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Char Gen: The Bonus Die/Advantages, Fluencies & Contacts
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:12 pm    Post subject: Char Gen: The Bonus Die/Advantages, Fluencies & Contacts Reply with quote

When 2e (Blue Vader) first came out in 1992, there were suddenly a lot more skills due to both new skills and existing skills being broken up into more focused skills. One of the first changes to the rules I made was adding an 8th starting skill die the character creation process, as a compensation. Over the years I have consolidated some skills and reduced the overall skill list, but I never got rid of the 8th skill die. It has evolved into "bonus die" that has more options than the first 7D. The following is the version I have been using since at least 2014.




Attributes, revised
Skills, revised


Character Creation – The Bonus Die

In addition to the total 7D the player has to allocate to starting skills (which must be in 1D or 2D increments), the player has a "bonus die" that the player can be applied in the following ways:
    • an eighth die to allocate to skills just as the first 7D, or
    • 1 advantage, or
    • 1 species-specific special ability option

    - OR -

    • 3 skill pips, or
    • 3 skill specialization dice, or
    • 3 additional starting language fluencies, or
    • 3 additional GC contacts, or
    • any combination thereof out of this "3" list, adding up to 3 total.




As of right now, I only have one species that has the species-specific option which is detailed in their stats (forthcoming). See the posts below for details on the following:

Advantages
• Dexterity: Handedness and Contortion
Language Fluencies
Contacts

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Whill
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Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 8769
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA, Earth, The Solar System, The Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:14 pm    Post subject: Advantages Reply with quote

    Advantages

    MINOR ADVANTAGES

    Ambidexterity
    Benefit: Offsets the non-dominant hand penalty.
    Prerequisites: Dexterity 3D
    Restrictions: This is only available for characters with only two hands.
    Record: Under Advantages, put "Ambidexterity". In the Handedness field, indicate "Ambidextrous".

    Contortion
    Benefit: Provides a +1D bonus to contort the body to escape bonds, etc.
    Prerequisites: Dexterity 3D, stamina/endurance 3D
    Restrictions: None
    Record: Under Advantages, put "Contortion +1D".

    Hardiness
    Benefit: Provides a +1 bonus to damage resistance checks.
    Prerequisites: Strength 2D+2, stamina/endurance +1D (at least 1 skill die allocated)
    Restrictions: This advantage may not result in a natural Damage Resistance die value above 4D+1 or the species’ maximum Strength (whichever is lower).
    Record: Put "Hardiness" under Advantages, and add +1 to the Damage Resistance die value.

    Improved Move
    Benefit: Increases a starting Move by 1.
    Prerequisites: Dexterity 3D, Strength 3D
    Restrictions: This advantage may not result in a Move value above a species' maximum value.
    Record: Put "Improved Move" under Advantages, and add 1 to the Move value being improved.

    Jury-Rigging
    Benefit: Provides a +2 bonus to jury-rigging rolls.
    Prerequisites: Dexterity 2D+1, Knowledge 2D+1, Mechanical 2D+1, Perception 2D+1, Technical 3D
    Restrictions: None.
    Record: Put "Jury-Rigging +2" under Advantages.

    Increased Physical Awareness
    Benefits: Provides a +2 bonus to passive awareness Perception rolls and a +1 bonus to Initiative.
    Prerequisites: Perception 2D+1, searching +1D (at least one starting skill die allocated)
    Restrictions: Characters with this advantage may not have Enhanced Physical Awareness or Presence.
    Record: Under Advantages put "Increased Physical Awareness", under Perception put "Passive Awareness" as a skill followed by a die value equal to Perception +2, and add 1 to the Initiative die value and rank.

    MAJOR ADVANTAGES WITH DISADVANTAGE

    Enhanced Physical Awareness
    Benefits: Provides a +1D bonus to searching and stealth/hiding rolls, a +2 bonus to passive awareness Perception rolls, and a +1 bonus to Initiative.
    Detriments: Provides a -1 penalty to bargaining, command/leadership, con/deception, discernment, intimidation, and persuasion/charm rolls.
    Prerequisites: Perception 2D+1
    Restrictions: The maximum Perception to qualify for this advantage is 3D+1. Characters with this advantage may not have Increased Physical Awareness or Presence.
    Record: Under Advantages put "Enhanced Physical Awareness", under Perception put "Passive Awareness" as a skill followed by a die value equal to Perception +2, and add 1 to the Initiative die value and rank. Add a "+1D" immediately after the searching and stealth/hiding skill names (before the space for the die code), and likewise add a "-1" after each of the six penalized skill names.

    Presence
    Benefits: Provides a +2 bonus to animal handling/riding, bargaining, command/leadership, con/deception, intimidation, and persuasion/charm rolls.
    Detriments: Provides a -1D penalty to stealth/hiding and passive awareness Perception rolls, a -2 penalty to searching rolls, and a -1 penalty to Initiative.
    Prerequisites: Perception 3D
    Restrictions: The maximum Perception to qualify for this advantage is 3D+2. Characters with this advantage may not have Increased Physical Awareness or Enhanced Physical Awareness.
    Record: Under Advantages put "Presence", under Perception put "Passive Awareness" as a skill followed by a die value equal to Perception -1D, and subtract 1 from the Initiative die value and rank. Add a "-1D" immediately after the stealth/hiding skill name (before the space for the die code), likewise add a "-2" after searching, and likewise add a "+2" after each of the six benefited skill names.



Humans and some other species can have all of these Advantages. Species that can't have one or more of these will have a notation in their species stats. See the next post below for details on my Dexterity rules that are relevant to the first two advantages (handedness and contortion).

