In which I discuss a fundamental problem with any Star Wars RPG and the nature of dramatic storytelling conflicting with human pragmatism!
Excellent. I am loving this new series. Keep em coming! :)
couldnt you like, design a campaign where at the end the heros and the main villains get seperated from the rest and the others have to deal with lots of waves of stormtroopers or something like that?
First rule for most gamers: NEVER SPLIT THE PARTY!
Not so much with Star Wars. For major climactic battles, you pretty much HAVE to split the party. It’s pretty much the only way to give the battle the weight it deserves.
D20 revised Star Wars is actually more broken than the original. You hit level 7, get your Jedi Knight title (because everyone plays a Jedi) and boom, you take down everything. You hit Jedi Master later on and you might as well just stop playing. You can enter a trance and auto-crit by giving up your move action. Hell, my friend fell 200 feet and by the game rules, survived. My Trooper one-shotted the Sith boss with nothing but a blaster rifle. Thus was the brokenness of D20 Star Wars.
Oh, man, the Star Wars RPG…yeah, you could break that pretty easily. I’ve DMed that setting a couple times, actually, as well as a couple other games based on movies/TV shows, and you’re right, you should NEVER include big characters from that setting…but, you CAN have quite a few in-jokes from other settings, like the time my players, playing a team of Jedi looking for Darth Plagis’s (How do you spell that?) Holocron needed a pilot, because noone had thought to buy it. So the Jedi Council assigned them the pilot James Tiberius Kirk, who handed them all red Imperial Guard outfits so they could more easily infiltrate the sith base. Five minutes later, one of my players goes wide-eyed and yanks his disguise off, yelling “Oh, no, I’m not gonna be a red-shirt!”. I was a tad sad that it took him that long to figure it out, honestly.
YAY new counter monkey
I’ve never played, but…
Couldn’t you give the Big Bad Sith Lords like, blaster reflexes or something? Like they auto deflect blaster shots. Then have like the metaphorical king of all Bounty Hunters as the other big bad throughout the campaign, with an impressive entourage of Bounty Hunters. Or some kind of General or bad-ass cyborg villain. And have that be the final battle for the non Jedi. And find a way to separate them with a force field…
I mean, why would you have them face Stormtroopers?
me and my friends in high school did play the Star wars west end games D6 ! it was super fun.. well it had some problems! we had one house roles that only one play can be the Jedi in the crew thats how we did play it. hah i was always playing as a Ewok hahah!
I remember if you did a roll something i was like Yatzy on crack! you did roll like 200 D6! and it was crazy if you was a Jedi and did use the force well heh it was fun back then…
i love your Counter Monkey vids Spoony!
I love the D6 Star Wars, but yeah, there is definitely the worry of being Jedi Heavy and of maxing it out early. When I DM that game, I always find myself continuously scaling up the challenges just to keep it a threat, even when the players were so strong that they could kill Vader blindfolded and with both hands tied behind their backs. Maxing is really common if your keep using the same characters for long.
I can’t recall which version I played, but I did take part in a Star Wars D20 for a short time, and every single thing about it was broken. It only works if your GM severely limits the kinds of resources you can access, which basically means having everything take place on one planet, or making everyone just a servant of someone else. But if you happen to have a starship, you can go anywhere and do anything.
I played a droid character once, and we had a Noble in our party who took this talent that basically allows him infinite money (every level after you take it, you get 5000 x your level in credits). So we turned it into a kind of game, to see just how awesome and powerful a war machine he could make out of my character. By the end of that, I had four arms, could shoot two blaster rifles at the same time with expert precision and extra damage, I had a shield that gave me 20 DR, an AC of almost 35, and hardness. Our GM had us fight in a sort of coliseum type setting, and he pitted me up against a character who was twice my level. I laid the fucker out flat in about 4 rounds, while only taking maybe 20 in damage myself. Had we kept going, I was going to upgrade to colossal size, get a starship class shield and body armor, and get about ten cannons mounted all over my body, as well as a spring mechanism that could launch explosives. And the rules allowed all of this.
There’s the cinematic aspect of it, yes, but there’s also the fact that the Star Wars universe is much better suited to an epic levels campaign than a normal one.
I once played a Star Wars RPG, I was a lowly Storm Trooper and I killed Luke Skywalker…
I don’t really play these kinda games or know the rules to any of this stuff (though that doesn’t stop this series from being very, VERY interesting XD), but I’d imagine that the bit about a Buffy game wouldn’t be SO relevant after the final televised season, since it basically allowed for an entire group of Slayers, thus giving it an “All-Slayer/No-Slayer” possibility. Of course, it would probably be kinda broken anyway.
And then there is witches and werewolfes and army experiments and vampires with a soul and good old fashioned rocket launchers. All potentially having just as much power as the slayer, or slayers. The Buffy universe was always pretty balanced, imo.
I never played that RPG, but as long as it’s made well I have no doubt that every kind of character can have fun in it.
Thus why Kashyyk was so important in episode 3.
I can imagine what a Dooku vs. Wookie battle would’ve looked like. Dooku can eat Jedis for breakfast, but can he fight a Wookie?
I DM’d a of Star Wars D20 (non-revised) game once. I set it in the middle of episode 3 and 4. It did not go well.
One of my friends min/maxed his character without me realizing it, and by the stats given in the book for splicing, was able to take over the galaxy (by splicing EVERYTHING, and taking over the Death Star) before getting to level 3. And he wasn’t even a jedi….. And I had 2 Jedi that didn’t even have to do a thing.
I hate Star Wars D20.
rather easy avoid re: shooting into the Jedi-Sithlord Melee
“the whirling sabres and constantly moving bodies make shooting into the melee too dangerous” make the fuckers roll to hit wither the jedi or the sith
I GM’d and played Star Wars RPG back in high school, and we had a great time with non-Jedi characters. One of my friends went for a soldier/sniper who was great at keeping mooks at bay, while another had a non-Jedi Force user who met a hilarious end. Our party was invading a Star Destroyer to assassinate an Imperial officer, so of course we came in through the hanger bay; this guy tried to use the Force to pull a TIE fighter down from the ceiling to crush a group of Stormtroopers and botched his roll, leading to hilarity as he took out both them and himself.
I’m looking at the character sheets from when I was running my Star Wars RPG campaign, and it appears that the characters weren’t completely invulnerable. Of course, this could have been because they didn’t know the system and weren’t trying to min-max their characters. In fact, the Wookie (the one who tried to punch down a durasteel door) came close to dying in the firefight against the smugglers.
I pretty much forced the no Jedi thing by setting the campaign in the Galactic Civil War. I think it took place about one year after A New Hope ended. The players were pretty much running a mercenary group. There was the Rodian scoundrel, the human fringer (jack of all trades,) the Wookie soldier, the Trandoshan noble (Bossk, but less guns and armor,) and the Sullustan scoundrel. Perhaps if I had done a better job, it could have run a lot longer and had a more satisfying conclusion. Oh well.
love these Stories keep em coming :)
I tried to run a game with the Star Wars Saga edition, you quickly learn you have to make all of your enemies stronger. I find the Storm Troopers suck in that edition and can’t hit shit. All in all thought I enjoy the system and it was a nice change from what we usually played.
Im new to this site (well, actually I have been following you [Spoony] for quite some time, but I have just now created an actual profile). I have never played any Star Wars RPG (other than video-games), but still find you Vlog interesting and entertaining. That, in my mind, really tells something about your charisma as a reviewer and vlogger. Basically, I just wanted to express, that I applaud your’e videos! :)
Keep up the good work.
Kinda funny since he brings up both West End’s Star Wars and Edan’s Buffy as RPG that have an inherent balance issue as a part of the setting, because I am actually right now playing in the first kinda game and running the other one and there is an issue where the Jedi and the Slayer are more powerful then the rest of the party, yet we have almost never had an issue with this problem and the group has been playing these game for YEARS! I guess its kinda dependent on players and GM, but I still find it kinda odd that EVERY reviewer I have read/heard talk about the games have warned about this problem, but we never did. Any one else NOT have this problem or are we just the exception that proves the rule? I am curious.
I’ve never had a problem with Jedi/non-Jedi mixed parties in either West End or D20 Star Wars games.
So it’s not just you. :)
Sad that to hear that the Buffy RPG has a balance issue. I don’t agree that it is inherent to the setting.
Like I said in an earlier post, you have vampires with a soul, witches, military experiments, werewolfes, high explosives, etc.
Some of which were actually more powerfull than Buffy for a time in the actual TV show.
Buffy could have never defeated Dark Willow. She was only beaten by the power of friendship. :D
So seems to me like the creators of the RPG didn’t do a good job balancing. Nothing to do with the setting.
Only balancing problem we had was Lightsaber Combat and Force Points at later levels. My jedi could kill dozens of troopers in a round due to the original rules. Two minor house rules later and it’s manageable but still fun for me. I just can’t attack as many troopers in a round XD.
the situations you were describing are the same ones that are gonna happen in SWTOR when it comes out, cause after all the adds are gone the party is gonna be left with 1 big baddy at the end and its gonna be awkward in a visual point of view, but lets cross that bridge when we come to it… As far as the would you be Han or Luke I say why choose one or the other, I say best of both worlds, Kyle Katarn hes a badass ex imperial smuggler commando jedi…never trust a bartender with bad grammar!
Spoony, please say you”ll have a Halloween vid!! THis one was great (as are they all, if you’ll excuse my foray into sycophant territory), I would also be very happy with a horror-themed review,story, or vlog. Hook us up! best Haloween treat ever.
Spoony, I think there is another solution you’ve overlooked in this case. Say you have two Jedi and three Smugglers or such.
For the final confrontation, place it in a hangar. Your Jedi fight some Sith Lords, and the rest of your crew fights a giant walker robot. Double final boss fight.
I’m really glad these Counter Monkey videos are becoming popular (or so I assume).
Keep ‘em up! I hope you’re not running out because they’re very interesting.
Saga Edition is the newest one. It’s so much better than the old d20. SO much better. I really like it.
Oreo seems a lot calmer and better behaved!
My GM wanted to run an “all Wookie” game, but none of the players wanted to be Wookies. In defiance, we REFUSED to NOT speak Syriwook (their language). Every time our characters spoke, we just made “the Wookie noise”. We never bothered translating it into English. We spoke that way the entire time. It got REALLY annoying, but it WORKED. We managed to make semi-intricate battle plans despite none of us knowing what we were talking about!
Wow, my RPG experience seems completely at odds with yours, Spoony, especially with Star Wars. Whenever I’ve played, we NEVER had a problem with mixed Jedi/other parties (but, admittedly, we also never had anyone who played a Jedi WANT a one-on-one duel, either; whenever these happened meant we fucked up big time in our plans.)
Honestly, I have to come down on the side of your players here. It really doesn’t make sense for them to step back and let the most dangerous people there have a fair fight.
I think the problem here is that you were/are too focused on the cinematics and making the game conform to the style of the movies. NO ONE is the “star” in an RPG — a character may be the focus of an adventure or even a narrative, but no one is ever the star.
But… if you DESPERATELY want to have the game contort to that format, there are ways to do it. In fact, you brush on it in the video: split the party. That IS how the movies do it; Vader purposely makes sure he and Emperor won’t be disturbed when trying to convert Luke. It’s not especially difficult to do — I’m sure you’re well aware that players have a tendency to want to split the party anyway. Just make sure that at the “final battle” there are multiple goals, ideally one matched for each of the players and have them split up so that they could not reasonably help one another.
For instance, the Jedi could go confront the Sith Lord whilst the Astromech Droid goes to try and disable Le Olde Superweapon and the Stealthy Guy has to get a message about Le Olde Superweapon to the good guys just in case the Jedi or Droid fail, and so on and so forth.
In one game I played in (set in the Knights of the Old Republic era), the main bads were a pair of Sith twins. They were planning on launching a bioweapon on some populated planet and the party had arrived to stop them. Being the only Jedi, I was the only one reasonably expected to stand much of a chance against the Sith, so I went to engage them and one of the braver souls (who was I… smuggler, I think? I can’t remember) came along as backup. The rest of the party was engaged in trying to hold back the waves of soldiers on the ship, find a way to disable to weapon, and try to get a message to the Republic about it at the same time. It worked well.
Also, I loved the old West End D6 game. Though I don’t think we ever minmaxed the system and never had a Wookie. Instead, we had a perverted Hutt who had an ungodly amount of dice in “Butt-Grabbing” and owned a “Dungeon of Delights”.
I can see how Star Wars would be problematic… Jedi are kinda naturally the overpowered god characters, yet you can’t have real movement of story without them. I guess you’d have to really enforce the cannon– so the Jedis would all have to pretty much be self taught and it would take some questing to actually get their lightsabers– but that would easily annoy your players.
I’ve never been in a Star Wars game and the only one I’ve heard stories about (from friends/gaming buddies) took place either before or during the prequel trilogy and was mostly just a cracky/not serious game.
I’m currently in a Buffy Game. My character is one of the Scoobys– a book nerd who might have some magic/psychic powers (which are just starting to manifest). Our DM is doing a good job of giving each character in the game equal attention, so no one feels left out, which is helped by all of the players really getting into their characters and actually role playing. There are times when we all sorta forget that we’re playing a game and not actually our characters. Unfortunately I can’t really pin down what our DM is doing to make our game run so well…
Star Wars RPG. I’ve played two versions: The REVISED D20 EDITION and the SAGA EDITION.
REVISED D20 EDITION
Garbage. Total garbage. Really bad. B-A-D. Everything about this edition was just one giant mess. Most of the rules were derived from the MODERN D20 book (think D&D with present day technology and realism). It was the biggest pile of failure I had ever seen. Why was REVISED so bad? Here’s why:
THE HP SYSTEM –> In Star Wars REVISED edition, your character (you) had two hit-point pools. One was called vitality points (VP) and the other was called wounds. Whenever you were struck by a regular attack, it was assumed you were slightly “skimmed” by the attack and therefore only lost VP. When the VP ran out, your wounds started adding up. It meant your character was fatigued and would start taking actual hits to their body from this point forward. Your character had very little wound threshold and if you so much as took a single wound, major fortitude saving throws had to be made to prevent being knocked-out or killed. Your character suffered a phone-book list of ailments for having a mere wound. Here’s the kicker: any critical hit would deal damage directly to wounds. This meant the game became a contest to see who scored a critical hit first.
