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Seguleh

Species balance

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Greetings,

I was stralling throu the different species, and it never seemed to me as an important matter, but I was wondering about the balance between them. Most races have the 1x1 and 1x3, and the difference isnt that large, or like the Hutts they are just very special. So they they seem all even more or less. But for example the Mustafarians have just as much free points as the other species but 1x1 and 0x3... I feel a little bit of pitty for them. Or do they have some special abilitys who make up for the low stats.

And what is your general opinion of the balance between species? It doesn't seem super important, but on the other hand a player may feel left behind if he is the only one who has low stats etc.

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My opinion is that any disparities between species are pretty minor at CHARGEN and after a dozen sessions of awarded xp they become irrelevant.  PCs should be picking a race because that's what they want to play and how they envision their character and not be preoccupied with the other kid's marbles on the playground.

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hm, yes and no.

of course they should pick what their imagination tells them, be good roleplayers, and eat their spinach. But this is a very simple answer to everything, and it is too simple, otherwise we would not make the effort to create a roleplaying system with diversity.

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As 2P51 said most species are not that different so after a few sessions in although the species are not perfectly balanced it is generally irrelevant. When a species starts with less exp or characteristics it is generally because they have some special ability that makes them stronger like four arms or flight. In the case of Mustafarians this is the fact they have double the normal resistance to heat compared to other species who get this ability (eg Twi'Leks) and both sub species of Mustafarian start with an ability which generally costs 15-20 exp (durable and eye for detail). As already mentioned this doesn't always balance it properly for instance pantorans get a free rank and resistance to cold and yet are the only species who can go 5 characteristics at 3 in character creation (if they take additional obligation). Even with them though after a while it will become irrelevant. So as stated by 2P51 the best thing to do is just play whatever species you enjoy or you think fits the narrative of the campaign (no Wookie Stormtroopers!!).

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hm, yes and no.

of course they should pick what their imagination tells them, be good roleplayers, and eat their spinach. But this is a very simple answer to everything, and it is too simple, otherwise we would not make the effort to create a roleplaying system with diversity.

I'm sorry are we talking about role playing or are we talking about mechanics?  You say role playing and diversity but you're talking pure crunch.  One player upset over a few points difference another may have at CHARGEN is not the system's fault, that's called envy and it's the person's fault.

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hm, yes and no.

of course they should pick what their imagination tells them, be good roleplayers, and eat their spinach. But this is a very simple answer to everything, and it is too simple, otherwise we would not make the effort to create a roleplaying system with diversity.

I'm sorry are we talking about role playing or are we talking about mechanics?  You say role playing and diversity but you're talking pure crunch.  One player upset over a few points difference another may have at CHARGEN is not the system's fault, that's called envy and it's the person's fault.

 

Of course about the mechanics of a roleplay.

 

It is nobody s fault and nobody in envy right now. I would be absolut fine with different "strong" species as well, I just wanna know your opinion of how equal the species are, or what benefits they may have which I am not aware of. I am sure someone could have a lot of fun playing an imperial cleaning droid with all stats at 1 too, but this is another topic.

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hm, yes and no.

of course they should pick what their imagination tells them, be good roleplayers, and eat their spinach. But this is a very simple answer to everything, and it is too simple, otherwise we would not make the effort to create a roleplaying system with diversity.

I'm sorry are we talking about role playing or are we talking about mechanics?  You say role playing and diversity but you're talking pure crunch.  One player upset over a few points difference another may have at CHARGEN is not the system's fault, that's called envy and it's the person's fault.

 

​To be fair this is a mind set a lot of people have when they first start playing rp games and when I first started playing this game it was apparent that many of the careers, talents etc. were not balanced. In general you will find Segulah that you do need a slight change in mind set which will happen over time that any rules are more like guidelines. They are merely there to help guide the narrative and settle disputes, generally I have found the more people play the less they are actively used so it can be annoying when the Jedi of the crew starts using force move and wiping big enemies out in one hit because they started mystic seer and threw half their exp into knowledge lore, or because someone decided gadgeteer, gambler was a good combination so they could hit 10 times in a roll, ultimately it then becomes up to the GM to ensure balance is kept and that each player can shine or finds ways to limit the ridiculousness of the munchkins in the world. After all the brilliance and flaw of any rp game is that how good it is often depends on the people playing the game.

