Judging

1) How do I submit a module to be added to Sparks?
Submit to the SF7 Council the book write-up description for the module and when you think the module will be ready for playtesting. The Council will assign an editor for the module. And when the module is complete it will be added to a convention schedule for playtest or premier. Emails can be sent to the SF7 Council at moc.spuorgoohay|licnuoC_7FS#moc.spuorgoohay|licnuoC_7FS.
Council Approval Date: 6/3/06

2) What are the qualifications for judging a Sparks module?
It is preferred that the judge has played the module previously. There are many small nuances that can only be learned through playing a module. If judges are in short supply for a bigger con, then this requirement can be waived. In either case the judge must have a copy of the module to be run prior to the convention it is to be judged. This allows them time to read and review the module prior to running it, and if necessary ask the author or editor for tips on running the module.
Council Approval Date: 6/3/06

3) As an author to a module can I limit who judges my module?
Yes. As the author and controller of that piece of intellectual property you can list specific people approved to judge the module or list specific people not approved to judge the module. Also at all conventions the author has first rights to judging their own modules. You can even limit what conventions your module is run at. Any such limitations should be communicated to the Council to be listed with the module description to aid convention directors in assigning modules and judges.
Council Approval Date: 7/30/06

4) Can I use NPCs created by other authors?
Yes, but only if you get the permission of the creator of that NPC. There are campaign NPCs that can be used by any author or judge. The judge can utilize campaign NPCs or personal NPCs, but cannot kill or alter the NPC without permission from the creator of that NPC.
Council Approval Date: 7/30/06

5) Can I run Sparks or Force modules in a home campaign?
No. Sparks and Force modules are part of an ongoing campaign and are not to be used as a home campaign. If you want to use aspects of the campaigns in a home game, this is allowable if any needed NPC or campaign permissions are solicited from the author beforehand.
Council Approval Date: 7/30/06

6) To get campaign credit does the running of a module need to be approved by the Council?
Yes. To be a sanctioned Module, Mission, Seminar, or Interactive the Council will select coordinators to develop the convention or event schedules. Sometimes a playtest prior to a convention is required to qualify judges. These events are open to all club members (usually first come first served) and they still must be approved by the Council.
Council Approval Date: 7/30/06

7) What is the Gamemaster Addendum at the end of some modules?
When the author wants to edit or add to their module, they can simply do so as part of the standard post-edit procedure. When any other judge has comments, suggestions, or write-ups that should be communicated to future judges of a particular module, they can write these notes up under an add-on page called the Gamemaster Addendum. These are optional ideas that future judges can utilize as part of the module. In some cases they are expanded ideas for the module which can include special equipment. They can also outline how one group may have approached certain module elements and gives some suggestions to future judges if they encounter similar approaches.
Council Approval Date: 12/20/06

8) What is the minimum and maximum number of players allowable at module tables?
The minimum number of players is two, but the judge may require up to three or four depending on the module based on its style and general base difficulty as well as the type of player characters available. The maximum number of players at a table is eight. Usually only six tickets are sold or made available for a table through the convention. The judge must accept these six tickets. The judge must also allow one generic slot for a table size of seven (this generic slot is assigned first to any Spark Force 7 judge in order of number of slots they are working for that convention, then second to any Game Base 7 judge in order of number of slots they are working, and last to first come first serve. The judge has the option of taking an eighth person at the table based solely on their comfortability. The judge cannot take nine or more.
Council Approval Date: 8/11/07

9) When a module is needed to be prerun (as playtest or judge qualification), how are table participants selected?
If the prerun is for judge qualification to allow them to judge this module at the upcoming convention, then that player or players have first priority. Second preference is for judges willing to judge another module in the same slot as the prerun module at the upcoming convention. Third preference is for Council members if this prerun is a playtest (at least one Council member is required). Additional preferences are first come first serve from open invitation to the membership of Spark Force 7 (usually via the yahoo group site).
Council Approval Date: 8/11/07

10) If prerunning a multi-round event, do the characters get the additional character points for round advancement?
Yes and no. All characters are eligible for the bonus character point for the first round. The characters from the top three voted players from the previous round are eligible for the bonus character points for the following round. It is possible then to get the bonus character points from advancement for round #1 and #3, but not round #2.
Council Approval Date: 8/11/07

11) Are droids integrated into module tiering levels? If yes, how?
Yes. Droids are considered one sheet for every 10,000 credits or portion there of (i.e. 11,000 credit droid is sheet 2; 28,500 credit droid is sheet 3). Players can exclude one droid from this rule if the droid cost is under 2,000 credits. Players must declare to the gamemaster the droids to be considered at the beginning of the module (these droids are available for use during the module even if no situation arises and/or they are not used at some point). Undeclared droids can be present (on ships or with the characters, etc.), but cannot be used in the module.
Council Approval Date: 5/30/08

