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ardoyle

How do you handle Signature Abilities?

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Signature Abilities in their current, incomplete state are wildly out of balance with the rest of the game.  I'm not complaining that they're clumsy, clunky or overpowered; they are, but in a way that usually adds to the narrative and the role-playing of a session.

 

No, I mean they're broken in how they are available to the players.

 

My main issue is a result of two problems.  First is that to provide a complete catalog for the group, you'd need to have the cash for 6 books at 30 dollars each, and double or triple that if you're including the multiple game lines.  That's 180.00, 360.00, or 540.00 dollars, respectively.  Not a small amount of money.  Second, even if you are buying every career splat book that's come out, you'd still be limited by the fact that they haven't all been made yet.

 

This means that some of your players and my players don't have access to what's touted as the capstone of their abilities.

 

 

What I've taken to doing is allowing any PC to attach one Signature Ability to any tree, regardless of career, as long as the tree has thematic ties to the ability.  Each PC may take only one, and once an ability is taken, it is unavaliable to other PCs (I think it makes each ability a little more special and Signature).

 

 

What solutions have you used for your games?  If you simply use the Signature Ability rules as written, how have they worked at your table?

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My main issue is a result of two problems.  First is that to provide a complete catalog for the group, you'd need to have the cash for 6 books at 30 dollars each, and double or triple that if you're including the multiple game lines.  That's 180.00, 360.00, or 540.00 dollars, respectively.  Not a small amount of money.  Second, even if you are buying every career splat book that's come out, you'd still be limited by the fact that they haven't all been made yet.

 

 

 

Always disappointing when an RPG publisher does this, but all too common.

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Well ..... a lot of games do this. More so when they have class specific books. I consider it par the course. And well ..... if it really matters for a player to have it then it behooves him to buy the book himself. I mean yeah sure you could buy every book but you don't have to. Thems the breaks in RPGs. 

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If they didn't do this thing of 6 extra books for each of the 3 lines then we would all be complaining about how worthless the supplements are. At least each book has something for everyone at the table. Try splitting each line off to a different person at the table, 1 gets all the EotE, another all the AoR and a third all the FaD.

As far as a house rule yours actually sounds quite good, obviously depends on the campaign flavour and everyone's careers.

And try living in Australia, career books usually cost 50+ whether online or if I'm supporting my FLGS. If I want all Core and Career books then I'm looking to drop over 1k on this system. I started early on so its probably 200 a year, but that's still a lot.

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My main issue is a result of two problems.  First is that to provide a complete catalog for the group, you'd need to have the cash for 6 books at 30 dollars each, and double or triple that if you're including the multiple game lines.  That's 180.00, 360.00, or 540.00 dollars, respectively.  Not a small amount of money.  Second, even if you are buying every career splat book that's come out, you'd still be limited by the fact that they haven't all been made yet.

 

 

 

Always disappointing when an RPG publisher does this, but all too common.

 

Sooo your guys complaint is the publisher is making sure they have revenue to keep going as a company? 1. you don't have to buy the additional books at all... You don't have to buy the books all at once. You could...buy them as needed. 

I think it is unrealistic for you to expect all the books all at once. 

Basically you sound like you are whining about them trying to be a successful company so they can keep providing you new material...

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Heh, FFG are nowhere near as bad as some companies with this.

 

Try playing Pathfinder, with Paizo releasing a deluge of 'must have' books every month for the min-maxers to pour over.

 

Also, the books are full of lots of other stuff that would be useful for a given career. 

 

It's not rocket science that if you have, say, a Smuggler at your table, 'Fly Casual' will expand his options considerably.  

 

You could say it kinda sucks for Bounty Hunters, who haven't got their Signature Abilities yet, but them's the breaks.  The Bounty Hunter at our table is still having lots of fun and is a viable character.

 

EoE is playable just fine with only the Core.  The splatbooks just add options.

Edited by MTaylor

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We've been playing for a couple of years now and to date I've only had one player take a Signiature Ability for their character. Even then, it wasn't used all the time as the player weighed up the destiny point cost with the current pool. It made it a much bigger moment when he would use it.

Overall I don't think the other players found it too imbalancing or anything as they all had things that they were good at and had moments to shine in other areas. Although I think they'd have liked the option for their careers, had the relevant books been out, to at least look at and see if it was worth it for them.

