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MonCal

Stat levels. Is 3 enough?

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Hi,

 

I am building a character. So far we have been using reskined versions of the demo characters. And I am running out of XP fast xD

The basic question is the one in the title. Raising characteristics from a basic levle of 2 (for humans) is extremely XP intensive. Is it worth it to have the characteristics at level 4 (basically, agility for a pilot or scout) or would a 3 in 3 characteristics be more sensible? Characteristic level is the basic dice pool, so it is important :/ The non raised characteristics remain at 2 for humans, so this is why I am asking... More knowledgeable people will knwo for sure :) Thx 

 

Cheers

Xavi

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A 3 is a respectable number. If you want your character to be outstandingly good at a particular skill and are ok with him/her being equally poor at a different one, than go ahead and make your best stat a 4. Honestly, if you have a couple of 3's in the right places, I wouldn't worry too much. In this game, it's how you play the character as much as what the stats do.

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Depending on what your play style is, raising your characteristics higher could be useful. Is three enough? Sure. Is two? Sure. It just depends on you. From what I have seen online, general practice is to invest a healthy portion of your starting XP in characteristics since you can never raise them after creation (save for Dedication talents of which you will only get one or two).

Do you want a well-rounded character or a specialist? This is also important to know going in.

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Depends entirely on how you want to play your character.  I think a 4 is fine in Agility for a Pilot, Scout is an odd duck spec.  It also depends on how your GM runs things, if they don't throw a lot of varied skill checks at your group you're good with going 4 right off I think.  If they are going to pile up Fear, environmental effects, lots of ambush situations, everyone needing to contribute to finding stuff, then a more broad set of stats might be better.  It's hard to say without knowing the whole group and how your GM does stuff.

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It entirely depends. A 4 will make you pretty good at everything under skill under that characteristic; Agility has a pretty broad reach, so a pilot with 4 will be good at piloting, stealth, ranged combat, and more. I think, mathematically, humans can achieve 4/3/2/2/2/2, with 10-20 left over for talents and skills.

But there is value in going for as many 3s as possible, especially for above stated reasons.

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This topic came up a few months ago and was wildly divisive. As the others mentioned, it really depends on playstyle and group makeup/numbers. From personal experience, I get more out of lots of 3s rather than a single 4 and just a few 3s. I don't like to just stick to my shtick when I play a character. I tend to play characters that will try things outside of their comfort zone. So having more characteristics of a decent quality than specializing  in just one area works well for me.

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IIRC, right now only Drall and Pantorans can start with 4/3/3/2/2/2, with the former having the 4 in Intellect and the latter in Presence. The Pantoran can also have a 3/3/3/3/3/1 if you don't mind having the 1 i Willpower. These are strong sets and are not reachable by most species (where the choice is typically either 4/3/2/2/2/2 or 3/3/3/3/2/2). And then there are the species with significant species abilities that often can't reach 3/3/3/3/2/2 (but can usually reach 4/3/2/2/2/2).

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I prefer playing and having players that use a 3/3/3/3/2/2 baseline.  I find the 4/3/2/2/2/2 baseline PC to be terrible outside their chosen field, which can be amusing sometimes, but usually just ends up being frustrating for the player.  Not to mention the waffling over where to put that 4...

One caveat is I'm fairly generous with XP, so getting 4 ranks in a skill or steering quickly towards Dedication still provides plenty of opportunities for breadth.  If your GM is less generous, or if they tend not to challenge the PCs outside their chosen field, or if all the other PCs have a 4/3/2/2/2/2 baseline that is different from yours, then going with the 4* baseline might make more sense.

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3 minutes ago, whafrog said:

I prefer playing and having players that use a 3/3/3/3/2/2 baseline.  I find the 4/3/2/2/2/2 baseline PC to be terrible outside their chosen field, which can be amusing sometimes, but usually just ends up being frustrating for the player.  Not to mention the waffling over where to put that 4...

One caveat is I'm fairly generous with XP, so getting 4 ranks in a skill or steering quickly towards Dedication still provides plenty of opportunities for breadth.  If your GM is less generous, or if they tend not to challenge the PCs outside their chosen field, or if all the other PCs have a 4/3/2/2/2/2 baseline that is different from yours, then going with the 4* baseline might make more sense.

I agree. I like 3/3/3/3/2/2 better than 4/3/2/2/2/2. I also like doing 4/3/3/2/2/1 over 4/3/2/2/2/2 when a species/career/specialization mix really fits having a high (4) and low (1) stat.

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My view, if you have 3 or fewer players, maybe don't go for 4 so you can cover more between you. More than that you probably want a 4 so you have a niche to shine in.

As an exception to that is if everything you want comes of the same stat (so go 4), or if it is a one off scenario you might want some starting talents and actually not spend you starting xp just on stats.

