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Can someone please explain the appeal of aptitudes to me


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#41 Tom Cruise

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 09:07 AM

Why should people who want to go outside of the boring, done to death character tropes of 40k be penalised? Creativity should be rewarded, not restricted.



#42 DJSunhammer

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:48 PM

Well, just for flavor if nothing else, I'll go ahead and post since I see merit in those horrible class/career systems.   ;)

 

My group noticed a few 'disconnects' in the new char-gen system, for example the Tech-Priest having the Social Aptitude due to his Role, that otherwise seemed a good fit.  Obviously, some groups might have reacted with, "Wow, how creative", whereas mine reacted with, "Huh?  That's kind of off."  It's possible for a Tech-Priest to be a charismatic preacher or a nimble dancer...I guess.  But my group prefers them sturdy, mechanical & cogitating.

 

I know, I know...Adepts could be silent blade/blood-worshipping killing machines....but my group prefers those to be assassins.  I know boring!  <yawn>  Geez, what are you going to do with us?   :P

 

Imperial Guard could be great at languages and terrible at fighting....but, really?  I think the class/career system has its merits.

 

I like a system with 'paths', if that term is more palatable, but allows some differentiation - I think that's what the Aptitudes system attempts to do.  Not saying it's perfect, but I think it's reasonable (as long as you don't mind some of your Tech-Priests being oddly sociable).

I don't see a more sociable (or human) tech priest as a problem. It may be uncommon, but it is supported by the lore.


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#43 LuciusT

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:42 PM

Well, just for flavor if nothing else, I'll go ahead and post since I see merit in those horrible class/career systems.   ;)

 

My group noticed a few 'disconnects' in the new char-gen system, for example the Tech-Priest having the Social Aptitude due to his Role, that otherwise seemed a good fit.  Obviously, some groups might have reacted with, "Wow, how creative", whereas mine reacted with, "Huh?  That's kind of off."  It's possible for a Tech-Priest to be a charismatic preacher or a nimble dancer...I guess.  But my group prefers them sturdy, mechanical & cogitating.

 

I know, I know...Adepts could be silent blade/blood-worshipping killing machines....but my group prefers those to be assassins.  I know boring!  <yawn>  Geez, what are you going to do with us?   :P

 

Imperial Guard could be great at languages and terrible at fighting....but, really?  I think the class/career system has its merits.

 

I like a system with 'paths', if that term is more palatable, but allows some differentiation - I think that's what the Aptitudes system attempts to do.  Not saying it's perfect, but I think it's reasonable (as long as you don't mind some of your Tech-Priests being oddly sociable).

 

Nothing whatsoever in the career-less system prevents you from making standard-type characters. However, the class/career system does prevent me from making non-standard characters. That is why I don't like class/career systems.


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#44 seanpp

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:45 PM

 

Nothing whatsoever in the career-less system prevents you from making standard-type characters. However, the class/career system does prevent me from making non-standard characters. That is why I don't like class/career systems.

 

It depends on what you mean by "prevent", but if you go so far as saying "nothing whatsoever" then it's actually not true.

 

Is it possible for a player to ignore any given Aptitudes he has that doesn't fit his character?  Of course, but given that Aptitudes determine that PC's costs for characteristics, skills and talents - there's a sharp cost for ignoring any Aptitudes the system gives him.  This issue came up when the Mechanicus player, who wasn't attracted to the far less common Mechanicus salesman-type and who found that social skills were significantly cheaper for him than other skills that fit his PC much better.  This is despite the fact that his chosen Role of Seeker (the idea being a relentless puzzle-solver) seemed otherwise to be one of the better for Mechanicus.

 

This isn't actually a "complaint".  I support chargen systems that allow for some out-of-the-box thinking.  I prefer that chargen permits the Adept to acquire the Quick Draw talent, for example (but it doesn't make sense to me that it would cost him the same as his own self-chosen profession of knowledge).  But the notion that Beta2's more open chargen system holds no negative ramifications "whatsoever" for players who wish to play the hated archetype isn't true.  It's a tradeoff & it's fine - but more open systems have their ramifications.


Edited by seanpp, 03 January 2014 - 10:53 PM.


#45 Tom Cruise

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:59 AM

The issue with buying things outside of your aptitudes is it means you're spending more for less. Which means that, over time, the power level of each PC can end up wildly different, leading to PCs who've spent intelligently completely outshining those who tried to break outside of their aptitudes. This is frankly just horrible game design, it shouldn't be possible for such a wide power gulf to exist between equal XP characters.



