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Agitator Talent Tree flawed ?

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I believe that the talent tree for the Agitator specialization is flawed.

First of all, the talents "Convincing Demeanor" and "Plausible Deniability" overlap. Both remove setback dices fro Deception checks. So if you buy both talents twice, you can remove up to 4 setback dices.... I think its a little too much.... unless they want the agitator to be the deception master... but I believe that a situation where you would have 4 setback dices will almost never happen...

 

Second, you have 4 times the talent "Intimidating" where you downgrade the difficulty a number of times equal to intimidating ranks. Since you cannot remove purple dices from rolls, 4 times Intimidating would only be usefull on a roll with 4 red dices... also almost never gonna happen...

 

It is a flawed design.


I believe you could improve the tree by removing Convincing Demeanor and 2 Intimidating talents and replace them with "Indistinguishable" and "Shortcut".

 

So the agitator is good at creating a ruckluss and also good at not getting caught.

 

What do you guys think ??

 

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Flawed? I am not sure. Very specialized? Yes.

 

"Convincing Demeanor" and "Plausible Deniability" do over lap, but they each also have a second skill they remove the setback from checks for. So it isn't just decpetion. But a fully "bought in" Agitator can cut through bull like a laser.

 

And 4 ranks of Intimidation is a very specialized character concept. That person can stare down an Imperial Moff and turn the tables on them. Think about that kind of character, so scary that a person controling a system fleet is unlikely to scare them.

 

Plus, most of the options to take these talents are not in "must have" choke points. If you feel they are too specific, they can easily bypassed to get at the other talents.

 

It can be a very specialized tree, but I am not certain that it is flawed.

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Too many 'remove black dice' Talents are a bit redundant. Yes, one or maybe two is fine, but I think the odds of needing to remove 4 black dice are kinda miniscule.

 

Me, I'd just like the Talents to line up a bit more with the career skills better.

 

 

>Second, you have 4 times the talent "Intimidating" where you downgrade the difficulty a number of times equal to intimidating ranks. Since you cannot remove purple dices from rolls, 4 times Intimidating would only be useful on a roll with 4 red dices... also almost never gonna happen...

 

This seems to be a real problem with Talents that 'downgrade' dice pools that are very rarely 'upgraded' in the first place.  This would be handy for combat skills, as Adversary is very common, but (as JP_JP says) how often would you need to downgrade 4 dice?

Edited by Maelora

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As as Intimidating goes, don't forget that it can be used to upgrade the difficulty of people using Coercion on the Agitator, making it highly unlikely that anyone's gonna scare them off.  Plus, two instances of that talent are "off the beaten path" in that they are dead-ends on the tree and thus can be skipped if the player so chooses, particularly the 5th Row talent.

 

I do agree that removing 4 setback dice from Deception checks is a bit much, particularly as it seems a lot of GMs are loathe to apply more than one or two setback dice to a check in the first place.  This is probably a case of the design team figuring one thing (that setback dice would be used with greater frequency and in greater numbers) but GMs doing something else.  But for this instances when you're trying to tell a really bold bald-faced lie, being able to negate a whole bunch of setback dice would be pretty handy, such as convincing that platoon of stormtroopers that you're an Imperial Grand Moff... and you're a Bothan to boot* :D

 

*actually had this happen in a D6 game I was running with low-level characters.  Player spent their one Force Point, rolled an ungodly number of dice (good thing he was also a frequent Champions/HERO player), and actually managed to succeed against a Heroic Difficulty.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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Too many 'remove black dice' Talents are a bit redundant. Yes, one or maybe two is fine, but I think the odds of needing to remove 4 black dice are kinda miniscule.

 

Me, I'd just like the Talents to line up a bit more with the career skills better.

 

 

>Second, you have 4 times the talent "Intimidating" where you downgrade the difficulty a number of times equal to intimidating ranks. Since you cannot remove purple dices from rolls, 4 times Intimidating would only be useful on a roll with 4 red dices... also almost never gonna happen...

 

This seems to be a real problem with Talents that 'downgrade' dice pools that are very rarely 'upgraded' in the first place.  This would be handy for combat skills, as Adversary is very common, but (as JP_JP says) how often would you need to downgrade 4 dice?

I had a roll with 4 black dice last night... lots of advantage and some threat. Experienced (skill 4+) characters throw a LOT of advantage around.

