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JayDow

Frustrating Character Creation

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Pretty much every roleplaying game gives me the feeling I never have enough points to create the kind of character I want to play. Not that I actually have a group or anywhere to actually play these characters - I'm just a crazy person sitting in my apartment, making characters for myself (they keep me company, you see).

But in the Star Wars games I feel that lacking even more acutely than I do most elsewhere - and yes, I understand 99% of RPGs have that "start low, climb high" mentality when it comes to character progression.

 

In my case I was trying to create a Bounty Hunter and imagined my character as someone who served in the Imperial armed forces (I don't know if there can be female Stormtroopers but the Empire seems to have military personnel other than just those), discovered one of her fellow NotEvilSoldiers was a corrupt little weasel and when she tried to turn him in, he managed to discredit her and get her discharged. Unable to resume a normal life, she found her place as a bounty hunter. 

 

Ok, so I had a general sense of the kind of character she would be.

Picking Magnitude and Motivation was fairly straightforward with very little mulling over, but when I got to Skill Ranks and Characteristics and buying gear, that's when things fell apart on me.

My initial skill ranks I put into Brawl, Ranged (Heavy), Streetwise and Vigilance. Since I want her to eventually head in a Boba Fett direction (I want me some jetpack and wrist-flamer action, baby!) I picked the Gadgeteer spec and then my spec ranks went into another Brawl (I imagine she has to physically fight off and restrain people a lot) and Ranged (Light) - I wanted to put one of those in Mechanics but I felt weird about a former soldier-turned-bounty hunter not having any kind of training in how to use a gun. 

Since my character is Human, I have two more skill ranks to put in non-career skills, so I went with Cool (I want her to be quick on the uptake when it comes to shootouts and the like) and Stealth. I thought about putting it in Underworld or Outer Rim, but I couldn't figure out what Underworld does that Streetwise doesn't and in my experience, Knowledge-type skills are rarely useful in RPGs and when they are, you generally want to leave them to the brainy characters.

 

So right off the bat, I'm noticing that I don't have points to put into some stuff that should be core competencies of my character, plus other skills she would need like Athletics, Coercion, Mechanics, Piloting (being able to fly a Firespray), Perception, maybe a rank in Discipline.

 

Ok. Then it came time to spend starting XP and I figured I better sink just all of the XP that I can into Characteristics since those just won't reliably increase ever again. 

Right, so... Where do I put my points? I figured my character would need to be agile, strong and with a strong will, so I wanted to increase Brawn, Agility and Willpower just by one each and then think where to put the rest of th--... and then I realized I had only 20 points left and couldn't raise any Characteristic again. 

Intellect and Cunning aren't really things I want to increase, but my Perception, Streetwise and Mechanics all depend on those. 

 

I get it, guys. I'm doing everything wrong. I'm trying to make a well-rounded character when what I'm actually supposed to be doing is specialize and min-max one or two very specific things - like putting all the points into Agility and Ranged (Heavy) or something like that. I get it, but does anybody else get that feeling as well? Like, the system itself is forcing you to min-max, focus on a "role" just like D&D and forget about specific character concepts?

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20 minutes ago, JayDow said:

Pretty much every roleplaying game gives me the feeling I never have enough points to create the kind of character I want to play. Not that I actually have a group or anywhere to actually play these characters - I'm just a crazy person sitting in my apartment, making characters for myself (they keep me company, you see).

But in the Star Wars games I feel that lacking even more acutely than I do most elsewhere - and yes, I understand 99% of RPGs have that "start low, climb high" mentality when it comes to character progression.

 

In my case I was trying to create a Bounty Hunter and imagined my character as someone who served in the Imperial armed forces (I don't know if there can be female Stormtroopers but the Empire seems to have military personnel other than just those), discovered one of her fellow NotEvilSoldiers was a corrupt little weasel and when she tried to turn him in, he managed to discredit her and get her discharged. Unable to resume a normal life, she found her place as a bounty hunter. 

 

Ok, so I had a general sense of the kind of character she would be.

Picking Magnitude and Motivation was fairly straightforward with very little mulling over, but when I got to Skill Ranks and Characteristics and buying gear, that's when things fell apart on me.

My initial skill ranks I put into Brawl, Ranged (Heavy), Streetwise and Vigilance. Since I want her to eventually head in a Boba Fett direction (I want me some jetpack and wrist-flamer action, baby!) I picked the Gadgeteer spec and then my spec ranks went into another Brawl (I imagine she has to physically fight off and restrain people a lot) and Ranged (Light) - I wanted to put one of those in Mechanics but I felt weird about a former soldier-turned-bounty hunter not having any kind of training in how to use a gun. 