Advantages are either minor, or come with a built-in disadvantage. My philosophy behind Star Wars D6 Advantages (general ones, not tied to any particular species) is that they should be things that attribute and skill allocation alone can't accomplish. So ones that give a +1 bonus to a group of skills are pointless because you can just allocate skill pips to those skills. Starting PCs have no skill-based way to increase Damage Resistance above base Strength, so Hardiness gives PCs a little boost in Damage Resistance. RAW has no way for a starting PCs to start out above the minimum Move for the character's species, so Improved Move gives a way. Jury-Rigging could apply a +2 bonus to multiple Technical skills, but only limited circumstances of those skills – It doesn't help proper repairs or modifications at all.

The last three Advantages are all Perception-related and all address a prominent criticism within the Open D6 community about Star Wars' (and D6 Space's) Perception attribute, that it combines physical and social awareness together so there is no way to be good at one and bad at the other. With my system, there is a way, to a degree. If it is important for a player's character concept that the character be better at physical awareness than social, there are two options, a more minor one and another one which widens the gulf further. Because there are a lot more social awareness skills than physical awareness, it only worked out to have one option for the other direction, being better at social than physical. No, it still isn't possible to have an extreme difference between the two aspects of Perception, but these do at least allow for some differentiation in characters that the base attribute system does not.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:15 pm    Post subject: Dexterity: Handedness and Contortion Reply with quote




Dexterity

Handedness - Two-handed characters must choose a handedness (dominant hand) at character creation. There is a spot on my character sheet for it. If the character ever finds themselves in a situation where they have to use an offhand for a one-handed action, then they will suffer a -1D penalty. The Ambidexterity advantage merely negates the penalty, nothing more. This may seem like a powerful advantage because it could effect a lot of different skills, but characters having to use their offhand comes up pretty rarely in the game. It is mostly there to allow for a player's character concept of being "ambidextrous."

Contortion - This is a D6 Adventure skill under Reflexes (one of the dexterity attributes). The first premise of it is, that physical flexibility is an aspect of dexterity, which I am ok with. The second premise is that the ability to contort one's body should be a skill that can be increased far above the dexterity attribute, which I am not ok with for a lot of species. There are limits to contortion with human bodies, and there would be with a lot of alien bodies in SW. So I thought a good compromise would be to allow this Contortion skill's ability to be used in Star Wars as inherent in the Dexterity attribute, but not have a skill to increase it. Then I thought, some people of similar dexterity are naturally more flexible than others, so how about an Advantage that allows for a +1D increase in using this attribute ability, but it still can't be increased above that? The following is from D6 Adventure, so that it may be adapted to Star Wars...

Nikola Vrtis wrote:
contortion: Escaping from otherwise secure physical bonds by twisting, writhing, and contorting the body.
...
Contortion (Reflexes)
The chart below contains sample difficulty numbers for escaping from various kinds of restraints. Modify the difficulty based on the circumstances of the escape, such as the conditions the character works under or specially designed restraints. The character may not use this skill if completely immobilized. If in multiple restraints, the character must make a separate roll for each one. A Critical Failure indicates that the character has pulled a muscle (and he does his Strength Damage to himself). The gamemaster decides whether he may try again.

Note that this skill does not substitute for the lockpicking skill. The character may be able to pull his arms over his head to use his hands, but he may not be able to slip out of the handcuffs unless they are improperly secured.

Sample Restraints / Difficulty
Ropes / 13
Wires, chain / 15
Handcuffs / 16
Straitjacket / 18

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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:17 pm    Post subject: Language Fluencies Reply with quote

    Character Creation – Language Fluencies

    Beginning PCs start out fluent in Galactic Standard (Basic) plus a number of additional languages equal to the number in front of the D in the character's languages skill (or base Knowledge attribute) die code, but like every other aspect of the character, the character's language fluencies must be supported by the character's background.

The number of a character's fluencies being based on the languages skill comes from the GM Note on R&E p.43. I just added the common language as a freebie. Then there is the Bonus Die option for adding more starting fluencies.

The two RAW options for gaining new language fluencies after play begins on R&E p.43 are still in my rules too.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:19 pm    Post subject: Contacts Reply with quote

    Character Creation – Contacts

    If a player completes the following character development worksheet for their PC (in addition to the usual background, personality, etc.), then the player can create (or possibly choose from pre-created) gamemaster characters who are underworld contacts of the PC. The number of contacts is equal to the number in front of the D in the character's streetwise skill (or base Knowledge attribute). If the PC background is such that he would not have any underworld contacts, then the GM may allow the PC to have contacts of a different nature, the number of them being based on a different skill. Like every other aspect of the character, the contacts' connection/history with the PC must be integrated into the characters' backgrounds.

    PLAYER CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT WORKSHEET
    Player Name:
    Character Name:
    Homeworld:
    Growing Up:
    Family:
    Education:
    Past Occupations:
    Romance:
    Critical Events:
    Contacts:
    Rivals and Enemies:

The player character development worksheet is inspired by the worksheets in Heroes & Rogues and Platt's Smugglers Guide. The number of a PC's contacts being based on the streetwise skill (or another basis) comes from the "Selecting Contacts" text box on p.66 of Platt's Smugglers Guide.

These NPC contacts aren't always completely statted out because blanks can always be filled in later as they enter the story of the campaign. We generally conceive of these contacts as PC-level GCs because I want them to also serve as a pool of possible replacement PCs in the case of a PC death. The additional contacts gained from splitting the Bonus Die are created the same way.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Very Cool! Thanks for sharing.
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