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cdtatro
9 May 2002, 05:30 AM
...so please be gentle...

After much consideration, I've decided to run a SW game using the d6 system rather than d20. Both seemed to have plusses and minuses, but in the end the more extensive sourcebook support and the (in my opinion) better skill system of d6 won out.

There are 2 areas I still have concerns about though, and I come here seeking the group's sage advice. Forgive me if this is one of those things every newbie to the HoloNet posts.

I've read in places that d6 Jedi become unbalancingly powerful as they advance. It seems as though they are pretty potent even right off the template, with 1d in each Force area giving them access to 9 Force Skills (even if it is only at 1d). Does anyone have suggestion on how to balance things so that the Smuggler or Pilot or whatnot doesn't get left in the dust? Maybe give an extra die or two for skills at character creation to give the non-Jedi a leg up?

The other area of concern is in starship combat. The d6 system looks far superior to d20's attempt but I still don't know that it will be that engaging, especially for players who are not the pilot (they just have to stand around and whine "I thought you said this thing was fast..."). Any tips on involving everyone?

Also, I'm a big Full Thrust fan and am hoping to meld those rules into ship combat somehow. I'm thinking about keeping weapons systems/armor etc as they are in d6, but using FT rules for ship movement, keeping the vehicle speed as inches per turn (with half that number available for turning). Anyone experimented with this?

My only other concern is getting players (and good players). But it's a SW game, and with Episode II out I can;t be the only one jonezin' for a game. Anyone here in southern NH looking for a game? :D

Thanks,

Chris

Troy Henist
9 May 2002, 06:35 AM
Just because players are not pilots doesn't mean they can't get involved in space combat. If the PC's have a space transport then there are plenty of things for them to do in a combat situation.

Gunner(s), Shield Operator, etc. The pilot won't be able to do all those things on his own.

With the Jedi. Not sure on that one.

Grimace
9 May 2002, 07:40 AM
My advice:

1. Be careful about what you give the Jedi player. Most of the reasons why Jedi characters get overly powerful is because the GMs don't watch what they give out closely enough. Yes, the Force is more potent in D6, but its easy enough to keep the "leash" on a Jedi if you don't go around giving them full training from a Jedi Master, lots of Character Points (so that they can increase their Jedi Powers), and other nifty things like that. Have you run D6 before?

2. As long as you give the group a fair ship to begin with, there should never be a reason for only the pilot to do things in space. As Troy mentioned, other characters can be gunners (most beginning ships probably shouldn't be all computer operated, so you'll need a gunner or two to shoot at bad guys), or sensor operators, a can fix things as the ship takes damage, or can repel boarders if the situation arises, or can figure out how to hide contraband before the ship is boarded by customs agents. Just use your imagination.

3. Sorry, can't help you with Full Thrust.

cdtatro
9 May 2002, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by Grimace
My advice:

1. Be careful about what you give the Jedi player. Most of the reasons why Jedi characters get overly powerful is because the GMs don't watch what they give out closely enough. Yes, the Force is more potent in D6, but its easy enough to keep the "leash" on a Jedi if you don't go around giving them full training from a Jedi Master, lots of Character Points (so that they can increase their Jedi Powers), and other nifty things like that. Have you run D6 before?

uh, no. I haven't run d6, unless you count a drunken afternoon with Ghostbusters about 10+ years ago. But this is far from my first time GMing at all - I'm not a complete newbie! :-)

Any powers you'd suggest I avoid? I picked up the TotJ sourcebook to have a full listing (and have a bunch of converted ones from the d20 book off the Rebellion website - http://www.verminary.com/rebellion/ - had to have Force Push...). Since the powers are like advances in Civilization I figue it would be a while before they have the prereqs to gt anything really dangerous. The characters will not have full access to Masters for training, and whatever happens in AotC may impact this as well.


