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DylanRPG

FFG Star Wars RPG: Streamlined into 18 Career Trees

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26 minutes ago, DylanRPG said:

Is Reflect considered more powerful / useful than Parry because ranged attacks are more often encountered?

Not exactly, but I think Parry is more common in general. However, in the Consular career (just checked), Reflect is slightly more common. Ideally, they would be equally accessible, but there isn't a good way to do that without radically altering the tree (which I think is unnecessary).

Regardless, for the change I suggested it would probably be better to swap Sum Djem and Center of Being before applying those changes (Sum Djem still being the one replaced) so that you don't make it significantly harder to get one or the other.

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I like the idea of simplify the careers and specialization. I think all of the options can be a lot to new players, and a lot of specializations from careers do not get much play. Due to the talent trees. 

For looking through here are the topics I would look at.

Adjusting talents to scale with the loss of ranked talents. With out ranks some talents will quickly be under powered by staying at the base level. If the abilities or inflated they may need to be move further down the talent tree.

The amount of talents for a career,  I know or keeps it looking nice with a 4x5 tree. But think it should be expanded to at least a 6x5 or maybe 8x5 talent tree.  This would allow player to focus more on the aspects they like in the tree and help slow down progression of finishing a career tree. 

Careers skills - I didn't see it mention but increasing the number of career skills given at creation to compensate for missing specialization skills. (In general I think starting characters should have more starting skills)

 

That is all I have for now but will keep an eye on this as it intrigues me.  I love the game as it is but all things can be improved. Good luck on your project and hopefully it helps keep you busy during these times. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks damnkid3, that's really encouraging to hear!

After all I think I'm open to expanding the size of each Talent Tree a bit. Maybe that's a better solution after all than slowing XP progression. 

Talents which were formally Ranked are being beefed up in power, and you will end up with the same amount of Career Skills as before. (You'll have Career Skills = to the # you would normally be granted by Career + Spec).

Edited by DylanRPG

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For the same talent on multiple trees are you going to allow players to skip over them like current non-ranked talents?  If so that will also speed up going through another talent tree. Since a lot of the basic will be on their 1st tree like grit, toughed, parry or reflect. 

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There are several problems with condensing all of a career’s specializations into a single “career tree”, some of which have already been covered. Part of it is that you assume that a player is going to stick with a single specialization until the end. Even with a short campaign, this is highly unlikely, if not almost impossible. The careers and specs aren’t designed that way. Even if you cap out at 300 XP, it is more likely that a player will want to diversify his character by dipping into multiple specs. For instance, most of my characters have at least two or three different specializations going at the same time, if not more, and no single tree is completely maxed out. In fact, Most of them have multiple out of career specializations. Not only does your proposal make all characters with the same career virtually identical in the long run,  but it also limits their growth potential by limiting their options for diversification. The point of the careers is to provide a base concept or framework upon which to build and expand from. The different in career and out of career specializations are there to give the players a means to make their individual characters unique. Your proposal makes this impossible

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I can see this sort of working under the strict limitations of characters starting with nothing beyond starting XP, in very short, low-level campaigns that won't yield much more than 300 XP before it's time to retire the character.

I'm not seeing this working in something a bit more epic where everybody starts out with 500 or however much XP.

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As I design NPCs with the trees this intrigues me as it simplifies things without the NPC options being wanting. 

Curious to see how this ends up.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2020 at 5:52 PM, Tramp Graphics said:

There are several problems with condensing all of a career’s specializations into a single “career tree”, some of which have already been covered. Part of it is that you assume that a player is going to stick with a single specialization until the end. Even with a short campaign, this is highly unlikely, if not almost impossible. The careers and specs aren’t designed that way. Even if you cap out at 300 XP, it is more likely that a player will want to diversify his character by dipping into multiple specs. For instance, most of my characters have at least two or three different specializations going at the same time, if not more, and no single tree is completely maxed out. In fact, Most of them have multiple out of career specializations. Not only does your proposal make all characters with the same career virtually identical in the long run,  but it also limits their growth potential by limiting their options for diversification. The point of the careers is to provide a base concept or framework upon which to build and expand from. The different in career and out of career specializations are there to give the players a means to make their individual characters unique. Your proposal makes this impossible

With respect I feel like some of these outright declarations of impossibility lack imagination. Though it is helpful to hear.

