Tag Archives: RPG

On Sense and Probability

Generally speaking, I’d like to know what my chances of success are for things I might do in a tabletop RPG, because I like making informed decisions. (That’s not to say I won’t do something off-the-wall with a small chance of success if it would be either awesome or funny.) I also like interesting dice mechanics. D&D 5e’s Advantage/Disadvantage system is actually one of my favorite things that was introduced in that edition. I have, several times, made use of anydice to either figure something out or compare options.
what advantage
Dice pool systems obscure this somewhat by usually not having a fixed threshold, or not revealing the threshold if it is fixed. Even then, you will usually still know what an “average roll” looks like. Shadowrun 5 doesn’t use exploding dice for normal rolls and only counts 1s as special if you roll a lot of them, so generally speaking an average result is that 1/3 of your dice roll successfully. (Interestingly, the glitch rules make rolling small dice pools somewhat more risky than you might expect. Be aware of this if you have cause to roll a dice pool smaller than about 5.) Fate dice are even simpler, as no matter how many you have your average roll is going to be zero. (This is why Fate Points and aspects are so important in that system.)
spot hidden

And then there’s this

The new star wars RPG seems specifically designed to mess with my sense of chances of success. As we examined before, you’re slightly more likely to roll a success on a green die than you are a failure on a purple die, but the addition of advantage, threat, and the ability to upgrade/downgrade dice types all interfere with this. It’s also not a big enough difference to matter: 2 green dice vs. 2 purple dice is a little worse than a coin flip, since you need more successes than failures for a roll to succeed. 2 purple dice is a nice benchmark, since it’s the difficulty of a melee attack or a ranged attack from medium range against a target with no defense, which isn’t an uncommon situation.
tie fighter
In order to figure this out, I stuck some idealized SW dice into anydice. I made the assumption that as a starting character, you have a single point in the skill you’re attacking with, and a value of either 2, 3, or 4 in the relevant attribute. It’s possible for these numbers to be different on either side, but this should cover most starting characters. The results surprised me a little: With an attribute of 2 and a skill of 1, your odds of success are about 50%, and you don’t break a 75% chance to hit (a reasonable goal for D&D starting characters vs. AC 10) until you have 4 points in a stat (or enough skill investment to hit this dice pool from the other side). That last part is actually kind of important, because enough skill investment can do a lot for you. It starts earning you extra dice (instead of just better dice) once you pass the relevant stat value. Since you can raise skills easily with XP, it’s pretty important to do that with anything you’d like to use that you might not be naturally inclined to. Going from 1 point to 4 points in a career skill costs 45 XP, and that 4th stat point (at creation) costs 40 by itself, so this is a perfectly valid way to get good at something.
sith lord
The framework I set up can be used for other rolls, but they tend to be a little less predictable, and you’re always subject to the GM’s whims (via Destiny Points) anyway. It also doesn’t take into account advantage/threat at all, especially considering that die faces with successes tend not to have advantages. It’s still an interesting bit of information, and it’s really hard to accurately guess. I hope your dice treat you well.

On Custom Content

Not too long ago, Tam wrote about not being entirely beholden to the rules as written, in the context of progression speed. He was speaking mostly from a GM perspective, but as a player, it’s not unreasonable to come to the same sort of conclusions. One of the time-honored ways of doing this is via conversion. As systems come and go, things are printed that for some reason or another, don’t make the new version. Sometimes there’s a good reason for this (See: D&D 4e’s Warlord), but other times they’re just left behind (5e doesn’t have an Eberron book yet, so it doesn’t have rules for Shifters, Changelings, or Warforged, even though Warforged were in one of the playtests). If these things really interest you, it’s reasonable to make changes that make sense for whatever system you’re playing in, and run it by your GM to see if the result is reasonable. (Note: this is not a standing excuse to min-max a thing you don’t like. Expect your GM to recognize it if you make it such, and react appropriately.)

Aric_Jorgan
Related: Since Cathar are supposed to be rarer in the Old Republic era than other times, why is it that that’s the only era that has them in the games?

…which brings me to the actual topic of this post. A while back, we were in a Star Wars campaign based on the Saga Edition ruleset. We’re looking into playing in a new campaign based on the new Fantasy Flight rules, and I want to play a character similar to (but not identical to) the one I played previously. The first problem there is that I played a Cathar, and Cathar have not yet been printed for the new edition. (If I were a betting man, I’d bet that they’ll be in the Force and Destiny sourcebook focusing on the Seeker class, when that gets printed.) But given a base to work from (the Saga Edition Cathar), and given how races are structured, I think I can come up with a reasonable approximation.

