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Combat Master #7: ACCess Granted, Downloading Report

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That time of the month where I regale you all with tips and updates. Updates and tips! There hasn't been much in the way of major ACC events since the Matron and there is a very good reason for that. There is a giant looming in the distance that would be problematic when juxtaposed by an ACC event. There can be only one, as they say.

So, keep your collective eyes out and pay attention. I got a bad feeling about this. But it's not all bad. In the contained report I'll be dropping the monthly member-focused fiction alongside some updates. The Creative Writing Workshop is chugging along like a well oiled...like a well...like a machine! No one has died or rage quit, so I can only assume progress is being made. Then I outline the upcoming Venue Review. It's a thing. Lots of things.Then some ACC tips and I answer the community's questions.

So strap yourselves in and get ready. We goin' in hot.

Comin_in_hot

(thank you James, for the wonderful report title)

Table of Contents
  1. ACC Intel
  2. Project Updates
  3. ACC Tips
  4. Ask the CM
  5. Important Links

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ACC Intel

This month's intel drop is focused on one of the lesser known names in the ACC, but an active one that isn't afraid to take on any comers. The information is extensive, so let's see what Alara Deathbane has been up to.

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Click here to continue reading...

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Project Updates

Creative Writing Workshop

So, this has been an interesting one thus far. We just completed our first assignment and I have to say that I'm pleased so far. Everyone in the trial run has offered up varied responses to the questions posed and been, I have to say, a lovely bunch of listeners. The first phase will be ending soon after the second assignment. Time sure does fly, considering I feel like I just started this thing.

Based on the lack of speed bumps thus far, I have a lot of positive vibes towards the future of this program. I think it not only has the potential to help a bunch of people be more critical of writing in general, but also will run fairly well under this framework regardless of who is at the reigns.

Obviously, it is kind of a veil of secrecy as I'm trying to maintain a whole "out of the spotlight" learning environment. However, for those involved right now...you don't have to hide your existence! You can tell people about your experience and the fact you're in it. I'm not going to sick the dogs on you at all.

Venue Review

This project is probably the next one up now that I'm not training two judges at the same time. So, I'll take a moment to break down exactly what we're going to do.

Step 1: We will be conducting a review of the current venues in the system, breaking them down into categories based on the type of locale. Mainly, this will be based on themes, vegetation, and the offered experience.

Step 2: We will then be opening up the old "Venues 2.0" docs and blowing off the thin layer of dust. These will also be reviewed and compared to the existing venues. They will be placed in the same categories to get a feel of the options we have available.

Step 3: We gotta look long and hard at those options and figure out which ones we can add to. Also, we need to see if there are any iconic venues from the films and shows that would be beneficial to our system.

Step 4: Clan venues. Yup, these are a thing. They go through your Consul, if you're interested in getting the ball rolling on these. We will look at any we receive (after I put out the call for submissions) and update them to fit the universal style of the venues.

Step 5: Editing passes. Lots of them. We all miss things when we self edit, and you never know what might pop into the mind of another being.

Step 6: Data entry. This is the boring part where they are set up in the system. Wait, I mean...lots of fun. Unable to comprehend the fun!

If there are any "iconic venues" that jump out at you—the reader—then don't hesitate to fire them off to me or the ACC team email (which can be found at the bottom of this report). I can't offer any guarantee that they will be incorporated, but at least they will have a higher chance!

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ACC Tips

Realism and You

I dun wanna! You can't make me! THIS IS A TRAP!

Sit your arse down and explain it.

Gods be damned, you are the worst! Ugh, fine. So...you got marked down on Realism in that super sweet and utterly magnificent match that just got judged. Yeah. That happened. You might be asking yourself the following quest—

How can you apply "Realism" to Star effin' Wars?!

Yeah, that. So, it's a lot of different little things thrown together. Primarily, though, it's the balance of "Suspension of Disbelief". That's the real kicker in most things. There are stuff we know isn't possible. Straight up. That's lightsabers, mostly. Nothing realistic about that, but there are rules within the fictional world. We go by what we've seen in the films and shows. And, honestly, we have a FAQ for some of that.

It's not perfect and has to be updated whenever something becomes a common occurrence. However, it's something we're doing to help people out. Not going to sugar coat things and say you all should have everything in our system memorized. The judges, as an example, are constantly pulling up the wiki pages for both Skills and Force Powers. We certainly have a good "feel" for them, but when something "feels" off or stands out...we consult the scriptures.

Then it is discussed as a group if there isn't a clear cut answer. The answer that comes down is the stance we will generally always go with until an overriding canon example rears its head. So, in that regard, we have consistency.

