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The GSA Presents: The Unofficial Species Menagerie


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#21 drbraininajar

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 01:32 AM

I looked it up again. I was right, I wasn't looking hard enough. It's exactly the same rules as ship combat (one size different is no penalties). So unless we end up against wampas or banthas or something similar sized at some point, it's not going to come into play, apparently.


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#22 Bren_Waynero

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 03:24 AM

Pg 212.  Size Differences.  Comes into play when silhouettes are two points or more in difference.


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#23 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 03:44 PM

Yeah, there's really not much of a mechanical effect regarding Silhouette 0 creatures such as Jawas, Ewoks, Squibs, or Astromechs.

 

Although, since most vehicles start at Silhouette 2 and go up from there, that means that being Silhouette 0 makes it harder for bad guys using vehicle weapons to blast you.  Which given the damage being tossed around, that's pretty handy.

 

I think Ben and I each listed the various Silhouette 0 species as having a starting Wound Threshold of less than 10 before adding Brawn, as a way of making them a bit on the squishy side of things, and not in the fun way ^_^


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#24 shidarin

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:53 AM

My group took a close look at the Noghri and came up with the following:

  1. While the Wookiepedia entry keeps focusing on their hand to hand skills and barely mentions melee weapons, the Thrawn trilogy has a lot more armed and trained Noghri, with ceremonial knives and everything. This lead to our group thinking that the Noghri should be able to choose between 1 point in Brawl OR 1 point in Melee
  2. At 1.4-1.7 meters, this seems like an odd choice to be SIL 0- certainly shorter than a human, but much taller than a Jawa.

 

On an entirely seperate note I've been working on a Python driven Character Builder, while still a long way off, may I incorperate the GSA's Menagerie into it?


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#25 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 06:00 PM

My group took a close look at the Noghri and came up with the following:

  1. While the Wookiepedia entry keeps focusing on their hand to hand skills and barely mentions melee weapons, the Thrawn trilogy has a lot more armed and trained Noghri, with ceremonial knives and everything. This lead to our group thinking that the Noghri should be able to choose between 1 point in Brawl OR 1 point in Melee
  2. At 1.4-1.7 meters, this seems like an odd choice to be SIL 0- certainly shorter than a human, but much taller than a Jawa.

 

On an entirely seperate note I've been working on a Python driven Character Builder, while still a long way off, may I incorperate the GSA's Menagerie into it?

For some reason, I'd always figured Noghri to be a lot shorter.  In retrospect, I probably should remove the Silhouette 0 from there.

 

As for bonus skills, I'm sticking with Brawl only, simply due to the very heavy emphasis on martial arts that the Noghri have.  The melee thing could just simply be a case of those particular Noghri picking up a rank in Melee, something pretty easy for a PC to do if they take the Hired Gun career or the Assassin specialization.

 

As for including the species, by all means go ahead.  As long as a note for the source of the unofficial species is included, I'm good.


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#26 shidarin

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:08 PM

 

As for including the species, by all means go ahead.  As long as a note for the source of the unofficial species is included, I'm good.

 

 

A note on the intro page, the credits page, and a note + URL is on the species selection page.


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#27 Endrik Tenebris

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 01:29 AM

I've looked through these a lot, and over those times I've seen a few things that strike me wrong, and I'd like to bring those up for discussion.  Obviously these are all just suggestions :D.

1.  Why do the Chiss have 11+ for their wounds?  I wouldn't say that they were any more or less sturdy than a typical human.  I could see setting their Strain at 11, but I'm not sold on the Wounds at that.  Perhaps they could have some other minor bonus instead?  Or, they could have both at 10, but they could get a rank in BOTH of the skills, not just one or the other.

 

2.  Why do Cathar have an Intellect of 1?  They aren't geniuses, but I'm not sure that they deserve to have 1 Intellect, considering that's reserved for more primitive species, like Gammoreans and the like.  Was it simply because there was no other stat that made a lot of sense, since the other ones wouldn't make sense at 1 either?  Perhaps they should have all their stats at 2 still, then?

 

3.  Dashade are pretty sizeable. While I'm not saying they are slow, should they truly have 3 in Agility and 2 in Brawn?  I feel it should be the other way around.

