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

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

  1. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    I was talking in game terms. Having people who want to make money (EOTE) with Rebel soldiers (AOR) and a Force User (FaD) doesn't work if the EOTE characters aren't political. From a game standpoint, the three lines are the best idea ever.

    Yes. The best thing I can recommend are the adversary decks:

    https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/...accessories/products/hunters-and-force-users/
     
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  2. Jedi Princess

    Jedi Princess Jedi Master star 3

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    Mar 25, 2014
    So let me see if I understand this correctly.

    The three rulebooks are more about what kinds of stories my players want, rather than what kinds of characters? Like, using The Force Awakens as an example, if Rey takes Han's job offer and goes off on the Falcon, she becomes an Edge of the Empire character, but because she instead goes in search of Luke Skywalker, she becomes a Force and Destiny character? Or Finn, similarly, has the opportunity to become an Edge of the Empire character while on Takodana, but becomes an Age of Rebellion character through his actions in The Last Jedi?

    I'm gonna spend some time talking to my players to see how they'd best like to go forward. I haven't DM'd in over a decade, so running the Beginner Game was a bit rocky but a lot of fun! I only had two players, so I might re-run the adventure with a full team and continue the story from there, I'm not sure, I have a lot of thinking to do!
     
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  3. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 6

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    Oct 29, 2005
    Well, that's the theory. In practice, the three core rulebooks are really about the kinds of characters - the majority of the sourcebooks for each line are the class books (each line has six basic classes), and the 'full Force user' classes only appear in the F&D line.
    The adventures and location sourcebooks lean towards whatever line they are in, but they are easily used for any of the lines.
     
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  4. Jedi Princess

    Jedi Princess Jedi Master star 3

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    Mar 25, 2014
  5. TheRedBlade

    TheRedBlade Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 17, 2007
    Thanks, gang! That's the best breakdown of what these systems are that I've heard yet.
     
  6. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    Sorta, yes. The idea is basically as follows:

    Edge of the Empire RPG: Fringer characters. People who just want to make a living operating on the edges of the law, the Empire, the fringe etc. Smugglers, bounty hunters, gamblers, explorers, etc.
    Age of Rebellion RPG: Rebel characters. Characters who have a sworn duty to the alliance and who strive to defeat the Empire. Fighter aces, commandos, spies, diplomats.
    Force and Destiny RPG: Characters who have a nascent Force connection and will follow its lead. It's important to stress these are not Jedi, nor do you make Jedi with this. You make people like Kyle Katarn in Dark Forces II, as an example. Characters who have basic force abilities but ways off a padawan like TPM Obi-Wan.

    Each book has about 8 careers, which are "classes" in D&D speak. Under those classes there are three specialisations which give the character more flavour. Scoundrel, in EOTE, has gambler (Lando); thief, and smuggler (Han) as its specialisations. You can never change careers, but you can pick up extra specialisations at the cost of compounding XP.

    Now, the three lines share mechanics meaning they can intersect and do. Luke is an EOTE character who buys into FAD specialisations. Leia is a straight up AOR diplomat. Han and Chewie are EotE. Rey is an EOTE who also buys into FaD. Finn and Poe are AOR characters.

    (we are guessing here, but in an educated way - unlike WEG and WOTC, FFG are smart enough not to stat up any film characters. They've done a version of Lando, but it's very much stressed that they didn't really like it but had to given you're on Bespin and he runs it. The reason it's smart, btw, is twofold; 1) stats are NEVER accurate, and 2) if it has stats, it can be killed, and having Vader bumped off by your party is not the best).

    If you want to blur the three games - and again, you can and it's not prohibited - I would strongly recommend you have a "Session Zero". This is where the gamemaster tells players what s/he expects from the story and players, and the players get to talk about what they want from the game and GM, and what sorts of characters they want to create. I would recommend too listening to the Order 66 podcast, as they're invaluable for making this work.

    During Session 0, I would advise from experience telling the players upfront "some of you may have played D&D or Pathfinder or other games before this. It's important to note that this is a very different system. For one, the GM is not your adversary but your ally. Two, we are all telling a story, and that story must move forwards. So succeed or fail, we always find a way to move the story along."

    This is good read too, for the whole group:

    http://www.d20radio.com/main/being-a-better-star-wars-player/

    Also how did you resolve threat, advantage, despair and triumph?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
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  7. WebLurker

    WebLurker Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 12, 2016
    Actually, "scoundrel" is a specialization of "smuggler," not the other way round.