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It's  not that  hard to get 4 setback dices on a combat, because lots of rolls happen one after the other... it's a lot harder to get those black dices on social rolls....

 

I understand that the way the talent tree is currently would make a very specialized character... but too much might just be too much... Also, even if the talent Intimidating also upgrades the difficulty when targeted by coercion checks, I also think it would be used sparingly... I mean I prefer to let my characters roll against the difficulty then me roll against them... so if a NPC tries to intimidate them, i'll ask my players to make a discipline check with the difficulty being the coercion dice pool of the NPC. It is two fold, I'm not stuck doing a bunch of rolls and my players have better chances to resist since the green and yellow dices have more symbols on them then the purple and red dices.

I think you need to add some flavor to this specialization to make it better... most players dont want to get stuck with a one-trick character... so having alternatives to just deception and coercion is a good idea...

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I'll support the idea that that specialization as written is too specialized.

 

I like that he is good in social situations, but I'd prefer to see him more broadly conceptualized. I think the spec would be better served to have some talents like Know Somebody.  You can't be an effective agitator without support mechanisms.

 

You need someone to warn you when the Imperials are coming (One if by land. Two if by sea), somebody to help you give your recruits guns, etc.  That sort of thing.  I realize that overlaps with Quartermaster a bit, but Fringer and pilot overlap some too.

 

I think the decision to not take a talent in your tree should because it doesn't fit your character concept.  Not because the designers were too lazy to put something useful there.

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With the Fringer specialization, it overlaps with quite a few other specializations, since it's a "jack of all trades," compared to other specializations which are more specialized, so using that as a comparison to anything is a flawed premise.

 

Knowing folks and gathering intell on the local scene is largely covered by Streetwise, which Agitators have as a bonus career skill and get a perk by way of Street Smarts to those checks.  Nothing that's really needed in terms of talents there.

 

Now I could see at least one instance of Intimidating being replaced with a more defensive-orientated talent, since this is a spec that's likely going to find the character being targeted by bad guys, particularly once they start making with the Scathing Tirades.  Dodge or Side Step are possibilities, but I'm leaning more towards Toughened, to reflect that the Agitator is a lot harder to keep down than most other political-types.

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4+ black dice in a social situation? Not that hard...

  1. your last roll generated 2 threat. 
  2. Your two buddy's roll generated 3 threat.
  3. you're non-human and addressing imperials
  4. you're attempting to make a point that's counter to local views
  5. you've shown inappropriate strength or weakness.

I've no problem tossing black dice aplenty into the mix. My players tend to pull lots of blues rather than issue black dice, tho', so it's a net wash.

 

And remember - black and blue don't cancel.

 

I suspect a lot of the reticence people are seeing has to do with groups having only one set of the dice, and thus only 2 physical dice, when learning the game... and rerolling is a pain. I went from digital dice only to two sets in hand pretty quickly. (Two of us at the table bought the beginner box.)

 

I throw black and blue dice pretty casually into the mix. I've had rolls where over 6 of either were involved, just from stacking odds due to threats and advantages.

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I think the whole black dice thing really depends on the group. I get a roll with about 6-8 black dice at least once per session, and it has made me consider buying into whole new trees just to pick up some of the talents to cancel them.

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The other reason for having setback dice is to add to the tension of the roll. If they get too often negated, that whole mechanic/flavor gets tossed out the window.

If a character is dedicated to not being affected by setbacks, that's a build choice. Everyone else in the party will be affected by the social situation, the social guy will not. That's not a problem.

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The other reason for having setback dice is to add to the tension of the roll. If they get too often negated, that whole mechanic/flavor gets tossed out the window.

If a character is dedicated to not being affected by setbacks, that's a build choice. Everyone else in the party will be affected by the social situation, the social guy will not. That's not a problem.

 

Precisely.  The setback-removal talents are a means to demonstrate that a character is really good at a certain type of task without burdening the dice pool with excess numbers of boost dice or providing too many upgrades to the PC's Ability dice.  It also goes with the general design theme of trying to keep the dice pools at a reasonable size; while there's not a hard cap on how many dice can be included, rolling more than 10 dice at a time starts to bog things down as even experienced players have to match up symbols to see what cancels what.

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Human nature may be interfering with the implementation of more black dice.