2. As long as you give the group a fair ship to begin with, there should never be a reason for only the pilot to do things in space. As Troy mentioned, other characters can be gunners (most beginning ships probably shouldn't be all computer operated, so you'll need a gunner or two to shoot at bad guys), or sensor operators, a can fix things as the ship takes damage, or can repel boarders if the situation arises, or can figure out how to hide contraband before the ship is boarded by customs agents. Just use your imagination.

That's what I figured. The old FASA Trek game had different people running different systems during combat (one person to make the Sensors roll, one person to deal with Shields, one Hemlsman, one person firing phasers, the captain barking orders) so the whole combat thing kept everyone awake, and everyone contributed to each successful shot It was neat when it worked, but it took forever and a day. Didn't know if there was anything else of the sort people used here. Thanks.


3. Sorry, can't help you with Full Thrust.

No prob. That much I can do on my own. Just didn't want to reinvent the wheel if anyone had something they truly loved.

Chris

Tony J Case, Super Genius
9 May 2002, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by cdtatro
I've read in places that d6 Jedi become unbalancingly powerful as they advance. It seems as though they are pretty potent even right off the template, with 1d in each Force area giving them access to 9 Force Skills (even if it is only at 1d). Does anyone have suggestion on how to balance things so that the Smuggler or Pilot or whatnot doesn't get left in the dust? Maybe give an extra die or two for skills at character creation to give the non-Jedi a leg up?

Yeah - the sad fact of life is that Jedi start out wimps but eventually turn into combat gods. So here's what I did with my all Jedi game to keep the characters in check:

Impose a house rule that the Jedi also has to keep the Willpower and Stamina at more or less the same die code as the force. Even if I were not trying to keep a lid on the Jedi, I'd still probably do this. It makes sense from a story standpoint. A Jedi must be a master of mind, body and soul - to be out of balance is intconsistant with the Jedi way.

Also - remember that a character can only raise one skill a pip each game. This means that if they did nothing but focus on the Force, it'll be nine games before they get around to having 5D in their Force powers - assuming that they start out with the Force skills maxed out.

Even better, impose a rule of only one pip into one of the three force powers per game, period. That'll triple the Jedi's shelf life.

Sabre
9 May 2002, 08:46 AM
In regards to Jedi balance, Jedi start off at a bit of a disadvantage. If they begin with any Force skills, it takes 1D of attribute dice per force skill they begin with. If they want to increase them any further at character creation, they have to spend some of their skill dice (most people start with 7D) so they'd start off less skilled than anyone else as well.

If you don't think that's enough, I have a quick and easy Force potential rule. The idea behind it is that not everyone can be as strong as, say, Yoda. Just roll 2D with the wild die, and that total is is high as any Force power can be. I suggest disregarding mishaps, however, mishaps could make for some interesting complications with the character.

Finally, I suggest that you do not allow Jedi characters to begin with a lightsabre, regardless of what the template says. The lightsabre is the weapon of the Jedi, not of any punk who has Force skills. They have to earn Jedi, and they ought to earn a lightsabre. I think you'll find that it's easy to tempt players into taking shortcuts with their characters in order to get a lightsabre. Of course, the shortcut takes them straight through the dark side. But, that kind of thing is up to you.

wolverine
10 May 2002, 03:38 AM
My sentiments exactly. I do have 2 seperate lists for force powers. One is players initial choice (when they are made) and the other is full power list.

As a side note, the jedi only get's 1 power per full D of force ability, (ie 3 at 1/1/1[alien student],2 for 1/1[quixotic or failed], or 1 for control[minor]), and no other powers, even if me bumps up the stat at character creation.
Then have it wher ehe can only learn a skill OR increase a power...

Jericho_Narcas
10 May 2002, 11:14 AM
One of the things I really like about the R&E 2nd edition rules is the fact that Jedi characters only start off with one force power per force skill rather than three each. When they start off with fewer powers and no master to teach them Jedi aren't too unbalanced at all.