 

4.  I'm not convinced that Duros are that much weaker than humans on average, and I'm also not convinced that they are that much smarter than them.  I wouldn't put them on Arkanian or Givin level intellect to start, and I would suggest that you possibly consider giving them 2s across the board and bumping their starting EXP up to Human levels.

 

5.  Aqualish are all about strength, and most people look down on them or push them out for being thuggish.  Should they have Human-like 2s across the board?  They are different enough where I could see them possibly having a 3 in Willpower or Brawn and a 1 in Presence.

 

6.  Should Gran have an Intellect of 1?  I don't really see them on Gammorean-level unintellect or primitiveness either, and I can't find anything that indicates that either.  Perhaps Willpower could go to 1, since they seem to be somewhat emotional, and they can't handle being alone for very long?

 

7.  I kinda would like to see the Selkath not have Human starting stats, since they are so different.  I could see them having a 3 in Intellect thanks to their advanced medical technology, but I could see a 1 in Willpower since they don't seem to be very committed towards anything but their own security, and they kinda go insane and reclusive from time to time.

 

8.  I'm not sure about 1 Brawn for Togruta, since they are natural predators.  However, I don't really know what else they would have 1 in off the top of my head D:.

 

 

I also agree with the previous statements that the Noghri should be Sillhouette 1, and that the Defel should get their goggles for free.

 

Again, these are all suggestions to be considered, if that.  I hope some of these might help!


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#28 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 03:30 PM

Endrik,

A lot of the choices that Cyril and I made were informed by prior RPG versions of those species, particularly the d20 write-ups.  if a species had a -2 in an ability score that mapped over to an EotE Characteristic, then the Characteristic got set to 1.  We have our reasons for our choices, and we're sticking to them.  Sorry, but your personal view on what a species should or should not be doesn't cut it in terms of making changes.  The Noghri size change I made because the current Wookieepedia information pegs them at being sufficiently taller than their size denomination of Small in prior RPGs indicated.


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#29 FangGrip

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 03:35 PM

Endrik,

A lot of the choices that Cyril and I made were informed by prior RPG versions of those species, particularly the d20 write-ups.  if a species had a -2 in an ability score that mapped over to an EotE Characteristic, then the Characteristic got set to 1.  We have our reasons for our choices, and we're sticking to them.  Sorry, but your personal view on what a species should or should not be doesn't cut it in terms of making changes.  The Noghri size change I made because the current Wookieepedia information pegs them at being sufficiently taller than their size denomination of Small in prior RPGs indicated.

 

Donovan, what formula did you use to calculate XP for all of the races?  I assume there were some sort of guidelines that you used to shape your race guidebook.  Would you mind horribly sharing that with us?


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#30 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 03:47 PM

Donovan, what formula did you use to calculate XP for all of the races?  I assume there were some sort of guidelines that you used to shape your race guidebook.  Would you mind horribly sharing that with us?

No real formula used at all.  It was simply a case of eyeballing what we had for Characteristics and other add-ons and comparing them to the 8 published species in the Beta rulebook.  There were some folks that got their knickers in a twist over the fact that, from their perspective, several of the species "didn't add up mathematically."  But at the end of the day, it was a lot of estimation on our part in terms of what looked balanced, suited the species as they've generally been seen in Star Wars lore, and what the prior RPGs had for those species.


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#31 random.brown

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 03:57 PM

Shouldn't Jawas start with Presence 1, not 2?



#32 solonar

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 09:08 AM

I've looked through these a lot, and over those times I've seen a few things that strike me wrong, and I'd like to bring those up for discussion.  Obviously these are all just suggestions :D.

1.  Why do the Chiss have 11+ for their wounds?  I wouldn't say that they were any more or less sturdy than a typical human.  I could see setting their Strain at 11, but I'm not sold on the Wounds at that.  Perhaps they could have some other minor bonus instead?  Or, they could have both at 10, but they could get a rank in BOTH of the skills, not just one or the other.

 

2.  Why do Cathar have an Intellect of 1?  They aren't geniuses, but I'm not sure that they deserve to have 1 Intellect, considering that's reserved for more primitive species, like Gammoreans and the like.  Was it simply because there was no other stat that made a lot of sense, since the other ones wouldn't make sense at 1 either?  Perhaps they should have all their stats at 2 still, then?

 

3.  Dashade are pretty sizeable. While I'm not saying they are slow, should they truly have 3 in Agility and 2 in Brawn?  I feel it should be the other way around.

