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Duros 2.0 (and a poll!)
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Which version of Starship Intuition best fits Duros?
v1.00 as presented in WEG's GG4
22%
 22%  [ 2 ]
v2.00 excellent pilot/navigators, well traveled through the galaxy
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
v2.01 excellent pilot/navigators+
66%
 66%  [ 6 ]
v2.02 excellent pilot/navigators
11%
 11%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 9

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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah. I have no problem starting a campaign at a high level, but, with newbs, it makes sense to keep things simple starting out.

I'd speculate that 81 CP may not get them quite SpecForce territory ( unless we actually believe that the Spec lForce guys should only have 3D in their primary skills like the "book" says... but we've covered that ground before).

I remember a game we played where the GM wanted more "advanced" characters, so after character creation, he said, everyone gets 50 cp to spend in addition. When we had spent them all he looked at our sheets and said... "what that's it? That really didn't make much difference."

One of the other GMs I played with a lot got tired of holding off on his BBEG all the time and started awarding ~15cp per session, just to keep the momentum going. The rule about raising skills only one pip at a time kept individual skill growth under control while having all those "extra" CPs promoted a bunch of.... ahem.... "well rounded" Wink characters.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Especially if the DM doesn't let the players gloss over the racial hatred between Trandoshans and wookies..
Exactly. I figure the Wookiee pelts hanging from the ex-bounty hunter's belt makes ignoring racial hatred kind of difficult. Laughing
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Yeah. I have no problem starting a campaign at a high level, but, with newbs, it makes sense to keep things simple starting out.

I'd speculate that 81 CP may not get them quite SpecForce territory ( unless we actually believe that the Spec lForce guys should only have 3D in their primary skills like the "book" says... but we've covered that ground before).


That we have, to assume that rebel spec forces are barely better than basic imp army troopers is imo stupid...
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think the right hand wasnt talking to the left when the books were written.

If you look at the stats for a "typical" rebel troop at Echo Base, they are rocking 5D plus in some of the skills that really matter.

Using the chart in the rulebook, I'd estimate a SpecForce troop to have ~6D in his primary skills and work my way down from there.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
I literally cannot stand to play a character that is forced out of the concept that I envision. Some input for everyone else:

Character design and creation is possibly my biggest passion. I literally create characters because I love to. RPing gives me a means to express the character in a unique way where I am not in control ofthe world in which the character exists.

I put a LOT of time and thought and effort and time into creating a character, from highly detailed back stories to fully fleshing out the characters in the backstory, even. I spemd weeks working on the appearence of the character making dozens of finished concept drawings in full color and tweaking even the most minute details of the personality, appearance, strengths AND WEAKNESSES of the character to create a complete concept.

I consider myself a responsible RPer, taking into considerations what it is like to GM, and having GM'd plenty of games I understand the effects of various styles of play (power gaming, min-maxing, etc), and I consider it each player's responsibility to impose quirks on his character and other traits that male the character interesting.

So, since I put more time into a single character than anyone Ive met (and probably as muxch time as the average GM puts into the campaign, I get a bit miffed when GM feels the need to nerf my character because of his opinion on what is "balanced." I consider it the GM's responsibility to achieve balance via situational developments when the dice happen to get out of whack. Acharacter with 14D in blaster and base attributes for everything else can easily be challenged by putting him insituations that a blaster cannot solve.

In my OPINION, there is no such thing as too powerful of a character which is why I dont believe in enforcing balance through numerical means (to an extent: the total capability of each PC should be close enough together that everyone can realistically contribute in some way).

Naaman wrote:
FWIW, Whill, my original point about your character gen rules still stands. In particular, I don't think it is unfair to give extra dice in addition to stipulating that a character must place some here or there by consensus of the group.

If you were mucking around with my 7D, though,I might just not play.

My issue stems from the notion that"some skills" are more valuable than others. Blaster, for example, is more likely to be regulated than, for example, bureaucracy. How much difference would it make to the game if a character started with, say, 12D in bureaucracy or archaic weapons repair or even swimming?

Some skillsare obviously less valuable than others, so it may be worthwhile for GMswho want "well-rounded" characters to incentivize the less valuable skills. It would likely also lend to the development (nand role play) of much more fleshed out characters.

Free dice in scholar: art history to account for my character's backstory? Cool!

Naaman, I absolutely love players like you who pour their all into their PCs, but I think your objections may in part be to some inferences you have made about my character rules and GM style due to some negative experiences you must have had with GMs in the past.