Broadly speaking any kind of approach can work and nothing is off the table.

What you describe as problems are challenges. They can be overcome through design, or a shift in philosophy. 

It's important to note what I'm proposing in essence becomes a "what-if?" Star Wars RPG. It would be essentially a different game (more so than Force and Destiny or Age of Rebellion and Edge of the Empire are different from each other).

This would not be compatible with the rules as is. If finished it would be a PDF that people could download and choose to try out and play. So you'd have this group of friends sitting around the table (physical or virtual) and they're playing this different version of the game that a fan made.

It's not meant to be played at your local game shop as part of an organized thing. You're not going to show up to play with strangers with your 1 career talent tree character. 

So let's talk about characters that end up not being unique when they pick the same career.

There's design ways to fix this which would further alter the game, playing around with how a character gains XP or "levels up".  And this is not just about capping XP or slowing it's aquisition, but also about fundamentally changing the XP system or replacing it. Adding in Talents vertically into a single tree (like in an expansion), and also considering Signature Abilities are other less drastic ways to overcome that challenge. 

But let's look at philosophy, because that's much simpler.

Here's the simple solution: don't do that.

Don't pick the same Career. 

You've decided to play a game of Star Wars RPG with your friends and you're using my rules, and you let your players know "there's 18 different careers, and in this version there's no specialization trees, so it's important everybody chooses a different Career to start with."

There are successful RPGs out there with less variety and less Classes which recommend this method ("every player chooses a different class "). I think World of Dungeons is one? I can't remember the name of the game that is springing to mind. 

There are also successful RPGs out there with less variety and less Classes which recommend retiring your character after a certain point when they have gained enough power - turning them into a mentor or passing down some of what they've gained to a new character. The One Ring does this, for example. 

And those options are on the table. 

With  a whopping 18 choices, and however many Species to boot, I think the idea that everyone playing the game together should choose a different Career is entirely reasonable. 

I think you're so used to however-many-Talent-trees are in this game (90?) that taking so many away only feels like a big downgrade. And again, if it feels that way, don't download my version when/if I offer it up. That's really fine. If how the game is currently seems like something you don't want to change, then my version won't be for you. But I don't think you're considering the many possibilities out there for altering the rules and the way the game is played to accommodate the change. 

It is certainly helpful though to learn and have it affirmed that this is a challenge that arises, and that it needs to be addressed, and I appreciate that.

Also "out of career" specializations are still possible and it's not assumed that the player will stick with just one Tree. They can take another Career under this idea. There's no specializations anymore so the terminology is different. But a Colonist can become a Guardian, etc. 

On 5/19/2020 at 6:05 PM, micheldebruyn said:

I can see this sort of working under the strict limitations of characters starting with nothing beyond starting XP, in very short, low-level campaigns that won't yield much more than 300 XP before it's time to retire the character.

I'm not seeing this working in something a bit more epic where everybody starts out with 500 or however much XP.

 

I would not recommend that characters start out with 500 XP when using these rules.

 

15 hours ago, Luahk said:

As I design NPCs with the trees this intrigues me as it simplifies things without the NPC options being wanting. 

Curious to see how this ends up.

That's interesting to consider other applications of this that people would find useful.

 

10 hours ago, The Grand Falloon said:

As someone who's written and thrown out about a thousand houserules, you have the right attitude! 

Thanks! I try to approach my projects for their own sake (and with what I would have fun with) in mind. :)

Edited by DylanRPG

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Posted (edited)
On 5/18/2020 at 5:23 PM, damnkid3 said:

For the same talent on multiple trees are you going to allow players to skip over them like current non-ranked talents?  If so that will also speed up going through another talent tree. Since a lot of the basic will be on their 1st tree like grit, toughed, parry or reflect. 

I haven't thought about this yet. Thanks for bringing it up. 

One thing I may look at doing is making every Career Tree unique in it's selection of Talents, and then creating a universal spec tree with the common talents ... Although that would require much more work on my part in various ways.

Another idea floating around in my head (which I'm leaning more towards) is to have specific cross-Career Talents that can be "dragged and dropped" into a Tree specifically when a Talent you already have is encountered.

That is to say, a Smuggler who becomes an Ace Pilot and comes across the Tenacity Talent (which is my version of Grit + Toughened), can instead choose to take a stand-by Talent from a list which can only be acquired in this type of situation. 