 

5.  Aqualish are all about strength, and most people look down on them or push them out for being thuggish.  Should they have Human-like 2s across the board?  They are different enough where I could see them possibly having a 3 in Willpower or Brawn and a 1 in Presence.

 

6.  Should Gran have an Intellect of 1?  I don't really see them on Gammorean-level unintellect or primitiveness either, and I can't find anything that indicates that either.  Perhaps Willpower could go to 1, since they seem to be somewhat emotional, and they can't handle being alone for very long?

 

I also agree with the previous statements that the Noghri should be Sillhouette 1, and that the Defel should get their goggles for free.

 

Again, these are all suggestions to be considered, if that.  I hope some of these might help!

 

These are some good points, and I'd like to add in my two-cent's worth, if I may.

 

First off, I'd like to congratulate you guys on the great effort that has been put into this work so far.  I realize it is still a work in progress, and I look forward to seeing more from you.  Keep up the good work.

 

1.  I have also noticed some inconsistencies in the allocation of wounds and strain without any apparent formula.  In discussing this with my own group, we were also not able to come up with a mathematical formula for race building that fit all of the races.  Our answer was to just take each of these races on a case-by-case basis and come up with what we thought was fair.

 

2.  The low INT score for the Cathar should not be seen as them being brutish or stupid, but rather as having a lack of higher education or technical training.  INT only covers lore skills, computers, mechanics, and medicine.  The Cathar, according to the wiki, were almost wiped out by the Mandalorians, but were allowed to flourish under the boot of the Empire.  The low INT value is reflective of a race that has broken with its past and has not know much more than slavery for generations.  I am playing a Cathar character, and that's how I try and look at it.  I call it the Jayne Cobb effect (not great with technical skills).

 

3.  I completely agree.  The Dashade are very large and brutish reptilians, and as such should be given a Brawn of 3 rather than an Agility of 3.  I do notice, however, that the d20 listing for dashade (pg. 67 of the Alien Anthology) gives them a bonus to Dex rather than Str.  Perhaps my opinion to increase their Brawn comes from just having played SWTOR and assuming that they should be brutes.

 

5.  The Aqualish race stood out to myself and the other members of my gaming group right away - there was something not quite right about a race with 2s in all abilities having a 12+Brawn wound threshold, and that sparked a lot of discussion on the matter.  If the Aqualish are to have such a high wound threshold, it should also be given a higher Brawn to reflect this.  Otherwise, the race as written stands out with a glaring inconsistency.  As I mention below, this is a problem that will come up often when you try and transfer stats from a different system - they sometimes don't make as much sense with a verbatim copy.

 

6.  See 2 above (Cathar).

 

Again, I like the contents of this fan-produced product and I appreciate the effort that has gone into it.  It appears that the authors based the builds of these races almost verbatim from the d20 sourcebooks.  While the older books do provide a great source for material, I personally don't think that the d20 system does justice to the new system (not a fan of d20, if you couldn't tell), and when you try to copy stats over to a new system, it sometimes doesn't add up correctly.  It looks like what the authors did, was to transpose the stats almost directly over to their new game counterparts, and that they took Con and transfered it to wound threshold.  In most cases, this does not become much of an issue, other than the few hiccups that have previously been discussed.


Edited by solonar, 10 August 2013 - 09:19 AM.


#33 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 10:55 AM

Again, I like the contents of this fan-produced product and I appreciate the effort that has gone into it.  It appears that the authors based the builds of these races almost verbatim from the d20 sourcebooks.  While the older books do provide a great source for material, I personally don't think that the d20 system does justice to the new system (not a fan of d20, if you couldn't tell), and when you try to copy stats over to a new system, it sometimes doesn't add up correctly.  It looks like what the authors did, was to transpose the stats almost directly over to their new game counterparts, and that they took Con and transfered it to wound threshold.  In most cases, this does not become much of an issue, other than the few hiccups that have previously been discussed.

Well, for quite a few cases, the only stats we had available to work from were the d20 stats, and as Ben and I are both d20 fans (particularly when it comes to Saga Edition), if we think it works, we'll go with that as our starting point.  You're right in that there is no mathematical formula used to determine Wound and Strain Thresholds; most times it simply came down to making the best guess we could.

