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Gaining new specializations

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But it doesn't make someone with 300 XP given to them over the course of the campaign able to learn MORE than any other person who has 300 XP given to them over the course of the campaign.

 

In a system with career skills vs non-career skills, that cost different amounts of XP, one player who spends 300xp could very well have more talents and skills than someone else who spent 300xp.

Make two characters with my house rule with the same end goal and make the one who takes skills first gain more things with less experience. Until you do that, you haven't proven me wrong.

My assessment:

RAW: Order of purchase is important, specializations should always be purchased before skills within those specializations, unless you aren't going to ever take the specialization. A person who buys skills before specializations will progress slower than someone who buys specializations before skills.

My house rule: Order of purchase unimportant, but does not make a person who chooses to buy skills before specializations have the ability to progress FASTER than someone who buys specializations before skills.

This is what I mean by the discount not letting anyone progress faster than RAW. I'm saying someone who buys skills before specializations WILL NOT progress faster than someone who bought everything optimally.

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But it doesn't make someone with 300 XP given to them over the course of the campaign able to learn MORE than any other person who has 300 XP given to them over the course of the campaign.

 

 

In a system with career skills vs non-career skills, that cost different amounts of XP, one player who spends 300xp could very well have more talents and skills than someone else who spent 300xp.

 

 

Agreed. Like with any game, there is a certain amount of system mastery that will help avoid finding yourself in the same situation Admiral Akbar found himself...

 

There are cheaper, and therefore more expensive, ways to go about developing a character in this system.

 

For example, I started my PC as a Smuggler (Scoundrel). Now, before I begin investing in Astrogation, Gunnery or the 2 Pilot skills, I quickly snapped up the Pilot Spec for 20 XP. By the time I've picked up 4 ranks in any of those new skills, the initial investment in the second Spec will have paid for itself. And it will continue to pay me back over time.

 

If I had spent a bunch of XP buying ranks in those skills without bothering to take Pilot, I will have spent more to gain less (since I also don't have access to the nifty new talents either).

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You are failing debate 101 - not only can you not prove a negative (just like you can't prove God doesn't exist, for an example), but you are making the argument that a set of rules that works in the positive (it tells you what you can do) should instead state the negative (tell you what you can't do, and if it isn't mentioned, it means you can do it).

It is up to you to prove the rules state you can get a refund in XP, not their responsibility to prove it says it doesn't (and I've never known a set of rules to say you do get a refund for any reason).

So, where in the rules does it say you get a refund? Because unless it explicitly states you do get a refund, the rules as written would not support you getting a refund, ergo meaning you don't.

 

Not trying to prove a negative... just trying to get you guys to prove your point and you can't.

 

I just hate the idea of penalizing my players just because they chose to build their characters in the wrong order.

 

I like people to play in my game... and if you piss gamers off they tend to not want to play.

 

Characters tend to develop and mature over time and while I do have friends who plot out the life path of their character from beginning to end others like to see how their character develops and choose skills and talents appropriate to that growth... by having an Assassin Bounty Hunter suddenly realize he needs Gadgeteer after 5 or so game sessions is no reason to penalize him the 10 extra XP he spent on ranged (light) during either character creation or using XP earned during the previous sessions.

 

Now I can see your point, that giving the XP back could lead to meta playing and people purposefully min/maxing their characters XP expenditures to get the most benefit over time... but my players aren't like that and so I'm not worried about it... we got all the munchkins out of our group awhile ago and so we have a group of 6 role players that tend to create interesting characters with flaws and detailed backgrounds rather than super heroes...

Edited by Darth_Rapier

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Not trying to prove a negative... just trying to get you guys to prove your point and you can't.

The only thing in the rules are that you can Earn XP and Spend XP. There is no evidence that there is any other source of XP. Therefore, anything like what I'm writing is 100% a house rule.

As I said, the rules state that when you buy a specialization, those skills under it are NOW considered career skills. Now is not retroactive. If I say I'm going to go take the trash out now, my wife cannot then expect it to have been taken out yesterday.

EDIT: I really hate heterographs guys.

Edited by Emperor Norton

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You are failing debate 101 - not only can you not prove a negative (just like you can't prove God doesn't exist, for an example), but you are making the argument that a set of rules that works in the positive (it tells you what you can do) should instead state the negative (tell you what you can't do, and if it isn't mentioned, it means you can do it).