As for Jedi characters starting off with lightsabers -- I don't really mind. As beginners they're just as likely to hurt themselves as anyone else. Have you ever tried to raise lightsaber combat with just 3D in control and sense? Not only does lightsaber combat take up two of their available power slots (one for each pertinent skill under R&E -- original 2nd ed. just took up one slot per power regardless of how many force skills it was based on IIRC), but as beginners they're going to have to spend at least a round or two raising it, with little chance of attacking before the 2nd or 3rd combat round. That is unless they want to raise lightsaber combat and attack all in the same round -- which penalizes a starting Jedi so badly that such an attempt is almost doomed to failure. By the time they have enough skill to use it, you're probably ready to give them a lightsaber anyway. Note that smart Jedi will still find uses for a lightsaber even if they aren't skilled enough to use it in combat -- like cutting through walls and such.

cdtatro
10 May 2002, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by Jericho_Narcas
One of the things I really like about the R&E 2nd edition rules is the fact that Jedi characters only start off with one force power per force skill rather than three each. When they start off with fewer powers and no master to teach them Jedi aren't too unbalanced at all.

I'm glad you posted this Jericho, cuz I was confused as heck after reading the post from "wolverine". Apparently I have 2nd edition at home, not R&E. I like this 1 power per skill idea better. And I was already planning to implement the "control/alter powers cost 1 control and 1 alter" rule. Maybe I should start a new thread "what are the differences between 2nd ed and 2ndR&E" - unless anyone can point me to a handy FAQ on this?

My other thought was to give them 3d of Force Skills to start with but to say "pick any 2 skills" to sort of replicate the advancement in the d20 system. This would let each of them be a little more "advanced" in one skill. Thoughts on this modification?

Chris

Jericho_Narcas
10 May 2002, 12:18 PM
There isn't a whole lot of difference between 2nd ed. and 2nd ed. R&E -- I sort of use a hybrid because I still like the scale charts and die caps. I could have sworn I've seen a website outlining the changes, but I can't recall where I saw it for the life of me.

I use the rules on modifying equipment and ships (no more mishap modifiers -- hey, my hyperdrive works all the time now!), wounded twice (an extra level of damage between wounded and incapacitated -- helps you hold up better in combat), and the rules on force powers.

They did some changes with the scale charts (actually the charts are gone, and they use bonuses or penalties instead of die caps) and the combined action rules too, but I haven't implemented those changes in my campaign and probably won't, as I like the old way better. There are a couple of other minor changes that I play around with sometimes.

I'm not that familar with the D20 system -- I played AD&D, but I played the 1st and 2nd editions of the game. The 3rd ed. D20 system (which is essentially the same for Star Wars or D&D as far as I can tell) came out after I got into Star Wars, and I fell in love with the D6 system. I wish I could give an opinion on your idea, but I'm afraid I don't have the background. I'd just stick with the implementation the R&E rules use, and you should be fine there. Believe me -- Jedi improve quickly enough.

Jericho_Narcas
10 May 2002, 10:56 PM
I think I see what you're saying now cdtatro. Are you talking about designing a template with 3D of attribute dice in Force skills and letting the player pick two Force skills to place the dice in, thereby making him better at one than the other? That's an interesting idea if that's the case, and I don't think such a template would be too unbalanced as long as you don't let a player put all three dice in one Force skill.

cdtatro
11 May 2002, 05:25 AM
That's exactly it. I've never been keen on templates anyway, so I only plan to use them really if the players want to (I have no idea who my players will be. I just put up a note at the local game shop, and we'll see whio shows up. It's pretty scary, actually, after 10 or so years of gaming with trusted friends). I'll just let folks assign dice as outlined in the Advanced Characters section. But yes, I would definitely not let them put all 3 dice into 1 Force Skill.

Another stupid question: you can assign some of the 7d you get for skills ot Force Skills, right? So someone could build up their Sense or Control, albeit at the expense of building other useful skills. And do they still get 1 more power for every pip (or is it every die?) in the skill?

