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Doctor X

This feels like an extremely obvious question.

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As stated, my search for a previous thread with the answer came up with nothing, but this question FEELS like the devs might hear it as often as Ozzy has to retell the bat story,  So I'm thinking either you hear it so often that everyone ignores it now or it's like the crazy old aunt living in the cellar that everyone knows is there but nobody wants to talk about.

 

Why can't Characteristics be increased with experience after character creation?  

 

I know that characters get one point at Tier 4 of their skill tree, so do you have to multiclass if you ever want a second point?  It smacks of artificially hobbling PCs.  If that's what you were going for, well done.  

 

If you just wanted to make it really hard, though, why didn't you just make it REALLY expensive?  If it were, to pull a number from somewhere behind me, New Level x 100, by the time a character got to "overpowered" levels, chances are the NPCs would have been escalated as well and a character who had somehow ended up with all 6s would likely have had enough adventures and an exciting enough campaign to have earned them.

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"New Level x 100" to use your example, would be insane. In fact, that would be hobbling characters more than asking them to take a new talent tree. Going from 2 to 3 in a characteristic would take 300XP, enough to purchase every talent in a given talent tree. However, many instances of Dedication can be had with just 75XP, and you get a bunch of Talents along the way. Now, not all of them can, and some take as much as 130XP or more. But again, you get Talents along the way, so you get more for your XP by taking that route.

 

Even if you made characteristics twice the price as their cost at character creation, it would be hobbling a character far more to go that route than to pick up new Talents and new Talent trees.

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As stated, "Next level x 100" WAS just a number pulled out of my ass.  I'm asking because one of my players is actually asking why they can't simply be bought with a LOT of XP and I can't come up with a better answer than "Because they didn't want you getting too powerful."

Edited by Doctor X

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It's actually more beneficial, and cheaper, to do it as per RAW than to use a number like "new value x 100".  You can generally get to Dedication by spending about 100 XP or so.  So, with the 20 or 30 XP to buy the new specialization, plus 100-120 to get to Dedication, not only can you, say, go from 3 Brawn to 5 Brawn for a whole lot less than 900 XP (!!!), but you'd also gain the benefits of all the talents you bought on the way to Dedication in your new trees.  

 

And this assumes that the only reason you're buying the specialization is solely to get Dedication (which is rather min/max-y).

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There's also the fact that in the long run, increasing your characteristics isn't quite as valuable.

 

Most characters in this system are going to fall into a given niche, such as "ranged attack guy," "melee beatstick," "party face," "sneaky guy," or "expert pilot." In that case, it behooves them to focus more on the skills they make frequent use of and only occasionally increase their characteristics via the Dedication talent.

 

In terms of game design, it was probably a conscious choice by the writers to not allow characteristics to be raised after character creation so that the players would invest their XP in skills and talents, which are the things that really allow a character to shine in their given niche.

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It's two a two fold rationale.  First, to have players buy more specs and broaden the background and mechanical nature of those additional specs adding RP flavor to their character, not to just run the numbers up vai stat increases like a videogame avatar.   Secondly, shelf life of the character.  The faster you advance, the faster you arrive at the day when the characters become so advanced they time out, happens in every RP system.  

 

Having said all that, there is nothing that precludes a table from coming up with house rules to speed things along, or mitigate it, ie. large session xp awards, no xp charge for new specs of any kind, etc.

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I've always viewed characteristics as inborn talent and skills as training and experience. If you think about your skills in real life, it's **** hard to make your "talent" go up. (And it's harder the older you get!) More likely, you learn new skills and new ways to apply your existing work ethic for/natural interest in a given field. It's called the 10,000 Hour rule, which says to get really good at something you have to put 10,000 hours or more into practicing it. This is reflected in moving down talent trees, which is supposed to represent your character learning new things about his or her chosen specialty.

 

Granted, the 10,000 rule is debated, and you might still not be satisfied with that answer. The important thing to remember is it's your game. You can either change the rules to better fit how you want to run it, or you can tell the player you're not going to change it because you don't want to and you'd rather run it as described in the book.

