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Duros 2.0 (and a poll!)
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Which version of Starship Intuition best fits Duros?
v1.00 as presented in WEG's GG4
22%
 22%  [ 2 ]
v2.00 excellent pilot/navigators, well traveled through the galaxy
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
v2.01 excellent pilot/navigators+
66%
 66%  [ 6 ]
v2.02 excellent pilot/navigators
11%
 11%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 9

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shootingwomprats
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:42 pm    Post subject: Duros 2.0 (and a poll!) Reply with quote

I have been going through races as players pick them for my games. When doing this I look over the material about that race, then compare it to whatever stats are available for it, typically Star Wars REUP or Aliens Stats. What I am finding quite often are race special abilities that make no sense given the background. So I rewrite the race if needed.

Listed under Special Abilities you will four versions of Starship Intuition. Be sure to take the poll, but don't stop there, I really want to hear the opinions of the community as to which version is best fit and why or why not.

Quote:
Duros
Humanoids with smooth blue-green skin, red eyes, lipless mouths, long thin noseless faces and green blood. Duros Olfactory organs are beneath their eyes. Males and females are bald, though genders are easily distinguished. Their large red goggle-like eyes have slit pupils. While usually taciturn, Duros enjoy telling stories about their travels. It is said Duros have a photographic memory when it came to the telling of tales and stories. Many Duros are pilots and explorers, adventurous though sometimes rash. As one of the first cultures to develop hyperdrive spacecraft, Duros-charted trade routes are among the oldest hyperspace routes still in use. Duros are known for their superior astro-navigational skills and teir affinity for traveling. Many Duros to prefer the honorific title of "Traveler" despite their occupation, addressing a Duros as such is considered good etiquette.

Home Planet: Duro
Attribute Dice: 12D
DEXTERITY 1D/4D
KNOWLEDGE 1D+1/2D+2
MECHANICAL 2D/4D+2
PERCEPTION 1D/3D
STRENGTH 1D/3D
TECHNICAL 1D+2/4D


Quote:
Special Abilities v1.0:
--► Starship Intuition: Duros are, by their nature, extremely skilled starship pilots and navigators. When a Duros character is generated, 1D (no more) may be placed in the following skills, for which the character receives 2D of ability: archaic starship piloting, astrogation, capital ship gunnery, capital ship shields, sensors, space transports, starfighter piloting, starship gunnery, and starship shields. At character creation no more than 2D may be placed into a skill.


Quote:
Special Abilities v2.00:
--► Starship Intuition: Duros are, by their nature, extremely skilled starship pilots and navigators. When a Duros character is generated, 1D (no more) may be placed in the following skills, for which the character receives 2D of ability: alien species, astrogation, cultures, languages, planetary systems, and space transports. At character creation no more than 2D may be placed into a skill.


Quote:
Special Abilities v2.01:
--► Starship Intuition: Duros are, by their nature, extremely skilled starship pilots and navigators. When a Duros character is generated, 1D (no more) may be placed in the skills astrogation, planetary systems and space transports, for which the character receives 2D of ability. At character creation no more than 2D may be placed into a skill.


Quote:
Special Abilities v2.02
--► Starship Intuition: Duros are, by their nature, extremely skilled starship pilots and navigators. When a Duros character is generated, 1D (no more) may be placed in the skills astrogation and space transports, for which the character receives 2D of ability. At character creation no more than 2D may be placed into a skill.


Move: 10/12
Size: 1.8-2.2 meters tall
Source: Aliens Stats (page 41), wookieepedia. Tweaks by +Oliver Queen.

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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the 2.01 version where its piloting, astrogation and planetary systems..
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

None of the above. I rewrite alien packages too and I feel all '2-for-1' starting skill dice allocation special abilities are broken because it is a variable bonus. I replace 2-for-1 with finite number of bonus starting skill dice in certain skills. For my Duros it applies to starship-related skills and planetary systems.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
None of the above. I rewrite alien packages too and I feel all '2-for-1' starting skill dice allocation special abilities are broken because it is a variable bonus. I replace 2-for-1 with finite number of bonus starting skill dice in certain skills. For my Duros it applies to starship-related skills and planetary systems.


So, your version of Duros all have a free die in those skills, with no need for expenditure?

As for versions, I like 1.0 best, because I see little reason why their skill with piloting should be limited to Space Transports, nor do I see why skill as a pilot or navigator would necessarily translate to bonuses with Alien Species, Cultures, Languages, or Planetary systems... they can fly the ship, not necessarily know what's going to be there or how to deal with people.

I also think the wording on the bonus die is somewhat awkward. I would suggest something like

Duros are, by their nature, extremely skilled starship pilots and navigators. When a Duros character is generated, any skill dice or pips placed in those skills are doubled, up to the first 1D. Any subsequent skill dice or pips allocated (to the normal maximum of 2D) are not doubled. This bonus applies to: [Skills you decide are covered].