    Actually, that's a huge annoyance for me; I'd like to have character stats for film (and other canon characters, maybe Legends, too) for guest-starring or something. Even providing a knockoff (like how Jodo Kast was invented for the old RPGs to allow players to fight an easy mode Boba Fett and provide an escape hatch if the party actually killed Fett and you wanted him alive) would be nice. I can follow that having movie characters can cause canon to be messed with, but I kinda think that canon is probably best treated as optional in a RPG.

    I seem to recall the core book recommending a planning session to get started, generate characters, and practice with the dice in general.

    When you say "blur" the games, are you meaning having types of characters from one line in another (like how if the original trilogy was an RPG session, it would be an E&B session, but have a couple of EotE characters), or something else more complicated?
     
  8. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    If they stat them up then they will be wrong. Even 800XP deep, you still can't build a Yoda properly. So if you can only build flawed stats (see also: WOTC) and that will just encourage players to kill the statted character, then leaving it out makes sense.

    Why do you want the stats, though? To try and emulate the careers and talents heroes took?

    As for blurring the games; yes. They're three games, not one - if you treat is as one, and don't agree on some core things beforehand, it'll fall apart. Esp if one or more of your group isn't a huge SW fan - they'll go to EOTE because it's the most "D&D" set of careers and want to play a space murder hobo instead. Therefore, the Force User's morality or Rebel's duty will mean nothing to them.

    Also, any FAD character in a mixed group should have obligation or duty too.
     
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  9. WebLurker

    WebLurker Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 12, 2016
    I guess the way I see it, RPG stats are aways a fudge when it comes to representing stuff from the source material (or for "real life" in general), so I don't have a problem with them not quite lining up.

    Because I'll have to build them myself and I'm lazy and would prefer to not do that if at all possible.

    I was wondering about that, if characters were only governed by their motivation thing from their home game or if you had to add other motives to the mix.
     
  10. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    I just make sure in Session 0 the goals are aligned. If someone wants to be a young idealist who discovers the Force is strong with them and it's therefore up to them to stop the evil empire, and others want to just be murder hobos, I get them to agree on a compromise or suggest changes until it aligns.

    Why do you need the hero stats? For social encounters or combat? I had the players interact with Mon Mothma, Ackbar, Madine, and Cracken in the AOR game I ran. I never once had stats for them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  11. WebLurker

    WebLurker Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 12, 2016
    Yeah, I could see that.

    In your estimation, would it be better to have characters keep their root mechanic if they're in a crossover game, to carry two, or switch the mechanic? For example, a player wants to play a Force and Destiny character in an Edge of the Empire game, say in the context of a fugitive Force sensitive throwing their lot in with a smuggling crew a la Firefly. Should they use both Morality (from their home game) and Obligation (from the game the campaign is set in) during gameplya, or should they only use one, either by waving Morality and just having Obligation (to their crew, a modified version to reflect their fugitive status, etc.), or just using Morality while everyone else uses Obligation?

    Both. Maybe you'd want them to haggle over a transaction deal with Jabba? Play Sabacc with Lando? Fight alongside Leia? Learn about the Force from Luke? Outwit Boba Fett? Get pulled into a treasure hunt with Doctor Aphra? Be the ones to collect the bounty on Dr. Everzeen and Ponda Baba? Run an AU campaign where you can be the ones to defeat Darth Vader and the Emperor (or at least have the chance to)? Same kinds of things if they ever expand the game to feature prequel and sequel trilogy content.

    I can see the logic in focusing the RPG on telling your own stories separate from the movies, but I think that most players would enjoy meeting the heroes and villains they know on a rare occasion, at least, and I could foresee instances where having stats would be very useful to that end.
     
  12. TheRedBlade

    TheRedBlade Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 17, 2007
    I think my DnD group has a new motto.

    Also, I assume you all have seen this?

    [​IMG]

    I'm of two minds on statting up film characters. I could see the use of it in making a character template as an example: "If your favorite character is Poe, here's how his character sheet MIGHT look in this game." Having Poe in the game so a party of mid-level adventurers can gang up on him and shoot him down is less productive.

