tisdag 9 oktober 2012

Cinematic combat in Star Wars RPG

This might be the most important chapter to many people – and combat is certainly pretty important to me in an RPG – although not as fun as spaceships and such, as we will se in the next chapter of the rule book.

The Conflict and Combat chapter describes combat, and just that. Are you into social conflict - look into the skills chapter, since you wont find any info here. The chapter starts out with a promise that these rules are made to "capture the pure cinematic thrill in the Star Wars universe".

Okay som how cinematic is it? First of all – as usual - initiative which can be determined by either Cool or Vigilance. somewhat unnecessary in my opinion, having two ways of doing it – at least it can't  speed up combat. A whole sidebar is devoted to the question when to use Cool or Vigilance – I rest my case. As in Warhammer the different groups (PC's or enemies) assign who is going to use each "initiative slot".

During your turn in a round (an unspecified amount of time - which I the way I want it) you can  make Maneuvers (1 or 2) and one Action. Maneuvers are stuff like aim, assist, manage gear, move etc. By taking an extra strain you can get an extra maneuver, but no more than two.

Actions are what you would expect them to be, skill checks, activating abilities, combat checks etc.A combat check is essentially a skill check with combat skills and more structured way how you can use advantages, triumphs, threats and despair - which are four of those funky symbols you find on the dice. A whole spread and a few tables describe how you do use the funky symbols - not an easy text to read, I can tell you.

There are defense ratings - three different kinds – again somewhat unnecessary in my opinion. The defense rating let's you ade setback dice to the roll. Then you have soak, dependent on your Brawn and armor.

Just like Warhammer you hav abstract ranges, or range bands. We couldn't get a hang of them in Warhammer and it doesn't seem easier here. Everything is relative and a sidebar instructs the GM to tell each player where he is relative to the opponents – it is then up to the player to track his range relative to everybody. I can see the use of hand drawn maps here – something these rules ar supposed to make unnecessary.

Four pages are devoted to conditional, situational and environmental modifiers by different amounts of setback or boost dice. Okay - this will definitely not speed up  the combat.

Handling wounds, strain and critical injuries seem easier than in Warhammer although i suspect its basically the same mechanic.  The critical injury table is kind of fun to read, at least the higher part with stuff like maimed, horrific injury, the end is nigh and of course death. To die you need to suffer a lot of critical injuries, or if you are unlucky with rolling d100's only five of em.

The final part of the combat chapter relates to recovery and healing with bacta tanks, rest stim packs etc.

Over all – combat seems to be okay, if you read the whole chapter and really remember it. But some stuff might actually not help you in making it very cinematic. The only way to know for sure, is of course to play.

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6 kommentarer:

  1. I was a bit underwhelmed by the crit-table, making it impossible to kill someone with one single shot or blow, no matter the circumstances.

    Then I read that NPC's go out (incapacitated and/or dead) when they reach their wound threshold (and take strain as wounds) which will make it fast and furious, no need to roll umpteen crits to finish that last pesky little Ewok off :-)

    I think the crits will be most dangerous when they accumulate and the PC's go into the final showdown with three or four lingering crits in the baggage.

    1. You're absolutely right - forgot the difference between normal NPCs (Minions), Henchmen and Nemeses. It's just mentioned in the chapter - maybe it's more obvious in the Adversaries chapter?

    2. I have only got as far as the combat chapter myself, so we will just have to see.

    3. I looked it up now - its actually in the beginning of the Adversaries chapter.

  2. q: say we're gaming and I roll two advantages and one despair when firing my stormtrooper-style laser rifle at a landspeeder rushing towards me through the forest-planet's dense collonade of seqouias - could you, after reading the combat-chapter once, tell the outcome of the roll off the top of your head or would you have to consult some charts?

    1. I am terribly sorry I haven't answered until now - I would have to consult the chart, but the propposed changes might have aled this. The new beginner's box might handel it easier though.

      And when you've witten down the stats of your rifle you might also have that kind of info on your character sheet.