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Old Stormtrooper

Don't Hate Me For This.....

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Ok, here it is... How can you get great attributes? I'm a little more experienced with rolling characters than a points buy, but I get it (I think). So with a points buy system, you are essentially Min/Max ing your character from the start. I've tried several species to get the attributes I'd like and they can get ok, but not great. Also, it really doesn't seem to matter much about species as they all "top out" at about the same anyway. Everyone is basically the same (I'm talking about end result when raising attributes with xp at creation) and there are no "heroes". The old WEG D6 version gave PC's additional D6's to add to your attributes above and beyond the "average joe". Am I missing something here? Everybody is just an average schmuck until you get enough xp to climb down a few Talent Trees to get Dedication?  

 

Your Dice Pool deals with your Attribute and your Rank in the skill, right? Rank tops out at 5, correct? Whichever value of the two is higher is your Ability dice, and the lower value (if any) is how many of those Ability dice are replaced with Proficiency dice, right? Since you can't start with a rank higher than two, wouldn't it make sense to get your prominent attributes (the ones most likely to impact your chosen career) as high as you can? It also seems that you would want higher attributes for higher level/xp. If you only have an attribute of two, that will be the max for Proficiency dice even when you reach Rank five?

 

Hopefully, I don't sound too much like a rant. I'm not sure if I missed something in the book or I'm just not getting it. I want to get the most out of my PC's.

Thanks for any advice and/or comments.

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Well, nobody is an average joe, the average human is 2s across the board, and you can easily (with extra Obligation XP), have a 4/3/2/2/2/2 or 3/3/3/3/2/2 character to start with.

 

It's tempting when coming from other games to assume you need one stat maxed and the rest leave alone, but IMHO that would be a mistake with this system.  It's a system which rewards broader capability and multiple roles.  You can certainly have fun as a one-trick pony, but you have to know what to expect with that.

 

The other thing to realize is the power curve in general is much flatter than most other games.  D&D has a steep power curve...you are effectively immune to low level opponents by a certain point...but in this game stormtroopers will always be a problem.  Part of this is due to the characteristic and dice pool design...there's only so much you can do with a range of 1-6, where 2 is "average human", and 1 is anything from amoebas to morons.

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A good GM in this game will be throwing a lot of different skill checks at groups using many different attributes. A group that hyper specializes will be hurting at times. Told this last campaign I started if they all rolled joe gun characters they'd be sorry. Thankfully they listened. We had one session where they did great on perception, computer, mechanic, and skulduggery checks and as a result there wasn't a single shot fired.

The point is spending the xp for a "great" attribute in this game, particularly at chargen, will invariably mean you suck hard at something you wished you didn't.

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1) There are heroes. They are called PCs. NPCs don't have the same building rules as PCs, and the majority of them are going to be inferior in almost every way to PCs.

 

2) The game is designed in such a way that it encourages a good amount of XP to be spent on your characteristics (Brawn, Agility, etc). This is not by accident. It is possible to build a character with only 20-40 (or less) XP invested in characteristics, and while this can be an interesting way to go about things, it is not usually the "best" choice. The idea is that your character has some training (up to 2 ranks, so "formally trained" in any skills), but their natural attributes (their characteristics) are what set them apart from the "average joe."

 

3) Dice pools cap out at 6 (or 7 with cybernetics): you are allowed to raise your characteristics to 6, and your skill ranks to 5. So sans cybernetics, your "max dice pool" would be 5 Proficiency dice and 1 Ability die.  

 

So yeah, Characteristics are important, and you're usually gonna want to invest significantly in them at character creation. I like a good 3-4 dice in a given skill pool. 3 makes for a decent chance of success, and 4 is a lot more comfortable. 5 dice is almost too good, and 6 dice is ridiculous. If you're just rolling 1-2 dice, though, I'd recommend to let someone else try it ;) So at the beginning of the game, your strong dice pools are going to be determined by your characteristics. Later on in the game, after at least a few sessions, you might start to see your skill ranks take the lead in determining your "best" skill pools, so that even if you only have a 2 Agility, you can make up for it by having 4 ranks in Ranged (Light).

 

Like 2P51 says, don't invest too much in a single characteristic. 5 is the max for character creation, but I would echo his advice and say, from experience, you don't wanna go there. Stick with a 4 at character creation and you will be happier in the long run. Plus you can raise the characteristic to 5 with the Dedication talent later for only 25 XP (so half the cost!).

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And 3 in an attribute is quite good, while 4 is outstanding. Of course, 5 is the maximum possible in any stat at generation, and 6 is the maximum possible without cybernetics (which give you a +1), but in no event can you possibly go above 7.

So, think of it as Powers of Ten progression — count the zeros.

Most people you know can probably spare at least $1, probably in pocket change.

The average guy in the street probably has at least $10 cash in his wallet.

If I have recently gone to the ATM, I might have $100 cash in my wallet.

At no time have I ever had $1000 cash in my hand, but that’s not unheard of for some people.

If you’re doing a transaction that involved $10,000 cash, then the US federal government wants to know about you and your little deal, even if it is legit.

