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DanteRotterdam

Giving Recruit specialisation instead of XP...

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My party is going over to AoR from EotE soon and I was wondering whether it would be a good idea to hand out Recruit specialisations instead of (part of) the usual xp allotment. Would you see this as a good thing or a bad thing?

I know that on the one hand it seems a bit too much like forcing my players into it, but on the other the will join the rebellion and are thus recruits (plus the recruit tree is pretty awesome.)

 

Thoughts?

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I would still give them XP.  Lots of people are probably part of the Rebellion that don't have any of the specializations from AoR (far more than, say, the Empire).  However, I'd consider making sure that they get enough XP in the last session before the cutover so that they can buy the Recruit spec if they want to, and make a point of pointing it out.

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Does everyone have the same number of specializations?

 

Either give them enough XP to get the spec but don't have to, or give it to them but not have it count to their over-all number of specializations, since the XP tax to multi-spec can get hairy quick.

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Give them 20 XP and say they could potentially buy the Recruit spec, or else spend or bank it as they please. When my group joined the Alliance a lot of us were planning on taking Recruit, but I realized it didn't work with my character at all. Instead I've been saving up to buy into one of the AoR career specializations.

 

In short, give them the choice.

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The biggest issue, as was raised above, is that if you give them a new spec, it counts against the amount of xp it takes to get another spec they may want more.  You could house-rule that it doesn't count toward the number of specs, or offer it for cheap as they convert to serving in the Alliance, but both of those have the potential for some unbalancing.

 

My suggestion: Point out to your PCs the upsides of the Recruit spec, then let them choose how their characters develop.

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I wouldn't turn my nose up at a "free" specialization, especially if I already had 2 or more under my belt.

 

This could be "the cost" for being inducted into the Alliance. I would exercise some intelligence about it of course, and if the Recruit really had nothing to offer, I'd consider a separate reward.

 

For example, a Hired Gun/Marauder would benefit the least (he already has all the Recruit's career skills and the career skills in Basic Combat Training, and would benefit minimally from Tactical/Vehicle Combat Training). However, even with this in consideration, the Marauder would benefit greatly from taking the talents starting with Outdoorsman and then going straight down the line. Creative Killer would be enough to convince me to buy into it; it's like that talent was made for the Marauder :)

 

But since he has no skills unlocked at the beginning, you could RP it in such a way that the Alliance is really impressed with his considerable combat skill and he gets a little extra Duty right away, or perhaps his CO gives him a shiny new weapon of some sort. 

 

Just lay it out in front of your players beforehand, tell them your ideas, and see if they like it!

 

As a GM and a player, I totally love the idea of having a table full of PCs with the Recruit specialization. It really does have something to offer to everyone.

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Role playing that might be fun, Let them choose and do a little Rebel Boot Camp session and put the skilled but undisciplined fringers through a ordered military regimen, could be hilarious! (I'm thinking The Dirty Dozen) afterwards you could award the free spec. and maybe a talent from the tree itself perhaps.

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Due to characters not being guaranteed to have the same number of trees in total, I would recommend giving XP, and allowing them to take Recruit.  It really is a good tree.

 

We were kicking around how to do this same conversion in my EotE group recently.  The idea we got close to (nobody has implemented it yet) is that joining the Rebellion is a process.  First, you have to meet the proper people in game.  Then you have to swear an oath, or something similar (taking on additional Obligation to signify this... 5 point oath is plenty) to the Rebellion, which will then show you are committed.  From there you are _able_ to take the Recruit specialization, as the Rebellion will pay to send you away to classes from time to time (in down time) to handle the training to be functional in the Rebellion.  Once you _have_ the Recruit tree (not finished, just purchased), then you can start being given Rebellion missions (which will let you gain Duty), and eventually buy into the specialized Rebellion training you may want (the AoR trees).  Yes, this is a LONG and expensive process; but it makes some sort of sense for EotE characters.  Your mileage may vary, of course...

