Some mechanics questions for our current episode...

As always, I really appreciate the help from these boards!

  Okay, my PC's have to stop a prisoner transfer from the planet Salliche - our current episode is loosely based on the mini-adventure in TFU.

The map I have given them and the direct route it shows that leads from an Imperial re-education facility to the star port, where the prisoners will be loaded up and moved off world, has a large bridge. The PC's are formulating their ambush and they think they want to use the bridge as the forced stop point - their goal is to drop the span into the river below. 

Now reading the Core rules, it says a small bridge (gargantuan) has 10DR 20HP and a 55 threshold. I understand engineering-wise that a few well placed explosives and you can drop a bridge no matter what the size especially due to gravity being on your side.

My question here comes due to the fact that this bridge is colossal size; made of duracrete and steel; and has three river supports that are anchored to riverbed's bedrock. So what statistics would you suggest I give the bridge? Should it be for just a piece of the bridge (i.e. they need to inflict the same amount of damage to two areas of the brige, so as to drop a chunk into the river)? Each section they attack would have the same HP, DR, and threshold, right?

Should this be a Skill challenge instead of actual 'combat'? If a skill challenge, how would you build it? 

The PC's have about 7 days before the transfer is to take place, so they have time but they will be pressed to get the job done, be stealthy, and then initiate the ambush.
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Next... some questions about explosives:

1.) I'd like to clarify how ion damage works against vehicles/droids/cybernetics:
a.) it does half of its rolled damage to everything but full damage to droids/vehicles/cybernetics, correct? Or is the half damage only done to droids/vehicles/cybernetics? Does DR resist this? Do shields?
b.) before being halved, if ion damage equals or exceeds threshold, the target moves down -2 on the CT; does DR and shields resist this effect?
c.) finally, if a target's current HP is reduced to 0, they move down -5 on CT and thus disabled... got that part.
d.) So, if a truck has has 100 hp, a damage threshold of 69, and a DR of 15 and let's say an ion mine does 8d6 ion damage and it happened to do maximum damage (48 points): does this mean that the truck would only suffer 9 points of damage [half total (24) - DR (15) = 9] and that it would not move down the condition track because it did not exceed the damage threshold?

2.)
Regarding explosive mines and vehicles:
a.)  the people inside of a vehicle are only affected by the damage of a weapon if the damage reduces the vehicle to 0 hit points and is greater than its threshold, then the passengers would take half of the damage, correct?
A small bridge only has 20 hitpoint!?!  Sorry, but even with DR 10 providing some protection that just seems way too weak to me.  I mean come on, even small arms fire would quickly make the bridge unusable even if it takes a bit more effort to actually DESTROY the bridge.

Ok, with the little rant out of the way my counter question are do the PCs have the explosives/heavy weapons available to knock the bridge out of commission.  To stop the transport they do NOT really need to DESTROY the bridge but rather "disabling" the bridge should make in impassible.  I'd probably assign each section of bridge so many hitpoints and if the PCs can take them out they will make it impossible for the transport to move across those sectons.

If the PCs have the skill and material needed to plant explosives those could ignore DR.  Now a small gripe I have about SAGA's explosive rules is that to get a "bigger" blast takes exponentially more explosives.  I believe you should be able to set charges in sequence so you get multiple blasts instead of a largers single blast.  It will take larger to set up mulitple charges and you could have some "miss" but I like the idea more because of the increased damage although you reduce the chance of exceeding an object Damage Threshold and actually destroying it.

 
A small bridge only has 20 hitpoint!?!  Sorry, but even with DR 10 providing some protection that just seems way too weak to me.  I mean come on, even small arms fire would quickly make the bridge unusable even if it takes a bit more effort to actually DESTROY the bridge.

Ok, with the little rant out of the way my counter question are do the PCs have the explosives/heavy weapons available to knock the bridge out of commission.  To stop the transport they do NOT really need to DESTROY the bridge but rather "disabling" the bridge should make in impassible.  I'd probably assign each section of bridge so many hitpoints and if the PCs can take them out they will make it impossible for the transport to move across those sectons.

If the PCs have the skill and material needed to plant explosives those could ignore DR.  Now a small gripe I have about SAGA's explosive rules is that to get a "bigger" blast takes exponentially more explosives.  I believe you should be able to set charges in sequence so you get multiple blasts instead of a largers single blast.  It will take larger to set up mulitple charges and you could have some "miss" but I like the idea more because of the increased damage although you reduce the chance of exceeding an object Damage Threshold and actually destroying it. 



Yea, I thought the same thing about how the Core rules listed the bridge's stats.

Okay, yes, the PC's have access to the explosives - paying a hefty price on the black market - and I agreet the whole bridge doesn't need to be destroyed, just a section needs to drop.