#46 Cail

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 01:27 AM

While I'll admit I've not thought this through, would there be any merit in characters being able to gain more aptitudes as they increase in rank?


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#47 Tenebrae

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 04:36 AM

The issue with buying things outside of your aptitudes is it means you're spending more for less. Which means that, over time, the power level of each PC can end up wildly different, leading to PCs who've spent intelligently completely outshining those who tried to break outside of their aptitudes. This is frankly just horrible game design, it shouldn't be possible for such a wide power gulf to exist between equal XP characters.

Whereas I've had excellent experiences with playing in wildly unbalanced groups. Cookiecutter identical characters have generally been far more boring, and these generally come about in 2 ways:

 

1) Strongly Definded Character Classes. Not as popular as they used to be, but I remember days when the difference between Fighters were mainly what weapon they specialised in. There were about 3 optimal choices IIRC depending on priorities.

2) Best Choices. If your campaign features an excess of some specific type of story element, choices to cater to that story element will be better than other choices. Alternatively, some choices are just cheaper than others for the benefit they provide. I've sat at games where the Cleric should've had about twice as many XPs as the Guardsmen to be "balanced", because of the focus on ranged combat. This really is an issue with the group, but can be encouraged by using completely flat prices. Have you ever played Shadowrun? 3rd edition or earlier? If so, have you ever seen anyone use a light pistol when a heavy pistol wa available?

 

Sadly, the 2 models can be combined. It might just be me, but IME the first 2 ranks of Old DH provided strict classes containing best choices, meaning that variety within the first 2 ranks (of a given career) was largly non-existant. I do hope your experiences differ.

 

While I generally prefer fully flat prices, I do see aptitudes as an excellent compromise.



#48 Tenebrae

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 04:39 AM

While I'll admit I've not thought this through, would there be any merit in characters being able to gain more aptitudes as they increase in rank?

Not sure.

I think it will only lead to people planning out their purchases, delaying certain purchases until they are cheaper.

I've seen that happen in OW certainly, where advanced specialisations allow you some freedom to swap aptitudes.

 

Also, I thought we were eliminating the whole idea of Ranks. Did I miss something?


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#49 Fgdsfg

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 04:45 AM

While I'll admit I've not thought this through, would there be any merit in characters being able to gain more aptitudes as they increase in rank?

I think this idea has occurred to all of us, but if you consider it, it's a terrible one.

It would mean that people would hold off advances that are appropriate for them and their characters until they get "that next Aptitude", and largely invalidate what the Aptitude system is trying to do.

The way that they hand out Aptitudes in DH2 through general Elite Advancement Packages is incredibly flawed. I wouldn't mind packages having trade-offs (in fact, that's how I intend to do it myself for my "Specialist Packages"), but just handing out extra Aptitudes is incredibly dodgy, and will rapidly lead to Aptitude-bloat and "strategic waiting".

While this is inherently harmful to the player's own experience (more likely than not), we've been shown time and time again that human psychology is a bit more complicated than that. A lot of people (me included; I am no übermensch in this regard) is liable to hold off doing the fun thing in order to do the optimal thing in a lot of cases (even if that case is just about realizing a very specific non-optimized character concept), even at detriment.

I can think of countless examples in gaming, especially modern computer and console gaming, where this is true.

Additional Aptitudes should only ever be handed out through GM fiat; never, ever otherwise, and never without trade-off within the basic system.

That should be a Design Characteristic that FFG should write up somewhere.

Edit:

While I'll admit I've not thought this through, would there be any merit in characters being able to gain more aptitudes as they increase in rank?

Not sure.
I think it will only lead to people planning out their purchases, delaying certain purchases until they are cheaper.
I've seen that happen in OW certainly, where advanced specialisations allow you some freedom to swap aptitudes.

Also, I thought we were eliminating the whole idea of Ranks. Did I miss something?

Dammit Tenebrae, you snagged it while I was writing.

And yeah, there's no "Ranks". But you could have XP-brackets like in Only War (after Hammer of the Emperor), where you get bonuses or features depending on how much experience you've spent so far.

Personally, I think that's terrible design, I'm just saying that you *could*.

The only reason I'd want to track Spent Experience is to determine how many Specialist Packages a character can have, or what they qualify for. For example, to pick the "Arbites Judge" Specialist Package, you need 20 000xp spent, and you can only pick a Specialist Package for every 2 500xp spent.

Stuff like that.

