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LibrariaNPC

Free-Form Chargen & Progression Concept

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It's not just the classes, it's the talent trees, and the "class skills" (those "increased costs") you mentioned, and if I'm not mistaken the XP cost to access each new class.

 

By RAW this is true.  However, there's no reason you can't house rule easier access (aka, lower XP cost) to other specs.  For my own campaign I first asked everyone if they'd be willing to be Force Sensitive.  They were, so they all got the Exile tree for free (basically a 20XP bonus on top of initial chargen).  Then, because the players were all new to the game, I let two players completely redo their characters using different careers so that they ended up with the same skills and talents, but had a clearer road ahead for the concept they were after.  Finally, I gave them a discount on a new spec (free for career, 10XP for non-career) provided they had at least two 25XP talents in the previous spec.  All this adds up to far less than the "Knight level" bonus you can give for advanced characters, and it prevents cheap XP Talent skimming.

 

There could be plenty other solutions.  Basically, there are a lot of ways to resolve this issue within the current mechanics that would be simpler than inventing a whole new way to control Talent acquisition and progress.

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It's not just the classes, it's the talent trees, and the "class skills" (those "increased costs") you mentioned, and if I'm not mistaken the XP cost to access each new class.

 

By RAW this is true.  However, there's no reason you can't house rule easier access (aka, lower XP cost) to other specs.  For my own campaign I first asked everyone if they'd be willing to be Force Sensitive.  They were, so they all got the Exile tree for free (basically a 20XP bonus on top of initial chargen).  Then, because the players were all new to the game, I let two players completely redo their characters using different careers so that they ended up with the same skills and talents, but had a clearer road ahead for the concept they were after.  Finally, I gave them a discount on a new spec (free for career, 10XP for non-career) provided they had at least two 25XP talents in the previous spec.  All this adds up to far less than the "Knight level" bonus you can give for advanced characters, and it prevents cheap XP Talent skimming.

 

There could be plenty other solutions.  Basically, there are a lot of ways to resolve this issue within the current mechanics that would be simpler than inventing a whole new way to control Talent acquisition and progress.

 

 

Yeah... write the game so that you don't have to immediately lock talents (or whatever) behind a series of other talents out of fear that they're so good everyone will jump on them immediately.

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I think it is a case of people putting too much emphasis on what FFG has named things. Anyway, on a cursory read through, it seems like being able to pick and choose talents ala carte like this would result in characters that can do anything and everything really well all the time.

 

IMO, it is trying to fix something that isn't broken but thats just me.

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"Cost of access" != "cost of progression".

 

In English and/or complete thoughts, please.

 

 

 

Yeah... write the game so that you don't have to immediately lock talents (or whatever) behind a series of other talents out of fear that they're so good everyone will jump on them immediately.

 

 

If I didn't have to buy new trees and work my way down them to the Soak +1, you bet your ass I am buying every single goddamned one of them I can get my hands on. 26 Soak? Bring on that lightsaber, punk.

 

So yeah, getting rid of the trees in favor of a big pile of talents is game breaking.

Edited by Desslok

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"Cost of access" != "cost of progression".

 

In English and/or complete thoughts, please.

 

 

 

Yeah... write the game so that you don't have to immediately lock talents (or whatever) behind a series of other talents out of fear that they're so good everyone will jump on them immediately.

 

 

If I didn't have to buy new trees and work my way down them to the Soak +1, you bet your ass I am buying every single goddamned one of them I can get my hands on. 26 Soak? Bring on that lightsaber, punk.

 

So yeah, getting rid of the trees in favor of a big pile of talents is game breaking.

 

 

Without the trees, you wouldn't have 26 versions of  "+1 soak".

 

 

As for the first part, I made a comment on the cost of just accessing different classes/trees, and your response was about the cost of character progression.  If it costs 20 xp just to unlock a new tree, that's not the same issue as "well of course it costs XP to progress the character".   I could have just been more straightforward and said "No non-sequitors, please".