As an example, lightsabers and water. That was very much a "don't mix" kind of deal back in the olden days. Then nu-Canon happened. Namely, The Clone Wars tv show. Lightsabers without modification functioning deep underwater. Ain't that something? So we had to treat them as insulated. By extension, that means you can't just "zap" them with lightning and have the damn things stop working. That's something where we changed what is "real" based on the information at hand.

That's just mechanics though. Let's take a look at the flow of combat. There is something wicked that lurks in the hearts of humanity. It's always there. Just under the surface. It's the "rule of cool". Yup. That's what we call it when the idea of something "looking so badass" overrides your inner sense of "but is it possible?"

That's where we get into problems. Physics are still, mostly, real world based in Star Wars. Momentum is a thing that has to be handled. You also can't change direction when floating mid-air. You need to kick off of something solid that won't be pushed back. Then there's fatigue. Yeah... fatigue. People get tired. Fighting is a lot of effort even for the most well trained individual. You're going to get sweaty, tired, have to control your breathing.

This are all little things that can be so easily glossed over. Hell, we often forget about how much a body can actually handle in terms of harm. For instance, several thousand pounds of pressure brought on by a literal body of water crashing in upon you. That would break a great many things. Or—and it happens more than you might think—you have to deal with the endless hall of enemies. This is the place where your character decimates all comers without even breaking a sweat. That's not realistic. You want realistic? Check out the Daredevil hallway fight. Go on, I'll wait.

And I'll watch it again...and again...and again!

I really could go on almost indefinitely here, putting up examples and points. I don't want to, though. You shouldn't want me to either. So, I'll say this: whenever you aren't sure you can ask the ACC staff. That's literally what we are here for. We aren't just the arbiters that decide who wins. We are trying to help you all grow and learn. Let us help you!

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Ask the CM

Satre asks:

What's some good advice for NFU vs FU for keeping things entertaining but within realism. It feels like it's too easy to over-sell Force Powers and under-sell NFUs.

Well, this isn't an easy or quick answer. You have to think look at what makes sense, first and foremost. An NFU is going to rely on the venue and surroundings a lot more than an FU will have to. There are more "magical" tools in their box, so to speak. Whereas an NFU has way more in the way of skills. Use those. Tailor the story in a way that plays to the strengths of your character. Use the venue around you as a weapon against the enemy. Look at a lot of the fights involving Cad Bane.

That guy gets the job done using his wits and skills. Not against just one Jedi, but two. That's not only some big ones, but effective. Inhibit the FU's ability to function at peak performance and keep changing the scene when things get bad for your friendly neighborhood NFU.

The Rest

Kylex and Satre combine their powers to ask:

(Kylex) how would one better incorporate droids into their ACC fights? Without using them as a crutch

(Satre) Piggybacking on that, I know we have droids that use external weapons, like the HK or IG models. How would handling their weapon(s) be handled?

(Kylex) piggybacking on that, how would we describe accurately what weapons our droids would be equip with? I suspect that duty lies with Evant, but personally I think the combat aspect for droids is lacking, any way that could be worked around

Okay, so, there's a section of the ACC Guide that mentions some specifics on droids. More or less, though, you want to use them like you would a weapon. Only this weapon talks and has a personality associated with it. Some characters very much would be using their droids as a crutch, being rather useless without them. No harm in that. However, be careful of using them as an act of convenience. Don't have them show up out of nowhere and prevent the killing blow (unless that makes sense based on what has happened and some light foreshadowing).

As for weapons, they pretty much will use what is on your loadout. They don't get their own special one that you can fill out. That's not a thing as of yet, nor can I confirm it will be a thing. Then you have some droids like the BT-1 Assassin Droid where it lists "a variety of ordinance can be installed within the droid's compartments". You would have to list these in the Droid Combat Modification slot. You're not wrong that my old bunk buddy, Evant, is in charge of the pre-written Item Aspects. However, you can create your own. There's a whole process for custom aspects. Those get approved by Regent staff and you can approach them with any questions you may have.

Zujenia asks:

Is there any merit in having an Intuition skill? More of a gut instinct than any book smartness. If there isn't, what would be your advice for portraying a character of high intuition?

Well, as with many things, the path can be found through the existing skills. Let's say Perception and Intellect. Both of these can stand on their own or be used together in order to create "intuition". At the end of the day, such a skill culminates in "I have a bad feeling about this". That usually comes from taking the information you know and that which you see and inferring something bad or unexpected is going to happen. Outside of that, it doesn't have enough as a thing to really be granted its own category.