I am thinking that this is going to be a skill challenge instead of them having to roll damage on each explosive and see what overcomes what and how much damage is done. Here are my skill challenge thoughts:

Gather Information check to scout out the bridge and see its engineering.

Knowledge (physical sciences) check to determine the best way to drop the span and how much explosives it will take

Climb check and Stealth checks to move around the bridges structure to plant the explosives

Mechanics check (handle explosives)

If they get the right number of successes, the bridge span falls.     

With your Ion Damage I believe this is how you should look at things:
1.  Roll the Ion Damage.
2.  Does target have SR/DR?  If so reduce damage rolled by that amount.
3.  Is the target a vehicle/droid/other that is subject to Ion damage?
3a.  Yes:  Check rolled number against target DT and if greater move target -2 steps down CT. 
3b.  No.  Divide rolled damage by four and apply against target's hitpoints and be done.
4.  Halve damage roll and then apply against a vehicle/droid/other hit points.

In your example the DR reduces the 48 rolled down to 33.  That 33 is checked against DT (69) which it isn't close to overcoming.  We now take half of that amount (rounded down to 16) and apply it against the vehicle's hitpoint so it will now have 84 hitpoints remaining.


I believe your second situation is correct.  People inside a vehicle that is DESTROYED (0 hp; damage > DT) only take half the damage above the vehicle's DT.
If the PCs have the skill and material needed to plant explosives those could ignore DR.  Now a small gripe I have about SAGA's explosive rules is that to get a "bigger" blast takes exponentially more explosives.  I believe you should be able to set charges in sequence so you get multiple blasts instead of a largers single blast.  


Don't forget that with a good Mechanics check, you can ignore DR (DC 15), cause double damage (DC 25) or cause triple damage (DC 35).


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Don't forget that with a good Mechanics check, you can ignore DR (DC 15), cause double damage (DC 25) or cause triple damage (DC 35).


True although I know I consider DC 35 a big reach for characters.  A mid level demolitions expert could expect to hit DC 25 with "take 10" as I know know I would rather not risk blowing myself up.  Also remember that this is looking at the skill of the person planting the explosive but otherwise my statement of needing exponentially moe exploses to increase the blast power remains valid.

Now even with double damage an explosive charge nets 20d6 (70 damage) and each doubling would add 4d6 (14 points) of damage which would still not be enough to take out a permacrete wall or metal wall/hull (SECR 151) which should be closer to what a bridge's stats would be.  Thankfully that damage would be enough to overcome the DT of those walls so five sets of charges could take the whole thing down.
 
I decided to go with a skill challenge to do this. I posted my challenge in the Praxeum under the You Create contest. If you read it, I would love any input.
Don't forget that with a good Mechanics check, you can ignore DR (DC 15), cause double damage (DC 25) or cause triple damage (DC 35).


True although I know I consider DC 35 a big reach for characters.  A mid level demolitions expert could expect to hit DC 25 with "take 10" as I know know I would rather not risk blowing myself up.  Also remember that this is looking at the skill of the person planting the explosive but otherwise my statement of needing exponentially more explosives to increase the blast power remains valid. 

While I agree that reaching DC 35 is generally hard for most characters, a Scoundrel with the talent Bomb Thrower from (page 21) Galaxy of Intrigue can do so reliably already by level 10. It is a bit of a stretch, but with Skill Training and Skill Focus in Mechanics, an Int of 20 and Bomb Thrower you have +20 to any roll to handle explosives. By level 10 an Int of 20 is still very high, but if you start out with 16, get a racial bonus of +2 and increase your Int at 4th and 8th level it is not too much for a tech and skill monkey type of character. By 10th level you have another +5 to your Mechanics skill from level. That gives you a total of +25 to handle explosives, so take 10 will net you a "roll" of 35. Before level 10 it is much harder to pull off, as you would need an exceptional Int score to do so. 

Now even with double damage an explosive charge nets 20d6 (70 damage) and each doubling would add 4d6 (14 points) of damage which would still not be enough to take out a permacrete wall or metal wall/hull (SECR 151) which should be closer to what a bridge's stats would be.  Thankfully that damage would be enough to overcome the DT of those walls so five sets of charges could take the whole thing down.

Why would each doubling add 4d6 of damage? Each instance of the Demolitionist talent would add 4d6 if you roll high enough to get double damage. Maybe that is what you are talking about?

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Now even with double damage an explosive charge nets 20d6 (70 damage) and each doubling would add 4d6 (14 points) of damage which would still not be enough to take out a permacrete wall or metal wall/hull (SECR 151) which should be closer to what a bridge's stats would be.  Thankfully that damage would be enough to overcome the DT of those walls so five sets of charges could take the whole thing down.

Why would each doubling add 4d6 of damage? Each instance of the Demolitionist talent would add 4d6 if you roll high enough to get double damage. Maybe that is what you are talking about?