 

Kevynn

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I agree with the people above who say it's a cool idea and it sounds good on paper but there are difficulties. Does everyone have the same number of specs already? Would you count it against the number of specs known for xp expense on picking up another tree later. Does everyone have the same skills? Someone might think it's unfair that one player gets a bunch of free known skills while they don't get anything because they already know those skills.

 

I'd say, if you do it then talk with your group about it first. Make sure everyone is on the same page. If I was to do it, I'd do it for free and not count it against everyone's specs known in case they want to buy another spec later. I'd probably still give some XP too. Just consider the free Recruit spec as the bonus xp for finishing up an adventure.

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Thanks guys! Actually every one is still on their first speciality... I think I am gonna do it but will ask if there are any objections before going there.

 

Yeah, definitely not a bad idea. If you're going into a "military" campaign, the Recruit will vastly improve your heretofore "non-combatants" in terms of hitting power and survivability. And it really does have something to offer everyone, even when they wouldn't benefit from the career skill talents.

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Thanks guys! Actually every one is still on their first speciality... I think I am gonna do it but will ask if there are any objections before going there.

With all the characters on their first specialization, you are effectively giving them all 20 bonus XP.  Much less to worry about then.

 

Kevynn

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When we started our AOR game, the players and I wanted them to be Special Forces veterans rather than raw recruits, as they are supposed to represent the 'movie heroes' of the game.

 

I gave them a decent amount of starting XP, but they had to spend a fair chunk of it on the Recruit tree to represent their years of fighting for the Alliance. Everyone found something useful, even if it was just more strain and wounds.

Edited by Maelora

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In our game the gm handed out the recruit specilization when our EOE characters joined to represent boot camp. Even the ex tie fighter piolet found something usful from it. We're a small group so he handed it out for free and doesn't count it towards our total so we can continue to branch out into our specilized slots. It's worked well so far.

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I had a GM do this in a game we played.  At the time it happened I was playing an engineer and wanted nothing to do with the spec.  Recruit had nothing that fit in with the character concept or with the path the character was on.  If everyone in your group is planning on taking recruit anyway then feel free to give it as a free spec.  If they are not going to take it then just give them the XP and let them make their own choices. 

 

While it is your world and story it is their character and their choice.

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I had a GM do this in a game we played.  At the time it happened I was playing an engineer and wanted nothing to do with the spec.  Recruit had nothing that fit in with the character concept or with the path the character was on.  If everyone in your group is planning on taking recruit anyway then feel free to give it as a free spec.  If they are not going to take it then just give them the XP and let them make their own choices. 

 

While it is your world and story it is their character and their choice.

 

I completely agree with Satchmo on this. Don't force a non-choice onto your players. Give 'em XP and let them decide. Especially when such a choice has such a major impact on their characters. One "free" spec isn't free, it raises the cost of every other spec the player may want. And if the recruit doesn't fit with their concept? You just cost them a whole bunch of XP.

 

Not every Rebel recruit is a Recruit. Medics, techs, pilots, etc. Some may take it to be better overall, but some who want to specialize in one thing don't want or need it.

 

-EF

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I had a GM do this in a game we played.  At the time it happened I was playing an engineer and wanted nothing to do with the spec.  Recruit had nothing that fit in with the character concept or with the path the character was on.  If everyone in your group is planning on taking recruit anyway then feel free to give it as a free spec.  If they are not going to take it then just give them the XP and let them make their own choices. 

 

While it is your world and story it is their character and their choice.

 

I completely agree with Satchmo on this. Don't force a non-choice onto your players. Give 'em XP and let them decide. Especially when such a choice has such a major impact on their characters. One "free" spec isn't free, it raises the cost of every other spec the player may want. And if the recruit doesn't fit with their concept? You just cost them a whole bunch of XP.