CLASS BALANCE –>Jedi Lightsaber damage was the highest in the game, especially at later levels. Jedi were miles better than any other class, unless your non-jedi character used a strict archtype that focused on dealing critical hits. Oh yeah, I almost forgot another dumb thing, ANY character could become a Jedi! All they had to do was take one feat called, FORCE SENSITIVITY. Now, you’ll end up with a campaign full of Jedi jawas, Jedi ewoks, Jedi wookies, Jedi gungans…
BASIC MECHANICS –>Things got really washy when characters needed to calculate falling damage or poison. Would those impact the VP or wounds? If a GM felt like being a real dink, he could make the fall damage directly add to your wounds, making any sort of fall a serious and potential threat. What about an object falling on you? Did that drain VP or cause wounds? The arguments at the table…
THE FORCE SYSTEM –> In Star Wars REVISED edition, the force powers were unbalanced beyond repair. When I say beyond repair, boy do I really mean it!! My REVISED book literally doubled in thickness from all the errata put into it. The errata made virtually no difference whatsoever. One force power was called FORCE GRIP: You rolled a USE THE FORCE skill to choke another character. All those times spent looking at a table in the book to see how well you did. Every time someone wanted to USE THE FORCE, the book needed to be opened and painstakingly read to determine results, slowing the game down to a 3-legged crawl. The opponent finally got a WILL saving throw and was dealt WOUND DAMAGE if they failed. There was no real rule that disallowed any Jedi, either good or bad, to take this power and abuse it. Yes, the FORCE GRIP POWER was considered to be a darkside force power, which gave you a “darkside point” whenever you used it. However, that didn’t stop a good Jedi from planning and budgeting his dark side points to milk the hell out of it.
It would be like Yoda going, “Oh! I have large capacity to do evil I do! I can get away with FORCE GRIP on you!” Oh yeah, the FORCE CHOKE could even work through cameras! If you saw a person on the other side of a camera, you could attempt a FORCE CHOKE on them! (Remember when Darth Vader did this in the Empire Strikes Back?) You could surround yourself by rooms full of cameras and become a horrible death trap to anyone that was seen by a camera. This is just one FORCE POWER in the game.
Although there are only a few FORCE POWERs in the game, I haven’t even talked about using FORCE LIFT to drop gigantic objects onto people or pushing people down, knocking them prone, with FORCE PUSH. Oh yeah, one more thing, using FORCE POWERS meant your Jedi had to pay VP. All well and good, until the players decided to use FORCE HEAL to recover their lost VP this way. What a stupid system.
DARK SIDE POINTS–> That reminds me, the rules on gaining so called “dark side points” were hilariously bad. According to the rules, princess Leia was eligible to gain a dark-side point for stealing the plans to destroy the Death Star!! A first level Jedi with maxed out USE THE FORCE and FORCE LIGHTNING? Yeah…hope your 1st level character can shake that DC 25 Reflex save…
THE STARSHIP BATTLE SYSTEM à Holy shit. We’re not even a single percent into the stagnancy of this game. Starship battles were like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube, thread a needle, and run on a treadmill all at the same time. It was needlessly complex, hideously inaccessible and featured stupid rules that made me throw the book at the wall. By the time the GMs finished arguing with their players for what the Astrogate skill check DC was for hyperspace travel (failure of this check meant certain death as the ship would crash into a black hole or something), worked out the time traveled, entered the starship battle, activated/angled the shields, activated sensors, rolled initiative (most of these rolls were impacted by starship size), powered up weapons, determined facing and firing arcs….the session was over. I’m not even getting into the rules for how those broken missile weapons worked.
I need to stop before I overrun this blog. Sorry if this became so long, but these were just a handful of problems from the REVISED edition. The good news is SAGA edition was much better. Actually, SAGA edition was the main engine that made D&D 4th Edition.
You can also check IronLiz’s review on Star Wars REVISED edition.
It’s located here.
The only Vitality/Wound system of health in an d20 RPG I have liked has been the one in Spycraft 2.0 and that is because you have to activate a critical hit with an action die (sort of like D20 modern action points but a bit more versatile and you got them refilled at the end of every session) – a commodity that only PCs get. The GM got them too but his pool was strictly limited as I recall. I maybe wrong and it maybe a way to negate a critical hit, but any way you slice it it almost always resulted in unimportant NPCs being incapable of critically hitting.
I have been running a Saga Edition Star Wars game and from what I can see its a very polished and balanced system while still allowing tons of freedom I’m looking at you 4th edition.
(A bit of a ramble) The best Star Wars RPG is [url="http://www.johnzo.com/jedi-blackbird.pdf"]Jedi Blackbird[/url], which is a hack/expansion for [url="http://www.onesevendesign.com/ladyblackbird/"]Lady Blackbird[/url]. Yes, it is built around one-scenerio but all the pieces are on the web to expand it. So if you want a campaign, think of an idea, build characters, then prep the game to directly involve them. Why are Jedi Blackbird the best? Ot models the hero’s journey, space opera logic of Star Wars versus trying to make Star Wars fit into a traditional combat focused rpg (d6 and d20). Also the reward system is not based off beating challenges but playing to narrative beats (and not purely GM determined rewards), and thus the plot is driven by the character’s action and not a prepped adventure.The reason D6 and d20 require a heavy hand to make feel Star Wars is the rules don’t fit Star Wars. d20 is basically D&D in space, and frankly, the conventions of D&D don’t work too well. Long involved combats, the A-Team mentaility, being soley a team based around killing shit. Not the best fit for Star Wars. The D6 version has some odd rules quirks, and is more like a simple Shadowrun then Star Wars. Seriously, why does Star Wars need grenade scatter diagrams? Also…the GM advice in the D6 revision is terrible. It seriously suggest handing out scripts for your players to read, then shoehorning them into fights. Once again, a combat focused challange based rpg.I do admit, both verisions have really cool bits though, and if you play those games as their version of Star Wars (not anything like the movies). They are pretty damn fun, just…not Star Warsy (aside from the paint job of course).Star Wars is about heroism, and plays to the conventions of cinema. It is about character conflicts, not about accurately judging how far you can throw shit with your mind. A good Star Wars system, should focus on the character drama not the tactical combat end of things. Character effectiveness should be a measure of how they fit into the story, and also…you won’t be playing a level 1 character, unless you choose to. Even then, you should still have the agency to effect the narrative as much as a Jedi Master can (a farmboy blows up the death star! not some lvl 18 badas fighter pilot).
Everything you’re talking about is a GM’s job, not the job of a system. If you don’t have a good GM then you won’t have a good campaign plain and simple. Our Gm has had no problems making the d6 Star Wars cinematic and story-driven. You don’t need a system that focuses on story….because that’s not the job of a system. That’s the job of the GM. Of course the GM advice in the d6 book sucks…but a GOOD Gm doesn’t need that book to tell them how to run a game. If you seriously need a book to hold your hand and tell you step by step what to do then you need more basic experience as a player and GM. It is NOT a combat-focus RP, because the exp system says so. You get a base amount of exp at the end of a session, plus more for good role playing and for moving the STORY forward. Yes there’s a lot of combat rules because, guess what? There is A LOT of combat in Star Wars.
I agree with you that the d20 is shit…..because it really is D&D IN SPAAAAAAAACE!! However I think you should really take a good look at the d6 again. It really does fit Star Wars, but as I said before you need a GM who knows how to GM and bring a setting to life. This goes for ANY system. If you use the system you say is the best, but the GM doesn’t know how to bring things to life it will still suck.
I disagree with you. A well-designed game will not make the GM do all the heavy lifting to make it work. When you are talking a bout a game, you must address the textual elements. This is the only baselines we share, do to lack of shared experienced. Any game with a good group will be fantastic. BUT this is purely a different element, and something you change and add to the game, not represetentive of the game itself.. There are GAMES that do things differently, and that better fit Star Wars without this upfront work.
By the way, I already disagree with you on another point. You shouldn’t get XP for “good roleplaying” or “moving the story forward”. Wanna know why? A good character focused game, makes playing your character’s the story. Nothing to do with a GM pre-planned adventure or story, and doing whats needed to move the plot ahead.
Long time watcher, 1st time posting here; just had to give out some of my experiences in my Star Wars games, particularly in regards to wookies.
Yes, wookies in our games have, from the beginning, had an uncanny reaction to the Force. From the get go, no matter if the wookie was a ranged specialist, a melee combatant, or a Jedi, they were fairly bad ass, of course, but got truly scary if anyone used the Force against them.
The first occurrence of this phenomenon was in our first d20 Revised campaign, in which myself and another player were basically a knock-off of Han Solo and Chewie, as it happened that the rest of the party had decided to go the Jedi route, leaving use to do our own thing. So, the party was of course wanted by the Empire during the original trilogy era, and showing truly bizarre logic, all 3 or 4 of the Jedi characters had non-force sensitive bounty hunters sent after them, giving them NO trouble at all. My wookie companion and I, on the other hand, got a Sith apprentice sent after us. So, things are looking grim, we’re running and firing to little effect, when the Sith decided to use Force Choke on the wookie. Last mistake he ever made. The wookie took some damage, but immediately after that he busted down two criticals with his bowcaster, blew the sith’s head clean off. The rest of the campaign for us went almost the exact same way. We encounter some kind of Force using bad ass, and they’d make the stupid decision of using the Force on the wookie; next round, they died due to an onslaught of criticals. Can’t for the life of me figure why the DM didn’t learn after the 2nd or 3rd time…
Other campaigns involving wookie PCs had the same thing happen. Someone would hit them with the Force, then said Force user would either die the next round or be forced to retreat, though we’d rarely let them get away easily. The last SW campaign I played in with a wookie PC was in many ways the ultimate culmination of all the wookies previously, using the Saga Edition rules (great stuff, btw; I’ve used it for a Fallout RPG to pretty good effect). This wookie was already a madclaw, born and raised in a gladiator pit, and inbred to boot (all white fur except for reddish shaded fur around his claws and muzzle), but things got worse when Force-users started showing up and fighting us. By this time, he was using a mining hammer as his chosen weapon, and after ending quite a few evil Force-users, he named it ‘The Force’, even had it stamped on the hammer. So, now with our berserker wookie using ‘The Force’, and thanks to all his points going to strength, fights went insanely easy. Then somewhere along the line the GM got real stupid and had the wookie mutated thru Sith sorcery…and in an ultimate stupid move, got a bit uppity and agreed to let the bonus to Strength be whatever he rolled on a d20…naturally, the state of the universe being what it is, he rolled a 20. The big bad ass that was built up for over half the campaign? Two hits. Everything else? One hit (well, the things we fought that didn’t break the system even worse than the wookie did, like ‘normal’ human Sith absorbing over 500 points of damage…).
Sorry for the length, but I just had to let you know about the wookie aversion to the Force. Keep up the great work! Really digging these Counter Monkey episodes!
Be cool to see Noah video tape his board games some time when he plays with friends.
Let’s not do that again. It was good idea, but that was 3 hours of my life I’m not going to get back.
I don’t play, and maybe I missed something, but why didn’t the Stormtroopers just shoot the non-Jedi while they were trying to kill the Sith?
The same reason why all the Stormtroopers were wiped out by ewoks in Return of the Jedi.
Wookies were that good at tanking? Doesn’t that explain why it took you over and hour and like 100 broken axes to kill that headless one in the sewers? Its head’s gone and even that didn’t kill it.
So it’s kind of like the Spoony Experiment lately, Either all reviews or no reviews.
Star Wars RPG’s…
Its a familiar conundrum i have faced before, i own all 3 variants of the star wars RPG and have run all 3 of them.
I do agree with the assertion that all jedi or no jedi is the best way to run it though not for the reasons you have stated. Jedi have the inherant problem that they are in essence much more powerful in rules terms than non-Jedi. This is the main problem i found, Saga has this in spades, the balancing factor is as far as i understand it that jedi have 2 trained skills as opposed to other classes 4 or 8 of them, plus less HP. However the issue is that there is a feat that allow jedi to sub use the force for IIRC 4 other skills. (That said, Saga is much much better than d20 revised for this, d20 revised is full of utter pantshittery, that is just A Thing).
WEG’s D6 system is much easier to balance jedi with other party members, i never ran an extended campaign of this, but in the three or so one shots i ran i found that everyone was reasonably effective for most of the time, and it ran a lot smoother than saga in terms of power level within the party, though i sat in with the players for gen and had to say no to a lot of things and houserule it a bit.
The Saga game i ran, it was Old Republic, party was a senatorial guard delegation for a new senator, i adjudicated that to try and balance it out the force sensetive guy couldn’t be a jedi and hence had no saber, as they get an awful lot of very nice tricks with that. The force user was “The protagonist” so to speak, this is because he was by a large degree the most effective person in combat even without a saber, had by far the best social skillset of the party (because of the aforementioned use the force feat), so it naturally started to revolve around him, because whenever social came up he would step forth because he had the best chance of getting them through it, and whenever combat took place he was able to take it and dish it out as well as the primary party striker and tank put together, a well built force user will allways outperform a non force user at most tasks (not all, most).
This of course presents the issue, in an RPG as a GM you have to make every player feel like the protagonist from time to time, otherwise its just a bit rubbish for the player that doesn’t, this is tricky to do and im not convinced i handled it superbly well. I tried to do it by playing the game in a fashion that struck at anyone that is meant to RP by a code (this lead to a variant of “dont tell the paladin”), there was a lot of intrigue going on and a lot of illegality so to speak, and fairly central to the villains plot was a force dampening effect (Hackneyed plot device i know -_-). The problem with this is trying to do it without picking on the guy thats playing a force user, it had to be judiciously applied. I didn’t manage this as well as i could, in the effort to make it more centric about the others i victimised him a little, fortunately he was understanding about this.
This leads me to my point. You cant balance a party which has people that walk in different circles within the universe that they are in. Jedi work in a different way to the ordinary man. They are assigned different missions, and in all the EU material i have read (not a huge quantity), they work either alone or with one other jedi, they are very rarely assigned non-force backup. Its because of the power gap that this happens. This is the reason that mixed parties shouldnt really happen, if they dont work (assumption from the lack of it i have seen) in fictional writing where you have control of all variables, it cannot work when you have control of less.
In the campaign there were a couple of things of note to mention:
I ran the campaign finale as an assault from within of Coruscant, I had split the party by essentially giving them 2 tasks, defence of the planetary shields, and a seperate errand with the jedi council (i forget what). This ended with the shuttlecraft with the force user in crashing into the crossfire of the battlefield, and i like to think i gave everyone a chance to shine in that they got to have some fun with heavy support troops, and trying to get to their buddy before he got overwhelmed. This meant that there were 2 different ways for people to excel, the force user got to stand there, fighting, protecting the NPC that had crashed with him. The others got to be the commanders of the battle, calling in support and controlling the battle, while others fought on the ground among the troops. It was a battle where i tried to account for the fact that each type of PC fights in a different way. A straight up fight across a room wont work in a way that plays to everyone strengths, its just too difficult to balance the factors, to create a cinematic environment you .
The campaign illustrated a seperate point about GM’ing, allways name your villains before the players do, unless you want to end up with one named Darth Purple, and you are just unable to get them to change their mind -_-.
Tl;Dr (given its really fucking long) – Dont mix things that are on very seperate power levels. WEG’s D6 is the most balanced if you keep a hand on character creation, Saga > d20 Revised. Play to characters strengths. Name your Villains. Players will never cooperate.
