Are high-powered force users in d6 SW broken?

Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by Blithe, Jun 16, 2009.

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  1. Blithe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    I like both d20 and d6. The players in my group enjoy playing both. Of course, we all see flaws in each. Some are more detrimental then others depending on the setting, the players, the story, and of course, the GM. However, one thing that has been bugging in d6. I'm of the opinion that d6 SW handles Force users the best of the two game systems. The one minor problem I see are Dark Side Force Points in conjunction with force powers with high-powered force users.

    As you may know, any player can call upon the Dark Side to receive Dark Side Force Points, even non-force users. The difference is that in the grand scheme of things, the non-force sensitive characters only believe they are trying really hard, motivated by extreme anger, or rage, or are committing a very evil act. Like the use of regular force points, they pass it off as simple luck, or skill empowered by blind rage, or pernicious motives. For these players, in the rare instance they choose to call upon the Dark Side and receive a Dark Side Force Point, and double-up by using a regular Force Point, quadrupling their die codes and bonuses, it can produce catastrophic results, but is nonetheless manageable.

    For Force users, however, with Force skill codes even in the 5D-6D range, combined with Concentration, the game suddenly looks like The Force Unleashed, moving capital ships with telekinesis, and tossing aside entire armies with the Force.

    Think I'm exaggerating? Let me demonstrate with an example close to home.

    The heroes are defending a neutral planet from ravage by the Imperial Remnant forces. A Star Destroyer has entered the system, and a planetary bombardment is imminent. The Jedi Character has an Alter die code of 5D. Realizing he can't possibly be powerful enough to summon the power to deal with the destroyer, and no time left to attempt to board the ship, he uses a Force Point. Then, giving into his fear, he also calls upon the Dark Side of the Force, receiving a Dark Side Force Point (which of course by the rules must be used immediately). In combination with the Force power Concentration, his total die code for Telekinesis is 32D! He rolls 123 and literally pushes the Star Destroyer away from the planet, crashing it into its escorts, and finally into the tie carrier in the rear, destroying the ISD.

    All of this was in exchange for 3 Dark Side Points as well. The first for using the force in fear and anger. The second for using a Force point to commit and evil act (calling upon the Dark Side). The third for actually calling upon the Dark Side.

    (As a note, the Jedi somehow made his roll and did not fall to the Dark Side of the Force. :p )

    I'm relatively OK with it because a) it's costly, and b) it was fittingly epic given the desperation of party to save thsoe people.

    All of that aside though, I can see this situation as really wrecking a GM's campaign. Does anyone else have any similar accounts, or ways to avoid massive force use from destroying the story?
  2. Gry Sarth Ex 2x Banhammer Wielding Besalisk Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 5
    Well, first of all, I think you're supposed to add the +4D from Concentration after calculating the effects of the Force Points, just like you would with bonuses granted by armour and such. So the end result in your example wouldn't be 32D but 24D, which while still enormous, might not be enough to send a Star Destroyer spinning into the sun.

    But more to the point, I don't think extreme cases such as this could ruin a campaign, mainly because they should happen VERY rarely, being suitably epic and dramatic. First because no character can pull this trick twice without falling to the Dark Side, second because if a player tries to stack every possible bonus he can into a single action, with no thought to how that fits with the character's story, he's a low-life powergamer and should suffer a prejudiced death-by-GM.
  3. Blithe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    You know, Gry, you might be right on that. I could have sworn that I saw an example of Force Points with Concentraion as the way I described once in the 2nd R&E book. I don't have a copy of R&E on hand anymore. The example described the process that someone playing as Luke Skywalker would have undertaken in order to use a Force Point and Concentration to score hits with his Proton Torpedoes on the Death Star.

    Think you could help me out?

    EDIT: Actually, your Force Powers PDF desscribes that you double both the skill code and concentration bonus -- 2 x(Starship Gunnery 6D + Concentration 4D + Multi-action penalty -1D) = 18D roll. :p
  4. Gry Sarth Ex 2x Banhammer Wielding Besalisk Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 5
    Wow, that's a low blow. Using my own book to counter my argument, that really hurts.

    But you're right, in the Concentration example from the rulebook, the Force Point is calculated after adding in the Concentration bonus.

    Somehow I think the designers never really considered what it meant to spend a "Call on the Dark Side" Force Point in conjnction with a normal Force Point. It's a powergaming mechanic like nothing else, and I for one think it shouldn't be allowed. I'm not even much of a fan of Concentration. 4D is a huge bonus and there is no real downside to using it again and again...