You should appreciate that part of my PC approval process involves each and every skill dice allocation being explainable by the PC's background (the only exception is the first 1D in Dodge which I can write off to luck or natural ability). This doesn't always require a lot of detail, but a background justifying skills should be cake for you. I do "incentivise" more detailed backgrounds (such as the equivalent to Heroes & Rogues or Platt's Smugglers Guide character development sections) in non-mechanical ways such as giving the PC some NPC contacts that the players can even create if they want. For the level of detail you are describing you do for every PC, I may reduce difficulties instead of giving bonus dice to scholar specializations, so a comparable end result.

"More well-rounded" doesn't mean all the skills are have the same die code. More well-rounded doesn't (directly) mean no high skill values. Again, I'm not trying to limit PCs from becoming powerful is certain areas. My primary concern is on the low end, not the high end. And I would not incentivize less valuable skills. My concern is for the most valuable skills. As I stated, my decades of experience has shown that player attrition in long term campaigns means that fewer PCs inevitably have to cover the group's total skill set. Remaining PCs have to start improving essential skills that had previously been held by now-absent PCs.

At the same time as challenging PCs in areas not covered by their expertise, I also have opportunities for the PC to excel in uses of their signature skills. Any character concept where the player had a goal of having 12D in Bureaucracy would not fly in any campaign I would be interested in running. It would require a trainer with skill that high or lot of uses of the skill to get to that point from experience, and I can't see that happening in any of my Star Wars campaigns. There are definitely uses for the skill on occasion, a campaign loaded with a lot of success in the Bureaucracy sounds incredibly boring. Most of the entertainment value of bureaucracies in the game would be in rare (not overplayed) kafkaesque frustration (thus largely unsuccessful uses of the skill), and, more often, requiring bribes/cons to circumvent. A very high level in archaic weapon repair would be even less important, but swimming tends to be very useful in my campaigns. But not any old skill being a signature skill of a PC is going to be very entertaining to me or the rest of the players.

I completely agree that it is the GM's responsibility to achieve balance, but on the player side do you have any character concepts that are not so superlative? You once asked if I would let you play the perfect human athlete with 4D in Strength and Dexterity, and I counter proposed 4D+1 Strength and 3D+2 Dexterity (or the other way around). Now we've got a hypothetical master bureaucrat, one of the galaxy's leading archaic weapons expert and a 14D blaster marksman. Do you ever have character concepts who are unique without being so extreme attribute and skill wise? Background and personality an make a character unique too.

Here's my point in asking. I view the main point of roleplaying as a group effort to co-create entertaining stories for all the players and the GM. The start of every campaign I run involves the players meeting with me to discuss the campaign and basic character concepts as a group, create characters, and design the ship (if applicable). I strongly suggest every PC put 1D in Dodge, but that is not an absolute requirement. My players have complete control over all their skill dice allocation, but they are each part of a team effort. PC creation is not completely a consensus in my game, but it's still an overall group activity. We work together towards a starting PC group that will serve the premise of the campaign and grow from there. Your player style is coming across as independent and self-centered to the extreme, which strikes me as odd for a group activity.

All starting PCs are subject to my final approval, so ultimately each player and I both have to come to an agreement about his PC before the first adventure begins. If the GM isn't happy we don't proceed. If the player isn't happy we don't proceed. Only when both are 100% satisfied do we proceed. Do you only have one rigid character concept at any given time? If a GM asks you to consider revisions for the sake of the group, can you not possibly devise any changes yourself that you would approve? If not, can you not even come up with a completely different concept you like that works better in the group? You work completely in a vacuum outside the group and emerge with one fully developed PC, take it or leave it? That would be so disappointing to me because, if you and I could get past character creation, I'd love to have a player like you in a campaign.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thaks for that post, Whill. I didnt realize how my point was coming across.

My purpose in posting was to challenge the prohibition of "over focus," not power level per se.

I believe that a PC with 12D or whatever in any skill is way inappropriate for a starting character. The point I was really getting at was two-fold:

Some skills (such as bureaucracy) have an infinitesimal impact on the game no matter how high they are. But they "cost" the same as other skills that the campaign hinges upon. So the idea that a character could have "too many" dice in a starting skill (say, a wookiee starting with 8D in brawling.. which is doable by RAW) doesnt sit right with me. Any half-witted NPC would be a fool to pick a fist fight with a wookiee... just shoot him... brawling doesn't work against blasters.

FWIW, our group came to a consensus after the first time we tried the wookiee martial artist that starting PCs cannot start with any skill higher than 6D.