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Heh, FFG are nowhere near as bad as some companies with this.

 

Try playing Pathfinder, with Paizo releasing a deluge of 'must have' books every month for the min-maxers to pour over.

 

Also, the books are full of lots of other stuff that would be useful for a given career. 

 

It's not rocket science that if you have, say, a Smuggler at your table, 'Fly Casual' will expand his options considerably.  

 

You could say it kinda sucks for Bounty Hunters, who haven't got their Signature Abilities yet, but them's the breaks.  The Bounty Hunter at our table is still having lots of fun and is a viable character.

 

EoE is playable just fine with only the Core.  The splatbooks just add options.

 

 

I'd be more forgiving of FFG on this issue if they hadn't triple-dipped on the core books...

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I'd be more forgiving of FFG on this issue if they hadn't triple-dipped on the core books...

 

This has always been contentious.  I'm okay with it personally but I see why some people feel it's a cash-grab.

 

It's actually great for someone who only wants to play one of the flavours. It's harder on those of us who want all three.

 

But that's how they've chosen to do it, and we can't change that now.

 

I think FFG are at least aware of this, as we've seen far less repetition that I'd feared when the Explorer book came out.

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Signature Abilities in their current, incomplete state are wildly out of balance with the rest of the game.  I'm not complaining that they're clumsy, clunky or overpowered; they are, but in a way that usually adds to the narrative and the role-playing of a session.

 

No, I mean they're broken in how they are available to the players.

 

My main issue is a result of two problems.  First is that to provide a complete catalog for the group, you'd need to have the cash for 6 books at 30 dollars each, and double or triple that if you're including the multiple game lines.  That's 180.00, 360.00, or 540.00 dollars, respectively.  Not a small amount of money.  Second, even if you are buying every career splat book that's come out, you'd still be limited by the fact that they haven't all been made yet.

 

This means that some of your players and my players don't have access to what's touted as the capstone of their abilities.

 

 

What I've taken to doing is allowing any PC to attach one Signature Ability to any tree, regardless of career, as long as the tree has thematic ties to the ability.  Each PC may take only one, and once an ability is taken, it is unavaliable to other PCs (I think it makes each ability a little more special and Signature).

 

 

What solutions have you used for your games?  If you simply use the Signature Ability rules as written, how have they worked at your table?

 

I'm sure this is a fairly common issue at some tables. Currently, I only have one player in a career that is still waiting for the book to come out. He's a bounty hunter, gadgeteer, and actually hasn't expressed an interest in a Sig Ability yet. I've been leaning toward simply letting him pick one from Dangerous Covenants, since he's been a very combat focused hunter. 

Another possibility would be to modify the Sudden Discovery to apply to a bounty hunter who is tracking someone.

ie.  Signature Ability: You Can't Hide

Base ability. Once per game session, the character may spend 2 Destiny Points to make a Hard Knowledge (Underworld) or Streetwise check. If he succeeds, the character knows the current location or destination of a person or group that he is hunting. 

 

Although it's likely that such a quick tracking ability would make it possible to complete multiple hunts in one session, it's not something I would usually plan on. So, I would replace the "Frequency" upgrade with...

Tactical Advantage: After a successful "You Can't Hide" skill check, choose one of the following: Astrogation, Streetwise, Vigilance or any one combat skill. Add 1 boost die to all checks for that skill for the rest of the game session or until the target is apprehended, whichever comes first. 

 

"They arrived right before you did. I'm sorry." -Lando Calrissian

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Been playing a couple years. Never had a SA. Still have plenty of fun.

Same. None of my players have considered taking any Signature Abilities in any of the games we run.

 

Some are in fact powerful, but it's a lot of xp to even get to them, let alone max them, for something that is one and done per session.  They're fun to read but my opinion has always been they're really more narrative even though they have such dramatic mechanics.  I can typically come up with better options for the xp cost that I can use all the time throughout the session for no DP cost.

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Heh, FFG are nowhere near as bad as some companies with this.

 

Try playing Pathfinder, with Paizo releasing a deluge of 'must have' books every month for the min-maxers to pour over.

 

Also, the books are full of lots of other stuff that would be useful for a given career. 

 

It's not rocket science that if you have, say, a Smuggler at your table, 'Fly Casual' will expand his options considerably.  

 

You could say it kinda sucks for Bounty Hunters, who haven't got their Signature Abilities yet, but them's the breaks.  The Bounty Hunter at our table is still having lots of fun and is a viable character.

