Legends of the Galaxy
Sign up Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
ThatOneLegendsPlayer

Padawan
Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
Not being a GM obviously means I can't post in the GM section. So, I don't know where else to post this. Anyone can move this to a more appropriate area if need be. [smile]

Now, this is for GMs to post advice/tips for newly appointed GMs so they can run their first adventures more smoothly. 

"Is this because your first time sucked and you needed help?"

Pft, no! My first time GMing was amazing! It was huge! It was-it was bad. It was very bad. XD

So, yeah, I hope people can share some useful bits and whatnot to help this community operate more smoothly when running games.

*Voice in the back* "Your posts suck!"

I DON'T GO ON FORUMS EVER! I'M BREAKING OUT OF MY SHELL FOR THIS GAME! XD
0
Aetrion

Padawan
Registered:
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #2 
One thing I guess I'd tell people who are trying to GM in this system would be quick guidelines on how to build a difficulty pool that contains all the forms of dice, and how to use advantages to keep rolls challenging:

In order to build a difficulty pool quickly in your head you basically think about it this way:

How difficult would the task be on a scale of 0-5 if someone attempted to do it under perfect circumstances? That's the number of purple dice. 

How dangerous is this task on a scale of 0-5? That's the number of dice that get upgraded to reds. Danger is anything that can screw you over even if you do everything right, that's why it creates the dice with the despairs. 

What circumstances the players are currently under are making the task more difficult than it would be under perfect circumstances? That's the number of black dice that get added. 


So for example, picking a lock. Under ideal circumstances, sitting at a well lit desk, just you handing the lock this lock might be a 3 to pick. However, in this case the task is dangerous, because there are guard patrols around which could spot you, so let's say, two automatic upgrades. The task is also more difficult, because the lock is recessed into a door, you're doing it in low light, and it's cold outside so your fingers are a bit numb. 

With every difficulty pool you build you just sort of mentally go through those steps and you'll always have a good result. Especially the danger level is important, because that's what keeps rolls challenging for powerful characters.


Another thing to keep in mind for building the difficulty of checks, especially when dealing with pretty powerful characters is that advantages should sometimes be required to make a truly successful check.

For example, if a player is lying to a squad of stormtroopers technically it only takes one success to convince one of them, but you might need 4 advantages to convince the whole squad. Convincing only one or two isn't a failure, but the ones who aren't convinced might ask a followup question. If you're slicing into a computer it might take advantages to get all the information in there, so a basic success only gets you one piece of it.

This is also a very useful way of mitigating the effect of battle meditation, since tons of successes don't help you if you need advantages to get the best outcome
0
ThatOneLegendsPlayer

Padawan
Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #3 
Beautifully said! I think that will be incredible help. Heck, the whole I'm reading this I'm thinking to myself, "Yuuup, I could have used this in my first time....". Thank you for that. [smile]
0
NicoJMont

Avatar / Picture

Master of the Force
Registered:
Posts: 87
Reply with quote  #4 
I agree with most of what was stated.  Below are some tips I give to new GMs

Keep it fun for everyone
  • Remember people come to have fun so keep it fun for everyone
  • Never make it about PCs having to beat the GM
  • Create an experience for your players that is memorable.  Try to give each adventure that 1 moment people will talk about.
  • Let your personality shine.
  • Be creative don't just follow the rails of an adventure
  • If a GM has to fudge a dice roll to ensure the table has a good time then so be it
  • Be fair in your rulings.

Setting a difficulty:
  • I agree with the 0-5 scale to set the difficulty.
  • If ever a 5 point scale item really consider making it challenging with a red challenge dice
  • If the situation is challenging or dangerous you should always add a red dice based on the challenge 0-5
  • Remember to use situational modifiers.  0-3 Black Setback dice.  They can warrant, darkness, fog, cover, someone not liking you, not having the right tools for the job, or security measures on a computer you are hacking.  I find GMs don't use setback dice enough instead choosing to make something a challenge.  I say that is not fair as most of the talents remove setback dice.
  • Impossible tasks require the PC flip a destiny token to perform the skill
  • In social encounters if a PC says an amazingly charming line or an inspiring speech remember to award free boost up to an automatic success
  • The same is the opposite if they are in a social encounter and are rude, say something stupid, or not roleplaying anything having nothing to say you can award up to 3 setback dice
  • Remember that Advantage and Threat really equate to degrees of success.  A success could be just a clue but the more advantage equates to better info to solve the clue.  On the flip side Threat is misinformation

Read the Dice
  • Use Despair to damage a weapon and eventually destroy it after 3 levels of damage to an item that is not repaired.  This is a good way to keep your players hungry and remove equipment that may be out of balance for the game
  • Use 3 threat to make that item purchase an illegal sting
  • When gathering information a success is 1 piece of info.  Advantage not multiple successes give you additional info.  Multiple success is how fast you got the info
  • When a PC rolls a triumph award it right away.  Never say I will bank it for later. 
  • Let threat or advantage be a gauge on how that action affected the environment.  Are people running away, coming to aid, or perhaps other threats arrive based on the dice rolls.