It's not about starting with a particular number of dice in a skill. I just don't comprehend this notion of "over focus." I have found in my experience as a player that players will adapt their characters to the campaign. If they keep getting shot down and captured, they willnaturally begin to invest resources into starship combat: whether that be CPs in skills, credits in a better ship or modifying the one they have, hiring an NPC pilot for 2000 up front, plus 15000 at the destination, etc...

One of the most appealing things about playing an RPG for me is finding ways to solve problems. Characters have resources in the form of CPs, credits, contacts and equipment and whatever else. I feel that the player should be able to plug the gaps using his resources autonomously.

A noble or young senatorial in the group? Can they just buy a spiffy astromech with an extra D of software upgrades and roll that instead of being bothered to learn a blue collar skill?

Got a techie who will have all the starship support skills anyway? But how will he contribute on a forced march where his 2D in lifting and stamina will mean he can't carry his own stuff? Maybe he invented a gyroscopic harness that lets him carry an additional 50kg on his back.

Got a Jedi who sucks at everything because she had to put 3D of her attribute dice into Force skills? Maybe she has a holocron that acts as a trainer for all of her primary skills (both mundane and force skills) helping her to catch up with the rest of the group.

Anyway, yes, I have ditched an idea because GM would not approve of one thing or another. But whenever I uave done that, the play experience is always just "meh."

I have learned that in order to play what I want, I have to make the GM WANT my character in the game. Thus, the detailed backgrounds, the artwork, the self-imposed quirks that create opportunity for plot hooks and twists, etc.

So, as for over focus, in my experience, this is a self-correcting issue; it can be "enforced" through play ratuer than through rules, and this will allow newb players to believe thatthey have complete autonomy over their skill selection, while experienced ones will realize that theGM is merely catering to suspension of disbelief concerning the advancement of characters by creating the illusion of choice.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely said Whill.

Naaman wrote:
Some skills (such as bureaucracy) have an infinitesimal impact on the game no matter how high they are. But they "cost" the same as other skills that the campaign hinges upon.
The Bureaucracy skill isn't infinitesimal in impact, but I assume you were exaggerating for effect. However I think we can all agree that Bureaucracy probably won't get used as often in a fantasy space opera setting as will skills like Dodge, Blaster, or Starship Piloting. And its use is likely to be less exciting even when it is used. But having agreed with you I don't see what that has to do with this...
Quote:
So the idea that a character could have "too many" dice in a starting skill (say, a wookiee starting with 8D in brawling.. which is doable by RAW) doesnt sit right with me.
What does the idea that some skills, like Bureaucracy aren't as crucial as some other skills like Dodge or Blaster have to do with whether a Wookiee PC with 8D Brawling is a good or bad thing to have show up at the table? Question I just don't see the connection.

Quote:
It's not about starting with a particular number of dice in a skill. I just don't comprehend this notion of "over focus." I have found in my experience as a player that players will adapt their characters to the campaign.
This tends to be true, though there are exceptions, one of which I will mention later.

Quote:
One of the most appealing things about playing an RPG for me is finding ways to solve problems. Characters have resources in the form of CPs, credits, contacts and equipment and whatever else. I feel that the player should be able to plug the gaps using his resources autonomously.
I feel that players should be able to try to plug gaps. But I don't feel that they should necessarily be successful.

Quote:
A noble or young senatorial in the group? Can they just buy a spiffy astromech with an extra D of software upgrades and roll that instead of being bothered to learn a blue collar skill?
If they are on a planet where spiffy new astromechs are sold? Sure. Will buying a spiffy new astromech solve all the problems that will occur if no PC in the party knows how to pilot, navigate, fight, or repair a starship. I think that would be highly unlikely. For three reasons.

1. An NPC isn't going to have the Force Points and Character Points that a PC has and can use in an emergency. So the NPC is fine for the day-to-day routine, but they aren't likely to get the job done in a dramatic crisis.

2. Star Wars is space opera. The PCs are supposed to be flying ships, navigating, shooting laser cannons, and repairing ships in the nick of time. If the NPCs can do all that exciting Star Wars stuff why do they need the PCs?

3. Success is often overrated. Occasional failure makes for a more interesting (and more true to the genre) Star Wars story. (Think of ROTJ and Han snapping that twig.) If the players problem solve their way out of every failure the adventure is likely to be both short and somewhat dull. I'll make another comment on this in a bit.

