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Atticus Havelock

Tweaking the Marshal

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I’ve been going over the Marshal specialization from Far Horizons and have found myself hanging up on the two talents that seem pretty core to the concept; Good Cop/Bad Cop.  Thematically speaking, the two are appropriately named for the spec.  However, I don’t much care for the effect.

Good Cop/Bad Cop makes the Marshal a great supporting actor for other socially-inclined characters.  However, the two talents don’t do much for the Marshal when he’s acting on his own.  If your social skills are as good as the Marshal’s, or better, then the Marshal is a good partner and makes you better at his job than he is.  If your social skills suck, he can maybe bring you up to his level, but at the expense of his chance to shine.

If the character you’re aiming for is the lone sheriff on a remote world, then Good Cop/Bad Cop really doesn’t do much for you.  Unless you deputize some locals and, even then, they get to be the one who gets the information or confession, which seems to be kinda anti-climactic.

This is an acceptable situation for characters who are designed to be a support spec, like the Analyst or Advocate.  They are intentionally in the background, the brains behind the face. However, the Marshal really feels to me like the guy who is at the front.  And if he’s the primary social character for the group (conceivable since he’s a Colonist), then four talents in the middle of his trees and costing 55 xp just kinda suck.

So, I’ve come up with a tweak and was hoping for some feedback.  Replace Good Cop with Congenial and Bad Cop with Intimidating.  This substitution would allow the Marshal to be good at his own schtick.  It upgrades three of the four skills affected by Good Cop/Bad Cop and also gives the Marshal some defense against thos skills as well, but without treading on the toes of the Unrelenting Skeptic talent.  And since the Marshal does not have Nobody’s Fool, it doesn’t get too crazy with social defense.

Congenial and Intimidating usually come in pairs in other trees that have them.  However, there are no specializations which have both.

All of this being said, does this tweak seem reasonable?  Does anyone have a reason to think this would be overpowered?  Thanks.

 

Edited by Atticus Havelock

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It does seem reasonable, and it's definitely not overpowered.
I see the Marshal as a bit of a "dirty face", specialized in Coercion and Deception, while the "clean face" can do their Charm and Negotiation thing. If you don't have this "clean face" to play off, however, those Cop talents lose a lot of their effect. And since I see them as about on the same level as Congenial/Intimidating as far as effectiveness goes, there are really no valid reasons not to do that if everyone in the group is on board.

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If I'm not mistaken (and just to point out I may well be), but wasn't it confirmed that at one point you can be an ally to yourself, so a Marshal acting on their own, upgrades their own further checks, or in a group where the subsequent check is done by the same Marshal.

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2 hours ago, syrath said:

If I'm not mistaken (and just to point out I may well be), but wasn't it confirmed that at one point you can be an ally to yourself, so a Marshal acting on their own, upgrades their own further checks, or in a group where the subsequent check is done by the same Marshal.

 

On 01/04/2018 at 4:13 AM, Atticus Havelock said:

I’ve been going over the Marshal specialization from Far Horizons and have found myself hanging up on the two talents that seem pretty core to the concept; Good Cop/Bad Cop.  Thematically speaking, the two are appropriately named for the spec.  However, I don’t much care for the effect.

Good Cop/Bad Cop makes the Marshal a great supporting actor for other socially-inclined characters.  However, the two talents don’t do much for the Marshal when he’s acting on his own.  If your social skills are as good as the Marshal’s, or better, then the Marshal is a good partner and makes you better at his job than he is.  If your social skills suck, he can maybe bring you up to his level, but at the expense of his chance to shine.

If the character you’re aiming for is the lone sheriff on a remote world, then Good Cop/Bad Cop really doesn’t do much for you.  Unless you deputize some locals and, even then, they get to be the one who gets the information or confession, which seems to be kinda anti-climactic.

This is an acceptable situation for characters who are designed to be a support spec, like the Analyst or Advocate.  They are intentionally in the background, the brains behind the face. However, the Marshal really feels to me like the guy who is at the front.  And if he’s the primary social character for the group (conceivable since he’s a Colonist), then four talents in the middle of his trees and costing 55 xp just kinda suck.

So, I’ve come up with a tweak and was hoping for some feedback.  Replace Good Cop with Congenial and Bad Cop with Intimidating.  This substitution would allow the Marshal to be good at his own schtick.  It upgrades three of the four skills affected by Good Cop/Bad Cop and also gives the Marshal some defense against thos skills as well, but without treading on the toes of the Unrelenting Skeptic talent.  And since the Marshal does not have Nobody’s Fool, it doesn’t get too crazy with social defense.

Congenial and Intimidating usually come in pairs in other trees that have them.  However, there are no specializations which have both.

All of this being said, does this tweak seem reasonable?  Does anyone have a reason to think this would be overpowered?  Thanks.

 

Both options sound reasonable to me but as was said it' a group / gm decision.

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On 4/2/2018 at 12:19 PM, syrath said:

If I'm not mistaken (and just to point out I may well be), but wasn't it confirmed that at one point you can be an ally to yourself, so a Marshal acting on their own, upgrades their own further checks, or in a group where the subsequent check is done by the same Marshal.

Whether official or not, I'd say it's a great way to run those talents, thus enabling the Marshal to be the lead face of a group and still get value out of said talents without having to swap anything out.

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