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Spend Most Starting Points on Characteristics?


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#1 selderane

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:44 AM

I seached the boards, so forgive me if this question has already been answered, but I wanted to verify my perception that the game seems to want most points at character creation to be spend on Characteristics.  Is this right?

The biggest indicator were the pre-generated characters that come with the Beginner Game.

With the revelation, everything else seemed to snap into place, but I suppose my old thinking of balance between attributes and skills lead me to scratch my head some with EotE and the fact that Chracteristics don't go up after character creation.  "But that means I'll be attrubute heavy," I'd say to myself.  "That's wrong!"

So, if I'm on target, could someone confirm this?  If I'm wrong, please set me straight.


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#2 riplikash

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:56 AM

It's definately the most sense mechanically. Rasing one attribute is the equivalent of raising 6-8 skills. I wouldn't worry about being "attribute heavy". At best you are going to be able to raise one characteristic by 2 and another by 1 (unless you're a droid). 

 

It makes sense for a young new adventurer. You have some natural strengths, but have not yet developed many skills.

 

On top of that, it's hard to be a skill monkey with your starting skills because you can't raise any heigher than too.

So, yeah, I would say the game intends for you to spend your initial xp on attributes. The skills will rapidly come as your character gets experience.



#3 That Blasted Samophlange

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:21 AM

I would say it all depends on the feel you want for your character. With high attributes a character has lots of raw potential, but not much experience. A character with lots of skills and talents represents someone who has been around the galaxy, and has lots of practical experience. From a more gamist perspective, a smaller grouo would benefit more from skills.
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#4 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:26 AM

selderane said:

I seached the boards, so forgive me if this question has already been answered, but I wanted to verify my perception that the game seems to want most points at character creation to be spend on Characteristics.  Is this right?

The biggest indicator were the pre-generated characters that come with the Beginner Game.

With the revelation, everything else seemed to snap into place, but I suppose my old thinking of balance between attributes and skills lead me to scratch my head some with EotE and the fact that Chracteristics don't go up after character creation.  "But that means I'll be attrubute heavy," I'd say to myself.  "That's wrong!"

So, if I'm on target, could someone confirm this?  If I'm wrong, please set me straight.

Frankly, it depends.

As riplikash said, putting your starting XP into raising Characteristics is the most mechanically sound option, since it gives you bigger dice pools to work woth.

But That Blasted Samophlange is also right in that it depends on the character concept.  Putting all of your starting XP into Characteristics means you don't have as many points to spend on expanding your skill list or picking up talents.

I get the feeling that the Beginner Box PCs put all their build XP into Characteristics to keep things simple for new players, not that it was the best way of making characters.  Personally, I found that the custom PCs that my Saturday group built, who spent some of their starting XP on a few additional skills and talents (they still spent about 80% of their starting XP on Characteristics on average), performed a lot better than the pre-gens who spent all of their starting XP on raising their Characteristics


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#5 Genghis12

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:11 PM

For better or worse, the system design philosophy was given in Chapter 1 (emphasis mine):

  • "A character's species determines his starting characteristic ratings.  However, each player has the opportunity to increase these default characteristics during character creation by investing a portion of his starting experience points.  IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT AFTER CHARACTER CREATION, INCREASING CHARACTERISTICS IS A SIGNIFICANT IN-GAME INVESTMENT -- SOMETHING THAT MAY ONLY HAPPEN A FEW TIMES OVER THE COURSE OF AN ENTIRE CAMPAIGN…"

In game terms, what this means is that the only way in Beta to advance a characteristic after creation is to take advantage of the deepest 25-pt. talent level "Dedication" talents of a given talent tree; usually a minimum of 75 pts (no advancing anything else, storing XP after 5 or so adventures).  Some talent trees put it at 100 or even 145 pts -- remember that some of the talent tree paths specifically to that tree's "Dedication" talent aren't always straight down.

With skills and talents, you can always purchase after creation through adventure awarded XP what you could have purchased during creation.  This is not as direct with advancing a characteristic.

So, you should weigh your character's concept during creation, always asking whether it will be possible for you to achieve the skill/talent concept through advancement that you can achieve at creation (always yes) versus having extremely limited opportunities -- by design -- to raise your characteristics after creation is complete.  In most cases, people will likely default to "get it while the gettin's good."  In this regard, I think these rules essentially codify a form of min-maxing if this limitation of advancing characteristics from the Beta holds.

Sure, there is always likely to be be the odd player who might put his characteristics at 1 but have be massively skilled/talented out the gate, or simply take the default species levels, but I have a feeling that's not going to be the typical case.



