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JskyWalker

Viking setting?

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I want to create a low-magic, vikings setting, and was looking for inspiration. My original idea was to have talent trees a la swrpg that are devoted to certain Norse gods. Each tree would be role orientated and end with light magical abilities. After skimming this core i'm debating the pyramid system with those higher talents just having prerequisites. Any advice or previous work with magic/skills along that setting would be helpful, thanks!

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Just got the Expanded Players Guide. You NEED this. There is an entire chapter on "Age of Myth" which includes Norse references. A Longship is in the vehicle section. There is a chapter on creating Specialization Trees. On page 22 there is a small three-line rule suggestion for low magic settings.

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Before the release of the Expanded Players Guide, I would have strongly urged you against developing Talent Trees. The "filler" Talents always bugged me tremendously. Gensys has less of those in general, but I still think it's a danger you could fall into... I don't have the EPG so I don't know how good the guidance is, but to me the point of Genesys is the openness.

Seems like it'd be easiest to just create Tiered Talents, IF you really need to create Talents at all... Have you seen the community created expanded Talents list?

But you should also just look at Terrinoth. Heroic Abilities might really work well for your Norse god themes. And Rune magic as well, seeing as runes are a big Norse thing...

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3 hours ago, Sturn said:

Just got the Expanded Players Guide. You NEED this. There is an entire chapter on "Age of Myth" which includes Norse references. A Longship is in the vehicle section. There is a chapter on creating Specialization Trees. On page 22 there is a small three-line rule suggestion for low magic settings.

Wow that seems oddly tailored to my needs, thanks

 

3 hours ago, emsquared said:

Before the release of the Expanded Players Guide, I would have strongly urged you against developing Talent Trees. The "filler" Talents always bugged me tremendously. Gensys has less of those in general, but I still think it's a danger you could fall into... I don't have the EPG so I don't know how good the guidance is, but to me the point of Genesys is the openness.

Seems like it'd be easiest to just create Tiered Talents, IF you really need to create Talents at all... Have you seen the community created expanded Talents list?

But you should also just look at Terrinoth. Heroic Abilities might really work well for your Norse god themes. And Rune magic as well, seeing as runes are a big Norse thing...

I'm warming up to the treeless route. With certain prerequisites and higher tiers, I could still accomplish my goal of long term devotion to a certain god for eventual abilities, without unrelated "fillers" 

Just checked out the list. Definitely a good resource. 

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I've been back and forth on the treeless nature of Genesys. When it was first released, I didn't initially like it having come from the SW version. But, the simplicity of it grew on me.

But, after some time I realized there can be an issue. Some players would benefit from treeless talents, picking and designing the exact character they want. Other players might prefer the guidance of talent trees. Then, throw in the player that just likes min-maxing and doesn't even attempt to develop a concept for his character, just choosing whatever works best for roll-playing vs role-playing. Talent trees can help in some circumstances while hindering in others.

The EPG gives a couple different options for adding talent trees back into Genesys. One duplicates what was done in Star Wars. Another option concentrates more on the specializations then the careers. There are guidelines for doing it either way.

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2 hours ago, Sturn said:

Other players might prefer the guidance of talent trees. Then, throw in the player that just likes min-maxing and doesn't even attempt to develop a concept for his character, just choosing whatever works best for roll-playing vs role-playing. 

I hadn't thought about that aspect but it's a great point. The person doesn't even have to be a true min-maxer to just pick the ones that will most obviously and easily help their pc's, they need just be lazy. 

It's a conundrum as I don't feel like my group has ever expressed problems with being shoehorned in swrpg nor 5e. Heck, none of us have ever even cross spec'd. We play a role until we tire of it, then create someone new. We do have a large group though, so specialization helps you stand out.

 

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Don't get me wrong, the Star Wars RPG is my favorite system to run or play, and has been for years now, but what Talent Trees come down to, often, in Star Wars is an XP tax. You gotta pass through some ho-hum things to get the things that you're actually interested in that Specialization for. XP taxes are just a poor/lazy game design substitute for something that could have been achieved in another way that doesn't create a "progression treadmill".

Everyone has to go through them to some degree, so it's not a problem in that system, and it does create an ingrained flavor that Star Wars benefits from, due to its expansiveness. But is that flavor gain worth the treadmill? Is there another way? That's the question Genesys asked, and that I think still should be asked by anyone creating a setting.

I think there are some interesting things that can be done with Talent Trees (specifically the "pathing" can create interesting and worthwhile character development dynamics, without XP taxes), as the Genesys "pyramid"/Tier-scheme has its own sort of rigidity.

And they are good for Players who aren't familiar with the system, because otherwise it can take some amount of system mastery (or, minimally, familiarity) to build an effective character. But the same thing could(?) be achieved here by using some sort of descriptive guidance dialogue that accompanies your Careers and directs players to a few specific Talents (particularly Tiered paths) that lead to the kind of PC they're interested in. Guidance, maybe even XP incentive(?), but something more loose than a Tree, but not completely open ended/blank slate.

There's cost/benefits to each, but frankly what it would come down to for me is: creating balanced, diverse, interesting and nuanced Trees is just too much work over the default, free-form Genesys schema which seems to work well as designed.

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On 12/1/2019 at 1:12 PM, JskyWalker said:

I want to create a low-magic, vikings setting, and was looking for inspiration. My original idea was to have talent trees a la swrpg that are devoted to certain Norse gods. Each tree would be role orientated and end with light magical abilities. After skimming this core i'm debating the pyramid system with those higher talents just having prerequisites. Any advice or previous work with magic/skills along that setting would be helpful, thanks!

You could just have talents that are Tier 3 or 4 (or higher) that actually then release the ability to use the magic skills? Obviously you would want to limit them to one "school" of the magic skills: Arcane, Divine, Primal, etc. Pushing the talents to higher tiers means that people may not invest in the skills associated with them right off the bat. Like no one will run as a wizard for a while rather gaining the skill later to limit how much it could possibly break things. I don't know how fantastical you want your magic. You could look at the new players book for more tips on how to control magic. You say a low-magic setting, but how low magic is it?

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2 hours ago, shamp said:

You say a low-magic setting, but how low magic is it?

I'm early in the process but my original plan was none then pretty low. A more "realistic" viking campaign (humans only, historical fiction-esc) with magic basically reflavoring some talents as the gods granting you luck/ability, and maybe culminating with visions, weapon power-ups, and whatever else doesn't feel like a cast blast

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