 

EoE is playable just fine with only the Core.  The splatbooks just add options.

 

 

I'd be more forgiving of FFG on this issue if they hadn't triple-dipped on the core books...

I agree with you but it could be SO much worse, they could be onyx path.

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Heh, FFG are nowhere near as bad as some companies with this.

 

Try playing Pathfinder, with Paizo releasing a deluge of 'must have' books every month for the min-maxers to pour over.

 

Also, the books are full of lots of other stuff that would be useful for a given career. 

 

It's not rocket science that if you have, say, a Smuggler at your table, 'Fly Casual' will expand his options considerably.  

 

You could say it kinda sucks for Bounty Hunters, who haven't got their Signature Abilities yet, but them's the breaks.  The Bounty Hunter at our table is still having lots of fun and is a viable character.

 

EoE is playable just fine with only the Core.  The splatbooks just add options.

 

 

I'd be more forgiving of FFG on this issue if they hadn't triple-dipped on the core books...

I agree with you but it could be SO much worse, they could be onyx path.

 

I think it actually ended up working to our benefit. They were able to really take their time with figuring out how to do the force right. Instead of trying to slap something together that really did not work as well as it currently does. And again you don't have to buy everything at once. why everyone acts like they do I don't know. 

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We have only ever had one member of the party take a signature ability, the one that halved all incoming damage. That character in particular was a 40 something vet that had fought in the clone wars, was basically Arnie, a incredible presence of man whom was our unofficial leader and lead from the front. It was quite fitting, during one desperate boarding action (our ship was crippled so we ended up attaching to another, stricken craft to try and ambush the assault crew.) and basically he had his leg blown off, but landed on a table and continued firing, only stopping after a second crit blew his arm off. That particular gunfight set the tone for his character as an absolutely determined man that just excelled under firepower. (funnily enough only my character remained standing by the end of the bloodfest, and to do so he ended up cutting a hole in the flimsy docking material... Another member died unfortunately when his body was sucked out before the doors could be sealed.)

 

Otherwise most of us just haven't been interested enough: My character started off as a bounty hunter and thus will never see SA in his career most likely. XD Many others just preferred taking other trees to branch out or over specialise.

 

and ehh, only the relivent characters should have the relivant books; personally if the player wants to use a career from any of those books, that player should foot the bill to make it easier on the DM. Unfortunately for us the DM buys everything anyways. XD But I have always owned the books for my own characters progression, so that I am providing my end of the table. That way we are all sharing the load with the DM, it's a collective game so it's the least everyone should do.

 

Plus, it's worth mentioning that you don't need to buy books for material your not going to use; signature abilities themselves are purely optional and can be excluded entirely to no difference to the system. It is merely a modular addon that can be added or excluded at the GM's. Same with the careers, one could exclude all the careers in the optional books and it would make practically no difference to a given campiagn; it's really quite easy to create any flavour of character from the 18 careers we have avalible as standard, the ones added in the book merely offer alternative options and cornerstones for development.

Edited by Lordbiscuit

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First is that to provide a complete catalog for the group, you'd need to have the cash for 6 books at 30 dollars each, and double or triple that if you're including the multiple game lines.

First of all, allow me to welcome you to the world of Role Playing Games. Also, never play GURPS or your head will explode from all the sourcebooks.

 

Not a small amount of money.

So dont buy all the books. Buy only the books you need for the archetypes you have in play or have your players pick up the sourcbooks appropriate to their career. Problem solved.

 

Second, even if you are buying every career splat book that's come out, you'd still be limited by the fact that they haven't all been made yet.

So you complain that the books costs way too much and yet you want all the books all at once? With the slow release cycle, you can spread the costs out.

 

This means that some of your players and my players don't have access to what's touted as the capstone of their abilities.

So? Life is unfair. Also - two years from now, this wont be an issue.

 

What solutions have you used for your games?

We just play the ball where it lies. The Sig Abilities are powerful, yes - but they're hardly game breaking. Players can be awesome once a session, big deal.

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I as well allow my players to have any signature ability, as long it fits fluff wise.

 

So what makes those abilities special? Sorry, but as a player if everyone else started throwing around Unmatched Expertise, I would start to get a little pissed off.

 

It's hardly a signature if any schlubb can do them.

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