 

Personally, I think the restriction exists because it has to, or else the Dedication talent means nothing. In general, it's a bad idea to house rule a talent into being useless because it negates any sense of accomplishment the player feels upon attaining that level. For example, I might have allowed my PCs to be able to, with a decent enough Piloting check, allow two TIE fighters to crash into each other. Then I see that Stay on Target has a particular talent, "Corellian Sendoff," to allow a pilot to do so.

 

Suddenly, any player who takes the Hotshot specialization just lost the unique ability at the bottom of his talent tree. If I was that player, I'd be pissed, as the idea of spending 70 XP to give my character something special was just invalidated. I might even begin to ask why I should take that specialization at all, and if I wanted a refund that would have to be a long, drawn out discussion with my GM. Feelings would be hurt, and even if we reached an equitable decision at the end, our player/GM relationship would be strained.

 

Again, it's your call, but if you can't balance against the consequences, you should consider sticking to the RAW.

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I can't come up with a better answer than "Because they didn't want you getting too powerful."

 

I don't think that's the right way to frame the answer.  It's more about keeping the characters within the bounds of effective mechanics.  Comparing to D&D, the tolerance range in D&D is quite a bit larger because there are more intervals, and meaningful benefits only come every second interval.  In this game every interval is meaningful and there are far fewer.  Both games pace these increases, but funny enough I never heard anybody complain about the D&D way even though they're comparable in net effect.

 

Once you get to five yellow dice, you can pretty much pull off the "impossible" on a regular basis.  That's not very interesting.  It would be the same in D&D if the attribute increase rate was doubled and every interval meant something...everybody would be a god quickly and eating dragons for breakfast before level 10.

 

 

I know that characters get one point at Tier 4 of their skill tree, so do you have to multiclass if you ever want a second point?

 

Yes, you "have to"...but that's another point missed.  You're *expected* to delve into multiple talent trees all through character development, even right at the beginning if you want.  If you stick with one tree you'll run out of things to buy anyway, I believe around the 300XP mark, so you'll "have to" branch out anyway.  That's an intentional part of the design and allows characters considerable breadth.  If you ever hit the 1000XP mark you'll be sitting on at least three or four specializations.

 

It seems to me you're complaining about things from the point of view of a different game entirely.  Your assumptions here are misguiding you.

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If you just wanted to make it really hard, though, why didn't you just make it REALLY expensive?

 

 

Because that's REALLY boring.  Why not just spend 25xp on raising a characteristic and do something more interesting with the previous 75xp?  That's what the system does right now...

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From my perspective, it was a conscious design choice drawn from the need to balance the core mechanics.

 

Because a die pool is made up from Attribute and Skill, and all characters will have at least some value in all 6 Attributes, all characters start off with some chance of success on all skill checks.  Maybe not a good chance, but a chance nonetheless. 

 

This intrinsically makes Attributes more valuable than Skills, as increasing a Skill makes you better at one thing, but increasing an Attribute makes you better at a lot of things.  As the OP stated, this could be balanced by making it possible to raise Attributes directly with XP, but at a commensurately more expensive ratio.

 

However, that could still easily lead to characters prioritizing Attributes over Skills and even Talents, resulting in Characters that lack depth or differentiation.  4 Characters in a group who ended up with 3's in all their Attributes, and only their starting Skills, would end up playing very similar in practice.

 

So, as stated above, the designers moved Attribute increases in to Specialization Talents.  Specializations and Talents cost XP, of course, so really you are still dealing with an XP cost, and it is relatively more expensive than just raising a Skill, as it should be but you also get Talent differentiation between Characters along the way, by necessity.

 

For example, Scoundrel and Thief both have a straight path to Dedication in their Trees, so the XP cost for raising an Attribute by 1 could be considered to be 75 XP (5+10+15+20+25).  However, by picking up the Talents along the way, you know the Smuggler who advances down Scoundrel will play differently than the Smuggler who advances down Thief.

 

 

So my advice would be to explain to your player(s) that Attributes can be raised with XP, just not directly, and that the system isn't designed to keep them from becoming powerful, but rather the system is designed to help ensure that as they become powerful, they also have depth.

Edited by Worloch

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can't Characteristics be increased with experience after character creation?  

 

I know that characters get one point at Tier 4 of their skill tree, so do you have to multiclass if you ever want a second point?  It smacks of artificially hobbling PCs.  If that's what you were going for, well done.  

