Reminder: Voice Staff Positions, ACC Tournament!


Reminder: Voice Staff Positions, ACC Tournament!

Just a couple quick reminders from me today.

Voice Staff Position(s)

Both the Voice and I require the aid of some intrepid early-equites (or thereabouts) looking to get started on DB-wide projects. These individuals (one to two) should have decent Wikifying skills, interest in the DB’s fictional background, and/or have a willingness to work on the character sheet systems. Initial tasks will focus on summarizing and Wikifying some existing documents, but could advance to work on DB-wide fiction projects. In addition, these positions could carry with them placement as a Magistrate on the staff of the Voice. If you're interested, email the Voice and myself with an application!

We've gotten some great applications, and we'll be making our decision very soon (this weekend at latest), so send in your applications ASAP.

ACC Update - Tournament Signup Available

The signup competition for the ACC Beta Tournament is available! Not only are first level Crescents up for grabs, your participation will earn you extra Cluster of Ices, as well as consideration for merit awards for helping beta test an important part of the Brotherhood. Signups began last weekend and end Friday, at which point we’ll make the tournament over on Staging and automatically enroll everyone that signed up. We currently have 25 members subscribed. We can do better!

The format will be 3 day limits per post, 4 total posts (2/2 for those of you not used to the new format) with the Alternate Ending style. Force power and weapons will both be standard, and a random standard venue will be chosen for each match.

Why do we suddenly have "Concealment" as force power while "Force Cloak" is listed to have this force power encompassed?

Another one...? Oh my... I'm never going to make my dang mind up what to pick. :P

Xia: Force Cloak as written did not encompass Concealment, and the power is rather different in the canon from the two. Other powers may slowly be teased apart too if they are too different.

Mav: When I open the Force Power System Reference Document I read: Force Cloak - Encompasses: Concealment, Camouflage. I don't see Concealment as Force Power. No description. What's its Refractory period? Please adapt?

I do not see any explanation when or why it was added (changelog). On top I do not see any adaption of force point amounts / amount of available force powers. If you go on with adding more force powers without adapting the available points I do see that a lot of lower ranked people will suffer from the already low amount of force point powers (lower ranked = all those lower than GMs). Mostly those people who focus the sorcery like disciplines.

Slowly I see a tendency of pushing the warrior-like disciplines.

As there are only few force powers and skill powers needed for building a strong warrior character: Neglect the force power stuff and social stuff and just go the pew pew pew pew route! That will pay off way better than trying to actually define a sorcery social kind of character that is based heavily on force powers, suffers from refractory periods AND the sheer amount of available sorcery like force powers.

Sure.. you can go Krath to gain 3 additional Force Power Points (and 3 less skill points), but force powers are restricted to x times per battle whereas 3 more skill points (Obelisk!) grant you the ability for e.g. dual wield WITH an infinite use per battle!! So 4 times a battle power or infinite excellent saber skills or dual wield? Let me think.... I am tempted to switch to Obelisk to be able to have that or be able to pick 3 more social skills! (how logical).

My advice: Enhance your own strength, add in athletic, endurance, pick up a bat and go Barbarian style. RAWR HULK SMASH.

First, the force power "concealment" doesn't involve physical concealment, it specifically addresses masking your Force presence as well as making it seem smaller/larger than it is. Force cloak is bending light and sound waves to try to be invisible or whatnot. So, totally different set of abilities.

Second, the idea that having warrior skill advantages will win you rounds in the ACC is a spurious assumption. As I've had it explained to me by Mav and the rest of the ACC staff, success or failure in the ACC has zero to do with if your CHARACTER wins the fight and everything to do with being the better writer. Honestly, as somebody that has a sorcerer character that has skimped on physical prowess and warrior type abilities, I look at the system as written as something that makes it better for that kind of character in the ACC. Good writing comes from good characters, and good characters have flaws. Having a character that isn't WTFPWN Hulk SMASH-man means that your character is more interesting to write. You have to come up with more creative ways to plot by having to overcome shortcomings instead of being the best at everything. Yes, in the old days the ACC was a lot more about winning the fight than perhaps it should have been, and I know from discussions with the staff that we're no longer living in that world. In addition, the CS isn't just a tool for the ACC. Yes, those people with warrior centric sheets might be good at combat, but they're not going to have a well rounded character that has other abilities for fiction and the like.