This is a fair enough question as my logic may not be obvious.  As stated on pg 130 of the SECR when you double the amount of explosives used you add +2 dice of damage.  The explosives listed on the next page all deal damage in d6s so that would be +2d6.  Figuring they made that DC 25 I had just used as part of the prior number that would turn the +2d6 into +4d6 although I guess we could just be looking at (10d6+2d6)x2 for the whole thing.  Sorry for using a misleading "doubling" effect for a good Mechanics roll; if I'm rolling three dice or fewer I have "doubling" double the number of dice rolled (and double the fixed modifiers as well) to produce a more "average" answer.

Using the SECR as a guide I see three ways to increase the damage you get when using explosives:
1.  Each time you double the amount of explosive used you get +2 dice in damage.
2.  Each time you take the Demolitionist talent to plant your explosive you get +2 dice in damage.
3.  If you use Mechanics to place an explosive you can get x2 or x3 damage from your use.


Now DC 35 may be obtainable with "take 10" at 10th-level but you would need to be pretty focused to get that.  I mean you get +10 from skill training and focus, +5 from level, you can get +5 from that Bomb Thrower talent, and I guess +5 for INT 20 is possible (but when I use PB stats unlikely) for a net modifier of +25.  For that kind of specialist and at that level you may also have a PrC or two that helps with explosives.  I guess I also am considering 10th-level to be borderline "high" level at least with respect to my views of the game universe; as far as I'm concerned level 15+ heroic character just aren't something anyone should commonly run into even if the PCs happen to be that level.



To achieve the high DC of 35, many allies can help by using Aid Another, each adding +2 to the PC doing the Mechanics check. IIRC, the allies don't need to be trained in Mechanics to do this.



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To achieve the high DC of 35, many allies can help by using Aid Another, each adding +2 to the PC doing the Mechanics check. IIRC, the allies don't need to be trained in Mechanics to do this.

Sure, or if you have plenty of time to set it up, you could just take 20. If you have both, say 5 helpers for a +10 bonus and the time to take 20 on the roll, then DC 35 is not too hard as long as you have skill training...

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To achieve the high DC of 35, many allies can help by using Aid Another, each adding +2 to the PC doing the Mechanics check. IIRC, the allies don't need to be trained in Mechanics to do this.

Sure, or if you have plenty of time to set it up, you could just take 20. If you have both, say 5 helpers for a +10 bonus and the time to take 20 on the roll, then DC 35 is not too hard as long as you have skill training...



I forgot you could take 20 on Mechanics checks. I find this unusual, since taking 20 usually means there is no dangerous consequence of failure, and so you can keep retrying over and over until you get it right. (For example, Jump skill says: "If there is no danger associated with failing, you can take 20." Likewise, Survival skill says, "You can take 20 if there is no danger or penalty for failure.") However, when setting explosives, there is a dangerous consequence for failure.

Hmm.....



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Although you're Mechanics check may be "too high" there is a risk of catastrophic failure with the Set Detonator part of the skill; normally the check is easy but if you use that it is also pretty easy to disarm you setup.  It would appear you could spend all day and "take 20" to Place Explosives although if you're in a hostile environment that may not be so safe and interuptions could potentially ruin that.  As a GM I may not give you the time it takes to "take 20" to place explosives in any sensitive area.

What I can do is either increase the DC of the Stealth roll by a factor if they take 10 or take 20, or leave it alone if they trust in the dice.

SKILL CHALLENGE: Drop the span
In this skill challenge the heroes must investigate a bridge, determine its weakness, climb it and plant explosives all the while being unseen, and then drop a portion of the span so as to make it impassable.
CL 10
Complexity: 4 (14 successes before 3 failures)
Prerequisites: minimum of 7,500 credits in materials (could be more if purchased on black market)
----------------------------------------
Suggested Skills: The following are the suggested primary skills for this skill challenge:
    Perception (search)[DC 15]: put eyes on the bridge and give it a good search (taking a video allow details to be brought back to friends)
    Gather information [DC 15]: this is part of the Perception test to gather appropriate information on the span
    Knowledge (physical science) [DC 20]: required to determine the bridge's engineering and where to place the charges
    Climb [DC 15]: necessary to get under the bridge to place charges
    Acrobatics [DC 15]: necessary to move around and work in the scaffolding of the bridge
    Stealth [DC 20]: must be performed by the PC involved with the weakest Stealth skill to make sure no one sees the activity
    Mechanics (handle explosives) [DC 25]: set the charge in the optimal place where it will do double damage (10d6 x2)
    Mechanics (handle explosives) [DC 10]: set the detonator in the charge
    Mechanics (handle explosives) [DC 25]: set the charge in the optimal place where it will do double damage (10d6 x2)
    Mechanics (handle explosives) [DC 10]: set the detonator in the charge
    Mechanics (handle explosives) [DC 25]: set the charge in the optimal place where it will do double damage (10d6 x2)
    Mechanics (handle explosives) [DC 10]: set the detonator in the charge
    Mechanics (handle explosives) [DC 25]: set the charge in the optimal place where it will do double damage (10d6 x2)
    Mechanics (handle explosives) [DC 10]: set the detonator in the charge
---------------------------------------
Other Actions: The damage must be rolled to determine how effective the explosives were
     less than 200 damage: 1  square gap (1.5 meters) - most vehicles will be able to cross and personnel can jump
     >200 damage: 2 square gap (3 meters) - vehicles may not be able to gain enough momentum to clear the distance and could fall
     >240 damage: 4 square gap (6 meters) - impassable
     >320 damage: 8 square gap (12 meters) - impassable
     >420 damage: 16 square gap (24 meters) - impassable
---------------------------------------
Challenge Effect: The following is a suggested challenge effect for this skill challenge:
     Catastrophic failure: failure on any test above by 10 or more accrues two failures, instead of 1
     Recovery: if a character achieves a success on any test by 5 or more, they may choose to erase a failure instead of taking a success
---------------------------------------
Success: the bridge is made useless
Failure: the bridge is still a source for crossing the river for vehicles of all sizes, along with personnel