It is up to you to prove the rules state you can get a refund in XP, not their responsibility to prove it says it doesn't (and I've never known a set of rules to say you do get a refund for any reason).

So, where in the rules does it say you get a refund? Because unless it explicitly states you do get a refund, the rules as written would not support you getting a refund, ergo meaning you don't.

 

Not trying to prove a negative... just trying to get you guys to prove your point and you can't.

 

 

 

The book gives a step-by-step way of progressing.  In none of those steps does it say to refund points already spent if you buy into a specialization. The steps, as stated are:

 

-Buy non-career spec at X cost

-Skills associated with that spec are now career skills, subject to the same costs as career skills

-End

 

What is there to prove?  Those are the steps involved in obtaining specs.  Know what else it doesn't say?  To automatically obtain a free rank in every skill of a spec when you buy a spec.  Book doesn't state it, therefore, you can't prove you're not allowed to do it.

 

Note: I'm not arguing against the use of house rules.  I like house rules...but if we're discussing what the book is stating, then that's how it's stated.

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Note: I'm not arguing against the use of house rules.  I like house rules...but if we're discussing what the book is stating, then that's how it's stated.

Exactly, I mean, I'm in favor of house ruling it, as is obvious by my posts in this thread (though, for my games obviously, ymmv), but there is no question at all what the RAW is. Especially since all the stuff we are pointing out about the way the RAW is written is backed up by statements from the lead designer.

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Actually, my comment was based on your assertion that the end result doesn't change. That it doesn't change anything, not that it doesn't change nothing. If it helps your immersion to take a different route to the same result, more power to you. I just don't see any need for it. The process put forth in the core book works just fine.

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I can't believe people are arguing about this, EotE is  not a min/max game. People need to drop those bad habits from other games(d20) of trying to optimize their character's build. You're playing fringers who operate well outside of the law with shady contacts. This whole game is built on flawed, grey characters  :huh:

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I can't believe people are arguing about this, EotE is  not a min/max game. People need to drop those bad habits from other games(d20) of trying to optimize their character's build. You're playing fringers who operate well outside of the law with shady contacts. This whole game is built on flawed, grey characters  :huh:

If a group other than my own is getting enjoyment out of them game by doing something different than the way I would do it, then I would say that they are doing it the right way (for them). I save my judgement for what is and isn't the right way to play for the game I'm running, and even then I let things slide if they don't hurt the enjoyment of anyone else.

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I can't believe people are arguing about this, EotE is  not a min/max game. People need to drop those bad habits from other games(d20) of trying to optimize their character's build. You're playing fringers who operate well outside of the law with shady contacts. This whole game is built on flawed, grey characters  :huh:

But which rules inspire minmaxing? The RAW where optimal choice is always buy specializations first? Or the house rule where it doesn't matter either way.

Removing the "optimal choice" frees players to buy what feels right for their character, without contemplating whether they would be better served by buying a specialization first. It lets them cross that bridge when they want to, without worrying about it costing them later.

If the RAW works for you, great. If it doesn't bother anyone, great. But right now there is a VERY CLEAR optimal solution in the rules: If you are going to buy a specialization in the future, do not buy any non-career ranks in its skills until after you purchase it. And anyone with a brain can spot it. And telling people that they have to intentionally ignore something that is obviously going to make their characters less effective or they are min maxing is insulting, and idiotic.

It shows a blatant misunderstanding of min-maxing, and a hilariously arrogant and haughty perception of your own play.

I'm not saying that if you can ignore it, you are idiotic. If you are fine with it how it is, and you like the RAW as is, GOOD FOR YOU. But throwing insults and looking down on anyone who doesn't agree with you is childish and immature.

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I can't believe people are arguing about this, EotE is  not a min/max game. People need to drop those bad habits from other games(d20) of trying to optimize their character's build. You're playing fringers who operate well outside of the law with shady contacts. This whole game is built on flawed, grey characters  :huh:

But which rules inspire minmaxing? The RAW where optimal choice is always buy specializations first? Or the house rule where it doesn't matter either way.

Removing the "optimal choice" frees players to buy what feels right for their character, without contemplating whether they would be better served by buying a specialization first.

 

 

 

Yeah, the way I look at it is this --- "What purpose does the RAW currently serve?"   Honestly, I think it's just a artifact of FFG choosing a quasi-class based system.   Hind sight is 20-20 but it seems like EotE might have been better served with a classless system.

