Lit [Fantasy Flight Games] Because it just keeps getting better

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The Loyal Imperial, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    The lore, while not canon, is excellent in many books. Strongholds of Resistance, for example, is an EXCELLENT book chalk full of lore. I very much enjoy it, as the vast majority doesn't contradict the new canon. FFG does a great job with lore on worlds, organizations, starships, and other stuff like that. It varies book to book, but some are literally jam packed with awesome information.

    --Adm. Nick
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  2. JediBatman Jedi Knight

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    Another update on Rebellion! (It seems like they're doing a new one each Friday)

    https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2017/7/14/daring-heroes-and-dastardly-villains/

    Two major developments with this update. The first is that we finally know why some heroes have smaller skill icons. Those are the "minor" skill icons. If your leader is opposed on a mission, for the minor icons instead of rolling the standard dice you roll green dice that are blank except for 2 sides. So for example you can send Director Krennic on a mission that requires 3 Intelligence, but if the Rebels decide to oppose you you'll only roll one normal dice and two greens. This is the sort of risk/reward thinking I love about Rebellion!

    The last major development is that we finally know who all the new leaders are. Pictures from previous updates told us that the Rebels gained Saw Gerrara, Cassian Andor, Jyn Erso, and Chirrut Imwe, while the Empire gained Director Krennic, Jabba the Hutt, and Admiral Motti. So there was lots of speculation on who the fourth Imperial leader would be. Thrawn? Kallus? Gallen Erso? That one bald general from Rouge One? Who? In the end it turned out to be . . . Death Troopers. Labeled as "Krennic's Finest". Um . . . OK. Look I know the Empire has limited options for it's leaders, but I was expecting the fourth leader to not be a collection of faceless mooks. (Even if they are elite faceless mooks).

    Other than that we see some new missions, and action cards. Can't wait for the next update!
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  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    And I've told you, people buying a book to stare at stats they generally can't possibly comprehend are create sources of cash but otherwise utterly, spectacularly, and continually useless to the developers. The book has one purpose; to facilitate a roleplaying experience. This is the consistent view of every developer you can hear opining on it, from Sam Stewart to Keith Kappel in the most recent Order 66. Whatever secondary, aftermarket uses you can fashion for it are immaterial and irrelevant. However, we are happy for you to continue to buy and misrepresent the books, because after all, the more you part with your money the more FFG releases.

    But, there's a good case study here about understanding the stats versus not understanding but obsessing regardless: the Victory's guns lack the Linked 1 quality, which matters in an RPG. Like, substantially. The problem is, if you're a gamer you can instantly conjure up scenarios to explain why this matters; if you're not, you're upset because the Victory I and II appear conflated...
  4. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Here's the thing- I don't buy them to comprehend RPG's, cause I don't play them. Many folks do, which is awesome and I love that folks enjoy them. We're all entitled to purchase and enjoy these books for whatever reason we want to.

    And take this as my first and ONLY warning- you are not to judge people for their choices. Do not disrespect or demean fans who enjoys SW material for other reasons that you. Do not take a rude or sarcastic tone to belittle people. I have zero intention of disrespecting the many fans who I know that love RPG's, I'll expect you to show the exact same courtesy to those that don't.

    --Adm. Nick
    Last edited by AdmiralNick22, Jul 16, 2017 at 4:11 PM
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    What tone?
    Nick it's really frustrating when people who deliberately exclude themselves from a community elect, of their own accord and with no real impetus from the source, to speak to the works of and for that community.
    My point is accurate; it's simply because people are passionate about Star Wars that they ignore it. FFG make a product for role players. That product has a stated, defined purpose - to facilitate narrative roleplaying in the Star Wars universe. It has no secondary purpose, such as acting as an art book or a statistical repository. Those additional uses are a form of serendipitous appropriation.
    The concerns raised, since WEG's day, by non-gamers are absolutely akin to people complaining that French films are not in English, so they can't understand them. Instead of learning French or reading subtitles, they position it that the product fails to do a correct thing even though the intended audience has no issues with it. The firing arcs of the Vicstar's guns (forward only), and the absense of the Linked quality, has a mechanical affect in the roleplaying game. The apparent conflation of Vicstar I and II in the stats does not. It is therefore an immaterial or esoteric concern in the context of the books.
    I'm all for people enjoying the books, but the appropriate "cultural" context must be given. It is not, though, because people think the fact that they enjoy Star Wars given them an exemption from understanding what the specific, narrow and prescribed intent of those books is.
  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    I mean, there are also some really clear indicators that FFG aren't intending to prescribe anything. Nobody assumes for example that the X-Wing game represents a definitive source of truth on starfighter combat - there's no evidence that system strain is a thing or that J-Turns push crafts beyond their limits. Armada's mechanics are properly contextualised as a way of simply managing fleet combat. So it's ok with those rule sets that they don't strictly speaking, line up with the rest of the known world (or, I missed the outrage that Corran Horn was an E-wing pilot...).

