So suggestion 1 : use highest stat for soak

Suggestion 2: use second highest stat for soak (like 13th age) to stop top loading

 

but what I am getting at is currently it is only Brawn and willpower that have other effects on characters.  

 

Willpower grants strain total

Brawn grants wounds AND soak.

 

So with brawn you have the ability to take more damage because you have more wounds... oh yeah and you have the ability to take more damage due to soak..  sort of a win win thing.. 

 

in my opinion too much emphasis on those 2 stats..

 

Now my other suggestion is the following:

 

Strain total Race base + (middle stat of Willpower, Int, Pre and Cun) (for example)

Wounds total race base + (middle stat of brawn, agility and willpower)

 

This would lessen the impact of 1 large stat and guide players to not make 1 stat the focus of the character..

 

i ramble...

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Brawn only increases the Wound Threshold during creation. After that it only improves Soak and gives you more dice for Brawn skills. Same with Willpower and Strain. Given the amount of damage that weapons can put out, the difference of just a point or two in a stat doesn't keep the big guy up any longer than the shrimp, so why move it at all to another stat? Things like armor and defensive talents help far more in the long run to keep the damage taken down.

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This is an interesting debate.

 

Before saying AGI is too important yet for shooting and piloting, maybe we should ask if ranged attack and pilot are associated to the proper ability ? It's kind of fun to see how EOTE make every shooter and pilot a dancing star, focusing on AGI. Isn't there a more proper ability for range combat and pilot ?

 

AGI is yet important with all the movement skills linked to it :)

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Of course you can add this extra level of complexity to character creation if you want but as with most House Rules I'd advise against it. Both because in this particular case the RAW already separates the two main ways of PCs going down (Injury from one stat and Strain from another) which generally balances character types pretty well, and because of the unintended consequences further down the line. We don't know yet how important Willpower and Agility will factor in when Force & Destiny comes out, we already know Jedi will be able to use either Brawn or Agility as their Lightsaber skill base but it's possible Willpower will play a vital role as well.

 

Unless you have a compelling reason to change this, I'd advise leaving as is.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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for my 2 cents, you could base soak off of Agility, but it would have a negative impact on game balance.  You could also allow it for any stat, but that could get rather complicated.

 

Soak, being a representation of how much physical damage a character can shrug off, I think should be based off of Brawn, being your physical durability.  In the above examples you listed

 

Yes it is because it make most sense in a reality simulation sense, tough people can take most damage...  But this is a narrative system, this is meant to simulate cool star wars heroes, those people never in the way for that punch, those just too **** obstinate to stay down when shot with a blaster, those who can calculate trajectories of blaster and not be in the way.. (or the last may be a little stretch)

 

For someone to "never be in the way of that punch", would be reflective of either training and/or force use both already represented through talents. the same could be said for the one who is too obstinate to stay down, but i think this would be more of a reflection of how to intrepret "damage" being inflicted on a character.  the idea of someone being able to calculate where the bullets are going would make a very interesting talent for the acedemic types, but again I feel that it would be a talent.

 

Soak isn't about not getting hit.  it's about how you deal with being hit.  As naturally intelligent as any given character could be, i'd have a hard time agreeing that his vast intellect made him better at receiving a punch.  Could he get out of the way? sure! but that would be defenseive abilities, not soak.

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All extremely valid points, but the problem, ok I'm sure its not a problem but bare with me, with this system is that Agility and skill have no bearing on how difficult you are to hit.  A gymnast is as easy to hit as a Hutt.

 

Now we all know the reason for this, its to stop the combats taking way too long with everyone missing constantly etc... it is something that is to help the system, something not really simulistic or that makes total sense but something that aids the system/game move along and not get bogged down in combat...so why make a beef about altering soak, it is as many have said only a few points, but it is a concession to the other stats in the game, stopping any one stat becoming the go to stat because looking at it as a min maxer: Brawn and Willpower at the mo are the go to stats, both give not only give skills but also at the beginning they give hitpoints.. 

 

at the end of the day i'm all about helping to tell stories, i lay the frame work down and bimble my way through asking for x dice roll or y combat situation.  I hate system hangups and it annoys me when niggles arise.

 

this whole topic was an attempt to remove stat focus, the fact that particular stats are a better 'investment' than others..

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this whole topic was an attempt to remove stat focus, the fact that particular stats are a better 'investment' than others..

Well, if you make Agility affect Soak Value or otherwise play a direct role in evading attacks, then you're enforcing "stat focus" by making Agility that much more important in the game.

 

The bulk of combat in Star Wars is ranged combat, which Agility covers.  The d20 Star Wars games (all three versions) and d20 Modern ran headlong into this issue, as Dexterity was pretty much king of the ability scores where combat was concerned, with Constitution a distant second, since Dexterity covered both accuracy with ranged attacks and being able to avoid all attacks.  Even the much beloved D6 system had this issue, with it being better to avoid an attack outright via the Dexterity-based Dodge skill for most characters than to hope they had a high enough Strength score to soak it.

 

Granted, Brawn-based characters do get the perk of their primary Characteristic affecting both their ability to avoid damage (Soak Value) and ability to hit and inflict damage, but they've also got the problem of needing to get into close quarters with their target, resulting in them having to spend their maneuver to move from Short Range to Engaged with their selected target, and occasionally having to suffer Strain for an extra maneuver if their target is at Medium Range unless they want to leave themselves open to a blaster attack at Short Range (especially if the foe is using a blaster carbine or other Ranged [Heavy] weapon).

