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Xcapobl

To clone, or not to clone?

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In the New Talents and Old Trees thread, @Jareth Valar mentioned he would allow a Clone Pilot specialization for non-clones, a re-skin to have others besides clones being able to get certain new talents without changing old Talent Trees.

But this also got me thinking.

What about other clones? What is your answer to a player that says she wants to play a runaway clone of a Zabrak? Or a cloned Ithorian? A Rodian Clone?

I know the easy answer would be, to just make the character using the Zabrak species (or any other one) from the books as is. However, it is also very obvious that the Clones based on Jango Fett, as presented in the Rise of the Separatists book, are not simply Humans as presented in the three main books. The species is altered to reflect the fact that the Kaminoans cloned, and bred them for war, and modified them for quick growth. With Mandalorians and Corellians, Humans even have received two other variants.Local circumstances and specific genetic alterations change a base species enough, apparently.

What are your thoughts on this? How far would you change a base species, or allow a player to change it, to fit a special back story made for a clone that is not just another member of that species?

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Ah...the desire to be "different".  No problem with that so long as you define the parameters and add as many hindrances as benefits. A devious player may have an angle to combine some weird alien benefit with something on that tree.  I have a player like that. One who looks +10 steps down a the road to see how he can possibly get the Stalker Talent about 5x's. 

So, a "pink" Rodian, eh?   I guess there's two kinds of different.  One, just be a clone for the Frankenstein-like background, but be completely like any other of his species. Or, two, be a fabricated member of his species and get something "special".  Some may even gimp themselves with a clone-like drawback and use that to play off of. 

Another option is just having a rule: only humans have the ability be cloned.  Probably not the way to go and I am not sure if EU or anything has cloning of non-humans.  I thought I also read somewhere about 'clones' not having rights and being more like droids in that respect. 

It's your campaign, so do as you please. For us, I'd ask WHY it has to be a clone and WHY it has to be THAT species.  Why can't it just be a 'regular' Rodian, for instance.  As Vek B said above, "If you want to play a cloned Rodian, awesome. You have a Rodian's base stats.I wouldn't give them clone-human benefits, but access to a clone tree would be okay so long as it is not a round-about way to game the system.  However, you're sort of setting a precedent in your campaign to take any tree you want with any species or career you have.  That can be dangerous when everyone want to play the exception to the rule.

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I guess it depends on one of three things.

1) Is it a matter of access to talents? Personally I can see why, Barrel Roll makes a clone pilot immensely  better then any other kind of pilot. Though in our case our GM made it avalible as a universal talent that was worth more then what it was in that sheet; Any character could buy it but only those who are dedicated pilots should buy it. Just clones got to make shortcuts around cultivating a skill across a lifetime to just get to the point

2) A plot reason? In our particular case one of our PC's was cloned at least 18 times, creating a small army of assassins that shared the same youthful appearance as our character, admit one grown at a incredibly rapid rate. Would they be eligible for the clone trees even though they are not Jango clones, nor male if a player wanted to create a future character out of one of them? I'm inclined to say yes, but only if it makes sense for them to be educated in that way. 

3) PC starting as a clone? Maybe. The thing is cloning isn't a particularly common pilot device in star wars, it's technology that is fairly obscure to all but the Kaminans and the empire that inevitably inherited everything from their society so really it depends how much the GM is willing to allow the PC in terms of plot leverage. After all, all clones have a purpose. Are they weapons? Made to serve as a doppelganger? Are they engineered for a species particular taste or sexual preference? Or a way to repopulate a species that is otherwise approaching extinction? Lets not beat around the bush clone's just aren't a natural thing in the universe so naturally having a character who is a clone is a pretty big deal. The only reason the Jango clones are so common was that the event they were deployed for was so massive, and none have been made since then beyond for filling their only purpose; defend the republic and kill the Jedi. Other clones are likely also designed for a purpose and the GM must be fully aware on how to deal with that and the potential consequences of that character "betraying their core programming" as their manufacturer is likely to give their pet a very tight leash. If the GM isn't willing to work in a larger arc based around the ethical issues surrounding this, a clone PC might be a step too far into the exotic.


Ultimately though, I feel it is worth it for groups to examine what themes you are looking to explore before dropping a potential bomb like this. Clones are only one step down from being a big deal as full blown Jedi in terms of obligation potentially, so it's best to be on the same page entering into a session as to what you want from a clone PC, or indeed a cloned PC.

