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High XP Play

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Hey All,

I'm curious about peoples experiences playing with higher xp characters.  In the past I've played the Star Wars RPG, and we generally get into the high hundreds, or low thousands for xp before character balance can start to become tricky.  

I'm a little worried about Genesys.  We've got a few hundred XP on the characters, and I'm already having troubles with character power levels.  We're playing in a fantasy setting, and because the players can customize their characters so easily, without having to work through talent trees, they are rapidly becoming extremely powerful.  I'm starting to throw some really tough fights tt them and for the most part they're plowing through things with ease.  Taking down giants and the like in a matter of a couple rounds (and there's only 4 players.)  The super powers you get (can't remember the name) don't help. I've got my tank who can turn literally invulnerable for a couple rounds, an archer firing off high damage blast shots from her signature weapon, and so forth.

The talents trees of Star Wars force the characters to slow down a bit, take some talents that are useful, but they might not normally grab.  Don't get me wrong, I think everybody is enjoying the game, but I just don't see it having the longevity of some of the Star Wars campaigns due to the "choose  your own talents" customization.


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Its the age old topic of scaling Genesys some like it others dont :)

Short summery. 

Crits are your friend
Design your encounters. Especially the environment. Just adding more of the same type of monster does not scale well in Genesys. 
Adding other things to an encounter does. Cover ? poor visibility. Mobile foes, magic foes. 
And then there is the monsters themselves. FFG has very little space to provide monsters they give us some short and sweet examples those can be modified to your hearts content. 
Take your giant. In pathfinder modules a giant was rarely just a giant to give them a umpfh they where givin fighter levels. Same can be done in genesys. 
Give em a few talents. At 200-300 is xp bump their advesary talent to 2 or 3. Give them better weapons and use some fun talents from ROT like shockwave or other stuff

Invent your own ability like maybe. 

Giant Swing: may increase the difficulty of next meele attack by 1 if succesfull may spend 2 advantages to move opponent away 1 range band. 

Now make the encounter across a narrow bridge or ravine and have the Giants punt the players over the cliffs once in a while.

With that said yes with super combat optimized pcs and heroic abilities the power level rises fast. Remember to let your players shine still let them have the cool moments where
they turn invulnerable but try to use environments and special abilities for monsters. 

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Thanks for the advise.  We are having fun, by no means am I just putting a giant in the path and just saying GO, that was just a quick example.  In our most recent big "boss fight" I think I hit the balance pretty well.  Everybody felt there was a risk of defeat, but ultimately they pulled it out.  I've been scanning FFG's monsters and assorted Fan Docs, and have created some pretty fun encounters (imho).  

Our most recent battle involved saving some townsfolk waiting to become dinner or statues in some ice caves inhabited by wendigos and some weird crystal like medusa thing I created myself.  They had to fight Wendigos, Crystal Medusa, and the animated statues of some of the victims, save the villagers, and protect some well meaning locals trying to "help."

I think I'm just having to put more work into making fights balanced and fun.  I still don't think I'm going to be able to ride these characters into the thousand xp levels, but we'll get a fun campaign out of it.

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Generally the base rule of thumb for effective encounters are the combined arms tactics, so in encounters should have several damage types than one. In other words, a challenging encounter is where the players have to manage all 3 strain, wound, and critical hits; plus any status effects that they might get such as those on page 114. This doesn't have to be from the enemies per say, but can be done also by the environment (which should be epic and awe-inspiring in narration) and it should be for the benefit of the enemies over that of the players. Genesys is quite good in using the environment as advantages, threats, and manuevers can effect them easily. For example, the giant can move bigger objects to effect the terrain (i.e. moving rubble to make a path impassible, flooding the area by breaking a dam, etc), and isn't effected by some things as much as PCs (i.e. he can jump over big ledges, he is knee deep in water that might drown the PCs, etc.) 

Also you can pace the game in a way so that players are at the disadvantage. Maybe they just got abruptly ambushed when they just had a social encounter, so they are quite stressed out on strain. Or, like a classic comic book villain don't fight the PCs, but take their loved ones hostage.    



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Lowering Crit Ratings...increasing Vicious ratings...giving Adversary to things.

It doesn't matter how combat capable the PC's are, it is very easy to take them down while doing very little with the numbers.
The social rules are sufficient and the social talents are scarce enough to where those characters are not going to be unstoppable monsters

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Genesys characters definitely get more powerful much quicker than Star Wars characters, especially when Heroic Abilities are involved. I’ve been reading FFG’s Legend of the Five Rings rules and I think there’s a couple of features there that could be brought to Genesys to really reign in the power creep.

Fist off L5R divides talents into categories, then careers have a limited list of available categories. This immediately makes it harder to “optimise” talent selection.

 There’s also a ranking system within each career, with a small list of themed talents and skills that cost the normal price, anything else effectively costs double for a character of that rank. So instead of there being a fixed list of career skills there would be an evolution, and even limits. An extra benefit of this is your able to have more careers that are focused.

For example a Knight of Rank 1 may look something like this:



Rank 1 - 60xp to complete:

Skill Group (Combat) Rank 1-2

Ride Rank 1-2

Resilience Rank 1

Discipline Rank 1-2

Quick Draw

Toughened Rank 1

Parry Rank 1-2

Tavern Brawler


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Posted (edited)


We ported our high level chars from SW too. About 2.650 - 2.800 XP. There isn't a apparent problem at high levels if you consider that there are a lot of challenges. 

For example, the main character was a Jedi Master with high Force Powers, Combat and Piloting Skills and some Command and social ones. He's impressive at the first ones, really good at the second ones and not so bad with the rest. With all the other skills he's like a normal person. He always needs to find someone that helps him on other missions apart from piloting or combat, and event on those cases, help is always welcome.

His chances of succes in "primary" skills are above 50 and 80% and 30 - 60% on the "secondaries". So try to open the type of events player can face and emotion stills there. Using Adversaries special rules can be pretty interesting, and critical protection is BASIC to prevent "insta-kills". You also have "Story points" of course.


With the port (we have to analyze it yet) he is a 2.300 - 2.600 XP character... with more than 35 Ability Points XD

We are still loking for good adaptations but in general therms, no problem with high level characters-game.


Hope it helped mate;)


EDIT: We did a bit more accurate calculations and its a 2.330 XP chracter. 

Edited by Josep Maria

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