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DaverWattra

How much does this system favor talents vs skills?

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In Star Wars/EotE, it always seemed to me that talents were better than skill ranks for the point cost, except in the special case where you needed to get good at a particular skill quickly and had a 1 or 2 in that skill's characteristic.  From the point of view of making the most capable character possible, rushing Dedication is generally better than spending the same amount of points on skill ranks, and while skills are useful for generating triumphs, the returns on that begin to diminish fast after the first two ranks (which are also the cheapest ranks).

The only things that get in the way of investing almost all your points in talents as the obvious best build in Star Wars are:

--Many trees have a lot of "junk" talents in between the good ones

--Opening new talent trees costs a lot of extra XP

Neither of these factors seem to apply in Genesys.  So my first instinct, not having actually played the system but having played a lot of Star Wars, is that it's rushing for Dedication is going to be even more favored over purchasing skill ranks in this system than it was in SW.  Does that seem right?  What experiences have people had who've actually played?
 

(Note that I am not assuming "power-gaming" and making the most effective characters is the best way to play; this is just meant to be a discussion about what is the most effective strategy if we assume one does want to power-game this system.)

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Skills are (almost) always better for raw power than talents (within the context of "do better at X specific activity) are, where as talents give options to apply those skills. Dedication is very good if you are using that characteristic heavily or it covers a lot of common skills, but it's actually not that XP efficient.

To get your first dedication you need the following talents.

5 T1 = 25xp (5 each)

4 T2 = 40xp (10 each)

3 T3 = 45xp (15 each)

2 T4 = 40xp (20 each)

1 T5 = 25xp

for a total of  ( 25+40+45+40+25 = ) 175xp for the First dedication. Then ( 5+10+15+20+25 = ) 75 xp for each additional dedication (but limited to once per characteristic).

For that same 175 XP, you could raise 2 career skills to rank 5, and have 25xp left over. So if you really only care about 1-3 skills linked to that characteristic you will get more efficient results with putting XP into skills. However, talents can give some good tangential options in addition.

So if you are looking to "Be the best at X task" skills are most likely the best way to get there the fastest. Where as talents tend to give more breadth and options.

Now i say all of this being a person who love talents and rarely invests in skills past 2-3 ranks. But that is one of the great things about the genesys system, there is no "One Right Answer for everyone". In the most general terms, i've always thought of skills as building a specialist, and talents as building a generalist (of course this does depend on the talents choosen).

Couple that with the fact that i've never really seen a huge need for a dicepool larger than 3y2g as a base (so either 3 skill 5 characteristic or 5 skill 3 characteristic). Because, even against 5 red dice for base difficulty you have about a 40% success rate with 3y2g. 

That all said, each table and player will function with minor differences based on who is actually playing the game. I don't really think there is a wrong choice in spending XP with regards to skills vs talents, nor a huge need to plan a character to the degree that was needed for optimization in 3.x style systems. As long as you feel good about your XP usage, it should be fine.

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That and having to spend so much xp. Keep in mind you start running out of tier 1 Talents at some point so trying to stack multiple tier 5 Talents becomes problematic, you end up buying Talents you might not need or want just for the sake of filling slots in the tree.

Edited by 2P51

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17 hours ago, 2P51 said:

That and having to spend so much xp. Keep in mind you start running out of tier 1 Talents at some point so trying to stack multiple tier 5 Talents becomes problematic, you end up buying Talents you might not need or want just for the sake of filling slots in the tree.

It seems the best approach is to start characters with 50 earned XP and then award it more slowly than in SW -- say, 10 XP per session.  The pyramid is substantially cheaper than the trees plus there aren't that many game-changing talents, even at high tier.  You can race to Dedication, but by then you've picked up most of the applicable talents and Dedicating a secondary ability isn't such a big deal.

Edited by Lorne

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On 6/6/2018 at 10:34 AM, 2P51 said:

That and having to spend so much xp. Keep in mind you start running out of tier 1 Talents at some point so trying to stack multiple tier 5 Talents becomes problematic, you end up buying Talents you might not need or want just for the sake of filling slots in the tree.

i use a house-rule here:

if continuing using the normal xp cost rules for characteristics on pg.44, only raising an characteristic from 1 to 2 is cheaper (ie. 20xp) than buying Dedication, anything beyond that gets more pricey

1 -> 2 = 20xp
2 -> 3 = 30xp
3 -> 4 = 40xp
4 -> 5 = 50xp

so i rephrased the talent

DEDICATION
Tier: 5
Activation: Passive
Ranked: Yes
This talent is required to increase characteristics above 4.
Each rank of Dedication lets you buy increases in a characteristic.
You still must pay the normal xp cost for the characteristics increase.

so the new cost progression would look like:

2 -> 3 = 30xp
3 -> 4 = 40xp
4 -> 5 = 50xp (+25xp in Dedication Talent) = 75xp

so you would be able to raise all your characteristics to 4 at a cost of ~ 420xp, but raising all to 5 would require another 300xp + 150xp in Dedication plus 300xp in Talent prerequisites = 750xp for a total of 1170xp

*yum*

 

 

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On 6/7/2018 at 4:22 AM, 2P51 said:

There are plenty of ranked game changing Talents, but the scaling nature of the tree impedes it.

i think you refer to "TALENT RANKS AND PURCHASING THE SAME TALENT MULTIPLE TIMES" on pg.72 of the CRB.

house-rule:

Ranked Talents only occupy the Talent Slot they where initially bought at.