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6 hours ago, Geodes said:

(save for Dedication talents of which you will only get one or two).

That depends highly on the XP awards the GM gives out. I have a game that's been running for 2 years at 650 earned XP and counting. One of the players has 4 specialization trees.

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@MonCal: One other concept regarding ability buy for starting out is that you generally want to spend as much xp as possible on ability scores in general. It is very difficult to raise ability scores after character creation, so spending that xp right away to raise scores is very worthwhile. The only real exception to this concept is when you know the campaign will be short. 

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24 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

A related question:

How do you feel about having a 1 in a stat block? Interesting flaw in a character? So crippling that it makes play annoying? Something else?

 

I nearly always bring up that one to a two unless its in a stat completely outside the niche of my character. For instance I could make a Drall who loves to tinker and study, but I could give a darn about how strong he is, so I leave the brawn at 1.

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43 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

A related question:

How do you feel about having a 1 in a stat block? Interesting flaw in a character? So crippling that it makes play annoying? Something else?

 

Definitely interesting flaw. 1 in Willpower? Impatient! 1 in Presence? Socially awkward! 1 in Cunning? Brutally honest! It's a great way to mix narrative with mechanical aspects.

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If you're torn between specialization and generalization, you might want to confer with the rest of the group. If you're in a small group, generalization is probably better. If you're in a large group of PCs, you can probably specialize more easily and get some spotlight time when your expertise comes up. The rest depends on what you expect your GM to throw at you, and how likely they are to give your favorite skills a spotlight.

I've got a Bothan Ace/Driver I went 3/3/3/3/2/1 with, leaving his Brawn as his dump stat. Since he doesn't always get to show off his relatively narrow piloting skills, the broader stats let him contribute in many other situations, even when he doesn't have any ranks in a skill. Having 1 Brawn has also contributed to the fun, when he's contrasted against the group's 3 combat characters. (Gamorean NPC playing fanboy hands the professional swoop racer a heavy vibro axe to autograph. GM: "Tresk, roll Athletics.")

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1 hour ago, Stan Fresh said:

How do you feel about having a 1 in a stat block? Interesting flaw in a character? So crippling that it makes play annoying? Something else?

Someday I hope to play a Weequay with Intellect 1, who will still have lots of ranks in Knowledge and other skills because he's worked hard to get them.  I think it's great when it's not used as a dump stat so you can get your 4 somewhere else.

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8 hours ago, Genuine said:

@MonCal: One other concept regarding ability buy for starting out is that you generally want to spend as much xp as possible on ability scores in general. It is very difficult to raise ability scores after character creation, so spending that xp right away to raise scores is very worthwhile. The only real exception to this concept is when you know the campaign will be short. 

I assume you refer to stats, not abilities, right? :) Other posters have said that skills are easier to raise than characteristics....

 

Very interesting answers you all. Thank you! This is for a solo campaign I will be running and also for a character in a pbp that will start on the F&D board here in the forum. Seems that I should suggest a spread of abilities to my friend and will go for spread characteristics myself. No idea on how the GM runs things, but I prefer more rounded characters than 1 trick ponies and since we start as recruits and this is geared towards whatseems to be character development both as a character and in terms of skills, I would assume that he does as well. He is still looking for more players, btw.

Cheers,

Xavi

 

Edited by MonCal

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7 hours ago, MonCal said:

I assume you refer to stats, not abilities, right? :) Other posters have said that skills are easier to raise than characteristics....

 

Xavi

 

By ability scores I meant Brawn/Agility/Intellect/Cunning/Willpower/Presence, as opposed to skills (survival/resilience/etc.) and talents from a spec tree. 

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7 hours ago, MonCal said:

This is for a solo campaign I will be running and also for a character in a pbp that will start on the F&D board here in the forum.

Most of my experience is in Solo/Duo games. I'd recommend generalizing is the better choice, to give the greatest chance of succeeding in the broadest array of challenges.

That said, in Solo/Duo games I tend to let the PC(s) stretch the rules for Additional Obligation, allowing them to select the same options multiple times, for example, selecting '+10 Starting XP' twice. In Solo games I've also raised Starting Obligation per player, or allowed the player exceed starting XP when selecting Additional Obligation options. Note, none of this is by-the-book, but can give a Solo/Duo the option to specialize without leaving too many holes in their competence. This can change the tone of the narrative though. 

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Great answers everybody. Quite clear and enlightening :)  we will create a solo PC with a broad spectrum of stats and skills, even if some of the stuff (gunnery, astrogation...) will be performed by droids. Since the character might mix with other PC from time to time, I am not that keen on bending the rules, even if that is a clear option. 