The Easy Stuff

  • Races in FF Star Wars have 6 stats, which do not correspond cleanly to the familiar d20 stats: Brawn is a sort of mix between CON and STR, and CHA is split out into Cunning and Presence. Humans have 2 in each stat, but most other races have a stat at 3 and a stat at 1, with the rest staying at 2. Saga Edition Cathar had racial bonuses of +2 DEX, -2 INT, which corresponds neatly to starting Agility and Intelligence values of 3 and 1, respectively
  • Cathar in Saga Edition also get climb and stealth as automatic career skills, but skills are (usually) handled a bit differently now. Skill bonuses are granted as a free rank, and usually only in one skill. Some races get a choice of skills, and I think that approach fits here. This would mean Cathar get a free rank in Athletics or Stealth, but still cannot train either above rank 2 during character creation.
  • It’s possible to represent the Natural Weapon: Claws as a +1 damage on Brawl attacks, with a critical rating of 3. This is taken directly from Trandoshans.

The Hard Stuff

From there things get a bit complicated. Most races in SWRPG stop at 2 bonuses, and get 100 starting XP, a Strain Threshold of 10 + Willpower, and a Wound threshold of 10 + Brawn. These numbers appear to be used mostly as a balancing mechanism for other things that the race got. Humans didn’t get much else, so they get 110 starting XP. Hutts have extra stats and threshold values, so they get 70 starting XP. A Cathar with the above abilities, and the baseline XP, strain, and wound values is fine, but it does leave out the more interesting aspects of Cathar in Saga Edition.

Saga Edition had action economy that strongly resembles D&D 4e, with Move, Swift, and Standard actions. Cathar had the ability to make a claw attack as a swift action when targeting an enemy with a melee attack once per encounter. SWRPG doesn’t really represent the concept of 1/encounter well, and also doesn’t really treat its actions the same way. Instead, it breaks things up into “Actions” and “Maneuvers”, where Maneuvers are mostly “things that don’t require rolls”. There are two ways I could see representing this. The one that most resembles the old rule would be to allow Cathar to make a claw attack as a maneuver once per session, during a turn in which they target an enemy with a melee attack. That’s a bit clunky, so it might be better to let them treat their claws as having the “Linked 2” property once/session. This is potentially stronger, but also forces you to make the initial attack with the claws, when you may be carrying something better. (If you’re a force user, possibly something significantly better.)
Sylvararmor
Cathar also had a base movement rate of 8 squares, which was nearly unique to them. Humans and most other humanoid races had a base speed of 6 squares, and this difference was a large part of my race choice back then. My character’s ability to be almost anywhere on the battlefield in a single turn eventually became character-defining. Thanks to FF Star Wars using a more abstract movement system, there are limited ways to represent that. One option is allowing Cathar to move between medium/long or long/extreme ranges in a single maneuver, but that actually seems quite strong for a racial ability. A more reasonable alternative might be to grant them the Swift talent for free, which also has some precedent in other racial abilities.

Generally speaking, these are interesting ideas, but they’re beyond the scope of what most races have to offer in FF Star Wars. The only salvagable part from this session is getting Swift for free, and that should probably have a cost. With the Swift talent for free, more appropriate starting stats are probably 90 XP, Wound Threshold 9 + Brawn, Strain Threshold 11 + Willpower. Most races with a starting XP penalty pay for it somehow, and the talent and an extra point of strain seems like a fair tradeoff.

To Recap

Brawn Agility Intellect Cunning Willpower Presence
2 3 1 2 2 2
  • Wound Threshold: 9 + Brawn
  • Strain Threshold: 11 + Willpower
  • Starting Experience: 90 XP
  • Special Abilities: Cathar begin the game with one rank in either Athletics or Stealth. They still may not train Athletics or Stealth above fank 2 during Character Creation. They also begin with the Swift talent.
  • Claws: When a Cathar makes Brawl checks to deal damage to an opponent, he or she deals +1 Damage and has a Critical Rating of 3.

This hasn’t actually been approved yet, but we’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll play a human and it won’t matter anyway.