    With its Pilot Skill system, the X-Wing game has seen a bit of this. Putting hard values on relative pilot skills is a fool's errand. According to the game, Darth Vader, Wedge, Poe, Rey, and Fenn Rau are all roughly equivalent to each other, while Chewie (before TLJ, at least), is hardly better than a generic pilot and Luke sits a cut below the top-tier talent. FFG actually had to re-release Poe, since he was a PS8 in their The Force Awakens tie-in core set, but was clearly one of the best pilots we've ever on film. The result was that we quickly got a Heroes of the Resistance set with a PS9 Poe in his Black One X-Wing.
     
  13. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    The easiest way to explain my approach is to treat obligation as separate and different, whereas Obligation and Duty are separate but equal. Morality offers bonuses at 75, and 90, which make life a lot easier for the character who achieves this. In a game with murder hobos, just stopping their persistent need to resort to violence gets you there. That therefore makes it a flawed mechanic if used as an equal to Duty and Obligation, which have much bigger gameplay effects and synergise better.

    Instead, to answer your question, I'd have them maintain both. Firstly, I'd tell them getting up to 5 conflict a session is ordinary and they are not moral puritans like prequel Jedi. Nobody's taught them any better, so they will occasionally call on the dark side without knowing better, etc. Then I'd give them an obligation, if they're in a group of fringers; or duty, if they help the Rebels. Luke ended up with a minor obligation to help Ben get to Alderaan, and then when Ben died he wasn't freed from it til he rescued Leia. He then picks up Duty in AOR. This works alongside his morality.

    From a GM standpoint, think about the ways in which obligation and duty can also challenge morality, because playing a Lawful Good Paladin is boring and that's not what they intend. If your obligation is to a crime lord, you'll do some stuff that maybe will add conflict to you and when you roll that d10 at the end of the session you slide backwards a few places on the scale. It makes the character more interesting and compels them to pay down that obligation more completely.

    Sure, but none of it requires them to be given stats, unless it's AU in which case you'll build a Vader, not the Vader. If you want to haggle with Jabba, you don't have to do oppose willpower to negotiation checks; you can just set the difficulty at daunting and upgrade purple to red. The stats mean little since you can easily just give them combat attributes such as 30 wounds, ranged defence 1, melee defence 1, and soak 5 with 4 ranks in ranged light or whatever.

    Honestly, in using all sorts of movie characters, I took FFG's lead and never gave them life through defined, fixed stats and it never presented a problem. If anything, it frees you to have them behave as the narrative requires.

    The D&D party in a nutshell:

    [​IMG]

    Yeah and I get the attraction of trying to show how a character from the films might be built in the system; but by the same token, think how limiting that can be too? "I love the thief tree and stuff but Han was a pilot so I have to be that."

    I mean, I cannot give you a good Luke. I can give examples of what he might've been but FaD gives me a few options that could suit him. That to me isn't cause for analysis paralysis but an affirmation for the system because it's all about how *I* see Luke.

    (But, I mean, I can't go past Sentinel Shien Expert as a career spec :D)
     
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  14. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 6

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    Oct 29, 2005
    Deadlands was a big proponent on the 'if you stat it, they'll kill it' in the 90s (although one adventure involved fighting one of those NPCS which made it slightly difficult to run). They eventually gave up on it. Personally, if your group is killing a Ringwraith, or Vader, or Iuz or (insert your personal high-level story NPC here), you have a munchkin group and a crap GM. Plenty of important NPCs aren't going to have high combat skills, like, say Mon Mothma. Not giving her stats isn't going to stop some jerk player from trying to kill her, the GM is.
    I think a lot of this emerged from the early 90s, when TSR was pushing all their 'player options' nonsense and churning out books that gave PCs edges that the GM wouldn't be aware of until they would kill the main antagonist in the first adventure; there was a culture of 'abide by the rules at all times' and GMs not being allowed to 'cheat' (I've had players tell me I needed to roll in the open and take down the GM screen. I told them that they could walk out the door any time they liked). The pushback began with the Planescape setting which emphasized that, despite all the years of munchkins 'killing Thor and taking his hammer', that in their own planes (the only place they can really be killed) they (a) will never be found by a PC if they don't want to be and (b) if they want to kill a PC, the PC is dead - no rolls, no saves.

    On the other side, I prefer that 'main characters' would be extremely rare, if at all - only having Lando appearing out of all the 'famous characters' in SW in all the published adventures is just fine, as well as providing the only stats that are needed for interactions with him. (And yes, Ender, I look askance at your group meeting famous Rebellion characters... :p)
     
  15. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    I didn't particularly want to use them, but half the table aren't that familiar with Star Wars, and the rest are new to RPGs. I've got 30 years experience, they'd be lucky to add up to 10. So in order to give it the right feeling I needed to use them. For my "untitled Sequelesque Trilogy" the only film character still alive would be Lando; taking the role of Leia. And that's just to anchor the eras, really.
     
