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Yisas8619

Career options

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Hey there folks! 

I recently got the Genesys core rulebook and I love what I see. I am creating a setting and I have a question about careers. I know in SW there were 6 careers per book with a bunch of specializations each one of them but now that specs are gone, how many careers would you suggest I put in my game? How many do you have in your settings?

Thanks in advance and I hope FFG keeps making content for Genesys cause it's awesome.

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Go with whatever works best for you. Personally, for my spy game, I am starting small and will expand from there. Six careers to start, but I can add to that easily enough. No need to overcomplicate things or do a lot of work until needed. 

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Think of the stereotypes you want in your game, and use those to choose careers. Check the core book to see if something is similar that you can use; if not make one up!

For example, in a D&D-eqsue world, you'd want fighter, rogue, wizard and cleric. Fighters can be either soldier or knight, rogues can be socialite or scoundrel, wizards can be either wizard or mad scientist, and cleric can be priest or a modified healer (replacing Survival with Divine).

Of course, you can always open up the option for your players to make their own, too. From what I've read, the commonly agreed upon restrictions are as follows:

To make your own career, give it a catchy name and choose four related general skills. Then, for your remaining four skills, note the following restrictions:

  • At least one social or combat skill
  • Only one magic skill
  • No more than three combat or social skills; magic skills count as combat skills for this purpose
  • No more than two additional general skills

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Honestly, I don't have set careers in my game, I just stipulate that a player can't have more than two combat skills (this includes magic) or three that run off the same Characteristic. It really opens things up for players to define their "Career" and leads to some interesting combinations. I will concede that some players need Careers to guide them, especially if they are new to RPGs. 

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As a hybrid of Cyvaris's approach and the more formal one in the core book (and I'm assuming every setting book) I would clip 2 or 3 skills off a given career skill list and allow them as open slots.  That way the career itself becomes a broad template for the actual career the PC chooses, which I will ask the players to name as custom to their character.  The skills need to make sense in the context of the career they name.

This allows a small core of skill templates to essentially be all a setting needs.  The career they name becomes their background, not a generic one.

I rather hated careers/skills/talent trees in Star Wars.  Genesys's creators did a great job of reworking talent trees to allow maximum customizability but still a built in check against gaming the talent purchases (i.e. a pyramid).  But then they turned around and kept careers as rigid as ever.

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2 hours ago, Dragonshadow said:

But then they turned around and kept careers as rigid as ever.

Careers are inflexible in that you can't choose which skills are career skills in RAW (though, as you pointed out, it's reasonable to house rule the other way), but I wouldn't call them rigid... You can still buy ranks in any skill you want, and the career skills are just cheaper. That's pretty open ended point buy.

Dilute careers more than they have in Genesys and there's not much left. They're already only a list of XP discounts and free ranks at character creation.

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5 minutes ago, sfRattan said:

Careers are inflexible in that you can't choose which skills are career skills in RAW (though, as you pointed out, it's reasonable to house rule the other way), but I wouldn't call them rigid... You can still buy ranks in any skill you want, and the career skills are just cheaper. That's pretty open ended point buy.

Dilute careers more than they have in Genesys and there's not much left. They're already only a list of XP discounts and free ranks at character creation.

I get your point regarding careers being diluted if more open, but I have trouble accepting that all your career's training is boxed into a list of 8 skills the GM thought of before you started discussing your character.  For someone else, those skills might be things acquired later in life, but your character's been doing them from the beginning.  They are essential to his background--his specific career.

For talents, you organically pick the ones that suit your vision for the character.  For a background, you are stuck with the choices for the campaign.  You either have a large number of careers, or you funnel characters through a limited number of choices.  

Take a knight and a paladin as two examples for fantasy.  Take a sapper and a sniper as a modern example.  Would a campaign for their respective settings likely have both?  The answer depends on how many careers the campaign includes.

Genesys builds upon character creation flexibility and then expects the GM to come up with careers instead of having the players shoulder some of that creative burden.  What I'm suggesting is a middle ground.  The GM comes up with the broad strokes, but lets the PC add some shading at the fundamental level.  After all, a sapper isn't a soldier who learned demolitions in their spare time.  It's core to their training.  But a soldier career template could have some skills open to provide the demolition knowledge to the template.

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in my version of Genesys (Fantasy), i introduced the option of taking an Occupation in addition to a Career and related Occupational (Professional) Skills you can take instead of some of your Career Skills.

This represents either a Profession you learned/trained at an early age or have become familiar with thru Relatives/Culture (Father/Mother), this one would also include Noble/Aristocracy related Occupations like "Major Domus" or "Scheneshal".

Examples:

* a Wizard originally trained as an Apothecary

* a Cleric originating from a Family of Scribes

* a Scout/Ranger originating from a Noble Family fallen out of Favor.