I can’t think of any legit transactions that would involve $100,000 cash, but I could imagine having a Cashier’s check for that amount to buy a car or make a down payment on a house.

I can’t think of any legit transactions that would involve $1,000,000 cash.

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I can’t think of any legit transactions that would involve $100,000 cash, but I could imagine having a Cashier’s check for that amount to buy a car or make a down payment on a house.

One of my life goals is to buy a brand new car in nothing but 1 dollar bills in a metal briefcase handcuffed to my wrist while wearing a black suit and dark sunglasses.

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I can’t think of any legit transactions that would involve $100,000 cash, but I could imagine having a Cashier’s check for that amount to buy a car or make a down payment on a house.

One of my life goals is to buy a brand new car in nothing but 1 dollar bills in a metal briefcase handcuffed to my wrist while wearing a black suit and dark sunglasses.

I know a guy who bought a Lamborghini outright, using his dad’s Amex Black, and it was way more than just $100k.

What really pissed his dad off was that the card in question belonged to the company for which he was CFO, and so they were going to see the huge charge.

I’ve always wondered about Ambrose Bierce’s comment regarding the different types of homicide, and whether or not a case like that would be considered legally justifiable, or would go over the border into laudable.

Certainly, if I had been that kid’s dad, I wonder what my reaction might have been.

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I can’t think of any legit transactions that would involve $100,000 cash, but I could imagine having a Cashier’s check for that amount to buy a car or make a down payment on a house.

One of my life goals is to buy a brand new car in nothing but 1 dollar bills in a metal briefcase handcuffed to my wrist while wearing a black suit and dark sunglasses.

 

 

You need to have someone carry the briefcase for you. A man of your stature should not have to sully his hands with filthy lucre.

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I can’t think of any legit transactions that would involve $100,000 cash, but I could imagine having a Cashier’s check for that amount to buy a car or make a down payment on a house.

One of my life goals is to buy a brand new car in nothing but 1 dollar bills in a metal briefcase handcuffed to my wrist while wearing a black suit and dark sunglasses.

 

 

You need to have someone carry the briefcase for you. A man of your stature should not have to sully his hands with filthy lucre.

 

 

Lol. Someone just to count out each of your $1 bills. 

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I can’t think of any legit transactions that would involve $100,000 cash, but I could imagine having a Cashier’s check for that amount to buy a car or make a down payment on a house.

One of my life goals is to buy a brand new car in nothing but 1 dollar bills in a metal briefcase handcuffed to my wrist while wearing a black suit and dark sunglasses.

 

I know a guy who bought a Lamborghini outright, using his dad’s Amex Black, and it was way more than just $100k.

What really pissed his dad off was that the card in question belonged to the company for which he was CFO, and so they were going to see the huge charge.

I’ve always wondered about Ambrose Bierce’s comment regarding the different types of homicide, and whether or not a case like that would be considered legally justifiable, or would go over the border into laudable.

Certainly, if I had been that kid’s dad, I wonder what my reaction might have been.

 

 

The simple solution, report it as credit fraud.  Assuming that the kid wasn't authorized by the company to use the card then what he did was illegal.  Granted, sending your kid off to jail might be a bit much, but it sounds like he needs to be taught a lesson.

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two notes:

1. I used to work at a BMW dealership - watching someone pay cash for a high dollar car is no joke.

2. Those black cards are serious. They weigh a ton, and are much thicker than a normal card. I think they're actually made of metal. Like, you could kill a man with one. And if you look veeeery carefully, you'll notice Mr Bond using one to check into his hotel in the first (new) Bond film. Kinda cool, in a very subtle way.

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two notes:

1. I used to work at a BMW dealership - watching someone pay cash for a high dollar car is no joke.

I’ve heard that before, but it’s good to get confirmation.

2. Those black cards are serious. They weigh a ton, and are much thicker than a normal card. I think they're actually made of metal.

They’re made out of Titanium. The annual fee is $5,000.00, but you get free entry into every known luxury airport lounge as if you were a paid member at the highest level in whatever their club membership is, and a whole bunch of other crazy benefits. And yes, if you sharpened the edge on the card, you probably could kill someone with it.

Richard Garriott has one. He lives here in Austin, and at the time he originally built his house, this area wasn’t overgrown with people. He apparently goes down to the same corner convenience store that is also closest to my house, and I’ve spoken to Nabil (the owner of Jester Market) about Richard. I’ve never met “Lord British” myself, but maybe one day if I’m lucky in my timing, I might.

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The simple solution, report it as credit fraud.  Assuming that the kid wasn't authorized by the company to use the card then what he did was illegal.  Granted, sending your kid off to jail might be a bit much, but it sounds like he needs to be taught a lesson.

I think his dad threatened to do that, but did not carry out that threat.

To be honest, although I knew the guy when he and I were both in College, I was amazed that he managed to live that long. Doing stupid things with his dad’s credit card was just one of a long list of really crazy stuff that he did when he was younger, and although I never personally knew him to do such crazy stuff in college, I always kind of wondered.

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The funny part about the Black cards is they started as a joke / gimmick in movies. You had to spend 300k a year on credit and you have to be invited to get one.