On Unusual Polyhedrons

Two years ago, after about a year of public playtesting, Fantasy Flight Games released the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG, the first in a series of planned core books in a brand new system. Star wars RPGs had been on a bit of a hiatus, the most recent prior system was Saga Edition, which was d20-based. Wizards of the Coast decided to drop the license in 2010, and Fantasy Flight picked it up shortly thereafter. My initial impression of the system was mixed, but now that there’s a bit more source material I like it a lot more.

The assumed setting for all three of the core books is a bit after A New Hope. This means that the Empire is in power, Rebels are seen as a dangerous threat (since they did just manage to destroy the Death Star), and force sensitives are both rare and persecuted. There are 3 core books so far, each focusing on a different aspect of the setting. Edge of the Empire focuses on the less-than-legitimate business of things like smugglers and bounty hunters. Age of Rebellion focuses on the Rebellion itself, which mostly means Soldiers and Politicians. Force and Destiny focuses on force sensitives, both with and without lightsabers.

swf02_jedistatueswider

Ace Custom

One of the immediately noticeable things about the game is that it uses a unique dice mechanic. There are 3 types of die with positive symbols (boost, ability, proficiency), 3 with negative (setback, difficulty, challenge), and a force die that isn’t explicitly positive or negative. The symbols on the dice are…

success-black Success – This determines if an action is successful. As long as you have one or more of these in the final result, you can do whatever you were initially attempting to do. The number can determine the degree of success in some cases, like additional damage for attacks.
advantage-black Advantage – Independent of success, this symbol represents good things happening. In combat this can be used to generate critical hits (how many you need depends on the weapon) and other weapon features, and out of combat it represents something advantageous happening. this remains true even if you fail the roll.
triumph-black Triumph – This is found only on the Proficiency die, and it represents really good things. This counts as a success, and also a super-advantage. An attack with one of these can usually generate a critical hit or special feature with just one, and outside of combat the door is wide open for the GM to let amazing things happen to you.

Die Color Sides success-black advantage-black
Boost Light Blue 6 2 3
Ability Green 8 5 5
Proficiency Yellow 12 10 (includes triumph-black) 8

failure-black Failure – Each failure symbol on a roll cancels one success. The roll is still considered failed if it generates an equal number of success and failure symbols (because it then has 0 uncancelled successes).
threat-black Threat – This one represents bad things. It cancels advantage, and if you have any of these remaining, something unfortunate happens even if you succeeded on the roll. This might be something as simple as suffering strain, or it might increase the difficulty of future checks.
despair-black Despair – Found only on the Challenge die, this is the negative version of Triumph, but these do not cancel each other (it’s possible for a roll to generate both). This counts as a failure and also means something very bad happens. How bad exactly is up to the GM.

Die Color Sides failure-black threat-black
Setback Black 6 2 2
Difficulty Purple 8 4 6
Challenge Red 12 9 (includes despair-black) 8

darklight Force Points – Found only on the force die, these are used mostly for force powers. It’s worth noting that the force die contains an equal number of light and dark side points (8 each), but has dark side on 7 faces and light side on 5. It’s assumed that player characters are mostly light-side, so there are penalties for fueling your powers with dark side force points.

Stay on Target

Task difficulty is almost never represented as a static number, and is instead represented as a number of difficulty dice. Your ability is likewise represented as some number of dice, usually a mix of ability and proficiency dice. All of these are rolled together to determine the success or failure of an action. Boost die are usually added if circumstances are favorable; Setback die are added when situations are unfavorable. Particularly bad situations might result in upgrading the difficulty of the check (turning difficulty dice into challenge dice). Certain abilities may also let you upgrade your own checks, turning ability dice into proficiency dice.

gand sniper
The real benefit of this is that rolling the dice goes beyond determining “degree of success” which most dice pool systems fall into. To take Shadowrun as an example: for most checks it makes no difference whether you beat the threshold by 0 or 3, unless your GM is tracking hidden thresholds for rolls. (I’m pretty sure Tam does this, but I’ve never asked him directly.) Even on rolls where the number of successes does matter, there’s not a lot of fine control. Unless you roll a glitch, which is pretty rare for moderately-sized dice pools, you’re either going to fail, win, or win big. By separating additional positive or negative effects from the actual success/failure of the roll, Star Wars opens up other possibilities for narratively interesting situations. Maybe you fail to get the information you want out of a contact, but he likes you and tips you off to something else. Maybe you successfully evade the guards, but accidentally leave traces of your passage behind. Maybe you evade the guards and they wander off to investigate something far away from you.