#6 Voice

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:24 PM

In another thread (which I can't seem to find right now), I did the basic math comparing two otherwise identical character builds.  One who started by boosting the characteristic for a focus skill, and one who started without doing so, but by putting a second rank into that focus skill.  In the end, the two builds essentially spent a lot of time 'leapfrogging' each other in capability, with the skill-first build reaching various milestones first.

In that comparison, it was a 1 point boost to the characteristic, rather than a two-point boost, but I think the basic process remains the same.  The characteristic-focused build starts with a bit more raw power, while the skill-focused build starts more flexible.  At some point, the skill-focused build reaches a higher raw-poer stage, but the characteristic-focused build is never far behind.  At the same time, the skill-focused build retains the extra flexibility enabled by the less expensive initial build cost.

TL;DR version: Neither method seems to be 'wrong'.  The characteristic focused build will have more raw 'oomph' out of the gate, but the skill-focused build will have more options because of the points saved (which can be spent on skills associated with other characteristics, and talents).  The 'right' choice will depend very much on the specific character concept.



#7 Cilionelle

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:32 PM

One of the key differences is that when a character reachs Rank 5 in a skill, they can go no further.  In that instance, the character who has invested more highly in characteristics will be better off, with one or two more dice in the pool or upgrades available.


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#8 Voice

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:47 PM

But, as you go arbitrarily far into the future of the builds, the characteristic-first build will always be 30 points behind the skill-first build in reaching those extra skill levels and/or Dedication talents.  It's not much, but it does mean that when the skill-first build hits that first Dedication talent, the charcteristic-first build is still two talent-purchases behind that (a pair of 25s not yet purchased, in most cases).

This is, of course, assuming otherwise identical progressions past the initial build.  Any comparison more complex than that simply has too many possible variables to account for.  (Thinking on a 2-point characteristic lead a bit further, that scenario may well keep the characteristic-first build ahead in raw power (due to having 2 extra dice or upgrades, rather than just 1), but the skill-first build will have had *many* (50, 70, or 90) more points to pour into talents right off the bat.

 

If all (or at least a significant majority) of the skills/abilities you want to focus on use a single characteristic, by all means, go for the characteristic-first build.

If the build spreads it's schtick across multiple characteristics, or require a more significant talent investment, go for the skill-first build.



#9 Lunatic Pathos

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:15 PM

If you think about the really long run, you want to start out with characteristics. Let's say you've taken dedication 3 times. If you started with a characteristic of 2, you've now got a 5 in it and 5 skill ranks. You roll 5 proficiency dice. If you'd started with a 3, you'd now have 5 proficiency and 1 ability dice, something the person who started at 2 can't reach. If you started with 4, you can get to that point and also have 3 proficiency dice in another characteristic's skills, too.

Skilled characters seem to be ahead in how good they are at a specific skill at any one time, but they will reach the cap of their natural abilities, while characters who start with high natural abilities will be behind in the specific skill, but have a higher cap of what they can do in the long run. (Really really long run)



#10 aramis

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 06:49 PM

Lunatic Pathos said:

If you think about the really long run, you want to start out with characteristics. Let's say you've taken dedication 3 times. If you started with a characteristic of 2, you've now got a 5 in it and 5 skill ranks. You roll 5 proficiency dice. If you'd started with a 3, you'd now have 5 proficiency and 1 ability dice, something the person who started at 2 can't reach. If you started with 4, you can get to that point and also have 3 proficiency dice in another characteristic's skills, too.

Skilled characters seem to be ahead in how good they are at a specific skill at any one time, but they will reach the cap of their natural abilities, while characters who start with high natural abilities will be behind in the specific skill, but have a higher cap of what they can do in the long run. (Really really long run)

Not even very long - 200-300xp in, it's telling.

That's 10-15 sessions.



#11 LethalDose

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:42 AM

aramis said:

Lunatic Pathos said:

 

If you think about the really long run, you want to start out with characteristics. Let's say you've taken dedication 3 times. If you started with a characteristic of 2, you've now got a 5 in it and 5 skill ranks. You roll 5 proficiency dice. If you'd started with a 3, you'd now have 5 proficiency and 1 ability dice, something the person who started at 2 can't reach. If you started with 4, you can get to that point and also have 3 proficiency dice in another characteristic's skills, too.

Skilled characters seem to be ahead in how good they are at a specific skill at any one time, but they will reach the cap of their natural abilities, while characters who start with high natural abilities will be behind in the specific skill, but have a higher cap of what they can do in the long run. (Really really long run)

 

Not even very long - 200-300xp in, it's telling.

