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#1 GoblynByte

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:20 AM

Someone brought this up in another thread. I personally have mixed feelings about classes. They work in some cases and don't in others. But I think we should take an honest look at the idea. What be the benefits?

I will say this: I'm having a tough time figuring the mechanical benefit of careers in EotE.

Niche protection of the PCs? Well, the careers skills are often redundant with those you get with the specialization. Also, their use in niche protection is somewhat dubious as the distribution of which career gets which skill is more literal than game balanced.

I wonder if it would be better if they just plotted out a slew of talent trees (the same ones they already have) and disassociated them with any careers. Then just let every character pick 4 career skills and buy up to 3 specilizations (talent trees) at the same progressive cost (10 x number of trees). These trees would also come with associated career skills. Then you get 6 points to distribute across your career skills.

You'd get more or less the same effect and you could still go with the D6 route and give "suggested" careers with three talent trees and career skills. These could basically be the same as the existing careers.

In the end, all you'd be eliminating would be the extra cost for "non-career" specializations.



#2 Nimon

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:02 PM

 

            This is an interesting idea, and I must say it would follow the theme of Guerilla warfare types who have a strange mix of skills and are not necessarily professional soldiers with a strict skill set.



#3 Jegergryte

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:29 AM

So basically re-writing the career into "archetypes" that serves as examples of skill and talent constellations? I could support that notion.

So basically increase the starting XP and add a few steps to character creation?


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#4 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:21 AM

Jegergryte said:

So basically re-writing the career into "archetypes" that serves as examples of skill and talent constellations? I could support that notion.

So basically increase the starting XP and add a few steps to character creation?

It's certainly an idea.

As suggested, keep the various specializations, but instead of only getting a free rank in two of the listed trained skills, you'd get a rank in all four.  And as there's no longer any careers, just use the "part of your career" cost for buying new specializations.

As for the starting career skills, perhaps change it so that players choose four skills, gaining a free rank in that skill in addition to it becoming a career skill.

Or, just bin the entire concept of career vs. non-career skills, and just use the career skill cost for all skills.  In that case, I'd just let the PCs choose to gain a free rank in four different skills, and then get just two ranks from their initial specialization.

Probably wouldn't even need to increase the starting XP if the non-career skill cost is deep-sixed.


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#5 Callidon

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:49 AM

 I think it would work just as well to have each specialization be it's own career.  Then moving on to new careers still has some archetype underpinnings (pilot, scoundrel, etc), but you aren't constrained on preconceived notions of what careers lead into others.  To avoid cherry picking the best talents in order to get the "right" build, set some threshold of xp that a character can spend in a career (what we now know as specializations) that will allow for reduced xp costs to hop into a new career.  

I like career systems similar to WHFRP 1,2,3  where character growth is granular, rp driven, and variable…but the career system we have in EotE isn't really a career system.  Its just a class and archetype system that seems to have been slightly undermined by this week's update.

I say make it more like WFRP with short burst careers that lead into any combination a player could want.  Want to be a Pilot/Smuggler/Politico?  Done and done.  Just provide a reason via xp thresholds to hang out in a specialization/career long enough to reduce the xp cost to hop to a new tree/career/specialization.

 


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#6 GoblynByte

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:40 AM

On the surface it would be a lot like WEG's templates. They function superficially as classes, keeping flavor and suggesting ability groupings and quick concepts. But it would allow greater flexibility without sacrificing balance. You'd still get the gimmick of the classes just without the issues that come with missing the mark in balance and coverage.

For example, there would still be the pilot, scoundrel, and thief talent trees, and the Smuggler career would still use them, but this career would only be a suggestion and there would be no cost difference between any of those three trees and, say, the same character buying the slicer talent tree. You'd get one talent tree for free, pay n for your second tree, and n x y for your third (or some formula therein).