I tried to run the D20 Star Wars system for a while and it was shit. I had to redo most of the races just so they wouldn’t all be shit, had to punch up the classes a bit so they would be a bit funner to play, and it was still shit.
While I’m liking most of the Counter Monkey stories I still can’t wait for more FFX2 part 3.
How did it need to be punched up? You could pretty do what you wanted with your character, and aside from Big Bads, you could be a badass even at low-level,
Not the D20 system version I got. All the races had stats that made them way worse then humans, and the classes had a lot of levels where you didn’t get anything for them, which I is like what 3rd Edition D&D was like but I had gotten my group started with Pathfinder and they were used to getting new interesting stuff more often. It also didn’t help that the bad guys and monsters in the book weren’t very good either. Iron Liz did a review on the system, so try checking out her channel on blip for it, she does a good job going through what sucks about it.
Lando’s a hero… he blew up the 2nd Death Star. Give credit where credit is due.
nice wookie sound btw…and thats why the force control rating is added to lightsaber damage,players ripped ya off…
I feel like the problem might also be with the players as well. I mean, yea, if you dangle Darth Vader in front of a player they’ll be tempted to go after him. I feel like it might be easier to have some house rules that help keep everyone in line and in character. Like, fighting Darth Vader and killing him will cause a time paradox and ruin the game. Also, make it so if people aren’t being fair with 1-on-1 battles, just bring down the DM hand and have another enemy NPC come in to distract the people who aren’t being fair.
No one should really give you a hard time about your DMing when you were a kid. Game designing, whether for a board game scenario or a digital game, is something you learn and get better at over time. Kids who make bad game can eventually grow up and learn to make awesome games. It took me highschool and college to learn that and I STILL feel like there’s so much a can learn to make better games. And I’ve been a game tester at the ESRB so I know my shit when it comes to games.
When dealing with a mixed party of Jedi and others, Star Was was the only RPG where I would purposely, as a GM, split the party. That way, like in the movies, your Jedi could have their epic showdown with a Sith while your other players are attacking an Imperial compound, or weaving in and out of an imperial fleet in their freighter, while shooting the shit outa TIE fighters, for example. That way everyone got to feel like they were in one of the movies. Jedi may be badasses, but it’s hard to get out off the roof on an exploding 100 story Imperial complex without the smuggler flying in to save you at the last second :-p
I’ve only played a Star Wars rpg once, and it made me never want to again. More because of a utterly horrible DM than the game itself though. This is probably the only time that I’ve ever been in a situation where the DM and the players play ‘against’ each other, rather than ‘together’.
I went into the game with cautious optimism (cautious because; “it’s Star Wars…” optimism because; “it’s Star Wars!”). I had before hand decided that I didn’t want to play a human or a jedi. Eventually I rolled up a gungan mechanic.
The idea was that the party was crew of a ship, except one player who owned it, that transported mostly passengers, and a limited amount of cargo. I became the ship mechanic, obviously, and another player played a former battle droid (it had malfunctioned in battle and accidnetally gained a sense of independence).
So we start playing. The DM has an old man book a trip with us and he gets on, as well as some other npcs we obviously do not need to give a shit about. All is well for a while, then the dm has the old man start telling stories. This would be all well and good if it was just a way to give us some needed exposition, but no. The SOLE PURPOSE of this was for the dm to show us, the players, how ‘AWESOME’ this old man is ‘AT EVERYTHING’. I should have noticed the warning light sooner.
Anyway. So eventually it becomes apparent to us that this old cook is “one of those jedis [we've] heard of” because he always had a bag with him and one time a “metallic cylinder shaped object” fell out. Subtle, not so much.
I don’t remember exactly how anymore but eventually my mechanic and the droid decides that this old guy is more trouble than he’s worth (jedi = wanted by the empire = empire blows up ship when they find out) so we start thinking of how to get rid of this guy. We all have weapons of some sort. I had a blaster and the droid… well… “battle droid” remember? So we get the other character, that isn’t the pc who owns the ship, to listen to our logic and she is with us on the idea to off the guy.
The owner of the ship was out of the question to get along with this, which could have been because of ingame reasons such as “not killing our customers”, but the real reason was that out of game she, the player, was making googly-eyes with the dm.
So we enact our plan and actually manage to overpower the guy. I take the opportunity to blast his brains out, after which the dm promptly tells me my characters knees buckle as he throws up to which I simply answer “Uhm, no. This is pre-meditaded murder!” Completely ignoring rule 0 (this jackass of a dm hadn’t earned the right to rule 0. In any case, HE was telling ME how MY character was feeling (that’s one thing I’ve taken to heart as adm. You do NOT try and decide how a players character acts). Now the warning lights and horns were blasting full force and I knew this guy was a terrible dm.
So after getting rid of the old guy we at some point had to engage the hyperdrive (or whatever the heck it’s called ingame, I don’t care) which worked like this; You had to make a check to see if you hit your mark, and how well. If you crit fail or have a malfunction you roll on a random table to see where the heck you turn up. So we engage the hyperdrive and have a malfunction. We ask openly “who wants to roll the random table?” to which the dm responds “Doesn’t matter, I know where you’ll turn up.” At this point I can see the railroad tracks under our spaceship. Way to kill the suspense and importance of the event. If he’d rolled a die just for show and then told us where we landed, he would have had the control he wantedm without pissing us off (more, that is).
So, where did we end up? Curscant of course! None of us wanted to be there, but there we were. At this point the droid player and I had made up a contingency plan. For obvious reasons the (imperial) droid couldn’t walk around on the planet without being destroyed or reprogrammed, and if either of those happened we were screwed anyway, and we knew that they would search our ship. We were utterly and completely boned. So in light of this, I had my character whip up a device that would overload the ships’ engines, making it explode, and gave that to the droid. “Just in case”. Of course, the owner of the ship knew nothing, though the player did iirc.
So we go and eat waht would be our last meal. Knowing this my character placed everything on the owners tab. As we sit there the ship is searched. Inevitably they find the droid and he activates the device. The ship blows up as we’re eating. Needless to say the owner lost her appetite.
I hightail it. Not much point to that though since I can’t escape at all. Didn’t stop me from trying though. My character eventually died when he fell down from a beam he was using to get across a gap between buildings. Another character was caught and arrested, and shot in the interrogation room. The player was not given any option at all there. I don’t remember what happened to the ships owner, but as with so many other things about this complete wreck of a campaign, I don’t care if I forget about it.
So, that’s my only experience with a Star Wars rpg. I did not get a taste for more.
The thing with Han’s blaster getting blocked by Vader’s hand happened on Bespin, not Yavin.
The part about not having established characters in an established setting is one some people learn the hard way. I sure did. One of the games I used to run was MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing), and I used one of the Ringwraiths to try to scare off the players. They decided to fight it instead.
One character died, another was poisoned by a Morgul knife, and the last was a rogue who was had a lucky shot managed to kill the frickin’ Ringwraith. So what happens next? The rogue loots the remains of the Ringwraith and, of course, finds a ring. The player knows what the ring is (one of the Rings of Power), he gets excited. Then he almost instantly says that his character puts the ring on. As for the rest, let’s just say that he failed his roll to resist the ring’s evil influence. Yeah, I was a bad GM.
Okay, here’s how you do it with Star Wars:
1) Set up your badass lightsaber fights, but make sure they take place away from the group, or set up the situation so the rest of the party HAS to break off to complete their objectives.
2) Make sure that you set up a badass starfighter battles. You always have that one guy who wants to play the fighter ace, and what he wants is the “desperate battle against incredible odds”. Give it to him, so that he is keeping enemy reinforcements from coming down on the party as they storm the fortress.
3) Make badass non-Jedi villains to make the rest of the party focus on a fight other than the Jedi/Sith battle, and make sure they have some other objective they have to go after, be it shutting down deflector shields, or taking out the engines, downloading the plans they need, whatever.
Sorry, but I’m a proud “plug the Sith bastard in the back” club member. And did.
I played the ONLY non Jedi in the party (new Jedi order again), a Soldier with the Sniper prestige class (from Babylon 5, but it was ruled suitable for the setting) with knowledge of the planet that the Order hired to aid the Counselor and Guardians, and I happily offed the Sith lord.
The GM was skilled, however, and remedied what you suggested later in the campaign though, when the Jedi did have to deal with several vengeful followers while I got into a rather excellent Metal Gear-esque sniper duel with another powerful NPC happening parallel. Empty? Hell no! It was one of the best battles in any RPG I played.
Incidently, you’re 100% right about the Buffy RPG. Nicely made game, but you really have to work to overcome the sidekick problem.
This truly was an amazing story and advice vlog. Keep ‘em coming Spoony and Happy Halloween.
Anyone I know said the Westend Games Star Wars was better then WOTC version. They’re books looked cooler too. Iron Liz HATES the new Star Wars game.
I’d take this experience Spoony to just learn next time. No Jedi’s or all Jedi’s.
Thank you for the mental image of a wookie beating the shit out of a sith, it will stay with me
Never put well known characters in your RPG. That is a good rule.
In the D20 Wheel of Time game, the adventure book written for the system actually has a scene where the players can happen upon Rand Al Thor unconscious on the side of a battlefield. We had a thief (Wanderer, I think the class is called there) in the group that did a non-lethal coupe de grace and robbed him damn near naked. Stole the Tangrael on him and everything.
To be fair, this guy had never read the books and had no idea who he was looking at – just playing to his character and to him Rand was a schmuck who was stupid enough to fall asleep in a highly visible area. Still, just a minor glimpse into how even an innocent introduction of a big bad (or big good in this case) can have game/canon shattering consequences.
Sorry Spoony, but I have to side with the Gunslingers on this one.
Back in Jr. High (1998 or so) I briefly played whatever Star Wars RPG there was (I honestly can’t remember which, I was just one of the guys that joined in), and I was a smuggler. And in any setting like this, I always like to play my character to the best he can be, especially in the personality and attitude department. And if there’s a situation where there’s something I can shoot, even if it’s a Dark Jedi, I’m not going to let the other glow-stick enthusiast get all the action, I’m going to ask a very important question that every scoundrel must ask at some point in his life:
What Would Han Solo Do?
He’s going to take out that DL-44, and he’s gonna smoke that son of a bitch a new Sith-Hole in the back of the head!
“Random and Clumsy my Scruffy-Looking Ass!”
Really lovin’ these Stories! Keep ‘em comin’! The burning, hairless wookie had me laughing pretty damn hard.
Han Solo all the way bro!
Spoony has yet to learn the most important lesson of being the DM: the players are your enemies. They are there to beat the living hell out of you and whatever you throw at them, and inventive (or stupid) players will do what they can to fuck up your story and ideas. The only way to beat these assholes is to be an even BIGGER asshole. Plan for every eventuality, and even if you don’t or can’t do that, always be ready to pull rank and dictate what’s gonna happen. You’re in charge, and you’re not trying to give them a good time, you’re trying to kill them.
No, your trying to have fun. And if the players are having fun sensibly
tag teaming 2 sith lords (fuck fair fights! There’s no such thing as a
fair fight,) then the game was successful. It’s like the Dragon Master
says: The most important rule is to have fun and if no one’s having fun,
especially if a cocky DM is so dead set on having his crappy story and
game be cinematic, then the game is colossal failure.
I honestly don’t know what Spoony is bitching about here. Are we really
expected to herald George “Meta-Chlorine” Lucas movie making style as
the be all and end all of story-telling? Fuck how it was done in the
movies! Why not do something different and sensibly like working as a
team? It’s different, fresh, and exciting and your players will have a
ball playing the game.
If the DM is lording over the players like a tyrant then there are not
going to be hanging out with him for very long. The DM is not in charge
of the game. His job is to tell a good story, create the world, and
enforce the rules and that is it. Its the players job to take on the
roll of characters and walk through his world and change his story by
their decsions. It’s a partner ship. The DM should not be running
rough shot over the players and the players should not be running rough
shot over the DM. And since both parties have an equal say in where the
story goes, it is impossible for a DM to have total control over the
game and the story no matter how hard he tightens his fist. If the DM
is worth a shit, he can compromise and keep it all going. If he’s shit,
we get into Dead Ale Wives “The Blacksmith turns into a dragon and eats
I agree, but this is very mature way of playing. Of all the games I’ve played with many different players, I’ve just recently came across the group that game this way
(it’s worth noting that I am 22 and they are all older than me). This is also the only group that is capable of accomodating noble knight and necromancer at the same time (on the other hand i have to hide my frankenstain part of personality pretty well :-D)
But this is more like statistical anomaly then average example
Most gamers play to just openly fuck with GM and doing all they want. More often than not, players overfantasises about they characters and they want they characters be (and do) what they aren’t in real life. Which means doing nonsesible shit and bend the destiny (DM) over the table and kick it to the balls all they want. This happens especially with teenage gamers….
Also, have you noticed how many times the PCs doestnt have any personal agenda? Don’t get me wrong, i dont mean personality or history. I mean they’re just waiting for what DM presents to them, instead of trying to do something themselves….
Unfortunately, you are correct. Roleplaying is kindof a niche market and many times the players and dungeon master don’t always have the luxury of playing with people who are not douchebags, but whether they address that problem or not, its not going to go away. Its something that’s going to be have to be dealt with eventually and sometimes the best thing to do is just to step away from the table. I learned the hard way not to play with assholes. Sometimes you just have to find people who will play with you who are reasonable and sometimes it takes awhile to find that group but its worth it. If you ever find yourself playing and forcing yourself to be around people you don’t like just because they are the only people near you who will play, your putting yourself in a bad position and honestly at that point its not even worth roleplaying anymore. It’s just worth it in the long run to find people who are a better influence on you and have the same interests.
I know exactly what you mean about PCs sometimes not have a personal agenda, but I personally have never had that problem. Whenever I play, I always have a plan for my character and if for whatever reason the DM is stumped its ok, I’ll push the story forward. It’s happened once or twice where I ran into a DM who had no clue what to do. My buddy Stephan sometimes isn’t sure what to do next but I always help out. I tell him, “Well, my characters going to go do this,” and he’s like, “Ok, let’s go do that,” and it all works out. But I guess it depends on your players. Some people need some prodding.
While I agree with your point in general, there’s a couple of thing that I think you missed in these stories. Spoony did say he was fairly young at the time and not a very good DM and that the guys playing the jedi wanted to have duel with the Siths while the rest had fun shooting stormtrooper in the face, so it was more half the players wanted to play the dm game, half just wanted to shoot Sith lords in the face and screw what the rest of the group wanted.
Given that they were playing Star Wars and that it was before the prequel, of course they wanted to do like in the movie, Star Wars was still good at the time. Plus how is it sensible to just ignore a squad of elite soldier to shoot at two guy in robe? If the system was more lethal or Spoony had been more of a dick, there just no way they’d survived while the Stormtrooper shot at what would more or less be defenseless target.
