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Can someone please explain the appeal of aptitudes to me

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All I see is a system designed to encourage cookie cutter characters and actively discourage unique, interesting concepts.

 

I've never seen a need for aptitudes. I see nothing that makes them better than flat costed advances, honestly.

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A lot of people like (and need) some kind of cookie cutter.

 

Nothing wrong about that. They want some orientation and guideline.

 

And the aptitudes, roles, backgrounds and homeworlds help with that.

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The thing is anyone who wants to break out of the 'typical' character build suggested by their aptitudes is taxed pretty significantly for it; if you're buying advances outside of your optimal aptitude setup, you're paying far more, meaning you'll soon start to lag behind the rest of the party, assuming they're picking more optimal advances.

 

I think any system that can create that sort of void between PCs is a bad one, honestly.

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i agree that the current Aptitude System is very limiting to the characters. It worked in OW because every character was a slightly different flavor of the same concept but DH doesn't work that way and the system can't handle the diversity.

 

Maybe increasing the number of starting Aptitudes would solve the problem. Say, 10 Aptitudes instead of only 7.

Edited by AtoMaki
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Maybe this gets better if in future supplements further backgrounds, roles and homeworlds are included.

 

Then you are more free to build your aptitude combination of choice.

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Basically, the aptitude system is still a class-(career-, profession-)based system, with the bonus of being able to assemble your own class from prefabricated elements.

 

As for comparing it to a flat-costed open advancement, I'd wager the thinking goes a bit like this: if someone wants what you call a "unique, interesting character", chances are he doesn't care much about his "build" so much, and thus will be willing to pay a little extra. On the other hand, locking certain advancements behind higher exp costs will deter optimizers from grabbing all the best choices instantly, and at the end of the day, having a few cookie-cutter builds is better than having One Build To Rule Them All.

Vorzakk, Ghaundan, Soloman and 6 others like this

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Morangias pretty much nailed it.

 

I would just like to add that completely open systems abound out there, often mechanically superior to what the 40KRPGs ca become without being fundamentally re-written. And given the flexibilty of eg. GURPS it should be entirely possible to "build" a 40k setting in GURPS. It would would take a few hours/days with GURPS Vehicles and a spread sheet.

 

So why don't we?

 

I've already done most of that work, but I have my reasons. What are yours?

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I think thats mainly a question of your RPG philosophy.

 

I for myself dont like GURPS at all, and I think a certain framework doesnt harm.

 

I also think there is rarely a "mechanically superior" system in general. Its mainly a matter of taste.

 

There are, of course, some really mechanically bad ones out there - but 40k is none of them.

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At the end of the day, having a few cookie-cutter builds is better than having One Build To Rule Them All.

 

Uh... But we do have superior builds: Forge World/Outcast/Assassin(BS) and Hive World/Arbites(Defense)/Desperado. It just happens that the others are cookie-cutters and/or one-trick-ponies. 

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If the system has peaked and it's still performing inadequately, maybe we need to scrap it?

 

I seriously don't see the flaw in a flat costed advance scheme. So many other systems do it without issue.

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You do realize the characteristic and skill tables presented in the original beta was effectively a table of costs derived from assumed aptitudes, right? Talent costs were flat but Skills came roughly from implied aptitudes.

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You know I was about to say "Well at least it's better than the old Career Path system!" but now that I think about it, uh, yeah, why not just remove that entirely? Can't we just have a Shadowrun style system where you buy whatever you think your character needs for the same point cost as everyone else?

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As much as I like shadowrun, this wide scale of flexibility and freedom soon comes with a loss of identity.

 

A lot of players like to have a certain picture in their head for their character. And even more important - for their comrades characters.

 

I really prefer to remember, that Cyrus the Outcast Assassin and Luke, the Forgeworld Arbites Seeker are with me, than something too specific that only exists in the other players head (especially if he plays one of these so-so-deep-and-mysterious characters).