Most rolls of the dice are going to tell you a little bit more than “you pass” or “you fail, and that’s probably my favorite part about the system. I’m going to back to reading this book where they put the swords and magic back in.

On Fires, Part 3

Blaugust Post #31

Burning Wheel has probably the best skill system I’ve read as it relates to skill use and advancement. The basic premise is that you don’t get any better by doing things that are easy. Therefore, you’re encouraged to try things that might be somewhat difficult for your character, because that’s the only way you get better. This is a bit of an oversimplification, but Burning Wheel rules are long and wordy.

To go along with this, the list of skills goes on for pages. There are the expected skills for weapons and fighting (sword, bow, armor training), an assortment of professional skills (blacksmith, haggling, dye manufacture), sorcery and sorcery-related skills (enchanting, summoning), social skills (intimidate, persuasion, falsehood), and some oddball ones like Strategy Games. There are also open-ended -wise skills that act as knowledge skills. Examples include things like Great Masters-wise, Dirty Secrets-wise, and Poacher-wise, in addition to things you might expect like Forest-wise, Noble-wise, and Tools-wise. (You can make appropriate ones up for your character and take them as non-lifepath skills.)

At low skill levels, you can advance with a few challenging skill tests and a few routine ones, but eventually the routine ones stop counting. If you never push yourself to do difficult tasks with a skill that you’re already somewhat good at, it will never get better. Burning Wheel lacks XP entirely, so this skill progression is how you get better. There are a few alternatives to trying things that you’re going to fail at, however. You can have someone else who is good at a skill teach you, which counts toward the number of skill tests you need to advance.

I’ll probably never actually play in this system, but I have talked to Tamrielo (who is my usual GM) about it. He likes the skill system and the fact that violence is rarely the right answer, but not so much all of the incredibly crunchy bits (that I haven’t actually talked about here). It’s a fun system to build characters in though, so I suspect I might just use it as inspiration for some future characters.

Blaugust Complete

Doing this for the second year was interesting. As mentioned, posting every day is a bit much for me, but this did help me get back into the swing of things. I think I’m in better shape to maintain the 3/week schedule I was in for most of last year. I think I fell into the trap Bel outlined last week, but he’s right, the “epic welcome back post” just doesn’t happen. It’s far more productive to just start writing.

On Fires, Part 2

Blaugust Post #30

A major part of what makes Burning Wheel interesting to me is the character creation. The Lifepath system is really a modified version of point-buy, but you have the character’s entire backstory built-in to the process. It’s got some… balance issues, but it makes the actual process of creating a character rather fun.

The basics are that you determine the various professions and/or roles that your character follows through life. Each one adds Time (measured in years), Resources, Skill Points, and Trait Points, some of which will automatically be spoken for in the way of required skills/traits. They’re divided into settings, such as City Dweller, Noble Court, etc. Your next lifepath can be any that you qualify for in your current setting, or a setting specified by the last lifepath you took. Moving to some settings (such as Noble Court) is fairly difficult, but some settings (such as Outcast) can be entered from almost anything.

Learn by Doing

To demonstrate the process, I’ll start with a character concept from the first RPG I played where I was more focused on the character than the character’s combat effectiveness. (The fact that the setting was modified World of Darkness helped this a lot.) Zane Dimetrius was a sorcerous professor with a decent bit of martial ability. He specialized in earth spells, but that doesn’t really seem to be an option in this system. In Burning Wheel, this means he’ll need to pick up lifepaths along the way that enable magic and some bit of physical ability, while I’d like to end at Scholar (which is in City Dweller).

Looking at Scholar, it informs some other requirements by itself. It requires either one of a number of related academic lifepaths or any sorcerous one. Since this character is intended to be a spellcaster anyway, that requirement shouldn’t be too hard to meet. You have to start with a “Born” lifepath, and I decided to go for Born Noble. Being born noble gives you the required trait “Mark of Privilege” (which may or may not be good depending on where you find yourself). The bit of martial ability is covered by becoming a Page. Page is normally the start of the path to Knight (you also have to go through Squire), but Zane decided that wasn’t for him and moves off to Arcane Devotee. This is the Noble version of the “starter” spellcaster lifepath; it grants the “gifted” trait required to actually cast spells.

From there we move out of the Noble setting. Arcane Devotee can lead to the City Dweller setting, which contains Sorcerer. (It can alternately lead to the Noble Court setting, which contains the somewhat different Court Sorcerer). Having finally picked up the sorcery skill, we finish at Scholar.

