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Proposed New Stage in Character Creation

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With the reboot, there's a lot of discussion about what to keep. Most seem to be in favor of the new character creation system, with the multiple stages, though with some revision so as not to make characters so similar.

 

I like that system quite a lot, but I see within it a chance to fix one of my most niggling issues with Dark Heresy: "why were you recruited?"

 

As presented, DH had your cell as little more than a group of bumbling rookies in their fields working for the most secret organization in the Imperium of Man, for what seemed like very little reason. This was somewhat fixed with Background Packages, but I believe such a thing should be incorporated into character creation.

 

This is not to boost the power level, but simply give explanation. You would still be a lowly Administratum scribe or a rookie to the Guard, but you would be the scribe that stumbled across some critical error in the manifestos - one of a cult siphoning off war materiel - or the only recruit in your squad to have survived a massacre that really should've killed you.

 

Thoughts?

Kiton2 and yggZ like this

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If we have another stage I would like to see ether a build stage so you can have a sneeky Death Worlder or a dumb mussel Void Born, something like the background packages from DH1 or some other optinal step.

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I doubt something like background packages will be added - they were pretty messy and suffered from massive balance issues in 1e. I don't think we need another step in the character creation process either. Instead, FFG should focus on balancing what they've got, and adding in either/or options to the current skills/talents granted, making those choices more interesting. If you want to explain how your character came to be in the Inquisition, that's something you can always detail in your character bio.

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I was going to ask this as a required question for character creation. Why did the Inquisitor recruit you? 

 

If we were going to make this a step of character creation, how would we reflect it mechanically? For example, your "why" --> bonus, e.g., "you found something important the Inquisitor needed" = Lore + xxx

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I think instead of a 4th step to add character diversity, we could simply go back to the A or B choices of the other games. The only problem I could see is that skills and talents come from your Background while their costs come from your Role, so you'd have the problem where choices are a cheap option vs an expensive one. 

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Not to mention the fact that in the last iteration of the beta you could have starting characters with up to 800xp differences in starting talents and skills...

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would this be a mechanical thing with rules adjoined? 

 

Having a pre-fabricated table for the Acolytes to be a part of a cell is a cool idea, but it shouldn't have any tangible effects in my opinion. Otherwise, I'd agree it'd be useful for quick-gens. 

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AN additional step regarding the Motivation to join the Inquisition would be great. SImilar to the Motivations in RT.

 

Do you do it for the money ?

 

For faith and duty ?

 

For glory and honor ?

 

Maybe because you are forced to ?

 

Would add a really interesting layer to the character.

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I'm all for tweaking the process of character generation. As it stands, it's not really living up to it's inherent potential, as Backgrounds appear to shoehorn characters about as much as Careers Paths did, except you get to fiddle with the costs of future experience spendings separately.

 

However, I don't like either "motivation" or "why you were chosen" as the extra mechanically defined step, as either of those would sacrifice the flexibility in defining what actually makes an acolyte. To explain: in some games I've played/run, players were asked by the GM to come up with something that got them the attention of an Inquisitor. In others, the reason for the Inquisition to call upon them was never explained, and sometimes even ended up as something of an ongoing mystery. In others yet, it was actually a major plot point, as the Inquisitor chose those particular Acolytes for very specific (and often nepharious) purposes. Whatever option was used, it did affect the feel of the game significantly, and helped reinforce the idea that the Inquisition is as diverse as it is mysterious. I feel that turning it into a rules-enforced choice would put a straitjacket on the number of stories that can be told about this aspect of Acolyte life.

cps likes this

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I'm all for tweaking the process of character generation. As it stands, it's not really living up to it's inherent potential, as Backgrounds appear to shoehorn characters about as much as Careers Paths did, except you get to fiddle with the costs of future experience spendings separately.

 

However, I don't like either "motivation" or "why you were chosen" as the extra mechanically defined step, as either of those would sacrifice the flexibility in defining what actually makes an acolyte. To explain: in some games I've played/run, players were asked by the GM to come up with something that got them the attention of an Inquisitor. In others, the reason for the Inquisition to call upon them was never explained, and sometimes even ended up as something of an ongoing mystery. In others yet, it was actually a major plot point, as the Inquisitor chose those particular Acolytes for very specific (and often nepharious) purposes. Whatever option was used, it did affect the feel of the game significantly, and helped reinforce the idea that the Inquisition is as diverse as it is mysterious. I feel that turning it into a rules-enforced choice would put a straitjacket on the number of stories that can be told about this aspect of Acolyte life.