Quote:
Got a techie who will have all the starship support skills anyway? But how will he contribute on a forced march where his 2D in lifting and stamina will mean he can't carry his own stuff?
That's an easy one. It's a chance for him to succeed despite the unlikeliness of his success. He uses Willpower to keep going despite his lack of stamina, or maybe he makes a lucky roll or he spends the CPs to succeed. Or he doesn't succeed on his own but he provides an opportunity for the another character to make an inspiring speech, demonstrate her leadership ability, or pick the Tech up when he falls down and then shoulder his backpack to lighten his load so he can carry on. Its a chance for other characters to shine and for team work to win out over individual success.

Success is overrated part 2: When I look at or analyze characters I look at what they are good at, but equally I look at what they aren't good. It is the combination of the two that define and mechanically differentiate one character from another.

And if we assume that players create the characters that they want to play* then if their PC is strong, fast, and ignorant (high STR and DEX, but low KNO) then by creating that character the player wants a game where their PC will often succeed at skills in those areas like Dodge, Blaster, and Brawling that they are good and by the same token they will often fail at things they are ignorant of like Alien Species, Languages, and Streetwise. Part of my role as a GM is to give them both experiences because by creating that character that's what they are, in a sense, asking me to do.

Quote:
So, as for over focus, in my experience, this is a self-correcting issue; it can be "enforced" through play ratuer than through rules, and this will allow newb players to believe thatthey have complete autonomy over their skill selection, while experienced ones will realize that theGM is merely catering to suspension of disbelief concerning the advancement of characters by creating the illusion of choice.
I'm a little confused by what you wrote here. It sounds like you are saying that if the GM uses failure in play as a way of showing the players that they have a gap so that they can address it by expending resources that this will allow newb players to feel good about themselves but experienced players will realize that the GM is playing an illusionist games. I don't think that's what you meant to say. Was I wrong or what am I misunderstanding?



* Experience tells me that isn't always a good assumptions. But that is a discussion for another thread.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgive my lack of clarity. I do most of my posting on my phone and the user interface is such a pain. It is very difficult to edit anything after I have written it, and trying to maipulate a post that fills the entire dialogue box is less productive than banging my head against a brick wall (you no doubt have noticed all my typos, for example).

Bren, many of your counterpoints actually seem to support what I'm getting at: where one player is weak, another may be strong and teamwork wins the day, giving PCs who excel in an area an opportunity to pick up the slack they have left for other PCs in previous encounters simply because they lack the relevant skills.

Also, in my experience, there is never a shortage on characters with blaster or dodge starship gunnery. Its all the "lesser skills" that make a character interesting and unique. So, I would assume that the worry about over focus comes from a place where experience has included players/groups that only have blaster and dodge to the exclusion of all else. But as I said: this issue has tended to be self-correcting in my experience.

I'll finish his post later. Gotta get to work.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, Bren, as usual.

Whill wrote:
I feel all '2-for-1' starting skill dice allocation special abilities are broken because it is a variable bonus. I replace 2-for-1 with finite number of bonus starting skill dice in certain skills. For my Duros it applies to starship-related skills and planetary systems.
Whill wrote:
Duros have high Mechanical, and I give them finite bonus skill dice to spend on starship piloting and navigating skills in the spirit of RAW but without the variable # of bonus dice. 2-for-1 also encourages players to maximize the free dice by making overfocus Duros pilot PCs that only exemplify the stereotype.

Naaman, this back on the page 1 seems to have been what sparked your knee jerk reaction to "overfocus". It seems fairly certain that you are reading more into what I said based on your experiences with other GMs with concerns about about PC overfocus.

The secondary comment using the word "overfocus" was in a minor point about altering RAW's 2-for-1 starting skill dice bonus for my game. And it was not about overfocus in general, but rather that 2-for-1 for Duros encourages species stereotypes. Now if a player in my game wants to make a Duros PC with 4D+2 Mechanical and 12D allocated to spacer skills they can. But the option is there to make an atypical Duros PC with only the 4D in bonus skill dice in spacer skills and their other 8D of skills to be allocated elsewhere, without feeling like they were passing up a "better deal" too much.

My main point was against variability in bonuses. Despite some skills being more valuable than others in practice, it is a premise of the game that all skills are equally valued as far as the cost to increase. (How general or specific the skills are is a factor in value.) In RAW and in my game, players are still incentivised by the system to allocate skill dice to higher attribute skills and to allocate 2D when they do, because they are saving more relative to the cost to increase them after the campaign begins. With that remaining, I feel it is important to remove the additional x-factor of 2-for-1.