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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So if a developer designs an ability system using ability trees as a fundamental part of how the game works, and then somebody removing that fundamental aspect causes balance issues, it's the developers fault somehow? It's like somebody removing the engine from their car and then blaming the car company they can't drive to work in the morning.

 

Balance is only a matter of context with the game itself. Without that context, everything falls to pieces.

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It's not just the classes, it's the talent trees, and the "class skills" (those "increased costs") you mentioned, and if I'm not mistaken the XP cost to access each new class.

 

By RAW this is true.  However, there's no reason you can't house rule easier access (aka, lower XP cost) to other specs.  For my own campaign I first asked everyone if they'd be willing to be Force Sensitive.  They were, so they all got the Exile tree for free (basically a 20XP bonus on top of initial chargen).  Then, because the players were all new to the game, I let two players completely redo their characters using different careers so that they ended up with the same skills and talents, but had a clearer road ahead for the concept they were after.  Finally, I gave them a discount on a new spec (free for career, 10XP for non-career) provided they had at least two 25XP talents in the previous spec.  All this adds up to far less than the "Knight level" bonus you can give for advanced characters, and it prevents cheap XP Talent skimming.

 

There could be plenty other solutions.  Basically, there are a lot of ways to resolve this issue within the current mechanics that would be simpler than inventing a whole new way to control Talent acquisition and progress.

 

 

Yeah... write the game so that you don't have to immediately lock talents (or whatever) behind a series of other talents out of fear that they're so good everyone will jump on them immediately.

 

So completely make another game that isn't this game and do things completely differently?

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You'd be better off just playing the WEG game to be honest.

 

This feels like playing D&D and giving the characters the abilities of every class at once when they gain a level.

 

Yeah, it's your table, and yeah, you can do what you like, but you'll soon find the characters are not only samey, but staggeringly overpowered, and you'll find yourself artificially ramping up the stats of opposition and difficulties of checks to compensate.

Edited by MTaylor

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Before this gets horribly out of hand, can we keep this civil? I don't want to see a thought exercise get locked because people are getting heated up.

 

That said, time to talk!

 

First, thanks for everyone who's pitching in thoughts. As I mentioned before, this was something that came up in conversation from players at a few shops and a convention (as well as parting thoughts from my old group), and I was curious to see what people were thinking on the topic; clearly we're all over the place on those thoughts!

 

Second, what I put together was a fast, relatively sloppy idea just to get a conversation moving to see if the idea is even plausible or to see how people have handled/would handle those complaints. Balance was a concern, thus why I was seeking input before even attempting to utilize it with a new gaming group.

I honestly thoroughly enjoy the game, and was curious what I could either reskin (for another campaign idea that's not in the Star Wars Universe) or expand upon for my table (like a duelist without the Force; might be going back to my sketches for that career).

 

 

 

After talking to players at a convention and owners/employees at game shops, the comparison of the various Star Wars games came up. One thing we all missed was the ability to build a character however you wanted without the feeling of being locked into a "class."

 

Lets see, you can pick up ranks in any skill you want (for a slightly increased cost in some instances) and you can buy any published tree you wish. Want a Jedi Doctor Slicer Gunslinger? Easy. Want a Explorer Politico Solider? Also easy. How about a droid demolitionist starfighter ace entertainer smuggler gambler?  Done.

 

So yeah, I'm failing to see how you are locked into one class.

 

 

The extra experience cost was a major complaint during those conversations. We all agrees that regardless of edition, Force powers were always going to be an XP sink, but a few of the players were frustrated with how expensive it would become to branch out for just a few talents in this game.

 

As an example, I was running a knight-level short-term session to test something out. I was discussing character ideas with my players, and one of them wanted to be a Healer, but also wanted to be able to hold their own with a saber if need be (important since there was only one other solid Lightsaber fighter in an F&D test). Purchasing a second tree (I think it was Niman Disciple) was necessary, and then 15 XP for the talent to use a different trait. Sadly, that's ALL he really wanted from that talent tree, so if he wanted to be a better doctor, he'd have to pay the further XP cost to purchase an out-of-career specialization to purchase talents directly related to his career. Couple that with the idea he already had a second tree, and it can get cost-prohibitive.

