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Caliber42

Ditching classes.

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Curious if anyone has removed the class system from the game and allowed players to more freely customize their characters by selecting specialization trees and skills as they wish?

 

How'd it work out?

 

-Cal

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There aren't set in stone classes in the game.  Anyone can advance into anything they like, it's simply a matter of xp.  The issue for some is one of patience and time, not lack of access.  The intent is to slow progression and lengthen the life of the campaign.  If a group wants to speed things up there is nothing preventing a group from doing that, but just giving everyone access to everything becomes a very monochromatic, bland experience, quickly I would guess.

whafrog, GL309, ddbrown30 and 5 others like this

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It seems that all that would be gained by this is hyper specialization where the players cherry pick only the best talents/skills from multiple trees.  I guess you could do that, but since everything is open to every character, regardless of career... why not just give them enough experience to do it?  Instead of running a game where the players start as beginning characters, with only character creation experience, just give them a couple thousand experience each, 100K credits each, and let them min max their end-game level MMO Star Wars guys/gals into existence however they see fit.

If that is what they want, and you are willing to do it; it is your table, have a grand old time.  Personally, I do not see the point or the benefit, other than more power for lower XP totals, which is the worst kind of gaming min-maxing, since the players are literally asking to break the rules to min-max even more.

 

Kevynn

Edited by KevynnRedfern
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There aren't set in stone classes in the game.  Anyone can advance into anything they like, it's simply a matter of xp.  The issue for some is one of patience and time, not lack of access.  The intent is to slow progression and lengthen the life of the campaign.  If a group wants to speed things up there is nothing preventing a group from doing that, but just giving everyone access to everything becomes a very monochromatic, bland experience, quickly I would guess.

 

That's not accurate: once you choose a class you keep that class throughout the game, and can't gain another.  You can gain additional specializations, which can open up new Talents and reduce the cost of some skills, but what class you are still matters.  In particular, it provides 2/3rds of your low-cost skills (at least until you buy a second specialization), lowers the cost of buying other specs in the same class, and sets what your Signature Abilities may be.

 

That said, I think the classes are a good thing.  There's a huge amount of overlap already, given how inexpensive advancement is compared to most systems.  The classes are useful just for concept alone.

Edited by Enoch52
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Wow, the hyperbolic "BUT IT'S NOT RAW" is strong in this thread.

 

 

 

My thoughts:

 

Post character creation:  Just open it up.  No classes, no specs.

 

Limited to only buying 3 Ranks of any Ranked Talents unless a Specific Tree has more than three Ranks within it and every Rank is purchased from within that Tree.  No crossing between genres (EotE and AoR).

 

 

 

Allows a non-combat "Support" character like the one I'm playing in my game to pick up a few things from across a few different specs, our Smuggler could become a better Trader... etc.

 

Will the combat munchkin go completely bat-crap crazy with the munchkinism?  Sure.  Was he going to do this anyway?  Yup, just slightly slower.

 

As it stands only 2 things stop someone from picking up  6 levels of True Aim (the ultimate in munchkinsim); 1 - The ST, 2 - The Players.

 

No, 70 exp to pick up the other 2 spec trees isn't even a speed bump.  And just wait till it shows up in a few more splatbooks...

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Wow, the hyperbolic "BUT IT'S NOT RAW" is strong in this thread.

 

I don't see any "it's not RAW" argument going on.  The OP asked if it was a good idea, and every single poster that said no explained why.

 

 

All of the skills can ultimately be accessed by taking enough additional specializations, the only thing selecting a career locks you into is the signature ability in that career.

 

Heck, you don't even need to take additional specs to access any skill in the game.  However, your career does affect the XP cost of a character pretty profoundly; non-class skills are more expensive, as are specs outside your career.  And to access Talents outside your spec you will have to buy a new one.

 

But yes, with unlimited XP skill cost is not relevant.

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As 2P51 said, all this does is take away the lock down of signature abilities.  Everything else is simply Experience points.