#7 GoblynByte

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:43 AM

So, really, this nuance could be implemented with only a few changes that site which specializations you can buy (from "in your career" to "buy any you want based on concept") and how much they cost (just remove mention of "non-career" specializations). The careers that are in the book can be kept as WEG-style templates or archetypes. New players can pick them up real quickly.

This could also be a good way of solving the "not all scoundrels are Smugglers" debate I've seen tossed around the boards.



#8 Cyril

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:42 PM

I like the notion of this thread, but I want to play devil's advocate a little bit.

We're looking at this from the mindset of gamers ingrained in the hobby and in the the system. An idea like this doesn't scare us or turn us away from the game, because conceptualizing characters has become part and parcel of who we are long ago.

But this isn't a campaign world that very few people may ever have contact with. This isn't an RPG designed after a popular miniatures game (that even as popular as it is, most people from outside of the hobby will have never heard of it). This is Star Wars! This is going to attract the attention of people who may have never even heard of a roleplaying game before just on the strength of the name alone. Just listen to Jay's story about the gamers he met at GenCon in one of the more recent Order 66 episodes. And I do think that the game needs to be designed with that in mind.

When you have someone who has never played an RPG before, but knows and loves Star Wars, they can come to the table and say "I want to play a bounty hunter." Or "I want to play Han Solo." And with the way the career system is structured, it gives the player an immediate idea of where to start, more than a handful of random talent trees ever could.

That kind of model works for us - but I'd argue that while we may be a target market, we're not the only one. Hell, we may not even be the biggest one. We're just the one they asked to beta test the rules for them. I say if it works for your table - go for it. Make the system your own and remove careers from the game as you see fit. But I do believe they need to stay in the final product when you look at it from a "Star Wars" perspective instead of as a "roleplaying game" perspective.

Just my two creds.



#9 GoblynByte

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:00 PM

Cyril said:

I like the notion of this thread, but I want to play devil's advocate a little bit.

We're looking at this from the mindset of gamers ingrained in the hobby and in the the system. An idea like this doesn't scare us or turn us away from the game, because conceptualizing characters has become part and parcel of who we are long ago.

But this isn't a campaign world that very few people may ever have contact with. This isn't an RPG designed after a popular miniatures game (that even as popular as it is, most people from outside of the hobby will have never heard of it). This is Star Wars! This is going to attract the attention of people who may have never even heard of a roleplaying game before just on the strength of the name alone. Just listen to Jay's story about the gamers he met at GenCon in one of the more recent Order 66 episodes. And I do think that the game needs to be designed with that in mind.

When you have someone who has never played an RPG before, but knows and loves Star Wars, they can come to the table and say "I want to play a bounty hunter." Or "I want to play Han Solo." And with the way the career system is structured, it gives the player an immediate idea of where to start, more than a handful of random talent trees ever could.

That kind of model works for us - but I'd argue that while we may be a target market, we're not the only one. Hell, we may not even be the biggest one. We're just the one they asked to beta test the rules for them. I say if it works for your table - go for it. Make the system your own and remove careers from the game as you see fit. But I do believe they need to stay in the final product when you look at it from a "Star Wars" perspective instead of as a "roleplaying game" perspective.

Just my two creds.

I don't really disagree with any of that. That argument goes a long way towards my mixed feelings regarding class-based systems. But that would be where the archetypes would come in. Much the same way that WEG was designed, and even the way the Beta is designed now, you'd have those already prepped classes ready to go. Nothing would change in that respect. In fact, to the uninitiated player the difference would be negligible because they could still say "I want to play Han Solo" and take the existing Smuggler career that would list three suggested talent trees. The packages are offered the same as they are now, but the power is given to advanced players to be responsible for their own builds without an arbitrary tax on customization.

When you boil it down to the bone, what I'm arguing is this: what effect on game balance do we really get from having a tiered cost for career vs. non-career specializations? I mean, look at it honestly.  Would it really change anything to have the same cost for all specializations? Does the power of a Smuggler with the Slicer specialization really need to be tempered?