 

This guy (and a few others) felt that the ever-increasing XP costs was going to get out of hand. My concept of free-form was a way to settle this concern as well as make things a bit more open-ended for players so they weren't feeling penalized for branching out.

 

 

You'd be better off just playing the WEG game to be honest.

 

This feels like playing D&D and giving the characters the abilities of every class at once when they gain a level.

 

Yeah, it's your table, and yeah, you can do what you like, but you'll soon find the characters are not only samey, but staggeringly overpowered, and you'll find yourself artificially ramping up the stats of opposition and difficulties of checks to compensate.

 

The WEG version gets really clunky, especially once a fight breaks out. While this version of the game wasn't "perfect" for what my previous groups were looking for, it was much closer than many other games. 

 

Honestly, most tests I've tinkered with tend to have exceedingly focused and powerful characters once you get into the 300XP range, but they are FOCUSED. Some players are going to focus on one thing, and as a GM, you'll have to artificially ramp things up anyway just to keep up with a focused player. As the example here, a player made a Falleen Charmer that branched into Force Sensitive in Exile. All related social skills (especially Charm) were up to 5, and we lost track of the boost dice granted after a while. The players who branched out or went for a Signature Ability were more well rounded and could do more than one thing (shoot a blaster AND gamble, for example), but didn't need the same degree of artificial difficulty boosts.

In fact, my previous campaign (ended due to the move) had a Pilot that laughed at most piloting checks (outside of full throttling through an asteroid field) by the time he hit 100XP. Of course, take him out of the ship and he was utterly useless.

 

 

Librarian, I think that making a second spec free would solve your issues with people being annoyed they have to pay xp to get the second careeer to pursue their character progresession.

 

I attempted to give a second career for free at character creation, and allow recreation options when a new book comes out if it is more fitting to the character. It helps a bit, but hasn't been ideal for those who are used to a more open style game.

 

I've been tinkering with alternatives, such as the free second tree, reducing XP costs for new talent trees, or granting them for free based on RPing or speed of plot (this one I haven't had the chance to test, but could help bridge the EotE/AoR and F&D gap).

 

 

 

What is it with these threads that pop-up that claim something is wildly unbalanced/broken/wrong/ect. and then it ends up being finding a solution for a problem that doesn't exist?

 

I don't get it.

 

Again, just a thought exercise and voicing ideas relating to complaints I received. There was a rather heated debate in a comic shop over this against d20, which was rather comical to listen to (more about the dice mechanic which lead into which one was more "free"), and I wanted to see if there was a way to resolve things. 

 

Technically, it's not necessary a problem, but rather something that came up a few times and I'm curious if others have run into it, if they feel that way, and/or if my hairbrained thoughts were on point.

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So if a developer designs an ability system using ability trees as a fundamental part of how the game works, and then somebody removing that fundamental aspect causes balance issues, it's the developers fault somehow? It's like somebody removing the engine from their car and then blaming the car company they can't drive to work in the morning.

 

 

It's more like the car company designed a car that will only go to certain places on certain days, and people are complaining that they can't get to the store on Tuesdays without buying another car...

 

 

And the response from other customers is "dear god, what if everyone tried to go to the store on Tuesdays!"

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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To qualify my take on this, my RPG experience is largely (85-90%) limited to the various Star Wars systems (WEG, all of the d20 iterations, and now FFG), with a healthy chunk of DnD 3.0/3.5, some d20 Modern, and a small smattering of one-offs in various other systems.

 

This in mind, I cut my teeth on the d20 class based stuff, and that's what I'm most comfortable with, even with all of it's number crunching and limitations.  That's my standard against which all other aspect of all other games are compared.  It's not without it's flaws, but for the most part, I feel it works pretty well for turning character concepts into playable sets of stats.  Where it struggles at high level play, I have yet to play a system that doesn't, and what you trade in terms of chart-reading and number-crunching, you gain in having a fairly versatile base system that is accommodating to a wide variety of characters, as well as allowing for any number of supplemental PrCs for specific ideas, or even base classes for more widely appropriate concepts.  

