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  #21  
Old March 2nd, 2013, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
The move to unified mechanics in the 80's was one of the biggest changes in RPG's. It made it easier for lesser GM's to improvise rules calls (because which mechanics are invoked is, from the player perspective, always the same).
But, just because a game has a unified mechanic doesn't mean that it's a better game (just mechanically speaking) than a game that uses several types of mechanics.

They're just different approaches.

D6 Star Wars has that one single mechanic, used for just about everything in the game, and that really fits the quick-n-easy, fast-n-furious flavor of Star Wars.

Classic Traveller can be more gritty--more hard science (it can be space opera, too) than Star Wars, and I've embraced the "GM's call" method of its loose task system. I think it's not only one of CT's charms, but one of it's strengths.

With a lose system--what I call a non-structured task system--the GM can customize throws to the specific moment, and that is sometimes more desireable than a one-size-fits-all task system.

For example, in MegaTraveller and Mongoose Traveller, the "weight" of a skill level is always 1 point on the 2d6 scale.

In CT, skills can be customized for various types of situations, and this actually fits reality better than one-size-fits-all task systems.

For example, the throw to revive a character from lowberth is a 5+. What does that mean? Anybody can do it. Just roll 2D for 5+.

If you have specialized Medical knowledged, it will help, a bit, but only a little bit. You get +1 if you have Medical 2+. So, it doesn't mean if you're a nurse or a brain surgeon--you could have Medical-7 and still only get the +1 modifier, the same as what the Medic-2 nurse would get.

And, finally, the low berther's health comes into play. Low berths are made for healthy people. If the berther's END is 6-, then there's a -1 DM to the throw.

So, under the best possible conditions, reviving from low berth is a 4+ probability.





Another way to use skill is highlighted under the CT Vacc Suit skill. It's a 10+ throw to avoid dangerous situations while in non-breathable or hostile environments.

The character receives a +4 DM per level of Vacc Suit skill. That's the same as saying, "Characters with Vacc Suit-2 or more are skilled enough to avoid typical dangerous situations in hostile enviroments." (Because 10+, throwing 2d +8 is a minimum of 10.)




With Streetwise, if a character doesn't have the skill at least at level 1, then there's a -5 penalty to the throw. But, if there is no Medical skill on the low berth revival throw above, or no Vacc Suit skill on the throw above, there is no penalty for not having those skills.


You can't pull off this type of customization with a one-size fits all task system.

Which is why, I believe, that CT shines in this area.
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  #22  
Old March 2nd, 2013, 09:26 PM
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TECHNICAL

I'm still reading over the first edition core rulebook. Whether I actually get a game going or not is up in the air. I'm just enjoying the read!

There's lots of things to fix in the Star Wars universe: starships and speeders, droids, weapons and armor and other gear. It's a technologically advanced society.

So, it makes sense that one of a character's six main attributes measures his technical aptitude: Technical.

In Star Wars, if the character doesn't have an improved skill, he simply throws the die code of the governing attribute, and TECH governs all the repair skills. So, everybody in the Star Wars universe can fix some things--it's just the stuff that's real hard to fix that requires additional training.

Reading through the skills section, I saw that the game's got this neat little repair mechanic.

Remember the character Roark Garnet from earlier in the thread? He's got Technical 2D+2 with no improved skills, which means, anytime he attempts to repair anything, he rolls a base 2D +2.

So, let me show you how this repair mechanic works. I do it with an example.





Roark's ship takes damage when navigating the rings of a gas giant. The GM rules that the difficulty number to fix the ship is 20.

So, Roark rolls 2d+2 and gets a total of 8. So, 8 points of the total of 20 is fixed. Now, the target number is 12.

The first try at repairing something takes 15 min (unless the GM specifies otherwise).

The second try takes a day.

The third try takes two more days.

Try four takes four more days.

Try five takes eight more days.

And so on.


So, going back to our example, Roark has to repair 12 more points of damage. He works an entire day on it and rolls his TECH attribute 2D+2, gets a total of 8 a second time. The ship still isn't fixed, but there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Two more days (for a total of 3days and 15 minutes) Roark has been working on this ship. Once these extra two days are up, he rolls his 2D+2 for 4+ and gets a 10. The ship is fixed!



That's a nice little piece of mechanics writing. I appreciate a good, simple game mechanic.
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  #23  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 11:29 AM
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Its an interesting mechanic.

