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Revamping Concentration
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I have ever said this before CRMcNeill, but I think I have to disagree with your premise. I definitely have to disagree with your use of the example.

CRMcNeill wrote:
Concentration has long been something of a head-scratcher for me. It's cited as the power Luke used when firing at the exhaust port on the Death Star, yet per WEG's own rules and the power description, he couldn't have used it.


Luke could have used Concentration EXACTLY how the book describes it.

First off, here's the scene in question.

Both Concentration and a Force Point last a single round, that is 5-6 seconds. The scene is not precisely timed, it is shot out of sequence. We are switching between exterior views of the X-Wings, the TIEs, the Millennium Falcon, the turbolaser tower, inside Yavin Base, Tarkin giving commands on the Death Star, inside the various cockpits, and Imperial Gunners prepping the giant planet-exploding laser. All of this is to say that the audience can not know how much time each action is taking, in sequence, down to the second.

So let's go over the relevant sequence of events, as shown to the audience, with most of the other cut scenes ignored.

1) Luke, Biggs, and Wedge go into the Death Star Trench full throttle. Biggs asks if Luke can pull out of the trench in time. Luke dismisses his concerns.

2) They deal with the turbolaser towers.

3) The towers stop shooting as Vader and his pilots enter the trench. Wedge gets hit and pulls out, Biggs dies doing his job.

4) Vader tries to shoot Luke and has a hard time. "Use the Force Luke." "The Force is strong with this one." The targeting computer is turned off. Artoo is shot by Vader.

5) "I have you now!" Millennium Falcon takes out the TIEs.

6) Without the TIEs there Luke is makes his shot.

7) We cut to the Imperial Gunners prepping the Death Star Super Laser

8) The Alliance ships are flying away from the Death Star.

We never see Luke pull out of the Death Star trench. Without the TIES there for him to have to dodge, Luke could have used 5-6 seconds, a single round, only to make the shot and in the next round rolled piloting to pull out of the trench. There is nothing in the film scene to contradict this sequence of events.

|+|+|+|+|+|

On a side note, what a brilliant way to tell the story. I must have scene this movie a dozen times and I was still on the edge of my seat watching it. Excellent story telling.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The key problem here is how fast Luke was going. If the X-Wing was traveling at "full throttle," the presumption is that Luke was going at least Full Speed. Because of the vagaries of the 2R&E rule system, traveling at Full Speed under those circumstances would've required a Piloting roll every round, due to terrain and speed conditions.

To fire a torpedo (I'm assuming he had his torpedo launchers fire-linked, firing two with a single action) would require making two standard actions (one Piloting and one Gunnery) with a -1D MAP penalty to both.

However, the description of Concentration limits it to a single action in a round:
    The individual Jedi concentrates on one specific task at hand. If the skill roll is successful, the Jedi may add +4D to any one action in that round. The Jedi may do nothing other than using the concentration power and using that one skill for one action. The Jedi receives no bonus if anything else is done in that round, including duplicate uses of the same skill or dodges or parries.
So, the only way Luke could've used Concentration under those circumstances is if A) he had dropped his X-Wing to Cruising Speed or B) Concentration is somehow less restrictive in some way. And there is no indication in the film that Luke ever reduced his speed during the trench run.

One possible explanation that occured to me as I wrote this was that, since all of an X-Wing's weaponry is fixed forward, and requires steering the starfighter itself to bring it to bear on the target, it could be possible to allow the pilot to substitute his Gunnery roll for his Piloting roll, making a single roll of his Gunnery skill at -1D.

Just a thought...
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I went back and read 2E R&E of 106 & 107. You're right, any vehicle speed over cautious is considered an additional action, even if you don't have to roll it.

I'll have to remember that.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies accepted Commander Krytoss...


[choking sound heard in the backround].. Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
One possible explanation that occured to me as I wrote this was that, since all of an X-Wing's weaponry is fixed forward, and requires steering the starfighter itself to bring it to bear on the target, it could be possible to allow the pilot to substitute his Gunnery roll for his Piloting roll, making a single roll of his Gunnery skill at -1D.

Just a thought...

The more I think about it, I think this is an ideal solution. We have plenty of examples of skills that overlap, or could very easily be placed in one attribute or another. Considering the specific nature of Gunnery when it comes to firing fixed forward weaponry, aiming and firing such weaponry is hugely dependent on the ability to maneuver said craft into a position where the cannon or launchers in question can be brought to bear.