 

My biggest "make or break" factor for any system is how much (and in what way) the classes define the character in terms of special abilities.  It was part of pre-Saga WotC that I really liked, it was a non-aspect of the WEG system that I *really* liked, and it's a part of WotC Saga and FFG that I really don't like.  For the latter two, the classes are largely defined by your talent trees and special abilities, which, while they can be interesting, also tend to have the side-effect of only making feasible the character types for which the classes are precisely tailored, in the exact way that the class was meant to be played.  Where the WEG system had no classes, you were free to gain proficiency in whatever you liked.  With the earlier WotC systems, the permutations offered via multiclassing opened the doors to all sorts of "little bit of this, little bit of that" character building to tailor the building blocks of the system to nearly any concept.  With Saga and FFG, the tree based systems seem to some at character creation the other way: instead of saying "What kind of character do you want?  Okay, let's see how to build that best based on what we've got in terms of rules..." it says, "Which of these pre-made options do you want?  Okay, go."  It runs better/smoother, but it does so because there's less possibilities to account for.  FFG's system is really the dog of the bunch for this, imho, though Saga's blatant minis tie-ins and boardgamey feel makes it the weakest of the Star Wars systems, overall, for me.

 

That all being said, I'm not sure taking the heavily-tree-based FFG system and trying to tweak it into a non-tree-based system is the way to go.  At that point, I feel like your issue lies mostly with the core of the system itself, and you'd be better served by simply going to a wholly different system, and simply converting materials that you'd like to use.

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Technically, it's not necessary a problem, but rather something that came up a few times and I'm curious if others have run into it, if they feel that way, and/or if my hairbrained thoughts were on point.

 

You seem to be one of the good guys here Librarian, but plenty of the veterans seem to be saying it's not a great idea. 

 

I remember about a year or so ago there was someone (Gryphynx?) who posted an alternate system that allowed for much higher stats than normal at character generation.  Everyone pretty much told him it was vastly overpowered and he left.

 

I often play about with RPGs but this is one of the few I feel better not touching, beyond a few tweaks that suit our campaign.  This one seemed to have a lot of development and while it's not perfect, it works very well.  Messing about with it will tend to create game-breaking characters very quickly.

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Without the trees, you wouldn't have 26 versions of "+1 soak".

 

 

 
So you toss out all the duplicates, leaving you with only one instance of a +1 soak (or other talents that stack)? That's almost as bad.
 
 
If it costs 20 xp just to unlock a new tree, that's not the same issue as "well of course it costs XP to progress the character".

 

 

That's EXACTLY the issue. Which is a better, stronger, more useful character? An engineer or an engineer/slicer/outlaw tech? Why shouldn't the more flexible character cost more? That's the way RPGs work. You want to advance in WEG from 9D+2 to 10D? That's going to cost you way more than going from 2D+2 to 3D. Same with Champions: a 50 DEX is going to cost you a boatload more points than a 13 DEX. Why should having a pile of talents available to all be free.
 
Couple that with the idea he already had a second tree, and it can get cost-prohibitive.

 

 

As someone who needed 4 trees and a force power to round out a concept (and that Exile tree and force power was pretty much for color. I don't think I ever sank many points into them), I find the idea that someone balking at 2 additional trees kind of whiny. Buying three trees costs you, what 50 points (or 70, if you're buying from other careers). That's - depending on the experience rewards of the campaign - two or three weeks of play. Big deal (especially when you figure in what a character gets out of those purchases).
 
At the end of the day, its your table - do as you wish. But it seems to me like this is just a solution in search of a problem and something that can easily break the game balance.
Edited by Desslok

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At the end of the day, its your table - do as you wish. But it seems to me like this is just a solution in search of a problem and something that can easily break the game balance.

 

 

Or rather, it will expose a broken element in the system, one that is currently hidden behind a contrived extra cost. 

