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Yaccarus

Maintaining the PCs' careers

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I have come up with a bit of a problem in Edge of the Empire, and that is having the character stay true to their careers. In a group with, for example, an Assassain doing the fighting, a Pilot doing the Piloting, and a Slicer doing the slicing, they all do the same sort of work. In a smuggling mission, the Assassain might fight off stormtroopers, and the slicer may release a tractor beam, and the pilot may help the ship escape TIE Fighters, they all participate in Smuggling.

So the Assassain, in addition to being a Bounty Hunter, is just as much a Smuggler or Technician. So how does a GM deal with this? Here are three strategies that I have used.

1. With some groups of characters, I have ignored this.

"He/she is a Bounty Hunter, and he/she possesses the skills of one, but he/she works in a group so that his/her skills can be applied to wide range of activities, including mercanary work, smuggling, exploring, and also bounty hunting."

2. This is one that I may going use in an upcoming campaign. For every week that passes between adventures, I make the PCs pay for 80 credits (this could change based on GM's preference) worth of food/rent/fuel/recreaction, then have them do a percentage role to find how much they make in profit off of minor, low pay, low risk opporations, primarily by themselves and in whatever their career is. This strategy is also good because it "keeps the crew hungry."

"He/she is primarily a Hired Gun, but occasionally team up with an Explorer so that they can take on a wider range of missions."

3. Compose the party of all one Career. This is easy, but limits the choices of what players can choose as their career, and limits range of things the party can do.

"He/she is a Colonist, and works with the fellow members of their colony to survive on the frontier."

I have no clue how much I will like #2, but it seems like a fun mechanic. Do you have any advice for which of these I should choose for in future campaigns? (My group of players and I have a tendency to get bored and create new characters very often.)

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Your taking the career definitions too literally; I chose gadgetter initially because i wanted to play a young troubled Rodian whom once worked under his fathers company as a reputable mechanic, only to have everything ended by a bounty hunter killing his father. Thus he turned those skills to his gear; he had a five in intellect and 3 ranks in mechanics before he knew how to use a pistol effectively and evolved to be one of the most wanted hiestmasters this galaxy has ever seen.

 

Sure, with some of the careers pigonholing is inevitable, but even then it can be explained away (an assassin is a big game hunter, that uses his skills to know exactly where to cut. He was hired by the explorers guild to ensure that their budding scientists didn't get killed by the local widelife) and even then there is a variety of reasons why these characters would band out. One of the most important factors is for the group to establish their core line of work and thus their idenity. Only when you have a story can you weave these fellows into a narrative. Speak to the players about this and work together to create an opening narrative to this groups life htat gels well for all of you.

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I don't deal with it. I think you are creating an issue where there is none. I see characters as people. Perhaps they have a background that influences their character class choice but it does not tie them to anything. It's a class, not a specific job that they are employed in.

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these seem like solutions seeking a real problem. In all honesty most characters over time are bound to overlap in what they do. Few characters in any game sticks strictly to their class. 

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Your taking the career definitions too literally; I chose gadgetter initially because i wanted to play a young troubled Rodian whom once worked under his fathers company as a reputable mechanic, only to have everything ended by a bounty hunter killing his father. Thus he turned those skills to his gear.

 

This.  The names of careers and specializations are archetypes, not formal titles.  "Assassin" is just a way to identify the talent tree that provides a character access to precise and lethal combat capabilities.  "Bounty Hunter" as a career name is a catch-all for "characters with a mix of abilities emphasizing combat and self-sufficiency".

 

The words don't matter, only the abilities they grant you.  My best friend used Colonist [Doctor] to represent a high society assassin skilled with poisons.  Another player used Bounty Hunter [Assassin] to represent a retired Scout Trooper.

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Others have said it but just because your an Explorer career doesn't mean your actually an Explorer paid to explore new worlds. It means your good at Exploring, but you can use that skill for whatever you want.

If you're more concerned about each PC having a defined role within the group and only ever doing their thing then try splitting the group up. Give them multiple tasks to achieve at the same time. Run initiative exactly the same, everyone In the same list, picking their slot each round as normal, they are just not in the same place. This way you can challenge someone who isn't the best at a skill where normally one of the other PC's would have made the roll.

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I never had this problem. The system is made specifically to be as open as possible, to show how ever changing life on the Fringe is. You might be a simple colonist one day, then become a smuggler or slicer by necessity in the next. Even in normal circumstances, people tend to acquire various sets of skills over time. For example, I'm an Historian. You could say that's my career, or class. I also know my way around a computer, while also being a ski instructor. People aren't optimized or dedicated by nature, that's not how life works. Life happens, in whatever way it wants, and you learn from it. That's true for us in the real world, and that's doubly true for the Fringers living in the Outer Rim. 

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A thief need not literally be a thief.  The Colonist career describes any professional, civilian character or Core World guy.  The specs and careers are not literally what job the character holds; they are a set of skills.

 

We have a Smuggler who has never handled contraband, never flown a ship or got involved in smuggling in any way. She's essentially a duellist for a powerful crime lord, and her entire remit is using diplomacy to talk sense into people who cross her boss, or shooting them (nice and legal if they draw first) if they won't see sense. She's not a legbreaker or a thief or an assassin; the crime lord has other people for that.  But her narrow skillset is best represented by the Gunslinger and Charmer specs in the Smuggler career.

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