Kylex asks:

more force powers??? :D

Probably not unless something new and truly unique shows up in the movies and shows. More than likely, though, such things will end up as modifications of existing powers. It would be difficult to add more random Skills for the sake of NFUs, so just throwing in FU powers (especially Legends ones) isn't all that balanced.

Andrelious asks:

Is it legal in the ACC to use one's opponent's weapon?

Yeah, so long as you have the skills to use it and it makes sense in the context of the story. Having no skill with blasters but disarming your opponent and then going all gunslinger with them would be quite unrealistic. And it doesn't make much sense.

Alethia asks:

What would you like to see more of in the ACC?

Canon matches! I love those things! Not just because most of my character development is derived through ACC matches. (Yo, Turel, represent!) I really enjoy it when a match has a lasting impact on the characters involved that not only carries into their day to day DB lives, but also later matches and rematches. So good!

Laren asks these questions three:

Do you have any tried and true editing or revision tips when going over a post?

Give it to someone else and back off. Really, that's all I got. I am literally the worst for this. I get twitchy when having my work proofed. Can't stand it. Yet, I've started forcing it on myself due to the few times something stupid and small slipped through. You're just not going to see it yourself when proofing unless you give yourself a day or two to digest it.

As Combat Master, what is your favourite thing about the ACC right now?

That it is active. Honestly. It is being used and the number of complaints I've received are rather small and overall manageable. That's a good thing. Not just because it's a fun avenue for the conflict minded among us, but because we are working hard to help everyone grow as writers.

What is the most important aspect of writing (besides not overusing extensions) in the ACC and why?

The story. It is so easy to lose sight of it or give too narrow of a focus. The main thing to remember is that this one match is typically a snapshot in the lives of the characters. Something came before the match and something will, most likely, be coming after it. Give that to the reader. Let them know through hints and world/character building what came before. Likewise, don't cut to black with the final blow. Something happened after that. What if you're surrounded by not-so-friendly NPCs in the venue where you just beheaded your opponent? I'm left asking how you got out of there, if you managed to at all. Never leave your reader asking questions.

Kordath asks:

Are we going to stay true to the movies, in which armor is a pointless fashion statement?

This is really a complex question that I've been toying with since I started working on Possessions. Honestly, the only real way I see it working is if we instituted a sort of ranking system that sort of provided "generic" tiers of protection. However, that would require ensuring all armor items and item aspects provided the appropriate wording. Which, honestly, is a lot of extra effort when grading or writing a match. I dunno how it will go, but I haven't quite given up.

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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,

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questions realism tips venues april 7 master combat

Posted on Apr 19, 2017 at 10:19 PM
Ugh

As someone who is part of the Writing- thing-a-mawhatsit, shuddup and stop talking about us! We're right here and will tell you what we think when we're friggen ready! Gawd! ;p

Nice report, lots of good info but I request waaay more snark.

5/5 <3

Posted on Apr 19, 2017 at 10:34 PM
Maricktar new1

Excellent report, Atra. Thank you for all your hard work in advancing the ACC office, and for your endless contributions to the DB's Fiction society and systems. Your work does not go unnoticed or appreciated.

-W

Posted on Apr 19, 2017 at 10:39 PM
Avatar

There is something wicked that lurks in the hearts of humanity. It's always there. Just under the surface. It's the "rule of cool". Yup. That's what we call it when the idea of something "looking so badass" overrides your inner sense of "but is it possible?"

Stop spreading the esoteric teachings to the masses!

Posted on Apr 19, 2017 at 10:58 PM
Satsi avatar

Oh eff yes the hallway scene.

Very excited to explore some NFU vs FUness... Eventually...

Meanwhile, great report, Atra!

Posted on Apr 19, 2017 at 11:17 PM
Thanadd db %281%29

Great stuff! Thanks for all you do.

Posted on Apr 20, 2017 at 12:03 AM
Larenavatardjb100x100

It seems you can cross the Bridge of Death... today.

Though in all seriousness, fantastic report. I can definitely say that writing as an NFU can be a real treat if you're willing to be experimental with the setting provided. There's nothing better than having a judge (figuratively) scratch their head and go, "Huh, yeah I guess that works." I mean, no idea if that's actually happened, but I would hope it does from time to time. And yay, more venues.

Posted on Apr 20, 2017 at 3:21 AM
Zujenia avatar

So much awesome advice and info. Wooo, venues!

Posted on Apr 20, 2017 at 3:55 AM
Resized avatar

Thank you for all the priceless information! And thanks for the shout out ^^ 11/10 <3 (or as the internet calls it, 5/7)

Posted on Apr 20, 2017 at 4:20 AM
Image

Great report, excellent discussion. Thanks, Atra!