 

 

 

 

That's EXACTLY the issue. Which is a better, stronger, more useful character? An engineer or an engineer/slicer/outlaw tech? Why shouldn't the more flexible character cost more? That's the way RPGs work. You want to advance in WEG from 9D+2 to 10D? That's going to cost you way more than going from 2D+2 to 3D. Same with Champions: a 50 DEX is going to cost you a boatload more points than a 13 DEX. Why should having a pile of talents available to all be free.

 

 

If the "engineer/slicer/outlaw tech" is in fact a "better, stronger, more useful" character than a dedicated "engineer" built on the same number of experience / character points, then your system has a fundamental flaw.   The alternative is that an unfounded assumption is being made that flexible = better, and better in some sort of undesirable or unbalanced way. 

 

In the HERO system, there is no "spend 60 character points to get to 30 DEX, then spend 20 points to unlock a new class/tree, then spend 60 points to get to 50 DEX" -- in FFG's setup, there's an ACCESS cost that's separate from the PROGRESSION cost.  Every single point spent goes into the progression itself, not into access to further progression. 

 

That "spend 20 points to unlock a new tree" thing is covering for a fundamental problem and/or simply intended to make "focused" characters more cost efficient as a carrot/stick.   

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My main problem with the idea your roughing out right now, is Talents. Allowing players to cherry pick which talents they want and what they want to leave behind is ridiculous. If I were playing in this system, I wouldn't have barely any talents that cost less than 10 xp, BUT I would be a Master Pilot, a Master Merchant, an Improved Field Commander, and I'd have those talents shortly after creation, and this was just after a couple minutes thought on what talents are really strong and completely outrageous if any character were allowed to combine them willy nilly I'm sure I could come up with something out of this world if I applied myself to breaking the system.

 

To the complaints of "It costs too much xp to get new specs" IT IS SUPPOSED TO. Most tree's have a couple talents that really exemplifies that Spec, and they are usually in the 15-25 range. Without the costs of buying the spec and purchasing down through those trees to those talents, you're going to have characters at 150 xp that are ridiculously focused on three different areas and are outrageously good at them. It -should- cost that xp to get new trees because it -needs- to be a struggle to decide where you spend your xp because it is the growth of your character, if a player is allowed to just buy whatever he wants, he's going to grab up all the powerful talents. The tree's and related xp costs are a balancing tool that the game needs to have in place to prevent characters from becoming Mary Sues who are good at everything all the time.

 

 

EDIT: As a side note, because Killjoy posted while I was reading this. Any game system is breakable, it doesn't matter how well its balanced, there is a way to break it. It is inherent to rules existing.

 

Second EDIT: Using the word "better" to describe whether or not a Sicer/Engi/Outlaw tech is more effective than a pure Engineer is a mistake. The Slicer/Engi/Outlaw Tech has a broader range of skills and talents, but is less efficient at them. The pure Engineer is exceptional at a smaller range of skills and talents. It is a tradeoff and one of the better parts of the system, as you can have to characters with the same Career, that are very different and specialize in different things.

Edited by BigSpoon

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My main problem with the idea your roughing out right now, is Talents. Allowing players to cherry pick which talents they want and what they want to leave behind is ridiculous. If I were playing in this system, I wouldn't have barely any talents that cost less than 10 xp, BUT I would be a Master Pilot, a Master Merchant, an Improved Field Commander, and I'd have those talents shortly after creation, and this was just after a couple minutes thought on what talents are really strong and completely outrageous if any character were allowed to combine them willy nilly I'm sure I could come up with something out of this world if I applied myself to breaking the system.

 

To the complaints of "It costs too much xp to get new specs" IT IS SUPPOSED TO. Most tree's have a couple talents that really exemplifies that Spec, and they are usually in the 15-25 range. Without the costs of buying the spec and purchasing down through those trees to those talents, you're going to have characters at 150 xp that are ridiculously focused on three different areas and are outrageously good at them. It -should- cost that xp to get new trees because it -needs- to be a struggle to decide where you spend your xp because it is the growth of your character, if a player is allowed to just buy whatever he wants, he's going to grab up all the powerful talents. The tree's and related xp costs are a balancing tool that the game needs to have in place to prevent characters from becoming Mary Sues who are good at everything all the time.

