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Chargen: Point buy?


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#1 ClockworkHorror

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:37 AM

I like the system for the most part. I mean, you can really customize your character right from the get go. I find, though, that the idea of rolling for stats creates a massive party imbalance, as baseline stats can vary so greatly. That, and situational modifiers are, at best, ambiguous.

Does anyone have a reliable point buy system for stats? And if so, how did you get it to work. My problem is I second guess myself as a GM during character creation and don't want to over or underpower my players right from the get go.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.:)



#2 Luddite

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:16 AM

ClockworkHorror said:

the idea of rolling for stats creates a massive party imbalance, as baseline stats can vary so greatly.

Does anyone have a reliable point buy system for stats?

 

Do you mean just during character creation?

If so the answer is simple.  Average characteristic is 31.  10 Characteristics.  Simply give your players 310 'points' to spend on their starting characteristics and allow them to 'buy' thier own stats on a 1pt = 1% basis.

For all characteristics, minimum / maximum values are as follows.

Feral worlder

WS   22 / 40

BS    22 / 40

S       27 / 45

T       27 / 45

A      22 / 40

I       22 / 40

P    22 / 40

WP 17 / 35

F      17 / 35

Hive worlder

WS   22 / 40

BS    22 / 40

S       22 / 40

T       17 / 35

A      22 / 40

I       22 / 40

P    22 / 40

WP 22 / 40

F      27 / 45

Imperial worlder

WS   22 / 40

BS    22 / 40

S       22 / 40

T       22 / 40

A      22 / 40

I       22 / 40

P    22 / 40

WP 22 / 40

F      22 / 40

Void born

WS   22 / 40

BS    22 / 40

S       17 / 35

T       22 / 40

A      22 / 40

I       22 / 40

P    22 / 40

WP 27 / 45

F      22 / 40

 

 



#3 Charax

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:40 AM

Yes, it's that simple - assuming, of course, that you want to completely ignore all the other random elements in character creation like Wounds, Fate points, starting wealth and divinations (and mutations/insanity/corruption points therein).

A couple of people (myself included) have attempted to make comprehensive point-buy systems for Dark Heresy. I don't think any have come very close to working very well, but if it's only main stats you wish to de-randomize, Luddite's system works well enough.



#4 Bazin

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:52 PM

I think part of the excitement of Dark Heresy for me as a player is the randomness of character generation, not knowing what career, my homeworld, divination, quirk, etc. really makes the char-gen interesting to me.  Though, like ClockworkHorror, I think I'd like to see the main stats lose that element of randomness.

I think the random nature of Divination doesn't create any of the party imbalances that potentially arise from a random stat generation.  I don't have the answer at the moment (but if I sit down and play for a while I probably can come up with something reasonable), but I think a point buy system could be developed that would create a Wound point and Fate point trade off that would probably work fairly nicely.

The issue I see with Luddite's system is that perhaps the number of points granted to a player to allocate to Statistics should be lowered (and using the base numbers in the tables for each homeworld), since it makes some sense that a given type of homeworld would have some strengths and weaknesses.



#5 Luddite

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:23 PM

Bazin said:

The issue I see with Luddite's system is that perhaps the number of points granted to a player to allocate to Statistics should be lowered (and using the base numbers in the tables for each homeworld), since it makes some sense that a given type of homeworld would have some strengths and weaknesses.

Its not really 'my system' Bazin.    Just an off the cuff response to show how easy it is to make a points-buy.  Take 31 as average, x10 stats = 310.  Min/max values per stat accoring to the min/max random rolls available.  Simple.

Personally i rather like the randomness in character generation too, although i favour (in any game), some part of chargen that does involve player decision-making since you have, after all, to make a character you're going to enjoy playing.  As a GM, i also like players to have some input into things since i tend to give my players a brief as to where their characters should be at the start of play.

I don't favour the following, e.g.

WHFRP - Right roll up whatever character you want.  Done?  Good, you're all in an inn...

The approach i would take is:

WHFRP - OK, Roll up characters.  You have the following parameters -

1.  you've all known each other for at least a few months - tell me why

2.  you're all working for a merchant company running a cargo wagon between Marienburg and Middenhiem.  Tell me how your character ended up working that job.

That way the players have something to focus their PC creation around and in doing so i'd allow them the freedom, for example, to pick a career suited to those parameters.

 

When it comes to DH, its slightly different of course, since the PCs are forced into working for the Inquisition (unless you as GM choose otherwise).  This actually is more akin to 'you meet in a tavern and go adventuring' than something more free flowing... ...but at least the PCs have a notional purpose, if not closely bonded reasons for sticking together...

 



#6 Meta

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:34 PM

Well in my group we where alowed to chose what career we wanted butwehad to roll for therest. So well I ended up with the worst stats in the group, they are quite low compared to the others and it limits, my progress and choises I can make when I develop my character. As I frist ahve to buy up my balistic skill to take some specific weaposns talents and alltogheter hit targets. I rolled betwin 3 and 16 on all my rolls anda total of 7 below avrage. This would not be so bad if the rest of the group had not rolled very high stats all rolling min one stat with max. Now I am stil unhappy with my stats but I dont want to start a new character, because of the time I invested in making her a person

I am a hive tech priest

WP 28, BA 28, ST 27, TO 31, AG 36, INT 33, PER 31, WI 30, FEL 28

instead of rerolling a stat I swopped felowship and toughnes roll

Well if I personally been GM I would allow people to move stats around a bit or even giving them a few poitns to share out in addition to what they rolled or letting them roll again.

 

Maybe a way to do it is find out what the avrage total stat in the group is. Then allow those below the groups avrage to add amount of stats below avrage to the stats of their choice.



