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Pirate's Bay OOC

OOC discussion of ongoing play

Moderator: swrider

Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby ShadoWarrior » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:24 am

swrider wrote:Yeah I'm still playing catch up. He is next on my list to review. GoG characters looks to be pretty well taken care of. Thank you for reviewing them. Since you are more familiar with them than I please give the final approval to move them once you and GoG are happy with them. That will probably happen before I get caught up with yours and the other two games I am in or running.

Both of his characters are still missing backstories. Other than that, Wendi is ready. But as GM you'll very likely need to know her backstory before you can write her into your narrative. (If it were me, I couldn't do it without being too arbitrary for my tastes.) GoG was talking earlier about his two characters already knowing each other. But, with no backstories to look at...

Those backstories are crucial to getting them introduced to the rest of the PCs.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby swrider » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:09 am

I have the introduction of the new characters planned but I will need to see backstories.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby GandofGand » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:18 pm

Sorry for the delays...partly due to mechanics and partly due to GM screw-up the tabletop SW campaign I normally play in on Saturdays went so badly sideways it may have soured me permanently on the system.
I'm gonna take until tomorrow night to ponder whether the headache of this system is worth continuing my involvement in.
Sorry to have put so much work into it but I'm fairly disgusted right now and need some more time to digest events and what I really want to get out of the game. Also wanted to let you all know what was going on rather than just vanish off the board without explanation.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby ShadoWarrior » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:35 pm

We really appreciate you being considerate enough not to vanish on us without a word (as so many players have done in the past).

It's none of my business, except insofar as I'd naturally prefer for you to stick around and play with us, but is there anything that I/we can do to help you? Questions about the system that we can answer, which asking here in a less confrontational and judgmental setting than asking on the FFG board might entail (and more private, if your friends & GM read that board)? I've been GMing this particular game system since it was in beta, and the previous d20 (since the early 2000s) and d6 SWRPGs (since the 80s). It has its share of flaws (which often gets vocal critics, such as myself, flamed on the FFG board by fanboys), but a lot of the problems can be solved by GMs applying common sense, consistent interpretation, and (where necessary) well-crafted house rules. The two older SWRPGs have their legions of fans, but I honestly feel that this flavor is the best SWRPG of the three, else I'd still be playing d20 Saga. But it does take getting used to because it has a unique (and wonderful) dice mechanic and rules-lite approach that is very different than any other RPG I've played.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby GandofGand » Mon May 01, 2017 8:07 am

I personally prefer D6 SW, the simplicity made for better story-telling imo. and don't think I'll ever run the FFG system as it is needlessly complicated.

Basically Saturday boiled down to some bad GM decisions, an over-powered Villains and gobs of stupidity with Force Powers that resulted in me and my character (An Armorer/Warden) being nearly useless for the entirety of the fight.

One of the mechanics sticking points was that according to RAW one can ONLY use a Stim Pack as a Maneuver, not as an Action...so I could not stand (maneuver), retrieve stimpack (maneuver) and use stimpack (maneuver) in one round as we can only use 2 maneuvers in one round, even though I was willing to give up an action to do that, so I could be ready to move the next round.

I emailed Sam Stewart last night and got an email just a minute ago confirming that...and that is the biggest pile of stupid I've ever heard of,,,if i had been the GM I would have said yes its fine to use an action to use a stimpack...8P

The dice mechanics for this game have always felt like a money-grab to me, early in the game you only need one set..later in the game, you'll need 2-3 sets if not 4. at $15 a set thats as much as for a game book for something so easily lost...sure dice rollers are all well and good, but I've always preferred the feel of physical dice...that however is a relatively minor issue overall, but with economics these days...8P

When one round of combat take 30 minutes a round to resolve...the FUN of the game breaks down...
This game gets rapidly broken and can be done so at fairly low levels, which is why I argue against the virtual Mandatory 4 in the primary stat for character as it increase the brokenness (IMO).

At any rate I am going to try and finish up the character backgrounds tonight and tomorrow and try to give this PBP thing a shot and see how it works out.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby ShadoWarrior » Mon May 01, 2017 8:45 am

I disagree on pretty much every ruling that Sam Stewart makes. Many of his answers are just plain stupid, most lack common sense, and result in bad GMing and bad storytelling. His answers always, always reinforce the RAW, even when the RAW is badly written. So, IMO, getting a "clarification" from him is only of use if one cares about the FFG official stance. Since I really don't give a flying turd what their official stance is if it makes no sense to me, I rarely bother paying the official FFG rulings any heed.

In your recent example, amongst the various, multiple sins committed by your GM he committed one that really irks me: treating the game rules as sacrosanct. They're guidelines, not holy writ. If they don't fit the narrative, or make sense in a particular situation, or (most importantly) reduce fun, then toss them and apply judgment. Alas, too many GMs lack judgment. I think you'll find that neither swrider nor myself are that hidebound. In your example, the GM should have allowed you to use an action. Not trade an action for a maneuver, but use an action to do something that doesn't require actually moving one's feet. Hell, the only reason applying a stim is a maneuver instead of an incidental is to prevent abuse (such as one person using 4 or 5 in one round). In effect all one is doing is jamming the needle someplace. If you're pressing a button on a console that's (usually) an incidental. Your GM made a bad call. IMO.