Coming from someone who has roleplayed a clone of another PC (My PC ended up missing for a month in game, so I took over one of the assassin clones rescued) and the prospect of genetic engineering being possible for the rich, it's certainly possible, just something you have to be ready to play into. Having it exist just so a PC can take a talent tree dramatically sets the reveal short.

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3 hours ago, Vek Baustrade said:

I wouldn't change anything. If you want to play a cloned Rodian, awesome. You have a Rodian's base stats. 

Clone characters can buy stats at the start of play why would a Rodian clone be different?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

It only matters at all if you're flying Sil 3 or less. In the Sil 4 ships that PC groups commonly use, it is totally useless.

The best starting ship in the game for a typical eote party (the kst-100) is sil 3.

Edited by EliasWindrider
Lyxdexia :D

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Part of the equasion shouldn't be the Clone specific talent trees. Let's just assume plot or background, not a way to opt in for Clone specific prerequisites and such.

One background story could be, that the otherwise peaceful Ithorians of a Herd Ship way out there have had their fill of pirate raids in their sector. Secretly, they started to clone their own, genetically modifying those clones to be more agressive and brutal. Secretly, because they wouldn't want other Ithorians to know about this tampering with nature. One day, one of those clones, being expendable, is left to die, but survived.

Instant player character. Two ways of doing this. The @Vek Baustrade way, you're an Ithorian and have starting experience to buy attributes and skills to make you more agressive and brutal, use XP to increase Brawn, Brawl and Melee, and just take all other species abilities from Ithorians by the book, for example. Or the Book Precedent way. You have a Human. You have a Clone, functionally a different species, but fundamentally an altered Human. Probably hard to deny that.

I could think of more background stories why a character would 'have to' be a clone. most often, the Rule of Cool applies, and those players are often very content to just call their character a clone of species 'X', in the Vek Baustrade way. But like @DurosSpacer mentioned, there is also a segment of players who like their character to be different. Not the standard Wookiee. Not the base Toydarian. Something special, sometimes even to the point where they devise their own alternate version of a species with more negatives than positives, just to get permission to be different. And then I mean significantly more different than what they could achieve with Starting XP. There is often an elaborate background on what should be different and why.

Point of the matter is, that these Jango Fett clones were not simply copies (like Boba Fett turned out to be, if unaltered), but changed beings. Like I said, fundamentally the same species, but functionally different enough to warrant a 'different species' treatment.

2 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

It only matters at all if you're flying Sil 3 or less. In the Sil 4 ships that PC groups commonly use, it is totally useless.

A bunch of Jango Fett clones, old but wise, with Clone Pilot and Ace/Gunner specializations in an AoR squadron of Y-Wings (Silhouette 3) isn't so far fetched as well. I would asume Tricky Target not to affect Silhouette for purposes of Barrel Roll (the ship doesn't magically change size, and therefor maneuverability). But yes, most freighter tyoes are too large for Barrel Rolling.

1 hour ago, Daeglan said:

Clone characters can buy stats at the start of play why would a Rodian clone be different?

I think they wouldn't be. Just that the base stats before spending starting experience would be completely equal between clone and non-clone versions of a species.

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Remember, there are only three Specs in the game that actually have prerequisites: General, Knight and Master (from the Jedi career).

While Clone Soldier implies a prerequisite of being a Clone, it doesn't explicitly state that you have to be a Clone. Nor does the Deathwatch Warrior require you to be a Mandalorian Human, nor do you have to be a female Dathomirian to be a Nightsister.

Any of those Specs could be renamed and re-fluffed as something else.

Personally, Clone Pilot should be renamed Combat Pilot and replace Beast Rider in the Ace career (with the latter becoming a Universal Spec), in addition to being in the Clone Soldier career.

Being a "Clone" should always be a narrative consideration, not a mechanical one.

 

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2 minutes ago, salamar_dree said:

Remember, there are only three Specs in the game that actually have prerequisites: General, Knight and Master (from the Jedi career).

While Clone Soldier implies a prerequisite of being a Clone, it doesn't explicitly state that you have to be a Clone. Nor does the Deathwatch Warrior require you to be a Mandalorian Human, nor do you have to be a female Dathomirian to be a Nightsister.

Any of those Specs could be renamed and re-fluffed as something else.

Personally, Clone Pilot should be renamed Combat Pilot and replace Beast Rider in the Ace career (with the latter becoming a Universal Spec), in addition to being in the Clone Soldier career.

