View Full Version : Enough is enough

25 November 2002, 08:42 AM
After the abyssmal attempt with the OCR I went back to D6. When the RCR came out this past May, I gave them another try and played it as my main system.
Now, enough is enough.
After spending $75 between the two corebooks and over $200 or so on the sourcebooks, I still find myself having to come to the swrpgnetwork or other sources just to get house rules so that my players can duplicate the heroics of the Star Wars films. While I can handle needing a couple of rules here and there, I have found this practice of searching for house rules to be a more and more frequent necessity when playing Star Wars D20. I have to ask if the designers are even familiar with the films? It doesn't appear so. Particularly when it comes to the Force skills. It has gotten to the point where I could have bought Traveller D20 or Dragonstar D20, created a binder of house rules, and used that to play in the Star Wars Mythos with the same effect. It is ridiculous.
Star Wars is about heroics, Saturday Matinee, and Space Opera. Larger than life actions. Another gripe is that in Star Wars D20 players can spend a force point, but then it is gone. Only at certain times during an adventure (usually the climax) can they gain more or they will gain 1 when they gain a level. Big Deal. WOTC allowed (I forget the company) to us VP/WP in Spycraft. Would it have been so hard to use their idea of Drama Points, as well? At least in D6 characters could spend CP's to represent the extra effort put into an action- that special heroic quality. And while I could create a Drama Point SWD20 House Rule, it just comes back to my issues with the game.
In all my years of playing D6 I have had create one house rule and that was for Lightsaber Combat. Was it to cover an event featured in a film? No. It simply to make the combat more interesting and less bucket o' dice for the high level Jedi. I never once had to create a new rule to duplicate anything from the films.
In the case of D20, I can excuse House Rules at this juncture for events from Episode 2, but not for events from Episode 1 or the OT. And it is with the OT that I find the most holes in their system.
All in all, this veteran player has had enough. If given a choice between $30-$40 per book and then needing a Binder O' House Rules or using a Bucket O' Dice and then only needing new rules to cover events from films that happened after the WEG license deep-sixed. . . make mine bucket O' dice.
Nothing against the D20 system-- I do like it. I just feel the game designers dropped the ball again on the Star Wars line and I cannot afford to shell out anymore money for a game I do not feel does its job.
Thanks for listening. I feel better now.

25 November 2002, 09:24 AM
anything specific you don't agree with on the designers? Some force power... the issue of skill points... the fact characters have levels... underpowered starships... overpowered starships... what exactly is the real problem here?

i realize that many d6ers loved WEG and the product support they received from that company. I myself dabbled in d6 till the group made the switch to d20. most of the people in the group (i'm a player in this one) complained about the mess of rules... but i was fine with the 'complexity' becuase it was only as complex as you made it. you can work with the base systems and just build yourself up into realm of starship stunts, attacks of opportunity, etc.

I play in three seperate d20 groups. The first was long time WEG before the switch. The second started in d20. The the third is a startup based of older WEG and newer d20ers. Aside from a few gripes here and there (mostly from WEG veterans), there is no fall from our suspension of disbelief. I play by the rule book and have acquired few 'house rules'. but the ones i have acquired are slowly being replaced by current updates in the SW FAQ as several of the issues do get addressed.

I understand the gripe about money... but aside from the Holonet and associated online sites, there are no more WEG supplements in D6. The immediate future is licensed to WotC and for those who want an 'official' mediator, WotC is the present power broker. It may change in the meantime, but I've learned to accept WotC's style. People like JD WIker and Owen Stephens (who occasionally pop over here) make me remember that there are people in the belly of the beast. :)

25 November 2002, 10:40 AM
One thing I disagree with you about, Blaid, is your complaint about force points. If you're the GM, I don't see why you can't just give out force points whenever you wish. Understand that WotC tends to err on the side of caution when dealing with giving characters more powers. They don't want people claiming that the game is too easy, and they don't want players using force points too often, or they are no longer special.

25 November 2002, 11:40 AM
I am a bit sick today, but I do plan to respond to both of you in a new reply. Hopefully it will be today. It took an effort to write that post and I just cut and pasted most of it over at Wizards.com. Just didn't have the energy.:(

