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Tom Cruise

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.

 

If you get lore skills cheaper than the rest of the players, then lore skills becomes your thing. If everyone gets it for the same price then the assassin can suddenly turn into a super scholar next week. Background choices looses their meaning.

 

What I think you might be worried about is not enough freedom to choose your aptitude as you like? Any experienced GM with enough lore knowledge should be able to tweak aptitudes on character creation, so their players can get the background they want without breaking the lore. For a new GM it is nice with some rules that tries to guide them along. And as mentioned, hopefully with more background material released the variety of choices will increase.

Edited by Alox

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One of my fundamental issues with the aptitude system is how it can create huge power gaps between PCs at the same XP level, so no, I want the aptitude system nuked entirely, not opened up a little more.

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One of my fundamental issues with the aptitude system is how it can create huge power gaps between PCs at the same XP level, so no, I want the aptitude system nuked entirely, not opened up a little more.

Not in my experience, unless your game is very focussed.

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One of my fundamental issues with the aptitude system is how it can create huge power gaps between PCs at the same XP level, so no, I want the aptitude system nuked entirely, not opened up a little more.

 

As soon as you move away from the old D&D style cookie-cutter characters going on cookie-cutter adventures, you will have so-called "power gaps" between PCs of the same XP level. It is, however, very dependent on how you define "power."

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A character who spends all his XP on things within his aptitudes is going to be far more versatile and competent than someone who buys a decent amount of advances that his aptitudes don't suit. This is pretty much an objective fact of how the system works, if we assume all advances that are of similar costs are of similar worth.

 

And I think that's horrible design. There shouldn't be wrong choices for players to make in character advancement.

Edited by Tom Cruise
segara82 likes this

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I have to agree with this to an extent. Its crazy expensive for me to up my deceive for my current character, but I'd like him to be more than just a gun bunny.

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A character who spends all his XP on things within his aptitudes is going to be far more versatile and competent than someone who buys a decent amount of advances that his aptitudes don't suit. This is pretty much an objective fact of how the system works, if we assume all advances that are of similar costs are of similar worth.

 

And I think that's horrible design. There shouldn't be wrong choices for players to make in character advancement.

 

I am not sure why a player would consistently buy skills and talents that the player doesnt have the aptitudes for. To me it sounds like that the player has chosen a background for his character that is the antithesis of his actual interests.

 

Sure the system can have design flaws, but the point is that the characters back ground matters. If the character does undergo a "born again" experience in the game I would think that the GM should consider adding / changing aptitudes for that character.

 

Any way I think you can just do a game where everyone has all the aptitudes and then just scale XP gains accordingly. If your players are mature they will not all make the same character.

 

For new GMs and new players I think it is good to have a more structured system.

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I really don't agree with the idea that new players will be utterly dumbfounded by the idea of getting to choose whatever options they want for their character. Countless RPGs on the market are structured like that, ones that are far more new player friendly than this system.

 

If characters ending up samey is an issue, maybe you shouldn't be creating and advancing characters in isolation. It is a group hobby after all, wouldn't taking advances that complement each other make sense?

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A character who spends all his XP on things within his aptitudes is going to be far more versatile and competent than someone who buys a decent amount of advances that his aptitudes don't suit. This is pretty much an objective fact of how the system works, if we assume all advances that are of similar costs are of similar worth.

 

And I think that's horrible design. There shouldn't be wrong choices for players to make in character advancement.

I have to disagree with both of these statements

yggZ likes this

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A character who spends all his XP on things within his aptitudes is going to be far more versatile and competent than someone who buys a decent amount of advances that his aptitudes don't suit. This is pretty much an objective fact of how the system works, if we assume all advances that are of similar costs are of similar worth.

 

And I think that's horrible design. There shouldn't be wrong choices for players to make in character advancement.

I have to disagree with both of these statements

 

 

You think this is good game design and that there should be wrong choices for players to make when advancing their character?

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[...]

 

If characters ending up samey is an issue, maybe you shouldn't be creating and advancing characters in isolation. It is a group hobby after all, wouldn't taking advances that complement each other make sense?

 

Isn't the Aptitude system meant to facilitate that, though? After all, one of your fundamental issues with the Aptitude system is that characters of the same experience level end up with huge gaps in effective experience - this is presumably because whereas one character has the appropriate Aptitudes for how he's building his character, the other character(s) do not, yet choose to pick cross-Aptitude skills, talents and characteristics.

But then you use the argument yourself that this is a group hobby, and that you should be taking advances that complement each other.

If you do this within the Aptitude system, the Aptitude system doesn't have the fundamental issue you mention.

You think this is good game design and that there should be wrong choices for players to make when advancing their character?

Of course there should be. If you're doing a Basketweaver, taking Masonry advances is wrong.

The answer to your question is entirely dependant on the definition of "wrong".

Should there be advances that are wrong for some character concepts and not wrong to others? Absolutely!

