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House rule: Improve characteristics with XP


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#1 Xyx

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:07 AM

I would like to discuss our house rules.  The first and foremost rule we agreed upon was that there should be no difference between character generation and "leveling up".  That means we are allowed to improve our characteristics with XP later on.

These are the reasons why:

  1. It skewed character generation.  There should be no difference between XP spent either during or after character generation.  Most of us would have built our characters very differently otherwise.  We'd have invested 100+ XP into characteristics, leaving almost nothing for skills, talents and additional specializations.  This would have resulted in characters that felt bland and unfinished, but not doing so would have resulted in severely underpowered characters 100 XP down the road.  This is a choice between two evils.  One of the tenets of game design is that players should not be stimulated to do things they don't like.
  2. It simply did not feel right.  People can train and work out to improve themselves.
  3. Improving your character is an important part of roleplaying games.  Everybody likes to "level up".
  4. This is the only way to gradually turn the starting character, which is a bit of a loser in terms of characteristics, into something even remotely resembling <insert favorite canon character> over the course of the game.  This is especially true now that you can't un-learn specializations any more, which makes climbing up several talent trees to collect the Dedication talents much more difficult because additional specializations costs roughly a million XP now.  (I'm still glad that the silly un-learning rule is gone, though.)

There are some side-effects to this rule:

  • Increasing skills has become less important.  It is more efficient to increase the underlying characteristic.
  • The Dedication Talent is no longer the all-important carrot-on-a-stick at the end of a talent tree.  It is now simply a good deal, and no longer the primary motivation for climbing up the tree.  I personally think this is a good thing, since I feel that talents should be selected on their own merits and not just as a stepping stone towards Dedication.

The inevitable question was raised whether the XP cost for improving characteristics should be increased.  We decided to wait and see.  I personally think skills are too expensive compared to characteristics, but that remains the case regardless of this house rule.

Thoughts?



#2 Cilionelle

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

Specifically about #2 above, I think that people generally increase their skill in something, rather than the underlying characteristic.  even athletes are no stronger than their potential. I will never be as fast as Usain Bolt, regardless if I train as hard as him. my physiology is wrong.  I have less Brawn.  or I might be able to build up my Knowledge skills really well, but I won't necessarily have access to the same level of Intellect as Mr Hawkins or Mr Krauss.


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#3 aramis

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:05 PM

The dedication talent covers it more than well enough. 

Otherwise, its too cheap and easy to raise attributes, and attributes become pretty meaningless.

Attributes, mechanically, are the minimum number of dice rolled, and the maximum number of yellow dice rolled, on a skill based task.

Not everyone should be able to get to 5yellow in every skill. Everyone is able to get to 5dice in every skill.

only took 7 sessions for a player to hit dedication in my game… two more should hit thier dedication point (if they want) by 9 sessions.

Besides, what will you replace dedication with if you allow XP to be spent directly?

 

Oh, and for comparison, most skill driven games make it rather difficult to raise attributes in play. WoD makes them expensive. D6 didn't allow it at first, and then later allowed it at 10x the cost of skills. GURPS doubles the cost of attributes in play vs in CGen. Prime Directive 1E made it more expensive, and limited how far from starting they could be raised. D20 system gives you 1 attribute point every 4 levels, and no provision to buy extras in lieu of other skills nor in lieu of talents. EABA and CORPS (by BTRC) both use separate pools for Attributes and Skills, and do not provide for attribute raises in play. Pendragon has several ways (Training, Use, Glory Points) to raise skills, but only one (Glory Points) to raise attributes, and even then, one of them can't be raised if the character is over 21 years old. Your basic assertion is not only foundationless, but not the standard in the industry.



#4 Diggles

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:51 PM

I agree with OP and have been trying to come up with a way to make a good compromise.  I hate systems that force you down a path, like talent trees when it is supposed to be 'open ended' character development.

 

Whatever system should have an increasing cost, not a linear increase to.

 

Also Cilionelle, this is the Starwars Universe we're talking about.  They have multitudes of medical, technical & cybergnetic advances that could allow you to move past your limiting DNA/gene factors.



#5 Cilionelle

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:18 PM

Diggles said:

Also Cilionelle, this is the Starwars Universe we're talking about.  They have multitudes of medical, technical & cybergnetic advances that could allow you to move past your limiting DNA/gene factors.

Those increases aren't experience-related, though, are they?  I have much less problem accepting cybernetic, cybergenetic or other technological advancements, but they'd cost credits (a very large sum) and/or Obligation (stimpack Addiction, anyone?) to acquire, not XP.  Heck, t'woild be almost an adventure in itself to find a technician willing to do the work, et al.


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#6 aramis

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 09:55 PM

Cilionelle said:

Diggles said:

Also Cilionelle, this is the Starwars Universe we're talking about.  They have multitudes of medical, technical & cybergnetic advances that could allow you to move past your limiting DNA/gene factors.

 

 

 

Those increases aren't experience-related, though, are they?  I have much less problem accepting cybernetic, cybergenetic or other technological advancements, but they'd cost credits (a very large sum) and/or Obligation (stimpack Addiction, anyone?) to acquire, not XP.  Heck, t'woild be almost an adventure in itself to find a technician willing to do the work, et al.

