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hobbesque

A take on Ubese -- feedback and balance?

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Tl;dr tell me if I made overpowered stats for one of my favorite Star Wars races.

Star Wars nerds tend to pick up on random background details/characters, think they're really cool, and elaborate endlessly on them. For me, one of those background things is the Ubese. The canon wookiepedia entry really emphasizes how thin information about them is (one was named Bossk! Leia beat him up and took his armor!). The EU had a little bit more, mostly (entirely?) from d6 RPG supplements, further embroidered by fan-supplements. For me, I guess they're kind of like hipster mandos -- warrior race guys in cool armor, but more obscure.

Anyway! I made stats. I think they're balanced, but then again, I would, wouldn't I?

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All stats 2 except: Brawn 1, Agility 3, Cunning 3, Presence 1

WT: 10+brawn

ST: 10+willpower

Starting XP: 95

Special Abilities:

  • Special Abilities - Ubese begin the game with the Forager talent.
  • Atmosphere Requirement - 'True Ubese' require adjusted breath masks to filter and breathe Type I Atmospheres. Without the masks, Ubese suffer a setback to all skill checks.
  • Technophile - Ubese still possess the obsession with technology that doomed their homeworld.  They start with 1 rank in any two of Gearhead, Speaks Binary, Technical Aptitude, Tinkerer, and Utinni!
  • Xenophobia - Ubese take a setback on any Core Worlds, Outer Rim, Xenology, Education, or Lore check not related directly to the Ubese or technology. They also take a setback on any Leadership, Charm, or Negotiation check with non-Ubese . They gain a boost to Cool or Discipline checks to resist Leadership, Charm, or Deception checks by non-Ubese (or non-Ubese gain a setback when those skills would be used in an opposed check).

Rough XP budget (based of the 130 xp guideline):

-20 xp for stats

-5 xp for forager

-15 xp for Technophile (only 10 xp worth of talents, but, you have lots of options)

+5 xp for Atmosphere Requirement

+0 xp for Xenophobia (knowledge is very situational, all of the social penalties is to Presence stuff, and it includes a bonus to resisting social checks)

=95 xp

Sources:

http://starwarsmush.wikia.com/wiki/Ubese

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ubese/Legends

http://toris.magriller.net/ubese.htm

Edited by hobbesque

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In my opinion, it has too many benefits and too high a starting XP with not enough drawbacks.

Forager: Change this for something, or just make it a free skill rank. Mechanics or Perception, perhaps?

Technophile: Too good, for various reasons[1]. I'd change it completely to add a Boost die to all Computers and Mechanics checks they make when interacting with technology. Or just a rank in Gearhead, if you're picky.

Xenophobia: Convoluted. I'd probably simply it to a single setback on Charm and Negotiation checks, but a setback on foe's Charm and Negotiation checks targeting the Ubese.

I might also bump the setback without masks from one to two, but YMMV.

I'd ballpark the XP in the 85 or 90 range.

[1]: Reason one is that Technical Aptitude is broken logically from any perspective, as you can gain 5 ranks of it in the game legally. This means a reduction of 125% in time, which means you become so good at computers the universe gives you time back. Tinkerer is something that can get out of hand, as modding equipment in the game is borderline completely broken.

Overall suggestion: Sometimes less is more.

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20 hours ago, Swordbreaker said:

Overall suggestion: Sometimes less is more.

 

That is often advice I get when designing stuff :P Thanks for the feedback!

Specific thoughts:

  • Forager: I like this because it specifically makes them good at the Surviving parts of survival (as opposed to tracking, etc) as appropriate to living on their Mad Max homeworld. Any reason to replace it with a rank of survival instead?
  • Technophile: Agreed too good (although I don't think the Technical Aptitude is that big of a problem, as it's kind of a corner case). Gearhead does what seems to be the heart of it.
  • Xenophobia: Probably agreed it's convoluted. I did want to knock their Knowledge down, so that Ubese techies are less polymath.

Starting XP: 95

Special Abilities:

  • Special Abilities - Ubese begin the game with the Forager talent. and one rank in the Gearhead talent.
  • Atmosphere Requirement - 'True Ubese' require adjusted breath masks to filter and breathe Type I Atmospheres. Without the masks, Ubese suffer two setbacks to all skill checks.
  • Xenophobia - Ubese take a setback on any knowledge check not focused on the Ubese or technology and any Leadership, Charm, or Negotiation check on non-Ubese . Non-Ubese get a setback when using Charm, Leadership, or Deception on the Ubese.

