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All rows are free rows in the origin path - How bad can it be ?


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#1 Bilateralrope

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 03:25 PM

If I allow players to treat every row in the origin path as a free row, what are the mechanically worst (over- and underpowered) combinations that it will open up ?

Characters will still only have 500xp to spend on origin path options.



#2 Hantheman

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 03:46 PM

It allows more min/maxing, but that may not be that bad a thing. Personally the rules even state that a GM can rule any line in the Origin Path free. I believe the path is meant to help new players make a new character that's all.

That being said, it is possible to make decent characters (rp and stats wise) with the origin path, but its also possible to make really weird role play backgrounds with the origin path. 



#3 Macharias the Mendicant

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 07:55 PM

I think much ado is made about the fear of abuse but I would tend to say: if it makes sense, and makes for a good story, go for it!

We did, and we're having a blast!



#4 Bilateralrope

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 08:41 PM

Macharias the Mendicant said:

I think much ado is made about the fear of abuse

 

Which is why I am planning to do this unless someone can tell me why it's a bad idea.

 

Removing the restrictions also lets me use any homeworld from Dark Heresy very easily. The only difficulty left is that some of them (like mind cleansed) are going to be very hard for a player to justify.



#5 Decessor

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 11:38 PM

I've played in a RT campaign with free rows. Yes, it does allow for more min-maxing but it also means that several characterful options are now possible. e.g. Noble-born -> Hand of War -> Rogue Trader for a trader militant. Or going into arch-militant.

.



#6 Bilateralrope

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 11:40 AM

To be honest, the group I'm planning to do this with aren't familiar with Rogue Trader. So any min-maxing is likely to be accidental, especially if I get them to pick each option based on the flavour text. Meaning I'm more worried about them making a seriously underpowered character than an overpowered one.



#7 Decessor

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 01:18 PM

It's tricky to truly suck as a rogue trader character. If people have an idea of what they'd like to be good at, then appropriate sounding lifepath choices should lead them in the right direction.



#8 Hantheman

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 02:21 PM

Nothing done at Path of Origin can gimp a character really bad; unless you take insanity and corruption at every level (even then its prob ably not that bad... unless u roll really badly lol). 

Strict path of origin can give you combos which are challenging to make background for, like:

Deathworld>Scrapegrace>Renegade>Press-ganged>Endurance>Astropath

Forgeworld>Child of the Creed>Zealot>Dark Voyage>Reknown>Explorator

Deathworld>Scrapegrace>Renegade>Ship-Lorn>Pride>Navigator

Freeing up all choices allows you to open up more tropes:

Honorable Scum Captain - RT with scrapegrace>criminal>press ganged>fortune

Have gun will travel - RT with stubjack>renegade>calamity>vengeance

So many more haha

 



#9 Telosse

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 06:48 PM

A noble born, who joined a war, defeated lose all his wealth, and awaken a latent psyker power, then becoming an astropath...

I personally dont see any problem as long as the story (or fluff) fits the character. And players (and GM) are having some fun together.



#10 Voronesh

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 11:52 PM

Uhh thats a strange, really strange origin. Needs some good RPG to back it up.

Yes you can screw up a RT character. I have a player who likes to do just that.

Take weapon skill bonus instead of ballistic skill bonus, and then create a Void Master with reroll to shipbased ballistic skill tests.

But beyond crazy people like that, i dont know if you can really screw it up.



#11 Bilateralrope

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 11:43 AM

Telosse said:

A noble born, who joined a war, defeated lose all his wealth, and awaken a latent psyker power, then becoming an astropath...

I personally dont see any problem as long as the story (or fluff) fits the character. And players (and GM) are having some fun together.

 

So he was born a noble. They found out he was a psyker, meaning his family cut him off. After being soul bound as an astropath, he was sent to serve in a warzone or on a warship.

 

Or war came to the planet he lived on, destroying his wealth. Then his powers poped up.

 

Or he could have been sent off to war (Nobility serving as officers in war has a long history in real life, let alone 40k) before his powers revealed themselves, the resulting scandal ruined his family.

 

Producing a backstory doesn't seem hard for many of the options, especially for Astropaths with their built in free trip to Earth. The hardest I can see is the Forge World->Child of the Creed path, but only if you use the Imperial Creed. Reword the fluff to use the omnisian creed and it works.



#12 Moribund

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 12:52 PM

 Yes it's possible to make characters that have serious problems.  You can make astropaths or navigators with low starting Willpower or you can make any character with a really low Toughness or no Fate points.  I don't think all free rows in the Origin Path really exacerbates that issue.  After all, Hiveworld, Savant, Zealot (FotF) is a valid path and nets -13 Toughness.