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IMO, FFG does a really good job of balancing all the species they present.

But they are also human, and they can’t be perfect all the time.

Even if they were, some people will disagree over what should cost five points versus what should cost ten.

It is not physically possible to please all the people, all the time.

All things considered, I think FFG does a better job of balancing their species at CHARGEN than any other game company that I have ever seen.

If you disagree with some of their choices and you are the GM, then you are free to make whatever changes you feel are necessary for your game.

However, I would caution you that FFG tends to take a very holistic view to everything they do, and game balance is always at or near the top of their minds for every decision they make.

So, if you’re new to the game, then I would encourage you to run it exactly as written for a few months. Then come back to those ideas and see if there is still anything left that you feel needs to be changed.

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After a bit of play, only a few species stand out mechanically. These are the ones with species abilities that others can't pick up through XP or imitate with easily available gear. Examples include the leaping ability of the Kyuzo, the Ithorian Bellow, and the various four-armed species.

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oh, jesus, guys

neither am I new to this game nor to roleplaying nor do I have "such a mind set" nor am I complaining about powergamers nor do I think FFG does something wrong. I just wanna have some insights of how you see and what experiences you have with different species.

 

It is like I asked "why does a teacher earn less than a petroleum engineer"

and you give me answers like "money alone doesnt make happy" "you should pick the job that fullfills you" "when you work a while you see that other things matter as well"

 

yes, all your answers are true and I mostly agree with them, but what I wanna hear are answers like "there is a lack of people who are good at math" "petroleum engineers have to work on sh*tty platforms a lot of time, while teachers can live at home with their families" "the goverent is to cheap to pay teachers what they realy deserve"

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hm, yes and no.

of course they should pick what their imagination tells them, be good roleplayers, and eat their spinach. But this is a very simple answer to everything, and it is too simple, otherwise we would not make the effort to create a roleplaying system with diversity.

I'm sorry are we talking about role playing or are we talking about mechanics?  You say role playing and diversity but you're talking pure crunch.  One player upset over a few points difference another may have at CHARGEN is not the system's fault, that's called envy and it's the person's fault.

 

Of course about the mechanics of a roleplay.

 

It is nobody s fault and nobody in envy right now. I would be absolut fine with different "strong" species as well, I just wanna know your opinion of how equal the species are, or what benefits they may have which I am not aware of. I am sure someone could have a lot of fun playing an imperial cleaning droid with all stats at 1 too, but this is another topic.

 

 

Short answer most are a few are not.

Long Answer:

As already stated Mustafarians have double the heat resistance and a free relatively expensive talent. In my opinion this is relatively balanced as the ability to wear strong armour in arid environments can be helpful, durable is always useful and eye for detail Is not very common but stacks with ranks very well especially when using the crafting rules of KtP, SM or EV. To answer your other question in general the amount of exp or characteristics isn't often a good measure of how strong a species is. It can be helpful to hit certain points early as mentioned earlier for the Pantorans which can make a race feel strong to start with but after a while having a bit of extra exp will become irrelevant. For instance in the main campaign I am a part of half the characters have earned over 1000 exp post character creation so 10 exp here or there doesn't make a difference. Similarly there have been so many dedications that starting with an extra number in the characteristics i.e. Pantoran or one less ie. Mustafarian isn't the biggest deal.

Generally speaking classes like the Xexto, Besalisk, Sathari, Toydarians and Kyuzo who have special abilities unique to them (at least Kyuzo and Sathari did before EV) tend to be slightly better in the long run. For similar reasons I personally tend to enjoy playing species with something unique to them like Nautolans who are amphibious, Kel'Dor who need respirators to survive or Arconans who tend to struggle with salt addiction more for the different rp opportunities such things can provide or species with a lot of interesting lore which makes them unique and helps flesh them out a bit such as Twi'Lek or Chiss. Otherwise a lot of species will just end up feeling the same after a while.

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oh, jesus, guys

neither am I new to this game nor to roleplaying nor do I have "such a mind set" nor am I complaining about powergamers nor do I think FFG does something wrong. I just wanna have some insights of how you see and what experiences you have with different species.