 

so that would give the following example Occupational Skills: Apothecary, Scribe, Scheneshal

Edited by Terefang

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4 hours ago, Dragonshadow said:

Genesys builds upon character creation flexibility and then expects the GM to come up with careers instead of having the players shoulder some of that creative burden.  What I'm suggesting is a middle ground.  The GM comes up with the broad strokes, but lets the PC add some shading at the fundamental level.

It sounds very much like you want everything completely opened up or done in collaboration, both of which will work as house rules. I guess my confusion comes from your description of careers as 'rigid.' Even in SWRPG, where the talent trees create more concrete prerequisites, you're still buying things at least somewhat in an order you want to, and career skills are only adjusting the cost of skill ranks. To me, that still sounds more open-ended than something like D&D 5E where, although you're choosing each skill proficiency, you get a uniform bonus to each of those skills and your feats within a class are staggered along several sets of rails... You pick one of those rails and then ride along it, unlocking things linearly as you level up. That's somewhere the adjective 'rigid' seems a bit more appropriate.

At some point, you may be better off abandoning the concept of a career entirely and telling the players to pick 8 'trained' skills instead (with the same cost discount as a career skill). During the recent Dice Pool Podcast episode with Sam Stewart, he talks about how careers in SWRPG are created to reinforce the setting, thus extensive specializations and trees of talents. It makes sense for Genesys to limit careers to lists of skills, on the other hand, as the system's core should be setting agnostic. But is it even a 'career' in a meaningful way if you strip away the lists of skills, and just make it á la carte? Or are you just picking 8 trained skills and free ranks in some of them? I think this difference in language is important because I believe careers should communicate something meaningful about the setting and theme (and possibly also the tone, if applicable). They don't need to be as opinionated as the careers in SWRPG, but at some point it just doesn't make sense to call them careers anymore. And I want to emphasize this point is more about clarity of language than it is about which-design-choice-is-better. Both absolutely work.

If the careers being created are just for a home game, it's probably fine and nothing I'm rambling on about should matter. But if you're going for a setting document or 'book' that you want to put up on the internet for other people to use, I think a more planned approach than "each player builds a unique career" will result in a more balanced module. And you can plan on handling things like "paladin vs. knight" or "sapper vs. sniper vs. soldier" as appropriate to the setting.

Another other middle ground idea to consider:

You can buy into another career from your setting as a 'Competence' after character creation. Having a 'Competence' in another career functions a bit like (and is costed exactly like) a specialization in SWRPG: you pick three (maybe four) of its career skills to add to your own list of career skills. The homebrew careers I've designed for my home games also have lists of unique, career restricted Talents, so buying a Competence also grants you access to those Talents at one tier higher than they would have been (and no access to the second career's tier 5 Talents). Whether or not you use career-specific Talents is up to you, but a Competence would need something more than just new career skills to be worth the way I've priced it (10x your competences + 10).

Edited by sfRattan

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On 3/23/2018 at 5:51 PM, sfRattan said:

But is it even a 'career' in a meaningful way if you strip away the lists of skills, and just make it á la carte? Or are you just picking 8 trained skills and free ranks in some of them? I think this difference in language is important because I believe careers should communicate something meaningful about the setting and theme (and possibly also the tone, if applicable). They don't need to be as opinionated as the careers in SWRPG, but at some point it just doesn't make sense to call them careers anymore. And I want to emphasize this point is more about clarity of language than it is about which-design-choice-is-better. Both absolutely work.

I'm focusing just on this part of your reply.  You had some very good ideas in general, but I wanted to answer the idea that I'm reducing careers to "pick 8 skills".  You're twisting my suggestion into a false dichotomy with careers as written.  I suggested that of the 8 skills (which is itself an arbitrary number) you can swap in 2 or 3 other skills and reskin a generic career to something more focused.  That leaves 5 or 6 of the 8 skills as is.  Furthermore, you could define which of the skills are "core" (non-replaceable) and which are options.  Medics need a healing skill, after all, and mages need magic, so swapping them out would be a fundamental shift from the core of the career.

Heck, allow a single skill swap and you still accomplish something along the lines of what I'm suggesting.

I was simultaneously attempting to address a concern at the practical level (the GM or the group having to come up with a ton of preconstructed careers--ala Star Wars--or restricting PC's to an arbitrarily short list of them--ala trying to just use the ones in the CRB) and at the creative level (a career is the specific PC's specific background, so it needs to have unique shadings beyond simply which 4 of the 8 skills gets the free point).

I realize there are other ways to get skills, and even other ways to ultimately get a discount on them, but those ways reflect training after a PC starts the game.  I like the bit of built in flexibility and true skill customization at character creation.  And it is most definitely just for my home game.

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