 

I completely agree with those that feel the system shouldn't penalize players for the order they choose skills / specialties.  It's not a huge deal in this system, but it is counter to the "feel free to grow your character organically.  don't worry about mechanics" mantra.

 

It's the job of a good system to back up the design philosophy and the way skill / specialty order currently works doesn't seem to do this. 

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I'd like to restate your initial assertion - see below.

The rules as written state that 'These skills now count as career skills for the character (although he does not gain any free advances in them, as he did with his first specialization) Page 93, 2nd paragraph under Acquiring New Specializations... and that's all I've found in the rules as written.

I happen to agree with Emperor Norton in all aspects expect one... it is not a discount... it is xp earned with blood sweat and tears and should be spendable by the player as they see fit...

If they have earned a total of 193xp over time then they should be able to spend 193xp... it's not game breaking in the slightest and there is ZERO tracking... Oh wait... here is the tracking... I buy a new spec, I look to see if any of the 4 skills are a) already not class skills, and b) have I bought any ranks in them... give 5 xp for every rank in them... problem solved.

Norton is running a house rule. That's fine for him. We may disagree on the end result how it applies to players but if that makes him and his players happy, so be it. You, on the other hand, are trying to justify this house rule by saying the rules don't say you can. That's a completely different animal and you're flat out wrong. Its not a disagreement of opinion - its a factual certainty.

 

Not trying to prove a negative... just trying to get you guys to prove your point and you can't.

First, by definition, you're trying to prove a negative. If you don't know what that means, admit it so we can move on. Saying you aren't is just ignorant.

So you want us to prove that the game says you DON'T get XP back for buying specializations in which you have already bought non-career skills. I'd like you to prove where it says you CAN. Because as I read it, it doesn't say that you can. Inherently, the book asserts that if it doesn't say that you CAN do something, then you can't. We don't need to prove that the book says you can't because it doesn't say you can.

 

I just hate the idea of penalizing my players just because they chose to build their characters in the wrong order.

 

I like people to play in my game... and if you piss gamers off they tend to not want to play.

How is it penalizing your players? They knowingly chose to buy those skills with the added tax. They had full information of what they were doing and they did it anyway. There's no penalty there. How does applying the rules as written "piss off" your gamers? If members of my group did that, I'd get a new group.

 

Characters tend to develop and mature over time and while I do have friends who plot out the life path of their character from beginning to end others like to see how their character develops and choose skills and talents appropriate to that growth... by having an Assassin Bounty Hunter suddenly realize he needs Gadgeteer after 5 or so game sessions is no reason to penalize him the 10 extra XP he spent on ranged (light) during either character creation or using XP earned during the previous sessions.

Again - its not a penalty. He chose to buy those skills. He knew he was paying extra. When the life of his character suddenly took a dramatic turn, that's how the game works. Its part of being in a growing and living game. If you let them plan it out to the nth degree and never throw a curve ball, where's the fun? Worse yet, you let them plan it out, throw a curve ball and then FORGIVE them for planning years in advance and not being prepared for the unknown? None of this is a penalty. Its the game. Its about exploring and adapting and, sometimes, making mistakes. It wasn't a mistake at the time and it doesn't cripple your character. Setbacks are a part of roleplaying and real life. We overcome them and move on. Don't give freebies because of it.

Edited by kelann08

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I can't believe people are arguing about this, EotE is  not a min/max game. People need to drop those bad habits from other games(d20) of trying to optimize their character's build. You're playing fringers who operate well outside of the law with shady contacts. This whole game is built on flawed, grey characters  :huh:

If a group other than my own is getting enjoyment out of them game by doing something different than the way I would do it, then I would say that they are doing it the right way (for them). I save my judgement for what is and isn't the right way to play for the game I'm running, and even then I let things slide if they don't hurt the enjoyment of anyone else.

 

This has nothing to do with how other groups play. I am talking about the people here arguing semantics over how the rule is written. Or that not allowing refunds is punishing players. 

 

Honestly if your players are that hung up on 5 whole xp per rank, then just write a side quest for them to do next mission, a combat encounter, anything simple. Bam, there is some xp for them!

 

This whole trying to game the system by saying when talking about rule X, it doesn't specifically mention you can't do Y, therefore Y is legal, is just people trying to power game and squeeze every ounce into their character. You aren't supposed to be a master at every skill, this is why you are in a group and each player fills in area's that are lacking.