Preliminary Results

Tallying up everything gained in this process, we have a character who is 37 years old, with the required traits Base Humility, Mark of Privilege, and Know-it-All. Gifted is also a requirement, but doesn’t come automatically, one of the remaining 3 trait points must be spent on it. For skills, Riding, Calligraphy, Sorcery, and Read are required; many optional ones can come along with this choice of lifepaths like Write, Sword, and Instruction. The skill system is interesting enough to be expanded on in its own post, but there are a lot of skills listed in the book.

The number of stat points you have to spend is based on your final age, with some bonuses for various paths along the way. Generally starting older will give you more points for mental stats and fewer for physical stats, although starting younger than 15 will make you a bit short on both. While there are still plenty of decisions to make about where to spend all of the resulting points, the framework of the character is here. This is a lot more than you can get out of a lot of other systems, and it also makes the creation process itself interesting. Using a session to create characters while in a group seems like it would add some fun as well.

On Secondary Sin

Blaugust Post #23

Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced Edition is coming out “soon” on PC and the current console generation. I never finished it, but I am a big fan of the original release. Owners of the original will receive the enhanced edition for free, which is in line with what they’ve done for their previous games.

DivinityOS2

A sequel, Original Sin 2, is now on Kickstarter. It’s one of the cases where simply promising more of the same would probably get me interested, but it looks like they’re doing a lot more than that. One of the best features of Original Sin is the ability to disagree with your partner, which results in you playing Rock Paper Scissors against each other. Points for winning are determined by your persuasion stat, and the first to 10 gets to determine what the party does.

Disagreement

Original Sin 2 seems to expand on this concept, and actually let the party work on objectives at odds with each other. No word on if it will allow what Tam refers to as the “GM Victory”, but I honestly kind of hope so. It also expands co-op to include up to 4 players.

4 Players

They’re also tweaking the battle system, which was already one of the best turn-based systems I’ve seen in a long time. Given the character I played the first time around (a ranger-type) I’m not sure a cover system is going to be terribly helpful, but I’m willing to give it a chance. More interactions mostly increases the potential for unintended hilarity. And I appreciate that there are more options for the player than just humans.

Travelers

I haven’t looked forward to a Kickstarter game this much in a long time. It smashed its funding goal on the first day, so it seems likely we’ll be playing this at some point next year.

On Running, Continued

Blaugust Post #19

SRHK

Shadowrun: Hong Kong came out yesterday. It’s the third Shadowrun game to come out of Harebrained Schemes since the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter. For those who are not familiar, Shadowrun Returns was one of the first games to actually release from the big Kickstarter blitz in 2012. The Kickstarter promised 2 campaigns, and the game released in 2013 with the first one, Dead Man’s Switch. The second, Dragonfall, released as an expansion in early 2014. It got a standalone Director’s Cut release later in the year, with an updated engine. We played Dragonfall for Aggrochat Game Club.

Dragonfall seemed to be a product of having about the same amount of time to make a story+art as they had to make a story+art+engine for Dead Man’s Switch. More effort is devoted to characterization, you have a standard team, and it’s quite a bit longer. Generally speaking we seemed to like it, although if you’re going to play it for yourself, listen to the podcast afterwards, it’s full of spoilers.

Once More, With Feeling

Shadowrun: Hong Kong had its own Kickstarter, and I guess experience pays off. It released exactly when planned, which is nearly unheard of for Kickstarter games so far. I haven’t yet played it, but even starting it reveals that production values are quite a bit higher this time around. The character models are much higher resolution, the UI is cleaner, and it even starts with a voice acted cutscene. (Although I didn’t find any options for subtitles. Baby steps…) I’m currently in the middle of another RPG so I probably won’t get to this immediately, but I’m really looking forward to giving this a shot. Maybe I won’t play a troll adept who cuts things in half with a sword this time?

Seems Unlikely.
Seems Unlikely.

On Chick Corea

Blaugust Post #17

Four Job Fiesta 2015

The 2015 Final Fantasy Five Four Job Fiesta has about 2 weeks remaining. So far I know that Kodra has finished, (and started a second run).

Tam has also finished.

I’ve also turned in a #victory, and I’m also trying to get another round in before it’s over.