 

How do you handle signature abilities if you take away career?  Still allow them, but any signature ability can be attacked to any specialization?  Only signature abilities from the Career the specialization belongs to may be purchased?  Can you purchase more than one signature ability?  Can you purchase more than one signature ability from more than one Specialization?

 

If doing this makes you happy, go for it.  For me, personally, it takes away some of the identity of the characters.  Most of the gains can be offset simply by giving experience.

 

Kevynn

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As 2P51 said, all this does is take away the lock down of signature abilities.  Everything else is simply Experience points.

 

Everybody seems to be assuming experience points don't matter.  They do.  That's why there's an XP penalty for non-career skills and buying new specs.  Heck, that's the reason you have to buy skills at all.

 

I'm not saying removing careers is bad, but Signature Abilities are the least consequential change to come from that.  The biggest thing is that you change how XP works.  For example, the cost of career skills: do you say that only skills in a spec you own are career skills (and eliminate the ones from career)?  Are all skills now career skills?  Some third option?  It also affects the cost of buying new specs--you pay a penalty for buying outside your career.  If you're going to eliminate careers, you need to consider the effects.

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Yeah, I have seen this done; you could do a search in these boards and turn something up. 

 

I don't think it's beneficial or necessary...you end up having to re-balance a bunch of costs of stuff, and lose SO much flavor. 

 

+5 and +10 XP to some costs to modify your character into your vision for them isn't bank-breaking. IMO, the game makes sense the way it is, including career and non-career XP costs.

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The once per session aspect of Signature Abilities limits them regardless of any other considerations so they really aren't a factor.  You do have access to everything, it just costs more in xp the way the advancement system is laid out.  So in a sense the only real limitation is the xp you burn.  A character can get to the exact same place whether there is a rigid career system or a come as you are party for skills, it's just a matter of time and xp spent.

Ranger1060, GMmL, GL309 and 1 other like this

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I'm wondering, what is the up-side to doing this? You can already make all the politico/doctor/pilot/marauder combos you want to your heart's content. It seems like the only advantage is that characters save XP from buying into other specs. 

 

If you went totally freeform like this, I would eliminate career skills and have them all cost the same as non-career to compensate. Otherwise you are ultimately just giving players more XP. 

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As 2P51 said, all this does is take away the lock down of signature abilities.  Everything else is simply Experience points.

That's my take on it.

 

 

How do you handle signature abilities if you take away career?

I'll probably be dissallowing non-Core Specializations and the Signature abilities.

 

Makes it simple, keeps the "man I wish the Technician book was out" grumbling from happening every time the Hired Gun blows a Destiny Point and murders a planet's worth of Minions...

 

 

Everybody seems to be assuming experience points don't matter.

They do if your running a short or medium length campaign. How many EXP do you think you'll hand out?

50? 100? 200?

Then yes, "keeping it RAW" will certainly limit things. Can the Hired Gun still get 4 ranks in True Aim? On 200 Exp it's impossible.*

On 400 (30-40 sessions, less than one game per week for a year) then he most certainly can and probably will.

Is this changed if you "toss out Classes and out Of Class Rules"? Yeah, he can probably get his cheese with 200 exp.*

Unless you keep it limited to EotE... and then it's the Trando Marauder-Doctors you have to watch out for... (who is still ludicrously easy to build)

* I checked the math. It's 230 exp to get all 4 True Aims with Hired Gun Mercenary Soldier and Ace Gunner...

It's 180 for Soldier Sharpshooter and Ace Gunner...

To Simplify:

Soldier Sharpshooter costs 75 EXP for both True Aims.

Ace Gunner costs 75 EXP for both True Aims.

Hired Gun (gets screwed) costs 125 for both True Aims.

+ 30 EXP for the first Out Of Class Spec, and 40 for the second...

So BTB your average Munchkin should start as an Ace or a Soldier. Even just going from Soldier to Ace, he can skim the bottom most level of the Gunner spec and grab a lot of good Talents for pretty cheap.