Assembling an Encounter:
  • Beginner characters make an equal number of minions as their are PCs for a good fight
  • For new characters a Rival is a good challenging encounter or end boss
  • As the PCs start to level up consider adding minions and rivals or multiple rivals into an encounter to make it a challenge
  • The Nemesis is a one on one fight for a group of characters.  Don't forget a nemesis also acts during their initiative and at the bottom of the order too.
  • Start making them fight Nemesis with the Adversary talent to force combat upgrades.
  • Eventually when your characters get higher level look at the Inquisitor rules for making those really evil bad guys
  • Remember that if they kill your recurring nemesis you can always flip a black pip and have him left for dead only to return later.  Make sure they learn from their mistakes. 
  • Recurring enemies often stand back and let their minions do the fighting and often always have an escape plan to get away.
  • Don't forget to upgrade an enemies equipment as often it is what makes them more powerful than the PCs.  Don't worry about letting the PCs loot the gear.  You can always damage it or have it fall off that bottomless pit to ensure there is game balance
  • Don't just make your encounter about a fight.  Make it a timed challenge.
  • Give the PCs something to do other than combat.  To make an encounter more challenging force the PCs to have to use a computer to stop a trap or reactor overload in the middle of combat.  This forces some PCs to not fight but instead to skill checks.
  • Make the fight personal.  Rather than attack the armed enemy have the bad guy attack the innocent love interest of the character to harm the impossible to damage PC.
  • This is Star Wars make the environment epic.  Don't just fight in a hallway.  Fight in a reactor core with no railings and bottomless pits.  Fight on the assembly belt of a droid factory.  Sometimes the environment can be more deadly than the threat they are fighting
  • Don't forget it is ok if you TPK the party.  If you drop the entire party they are left for dead.  They may wake up beaten, robbed, stuffed in a dumpster, wake up in a medical bed, etc.  You only die via the Crit table.

Create an Experience:
  • The more excited the GM is the greater experience the PCs will have in your game
  • Give each PC a unique personality.  The Age of Rebellion Core book has some great random personality tables for NPCs
  • Create a different voice.  Like monotone for a droid.  Add a quirk to the NPC.  If they talk in an alien language say some alien sounding gibberish then say the translated line all to create the experience
  • Don't just challenge the PCs with combat.  

Keep things interesting:
  • Consider giving PCs rival orders or objectives that may not be in alignment with the others motivations.
  • When running a printed adventure consider the adventure more of a backdrop and set of goals.  But allow the PCs to creatively find their on way to achieve the goals.  Be open to just play the environment but be sure that they know what the objective and goal is.  Consider changing an encounter up a bit to catch a PC who has played the adventure before off guard.

Rewards:
  • In the rules it does state to keep the players hungry at times.  The Write your own adventure page on the Legends of the Galaxy Website gives some example reward amounts.  But don't just give the cash.  Make it a combo of cash and gear that equal up to the cash limit of the task at hand
  • Players are going to ask for the sun, moon, and stars.  It is ok to say no on some of their requests
  • Award 10 XP for the session and 5 for each objective completed, 10 for a major objective.  Award 5 for playing to their motivation or faction.  And up to 5 for good roleplaying. 

That is my 2 cents worth of advice

__________________

  Star Wars Legends of the Galaxy

Community Driven Roleplaying Experience

Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion, Force and Destiny
Experiencing Adventure and Excitement in a Galaxy Far, Far Away....

[CE77BF6B-155D-0078-0B34C2D6DCEFAB9D]
 

0
Aetrion

Padawan
Registered:
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #5 
Another thought:

Social Checks are not mind control. 

Something that will inevitably come up when you're DMing is players who have characters who are incredibly persuasive and will likely pass any social check against anything short of a Hutt. You should allow people to make social checks of course, but talking to people should work like it does in real life: They can choose not to listen to you at all, and you can't convince them of things that fall outside of their character. 

For example, a storm trooper has pretty low willpower and presence, so it's very easy to roll social checks against them. Thing is, just about any storm trooper's primary character traits are fanatical loyalty to the empire and following orders to the letter, so despite it being very easy to roll things like charm or deception checks against them, if they were ordered to do something it should be virtually impossible to convince them to simply not do it. In order to successfully make the check the player should have to come up with something that could conceivably work, like telling the storm troopers you have orders that override theirs, or that they can serve the empire better by altering their procedure in some way that also benefits you.

