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Caliber42

Ditching classes.

73 posts in this topic

 

Thank you for making my point even more poignant on the importance of knowing the rules before they are arbitrarily changed "because that's how it was in my favorite system".
Good to see we're on the same side here.  I firmly believe in knowing the rules well before futzing with them.
 
Note above where I specifically call that out?  Probably not, you were so high on trying to score a point...
 
 
Now... Talking about futzing with them?  Go ahead, you'll often learn more about the rules in attempting to deconstruct them than you would in just playing the game,
 
 

 

Hey, evileyesore, if that's how you want to your run your game, that's great. What is even greater is that I do not have to play in it. If I had a GM do that to me, my negotiation would be: read, know and understand the rules before you make up your own. If you want to cheat to make the game harder on me, then so be it, I won't be in it.
I don't know the Force rules.  I skimmed 'em and saw nothing about auto-disarm.  You also didn't specify having that particular upgrade.  Pardon me.
 
If said character have that Talent, then yes, he roles the Force die, spends his Force point and disarms the foe.  And if he doesn't have that specific upgrade I'd be fine with him trying and making an opposed check.
 
Or are you arguing he simply gets to have the upgrades for free?
 

 

There is an inherent difference between Classes and Careers. the two terms are not interchangeable.
Blah, blah, blah.  One common parlance term is interchangeable with another.  The terms serve the same function, I'll use them interchangeably.
 
 

 

You seem pretty disgusted with this game, so why even play it? Are you just on this forum now to troll and spread your hatred for this system? Have you even played this system yet?
I do enjoy the game.  But when I come into a thread specifically about doing X, I'll talk about how to do X effectively and boo down the people mindlessly chanting "But it's not RAW!" and "You shouldn't even think about X until you know the rules as well as we do and blah, blah, blah come to love them in the original state!"
 
This thread is about "Ditching Classes" not "How I Learned to Love Classes". It's right there in the url and everything.   :)
 

 

Dude really? The first thing you do is try to make three Power/Munchkin Characters that are beyond the scope of most games? Power Game much?
Power munchkins?
 
Conan.. sure.  Maybe he is a bit Mary Sue depending on his age in the series.  Let's see starting Conan...  BRA 4, AGI 3... sure.  He's a bit rough.  But a "Conan-like" is very possible.  Conan Jr maybe.
 
D'Artagnan is a great Swordsmen and has Charm.  So like two skills at 2, AGI at 4 and PRE 3.  Man, I had to really stretch to get that cheese going, I may have pulled something...
 
Grey Mouser.  He might be a bit cheesy.  High INT, AGI, PRE, and CUN... so he's a Human with 4 3's and a pair of 2's.  Not quite where I'd picture him (he should have a couple of 4's even young Mouser is bit "super"), but starting Mouser is made.  Skills... Know: Lore, Skullduggery, Melee, Stealth, Charm, and Deception.  I think he's just doable with extra Obligation.  He's not "end of books Mouser", but he's good starting character.
 
 
I think your nerdrage missed where I said "I can make them in FFG SW at chargen by the RAW".
 

 

Um, I'm calling BS here. This game takes very little to ZERO prep work. I know, I have been running this system for a bit now.
Kudos for you.
 
Our current GM puts in a bit of prep work figuring out what Minions he's using, Rivals, Nemesis building, etc.  So he's not flipping pages during game play, he keeps his lists with the stat blocks.  I'm sure if/when I run I'll have to do the same till I have stronger feel for the Adversaries stats blocks (enough so I can just wing it).  We all (my group) still consult the rulebook quite bit for skills and the charts for spending Advantages, Triumphs, Despair, and Threat.
 
He also spends a good deal of time thinking about and writing up the plot, figuring out where the Party can go from here, how we could overcome this or that.  He's not very "by the seat of his pants".
 
On the other hand, my only weakness will be stat blocks.  I'm an old hand at winging plot.
 