What I'm thinking is this: if a fighter pilot wishes to fire fixed forward weaponry only (any turrets must be fixed in position firing in the forward arc), the character may use a single Gunnery roll at -1D for both his Piloting and Gunnery rolls. The roll must still beat the Difficulty level for each, with any failures resolved normally. This applies only to fixed forward weaponry, as the pilot is essentially performing both actions with the same set of controls.

This will primarily be useful in opposed rolls for dogfighting scenarios, but will also have uses for chase scenes.
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jmanski
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys are all over-emphasizing the rules. The end of ANH is the climax of the story and Luke will get a pass from the GM on "non-important" issues. In essence, the GM hand-waved the piloting roll after Vader was eliminated, allowed Luke to use Concentration with a Force Point, and the day was won.

The rules are important, but the game is meant to be fun. The GM gave the PCs in this instance an impossible situation but instead of telling the players what they couldn't do, let them do the heroic at the moment of destiny. This is the cinematic approach to gaming.

Now, granted, every adventure will not boil down to such a single, massively difficult task such as hitting the exhaust port, but if it does, the players should be given the ability to work with cinema magic instead of worry about the rules.

The point being this: you cannot shoehorn the rules back into the movies and expect them to work perfectly. The rules are for basic governance of the game, not to prevent fun.

Disclaimers: fwiw, ymmv, just my opinion, yada yada yada
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmanski wrote:
]The end of ANH is the climax of the story and Luke will get a pass from the GM on "non-important" issues. In essence, the GM hand-waved the piloting roll after Vader was eliminated, allowed Luke to use Concentration with a Force Point, and the day was won.

The rules are important, but the game is meant to be fun. The GM gave the PCs in this instance an impossible situation but instead of telling the players what they couldn't do, let them do the heroic at the moment of destiny. This is the cinematic approach to gaming.

Now, granted, every adventure will not boil down to such a single, massively difficult task such as hitting the exhaust port, but if it does, the players should be given the ability to work with cinema magic instead of worry about the rules.

A good GM can successfully rule on how something work on the fly and it will work most of the time. You shouldn't need a crunchy rule for every little thing.

jmanski wrote:
You guys are all over-emphasizing the rules.
...
The point being this: you cannot shoehorn the rules back into the movies and expect them to work perfectly. The rules are for basic governance of the game, not to prevent fun.

You hit the nail on the head, Jman. I've said it again and again. The purpose of the game is to create new stories featuring original characters that seem like they could be set in the same universe as the films. Not everything that happens in the films has to be translatable in game terms.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would submit that, while the rules can't duplicate it, an effort should be made to make it come close. I'd rather see a somewhat viable path via the rules to accomplish what is seen on screen than a blatant GM fiat.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I would submit that, while the rules can't duplicate it, an effort should be made to make it come close. I'd rather see a somewhat viable path via the rules to accomplish what is seen on screen than a blatant GM fiat.


Egads me and C agree on something. And i've never really liked the mentality that "The game duplicates the films, and the PCS are the heroes of OUR film with us being the director" some seem to have.
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Darklighter79
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I would submit that, while the rules can't duplicate it, an effort should be made to make it come close.

Sometimes to make it come close, it's just enough to write less.
For Concentration the errata should delete the following:
"The Jedi may do nothing other than using
the concentration power and using that one skill for one action.
The Jedi receives no bonus if anything else is done in that round,
including duplicate uses of the same skill or dodges or parries."
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Last edited by Darklighter79 on Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Phalanks Balas
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darklighter79 wrote:
CRMcNeill wrote:
I would submit that, while the rules can't duplicate it, an effort should be made to make it come close.

Sometimes to make it come close, it just enough to write less.
For Concentration the errata should delete the following:
"The Jedi may do nothing other than using
the concentration power and using that one skill for one action.
The Jedi receives no bonus if anything else is done in that round,
including duplicate uses of the same skill or dodges or parries."

I agree.
I would also add a 3D malus to the MAP for any further actions.
So in the exemple of Luke in death star trench... Luke spend a Force point and declare 3 actions : piloting his X-wing, using power of concentration for firing 2 linked torpedos.
MAP for piloting is -2D (3 actions) -3D (concentration) with Force point (X2) = 10D malus.
Assuming Luke has 5D in piloting, he rolls 5D with Force point (X2) +3D (x-wing) - 10D = 3D.
Firing is done with -2D (3 actions) + 4D (concentration) with Force point (X2) = 4D bonus.