Vey informative thread. Thx all :)

Cheers,
Xavi

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General rule of thumb for character creation is that you want to make sure that mechanically your character can live up to the back story you have written for him.  This is of course a lot easier when you write a vibrant and reflective back story before you start building a character, not something that is practiced in every group.  But it is an effective way of getting direction in terms of how you should design your character.  If for example you claim to be an ace pilot with an impressive background of battles and situations in which you defied the odds, then yeah you should probably take 4 because you want to make sure that when your actually playing the game you're pulling off the same stunts and odds defying miracles you have in the past  Its always a bit deflating if you create a character that is supposedly awesome at something, but end up failing at the skill all the time because you don't have the dice odds to handle those really hard checks with success as depicted in in your back story.

Strictly mechanically speaking though, with a 3 you will succeed most of the time at regular difficulty (2 purple), so you are already a notch about the rest sort of speak, its certainly above average in particular if you invest in the related skills as well.  4 however is quite extraordinary, you are going to succeed at most things most of the time in particular if you also invest heavily in the skill.  A skill of 2 with 4 attribute to it is pretty phenomenal, its kind of about as good as you can do with a starting character in terms of being really solid at something but its a considerable investment.  It typically means you are probably going to suck at something else and actually that is a big drawback.  Star Wars is kind of an cinematic-action adventure game, you really want to avoid sucking at anything, you should be at least competent with things like flying a ship, shooting a blaster, doing repairs and working a computer.  It will allow you to participate more and in Edge of the Empire you really don't have that traditional problem of "stepping on toes" like when two people can disarm traps in D&D.  You really need several members of your team to be good with flying a ship, working computers and doing repairs.  You need more diversity like that in Edge of Empires (at least that has been my experience).  In particular in key things like Piloting, in my last group we only had one good pilot the rest invested nothing in it and it was a huge headache every bloody session and really held out success back a great deal.  So my tip is... spread the love a bit more, hyper focused characters are great at that one thing, but the group really benefits more from diversity in skills.

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6 hours ago, BigKahuna said:

General rule of thumb for character creation is that you want to make sure that mechanically your character can live up to the back story you have written for him.  This is of course a lot easier when you write a vibrant and reflective back story before you start building a character, not something that is practiced in every group.  But it is an effective way of getting direction in terms of how you should design your character.  If for example you claim to be an ace pilot with an impressive background of battles and situations in which you defied the odds, then yeah you should probably take 4 because you want to make sure that when your actually playing the game you're pulling off the same stunts and odds defying miracles you have in the past  Its always a bit deflating if you create a character that is supposedly awesome at something, but end up failing at the skill all the time because you don't have the dice odds to handle those really hard checks with success as depicted in in your back story.

This is why I always insist that backstories fit the XP level of the character. A beginning character in this game should not have a backstory of already being an ace pilot (even if they are an Ace: Pilot) but could go with being a rookie pilot with a lot of potential. I general though, I don't much care for backstories that exceed a paragraph in length.

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4 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

This is why I always insist that backstories fit the XP level of the character. A beginning character in this game should not have a backstory of already being an ace pilot (even if they are an Ace: Pilot) but could go with being a rookie pilot with a lot of potential. I general though, I don't much care for backstories that exceed a paragraph in length.

You know a few years I might have disagreed with you, but yeah, I think your right.  I find that many hardened veterans spend entirely too much time defining who a character is before the game starts and the end results is that all the stuff they did prior to the start of the adventure were their real hero days and the game becomes some sort of retirement or desire to relive their glory days.  So yeah, short backstory that defines your humble beginings.

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Multiple 3's is certainly 'enough'.  A 4 makes you really good at something , to start.  Some depends on the campaign type and the character you wish to play.   For instance, a Marauder needs a good Brawn, and not much else.  A Diplomat may want Presence, Cunning, and INT based on where the skills fall.  

Two green dice on two purple is about 45% success rate. Do you want your character to be 45% on average checks on INT, Cunning, Willpower, etc...?  It's a question to ask yourself. I have a player who went for the 4 in Presence and retained the 2 in Agility.  Now he complains that he, "...can't hit anything with two dice". Also, some Abilities can be 'made up' through other means.  An Agility 2 starts low, but you can get talents and weapon attachments to make you a pretty accurate shooter.  

Yet, there are some who prefer the 'party role' concept of character creation (i.e. a face, a tank, a pilot, a ranged attacker, etc...).  You'll find that they prefer each specialized character to have 'at least' a 4 in their main attribute to begin with.  In their opinion, having a 3 or less is just 'gimping' the character or 'playing a generalist' (which they hate).  I don't subscribe to that, at all, but that pressure can exist.   Some GM 'want party roles over enjoyment.  Some GM's want you to play something you enjoy.  

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