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 Post subject: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:47 pm 
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The crafting system as shown in Keeping the Peace and Special Modifications is pretty awesome, but it does have some limitations. In particular, because of the way the dice system works, it isn't really possible to recreate some weapons with crafting, even when it makes a lot of sense to do so, and unless the GM starts throwing red dice into the mix (which is not part of the explicit crafting system) and they come up Despair, you can't get the really interesting "some good, some bad" results that I always like.

So, inspired by some of the questions Jegergryte and DarthCuddles were asking over on the Special Modifications thread and my own thoughts on the matter, I came up with a little something.


Tailored Crafting
After you roll a crafting check, if you succeeded and did not already spend a destiny point on the roll, you can choose to flip one or two destiny points. For each destiny point flipped, increase the template's base crafting time by 50%, and choose one of the following options:
  • For this single roll, threat and advantage do not cancel each other out. Spend all the rolled advantage and all the rolled threat to apply improvements and flaws to the item.
  • Add one triumph and one despair to the crafting result pool. You can choose this option twice.


What do you think?

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:58 pm 
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I honestly don't think it's necessary.

Much like the starship construction system in Saga Edition's Starships of the Galaxy, the template system that FFG used is meant to give the players a variety of options, but not be a discounted means to build gear that is otherwise very difficult to obtain. One might be able to come close with some items, but given how fairly open-ended the crafting system is, I think giving a means to exactly recreate every single item that's been offered is going to wind up being overkill.

Plus, those PCs that have really focused on being aces at Mechanics checks (5 skill ranks and 4+ Intellect plus various talents) should be rewarded for their focus, and allowing Joe the Hired Gun with no Mechanics and 2 Intellect to get a Triumph-based effect simply by spending a Destiny Point is an insult to the PC that did focus on Mechanics and being awesome at building things.

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:38 pm 
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Frankly, what I was trying to accomplish was not so much 'cheap access to everything', but -- as I said -- a way to allow for plus-and-minus situations. With the existing crafting rules, you either get a standard blaster with some setbacks (like inaccurate or higher encumbrance) or you get a really awesome blaster that's better in every way than your standard model.

Where's the "bulky but powerful"? Where's the "scary, but you only get one shot"?

If your objection is to the triumph/despair option, that's fine. Maybe I shouldn't have that part in there.

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:57 am 
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Darth Pseudonym wrote:
Frankly, what I was trying to accomplish was not so much 'cheap access to everything', but -- as I said -- a way to allow for plus-and-minus situations. With the existing crafting rules, you either get a standard blaster with some setbacks (like inaccurate or higher encumbrance) or you get a really awesome blaster that's better in every way than your standard model.

The crafting rules are not meant for the mass production of goods, but instead for the building of one-off hand-crafted items in a personal workshop, which is a point you seem to be completely missing.

The vast majority of the pre-fabricated items are made on a massive scale to a pre-set blueprint with any "variations" being treated as defects and removed from the production line. And those pre-fabricated items that aren't mass produced, are instead made under tightly controlled conditions to ensure they all come out according to a specific design and with access to far better tools and resources than your standard PC is ever going to have access to, such as a fully dedicated machine shop and the best quality materials on the market.

A PC isn't going to be doing any of that, and is going to be hand-crafting every single item using at least a decent set of tools and workspace, and the project isn't always going to turn out the way they were expecting, be it good or bad, much as it is with any small-scale one-off project.

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:33 am 
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I like the idea of the options you outlined, and the reason for them. The dice are very good at canceling out to get middleground, so if you want a bit more crazy in your game it is definately a good way to get that.


I would personally ask people to choose those options BEFORE the roll, and then eschew the Destiny Point cost.
The reason being that in my group destiny points are a story resource and using them for game mechanical crafting rolls is not moving the story forward*. Also I dont see the opposite opportunity for the GM to use dark destiny points on the roll for a negative influence. Lastly I think the "cost" for the triumph is payed for by the despair and if you choose to activate all threat/advantage before the roll, that could also be a mixed blessing.