 

 

So I applaud your efforts to not support the men and women of FFG, not buy the books, and not read them...
Thanks.  I don't buy products I have fundamental disagreements with (in this case business practices).  I refuse to reward FFG for this style of business, the "Stretch things out to get more products sold" style.  It's not as bad as the AAA video game producers, but it's up there.
 

 

Good luck convincing your GM to do it.
If it's done, I'll be the GM.  Have you even bothered reading my posts in this thread?
 

 

I think all you are looking for is to build the "best fighting guy" you can the cheapest XP way.
LOLERSKATES.
 
My character is as far away from "fighting guy" as you can get and still be an FFG Star Wars character.  I mean sure... I have a couple of green dice in the combat skills.  But my Jawa Outlaw Tech/Mechanic/Slicer just doesn't do combat.  He fixes things.  If it's broke, he fixes it.  If it's not broke, he can probably break it.  Need a locked door opened?  Call him.  Need a computer sliced?  Call him.  Need a 'medic'?  Call him.  Need a Face, or a Murder Hobo, or a Pilot, or anything outside his pretty **** narrow competency list?  Call someone else.
 
And yeah I made the character before I realized how important combat was going to be (it's a third of what we do) but I've stuck with the character and had fun trying to find ways to be useful in combat without actually pulling his Holdout Blaster or a Grenade (2G Light Ranged, run in terror Minions!  RUN IN TERROR!).
 

 

Thanks for playing.
Next contestant please.
I agree... Next contestant!

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For example in Edge. I'm a force user, and I'm going to use move to pull the gun from the mooks hand. I roll up the Force Points I need. Yippie, I did it. Nope, the GM now says roll Discipline to do it.?!?!? Wha? Where did that come from. "Well, I just feel that the mook should be able to resist you, because that's how it was in WEG, CR, RCR, and Saga." Great, then go play one of this effing games! This rule book says nothing about opposed discipline checks for that.

Two things:

1 - That has nothing to do with ditching classes. That's a disagreement between your reading of the rules and your GM's intentions. That sort of stuff should be hashed out before play begins.

2 - By the reading of the Control upgrade (and the concept of Move in general) all it does is "What you could do with your hands, without needing to use your hands" (I'm not getting into tossing starships about here). The rules for Move don't say you can automagically disarm your foes, that's normally something that can only be accomplished with Triumphs (or a leinent GM allowing a Melee attack to forgo damage for a disarm). Personally I'd rule for sort of thing, yeah, it would be opposed. But then I'd also have a discussion with the Player in advance about what sort of hijinks he thinks he can get away with using the Force and we'd negotiate how the Force works in our game.
 

 

 

 

There's a Move control upgrade (only about halfway down the power tree) that allows you to pull a weapon from an opponent's grasp. Just sayin.

So there is. I bow to your knowledge of the Force rules (I've mostly not read them yet - haven't needed to).
 

Thanks for taking the time out to point that i broke the rules of the Interwebz Forum by NOT strictly adhering to the "Subject Title" and using a reference that was not directly to Class Ditching but about a GM just changing the rules because he can...blink...blink.
 
Also, thank you for taking the time to point out how I was wrong, and the "GM" was right in my example. Then stating you "Didn't know the rules". 
 
Perhaps you should not tell people they are wrong until you can back yourself a bit. I understand this game is quite complicated and perhaps out a little out of your league. Have you tried Candy Land? I would recommend it for you...

 

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The advantage I can see from removing the Specs and allowing players to just pick whatever Talent they wish is that they won't be forced to buy a Talent they don't want just to get one they do want. So, for example, if I wanted to be a melee focused bodyguard, I wouldn't have to buy a long range Talent before getting my melee Talent. 

 

Consequently, and more importantly, this will reduce the character sheet clutter. Making it easier to keep track of the Talents you do have.

 

If you price the Talents right (and a bit higher than otherwise) you should be able to mix characters with the regular rules with those free picking. I, personally, wouldn't do it this way as I'd just make a new spec for any player that didn't find what he wanted among those that are already available. 