12) How do you handle the flexible timeline with playing previous module numbers where future details (Force Encounters, equipment, knowledge) will complicate the module?
Ultimately the gamemaster has to dictate certain understandings to the players in this situation. With regards to equipment that may have been obtained from some higher number module (such as a defeated NPC’s lightsaber when they encounter the NPC in a previous module), the gamemaster should instruct the player that the item is ‘not available’ and for all intents and purposes does not exist and they are not aware that it did exist. For any item that is not directly related to the previous module in any fashion it is okay to treat as normal. For player knowledge the gamemaster needs to instruct the players that they need to act as if they simply do not know the information. For overall campaign effects, such as the Force Encounters, they are still in effect with their current level during even older modules (Force Encounters can be triggered by modules 1-13 with their current rules), but the module itself may have specific rules to use in addition. For instance, if a module has a Force Hunter the cap may drop to 20 for the contents of that module, but the cap of 100 also applies. If the in module situation is triggered, its effects, in most cases, end at the end of that module. But if the 100 cap is busted that would carry on after the module is over. In cases where you specifically meet a Hunter and you are instructed to write down ‘Known by the Hunters’, you would write this down on your sheet as ‘Known by the Hunters in Sparks xx’. But if it was a situation that applied to that module specifically and was then handled or resolved in later modules, its effects end at the end of the module. The character would not be ‘Known by the Hunters’ under the current rules. If in that module the character rolled over 100 though, then that would carry on and the player would retain the ‘Known by the Hunter’ status after the module is over. In effect, eliminate the problems during the module, but the situation returns to normal after the module is done.
Council Approval Date: 5/30/08

13) Do judges have to use the generic tiering on all encounters?
No, it is a tool to assist judges and authors for quick and dirty advancement of the encounter opposition to challenge the players sufficiently. There are many times that tiering should not be implemented or should be reduced. The easy examples are for game balance. You could have a high tier group that is all non-combat and would be overwhelmed with the full tiering effect. Module timing is another reason to limit the tiering values as well as additional character points and Force points. You still want to challenge the players, but sometimes bigger numbers just drags out the confrontation. Judges should weigh their players and the situation and use the tiering for challenge, but eliminate any portion that is unbalancing, inappropriate for the situation, or will cause more problems than it solves. Gamemasters should feel free to adjust the tiering as they see fit even in the middle of an encounter if it is unbalancing, too easy or beyond acceptable challenge.
Council Approval Date: 7/26/08

14) Do modules have to be prerun (playtested) before premiering at a convention?
No, but it is suggested whenever possible (and emphasized more for bigger or tightly scheduled conventions) to prerun modules beforehand as a playtest. This will assist with editing, tiering, and timing for modules. The modules must still be approved for playtesting by the editor.
Council Approval Date: 7/26/08

15) We have previously discussed prerunning (playtesting) modules. Can you clarify the requirements needed to schedule and prerun (playtest) an event?
There are several steps that need to be taken prior to prerunning (playtesting) an event. They do not have to be done in any specific order, but all must be completed or the prerun (playtest) will not count as an update event.
- Author approves the module for playtest.
- Editor approves the module for playtest.
- Communication of the playtest date and time to the entire Council of Elders. This is to insure that at least one (prefer 2 or more) Council members attend the playtest. If there is anyone on the Council listing that you specifically do NOT want at the playtest (for whatever reason), please note that in the communication email.
- Secured at least one Council member (see #3) to play in the event.
- Open the event up to other non-Council members. You can hand pick these people and/or post an email to the SF7 site to secure 6-8 players. You can limit the playtest table to 6, but you get a better idea of timing and module limitations with 8 people and/or difficult players. You want to test under similar play conditions.
Council Approval Date: 7/11/09

16) Can Force Points and/or Character Points be used for Initiative rolls?
Yes in the Sparks campaign. The standard Second Edition Revised and Expanded Rulebook does not allow the use of Force Points or Character Points for Initiative. In the Sparks campaign this is allowed utilizing standard rules for Force Points and Character Points.
Council Approval Date: 7/26/08

17) What is required to host a convention, game day, or other event including Sparks events?
First the person must inform the Council of the event details (dates, times, location, etc.). The inquiring person can act as Convention Coordinator or request the Council to appoint a Convention Coordinator for the event. The Convention Coordinator is responsible for requesting judges (usually through an email to the yahoo group site), announcing convention details, and developing an event schedule at least a week prior to the event. Some conventions or events will require additional notice or deadlines for schedules and judges. See Section VII #8 for additional guidelines and requirements for convention coordinators. If a Seminar, Mission, or Interactive event is requested, it must be approved by the Council and posted in the event schedule. The Council has a Judge Allowability Listing to assist with finding qualified judges and module selection for the event.
Council Approval Date: 9/12/09

18) What happens if there is a tie for initiative? And clarify additional effects to initiative?
In the Second Edition Revised and Expanded Rulebook a tie on initiative requires a reroll. This rule has been changed for use in the Sparks campaign. In the Sparks campaign the Council has indicated that players win initiative in the event of a tie. As mentioned previously Force points and characters points can be used on initiative rolls in the Sparks campaign. Also any wound damage (stun effects and actual wounds) reduces the Perception roll for initiative as per the standard rules.
Council Approval Date: 12/31/09