Though, 'sometimes a thing gets broke, can't be fixed' - sometimes that determination may only be gained after the attempt - any allowance for that (RAW)?
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  #24  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BytePro View Post
Though, 'sometimes a thing gets broke, can't be fixed' - sometimes that determination may only be gained after the attempt - any allowance for that (RAW)?
Yep. The rule is designed to allow PCs to fix things in-game, but for plot purposes, the GM may rule that a particular part is needed or damage can only be performed at a repair yard, yadda, yadda.

There may be a more defined rule in the more detailed later editions of the game, but in first edition, most things can be fixed if the PCs put in the time unless the GM needs whatever is broken to remain broken.

For example, in the adventure I'm looking at (Battle For The Golden Sun), the PCs are crash land on a water world. The ship is damaged so that a standard class repair yard is needed--it cannot be jury rigged. This keeps the PCs on the planet and makes them get out of the ship and into the water to start the adventure. The ship isn't fixed until the end of the adventure once the PCs have won the day and made friends with the natives.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 03:26 PM
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D6 Star Wars is all about fast action, blaster bolts flying, speeder drivin' fun.

The rules, even the lite rules provided in first edition, can get as detailed as a GM wants. For example, every weapon is given range categories so that one blaster pistol may be a bit more effective at short range than the other.

But, if you don't mind glossing over these types of details, and you just want a wam-bam exciting game, there is a suggestion in the first section of the first edition combat rules: It says to play out combat in the imagination--don't mess with maps and exact distances. The GM describes the action, players describe their actions, and the GM puts it all together, telling players when to roll.

The suggestion for quick combat goes on to say: Regardles of the exact weapon values, consider Point Blank Range to be 3 meters or less (about 10 feet).

Consider most indoor locations to be Short Range.

If the indoor location is very big (this is Star Wars, after all), like a large hangar bay, then use two ranges: Short and Medium Range. If targets are far, then use the rule of thumb that blaster pistols are at Medium Range while blaster rifles are at Short Range.

And, if conducting the combat outside, where typically there is a lot of space, use a similar rule of thumb: blaster pistols at Medium and Long Range; blaster rifles at Medium range.

Remember that the difficulty for Long Range is so hard that it's usually reserved for sniping weapons with scope attachments.



So, the game can be played on a grid, measuring everything out, using different range categories based on weapon type and movement in exact squares.

Or, the game can be played in the imagination, fast and furious, with generalized rules that lead to exciting scenes and fun.


As GM, pick your poison.
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  #26  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 08:12 PM
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OK, so here's another non-traditional, but quick way of doing things with the D6 Star Wars rpg. (I so admire these rules.)

There is an option to play out combat on a grid, but as I indicated above, the default is to play it out in the imagination.

Rolling for initiative isn't necessary. Players declare their actions, and then the GM guides the game through narration, describing the scene as if watching a Star Wars movie.

One suggestion for Declarations is to go by Perception scores, with the lowest perception going first--indicating that person generally doesn't see the whole picture before acting, and the highest PER going last--with the effect of that character perceiving the moves of the others before making his own move.

Initiative is not important when playing out the combat scene. When it is, the actual results of the skills used are considered which character shot first.

Take the situation with Han Solo and Greedo at the cantina in Mos Eisley. (Let's use the version where Greedo fires first.) We're in a roleplaying situation that breaks out into combat.

While in the roleplay...

PC Han: I don't trust this guy. I'll slowly pull the catch on my blaster and ease it out of the holster, but keep it hidden under the table. I'll say, "Even I get boarded sometimes. Do you think I had a choice?"

NPC Greedo: He doesn't seem to notice. He's so full of glee that you see drool wink out of his snout. (Then, in character, the GM says...) You can tell that to Jabba. He may only take your ship.

PC Han: Over my dead body. If he makes even a micro move, I'm blasting him.

NPC Greedo: That's the idea. I've been looking forward to this for a long time. And, the green thug jerks and fires!

PC Han: I'll let him have it!



The way the game (first edition) suggests this be handled is just to look at the higher blaster skill roll total.

Both the characters make blaster skill checks. In this case, Greedo's total is higher, so the rodian's shot is considered first.

PC Han uses his Dodge skill as a reaction roll, which is high enough to make Greedo's shot a miss.

Now, we look at Han's shot. It was lower than Greedo's, but the difficulty at Point Blank Range is only 5+. So, Han's going to hit unless Greedo dodges. The rodian does dodge--why wouldn't he--but his dodge skill is not high, and his roll is low. Han's blaster shot is still higher than Greedo's dodge total +5. So, Han hits.

