Corruption Points
I ran an Edge of the Empire campaign for about eight months and am in the process of trying to put together a new group, but I constantly struggled with balancing combat sequences so that they were difficult enough to challenge the party without just crushing them under my heel. Do you have any advice for how to deal with balancing fights so that they are difficult, but also fun and winnable?

One of my least favorite parts of Edge of the Empire was the combat system.

Weapons are Death Star deadly, and non-combat class Soak is often so low that it pales in comparison, not to mention the incredibly jump in pricing for purchasing armor. In such, throwing what seems to be an average threat at a party can send multiple PCs into critical quickly.

Based on your party composition, group the party against equally threatening opponents. If you have a Hired Gun Marauder, have an enemy that will lock them in close combat, whether that be a human or a creature. (Looking at you, Nexu)

The same can be said for a Bounty Hunter with a large gun. Give them something large to shoot their guns at, because that’s what they’re designed to do. However, the large thing should take more than one bullet to go down, if at all possible.

This should be the centerpiece of fights; a hulking centerpiece that takes a focus of fire before dropping. Giving them slightly higher defense with equal or slightly lower offense can bring your fights into the fun stages.

If you have several squishy PCs that sit in the back (Smuggler, Technician, Colonist) give them threats that match their respective lethality. I can’t tell you how many times a group of Rodians with coordinated blaster fire put me into the negatives.

Giving the middle/small enemies the same defensive stats as the team often helps, potentially bringing their soak down one or two points. This will show how deadly blaster fire really is without overwhelming those not built for combat. 

Overall, my best advice is to instead emphasize the narrative aspects of the system heavily. Fill your fights with environment, and encourage your PCs to use Maneuvers to throw over barrels, create cover, dive behind X or trigger Y. Start a panic, hit a well-placed Gravsled to cause disarray, or quickly close the blast doors.

If players enjoy shooting things, give them things to shoot. Nobody enjoys getting shot, so give them ways to not get shot. Then force them to use those Destiny points, giving you future fodder. You’ll modify difficulty by presenting options, it is up to the PCs to take advantage.

You know, I bet if you played some nice, soothing music, you could calm the horrible beasts of the cellar and eat their flesh to survive. Just a thought.

Oh, that’s a great idea!

Let me see what I have here…


This should work, right? Putting it on now.

Tuesday Questions!


I broadcast to you live from this basement. I’ve been trapped here for a week! As it turns out, checking out a dark basement by yourself to investigate scary noises isn’t a good idea!

I fear for my life. The only thing that gives me solace in this dark time is knowing that it is once again Tuesday, giving me opportunity to answer your burning questions. 

I spend too much time researching systems and game design so you don’t have to, why not take advantage of that! After all, I love helping you all, and it will distract me from my imminent danger.

So feel free to fill my inbox, but quietly! I can hear the scratching, patrolling footsteps of a beast too terrifying to imagine directly outside the box which I now call home.

Double points for tabletop related questions.

Triple points for not alerting the beast nearby, with its terrifying fangs and razor-sharp claws, an eldritch horror consisting of non-euclidean shapes and dizzying colors.

So let’s have some fun today, or at least try our best!

Strange question! Of all the classes in all the tabletop games you've played, which is the more PP class?

I’m sorry anon, I cannot answer this question, as I don’t understand what you mean by “more PP class”.

I'm looking into getting into Warhammer and don't know too much about it. I don't know anyone locally who plays it but I have friends whom I've gotten into things like DnD and Magic the Gathering who could play with me. Pretty much all I know about it is that it's mainly played army vs army and a lot goes into making minis. Do you happen to know if there are rules to making your own characters in it because while facing my friends army vs army would be fun some sort of campaign would (1/2)

be cool. Also is it necessary to use minis or is it okay if me and my cheap friends just use some for of tokens for our different units?

So, a bunch of things to point out for getting into Warhammer 40k.

1. It is, first and foremost, a tabletop war game. What that means is that it is a game about having big armies adhering to specific rules competing for various objectives. While the hobby can deviate from this, the game itself is a tabletop war game.

If you’ve never played a war game, I would recommend finding someone that has played Warhammer 40k, or finding a way to watch/use an army in play before investing, because..

2. It’s super expensive. If you’re looking to play with your friends, and really only do that, you can “proxy” a wide variety of models. This is a fine solution for local play, but you would most likely have a hard time finding a game to play casually without owning the models.

If you’re looking to buy models, expect to invest a good deal of money.

Even if you were to proxy all models, you would still need to obtain/buy the rules for the overall game and a separate rulebook for whichever army you choose to play called a Codex. The overall rules tell you how to play the game, the Codex instructs which models have what stats/abilities/options, etc.

3. A lot of the fun comes from building and painting the models. If you’ve ever done modeling or had an interest in modeling and painting awesome models of future space soldiers, it is incredibly fun to build and paint the models themselves (again, at a high entry cost.) With that being said..

3. There aren’t really any personal/custom characters. A lot of the “named” characters have specific models and templates within the game, as well as canonical lore within the game.

There are templates for certain armies of which you would be able to craft personalities. For example, you could get a Space Marine Captain and give him a name/backstory, but it would all very much be imagination.

4. Campaigns exist! You can set your own series of objectives, create a storyline, and even invent an experience system for your armies to gain certain benefits as you battle with your armies. Many local game stores do this, and it very much emphasizes the feel of the 40k universe as you play.

If you really enjoy the concept of the Warhammer 40k universe, would like to play a Space Marine or other such warrior in the universe, create your own stories and play with all of your friends, I heavily heavily recommend playing one of the Warhammer 40k RPGs  rather than playing the war game.

Check out Deathwatchwhere you can be a Space Marine from a bunch of different chapters fighting against evil enemies. You can also play Dark Heresy for a broader sense of the universe, or Black Crusade if you want to be a dirty heretic.

Warhammer 40k is a fantastic tabletop war game, but from what you’re looking for as far as a play experience, it may be better (and certainly cheaper) to play one of the RPGs.

Adept from Dark Heresy because your vast knowledge



Fun fact: Adept is the only class I’ve ever played  in Dark Heresy that wasn’t Psyker. I was a Psyker for four years before trying a different character.

Thank you so much! 

Quick question about that, are people who play as Psykers equally afraid of their abilities as everyone else? I have yet to play a campaign where one of the players wouldn’t hight tail it out of the area whenever friendly a psyker attempted to manifest an ability

Oh you bet. 

The only way I even survived the game was through rigorous, ruthless self-policing. I would only use powers that I (reasonably) wouldn’t fail, and use major psychic powers (with high thresholds) once at the most per session. 

Even then, my party made sure to remind me that they would kill me if anything went wrong. We were close friends.

gwaindrifter said: 

An archivist studies and an artificer builds. The vast majority of the stuff I see from you either involves explaining the rules and concepts of different RPGs, or showing the best ways to build campaigns and encounters for them.

Well. I don’t even know what to say. Thank you for getting that out of this silly blog.


I was gonna say a bard, but you hate bards, so...a self-loathing bard?

It’s true.


Adept from Dark Heresy because your vast knowledge

Fun fact: Adept is the only class I’ve ever played  in Dark Heresy that wasn’t Psyker. I was a Psyker for four years before trying a different character.

Thank you so much! 

It's hard not to reply with the B word buuuut I'll try to be *serious* and I'll say you'd be a Wizard or maybe a Cleric of Knowledge. Or something else Knowledge-based.

All of you are going to make me blush with this. 

I guess all of those ranks I took in Bluff went a long way in convincing everyone that I know what I’m talking about.