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Okidus

Base Stat increase vs. Skills/Talents

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 I've been on a bit of a hiatus, coming back to freshen up. I vaguely remember a conversation about how spending XP for the +5 to Base Stats is a waste in comparison to increasing the depth and breadth of skills and talents.

Anyone agree/disagree, or remember this conversation?

 

For example, spending XP on BS to increase from 55 -> 60 only gives you a marginal increase, where a skill could give a +10 or even 20.

 

Am I taking the crazy-chems?

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Okidus said:

 I've been on a bit of a hiatus, coming back to freshen up. I vaguely remember a conversation about how spending XP for the +5 to Base Stats is a waste in comparison to increasing the depth and breadth of skills and talents.

Anyone agree/disagree, or remember this conversation?

 

For example, spending XP on BS to increase from 55 -> 60 only gives you a marginal increase, where a skill could give a +10 or even 20.

 

Am I taking the crazy-chems?

The answer, I think, is "it depends."  It will change wildly based on what you are trying to accomplish for your character, and not all skills, talents, and stats are equal.  BS/WS are the ways you increase your chance to hit and thus do damage.  Adding to skills only helps with those skills.  Adding to Strength adds to damage and carry capacity, as well as a small number of skills.  Adding to toughness adds to your 'soak.'  Adding to willpower adds to your resistance to psy effects and increases your focus power roll (if you're a Libby).  Adding to fellowship adds to all fellowship based tests. 

What you're trying to do will make a pretty big impact to what is is you want to buy.

 

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Being meta... ultimately any XP spent on combat stuff is slightly moot, given that GMs set up fights to be as hard as they want them to be. Ultimately, every RPG is like running on a treadmill, because combats never really get 'easier' unless the GM wants them to! 20th level D&D characters seldom meet for orcs and a half-ogre!

Anyhow... that aside... yes, it is worth it, but more advances obviously give reduced returns. +5WS might be a small percentile increase for a melee character, but it's a dice roll that he will be making three times a round! Ultimately, 80%+ of the rolls an Assault Marine ever makes will be WS tests. So a 5% increase in those is worth vastly more than 10% or even 20% on anything else.

That said... I like a good spread of abilities, rather than just 'stacking' a character in one area.

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Siranui said:

Being meta... ultimately any XP spent on combat stuff is slightly moot, given that GMs set up fights to be as hard as they want them to be. Ultimately, every RPG is like running on a treadmill, because combats never really get 'easier' unless the GM wants them to! 20th level D&D characters seldom meet for orcs and a half-ogre!

Anyhow... that aside... yes, it is worth it, but more advances obviously give reduced returns. +5WS might be a small percentile increase for a melee character, but it's a dice roll that he will be making three times a round! Ultimately, 80%+ of the rolls an Assault Marine ever makes will be WS tests. So a 5% increase in those is worth vastly more than 10% or even 20% on anything else.

That said... I like a good spread of abilities, rather than just 'stacking' a character in one area.

 

You don't compete with the NPCs, Siranui, you compete against your team-mates, aka I don't need to outrun the monster behind us, I only need to outrun my party.

 

Alex

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DW characters tend to have good Characteristics all across, but are lacking in terms of Skills and Talents compared to characters from other 40k games. Considering Skills and Talents open up entire new venues of interacting with the game environment, it's usually reasonable to invest in them at the expense of Characteristics, at least until you find your character adequately competent in whatever fields you choose for him. Then, it's not a bad idea to buy several Characteristics advances, because specializing in a few fields tends to be better than trying to cover everything.

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ak-73 said:

You don't compete with the NPCs, Siranui, you compete against your team-mates, aka I don't need to outrun the monster behind us, I only need to outrun my party.

 

Ah... but arms races and auctions only work if everybody plays ball!

If the players *all* decide to ignore combat improvements, they are free to spend all their points elsewhere with no *real* loss of effectiveness. 

But... like *that* would ever happen!

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Siranui said:

ak-73 said:

 

You don't compete with the NPCs, Siranui, you compete against your team-mates, aka I don't need to outrun the monster behind us, I only need to outrun my party.

 

 

Ah... but arms races and auctions only work if everybody plays ball!

If the players *all* decide to ignore combat improvements, they are free to spend all their points elsewhere with no *real* loss of effectiveness. 

But... like *that* would ever happen!

 

True. They force thereby the GM to downgrade opposition where necessary. But that only works if the players have enough trust in the GM to do that. Where that trust is missing, the have to fear TPK or near-TPK.

 

Alex

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ak-73 said:

 

True. They force thereby the GM to downgrade opposition where necessary. But that only works if the players have enough trust in the GM to do that. Where that trust is missing, the have to fear TPK or near-TPK.

 

Alex

I find GMs (myself included) like to introduce bigger bad guys from time to time, and that seems to scare players into upping their game.  If they never fight anything more than the enemies in their first few adventures...

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ak-73 said:

Siranui said:

 

ak-73 said:

 

You don't compete with the NPCs, Siranui, you compete against your team-mates, aka I don't need to outrun the monster behind us, I only need to outrun my party.

 

 

Ah... but arms races and auctions only work if everybody plays ball!

If the players *all* decide to ignore combat improvements, they are free to spend all their points elsewhere with no *real* loss of effectiveness. 

But... like *that* would ever happen!

 

 

 

True. They force thereby the GM to downgrade opposition where necessary. But that only works if the players have enough trust in the GM to do that. Where that trust is missing, the have to fear TPK or near-TPK.

 

Alex

I don't subscribe to this school of GMing, at least not with Deathwatch where every PC starts out extremely combat-capable and can only get moreso as most of the things on the Advance Tables relate somehow to combat. I think that SMs who "neglect" their training in some ways by rights will be less-prepared and more likely to get hurt badly, but even an optimized group is going to have trouble against a lictor, a coordinated squad of CSMs, etc. I don't really care what my players buy (as long as the purchase is legit) but if they all somehow decide to focus on Perform and Lore and Trade, they're still getting sent on missions to slay xenos and those xenos aren't going to go any easier on them.

I don't mean that I don't try to create balanced encounters. Obviously I wouldn't pit a squad in scout armor against an operational Manta that was hunting them. I just mean that the 40k verse is deadly and if players want to play stupid against powerful enemies, I feel as if I do a disservice to them and the game if I fudge rolls or play smart enemies stupidly just to help them survive. They don't learn that way, and I think most players want to be challenged and have the risk of danger and death especially in combat-focused games like DW.

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