 

It is like I asked "why does a teacher earn less than a petroleum engineer"

and you give me answers like "money alone doesnt make happy" "you should pick the job that fullfills you" "when you work a while you see that other things matter as well"

 

yes, all your answers are true and I mostly agree with them, but what I wanna hear are answers like "there is a lack of people who are good at math" "petroleum engineers have to work on sh*tty platforms a lot of time, while teachers can live at home with their families" "the goverent is to cheap to pay teachers what they realy deserve"

 

Also apologies I never meant to offend, nor did I assume you necessarily had such a mind set just that I can see why having balanced species can be important as some people do which can cause issues at a table when things are not balanced.

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neither am I new to this game nor to roleplaying nor do I have "such a mind set" nor am I complaining about powergamers nor do I think FFG does something wrong. I just wanna have some insights of how you see and what experiences you have with different species.

For me, I don’t have a problem with the way FFG does the various different species that they have presented. I’m much more interested in the role-playing side of the house, and the prospects for being able to tell a good story.

And there, finding evocative pictures on these forums (or elsewhere on the ‘net) can be as big of a motivator as anything else.

For example, I thought that Besalisks were pretty cool but I wasn’t that interested in playing one, until I saw this image:

Between-the-Shadows-Armed-to-the-Teeth.j

And I pretty much hated, loathed, and despised Gungans, until I saw this image:

gungan-gunslinger.jpg

I found both of the above images very inspiring, and for me that completely overwhelmed any mechanical advantages or disadvantages those species might have in their official writeups from FFG.

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hm, yes and no.

of course they should pick what their imagination tells them, be good roleplayers, and eat their spinach. But this is a very simple answer to everything, and it is too simple, otherwise we would not make the effort to create a roleplaying system with diversity.

I'm sorry are we talking about role playing or are we talking about mechanics?  You say role playing and diversity but you're talking pure crunch.  One player upset over a few points difference another may have at CHARGEN is not the system's fault, that's called envy and it's the person's fault.

 

 

True. What still stands is that some species have more of a preposition for certain careers than others. Verpine with Int 3 and Agility 3 are simply great nerds, techs and pilots, just like the lore describes them, and a corillian with Piloting 3 right from the start and agility 4 or 5 is definitely some pilot with real talent. 

 

So I would say the crunch is supporting the fluff quite nicely without being an overly dominant thing. You certainly CAN get even a trandoshan up and running as ace despite that agility 1 start. (Will be most likely a 432222, a surprisingly rounded character who lacks just one yellow dice in comparisons to that ueber corillian ace at the start.

 

Really good balance chargen without losing flavor. 

Edited by SEApocalypse

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Greetings,

I was stralling throu the different species, and it never seemed to me as an important matter, but I was wondering about the balance between them. Most races have the 1x1 and 1x3, and the difference isnt that large, or like the Hutts they are just very special. So they they seem all even more or less. But for example the Mustafarians have just as much free points as the other species but 1x1 and 0x3... I feel a little bit of pitty for them. Or do they have some special abilitys who make up for the low stats.

And what is your general opinion of the balance between species? It doesn't seem super important, but on the other hand a player may feel left behind if he is the only one who has low stats etc.

 

One of the things I love about this game is that you really can play what you want and still make your character good at the career/specialization you chose. That said, there are some species that are clearly going to be better at certain careers than others starting out; eventually, it will all balance.

 

Speaking of balance, if you want to make a well-rounded character, Humans are the way to go! Again, starting out they are just perfect to be decent to good at everything. The fact that they have no "1" makes them kind of boring to me, I like a character that has a weakness somewhere and often suggest to players to leave a characteristic at "1" because it makes the game more interesting. Most of my players haven't listen to me on that front lol 

 

A player starting out who might feel behind will eventually catch up, and in the long term will be just fine with enough XP. That said, there is nothing wrong with "playing the numbers" and going with a species that has better characteristics/skill ranks/talents for the career/specialization you want.

 

If for example, I want to make a Smuggler and I realize that the most important characteristics for them are Agility and Cunning, then there is nothing wrong with going, I'll play a species that as a 3 in one of those characteristics. So what if that species has a 1 in brawn/willpower or whatever. They get a free skill rank is something that is also important to the career/specialization, even better! 