Edited by Terefang
süelling

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I don't know if I'm missing something, and maybe I have understand very poorly the main idea of the topic (which is my problem with the language at all), but I'll talk about what I've understand.

Players usually like to invest their initial XP to buy stats over skills, cause it's important and there are few ways to increase stats after the game starts. They want to see at least the main stat being 4, which is good (even though in my opinion people usually interpret very poorly what high stats should mean in the narrative aspect of the gameplay...).

Rushing Dedication simply doesn't make any sense to me at all. I don't know if players can have more talents than the talent tree sheet can provide, but anyway, to get the first Dedication talent, the player should spend 175 XP. The next Dedication needs more 75 XP each. I assume the player will focus on the stats that are more important to use the skills the character like more.

Spending XP to buy skill ranks, lets see the XP cost:

  • Starting rank 1, you want to have 4 ranks: xp needed = 45 XP
  • Starting rank 1, you want to have 5 ranks: xp needed = 70 XP
  • Starting rank 2, you want to have 4 ranks: xp needed = 35 XP
  • Starting rank 2, you want to have 5 ranks: xp needed = 45 XP

Well, if you started with 2 ranks in some skill, and I'll assume that the player like these skills more, he'll need just ~40 XP to get a nice level in that skill. If you started with 1 rank, you'll need ~60 XP to get a nice rank.

So... if you start with 2 ranks in the main skills, you'll max 4 skills with 180 XP, the same to get 1 level in Dedication in that stat that you probably started with 4 ranks. In gameplay, that means you will have 5 dices in four skills that you really want to be good. I guess 3 or 4 of them would be yellow dices, which is very good.

If you started with 1 rank on these skills, you can have 4 skills with 4 ranks or 2 skills with 4 ranks and 1 with 5 ranks. Which is good as well.

Spending the same amount of XP to rush dedication would give you some skills with 5 dices as well (5 stat cap), being 2 yellows (the max skill rank at character creation and no investment to increase their levels).

My conclusion: if you want to be very good in something, spend the XP on skill ranks. If you want to be more flexible, spend the XP to rush Dedication.

I don't think it's smart even to a powerplayer, if my math is righ. Anyway, I don't think it's good to think about this at all. Some things are possible to do but they shouldn't be done.

My tip: spend XP sometimes in skills, sometimes in talents and feel the power increasing along the history. Being trying to maximize some things could be bizarre inside the game and Genesys is abstract and free enough to provide in game resources to keep the things going well even with some power players.

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@Bellyon your math seams correct to me.

 

@DaverWattra 

you need to understand that Genesys Attributes are unlike those in other rpgs systems where heroes are usually meant to improve them one way or another.

for some specific game tables you may use the house-rules i mentioned above.

the Genesys way of character improvement is thru Skills and Talents whereas Attributes provide only a fundamental base capability and dont improve much over a characters lifetime, much different that in EotE or WHFRP.

if you forced me to answer skills vs talents i can only say "both"

you need skills and attributes to generate advantages and triumphs along successes

you need talents to short cut resolving situations from the standard rules

the WOIN rpg even calls them "Exploits" which much better describes what "Talents" are for.

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I agree with Terefang.

Genesys system (and this works for Star Wars) isn't the kind of system where stats should be increasing along the time.

This RPG is more cinematic. This means, like movies, the characters doens't change their body drastically during the story, but they will becoming more able to solve practical problems (skill ranks).

Skills and talents are more important than the stats, but it's good to get one stat 4 and one or two with 3 is good enough to play the game.

The "fetish" to have one 5 and two 4's is something surreal for this game. It's something for NPCs, not players.

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47 minutes ago, Bellyon said:

The "fetish" to have one 5 and two 4's is something surreal for this game. It's something for NPCs, not players.

i took me quite some time to realize this

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Even the main stat 5 isn't necessary to have fun in this game. I'd say that even 4's isn't necessary, even though people like to have one 4. Skills and talents and story points helps a lot people do cool things. There are several ways to receive bonus and do awesome things even with few advantages and/or triumphs.

Few 3's in stats and a lot of skills 3's is very good. It's possible to play. But in general people want to have more and more dices, sometimes it's meaningless in game.

 

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In the Star Wars game I am playing, I feel like I am spending more on traits as opposed to skill ranks. I have bought skill ranks, but I am also invested in the 3 trees of the Spy career in the Age of Rebellion book. My slicer has a 3 in INT and 4 ranks in computers. Slicing is what my character does. 

In Star Wars you get 6 free ranks in skills at character creation.  7 if you get one from your race. My slicer currently has 15 total skill ranks. 

More of my XP has been spent on acquiring the other class trees as well as talents inside those trees. 

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