Since my character is Human, I have two more skill ranks to put in non-career skills, so I went with Cool (I want her to be quick on the uptake when it comes to shootouts and the like) and Stealth. I thought about putting it in Underworld or Outer Rim, but I couldn't figure out what Underworld does that Streetwise doesn't and in my experience, Knowledge-type skills are rarely useful in RPGs and when they are, you generally want to leave them to the brainy characters.

 

So right off the bat, I'm noticing that I don't have points to put into some stuff that should be core competencies of my character, plus other skills she would need like Athletics, Coercion, Mechanics, Piloting (being able to fly a Firespray), Perception, maybe a rank in Discipline.

 

Ok. Then it came time to spend starting XP and I figured I better sink just all of the XP that I can into Characteristics since those just won't reliably increase ever again. 

Right, so... Where do I put my points? I figured my character would need to be agile, strong and with a strong will, so I wanted to increase Brawn, Agility and Willpower just by one each and then think where to put the rest of th--... and then I realized I had only 20 points left and couldn't raise any Characteristic again. 

Intellect and Cunning aren't really things I want to increase, but my Perception, Streetwise and Mechanics all depend on those. 

 

I get it, guys. I'm doing everything wrong. I'm trying to make a well-rounded character when what I'm actually supposed to be doing is specialize and min-max one or two very specific things - like putting all the points into Agility and Ranged (Heavy) or something like that. I get it, but does anybody else get that feeling as well? Like, the system itself is forcing you to min-max, focus on a "role" just like D&D and forget about specific character concepts?

As a human you start with 110 xp and can increase your obligation by 10 to gain another 10 xp for a total of 120xp

As a human that lets you raise 4 traits to 3 each. Ie 333322

Personally I see that as well rounding not min maxing.

It means you will struggle a little at the start of game but you can grow a lot.

You could do 2 versions of your pc... one just starting and one with knight level in case you ever have the opportunity to play and the gm lets you use knight level.

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Your well rounded concept is perfectly usable.  You might want to consider dropping the 3 Willpower and getting a 4 in Agility instead, though.  Willpower isn't going to be used a lot for your build as described. 

Only 3 skills are based on it (Discipline, Coercion, and Vigilance) and Fear checks.  Force users get a lot out of Willpower, and you would resist force with it as well, so if that is a major portion of the campaign, Will may be more important.  But remember that you can buy the 3 skills up to improve your dice pool.

The agility boost will allow you to be an excellent at shooting, piloting and sneaking even untrained (4 green is plenty to start with).

Brawn 3 is good for boosting soak, carry capacity, melee/brawl combat and damage.

You can worry about using dedication to boost any stat that is too low later, after you see how your GM runs the game, and where you feel deficient.

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45 minutes ago, JayDow said:

I get it, guys. I'm doing everything wrong. I'm trying to make a well-rounded character when what I'm actually supposed to be doing is specialize and min-max one or two very specific things - like putting all the points into Agility and Ranged (Heavy) or something like that. I get it, but does anybody else get that feeling as well? Like, the system itself is forcing you to min-max, focus on a "role" just like D&D and forget about specific character concepts?

Don't sell your self short. I find this system rewards well rounded characters, and in fact I find that 'one trick min-max pony's' often really, really struggle when the GM throws things at them outside of their narrowly defined purpose.

If you're playing a human, I'd be tempted to take on extra obligation to gain +10 XP and have four stats at 3, and then just rely on starting skills from your Career and Spec initially. Getting two bonus skill ranks for being Human also helps out a lot here. One thing I have also noticed about this system is it keeps you hungry for more and more XP; I have a character with close +400 XP since character creation and I am still nowhere close to having everything I want.

If you want to get a sense of what is like to have a little bit 'higher level' character, trying making them a Knight level character, which is +150XP after initial character creation. It has its origins from F&D, but no reason it can't be used by a non-Force using character.

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1 hour ago, JayDow said:

Pretty much every roleplaying game gives me the feeling I never have enough points to create the kind of character I want to play.

Lol, I hear you.  I think this game is pretty good at letting you take a "major" and a "minor" area of competency, until you start piling on the XP.  If you start at "knight level" (aka +150XP after chargen) you can pretty easily branch into three areas of competency.  Personally I wouldn't add a second skill rank to any skills at chargen, I think it's a waste of XP.  In fact, if I had a human with 3/3/3/3/2/2, there is no XP left over, and I'd probably spend the first few sessions getting at least a rank in each career skill.

