Jump to content
CitizenKeen

Humans Undercosted?

Recommended Posts

I’m posting this here instead of the RoT forum because it’s more of a design question than specifically a Terrinoth question.

Genesys Core Archetype/Species design says that you start from a 3/2/2/2/2/1 standpoint with 1 free skill point in a non-3 Attribute, and 100 XP.

Humans start at 2/2/2/2/2/2, which gets you to 110 XP. And they get 2 non-Career skills instead of a given skill, which is arguably better but let’s call it equal.

But then, they get Ready for Adventure, the rob-the-GM-of-a-Story-Point ability. Which doesn’t appear reflected in their XP.

Am I missing something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Humans are undercosted, making them in some respects a superior choice among other options, due to having more xp to spend right from go. However, they are worse options if you plan to specialize in any one characteristic. If you want 5 brawn, pick a 3 brawn archetype and put 90xp into your brawn: 40 for rank 4, 50 for rank 5. As a Human, you would need to spend 120xp to start with a 5 (30 rank 3, 40 rank 4, 50 rank 5), so you're technically limited to a maximum of a single rank 4 characteristic at creation. It's a trade-off. You are more well-rounded and have some good archetype abilities but you take longer to get a characteristic to max.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It appears that all of the Human Archetypes have about 10 more XP than the rules for creating an Archetype  (pg 192) suggest:

Each archetype besides Average Human gets a rank in a skill tied to their attribute (which is worth 10 xp as opposed to 5 according to page 193), and Average Humans get two skills instead of just one.

Plus they all have an extra unique ability, which, for lack of listed valued I'll assume are more or less equivalent to tier 1 talents.

Of the fantasy setting races; assuming you appraise the Elf's "Nimble" at 20 points (because it is similar to the tier 4 talent "Defensive"), than they're at +10 XP. However the Dwarf and Orc seem to be following the guidelines (edited after some double checking).

Edited by Cantriped

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best a Human can achieve with characteristics is:

4/3/2/2/2/2 with 10xp left, or 3/3/3/2/2/2 with 20xp left.

the other species with 100xp can get:

4/3/3/2/2/1 with none left over.

 

Now as soon as the character has less than 100 xp they can no longer have such high characteristics but they will presumably have better abilities.

One important element to remember is that the guidelines in the book is for balancing to a specific number, you can change that number buy starting the process with more or less than 100xp. Ultimately the only thing that matters is that each species in your game is balanced with themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember once reading a Babylon 5 write-up in HERO, and the author gave the Narn a "-10 XP: Can't be psionic" or somesuch. And I always chafed at that, because while not being psionic hurt their civilization, it didn't hurt a given character. A human soldier and a Narn soldier were both non-psionics, and somehow the Narn had more XP?

This feels like that. "If you want to go for a 5 Stat, being a human is a bad idea." Sure, that's fair. I'm also not going to be able to make a 5 Willpower Elf. But the character's I am able to make should be balanced. Because otherwise, I feel like a generalist non-Human is unfairly penalized.

Just making sure I understand the landscape before I change it.

@Richardbuxton

Another comparison might be that 100XP species can get to 4/3/2/2/2/2 with 20xp left over, or 10 more than humans. Which may also answer my question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Humans are undercosted, but IMO only by 5xp. I recognize the guideline section doesn’t say to include a 5-ish xp ability, but nearly every species which easily matches the guideline template has one. The only thing humans have over other races is the second free rank (and the ability to semi choose where it goes).

 

FWIW/to be clear, the elf nimble is not worth 20xp. It -sets- the defense at 1, not increases it. Any other race can get defense 1 against one attack type by using a maneuver or spending some extra money on better armor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hinklemar said:

elf nimble is not worth 20xp

Not really no. Unless you build around it, in which case it's just as good as getting a rank of Defensive. If we count it as a tier 2 talent (worth only 10 XP), that would mean all of the GCRB Fantasy Species were built to the guidelines. Personally I find it super annoying and strange that Nimble, Armor, and Cover/Guard don't stack... but the Defense Cap is so low it doesn't really matter...

A Nimble Elf with gear from Realms of Terrinoth can easily cap out their Defense with a sword & board, and wear high soak, zero def armor like maille.

4 hours ago, Richardbuxton said:

Ultimately the only thing that matters is that each species in your game is balanced with themselves.

After reading the GMs section... I sort of just took for granted that everything in the GCRB would be, but there does seem to be at least some variation.

Edited by Cantriped

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah Def 4 is much easier to achieve now in Genesys that it was originally in Star Wars. I would love to see some talents that utilise Defence a bit more, perhaps allowing you to Upgrade the difficulty instead of adding Setbacks to really give Improved Parry a leg up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the solution (for me, wherein I assume "lack of build deep" is not worth an XP bump) is to up the starting XP assumption. So rather than you start with 3/2/2/2/2/1 and 100XP and a skill bump, you start with 110 XP. And then Humans are built properly, and most of the Terrinoth species need 10 more XP.

Or... How would you do it? Veteran Genesys / Star Wars players? If you wanted to bring Humans into balance with other Terrinoth / Terrinoth-level races, how would you do it? Is there a better way?

@Richardbuxton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would do that exact thing. I would probably avoid any species with Characteristic of 3/1 having more than 100xp to spend since that prevents 4/4/2/2/2/1 characters. 

In some settings I would push that number even higher, starting with 120, but using it to grant more abilities and skills. I think it’s ideal if characters can have a best of 3/3/3/3/2/1, 4/3/3/2/2/1, or 4/3/2/2/2/2. Any more xp and they simply end up with too few weaknesses. But so long as those characteristics don’t get higher than that then species could grant 4 ranks in skills, and have two unique abilities each.

Obviously you need to keep Wounds/Strain under control too, I think ffg aim for a total somewhere between 20 and 25.

 

 

On the reasoning behind “humans are better” I’m certain I heard, early in the life of the Star Wars system, a developer interview where they claimed the reason for the difference was that in the SW universe Humans are better than everyone else, they dominate the galaxy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, CitizenKeen said:

Or... How would you do it? Veteran Genesys / Star Wars players? If you wanted to bring Humans into balance with other Terrinoth / Terrinoth-level races, how would you do it? Is there a better way?

SW characters can get +10 starting xp from sacrificing a bit from their RP mechanic, so I gave all the races in my homebrew +10xp. That lets humans become better generalists with 3/3/3/3/2/2 and non-humans better specialists with 4/3/3/2/2/1, which is what everyone playing SW does anyway, then any differences in xp assumptions don't matter all that much.

Edited by Lorne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...