I don’t remember him saying anywhere that that’s what the jedi player wanted. If that’s the case then that is a decent dilemma that the DM has to overcome. But a lot of that can be taken care of by the PCs talking to each other and explaining what each of them want out of game and making a compromise or even talking it out with the DM. No, this more seems like Spoony wanted it to be cinematic. I have noticed that he has tendencies towards that and it seems like he tries to get a specific effect for RPG stories. That’s not a bad thing and it’s not something you can always can control either. Not to mention he prides himself on raising the bar when it comes to story telling and will often criticise Hollywood cliches so that’s why I find it perplexing that he was so set on making game exactly like the movie, when you think a person like him would appreciate a different type of story telling, especially if it’s intelligent and it involves thinking outside the box. Then again as you pointed out he was in his teens when this took place so any mistakes he made can be forgiven. But I’m childish and I think I’m funny so I’m just going to call him a shit DM.
Also they were not ignoring the soldiers but just focusing their attacks on the sith lord, which is sensible to do in their universe. If they have knowledge, and with a jedi in their party they should, that there exists a group of people who possess telekinesis, mind control, moments of clarvoyance, the ability to hurl lightening, and also have the ability to reflect their universes equivalent of bullets back at their attackers then that person is clearly more dangerous than a squad of soldiers and it is more sensible to target him especially if he’s distracted. Not to mention, the sith lords are in command of the storm troopers, so if the sith lord dies then it spreads confusion in their ranks. Think of the sith lord as a field commander armed with a rocket launcher leading a group of soldiers against a friendly unit. He is the most dangerous and valuable target to the friendly soldiers and so he’s going to be the first thing they shoot at and kill in order to defeat the enemy squad and minimize damage on their side.
These anecdotes are really cool, but I’m starting to wish you would get back (for now at least) to movie reviews and Final Fantasy X-2
These days Wookies just get massive Strength and Constitution mods at the expense of penalties to just about everything else.
I had two distinct experiences with Star Wars RPG, both times as a GM:
- Had a group of 4 players with one Jedi… I came across the EXACT same problems Spoony described. I had Sith apprentices and all sorts of other ‘big bads’ that originally was meant for the Jedi to duel alone, and of course, the others wanted to help the Jedi out. Honestly, I had no problem with it. Was it movie-like? No, of course not, but their strategy was to have two characters take out the supporting enemies of the big bad (ie, stormtroopers), while the jedi duled the big bad, and the team’s resident sniper snuck away, mounted up, and tried lining up a good shot on the big bad. My catch, though, was a makeshift house rule that I made, saying that any missed shots fired into a melee has a chance of friendly fire. I forgot the exact mechanics I made, but that’s the jist of it. It turned out okay.
- 2nd time I GMed was in the rebellion era, but I only had 3 players. We all decided that the players were going to made Metal Gear inspired characters in the Star Wars universe. 1 highly stealth skilled soldier (Snake), 1 ace pilot with high tech skills (otacon), and 1 Jedi Guardian (Ninja-Raiden). Every adventure had these guys at a numbers disadvantage, so like an MGS Boss Fight, taking on the big-bad head to head typically was suicide. Either the individual was just way too powerful (tech, armor, force, etc), or he/she had a ton of support troops. This was after we all beat MGS4, so our mindset and mood was a lot more video-game like. Instead of trying to mimic a Star Wars movie, my players were problem solving like they were controlling MGS characters. Hit and run tactics, grenades, using force powers at certain moments. This created a much faster paced game.
Wow, this was another great story! And, the funny thing is by todays standards of the Star Wars mythos alot of those promblems could’ve been fixed. If ya’ll were playing now with the info from the prequals, the Clone Wars cartoon, and the Force Unleashed video games you could’ve just said the 2 Siths blocked the fire attacks with a Force-field! Hell, you could’ve said Vader just stood there and blocked all thier attacks and wouldn’t let them land.
I still like how you did it back then without any of this newer info!
A naked Wooki! The only thing I can think of is that episode of ATHF!
“Chewy!? You’ve been naked this whole time!? Why?”
“You’re one sick puppy!”
I’ve never played this RPG ould there be crossover style characters like Wooki/Jedi or Fett/Jedi!?
It’s weird. I felt bad for not noticing the Captain Hammer Shirt until halfway through. Now I don’t see a single comment about that and have to wonder: has he been wearing that before and I completely missed it until now? And why am I usually just listening instead of actually watching?
Also: it seems that was still a reasonable group. Wait until you have to deal with Shadowrun groups where the dwarf insists on being carried around in the trolls back pack (too much Mad Max), any fantasy RPG where the elf is constantly high on all kinds of weeds (why else would they know so much about them) or a SW group that discovers a source of powerful crystals for lightsabers and decides to sell them to Palpatine for a huge profit (arguing that since they can’t know he’s a Sith, that makes perfect sense.. unlike selling them to the Jedi).
Then there’s that paranoid bunch that took over an hour of REAL time discussing how to order pizza in-game. “We can’t have it delivered to our hideout, they might listen in on the call. Let’s deliver it somewhere else, not too close to here, but not so far we have to drive too long.” And no, there was no particular reason to thing cops or cons would even give a damn about them.
I usually don’t suffer that much from players trying to trick the system as from general and rapidly spreading insanity. Something that would be much more understandable if there was drinking or other recreational drugs involved.
Bottom line: never prepare “the story” in too much detail, just have the history, background and motivations. You’re going to improvise and stray far from the intended path anyway.
I liked Star Wars d6 and really miss my Dark Jedi, who had a single d6 for force choke, aka telekinetic kill as a starting character. It made sense in my head that he’d give up being better in some weaker skill to suck at a really good skill early. He’d call on the power of the Dark Side pretty much every encounter as well.
Hubris was his downfall, however. He didn’t die, but the last session of the game I was able to play in, before the GM moved out of state, he was laid up in a med bay after nearly dying while leading a failed assault on a Republic base. He probably shouldn’t have slaughtered that indig village and pissed off the other Jedi on the team in the process.
Some of the Counter Monkey stories could be “Lessons to future GMs”. There’s one you haven’t told yet that I’m REALLY looking forward to hearing you talk about. :D
I’m also starting to see a lot more of the pug in Oreo. She’s getting so big. (I can’t help it. Puppies!)
I agree with everything ScreamingDoom said. Spoony, I disagree with everything you said in this video. I don’t know where to begin. I guess I will just say that I have played an RPG set in the Star Wars universe involving major characters and storylines and we did screw up the canon storyline of the films and the game, and for that matter, the plot of the film, was all the better for it. It was fucking awesome. I totally jacked up the ending of Revenge Of The Sith and gave Anakin Skywalker the oppurtunity to be something other than a complete pussy.
Spoony as much as I love hearing about how your players ran rough shot over you with squirt guns and how your a horrible person for feeding someone toilet pizza, when’s your next review man? This is kindof all your doing now. I normally really like your work but this kindof feels like a cop out. Your just sitting around reminiscing about dumb gaming sessions you’ve had and you haven’t put out a proper review in about a month. I’m starting to feel like I am the guy at the counter at the game store that you are boring to death with your tales of sessions gone wrong.
What about X-2? What about Ultima? I’m dying here man! I’ve got to know how it all ends! But maybe your not in the mood to do that. Well fine. Do another riff of an FMV game. A movie review. A game review. A video where you do nothing but cry while Benzaie provocatively dances for you! I don’t care! Anything but this man. Your better than this man.
I’m not trying to be rude to you, but I know you can do better than this. Seriously bro, you are very talented and very funny and you are a nice person. But this is just being lazy. Your not giving us your A game right now. If you wanted to, you could kill me, kill me sir! with laughter and you wouldn’t have to try very hard to do it. You are capable of so much more than bitching on a couch, Noah. Please do something different next time. I’m starting to feel like I’m wasting my time everytime I click on a video.
Again I’m not trying to be dick. Just let it be known that you have at least 1 fan who will never bullshit you.
And I’m also not saying never do this type of show again. This was an interesting “experiment” so to speak. I really liked the Vegan Steve story, but the other ones I can take or leave. If I can say one thing I liked about this series is that it is fun to reminisce about old table top game sessions and discussing it does get people exited about gaming. I was probably the most disappointed by of all things the toilet pizza story for simple fact that I was kindof hoping you would talk more about an actually gaming session. I was hoping you were going to tell us another story about an actual game you played because it does make me want to play again and reminisce about my own past games. And judging by the decent amount of positive feed back and personal stories from theses videos I think it is safe to say that others feel the same way.
But please next video put out something else, something different. But if you must do another Counter Monkey immediately after this one, tell me a story about a gaming session. Play by play. Paint me a picture. Again I really liked the Vegan Steve story the best and you are a very good story teller. Next Counter Monkey you do, take me on a journey.
disagree….there is a SHITLOAD of rehersed reviews on the internet. I like Spoony Vloger more then Spoony Rewier, just because they seem much more genuine and improvised and in the sence, the comedy is much more sincere….not mentioning that they are much easier to produce i guess
on the other hand, i could REALLY watch another final fantasy review :-P
I agree to a point. Honestly I like both types of video on TSE, both vlog and productions. I honestly don’t mind when we as an audience gets to know the REAL Noah, and I’m sure these types of vids don’t take ANY time at all to produce. An hour of real production time, tops. You turn on the camera, spit your story, upload, toss the ending card, and render. While the vid renders, you work on your bigger reviews.
If I had a full time production of entertainment reviews, like this site, this is EXACTLY how I would run it, so that way your audience stays entertained while you finish completing a HIGH QUALITY production video without any sort of feeling that you’re being ‘rushed’. That, and the internet, shit, the WORLD nowadays loves honesty and genuineness.
Well, don’t get me wrong. I like his vlogs too, genuineness included,
but I’m a little vlogged out. And of course they’re easy and cheap to
make. That’s kindof my problem. He can do so much better and he knows
it and I’m just a little worried he’s getting lazy. That or he could
have writer’s block again. He’s mentioned before that sometimes the
stories lines in his reviews can give him trouble and I hope that’s not
the case I really want to know how the whole Red Lantern Ultimate
Warrior/Guardian thing is going to end. I’m very excited about that.
He’ll probably put out the most amazing video in the world next week and then I’ll have to remove the foot from my mouth.
Also anybody else think the bad guy in the X-2 reviews is Sephiroth? I
think it’s Sephiroth. Half alien son of a bitch killed Burton!
well….why do you find ubelievable that wookie could withstand hit by a lightsabre? You just have to RP it
Basically the same problem is in every DnD game. Take this situation for example. When you are 1st level fighter, and you take a critical with greatsword, it pretty much decapitates you.
When you are 10th level fighter, the same hit is just a mere fleshwound. You can take like 5 of those and still laugh your oponent into his the face and then bash his face in. How do you expalin that??? You RP it (you dodge at last second; the swing would gut you, but your armor saves you; your muscles subcounsciously
react to absorb kinetic force….), or at least you imagine it
Thats why I always thought that shadowrun or GURPs was better. One randomly fired bullet could kill you (as it should) and pack of 5 goblins with rusty blades could still backstab the shit out of you at 1st or 15th level alike. It would be improbable, but not impossible (while I cant imagine how they could get 15th lvl fighter in DND, even if they were in plate armor and he was naked)
shame that most of the rules in GURPS were either needlessly complicated or flat out sucked
Pac a Pusu Hrochátor
When I played D20 Star Wars I had a really epic moment with my non Jedi Character, even though the group consisted of 2 Jedis and a Force Sensitive Technician. I played a Bothan Smuggler with his own ship and I brought the group into the woods on a planet where they could meet the resistance. While I was waiting there an Imperial patrol came and noticed me and I was captured. I played along since I had no criminal record and I thought if I play along the wouldn’t suspect me. But they already knew of the resistance so I was fucked, especially when I noticed them preparing the interrogation drone. But lucky me, Bothans are really sneaky, so I found a way to escape from my cell, knock out a guard and blast the interrogation team to pieces. I made my way up through the mountain base when I came across the amory. There was already an alarm but they didn’t know where I am. I shot the armories guard, broke in and found a lot of thermal detonators. I chucked a few of them down the main elevator shaft on a timer, used some to clear the stormtroopers waiting in front of my ship and threw the rest, also in timers, at the imperial ships in the hangar bay. Then I took off with my ship. The imperial base was still new and wasn’t completely built still having some structural weaknesses. In the end the base collapsed and I flew back to take the jedis with me. So what did they do? Meet up with the resistance leader of this planet and aquire some information. What did I do? Destroy a whole imperial base! Fuck yea!
What I disliked about Shadowrun however was that you could stack armor to high amounts where basically the only thing remaining was: either no damage or one hit kills. Especially when it came to vehicles. A normal rocket hitting my drone: No damage, even though the environment was demolished. An anti vehicle rocket hitting it: Bye bye drone. There was no middle ground. With people it was a little better. In games like DnD you could feel a sense of dread when you saw your hitpoints trippling away, always thinking ‘Am I gonna make it?’. Of course we went arount that problem by making Shadowrun not that combat heavy and focusing on stealth and ‘the perfect run’. And of course by forbidding min/maxing.
also the DnD sence of dread is somehow taken away by ressurection spells. Death is not a big deal anymore, especially when you have a cleric in the group (who isn’t insane necromancer MUAHAHAHAHA)….i tend to ban these kind of spells in my universe (or at least make ‘em REALLY rare), but the group I am in now play in Forgotten Realms….so dropping like flies and raising from the graves is in daily order :-D
I´ve got huge nostalgic feelings for the West End Star Wars, but it is really broken. The Body characteristic is way too powerful, and if you´ve got low body you will never heal. You could litterally die from a papercut where you fail your healingrolls, go unconcious and finally pass away.
I´ve actually choosen to play my campain with many guest stars from the movies. After many adventures I´ve decided to let the actions of the players have actual impact on the plot. Movie villains can die, and the story can go on anyway. However, a character like Darth Vader will never go down from some roleplayers. He´s got such ridiculous attributes with the force, and used right that makes him invincible. Major roles also have lots of force points and dark force points, so if players should get too cocky they´d be wiped out like nothing. But a simple demonstration of the opponents might should scare them off.
A non force user like Bobe Fett is likely to get killed if players gang up on him, so if you wanna let him live he´d better have an escape plan :)
I can’t get enough of these stories. It makes me sad to know that eventually they will run out.
How about a pen and paper story contest here on the site? Record a video, send it in and the best 10 stories win a prize.
Why do you asume that a guy who plays the jedi is automatically “the star” of the game? When I play RPG’s it’s not the class that a guy has that makes him “the star” but the way he plays. Many times the most bad ass classes end up as nobody because the other guy with a weak class is relly smart and knows how to get shit done and the mega slayer of demons only knows how to swing a sword.