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I never said a system like Gurps or Hero was BAD WRONG FUN. Not at all. I've played in both systems, and enjoyed them.

 

I would quibble and point out that at no point did Vampire ever dominate the market. Did it become big? Yes. Did it topple D&D in the 1990's? Not even close. Was it because of the class-less system? Not at all. It was because the game was named Vampire and it came out in the 1990's. Plus, I would argue Vampire was not free-form, build-your-own-PC in the same way that Hero or Gurps is. There were classes in Vampire the Masquerade, but we just called them clans.

 

My point is that there are reasons some people like classes, and there is nothing that makes a class-less system better or superior in anyway. And judging from how people have voted with their wallets over the past 40 years, that's not a claim I have to spend a lot of time defending.

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I would quibble and point out that at no point did Vampire ever dominate the market.

"Dominate" was a joke. I even pointed that out.

And yes White Wolf came close to unseating D&D. Though... I will admit that may have had more to do with Lorriane Williams and a massive upswelling in the "narrative" crowd.

All I know is everywhere I looked in the early and mid 1990's people were playing White Wolf. Not a D&D game to be seen.

 

There were classes in Vampire the Masquerade, but we just called them clans.

Ehhh....  except there were no restrictions on skill purchases and barely any on Powers purchases.  Even less so in the other Storyteller System games, which I was talking about as a whole.

We won't even talk about how The Cammarilla (the LARP Club) consistently has a larger membership than any of the "Living D&D" clubs, to this day.

 

My point is that there are reasons some people like classes, and there is nothing that makes a class-less system better or superior in anyway.

The "badwrongfun" comes directly from your "complexity doesn't make them better, just less fun". That's you explicitly stating that other people's love for "complexity" makes the games they run and play less fun.

A lot of this sort of of passive-aggressive nonsense has been floating around this thread (and this board), "Just learn to play correctly first" - as though dissatisfaction with classes comes from faulty play?, "You should learn the rules before trying to change things" - as though those talking about houserules haven't even played or delved into the rules (or that a discussion of what makes something work and not work isn't a learning experience), etc.

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Yes, needless complexity rarely improves an already fun experience. Where you want to draw the line on complexity is up to the individual. FFG Star Wars is already fun, and I don't see adding needless complexity vis-a-vis removing the careers doing anything at all other than reducing fun.

 

Also, I have not been passive-aggressive. All I've tried to do is explain why some people like classes and why they're likely here to stay in lieu of very rules heavy, build-your-own-PC systems. I don't have anything against class-less systems, since I own a few iterations of Hero System and have a few hundreds hours (or more) in playing it.

 

If you'll check a few other threads I've been in, I've never condemned anyone for house rules even though I tend to dislike them. Why? Because, in my actual gaming experience at the tabletop, too many GMs knee-jerk some houserule with a new ruleset they've never played for any length of time, and the houserule usually ends up being deeply unbalancing or proven pointless in short order.

 

So, yes, I would, categorically, tell anyone that before they add a single houserule or remove a rule as written, they should have a solid understanding of the game system achieved through play. Yes, I constantly hear GMs say how "they know" how a certain ruleset is going to work, because they read the rules. I've yet to see any of them ever actually be right about such a claim.

 

I know, because I've made the mistake myself too many times to mention.

 

When have I seen good houserules? Pretty much only from D&D grognards who knew they system forward and backward or, ironically considering my position in this thread, by a DM thoroughly familiar with Hero System.

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When have I seen good houserules? Pretty much only from D&D grognards who knew they system forward and backward or, ironically considering my position in this thread, by a DM thoroughly familiar with Hero System.

 

I would say a good houserule is one that improves the fun of everyone at the table. Balance is secondary to fun, especially since balance can greatly depend upon the style of the group. You can read the thread about healing to see a great example of how differing playstyles greatly change the balancing of the doctor tree. 