*
I actually dont like the crafting rules at all, as the dice pool is all used up on the items mechanical specs and doesnt promote story hooks very well. But im a hippie story gamer, so you may ignore my input ;)


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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:34 am 
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Donovan Morningfire wrote:
The crafting rules are not meant for the mass production of goods, but instead for the building of one-off hand-crafted items in a personal workshop, which is a point you seem to be completely missing.

...aaand how am I missing that point, exactly? Nothing I said has anything to do with "mass produced goods".

When I say 'recreate a weapon' I'm referring to Jegergryte's question about how you would build a heavy blaster pistol with the crafting system.

Quote:
the project isn't always going to turn out the way they were expecting, be it good or bad, much as it is with any small-scale one-off project.

If somebody is building a home-built weapon or constructing a gadget out of scrap, I would completely expect it to have weird quirks. That's precisely what I'm talking about here. I want to be able to craft a blaster pistol and wind up with something that has the knockdown quality but is really heavy and sucks down ammo.

Rules as written, there's no way that can possibly happen. In my opinion, this houserule makes the output from crafting feel more cobbled-together and ad-hoc, not less.

Keendk wrote:
I like the idea of the options you outlined, and the reason for them. The dice are very good at canceling out to get middleground, so if you want a bit more crazy in your game it is definately a good way to get that.

I would personally ask people to choose those options BEFORE the roll, and then eschew the Destiny Point cost.

That's definitely an option if it's limited to the "advantage/threat" option only. The reason I didn't call for that is I kinda see this as a way to let the crafter have a little more control over their output.

If all you want is to build a blaster, all you really care about is success. But most of the time, if you're crafting an item, you probably have something in mind ahead of time beyond the template -- and yes, you could just keep crafting the template repeatedly until you get enough advantage to buy the thing you want. But I kinda like the idea of rolling your result and seeing that you rolled enough advantage, but it's going to get cancelled out -- so this gives you the option to go for it anyway, knowing the GM is going to slap a negative on there too.

That's why the destiny cost -- if you're going to be changing the rules after you roll, that should have a cost associated, and in this case, destiny seems appropriate. (But it should still respect the 'one destiny point per roll' rule -- or at least, you can't use destiny to improve your crafting roll and ALSO pull this stunt.)

Quote:
Also I dont see the opposite opportunity for the GM to use dark destiny points on the roll for a negative influence.

I actually considered doing that, and backed out of it as I was writing it because it made the rule sound too complicated. :lol:

Quote:
Lastly I think the "cost" for the triumph is payed for by the despair and if you choose to activate all threat/advantage before the roll, that could also be a mixed blessing.

Now, this is where I really disagree. A triumph where you want it is way too valuable not to pay for it with a destiny point, whether you do it before or after the check. It's intentional that the Triumph/Despair option to costs more than it's worth. You have to REALLY want that triumph effect, to be willing to pay for it like this.

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Last edited by Darth Pseudonym on Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:21 am 
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I wouldn't allow this in my games, and neither would, I think, the SW GMs I play under. Not only is it Too Good a benefit for our playing style, but we discuss out of session what we are interested in having gear-wise and coming to agreement on what would be both fair and fun--without needing to add rules.

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:27 am 
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ZRissa wrote:
I wouldn't allow this in my games, and neither would, I think, the SW GMs I play under. Not only is it Too Good a benefit for our playing style, but we discuss out of session what we are interested in having gear-wise and coming to agreement on what would be both fair and fun--without needing to add rules.

That makes it sound like you and your group wouldn't use the crafting system at all -- or are you saying you and the GM would just work out a quasi-template that describes what you're looking for, and then do a normal crafting roll from there?

I mean, obviously that's also an option. I like the idea of adding more randomness (or "quirkiness" if you like) to the results of crafting something, with that potential for a mixed blessing on the outcome.*

Is there a variation on what I suggested that you think would work better? I mean I just mooshed this out in about ten minutes, I haven't playtested it or anything. A flat "no way" is a kind of disappointing response!