I gotta say, I enjoy these random vlogs and stories just about as much as your reviews. See, there’s kinda two versions of you: Spoony, the professional who rehearses, acts, wears costumes and bashes on games and movies, and then there’s just Noah Antwiler, who I think is a pretty cool guy. Is he as funny as Spoony? No, but he’s more real and relatable, and I happen to enjoy his videos that talk about other things for a change. I really consider TSE to be more than just a reviewing site (unlike some people). It’s Spoony’s and Noah’s site, and I look forward to seeing material from both of them.
i’ve been training football for like 14 years but i love playing video games and im lucky enough that i have friends who play video games,from casual to hardcore but i what i dont have is people who play board games so this is an amazing way for me to lean alot about the stuff and its awesome
Spoony is noah
I have allot of fond memories both playing and GM’ing star wars 2nd ed, still got the books round here somewhere. anyway you player wasn’t the only one who lost his hair as a wookie, same thing happened to me after i used wookie rage to bend the steal bars on my holding cell that were also full of electricity, that was supposed to knock us out, good times. Also i get what you mean by the players just ganging up on one person sith or otherwise in games that included force users in the group, anytime they actually had to fight a force user i made sure they were on a time limit. In one campaign i had a jedi fighting one of the emperors old “hands” witch were basically the emperors secret force sensitive assassins, who had found one of the emperors old super weapons that was never finished, two characters were trying to get the thing to fly into the sun, the jedi was fighting the dark jedi, and the others were fighting of a seemingly never ending line of droid soldeirs ( not the Preguel ones god no). note they put a flight path to the sun took the escape pod and watched as the ship nearly as big as the death star hurled itself into the sun and with only one death among them not a bad day for them.
As you walk trough the sith hideout suddenly a laser barrier drops down and splits the 2 jedi from the rest of the party, you will have to find another way :O
Doesnt seem that hard real;;y… you know like IN THAT SW MOVIE?!?!
Spoony go talk to Iron Liz she is a big fan of the star wars rpgs and will most likely dm a game then post the game on your site.
I’ve played Star Wars Saga Edition for a few years now. I’ve never had the chance to play West End, but other guys in my group have, and most of their nostalgia for the system revolves around its LucasArts backing and world-building, like you said.
SWSE treats non-Jedi pretty well. You just have to know what kind of character you want to play. I’ve seen a gunslinger take down a Sith Apprentice in a surprise round and half a round of combat. Not to say that Jedi (and non-Jedi force users) don’t get plenty of love. The system definitely has its faults–a lack of combat maneuver versatility sometimes being the most frustrating–but overall it’s treated our group pretty well.
Fuck heroes. I’d shoot Vader in the back.
The last Star Wars game I was a part of was in the current system. I was a Scoundrel level 10 or so and I was a crack shot. At one point I out smarted our own Solider, cause someone planted a bomb, I had my skill high enough to remove and disarm it, without anyone knowing I did it, I put back the device with the “surveillance” crap untouched, but without the explosives. I then set up a plan with all the party members to catch our reoccurring villain of our story. He had no where to go, but back to our ship. He wasted all his weapons and had nothing but the detonator to the “bomb”, which I planted on his ship, or atleast the one I tracked him back to. I had out smarted the GM, or so I thought, no I did. LOL Anyway, once we are at our ship, we chase him to the bridge, and he threatens us with the detonator. He tells us that he is able to come back from the dead. I pull my blaster and shoot the controls to our ship, rendering them useless, but repairable. The GM looks at me like I kicked his kitten. Our enemy hits the button and the GM tells us that’s the end of the campaign. I speak up as everyone is looking at me, that I moved the explosives to his ship and our GM is such a note passer, because there were 6 of us talking at once, he told us just hand him a note so he wouldn’t forget. I told him I passed him the note with the time and what I did. He looked at it and everyone knew I had told them what I did. So, he grumbles throws my note to the ground and our enemy just blew up HIS bosses and it was all being recorded somehow by our enemy, who now is under our capture. The bridge was set up with a escape pod, that only our party knew about, and somehow our enemy dude used it. I had to explain how using an escape pod while we were still on the ground was suicide. The retros would fire to propel the pod away from the larger ship, right into the ground, killing him. We had a very low end escape pod…(If we had been in the Noble’s quarters, she had a high end pod that looked like part of the ship…it was her ship..) Our GM said that he locked himself in and started modifying the pod for low orbit flight… With no equipment and materials… Our GM said he had to make a phone call and was hungry, so he suggested we take a break. After about 45 minutes he came back with some notes he had taken. He says that our guy has a comm link and he uses it to call the police. Everyone looked worried, seriously. I wasn’t. We waited and the police came, I had a law skill as a professional skill. I stated that this guy was our bounty and local authorities had no claim since his bounty was being paid by the Hutts. Which was all true. Cause this happened a few games ago with the police trying to horn in our bounty, on the same planet. So, after the police left I began to weld the guy in the pod and made sure it was welded to the hull and disengaged the retros, and we left, and turn him into the Hutts, but then kills a few guards and escapes. For some reason the Hutts blame us for bringing him to them in the first place, but that’s what they asked for… They have us killed for not giving back the bounty they paid us… End of the Campaign…
I was part of one rp. I was a wookie XD . we had.. 1-2 jedi, a force sensitive, the wookie(I had to leave for college and instead of keeping him as the first mate that he was and an npc they had him killed off by BS. first he was drained life like hell and was almost dead, then wasn;t strapped down properly in the med bay when the ship crashed..yeah…my character got killed off while unconscious). we got others but barely any jedi. our rogue was near the sith lord and he had an old fashioned gunpowder pistol and he chucked a bag of blackpowder and shot it, exploding two droids and a sith. it works when you have it working right. rps can be epic without following the movies. By the way, 1-on-1 in a big boss fight is only fun for one player right?
second note: easiest way to keep side guys from interfering too much. droids/stormtroopers with suppressing fire. shooters get maybe one shot at a time because they have to take cover.
Man Spoony, you sound like the kind of DM that uses DMing as an excuse to force your friends to sit through your shitty fanfiction. Do you also do silly voices for the NPCs? I love it when DM’s do that, before too long they’ve exhausted gruff, extravagant, and gay lisp, and end up resorting to increasingly racist fake accents.
Isn’t fanfiction kinda the point of a tie-in RPG? I’m confused.
Tabletop RPG’s should be an emergent story with REAL player agency though, not an exercise in seeing how long you can get 4 people to tolerate a story you’ve come up with yourself.
Although I don’t think Spoony now is nearly as bad as my post implied. He did say this was back when he was young and a bad DM.
Well isn’t going into a game as a DM without material like going into a gunfight without a gun? Unless you WANT an improv game, don’t you WANT a base story for the characters to follow and interact in?
Yeah but you don’t try to control what your players do for the sake of adhering to your vision. Which I don’t think Spoony does, at least not recently.
You guys should have a mandelorian class where they are essentually built for fighting foes even as powerful as jedi or sith. With this you could have a super soldier with guns who can turn the tide of a campaign or a war with assassinations, muscle for hire, jedi/sith slaying, ect.
This one wasn’t as fun or well narrated as the others. In fact it was kinda finicky, not so streamlined.
More like a rant on the state of the game (Star wars also being less interesting compared to DnD)
The squirt gun wars almost sounded like something that really happened, as presented, with all the characters and scenarios.
I MUST HAVE MOAR COUNTER MONKEY !
I’ll always be robin, dick and tim are way cooler than Bruce. Jason and damien, meh, not so much.
These Vlogs are pretty interesting. I usually don’t like Vlogs, but there’s a gold mine of stories here.
The BtVS RPG has two character types, one for Scoobies and one for Slayer-types. The GM advice section gives multiple group models (single Slayer-type, everybody is a Slayer-type, or everybody is a Scooby). Scoobies get more action points (or whatever the system calls them) but Slayer-types are better all around.
It’s not a bad system, but it is a bit complicated in places.As for Star Wars, I think your enjoyment of SAGA edition really hinges on what you think of D&D 4e.
SAGA is NOTHING like D&D 4E. Not even a tiny bit. Okay, the skills are somewhat similar, but that’s it. Feats are still the old school feats. The Classes are much closer to their 3.5E counterparts.
BtVS was another great game. We played that for like 2-3 years straight.
I suppose it’s actually closer to d20 Modern with some 4e stuff thrown in.
The last RPG version is Star Wars: SAGA Edition, and my entire gaming group LOVES it. It’s no longer in production either (@#$%ing Lucasarts keeps yanking the license). It’s the 2nd best D20 game ever made (the first being Mutants & Masterminds), and if 4th Edition had been more like SAGA, my group probably wouldn’t have dropped D&D.
If you ever play a RPG agian film it cause ive personally never played one so i want to see what they look like.
I second the motion
If you play another RPG film because i personally have never played one and i want to see what thier like.
By West End I assume you mean the d6 version of Star Wars. My group has been playing that for a LONG time, and have only had small problems when it came to non-all jedi or non-jedi. Hell, my jedi has killed less “Big Bads” than our Tongrutan Han Solo, because our Smuggler used EXPLOSIVES and vehicle weapons to blow them up. It takes such a long time for a jedi in d6 to become good, but once they do they become almost unstoppable. That’s where our campaign ended, as the GM was really having problems trying to take me down.
As for the wookie……the Sith Lord you were talking about must have been a failure because there’s a force ability called Lightsaber Combat, which adds so many dice to attack and DAMAGE that no wookie could possibly take a hit and live. I literally slaughter dozens of stormtroopers in a turn when I force point and use lightsaber combat. One hit deaths. I dunno how your group was having problems Spoony but someone wasn’t reading the rules all correctly.
Either that or the system you were talking about was not the d6 version we play. However trust me parties can work if they are a mix of jedi and non-jedi. In the beginning of the campaign I was pretty much a hindrance as a Jedi because my stats weren’t that great(which they can’t be when you start as a human jedi). I was pretty much a Jedi Consular, so my perception, speech, and knowledge skills were extremely high and that was pretty much all I could do. Now though I am leading the pack, even though I still can’t use a blaster much.
Our team also is only 3 people: Human Jedi, Tongrutan Zeisan Sha (force sensitive culture who use Predator-like blade discs), and a Barabel (tough warrior lizards with tails who are Jedi-friendly). The Barabel is a beast, equally as strong and tough as a Wookie, but can regenerate lost limbs. The team is strong, but their personalities clash. Yes my jedi wants to duel big bads, while the lizard and Tongrutan would rather throw a ton of grenades and explosives at them so we don’t have to deal with them. Depending on the situation we are in our characters figure things out and make decent choices. The problem with looking at the movies is that, NO, it’s not all that logical and realistic. Our GM mixes the too.
EDIT: If West End is NOT the d6 version, then I highly suggest it Spoony. There are some problems with it, but we easily solved most of the problems with house rules. The Lightsaber Combat force power can get really broken later on.
I used to play Starwars. I had a Hacker then I had a unstable clone. I even had a failed jedi. She was a short cranky alcoholic. One game, a friend rolled up a female wookie so she started off a slave. She lost control for some weird reason and attacked this kid who was an unstable jedi. So the kid kicked her ass. The rookie got hit my stun blasts and then wrapped in this goes substance used to keep woolies trapped. Trust me, it worked. So my alchohic jedi bought the rookie, then used her light saber to remove the junk. We had a rookie with Bald patches!
Someday I want to play an all emeprical campaign where for playing the empire after return of the jedi.
Really? You actually want the dog bothering you during these videos now?
Looks like you don’t have either a dog or a cat :-)
If you keep them out of your room you will have a pretty loud background during casts/recordings because they normally want to be in a room with your or at least know that they could be with you if they chose to do so. so no closed doors ^^
I thought there already was a Buffy tabletop. It was called World of Darkness and everybody loved it unless they didn’t.
He was referring to a table-top game based on the actual show, not the White Wolf table-top game.
Have you tried playing Pathfinder Spoony? If you don’t know, it’s a spinoff of D&D published by Paizo.
Me and my friends play it and we like it a lot because it flows quite smoothly and it has loads of content (I have 4 separate books for religion alone).
It also has a few new classes (Alchemist, Cavalier, Gunslinger, Inquisitor, Oracle, Magus, Summoner and witch) as well as prestige and alternative class options, and unlike 4th edition all the classes feel unique.
You should give it a try. I liked it a lot more then 4th edition, maybie you will as well.
Check out the site “Pathfinder SRD”, it has all the info you need.
The trick, I would imagine, is to give each player their own nemesis tailor-made for them. Sort of like an Anti-Party. If you make it so each person has a reason to go after this one specific enemy, then you can have your one-on-one duels and every player gets to participate.
Nice Halloween Special. This will be the last time I visit your site. Thanks for the entertainment.
Hmmm…ok, my current opinion is that you had very little experience as a GM at the time if this was the West End d6 system. I never had more than one PC force user in the party in my games, and often we ran without a force user or sensitive around. When we did have a force user, just building the character’s Force skills was a raw bitch, requiring not only a large amount of experience, but also because you HAD to find something to teach you…and in the Rebellion Era, teachers were HARD to find.
As for Sith…not until I ran a campaign 500 after Return of the Jedi did anyone run into a full Sith Lord. In the Rebellion Era, there are only TWO Sith Lords: Vader and the Emperor. Period. Books even say so. You might run into someone force sensitive with some training, but they were never full-on Sith.
As far as the ‘Body’ trait…umm, the d6 System didn’t have a Body. True, Wookies could roll 5 dice worth to resist damage from weapons…but there were also MANY weapons that could do a lot more than that. Hells, someone with Lightsaber Combat and a Lightsaber (starting 6D damage) could easily start smacking you with around 12 to 20D of damage PER HIT. Take into the fact that Wookies could not wear normal body armor and…well…dead Wookie.
I really liked the West End system of Star Wars, espeically how well they did the starships and the sheer amount of stuff you could bring into the game. It was an easy system to understand, jump into and do a lot with. The D20 system that Wizards created was pure shit…fucking D&D in Space with Lightsabers. The books were overpriced, the material and visuals were shotty, the system over-complex and slow…I hated it.
Let’s hope Fantasy Flight Games can bring back Star Wars RPGs as something fun and decent again
This was my thinking on the matter as well. As for finding a teacher, my GM had a really cool way to get around that. Our campaign was placed at the beginning of the clone wars, but we were in the outer rim areas and the real campaign actually started after episode 3.
My GM had my Jedi master and I hunting down a relic that was taken by another padawan after he killed someone in training. The lout felt like he didn’t deserve to be a Jedi anymore and took off, becoming a drunk. He died valiantly trying to fight a Dark Jedi and got slaughtered, but he had the relic on him and I managed to recover it. Inside a secret compartment in the hilt was an ancient holocron, with the force spirit of a Jedi from the Great Hyperspace War (or the first war of the Sith, can’t remember). He was my mentor though the whole thing, taught my Padawan the ancient ways which made more sense to my character.