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Our current GM puts in a bit of prep work figuring out what Minions he's using, Rivals, Nemesis building, etc.  So he's not flipping pages during game play, he keeps his lists with the stat blocks.  I'm sure if/when I run I'll have to do the same till I have stronger feel for the Adversaries stats blocks (enough so I can just wing it).  We all (my group) still consult the rulebook quite bit for skills and the charts for spending Advantages, Triumphs, Despair, and Threat.

That’s what the GM shield is for. All of those tables concentrated into one place. You don’t get any of the narrative text that goes along with explaining the tables, but that’s okay — the tables are really just there for quick reference when you already know the rules in general and you just need a reminder.

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That’s what the GM shield is for.

His love of "everything Star Wars" doesn't really enter into the realm of peripheral "utility items", in this case GM screens, Card Packs, etc.

When I run I'll just make my own like I always do. I've yet to find a GM screen that has the exact info I want.

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That’s what the GM shield is for.

His love of "everything Star Wars" doesn't really enter into the realm of peripheral "utility items", in this case GM screens, Card Packs, etc.

When I run I'll just make my own like I always do. I've yet to find a GM screen that has the exact info I want.

Okay, well there is a free PDF file that was created by one of the forum members and it has everything that’s on the GM shield plus some extra stuff. It runs to something like six or seven pages if you print it out, and it’s all tables and stuff.

My point is that you’re playing this game … in a sub-optimal fashion … if you’re spending that much time flipping through the books and looking at standard tables like how to spend Advantages.

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My point is that you’re playing this game … in a sub-optimal fashion … if you’re spending that much time flipping through the books and looking at standard tables like how to spend Advantages.

Yeah, I know.

When I take the reigns and run (sounding like that'll in about a month) I'll be making handouts and such so the books can leave the **** table.

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Well after reading all of the posts, all I can say is that although this is fantasy in real life there are trees for careers, i have just retire from the Air Force after 23 years. I had to follow basically a real life skill tree that can get complicated to the uninitiated but in simplified form. I was a trainee that new what I wanted to do and they were just getting me knowledgeable, then apprentice (I couldn't do any work without at least a journeyman looking over my shoulder), Journeyman, craftsman, and master craftsman. These positions went with time in job and experience plus classes required. It took me over 12 years to become a craftsman. Now that is in mechanic. Kids say I'm gonna grow up to be a surgion, not to be a smuggler. A good example is in the first aid that we in the Air Force learn. When  came in it was basic first aid for trauma. Then we started learning about this nasal tube on the computer to help a victim breath easier. Well my thought on this was we are not EMTs and we don't have practical training in using this thing so stay away from me as i would rather be dead than have my brains scrambled. So there is a point to having classes and there is a definate difference between a Dr and a criminal smuggler but there are things that you need to learn in both that should take years. So with that being said take these facts into consideration before considering spacing the classes. Like i said this is fantasy but there is always a little realism to make it fun.

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Part of the problem with removing the classes is that if you look at the specialty trees and the way they are put together. There is a reason they did things the way they did. there is a balance to the classes and specialties. they are also making character choose. If everyone can take every ability whenever they want you kind of ruin people having niches where they matter. 

 

Look at the movies. all the main characters were different and complementary. They all mattered. removing classes leads to the potential of.removing that. You would have to rejigger all of the costs for things to try and get that back. 

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Part of the problem with removing the classes is that if you look at the specialty trees and the way they are put together. There is a reason they did things the way they did. there is a balance to the classes and specialties.

People Keep saying that. I don't see balance in it, I see someone saying "Hey these trees that go straight are boring, let's mix it up a bit".

For Fringer to get to Dedication they have to spend 115 EXp.

For Scout it's 100 EXP.

Trader spends 125 EXP.

Is that balance?

Now explain why it will be easier for a Scoundrel to get their Smuggler special Base Ability than the 10pt Talent Convincing Demeanor from their own tree.

It should never be easier to get an end cap ability than a "second rank" ability.

 

If everyone can take every ability whenever they want you kind of ruin people having niches where they matter.