1 hour ago, JayDow said:

I thought about putting it in Underworld or Outer Rim, but I couldn't figure out what Underworld does that Streetwise doesn't and in my experience, Knowledge-type skills are rarely useful in RPGs and when they are, you generally want to leave them to the brainy characters.

Streetwise is on-the-ground:  there's probably an alley somewhere nearby we can duck into; or that guy who's just standing around is really a lookout for the drug dealer up the street.  Underworld is knowing who is who, e.g.:  the name of Jabba's nephew and his relative rank in the Hutt crime world.

And if Knowledge-type skills are rarely useful, then your GM isn't doing their job... :ph34r:

 

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For me when I was a player I went the route of getting my base attributes all to about three at character creation, I was able to get four 3s and two 2s, and as someone pointed out that is being well roubded because you don’t need a skill to do a check, having them just means you have specialized knowledge in it that lets you do it better. (I also did bounty hunter as my job and since all of its dedications are a strait shot down it’s not hard to get those two dedication to bring the set all out to 3)

personally for your character build I understand the desire to be totally good from the beginning and maybe she was totally good at being an imperial, but she isn’t one any more, she’s a bounty hunter and likelybjust starting off in that trade where she needs to learn how to ha doe all that again.

I think the best way to represent your backstory is the invest in the base attributes that would go along with it and a few skills that would as well, and then let the character grow wit experience. 

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1 hour ago, Edgookin said:

Your well rounded concept is perfectly usable.  You might want to consider dropping the 3 Willpower and getting a 4 in Agility instead, though.  Willpower isn't going to be used a lot for your build as described. 

Only 3 skills are based on it (Discipline, Coercion, and Vigilance) and Fear checks.  Force users get a lot out of Willpower, and you would resist force with it as well, so if that is a major portion of the campaign, Will may be more important.  But remember that you can buy the 3 skills up to improve your dice pool.

The agility boost will allow you to be an excellent at shooting, piloting and sneaking even untrained (4 green is plenty to start with).

Brawn 3 is good for boosting soak, carry capacity, melee/brawl combat and damage.

You can worry about using dedication to boost any stat that is too low later, after you see how your GM runs the game, and where you feel deficient.

I hae to disagree with dropping Willpower. Willpower gives you one very important thing: Strain Threshold

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54 minutes ago, whafrog said:

Lol, I hear you.  I think this game is pretty good at letting you take a "major" and a "minor" area of competency, until you start piling on the XP.  If you start at "knight level" (aka +150XP after chargen) you can pretty easily branch into three areas of competency.  Personally I wouldn't add a second skill rank to any skills at chargen, I think it's a waste of XP.  In fact, if I had a human with 3/3/3/3/2/2, there is no XP left over, and I'd probably spend the first few sessions getting at least a rank in each career skill.

Streetwise is on-the-ground:  there's probably an alley somewhere nearby we can duck into; or that guy who's just standing around is really a lookout for the drug dealer up the street.  Underworld is knowing who is who, e.g.:  the name of Jabba's nephew and his relative rank in the Hutt crime world.

And if Knowledge-type skills are rarely useful, then your GM isn't doing their job... :ph34r:

 

Actually streetwise isnt knowing the streets, its about knowing how to recognise and ingratiate yourself with the criminal underworld. Knowledge Underworld is knowing thwt the Pikes have the market in spice covered in Coruscant and what Hutts have their fingers in what pie. Knowing where a specific street is, would be knowledge -core or outer rim, although as GM id happily accept piloting planetary (intellect) maybe at a push if the player justified it or survival if tracking was of use at the time. Streetwise, despite it's name,  does not help you in any way with navigating cities or anything else for that matter (except the proverbial navigating the criminal underworld so to speak). 

Example , knowing that the tattoo on the back of a guys neck is some kind of gang marking is streetwise. Knowing which gang it is Knowledge-Underworld , See the same gang member talk with another person , figuring out that person is probably the more senior member or not is Streetwise, knowing who that is likely to be is Knowledge -Underworld. Want to quickly find out where the best place to find illegal firearms -streetwise, knowing that Greigs Emporium has some under the counter Thermal Detonators is , you guessed it - Knowledge Underworld.  These skills can both do similar things (including Talking the Talk), but they go about it in different ways and there  are plenty of ways they dont overlap.