Not a bad way around it. I personally avoided the Clone Wars, because at the time I had very little info about it (early 90s). The Holocron is a standard way around the ‘no mentor’ bit and I used it myself, but I also normally had them damaged, incomplete or speaking in an unknown language…which created more adventures and dramas for me to work with ;-)
Well….when one of your major skills is Languages…..the odd tongue isn’t that much of a problem. I loved how my GM used the holocron, he even did something else with it. The ONLY named Jedi Master we ran into was Shak-Ti, the Tongrutan Jedi Master. She died at the hands of a Dark Jedi (after crashing a fucking Star Destroyer into the planet with a group of Elite Barabel warriors!!), and all my Jedi could do was watch. Well….I did manage to pull the fucker’s lightsaber from his hands and dismantle it with telekinesis, but the dude used some sort of Sith-Fingers-of-Death ability to finish her off. ANYWAY the holocron’s Force Spirit invited her spirit to reside with it inside the Holocron (because she was our Tongrutan’s grandma -_-;) and that made things interesting. It was a really cool campaign and it was sad that we couldn’t finish it.
I run an awesome star wars campaign, but the revised edition needs massive amounts of house rules to make work (pulled from Firefly for campain ship stuff, Dresden Files for application of force points (from its Fate Point system, as well as 5-level concurrent leveling ‘Origin’ Classes with abilities pulled from the new, also broken edition based on their character backstory, and a realistic wound table system from another one that allows for loss of limbs and more realistic penelties when taking wound damage).
I also found that everyone wants to be a Jedi, but that the Jedi are basically incapable of accomplishing anything. I’ve run 4 long term campaigns in the system now, and every time its the full on Jedi characters that basically run around sucking while the ‘regular’ characters or multiclassed force adepts are blowing things away. I think it has to do with the disconnect between what people think Jedi ought to be able to do, and what they can do in the game (especially since Force Unleashed came out). 3d4 damage on force strike vs 6 attacks at 3d8 each from the Scoundrel firing two heavy blasters doesn’t really compare.
I ran the same event with two parties actually – 1 with 3 Jedi and a Scoundrel pilot, the other with 5 Force Sensitive normal classed players and one Jedi. Very different. When the Jedi wasn’t able to make it one day and the party had 75 Mandalorian troops rounding up refugees, the ship’s engineer snuck into an empty refugee ship, took out its fuel cell (in my campaign, basically a 40 gallon propane tank), attacked a crude explosive to it and another character used move object to chase the mandalorians around. It was like something out of Benny Hill. In the Jedi campaign, the characters ignited their sabers all cinematic-like and got their fool-heads shot in.
I wonder what level these guys were at when you threw 75 Mandalorians at them. I also think that the fuel cell idea was cool, but the execution on your part having the Mandalorians run around like pansies was unrealistic and silly. Not how my group views Star Wars. The silliest thing that happened in our campaign was the verpine tech killing a Dark Jedi by stabbing him in the face with a vibro-tool in a fit of rage (after loosing all his droids). That wasn’t even all that silly but awesome! It was just the fact that the Verpine managed to do that (after I had wounded the shit outa the bastard).
From what I’ve played in d20 SW, Jedi can be unbelievably broken. Small race with high dex, using Yoda’s fighting style feat with gives you DOUBLE dexterity to attacks AND DAMAGE. Plus the fact that the Jedi classes have rediculous defenses, and can lightsaber block and deflect, means that either you guys didn’t know all the rules, you house ruled it to the point where the Jedi class was worthless, or the Jedi players didn’t know their shit and so deserved to be killed.
Even ignoring the “cinematic” intentions/consequences, the other big problem with tabletop Star Wars, is that Force-enabled characters are on average, just flat-out better than regulars via mechanics (well, based on my experiences with Star Wars d20, and one of the more revised systems).
Apart from piloting (and hacking, if you allow PC droids), there really weren’t many roles that a jedi/sith couldn’t do better. Interrogation? Social skills? Combat? We have force powers for that.
Combat Medic? Pffft. We have force powers that far outstrip your silly “medicine” and “bacta”.
So unless you have a Han Solo fetish, there wasn’t much reason to play the Scoundral. Or a noble. Or a Soldier, etc.
Now, this is based on OLD information, but it’s a big part of why I hated the d20 craze and why I don’t want to play in any Star Wars tabletops.
Yeah that’s why my group stopped playing the 2d0 shit and went back to the old d6. In the d6 Jedi were really weak starting out, while the non-force users were stronger. Once a jedi got up in experience though he gets really really powerful, at least in force skills. I can tear a gun off of a ship, convince a soldier that he was meeting with a gay lover and they shot themselves up with drugs (so he wouldn’t remember us), I can see across the galaxy and spot what people are doing in the present using farsight, and can slay a dozen stormtroopers in a round with my lightsaber easily. HOWEVER I still can’t hold a blaster of any sort with reliability, can’t build/repair anything other than my lightsaber, and can’t do anything on the ship besides raise the shields.
The d6 still has it’s broken points, and Jedi become really powerful later on, but they still need non-force users to help with the other stuff. There are some force skills that help with some mundane tasks like Astrogation, and the Concentration power gives you a big boost to a skill but ONLY if it’s the only thing you do in the round so it’s limited. Also there is no such thing as force healing in d6, and no attack powers that don’t lead to the dark side. I absolutely HATE force Strike, it is so against the oath of being a Jedi. d20 broke what it meant to be a Jedi and just made them wizard/cleric hybrids.
A topic close to my own heart! Saga Edition is (was) freaking amazing. It’s becoming harder to get ahold of now, since it’s out of print and all, but this is THE system to run Star Wars in if you’re looking for a tactical but cinematic experience. (Those less interested in tactics would probably be happier in Savage Worlds or Fate.)
The Jedi wind up pretty well balanced because they’re forced to spend so many character resources to get good at Force use — the same resources they have to spend to get good at lightsaber combat. They can generally be better than anyone else at a particular task, but are narrower than other characters. A Jedi focused on melee tanking (for example) leaves plenty of room for Han Solo to blaze away with his blaster but ALSO be good at flying the Falcon.
One caveat, though, is that Force users WILL be overpowered if the GM fails to enforce dark side points. The threat of falling to the Dark Side is very much a mechanical limiting factor on Jedi characters.
I’ve only ever played the D6 version, and we had one young Jedi in our party. He had very low Force skills, no lightsaber combat (his saber was basically only used as a tool) and our party was very balanced, so we had no problems like the ones you discussed. Also, we weren’t complete dicks, and weren’t too cool with being overpowered. Once our characters started getting fairly strong, we all decided to ditch them and create new characters to start from scratch.
Maybe Wookies are related to those headless guys in Ultima? :D
Your old group sound really aweful lol. I’ve played the D6 version of Star Wars and it was such a good laugh ’cause we didn’t act like this and also didn’t take it too seriously. Our games had things like Ewok fuelled starships (it used Ewoks as fuel), characters hijacking AT-ATs accompanied a rebel group of Ewoks lead by a Wookie. One player played Nemesis the Warlock which was quite interesting :D. All of this with DM involvement. Starwars was always a huge laugh. Even when one of our party tried to shoot out a lock with a blaster – only to kill himself outright because of a critical failure dice roll and not realising it was magnetically shielded. lmao.
Remember the end of Suburban Knights. When Spoony’s group arrives at the end of the series to fight, NC’s group just kinda, what, stands to the side and cheers.
This reminds me of Highlander where 1v1 fights are mandatory as side character’s guns are useless and the unbreakable rules say that only 1v1 is allowed.
This also reminds me of Halo 3. There is a part where a Brute Chieftan (strongest enemy in the game) shows ups and shakes his fist (challenging you) at you before running away. When you find him again he is crouching in a circle surrounded by cheering Brutes. What you are supposed to do is fight him 1v1 arena style. But what I always did was go invisible and one shot the Brute Chieftan. Or arrive and instantly start shooting the cheering Brutes because that is what I always do. Oops.
This is (should be) one of the most cinematic fights in video games. A powerful enemy calling you out and waiting for you to arrive for a big battle.
These kind of RPG games sound really fun… I’m wondering if there is anyway to like play online with mics or typing because there are no places or people around where I am to play. Anyone know of anything?
You might check Enworld.org for a group. As for software, I’m in a weekly game using Fantasy Grounds and Skype. That works pretty well.
Our Star Wars GM controlled us through fear.
He enjoyed cinematic events as much as the next GM, but we had a few cretins in our group so he learned when to use the truncheon. (metaphorically) He was initially pretty merciless with player characters who did silly things, and had no hesitation in letting the dice kill them to remind players of their characters mortality.
For example, if that had’ve been him who said we see Darth Vader in our rear-view mirror as we’re blasting off from Hoth, the moment we say we’re turning around and shooting turbolasers at hi, the GM would probably have just said that Vader deflects the blasts away and uses the force to wretch our ship out of the sky and crash it into the ground. Chance to escape: gone. Incoming pain. When he ran a dark side group post-Endor, we were a group who was trying to carve out our own piece of the declining empire. We had the aspiring Sith (me), an Imperial aristocrat, an ex-Stormcommando mercenary and an Imperial Navy officer-turned-freelancer. The GM was fantastic at creating an atmosphere of paranoia and menace outside of our group that brought us closer together and forced us to cooperate. The GM’s Machavellian methods really created an atmosphere of caution that I think averted a number of the problems Spoony outlined.
The point about the whole party wanting to face the big bad is a significant problem. The only way we solved it was getting rid of the ‘final showdown’ so to speak, and splitting it up into sections for each character that made their final contribution feel important and essential for success. Like the Jedi/Sith in the group got their lightsabre duel, the smuggler has their space battle, the aristocrat pulls off their diplomatic coup etc, all rolled into one.
Edit: Double post.
I would say that Jedi fights in the movies generally boil down to 1v1 because they’re set up to. It would probably have been a good idea to find a way to separate the party so that ONLY the Jedi came up against the Sith lords. The way it happened in the movies Luke would wind up finding Vader alone, even if he had to MAKE it happen. I’m thinking a similar situation in your sessions would have been rather fortuitous…
Isn’t pretty much everyone except another Jedi supposed to basically be cannon fodder against a Jedi/Sith anyway?
The main reason why Jedi/Sith duels in the movies happened was because NO ONE ELSE WAS AROUND. The only time I can think of that Jedi faced off against the Sith with others in tow was Phantom Menace…and why 20 troopers plus a gun-totting queen and two Jedi didn’t just blast Maul into atoms IMMEDIATELY escapes me.
As a GM in Star Wars d6, if I didn’t want player interference, I made sure they weren’t there (blast doors suddenly cutting people off from the party, kidnapping, seperate missions, etc).
I once had the ‘pleasure’ of playing in a Star Wars a game run by my ex. His BFF was a Jedi with Mandolorean roots. He told the rest of us that he only wanted one Jedi in the game, so I played a Wookiee fighter pilot (or so went the concept… my ex wouldn’t allow my character to actually be a fighter pilot, she was a grunt who only aspired to be a fighter pilot… oh, and I intended the character to be male, but both the GM and players kept referring to her as female, so female she was.) The other players included a useless Mon Calamari smuggler and… I forgot what the other guy was. We spent the whole game watching the Jedi do things. I remember one session involved us listening to some Jedi meeting through a radio. It was pathetic.
Funny this lesson should have also been applied to Star Wars Galaxies the first Star Wars MMO. The exact same problems ended up happening there. Almost everyone wants to be the Jedi. Or if they are not they want to kill them. In player versus player fights when Jedi were somewhat uncommon everyone would quit shooting at whatever it was they were an aim at the Jedi/Sith instead lol. And it wasn’t even a good idea since they had huge chance to deflect blaster shots back then but people shot at them anyway.
Now TOR is coming an taking the opposite approach with everyone is Jedi. It will probably be the other problem with everything being a big confusing Lightsaber moshpit battle like he said.
In the first incarnation of SWG, becoming a Jedi was HARD WORK. Even the most hardcore player need at least 4 months of play JUST to qualify to be Force Sensitive. After that, skills were hard as hell to develop, and past a certain level, you had to work on them EVERY WEEK or have them degrade. Also, after a certain point the only way to develop them further was in conflict against other Force users (that is, other PLAYER FORCE USERS) and WIN.
Difficult, yes…but I liked that. If you wanted to have the most powerful class in the game, you had to EARN it. EXACTLY like the movies and lore. Jedi/Sith characters were respected if only for their dedication.
After the NGE, that changed. Jedi became the new melee class and anyone could start as one. One of the MANY reasons SWG tanked in the end. Screw you, SOE.
And now SW:TOR seems to want to do the same thing…and from what the forums are saying, it’s going to be Sith-heavy on every server. Some people never learn.
The problem there is if the game has a class that takes that long to even get into and has no more appreciable power or ability beyond what other fighter classes have then it winds up cheapening the victory of achieving it. Alternately, if Jedi are far more powerful than everyone else it creates and unsustainable game imbalance. I never played it but simply treating Jedi as another class seems to be the way to go to avoid the above mentioned problems.
Love West End Games’ Star Wars D6 RPG! My favorite RPG of all time.
“Lightsaber syndrome” is a legitimate problem and disconnect that many players have. The lightsaber is the most awesome weapon ever but players (as opposed to Jedi) have a tendancy to look at their sabers as the solution to just about every problem…because using them is awesome. The prequel films are to blame for promoting this mentality as well. Classically, a Jedi considered use of their saber a last resort. The saber was only drawn if the Jedi was prepared to take a life. The Jedi were permitted to kill in self-defense, sure, but any taking of life was shameful in the eyes of a Jedi.
I liked Star Wars D6 because developing Force Powers was a long and arduous process and because the Dark Side was serious business. It did what the Dark Side was supposed to do: tempt you with the promise of power and then wait for you to fall into its clutches.
The newest edition from Wizards of the Coast was the Star Wars Saga
Edition. It came out after Episode III so it incorporates information
from all six movies and introduces mechanical concepts that was going to
be in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. I enjoy it, if only for the
simplified skills system. I think the Jedi class is kind of gimped in
that edition. It never appealed to me. In any case, they don’t severely outshine the other players.
I’ve taken the stance of SCREW CONTINUITY when running games from
pre-established settings. Technically, I try to run stories that focus
on the PCs and only involve movie elements if I have to.
Simple solution to the stormtrooper problem… when the smugglers miss the sith treat it as if they rolled a one. Call it the strategic penalty for ignoring a bunch of guys in bright white targets shooting at them. Add in the blaster fire of the stormtroopers getting into the Jedi/Sith battle and yeah.
I’ve never played the Star Wars rpg but I’ve had alot better luck including Iconic characters in my games. I think the groups I’ve played with were more in the spirit of the universes we were playing in than the ones you have. Either that or we’re such movie geeks that all we know is movie solutions to problems… hmmmmm.
