We’ve been playing BE for a while now – almost finished the infiltration phase. And it’s been really awesome, I’d say the most fun & satisfying play our group has had.
But the one thing that’s been consistently less fun is the Firefights. We’ve probably done about 4-5 of them (not including ICHASHITFs), and they’ve usually ended up taking a long time and in general felt kind of boring. Part of the problem was unfamiliarity with the rules, which slowed things down, but we’re starting to get the hang of them. This helped make our last FF more fun, but it still wasn’t awesome.
A few more data points:
[li]Even when the FFs dragged, the compromises have always been pretty cool.[/li][li]Most of the PCs and major NPCs are not all that optimised Firefight, which may be part of the problem. One PC is, and he usually cleans up.[/li][li]The last FF we did had a really cool map, a ship docked to a space station, with positions like Docking Arm, Med Bay, Bridge, etc. This definitely made it more fun BUT I was a little annoyed that there wasn’t any mechanical difference between different positions. So, the whole fight took place in & around the Cargo Hold with no one ever going to any other positions. I know it’s supposed to be abstract, I completely get that the descriptions of the positions are just color, but I was sad that most of the cool positions just didn’t get used. Is our group just being lame? Or am I griping too much?[/li][/ul]
Now, I’ve asked my brother (Dave Lucas on these boards, with lots of FFs under his belt) for advice on how to make FFs more fun. His main advice was:
[li]Add as much color as possible to each volley. Don’t just roll without narrating descriptions. (The tough part here is when the FF feels like it’s taking too long, we tend to add less color, as we just want to get it over with.)[/li][li]Make sure the FF Objectives (Intents) are powerful, high stakes. And make sure they ask for something positive, if the enemy’s objective is “capture the Cotar” you can’t just have “defend the Cotar” as yours as that’s implied.[/li][/ul]
This has helped, but we need more. How do you guys add color to your FF volleys? Do you narrate stuff before the rolls or after? What have you done to make Firefight kick ass?
We’ll take any suggestions. Thanks!