I think Sil's point is how if you want to be a dumb warrior -- and some genuinely do, Mandos I'm looking at you :P -- they can, but that it's hard for a lower level member to pull off the silly wizard, due to making a "Sith Inquisitor" requiring more abilities than a "Sith Warrior" (to use a TOR analogy).

I've certainly noticed that with some of my Journeymen's character sheets that I've looked at -- as those going the "Guns guns guns!" route have had a much easier time making a well rounded gun-tooting character than those who've struggled to pull off an apprentice sorcerer.

The good news is that we have a tam of extremely dedicated Star Wars fans who take feedback seriously and are willing to enhance the character sheets as new ideas emerge. The character sheet system is not a closed and rigid system that is resistant to change.

So, we appreciate the great feedback and look forward to mark of the sheets better and better as time goes on.


I do like this Concealment thing though... I can now fake being a Grand Master. Hellooo Concealment +5 and all you silly people with only Sense +1 :P

And Darth Nephets would be loving that power; it looks practically made for that dude. :P

rather "saber saber saber bladed weapon bladed weapon" route ;)

Anyways - Concealment: Force Cloak DOES involve the masking of your own force presence beyond level +2; making it harder for you to be detected. And the more points you have in Force Cloak, the harder you are detected - force wise. Concealment falls into a similar category as its counter-power is also "Sense", it just doesn't include that "hide and cloak" factor.

Now to the idea that success or failure has nothing to do with the character skills / powers. Indeed; and nothing in my comment disagrees with that point. My point is: It is easier to devlope HULK SMASH characters with this arrangement than to define interesting characters. They simply neglect social skills and choose combat skills over those instead of grabbing the chance to define their characters. Unfortunately.. this system supports that.

(And I don't mind changes.. and I appreciate it is an ever changing system, but I do not like hidden changes without announcement ;) - like.... 20/20 )

What changes went without announcement?

Please note that the new ACC emphasizes story above all else.

If a member chooses to "hulk smash" people or... whatever, that is their choice and their right. For those of us more interested in building meaningful, deep, slightly-more-realistic characters, I think this iteration of the character sheet is pretty good.

  1. A few minor descriptions were adapted e.g. Force Cloak +5 didnt mention in the Tooltip desc that moving would break the cloak. (not needed an announcement, but tracking that in the changelog would have been nice to know what did change)
  2. Additional points for GMs: 20 more skill powers and 20 more force point powers
  3. New Force Power added: Concealment


They simply neglect social skills and choose combat skills over those instead of grabbing the chance to define their characters. Unfortunately.. this system supports that.

There is no system that doesn't support that. We could develop 40 systems and it won't fix the fact that a given writer is un-creative and simply wants to play a brute character. It's their choice to play that. Me personally? I take that as a fun way of using my character intellect level to outsmart and (in character) point out the flaws in their character's fighting style. It's not also just about winning by failing. It's simply about being more clever than your opponent.

If anything, this new system gets away from, "well, let me just write myself being beaten the crap out of because an EQ1 can't touch an EQ4 who has a 21 in dex, but no points in charisma." That was something we specifically got away from, and that holds true for the new sheets and their ability to adapt/be flexible. If you have a +3 in saber and the opponent has +5, you can still write a convincing saber duel. Obviously the longer it drew out, the advantage clearly goes to the +5 wielder...but what about the terrain? Is it slippery? If your character has a high Precognition, plus the "Reflexive Counter" Feat, you could easily insert a deft counter to inflict a slight wound against an opponent with a +5 against your +3.... the point is to write it well. If you write that interaction believably and organically within the context of the fight (climate, weather, how much space, tight corridors, lose footing, fear of heights when fighting on a cat walk...stuff like that. What happens if as a sorcerer you use Stasis to freeze the wrist of an attacking Marauder, interrupting the swing of their saber, and capitalizing on that temporary pause/disorientation?). Creativity (Story) is the biggest part of the rubric for a reason.