 

There aren't many examples in the book of how to apply setback dice to social situations and rolls.  It's more likely that a GM will simply increase the difficulty rather than telling a PC to roll setback dice. It's what folks are used to.  The idea that difficulty increases for more difficult tasks is well established in gaming culture.

 

GMs must learn a new way of thinking with setback dice, but the books aren't helping.  Social skills tests are rolled into the "General Mechanics" section where they get a few examples among many others. In contrast Combat gets a whole chapter.

 

There are space issues to consider. It's probably not feasible to have a whole chapter on social combat.  A page or two might help. I think the developers could do themselves a huge favor, by providing examples on the website that can be downloaded free of charge (a podcast doesn't count – a waste of time, and a crappy reference).

 

How does a GM manage to include setback dice in the game without making starting charters unable to complete tasks?  If most social rolls against Imperials involve 4 setback dice how the heck does a starting character ever con an imperial inspector? Dumb luck?

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Human nature may be interfering with the implementation of more black dice.

 

There aren't many examples in the book of how to apply setback dice to social situations and rolls.  It's more likely that a GM will simply increase the difficulty rather than telling a PC to roll setback dice. It's what folks are used to.  The idea that difficulty increases for more difficult tasks is well established in gaming culture.

I set social difficulties by opposed roll protocol; opponent stat+skill in red and purple. I then make any difficulty adjustments in black dice or blue.

Yes, it took a bit of effort to overcome the "elevate the difficulty"...

But then, a black die is about 1/3 of a failure on average, while a purple is half a failure. (and a red is slightly more, plus has the despair about 8% of the time!)

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I believe that the talent tree for the Agitator specialization is flawed.

First of all, the talents "Convincing Demeanor" and "Plausible Deniability" overlap. Both remove setback dices fro Deception checks. So if you buy both talents twice, you can remove up to 4 setback dices.... I think its a little too much.... unless they want the agitator to be the deception master... but I believe that a situation where you would have 4 setback dices will almost never happen...

 

 

 

 

Isn't Leia an Agitator? When she convinced Tarkin that the Rebels were on Dantooine how hard was her roll?

 

It would be Deception opposed by Tarkins Discipline. A standard Imperial Moff is Discipline 3 and Will 4 so that's three red and one purple die right there. As a 'Grand Moff' Tarkin is probably even better than a mere Moff, that's why he got the promotion to Grand Moff. We should probably upgrade his stats some, maybe Discipline 4 and Will 5?. Even if we don't it is still a pretty hard roll.

 

Now we're going to add on some black dice. I'd say one black die for a suspected rebel, two black dice for a known rebel and three black dice for a known high ranking rebel leader is probably about right when dealing with the Imperial government. Then I'm going to throw on a single blue die because her story is sort of true, the Rebels were on Dantooine in the past.

 

If Leia's going to make that roll, as good as she probably is, she's going to need some talent to cancel those black dice. That's why Agitator has them. I say Leia succeeded in her roll but there was one or more Despair and that's why Tarkin blew up Alderann. [Yes I know it was for dramaturgical reasons but if she'd been a PC in a game I was GMing that's what I would have done with the Despair.]

Edited by pnewman15

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Isn't Leia an Agitator? When she convinced Tarkin that the Rebels were on Dantooine how hard was her roll?

 

It would be Deception opposed by Tarkins Discipline. A standard Imperial Moff is Discipline 3 and Will 4 so that's three red and one purple die right there. As a 'Grand Moff' Tarkin is probably even better than a mere Moff, that's why he got the promotion to Grand Moff. We should probably upgrade his stats some, maybe Discipline 4 and Will 5?. Even if we don't it is still a pretty hard roll.

 

Now we're going to add on some black dice. I'd say one black die for a suspected rebel, two black dice for a known rebel and three black dice for a known high ranking rebel leader is probably about right when dealing with the Imperial government. Then I'm going to throw on a single blue die because her story is sort of true, the Rebels were on Dantooine in the past.

 

If Leia's going to make that roll, as good as she probably is, she's going to need some talent to cancel those black dice. That's why Agitator has them. I say Leia succeeded in her roll but there was one or more Despair and that's why Tarkin blew up Alderann. [Yes I know it was for dramaturgical reasons but if she'd been a PC in a game I was GMing that's what I would have done with the Despair.]

Sounds right to me... but I think she rolled 2-3 despair.

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