Not bad djoos5 but those DCs aren't really high enough for a CL 10 challenge.  The books list DCs for easy/medium/moderate checks for CL 10 at 19/24/29 respectively.  

I'd guess that Acrobatics may not even be really applicable and go be higher then CL 29 but I'd say it has a moderate chance at being using useful.  

When it comes to Stealth I believe that there will be a higher chance at getting caught and it shound need to move up to to somewhere between DC 24 and 29.

The DC to place the charges is actually reasonable in this setting although the DC to set the detonator is a joke.

I'd guess that the other skill listed could be pumped up to the "easy" level DCs.  Some are part of the "planning" stage and you probably restrict their use to one time.  Climb, or maybe pilot with jetpacks, would be the skill needed to work under the bridge and how hard that is will depend on several things.  I see Perception also being used in some "overwatch" position where you have eyes looking out for things that could cause problems.
Not bad djoos5 but those DCs aren't really high enough for a CL 10 challenge.  The books list DCs for easy/medium/moderate checks for CL 10 at 19/24/29 respectively.  

I'd guess that Acrobatics may not even be really applicable and go be higher then CL 29 but I'd say it has a moderate chance at being using useful.  

When it comes to Stealth I believe that there will be a higher chance at getting caught and it shound need to move up to to somewhere between DC 24 and 29.

The DC to place the charges is actually reasonable in this setting although the DC to set the detonator is a joke.

I'd guess that the other skill listed could be pumped up to the "easy" level DCs.  Some are part of the "planning" stage and you probably restrict their use to one time.  Climb, or maybe pilot with jetpacks, would be the skill needed to work under the bridge and how hard that is will depend on several things.  I see Perception also being used in some "overwatch" position where you have eyes looking out for things that could cause problems.



I paired Climb and Acrobatics with the idea that first they'd have to climb either up to the suspensions, or down to the supports and then use acrobatics to maneuver around on the slender walkways.

As for the detonator DC, that was straight from the book. Again my thought was it will take the time to find the right place for the explosive (Mechanics DC 25), but once placed, wiring it should be relatively easy.

Stealth is a key component because they need to do this without being noticed, so I may take your advice and do a flat increase, or increase it the way I mentioned - if they are taking 20, then that means they are taking a good deal of time to assure the positive result and so the Stealth roll will go to 29; if they take 10, then again spending time but not as much so the Stealth roll goes to 25; if they roll the dice for their mechanics tests, I see this as a rush to get things done and no one know the final result and so Stealth is down to 20.

Thanks for the comments and the other options and additions for skill rolls. That is helpful!

   

You've probably seen them but GaW, GoI, and UR all have tables in them to show what could be an "appropriate" DC for skill checks that as supposed to be at a certain CL.  Some of them may also include a target Defense score and an attack value appropriate for that CL.

I forgot you could take 20 on Mechanics checks. I find this unusual, since taking 20 usually means there is no dangerous consequence of failure, and so you can keep retrying over and over until you get it right. (For example, Jump skill says: "If there is no danger associated with failing, you can take 20." Likewise, Survival skill says, "You can take 20 if there is no danger or penalty for failure.") However, when setting explosives, there is a dangerous consequence for failure.

Hmm.....

I don't know if you looked up the rules for Handle Explosives, but there are actually three different actions:

Place Explosive Device is the only action that is perfectly safe. Thus take 10 or take 20 should be fine, unless you are in a rush, distracted or being threatened.

Set Detonator normally has a DC of 10, but failing by 10 or more and the device goes of with you next to it... So as this is not "safe" take 20 is out, but you may be able to take 10 unless you are in a rush, distracted or being threatened.