I feel that avoids a bit of ambiguity as to whether the bonus from Starship Intuition applies towards the maximum number of dice allowed, and allows Duros players to get some bang for their buck without going whole-hog on being a pilot... they can drop +1 in a few skills that "Every Duros knows" and get a benefit, without sacrificing other things they might be interested in.
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another option would be like with how Verpine are.. They just gain a flat +1d to archaic ship piloting, fighter piloting, freighter piloting and astrogation... No need to worry about "do they put 1d in or 2d and does it give +2d or +4d.."
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Telsij
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
... nor do I see why skill as a pilot or navigator would necessarily translate to bonuses with Alien Species, Cultures, Languages, or Planetary systems... they can fly the ship, not necessarily know what's going to be there or how to deal with people....


I went with V2.01 in the poll -- with the only non-MEC bonus going toward planetary systems. As with Whill's version that adds only to starship ops and planetary systems, I think the latter bump reflects that the well-traveled species' cultural familiarity with the galaxy -- while retaining the in-joke of their being RL pop culture's stereotypical flying saucer alien.
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly, Telsij. Travellers tend to be good at skills they use to travel, and they tend to be "well-travelled" (know about the places they have travelled to and what they have heard from fellow travellers).

MrNexx wrote:
Duros are, by their nature, extremely skilled starship pilots and navigators.

High Mechanical characters, by their nature, tend to be capable starship pilots and navigators. Your argument supporting 2-for-1 isn't very convincing to me. Duros have high Mechanical, and I give them finite bonuses skill dice to spend on starship piloting and navigating skills in the spirit of RAW but without the variable # of bonus dice. 2-for-1 also encourages players to maximize the free dice by making overfocus Duros pilot PCs that only exemplify the stereotype.

MrNexx wrote:
So, your version of Duros all have a free die in those skills, with no need for expenditure?

The bonus skill dice are not "free" dice. In my game, all playable species (including Duros) have a species special abilities package that is roughly valued at "+4D" as the net result of advantages and disadvantages. So no, there is no need for "expenditure" because all PC species options are valued equally. (Humans, being galactically dominant and described as highly versatile, have bonus skill dice that can be allocated to any skills.)

I say the PC species packages are roughly valued equally because game balance is not an exact science. It can be difficult to place a skill die value on some non-skill-related advantages or disadvantages, but my system is a lot more balanced than RAW where some playable species are way more able than others.

And before someone objects that species are not evolved equally, I completely agree and I make no effort to balance species in general and NPCs with each other. The effort was to balance only PCs to each other. Regardless of species typical attribute die value, but all PCs have exactly 18D in attributes regardless of species (so there is no "+6D" rule for PC attribute dice in my game).
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Exactly, Telsij. Travellers tend to be good at skills they use to travel, and they tend to be "well-travelled" (know about the places they have travelled to and what they have heard from fellow travellers).

MrNexx wrote:
Duros are, by their nature, extremely skilled starship pilots and navigators.

High Mechanical characters, by their nature, tend to be capable starship pilots and navigators. Your argument supporting 2-for-1 isn't very convincing to me. Duros have high Mechanical, and I give them finite bonuses skill dice to spend on starship piloting and navigating skills in the spirit of RAW but without the variable # of bonus dice. 2-for-1 also encourages players to maximize the free dice by making overfocus Duros pilot PCs that only exemplify the stereotype.

MrNexx wrote:
So, your version of Duros all have a free die in those skills, with no need for expenditure?

The bonus skill dice are not "free" dice. In my game, all playable species (including Duros) have a species special abilities package that is roughly valued at "+4D" as the net result of advantages and disadvantages. So no, there is no need for "expenditure" because all PC species options are valued equally. (Humans, being galactically dominant and described as highly versatile, have bonus skill dice that can be allocated to any skills.)

I say the PC species packages are roughly valued equally because game balance is not an exact science. It can be difficult to place a skill die value on some non-skill-related advantages or disadvantages, but my system is a lot more balanced than RAW where some playable species are way more able than others.

And before someone objects that species are not evolved equally, I completely agree and I make no effort to balance species in general and NPCs with each other. The effort was to balance only PCs to each other. Regardless of species typical attribute die value, but all PCs have exactly 18D in attributes regardless of species (so there is no "+6D" rule for PC attribute dice in my game).


Woah, Whill, hold up. That wasn't my argument; that was my rewording of SWR's skill bonus to be clearer with regards to what they seemed to want... doubled dice isn't my favorite mechanic, partially because it always seems to ignore that pips are a thing.

What I was trying to figure out what how your version worked. Is it roughly "In addition to your 7D in skill dice, you get 4D to distribute among this set of skills?" Is it "When rolling [set], you get +1D?"
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
So, your version of Duros all have a free die in those skills, with no need for expenditure?