 

Not every Rebel recruit is a Recruit. Medics, techs, pilots, etc. Some may take it to be better overall, but some who want to specialize in one thing don't want or need it.

 

-EF

 

 

While forcing things on players is rarely a good idea, the campaign is to a certain extent the GM's, at least to the same extent as the players. Also consider that many military organisations like the rebellion in real life expect everyone no matter how far from combat to be trained as a soldier. The British army for example expects everyone to train as infantry and expects you to be deployable as such. (In Iraq some artillery units found themselves on foot patrol as SPGs weren't terribly useful once the nature of the conflict changed).

 

If recruit can't be reconciled with the concept you have, but the GM is handing it out like that to everyone can the character concept be reconciled with the game the GM wants to run?

I must admit personally I'd suggest it, but to be open to players negotiating either why their spec would satisfy the rebellion training (and likely offer a career skill rank in a skill they share with it or equivalent) or why they the rebellion would give them dispensation, this may well come with obligation or similar, and they'd have to justify any XP or similar, say I'd let them attempt to slice to make the records appear as if they had completed the training. I'd be open to ruling it doesn't count as a spec for paying for new specs purposes, but thats likely a whole group discussion.

 

Any GM who doesn't listen isn't great but players who won't bend a character concept to the surroundings aren't exactly paragons of RP. 

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I had a GM do this in a game we played.  At the time it happened I was playing an engineer and wanted nothing to do with the spec.  Recruit had nothing that fit in with the character concept or with the path the character was on.  If everyone in your group is planning on taking recruit anyway then feel free to give it as a free spec.  If they are not going to take it then just give them the XP and let them make their own choices. 

 

While it is your world and story it is their character and their choice.

 

I completely agree with Satchmo on this. Don't force a non-choice onto your players. Give 'em XP and let them decide. Especially when such a choice has such a major impact on their characters. One "free" spec isn't free, it raises the cost of every other spec the player may want. And if the recruit doesn't fit with their concept? You just cost them a whole bunch of XP.

 

Not every Rebel recruit is a Recruit. Medics, techs, pilots, etc. Some may take it to be better overall, but some who want to specialize in one thing don't want or need it.

 

-EF

 

 

While forcing things on players is rarely a good idea, the campaign is to a certain extent the GM's, at least to the same extent as the players. Also consider that many military organisations like the rebellion in real life expect everyone no matter how far from combat to be trained as a soldier. The British army for example expects everyone to train as infantry and expects you to be deployable as such. (In Iraq some artillery units found themselves on foot patrol as SPGs weren't terribly useful once the nature of the conflict changed).

 

If recruit can't be reconciled with the concept you have, but the GM is handing it out like that to everyone can the character concept be reconciled with the game the GM wants to run?

I must admit personally I'd suggest it, but to be open to players negotiating either why their spec would satisfy the rebellion training (and likely offer a career skill rank in a skill they share with it or equivalent) or why they the rebellion would give them dispensation, this may well come with obligation or similar, and they'd have to justify any XP or similar, say I'd let them attempt to slice to make the records appear as if they had completed the training. I'd be open to ruling it doesn't count as a spec for paying for new specs purposes, but thats likely a whole group discussion.

 

Any GM who doesn't listen isn't great but players who won't bend a character concept to the surroundings aren't exactly paragons of RP. 

 

 

If they need to be a "trained soldier" then give a free rank of Ranged (heavy) or something. And I'm not advocating an unbendable character concept. I'm saying adding another spec is going to cost the players more XP to get specs that they want.

 

For example, what if one character is a Hired Gun? I think that's soldier-y training enough. The Doctor might want to become a Recruit since the Doc spec isn't combat-heavy. But what of the Smuggler/Pilot? Why should they have to take Recruit when the Ace career has three specs that would be better suited to their specialty?