 

That's 10-15 sessions.

Well, that's 10-15 sessions if you're getting the max or increased XP rewards every session.  At the default XP gain of 15/session (pg 13, Final week update), its more like 7-20 sessions.

I'm also confused by the statement that skill-focus builds are mechanically superior to attrib-focused builds early in the game.  Increasing attibutes at the start of the game is the only way, with very few exceptions, to be throwing more than than 3 dice at the start of game play.  Further, increasing the size of the dice pool by adding ability dice is typically numerically superior to improving the quality of the dice pool, so these early rolls with 

Now, this does raise the arguement that the marginal value first few ranks bought in a skill with high attribute (which upgrade dice) is reduced compared to the first few ranks of a skill bought in a low attribute (which add dice), since the former requires more ranks to be purchased to reach rank equity between the skills and attributes.

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#12 aramis

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:05 AM

LethalDose said:

aramis said:

 

Lunatic Pathos said:

 

If you think about the really long run, you want to start out with characteristics. Let's say you've taken dedication 3 times. If you started with a characteristic of 2, you've now got a 5 in it and 5 skill ranks. You roll 5 proficiency dice. If you'd started with a 3, you'd now have 5 proficiency and 1 ability dice, something the person who started at 2 can't reach. If you started with 4, you can get to that point and also have 3 proficiency dice in another characteristic's skills, too.

Skilled characters seem to be ahead in how good they are at a specific skill at any one time, but they will reach the cap of their natural abilities, while characters who start with high natural abilities will be behind in the specific skill, but have a higher cap of what they can do in the long run. (Really really long run)

 

Not even very long - 200-300xp in, it's telling.

 

That's 10-15 sessions.

 

 

Well, that's 10-15 sessions if you're getting the max or increased XP rewards every session.  At the default XP gain of 15/session (pg 13, Final week update), its more like 7-20 sessions.

I'm also confused by the statement that skill-focus builds are mechanically superior to attrib-focused builds early in the game.  Increasing attibutes at the start of the game is the only way, with very few exceptions, to be throwing more than than 3 dice at the start of game play.  Further, increasing the size of the dice pool by adding ability dice is typically numerically superior to improving the quality of the dice pool, so these early rolls with 

Now, this does raise the arguement that the marginal value first few ranks bought in a skill with high attribute (which upgrade dice) is reduced compared to the first few ranks of a skill bought in a low attribute (which add dice), since the former requires more ranks to be purchased to reach rank equity between the skills and attributes.

-WJL

 

The final week update only replaces one sentence of the experience awards… not the whole paragraph

15 base (Final week)

5 for playing to motivation

5 for advancing the plot

up to 2 more for good roleply.

that's 15 to 27 per session.

Here's the experience paragraph adjusted for final week update - note in final week update it replaces ONE sentence with much of a paragraph; I've underlined the replacement.

AWARDING EXPERIENCE POI NTS

The GM should award experience points after every session. The amount awarded depends on the pace the GM wants to set for level advancement. The default reward is 15 XP for one session consisting of one to three major encounters and two to three minor encounters (note, these do not have to be combat encounters) is 15 XP. If the GM wants characters to advance quickly and gain new abilities every session, however, he can increase this to 20 XP. Conversely, if he wants his characters to grow slowly (or encourage earning additional XP through roleplaying to Motivations), he can award 10 XP per session. Whichever he chooses, he should announce this to his players at the beginning of the game and be consistent throughout the campaign. An additional XP bonus may be granted for reaching key milestones or completing story arcs. The GM may consider awarding an extra point or two of XP for exceptional roleplaying or highly clever thinking. Published adventures may include recommend XP awards. Playing to a character's Motivation also grants XP per session. 

The GM should give the players an idea of the source of their XP. For example. They may receive XP for avoiding a bounty hunter and another XP for successfully transporting their cargo to their client. Any bonus XP that is awarded should definitely be explained to the players so they may aspire to those standards in future sessions.

 



#13 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:23 AM

So would a good rule of thumb for base xp, then, be 5xp for every minor + major encounter pairing, since they recommend 15xp for 3 x major and minor encounters?


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#14 aramis

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:43 PM

Shakespearian_Soldier said:

So would a good rule of thumb for base xp, then, be 5xp for every minor + major encounter pairing, since they recommend 15xp for 3 x major and minor encounters?

If you're running long sessions or notably short ones, yeah. 






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