I'll think about it 

 

Edited: Option C

1. Every Career Tree consists of unique Talents. May require designing new ones. 

2. Universal Talents exist. They're not a part of any Tree but they do have XP costs (5, 10, 15, 20, 25). 

3. Instead of picking a Talent from your tree, you can choose to take a Universal Talent so long as you have the XP.

Edited by DylanRPG

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Posted (edited)

Another idea ocurred to me, about Ranked Talents. 

Currently my solution to Ranked Talents has been to alter them so that they are Unranked and also buffed up, to a degree depending on where I put them in the Talent Tree. 

But here's an alternative idea. 

1. There are still Ranked Talents and they start out the same as they currently do in the RAW 

2. Ranked Talents do not appear more than once in a single Tree. 

3. If you have acquired a Ranked Talent, instead of choosing a new Talent, you always have the option of "Leveling Up" the Ranked Talent you have.

4. In order to Level Up a Talent, spend a number of XP = XP cost of the rank preceding it multipled by 2. So a Talent you purchased for 5 XP will cost 10 XP to rank up, and then 20. 

For example, you've acquired Grit for 5 XP. You can go ahead and choose Black Market Contacts for 5 XP if you want. Or you can Level Up Grit to Rank 2 for 10 XP. You don't move along the Tree to get the next Rank. Instead you spend more XP in the same spot.

This system keeps the Talent Tree at the same size (visually) to the trees in the RAW, but retains Ranked Talents and takes longer to get through than a single Talent Tree does in the RAW.

With a system like this, Dedication can be Ranked. 

It costs 25 XP to take Dedication Rank 1, which improves a single Characteristics by 1. It will cost 50 XP to take Dedication Rank 2, improving a second Characteristic by 1. 

 

Edited by DylanRPG

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1 hour ago, DylanRPG said:

I haven't thought about this yet. Thanks for bringing it up. 

One thing I may look at doing is making every Career Tree unique in it's selection of Talents, and then creating a universal spec tree with the common talents ... Although that would require much more work on my part in various ways.

Another idea floating around in my head (which I'm leaning more towards) is to have specific cross-Career Talents that can be "dragged and dropped" into a Tree specifically when a Talent you already have is encountered.

That is to say, a Smuggler who becomes an Ace Pilot and comes across the Tenacity Talent (which is my version of Grit + Toughened), can instead choose to take a stand-by Talent from a list which can only be acquired in this type of situation. 

I'll think about it 

 

Edited: Option C

1. Every Career Tree consists of unique Talents. May require designing new ones. 

2. Universal Talents exist. They're not a part of any Tree but they do have XP costs (5, 10, 15, 20, 25). 

3. Instead of picking a Talent from your tree, you can choose to take a Universal Talent so long as you have the XP.

No, it’s not a challenge. It’s a roadblock. The reason for expanding into multiple specializations is to gain access to talents and career skills that aren’t available to your current tree, thus creating a more well-rounded character rather than an essentially “one trick pony”. Min-maxed characters are all well and good, but many players like to play characters with more versatility. Your system prohibits that type of character development. It means everyone with the same career will ultimately have all the same talents, and most, if not all, the same skills. It will create “cookie cutter” characters. The whole point of the RAW system is to allow players to create fully unique characters within a general framework.

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1 hour ago, Tramp Graphics said:

No, it’s not a challenge. It’s a roadblock. The reason for expanding into multiple specializations is to gain access to talents and career skills that aren’t available to your current tree, thus creating a more well-rounded character rather than an essentially “one trick pony”. Min-maxed characters are all well and good, but many players like to play characters with more versatility. Your system prohibits that type of character development. It means everyone with the same career will ultimately have all the same talents, and most, if not all, the same skills. It will create “cookie cutter” characters. The whole point of the RAW system is to allow players to create fully unique characters within a general framework.

☝️

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It'd never work at our table. My character doesn't feel done until we're something in the neighborhood of 900-1500 points. I guess if you're playing a one shot or something to teach new people - but then you'd be better off with the beginner sets. Also, it's fine if you want a table full of one-trick ponies, but my princess turned businessman turned jedi or my smuggler/gambler/general or my technician turned pilot would never work with your system. In my long gaming career, I can only think of one character that would fit comfortably under one career, and even I'm working my way up the Padawan->Knight->Master track.

So it's fine I guess for you, but I'm not a fan.

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