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drainsmith

EPG Specialization Tree Document

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My book just shipped, so I haven't read how they describe this. It's obviously a way to bring the Star Wars spec tree idea to Genesys. But how, if at all, do they suggest these trees be balanced? I know that any time someone in the Star Wars forums comes up with a custom spec tree, a half a dozen people jump all over them and scream, "This is a grab bag!" "This is unbalanced!" "Why would anyone NOT take this?" etc. 

Edited by SavageBob

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So, the EPG offers the option of Star Wars-style specializations with "Talent Trees" in lieu of Genesys' "talent pyramid"? Color me interested. I don't think there's anything wrong with the pyramid, but trees are more visual, and it takes all the visual encouragement I can muster to get my players invested in new systems.

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I've had a chance to look over it. Less nuts-and-bolts than I'd have liked; it's mostly advice on how to balance the tree. The book describes designing trees as an art rather than a science, and it suggests you'll need to playtest heavily. Looks like a lot of work, but I'm glad there's an option for it.

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I like that there is now something "canon" level if GM's want to introduce trees back into Geneys. 

But, I had hoped they had gone a step further into offering something a bit more then just the standard SW option. There are some other possibilities. For example, I've been toying around with putting "Careers" in the talent trees after seeing some of the new Talents in Terrinoth (Templar, Bard, Hunter, etc). I've actually been using something quite different in a current campaign that uses my first attempt. When I saw the specs section, I was hoping for some new and more radical options.

And thanks for this!:

On 12/2/2019 at 9:28 PM, drainsmith said:

 

Edited by Sturn

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7 hours ago, Morangias said:

Yeah, I don't see myself writing those up for every game, but I do have some conversion ideas that'd benefit significantly from this approach.

That's not a bad idea: Start with a Star Wars tree comparable to what you want to do and try to recreate it as best you can with Genesys talents. It'll still require some reworking, but it would at least give you a ballpark for "not overpowered."

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7 hours ago, SavageBob said:

That's not a bad idea: Start with a Star Wars tree comparable to what you want to do and try to recreate it as best you can with Genesys talents. It'll still require some reworking, but it would at least give you a ballpark for "not overpowered."

That's certainly a good starting point. Though for some things I have in mind, I actually appreciate the option to make some trees more powerful than others.

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On 12/5/2019 at 5:06 AM, Morangias said:

That's certainly a good starting point. Though for some things I have in mind, I actually appreciate the option to make some trees more powerful than others.

This is what I'm going to do for my game, though I'll probably tweak some talents here and there to either remove "Star Wars" specific stuff or to shift the flavor of what I'm going for a bit. 

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On 12/2/2019 at 9:28 PM, drainsmith said:

This is great! Thank you! I notice that the links between talents are clickable, but when I do nothing happens. Are they supposed to highlight, or am I overthinking? Am I doing something wrong? Not a complaint, because "Free resource! 😍" Thanks again!

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I get that yes they require more work. But, I've seen players new to the game having trouble sorting through all the talents and trying to make a decision. I remember sorting through all of them trying to make groups to suggest to players what to take if say they want a berserker warrior vs. a protective warrior. Or simply selecting the best talents without thinking of something more cohesive for their character. I love the freedom of the pyramid, but it can more easily be power gamed.

I've been working on a middle ground after getting the EPG. I've got notes regarding tossing careers completely and just have a ton of Role specs to choose from. Role specs have granted career skills and starting skill ranks since there are no careers to do this. Character race and past Role specs grant "related" Role specs allowing you to purchase them without a 10xp penalty to whatever they normally cost. No extra penalty for purchasing extra Role specs, they cost the same amount no matter how many you've already picked up. So, still freedom to venture off into something new, but still roles and trees to group things and thus more easily find and make a choice.

Thoughts?

Edited by Sturn

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16 hours ago, Sturn said:

I get that yes they require more work. But, I've seen players new to the game having trouble sorting through all the talents and trying to make a decision. I remember sorting through all of them trying to make groups to suggest to players what to take if say they want a berserker warrior vs. a protective warrior. Or simply selecting the best talents without thinking of something more cohesive for their character. I love the freedom of the pyramid, but it can more easily be power gamed.