 

I can see where you're getting at, in wanting Agility to have more of a bearing in combat.  If it really bothers you that much, then you can certainly provide your players with the option of using Agility or Brawn to determine their Soak Value (and I'm sure Twi'lek and Rodian PCs would rejoice at that).  Just be ready for those characters that have focused on Agility to be less prone to taking damage because of it, particularly if they're in a career that offers plenty of defensive talents such as Dodge and Side Step.

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It would unbalance agility and completely screw up game balance. At least now everyone needs both physical characteristics.

 

But what you want for not getting hit is the defensive talents.

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Maybe just give players who reach 5 Agi a single point in melee defense.  I mean, you're not dodging a blaster bolt, but ducking a punch or a vibrosword makes sense.

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That unduly favors one stat over others unless you want to give benefits at the level 5 threshold to other Characteristics. And getting 5 is really not that hard, especially for a Droid, but a Rodian could also start with it. It's too good when viewed in conjunction with Talents and other things that give Defense.

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Perhaps the Thread title was a mistake, I'm sorry if I misled  people into thinking I wanted to make Agility as the soak stat, I mean any stat, can be explained to be used as soak in some way or other, so a character would choose a stat and that would then be used as soak

 

This would remove any stat focus on a particular stat allow people to build their character as they wished then soak could be handwaved away like the reasoning behind static target dice for attacks..

 

I'm really not trying to have Agility have more effect on combat, though I can definitely see why it should.. I'm more removing inconsistencies I see with the system (in my opinion of course), or strange choices.  Why the system is very simulistic about Soak, and yet very narrative about combat target numbers..

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All extremely valid points, but the problem, ok I'm sure its not a problem but bare with me, with this system is that Agility and skill have no bearing on how difficult you are to hit.  A gymnast is as easy to hit as a Hutt.

 

Now we all know the reason for this, its to stop the combats taking way too long with everyone missing constantly etc... it is something that is to help the system, something not really simulistic or that makes total sense but something that aids the system/game move along and not get bogged down in combat...so why make a beef about altering soak, it is as many have said only a few points, but it is a concession to the other stats in the game, stopping any one stat becoming the go to stat because looking at it as a min maxer: Brawn and Willpower at the mo are the go to stats, both give not only give skills but also at the beginning they give hitpoints.. 

 

at the end of the day i'm all about helping to tell stories, i lay the frame work down and bimble my way through asking for x dice roll or y combat situation.  I hate system hangups and it annoys me when niggles arise.

 

You do make a point in terms of difficultly of being hit. However Soak is exclusively in the realm of being able to withstand damage once contact is made. For a min-maxer, which this RPG is not suited for, each of the stats have their own carved-out territories that make them shine. Brawn and Willpower provide for woundd and strain, but only have 4 and 3 skills respectively that use them as their starting pools. On the other hand, Agility doesn't have an impact on Wounds or Strain, or even defense for that matter, but has *seven* skills that benefit from it. To add soak to that list, makes Agility the power stat. I don't think it needs that. Intelligence has NINE skills associated with it, while Cunning has 5 and Presence has 4. But they've made Presence the base stat for Cool, which is important for determining initiative... As such, NO stat right now can be considered a "dump" stat in any of the profession...

 

Agility has as much to do with steadiness of hand as it does raw speed. However, blaster bolts are incredibly hard to dodge no matter how fast you really are. A Jedi's ability to dodge/deflect comes in the ability of anticipating where the bolt will be before it is even fired... Hence defense die starting to be added. However, Agility for Soak makes no sense, because soak is only used if the dodge failed.

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I understand your argument as to why it would be nice to have another stat or at least a choice of stats as a base but, and I think this is the general argument against, is that the system is currently designed and balanced for it being Brawn. Any changes to this will have unintended consequences with no appreciable gain (or at least not one I can see). You can create counter balances but again it seems like more trouble than it's worth, especially since a high Agility PCs (well all PCs) have access to Talents and equipment that can more than make up for a lower soak.

 

My advise is leave it as is and see how it goes. If you still see this as an issue after a dozen or so sessions then start tinkering. A dozen sessions give or take should give you a good idea as to what other effects changing the Soak stat will have on the game as well.

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I think one can do okay with low Presence if one wants to be a Cunning-social character or not focus socially at all; ditto for Cunning, someone who wants to be charming and diplomatic but not good at lying or interrogating. IMO Cool is extremely situation compared to Vigilance. But the trifecta of Brawn/Agi/Will are important for everyone because they tie in directly to survival in combat.

 

And Int isn't strong because it has 9 skills. It's good because of what those skills represent: heals, repairs, and slicing, and to a lesser extent you get IC setting knowledge.

 

Also to Agatheron: I think the intent with dodging in this game, as in real-life firefights and most other games involving guns, is you're not actually dodging the bullet once it's fired. You're dodging the shooter's aim before they pull the trigger. A person can't really dodge a bullet, let alone a blaster shot. They can get out of the straight line of effect. And I think Force users tend to predict where the shot will go, thus allowing them to put their lightsaber there in the second before the trigger is pulled. My view anyway.

Edited by Kshatriya

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