Thanks,

Chris

wolverine
11 May 2002, 06:45 AM
That is usually dependent on the GM. I personally allow 1 more force power per FULL die put into a force skill at cha generation, some do not even allow that, and others grant 2 or 3 per die...

Jericho_Narcas
11 May 2002, 07:28 AM
Yes cdtatro -- Jedi characters can allocate dice to their Force skills just as if they were any other skill. I wouldn't let them gain a Force skill in this way -- they can only assign skill dice to a Force skill the character already has listed. It's in your discretion whether or not to allow them any extra powers, but I think a good rule of thumb to go by is one power for every die of attribute dice that go into Force skills, and zero from skill dice allocated.

Say one of your players make a Jedi. He's got 15D in attribute dice, and 3D in Force skills in addition to his starting 7D in skill dice. Let's say he chooses to place 2D in control and 1D in sense. In that case I'd allow him to have two control powers and one sense power. He can improve those skills by up to 2D from his skill dice, but that won't give him any extra powers, nor would I allow him gain a Force skill he doesn't have (like alter) by allocating skill dice to it.

Hope that helps.

Dr_Worm
11 May 2002, 02:34 PM
Well I find the best tool for limiting Jedi is just common sense. If you set down a set of rules regarding this in the begining, and they end up noty working, you can get stuck. If you just use common sense on a case by case bassis you'll have a better chance of keeping a balanced character.

In my first D6 campaign (which lasted 8 years with the same characters) the Jedi in the group never got uber-powerfull because we payed Rebellion era and I (as the GM for his masters) used common sense. First of all he could not begain as a Jedi. It was about 10 games before he got a lightsaber and a master, and all force powers that he learned I decided on. He was a pilot as well so he spend his CP's on that and it's related skills too.

So with some creativity and comon sense Jedi can be a fine addtion to the party.

Jedi_Staailis
11 May 2002, 02:34 PM
I have pretty extensive experience running Jedi in D6, so I'll focus on that aspect of your post.

It is very true that Jedi start weak and get more powerful as time passes. If the player chooses to dump attribute dice into Force powers at the beginning of the game, remember that they will forever be 3D short in attributes relative to the other heroes. While Jedi skills do compensate for this, 3D in attributes is huge. Expect the player to put the full 6D (the maximum 2D per force skill) into their force powers, making each power 3D. Force skills are so much more valuable than other any skill, it would be crazy not to improve them.

The most "dangerous" kind of players are the ones that choose to start off without force powers, merely being force sensitive. The path is longer, but they will avoid losing the attribute dice. I once played a character like this. After three years playing him, he was effectively invincible.

As your Jedi progress, expect them to start weaker than the other characters, and stay that way for quite some time. Their Force abilities will be more specialty tricks to help them out, rather than abilities they rely on. At some point, the balance will shift, and you'll find that Jedi with lightsaber combat up become very powerful. Like the Jedi of the movies, even entire swarms of enemies will be little challenge. Can a game like this be fun? Yes, but you'll need mature players (both the Jedi and the non-Jedi), and a crafty GM.

wolverine
12 May 2002, 07:30 AM
I have found the easiest way to takre down powerful jedi while in combat (actually preferabily before they have the chance to activate ltsbr cmbt) is to shot the ltsbr with a slugthrower. No ltsbr, no ltsbr combat...

On a side note/question. In the main book, it says when a person is doing a dodge/melee parry/brawl parry, that they can roll once and have it apply for the entirety of combat. Does this also apply to a jedi doing parries with a lightsaber (onlyh parrrying, not reflecting)?

Jericho_Narcas
12 May 2002, 11:40 AM
That's how I do it wolverine. As a general rule only one defensive roll is ever needed per round. Now if he were parrying blaster bolts and defending himself from another attacker with a lightsaber at the same time I'd probably have him make two rolls since he's defending himself from two separate attack forms. Fortunately, situations such as that are pretty rare. ;)