I've been working on a middle ground after getting the EPG. I've got notes regarding tossing careers completely and just have a ton of Role specs to choose from. Role specs have granted career skills and starting skill ranks since there are no careers to do this. Character race and past Role specs grant "related" Role specs allowing you to purchase them without a 10xp penalty to whatever they normally cost. No extra penalty for purchasing extra Role specs, they cost the same amount no matter how many you've already picked up. So, still freedom to venture off into something new, but still roles and trees to group things and thus more easily find and make a choice.

Thoughts?

Do you have an example of what the related roles look like?

 

I like the sound of this. I've been tinkering minimally with putting together some careers and specializations, but haven't liked the career groupings, and had been hung up on that. Having stand alone spec trees with an XP discount for ones related to race or previous specialization could help break that logjam.

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On second thought, I could see reason to make talent trees if you're running for a group very much used to rigidly defined roles, such as those who come from playing d20 games.

 

By that I mean creating a version of barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, ranger, rogue, paladin, wizard, etc... For your Terrinoth/generic fantasy games.

 

Some of the talents are pretty set towards those roles as well, such as the berserk talent, or verse magic, backstab, animal companion, etc...

Edited by GroggyGolem

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8 hours ago, yeti1069 said:

Do you have an example of what the related roles look like?

I like the sound of this. I've been tinkering minimally with putting together some careers and specializations, but haven't liked the career groupings, and had been hung up on that. Having stand alone spec trees with an XP discount for ones related to race or previous specialization could help break that logjam.

Still in planning stage with notes, so if you mean a completed example, nope. My plans are a sheet with the role spec tree, list of career skills granted, cost to purchase the role, requirements to purchase the role, and any "related" roles (roles that are cheaper to buy into if you pick up this role first).

I'm back and forth on the cost for a role. It could be based on number of career skills granted if I don't go for a standard number of career skills per role. There are some mundane (not adventuring) roles I'm thinking of (see below) that I would want to make pretty cheap. I don't want characters to be punished much for delving into extra roles, but I don't want roles to be completely "free" since they will be granting new career skills and problems created with a player needing a folder of sheets to keep track of so many free roles he has delved into. So, making them cheap (especially for "related" roles) but not free seems to be the way to go.

Related roles will come potentially from race, other roles, and some other gimics* I'm adding. I'm not using a vanilla fantasy world, one of my own creation, but as an example if you picked up a Woodland Elf race, then the Hunter or Scout roles would be related. If you picked up the Bandit role first, then perhaps the Thief and Skirmisher roles will become related. I've also thought about having "elite" roles such as Knight, Ranger, Paladin, that have requirements to purchase, but that might be getting a little overboard and already covered by standard roles of Warrior, Scout, etc (perhaps adding a prestige ability instead once you complete a role tree?).

I want to add some mundane roles that won't hurt a character by delving into them. So, Craftsman, Trader, etc may be roles that are automatically related for any race. Thus, a Warrior might easily be able to pick up some smithing abilities without burning too much XP into them unless they really want to become a master smith too.

*Lifestyle talents and Age Groups, but I'll save that for a different thread so not to derail the spec tree topic here.

Edited by Sturn

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On 12/2/2019 at 9:23 AM, drainsmith said:

Here is a blank Specialization Tree doc. I might make a form fillable one in the future. Don't hold your breath though.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fwet1pu7gmqdj1e/SpecializationTree.pdf?dl=0

I was trying to enter text including dice symbols on the form fillable version, and ran into an issue. I'm not aware of a way to edit the text in a prepared sheet, so I was using the edit tool on Adobe to enter my own text, for which I have symbol font, but when I inserted my own text field in a talent box, the blue box color was overlaying the text:

 

image.png.fe048f5640254993c1a4cb8dfef9ea0a.png

 

Do you have a method for filling in the PDF and including dice symbols? I was thinking I would download the standard version of your sheet, but the link no longer works.

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Hmm...I printed the fillable to PDF which converted it so I can enter my own text without that issue...but the box in the lower right corner of each talent with "Page #" is getting in the way. Also, I just realized that for this method, I have to click on or off all of the connecting lines for the tree before printing to PDF so they save filled in (or not) for the next step.

If I had any experience creating my own PDFs I would do the edit job myself, but is there a possibility of presenting a version without those Page # boxes?

Also, I do really appreciate the work you did on this!

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