Disarm Explosive Device normally has a DC of 15, but failing by 5 or more and the device goes of with you next to it... So as this is not "safe" either once again take 20 is out, but you may be able to take 10 unless you are in a rush, distracted or being threatened.


The rules for take 10 and take 20 on page 60 of SECR should be used to judge if taking 10 or 20 should be allowed.
From page 60 in SECR (emphasis mine):
When you're not in a rush and not being threatened or distracted, you may choose to take 10. [...] Distractions, threats, and danger make it impossible for a character to take 10. You also can't take 10 when using a skill untrained, though the GM may allow exceptions for truly routine activities.

The part that say: danger make it impossible for a character to take 10, may disallow take 10 to Set Detonator or to Disarm Explosive Device.



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That "distractions, threats, and danger" are in many ways up to the DM do determine what they are.

I'd say there are probably two camps on that subject.  One will say that the "danger" must be coming from external sources and not something that is part of the check being made.  The other will say that anything that presents danager rules out "take 10."

I've read enough that some GMs are hostile toward's "take 10" because it makes too many things "automatic."  Well, that is actually the whole point of having "take 10" because when it is used you don't need to waste time rolling when the character's "average" (actually a touch lower then average) is all you need. 
That "distractions, threats, and danger" are in many ways up to the DM do determine what they are.

I'd say there are probably two camps on that subject.  One will say that the "danger" must be coming from external sources and not something that is part of the check being made.  The other will say that anything that presents danager rules out "take 10."

I think that the danger should come from an external source to rule out taking 10. Otherwise what we get is the same rule as for taking 20, if there is a risk involved yoiu can't take 20.

I've read enough that some GMs are hostile toward's "take 10" because it makes too many things "automatic."  Well, that is actually the whole point of having "take 10" because when it is used you don't need to waste time rolling when the character's "average" (actually a touch lower then average) is all you need. 

Exactly, taking 10 let you avoid rolling all the time for simple tasks if you have skill training. This speeds up the game and makes it more about roleplaying then roll-playing!

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I forgot you could take 20 on Mechanics checks. I find this unusual, since taking 20 usually means there is no dangerous consequence of failure, and so you can keep retrying over and over until you get it right. (For example, Jump skill says: "If there is no danger associated with failing, you can take 20." Likewise, Survival skill says, "You can take 20 if there is no danger or penalty for failure.") However, when setting explosives, there is a dangerous consequence for failure.

Hmm.....

I don't know if you looked up the rules for Handle Explosives, but there are actually three different actions:

Place Explosive Device is the only action that is perfectly safe. Thus take 10 or take 20 should be fine, unless you are in a rush, distracted or being threatened.

Set Detonator normally has a DC of 10, but failing by 10 or more and the device goes of with you next to it... So as this is not "safe" take 20 is out, but you may be able to take 10 unless you are in a rush, distracted or being threatened.

Disarm Explosive Device normally has a DC of 15, but failing by 5 or more and the device goes of with you next to it... So as this is not "safe" either once again take 20 is out, but you may be able to take 10 unless you are in a rush, distracted or being threatened.

What I found confusing was the sentence at the end of the Mechanics skill description, Core page 70:

“Special: You can take 10 or take 20 on a Mechanics check. When making a Mechanics check to accomplish a jury-rig repair, you can't take 20.”

This little sentence makes it sound like you can take 10 or 20 on all Mechanics checks except Jury Rig. It specifically prohibits taking 20 on Jury Rig, but that’s the only one it mentions. If you can’t take 20 on using Handle Explosives, shouldn’t it be mentioned here also?



The rules for take 10 and take 20 on page 60 of SECR should be used to judge if taking 10 or 20 should be allowed.
From page 60 in SECR (emphasis mine):
When you're not in a rush and not being threatened or distracted, you may choose to take 10. [...] Distractions, threats, and danger make it impossible for a character to take 10. You also can't take 10 when using a skill untrained, though the GM may allow exceptions for truly routine activities.

The part that say: danger make it impossible for a character to take 10, may disallow take 10 to Set Detonator or to Disarm Explosive Device.

Yes, those are the general guidelines for taking 10 and taking 20. However, each individual skill has a section detailing exactly when you can take 10 and when you can take 20. It is usually at the end of the skill description in a subheading called “Special”.

Examples:

Acrobatics:
Special: You can't take 10 or take 20 on an Acrobatics check.

Climb:
Special: You can take 10 while climbing, but you can't take 20.

Deception:
Special: You can take 10 when making a deception (except for feinting in combat), but you can't take 20.

And so on….



That "distractions, threats, and danger" are in many ways up to the DM do determine what they are.

I'd say there are probably two camps on that subject.  One will say that the "danger" must be coming from external sources and not something that is part of the check being made.  The other will say that anything that presents danager rules out "take 10."