“Jedi are the main characters”
Only if you let them be. That seemed to be the crux of your problem. Perception. The movies and many of the games have them as main characters but seeing them as the main characters and everyone else as sidekicks is a matter of perspective. You are looking at them as the movers and shakers when, really, you could be looking at them as the Bene Gesserit from Dune: powerful and neat, yeah, but that doesn’t mean the story has to be all about them.
Consider running a game where the Force is in the background and the story is something less mystical and more practical – a group of heroes just trying to pay off the morgtage on their space ship, a smuggler group trying to make a run and getting more than they bargained for, a group of people in a grand city planet who always hang at the bar and are all going through their midlife crisis decide to pool their money and go on a wild adventure in a ship they buy ala Wild Hogs, etc. If they fight Sith make, make the Sith bounty hunters or basic mooks – in your eyes let the light sabre be nothing more than a laser sword or an exotic melee weapon.
Suggestion: In the prequels, there were numerous robots that were trained in the use of either lightsabers or electrified quarter staffs. If you have 5 people, bring in the big bad and four really beefed up robots, if necessary. There are several ways you could do this while keeping a viable plot, such as having the Empire earlier in the story come across an old ship belonging to the bad guys from the prequels (name escapes me).
Also, simply say that a major character, such as Darth Vader, is powerful enough to destroy all of them without much effort. To be honest, if they know much about the series, there is some truth in it; he was the most powerful Jedi and Sith of all time.
Also, I would love to start up a game with you if you want. Should be interesting. I could DM it, as I actually have a lot of story telling and DnD experience.
Why not degrees of Force sensitivity determined by experience? Like how SWG was before the disastrous patch. And add weapons and tactics that could be used against Force Sensitives. Like cortosis armor and swords, firing tactics that get past a Jedi’s guard, and cortosis-laced fiber-optic cables that could be used to entangle and electrocute Jedi. And special achievements for those being able to defeat Jedi as a non-Jedi.
I dunno about cortosis swords (the Jedi can dance around your sword fairly readily), and cortosis armor is a sort of “Well, you hit me and I die, but your sword turns off for a round!”
I do like the idea of varying levels of Force Sensitivity, however. It’s supported by canon, more or less.
Actually, Cortosis is lightsaber proof. In KOTOR, I used a cortosis sword imbued with the powers of Ajunta Pall to kill Malak. And our swords clashed just fine.
Just have the stormtroopers kill the smugglers while they fight the Sith.
Just have a Sith who wears blaster-proof armor. Darth Vader has it; and it allowed him to survive a thermal detonator up close. And have Shadowtroopers to distract the other morons with blasters. They can pop in and out to do guerilla tactics to distract the gunners. And if the gunners kill stormtroopers, they can help against the Sith. But if they lose to the Shadowtroopers, the troopers focus on the Jedi, and kill him. If the Sith wins and the troopers are killed, Then they can all have blaster vs lightsaber against one Sith. Or have the Jedi fight off the Shadowtroopers.
I know I’m nitpicking and all that, but did anyone catch a small mistake in their with his reference to Empire? Han tried to shoot Vader on Bespin, not Yavin. I know, I know, I’m just being a dick…
I love SW D6 – I’ve house rule’d it considerably, mind, but I do love it, it makes for good bones.
If I were you, I’d have the stormtroopers cut the other guys down :D
Really, though, it’s pretty acceptable if things get set up right.
I hope we get to hear some RIFTS stories
Funny store: by the letter of the law in saga edition of the star wars RPG, you can depopulate a planet with a tie fighter.
By the rules, every person on something involved in a collision takes the same collision damage a ship does. This means, when a TIE crashes, it does damage to everyone on the planet.
Enough damage to kill NPC’s. Literally two x-wings crash into the second death star, emperor dies.
I was of the impression that one cannot burn off a wookie’s hair, as they are pretty much just hair all the way through.
The first couple of anecdotes, though, lead into what I think is the biggest problem with the way that people try to run RPGs: you should never try to make your game play out as though it were a movie. That’s just never going to happen. Those big dramatic set pieces that we’re used to in films are part of that medium, but not this one. The faster you stop trying to emulate that style and learn to design an encounter that would make a good game scene rather than a good movie finale, the better off you’ll be.
The best example, I think, is the duel with the “Big Bad”; don’t have one. Because as Spoony points out, it will just never be as dramatic or dynamic as you imagine it (because what you’re imagining is a scene from a movie that you’re directing in your head but which will never exist). Rather, all of the party is going to gang up five on one on him and usually toast him in short order. In D&D 4e they tried to design monsters and enemies that could vie with an entire party on their own; it didn’t work. You just can’t make a single adversary that tough, so stop trying.
For my last campaign, the primary villain never fought the players at all. Rather, he always ran, leaving underlings behind to die in his place. You might think that this makes for an ineffectual villain, but you’re wrong, the players hated him all the more for this. The grand finale came not in a fight with him but in a desperate race to trap him by sealing off all of his escape routes (something very satisfying for the players to do after he’d given them the slip so many times). When finally trapped he died in a brief scuffle with little damage dished out on his part, but that was okay because the real conflict was already over by that time and this was just letting the players have their fun after they’d already won.
So that’s my advice; that book is that book that movie is that movie, and your game is your game, and they’re never going to be the same thing. Learn the medium that you’re in.
These stories are fun. Keep it up! It would be nice if you talked about your favourite fantasy books at some point. I’m always looking forward to hearing about good novels and writers.
Star Wars d6? Awesome, i’m in a game of that now. Yeah, the system has a lot of exploitable features (Dark Side points are particularly brutal). We have a single Jedi in our party, but we’ve been able to mutually keep things reasonably balanced, because none of us want to unbalance the game. Although that player’s Jedi still relies primarily on an autocaster with poison darts.
I do agree on never allowing canon characters into your game though. We were in an adventure on Tatooine where we were fighting a minor Expanded Universe character that was essentially a Boba Fett knockoff. We were fighting a bounty hunter army with our ship, and the character tried to flee via jetpack. But never bring a jetpack to a ship fight. I (since I was the pilot) rammed that sucker. We even got a holovid of it.
I also agree on the body stat being amazing. We had a Herglic part member (a big, Krogan-esque alien), and he was untouchable. The downside to that is that if you’re all body, you tend to be poor at dodging. Which means that as soon as someone points something really big at you, you’re toast.
However, in d6 Star Wars, the god stat, IMHO, is perception. Perception governs so many things- besides being good at reading situations or seeing danger, it also governs stealth and all social skills, as well as initiative in combat. It also is the stat for most Force powers, and for resisting Force powers. In a word, it’s stupid good.
In short, Star Wars d6 is fun, but need to be carefully monitored so that things don’t get out of hand.
Another great video in this great series!
Am I the only person that loves Spoony’s videos here? They are all incredibly entertaining and funny. YouTube has nicer people on it by a long shot. I’m disappointed by a lot of you.
You know what I’d do if I was a Jedi in a movie?
I’d thrust. I wouldn’t bother swinging, I’d just thrust.
Hell, I wouldn’t bother moving. I’d just use the force to force-thrust-throw my lightsaber straight through my opponent’s chest and auto-win most fights where their fighting choreography are straight up horrid for actual combat.
I’d win every fight easy, quickly and in two seconds flat… But that wouldn’t do much good movie, but it’d be smart.
You know thrusts can be defended against, right?
Sith Lord: “I dive to the left and throw force-lightning at that guy.”
By the way, there’s no real need to think that much outside said box. Typically it’s really thinking in the boxes that already exist that does the trick more often then not.
Want a satisfying final encounter? How about setting up rivalries early on that would equate 1:1 ratio of who would fight who. If you’re willing to multitask more often, make the final boss a multi-part encounter that requires teamwork and the aid of them all which may end up in a forced one on one showdown with the big baddie at the end where the rest of the team are left out for specific reasons, maybe telling them that they grasp real quick that due to a self destruct sequence they would need to choose to either scramble now to find an escape pod or a fighter to evacuate but that the time they’d have left would be just enough to fight the baddie and give them this big epic escape scene where they’d barely kill the big bad guy, the rest of the team would be scrambling fighting the imperial forces trying to find the hangar to get the jet for their escape and fly through exploding corridors to find their victorious or defeated friend and opt to either a: Suicide run the bad guy who won the one on one duel or b: run the hell out of there and hope the explosion finishes him off or in the case where their friend were victorious, c: grab him into the ship and make it out of the place before it blows to smithereens.
You can apply quite a lot of movie stereotypes that are heavily in box that could easily satisfy a group.
Then again, you’d also need to make sure that there’s a certain group dynamic to work with, and it always depends on the setting and players… And then there’s the whole age thing. At the time when you hosted that, I’d imagine you had far less experience then you do now.
I had my best rpg experience with the Star Wars saga system during the Legacy era. We had several characters who were Jedi and they had their own stories but the major arcs of the game were large scale battles that were determined by by our actions.
Example: We had a droid who started working towards the freedom of droids, so we helped him found a “Free Droid Alliance” and we had a Jedi who was working toward founding a new Jedi order. So whenever the climax came for each arch we as the players would let the person who started it have their moment in the sun. So that way everyone got their battles but nobody was left out.
I’m watching all of these while working on my Magic decks, I love you Spoons.
Whoops, double post. D:
What we need here is a Blackadder rpg…
No one ever wants to play Darling.
I was wondering when you’d talk about the West End Wookies! Mine was just like the one you were talking about! He was just called “Smoky” because he had a habit of jumping on thermal detonators and taking shots and getting exploded, hehe.
You just shouldn’t care about canon. Have them kill Vader. In his absence Luke encounters the Emperor and is converted to the dark side because he’s prepped and primed to anyways, and doesn’t have his fathers death to give him hope. Now the war continues for decades as a soldier with knowledge of a ton of the rebels weaknesses/hidden bases is second in command.
Tell me how that’s a ‘less fun’ game than rehashing star wars history and taking a back seat to all the cool stuff?
I’ll bet a burnt wookie looks like the shaved Bigfoot from Venture Bros.
The easiest possible way to deal with the conundrum that Spoony spoke of is actually a dual solution.
1. Seriously enforce your system’s “hitting the wrong target” rules. There’s a reason Han Solo would find his shot opportunities limited – it’d be rather awkward if he accidentally drilled Luke in the face. Characters should never be able to act like Rambo with firearms by shooting into a melee or when they can accidentally hit a friendly, and there should be serious consequences for such. (This doesn’t prevent them from carefully maneuvering and setting up a shot from sidelong or when there’s a brief break, which can, for some, be very awesome if the hero is losing.)
2. Make the stormtroopers competent. Even moreso. While the heroes are busy trying desperately to shoot into a melee, the stormtroopers flank and use cover, getting around to their sides. If fire is not put on them or some are not killed, they will advance and manage to pincer-movement the blaster-using PCs all to hell. Hammer this point home over and over again that the stormtroopers are crawling close extremely fast. Don’t be afraid to let one get shot, preferably nonfatally – that will strike it home that they’re focusing on the wrong targets.
You forget: also, jedi and sith have MAD deflection skills with their lightsabers. the sith lord would deflect any shots taken at him towards the enemies (the PCs). It’s a little cheesy, and the players WILL call shennanegans on this, but making it so that any shot that hits the sith lord automatically gets reflected back at a random ranged hero will send a clear message to them that the sith is a target for the jedi and ONLY the jedi.
Well, lack of balance is Achilles heal of “Star Wars” games in general. Remember KOTOR? All characters was useless - except Jedi. Why you want to play as T3-M4 – most useless character in the game! – or Zaalbar when you have four powerful Jedis in your crew? Look it’s Mission Vao – she can sneak in everywhere, she have clocking device, she can hack into the computers and open any door… yet, she is ultimately useless because with four characters with Force powers, you don’t have to use any of use any of Mission’s skills. As for “Buffy RPG”… well I know that you hate BTVS Spoony, but you have to know it is far more balanced than “Star Wars”. First of: in the end of the series you have Slayares, not one Slayer, so whole new opportunities open up for you. Also there are vampires with a soul, half-demons, super-soldiers - guys from The Initiative -, witches and warlocks, even guys with guns a’la Wesley from “Angel” series are the option. They were even planing to release Buffy MMO in early 2000s, but ultimately they abandon this idea
I actually want to try Starwars RP’s now.
I ran Buffy RPG for over a year, I also got to play a “Dark Slayer” in a darker version of Angel the RPG, being a Slayer is actually really hard on a player with dreams and the super pressure of being “The Chosen One”. We managed to balance the Slayer with the other players since the Slayer could never really do well with research and the Slayer needed her White Hats to help her defeat the Big Bad or the Monster of the day. You get around that by having her pin the monster down and struggle with them while the other players say stick in the other two Iron Swords into the monster’s three hearts or you have the White Hats blow through Drama Points that help boost them in fights.
It also helped that you could play half demons, ghosts, vampires, witches, werewolves, fallen gods, and other supernaturals in Buffy and Angel which could be almost as badass as the Slayer.
I’d want to play as Robin…
its kinda like Star Wars the movies where its Jedi vs Sith, whether it was 2 vs 1, or 1 on 1, where as the games are more lets just shoot everything that is considered a target. Like in Old Republic, where its free for all, lol.
Saga Edition, if you can find a copy of it (they discontinued the line), is an excellent version of the system. They balanced skills and did their best to make sure that the Jedi does not overshadow the other classes. It’s worth trying to find.
Never involve well known characters in your RPG indeed.
“I said ‘I! KILL! GANDALF!’”
“I believe the time has come to mobilize the shire!”
hehehe flaming wookie. As they wanted to fire on the sith while he was fighting the jedi could you not say they would hit the jedi too making them think twice. i agree tho having a main character from the films def makes things tricky, i think if the storm troopers we’re involved more maybe putting civilians in dangers or giving some fun reason why they would be better targets it would help.
IS THAT A CAPTAIN HAMMER SHIRT?!?!?!
It’s funny that you mention the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG because I’ve played it before and had a ball with it. The way our DM handled the whole “one Slayer, everyone else is a nobody” issue was to just set the campaign only tangentially related to the series. We were average joes who got drawn into a supernatural conflict (we had to defeat five “champions” or the world would end) by a powerful fey. The setting was Buffy, but the campaign itself had almost nothing to do with Slayers in general.
The system itself is pretty good and the DM was great about letting us develop our characters. He let us suggest supernatural abilities or organizations for our characters to have/be a part of and he’d implement them in-game. My character ended up being able to freeze things with my mind- I dubbed it “cryokinesis”- but it never felt broken or unbalanced. In fact, it started out kinda weak and got stronger as time went on.
Like you said, it really depends on the DM running the game. In my case, we had an awesome DM who was really good at improvising and thinking creatively.
I had the exact same issues in my star wars RPG group! As a GM, you have to steer the group a little bit, because you can’t get scenes like in the movies. It’s an interactive experience and players never do the things you expect them to do.
For example, if you want a duel between two jedi players and two sith lords, than have the soldiers lose their blasters. Later you can compensate in the adventure, by having stormtroopers fire from over a bridge, out of reach from the jedi. Both types of players had their awesome moment :)
I never interact with or even name characters from the movies or comic books. The players know that they exist, but my players will only interact with minor side characters.
