Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
modsr

Character optimization

Recommended Posts

I couldn't find a better title, but here goes. I'll be starting EotE as a player shortly. We have just the base book.

 

I don't want to make an ubercharacter (well, sometimes I do =). I emphasize my character's playability (meaning that I enjoy playing said character). What has messed me up in other games is making a character and finding out I built the character very suboptimally. Skill/stat -stuff, weapon choice etc. So that's what I want to avoid. I'm not at all familiar with the system and we won't be playing an intro scenario or anything, so chances are I'll make some mistakes in chargen I'll regret later, and the whole game will suffer from it.

 

I read some stuff concerning skill vs stat when it comes to the funky probabilities of custom dice. If I understood this article

 

http://maxmahem.net/wp/star-wars-edge-of-the-empire-die-probabilities/

 

correctly, it says that investing heavily in stats during chargen _wouldn't_ be the winning ticket some people seem to think. What's your take?

 

Also, any weapons (or weapon classes) to steer clear of in the core rulebook? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your "correctly" statement is entirely unsupported by the reference.

 

To have more success chance, more dice are the most important. Whether you get them by characteristics or skill points.

 

 

It is very hard to beat the broad capability that characteristic increases provide. Unless you want to be a droid character who is at a professional level in just a few skills... (Which is the kind of thing the reference paragraph is talking about.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's your first time playing, a sensible GM should allow to tweak you character one you've got better grasp of the game.

But here's some general advice.

Stats are hard to come outside of character gen, so load up on them.

You don't need to start with a 5 in stat, 4 or 3 is enough to get most things done.

Brawn 3 races are bad, as they all get reduced exp for very little. (aqualish is the least worst due better dump stat) Bothan Gand and Human are all very strong

Sons of Fortune has load of cheap gear you'd never buy after character gen but is great for starting characters. Lacking that Stun setting only weapons lose very little effectiveness over lethal versions and are often the mode you'd use any way, so take those eat a whooping 50% off.

In the core book explorer blows avoid all the classes unless you want to play Scrooge McDuck in space (trader)

Drink paint, Booster blue is amazing for cost.

Edited by Plan b

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drink paint, Booster blue is amazing for cost.

I wouldn't recommend this to someone new to the game for 3 reasons.

 

  1. It is restricted, which means it's not available to purchase during character creation
  2. Its availability is dependent on the GM.
  3. It prevents you from recovering strain at the end of an encounter for the rest of the session. Until you have some experience with your limits in this game, you don't want to put that sort of restriction on yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best thing about this game is that characters can grow or change directions with just a few sesions of hard work and XP rewards.  Just make a character theme that you like and don't over worry about playability since combat is not the only thing in this game.  However, the most important things to consider in the beginning are characteristics, species, and career. 

  • The only way you can increase characteristics after character creation is through dedication (and cybernetics)...not impossible but difficult.  A 3 or 4 in your main characteristic should be enough to get things done.
  • Nothing is more permanent than your species. They all work better with some careers than others.  Sticking with just the base book, my personal favorites are humans and droids.
  • Your starting career determines XP savings later when going into multiple specializations and what signature abiltiies you'll have access to.
  • Don't worry too much about talents and skills at character creation since they are much easier to raise with your XP rewards from playing.
  • While you can start with more than one specialization, it takes too much XP from your starting budget...not recommended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

In the core book explorer blows avoid all the classes unless you want to play Scrooge McDuck in space (trader)

...

 

I disagree.  All the Explorer specialization are perfectly playable if that is what you want, even the Trader.  The Spec works as a decent faceman with a grittier side–Knowledge (Underworld) skill and Black Market Contacts.  Not everyone wants to play a Wookie Marauder, Corellian Pilot, or lost Mandalorian Assassin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say optimization I assume that you mean making your character extremely competent.

 

First and foremost you should have a plan or your character, and end goal. For example my character is gonna be a "fly by the seat of his pants" hotshot and self-proclaimed pirate. So my main focus is pilot skills followed by skills like Cool, Deception, Coordination, etc.