#10 GoblynByte

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:03 PM

Just to clarify, keep the cost for multiple specializations for a single character. Have each successive specialization cost more than the last. But remove the added cost of non-career trees. That would be the only change.

Another way to look at it is that with the current system you're doubling up on the limiting accessibility traits. You're already limited from which talents you buy based on the specialization you own. Why limit it even further based on the career you choose?



#11 GoblynByte

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:16 PM

Let me write this out in a more formal manner just to provide a solid example of what I'm suggesting. Here would be my only change to character generation…

Using an Archetype: Pick an archetype. This gives you a list of 8 starting career skills in which you can place 4 starting skill points. The archetype also lists three specializations often associated with that style of character. Each specialization lists 4 skills that also become career skills. You get one of these specialization for free and you may place two skill points in any skill listed in that specialization. You may purchase additional specializations for 10 for the second and 15 for the third. You may not purchase any more than 3 specializations and you do not gain starting skill points in any of these additional specializations.

Designing a character without an archetype: You may design a character based on a concept of your own. To do this you come up with a description of your concept. Such as Starship Thief or Outlaw. Pick a list of 8 skills that are important to the concept of this character. These become your career skills and you may pick four of them in which to place a skill rank. Pick one specialization and count the skills provided as career skills. Pick two of them in which to place a single skill rank. You may buy up to two more specializations using the same formula presented above. The skills in each specialization become career skills but you do not get any free skill ranks to place in them.

All choices of character design must be approved by your game master.



#12 Jegergryte

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:00 PM

I like this idea.

Also, to keep with the week 4 update of no limit on specialisation ('cause it makes little sense with such a limitation), any specialisation beyond the first three has increased cost? so the second and third costs 10 and 15, but the fourth costs 40 xp. Thus the three first specialisations constitute your basic "career" and anything beyond is just extra - and costly.


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#13 lupex

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:19 AM

Callidon said:

 I think it would work just as well to have each specialization be it's own career.  Then moving on to new careers still has some archetype underpinnings (pilot, scoundrel, etc), but you aren't constrained on preconceived notions of what careers lead into others.  To avoid cherry picking the best talents in order to get the "right" build, set some threshold of xp that a character can spend in a career (what we now know as specializations) that will allow for reduced xp costs to hop into a new career.  

I like career systems similar to WHFRP 1,2,3  where character growth is granular, rp driven, and variable…but the career system we have in EotE isn't really a career system.  Its just a class and archetype system that seems to have been slightly undermined by this week's update.

I say make it more like WFRP with short burst careers that lead into any combination a player could want.  Want to be a Pilot/Smuggler/Politico?  Done and done.  Just provide a reason via xp thresholds to hang out in a specialization/career long enough to reduce the xp cost to hop to a new tree/career/specialization.

 

I have been thinking along these lines myself, as the current careers only give access to 8 career skills and the opportunity to buy specializations, specializations only give you access to a few more skills (some more than others) and access to a single talent tree.

So the answer would be to convert all current specializations into their own careers with access to about 8/10 skills at character generation, and access to a relevant talent tree (although the trees still need an overhaul).  This would also mean that we would need a few more talent trees to go with the current careers, but that shouldn't take too much work.

By using this method it would be easy enough to allow players/gms to develop new careers to fit specific concepts and also allow for the introduction of advanced careers, I am not how advanced careers could fit in the system as is but these were always fun as part of wfrp.


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#14 Eruletho

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:39 AM

GoblynByte said:

Designing a character without an archetype: You may design a character based on a concept of your own. To do this you come up with a description of your concept. Such as Starship Thief or Outlaw. Pick a list of 8 skills that are important to the concept of this character. These become your career skills and you may pick four of them in which to place a skill rank. Pick one specialization and count the skills provided as career skills. Pick two of them in which to place a single skill rank.

Is there a like button on this site?