    But FFG's refusal to stat up the movie characters is proof it's not trying to opine in any defined way on the world, because it recognises that you cannot satisfactorily recreate Han Solo, Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia in the current RPG format. They do not fit into a system designed to facilitate narrative roleplaying. That does not mean that the Big Three are not canon; of course not. It means that the RPG has a defined purpose and that purpose is not fit for representing movie characters. It has a limited purpose, and you can't stretch it beyond that.

    If RPGers complained that incredible cross sections books don't have RPG stats, what would you say?
  7. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    When you tell someone that their desired use of a product is "immaterial and irrelevant", you are being respectful. Period. I'd take the exact same action if a poster told you that your love of RPG's was immaterial and irrelevant. It is not your place, nor anyone's, to pass judgement on how someone enjoys the products they purchase. We're all Star Wars fans, regardless of what aspects we enjoy.

    More to the point- a fan complimenting the secondary or tertiary aspects of FFG's Star Wars products in no way demeans or disrespects those that use these books for their primary purpose- roleplaying. In addition, the fact that these guides are also in part "art books" or a "statistical repository" shows that both FFG, avid RPers, casual RPers, and just general fans love & see value in adding these aspects.

    My point is this- when someone praises the other aspects of a RPG book, don't denigrate their happiness or try and tell them how your use of them is more pure. Simply be happy that there are fans out there who also enjoy the products, contribute to their success, and are fellow brothers & sisters in this wonderful fandom that is Star Wars. [face_peace]

    --Adm. Nick
    Last edited by AdmiralNick22, Jul 16, 2017 at 7:02 PM
  8. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    OK but you are layering meaning over the top that didn't exist. I am not telling a fan their enjoyment is immaterial - what I clearly and unambigiously said was that in the context of a role playing game, which is the sole purpose for which these books are produced, an apparent conflation of VicStar I and II armaments is immaterial because it is to the game.

    Look at the definition of immaterial: "unimportant under the circumstances; irrelevant."

    If anything I am guilty of tautology.

    Your analogy would better work if, as per my penultimate post, I suggested that the Incredible Cross Sections books were failures because they didn't have the same stats as an RPG, or they didn't have RPG stats. Or going back further, if a French film failed to connect with me because I didn't speak the language and therefore could not understand it. My criticism is made redundant because I have imposed, arbitrarily, a set of requirements on the ICS books (or French cinema) that exceed the scope of those products.

    The only reason RPGs get an apparent pass is that in facilitating depth of world building, they provide a lot of narratively fluffly background detail which game masters, and to a lesser degree players, can use as threads for the wider narrative of the campaign. That narrative is rich and detailed and fills in gaps that might exist in other media. This creates a (false) impression that there is an intent to opine or prescribe details about the galaxy. When the developers expressly state, though, that their purpose is not to do this, then you must take that into consideration.

    You play Armada, right? What if someone said that the point cost for ISDs should be 1pt because of the ubiquity of the craft and the economic and military might of the Empire. They reason that the Empire's power was significant, so they should be able to field plentiful ISDs. What would your response be; and don't preface it with "but, that's different." Because as per the wise little green munchkin, "only different in your mind."

    I'm also not telling people their fandom is less meaningful. I am stating that they need to have an appropriate context in mind for their interpretation of these books. The authors of the books have stated a view. It is ignored for the sole purpose of people wanting to ignore it for their own convenience's sake. That actually does diminish my experience as a gamer and has done since non-gamers jumped on WEG's back over the SSD length.
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  9. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    My answer to your hypothetical Armada question is- "Do what works best for you." Would I subscribe to a 1 point ISD? No. Would I argue with someone or tell them why their logic to come to that conclusion is faulty? No.

    I do appreciate your clarification and more thoughtful tone. Thinking about this a bit more, I suppose part of the reason some fans (myself included) approach RPG guides (or used to) differently is because in the heyday of the old Legends Expanded Universe, authors of books were active in worldbuilding via these guides to expand lore. Zahn, KJA, and Tyers all did this. And are on record for saying they were able to expand the lore in this setting more effectively than just via a novel.

    At this end of the day, my point remains this- that these wonderful books from FFG are popular with RPGers and non-RPGers alike. That is to the credit of FFG, and for the benefit of all fans. I can't help but applaud them for that, intentional or otherwise. =D=

    --Adm. Nick
  10. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    I think you're dead right on that; the novel authors picked up WEG's foundations and cemented them as THE EU foundations, and that meant people felt empowered to judge RPG books in absolute terms not as game supplements but as world supplements. I don't think WEG ever intended for that to happen (Eric Trautman was heavily amused that Mazer Rackus made the Rebellion PC game and could be made into a JedI) but it did. And it's meant that people are reading these books and often harshly criticising them for doing things they never said they would.

    And, honestly, I cannot commend the game enough to people. Go to your FLGS or message boards and try and find a local game to play or join. I've not enjoyed an RPG like this since... since WEG I think.
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  11. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    I think part of the reason I've stayed away from traditional RPG's is that fleet combat isn't it's focus. It is often time part of the background of a story, but most games that a GM would put together wouldn't revolve around two admirals squaring off with fleets of dozens of capital ships. I know it is possible, but traditional RPG's are best when they are character focused.