 

Secondly, while stats are important they are not nearly as important as skill ranks. As said before, more dice is more success. This is true in real life. Someone who is incredibly strong will almost always be beaten by someone with more skill.

 

Thirdly, you should have some combat skills. I strongly recommend ranged light or ranged heavy, but melee or brawling is just as good. For the best result you should have one close combat skill and one ranged combat skill.

 

Fourth, be familiar with the kind of tasks you can do. A Slicer might seem very limited in combat capabilities, till they hijack a near by turret and rip the squad of Black Sun hitmen a new one (several new ones in fact). Read up on your skills and talents and think of ways you can use them in different situations.

 

Fifth, gear, gadgets, and gizmos. What's a pilot without a ship? What's a mercenary without his guns? Even a Jedi needs his lightsaber for those times when things can't be settled peacefully (or to insure thing go more peaceful then they might). Knowing who your character will become you can create a wishlist of the gear you want and need, and work on finding this gear.

 

Oh, and I should mention, before you do any of this, make sure that your character fills a needed role in your group. While it might be fun to run around as a dual wielding gunslinger, it's less fun when you have everyone filling in a gunslinger type's role. If this means you have to be the medic of the group, so be it, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with it. After all, Doc Holliday was a medic (a dentist actually) and he was a notorious gambler and deadly gunfighter, and the famous Chinese hero Wong Fei Hong wasn't just a badass martial artist, he was a well educated medical doctor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brawn 3 races are bad, as they all get reduced exp for very little. (aqualish is the least worst due better dump stat) Bothan Gand and Human are all very strong

 

 

 

I disagree with this. If your games have a dump stat, the GM is not putting the characters through their paces. In other words, you can make a Trandoshan Marauder with Presence 1, and the GM should let that character shine in combat. But your group is missing out on a lot of dramatic potential if that Marauder doesn't have to try to get through a social encounter every once in a while with nothing but 1 die in Charm or Negotiation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the reason plan b stated that brawn 3 races were bad is because they all start with 10 less xp than their counter part races with other stats at three (at least the wookie and transdoshian).  On the other hand if you will be playing in a combat heave campaign the extra soak is worth the 10xp loss.  From an optimizing stand point I believe the best brawn three race currently is the weequay as they have two stats starting at three and still receive the 90xp normal given to brawn three races (this depends on what you want out of your character though).

 

To better answer the OP question we need to know what it is you want your character to do (as Thanatos pointed out).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Secondly, while stats are important they are not nearly as important as skill ranks. As said before, more dice is more success. This is true in real life. Someone who is incredibly strong will almost always be beaten by someone with more skill.

Contrariwise, skills are easy to increase. Attributes are not.

I do agree that adding dice is more effective than converting a green into a yellow, but only with Yellow dice can you get a Triumph, which can all sorts of Awesome to the event — limited primarily by your imagination, and what the GM is willing to let you get away with.

So, ignore your Attributes at your own peril.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thirdly, you should have some combat skills. I strongly recommend ranged light or ranged heavy, but melee or brawling is just as good. For the best result you should have one close combat skill and one ranged combat skill.

Ranged skills are good in that they let you potentially do significant damage, even if you’re a pretty weak character otherwise. And Ranged Heavy lets you potentially do auto-fire, which can rain down more damage on the enemy than anything else in personal combat.

Agility is a great stat because it affects not only ranged combat, but also piloting skill. You can be physically weak in Brawn, but still be a hellaciously scary combat monster, if you’ve got really good Agility and good weapons.

Doing Brawl and Melee can be fun, but you need to be prepared to be heavily armored and take a hell of a lot of damage. You need to be willing and able to leap into the breech with enemies that should scare the pants off you, and at a moment’s notice. And even the best Marauder “tank” isn’t going to be able to do nearly as much damage as a properly equipped character with a high Agility and ranged weapons. At best, you’d be able to hit twice with your nasty vibro-axes using Two Weapon Combat, whereas a good ranged combat character could trigger auto-fire many times over — all in the same round.