I believe that the “danger” that prevents you from taking 10 should be from an external source (ex: you’re in combat), not from performing the skill. When we read that “Distractions, threats, and danger make it impossible for a character to take 10,” we should look at the context which states, “When you're not in a rush and not being threatened or distracted, you may choose to take 10.”

For example, the book allows taking 10 on Climb checks. Obviously, if you’re climbing, there’s the inherent danger of falling. However, the book specifically says you can take 10 on Climb.

Core page 60:

Example: Rorworr the Wookiee has a Climb skill modifier of + 10. The steep, rocky slope he's climbing has a DC of 15. With a little care, he can take 10 and succeed automatically. But partway up the slope, a bounty hunter begins taking blaster shots at him from up above. [Rorworr needs to make a Climb check to reach the bounty hunter, and this time he can take 10 only because of his Wookiee ability to take 10 on Climb checks while under pressure.]*

*errata

So we see here that he would normally be prohibited from taking 10 on Climb only when he starts getting attacked. This suggests that the prohibition to take 10 is from external dangers, and not dangers associated with the skill check.



I've read enough that some GMs are hostile toward's "take 10" because it makes too many things "automatic."  Well, that is actually the whole point of having "take 10" because when it is used you don't need to waste time rolling when the character's "average" (actually a touch lower then average) is all you need. 

Agreed.


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What I found confusing was the sentence at the end of the Mechanics skill description, Core page 70:

“Special: You can take 10 or take 20 on a Mechanics check. When making a Mechanics check to accomplish a jury-rig repair, you can't take 20.”

This little sentence makes it sound like you can take 10 or 20 on all Mechanics checks except Jury Rig. It specifically prohibits taking 20 on Jury Rig, but that’s the only one it mentions. If you can’t take 20 on using Handle Explosives, shouldn’t it be mentioned here also?


Yes, but the thing is that you can take 20 on Handle Explosives, when using it to Place Explosive Device.

When we examine the rules for take 20 on page 60 of SECR we see why you can't take 20 on some actions when handling explosives.

When you have plenty of time (generally 2 minutes for a skill that can normally be checked in 1 round), and when the skill being attempted carries no penalty for failure, you can take 20. Taking 20 represents making multiple rolls, assuming that eventually you will roll a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate the result as if you had rolled a 20. Taking 20 means you keep trying until you get it right. Taking 20 takes twenty times as long as making a single check.

As Set Detonator and Disarm Explosive Device do carry a penalty for failure, you can't take 20 on these checks. This is clear from the bold part of the text.

To see why you can't take 20 on a Mechanics check to accomplish a jury-rig repair, is less obvious and that is why it is pointed out in the skill description. As to why we can't take 20 on jury-rigging, we can only speculate. My best guess is that it goes against the nature of the quick fix that jury-rigging represents.



So as a rule I would say: You can take 10 or 20 on any skill, as long as it IS allowed per the skill description AND not prohibited by the rules on page 60 on SECR.


On top of this, there are rules that will let you take 10 or 20 on a skill check even though it would normally not be permitted... But lets not make things more complicated the they need to be.

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What I found confusing was the sentence at the end of the Mechanics skill description, Core page 70:

“Special: You can take 10 or take 20 on a Mechanics check. When making a Mechanics check to accomplish a jury-rig repair, you can't take 20.”

This little sentence makes it sound like you can take 10 or 20 on all Mechanics checks except Jury Rig. It specifically prohibits taking 20 on Jury Rig, but that’s the only one it mentions. If you can’t take 20 on using Handle Explosives, shouldn’t it be mentioned here also?


Yes, but the thing is that you can take 20 on Handle Explosives, when using it to Place Explosive Device.

When we examine the rules for take 20 on page 60 of SECR we see why you can't take 20 on some actions when handling explosives.

When you have plenty of time (generally 2 minutes for a skill that can normally be checked in 1 round), and when the skill being attempted carries no penalty for failure, you can take 20. Taking 20 represents making multiple rolls, assuming that eventually you will roll a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate the result as if you had rolled a 20. Taking 20 means you keep trying until you get it right. Taking 20 takes twenty times as long as making a single check.

As Set Detonator and Disarm Explosive Device do carry a penalty for failure, you can't take 20 on these checks. This is clear from the bold part of the text.

To see why you can't take 20 on a Mechanics check to accomplish a jury-rig repair, is less obvious and that is why it is pointed out in the skill description. As to why we can't take 20 on jury-rigging, we can only speculate. My best guess is that it goes against the nature of the quick fix that jury-rigging represents.



So as a rule I would say: You can take 10 or 20 on any skill, as long as it IS allowed per the skill description AND not prohibited by the rules on page 60 on SECR.