Point being, everyone is allowed to develop their character how they want. We have pre-set Aspects built in to help give shape/ideas, but anyone serious about playing their character tends to take cracks at creating Custom Aspects. Again, you seem to really neglect the importance of Aspects for how a character is played.

Slagar explained it perfectly. Bending light and shadow with the Force is Force Cloak. That does not conceal your "power level". I use power level because it's a more crude term that should be a bit easier to relate.

Now, when we originally worked on the Assassin class, we talked about being detected/not detected by a Force Sensitive while cloaked and rolled that ability into "Ghosting" which allows Ghosting II/III to protect against detection. It's a balance, though, and when we wrote that (about 5 months ago + now) we had not talked about Concealment being separate. Now that it is a thing (concealment), we of course can look into it and figure out what the best way to balance things are. I personally think it gives the Assassin Discipline a unique edge over the more battle-geared discipline like Marauder and Juggernaut where members will indeed focus on putting all their points into "Saber-smash!"

Again, they are all things to discuss, tweak, and look closely at to keep adapting the system to make it better. :D. Me personally? I look forward to facing anyone who builds a "Hulk-Smash" character with no personality. I can't wait.

If someone wants to not develop their character...we are here to help. The CS team works closely with anyone submitting custom aspects, and I know I've jumped into more than a few Google Docs to help people with their Custom Aspects in terms of creating ways to better show who your character is beyond their lightsaber. We can only show people the door, though.

Slagar explained it perfectly. Bending light and shadow with the Force is Force Cloak. That does not conceal your "power level".

I think this is where the description of Force Cloak is creating the misconception currently, as it talks about someone needing to sense you in the Force to detect you -- not just put on some infra-red goggles or anything like that, but it mentions the Force. I suspect that's what's creating this conception that Force Cloak is fully masking your presence, not just visually, but your Force aura too.

Maybe the fix here is a tweak to the Force Cloak description, to qualify that it's a physical change, but won't hide you from any Force Sense, only eyesight?

@Sil: 1. This has always been in the Power description. It wasn't changed. Some ranks occasionally get clarified on the document, and I even pointed out in my latest report we were redoing the FP descriptions. Why do you think this was unannounced? 2. I wasn't even consulted on that one, so I don't even know when it happens. Not a big deal to me. 3. I take it you missed my report in which the new FP was announced?

I think it's pretty clear you just missed my last report. Shit happens.

Also: Force Cloak's tooltip on the site has never changed. You can even see this at

I relied on the changelog thingy in the document - which is a desolate place as it seems. I shall now go and flog myself for being foolish to trust for someone to update the changelog page in the reference document. (Delete it?)

Ah, the site's description is different to the GDoc, that seems to be where the problem is coming from then. Sil's probably like me and using the GDoc :P

(And yay for replying without having refreshed and seen her just confirm that :P)

Document changelog stopped being updated once we got James' new tool that allows things to be sorted... It was also a pain in the ass to keep it updated once more than one person started adding stuff to the site.

Stuff will get updated soon, but Force Cloak has never allowed movement without Feats. That's always been how the thing was written... additional ranks may have had added clarification at some point after you first looked, but I honestly don't recall editing Force Cloak recently for movement, just attacks.

Ah, the gdoc isn't going to get updated anymore? Hmm...

What's happening about the actual "rank" stuff in that case? (e.g. where on the BETA Gdoc, you had the stuff that said Shock can only give you a Chinese burn at +1, and needed +4 to really do some harm, etc) Or are we intentionally leaving that stuff off the site, to keep it all more open and flexible, without the iron descriptions?

I apologize for the changelog confusion :) In the future, my reports are usually the best place to get new info on the character sheets, and we're working on getting the wiki as the place to go for new stuff like force powers and the like.