Edited by GauntZero
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Personally, I see no appeal to the aptitude system at all. It's overly complex, restrictive and doesn't add anything of merit to the game. However, it is still a marginal improvement over the godawful Career system of the Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch. I would prefer a completely open character advancement system. The Homeworld/Background/Role templates are useful for guiding character creation but I really don't like how Role defines character advancement.

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I agree that I prefer fully free systems. Many complain that this leads to cookie-cutter characters though.

 

However I find the aptitude system to be fairly simple and to be honest, if we must have classes/careers/roles/whatever, then aptitudes are a much better way of doing them than that godawful Career system of the Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch.

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A lot of players like to have a certain picture in their head for their character. And even more important - for their comrades characters.

 

I really prefer to remember, that Cyrus the Outcast Assassin and Luke, the Forgeworld Arbites Seeker are with me, than something too specific that only exists in the other players head (especially if he plays one of these so-so-deep-and-mysterious characters).

 

Does the Aptitude system really achieve that? It seems like you're identifying people by their background and roles rather than by their Aptitudes. The Aptitude system says "If you're playing an assassin, don't take too many not-assassin talents" but that's a good rule of thumb for any character build. It'd be quite disingenuous for a player to say "I'd like to make a psyker!" and then not raise willpower or learn any psychic powers. Why do we need a ruleset specifically to prevent that? Can't we have Backgrounds and Roles without Aptitudes?

 

Also, I'm really curious how freedom leads to identical characters? I mean, with flat rates, my Assassin is as likely to pick up hacking as a secondary gig (to fit the infiltration theme) as he is to pick up psychic powers (for a more mystical vibe) as he is to pick up investigation-related skills (for that hunter-of-prey vibe). With Aptitudes, I'm penalized for picking up any of them.

Edited by susanbrindle
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Also, I'm really curious how freedom leads to identical characters? I mean, with flat rates, my Assassin is as likely to pick up hacking as a secondary gig (to fit the infiltration theme) as he is to pick up psychic powers (for a more mystical vibe) as he is to pick up investigation-related skills (for that hunter-of-prey vibe). With Aptitudes, I'm penalized for picking up any of them.

 

 

I think the concern is if that all advances cost the same amount for everyone than everyone in the party will build beastly combat monsters and ruin the game.

 

It's not a criticism I see as realistic. FATE is built like this and definitely does not have this problem.

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I think the concern is if that all advances cost the same amount for everyone than everyone in the party will build beastly combat monsters and ruin the game.

 

It's not a criticism I see as realistic. FATE is built like this and definitely does not have this problem.

 

 

Me neither. I mean, if everyone wanted to play a combat master, they could! Make sure to get combat Aptitudes, and you're done.

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Me neither. I mean, if everyone wanted to play a combat master, they could! Make sure to get combat Aptitudes, and you're done.

Exactly.

It does seem to be a worry of FFG though.

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What was said about practically creating the career fit for your character (there will be powergamers and minimaxers in every system...), plus I love it for cutting down lot and lot and lot of advancement tables, which could be used for other stuff, and make even such crunch-heavy system as 40kRPG feel less like an accounting handbook.

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At the end of the day, having a few cookie-cutter builds is better than having One Build To Rule Them All.

 

Uh... But we do have superior builds: Forge World/Outcast/Assassin(BS) and Hive World/Arbites(Defense)/Desperado. It just happens that the others are cookie-cutters and/or one-trick-ponies. 

 

What makes those two superior? Are there no other sets of choices offering something desirable at lower cost?

 

It's expected that a powergamer will always find the closest semblance of a One True Build, and any method of advancement can be turned to such person's advantage with enough theorycrafting. Still, a system with inherent limitations at least pays lip service to the idea of not allowing munchkins free rein. Which may or may not be important to you or anyone in particular. Just showing the mechanism.

 

For those who want to get rid of aptitudes, it's exceedingly easy - just ignore the ones everyone should gain at character creation and assume everything anyone could possibly want to buy is priced as if he had one corresponding aptitude. It's generally way easier to houserule the aptitude system into a flat-cost system than it is to go the other way around and impose class-specific limitations on a system inherently built for freeform advancement.

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