 

The beauty in this system though is that, if you have your heart set on a Trandoshan Politician or a Toydarian Marauder, you can do that and make it work pretty well!

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In the end it makes very little difference a few sessions in. The standard recommendation is to throw as much starting xp into characteristics, and the balance seems to be around that. In the main if you reverse engineer the stats back to 1, then using xp to build the stats back to the starting stats, and then add the species starting xp you pretty much always get 230 .

Example humans cost 120 to get all 6 1's to 2's then add 110 = 230

Races that have a 1 and a 3 , would cost 130 to get from 6 1's.these usually get 100 starting xp so again total 230.

Races that have 2 3's , 2 1's and 2 2's would cost 140 to get from 1. These guys get 90xp.

Sakiyan have 5 2's and 1 3 , so using the above formula they should, and do, get 80 starting xp.

This ensures that , so far, all the races have the same potential starting stats. Although those with a 1 that follow the above could start with 2 4's with a bonus 10 xp, whereas a human cannot

Now, onto some exceptions, if the race has an advantage of some kind, for example the 4 armed species, or the Fallen pheromone ability then they get a penalty of up to 20 xp (1 or 2 races have more).

2 races break this 230 xp barrier, firstly you have the lunged Gand has 1 1 and 1 3, and starts with 110 xp (which seems to be because normal atmosphere is toxin to them, which is doubly odd because the keldor do not get the same bonus 10xp) and now with Endless Vigil the Pantorans get to break the 230 barrier , so along with the Gand these 2 races sit alone with 240 and have the highest potential starting stats.

Moving onto skills , Humans seem to get the biggest bonus of non droids and get to get 2 skill ranks, whereas moast alive species get 1 skill rank and (usually) cheap 5 xp talent (often ranked). From an do point of view this would appear to make humans better off. Technically this is a bit of an illusion, The reason is that it allows humans to take 2 ranks in skills that often do not matter to the core of the character and tend to see more benefit later in the game when you cross spec. The other races get to have "stereotypes" instead, providing you match up the free rank with a career skill which allows a better level of specialized traininb at start. The Corellian human excels here as being able to get rank 3 pilot.

The strain and wound thresholds seem to balance out the talents they get Example Sakiyan in comparison with humans. They get 1 fixed skill, and expert tracker so have less when it comes to the two thresholds.

Droids specialize even further, but on the outside seem worse off than every one because they have the lowest potential stats, but if you get the right type of build that relies on one or two stats , rather than 3 or 4, then you can run wild with the concept (example an enforcer can get along with willpower and brawn only), 4 brawn on a droid leads to 5 soak before armor, a droid that doesn't need brawn gets 2 soak, meaning that if you ignore the brawn ski!is you have the same starting soak as a human but didn't have to raise it

Ultimately all of the above is only of use in balancing the species against each other and perhaps , only has benefit in using the concepts in building your own custom or not yet released races.

Want to know what I did first time round was to throw the rulebooks tip out the window and built a red nikto guardian warden, raised willpower to 3 and then ran for dedication which I gained with my first sessions xp, leaving me with a 3 brawn and 4 willpower and being able to buy into my signature ability with the next xp, so I'm about the same characteristics as my friends but with higher level talents. Ultimately the concept dictates what you want to do, and only a powergaming min maxer would be significantly worried as to which race is "better"

I apologize for the length of the post.

Edited by syrath

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In short, yes, they screwed up the math on several of the races and made them clearly inferior or superior to what appears to be the standard.

 

It's hard for me not to get hung up on that, but probably we should try to just let it go.

 

Alternatively, you can house rule it to fix the imbalance.

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So I would say the crunch is supporting the fluff quite nicely without being an overly dominant thing. You certainly CAN get a even a trandoshan up and running as ace despite that agility 1 start. (Will be most likely a 432222, a surprisingly rounded character who lacks just one yellow dice in comparisons to that ueber corillian ace at the start.

I did pretty much exactly that with my Besalisk. By dumping virtually all his CHARGEN xp into Agility, I was able to get him boosted high enough that he could be a really good Ace:Gunner.