Naaman wrote:
Thaks for that post, Whill. I didnt realize how my point was coming across.

My purpose in posting was to challenge the prohibition of "over focus," not power level per se.

I have no prohibition of overfocus. That's taking everything I have said to an incorrect extreme.

Naaman wrote:
FWIW, our group came to a consensus after the first time we tried the wookiee martial artist that starting PCs cannot start with any skill higher than 6D.

My game doesn't even have that rule. Some species may have some attributes at 5D and allocating 2D to a skill would start the PC off at 7D.

Naaman wrote:
I just don't comprehend this notion of "over focus." I have found in my experience as a player that players will adapt their characters to the campaign. If they keep getting shot down and captured, they willnaturally begin to invest resources into starship combat

If they get blown up and die, it is then too late to get shot down and captured or invest resources into starship combat. So it makes very practical sense to be somewhat proactive and not completely ignore skills that help the group when the player of the ace pilot PC moves out of state.

Naaman wrote:
One of the most appealing things about playing an RPG for me is finding ways to solve problems.

I agree. But I do not think I would enjoy running the campaign type you must play a lot where players independently make any PC they want and the group just makes do with what they end up with. It's not that I couldn't do that. It's just that I have no interest in that. I like building campaigns, story arcs and characters to be a group collaboration.

Naaman wrote:
Characters have resources in the form of CPs, credits, contacts and equipment and whatever else. I feel that the player should be able to plug the gaps using his resources autonomously.

A noble or young senatorial in the group? Can they just buy a spiffy astromech with an extra D of software upgrades and roll that instead of being bothered to learn a blue collar skill?

True. PC fortunes may rise and fall but I don't allow rich PCs because PCs always buying their way out of problems is boring.

Naaman wrote:
I have learned that in order to play what I want, I have to make the GM WANT my character in the game. Thus, the detailed backgrounds, the artwork, the self-imposed quirks that create opportunity for plot hooks and twists, etc.

Rock on! If a player wants to play a species which is not on my playable species list or create a new template, they get an opportunity to sell me on the character concept.

Naaman wrote:
So, as for over focus, in my experience, this is a self-correcting issue; it can be "enforced" through play ratuer than through rules.

Again, when a PC and his skill set are suddenly absent from campaign, overfocus of the other PCs may not be able to self-correct fast enough.
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting.

So, as a GM, you never fudge a roll for the sake of the story?

I've done it lots. Sometimes it's a matter of ignoring the wild die, and other times I just outright overrule the result because it is too "inappropriate" for the scenario. Other times, a PC who rolls spectacularly well may still fail an opposed roll, but I'll give it to him anyway if it suites the moment.

So, allowing a TPK for lack of one skill (for example) in the group seems a bit rigid. If the ace pilot moved away do your PCs have the option of NOT getting into space combat for a while? Maybe go do something else until they can get safe passage and then start building a passable skill set for getting to and fro.

Are they allowed to find other ways to solve their problems?

As for my knee jerk, based on what you are saying here, perhaps I did misunderstand your original intent.
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
So, as a GM, you never fudge a roll for the sake of the story?

I've done it lots. Sometimes it's a matter of ignoring the wild die, and other times I just outright overrule the result because it is too "inappropriate" for the scenario. Other times, a PC who rolls spectacularly well may still fail an opposed roll, but I'll give it to him anyway if it suites the moment.

Sure, I fudge for the same reasons you do.

Naaman wrote:
So, allowing a TPK for lack of one skill (for example) in the group seems a bit rigid.

Allowing a TPK? I've never done that. I only stated getting blown up as a possible consequence of all the party's starship skills being in one single PC who may leave the party. My players tend not to overfocus so this hasn't been a problem.

What's coming across as "rigid" is your insistence that there is only two ways to deal with the problem of PCs leaving the campaign. I stated advanced PC groups being somewhat proactive and branching out into other skill areas is one way to deal with it. You've stated GM fudging and avoiding space combat are ways to deal with it. I do acknowledge that what you are saying are ways to handle it, but you don't acknowledge that PCs not being overfocused is another possibility.

Are most other players you've ever played with the same as you in wanting to only play superlative experts focused in one or a small group of skills? I'd be skeptical of that due to my 29 years experience running this game. I have never had a player that even wanted to raise a skill higher than 8D. When they get a couple 'signature skills' of their character concept to that level, they wisely branched out into other areas. I've also had players with advanced PCs that actually enjoy playing a jack-of-all trades. Do you acknowledge that not all players are like you? Even though I doubt players like you are common anywhere, I do acknowledge that you exist as the type of player you say you are.

