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Combat Master #9: Changes and the Coming War

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Hello and welcome to a report in which Atra goes something something crazy and writes entirely too much in what was supposed to be a "short" thing! There is no Intel in this report. The system has gone dark, as there are goings-on​ that even our intelligence network can't make heads or tails of. Something big is coming. [Read: War is coming! And winter...]

The Great Jedi War is almost upon us and, as has been explained, there will be a two phase ACC event running through it. So, what does that mean for you, the member? It means that Phase I is going to start within the next two weeks. Moral of the story? As much as it pains me and runs counter to my usual request, now is probably not the time to start an ACC match unless you and your opponent can squeeze it out in that span.

This is going to be exciting. It's both my first time running a GJW event and my first time participating in one. I may or may not have no idea what I'm doing but making it up as I go with some level-headed and experienced folks also contributing will make it look like I had a plan all along! Or perhaps it's my plan to make you think I have no plan? I don't know either, but I'm still going to give you some content to digest in this report and try to help you out with not only the GJW event, but any ACC event.

I'm awesome

Table of Contents
  1. Minor Changes
  2. GJW ACC Stuff And Things
  3. Important Links

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Minor Changes

Feat Clarification

We always strive to remove ambiguity whenever we can, and this is one of those Feats that has caused a bit of confusion in the past. Thus, we nuke the ambiguity from orbit! The change is as below, showing the new name for the Feat and the updated wording.

'I, Am Not Left Handed' -> Alternate Wielding
{{member}} has trained equally with both of his hands and can fight easily with a weapon in one or the other. Not to be confused with dual wielding, {{gender:he,she}} simply no longer has an off-hand, and can fight seamlessly at full effectiveness even if one hand is completely disabled.

Why was this changed? The flow of this Feat is that it begins with Ambidexterity which is its lesser form, and then this is the final form. However, we are sometimes asked how this relates to Dual Wielding (the skill). Short answer is, it doesn't. One is a skill and one is a feat. They aren't related. This guy just lets you single wield in either hand. This plays into Handedness which is one of the first things you pick on your Character Sheet. You are either right or left-handed. This is something that judges and stricter fiction graders will be looking at when reviewing the Realism of your submissions, so it should be kept in mind. Don't fight with your "off-hand" if you don't have one of these Feats!

Droids in the ACC

Made a quick update to the wiki entry on the ACC Guide regarding Droids. Particularly, in how it relates to Loadouts since a Droid goes on yours and doesn't exactly have one of their own. Essentially, if a weapon or device isn't included in an Item Aspect or the main description of the Droid then the Droid doesn't have it. So, then what does it have?

As a Droid has no Loadout of its own, any weapons it uses are shared from the owner's active Loadout for the match.

Bam! That is the answer. It has whatever is accessible on your Loadout. Not what's in your inventory or stash... the Loadout and nothing but!

Alternate Characters

Just going to take a moment to reiterate how this works. It's also on the ACC Guide for those who want to read up, but I'll put it in full here:

When equipped with an approved Character Sheet and Loadout, participants can opt to enter into an ACC match using their Alts. This must be selected when a match is created and cannot be changed after the fact. Keep this in mind when planning your matches. Beyond this, if you plan to use an Alt in a manually staff-created match (ie. Tournaments and Brackets) then you must both ensure your Alt adheres to the rules of the event and denote your intent clearly through the sign up forms to ensure the battles are set up with the right character.

Some members have already started giving this system a run, with at least two Alt matches that I know of either being in progress or having been completed. That's good, as this is still new to the coding structure and we want to make sure it isn't buggy in any way.

Resolve

This is a bit of an old change, but since it's a topic that keeps coming up it gets to be touched on again. Mostly I want to state clearly, for all the records: Resolve is not a hard counter to the Dark Arts. That's as plain as I can be. Space witches and wizards can still space witch and wiz.

Resolve is your character's willpower and their ability to handle stress, keep a level head, and stand firm in the face of danger. It is also your character's mental resilience against both skills and the effects of Force-based intrusions of the mind such as Intimidation, Mind Trick, Illusion, Terror, and Force Interrogation. The higher a character’s Resolve is, relative to an attack/threat Skill or Force Power, the less effective the attack's result is in conjunction with that character's skills. Only in the scenario of an extreme disparity in ability could Resolve outright prevent the onset of an ability.

