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Zenoforce88

Small groups possible Houserule

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Hello Community, longish time lurker, first time poster. My group is small, like so small you might as well not call us a group, due to there being a grand total of three of us.

Our GM, who tends to avoid forums for silly reasons, has thought up a houserule to better fill the "gaps" in having so few characters.

The houserule goes as follows:

  • At Character Creation Start with TWO Specializations.
  • One is designated as the Primary for determining Additional Career Skills. So while you could be a Smuggler Pilot/Technician Slicer, you could only pick from the "Additional Bonus Career Skills" on The Smuggler Pilot OR Technician Slicer, not both, or mix and matching.
  • This Second specialization would not count towards the number of specializations you have for getting new ones over the course of play.
  • and finally you would get 1.5 to twice the starting EXP.

My question is, would this lead to starting characters that were to over powered(assuming all other Character Generation rules are still in effect), or should we look for some other way to fill the gaps in our roles? If it is to powerful(as it isn't that unlike the Gestalt Optional Rules some use in D&D/Pathfinder), what would you do to fill the gaps, without compromising the story that wants to be told?

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Including me as GM there are only 4 in my group and the rules as they are have worked pretty well.  Rather than trying create super-broad characters off the bat, your GM should try to tailor the sessions towards your groups strengths.  If the GM wants to write a session that includes using skills the PCs don't have as of yet, the GM should drop a few hints at the end of the previous session to nudge the players into selecting skills outside their normal purview or even pursue that second specialization when they receive the XP from that day's session.

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I would just give out bonus XP after chargen. That way you don't have to worry about silly things like primary and secondary specializations. Note that I would give out XP after chargen, meaning no spending it on Characteristics.

Force and Destiny has an option called "Knight-level" where you are given 150XP and 9k credits (or a lightsaber) immediately after chargen. You cannot have any skill higher than rank 3, I think to encourage spreading out the XP. Again, this means no using the extra XP to boost Characteristics, but it gives you plenty of XP to get a second specialization and some bonus credits to buy more gear and/or upgrade your ship, if you have one.

Note that you go through normal chargen first so you can exchange Duty/Obligation/Morality for bonus XP or credits. Then you get the 150XP and 9k credits.

-EF

Edited by EldritchFire

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I've played with only my son as the player, and it was pretty easy for him to run two characters, a main and a "sidekick", so that's an option too.  In his case, the sidekick was a droid, but I had another player who ran a face (Pash from the Beginner set) and a hitter (Pash's lover Oskara, also from the Beginner box).  They made a good team :)

 

I agree with EF, do chargen normally, then add XP.

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  • and finally you would get 1.5 to twice the starting EXP.

This is a problem as starting XP can be used to boost Abilities. It would make more sense to just give you an extra 50 XP after character creation.

 

And honestly that would probably cover you. This isn't D&D, so specializations aren't as vital for partyrole filling. You won't be in the trouble if you don't have a Smuggler then if you don't' have a Wizard. Just use that bonus 50XP to buy up a few skill ranks in areas you're lacking in and you'll be fine.

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I'm also a fan of just tweaking the sessions to suit the group. For context, my normal group size is just 3 players. Recently that group has fallen apart so right now I'm GM'ing for a single player! But for a while it was just 2 players, which worked surprisingly well.

I was worried at first but I quickly found that the system is very open to varied solutions. I tried to set up encounters that would be specifically solvable with the players' skills (being aware they were lacking in certain areas) but more often than not the players surprised me with their own creative solutions anyway.

I've run pre-written adventures a few times and normally if I get the vibe that things are too tough I'll just dial back the strength of the opponents. I've modified the story before to make it more personal or interesting, but I've never had to entirely skip anything due to a lack of skills. I just trust that the players will find a solution and I make sure I'm open to suggestions, which keeps it fun for all of us.

I don't use any special rules or anything to make it easier with regards to experience points. The only thing I have done is knowingly be a little bit generous in how much I give per session, just to speed up progression a little bit. But that was more about the group's desire for faster progression (my own fault for being accidentally stingy in the first story we played!).

Basically I think you might be overthinking it. But that said, every group should do whatever they're comfortable with. If this is what you want to do, go for it! But if you're doing it purely out of apprehension that you'll be too weak, I'd just start playing and see how things go. It'll probably take a session or two for your GM to get a feel for what you can handle anyway. If you still feel a little weak I'd just negotiate a lump of extra exp to spend to get a bit of a boost.

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The only rule that I apply in small groups, just one player, is roll 2 Force dices instead 1 to calculate Destiny pool (+Paragon bonuses). Game seems focused to at least 2+ players.

 

The rest is just compensated with NPC's as someone said before.

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The houserule goes as follows:

  • At Character Creation Start with TWO Specializations.
  • One is designated as the Primary for determining Additional Career Skills. So while you could be a Smuggler Pilot/Technician Slicer, you could only pick from the "Additional Bonus Career Skills" on The Smuggler Pilot OR Technician Slicer, not both, or mix and matching.
  • This Second specialization would not count towards the number of specializations you have for getting new ones over the course of play.
  • and finally you would get 1.5 to twice the starting EXP.

 

I actually do something similar with my groups (just without the XP portion), as I like my players to feel as though they have a leg-up on NPCs, shows they've been active for a while (especially as a group, so they know how to fill in gaps with one another), and if a player wishes to be Force Sensitive at the start (and eventually grow into powers and the like), they can without feeling penalized.

 

From my playgroups, the extra specialization hasn't really impacted the game much. It helps my players flesh out their characters a bit more and allows them to have one or two extra tricks, but that's about it. I like it, honestly, especially since it means I'm not handing out NPCs for the group to play, players aren't managing multiple characters, and I'm not stealing the show by NPCing a mechanic-savvy astromech and saving the day (again).

 

The fewer NPCs I have to handle that the party owns/pays/etc, the more NPCs I can flesh out for the group to compete against, work with, or have as a frenemy, and more time the players get the spotlight (and villains NPCs can steal it!).

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Welcome Phantom! (and Zenoforce!)  :D

 

But yeah, particularly with no such thing as a non-proficiency penalty and similar balances, the game is well developed to have no 'critical' specializations.  But I'm always a fan of NPC droids being attached to small parties (or really, parties of all sizes)

Edited by Quicksilver

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Honestly, missing roles in a group could be the story itself. "We need a pilot" has a lot of potential on its own, not to mention when you combine it with the actual plot/job. Rather than trying to solve the party's problems through character creation, let it happen naturally in the game.

 

Plus, it's memorable when you have fun things like going through mechanics like Spinal Tap drummers.  

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Thank You everyone for your advice. I pitched everything all of you posted(ok fine, I cheated and just gave a link with a TL:DR summery), and my GM has decided to go with still providing the second free Specialization, with Bonus XP granted after Character Creation is finished. 

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Honestly, missing roles in a group could be the story itself. "We need a pilot" has a lot of potential on its own, not to mention when you combine it with the actual plot/job. Rather than trying to solve the party's problems through character creation, let it happen naturally in the game.

 

Plus, it's memorable when you have fun things like going through mechanics like Spinal Tap drummers.  

 

Does this mean that if men are from Tatooine and women are from Coruscant, then mechanics must be from Ilum?

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