Oh, and I should mention, before you do any of this, make sure that your character fills a needed role in your group. While it might be fun to run around as a dual wielding gunslinger, it's less fun when you have everyone filling in a gunslinger type's role. If this means you have to be the medic of the group, so be it, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with it. After all, Doc Holliday was a medic (a dentist actually) and he was a notorious gambler and deadly gunfighter, and the famous Chinese hero Wong Fei Hong wasn't just a badass martial artist, he was a well educated medical doctor.

Note that Doctor can be a great addition to a Marauder “tank”. The Pressure Point talent, especially.

My Wookiee Marauder is now way more dangerous than he was before, now that he’s added Doctor to the list of specialties he knows. On top of that, he can also heal his friends, give them a stimpack boost before combat, and more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly it is hard to "screw up" a character in this game. Even fumbling through character creation is fine because that is what RPGs are about learning through doing.

 

As a GM I worry about a Player that spends too much planning the starting character and less on someone that plans a good character story and fits skills to the story. If you are focused on even an "end goal" of a character you miss some things that can benefit your team. Think long term, sure but not at the expense of "now".

 

What type of player are you in video games? why do you choose that type? Is there a career/specialization that matches that style? those are the questions you should be asking.

 

Optimizing leads a Player down a narrow path that they get pissed if they aren't making progress down. Anytime they have to stray from that path they feel gimped and they are too worried throughout play.

 

Have fun. You won't screw up unless you don't speak up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent info here, thanks all! This is just the kind of stuff I was looking for.

 

I got to see the game book today and I must say that I'm not too concerned anymore: I found several species and several career paths that I liked, and the game seemed to convey that it's not only about combat (as I would argue WHFRP is). So I'm pretty sure I'll get to enjoy the game even if I do make some poor choices (mainly when it comes to combat effectiveness) in chargen.

 

FWIW, Gands seemed really cool (a Slicer could be sweet) and to my surprise, the Trandoshans seemed interesting as well, especially if I built one NOT around the fact that they're strong, rather as a social/leader type. Plus humans always appeal to me. So it's all good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things I like about this system is that all of the stats are important.  Picking a race/class combo that doesn't seem ideal will actually tend to lead to a well-rounded rather than a gimped character.  If you decide, for example, to make a Marauder with Brawn of 2, you can still be a decent brawler as a result of points in Brawl and talents.  Meanwhile, your better stat(s) may compensate for skills that aren't career skills for you.  It's hard to make a really bad character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modsr, other systems have lots of Feat Taxes (i.e. where you must buy a progression of Feats or Talents to get to something you really want to get to make the character what you want it to be.)   Many of those 'taxes' are tough to figure out unless you know the system well. In EotE, the Talent Trees show you all you need to know.  No surprises. No finding out later you should have taken one talent and not the other.  You know going in what you get based on the chart. 

 

With regards to Attributes vs Skills, buying an Attribute up to 4 (from a 3) costs 40pts and I don't think it makes THAT much of a difference. 3 Green dice for an attribute give you about an 88% chance of a Success and about a 60% chance of 2 Advantages (not counting Ranks in a skill and without difficulty dice). An Attribute of 4 gives 94% and 75% respectively (+6% and +15%).  In the LONG RUN, you can eventually get 4 Proficiency dice in a skill, but it seems that you just want a good character to play right now and not some uber-character.  40pts can get you a LONG WAYS down a talent tree or it can give you 6-8 skill ranks to spread around to start a character off with. That might be better for you to explorer what an EotE character can do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with this. If your games have a dump stat, the GM is not putting the characters through their paces.

Dump stats are still alive and well, in this game its normally intelligence (unless your playing a class the resolves around it), or brawn.