About the issue with all jedi or no jedi, a nice alternative is to have non-jedi force sensitive characters in the group instead of jedi. I have my players start out as ordinary force sensitive soldiers/scouts/nobles, but later in the campaign (at higher levels) they get the opportunity to become a jedi if they want to.
I’m a fan of star wars saga. I have run several successful campaigns with the system and enjoy GMing it. My games aren’t usually Jedi heavy, mostly because I find that without the other classes the jedi end up hitting walls that all the force powers in the world can’t get them around. That’s the good thing about Saga, every character has something they can do. They can take out a Jedi or sith lord just the same as a force user can if they’re put together right, and likewise Jedi in the group can find themselves out classed by big friggin cats.
The only problem I ever had with my game was the same problem that GMs have with any rpg, when you have players who walk into traps, destroy information that would help them on their quests without bothering to read it or manage to confirm critical on the main bad guy, repeatedly.
Star wars saga has that wonderful variety that can make a character so insanely different from another of the same class, but all in all it’s super fun. Honestly dood, if you’re looking to see what just playing in a saga came is like, we love new players.
One of my favorite things about SAGA edition is the use of the Knowledge Tactics skill. I had a really hard time DMing this game because of the fixed DC and my players being power gamers found that at level 5 our R2 unit PC could hack the Galactic bank with no chance of tracking.
The best solution I’ve found to this: make the big bad a big bad group. Have an opposite to each of them. Makes things more fun that way.
In a mixed group if anyone starts shooting blasters into a Sith Vs Jedi battle I like making it so if they are just doing it to be a bad ass and score a hit on the Sith the dodges just enough and feints making the Jedi dodge into the path of the blast so you just shot your friend in the back. But if they really think they are helping I have the Sith perry with one hand and redirect the bolt into the Jedi’s face. Either way anyone attacking the Sith with blasters is open to attack from the storm troopers while this is happening and their shots only hit their friends until they but out.
That is pretty much the way to go unless you plan for everyone to gang up on the Sith lord. It would also be a good idea to have maybe a third of the Storm Troopers back up the Sith Lord since they’re being completely ignored and don’t need to take cover or anything. Really though, exploit the close combat reality. If you fire in the direction of your friend there is a chance you will hit your friend. Oh, and in a Wookie can take the laser hit scenario and someone starts exploiting that just have their hair catch on fire.
is a Wookee Jedi a bad idea?
Why not just split the party up? They did that in the movies (sort of.) Or have two big bads: the sith lords and a giant city-destroying robot monster weapon. Or if the group gets hung up on shooting at the sith lord, a weapon they have to disarm will destroy a planet, or someone will be killed, or something. The jedi will get their lightsaber duel and the rest of the group will get to save something that they wouldn’t have had they focused instead on the sith.
My group and I call SAGA edition : Broken square edition because a normal PC group level 5 could kick Vader’s ass. One of my player basically created a R2 type of droid character and he could hack the Galactic bank with no chance of detection (but still a high DC)..at level 5. All Force powers are encounter powers (much like 4E) but if you roll a natural 20 on a Use the Force check you regain ALL SPENT POWERS. And the Square is because the book is a non-standard shape square.
I don’t really like the D20 version, although as you mentioned, the West End one certainly has its flaws.
Then again, I tend to run homebrew systems when I have a chance, so when I had a campaign in mind (no jedi, but I was going to let one person be force sensitive with no training just to see how well he can balance dark/light side without training. I’m not that dickish as a GM, it was his idea. He wanted a challenge.) I was just going to see if I could modify my system to work for it.
After tonight I think I could probably pull it off too. The GM for my usual game tonight was out sick and I managed to whip up a variant of the system to run something in the Stargate universe in less than an hour, and have people build characters in 30 minutes or so.
If you want a cinematic style game, tell the players before the first session. Say “this is what I want to try for in this game, is that okay with everyone?”
If the players want to open fire on the Sith Lord during the duel, have them make a check so that they don’t accidentally hit one of their Jedi friends. Give the Sith a chance to block the shots as an extra Force move. It doesn’t have to be fair, he’s evil.
With the Wookie bit, just house rule that Lightsabers ignore damage resistance unless specifically stated, like with the Cortosis armor. It might take a while to cut through steel, but they’re still cutting through it. A wookie isn’t made of steel.
Mostly, just think on your feet and go with the flow. If they want to destroy Darth Vader, let them try their hardest. If, somehow, they manage to kill him, then they’ll incur the wrath of the Emperor and the entirety of the Empire. And suddenly you’re in an alternate universe where the future hasn’t happened, so you have no restrictions.
“All Jedi or No Jedi”? you fool! ONLY a Sith speaks in absolutes! (said the Jedi absolutely…)
DUDE! I always found that hilarious!
I ran a campaign of the BTVS Eden system and it was pretty good. The magic system was poorly designed and easy to exploit, but the basic game mechanics worked really well. I liked them. They are minimalistic enough that they don’t really get in the way of running a good game and guns are stupid dangerous… unless you’re a supernatural baddie. They they just piss you off, which makes the GM giggle. Lots.
My players were all scoobies and it worked really well, but they had a few snags as they adapted to the fact that A) vampires are hard to kill and B) a van isn’t enough to do the job, especially if the driver passes his skill roll, the vampire passes his dodge roll, and the guy who was supposed to distract the vampire and jump out of the way fails his “OMFGGETOUTOFTHEWAY” roll. That was an epic adventure.
Unfortunately, the players figured out how to break (as in; “An ancient demon? Pssht. No biggie”) the magic system and that was that. The group was also a little too big, had some personality conflicts, and didn’t really want to screw around with designing a magic system that didn’t suck.
So, the EDEN BtVS is a fun game, you just should keep it all scoobies and low magic if you can. Ninjas work really well, by the way. Just saying.
I think it comes down to the fact that players like to break games. We do. First time through I always play a game according to the rules. Second time through, I look for every single opportunity to break the fucking thing. Doing so with Castlevania is the most fun.
I’ve never played a lot of tabletop RPGs – and the ones I have played haven’t lasted for very long – so I can’t really say for certain, but I’ve always thought of DMs as programmers. Obviously sometimes they are like programmers trying to prevent their players from finding cracks to squeeze through… or god-modding the fuck out of their campaign. I think it only works if you’re very familiar with the game though. That’s why with something like Star Wars, which is so well known, people will try to subvert the intended plot.
I always thought the solution was to do what the movies did and separate the party by force. IT probably would involve some fudging and railroading unfortunately.
Poor Gary. He struggled so hard with his disability and tried to make it to the games in time to play his priest of death with you guys but was too embarrassed by his injury to share it with you all.
If his disability was what stopped him from reaching the game in time I doubt Spoony would have mentioned it and even then that’s no excuse. My uncle is wheelchair bound as long as I can remember and he is quite punctual. Because when you have a disability you start taking it into account before committing to showing up at a certain hour.
“How old were you, when you were at this couple’s house having fantasy sex?”What sex? Did we even watch the same video?
“I’m surprised someone liberal enough to be flabbergasted by a white woman disliking hispanics has enough of a “live and let live” attitude to not want evil done to those who have “hate crime” thoughts and to cite freedom as the justification for the actions of people (including yourself).”
Are you for real? Most people dislike racists. Because they are reasonable. And since they are reasonable that means they don’t usually go about wishing harm on those who disagree with them. The fact that surprises you is quite telling.
So have the storm troopers do the same thing — have them concentrate the fire on the Jedi cutting them to ribbons. No one will claim that any fight will work if a group focus fires down a single enemy leaving the rest to do what they will.
I understand the mentality, and I understand why players behave this way, and yes it is un-cinematic, but it seems like this set of tactics would have the players slaughtered within a minute and that should be reason enough to come up with a better plan. I enjoyed the Star Wars RPG a lot when I was younger, but as far as I remember the Jedi were really very squishy compared to more armored players. As a newly rolled Jedi you really sucked. You could become very powerful, but you had to work at it, and I felt this was a good way to balance out the ‘everyone wants to be a Jedi’-thing.
And what about good/evil part of StarWars setting? How about evil guys who plots to make good jedai doing bad things to join evil side?
Like there is hostages, that will die, if players don’t help them and go after bad guy. Like players step-by-step doing worst, when they trying make better. And when they realise full picture they see that they are deep in shit.
I think that fits the setting and pretty cinematic.
i had a thought Spoony. you can have both but you just need equally cool enemies. for example have a few bad ass mercs for the other guys. or a few imperial spec ops guys. just saying it would be a good work around.
captain hammer shirt ftw :)
Well, let’s see:
Han Solo got his big bounty on his head removed, because Jabba is dead, he gets to screw a princess and he still has the big money from SW IV.
Luke Skywalker loses his foster parents, two father-figures and kills his own father.
Yer, i can see that Jedi is the hero. lol
And: What where your stormtroopers doing while the party was shooting at the Sith?
I, as a GM, would have made they guys reconsider their tactics once a stormtrooper takes a big chunk out of the guys health (or even better, the stormtrooper come up with the same plan and shoot the jedi in the back)
And in the base? Nothing says “Get the fuck out!” better than a power conduit exploding in the face (crippling one of the party members).
Not all of the big bosses in the Jedi Knight series, KOTOR series, Force Unleashed series, SWG and The Old Republic are Sith or Jedi. There are some good tough non-force enemies out there. I am sure the sourcebook have templates for those guys.
Yes, people love Saga Edition (the weird shaped book). It’s probably the best version of the 4th edition D&D rules out there.
I disagree with you there.. I guess well I agree that the players need to agree, but wouldnt you just have one sith against the blaster people.. good shots and strategy.. blaster bolt deflection rolls cant happen 100% right?
I have always though a group of no Jedi could be really awesome. Accept there is always someone that wants to play a Jedi no matter what so it never happens. Once I was in a SW game with no Jedi accept for one force sensitive. That ended quickly when Vader boarded our ship cause he could feel the force sensitive on board. Now everyone else in the crew were spicers and smugglers so when Vader asks “Where is he?” we all turn in unison and pointed him out. Vader left us in peace(minus the force sensitive) and we went on our merry way. It took the dude playing the Force sensitive a few minuets to realize that we weren’t planing on a rescue mission. So he rolled up a new smuggler character and we had all sorts of fun causing havoc in the universe. Running spice, rigging illegal boxing matches, and tricking Imperial patrols. It was great
When I played my jedi character I specifically stated “I will never lead or take command of a party unless it is requested of me and the area falls in my expertise.” This allowed for my party (where in I was the only Jedi) to be able to comfortable deal with a ‘mojo jedi powers’ guy without all being force users, hell I deliberately never used my force powers unless there was a dire need for it (Used medi packs instead of force heal, diplomacy instead of affect mind) and even in combat it was a really rare moment that I attacked anyone’s physical body. The people I rp’d with still hold that character in the highest regrads.
A way you might be able to get around the ass hole smuglers taking pot shots at the sith lords lol… sentence i thought id never say…. I might have them travel with an NPC… like an older wiser jedi like Obi Wan, only hes like put down his saber for the younger guys to like take charge because hes old cant move around as well… have him traveling with the “non Jedi” and when they start shooting at the sith have him sort of talk to them and say oh this fight must be fought by just this person or these people and if that dosnt work jedi mind trick em…. not sure if you can do that in the RPG never played it but when I do I’ll be doing that to see if my theory works
id make it so its like… you fight the emperor .. or vader, in his throne room, but like, the party got to the throne before clearing out the entire place, so, you have stormtroopers (or some other enemy) constantly coming in thru the door the party came in, that way, the party has to keep fending off troops, they have to hold the door, while… maybe 1 or 2 guys fight the emperor/vader the boss guy… so you make holding the door important, they have to escape somehow…
they kill some troops coming in, you say; more guys are coming !!!!
… maybe leave a little time so the 2 guys fighting boss go to the door, and dudes on door go to boss… … or something.. :)
tako means octopus in japanese… i think that is the reason behing the name.
that Sith lord/Jedi duel problem is simple divide the party in to two different party’s have a general with the stormtroopers that has a sub-plot with one of the characters and give the smuggler or the bounty hunter a Sith to fight because Jedi versus Sith is cool but if your not a Jedi its just as cool to kick the crap out of a Sith without force powers
I played SWTRPG back in the 90s and there was no Jedi in it. Much better that way. Jedi “powers” seem to have gotten silly the more prevalent they became in the mythology. Without any Jedi it’s more gritty and real…you know, kinda like Star Wars.
Here’s a real easy solution to your situation there. The sith are fighting the jedi, and the rest of the party is supposed to fight the stormtroopers, but they don’t want to. All you have to do is say that there’s a force field in between where they are, so the blasters can’t hit the sith. Or, the sith and jedi go off into their own little room and the doors are locked so the rest of the party can’t help them, so they can have their climactic duel with the sith. Yeah, it’s hokey, but it works.
It works for the GM, but it makes the non-Jedi players feel like shitty second-class jagoffs railroaded into fighting the grunts while the Jedi PCs get to go fight the cool baddies. It goes beyond hokey into being just plain cheap. I’d never do this to players as a GM and I’d never be okay with this being done to me as a player.
This is pretty much what happened in my Naruto campaign. I had Orochimaru lurking around, & the 7 guys I was playing with lept on him. I was like -.- Really?
In Saga Edition a lot of the problems are fixed and Jedi are basically Nerfed. Though The system feels clumsy.
Make the final sith lord an equivalent challenge to the whole party, or put an equal number of them even if some people aren’t Jedi of equal challenge to each individual.
In regard to the Buffy RPG… You COULD play in the time where there are many Slayers. Or do the whole they died and were revived thing (The situation that lead to there being 2 Slayers on the show.. Repeat it twice more, and you have a four player party of Slayers.)
My friend ran the revised WoTC Star Wars games and it was an awesome experience. Interestingly, his GM ruling was a mix of the title of this video. We weren’t allowed to create force user characters. After a few levels of different adventures, we came across an event that sort of bestowed the force upon all of us and when we leveled, the GM sort of forced us to take a level in force adept. At that point of the game, he told us that we now know we are force capable but we can’t train in the same way we could our original classes. There were a number of restrictions. As mentioned above, the level we took had to be in force adept. From that point on, we could advance in force user levels but at a much slower rate unless we seek out help. And we weren’t allowed to take any of the Jedi classes unless we sought out a Jedi monastery. It was basically a plot hook for us to go get trained to be Jedi. Everyone thought it worked really well and made sense.
Also it’s funny that you mention Wheel of Time. Same friend ran WoT campaign which was also awesome and he managed to involve characters in the series that was canon. It basically made us involved in multiple behind the scenes events in the books which was super cool because at the time we were all still in the midst of reading the series together. Although we did make lots of jokes about trying to do things which would purposely screw up canon.