I much prefer to play against type (most of the time), so a Besalisk that has minimum Brawn for his species but maximum Agility (for his species at CHARGEN) gives me a lot of role-play material to work with. He can still be the “Strongman” of the group, as his species tends to be, but also be really good at most any kind of ranged weapon he might want to use.

And that gets me to the character concept as shown in the image I previously posted.

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The races are very well balanced regarding total stat distribution but certain races have extremely nice abilities not found elsewhere.

 

Most races can achieve a specialist 432222 build at the start and have enough xp left over for some talents/skills

Several races can achieve the balanced human 333322 using all their xp.

 

The particularly powerful races are

 

Cerean uniquely gain all knowledge skills as class skills and have the specialist build

The four armed races have an advantage every combat with two free  manuvers

Hutts are immensely powerful with a balanced 333322 set and 2 free talents and 2 free skills and the ponderous drawback can be overcome by armor or a vehicle.

Dug's are also by far the best pilot race with a specialist split 4 in agility and a free rank in defensive driving.

The Gand's ability to start 433222 is also very powerful giving them the bonus of the high starting stat without sacrificing a point of characteristic or the completely round 333331 if you don't want to be social.

Edited by amrothe

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So I would say the crunch is supporting the fluff quite nicely without being an overly dominant thing. You certainly CAN get a even a trandoshan up and running as ace despite that agility 1 start. (Will be most likely a 432222, a surprisingly rounded character who lacks just one yellow dice in comparisons to that ueber corillian ace at the start.

I did pretty much exactly that with my Besalisk. By dumping virtually all his CHARGEN xp into Agility, I was able to get him boosted high enough that he could be a really good Ace:Gunner.

I much prefer to play against type (most of the time), so a Besalisk that has minimum Brawn for his species but maximum Agility (for his species at CHARGEN) gives me a lot of role-play material to work with. He can still be the “Strongman” of the group, as his species tends to be, but also be really good at most any kind of ranged weapon he might want to use.

And that gets me to the character concept as shown in the image I previously posted.

 

 

Exactly and the best part about is that such a character still fulfills the racial expectations of a Besalisk as being a strong and tough fellow as the minimum brawn 3 guarantees this. It is just not his defining characteristic.  

 

@FuriousGuy The Gand have serious trouble with breathing on most inhabited worlds, stations and starships in the galaxy. So it is odd indeed that the Kel Dor don't get the same bonus. Though the Gand with lungs are technical more vulnerable to oxygen than Kel Dor ones. (No idea if the rules represent this)

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Just my 2 credits...while the math does seem to favor a few specific races remember the racial disadvantages and story penalties. Having a band of non-humans can be quite problematical if you are trying to say do a long-term infiltration of the Imperial Academy. Or rolling a few despairs on your Survival check and having your respirator fail...no amount of ability points makes up for not being able to breathe.  

 

I guess it's all in the story.  I imagine you could treat those disadvantages as trivial...which in the long-term they will be as eventually all the characters will balance out fairly well. 

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If you play with the kind of GM who sunders your breathe mask or sends attackers with ion weapons right after you buy a new implant well then you really need to be looking for another GM.

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Unfortunetly, I find the Muun to be slightely imbalanced (to my chagrin as this was one of the species on my "must have" list).

It's 2 Knowledge ranks counterbalances its xp cost in my opinion, though it's wound and strain threshold is underwhelming when all they get in turn are some starting credits; a moderately small clump of single use cash.

Why would you give a starting character such a limited boon? Wouldn't it be better to give them a rank in Sound Investments?

I don't know, what do you all think? Should a species have such a temporary bonus?

Edited by Weedles and Fries

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If you play with the kind of GM who sunders your breathe mask or sends attackers with ion weapons right after you buy a new implant well then you really need to be looking for another GM.

 

What is wrong with that? It's basically a trope to go after the breathe mask, we have iirc even a tcw episode based on that for Master Plo Koon. 

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Master Plo could survive in a vacuum without a suit and kotor had a power to breath poison with no problem. That doesnt mean most characters have that ability. To most players its a quick 1 shot kill akin to playing D&D with jason foxx in the comics where his sister spends a long time making a character and she enters a cave and he says rocks fall on you and you die. Not the sort of GM I would ever play with twice.

Edited by amrothe

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