Josh Peters
▶ Stars Without Number
2017-08-10T03:45:51.937Z

So, first impressions on running a one-off SWN2e with my players. We made 4 new characters, and ran a short adventure:

1. The new skill list works. Players generally knew what their characters were capable of without doing much reading. We all like the Connect skill more than the various Culture skills in 1e. Having the skills as verbs really opens up new options. For example, I had one player ask if he could "help Sneak a few civilians away into hiding." Amazing. Done.

2. They miss the old 1e skills, and what they meant for character roles, and helping to define the character mechanically, as well as conceptually. Navigation is important. The different Vehicle skills are important. Science and History are important. They were less upset about Shoot replacing all the Combat/Projectile, Combat/Energy and Combat/Gunnery skills.

3. Psychic powers and skills are well integrated into the basic system mechanics.

4. Ascending AC is just better.

5. The Warrior, Expert and Psychic classes, and the "half-classed" Adventurer classes were a real, real hit during character generation. The players really liked the different options. The "auto-hit" Warrior ability option was very welcome.

6. Foci were a big hit, though they didn't come into play too too often. The Specialist focus was a very popular choice at character generation. My players have been running the same characters for 2 years of play, and their characters are 7th level. The foci were really interesting to them, because they were immediately thinking about which new foci would go with their old characters should there be a conversion to SWN2e.

7. I ignored Shock Damage. I might try incorporating it into my next session to see how it flows.

8. The equipment packages are solid, and a real time-saver.

Overall, plays well!

Josh Peters
2017-08-10T03:45:51.937Z

Thinking about skills:
Pilot can be replaced by
Drive (ground vehicles, animals and the like)
Pilot (air and spacecraft)
Navigate (works much like it used to)

Know can be replaced by
Know: History
Know: Science

I would not even change the skill list and background tables. Just allow players to choose the "subskill" they want: so a Pilot result would allow players to choose either Pilot, Drive or Navigate.

Some of the foci would have to be narrowed down slightly, but that's about it.

Thoughts?

Kevin Crawford
2017-08-10T03:45:51.937Z

That can work for tables that want to make that distinction. The main reason I didn't do so in the core is because there aren't a whole lot of groups where the distinction between "the PC who can drive the truck but can't fly the starship" and "the PC who can pilot the ship but can't drive a truck" is all that concept-critical. The same has to do with "smart guy" PCs- being smart may be something you are, but the distinction isn't usually all that critical to any given group of PCs.

Sometimes, however, it is- you really do have two PCs, each of which are smart guys and neither of which want any overlap in their smartness. In that case, table rules like this are a perfectly sensible step to give them the mechanical distinction they want.

Josh Peters
2017-08-10T03:45:51.937Z

+Kevin Crawford The template I'm using to compare old vs. new skill lists is Savage Worlds, which does have Pilot vs. Drive, as well as a Knowledge (Specialization) skill.

It was my players who were surprised that Navigation and the different Vehicle skills were gone. I do get the rationale, but I think they miss things like Tactics and Exosuit as well. But you're right, it's mainly a table preference. I will have to mull it over as I poll my players.

Anyways, I have been noodling around with the conversion rules you posted in the GM resources section of the beta. I can tell you now that SWN Revised characters using the old skill list with the new backgrounds will be pretty far underpowered: Experts used to start with 12 skill levels total, but now start with 6 skill levels from Backgrounds and Foci. My fix has been to add two tables (one for Warriors, one for Experts) for random skill acquisitions at character generation. Warriors and partial Warriors get 2 rolls, and Experts or Partial Experts get 4 rolls. Nothing serious, but it allows for using the old skill list with the rest of the revised rules.

I haven't played around with converting 1ed characters to 2nd ed, since I would rather have players just rebuild them in the new rules anyways. They're not that different.

One quick question: what happened to the Psi-tech weaponry in the equipment section? Are you considering a re-vamp of that material?

Josh Peters
2017-08-10T03:45:51.937Z

As a follow up, I've been tinkering with different characters using the additional skills I mentioned above. The only caveat to using them is that PCs should get a few extra skill points to compensate. I've been toying with one bonus SP at levels 3, 6 and 8 to account for the extra skill options. It seems to work thus far, when making a variety of characters.

Josh Peters
2017-08-10T03:45:51.937Z

As a follow up, I've been tinkering with different characters using the additional skills I mentioned above. The only caveat to using them is that PCs should get a few extra skill points to compensate. I've been toying with one bonus SP at levels 3, 6 and 8 to account for the extra skill options. It seems to work thus far, when making a variety of characters.