But no, no formal Ranks. It was and is a bad idea in my mind; as is handing out flat increases that only serve to bloat Characteristics, Skills, Talents or Aptitudes. Aptitudes are also extremely sensitive in this way, because there are so few of them (comparatively speaking).

Edited by Fgdsfg, 04 January 2014 - 04:51 AM.

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#50 Cail

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:39 AM

I'm actually in agreement, I don't like the idea of 'levels' or 'ranks'. It was just a thought as to a possible fix.


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#51 Alox

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:59 AM

All I see is a system designed to encourage cookie cutter characters and actively discourage unique, interesting concepts.

 

I've never seen a need for aptitudes. I see nothing that makes them better than flat costed advances, honestly.

 

If you get lore skills cheaper than the rest of the players, then lore skills becomes your thing. If everyone gets it for the same price then the assassin can suddenly turn into a super scholar next week. Background choices looses their meaning.

 

What I think you might be worried about is not enough freedom to choose your aptitude as you like? Any experienced GM with enough lore knowledge should be able to tweak aptitudes on character creation, so their players can get the background they want without breaking the lore. For a new GM it is nice with some rules that tries to guide them along. And as mentioned, hopefully with more background material released the variety of choices will increase.


Edited by Alox, 04 January 2014 - 08:05 AM.


#52 Tom Cruise

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 08:34 AM

One of my fundamental issues with the aptitude system is how it can create huge power gaps between PCs at the same XP level, so no, I want the aptitude system nuked entirely, not opened up a little more.


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#53 Tenebrae

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:21 AM

One of my fundamental issues with the aptitude system is how it can create huge power gaps between PCs at the same XP level, so no, I want the aptitude system nuked entirely, not opened up a little more.

Not in my experience, unless your game is very focussed.



#54 LuciusT

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:23 AM

One of my fundamental issues with the aptitude system is how it can create huge power gaps between PCs at the same XP level, so no, I want the aptitude system nuked entirely, not opened up a little more.

 

As soon as you move away from the old D&D style cookie-cutter characters going on cookie-cutter adventures, you will have so-called "power gaps" between PCs of the same XP level. It is, however, very dependent on how you define "power."


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#55 Tom Cruise

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:23 AM

A character who spends all his XP on things within his aptitudes is going to be far more versatile and competent than someone who buys a decent amount of advances that his aptitudes don't suit. This is pretty much an objective fact of how the system works, if we assume all advances that are of similar costs are of similar worth.

 

And I think that's horrible design. There shouldn't be wrong choices for players to make in character advancement.


Edited by Tom Cruise, 04 January 2014 - 09:24 AM.

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#56 Cail

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:37 AM

I have to agree with this to an extent. Its crazy expensive for me to up my deceive for my current character, but I'd like him to be more than just a gun bunny.


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#57 Alox

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:57 AM

A character who spends all his XP on things within his aptitudes is going to be far more versatile and competent than someone who buys a decent amount of advances that his aptitudes don't suit. This is pretty much an objective fact of how the system works, if we assume all advances that are of similar costs are of similar worth.

 

And I think that's horrible design. There shouldn't be wrong choices for players to make in character advancement.

 

I am not sure why a player would consistently buy skills and talents that the player doesnt have the aptitudes for. To me it sounds like that the player has chosen a background for his character that is the antithesis of his actual interests.

 

Sure the system can have design flaws, but the point is that the characters back ground matters. If the character does undergo a "born again" experience in the game I would think that the GM should consider adding / changing aptitudes for that character.

 

Any way I think you can just do a game where everyone has all the aptitudes and then just scale XP gains accordingly. If your players are mature they will not all make the same character.

 

For new GMs and new players I think it is good to have a more structured system.



#58 Tom Cruise

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 10:00 AM

I really don't agree with the idea that new players will be utterly dumbfounded by the idea of getting to choose whatever options they want for their character. Countless RPGs on the market are structured like that, ones that are far more new player friendly than this system.

 

If characters ending up samey is an issue, maybe you shouldn't be creating and advancing characters in isolation. It is a group hobby after all, wouldn't taking advances that complement each other make sense?



#59 Tenebrae

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 10:22 AM

A character who spends all his XP on things within his aptitudes is going to be far more versatile and competent than someone who buys a decent amount of advances that his aptitudes don't suit. This is pretty much an objective fact of how the system works, if we assume all advances that are of similar costs are of similar worth.

 

And I think that's horrible design. There shouldn't be wrong choices for players to make in character advancement.

I have to disagree with both of these statements


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#60 Tom Cruise

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 10:26 AM

Why?






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