 

For the Aqualish and any other species that has a base of 2 in all their Characteristics, the problem simply came down to "what Characteristic do I penalize to warrant giving them a 3 in something?"  Take for instance the Chiss.  In d20 (the only system to give the species a write-up), they had a +2 to Intelligence, but no corresponding penalty to a different ability score.  So rather than go with Intellect 3 and then try to force a 1 someplace else, I pretty much shrugged my shoulders and assigned them 2's across the board.  Same too with Aqualish, as nothing in their entry on Wookieepedia really shouted what should be dropped to a 1 in exchange for giving them a Brawn of 3, particularly since there's three separate breeds of Aqualish, not all of which are violent thugs.  So my compromise there was to give them a higher starting Wound Threshold to reflect their toughness.

 

With the Age of Rebellion Beta on the horizon and with it some new species (Duros, Gran, Ithorians, Mon Cal, and Sullustans), we'll have a broader sample of official FFG species to draw from.  So who knows, if FFG takes some major departures from the classic notions of what those species have been, maybe we'll do the same for the USM.


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#34 DavetheLost

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 11:06 AM

I was just thinking that it will be an interesting exercise to compare the fan-generated versions of the new species with the FFG ones from the Beta. It certainly should help us refine species characteristics and how they derive from available source material.

I think it will also increase the value of feedback on the new species in the Beta, as we will have something to compare them to.

#35 BrashFink

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 06:35 PM

Never properly gave thanks... this was a godsend during Beta since my campaign was converted from WEG d6 and my campaign has a Chiss and a Duros.



#36 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:44 PM

I was just thinking that it will be an interesting exercise to compare the fan-generated versions of the new species with the FFG ones from the Beta. It certainly should help us refine species characteristics and how they derive from available source material.

I think it will also increase the value of feedback on the new species in the Beta, as we will have something to compare them to.

According to Fiddleback, it's not much of a spoiler to say that Ben and I were "close" on our write-ups, though it looks like FFG is going to give Ithorians the "four throats bellow attack" that they had in Saga Edition, something we deliberately avoided.

 

BrashFink,

Glad we could be of help.


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#37 TCBC Freak

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:35 PM

I noticed a few aliens missing from your work that are in the New Essential Guide to Alien Species, some of which could have a good place in the game. Perhaps you don't have the book? I have done work ups for some; the Balosar, the Chagrian, the Dressellian, the Kel Dor, and the Umbaran. I've also done some work tweeking some of the others but its for my tastes, you shouldn't change your own work becuse I think its not 100% "right," I'm glad you're sticking to your guns on not changing your work just cause others want you to. I'd be happy to share those you didn't have with you if you want.


Edited by TCBC Freak, 25 August 2013 - 03:35 PM.

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#38 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 04:04 PM

As I stated in the past, we're not going to try and cover every single species that's out there.  And in fact, this may well be the last update for the USM, so whatever we don't cover, others should feel free to do so, either in this thread or a separate thread.


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#39 Endrik Tenebris

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 05:47 PM

Endrik,

A lot of the choices that Cyril and I made were informed by prior RPG versions of those species, particularly the d20 write-ups.  if a species had a -2 in an ability score that mapped over to an EotE Characteristic, then the Characteristic got set to 1.  We have our reasons for our choices, and we're sticking to them.  Sorry, but your personal view on what a species should or should not be doesn't cut it in terms of making changes.  The Noghri size change I made because the current Wookieepedia information pegs them at being sufficiently taller than their size denomination of Small in prior RPGs indicated.

Well when you put it that way, you make it sound like I did no real research on it :I.

All of my suggestions weren't just based on my moods and whims.  I looked at the respective wookieepedia pages and characters that appeared in most media.  But, I mean, obviously they're just suggestions.  I didn't mean to come off as offensive or anything.  No, I didn't look at the saga stats or anything, but I don't think we NEED to use Saga edition as guard rails here.  I think it would be better if we distanced ourselves from that and instead started off fresh just by using what we have here ourselves.

But I guess that's just my opinion on it.

Regardless, this is a great tool that I intend on tapping in to.


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#40 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:40 PM

Sorry Endrik, but there's been cases in the past with people saying we screwed up on Species X and done this or that based on their own views and feeling that we just simply threw numbers together with zero consideration.  So it's a bit of a sore subject, to the point that at least one of the authors wants absolutely nothing to do with these forums.


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