* This relates to the way I feel about cursed items in D&D. I loathe 'trap' items where you pick it up or put it on all unawares, at which point it does something horrible to you and can't be removed. I like cursed items that represent "power at a price", they do something authentically useful, but have some kind of serious drawback that should make the player wonder if they're REALLY better off with or without the item.

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:23 pm 
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Donovan Morningfire wrote:
The crafting rules are not meant for the mass production of goods, but instead for the building of one-off hand-crafted items in a personal workshop, which is a point you seem to be completely missing.

I'm really not sure what you're on about, here... who said anything about mass production? I think maybe you're making some unspoken assumptions, and I'd appreciate it if you could walk me through your train of thought.

ZRissa wrote:
I wouldn't allow this in my games, and neither would, I think, the SW GMs I play under. Not only is it Too Good a benefit for our playing style, but we discuss out of session what we are interested in having gear-wise and coming to agreement on what would be both fair and fun--without needing to add rules.

Could you explain how it's too good? This ostensibly shouldn't represent an increase in power over the standard system. I mean, you could hypothetically end up with something that is strictly more powerful than it otherwise would have been, yes, but the GM is in control of the negative effects, so it's not like the crafter could say, "LOL, I'll just make it super heavy. I'm building it for the wookiee anyway!" Are you concerned that, say, if you're looking at 4 adv and 2 threat, a 4 adv bonus is better than two 2 adv bonuses and therefore isn't balanced by 2 threat?

Personally, I rather like this idea, especially given that a successful roll against a reasonably challenging difficulty will tend to result in success with threat -- being able to eke out a few advantage at the cost of a little more trouble might be worthwhile. Would it be more balanced in your opinion if this option were only available if the player came out on the wrong end of the advantage scale?

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:43 pm 
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Just for the sake of comparison, I examined what it would take to create an in-universe example of a unique, custom blaster pistol -- the Raider Arms Model 1 "Nova Viper" from Fly Casual.

The Nova Viper has:
Dam 7, Crit 3, Rng M, Encum 2, HP 2, and the qualities Accurate 2, Pierce 2, and Stun Setting.

Starting with an Energy Pistol, we have
Dam 6, Crit 3, Rng M, Encum 1, HP 3, and no qualities. So this build requires the creator to add:
Stun Setting (AA)
Destructive (AAA)
Pierce x2 (AAA each)
Accurate x2 (AAAA each)
Heavy (T)
Expensive (TT)
Hard to Modify (TT)
Difficult to Repair (TT)
It still ends up with an extra hardpoint, so there should probably be an extra couple of Threat in there for a custom penalty.

Each effect can also be acquired with a Triumph or Despair. Overall, we're looking at 19 Advantage and 9 Threat. If we let Triumphs do the heavy lifting -- keeping in mind the 5-rank skill limit -- we're still looking at at least 2 advantage and 7 threat (because, of course, 2+ Despair would make it Dangerously Volatile.) This is going to require cybernetic enhancement to Intellect 6 or the use of a Destiny point to upgrade the check, since we need a green die to generate those two Advantage, or a couple of lucky boost dice, and I'm not sure where all that Threat going to come from.

Okay, so your Outlaw Tech probably isn't a weapons designer with a lifetime of experience, but I think this demonstrates the value of Darth Pseudonym's suggestion. By the book, your custom pistol will only ever come out on one side of this equation, barring an excessive number of Triumphs and Despairs. Counting Advantage and Threat without cancellation does make the item better in some areas, but it would certainly make the result 'quirkier' and encourage a player to put up with significant disadvantages to get that power. And unless you quite simply roll like a god, you're not going to exceed the items that are already available in the game.

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:33 am 
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I'm not opposed to this house-rule, I think it adds flavour, and potentially more interesting and risky items.

That said, I'm not sure I'd introduce this, but if some of my players suggested this, I'd consider it. Perhaps not as a general rule, but given the right context, tools and story elements, sure. I like my players' characters to be special, at the right time.

Now, if the group did contain a craft focused character, I'd not allow it, especially not as a general rule.