On top of this, there are rules that will let you take 10 or 20 on a skill check even though it would normally not be permitted... But lets not make things more complicated the they need to be.


Sounds good to me.



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Sounds good to me.

Thanks!

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Back for some help... again Wink

If a PC in a vehicle fires at an enemy driving a speeder bike (or any vehicle) that offers NO COVER - can the enemy character be the target instead of the vehicle on which they ride?

I am going with the Reflex defense would still be based on the vehicle, but the targeted PC's hit points would be directly affected leaving the vehicle they are on unscathed.

Am I on track here?
By the rules, the driver is a completely valid target and would actually use his own R-Def and not the vehicles.  I tend to like the custom rule which says that if the vehicle's Dexterity is higher, those riding/driving can use that in the place of their own Dexterity. 
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Thanks, Raul_Torin! Your assist is greatly appreciated.

I am actually going to stick with the thought that the PC will be limited to the vehicle REFLEX (whether higher or lower), as they are limited in personal movement while on, or in, said vehicle. There is not a lot of room on the back of a speeder bike to get dexterous, especially when the target is also piloting the thing.

Anyway, that just be my own two cents. Thanks again for the help!

Tomcat
Back for some help... again Wink

If a PC in a vehicle fires at an enemy driving a speeder bike (or any vehicle) that offers NO COVER - can the enemy character be the target instead of the vehicle on which they ride?

I am going with the Reflex defense would still be based on the vehicle, but the targeted PC's hit points would be directly affected leaving the vehicle they are on unscathed.

Am I on track here?

If someone is exposed they can be targetted.  That they are sitting on a vehicle which may be moving at a high rate of speed is completely irrelavent as far as the RAW are concerned.  This attack uses the target character's REF Defense although some vehicles may provide a cover bonus to it; attacking the pilot would NOT use the vehicle's REF at all.

As RT mentions I support allowing the pilot to use the vehicle's DEX modifier in place of his own (and also not subject to MAX DEX from armor) although I do reduce the bonus by the vehicle's size.  This is to say a Large Speederbike with DEX 24 will allow a character moving on it (as opposed to being parked with DEX effectively 0) to claim a +6 (+7 from DEX -1 size) DEX bonus to REF instead of using his own DEX modifier. In the case of the speeder bike in the SECR that means an unarmored, non-heroic pilot would be slightly easier to hit than the bike (which should be REF 17 = 10 +7 DEX +1 armor -1 size) but an armored pilot would be a harder target.
Thanks, Raul_Torin! Your assist is greatly appreciated.

I am actually going to stick with the thought that the PC will be limited to the vehicle REFLEX (whether higher or lower), as they are limited in personal movement while on, or in, said vehicle. There is not a lot of room on the back of a speeder bike to get dexterous, especially when the target is also piloting the thing.

Anyway, that just be my own two cents. Thanks again for the help!

Tomcat

I see I didn't type fast enough.

There may not be a lot of room on the back of a moving speeder bike but do you think that the bike is just going to sit there while it's pilot gets shot at?  Hell no.  That bike will be bobbing and weaving (applying its DEX bonus to REF) making it just as hard to hit the pilot as it will be to hit the bike.  This is why we're saying the pilot can use the vehicle's DEX (at least part of it) instead of his own.  In a big, steady (low DEX) vehicle the pilot may have a higher DEX bonus and while such a vehicle probably grants cover the pilot would also be able to respond better even with a less active vehicle.

Perhaps we should mention that while using a vehicle's DEX in place of the pilot's DEX when attacking the pilot it doesn't make as much sense if you're targetting a passenger who has no control over the vehicle.  I'll also mention that many of us will allow Vehicular Combat to negate an attack made against someone ON a vehicle from someone who is not on the vehicle; if you can maneuver a vehicle well enough that it avoids damage you should be able to do that and avoid someone on the vehicle from getting hit as well.
Agreed, StevenO.

I am of the same mindset that the speeder bike is going to be bobbing and weaving, and that the pilot is going to be doing everything he can to avoid being hit - that is why I say that the REFLEX defense score will be based on the vehicle. The pilot is going to be limited to where he can personally go (unless he abandons his vehicle by jumping off) and also be busy piloting, and lastly be limited to the craft's maneuverability (its DEX). So, yea, I am on the same page as you.

I also agree that a passenger is not restricted to the vehicle's REFLEX as his defense, as he/she can move around on the vehicle and maybe take cover behind a portion of it. I will also use the Vehicular Combat suggestion mentioned above.

Thanks!  
While you can base the REF score off the vehicle I prefer the increased refinement.  A Stormtrooper on a speeder bike should be HARDER to hit than the bike at it is better armored.  You may also run into situations where a vehicle has some heavy armor but the pilot is still exposed; this will be more prevalent when you move to larger stuff.  If you look at the Zphyr-G swoop (FUCG 112) you'd see it isn't as maneuverable (only DEX 18) as some bikes but it it 'tougher' as it has +2 armor; the basic, unarmored NH pilot for that would get REF 13 by my rules while the bike is listed with REF 15 so here it is getting to be much easier to hit and hurt the pilot than it is the bike.