You don’t have to spend that much, at least you didn’t have to.

As the General Counsel for Euroclear Group and Euroclear Bank (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euroclear), you can get invited to have one even if you don’t personally spend that much money.

Please note — I am not speaking of myself here. My wife is the lawyer in the family. I’m just the tech geek.

Edited by bradknowles

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If you’re doing a transaction that involved $10,000 cash, then the US federal government wants to know about you and your little deal, even if it is legit.

 

They changed this number after 9/11 to ~2,000 dollars (it may be even lower now).

 

 

I worked in a bank a few years back, it's still anything above $10,000 for the normal Currency Transaction Report. It gets more entertaining when you add in the Suspicious Activity Reports that are used when people try to get around the rules. When I was working as a teller, I had someone pretty much come out and say that she was only depositing $9k in cash so she wouldn't have to fill out the normal form. As soon as she left, I had to fill out an SAR which gets quite a bit more attention than what she was trying to avoid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_Secrecy_Act

 

Anyway, back to the original question, yeah you can min/max a character from the start, but as others have noted, it really can hamstring you. Multi-talented characters shine in this system. I pretty much shot one of my characters in the foot by having a big focus on combat while completely ignoring the social skills. Yes, there are other talkers in the party, but when my character is on his own, he's hopeless. The running joke is "Oh god, don't let Bren open his dumb mouth".

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Man... I remember filling out CTR's & SAR's back when I worked in a bank...

I always had people coming in asking "How much can I deposit before we have to fill out one of those report thingies?"

I was like "Well, I gotta fill one out no matter what now..."

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Anyway, back to the original question, yeah you can min/max a character from the start, but as others have noted, it really can hamstring you. Multi-talented characters shine in this system. I pretty much shot one of my characters in the foot by having a big focus on combat while completely ignoring the social skills. Yes, there are other talkers in the party, but when my character is on his own, he's hopeless. The running joke is "Oh god, don't let Bren open his dumb mouth".

OTOH, if you’re aware of this issue going in, this can also provide opportunity for much fun in roleplaying. I mean, the Wookiee with Brawn 5 isn’t supposed to be the “face” in the party, and hijinks and hilarity can ensue if he is put into a situation where that kind of thing happens.

You moron! That’s not a punchbowl, that’s a public urinal!

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Since you can actually use skills without having points in them, I think there is a far better utility in having a larger range of heightened characteristics rather than a super-stat. Makes it much easier starting out!

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Once when I was returning from living in Europe I carried over 10k with me for a down payment on a car.  I declared it at customs and didn't think anything about it until years later when it came up during a routine background check.  That paperwork follows you.

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Anyway, back to the original question, yeah you can min/max a character from the start, but as others have noted, it really can hamstring you. Multi-talented characters shine in this system. I pretty much shot one of my characters in the foot by having a big focus on combat while completely ignoring the social skills. Yes, there are other talkers in the party, but when my character is on his own, he's hopeless. The running joke is "Oh god, don't let Bren open his dumb mouth".

OTOH, if you’re aware of this issue going in, this can also provide opportunity for much fun in roleplaying. I mean, the Wookiee with Brawn 5 isn’t supposed to be the “face” in the party, and hijinks and hilarity can ensue if he is put into a situation where that kind of thing happens.

You moron! That’s not a punchbowl, that’s a public urinal!

 

 

That's pretty much how we roll with it. I RP the character as a bit of an ass and a hothead. I will admit to an occasional "Hey guys, I have an idea..." moment that later gets my character in trouble. Like the time I caused a bodyguard with an itchy trigger finger to blast me during a concert and then was thrown in jail a short time later when I was questioned by a security officer. To be fair, it wasn't my roll that made the officer suspicious of us, it was when my teammates rolled a Despair while trying to hack into the security office. They got away scott free, I was not so lucky.

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It's not the weirdest thread hijack ever, but it's still weird.

Yup.

 

Back to topic: It just seems that screwing around with different species and trying to "maximize" stats (get as high stats as I can with 2 as a minimum attribute) that I seem to get more or less the same end result across the board. So unless I really missed something, all characters are basically the same and it will really only make a difference on how you play and what career appeals to you. Raising attributes through talent trees: You must go through multiple trees to improve multiple attributes or once you get there can you purchase them multiple times? 

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It's not the weirdest thread hijack ever, but it's still weird.

Yup.

Back to topic: It just seems that screwing around with different species and trying to "maximize" stats (get as high stats as I can with 2 as a minimum attribute) that I seem to get more or less the same end result across the board. So unless I really missed something, all characters are basically the same and it will really only make a difference on how you play and what career appeals to you. Raising attributes through talent trees: You must go through multiple trees to improve multiple attributes or once you get there can you purchase them multiple times?

Dedication isn't ranked, so you have to go through multiple trees to keep buying more attribute boosts.

Some races have distinct differences, but not all. Wookie rage is pretty specific and sets a wounded Wookie apart as a melee character. The Xexto's racial for maneuvers is a considerable example. So there are differences between some of the races that are substantial outside pure min/max of attributes.

Edited by 2P51

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