Naaman wrote:
If the ace pilot moved away do your PCs have the option of NOT getting into space combat for a while? Maybe go do something else until they can get safe passage and then start building a passable skill set for getting to and fro.

There have been periods in campaigns when space combat is deemphasized, but these are usually closer to the beginning of campaigns when net skill values are relatively low. I have not ran a lot of adventures without some sort of space combat scene in them. Why? Because this is Star Wars. Space combat is an essential aspect of Star Wars. And the majority of all the players I have ever had love it too, even when they are not playing space-oriented characters. It's exciting. It's fun. My SWU has a lot of pirates and TIE patrols. So while I acknowledge removing space combat from your campaign is one solution to a group losing your pilot PC, I don't like that option much because I love space combat!

Naaman wrote:
Are they allowed to find other ways to solve their problems?

Come on, dude. I find your phrasing "Are they allowed to..." to be insulting. I don't dictate to the players how they should solve their PCs' problems. No good GMs would. My players are generally self-motivated to solve their own problems, and one way they do that is by not being overfocused in their skill point expenditures.

Naaman wrote:
As for my knee jerk, based on what you are saying here, perhaps I did misunderstand your original intent.

I do appreciate you saying that but it seems you may still misunderstand.
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:

Some skills (such as bureaucracy) have an infinitesimal impact on the game no matter how high they are. But they "cost" the same as other skills that the campaign hinges upon. So the idea that a character could have "too many" dice in a starting skill (say, a wookiee starting with 8D in brawling.. which is doable by RAW) doesnt sit right with me. Any half-witted NPC would be a fool to pick a fist fight with a wookiee... just shoot him... brawling doesn't work against blasters.


IMO that depends on how the DM has the skills used. Need to requisition those spare parts for your ship's shield from the rebel cell, ROLL bureaucracy. Go to a planet and want to get your guy's uber super armor in, roll bureaucracy and Law enforcement.

Naaman wrote:

It's not about starting with a particular number of dice in a skill. I just don't comprehend this notion of "over focus." I have found in my experience as a player that players will adapt their characters to the campaign. If they keep getting shot down and captured, they will naturally begin to invest resources into starship combat: whether that be CPs in skills, credits in a better ship or modifying the one they have, hiring an NPC pilot for 2000 up front, plus 15000 at the destination, etc...


That is very true. Just like if the DM rarely bothers having the players ROLL for skill interactions such as Con or persuasion, and just goes with how 'he feels they RPed the situation, the players often don't PUT skill dice into those skills. Or if the game has lots of combat, then 'combat monkey's is what you often end up with..

Naaman wrote:
One of the most appealing things about playing an RPG for me is finding ways to solve problems. Characters have resources in the form of CPs, credits, contacts and equipment and whatever else. I feel that the player should be able to plug the gaps using his resources autonomously.


In certain situations, sure they can try to augument their skill/wits with tech, but not always will they be able to have access to that tech..

Naaman wrote:
A noble or young senatorial in the group? Can they just buy a spiffy astromech with an extra D of software upgrades and roll that instead of being bothered to learn a blue collar skill?


Sure, till he can't have access to that droid, and needs that skill (like if he goes to a planet where droids are prohibited)..

Naaman wrote:

Got a Jedi who sucks at everything because she had to put 3D of her attribute dice into Force skills? Maybe she has a holocron that acts as a trainer for all of her primary skills (both mundane and force skills) helping her to catch up with the rest of the group.


Imo no, as that sounds a little like rewarding them for taking something with a disadvantage, so you negate the disadvantage.. If that's the case why not just 'give them' the 3d of attributes for their force skills..

Bren wrote:
If they are on a planet where spiffy new astromechs are sold? Sure. Will buying a spiffy new astromech solve all the problems that will occur if no PC in the party knows how to pilot, navigate, fight, or repair a starship. I think that would be highly unlikely. For three reasons.

1. An NPC isn't going to have the Force Points and Character Points that a PC has and can use in an emergency. So the NPC is fine for the day-to-day routine, but they aren't likely to get the job done in a dramatic crisis.


That is something gamers on one of my tables a # of years ago made the mistake of, and found out to their horror.. Leaving the piloting up to the Droid controlled ship they bought. SO when it did get to combat, the droid's safey protocols engaged and kept taking them AWAY from the combat (which they were trying to neutralize a fleeing imperial spy!!) AND cause the droid has no CP/FP, when the ship got fired on by the baddies (who do have those) they just had to rely on his base skill + maneuverability. AND that was even with them bumping up the ship to having a 9d piloting skill..