    So, yeah. If you have powergamers and a lenient GM, then D6 can be a bit broken concerning Force users...
  5. Blithe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    Hey, hey -- you know I'm just teasing you, right? :p

    Can you imagine the nightmare it must be for a GM who is running a campaign with Force user of a Jedi Master's skill level -- say, 7D-10D Force skills? Dark Empire Palpatine is probably the most outrageous example. With a Force Point, Dark Side Force Point, Alter 15D+2, Concentration, Drain Life Essence (on millions), Rage, equipment bonuses, preparation, etc., he could likely move Death Star scale objects.

    2[2(Alter 15D+2 + Drain Life Essence 4D+2 + Concentration 4D + Preparing 1D + Multi-action penalty -1D + Rage +10)] + 3D ammulets/Talisman = 95D+56


    Sure he's the ultimate SW badguy. . . but wow. Focusing on one task, it is really impressive, moving capital ships out of system with ease, TKing the Death Star, etc. However, in context, Palpatine was probably paranoid, and obviously under a god complex. The stories speak of him as constantly keeping watch on rivals and minions through Imperial Intelligence and the Force. Also, given a man in his position, why would you ever want to do anything without certain safeguards always "up?"

    The Emperor was probably using Enhanced Coordination to affect the outcome of an ongoing battles and Danger Sense to protect himself from assination. Enhance Attribute might have been needed just to walk (Dark Empire bodies decayed rapidly)and Control Disease as well by Dark Empire II, since his clones were contaminated. Life Detection and Life Sense would be needed to search for hidden force users.

    All of that might be a constant in the midst of telekinetically killin rivals and warlords, summoning Luke Skywalker, Farseeing, and of course, using Force Storms to wipe out entire fleets.

    The amount of power needed to maintain that level of power actually seems to put downward pressure on his full potential.

  6. Jedi_Matt Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    I thought you could only spend one Force Point per round, regardless of how it's procured?

    I don't have 2nd R&E in this house, so I don't know if it's something I've read or something I've assumed because otherwise it would just be too game breaking.

    The other side of the coin is then in what order the DSP and FP come in to play:
    >Apply the DSP first? Survive the bat-sith crazy roll and that's a +1D bonus to each Force Attribute
    >FP spent as it has to be in that round
    >Result is a net gain of +2D

    That'd still be a worthwhile gain in desperate situations. The player's despair will meld with the character's if they're running out of Force Points and this becomes their only option.
  7. Koohii Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    First: I was also under the impression that you couldn't use both FP and call on the darkside to quadruple scores, but was corrected (I think by Gry).
    So yes, you can.

    I'd also like to preface the next bit by admitting that no player in my campaigns has ever advanced a Jedi past 6D control, 5D sense, 2D alter.

    Now, I think the example provided has a few holes in it.
    Calling on the Dark side (1 DSP)
    Using DSP with FP (1DSP)
    Not sure about where you get the third, if that is correct(possible--this has never come up in any of the games I have run)

    The Jedi is using the Dark Side and the Force to commit MASS MURDER. In melee combat, he (in my game) would be receiving a DSP for each opponent (using the Dark side to kill someone). By extension, this player should be receiving a DSP for each crew member of each vessel. Since the Star Destroyer alone has several thousand crew... even if you only count the support staff who are non-combatants, well... that's several thousand DSP. I might be persuaded (after much arguing and bickering) to make it only 1 DSP per ship destroyed (not counting the 1person TIE fighters and other small craft--this time).
    Also, Pushing a Star destroyer arround... Um wouldn't it be easier to use Telepathy and affect mind to change the fleet commander's orders or re-write his mind? Only 1 person "killed/Injured" that way. Much easier, even if it is 3 skill rolls to do it.
    Also, why are the ships all so close together? Moving something that large precludes finesse. I can see hitting one other ship, no problem. Maybe even 2 or three. But not more than that unless the fleet commander is a dummy (not impossible, but seems unlikely). As for the impacts destroying the ISD... Well, I don't see it, unless the Force TK is also being used to damage the ship. I would resolve the damage based on the Hull+Shield codes of the other ships, each of which would be determined separately (not combined) vs the ISD's Hull+shield code.

    Finally, it should come down to role-playing. Would a Jedi really do something like that? By the time they reach Knight status (7D control & sense), certainly not! They should know better--that there's another way (like affect mind on the commander, as I mentioned).

    No Jedi master can teach a student with DSP until the DSP are repented. Thus, all advance of Force Attributes is immediately doubled.
    Other Jedi will do whatever they deem necessary to the Falling Jedi, whether that means refusing teaching, refusing help, inflicting counselling, or telling the Falling Jedi to spend 6 months in meditation while the other characters continue to adventure. They probablly won't attempt to outright kill the Falling Jedi unless he attacks them first or he shows signs of continuing to fall. Falling Jedi may even have to face a Trial under the auspices of the Jedi Council.