Edited by evileeyore

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I think for me, the big question, is what Caliber42 is looking to gain by removing careers, and how he is planning on compensating for whatever he chucks out the window.  It seems like an awful lot of GM work to try and rebalance things, or handle the minutiae of a buy anything you want thing, for the simple gain of allowing players to hit whatever they want for skills and talents will less XP spent...

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This game has one of the best class systems I've ever seen -- not too restrictive, nor too loose.  I'd happy port this sweet-spot over to other games before spacing it.

Edited by Lorne
Doc, GMmL, Krieger22 and 5 others like this

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I think you mean that Hired Guns have to buy additional, useful talents to get that many ranks of True Aim.

That's indeed how I'd see... if I actually liked the Talent Trees.

 

They don't sit well with me though.  Too much "Classism"... not sure best how to fix it other than to play a different game system.

But I do like the dice. Conundrum.

 

This game has one of the best class systems I've ever seen -- not too restrictive, nor too loose.  I'd happy port this sweet-spot over to other games before spacing it.

It could just be a knee-jerk hatred of Classes for me. Or it could be a design "flaw" that is tweaking only me and a few in my group...

We're a crew of old time GURPS players... so classes don't sit well with most of us.

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It's a matter of taste.  I can totally see how a class system sticks in your craw; I personally hate level-based systems.

 

Luckily, the dice mechanic is very portable, though you might have to fiddle with how you assemble a pool.  Any system where you have stats and skill levels should be reasonably easy to assemble, though.

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It's a matter of taste.  I can totally see how a class system sticks in your craw; I personally hate level-based systems.

 

Luckily, the dice mechanic is very portable, though you might have to fiddle with how you assemble a pool.  Any system where you have stats and skill levels should be reasonably easy to assemble, though.

I hate levels even worse than I hate classes.

 

 

To be honest, I'm not that against the way FFG is doing "classes" here since they sort of drop away once you start play.  It's just an exp tax and buy in wall at that point.

 

I think it's the wonky way some Talent Trees are laid out... and the obvious munchkin choices that are bothering me more.

 

 

 

EDIT:  Added the "not" above.

Edited by evileeyore
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Levels I hate...classes I can live with.  But if you don't like it, you can actually play the game just fine without any Talents at all.  The players just get really good at certain skills.  Mind you, not having Toughness and Grit means you have to ease up on some challenges.

 

Alternately you could use the following:

 

Toughness and Grit cost:  5, 10, 15, 20, 25

Enduring and Durable cost:  10, 20, 25

Ranked Talents cost:  5, 15, 25XP (max of 3)

Non-ranked Talents cost:  15

Non-ranked Talents with an Improved/Supreme cost:  10, 20, 25

Dedication or Force Rating cost:  25, and for each you must have at least 5 other Talents, at least one of which is another 25XP Talent

 

Edit: removed ridiculous rudeness

Edited by whafrog
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 We're a crew of old time GURPS players... so classes don't sit well with most of us.

 

Before playing GURPS went out of style, I used to play GURPS like it was going out of style.

 

I loved the freedom of games like that and HERO and BRP and such.  But they were balanced around that pure point-based design -- mage-tanks in GURPS were sub-optimal to either pure mages or tanks because of hyper-dependence upon good stats, whose costs were prohibitive enough to discourage maxing everything out.

 

In contrast, a starting human can easily have 4 stats at 3, and be competent at most everything (and having that option is a good thing!).  The classes in FFG's SW are mostly gates to the talent trees, which is where the cinematic larger-than-life stuff come into play.  At low level, skill training hardly matters because upgrading g to Y affects chance of success only very slightly.  You could probably banish the concept of class skills and hardly notice anything except how similar each of your PCs suddenly look with all only having training in combat-related skills (where it might actually make a diff -- e.g.: if you have a 4 Int, why even bother training knowledges? 4 green will blow away most all knowledge check anyway. Might as well invest everything in Ranged combat where extra success = more damage).

 

Now, if we want to critique the talent trees (and, lo, there is MUCH critiquing that could happen there), their various shapes and compositions, I'm game, but that's another discussion entirely.

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