25 November 2002, 12:55 PM
Okay. Here is the first draft of the responses Ravager_of_Worlds asked for. I am sure I will forget somethings that have bothered me, but I am equally sure any further responses will serve to remind me. Keep in mind this is just the point-of-view of myself and about 80% of my players (all of which have been playing Star Wars with me since 1991), and in no way is meant to crucify D20 or those that play it. After all, we played it for several months before coming to a decision.
First, I agree I can distribute Force Points as I see fit as a GM. However, I am also of the school that FPs should be something special. Thus my preference of the CP system. I also like the idea that the more a player wishes to spend CP on the dice, the less they have to increase skills with. It comes down to a choice by them as to what is more important. That choice has been removed in D20.
There are several film instances that just don't mesh well with D20. Look at my post under D20 for Telepathy. In D6 Vader would have used Receptive Telepathy to get an impression from Luke on the Death Star 2 about his twin sister. I would say the only reason he didn't get her name was because Luke managed to make a good control roll to resist, maybe even spent a FP or CPs to help his roll. What in D20 does that effect from Vader? I posted that question on JDWikers site as well and re replyed with Empathy. I told him good answer- to be respectful and because I thought of that- but as I read the Empathy rules again, I didn't buy it. Getting someone's feelings as a means of helping with certain mundane interaction rolls does not qualify as getting the impression of a twin. Not under their rules. I can allow it to work that way, but that comes back to another "House Rule", and the need for so many started me on this rant.
Wizards claimed the RCR covered Episode 2, yet where is the ability to push something and damage it with the force now? How about the toss ability of force lightning? One thing I can say for WEG is that in their day they would have at least added some text to Force Lightning to account for that in the Ep2 SB. So, the Emperor didn't do it. Palpatine also wanted Luke to suffer at the end of Jedi, not use Force Lightning to toss *him* into the reactor. But where is the option? I guess that is in yet another House Rule. From my experience, if WEG also said a certain book covered events from a movie, particularly Ep2, we'd have seen something to account for Yoda and the Force Lightning. Not even errata on it from WOTC. Also, when Yoda deflects it back Dooku blocks it bare-handed. Not even the Jedi Block ability covers that, as you still need hand protection. Errata? Nope. Just forum debates and house rules.
Can't use Empathy again on the same character for 24 hours. Can't farsee more than once a week. Remove Life Sense from see force and then, in my opinion, create a luke-warm force technique in the POTJ Book to make-up for it (which in my opinion still doesn't cut it). House Rules galore!
Levels and Combat are another reason. I have nothing against Levels- I do play Dragonstar and will be playing Traveller. However, in Star Wars levels make some of the movie events unbelievable. Am I to believe that a level 9 character beat a level 18 character on the Death Star 2 even with a Force Point or enchance Attribute? I have played with the dice on that one, I can't buy it. In D6, Vader has a Lightsaber skill of 11D+2. Luke has a skill of 8D+1. Even with their sense dice added in, if Luke spent a force point that fight becomes very possible in the RPG. It is harder for Dark Siders to spend force points, and Vader would definitely been at a disadvantage in that scene.
This can probably go into Episode 3, as well. In this case, I am going to make a broad assumption, so bear with me. Let's assume Anakin must defeat Dooku to become the new Sith Lord. Anakin is level 6 by the end of Episode 2, Dooku is level 18. Now, how many levels would Anakin gain in two years? Using Luke as an example, who also spent years fighting in a war like Anakin would in the Clone Wars, not enough. Anakin can't up his combat skills anymore than his levels allow. In D6, it can easily be said that after losing his arm to Dooku, Anakin has spent time in Lightsaber training and has put CP into that skill. He won't be taken so easily the next time they meet. Or maybe into his Sense and or Control to help the skill. Whichever.
I for one also get a migraine figuring the base attack mod and adding in the modifiers for autofire, multifire, two-handed attack, improved two-handed attack, ambidexterity, etc. I prefer the simple, straight forward # of actions -1 is the die penalty. So, 4 actions is at -3D. It is even easier there to play around with Anakin's fight with Dooku at the end of Episode 2, when he used two lightsabers. And never mind the house rules needed in D20 to account for how he blocked Dooku and saved Obi-Wan. That was another short debate in the D20 forum under "Parry". In D6 Anakin spent a force point to double his die codes for one round and took two actions for a -1D penalty: Enhance Attribute for jump and then Lightsaber Combat to parry the strike against Obi-Wan. Or even one action: move at high speed (20m or approximately 66 feet) and Lightsaber Parry. No debate or house rules.
In D6 a player had a 160 year old character (near human, but with a far greater lifespan) that was once a Republic Law Officer, then became a bounty hunter when the Republic fell, and then threw in with the Alliance. Ten years after Endor, because he has always been force sensitive, he began training in the Force (keep in kind this one was last played in 1998--- before the NJO and that Soldier/Jedi character that was in the POTJ). He had bare minumim in lightsaber combat, like 1D above his attribute. In D20, when we created him from scratch, due to his levels and mods he got three attacks with the Lightsaber. I even took away the proficency and it didn't help. There is just no way to really define a character's combat skills the way you want when the bases are based off classes and levels. Even his blaster attacks were way over the top, but the dex was necessary to account for his initiative (high perception in D6, and yes we even used Improved initiatve in D20) and defense (great dodge in D6). It's the lack of control in that regard that annoys me with Levels vs. Combat.
However, the Stormtroopers do fall over dead a lot easier in D20.
I do like the special abilities of the classes, though, and have no problem with the skill points.
Starships and Vehicles never really bothered me in D20. Any gripes there are minor and have been voiced even by D20-only players. I can live with that stuff.
I don't mind that I have to create and/or find house rules for D6 to cover new events in the prequels since WEG does not and will never have the license again. But I never, at least in my own games and 11 years experience with them, had to create a house rule because their rules didn't agree with the films---- the bases for the RPG in the first place. I am sure that point can be debated by other D6 players and GMs, that is just speaking from my own experience. And these players were nothing if not the Han, Luke, Leia, etc. of their campaign.
Well, my back is killing me. My degenerated disc has been acting up worse lately and I see surgery in the near future, so I need to get out of this chair.
Later, and Peace!