I'm still looking for ways of making existing weapons. You could use the guidelines presented the last time they discussed crafting on the podcast. The player wants to create the Nova? First I'd have the PC acquire the schematics, that in itself is at least one or two sessions worth of industrial espionage adventure. Then if successful, you gain access to a new template, that template basically has the stats and qualities of the Nova, difficulty increase and all.

Then I'd use the guidelines presented on the podcast and you'd look at something like this:
    Cost: 2250 credits
    Rarity: 8
    Difficulty: Formidable
    Time: 24 hours

I'd perhaps slap on an automatic upgrade and 2-3 setback dice due to the complexity of creating something that advanced (having a proper industrial workshop, I'd perhaps remove the setback dice - if any remained.) I double the crafting time from energy pistol in SM, but you could increase it even further, another 12 hours per difficulty die above the basic energy pistol difficulty. Which I believe is 12 hours. So in this case you'd look at 36 hours...

I'd perhaps also limit what you could spend adv and threats on, but I'm not sure why I'd do that.

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:47 am 
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Now, if a player wanted to create the Nova from having witnessed it, knowing about it, but not having the schematics, I think this house-rule would be helpful, as it would allow drawback and advantages to be added.

Of course, you could go another way, by choosing to let the item you create get a drawback, to add a bonus. The player doesn't know which drawback, but the player gets to pick a(n) (additional) positive quality, with approval of the GM. I'd limit this to one voluntary drawback.

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:48 pm 
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Darth Pseudonym wrote:
The crafting system as shown in Keeping the Peace and Special Modifications is pretty awesome, but it does have some limitations. In particular, because of the way the dice system works, it isn't really possible to recreate some weapons with crafting, even when it makes a lot of sense to do so, and unless the GM starts throwing red dice into the mix (which is not part of the explicit crafting system) and they come up Despair, you can't get the really interesting "some good, some bad" results that I always like.

So, inspired by some of the questions Jegergryte and DarthCuddles were asking over on the Special Modifications thread and my own thoughts on the matter, I came up with a little something.

Tailored Crafting
After you roll a crafting check, if you succeeded and did not already spend a destiny point on the roll, you can choose to flip one or two destiny points. For each destiny point flipped, increase the template's base crafting time by 50%, and choose one of the following options:
  • For this single roll, threat and advantage do not cancel each other out. Spend all the rolled advantage and all the rolled threat to apply improvements and flaws to the item.
  • Add one triumph and one despair to the crafting result pool. You can choose this option twice.

What do you think?


I like the first part (advantage/threat results don't cancel out) a lot. I'd even elaborate on it a bit; if the crafter decides to use this option before they roll, then it doesn't cost them a destiny point. I'd also give them more of a say (probably at the cost of extra successes) in how the threat are spent, since they went into the workshop intending to push the envelope, ignore safety tolerances, and deliberately allow certain flaws in exchange for high performance. Not the final say, mind you, just more of a say.

I'm less sure of the second part. I can't quite put my finger on why it seems off to me, though. Maybe I just don't like the notion of a triumph or despair being a sure thing.

For my table, the first part would be good enough in most aspects. I'd still like some insight into making my own templates, which Max will hopefully provide during the show.

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 Post subject: Re: House Rule: Tailored Crafting
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:39 pm 
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DarthCuddles wrote:
I like the first part (advantage/threat results don't cancel out) a lot. I'd even elaborate on it a bit; if the crafter decides to use this option before they roll, then it doesn't cost them a destiny point.

I dunno. I kinda think the benefit is good enough to charge a point either way. (Anyway, it seems more fitting to do this after the roll -- if you got enough advantage even with the canceling, you wouldn't really want to activate this.)

Quote:
I'm less sure of the second part. I can't quite put my finger on why it seems off to me, though. Maybe I just don't like the notion of a triumph or despair being a sure thing.

Yeah, you and me both. That part (as I mentioned before) I wasn't real sure about including -- I mostly did because there's no inherent way for despairs to show up in a crafting check. None of the templates have automatic challenge dice, so unless the GM throws some destiny in there or upgrades the check difficulty for some other reason, there's really not even a chance there'll be any despair.

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