No. It requires an expenditure of 1D from the beginning skill dice. I did not go with the pips and doubling in the language, since RAW examples and wording, do not use the mechanic, other than when splitting a die for specializations. Granted it can be inferred and I allow my players to split up dice during character creation.

MrNexx wrote:
As for versions, I like 1.0 best, because I see little reason why their skill with piloting should be limited to Space Transports, nor do I see why skill as a pilot or navigator would necessarily translate to bonuses with Alien Species, Cultures, Languages, or Planetary systems... they can fly the ship, not necessarily know what's going to be there or how to deal with people.


The original skills did not make a lot of sense to me in the context of information we now have about Duros. They are considered well-traveled and familiar with aspects of to the normal operations of space travel. To me this would not apply to capital ship ship skills or starfighter skills as they are not typical vehicles for space travel.

Here is the original list of skills Duros could get a bonus from at character creation. Red: skills not applicable, Green: skills applicable, Orange: skills that could be applicable, with the exception of Starship Gunnery, but maybe.

Archaic starship piloting, astrogation, capital ship gunnery, capital ship shields, sensors, space transports, starfighter piloting, starship gunnery, and starship shields.

Duros are known to be wanderers and explorers and have been for a 1,000 years. In fact they are so recognized as travelers they are often referred to with the honorific, "Traveler". To me that embodies:

Planetary Systems: This skill reflects a character’s general knowledge of geography, weather, life-forms, trade products, settlements, technology, government and other general information about different systems and planets. Much of this information is gained from personal experience, computer records and hearsay from others who’ve visited various systems.

MrNexx wrote:
I also think the wording on the bonus die is somewhat awkward. I would suggest something like:

Duros are, by their nature, extremely skilled starship pilots and navigators. When a Duros character is generated, any skill dice or pips placed in those skills are doubled, up to the first 1D. Any subsequent skill dice or pips allocated (to the normal maximum of 2D) are not doubled. This bonus applies to: [Skills you decide are covered].

I feel that avoids a bit of ambiguity as to whether the bonus from Starship Intuition applies towards the maximum number of dice allowed, and allows Duros players to get some bang for their buck without going whole-hog on being a pilot... they can drop +1 in a few skills that "Every Duros knows" and get a benefit, without sacrificing other things they might be interested in.


I appreciate wanting a clearer description of the mechanic, but I think the doubling and pips and whatnot are confusing to new players. Refer to my earlier in this post as to implied mechanics for of RAW skill dice expenditures. I do agree it can be worded better. What do you think of this:

Quote:
Starship Intuition: Duros are, by their nature, extremely skilled starship pilots and navigators. During character creation, a Duros character may place 1D of their starting skill dice in the skills astrogation, planetary systems and/or space transports, for which the character receives a +1D bonus. Additional die placed in the skill(s) receive no additional bonus.

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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shootingwomprats wrote:
MrNexx wrote:
So, your version of Duros all have a free die in those skills, with no need for expenditure?


No. It requires an expenditure of 1D from the beginning skill dice. I did not go with the pips and doubling in the language, since RAW examples and wording, do not use the mechanic, other than when splitting a die for specializations. Granted it can be inferred and I allow my players to split up dice during character creation.


That particular line was a direct response to Whill. sorry.
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shootingwomprats wrote:

Archaic starship piloting, astrogation, capital ship gunnery, capital ship shields, sensors, space transports, starfighter piloting, starship gunnery, and starship shields.


If they get Space transport piloting, why do you feel cap ship piloting/archaic piloting or fighter piloting would be out? If Duros have been 'travelers' THAT long, don't you think some of their ships would still BE those archaic vessels they started with? Do you feel they wouldn't go for cap ships??
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
That wasn't my argument; that was my rewording of SWR's skill bonus to be clearer with regards to what they seemed to want... doubled dice isn't my favorite mechanic, partially because it always seems to ignore that pips are a thing.

OK. I feel 2-for-1 in any form is a much bigger problem than not acknowledging pips. But to each his own.

MrNexx wrote:
What I was trying to figure out what how your version worked. Is it roughly "In addition to your 7D in skill dice, you get 4D to distribute among this set of skills?" Is it "When rolling [set], you get +1D?"

My playable species have both starting bonus skill dice and in-play bonuses to rolls (and other types of abilities). It varies per species. I don't feel I drastically alter RAW alien species abilities. I just tweak them here and there in the interests of (1) better interpreting the film evidence and supplementary fluff text, and (2) game balance. Regarding Duros specifically, yes they get the same starting skill dice all PCs get to allocate, plus 4D to allocate to the certain skill set. This is roughly comparable to all other playable species abilities package (including humans).
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:


MrNexx wrote:
What I was trying to figure out what how your version worked. Is it roughly "In addition to your 7D in skill dice, you get 4D to distribute among this set of skills?" Is it "When rolling [set], you get +1D?"