I think this should be the way to go. It allows more flexibility in character creation and the way characters are built, and removes the headache of the career/non-career specialization argument. However, I still don't like the limit of 3 specializations. If a character wants to be a jack of all trades, master of none, let them be just that. I second the idea of the 5 times number of specs as a cost for the first two extra, but then make it ten times, that way excessive growth is limited.
1 = free, 2 = 10 xp, 3 = 15 xp, 4 = 40 xp, 5 = 50 xp, etc.

One other note - with this system of "classes", I don't think any skills granted by additional specializations should be considered career skills. If we allowed that, it would be possible (just as it's possible now, but far more expensive) to get virtually every skill as a career skill. A character could potentially just take new specs until he has every skill he wants as career, then level skills.



#15 GoblynByte

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:03 AM

Class-based systems can often paint game designers in a corner, especially when it comes time for them to write out iconic characters in a licensed setting. Trying to get the source material to jive with the arbitrary, game-based balance system can often produce wonkey results.



#16 Jegergryte

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:13 AM

About career skills. Let's say you pick 8 to start with, for example from an existing career - now called archetype - or your own 8 (as in GoblynByte's write up above). Then you get additional from your first three specialisations, as these constitute your specific career, however it is made up. Any additional specialisations only supply you with access to talents, no new career skills.

 

EDIT: Or we could just drop the "career" skill notion. Pick some starting skills with a free rank, and all skills are increased by paying rank x 5 XP (or if we want to make it slightly more expensive rank x 5 +5). It would be similar to WEG and D6.


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GMLovlie's/Jegergryte's Cubicle direct link to supplements here.


#17 lupex

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:26 AM

Jegergryte said:

 

EDIT: Or we could just drop the "career" skill notion. Pick some starting skills with a free rank, and all skills are increased by paying rank x 5 XP (or if we want to make it slightly more expensive rank x 5 +5). It would be similar to WEG and D6.

 

 

I was thinking this whilst walking the dog.  For starting characters just let them pick 6 skills and have a free rank in each.

We could then tie talent trees to skills and let starting characters choose two talent trees that relate to these starting skills?

And then spend xp to increase any skill and to buy talents on those two specific trees.

I would probably introduce the opportunity to buy new talent trees when a character increases a rank in a linked skill?

This would keep character creation and progression relatively simple and free-form but the book could have lots of career/archetype suggestions on types of skill/talent tree combinations for new players to choose from if they wish?

It would mean some rationalisation of the talent trees but we have another thread for this.

 


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#18 EldritchFire

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:24 AM

Being a veteran WEG player, I agree with a lot of what is being said here. Give each character 6 skill ranks and the choice of 1 spec for talent trees, maybe two. I was also thinking that each spec should have one "iconic item" that a character gets for free if it's their starting spec. A medpac for a doctor, blaster carbine for a hired gun, tool kit for a mechanic, etc. Tinkerer specs could even start with one free attachment for their gear, possibly even with the chance to roll for one free mod before gameplay begins.

After that, keep it simple for purchasing new skills, 5 x new rank; or even 5 x current rank, with a 10 XP cost for rank 1.

Just throwing that out there.

-EF



#19 GoblynByte

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:54 AM

Jegergryte said:

I like this idea.

Also, to keep with the week 4 update of no limit on specialisation ('cause it makes little sense with such a limitation), any specialisation beyond the first three has increased cost? so the second and third costs 10 and 15, but the fourth costs 40 xp. Thus the three first specialisations constitute your basic "career" and anything beyond is just extra - and costly.

Well, I suppose they could stick with that. To be honest, I hadn't even noticed that they had removed the 3 spec. limit. I'm glad they did!  But I would still stick to my thought of the same cost for all specializations. The increasing cost per spec. would end up being prohibitive enough, I'd think, to go beyond three or four specs. I mean, since you get repeat talents in many trees, the benefits of taking more than a few would have diminishing returns when compared to the cost.



#20 GoblynByte

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:56 AM

I really do think that this method of character generation would solve a lot of issues, both current and potential, in one fell swoop.






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