Combat Master #20: Pitching a Changeup


Combat Master #20: Pitching a Changeup


I don't have much to say right now, other than deliver this quick change log of some updates to the system. Unless y'all have been under a glacier or boulder of some kind, you might have heard there's a Rite of Supremacy coming up very soon. With that in mind, really wanted to get these changes up quickly so that any changes to sheets could be made before it begins. So, let's not waste any time!

There might be another micro-update to announce the results of the recent ACC event, Operation: Tempered Iron. We're still working through the last few matches! However, there's a lot of good info coming out, so may not be worth bumping them down the pages!

Let's see what all changed. (And feel free to tell me if I missed anything. There was a lot of data entry on this one)

Table of Contents


Intimidation Rework

Intimidation has been reworked from its original form to a new and expansive one that clearly outlines exactly what this skill is intended to do. This isn't just looking scary. It's a method of getting what you want with methods that are intimidating. So, let's go over the changes.

Old: You can menace mundanes with a fierce scowl, or scare off children by putting alka seltzer in your mouth and letting it fizz out.

New: You know that the promise of danger can sway others into action, but not enough to fashion those threats into a weapon of your own.

Old: A hard stare is enough to give trained soldiers pause.

New: You have learned the effectiveness of threats towards individuals and the use of appearance in order to gain cooperation from others. While it can be useful against the weak minded, it would take longer than is worthwhile to influence others.

Old: A hard stare is enough to give a veteran commando pause.

New: Not only do you understand the effectiveness of physical threats towards an individual and non-verbal aggression, you also can leverage fairly apparent external factors like a nearby ally. Given enough uninterrupted time with a target, you can poke and prod until the cracks begin to form without actually having to follow through on your threats.

Old: A simple look can make even a veteran commander pause and cower those of lesser willpower.

New: You have reached an efficiency with threats that is almost routine. You can gauge the weaknesses of a target and leverage their fears in just the right way to get your desired outcome in most situations. It is a mundane task to influence those of weaker minds, and it's only a matter of time for those of stronger wills once you find something to exploit.

Old: Your body language and presence are enough to cast fear in even the most grizzled veterans.

New: At this level, an experienced individual can weave threats, both physical and implied, like an emotional terrorist. You are skilled at knowing just what weakness to poke, which expression to wear, and how much leverage to apply in order to get the desired result from even a strong-willed target.

Old: The mere mention of your name or title alone can strike fear in even the most strong willed of beings. Your presence puts others on immediate guard, and imposes fear on those of lesser willpower.

New: No longer merely experienced, you have mastered the nuances involved in weaving any kind of threat to gain your desired results from a target. Even the smallest of openings can be touched upon and pried wide open to your methods, surgically applying leverage to the right weakness.


Feat Adjustments

These are just some quality of life changes based on a few things that have come up either through member questions or something we noticed in matches.

Old: When {{member}} uses their Amplify in order to increase their speed, this also frees them of any effects that might otherwise slow them down.

New: {{member}} can use Amplification to create an internal surge of Force energy. This frees {{gender:him,her,them}} of all foreign Force effects that would otherwise be inhibiting {{gender:him,her,them}} from moving properly, such as Slow, Stasis, or even a Telekinetic grip.

Leaf On The Wind
Old: {{member}} can become a leaf in the wind, calming {{gender:his,her,its,their}} mind and increasing {{gender:his,her,its,their}} ability to dodge obstacles while flying a ship or vehicle. When piloting, {{member}} can use {{gender:his,her,its,their}} Precognition at one Force Power Level above his current Precognition level. This bonus does not apply to piloting a capital ship.

New: {{member}} has learned to be a leaf in the wind, calming {{gender:his,her,its,their}} mind and attuning {{gender:his,her,its,their}} sensitivity with Precognition to the point that {{gender:he,she,it,they}} is granted the ability to feel out potential obstacles while flying a ship or vehicle.

Use The Force, Luke
Old: {{member}} can, with focus, use the Force to alter a single large projectile weapon (rockets, torpedos) off of its natural trajectory and guide it into narrow or hard-to-hit openings such as open reactor cores using Telekinesis.

New: {{member}} can, with focus and while piloting, use the Force to alter a single large projectile weapon (rockets, torpedos) fired by ships off of its natural trajectory and guide it into narrow or hard-to-hit openings such as open reactor cores using Telekinesis.


Endurance Renamed

This is a pretty simple one, but has a huge impact I feel. For the longest time, the staff has always been focused on Endurance as a skill with a problem. That problem has been the misconception that it is the means to scaling how well a character handles pain. There is, however, no such skill in our system. Endurance is, instead, how long you can maintain the maximum effect of your Might and Athletics skills before you start getting weaker or slower. With that in mind, this skill will finally be renamed to "Stamina".

This took so long, mostly, because it was an extensive rename you can't just "find and replace" on. To give a sense of how far this is going, we have to update the skill itself. Then we have to update the Feats for Aleena, Ewoks, Neti, and all tiers of Surge. Then we have to update the wiki pages associated with all those species feats and Juggernaut feats. Then the CS Guide's many references to Endurance. Even our own ACC Guide. But, with legwork from my staff and especially Turel, we itemized everywhere we need to change...and I've done it all.

Gods have mercy upon my data entry.


ACC Guide: NPCs Updated

So, we wanted to clarify how NPCs can affect an ACC match. The current wording was outdated and was really from a time before NPCs became as prevalent as they are now. The new phrasing is up on the ACC Guide, but can also be seen here:

When fighting in different venues, it is important to incorporate the environment into your match. Part of this includes incorporating characters other than your character and your opponent’s character. Non-Player Characters (NPCs) can add a lot of value to a story, but also prevent challenges. The ACC is about the narrative behind a conflict or duel between two members. With that principle in mind, an NPC is '''not''' allowed to take the place of your match character (MC). This means that they cannot become the MC, and cannot be merely a crutch or tool of convenience. For an NPC to be used properly, they need to be organically worked into the story in a way that '''enhances''', but does not '''detract''' from the spirit of a duel between two members.

What this means is that an NPC (one of your own or just bystanders in the venue you're assigned to) can be used in the manner of an environmental feature. They must have minimal impact, but can still be a character resource (such as dropping off at a location or picking up from a venue at the end of the fight). They do not do the fighting for the MC.

The phrase 'deus ex NPC' comes up from time to time. This is to be avoided. An example of this would be an NPC suddenly appearing out of nowhere and blocking the final attack, saving a character from their fight and being 'forced' into the situation. It bails the character out of the natural flow of events and directly interferes with the outcome of the duel.

For some competitions or select Scenario Hall venues, an NPC may be used as a key set-up factor, and will always have a character sheet linked for reference.

To summarize:

  • NPCs cannot be listed as weapons for a match.
  • NPCs can be included in an ACC match, as long as they are minimal actors that add flavor to the conflict and story without interfering as primary combatants or having a match deciding impact.
  • Other characters in the Brotherhood may make cameos, similar to an NPC, but are prohibited from being involved in the match.


ACC Exams

Remember, any questions on ACC mechanics, the CSs, or features, email [Log in to view e-mail addresses]. We do check this email, and often. Best way to get a proper response with all the staff on the same page.

Thanks for reading,


Well, I'm glad Endurance got changed!

/me flexes stamina

I do have a lot of stamina. waggles eyebrows

Awesome changes the lot. Smells a little stale in here though. Almost Elderly...

Stamina, yes! Love all the changes!

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