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Selection of Failings (Pride and Disgrace) and Motivation free from asssociated bonuses and penalties


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#1 HappyDaze

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 10:11 PM

Failings and Motivation are a great roleplaying tool. Mechanically, Failings also have the Incursion mechanic to add a bit of crunch to them. As written, they also have bonuses and penalties to Characteristics, Wounds, Corruption, Tests, or other mechanics. This has already had an undesireable effect on my group - namely that they select these things first on the mechanics and second on the fluff. I don't like that, so I'm proposing separating Failings and Motivation from the usual bonuses and penalties associated with them. Now selecting them is a roleplaying label that mechanically only matters for Incursions. And now for the replacement crunch:

Each character may select up to three of the following bonuses:

+5 to one Characteristic (excluding Infamy)

+3 to two Characteristics (excluding Infamy)

+3 to one Characteristic (excluding Infamy) and +1 Wound

+2 Wounds

+3 Infamy

+5 Corruption

An extra starting Acquisition (with a +20 modifier to value)

A +10 Situational Modifier to a specific type of Test (subject to GM's discretion)

 

For each bonus selected above, the character must select one of the following penalties:

-5 to one Characteristic (excluding Infamy)

-3 to two Characteristics (excluding Infamy)

-3 to one Characteristic (excluding Infamy) and -1 Wound

-2 Wounds

-3 Infamy

A -10 Situational Modifier to a specific type of Test (subject to GM's discretion)

 

Note that any given value can only be adjusted by a single selection (positive or negative). It is not allowable to stack three selections to get +6 Wounds or +15 Corruption, nor can more than one additional Acquisition be taken in this manner.

 

With this, we can get more variety in both the fluff (since it's not going to be tied to specific stats) as well as in crunch. What we do lose is the options to stack up really high and low modifiers by taking three choices that all hit the same areas (like +15 Perception, -8 Willpower, -8 Fellowship by taking Foresight, Dread, and Perfection), but I'm OK with taking that out.


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#2 Reverend mort

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 11:34 PM

I really like this idea. It's mechanically sound, at least to me, but more importantly I adore the idea for it. While I like the failings and motivations as a concept, they do force mechanical consideration into what should be about background and personality. (Wait, if I'm full of Hubris I have have to be dumb? But... my hubris is about how smart I am... what?)

So yeah, Thumbs Up, I approve. I don't even mind the loss of the minmaxing aspects, since that was never integral to making a very competent character.



#3 oberonzero

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 03:38 AM

I dig it. I'm definitely going to introduce this to my players. I am a 100% story guy and minmaxers have always pissed me off. This is a clever solution. Well done.



#4 HappyDaze

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:35 PM

oberonzero said:

I dig it. I'm definitely going to introduce this to my players. I am a 100% story guy and minmaxers have always pissed me off. This is a clever solution. Well done.

To be fair, someone that is inclined to min-max will still do it with this system (although only by a single selection since thee is no stacking) but at least they won't be straitjacketed in their roleplaying options in order to get the bonuses and penalties where they want them. Allowing characters with things like Logic and Hubris together without taking a hit to Intelligence is just one example of the increased possibilities.


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#5 TkNyarlathotep

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 08:55 AM

So, to be clear, there's no stacking at all? You can't combine two of these options? I know you said you can't stack 3, but some of the mods might be a little paltry depending on what the player wants.

I really like what you've got, it's a good list and it can make for custom failings and such as well. It might be fun to make some new things for the list.



#6 HappyDaze

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 01:52 PM

TkNyarlathotep said:

So, to be clear, there's no stacking at all? You can't combine two of these options? I know you said you can't stack 3, but some of the mods might be a little paltry depending on what the player wants.

I really like what you've got, it's a good list and it can make for custom failings and such as well. It might be fun to make some new things for the list.

I don't allow stacking - so no more/less than a +5/-5 to any given Characteristic, +2/-2 Wounds, etc - but GM's can feel free to allow it if they wish (or to allow more selections, or to bend it however it fits them). These modifiers are not meant to be huge and that's the point in my eyes. To further show your Failings and or Motivation, spend your xp in ways that demonstrate your Gluttony, Wrath, Devotion, or drive towards Ascendancy - I don't feel that the crunch of these things needs to be completely front-loaded.


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#7 Zarkov N

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 02:03 PM

I like it.  Reminds me of when I tried to figure out how to make custom background packages for DH by deconstructing the official ones.  It's a simple system you have here, and it seems to work.



#8 HappyDaze

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 02:03 PM

As an example of using this system, I created a CSM Chosen with the fluff of Fortitude, Wrath, and Vengeance. I then assigned the game modifiers (3 positive and 3 negative) as follows:

Fortitude: +5 Strength, +5 Toughness, +2 Wounds

Wrath: -5 Willpower, -5 Fellowship

Vengeance: -5 Perception

Now his physical prowess (Fortitude) is all beneficial while his bad temper (Wrath) and consuming drive (Vengeance) gives him nothing but grief. Were another character to select these same Failings and Motivation, they might have entirely different mechanical adjustments attached to them.


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#9 theshadowduke

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:58 AM

Reverend mort said:

I really like this idea. It's mechanically sound, at least to me, but more importantly I adore the idea for it. While I like the failings and motivations as a concept, they do force mechanical consideration into what should be about background and personality. (Wait, if I'm full of Hubris I have have to be dumb? But... my hubris is about how smart I am... what?)

 

Our group just rolled.  Which came out hilariously appropriate anyway.  My character has charm/hubris/ascendancy, the other psyker has fortitude/hubris/arcane.  Everyone in the group rolled some funny combos and they all still work, though I suppose it's partly because we all wrote back stories for our characters after we rolled.

