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The order of specializations purchased should not effect your point-total!


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#1 darkrose50

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 07:31 AM

“Characters may also purchase additional specializations outside of their career. Purchasing non-career specializations costs ten times the total number of specializations he would possess with this new specialization. So a character with one specialization could purchase a second–non-career–spe­cialization for 20 experience. If he had two specializations already, a third specialization that was also a non-career specialization would cost 30 experience.”
 

This bit here sucks. Now the order in which you pick specializations messes with your point total. I don’t like it one bit! To buy a second “same career / same specialization” it would cost me 10 points.  Doing so would then raise the cost of buying a “different career / different specialization” from 20 to 30 points! So I have an experience-point reason to go into the various “different career / different specialization” trees before I go into “same career / same specialization” trees.  I hope this is simply worded wrong!

The order of specializations purchased should not effect your point-total!

Player 1:
Smuggler / Pilot [0 XP]
Smuggler / Scoundrel [10 XP]
- / Assassin [30 XP]

Player 2:
Smuggler / Pilot [0 XP]
- / Assassin [20 XP]
Smuggler / Scoundrel [10 XP]

Player 1 pays 40 XP and player 2 pays 30 XP . . . this sucks!
 

I think it should read “Number of non-career specializations the new one would amount to an expenditure of experience equal to [(10 * number of non-career specializations) + 10]”

 



#2 LethalDose

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:47 AM

I think I can see your point, DarkRose, but I don't think its a substantial issue.  In the first example you gave, the character is more invested and entrenched in a "Smuggler state-of-mind", and it is more difficult and requires more effort (therefore, req's more XPs) to move into a different specialization than the second example that branches out earlier and is less set in his or her ways at the time of buying the new spec.

Just how I see it.

 

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#3 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:51 AM

A cleaner way would be to have non-career specs cost just 10 xp more than an in-career one (5*num of specs +10). 


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#4 gribble

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:07 PM

darkrose50 said:

Player 1 pays 40 XP and player 2 pays 30 XP . . . this sucks!

Your specific example is incorrect - the second "career" specialisation would cost 15XP (as it's the character's third total specialisation), not 10XP, so the difference is only 5XP. Still, I agree it's a bit wonky, and the order you choose them in shouldn't matter. Especially when you take them all "at the same time", i.e.: during character creation, after that I don't think it's such a big deal.


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#5 gribble

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:21 PM

A cleaner way would be to have non-career specs cost just 10 xp more than an in-career one (5*num of specs +10).

Actually, the math seems to be 5 * total number of specialisations +5 (i.e.: the same as the old non-career skills), results in the same costs regardless of the order that the specialisations are picked up (at least for a couple of simple checks of the numbers by me, which isn't really a guarantee of anything).

Given that, I think that the costs for both non-career specialisations and non-career skills should be changed (back in the case of skills) to 5 * total number of [specialisations/ranks] + 5XP, assuming that holds for skills too. It would be nice to have symmetry of total costs, regardless of the order they are taken in.

Unless, of course, FFG made this change intentionally… though if anything I'd expect an intentional change to go the other way (i.e.: picking up career sepcialisations/skills should be cheaper before you "branch out" to non-career stuff, not the other way around…).


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#6 darkrose50

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:07 PM

Oh, sorry. For some reason I misread the errata to say “Purchasing an additional specialization within a character’s career costs five times the total number of specializations he would possess with[in] this new specialization”.


I think they should just charge it to:
 

5 experience * number of specializations advancing towards (if a non-career specialization, then add 10 experience to the cost).
 



#7 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:13 PM

darkrose50 said:

I think they should just charge it to:

5 experience * number of specializations advancing towards (if a non-career specialization, then add 10 experience to the cost).

I agree with this.  Like stated, it makes the order you pick specializations a lot less important.


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#8 darkrose50

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:16 PM

Am I doing something wrong in these examples?

Specialization 1 Career [0 XP]
Specialization 2 Career [2 * 5 = 10 XP]
Specialization 3 Career [3 * 5 = 15 XP]
Specialization 4 Non-career [4 * 10 = 40 XP]
Specialization 5 Non-career [5 * 10 = 50 XP]
Total = 115 XP

Specialization 1 Career [0 XP]
Specialization 2 Non-career [2 * 10 = 20 XP]
Specialization 3 Non-career [3 * 10 = 30 XP]
Specialization 4 Career [4 * 5 = 20 XP]
Specialization 5 Career [5 * 5 = 25 XP]
Total = 95 XP

I don’t want to have to be faced with the choice of planning out a build that does not “waste” points.  I want to be able to advance my character organically without fear of ending up less efficient because of the order I picked my specializations.  One thing I did not like about the WoTC versions was needing to plan out a character, and ignoring the story (example: if I don’t take this feat at 3rd level, then I delay my prestige class for three levels).  Let characters grow organically without punishing them.  It really sucks that two characters with exactly the same everything would cost different points!  That is punishing those who do not like to “waste” points, and it is punishing those who are oblivious to points.