Agility is the power stat, as it is in most modern rpgs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we won't be playing an intro scenario or anything, so chances are I'll make some mistakes in chargen I'll regret later, and the whole game will suffer from it.

 

Well, the obvious course of action would be work with the GM. Right from the get-go, everyone at the table gets one free respec, the ability to go "Man, I don't really see her as a Politco - she's more of a scoundrel smuggler!" and swap out stats and abilities and species and anything else that's not sitting well.

 

And then, invoke that clause 6 or 7 games down the road. This gives you enough time to get a feel for the system, a feel for the characters and an idea how you mesh with everyone else.

 

See, the game is suppose to be fun. If something is getting in the way of that fun - like a character that is not quite working for someone - then rules be damned! Fix the problem and make the game fun! So if you're reasonable about it, if everyone is cool about it and doesn't abuse it ("We need to get past that locked door? I respec into Thief!"), then there's no reason this approach shouldn't work.

 

 

In the core book explorer blows avoid all the classes unless you want to play Scrooge McDuck in space (trader)

 

You might want to exchange your rule book then, because clearly it's defective. Explorer sports some great careers.

 

 

To better answer the OP question we need to know what it is you want your character to do (as Thanatos pointed out).

 

I think a better approach would be come up with a concept and then chase the stats, and not the other way around. Brainstorm for a bit and go "I think I'd like to play Magnum PI crossed with Liberace!" and figure out what classes fit versus picking something from the book and building to that.

 

 

Dump stats are still alive and well, in this game its normally intelligence (unless your playing a class the resolves around it), or brawn.

Agility is the power stat, as it is in most modern rpgs.

 

Lets see how useless you think that intelligence attribute is when you're exploring an ancient sith temple stuck in a room with closing walls and the only way out is to quickly decipher the runes on the wall. . . . .

Edited by Desslok

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dump stats are still alive and well, in this game its normally intelligence (unless your playing a class the resolves around it), or brawn.

Agility is the power stat, as it is in most modern rpgs.

Lets see how useless you think that intelligence attribute is when you're exploring an ancient sith temple stuck in a room with closing walls and the only way out is to quickly decipher the runes on the wall. . . . .
Kind of just proves my point, if that's the point where int relevant then, i'm waving it good bye, buying things i'll use. (unless i'm playing a mechanic or doc which was my point)

Explorer sports some great careers.

None of them are in the core book though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind of just proves my point, if that's the point where int relevant then, i'm waving it good bye, buying things i'll use. (unless i'm playing a mechanic or doc which was my point)

 

So instead of saying Intelligence is a dump stat, it's more accurate to say that some careers emphasize different skills than others. Intelligence is just as important to an Archeologist as dexterity. To a Politico, cunning is vastly more important than brawn. To universally dismiss one attribute over another as useless is ignorance of the system.

 

None of them are in the core book though.

 

So I take it pages 71-73 of your core book are printed in Swahili? Because the Trader/Entrepreneur combo is a great skill set for tramp freighter captains and the Archeologist/Scout is pretty powerful.

 

. . . . unless, of course, you're looking for a Maximized Murder Machine. Then they suck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As with many games, some SKILLS depend on the GM and where the campaign goes. "Piloting" is a good example.  Our group's been on a space station for a while. No one has more than a rank in any Piloting skill.  If someone went with a Piloting-friendly talent tree, then the campaign would take a different path because who wants a character with several ranks in something they rarely use? So, optimization has to go one way or the other....1) the GM crafts the campaign around the group or 2) the campaign is run "as is" and you insert skill-pertinent challenges from time to time.  

 

Some SKILLS apply nearly anywhere: Negotiation, Streetwise, Cool, Ranged-Light, etc...

Survival? Depends on the campaign. Same with Knowledge skills. 

 

I think that an Attribute of 3 will do most of what a '4' can do for many, many, many sessions.  You won't regret anything with that. 