So, you may notice I've highlighted a few sections above. I'm going to break down those because it is very specific and deliberate word choice. First off, it is specifically the effects of these listed powers. That is a very important thing. It means if someone tries to Mind Trick you? You don't pull a Jabba and laugh in their face. Or a Watto for that matter. You are going to momentarily stagger. You're going to have to push past this intrusion and prove your resilience. However, there is something very important to remember. Resolve is much like Endurance. It isn't this infinite thing. It is rather finite. People get tired, stressed, hurt, etc. Your Resolve will wain and you'll start having difficulty focusing. If I have +4 Resolve, this is only when I'm at the peak of my efficiency. I'm well rested and just got out of bed and you ain't making me do anything I don't want to do until I get my morning drink/food of choice. However, as things happen cracks will form. It will be less effective. More susceptible.

Let's take a look at the second highlight now! The attack's result... that's what I'm trying to get at with the above explanation. You are combatting the result of these powers and dealing with them. This skill doesn't prevent them completely when brought up against someone who specializes in the mentioned powers. It is not without a caveat though. This may be where the confusion lies and it comes in the final sentence and highlight. "Extreme disparity" is the key here and it's mostly for things like the following: if you have +1 Mind Trick and use Dominate Mind on my character with +5 Resolve? It's not even remotely going to happen. There will be no onset. That is the only time that Resolve will ever remotely act like a hard counter: when the skill of the "caster" is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the "target".

I hope this is clear, and I do welcome questions. We often hear it remarked that "no other skill represents a hard counter to other powers". Well, the mind is a completely different beast. The flesh is weak, as it were. There isn't—nor will there be—a skill to make your skin thicker and harder to cut. That just isn't how things work in Star Wars or otherwise. And if blast-doors can't prevent a lightsaber carving through it, why should a body?

But keep in mind, this isn't a hard counter. It's merely a way of recovering from the effects. With Endurance, you're able to keep performing at your peak for longer. That is the same as Resolve. You can keep your head focused for longer. It's not impervious. It is not without its cracks. There is room for all characters from Sorcerers to Blade Masters to even the most inconspicuous of wise-cracking NFUs. Find your niche and enjoy it. Nothing in the system prevents that.

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GJW ACC Stuff And Things

Recreational Matches

So, this is more a sanity announcement than anything else. No, there isn't a freeze on recreational matches during both phases of the ACC event coming up. However, they will be deprioritized. That means they will be the last thing to get graded and may run longer than the usual 10 day maximum. While the Judges will not be grading GJW related matches I have let them loose to participate in the event itself. That means I don't want them to worry about grading matches while trying to get their own completed.

Please understand the reasoning behind this and hopefully it won't be a downer for anyone.

Extensions

This is kind of an "all official events" kind of deal. As most of us who have partaken in them have noticed by now, it is almost mandatory to have a "one extension and one extension only" kind of rule in these events. Well, that's been somewhat upgraded in terms of policy of late so that it is way easier to a) police and b) implement. Namely, we will not accept any requests for extensions made through email. There is a little button on all ACC matches in the Match Details that you can use to extend your matches. It sits down at the bottom directly to the right of the "Next Post Due" field. I'd show a screenshot, but my button looks very different when I'm peering in at another person's match and I don't have any ongoing. Admin access isn't all it's cracked up to be when trying to provide examples!

Keeping It 'Real'

I just want to go over, again, how dangerous the 'rule of cool' is in matches. Something that might sound/look like the coolest thing ever within your mental cinema could end up making a reader or Judge scratch their head and look very confused. I did this myself a lot when I first started writing ACC matches. The anime syndrome was strong. Caused me to do a lot of unnecessary things cause it "looked cool" instead of being realistic.

So, keep that in mind when you sit down to write your matches! Don't do anything just because it seems awesome or like a great hook. Work it over in your head and let it marinate. Look at it from the perspective of a more grounded reality. Would it still be possible? For instance:

Atra threw his body into a spin as he lept into the air. He extended his leg and brought it around aimed at Marick's head. The Hapan easily stood his ground and caught the kick in a cross-grab. Atra carried the momentum of the spin and rose higher into the air to bring his other foot down like a hammer on the Voice's skull.

So, that's a bit of a "huh" moment. The imagery is that Atra, who is caught mid-air already, is able to continue moving higher and make another attack without ever hitting the ground. Hardly realistic, but something we might see in martial arts flicks (where gravity is more of a suggestion than an actual law of physics) and animated fight scenes.