We should keep in mind that a "miss" against a REF Defense doesn't always mean an actual miss but can also represent an apparent "hit" that has no real effect.

I know I wouldn't want to make it too easy to shoot the driver off of a vehicle but I also don't want to make it any harder or easier than it maybe should be.  Even the SECR speederbike has DR which will make it harder to "drop" than many riders.
 
Understandable - I will take this all under advisement.

I am not a 'Rules Lawyer" kind of GM, nor are my players, but neither do I like to waffle back and forth on how we will adjudicate the rules. That said, I do like to play out a scene logically, so I will definitely keep the advise at hand.

Thanks!  
What do you guys use to model a Jedi's ability to leap from moving speeders and buildings without taking any harm? The kind of stuff we see in the movies, cartoons, and comic books.

I know Surge would model their ability to jump straight up a great height, or to run faster, and I see some talents that would be an option:

Acrobatic Recovery
Damage Reduction 10
and I am sure I could probably find more that have to do with Acrobatics or Martial Arts

Or do you guys just use basic skills and assume Jedi can do more with them?

Acrobatics
Climb
Jump
Use the Force

I would love to get some or your ideas.

Thanks!     
Maybe I will tell you what my player wants to do, and hopefully someone can help model it with the mechanics:

He is currently riding on the back of a speeder bike, saber in hand and activated. It is his intention to leap off at the right moment as they pass close to an enemy modified Sorosuub speeder, straight up above it and then Force Slam down onto the vehicle. He will then land on top of it with his saber lit.

Would you suggest I just have him do a Force Slam against the vehicle and treat the rest as just narrative-style, or do you think it needs worked out mechanically? The former is the simple choice, but I want to give him a chance to roll some dice and have fun with the character.

Here are my thoughts on how to work the mechanics:

MOVE - Jump Roll DC 12
SWIFT - Use the Force DC 10 (just to show that the acrobatic leap is being enhanced and controlled by the Force)
STANDARD - Use the Force [Force Slam]

Thanks for any help!
Maybe I or someone else will get a more detailed answer but when it comes to "jumping down" there are a lot of ways to minimize and even negate the damage.  For starters the max damage is just 20d6 but everything you do that lowers effective height (and damage) comes off of that number.  This means good Jump and Acrobatics checks can each reduce the effective height fallen.  There is also that attack roll (admittedly d20+20 is pretty good) against FORT which means half damage if it misses.  After this if you have DR it would also apply against the falling damage.  While a fall may deal some damage to a high level character it doesn't need to be much and it would even seem that some could fall out of orbit and not take any damage when they land.

As for the game mechanics of what you're trying to do I see a Move Action to "Jump" down, a Standard Action to Force Slam, and a swift action which could let you do a few things although I'm not completely sold on what.  Now your Slam may need to come at the begining (if you are in range) or end of your jump/fall although there may be something that will let you use a Force Power while taking your move; I had thought about the Run feat but that say ranged or melee attack which may not cover specials such as your Slam.

While there are Force Powers and talents that can help a character 'fly' I think I would allow a Force User to use Move Object to "catch" a falling object with the objects damage being reduced by however much damage I could do throwing with MO; this means if MO would do 4d6 damage by throwing a target it would reduce falling damage that much if used to catch a target.
 
New question...

What's an Ion Drive worth in value and EP? And if my PC's decide to keep it, what does it do?

I ask because we are designing a stock ship and it says it comes with, by default, an Ion Drive, basic facilities, and life support.
Can you sell attribute points for EP? Reduce Strength?
I think I found my Ion Drive answer - it's a sublight drive, right?
If you're looking at the "stock ships" in the SotG and building a ship based on those the "ion drive" would basically be the same as your sublight drive.  I'll point out that if you "sell" the drive off a stock ship to install a slower drive (and free up some EP) you only get 1/4 of its value (SotG 38)as listed in the tables; this means you can't start with a "stock interceptor" for 100k cr. and sell off its speed 6 sublight drive for 100k (and 7 EP) leaving you everything else for free.

You technically can NOT see a stock ship's ability points off for EP.  If you are just designing a ship using those rules I would allow you to add Cargo Pods which lower your DEX but give you cargo space which I then would allow to be converted into EP.

Before you ask I'll just mention that you should NOT be allowed to "sell" a stock ship's armor down as that, combined with DR, essentially represent the ship's basic structure.
 
Cool, thanks for the help, Steven. Yea, I knew about quarter values and was reading about stock values. I know as GM, I can assign a different set of numbers - I was just hoping there was a balanced way to do it.
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