 

 

EDIT: As a side note, because Killjoy posted while I was reading this. Any game system is breakable, it doesn't matter how well its balanced, there is a way to break it. It is inherent to rules existing.

 

Second EDIT: Using the word "better" to describe whether or not a Sicer/Engi/Outlaw tech is more effective than a pure Engineer is a mistake. The Slicer/Engi/Outlaw Tech has a broader range of skills and talents, but is less efficient at them. The pure Engineer is exceptional at a smaller range of skills and talents. It is a tradeoff and one of the better parts of the system, as you can have to characters with the same Career, that are very different and specialize in different things.

 

 

Again, this simply bring us right back to the same issue -- if one Talent is more "powerful" than another, then give it a higher XP cost... or do a better job balancing the Talents.  Don't create 26 versions of the same Talent or progressions of Talents that stack in effect to the point of causing a wreck.  

 

If the Talents are balanced and of appropriate XP cost, you don't need to lock them behind an extra access cost in XP or an entire tree of prerequisites. 

 

If your second edit is true, and it's a tradeoff, then that's the balancing factor in and of itself.  At that point, the extra cost of access becomes simply a game designer trying to discourage one sort of character in favor of another out of a desire to have characters specialized in their "dramatic roles". 

 

(I'll forego bothering with the whole "Mary Sue" thing, which at this point is just an empty term that means nothing more than "character who doesn't suit my tastes".)

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Again, this simply bring us right back to the same issue -- if one Talent is more "powerful" than another, then give it a higher XP cost... or do a better job balancing the Talents.  Don't create 26 versions of the same Talent or progressions of Talents that stack in effect to the point of causing a wreck.  

 

If the Talents are balanced and of appropriate XP cost, you don't need to lock them behind an extra access cost in XP or an entire tree of prerequisites. 

 

If your second edit is true, and it's a tradeoff, then that's the balancing factor in and of itself.  At that point, the extra cost of access becomes simply a game designer trying to discourage one sort of character in favor of another out of a desire to have characters specialized in their "dramatic roles". 

 

(I'll forego bothering with the whole "Mary Sue" thing, which at this point is just an empty term that means nothing more than "character who doesn't suit my tastes".)

 

The talents are balanced by the progression costs it takes to get to them. There aren't 26 version of the same talent, there are talents that have similar names i.e. the Master (Insert Name here) or Natural (insert name here). But they all do a different thing, usually something thematically appropriate to what tree they are in.

 

The talents are balanced by the xp costs required to achieve them. There is a reason Field Commander only costs 30 xp to get and Master Pilot takes 75. You differentiate between Access and Progression costs, they aren't different, they are both progression costs, (technically because you are also gaining class skills when you get a new spec).

 

I also disagree that the designers are trying to get people to focus into their "dramatic roles" as I don't think the system really rewards players who are laser focused into a single area of expertise, in my opinion it makes the game really boring (and more difficult for your GM) when you're rolling 5 yellows, and a green, because you have a 6 in a characteristic and a 5 in the skill. It is boring to win all the time.

 

As to foregoing the Mary Sue, I don't really care what you call a character that can do all things and do them at an expert level all the time, I'll just reference the previous paragraph, that a character that wins at everything all the time isn't interesting to me. To me, that is what this free-form character generation and progression system will promote. So I guess, yes, a character who succeeds at everything they do, in any situation and never loses is a character I do not care for.

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The balance is the talent trees. They designed the talents* around the idea you would have to work your way through a skill tree to reach them. It was made that way on purpose. So if removing the balancing element causes imbalances, it's not the developers fault. If I took a chainsaw to the support beams of my house, I don't get to blame the architect or the construction company when I my house collapses; I'm the dumb yokel who chopped a key aspect of the design to pieces.

 

*And those high end talents are not game breaking in the general sense of things. Many of them are neat actions or maneuvers a character can pull off, but aren't really necessary to play the game. Most are just cool, and are there to show your character has really progressed (say a green Medic who's never seen a day of action in their life, and can only use a stimpack slightly better than the other person, to a seasoned, experienced battlefield doctor that can prevent potentially lethal injuries on the fly).