    As a rather sadistic GM (where jedi are concerned), I inflict horrible nightmares on my Falling Jedi players, wherein they re-enact their transgressions, only in more gruesome detail, with bait to get them to fall farther. They must make Willpower checks or be at 1D penalties for lack of sleep.

    The player should have to act out his desire to repent. He should face the concequences of his actions, including the friends and relatives of the people he killed.

    Also, I use a house rule: THe Dark Side gets impatient: if you don't continue down the Dark Path, whether you repent or not, the benefits of the dark side fade (1D per adventure) until/unless the Dark Side is Called again. Note, your character still has DSP, but won't get the benefit. Meanwhile, the penalties for having DSP remain unchanged, and each one must still be repented. So, if a Jedi calls on the Dark side 3 times during an adventure, then goes without for the next 2, s/he only gets 1D bonus to force skills, but still has 3DSP. If next adventure, s/he calls on the dark side again, and manages not to go over, s/he now has 4DSP, with 4D bonus until next time, when points are either repented, fade, or another DSP is acquired.
    Another house rule: Studen
  8. Koohii Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Looking back, I can see one argument taking place already: what's the difference between force-pushing a star destroyer and Luke blowing up the deathstar.

    Well, let's start with the really big difference: Luke didn't call on the Dark Side to do it!

    After that, it's a matter of scale. The death star had one purpose: to blow up planets. This is an action of pure evil, created by someone irredeamablly evil, controlled by grotesquely evil people, solely for the purpose of destroying life.

    The ISD, however, is not evil by itself, even if many of the people on it are. The Republic Army used VSDs and their predacessors in the clone war, and also to deal with Pirates and other threats to the peace. They guarded and defended planets in addition to attacking others. The New Republic even still uses ISDs and even SSDs. Thus, even while in the hands of the Empire (or remnants), the ISD can serve good--it is not inherently evil by nature or nurture, only by current application.
  9. Blithe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2003
    star 4
    "When a character commits evil while using a Force Point, the character does not receive the Force Point back at the end of the adventure. In addition, he receives a Dark Side Point. Examples of evil include:

    - Killing a helpless innocent.

    - Causing unneccessary, gratutious injury.

    - Killing except in self-defense or the defense of others.

    - Using the Force while angry or filled with hate." - Star Wars Role Playing Game, 2nd ed., p. 55 "Doing Evil" [Emphasis Mine]

    I thought about it as mass murder for a moment. Ultimately, I did treat the loss of life like the Death Star situation. I can understand if you disagree.

    As I said in the opening post, the example was close to home. I was only trying to illustrate what a player might be able to do. Admittedely. . . that wasn't very well thought out. In our case, the player character steered a Strike Cruiser, which was moving towards the rear to assist a disabled Tie Carrier, into the Bridge of a Victory II Class Star Destroyer.

    As the GM, I did hint around at the possibility of Affect Mind, saying, "There are alternatives to fighting." It didn't happen (obviously). The player did weigh the alternatives. Ultimately, I suppose he realized he would be getting two to three Dark Side Points anyay, and just wanted to look cool. It's not something I want to see happen but on the rarest of occasions, but he's in hotwater now, in game terms. No masters are willing to teach him anymore skills now. To clarify something, he's not technically a Knight, yet. If his skills seem high, he allocated some of his 7D for skills in character creation to Force skills.

    As I was saying, he's not fully a Jedi Knight. I agree that for a Jedi, there should always be another way. I warned him that the consenquences of using the Dark Side of the Force, and on such a broad scale would be crippling. I explained the following:

    A. He might Fall to the Dark Side immediately.

    B. Lose almost any chance at future training from Jed
  10. Koohii Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    That seems kinda redundant with calling on the dark side, but hey, fine by me. I'm trying to argue the player get more DSP anyway.

    That's what my second post was about. :)

    OK. I can see where that would destroy the Strike Cruiser easily enough, and severly damage the VSDII (even destroy it if the VSD rolled really badly to resist damage).

    Well, if the players don't take the hint or think it through themselves, they have no one else to blame, do they? :)
    As for the skill levels, I can understand that entirely. Almost everyone who has played a Jedi in my games has put 2D into Control and Sense right off the bat.

    Gotta love being the GM. >:) Get to make Players double-check every decision and question themselves. Noting like instilling self-doubt.

    Hope you get to really enjoy tormenting him for that session!

    Well, always happy to provide ideas to a fell
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