  16. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 6

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    Oct 29, 2005
    Another Amazon date (of dubious accuracy) - the 30th Anniversary edition of WEG's original rulebooks for the SW RPG is apparently coming out Feb 16th...
     
  17. WebLurker

    WebLurker Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 12, 2016
    Heard of that awhile ago. Forgot about it to be honest. Was it a good system and any news if it'll be revised to fit current canon or left as is for the sake historical purposes (if the game has a clear way for inventing new aliens, ships, and tech, not covering other eras wouldn't be so bad because players to generate whatever they needed)?
     
  18. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    Yes, it was a good system for its day; no, nothing is changing. This is almost a pre-canon book, in that it just made up worlds to support and RPG and someone later on said to Tim Zahn, "don't reinvent the wheel, this is actually pretty good". So it's just a reprint of a classic, which should be for gamers but I don't doubt non-gamers will buy it so it sells out. :(
     
  19. Jedi Princess

    Jedi Princess Jedi Master star 3

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    Mar 25, 2014
    At the beginning it was kinda rough going, it's very different from the last RPG I ran. Each roll kinda became a conversation toward the end, though, unless I thought they were doing "too well" and needed some new third act stakes, etc.
     
  20. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    Did your players propose ways in which they can be spent, or did you just make that call?

    Easy tip as well - the dice themselves represent certain facets of the roll, which in turn can help guide players and GMs to the best way to spend the threat or advantage etc. I'll explain

    Ability dice - Green = Purple.
    These are the natural opposites of each other and respond to the innate abilities of the person rolling. If I have not trained myself 'professionally' at skulduggery, then I'm just relying on my natural cunning to pick a lock open. Therefore, if my result is advantage or threat from these dice, it will should correspond to the base ability. So threat might be that whilst I can jimmy the lock open, I've made some scratch marks and superficial damage to the lock which makes my efforts detectable in future.
    Proficiency dice - Yellow = Red
    These represent my invested training and expertise, as well as the expertise of the opponent. Let's say I'm trying to slice into an Imperial terminal and override a lockdown on a spaceport. Getting threat here would represent the skill of the AI or the Imperial agent who programmed the security in the first place. Advantage would represent the ways in which I was a better trained, more rounded professional; I'm so good at this slice, that I also am able to cover my tracks and they'd have to actively look in the system to see the lockdown had been lifted.
    Environmental dice - Blue = Black
    aka Black Dice Matter. These are incidental bonuses from environmental factors such as the help of teammates, elevated terrain, a heavy crowd, or my previous successes. Since setback dice (black) are the favourites of GMs for enhancing a check, they might well be your most common source of threat. And, since players love asking for a boost, the same applies for advantage.
    Example: I roll an attack against the Black Sun thugs (minion group) on the other end of a corridor. I am rolling 2 yellows, 2 greens, 2 purple (short range) and a setback (1 black) for their cover. I have a boost dice because my weapon has the Superior quality. Net result? 5 success, 2 advantage. The 11 damage I do (6 from blaster pistol, +5 success) is whittled down to 9 because of Soak 2, and it's enough to kill one of them but there's a bunch left. I spend the advantage as follows:

    "I fire a barrage of bolts, striking one of the weequay in the chest and dropping him instantly. The other shots miss, but one of them hits a fire suppression system, which starts up and drenches them in water. They're having trouble seeing and one even loses his footing."

    Next up is my Wookie friend, whose result is 6 success, 2 threat. "Your shots ring home, and drop a Rodian dead in his tracks. However, one of the bolts richoets back and makes another gap in the fire suppression system near you, causing it to go off and obscure your vision. You're suffering setback dice to all checks for the next 2 rounds."

    Does that make sense?
     
  21. Jedi Princess

    Jedi Princess Jedi Master star 3

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    Mar 25, 2014
    Very much, thank you!
     
  22. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
  23. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
  24. AV-6R7

    AV-6R7 Jedi Knight star 1

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    Dec 9, 2014
    I've always wanted to get into the WEG game, but I'm more comfortable with the current system over D6. I have the original 2nd ed RPG and a ton of the old source books and adventures for reference purposes.
     
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  25. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    The FFG system is superior to WEG and I wouldn't go back.
     
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