Bren wrote:
3. Success is often overrated. Occasional failure makes for a more interesting (and more true to the genre) Star Wars story. (Think of ROTJ and Han snapping that twig.) If the players problem solve their way out of every failure the adventure is likely to be both short and somewhat dull. I'll make another comment on this in a bit.


Ahh.. A fellow DM after my own heart.. I royally hate it when i see people who feel that part of the game master's roll is to 'hide that he is letting them win by feigning a challenge' or as one dm i know of says "The DM is supposed to be the players biggest fan!..

Bren wrote:
Success is overrated part 2: When I look at or analyze characters I look at what they are good at, but equally I look at what they aren't good. It is the combination of the two that define and mechanically differentiate one character from another.

And if we assume that players create the characters that they want to play* then if their PC is strong, fast, and ignorant (high STR and DEX, but low KNO) then by creating that character the player wants a game where their PC will often succeed at skills in those areas like Dodge, Blaster, and Brawling that they are good and by the same token they will often fail at things they are ignorant of like Alien Species, Languages, and Streetwise. Part of my role as a GM is to give them both experiences because by creating that character that's what they are, in a sense, asking me to do.


And i've had some game modules wrote that specifically HITS players who just make gun bunnies (so are high on social skills or knowledge skills), to SHOW players that being good in combat is not the ONLY thing you can do..
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
The secondary comment using the word "overfocus" was in a minor point about altering RAW's 2-for-1 starting skill dice bonus for my game. And it was not about overfocus in general, but rather that 2-for-1 for Duros encourages species stereotypes. Now if a player in my game wants to make a Duros PC with 4D+2 Mechanical and 12D allocated to spacer skills they can. But the option is there to make an atypical Duros PC with only the 4D in bonus skill dice in spacer skills and their other 8D of skills to be allocated elsewhere, without feeling like they were passing up a "better deal" too much.


That is one of the things i DISLIKED about the races who got those 2 for 1 skill bonuses. it just ENFORCED the racial stereotype, and while that MIGHT be good in some eyes, it also made it to where players IMO only Looked at those races when there was a need for that stereotype..

Whill wrote:
If they get blown up and die, it is then too late to get shot down and captured or invest resources into starship combat. So it makes very practical sense to be somewhat proactive and not completely ignore skills that help the group when the player of the ace pilot PC moves out of state.


As i love saying to new players, its not if you get shot at, its WHEN..

Whill wrote:
True. PC fortunes may rise and fall but I don't allow rich PCs because PCs always buying their way out of problems is boring.


Just having the coin though, will not let them always buy their wya out of trouble..
What if they are say hauling contraband and get pulled into an imperial customs inspection. Their riches won't help if the custom's official doesn't take bribes. Or the hutt they are needing help from wants something OTHER than credits (prestige, hitting someone else where their pocket books are etc)..

And its also hard to keep it all in coin, so eventually they will need accounts. And if they use lots of false id's, there's no real way to keep all those id's able to USE that account..

Whill wrote:
Rock on! If a player wants to play a species which is not on my playable species list or create a new template, they get an opportunity to sell me on the character concept.


I've allowed some to do it in the past, but imo i must already trust them as a player first before i allow it.. after getting burned twice in the past when i allowed newbies to 'woo me over' with a great concept, but buggered things up cause they were just TOO damn good over everyone else..

Naaman wrote:
Interesting.

So, as a GM, you never fudge a roll for the sake of the story?


Was that directed at me or Whill??
If to me, then heck no. If possible i might 'change' whats COMING or how things get org based on how well the players RP, but once we get into the dice rolling (especially combat wise), what's rolled is what stands..

Naaman wrote:

I've done it lots. Sometimes it's a matter of ignoring the wild die, and other times I just outright overrule the result because it is too "inappropriate" for the scenario. Other times, a PC who rolls spectacularly well may still fail an opposed roll, but I'll give it to him anyway if it suites the moment.


Then what's the point of rolling, if you are going to change the result to what 'you feel should be' anyway?

Naaman wrote:

So, allowing a TPK for lack of one skill (for example) in the group seems a bit rigid. If the ace pilot moved away do your PCs have the option of NOT getting into space combat for a while? Maybe go do something else until they can get safe passage and then start building a passable skill set for getting to and fro.