Edited by Blackbird888

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I'm gonna try and steer us back on topic before we get too deep into a game theory discussion.

 

As currently posted, Librarian, you need some form of check to keep players from buying talents ala carte as you have removed the current balancing factor. Perhaps something like you need X number of Level 1 Talents (The 5 xp ones) to progress to Level 2 Talents so on and so forth.

 

Also, I have mixed feelings on forcing players to choose force sensitivity on creation, it is one of the things I like about the FFG system is you can have a character who you as a player are planning on taking FSEx or FSEmg but currently they have no idea they are force sensitive (ala Luke in ANH, or Corran in Legends). It is almost as if you are punishing a player for being Force Sensitive with less career skills and fewer ranks.

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Again, this simply bring us right back to the same issue -- if one Talent is more "powerful" than another, then give it a higher XP cost... or do a better job balancing the Talents.  Don't create 26 versions of the same Talent or progressions of Talents that stack in effect to the point of causing a wreck.  

 

I don't see you offering any solutions, only academic commentary about a design decision that can't be reversed.

 

The game is currently balanced on the structure of the trees.  If you take away that structure, what are you going to replace it with?

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After reading this and the play groups response to being able to grab skills it strikes me as a very, now now now situation. I want the skills and talents now, I don't want to have to wait to bra powerhouse. I see also you've pretty much made up your mind as well so that's fine but I think as others have stated your going to run into issues later.

As for a post earlier about straight engineer vs multi spec being better or not. This game strongly encourages branching out and being a but more well rounded. so yes I would say objectively multi specing is indeed better overall. Sure as a GM you could get around it by not having those characters come into situations where their weaknesses come into play but that's so artificial

Edited by winters_night

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I've played everything from D&D and Pathfinder, the most classiest of class systems, to The HERO system, the most open and do it all system I know of.

 

I find FFG's Star Wars a nice compromise.  There's some structure to keep people from going to far off the rails or turning into the proverbial Tankmage, but it's open enough that you can branch your character out into lots of different directions without to much issue. 

 

I'm happy with it as it, but if you want to try a non-linear method I'd be very curious to here how it turns out.  I personally think you will severely limit the long term playability of the campaign.  People will get to powerful to quickly and throw the game out of balance.  That said, I'd like to hear from somebody who actually tries it and get a feel for their results.

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Librarian,

It seems to me that you might be solving a problem that doesn't really exist. If I'm understanding you, a handful of players have basically told you that they want to progress faster and don't want to spend XP for new specializations because they feel like it's a lock out for talents. The first part of that is fine. If they want faster progression, bump them from 15 to 20XP per session. That's no big deal.

 

However, I think this other bit is a more difficult nut to crack because it strikes me as an issue of player entitlement (probably not the right word, but it's the best I can think of right now). RAW already allows a player to buy any additional trees she wants. As well as any individual skills she wants. What your players seem to want is the ability to buy any talent they want as well without having to invest into anything but the talent itself. But I don't think a character should just be able to buy a talent that way.

Here's an example: Field Commander is a strong talent from the Hired Gun and Soldier careers. If you allow free purchase, then you've got a Politico picking it up because it's a powerful talent that can synergize well, but narratively and thematically it doesn't make a lot of sense. Troops aren't going to respect this guy enough to really follow his Command. The two specializations that have the talent are about being tough, battle-hardened, and experienced. When that grizzled old veteran commander tells his group to move, they move without hesitation because they trust him. Some fresh faced nerf herder can't get that kind of loyalty just because he has 25XP to spend. But hey, there is absolutely nothing stopping that nerf herder from getting that experience, but it doesn't come easy. He needs to invest time and energy into becoming a military leader.

 

If you're hard set on doing it, I guess keep in mind that the trees were done intentionally in places to increase a talent's cost without actually increasing the cost. So you may have a 10XP talent that is really powerful for 10XP, but in the RAW it required another 10-15XP talent to get to. So you might not want to just go on cost alone.

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