19) Is Security used when dealing with computer systems?
No. Security is not used when dealing with computer security procedures. Overcoming computer security procedures and the ability to evade effects of computer based security systems as well as gaining access to restricted data or programs is covered by Computer Programming/Repair. Security is designed on the physical manipulation of security systems and is primarily hardware based. Computer Programming allows a character to know how a security system within a computer may operate and what to watch for in order to prevent these systems from activating.
Council Approval Date: 1/24/10

20) Are there penalties for commitment to Authoring or Editing an event for a specific convention and then failing to fulfill that commitment?
Yes. Since Authoring and Editing is voluntary, it is difficult to discuss penalties for not fulfilling some or all of the listed commitments, but unfortunately it is necessary. Failure to fulfill an Authoring/Editing commitment (as deemed by the Council – Council may request a module to be pulled if deemed inadequate for premier) means that the Author/Editor will not be able to play in ANY Interactive (Mission, Seminar, or Interactive) events until the commitment is met. Editors can request to be removed from an assignment if they feel the Author is no longer accepting their input or is not making appropriate progress. The Council can assign a new Editor, but the Author must show significant progress or effort or the Editor will not be subject to the penalty. If the Author feels the Editor is the problem, they can request a new Editor. In either case the Editor cannot play in the event if they were privy to more than a general description of the event (outline, etc.). This penalty is subject to Council review of the specific circumstances to determine if the commitment was missed due to ‘acceptable’ problems or not. The Council can suspend the penalty if due to ‘acceptable’ understanding.
Council Approval Date: 2/28/10

21) Are there penalties for commitment to Convention Coordinating for a specific convention and then failing to fulfill that commitment?
Yes. Since the Convention Coordinator position is voluntary, it is difficult to discuss penalties for not fulfilling some or all of the listed commitments, but unfortunately it is necessary. Failure to fulfill a Convention Coordinator commitment (assumes that convention is not cancelled, convention is willing to support SF7 schedule, there is acceptable membership feedback warranting the event, etc.) means that the coordinator will not be able to play in the next Interactive (Mission, Seminar, or Interactive) event at the next established convention with an Interactive event. This penalty is subject to Council review of the specific circumstances to determine if the commitment was missed due to ‘acceptable’ problems or not. The Council can suspend the penalty if due to ‘acceptable’ understanding.
Council Approval Date: 2/28/10

23) What is the Sparks campaign stance on Clones?
There is a lot of confusion about clones and the Clone Wars in Sparks as well as how they incorporate into the campaign. The following is a guideline intended to establish some parameters without being so specific as to stifle creativity of the authors and players.One thing to keep in mind when reading and considering the info presented is that only Episode 4-6 and the material in the West End books are cannon for the Sparks campaign. Anything added is done by means of the player and author base. What that means is anything from Episode 1-3, the Clone Wars TV show, Dark Horse comics, novels, video games, etc. only exist when brought into the campaign by the player and author base as many of these sources contradict themselves (particularly anything produced before the prequels verses produced after.)
(1) The Clone Wars took place approximately 20 years before the battle of Yavin (BBY).
(2) The Clone War predates the formation of the Empire as we know it, those events happen over the course of the Sparks timeline.
(3) To simulate a Player Character clone trooper, use the Human Racial Stats.
(4) Cloning in general and all clones (clone troopers during the Clone Wars and any other clones since that time period) by extension are disliked to despised by the galaxy at large.
(5) The sides of the clone wars were the Republic and the Separatists.
(6) The Republic (foundation of the Empire) won the war.
(7) New clones of all kinds are banned by various treaties or acts of legislature after the war.
(8) Even the act of vat growing new limbs is heavily regulated (not that this stops medics on the Hope)
(9) The clone troopers that are still around are hunted in many systems, but as individuals tend to blend into larger groups.
(10) There are no established rules (pro or con) regarding clones of any type by the Rebellion at this time.
(11) Most clone troopers were made to age quickly and either died on the battlefield or ‘early’ old age. Most were never intended to live long and enter society. They were only a war effort tool (use them to win and then dispose of them – which is taken care of by natural fast aging). But there are a few cases with genetic abnormalities due to experimentation and testing that aged normally once reaching adulthood or stopped aging altogether. Also there is evidence that at least one group found a ‘cure’ to the fast aging process, and continued to age at a normal rate. There may also have been some batches that were created for special purposes that required them to age normally once they reached adulthood. Any Player Character clone falls into the group of either intentional or unintentional genetic abnormality that aged normally once reaching adulthood.
(12) Clone troopers fought for the Republic which then became the Empire. Clone troopers never fought on the Separatist side of the war.
(13) Many clone troopers have a distinctive Mandalorian link as the clone trooper armor was loosely based on Mandalorian concepts and design, and most of the clone troopers for whatever branch were instructed in combat and field techniques by Mandalorians.
(14) All clone troopers during the clone war made from the same genetic stock looked very similar, but there were some variations due to various batches, experimentation, and environmental effects (diet, hair style, tattoos, etc.).
(15) Cloning was not limited to clone trooper production. Other factions produced clones for reasons not related to the war both before and since.
Council Approval Date: 7/8/12

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