Being a "Clone" should always be a narrative consideration, not a mechanical one.

 

Retired clone trooper (dawn of rebellion) requires you to be a human male but technically does not require you to be a clone

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30 minutes ago, EliasWindrider said:

Retired clone trooper (dawn of rebellion) requires you to be a human male but technically does not require you to be a clone

Good catch. It's in the text and not listed on the Spec tree.

I'll have to re-listen to Episode 112 of the O66 podcast, because I know that they discuss the RTC with a Dev. I think that they discuss allowing other species taking RTC.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

It only matters at all if you're flying Sil 3 or less. In the Sil 4 ships that PC groups commonly use, it is totally useless.

I was probably thinking strictly fighter pilots, but I didn't specify that, so thanks for the clarification.



Re  @Xcapobl: Aye that sounds fair. ^^ Just the key point I feel is that there must be a story behind it otherwise, well, it's kinda random. Like violent thorians sound a fun way of addressing that. ^^ I wouldn't allow a character to play a clone without a compelling hook to pull on, or at the very least they must allow me to take that core concept and go anywhere I want with it. There's been some character's whom have started out with just a core concept and allow the GM to invent the story behind the reason of existence.

Edited by LordBritish
More text.

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8 hours ago, salamar_dree said:

Being a "Clone" should always be a narrative consideration, not a mechanical one.

 

While I tend to agree for the most part, Rise of the Separatists does otherwise, hence why I said there is a Book Precedent. Clones as intended there are humans (modified Jango Fetts), yet they have quite some differences from the basic Human. Or the Mandalorian Human. Or the Corellian one.

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9 hours ago, EliasWindrider said:

Retired clone trooper (dawn of rebellion) requires you to be a human male but technically does not require you to be a clone

Was there a Clone species before RotS? Obviously they will use the best available limit at the time (human male). Might have given a clone species restriction if DoR was released after the Clone Wars materials. (Pure design intent speculation)

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5 hours ago, Xcapobl said:

While I tend to agree for the most part, Rise of the Separatists does otherwise, hence why I said there is a Book Precedent. Clones as intended there are humans (modified Jango Fetts), yet they have quite some differences from the basic Human. Or the Mandalorian Human. Or the Corellian one.

Eh, kinda, but it's not that huge. Correlians and Mandalorians are equally not huge departures and like clones, both of them are only good form making that one thing, and provide little benefit otherwise.

I think the thing you have to ask is... ok so your players wants to be a clones Rodian... to what end? What was he cloned to do? What makes him "culturally different" from normal Rodians?

From there you can work on figuring out which talents to swap out for Survival and Expert Tracker, if at all, and you're pretty much done. 

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3 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

From there you can work on figuring out which talents to swap out for Survival and Expert Tracker, if at all, and you're pretty much done. 

Which is, evidenced by the reactions in this thread, not what a lot of players/GameMasters here would advocate. See the reactions of Vek and Salamar. 😉

 

On a more general note. Thanks all. Nice thread in my opinion. Interesting, yet different viewpoints.

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20 hours ago, Xcapobl said:

I could think of more background stories why a character would 'have to' be a clone. most often, the Rule of Cool applies, and those players are often very content to just call their character a clone of species 'X', in the Vek Baustrade way. But like @DurosSpacer mentioned, there is also a segment of players who like their character to be different. Not the standard Wookiee. Not the base Toydarian. Something special, sometimes even to the point where they devise their own alternate version of a species with more negatives than positives, just to get permission to be different. And then I mean significantly more different than what they could achieve with Starting XP. There is often an elaborate background on what should be different and why.

This has been a good thread and I've enjoyed the variety of opinions.  Any GM worth his or her salt could come to a completely different, but justifiable, conclusion than I do. You're completely welcome to do so. 

What it comes down to for me, is that there are already countless combinations for species/career/specialization. You have plenty of options to make a unique character within the confines of the system, so I'm not inclined to pull it apart. I don't enjoy ensuring trees or species balance mechanically, so I don't mess with them.

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On 7/14/2019 at 4:04 PM, HappyDaze said:

It only matters at all if you're flying Sil 3 or less. In the Sil 4 ships that PC groups commonly use, it is totally useless.

Did you listen to the latest Order 66 podcast? The developer interviewed stated that Tricky Target and Supreme Pride and Joy both work with Barrel Roll.

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1 hour ago, Eoen said:

Did you listen to the latest Order 66 podcast? The developer interviewed stated that Tricky Target and Supreme Pride and Joy both work with Barrel Roll.