The google doc only exists as a temporary measure until we put stuff either on the wiki or the site, depending on what makes the most sense - The wiki is where we'll have the great detail of things, ideally, because things like FP rank tier descriptions are likely to need more constant prodding and poking than base descriptions, so I prefer the wiki there :)

Ah wiki, cool cool. Makes sense yeah :)

What Mav said

I think this is where the description of Force Cloak is creating the misconception currently, as it talks about someone needing to sense you in the Force to detect you -- not just put on some infra-red goggles or anything like that, but it mentions the Force. I suspect that's what's creating this conception that Force Cloak is fully masking your presence, not just visually, but your Force aura too.

Maybe the fix here is a tweak to the Force Cloak description, to qualify that it's a physical change, but won't hide you from any Force Sense, only eyesight?

@ Vex: The issue here isn't the description being confusing, I think it's people reading things into the skill of "Concealment" because of the name. Just because both powers have an "opposing" power of sense doesn't mean they're in any way the same thing. The need for somebody to sense you using their Force sense when trying to overcome Force Cloak is akin to somebody needing their Force sense to see people if they had a blindfold on. Concealment, on the other hand, talks about modifying the perception others have of your ability/power level with the Force. That is something that can only be seen with somebody else's Force sensing abilities. Concealment as a power doesn't seem to be about making you invisible or hiding you from Force sense, it's about hiding or altering the perception of your ability with the Force. Somebody with a +5 in concealment can probably make themselves appear as if they're not a Force User at all to the Force perception of another, but unless they have a skill in something like Force Cloak they're not going to be able to hide themselves from being detected in the Force.

To use a real world example, let's look at at a home's wiring. The wire being physically present and if that wire is carrying electrical current are two different, independent things. If the wire had Force Cloak, it could hide itself from being observed. However, if the wire instead had Concealment it could hide whether or not it was carrying a current, or what strength that current was, when I test it with a voltmeter. If the wire were malicious, it could pretend to not be carrying a current at all and then shock the crap out of an electrician that came to work on it. Concealment as a power seems to be about making people, to use a Bushism, misunderestimate your ability to use the Force (or overestimate it) as opposed to making yourself unable to be observed.

but unless they have a skill in something like Force Cloak they're not going to be able to hide themselves from being detected in the Force.

In which case, though, we're back to saying Force Cloak is more than just bending light and sound waves to render you invisible, no? Because that would mean that it's Force Cloak that turns you into a Yuuzhan Vong and stops someone sensing you on the other side of a wall, which is more than "just" the physical side of invisibility, as that's shutting down your Force presence too -- which is where I'd say there's the overlap with Concealment, just Cloak is going a step further.

Albeit, of course, Cloak doesn't provide the "faking it" of fooling someone into not knowing the true extent of your power. Hello making people sense I'm a GM :P

@Vex: They're overlapping in the sense that Force Cloak at high levels can hide your strength in the Force because it's hiding you, period. Force Cloak doesn't do this by turning you into a Vong or whatever, it does it like a Klingon cloaking device and making it look to direct observation and "sensors" (including the Force) that there's nothing there in the first place. Concealment, on the other hand, is a more specialized ability. It doesn't make you disapear, it makes your ability to use the Force seem to disappear, not your presence in the Force or your . Or be seen differently. Force Cloak doesn't allow you to walk up to a Jedi and have a conversation while pretending to be nothing more than a simple barkeep. Force Cloak = Nobody can see me, Concealment = When they see me, they see what I want them to see.

*not your presence in the Force or your physical presence

Oh, I get the new distinction, yeah ;)

My point's more whether it restricts what someone can do with Cloak? We all agree the new ACC is more about being creative with all this stuff, so to me, Cloak would have been the power that previously covered “only hiding you presence” – after all, it's not like every use of Telekinesis you do everything the power is capable of, as you don't always use the largest object in the room to smash a person’s head in half.

Well, unless your name is Macron :P

I agree "faking how strong or weak you are" is different and should be separate, yeah. I'm just torn if it restricts basic Force Cloak making it only go fully invisible? (I’m just conscious not everyone has as many Force Points as Elders like me, and wonder if it makes life tougher on a Journeyman who wanted to sometimes only Cloak their presence without necessarily going invisible, but now finds they can't without making room for a second power…?)

Now I'm confused... I thought force cloak only would only hide you visually but now you're saying it hides you completely, visually and in the force?

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