As long as you steer your players away from truly sub-optimal choices you'll probably be okay.



#13 van Riebeeck

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:54 PM

Is there such a thing as a sub-optimal course if you wish to focus on RP? Sure, you need have have a 'realistic' background story for the position you wish to play aboard the ship, and many of the functions are presuming the character is allready  capable and has proven itself many times in its role.

But if the players and GM wish to track the adventures of an anti-hero, a craven scion who inherited the RT title more by accident then design and who would have preferred staying on his estate enjoying the pleasures of the wealth his name brings, on whom jealous intrigues by an old foe have fostered a bad navigator that has the tendency to underestimate each warp jump? It will not be a normal RT campaign, but if the players and GM would enjoy this, why not? As long as the background story is solid, I do not see why it should be disallowed.

                                                          Friedrich van Riebeeck, Navigator Primus, Heart of the Void



#14 Decessor

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 01:22 AM

It depends on the group. If the majority of the group go for hyper-specialists who complement each other with military efficiency, a craven wastrel is going to be very out of place. Or vice versa for that matter. The constrast might lead to fantastic roleplaying - or it might reduce people's fun.



#15 Hantheman

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 04:42 AM

 Its hard to break a character mechanically at character creation. As the game progress however you can make very silly poor characters - but thats your roleplaying decisions. Min/maxing is highly in the spirit of this game, to quote Gordon Gekko "Greed, for the lack of a better word, is Good" - this is a game about business, going into business with a emo, touchy feely carebear is gonna get you burnt unless said carebear has good business or people skills or you are looking to exploit the emo, touchy feely carebear market 



#16 Bladehate

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:39 PM

I used this approach when my group switched from DH to RT.  They essentially kept their characters but re-rolled to their RT rank (7k xp).  As a patch on the wound of losing some 5k XP, I allowed them free access to any choice they wanted, since the DH campaign had been going for quite some time my opinion was that any RP reasons needed for the Origin Path choices could probalby be justified.

The only problem I ran into was actually when my players wanted to use the expanded options from Into the Storm.  Several of the options from ItS are very munchkinny, and seemed to be balanced with the restrictions of the Origin Path in mind.  Quite a few of the options grant talents or skills for a very minor investment, even when seen in the light of them replacing a "free" option from the baseline Origins.  In particular the options to boost an attribute by +6% and such-like were a bit over the top.

I also felt that my players were getting a bit too munchkin with it, so I ended up just disallowing the ItS expanded options unless they had a REALLY convincing reason.  In hindsight, I might have allowed them to purchase one of the ItS options to finish out their character creation, but allowing them free access was just begging for some crazy builds.  It was something that threatened to leave the players without easy access to ItS (or who just lacked munchkin tendencies) behind, a situation I wasn't comfortable with.



#17 Bilateralrope

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 02:46 PM

I've found one thing that I'll be watching for. These are the options that grant the player a fate point, along with what else they grant:

Birthright: Fringe Survivor, Survivalist: 300xp, +3 T/P, Survival, 1d5+1 IP
Lure of the void: Chosen by destiny, Fated for greatness: 1d10+1 IP
Trials: Lost Worlds, Lost Dynasty: 400xp, +1PF
Motivation: Fortune

Since they only get 500xp to spend on starting options, they won't be able to get Survivalist and Lost Dynasty, but that's still 3 extra fate points.

 

However I can see several paths that comply with the origin path restrictions that still give access to 2 of those options. So a void born* with 6 fate points is completely legit even with the restrictions.

In fact, the only pair I can't get are Chosen by destiny to Fortune.

 

*Singled out because they have Charmed, not because they have a 50% chance to get 4 fate points from their roll.

 

I think I'll use the maximum fate rule suggested in Ascension (page 11). No player will ever be allowed to have more than 5 fate points.



#18 limxophobiac

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:35 PM

After getting frustrated trying to make a void born Navigator I think all rows as free rows makes for a lot more sensible characters than the forced combinations you get without it, Like now when I discover all void born navigators have to either be pick-pocketing thieves (Scapegrace) or violent mercenaries (Stubjack). Because that makes perfect sense....



#19 Maese Mateo

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 02:48 AM

I've always allowed all options in the origin path as free rows, as long as the story makes sense for the character. While it takes you some extra time to make the character, it gives the players a lot more options to play with.



#20 Decessor

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:37 AM

While my renegade house voidborn navigator did take scapegrace (he led an increasingly debauched lifestyle from then on) and it suited him, it really won't work for all character concepts. I'm in favour of free rows, with GM oversight and right of veto.






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