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1 hour ago, jayc007 said:

As a human you start with 110 xp and can increase your obligation by 10 to gain another 10 xp for a total of 120xp

I just wanna point out you only get the option of 10 additional obligation if you are in a group of 5 or less players. This is due to the starting obligation size varying depending on the size of the group. If you were in a  group of 2 players, your obligations would be a value of 20 each and you could take on an additional 20 each. However if your group is 6 or more players, you're looking at a starting value of only 5, which means you could only take on an additional 5 obligation.

 

IMO it's best to keep a group under 6 players, things can get out of hand if you're unprepared for it.

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21 minutes ago, GroggyGolem said:

I just wanna point out you only get the option of 10 additional obligation if you are in a group of 5 or less players. This is due to the starting obligation size varying depending on the size of the group. If you were in a  group of 2 players, your obligations would be a value of 20 each and you could take on an additional 20 each. However if your group is 6 or more players, you're looking at a starting value of only 5, which means you could only take on an additional 5 obligation.

 

IMO it's best to keep a group under 6 players, things can get out of hand if you're unprepared for it.

Yes, but you're still limited to only a +10 XP increase. 

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2 minutes ago, GroggyGolem said:

The book states each option may be taken once. So if one were to start with 20 obligation and take on an addtional 20, they could take the options of +5xp, +10xp and +1,000 credits for a total of 20 additional obligation.

I disagree, especially since that option is not available for F&D characters or AoR characters. The rule is pretty well established that you get only one option.

Edited by Tramp Graphics

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Each book is different in how you get bonuses at startup. Edge and Age actually cost you something, in the form of less duty (further from getting cool things) or more obligation (situations you have to deal with). F&D just says here take what you want, no questions asked.

Also the character being created is a Bounty Hunter. assuming this is an Edge of the Empire game, the option listed on page 40 of the Edge of the Empire core rules should be available until otherwise noted by a GM but this is a tangent and distracting from the actual subject at this point. If you wish to further discuss, let's move this to a direct message situation.

 

Back on topic, I agree with some of the others that you don't need to put xp into the Willpower characteristic. Brawn and Agility are great, a Gadgeteer is also focused on modifying items, so it might be useful to put xp into Mechanics if not Intellect.

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One thing to keep in mind about this system is that unlike most other RPGs, there is no penalty for using a skill in which you have no ranks in, rather you fail to get the bonus of the Proficiency Die (which sounds like a lot but in practice it is not) and it is fairly easy to get 1 or 2 levels in skills.

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Forget the 'math'.  You're a BEGINNING level character.  What you describe as background is some sort of a veteran  over 30 years of age.  Think: Luke Skywalker.  Hayseed moisture farmer, can do a couple of things pretty average-like, maybe a knack for flying.  You are that.  If you want to make a life-experienced, well-rounded veteran of life, then give yourself a few hundred XP and do what you please. 

Nowhere to play?  Every try Play-by-Post? 

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If you prefer the more experienced approach, in the building a solo explorer thread they pointed me to the Knight level character. Basically +50xp and +9000 credits to buy stuff. You could.go with that. 

 

Cheers

Xavi

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6 hours ago, MonCal said:

If you prefer the more experienced approach... Basically +50xp and +9000 credits to buy stuff.

 

That' actually 150xp...

 

8 hours ago, GroggyGolem said:

...start with 20 obligation and take on an addtional 20, they could take the options of +5xp, +10xp and +1,000 credits for a total of 20 additional obligation.

I would personally pass on the 5 xp in this case and go with the 2500 credits myself. Seems like a waste of obligation for a small return that most pc's can't utilize to boost their starting stats...

And iirc AOR gives the same options of more than one choice limited to once each that is seen in EOTE. As in pick 2 & 4 but not 2 & 2.

AFB but I think FnD is the only one that only lets you choose once. 

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May i help you with a different Viewpoint on skill ranks and abilities? Not everything your character is good at, is because of the ranks, maybe he has just a good basis ability in it?

Your character was a soldier, so he trained in Ranged - Heavy, get a rank in it.

Athletic is pretty important too, but you never trained it, you just had the ability, proably from playing in your youth, so you have no ranks in it, but your Brawn is 3 green die, because you where already fit in your youth.

 

Maybe you are a good Pilot because of your hand to eye coordination and body control, rolling 4 green, maybe you loved it so much, so you read alot, tried alot, and now your are a good Pilot, rolling 2 Yellow 1 Green.

 

Hope that is helpful and understandable what i mean.

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