#7 Meta

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:41 PM

hmm I guess my point it is realy anoind to play a character where your limited by the stats. I would have liked to have a higher balistic skill so I can actually hit something and buy dead eye shot.

 

I do not know how to calculate fate points and wounds into it. Maybe double wounds for calculation and leave fait points out of it ?



#8 Snidesworth

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 11:27 PM

A comprehensive point-buy system would be nice, though part of me does love rolling randomly for stats and building a character from the results. The trouble with the latter is that you can end up with someone so inept you question why the Inquisition even recruited them or, on the flip side, someone with such high and well rounded attributes he makes the rest of the cell slightly obsolete. One disadvantage of point buy would be that I could see some people sitting on multiples of 5 or just at the boundary where a bonus of 2 becomes and 3 and so on.

I let my own players roll 2d10 twice, pick the best 9 results and assign them as they like. I granted one player a full reroll because his stats were all hovering around 30: competent but a bit boring. The reroll yielded some great highs and lows which I feel has helped the player produce a far more interesting character than he otherwise would have.

 

Another idea could be to generate 9 rolls of a suitable spread and give them to each player to assign as they wish. Something like

39, 37, 35, 34, 32, 30, 27, 25, 23

would give each character both strengths and weaknesses while also ensuring nobody is simply better off than everyone else.

 

For wounds you can just say that everyone rolled a 3 on the d5. I'm in favour of leaving fate points to chance, but you could also give everyone the middle result from the table if you want to be fair.



#9 Necrozius

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 01:43 AM

Snidesworth said:

Another idea could be to generate 9 rolls of a suitable spread and give them to each player to assign as they wish. Something like

39, 37, 35, 34, 32, 30, 27, 25, 23

would give each character both strengths and weaknesses while also ensuring nobody is simply better off than everyone else.

I'm quite in favor of something like this.

We used this sort of method for D&D, and it eliminated any complaints- except from those who always tend to roll exceptionally well for chararcter generation...



#10 Bazin

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 03:38 AM

Luddite said:

 

 

Its not really 'my system' Bazin.    Just an off the cuff response to show how easy it is to make a points-buy.  Take 31 as average, x10 stats = 310.  Min/max values per stat accoring to the min/max random rolls available.  Simple.

I just meant it as 'your suggestion' rather than what you use.  I think it's actually a good starting point for developing something that would be workable for the purposes that I've assumed ClockworkHorror is looking for.

The other suggestion of a GM designated spread is also alright, since it does give a level of consistency to each character, though I think I'd prefer a point buy system for Dark Heresy.



#11 Kage2020

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 06:19 AM

Charax said:

Yes, it's that simple - assuming, of course, that you want to completely ignore all the other random elements in character creation like Wounds, Fate points, starting wealth and divinations (and mutations/insanity/corruption points therein).

A couple of people (myself included) have attempted to make comprehensive point-buy systems for Dark Heresy. I don't think any have come very close to working very well, but if it's only main stats you wish to de-randomize, Luddite's system works well enough.

To be fair, though, it isn't that hard to introduce Fate Points, Wounds, etc., into the system.  Just assign them an arbitrary cost based upon their relative "value" in game, and then they can be purchased in character generation. Just look at how other points buy systems work, such as GURPS, HERO, Mutants and Masterminds 2e, Shadowrun, etc.

Kage



#12 aethel

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 07:44 AM

I am a bit of a balance nut (its own debate).

Here is the de-randomization system I use:  http://aethel.net/da.../creation.shtml

 



#13 Snidesworth

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 11:18 AM

I'd personally argue for a few sub-10s in that stat array, otherwise you end up with everyone having average to great abilities rather than both strengths and weaknesses. Other than that it looks solid.



#14 aethel

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 05:25 PM

Snidesworth said:

I'd personally argue for a few sub-10s in that stat array, otherwise you end up with everyone having average to great abilities rather than both strengths and weaknesses. Other than that it looks solid.

That's just how I roll. ^_^   I like my PC's to be exceptional. (Plus, once homeworld templates are applied, some stats will probably end up being lower than average)  But obviously the numbers in this method can be tweaked to suit each GM's personal philosophies.



#15 Emperorswrath

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 05:51 PM

In response to the original question it is a matter of preference pure and simple.  When we want to find the "best" system by which to de-randomize character creation we have to take into account playing style and preferance.  For example my group is on both sides of this debate one of them allways wants to have a fair yet powerful point buy whereas another wants the totally random experience even if he plays the gaurdsman with a BS of 22.  I would recomend taking everything you have available here and put it to your group asking "What do you like the best?".  I personally favour total randomization.  However I would strongly recomend to keep non-main stats random even if you do choose to use point buy as standard fate points? what fate.



#16 Hellebore

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 07:40 PM

For points buy I would also allow the 400 starting XP to be used to modify things as well just for a bit of difference.

For instance you have 310 pts to build a character and may spend 100 XP to buy an additional 10. the reason this is cheap is because the 400 XP can be used to buy stat upgrades anyway so it needs to be better than the standard (and also not cut into the maximum stat advances you can take).

 

Also maybe additional FPs (although they would probably cost 200 XP each).

 

I think that 400 starting XP is a good source of modifications because it has a tangible cost of not allowing other skills  or talents to be taken at creation. You give up training for raw talent for example.

 

EDIT: Something I've been toying with is a 3x3 system where you have 3 Exceptional stats, 3 Average stats, and 3 sub par stats. You choose them before making the character and they affect how you put them together. For instance you roll 3 dice and pick the two best for your exceptional stats, 2 dice for average, and 3 pick the two worst for your sub par stats. Or you add 5 to exceptional, nothing to average and subtract 5 from sub par. this would be to the maximum of the dice value (so rolling 2d10 and getting 20 wouldn't give 25, it would give 20).

 

Hellebore






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