 

I agree. As much as the Rogue Trader character creation system is lauded, I have found it limiting at times, in that I have an idea for a character that doesn't fit into the options presented and so instead have to settle for something else.

 

The 2e Roles choice is perhaps the best part of the new character creation process, as it's almost entirely up to the player exactly what "Seeker" or "Mystic" entails for their particular character. (On a side note - this is why I don't think Sanctioned should be tied to Mystic, it constrains the role.)

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Background defines your character way too much, leading to two characters from the same background being near identical.

This. I initially thought the problem only applies to the AAT background due to Sanctioning, but that's only because I failed at reading comprehension and AAT was the only thing that caught my eye back then.

 

As it stands, all Backgrounds shoehorn people into pretty much the same character concepts 1e careers did:

 

Arbites - you're a shotgun-wielding "field agent"

AdMech - you're a Tech-Priest (admittedly this one may be less offensive than some due to AdMech being 99% tech-priests anyway)

Administratum - you're a wise guy, and that's pretty much it.

AAT - you're a psyker, except you still have to choose another option to really be one.

Ministorum - you're a priest, 'nuff said.

IG - you're the bog-standard, foot-slogging, cannon-fodder conscript

Outcast - you're... actually more of a gang enforcer than the quite social Scum of 1e, but still pretty limited.

 

Then, you pick your role, which does almost nothing at this stage of character creation (there's simply too little exp, considering new costs, for the role to really make much of a difference), and thus you're left with a very standard character with maybe a minor twist due to buying one atypical skill thanks to the Role.

 

I think more mechanical weight should be tied to the role to facilitate more diverse takes on the background.

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So step 1 is to have some x or y choices in the backgrounds. Is step 2 more xp? If OW like aptitudes are coming in then you could say each role has x number of aptitudes and must inclued whatever, you may then pick your remaining aptitudes from those options listed for your home world background and role.

Is it worth droping stats back to 20+2d10 to balance the xp?

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I really hope they don't bring back Aptitudes and just stick with the cost by Role table. They're a nice idea, but figuring out what each advance costs is a pain.

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I actually prefer Aptitudes to the new cost table. They allow for more nuance, and the table strikes me as a very inelegant solution.

 

Back when I was resigned to not caring about 2e ever again, I was pondering stealing the character creation scheme and slapping Aptitudes on it in the following manner:

 

Home World - two Aptitudes, Characteristic only;

Background - two Aptitudes, non-Characteristic;

Role - three Aptitudes, whichever fit best.

 

As usual, repeated Aptitudes would be converted into Characteristic Aptitudes of player choice.

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I actually prefer Aptitudes to the new cost table. They allow for more nuance, and the table strikes me as a very inelegant solution.

 

Back when I was resigned to not caring about 2e ever again, I was pondering stealing the character creation scheme and slapping Aptitudes on it in the following manner:

 

Home World - two Aptitudes, Characteristic only;

Background - two Aptitudes, non-Characteristic;

Role - three Aptitudes, whichever fit best.

 

As usual, repeated Aptitudes would be converted into Characteristic Aptitudes of player choice.

If FFG put together a spreadsheet you could use to input your Aptitudes and spit out a printable table of advance costs I would be totally on board with this. As OW stands now we have to flip back and forth from the rulebook and our character sheets to figure out the proper cost of whatever and it's kind of cumbersome.

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I know I've banged on this multiple times, but the current system causes differentials in starting character xp totals. Given that starting skills and talents are a different choice than how much those skills are worth, you can wind up with one character starting with 800xp worth of skills more than another character. In addition, if you place some values down on the starting equipment and even average skill costs, you still get unbalanced xp levels for the various roles. That and the fate point differential among homeworlds is no longer balanced by having additional skills or penalties or what-have-you due to them being slimmed down. I'm aware that a lot of these differences are subtle in nature and unlikely to lead to players attempting to manipulate them, but these same fact means that GMs and players are unlikely to catch when the imbalances lead to impacts on gameplay.

 

For the life of me, I have never understood why any game would introduce a character creation system that runs on different numbers than character advancement, or why any game with a class system wouldn't bother to balance them. The former is a big problem  for Shadowrun and World of Darkness, and the latter is a problem with most of the D&D clones.

 

It's honestly not that hard to actually balance things, especially considering the system that FFG is using for the beta. Have players choose a background first that dictates xp costs. Then have them choose a role that lets them by X xp of skills and talents, possibly from a list. Is this more complicated? Yes, a little, but players are going to be using the xp system eventually anyway, and if FFG decides that it's too complicated to have players use it during character generation, then it's probably too complicated to use in regular play as well.

MaliciousOnion likes this

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