My playable species have both starting bonus skill dice and in-play bonuses to rolls (and other types of abilities). It varies per species. I don't feel I drastically alter RAW alien species abilities. I just tweak them here and there in the interests of (1) better interpreting the film evidence and supplementary fluff text, and (2) game balance. Regarding Duros specifically, yes they get the same starting skill dice all PCs get to allocate, plus 4D to allocate to the certain skill set. This is roughly comparable to all other playable species abilities package (including humans).


Which, TBH, I think a lot of old-school games need. "Humans are average" and "humans can do anything" don't mean a lot when everyone can do everything, or even when humans, who might have the potential to do everything, will be consistently outshone at whatever they choose to do.

I like the idea of +4D as a reasonable resting point... it's chunky enough that you can break it into several small bonuses, without ever needing to get crazy big.

As for doubling, I agree it's not the best mechanic, but I sort of understand why they go that route... it does double duty of encouraging buy-in ("If you don't do this by character creation you will lose it!") and enforcing stereotypes ("Duros are great pilots, and to prove that, we're going to make most people playing Duros want to play pilots.")
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:

Which, TBH, I think a lot of old-school games need. "Humans are average" and "humans can do anything" don't mean a lot when everyone can do everything, or even when humans, who might have the potential to do everything, will be consistently outshone at whatever they choose to do.


Maybe DM's are not pushing the whole 'anti-alien racism inherent in the rise of the empire days'.?
If the party needs to sneak into an imperial installation, an all human team would have a HELL of a lot easier time of it than ones with aliens in.. Especially if those aliens are 'slave or interdicted' races..
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
Whill wrote:
My playable species have both starting bonus skill dice and in-play bonuses to rolls (and other types of abilities). It varies per species. I don't feel I drastically alter RAW alien species abilities. I just tweak them here and there in the interests of (1) better interpreting the film evidence and supplementary fluff text, and (2) game balance. Regarding Duros specifically, yes they get the same starting skill dice all PCs get to allocate, plus 4D to allocate to the certain skill set. This is roughly comparable to all other playable species abilities package (including humans).

Which, TBH, I think a lot of old-school games need. "Humans are average" and "humans can do anything" don't mean a lot when everyone can do everything, or even when humans, who might have the potential to do everything, will be consistently outshone at whatever they choose to do.

The films show that Humans are the dominant species of the galaxy, and a lot of EU and canon fluff about Humans always describes them as so uber, so I beefed up their stats to better reflect this. So I keep the standard of 2D attributes as a galactic average of sentient species but have no example species. In my game Humans have a 2D+1 average for all attributes which makes them a 14D species (as typical attribute total) instead of 12D, and I bumped the Human max attribute to 4D+1. D6 Space (WEG SW RPG 3e minus SW IP) made Human attribute max 5D but that is going too far for me.

And the Human PC species package is +4D to allocate to any skills. This game mechanically levels the field of Humans and my playable aliens, but really still puts Humans out ahead considering the bonus dice versatility and the story factor of human supremacy within the Empire.

garhkal wrote:
Maybe DM's are not pushing the whole 'anti-alien racism inherent in the rise of the empire days'.?
If the party needs to sneak into an imperial installation, an all human team would have a HELL of a lot easier time of it than ones with aliens in.. Especially if those aliens are 'slave or interdicted' races..

Since the 90s I've had the problem of players almost never wanting to play humans, which is sad for me because it really limits story possibilities within the Empire. Who doesn't love the whole 'pose as Imperials' bit? I have ran many adventures with the whole PC group as aliens. I certainly do have degrees of anti-alien discrimination in my game.

MrNexx wrote:
I like the idea of +4D as a reasonable resting point... it's chunky enough that you can break it into several small bonuses, without ever needing to get crazy big.

Yes, it covers most playable species. For species that RAW has more valuable than "+4D" (how I judge them), their PC species abilities package gets their advantages toned down and/or disadvantages are added. For species that don't have a "+4D" in special abilities, I usually make up the difference by adding bonus starting skill dice limited to a set of skills based on species fluff and story factors.

MrNexx wrote:
As for doubling, I agree it's not the best mechanic, but I sort of understand why they go that route... it does double duty of encouraging buy-in ("If you don't do this by character creation you will lose it!") and enforcing stereotypes ("Duros are great pilots, and to prove that, we're going to make most people playing Duros want to play pilots.")

My Duros have their minimum Mech as 2D+1. A player could make a Duros template with the min Mech and only 4D (from the species bonus) allocated to piloting skills and planetary systems. So it still throws a fairly meaty bone to the "type" but allows for a different kind of Duros PC. That hasn't happened in my game yet, but I really enjoy it when players make an alien character that goes against the type, so the option is there for Duros.
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