My 2 coppers
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose my only real objection is that, if there were one power that by definition should restrict the character to performing one action and one action only, it should be Concentration. It is, after all, an intense focus on a single task.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I would submit that, while the rules can't duplicate it, an effort should be made to make it come close. I'd rather see a somewhat viable path via the rules to accomplish what is seen on screen than a blatant GM fiat.

But are PCs in an adventure ever going to be Luke Skywalker flying an X-Wing in a Death Star trench with Vader chasing them, and have to destroy the Death Star just like Luke did? In my view, that was a unique moment in the history of the entire Star Wars universe, never happening before and to never happen again. It doesn't need recreated. It's special. It's the shot heard 'round the galaxy. The real start of the revolution. Luke is special. Vader is special. Obi-Wan is special. The rules that apply to PCs don't have to apply to the special cases like the Skywalkers and Force Ghosts. The game is the Matrix created to simulate the universe of the Star Wars films. The films are not part of the Matrix. The films don't need exactly recreated in the Matrix because you'll never need to insert a PC into Luke's X-Wing in the trench run. As long as your game tells fun stories that seem like it could take place in the same universe as the Battle of Yavin, your game group has accomplished its mission.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO, if a character is special, then their game stats should reflect it, not merely be hand-waved into existence via GM or game designer fiat (which is something of a cop-out, AFAIC). If someone is playing the game who has never seen the films (assuming such a creature exists), they should be able to look at Luke's stats and tell that he's special. This is one of the reasons I support a Force Attribute; it's a lot easier to make the Death Star run something only someone like Luke could pull off if he's got a Force Attribute in the 6D-7D range. His WEG stats as of the Battle of Yavin are respectable, but the dice levels he shows in the essential skills would allow a mid-level Force Sensitive Pilot PC to make the Trench Run as well.

I much prefer a system where the hero characters are capable of amazing feats because their high attribute and/or skill level makes it plausible that they could succeed at an epically difficult task, not just because a GM or game-writer played the "he's special, so don't ask" card.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
IMO, if a character is special, then their game stats should reflect it, not merely be hand-waved into existence via GM or game designer fiat (which is something of a cop-out, AFAIC). If someone is playing the game who has never seen the films (assuming such a creature exists), they should be able to look at Luke's stats and tell that he's special. This is one of the reasons I support a Force Attribute; it's a lot easier to make the Death Star run something only someone like Luke could pull off if he's got a Force Attribute in the 6D-7D range. His WEG stats as of the Battle of Yavin are respectable, but the dice levels he shows in the essential skills would allow a mid-level Force Sensitive Pilot PC to make the Trench Run as well.

I much prefer a system where the hero characters are capable of amazing feats because their high attribute and/or skill level makes it plausible that they could succeed at an epically difficult task, not just because a GM or game-writer played the "he's special, so don't ask" card.

I think you're losing site of the fact that Luke is not a character in the game. He is a character in a film that was was made from a screenplay written completely ungoverned by game mechanics. Unless you are going to run a player in the game playing Luke in the film's Trench Run scenario for some weird reason, it can remain a special one-time metaplot event. I feel it should be a special event for this very special and unique NPC.

It is plausible for Luke to destroy the Death Star without the Concentration power. Luke is an NPC, not a starting PC. There are many possible game interpretations. They may not all be acceptable to you personally, and you feel the game system should be 100% backwards-portable to the film for unnecessary reasons. But this is beside the real point here.

Even if Luke is going to appear in an adventure a GM wrote, he will be an NPC. If the GM only plans for dialogue but just wants to be prepared with a character sheet in case the adventure takes an unexpected turn, he will be an NPC with a character sheet. It will not be in the Death Star Trench Run. It will be whatever scenario is in the GM's adventure.

Finally, "Concentration" was always an incorrect interpretation of the film. Concentration is defined as "the action or power of focusing one's attention or mental effort." This is a conscious effort made by what Jung would call the ego. That is not at all what happened in the Death Star trench. On the Falcon, Obi-Wan said, "You must go of your conscious self and act on instinct." In the trench, Obi-Wan's ghost said, "Let go, Luke." Luke wasn't concentrating. Luke was letting go of his concentration. He was letting his unconscious mind take over. His instinct. This is the direct opposite of consciously focusing attention and mental effort.

But how do you put that in game terms? Do you need to recreate this specifically just for Jedi abilities for PCs in the game, which are other characters in different situations? Lucas was originally opposed to allowing an RPG game license because he didn't want the Force quantified at all. Thankfully he relented and we have this game, including the ability to make original characters with Force abilities. But Luke's "one in a million" shot is unnecessary to quantify. It's sacred. I think this one thing that can remain unquantified.
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