They change the rules all the time these days.

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Probably based on the fact that the Silhouette 4 Milennium Falcon seems far more maneuverable in the movies than an A-Wing at times. I know. Plot reasons and all, but still. Death Star II tunnel runs and all.

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On 7/14/2019 at 3:53 PM, Xcapobl said:

In the New Talents and Old Trees thread, @Jareth Valar mentioned he would allow a Clone Pilot specialization for non-clones, a re-skin to have others besides clones being able to get certain new talents without changing old Talent Trees.

But this also got me thinking.

What about other clones? What is your answer to a player that says she wants to play a runaway clone of a Zabrak? Or a cloned Ithorian? A Rodian Clone?

I know the easy answer would be, to just make the character using the Zabrak species (or any other one) from the books as is. However, it is also very obvious that the Clones based on Jango Fett, as presented in the Rise of the Separatists book, are not simply Humans as presented in the three main books. The species is altered to reflect the fact that the Kaminoans cloned, and bred them for war, and modified them for quick growth. With Mandalorians and Corellians, Humans even have received two other variants.Local circumstances and specific genetic alterations change a base species enough, apparently.

What are your thoughts on this? How far would you change a base species, or allow a player to change it, to fit a special back story made for a clone that is not just another member of that species?

Well cloning technology, if you are looking at the Legacy material, seems to be fairly widely distributed.  I mean the Kamino's have an entire economy based around selling clones to customers, which would imply there is ample business for it in the Republic.  And I seem to recall, vaguely, in some Legacy story, that there is an entire race (not the Kaminos), that reproduced via cloning.   So there is precedent for it being a semi-regular occurrence in my opinion.

 

As to the stat change....eh...*shrugs*  I mean, ok I guess?   Depending on the reason for the changes requested, I'd probably implement some drawbacks to go with it.  Like penalties to social interactions with their baseline species, because "they're just off somehow"   Or perhaps totally change the species ability entirely, perhaps removing it.   "You want X?  Ok fine, but since you are an altered being, you don't get the Ithorian bellow attack, because that's something that had to be spliced out to make the adjustments for the thing you want."   Etc etc.  Stuff like that.

I'm not a fan of crunch in general, as that's not why I play roleplaying games.  So diving into that depth of min/maxing or whatever, never really appeals to me.  But I understand I'm in the minority when it comes to this mindset with gaming, especially among Star Wars fans.   

If you allow it, I would have a definitive drawback for the alterations.  The Clone Troopers had a lot of perks, but they also had some side-effects to their method of creation, that came up multiple times in the franchise.   

Player shouldn't get it for free, there should be a cost of some kind. 

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On 7/14/2019 at 8:10 PM, EliasWindrider said:

Retired clone trooper (dawn of rebellion) requires you to be a human male but technically does not require you to be a clone

Re-listened to the relevant part of Episode 112 of the O66 Podcast. Tim Huckleberry, lead designer of Dawn of Rebellion (not sure if that's how he spells his last name),  said that he didn't see a problem with dropping the "Human Male" prerequisite and using Retired Clone Trooper to represent any "War Veteran". He even suggested tweaking the Career skills to fit the character's area of expertise (like adding Mechanics for a demolitionist).

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5 hours ago, salamar_dree said:

Re-listened to the relevant part of Episode 112 of the O66 Podcast. Tim Huckleberry, lead designer of Dawn of Rebellion (not sure if that's how he spells his last name),  said that he didn't see a problem with dropping the "Human Male" prerequisite and using Retired Clone Trooper to represent any "War Veteran". He even suggested tweaking the Career skills to fit the character's area of expertise (like adding Mechanics for a demolitionist).

If he didn't have a problem with it, he shouldn't have put it there.  Some GMs look at the book as sacrosanct and any change or re-flavoring is blasphemous.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ahrimon said:

If he didn't have a problem with it, he shouldn't have put it there.  Some GMs look at the book as sacrosanct and any change or re-flavoring is blasphemous.

I know of one particular grognard that almost fits that description, he takes his own frequently fringe interpretation of the book as sacrosanct and it doesn't matter whether he's the GM or not.  I have a reputation for arguing with the grognard.

Edited by EliasWindrider

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8 hours ago, Ahrimon said:

If he didn't have a problem with it, he shouldn't have put it there.  Some GMs look at the book as sacrosanct and any change or re-flavoring is blasphemous.

And they can have it their way. As others can do as they please.

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