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Characteristic Upgrades


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#1 Grumbold

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 09:38 AM

 The one thing that I'm struggling with in WFRP 3.0 after a couple of reads through of the rules and a read of the errata is characteristic upgrades. The errata makes clear that the maximum a primary characteristic can be raised to in career progression is 6, based on the limit of open career advance slots in the career sheet. Likewise the maximum other charactersitics can be raised to is 4, because there are 5 boxes in the non-career advance track. A bit of a come down from the mooted 8+ characteristic dice mentioned in the core book (p14) but I suppose that was a reference to inhuman foes or players boosted to superhuman levels by spells, artefacts and the like.

Here's where I struggle:

- so a dwarf starts character creation by default tougher and stronger than a human or elf, but  these advantages are fleeting because he will end up capped at the same point? Indeed if the human applied their larger starting pool of creation points to these characteristics they'd have the same stats and only be 1 creation point worse off than the dwarf or elf  during the point allocation phase, and we haven't even started playing yet. I can understand the desire to kill off the "naked dwarf" problem from WFRP but this seems to erode the characteristic differences between the races completely.

- if you want to increase a primary characteristic during a career you're effectively wrecking it since you end up with none of the actual unique advantages the career offers, they're all squeezed out by the stat advance. Yet you can blithely spend 10 advances advancing 2 non-primary stats without difficulty if you're willing to dawdle through the career or refuse to switch at the end of it. Most characters can dance around this obstacle by deliberately moving into a closely aligned career they don't care about in order to just grab the stat (but making it more expensive to raise than a non-primary stat because of the career switching costs involved), but wizards especially are told that moving out onto another path is cause for major penalties. So do all high level wizards have either crap stats or no spells to cast with their 6 int and willpower? If the character can hang about to spend 5 non-career advances on  e.g. toughness, why can't they choose to spend those 5 and 1 career advance upgrading Int?

Have there been official responses to this in the past? I tried the forum search but didn't turn up much, but then it took me 10 searches to find a post telling me that the official errata were in a separate section and not in the forum at all, so who knows what else I missed!



#2 Grumbold

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 09:45 AM

 The more I think about this the stranger it gets. It seems almost mandatory for a starting apprentice wizard to maximise their int and wp at 5 immediately rather than beginning with more rounded abilities. It's so much more straightforward for them to develop their other stats than their primaries once they are underway if you apply the rules as written.



#3 Ralzar

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 12:15 PM

Edit: never mind, I mis-remembered the rules. Probably because no one in my group has ever spent points to increas a non-career characteristc.



#4 Grumbold

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 12:21 PM

 Ok glad I hadn't misread it that badly



#5 k7e9

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 12:24 PM

From what I've seen in my games this has never been a problem, to increase a non-career characteristic takes loads of time and experience points, so I think only one player ever raised an out of career characteristic and that was from a 2 to a 3.

Maximising Int and WP would probably result in very low numbers in all the other characteristics, Making the character very weak and vulnerable for a long time.

Increasing the primary characteristics to 5 from the start will also result in a low number of skills, actions, talents and wealth. As 18 out of 25 points will be used for the primary characteristics only. In effect that is also "squeesing out" abilities that the character could have bought instead.

In my games a character like that would probably die before having time to increase the low stats to a normal level, but that probably depends on how the GM is running the game.

Spending 4 XP to increase a dump stat from 2 to 3 also slows you down, instead of moving into a new career where you can get a lot of new unique abilities (higher ranking spells for wizards for example). Staying in your first career for 8-10 gaming sessions just to increase dump-stats to normal levels makes you improve quite slowly and ineffectively in my oppinion. Probably you'll fall very far behind the other characters in ability because of the initial min-maxing and subsequent characteristic improvemt. THe other characters can focus on skills and actions in a more efficient manner and probably haveing just as good or  better overall success rates at what they do.

And by the way, having a 4 in a characteristic isn't a crap stat. You can have a 4 and manage just fine for an entire campaign. A few of my players have had 5 in a single characteristic, but none of them have had a single character that had two characteristics at 5.



#6 BigKahuna

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:29 PM

I suggest changing the rules in this case.  I personally find it odd as well that their is a bonus offered for dwarfs and elves, but on the end the cap is the same as humans.  I simply allow dwarfs and elves in their primary racial statisitcs to have 1 cap higher.  Its one of the few rules that took all of 5 seconds for me to change.  It just makes sense, it almost seems like a misprint.



#7 Grumbold

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 07:31 AM

 Thanks for the input. The tricky part with Elves & Dwarves being allowed a higher stat is you can't actually get it there, the 6 slots per career limit prevents anyone spending 7 points to raise anything even if it was a sensible move. You'd actually have to change the rules so that their racial traits cost 1 less point to increase rather than just giving them level 3 for free initially. I'm not happy with the idea of just changing the rules before we start gaming, and of course once we've begun playing it's a bit too late unless the party wipes and we're ready to start afresh with tweaked rules. I found one post referring to Ogres getting their stats cheaper, but I haven't encountered playable ogres in the rules yet so that may be a red herring dragged up by the search engine.