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This whole trying to game the system by saying when talking about rule X, it doesn't specifically mention you can't do Y, therefore Y is legal, is just people trying to power game and squeeze every ounce into their character. You aren't supposed to be a master at every skill, this is why you are in a group and each player fills in area's that are lacking.

Ah, I retract my outrage then. As I agree that its absolute insanity to think the RAW is anything other than what it is.

I just don't have a preference for what it is, and have no problem house ruling it for my own games.

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One question I have is about buying Specs outside your career. We've talked a lot about buying skills, but when you buy a new spec and it is not in your career it cost ten more points. So if you are, say, a bounty hunter assassin starting out but then take the spec pilot and then scoundrel (two specs from smuggler) are you being penalized then because you didn't take smuggler as your career and just pick up assassin later, which would have saved you 20 exp? I ask this because I see it as much the same as career skills. I guy on youtube has a great video about playing a character, not a gimmick, and in it he talks about players planning out what they want to do and uses the example of a dwarf defender.

 

 

If you plan to pick up (bounty hunter) assassin after having started as a colonist doctor, why? Is it just to get cool talents and have access to some skills? If you choose to go into a spec then it should be because you want to become that (aka have that be a part of you, who you are) and have it impact your character, not because I want x or y skill cheaper or I want this or that talent. Not because, “look at the skills that weren’t career skills, I want that 20 exp back I’ll become an assassin now.” It should be because I want to become an assassin, and if I take a hit on exp, so be it, that’s become part of me.

Edited by TCBC Freak

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I think you have it a bit wrong.

You aren't buying it because you want to become an assassin. Assassin is just a tag stuck on a grouping of talents and skills. You are buying it because you think that grouping of talents and skills matches what your character should be.

Otherwise you are saying no one can take Pilot unless they plan on being a smuggler. They can't take survivalist unless they plan on being a Bounty Hunter.

All of the groupings names are just there to have something to call it. A Bounty Hunter-Survivalist isn't necessarily a bounty hunter. I made a character using that and the reason I did was because it matched what he was better than any other grouping of skills and talents. He isn't a bounty hunter. He's never taken a bounty in his life.

You should take it because the capabilities of that grouping match what you think your character is, not because of the tag on it.

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Yes, Norton has the right of it.  Apart from incidents and circumstances introduced by the GM, the player has sole authority over the fiction of his character.  Game mechanics can approximate PC personality, but never equal it.  Right, wrong or indifferent, the XP tax in the RAW is for niche protection, but you can go too far trying to rationalize that mechanic into the fiction.

Edited by Lorne

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I think you have it a bit wrong.

You aren't buying it because you want to become an assassin. Assassin is just a tag stuck on a grouping of talents and skills. You are buying it because you think that grouping of talents and skills matches what your character should be.

Otherwise you are saying no one can take Pilot unless they plan on being a smuggler. They can't take survivalist unless they plan on being a Bounty Hunter.

All of the groupings names are just there to have something to call it. A Bounty Hunter-Survivalist isn't necessarily a bounty hunter. I made a character using that and the reason I did was because it matched what he was better than any other grouping of skills and talents. He isn't a bounty hunter. He's never taken a bounty in his life.

You should take it because the capabilities of that grouping match what you think your character is, not because of the tag on it.

I disagree, a class name is not some useless tag, it is a representation of the type of character, and the associated skills. It is there to inspire the player when fleshing out who his character is, what his motivations, personality, etc.

 

This is why creating a character concept is the first step in character creation, it is a Role Playing Game, something many people neglect, in their focus to "optimize" their character.

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In EotE, uh yeah. Otherwise they wouldn't be operating in the lawless region of criminals known as the Outer Rim.

 

All throughout the book it reinforces the concept that you are playing shady characters who have/ or are forced to deal with criminals and shady contacts.

Edited by ramza82

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Nope, and I don't know how you even came to that conclusion. 

 

Yes, chances are if you are a pilot working in the outer rim, you have at some point smuggled or flew escort for a smuggler. Now no where does that say you are limited to smuggling and smuggling only. 

 

 

And yes, you are buying class because that is how you want to play. You wouldn't choose Politico if you wanted to be hard as nails, solider of fortune type. You'd choose a Hired Gun specialization.

You aren't buying it because you want to become an assassin. Assassin is just a tag stuck on a grouping of talents and skills.