Certain other people started, but have not yet finished. So, how are things going for the rest of you? There’s still plenty of time to beat the game between now and the end of the month. As far as fundraising goes, the event has already exceeded expectations twice. As a reminder, more money goes to charity if you report your win to @AggroChat. Good luck!

On Unexpected Surprises

Blaugust Post #16

First things first, this post will contain extremely minor spoilers for Mass Effect 2, and large spoilers for Mass Effect 1. ME1 came out 8 years ago, so I’m not exactly going to step lightly, this warning is all you get.

Yesterday I beat Mass Effect 1. If you know what you’re doing, it’s about 15-20 hours long, depending on how many elevators you take and how many sidequests you do. (If you want one of the squadmember achievements or the completionist achievement, expect to extend this to 30+.) I like it, but it’s really my least favorite of the three. One of the major reasons for this is the way powers work in Mass Effect 1: Each power has an independent cooldown ranging from 30 seconds to multiple minutes. Mass Effect 2 dramatically reduced the cooldown on individual powers, most of them are under 10 seconds, but all powers now have a shared cooldown. For power-spamming classes like Adepts or Engineers, this changes how they play dramatically. (It does decrease those classes alpha-striking potential, however.)

Saren

On the other hand, Saren is a better villain than anything in the later games, although Harbinger’s taunting certainly makes an impression in ME2. Even though he’s under control of the real big bad (Sovereign), he provides a face to what you’re searching for. He’s even a moderately difficult boss fight on Virmire, although I’ve never fought him in the citadel. (I have no idea what the Charm/Intimidate Threshold for skipping that encounter is. Since it’s at the end of the game, I’ve never been without at least one of them at 10.)

Mass Effect 2

New Game++

So this brings me to Mass Effect 2. Normally, your choices in the game allow you to pick up select powers from your squad for your own, whether this really makes sense or not. (It doesn’t make much sense for a non-biotic to have Slam, for instance.) One of the bonuses on starting a new game is immediate access to one of these powers of your choice at the start of the game. It’s my personal opinion that some of them aren’t balanced for this, but it’s kind of a nice bonus for repeat playthroughs. Id’ completely forgotten about this, and now I have an engineer with Shredder Ammo, which does a large amount of bonus damage against targets with no armor/shields. Engineers specialize in stripping armor and shields, so I suspect this will go pretty well.

On Illusion of Choice

Blaugust Post #15

After writing about the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, I had a strong urge to go back and play Mass Effect 3 all the way through again. Really, what this meant is that I had a strong urge to play the entire Mass Effect trilogy again, because the second and third games make really awkward assumptions if you don’t import a save file. Because I said I hadn’t, I’m playing as a Soldier, but I think I’ll probably play 2 and 3 as an Engineer (which is the other class I’ve never played through any of the games). My only regret so far is that playing as a Soldier makes Wrex largely redundant, and he’s probably my favorite party member.

Meeting Wrex

A Dirty Trick

I’ve heard it said that Mass Effect 1 is the best RPG in the series (even from people who don’t consider it the best game in the series), and while I don’t really agree, it’s certainly the most traditional. Your conversation options depend on the skill points you spend in Charm/Intimidate (and it’s also traditional enough that investing in both is a trap). Locked items and even how well you can shoot your weapon are also controlled by skill investments. You can equip a weapon that you have no skills for, but don’t expect to hit anything with it. None of this applies to the following games: Mass Effect 2 entirely limited weapons by class, and Mass Effect 3 went with a system where your class just determines how much weight you can carry (but all classes use all weapons equally well).

One of the other things is that Mass Effect 1 gives you the conversation wheel a lot more often than either of the following two games, creating the impression that is has more choices. Realistically, ME1 is playing a grand trick on its players, although you’re really only likely to notice it if you play the game more than once (or specifically replay a scene while giving different answers). In a lot of cases, multiple options on the wheel will lead to the exact same voiced line. It will almost always be a line generic enough to “fit” whatever summary the wheel presented, and the only difference is player interpretation.

It was the Mining Laser

Maybe Not so Dirty

Mass Effect 2 and 3 abandon this idea, in favor of just giving you the line, which generally makes conversations flow better. ME3 goes farther than ME2 in this sense, and also occasionally gives you a line based on your Paragon/Renegade scores. In the end of things, I’m not sure which is better. I personally prefer Mass Effect 2’s approach, where you only get a conversation branch for actual line differences. Appearances are important in games, and maybe some well-placed illusions are called for.