    That is really why Armada is a dream come true to me. Not just in terms of gameplay and scope, but the physical models are simply stunning. Well detailed, well painted, and beautiful even when simply displayed on a shelf. I'll note too that FFG's use of EU/NEU lore for this game is great. Take my beloved MC80 cruisers of the Home One and Liberty-types. The named ship cards include Defiance, Independence, Mon Karren, and Endeavour. All EU warships. Ditto introducing commanders like Garm Bel Iblis, or Corran Horn.

    In short, I'm a big fan of FFG. They know their stuff!

    --Adm. Nick
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  12. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Speaking of ISD point cost in Armada, this is what I really appreciate about FFG's Rebellion board game. Instead of making the sides even, they came up with different mechanics for each side. Yes, the Empire gets more raw military power but the Rebels have other tools instead.

    That's a fun way to do it, and to capture the OT feel in a board game.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
  13. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Yeah, I fell in love with Rebellion recently and adore the way each side has to win differently. Hell, they purposely give the Rebel player less game pieces to ensure that they couldn't match the Empire militarily even if the player was very lucky. :p

    All I have (in a standard game, I've ordered more pieces) is x3 MC80, x4 CR90, x4 GR75, x8 X-wing, and x12 Y-wing. Versus an Imperial player who can deploy a max of x2 Death Star, x2 SSD, x8 ISD, x8 Imperial assault transports, and x24 TIE's.

    I'm outgunned, and I love it! It makes the game feel (for the Rebel player) a bit desperate, which is how a Rebel should feel! :D

    --Adm. Nick
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  14. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Sounds really similar to the Rebellion PC game?
  15. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    The PC game balanced weirdly -- at higher difficulties whichever side was your enemy would get more worlds and resources.

    The Empire would always *start* with ISDs and the Rebels would have an initial disadvantage in terms of cap ships, but they were otherwise fairly evenly balanced.



    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
  16. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    I only ever played as the good guys, so I don't know what the Empire started with. ;)

    Update on the Bothan situation:

    The Age of Rebellion beginner's game comes with character folios for PCs to play. One was a Bothan Commander called Arkhan:

    [IMG]

    In the German version of AoR:TBG, all references to him as a Bothan are removed (species = unknown) and instead of "the Bothans", you get "his people".
  17. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Hell, this is great news to me. I can only assume that LFL will FINALLY introduce Bothans in the canon with an actual appearance.

    --Adm. Nick
  18. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    Sometimes I kind of wish there was a "Typical Nick" gif. :p
  19. Ewoklord Jedi Knight

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    Yeah, if anything this feels like gearing up for using Bothans in some sort of serious way. I'm excited!
  20. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Well, a "Typical Nick" gif would be wicked cool, but nothing tops the "Typical Jello" gif. That is internet gold, pure gold.

    --Adm. Nick
  21. JediBatman Jedi Knight

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    I've done some digging on Arkhan. It appears that, at least in America, he's one of two bonus player characters made for the beginner's game. He's not in the box, you can download his character sheet for free from the FFG website (and that file's been there since 2014, so this is nothing new).

    So we've got a series of RPG books that aren't canon anyways (Kessel is an airless potato surrounded by black holes instead of the boring planet it was in Rebels, Geonosians are on Geonosis despite being extinct/near extinct, ect.) If there is going to be a new version of Bothans in the near future, it would be simple to include a note (either in the reprinted AOR core rule book or some future supplement) saying "Hey GMs! There are now two different interpretations of Bothans, but since we love giving you and your players choices and the tools to play your own way, we're gonna leave you with the option to play as whichever version you choose!" Instead (in Germany at least) they apparently purge all mentions of Bothans from the core rulebook, pretending it's always been that way, real "Oceania has always been at war with East Asia" stuff. My question is, if they're so hell bent on removing the current Bothans, to the point that even pictures are being removed, why even bother altering Arkhan's sheet when you could just take it off your website? They go to all the trouble of removing Bothans, but leave this free bonus character mostly intact? And at least in America, the EOTE core rulebook (which also has rules for playing Bothans) came out BEFORE the AoR core rulebook. Has THAT been purged of Bothans too? This is sounding like a real hack job.

    Since Arkhan is still up and unaltered on the FFG website, I'm guessing this might be a case of the foreign distributors/translators/whoever is in charge of this sort of thing acting on their own. Like when the Polish version of that Galactic Atlas book included a reference to the Empire of Zakuul that wasn't present in the English version.
    Last edited by JediBatman, Jul 17, 2017 at 8:07 PM
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  22. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    I was actually remembering that myself, and wondering whether maybe this is a more zealous local interpretation of what's been said about LFL wanting to formally design Bothans than was actually intended.
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  23. blackmyron Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 29, 2005
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    That's why I'm holding off making any final decisions right now - certainly this could be a case of 'lost in translation' or someone taking upon themselves to make changes that FFG didn't mandate. Certainly Ghosts of Dathomir is still on my wishlist at this time.
  24. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Based on past wave announcements, do we have an idea as to when we'd get news of Armada Wave 7?

    --Adm. Nick
  25. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Can't see anything about it out there Nick, sorry.
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