Then, Han's damage is high enough to kill Greedo outright.



That's how it would play out in Star Wars first edition. No fussing around with initiative--just straight to the action.





Another look at how this plays out--

We're in a scene where the PC is trying to break out of the Death Star. He's lost, and he's trying to make his way back to the ship. The alarm is out. Stormtrooper squads are looking for him, and the guy is doing his best to find his way to the hangar bay where his ship sits.

GM: You turn a corner and run right in front of a stormtrooper standing at guard in front of a bank of elevators.

Player: Crap! Does he see me?

GM: The trooper raises his blaster rifle and says, click, "You there! Halt!"

Player: I'm outta here. I can't afford to get bogged down in a firefight. I'm gone, moving as fast as I can the way I came.

GM: The trooper fires after you. OK, now, we're into combat rounds.

GM rolls stormtrooper's blaster rifle skill.

Player rolls his character's DEX skill, and the player wins the toss.

GM: OK, you high tail it back down the corridor and around the corner. Blaster bolts explode into the wall behind you. You were too quick to act--the trooper couldn't get a good shot at you before you were around the corner.

(If the trooper had won the toss, then we would have seen if his shots hit and damaged the PC BEFORE the player rounded the corner.)

Initiave throws are not needed. Just roll regular skill dice and play off the results.

This is a brilliant system.
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  #27  
Old March 4th, 2013, 01:19 PM
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This is pretty similar to how I've always played Traveller with regards to initiative and range.

Today my combat mechanics are unified with the rest of the game - notably there are no turns, initiative, nor 'damage points', for example.

My maxim for combat 'mechanics' is fast, fluid and fun.
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  #28  
Old March 4th, 2013, 10:35 PM
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The Star Wars RPG has an interesting method for playing out combat. It's a little different than what you're probably used to playing.

The system is designed to be played out verbally, without the use of a map, figures, or counters (although there are optional rules for gaming that way).

Picture Jon and Brad and the GM, sitting comfortably around the coffee table in the den. They're roleplaying, back and forth, and when combat breaks out, the GM simply asks the players what their characters will do. The GM then says what the bad guys will do. And, the scenario is played out in the method I've illuminated below.





Each combat follows the following sequence.

Decision Segment: Where Players and the GM decide upon what they're going to do for the round.

Declaration Segment: Where Players and the GM announce the intended actions of each character. Player declare PC actions first, then the GM declares NPC actions.

First Action Segment: (copied verbatim from the rulebook) Each character for whom an action was declared takes his first action. An "action" is either movement or a skill or attribute use.

Second Action Segment: If any character declared more than one action, characters' second action are now resolved. Any character for whom only one action was declared does nothing (but may dodge or parry) in this segment.

Subsequent Action Segments: If any character declared more than two actions, additional action segments ocur until all characters have performed all declared actions.






COMBAT EXAMPLE

The PCs, Roark and Babbs, have infiltrated an Imperial facility. They're sneaking around the complex when the GM says, "The two of you enter a room the opens wider on your left. As you enter the room, two stormtroopers turn to view your way."

Brad: "Describe more of the room."

GM: "OK, your character is fully into the room in order to see around the corner. It's a rectangular space with only two ways in and out: The corridor you've just entered from and the corridor on the opposite wall, diagonal from the opening you've used. It's about 20 meters to the far wall on your left and 30 meters to the wall directly across from you. There's a stack of crates about 5 meters directly in front of you, other than that, there's no cover. You've come in and surveyed for a second or so now. The two troopers no longer have a casual stance. They've brought their blaster rifles to bear, but you're not sure which one of them speaks, (click)"Hey! Who are you?"(click).

Jon: "We've got to take them in the room. If they get us in the hallway, it's a turkey shoot."

GM: "Roark is obviously close to Babbs, not down in the corridor, by your comment. The troopers raise their weapons, (click)"Blast 'em!"(click)."

Jon: "I'm going to run to the crates, drop to one knee, and blast the one on the left."

Brad: "Yeah, Babbs will cover Roark. I'll stand where I am and fire twice at the one of the left, too. I want to get one of these guys down quickly so that the odds are in our favor."

GM: "I've already said that the troopers will fire. They'll split up, one moving right and one moving left, down the wall, attempting to get you to split fire and catch you two in a cross fire."