I can see why players would opt to move through careers rapidly with the situation in its current form, ignoring stat increases and relying on fortune dice and stance dice to improve their starting dice pool rather than trying to add more characteristic dice. However those don't allow players to meet stat threshold criteria for talents, enable a wizard to channel more power for the larger magics, a priest to curry more favour etc. A stat of 4 just doesn't seem large enough to support the use of higher rank powers if you can stay alive to reach them.

I can understand people saying games don't typically go on long enough to worry about big stat increases, but that can depend greatly on the GM and the length of playing sessions. Player survival is clearly  very tough now that fate points are a thing of the past, but I've got one eye on the Enemy Within campaign due later this year. With Hero's Call catering to more advanced players and a very large campaign due for release it appears  that FFG do expect some players to survive long enough to gain a few ranks. It seems worth tacking the issue before our playing group encounters it. I know most of our group are going to be looking at improving toughness any chance they get if they follow their typical approach to warhammer, so this is an inconsistency they'll spot rapidy and expect me to have a coherent answer for it. Better by far to have official rules that explain the situation if at all possible rather than house rules papering over the cracks.



#8 Yepesnopes

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:34 AM

Grumbold said:

 Thanks for the input. The tricky part with Elves & Dwarves being allowed a higher stat is you can't actually get it there, the 6 slots per career limit prevents anyone spending 7 points to raise anything even if it was a sensible move. You'd actually have to change the rules so that their racial traits cost 1 less point to increase rather than just giving them level 3 for free initially. I'm not happy with the idea of just changing the rules before we start gaming, and of course once we've begun playing it's a bit too late unless the party wipes and we're ready to start afresh with tweaked rules. I found one post referring to Ogres getting their stats cheaper, but I haven't encountered playable ogres in the rules yet so that may be a red herring dragged up by the search engine.

Ogres start with St and To 3, plus it costs 1 less advance (or creation point) to them to rise these stats (3 xp to rise from 3 to 4 or 6 xp to rise from 6 to 7), in that way they can rise St and To above 6 with only six advance slots.

You will find rules for ogres and halflings in the supplement Hero's Call


The Book of the Asur - High Elf fan supplement

The Dark Side - Witches, Warlocks, Dark Magic and more

Secrets of the Anvil - Advanced Dwarf careers and runes

Dice statistics calculator for SW EotE


#9 RARodger

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:00 AM

I'm not finding this a big problem, and I've got two min-max'ers in the group. The wizard pumped all his advances into improving Intelligence from the get-go, and the Ogre Maneater is going to increase an out of career ability from 2 to 3, I suspect. The typical strategy seems to be pump up your key primary characteristic first, and then flush out with fortune and expertise. And I guess in a game that's expected to run for a while I don't see what the problem with that is.

As for the Dwarf/Elf thing, it seems like an issue of the average Dwarf is tougher than the average Human, but not every Dwarf is tougher than every Human, you know?



#10 Grumbold

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:51 PM

Thanks for the race info. I think I'm back where I started on careers. The casting classes are locked in to a defined progression and there doesn't seem to be the flexibility in the system to get one with more balanced starting stats to higher stat levels without missing out key elements of their career, but ones that maximise prime stats at the outset can fix their flaws without penalising their career options - assuming they stay alive, of course - because increasing the other stats does not lock career advancement slots.



#11 borithan

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:05 AM

It does mean staying for ages in one career, and getting to a new career is good. Maans you can spend more xp on the important stuff: skill training and action cards. Also, you spend extra on upgrading the characteristics, and that extra 1 xp per stat is actually a big deal as it can buy an action card, or a skill level, or various other nice things.

As far as Min-maxing careers - I don't find it works very well. We have a constant min-maxer in our group, who took level 5 in the career stats for his two las careers. As a Dwarf Slayer he could kill like ntohing else… anything else, he could do bugger all about. His wizard? Died of a disease, almost certainly because he left toughness at 2 (I would personally never have toughness less than 3 for any career).

The races are a big deal. The free stat boosts amount to a free 6 points if they are non career stats, and a possible 8 if they are both career stats (as they will be upgraded to level 4). Humans get an extra 5 to compensate. Add on top of that a free skill training that is a bonus of between 2 and 4 creation points over humans. It will take several careers before their special ability really begins to pay off. The bonus skill is particularly useful as it often means you can have a non-career skill to broaden your abiliy (non-combat dwarves taking WS is an obvious example).



#12 Grumbold

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 02:25 AM

Getting to that second (or third) career quickly to purchase the next expertise die in key areas or more actions is certainly a strong incentive not to dawdle around. I think I'll let players build their primary stats with the out-of-career slots if they really want to. Not switching earlier seems like enough of a penalty for trying to build up any stat, primary or secondary. Making them use up half their career advances may allow them to move on faster but means they'll have few of the traits you'd expect a "completed" person of that career to have at all, so I'll let them decide for themselves. If they can devote extra-curricular time to doing endurance training to build their toughness they can just as well spend it hitting the books to gain that extra insight.



#13 RARodger

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 10:36 AM

I'm confused… aren't gaining additional expertise dice in skills limited by rank and not career? Or are you guys just talking about getting access to different skills? Because my players all seem inclined to take their time in one career; I don't think any of them are going to take a new career before their 14th advance (and of course the non-humans almost can't). It really seems like there's a 3:2 ratio on rank to carrer at least.






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