 

It's an intentional design decision. I wouldn't call it hobbling. Every character is going to want to buy more Specs than your one starting Spec sooner or later...usually sooner.

 

Really the raw Characteristic/Skill quickly becomes MUCH less valuable than what you can add to rolls via Talents. Getting 1 more AGI might upgrade your attack roll with a blaster rifle...or you get a couple points of Deadly Accuracy and True Aim...I'll tell you what's better, it's the latter. YYG is not sufficiently worse than YYY to make the additional Characteristic that worth it in a lot of cases. 

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If you just wanted to make it really hard, though, why didn't you just make it REALLY expensive?

 

 

Because that's REALLY boring.  Why not just spend 25xp on raising a characteristic and do something more interesting with the previous 75xp?  That's what the system does right now...

 

 

This. Why spend 100 XP on just raising a characteristic when you can spend 25XP to do the same, and spend the remaining 75XP on rockin' talents? I bet you can guess which I'd rather do.

 

It's not to "hobble" the PCs…it's to prevent hobbling PCs. A Straight-line approach to +1 to a characteristic is 75XP and four other talents. And that 75XP doesn't care if your characteristic is going from 1 to 2 or from 4 to 5. PLUS you get other cool talents!

 

Instead of hoarding XP and not becoming a competent badass, your player wants to sit on their XP and be stagnant for sessions at a time, waiting to get +1 characteristic? That sounds boring and not my idea of fun.

 

YMMV and all that.

 

-EF 

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Think I missed a step here: How does allowing a player who REALLY wants to spend, upon further reflection, 200 XP on improving a stat instead of spending the 80-100 XP to make a beeline for Dedication hobble them or diminish the reward of Dedication?

It takes 375 XP to master a talent tree. If someone wants to spend over half that on another die without taking the other bonuses along the way, I say let 'em.

Means FF gets to sell another set of dice.

Edited by Doctor X

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If someone wants to spend over half that on another die without taking the other bonuses along the way, I say let 'em.

 

Yeah, sure, why not?  It's no skin off anybody else's nose.

 

As a player I'd never do it myself...it's a total waste of XP.  And as a GM I think it would be unfair to let or encourage a player to do it without sitting them down and explaining how pointless it is.  But if they're still committed...well, "there's a sucker born every minute".

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As stated, my search for a previous thread with the answer came up with nothing, but this question FEELS like the devs might hear it as often as Ozzy has to retell the bat story,  So I'm thinking either you hear it so often that everyone ignores it now or it's like the crazy old aunt living in the cellar that everyone knows is there but nobody wants to talk about.

 

Why can't Characteristics be increased with experience after character creation?  

 

I know that characters get one point at Tier 4 of their skill tree, so do you have to multiclass if you ever want a second point?  It smacks of artificially hobbling PCs.  If that's what you were going for, well done.  

 

If you just wanted to make it really hard, though, why didn't you just make it REALLY expensive?  If it were, to pull a number from somewhere behind me, New Level x 100, by the time a character got to "overpowered" levels, chances are the NPCs would have been escalated as well and a character who had somehow ended up with all 6s would likely have had enough adventures and an exciting enough campaign to have earned them.

By making it dependent on talents, it means PCs have to pick interesting talents- and also means that you can buy something every session or two anyway. If you had to save up ~100XP to boost a stat, you'd go a lot of sessions without buying anything, which is unsatisfying. It also means you don't buy any of the interesting talents that change gameplay *or* learn ranks in skills which produce Triumphs, which make for interesting gameplay- otherwise you just wait 5-10 sessions to get a +5% chance to do exactly the same things you'd been doing all along.

 

Regardless of whether or not you might *prefer* to do that, the devs have decided it makes for a more interesting game if you're forced to take abilities that alter the mechanics (and it stops newbies/people who aren't into charop accidentally making boring, unsatisfying characters too).

Edited by Talkie Toaster

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Yeah, I consider it a positive point of the system to encourage players to plan ahead and spent XP toward a goal, whether that is Dedication or another really cool 25-point talent, rather than hoard XP for a single stat boost, which while it could make them more effective, is also somewhat boring and makes advancement feel very slow.

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