It's their choice if they wish to still take on certain missions if they lack a certain skill. IE if they no longer have a demo guy (or good tech for demo), and still wish to go on an infiltration and blow up target mission, its on them if they fail. Also, sometimes being able to 'avoid a lacked skill' is not unavoidable.. IE imagine if they have been tracking down an imperial spy that's getting ready to "rabbit" back to the empire. They get ready to rumble him, when he flees before they get there, IN a fighter.. END game session..
So you have planned out the space chase and combat for the next session, but when it comes, the pc who has all the good space combat skills is no longer there (like i had when the player got an emergency deployment cause of his NEC, or got stupid and went to jail)..

I see it just like when i run adnd games where if i've planned a # of undead encounters, and they neglect to take a cleric (or pick a cleric of a god that doesn't allow turning), i won't alter or remove the undead..

Naaman wrote:
Are they allowed to find other ways to solve their problems?


They can try, IF they think of it..
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill: what I feel I understand is that we probably dont even disagree.

I do see that a lot of the EXAMPLES that are being offered are being interpreted as hard, fast RPin doctrine. I do not, for example, think that a starting PC ought to be a "superfluous expert." I DO believe that if that what the player wants to play (a specialist, more or less) then why not let him? If a bunch of PCs are generalists, then no individual PC has a chance to shine other than by luck of the dice.

Lastly, I'll say this: the examples that I offered about buying a droid and such were JUST examples. Of course no single solution is going solve every problem. The main thrust I was going for was simply that what characters can't do well is a pretty important aspect of the character... sort of like the negative space in a painting or the silence between notes in a melody.
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Naaman wrote:
Interesting.

So, as a GM, you never fudge a roll for the sake of the story?


Was that directed at me or Whill??
I think it was directed towards Whill. But its an open thread. So anyone can answer.

As for me, the exact and detailed answer depends what decade of my GMing are we talking about and what system we are playing.
In the 1970s and 1980s the answer would be no. The primary systems would be OD&D, Runequest, Pendragon, and Call of Cthulhu. If it got rolled at the table that's what you got. The DM/GM or what have you was a referee who was supposed to fairly arbitrate not try to impose a story. Yes, even I even ran Pendragon that way.

In the 1990s we played a bunch of (heavily house ruled) Star Trek. We seldom even rolled dice. And we all knew the PCs had as much chance of dying or not succeeding as did the main characters on the Star Trek TV shows. So I suppose one might call that fudging (though I would not). No one was fooled by the eventual outcome. Play was genre emulation and we played not to find out if the PCs would succeed in the end, but how they would succeed. This was the sort of game where the GM might take a player aside and tell them "Your character was stung by the alien. Now you are unconscious and the alien has taken on your form and has a copy of your memories. Your goal is to replicate more of your race and ultimately take over the ship." And the GM could count on that player to (1) play the alien to try to take over more players without giving the show away and (2) not do so in such an aggressive manner that there was no way for the other PCs to save the day in the end.

Then we played Star Wars. The rules tell the GM to fudge sometimes. But despite that, still not much fudging done there either. But there may have been some. Mostly in terms of how tough I play the opposition and whether I add more opponents if the PCs defeated them too easily or fail to add in opponents I had planned to have show up but changed my mind since the PCs are getting their heads handed to them. Similarly I might decide during play that contrary to what I might have planned ahead of time, these stormtroopers were better than average or were only just average. But once that decision was made what they rolled was what they rolled. Mostly I rolled dice in the open. Especially in combat.

The closest thing to fudging is I know I let a player re-roll the dice on a few occasions. This might happen maybe every 20-30 sessions. It would be a day where the player had been having a long string of bad luck. Low to very low die rolls and lots of 1s on the wild die. You've probably seen it or had it happen to you. And the player is getting more and more frustrated. And then the frustrated player tries to do something cool and dramatic so they spend a Force Point and roll a huge handful of dice and get an average of maybe 1.5 or 2.0 per die and they get a 1 on the Wild Die. Again. Very anticlimactic. So I might take pity on the player and say - "You know, I don't like that result. Why don't you go ahead and reroll that." If I'm going to fudge something that's how I prefer to do it. I'm not secretly cheating. I'm not fooling anyone. Its open and everyone knows what I'm changing and why.

Mostly fudging just isn't really my style. Part of it is early experiences. But a lot of it is that I play (and run) RPGs to find out what happens not to tell a specific story. So I have little incentive to change the result of the dice either for or against the PCs.
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