Players should say what they are going to say before you let them make the check, and you can assign boosts and setbacks based on that as well if it's particularly plausible that it would work, or a stretch but not impossible. If they make a statement that really should have no chance of success then it's alright to say there is no roll, the NPC simply reacts as they would, especially when they are potentially hostile. After all, simply walking up to a storm trooper and saying "Give me your rifle please!" and rolling a charm check shouldn't work, even if it's very easy to pass the charm check.

Most players are pretty good about telling the difference between appropriate social checks and ones that are just too far fetched. A big reason to keep all this in mind is not just because players could attempt checks that are just too much of a stretch, but also because it's ultimately more rewarding to succeed based on good choices and ideas than based on good die rolls, so giving people a bit of a challenge in figuring out what to say makes social encounters much more interesting. It also allows for more complex social encounters, where for example you have to roll Charm to make smalltalk with someone to learn about who they are, and then use that information to be able to make another roll.

For example, a player wants to recruit someone for the Rebellion. Simply making them roll a leadership check is one way to do it, but it involves no decisions that can lead to success or failure, so there is no real gameplay to it. It's more interesting if you come up with something that character values and that needs to be mentioned to make the attempt. For example, the character has a new born child in the family, and will not join the Rebellion as a result unless you make the argument that it's the only way for children to grow up free of the Empire. That can give players opportunity to just converse a bit with the character, and make some other checks to get them to reveal the information they need to successfully convince the person. 

You don't need to do something like that on every NPC, but it's something that should be heavily considered when ever a social encounter is part of the story. Make people feel like they solved a little puzzle instead of just rolling some dice tha bend people to their will.

(In fact, having a little puzzle attached to checks that drive the story is a good idea in general. For the most part people will enjoy the game more if they feel like their choices mattered more than their dice rolls.)
0
NicoJMont

Avatar / Picture

Master of the Force
Registered:
Posts: 87
Reply with quote  #6 
Aetrion, I agree with you do a point
  1. I agree that it is not fun for a player to be told what to do for failing a social check.  I also agree that a social check is more difficult than a Force Power manipulation of a character. However, you must keep in mind that while a person can choose to not agree, people can be manipulated into doing things and convinced to see another person's point of view.  To say you feel a player can just choose to disbelieve a check is to say they disbelieve the adventure.  It is no different than saying I disbelieve my character was just shot or just suffered a critical injury.  Remember that it is not you who makes the decision.  It is not a check against you.  You have out of game knowledge.  If you failed to spend your XP to increase this skill means your character is more dimwitted than you the player is.  If you want to be harder to convince then spend the XP and don't use the skills to resist a social check as a dump stat.  A GM also has the right to fudge a dice roll to keep table fun.  However, if a PC abuses that generosity of the GM to always get that way.  They are becoming disruptive as they are trying to cheat the system.
  2. I agree that a player must say their speech before the dice roll.  In the rules it states that while a GM can make a social check an automatic success it says that what you say does not constitute an automatic failure as you suggest in your option to just disbelieve.  But the rules do state to add setback if what they say is crazy.  I agree that a Stormtrooper is not as easy as it seems to convince to do something and to get it to work requires a creative way of going about what you say just like in your example.  I also believe that if you are trying to convince someone to do something 100% their motivations and who they are it should require a flip of a pip to accomplish.  I also agree that it should add setback to the roll and not just be a straight negotiation, cool, or discipline check.  If they are asking the person to harm themselves in any way that is more challenging so an automatic upgrade of a difficulty dice to a challenge dice.  And the GM can always flip to make it even more challenging.  But on a success then they earned that success and the PC or NPC should be convinced.  While out of game you may not agree with it, in playing you acknowledge that this is fictional and they succeed in the check against your character.  Also remember that the effect only lasts for 1 round on a success and an additional round for each advantage.  So you may be duped for a moment but when you put your thoughts together you are like that does not compute, wait, you are under arrest.
  3. I also agree that on a triumphant roll you may have hit a cord with an individual and as a result that individual chooses to act as a contact, looking out for you or supplying you information or perhaps even following you into battle.  The convincing argument must make sense as in your example playing to a person's situation.  It can happen to an enemy in rare case.  The same applies on these checks as noted above if it is dead set against the nature of the individual to make it more challenging and adding setback.  But even on a success with triumph someone like Agent Calus from Rebels can turn on ISB and become Fulcrum looking out for the Rebellion.
  4. On a side note with gaining a minion with a leadership check.  Yes you make that person choose to want to work with you, join your cause etc.  However, that does not make that person a mindless slave.  I have seen people roll triumph on a leadership check and convince someone so well they want to join the crew.  Then they try to use that person like a piece of equipment to off set their own bad skill checks.  Rolling a triumph in this manner does not equate to a free new skill pallet you get to roll off of.  The idea of converting someone to the Rebellion or your criminal faction is more a benefit to increase duty or reduce obligation for increasing skilled members to the ranks of your faction.  It is not so you can gain a slave who just blindly follows your every order.  If you have someone join your crew you can print off a stat block for that follower or minion and the GM controls that individual.  You can always make leadership checks to give them orders to follow your will.  But they are not mindless stat blocks that you control so that you do not need to invest in some skills as your minion has those skills.
  5. On another side note you should not be able to roll over and over again against a target until you get the desired dice roll to succeed or make them a contact or minion.  You get to make one check.  To gain an additional check you must make a convincing argument that what you are now rolling is different then the original roll.  If a player wants to keep going after a PC or NPC to defeat them then they should be using abilities like scattering tirade and be making social checks as an attack that reduces the NPC's strain threshold until they talk them into submission.  This being an ability only some classes can do.
  6. Lastly, a Player must always remember that the GM is the final arbitrator in an adventure.  If you have issues with a particular GM then you can address it with the Legends of the Galaxy staff and we can have a private discussion with the GM if we feel that the GM was wrong in their ruling so that the GM can make changes for future games.