 

-EF

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I had a GM do this in a game we played.  At the time it happened I was playing an engineer and wanted nothing to do with the spec.  Recruit had nothing that fit in with the character concept or with the path the character was on.  If everyone in your group is planning on taking recruit anyway then feel free to give it as a free spec.  If they are not going to take it then just give them the XP and let them make their own choices. 

 

While it is your world and story it is their character and their choice.

 

I completely agree with Satchmo on this. Don't force a non-choice onto your players. Give 'em XP and let them decide. Especially when such a choice has such a major impact on their characters. One "free" spec isn't free, it raises the cost of every other spec the player may want. And if the recruit doesn't fit with their concept? You just cost them a whole bunch of XP.

 

Not every Rebel recruit is a Recruit. Medics, techs, pilots, etc. Some may take it to be better overall, but some who want to specialize in one thing don't want or need it.

 

-EF

 

 

While forcing things on players is rarely a good idea, the campaign is to a certain extent the GM's, at least to the same extent as the players. Also consider that many military organisations like the rebellion in real life expect everyone no matter how far from combat to be trained as a soldier. The British army for example expects everyone to train as infantry and expects you to be deployable as such. (In Iraq some artillery units found themselves on foot patrol as SPGs weren't terribly useful once the nature of the conflict changed).

 

If recruit can't be reconciled with the concept you have, but the GM is handing it out like that to everyone can the character concept be reconciled with the game the GM wants to run?

I must admit personally I'd suggest it, but to be open to players negotiating either why their spec would satisfy the rebellion training (and likely offer a career skill rank in a skill they share with it or equivalent) or why they the rebellion would give them dispensation, this may well come with obligation or similar, and they'd have to justify any XP or similar, say I'd let them attempt to slice to make the records appear as if they had completed the training. I'd be open to ruling it doesn't count as a spec for paying for new specs purposes, but thats likely a whole group discussion.

 

Any GM who doesn't listen isn't great but players who won't bend a character concept to the surroundings aren't exactly paragons of RP. 

 

 

If they need to be a "trained soldier" then give a free rank of Ranged (heavy) or something. And I'm not advocating an unbendable character concept. I'm saying adding another spec is going to cost the players more XP to get specs that they want.

 

For example, what if one character is a Hired Gun? I think that's soldier-y training enough. The Doctor might want to become a Recruit since the Doc spec isn't combat-heavy. But what of the Smuggler/Pilot? Why should they have to take Recruit when the Ace career has three specs that would be better suited to their specialty?

 

-EF

 

 

 

I did mention that there would be ways to convince me why they shouldn't have to take it, even offering a free rank in a relevant skill to those who could reasonably claim their spec would satisfy the rebellion. A player who really doesn't want to pay the fairly feeble (unless they are really multi-speccing) cost, and doesn't have the spec to convince me can either try and fake it in game and take on the obligation (that someone might find out they faked it) or convince me the rebellion was desperate to get them into service that they deferred it, and take on some obligation that the rebellion might eventually require them to (know army Drs who that exact situation existed for). Anyone who did the above would have ample opportunity to get rid of it, hell a sufficiently big win for the rebellion may see the obligation disappear.

 

In game requirements need in game solutions, a reasonable story wouldn't even need dice to be rolled (like that hired gun, likely say to a player who bothered to talk me round, sure take a free rank in a career skill you share with the recruit spec).

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I did this in my campaign. Everyone was on board with it ahead of time, especially since every player was planning on taking it for their characters anyway. But each to their own.

 

Gaming Rules

#1) Have fun

#2) If Rule 1 fails, find another hobby.  :D

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So my response to statements about real world military's requiring training is this is not the real world and the game is not intended to be a simulation.  My second response would be that PC's are HEROS.  Did Luke, Han, Chewie, or Lando go through basic training?  Nope not a one of them did.  Lando was an administrator and would most closely be associated with the smuggler and likely have the gambler and charmer trees under his belt.

 

Hero's don't have to follow the same rules because they are heroic. 

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