26 November 2002, 06:20 AM
I knew it! I did forget a major point in my games.
Let's say I am playing D20 and I am running during the ROTE era. I remember reading once, before Episode 2 came out, that Dooku was one of the "Lost 20" Jedi that left the Jedi Order. I can't seem to find that reference anymore, but let us assume I want to use it in my game. So, I am going to give myself 1 hour to create a member of the "Lost 20" as a major NPC, this includes game stats and background (background is extremely important in my games).
I want to make this guy level 15. I decided to give him levels in Jedi Guardian, Jedi Weapons Master, and Dark Side Maurader-- just to pick a quick three. Okay, so first of all I have to use 2 seperate books just to cover the class choices: the RCR and POTJ. No biggie, in D6 I would use the Rulebook and my Tales of the Jedi book (which compiles all the D6 Force Powers) Then I have to calculate his: Attributes and Mods, Attribute increases for levels 4/8/12, skill points for each class and level, determine class skills/cross-class skills/skill caps, Force skills, vitality for each class and level, feats for each class and level, bonuses and modifiers for certain feats, Bonus Feats, class/level abilities, defense total based upon the three classes, attacks and saves based upon the classes, et cetera. By the time I am done with the NPC I have spent nearly 40 minutes on him. I kid you not, I have yet to make a good level character for a mid-to-high level game in less than 30-40 minutes, unless he was a single-class character. That leaves me 20-30 minutes for background. And if I want an NPC on the fly I am in trouble unless I want to use the generic NPC's given in the RCR.
Now, put this in D6. I give him 15D for attributes and use the remaining 3D for beginning Control/Sense/Alter (I figure, since he was taken to the Jedi Temple as a child, he learned the Force Skills early and thus had to use Attribute Dice, per creating a beginning character). Now, since the guy has been around a while, I assign dice to skills as I need and as fits the character. I do this character in about 10-20 minutes leaving 40-50 minutes for background, maybe a starship, etc.
Ditto if I need an NPC on the fly. The guy has XD in whatever skill. No levels and caps and et cetera to boggle it down.

26 November 2002, 06:56 AM
If its the designers you are mad at, why post this here? Why not post this at JD's boards? He could give you an answer, as he is one of the designers of SWd20.

JD's Boards (http://www.jdwiker.com)

26 November 2002, 07:18 AM
It's not that I am mad. And if it were a matter of topics that could be explained within the context of the rules to make it easier (and character creation is what it is, for example) I would ask JD. As a matter of fact the Telepathy answer I got from him was to use Empathy. It's an answer, but doesn't fit unless I House Rule Empathy. I am just tired of D20 House Rules just to cover the film events. But his site doesn't have a "Rant and Rave" section and I don't want to go there and start a flame war. I just posted here to let off some steam-- at the designers for not living up to the events of the films (IMO) and to myself for still paying for the books because I am an idiot and it is Star Wars. And then Ravager_of_Worlds asked for specifics, so . . . . This way I can vent in a forum made for it, if someone has some feedback or I missed something- great, and if not I can always read it again whenever I have an urge to buy a *new* Star Wars RPG book. :D
Other than Star Wars, I love D20!
But just to be fair I will post a multitude of questions on his site today. Let's see if he can answer me without House Ruling the Core Rules I spent a total of $75 on (for both editions).

26 November 2002, 09:53 AM
Posted 10 questions to JD and Stephens at JD's site. Let's see what they say.

26 November 2002, 05:24 PM
If you have any questions about the game or jsut designing a game he usually answers them quickly and thoroughly.