In not a few games, they require both Cash and Experience, albeit less experience than for a fully XP fueled advancement. Others require XP to buy off the loss of some stat which is lost when cyber is installed.

 



#7 Northman

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:02 AM

In the games we've played, we've stuck to the rules as is. I'm not sure yet how I personally feel about it, since I can see the argument being made both ways, but I'm leaning towards the rules since playing by them in this respect has worked great so far. The thing about the rule as it is, is that it sort of encourages you to increase your characteristics with the starting XP to give you sort of a boost to begin with (and at later stages a higher level of proficiency when coupled with skills and Dedication). It also "forces" you to specialize a little, or at the very least be smart about your stat generation. Which I think is nice. 

I personally have tested two different characters, where they only needed to invest in two characteristics (one at 3 and one at 4) to sort of meet the initial concept. It has been at the expense of some talents or extra skill training, but compared to a lot of the other characters who've taken a lot of skills, but not a lot of characteristics, it helps out from a mechanical viewpoint -and from a design view: When you start out, you're either naturally gifted, but not highly trained (High stats, little skills) - which seems to fit the fringer trying to get by - or you're skilled, but quite average in natural talents. Mechanically speaking you also toss more dice in your fields of expertise, which is nice.

Then as you gain experience, you're supposed to get more skilled, but your inate talents are not getting increased unless you put extra effort into it (ie. Dedication). This is perfectly natural. While I can't speak much for the physique of forum users here compared to Usain Bolt, the argument could be made that increasing your skills through dedication would be specialized training for you to get better at certain aspects of you. Think of it as a gifted athlete at his starting point. He knows his stuff on intuition, but nothing more. Then as he's properly trained, he gains more skill, but his initial talent is the same. But after years of training, he reaches a point where his experience allows him to utilize his initial talent on a different level. That point where his experience is allowing him to use his talent in a wider sense would be when an Edge character picks up Dedication. So I guessed I just argued for the rules as written…



#8 Split Light

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 08:03 PM

I lean towards playing it as the rules state. EotE is not to me a game about having the absolute best attributes. It is much more about the story of the characters.

On a more mechanics based note I think you will end up with some serious character bloat if you allow buying attributes per the creation rules, and it will significantly decrease the duration of character playability. At the least you should double the cost.

As a personal philosophy, I at least try the rules as written to get a feel for the intended mechanics, and increase my overall understanding of the game, before I start house ruling things in.

#9 Chortles

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 12:54 AM

This may sound odd and maybe it was cleared up somewhere, but is there a reason that one can't keep taking Dedication (after the first time which I understand takes an absolute minimum of 75 XP) whenever they have 25 XP to spare?


 

Well, according to George Lucas, the Empire is intended to be bad guys and the Sith to be objectively evil.

Fans proceeded to immediately disregard his bull and have fun with the Empire and make believable characters left and right, and come up with sensible rationalizations east, west, north and south.

 


#10 EldritchFire

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 04:21 AM

This may sound odd and maybe it was cleared up somewhere, but is there a reason that one can't keep taking Dedication (after the first time which I understand takes an absolute minimum of 75 XP) whenever they have 25 XP to spare?


You can only take each talent once on any given talent tree. So once you acquire it in one tree, you have to work towards Dedicated in another talent tree to acquire it again.

-EF

#11 Chortles

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 06:32 AM

 

This may sound odd and maybe it was cleared up somewhere, but is there a reason that one can't keep taking Dedication (after the first time which I understand takes an absolute minimum of 75 XP) whenever they have 25 XP to spare?


You can only take each talent once on any given talent tree. So once you acquire it in one tree, you have to work towards Dedicated in another talent tree to acquire it again.

-EF

 

Page 134 has it as a ranked talent, and "Each rank permanently increases a single characteristic of the player's choice by one point", with no mention of having to "change trees".


 

Well, according to George Lucas, the Empire is intended to be bad guys and the Sith to be objectively evil.

Fans proceeded to immediately disregard his bull and have fun with the Empire and make believable characters left and right, and come up with sensible rationalizations east, west, north and south.

 


#12 EldritchFire

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 07:03 AM

 

 

This may sound odd and maybe it was cleared up somewhere, but is there a reason that one can't keep taking Dedication (after the first time which I understand takes an absolute minimum of 75 XP) whenever they have 25 XP to spare?


You can only take each talent once on any given talent tree. So once you acquire it in one tree, you have to work towards Dedicated in another talent tree to acquire it again.

-EF

 

Page 134 has it as a ranked talent, and "Each rank permanently increases a single characteristic of the player's choice by one point", with no mention of having to "change trees".

 

 

I don't have a book in front of me, so I can't give you any page numbers, but read the opening section of either the talents chapter, or the section on choosing talents from the chargen chapter. In one of those places, it'll talk about acquiring ranked talents and only getting it once per occurrence.

 

-EF



#13 Chortles

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 04:08 AM

Found the pages... though ironically I thought that the chargen explanation was way more clear about it than the talents chapter, as was the example (more clear than the regular text right next to it!).


  • EldritchFire likes this
 

Well, according to George Lucas, the Empire is intended to be bad guys and the Sith to be objectively evil.

Fans proceeded to immediately disregard his bull and have fun with the Empire and make believable characters left and right, and come up with sensible rationalizations east, west, north and south.

 





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