Rough XP budget (based of the 130 xp guideline):

-20 xp for stats

-20 xp for forager and gearhead (only 10 xp worth of talents, but, paying a premium for not having to go in to specs to get them)

+5 xp for Atmosphere Requirement

+0 xp for Xenophobia (knowledge is very situational, all of the social penalties is to Presence stuff, and it includes a bonus to resisting social checks)

=95 xp

"

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There are two oddball cases of official species that have non-ranked talents, and I personally think it's a poor design choice. Excuse my bias. That being said, I feel that a free rank in Survival would be more useful in the long run over Forager. More flexible in use, and still carries the same idea of being, well, forced survivalists.

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1 minute ago, Swordbreaker said:

There are two oddball cases of official species that have non-ranked talents, and I personally think it's a poor design choice. 

 

Because then you can climb certain talent trees faster?

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Just now, hobbesque said:

Because then you can climb certain talent trees faster?

Yeah, that's one reason. Lack of creativity is another reason. I've been playing a lot more Genesys, which includes advice on making species, and I appreciate not relying on talents to fill in for special abilities.

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2 hours ago, Tramp Graphics said:

No, but there are some good unofficial stats for them in the Unofficial Species Menagerie

Oh yeah! Thanks. I meant to link those earlier. So people don't have to click through:

All stats 2, Wound Threshold: 10 + Brawn • Strain Threshold: 10 + Willpower • Starting XP: 90 • Special Abilities: Ubese begin the game with one free rank in either Perception or Survival. They still may not train Perception or Survival above Rank 2 during character creation. • Special Equipment: Ubese begin the game with a set of specialized armor (treat this as adverse environment gear) that allows the wearer to ignore b imposed by any environmental effect, and includes a built-in breath mask, a voice modulator and one additional hard point.

I did not find them inspiring. They seem fine, but I'm converting a d6 character, and it does not line up to their d6 stats. It also seems like they pay a lot of xp for their armor -- if you figure 130 base, -10 for their free rank, it's another -30 for a pretty unremarkable piece of gear.

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I think you should just give them a rank in Mechanics instead of Gearhead. Skill and talent is a lot more common than two skills or two talents. I just don't see why Gearhead represents them any better. Give the general Mechanics skill.

I would also say that Xenophobia has way more drawbacks than benefits. The benefits are similar to those of Nobody's Fool, a talent often available for 5 XP. Adding setbacks to like 8 different skills, though? You can't tell that's only +5 XP. Maybe remove the setbacks on social skills. (Just because you're racist doesn't mean you can't talk to other species. Maybe there is the narrative drawback of not wanting to interact with outsiders. But that shouldn't mean they struggle with it.) I would also point to the Skakoans, a similar case of xenophobia and isolation: They lack any ability resembling what you have there. You gotta do what you gotta do to adaquetely represent a species. But this ability might be unnecessary.

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On 7/9/2018 at 8:23 AM, hobbesque said:

The canon wookiepedia entry really emphasizes how thin information about them is (one was named Bossk! Leia beat him up and took his armor!). 

Just a point of fact, Bossk was the Trandoshan bounty hunter. The one that Leia was disguised as is Boushh.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Boushh/Legends

Edited by Kabal

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On ‎7‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 4:49 PM, hobbesque said:

I did not find them inspiring. They seem fine, but I'm converting a d6 character, and it does not line up to their d6 stats. It also seems like they pay a lot of xp for their armor -- if you figure 130 base, -10 for their free rank, it's another -30 for a pretty unremarkable piece of gear.

As one of the authors, in our defense those were written before the core rulebook for EotE was even released, and all we really had to work off of were the 8 core species in the beta.

Ben/Cyril and I drew very much from prior RPGs, in particular Saga Edition and D6, for what most of the USM offers along with trying to avoid making species to be inherently superior to the core rulebook species.

Seeing as how PCs inherently start with 500 credits sans Obligation increases for more credits, we felt that getting a decent set of armor that could be modified while providing full environmental protection (something that costs a lot more than 500 credits) was a nice enough perk that they didn't need a whole lot else add on to them.

Obviously, YMMV.

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That is one thing that can really irritate me is picking apart every single trait and detail within a species. I played Ubese in the old Saga Edition and I had a great time with it. 

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