 

WEAPONS: The thing I LIKE about EotE is that you can do as well with a Vibroknife as you can with a light blaster. I think that D&D and Pathfinder always boil down to getting a two-handed sword or something with expanded critical success. I have not seen that in EotE thus far. 

 

CLASSES: All classes are cool in the right campaign (re: Pilot skill above). Some will just play anywhere: Hired Gun, Smuggler...basic fighter and thief.  I prefer to think of a movie character (Han Solo, for example) and just get a little bit of skill in everything. And yes, you can have great characters with a '2' in all your attributes.  As with the Brawler example (above), a great majority comes down to Talent trees. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So instead of saying Intelligence is a dump stat, it's more accurate to say that some careers emphasize different skills than others.

Hate to break it to you, this isn't the most balanced game ever produced.

Not all stats are equal. Nor are the spec's.

As a player you have finite points so some are going get dumped.

Int and brawn are the two most dumpable unless your class resolves them.

Yes Archaeologist is a good class, it has both a niche, solid mechanics and versatility.

Trader is by far the most useful of the core explorer classes.

Scout and Fringer are underwhelming, i'd say jack of all trades but they are not even that. Esoteric talents with limited use is not good place to start new players.

Edited by Plan b

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

....Scout and Fringer are underwhelming, i'd say jack of all trades but they are not even that. Esoteric talents with limited use is not good place to start new players.

 

 

I disagree again.  This game is perfectly balanced based on the premise that players and GMs work together to create stories.  Each Spec fills a role and appeals to different interests as well.  How are the Fringer's piloting talents (Skilled Jockey and Defensive Driving), 2 ranks of Dodge, 2 ranks of Grit, 2 ranks of Toughened, and 3 ranks of Rapid Recovery esoteric with limited use?  If Astrogation is not an important skill in your games, I can see how you could think Galaxy Mapper and Master Starhopper aren't useful, but as our group's Astromech player, I think they're invaluable.  The Scout has Natural Hunter, Heightened Awareness, Disorient, Quick Strike and Stalker....all great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Int and brawn are the two most dumpable unless your class resolves them.

 

 

Dexterity and Cunning are worthless if your class doesn't revolve around them.

Intelligence and Brawn are worthless if your class doesn't revolve around them.

Presence and Willpower are worthless if your class doesn't revolve around them.

Force Dice are worthless if your class doesn't revolve around them.

 

There - I think I covered them all. . . .

 

This game is perfectly balanced based on the premise that players and GMs work together to create stories.

 

Exactly! You're coming at the character creation backwards: stats, then concept when you should be thinking of concept then stats. The cart is before the horse. I mean, if it works for you, great I guess - but I find it way more efficient to go "You know, I think I want to play Peter Venkman - but as a Jedi!" or "I want to build an IRA terrorist who has no problem blowing up schoolbuses with his homemade bombs - whats the best way to come at that?"

 

I'll take concept over Rules Lawering to be the most efficient Murder Machine possible. And if that means that I've got a higher Intelligence when I'm playing a gunslinger (The Lone Ranger, for example), then so be it.

 

You should be working with the GM on what the campaign is. Cunning and Intelligence become VERY important in a cold war diplomacy game with backstabbing and intrigue and knowing who's who. That's the sort of game where a high blaster skill means that you've failed and you're likely to get killed in very short order. And yes, if you're a combat heavy game, the front lines of the Clone Wars as grunt infantry then Dexterity is more important than intelligence.

 

. . . unless youre playing a battlefield medic or a recon scout that can vanish into the woods and survive the dark jungles of Trovel V behind enemy lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the thing.

 

While there's plenty of ways to play this game, most of them are going to be do flying around in a tramp freighter, doing the firefly/han solo/ red dwarf thing.

 

Agility, Presence and Willpower are good on almost every character. Even the  "most efficient murder machine" you seem to love spouting on about, still is going to value initiative and strain.

 

I've seen players get annoyed at their underperforming fringers and scouts, so that's why i warn against them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×