But bear in mind that this is the same system that treats hitting the "gas" or brakes as a maneuver rather than an incidental. Again, just for play balance, because common sense otherwise indicates that pressing a button or shoving a throttle forward takes under a second out of the ridiculously long one-plus minute turn. It's absurd (and swrider agrees with me) that a pilot having to choose between flying (to close range) or accelerating is silly. In the real world pilots (and drivers) can do both at the same time. The vehicle rules in FFG are very badly designed. But I digress.

The dice mechanics are great ... provided that you don't have an idiot for a GM who doesn't know how to interpret results in a fun and reasonable fashion. Yeah, changing the paint in the dice does allow FFG to money-grab. But players don't need to do that. There is a conversion chart for standard polygonal dice. It's slow and cumbersome to have to translate, but it can be done. Much easier is to just have at least one person at the table with a smartphone and a FFG-compatible dice app, or a laptop connected to the web, or at least a laptop with an offline dice app. Don't give FFG any more hard earned cash than you have to.

As for Force powers and GMing, if your GM is crappy (and it sounds like he is) then Force stuff is just going to exacerbate his deficiency. Force stuff requires a lot of GM arbitration and your GM seems to be lacking in that core competency. If your GM can't even create reasonable, balanced encounters (or make good judgment calls about something as simple/trivial as jamming a stim into an arm or leg) then he certainly can't be trusted to make good calls about how to apply magical effects.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby swrider » Mon May 01, 2017 8:58 am

I will say this systems is very difficult to balance. The dice mechanics make it so that the difference between PC failure and extremely easy success is often just a bad roll.

I have two rules that I follow as a GM, before all others, which you should probably know about.
1) This is a game it should be FUN if it is not fun then something is wrong.
2) When in doubt side with the players.

That is not to say I don't make ruling that the players disagree with from time to time, but as shadow will attest I am always open to listing to their perspective and compromising.

I hope you give the game a try and learn to enjoy it, but I will issue one warning. A round in PBP can sometimes take a week or more to resolve. This game tends to go a bit faster, but it will have lags.

Either way I appreciate you keeping us informed. This is also not my preferred system as I mainly DM D&D, but i do enjoy the diversity of the star wars setting. Also the dice mechanics have a good knack at increasing the diversity of the game. You can look through this games IC to see that. Shado's character rolled a despair while purchasing a droid and that lead to a very fascinating mission that would not have otherwise existed. The dice can be a great asset with a good GM and set of players.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby ShadoWarrior » Mon May 01, 2017 9:36 am

swrider wrote:I will say this systems is very difficult to balance.

Yes, since this isn't a level-based system such as d20, it's harder to balance as even going by XP things do not easily balance as some builds are far more powerful than others. And that's before you add in gear effects. A GM has to look at what the players' dice pools will likely be, and scale enemies to both the number of PCs and to their dice pools. The GM needs to make sure that he doesn't overwhelm the players by either trowing enemies that are too tough to defeat or too numerous (or both). And the GM has to use the Destiny Point mechanics in such a way as to both create challenge to the players and further the narrative. In swrider's defense/praise, he's done a pretty decent job of keeping things balanced, challenging, exciting, and fun. Worst case, in your recent FtF game even if your GM (badly) ruled that you couldn't use an action to apply a stim he should have allowed you to burn a Destiny Point (DP) to get the job done (justify reducing the activity from a maneuver to an incidental). The point is to have fun, as swrider rightly says. Bad GM calls destroy fun. Not understanding the game mechanics and not allowing players to use their resources (such as DPs) to 'bend' the rules is both bad GMing and not fun.

swrider wrote:The dice mechanics make it so that the difference between PC failure and extremely easy success is often just a bad roll.

Which is where a wise GM starts to take it easy on the players, fudging rolls if necessary. Besides everyone having fun, the story needs to be told, and the narrative advanced. If the players aren't being stupid (which players sometimes are, as I was recently) and despite their best efforts the dice refuse to give them a break, then it's up to the GM to manipulate the scene so that the story doesn't go completely off-track. Assuming that there is a desired track, of course. Sometimes going off the reservation is interesting and fun. Sometimes not, and it can make life too complicated, the mess overbalancing any fun. The flip side is a GM also shouldn't be railroading players, and staying "on script" isn't always the best choice. It's all a balancing act.

swrider wrote:The dice can be a great asset with a good GM and set of players.

Indeed!
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby GandofGand » Mon May 01, 2017 10:26 am

Thing is this is one of those situations where the GM is a friend and properly enthusiastic, and it was a bad judgement call but there's other background stuff going on as well that I won't get into.

Suffice to say I still intend to give this game a shot and will get my backgrounds done and up in the next day or two...take it form there. Maybe seeing how the game is done properly may help me help other GM's in the future.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby ShadoWarrior » Mon May 01, 2017 10:34 am

That's the spirit!