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You are the one that said the names of careers and specializations have meaning in and of themselves.

They don't. The capabilities of the talents and skills in them have meaning, but the career and specialization NAMES don't.

If those talents fit who your character is, take it. I think you and I aren't arguing anything different, I just feel you have a hangup on the NAMES of the careers and specializations.

What if I play a starfighter pilot who hired himself out to pirates to take down ships. I can't pick Smuggler-Pilot to start with because I've never been a smuggler? Even though the capabilities of that combination best depict how I perceive my character's abilities?

I want to make a big game hunter on the outer rim. I look through and find Survivalist matches his capabilities best. Oops, can't take that first because he's never been a bounty hunter!

And let's jump back to that Assassin specialization. What if I pick it up because my character is a skilled sniper? Is that not allowed? Or does he have to kill people for money to take it?

The NAMES have no meaning, only the capabilities.

Edited by Emperor Norton

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The cost of non-career specializations doesn't have much to do with the house rule being discussed here. Since you can't buy another career, there's absolutely no imbalance between characters who buy non-career specializations, and no purchase-order effect. Apples and oranges.

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Norton has presented some interesting analysis, especially from a mathematical standpoint.   "refunding" previously spent xp, or "discounting" a new spec are mathematically equivalent.  So, view it however it makes sense to you (he makes a point about if you learn piloting as a non-career skill, it might make jumping into a new career easier, hence the spec discount.  It certainly makes narrative sense).

 

 

And other than cases where Humans get to pick two non-career skills (or other similar situations), there's no extra tracking.  Even in that specific case, just put a tick mark on your character sheet next to the skill and don't consider those two skills in future calculations.  It's really just a mathematically more complex formula, which CAN be done easily with a spreadsheet or a willingness to do some arithmetic.

 

But what the house rule does away with is the Risk-Reward aspect.  There is literally no risk into buying a non-career skill early because it can be made the same price as buying the spec first, if you really want the spec.  That is kind of the core of the mechanic in the first place.  Do I pay more for immediate benefit now, or lack the skill and buy it cheaper later?

 

I mean, that's kind of the point, imo, otherwise the book wouldn't have made a difference between the two.  Sure, under the house rule, two people can end up at the exact same place if they buy things in a different order, but there's no Risk to that.  Do you risk being "behind" someone else without the house rule?  Sure, absolutely.  But I think this game does a good job of making sure that doesn't matter that much.  If players are really into min-maxing, then maybe they'll get frustrated without a house rule of this sort, I dunno.  I'm not that type of player at all, so I won't give much of an argument against it, because I don't know what it's like.

 

Also, becuase there's no level cap, you can just keep playing as much as you want and every player can be exactly where he wants to be given enough time.

 

 

I think you have it a bit wrong.

You aren't buying it because you want to become an assassin. Assassin is just a tag stuck on a grouping of talents and skills. You are buying it because you think that grouping of talents and skills matches what your character should be.

Otherwise you are saying no one can take Pilot unless they plan on being a smuggler. They can't take survivalist unless they plan on being a Bounty Hunter.

All of the groupings names are just there to have something to call it. A Bounty Hunter-Survivalist isn't necessarily a bounty hunter. I made a character using that and the reason I did was because it matched what he was better than any other grouping of skills and talents. He isn't a bounty hunter. He's never taken a bounty in his life.

You should take it because the capabilities of that grouping match what you think your character is, not because of the tag on it.

 

Agreed. 

 

 

I disagree, a class name is not some useless tag, it is a representation of the type of character, and the associated skills. It is there to inspire the player when fleshing out who his character is, what his motivations, personality, etc.

 

This is why creating a character concept is the first step in character creation, it is a Role Playing Game, something many people neglect, in their focus to "optimize" their character.

 

 

Disagree.  If you pick a character concept FIRST, then you are deciding what he is without consideration to what skills are in what Career.  If I want a guy good at flying, shooting, and negotiating, or whatever...then maybe the Bounty Hunter Career is the best choice for me because of the skills involved...and not because I want him to ACTUALLY be a bounty hunter. 

 

If a group prefers to pick the Career based on what the most logical job is for him from a narrative perspective, i can't really argue that either, but because there are only a finite list of Careers, but an infinite number of character concepts, sometimes the Careers don't necessarily match exactly what you envision a character to be.

 

Edited by Rookhelm

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