What I've just shown here is the smooth transition from roleplaying to combat that is part of this game. No initiative throws. No break in the action. We've just started the combat sequence and completed the first two combat sequence segments: the Decision Segment and the Declaration Segment.
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  #29  
Old March 4th, 2013, 10:52 PM
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COMBAT EXAMPLE CONTINUED

FIRST ACTION SEGMENT

GM: "The stormtroopers fire. ST Right gets a total of 18. He takes a -1D on the shot because he's performing two actions. ST Left gets a total of 12. He also takes a -1D on the shot for the same reason."

Brad: "Babbs takes a -1D on his first shot because he declared two actions and fires at ST Left, getting a 15."

Jon: "Roark does not take a -1D penalty on his throws because, although he is peforming two actions, characters are not penalized if they walk--Roark's shot will come in segment two. And, since he's moving in segment one, he'll roll his DEX to determine if he's shot at before he reaches the cover of the crates. He throws DEX code, getting a 16."





Notice how it doesn't matter at all who rolls dice first, because in this game, the characters' actions (the rolls that they make) also act as a type of initiative system for the segment--without requiring a separate initiative roll.

The order of resolution for this first segment of combat is....

1. ST Right fires at Babbs. (Because he rolled 18 on his attack).
2. Roark moves to crates. (His DEX roll to move was 16.)
3. Babbs fires at ST Left. (Rolled 15 on his first shot.)
4. ST Left fires at Babbs. (Rolled 12.)





PLAYING OUT THE FIRST SEGMENT where ST Right fires at Babbs....

GM: ST Right's blaster bold flies right at Babbs.

Brad: Babbs will attempt to duck the shot. I'll roll Dodge, at -2D because now I'm attempting three actions this round: The two shots and now the Dodge.

GM: (Seeing that Babbs Dodge + Range difficulty is higher than the trooper's 18 shot) "The trooper missed! You jerked your head to the right a bit, and the bolt zipped right past you. It exploded in the wall in the corridor.





...where Roark moves to crates....

GM: "Roark takes one, two, three steps, and he's at the crates. Down he goes on one knee, swinging his blaster up to fire."





...where Babbs takes first shot at ST Left....

GM: "OK, Babbs has already rolled dice to fire, so the extra -1D penalty from the Dodge does not apply to that shot. Though, it will apply to the upcoming shot in segment two. That's a 15 on this first attack. ST Left will Dodge, but that doesn't help him. The shot hits!"

Brad: My damage is 13 points.

GM: "Your blaster bolt slams into the trooper and throws him up against the wall. A moment later, he's on the ground (the trooper is stunned, down for the rest of the round--but the GM will not tell the players this--they have no way of knowing)."





...where ST Left Fires At Babbs....

GM: "This can no longer take place since Babbs just downed the trooper. Now, we're moving into segement two."
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Old March 4th, 2013, 11:08 PM
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COMBAT EXAMPLE CONTINUED

SECOND ACTION SEGMENT

GM: "Now, the two troopers move, but ST Left is down and can do nothing. Roark will fire from his crouched position behind the crates while Babbs takes his second shot."

ST Right does not need to make an action roll because both Roark and Babbs declared the other trooper as a target. Declarations cannot be changed, though Roark and Babbs can hold fire and do nothing this segment in order to conserve ammo--or, they can take their shots at the prone trooper (to ensure a kill).

The GM has no rolling to do this segment because one NPC is down and the other is moving, unhindered by the PCs.

Brad: "Babbs gets an 8 on his shot."

Jon: "I rolled a 16 for Roark."





The order of resolution for this second segment of combat is....

1. ST Right completes his move.
2. Roark fires at the prone ST Left.
3. Babbs also fires at the prone ST Left.






PLAYING OUT THE SECOND SEGMENT where ST Right moves into position at the far wall....

GM: "The trooper skirts to your right, moving about 5 meters, across the far corridor opening, to a position facing you, his back to the far wall."





....where Roak fires at the downed trooper...

GM: "Roark is on one knee, behind the creates, blasting at ST Left. Since he's taking 2 actions this round (the move then the shot), he's -1D on his shot. And, since ST Left is prone, that's +5 to difficulty. But, the trooper cannot Dodge because he is downed. Yet, the shot misses. Roark, your blaster bolt flys high and sparks into the wall above the trooper."







...wher Babbs also fires at the down ST Left trooper...

GM: "Babbs is taking 3 actions this round--the Dodge and two shots--so he's -2D on his shot and is +5 to difficulty because his target is prone. But, the shot is a miss--too many penalties.





OK, that's a full round of SW first edition. Six seconds of combat. It's a lot to write out, but I think it flows fairly well if the GM runs the game as intended--verbally playing out the combat encounter.
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