Edited by Fgdsfg
yggZ, dava100, Felenis and 1 other like this

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The fact that the issue I mention is a mechanical possibility alone is a bad thing, as far as I'm concerned. Plus aptitudes still do effectively limit which roles you can fill in the party, assuming you're picking backgrounds and homeworlds for flavour rather than mechanics.

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Why would a player consistently buy stuff outside the realm of his selected aptitudes?

You don't choose Aptitudes. You choose aspects of your character's background, which provide said aptitudes. I don't want to be forced to alter my character concept to facilitate getting well priced advances.

Roles mitigate this to a certain extent, but not completely.

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I'm willing to concede that last point, but that's an issue with how DH2 doles out Aptitudes, rather than an inherent issue with Aptitudes as a system.

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True. Still, once we're at the point of letting people hand pick their aptitudes, why not go the whole way and let them hand pick their advances instead? Aptitudes really seem to only exist as a framework to let background influence character advancement.

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I just don't see how anyone could find the idea of bad advances to be palatable in the slightest. Options presented to a player should all be worthwhile, there shouldn't be any 'traps' to fall into when creating or advancing a character, that's not fun, especially considering the choices you make are generally permanent. 

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I just don't see how anyone could find the idea of bad advances to be palatable in the slightest. Options presented to a player should all be worthwhile, there shouldn't be any 'traps' to fall into when creating or advancing a character, that's not fun, especially considering the choices you make are generally permanent. 

Because it Makes Sense. If your character is the Baddest Dude With A Gun in the wild west then OF COURSE spending XP on knowledge advances is a bad idea. He's a Gun Dude, not a Book Dude. Only Book Dudes can buy book skills without paying out the nose because that is the right and true way for characters to advance. Under another system ALL characters would be Gunbook Dudes and that's boring and unvarietyful.  The two ne'er shall meet.  Should have thought about that when you were choosing your starting options!

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True. Still, once we're at the point of letting people hand pick their aptitudes, why not go the whole way and let them hand pick their advances instead? Aptitudes really seem to only exist as a framework to let background influence character advancement.

 

I hate to use the house rule argument, but it is rather easy to house rule: Give all players all aptitudes. Maybe we can get FFG to make a little black optional box explaining this possibility and its merits in the rule book.

 

My worry about the current aptitude system is that I am unsure of how well it is balanced between the aptitudes and if the background and roles provides a free enough aptitude choice.

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I feel compelled to point out that none of the lines were ever intended to be cross-compatible. That being said, is there any reason to believe the Aptitude system of Only War will be successfully ported (read as copy/pasted) over to a completely new core? Before answering, I would remind us all of the copy/paste errors we've already come to expect.

Adeptus Ineptus likes this

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The issue with buying things outside of your aptitudes is it means you're spending more for less. Which means that, over time, the power level of each PC can end up wildly different, leading to PCs who've spent intelligently completely outshining those who tried to break outside of their aptitudes. This is frankly just horrible game design, it shouldn't be possible for such a wide power gulf to exist between equal XP characters.

One of my fundamental issues with the aptitude system is how it can create huge power gaps between PCs at the same XP level, so no, I want the aptitude system nuked entirely, not opened up a little more.

A character who spends all his XP on things within his aptitudes is going to be far more versatile and competent than someone who buys a decent amount of advances that his aptitudes don't suit. This is pretty much an objective fact of how the system works, if we assume all advances that are of similar costs are of similar worth.

 

And I think that's horrible design. There shouldn't be wrong choices for players to make in character advancement.

 

So, an Adept shouldn't have any advantage in knowledge skills over a Guardsman? A Tech Priest shouldn't have any advantage in repairing machinery over a Cleric? An Assassin shouldn't have any advantage in killing over an Adept?

 

The potential 'huge differences in power' that you are talking about are reflections of the character's primary field of study, their principle career. Of course someone who spends their 'down time' studying things related to their job will be better at it than people who spend their down-time practicing things unrelated to their job. I'm not a giant proponent of 'realism', but that's just common sense.

 

If you want to make a Guardsman who studies botany in his spare time, of course he will be worse in combat than a 'boring' (your word) combat-focused Guardsman who spends his down-time sparing and target-shooting (i.e. picking up combat advances and talents) rather than reading botany books and collecting plant samples. I think it would be bad game design if that wasn't the case.

 

And if your motivation is 'creativity', you should be willing to sacrifice some overt 'power' in exchange for oddball character traits. If you are not willing to do that, then I have to suspect that the motivation is more a pursuit of a 'Power Build' that simple creativity...

Edited by Adeptus-B
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I like aptitudes, but I'd be really happy it each home world and background offered a choice of 2. That way you could really branch out, and even two feral guardsman assassins would be different while still keeping the aptitudes

Edited by Felenis
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True. Still, once we're at the point of letting people hand pick their aptitudes, why not go the whole way and let them hand pick their advances instead? Aptitudes really seem to only exist as a framework to let background influence character advancement.

 

I would never support the hand-picking of Aptitudes, and I apologize if it seemed like I supported the notion.

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