Really looking forward to getting things rolling (no pun intended). I like your personality write-up for Wendi and can hardly wait to see what you write for Chia-Pet, and for both of their backstories. Not so much because it'll mean that you're ready, although that's certainly a reason, but because I want to read whatever you write up.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby GandofGand » Mon May 01, 2017 12:15 pm

Quick OOC Question, for the time-frame, has Alderaan been destroyed by now and how long ago?
Its for a part of the background for Wendi.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby ShadoWarrior » Mon May 01, 2017 12:21 pm

This is ABY, at least 6 months to a year. I just know that it's pre-Hoth. Our GM will have to give you a more precise time.

Ari lost a brother (in Gold Squadron) in the attack on the DS.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby GandofGand » Mon May 01, 2017 12:26 pm

Okay so Alderaan IS destroyed...thats what I needed to know.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby swrider » Mon May 01, 2017 1:15 pm

GandofGand wrote:Quick OOC Question, for the time-frame, has Alderaan been destroyed by now and how long ago?
Its for a part of the background for Wendi.


It is recent. I never set a specific time frame but it would have been within the last year. I believe the original job was happening soon enough after the DS that not many people know about it, yet. So 6 months to a year is a good estimate of the time frame.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby GandofGand » Mon May 01, 2017 2:21 pm

Wendi's Background is done and posted. You'll see why Alderaan was important...8)
Will have to get to Chira tomorrow.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby swrider » Mon May 01, 2017 8:13 pm

the background look good. Just an FYI but most of us know when to check posts because one of two things happens. The board highlights a forums text in red letting us know a new post has been submitted or we receive an email (from subscribing to the forum) about a new post. When a post is edited we receive neither notification so updates can easily be missed. Long story short it is best to make a quick post letting everyone know that you edited a prior post or simply make a new post with the pertinent information.

I think most of us have ended up waiting on each other at some point because a post was missed either for editing or it just got overlooked.

The background looks awesome BTW. I look forward to seeing the character develop in play.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby GandofGand » Tue May 02, 2017 6:46 am

Yes, I've seen the Red Highlighted things. I'll make a note to mention Edits.

I may not get to Chiras background today, partly because I'm frickin exhausted and aprtly because I need to do some research on Chadra-Fan.

I love writing backgrounds, I used to get grief in some old game groups for writing TOO involved of backgrounds...and I did...lol, one character I wrote for a Shadowrun Game had an 8-10 page background!

I don't get that detailed anymore partly due to time constraints and partly due to GM's not taking the time to read them and use them anymore...so I try and keep things a little more concise these days.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby ShadoWarrior » Tue May 02, 2017 7:00 am

You'll find that both swrider and I read what players write, and use stuff from the backstories (and not always in a way that's friendly to the character). There's no such thing as "too much" background. Only lazy GMs and players who don't quite get that it's a roleplaying game.

Speaking of edits, I just finished going through Wendi's "fluff" and cleaning up the grammar and formatting. (I'm **** about reading badly-formatted text, which is why I extended this board's bbCode tags to add formatting features not usually available on forums.)
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby swrider » Tue May 02, 2017 7:37 am

GoG Don't worry about getting it up today. Character creation is one of the most difficult parts of the game. Shado is right that I do read characters backstories and bring them into the game. So please don't feel that you need to kill everyone off that you knew except PCs. There may not be anything obvious at first but little things tend to work their way in. Shado's character was supposed to be an orphan with no family ties, but the way he wrote his background left the family alive with an assumption of death. Ari's brother is a member of the emperors hand who has had some run ins with the group and claims to have information about her parents. Though last the group saw him he was being turned over to the alliance intelligence.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby ShadoWarrior » Tue May 02, 2017 8:44 am

Creation can also be one of the most fun and rewarding parts of the game. If a player takes seriously the development of the character by writing a good backstory and description, as opposed to just putting together a 2D cardboard cutout with numbers attached. GoG has done a great job of creating a character that has depth.

As for Ari's backstory, I deliberately wrote it as I did so that the GM could do whatever he wanted to, if he was so inclined. I've done similarly with the characters in his Operation Source game. I didn't do much with Hass because I simply don't have a good feel for the character's species, culture and homeworld. I picked the species for its "crunch" aspects, rather than roleplay. I would have had a similar problem had I chosen Chadra-Fan for my tech (which is the other great species for tech stuff).
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby ShadoWarrior » Tue May 02, 2017 8:49 am

BTW, O great GM, with 3 new PCs we'll need extra Destiny dice rolled to expand the pool. heh
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby swrider » Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am

GoG would you mind rolling new destiny pool for the group. it will be six dice so 6eF on Orokos.

GoG typically the players roll for destiny points, but we have found it simpler for a single roll to be made for the group in the PbP format.
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby GandofGand » Tue May 02, 2017 9:49 am

lets see if this works...

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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby GandofGand » Tue May 02, 2017 9:51 am

Herald of things to come? muah muah muahahahahahahahahahah!
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Re: Pirate's Bay OOC

Postby swrider » Tue May 02, 2017 9:52 am

I will make an effort to use a few of those quickly.
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