 

Not a bad idea, but I would suggest that if you are going to use a bare bones background stat system, make them roll on the prides/failings stuff to give the characters some depth beyond "RAWRRRGGGGRRGG I SMASH!!!!".  But that is just MHO



#10 HappyDaze

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 12:43 PM

theshadowduke said:

Reverend mort said:

 

I really like this idea. It's mechanically sound, at least to me, but more importantly I adore the idea for it. While I like the failings and motivations as a concept, they do force mechanical consideration into what should be about background and personality. (Wait, if I'm full of Hubris I have have to be dumb? But... my hubris is about how smart I am... what?)

 

 

 

Our group just rolled.  Which came out hilariously appropriate anyway.  My character has charm/hubris/ascendancy, the other psyker has fortitude/hubris/arcane.  Everyone in the group rolled some funny combos and they all still work, though I suppose it's partly because we all wrote back stories for our characters after we rolled.

 

Not a bad idea, but I would suggest that if you are going to use a bare bones background stat system, make them roll on the prides/failings stuff to give the characters some depth beyond "RAWRRRGGGGRRGG I SMASH!!!!".  But that is just MHO

I've never found that randomly rolled personality labels add depth, and a character will never have more depth than what a player wants to put into them. If I want to play an asocial character (and it' s not entirely unfitting for some character types) and a random roll turns up with Charm, then it's going to be ignored and if labels not fitting the player's view of the character are going to be ignored, then I feel it's better to just let them pick what they want (or create their own labels).


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#11 Reverend mort

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 05:55 PM

Indeed. Also, prides and failings have another effect beyond their actual point giving.

You get +10 to your roll when you act in accordance with them. Which is why I think players ought to get to choose them, which they do. So that, you know, they get to pick what personality flaw they get mechanically rewarded for playing. Aka they get to decide how they play their characters.



#12 HappyDaze

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 06:15 PM

That too is a very good point. I still like the in-game use of Failings, I just wanted to unhitch that selection from fixed pre-game (character-gen) bonuses and penalties.


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#13 Ghaundan

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:55 PM

Reverend mort said:

I really like this idea. It's mechanically sound, at least to me, but more importantly I adore the idea for it. While I like the failings and motivations as a concept, they do force mechanical consideration into what should be about background and personality. (Wait, if I'm full of Hubris I have have to be dumb? But... my hubris is about how smart I am... what?)

So yeah, Thumbs Up, I approve. I don't even mind the loss of the minmaxing aspects, since that was never integral to making a very competent character.



Smart people are humbled because they realise how little they know.

I like the system, might talk to the players about redoing theirs so they pick based on roleplaying wants and not stats. A melee character doesn't want to give up WS or Strenght and I don't feel that it should be forced on him if he wants to play a character with a certain trait. Might just let them choose freely from the constellations in the book though, and choice pride, disgrace and motivation independantly from the bonus.



#14 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:51 AM

what I've done is to let the players roll randomly for the bonuses and let them choose the "fluff" freely. Keeps the mechanical aspect a little interesting and allows the players to choose what roleplaying aspect they want to focus on without thinkingof mechanical bonuses and penalties.



#15 Reverend mort

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:02 AM

Jackal_Strain said:

what I've done is to let the players roll randomly for the bonuses and let them choose the "fluff" freely. Keeps the mechanical aspect a little interesting and allows the players to choose what roleplaying aspect they want to focus on without thinkingof mechanical bonuses and penalties.



A decent idea, but I dislike random roll stat generation in general, with the exception of pickup games or games were the entire char gen is utterly random for maximum hillarity. Usually prevents players from actually shaping their character as one that does what they want, which usually leads to lessened interest in the game, which is bad. If a player wanted to play a sorcerer who sucked at sorcery, they'd actively choose to make him suck at it. If they didn't, having him forced to only makes them annoyed.



#16 Jackal_Strain

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:45 PM

A fair point, which is why I went for a hybrid between the random generation and point allocation when it came to characteristics for my campaign. That meant that the players were free to distribute points as they saw fit amongst their characteristics, and then add 1d5 to each characteristic after. I like  a little bit of randomness, as it tends to let you see your character in a different light from what you might have intended, but not so much that it ruins the concept entirely. I'm also pretty fair when it comes to allowing re-rolls if something completely goes against a players idea of what might be fun to play.



#17 HappyDaze

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:23 AM

I'm just not a fan of randomness in character gen at all.* Randomness comes later once the character is making choices and testing against skills and characteristics. Even then, Infamy allows a bit of an override against too much randomness. I prefer to see character gen as a 'safe spot' so the character can be built the way the player envisions them - at least at the outset, because the course of the game will likely force the character to adjust course sooner or later.

* FWIW, I even removed the random '+1d5' from the starting Wounds calculation and just replaced it with '+3' because of my dislike randomness in character generation.


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#18 Lecram

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:03 AM

@HappyDaze:  Thanks for the House Rule; our group has decided to use it for character creation. 



#19 HappyDaze

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:52 AM

Lecram said:

@HappyDaze:  Thanks for the House Rule; our group has decided to use it for character creation. 

Glad to hear it. If you're willing, throw a few of the combinations your players come up with (of both selected mechanical bonuses/penalties and what fluffy failings you've tied them to) on here to show some examples.


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#20 Lecram

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 03:59 AM

I'm not the GM, but I'll ask the group.  At the very least, I'll put mine up here when I figure out what I'm going to do.






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