No you don't. If "everyone" wants certain Talents, they will build to get them. If everyone wants to be Ace Pilots, they will all play Ace Pilots. Removing Classes won't change this.

 

Look at the movies. all the main characters were different and complementary. They all mattered. removing classes leads to the potential of.removing that.

The erroneous battlecry of "class lovers" everywhere.

I've been playing classless rpgs for 30 years, trust me, every character will do their own thing, just as they do in rpgs where there are Classes.

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Balance is more than how many XP it takes to get to dedication. 

No one is saying you can't mix and match abilities. Just like in real life. but doing so costs you. Just like in real life. The point of the classes in this game is partially grouping likely abilities together. And making players make choices. Do they want to focus and be bad ass at one thing. Or do they want to spread out and be ok at a lot of things. 

If you take out the classes you are going to have to rebalance all of the costs and are going to make a ton of work. As for example some very potent abilities are put where they are in trees so as to make getting those abilities expensive. If you are going to take out classes in the system it might behove you to know why they built the trees the way they did first. 

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If you are going to take out classes in the system it might behove you to know why they built the trees the way they did first.

Agreed.

However I doubt we'll ever see any such explanation, and I'm sure we won't see it in the next month... which is when I'll be starting my game and plan to have to finished making my house rules.

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There are more ways than waiting for someone else to tell you. Mostly it involves looking closely at the trees and asking yourself. Why from a game standpoint did they do what they did. They did things for a reason. You don't have to have someone tell you what the reason is to figure it out. You just have to look closely and think like a game designer. If you are going to try and make the game classless you need to have that ability. 

If you can't do that you will likely end up with a mess. 

Edited by Daeglan

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And you can find explanations for some things. Like the dice mechanic. Which is on the gaming security agency blog. a post was made by Jay Little explaining it. The Order66 Podcast has several episodes with devs on it where they discuss things. 

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Mostly it involves looking closely at the trees and asking yourself.

I did. I can find no good reason for what they did with the Scoundrel and Slicer Trees. When those specs will be able to get their Career Signature Abilities easier and cheaper than Tier 2 10 EXP Talents in their own Trees....

It tells me the designers didn't have a cohesive vision.

Now... it's just those two trees which hit me in the "What Were They Smoking?" spot. The other trees I can accept in the vein of "They want these Talents purchased in this rough order" nonsense.*

* Which I still dislike and would be enough on it's own to convince me to drop Careers after character creation. Scoundrel and Slicer are just the "WTF?" icing on the "Make It Classlees" cake.

 

They did things for a reason.

In some cases it really does look like "Hey, we haven't completely buggreed a Spec Tree with terrible nonsense, lets do that here".

You'll also notice that they never did it again, aside from the cut-and-paste Slicer spec in AoR.

 

You don't have to have someone tell you what the reason is to figure it out.

No... but if you want to know what their reason is you do.

Any pair of shmucks can come along and blather on how "they were smoking the crack" or "you just don't understand their BRILLIANCE! You should play by the rules until you love it like we do!1111!".

 

The Order66 Podcast has several episodes with devs on it where they discuss things.

I'll have to try to givr them a listen.

Any chance the pods have been transcribed anywhere? I have a hard time listening to people talk with out a face to engage...

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Do they want to focus and be bad ass at one thing. Or do they want to spread out and be ok at a lot of things. 

 

I haven't seen it personally, but I often hear posters on these and other forums talk about hyper-specialized characters ruining the fun of the game. Yet the core game design actually punishes characters for not specializing. 

 

* Which I still dislike and would be enough on it's own to convince me to drop Careers after character creation. Scoundrel and Slicer are just the "WTF?" icing on the "Make It Classlees" cake.

 

You should make a classless version and post it. I'd be interested in seeing it. 

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You should make a classless version and post it. I'd be interested in seeing it.

I'm working on my houserules. I'll be posting them before I run my game (hopefully several weeks prior) to get the forum to weigh in.

I have no doubt people in here have hit walls in the rules in areas I haven't and have different workarounds.

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