Two characters who do the same thing should be the same points.  There should not be an optimized version of a build!  Don't get me started on how Droids just flat out get gimped point-wise.  I am not liking the way this game is going point-wise.  Make it so that everyone gets X points, races cost Y (any why), a character who can do Z costs the same points as another character who can do Z (I am okay with racial bonuses like +1/-1 to Brawn, as some races would be higher or lower on a bell curve, but the fact that droids get -1 to every characteristic drives me nuts). 

I really hate this bulletin board system!  It adds in spaces, and [eventually] does not allow you to edit posts!  Why would anyone do this?



#9 DailyRich

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:07 AM

 I can kind of see the logic behind this though.  Say you're an athlete.  You learn how to play baseball, then basketball, then football, all different games but still requiring a degree of physical coordination.  Then you decide you're going to learn to cook.  Completely different skill set from being an athlete, but since you're sort of "done" learning athletics, you can throw all your energy into it.  It might take some effort (i.e. increased XP cost) since it's a new discipline to you, but anything comes with a price.

But suppose you learned baseball, then decided to learn to cook, then after a while, decided to get into athletics again.  You might be out of shape now.  Some of your instincts may have gotten rusty.  It might take a while to get back into the swing of things (and thus a higher cost).

Now I agree this rule will likely push people into taking career specs first as opposed to non-career, but shouldn't that sort of make sense?  This way, it becomes a little harder to simply cherry-pick the "good" specs.  You can do so, but it's going to make taking career specs more expensive later.



#10 darkrose50

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:31 AM

DailyRich said:

  I can kind of see the logic behind this though.  Say you're an athlete.  You learn how to play baseball, then basketball, then football, all different games but still requiring a degree of physical coordination.  Then you decide you're going to learn to cook.  Completely different skill set from being an athlete, but since you're sort of "done" learning athletics, you can throw all your energy into it.  It might take some effort (i.e. increased XP cost) since it's a new discipline to you, but anything comes with a price.

One can make up a rationalization for anything.  We humans try to explain things.  We could have extremely complex and realistic combat rules for bleeding and broken bones.  I could see how it would make sense to have those rules, but would not want to play a game like that.
 

DailyRich said:

But suppose you learned baseball, then decided to learn to cook, then after a while, decided to get into athletics again.  You might be out of shape now.  Some of your instincts may have gotten rusty.  It might take a while to get back into the swing of things (and thus a higher cost).

Now I agree this rule will likely push people into taking career specs first as opposed to non-career, but shouldn't that sort of make sense?  This way, it becomes a little harder to simply cherry-pick the "good" specs.  You can do so, but it's going to make taking career specs more expensive later.

It is actually the opposite, one would want to take a non-career specialty first.  I don’t like it, not one bit.  Make things balance out.  Make apples be apples no matter which one you eat first. 

 

 

 

 



#11 Timberboar

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 04:51 AM

darkrose50 said:

I think they should just charge it to: 

5 experience * number of specializations advancing towards (if a non-career specialization, then add 10 experience to the cost). 

 

Agreed.

 

A narrative game should not reward system mastery.



#12 LukeZZ

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 04:54 AM

darkrose50 said:

 

I think they should just charge it to:

5 experience * number of specializations advancing towards (if a non-career specialization, then add 10 experience to the cost).

 

I completely agree.

The system shouldn't "reward" characters who develop out-of-career specializations before career specializations.



#13 lupex

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:58 AM

I can see the problem that you guys are outlining but do most players start a game thinking 'well in 6 months time I will want to have 4 specialisations so I had better plan my route now so I don't waste XP'  or do players go 'ok, i want my character start like this' and then change thier careers during play?

Perhaps there needs to be something mentioned about having a good narrative reason, supported by the GM, for buying non-career specialisations.

As a GM I would not allow a player to buy thier second specilaisation in a different career without a very good reason, perhaps tied in to actual gameplay.  But I would encourage players to buy non-career skills as the character needs to.



#14 korjik

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:39 AM

A really simple fix would be no classes.

Other than the selection of class skills and the determination of what specs are cheaper, class provides no benefit. One very minor rule change and class is just a bookkeeping entry, and this whole issue goes out the window.



#15 darkrose50

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:26 AM

This would essentially be very similar to what the Feng Shui RPG does (have flowcharts of powers).  Only basically right now in FFG’s Star Wars RPG there is a box in the flowchart not listed called “X specialization.”  In Feng Shui advancement goes something like this X + Y = XP needed to advance, where X is a number based off of the category of talent, and Y is the number of talents of that type one possesses.  It works in some games. 