__________________

  Star Wars Legends of the Galaxy

Community Driven Roleplaying Experience

Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion, Force and Destiny
Experiencing Adventure and Excitement in a Galaxy Far, Far Away....

[CE77BF6B-155D-0078-0B34C2D6DCEFAB9D]
 

0
blackfalcon1210

Avatar / Picture

Padawan
Registered:
Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #7 
Also one thing to remember as a GM, for alot of tasks the difficulty is already set in the book. a great example is piloting, the difficulty for ALLLLL piloting checks is either the speed your traveling or half your silhouette whatever is higher. the lower of the 2 values indicates how much you upgrade the check.

So flying speed 3 in a sil 4 freighter the piloting check is almost ALWAYS 2 red 1 purple Hard due to speed and half of sil 4 for 2 upgrades. (for routine piloting there is no check ie flying in a straight line in open space, normal takeoff and landing ect ect).

The only time that roll will change is if you have some sort of environmental change or a speed change. For environmental change all you do is add setback for how challenging it is. 1 black for a tricky but not serious set of obstacles. all the way to 3 black for an extremely daunting situation calling on every ounce of the pilots concentration. like navigating the Maw, or flying through asteroid tunnels.(PG 240 core) 

As GM's wee need to start maintaining the difficulty rolls as they should be an adding setback as needed.

Picking a hard lock should always be hard, weather your doing in your basement or in the middle of a gun fight. but the gunfight should have some setback. thats the reason we have those talents that remove setback, makes us specialized in our jobs.

__________________
Saving the world, one random act of destruction at a time.
0
Dalia Kerns

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 56
Reply with quote  #8 
I knew the speed difficult but I missed the 1/2 silhouette upgrade. I need to find the page that details that as I have never seen a GM do that. Once I review the rule I may need to post a blog post on it
0
Aetrion

Padawan
Registered:
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #9 
It's only for piloting checks to avoid stellar phenomena or terrain, found on page 254 of Age of Rebellion. 

If you're making a pilot check that doesn't involve any terrain the silhouette of the vehicle doesn't play into it.

Makes sense though, piloting a star destroyer through an asteroid field at speed 2 is just as dangerous as piloting an X-wing through one at speed 4 under those rules. If you go only by speed there would be nothing accounting for the fact that a gargantuan vessel like that can't squeeze past objects anywhere near as easily as a fighter. 
0
blackfalcon1210

Avatar / Picture

Padawan
Registered:
Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #10 
Correct. its also pg 240 in EOTE. the main point i was trying to make is that as GM's we need to try and keep the difficulty for tasks the same across the board. and we need to use advantage and setback die more. 
As a player nothing makes me more mad then spending 10-20 xp on talents that reduce setback only to have a gm just increase the difficulty on the check but add no setback. 

Walking is walking. you have a skill to walk, the difficulty to walk is the same every time you walk. now you walk uphill, walking is the same difficulty cause it is just walking, but you add some setback cause its uphill. its more taxing on your muscles but the skill to actually do the walking is the same.

Its a little convoluted but i hope that i got that point across. 

__________________
Saving the world, one random act of destruction at a time.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.