Avoid this! Make the realistic play. Also, keep in mind that self-deprecation is always appreciated. For instance, as was mentioned in a brief discussion with the Judging staff (by Kordath, specifically), there is nothing telling your character that the person you're fighting has a +5 in Resolve compared to your +1 Mind Trick. But you can play into this. Your character makes the attempt and fails spectacularly. That has made your story a touch more engaging now and is still realistic.

The key is to have fun, but keep it grounded. Always ask if you're ever not sure about something.

Time Management

Here we are now. This is the bane of us all in the ACC. Time management will always be the greatest foe. It cares not for your priorities or your ailments. It doesn't discriminate against any one person in particular. It just is.

So, how do we face this most predatory of foes? Quite simply, make a plan.

That's right. Plan out how long you are going to write for, when you are going to do it, and what you are going to write. Then stick to the plan. Get the writing done sooner as opposed to later. Too often we see members writing a post at the last minute then scrambling to get someone to proofread it. If you write it the first day, then you have two days to get it proofed. That's always going to take longer than the writing because it involves something you can never control: another person.

Damn those people having lives of their own!

Here's some tips from the Voice and once Combat Master, Marick. First, check your email filters. You need to make sure your time limit alerts aren't skipping your inbox and getting missed. We send out a warning two times in a match. The first is when half your time has expired and another at 24 hours remaining. The 24 hour email in particular includes the name of the member in question. Beyond that, there is a bit of a "trick" in Alternate Ending matches. If you have the second post, you can technically write both of your posts at the same time. Just divide them at a good spot and post the first half, then the second after your opponent gets their final post in.

Really, it's about using the time you have wisely. The post maximum word count will put everyone in the same playing field so you don't have to worry about your opponent going crazy and using their maximum time period to write a mini-novella. Work within the confines of the word count and get it done sooner as opposed to later. You can always take longer when you start early, but you can't when you start late.

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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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gjw event guide updates feat changes june 9 master combat

Posted on Jun 18, 2017 at 10:35 PM
Img 20161201 005258

Good tips and review all around!

Posted on Jun 18, 2017 at 10:48 PM
Marickavatr100

Marick blinked twice at the seemingly impossible feat. He quickly accelerated his power-level with a sudden yell.

"KAIOKEN!"

"Kaio-what?"

In response, Marick began to glow red and then rose up into the air with Atra. With a grunt and a shove he flung Atra away and sent him flying into a boulder. The boulder fractured into tiny pieces from the impact caused by the powerful Umbaran.

Oh, you said NOT to do that. My bad.

Posted on Jun 18, 2017 at 11:07 PM
Tarvitz avatar

Interesting news to be certain, along with a few good parts when it comes to the subject of Resolve. Many thanks for writing those clarifications in particular.

Posted on Jun 19, 2017 at 12:28 AM
Zujenia avatar

Great report as always! So pumped for the GJW ACCing!

Posted on Jun 19, 2017 at 2:25 AM

Bring it on everyone! I will win this ACC event! insert squeaky teen cackle here

Posted on Jun 19, 2017 at 5:39 AM
Bentre 34aby

I approve of this report and everything in it. Getting even more stoked for the GJW ACC event. Just will have to try to not get my tail kicked by time management or my opponent. ^^

Posted on Jun 19, 2017 at 6:04 AM

Cannot make heads, tails or head-tails of this... :P

Posted on Jun 19, 2017 at 6:55 AM

Noice

Posted on Jun 19, 2017 at 7:07 AM
Sci fi warrior by azaleasdolls 2 head small

Dam, so not running on air, multiple levitation backflips etc...... Bah

Great report though, nice to see some key things ironed out.

Posted on Jun 19, 2017 at 2:03 PM
Uji small

Adept Marick Tyris says: Marick blinked twice at the seemingly impossible feat. He quickly accelerated his power-level with a sudden yell.

"KAIOKEN!"

"Kaio-what?"


Just saying, post war when things calm down, I would pay money to see You and Atra do a Force Unleashed DBZ match :P

Posted on Jun 19, 2017 at 4:27 PM
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Jolly good report, old bean! These notes are positively spiffing! I tip my hat to you, good sir!

Posted on Jun 20, 2017 at 6:28 AM
Qyreia by gracezhu 100x100

Glory be unto ceiling cat for the wisdom imparted herein! Listen to this guy, kiddos. He knoweth what he spreckens.