What FFG is doing now is awarding/penalizing buying skills that an archetype would/would-not have.  I just want the points to equal out.  Having two extract characters down to every detail with different point-costs feels wrong.  White Wolf’s games do this in a huge way, and it always bothered me.  It is too wishy-washy.  Have XP or don’t.  Make XP a relatively useful means of determining relative competence. 
 



#16 GoblynByte

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:11 AM

lupex said:

I can see the problem that you guys are outlining but do most players start a game thinking 'well in 6 months time I will want to have 4 specialisations so I had better plan my route now so I don't waste XP' 

 

Yes. Yes they do. It's called min/maxing and it is the reason many folks play RPGs. It certainly isn't the job of the game designers to stop it from happening, but this is a rather blatant loophole that many gamers will be more than happy to "game" in order to get that edge of just 5 points.



#17 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:22 AM

GoblynByte said:

lupex said:

 

I can see the problem that you guys are outlining but do most players start a game thinking 'well in 6 months time I will want to have 4 specialisations so I had better plan my route now so I don't waste XP' 

 

 

 

Yes. Yes they do. It's called min/maxing and it is the reason many folks play RPGs. It certainly isn't the job of the game designers to stop it from happening, but this is a rather blatant loophole that many gamers will be more than happy to "game" in order to get that edge of just 5 points.

I don't see it as an issue because someone would get something cheap. I see it from the other side. Players are penalized for not thinking things out 6 months in advance (or *gasp* changing course due to the story). 


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#18 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:14 AM

Doc, the Weasel said:

GoblynByte said:

Yes. Yes they do. It's called min/maxing and it is the reason many folks play RPGs. It certainly isn't the job of the game designers to stop it from happening, but this is a rather blatant loophole that many gamers will be more than happy to "game" in order to get that edge of just 5 points.

 

 

I don't see it as an issue because someone would get something cheap. I see it from the other side. Players are penalized for not thinking things out 6 months in advance (or *gasp* changing course due to the story). 

Yeah, that was one of the elements I never liked about the d20 system in general, was that you could very easily wind up getting screwed out of a feat or prestige class that flavor-wise fits your character to a T, but you can't take it because you didn't take semi-obscure feat or pour precious skill ranks into marginally useful skill back in your early levels.

While the extra cost certainly isn't game breaking, it does feel unnecessarily punitive to the player that as Doc said, didn't obsessively plan their character's advancement out several steps ahead of time, or *gasp!* choose to make character advancement decisions based upon role-playing rather than roll-playing.


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#19 lupex

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:15 PM

Sorry but I don't see Min/maxing as the reason that people roleplay, i thought that they roleplayed to be involved in a shared storytelling experience?

I also still don't see the issue with changing specialisations later in your career costing you more XP, especially in a narrative game.  In my current game I have had players spend skill points in home made skills such as playright and singing, which are only usefull as part of thier character design but useless in a general gaming situations.  And to be fair I don't give out XP (or character points) often and players treasure the moments that I do, but they are quite happy to spend points on skills that add flavour to thier character concept.



#20 darkrose50

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:55 AM

Why would it bother you to remove opportunities to min/max if you never min/max? I am thoroughly confused. Are you saying that it is futile to try to balance things? If so than either changing it or not would be invisible to you.


So if FFG fixes the problem so that it can not be min/maxed you would not have a problem. The issue would not be there. This is what good game design does, nips problems in the bud, and makes sure they are not in the final product. This is why we are in a beta.
 

You have $20. Do you buy XYZ for $20, or do you buy XYZ for $15? Are you being cheap because you avoided paying $5 more? I would say that you are being wasteful, lazy, and perhaps stupid for paying $5 more. Some people would call wanting to spend $5 less on XYZ cheap. While they are thinking this, I invest the $5 and make more money. Not only do I then make more money, but because investments are taxed at a lower rate, I then pay less taxes on the income I make as a result. After the magic of compounded interest I then retire with enough money so I do not have to sleep under a bridge and eat dog food.


Min/Maxing is making decisions in order to make a powerful character. Things like selecting a Bothan because Brawn is the least useful characteristic, or selecting a Rodian because Agility is the most useful characteristic is min/maxing. I don’t have a problem with someone wanting to play a gunslinger selecting Rodian as a race, but some would.
 

Making the most powerful character imaginable is not the same as wanting the ability to spend my points so that my flower selling hippy costs the same as the next flower selling hippy with the exact same stats.
 

I do not want to end up with my flower selling hippy costing more than the next guys. This makes me feel as if I was sleeping under a bridge and eating dog food . . . all because I let my character grow organically.
 

I would very much like 1-point to equal 1-point (+1 to a characteristic and -1 to a characteristic due to race is fine and dandy, but droids having -1 to all six characteristics is rather saddening).






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