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Gamorreans and space piracy
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Bren
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
For primitive species I find the more challenging aspect is to come up with maximums that add up to 18D but still don't seem too outrageous for my sense of verisimilitude.
Which is a problem with a presumption that every species (or character) should add up to 18D in stats. I understand why for game balance reasons you would choose to do that though doing so is not my preference.

One option might be to trade out starting stat dice for extra skill dice appropriate to the character's background. So the primitive Ewok would have lower stats but would pick up some extra skills dice in skills like tracking, sneak, primitive construction (for those traps, gliders, catapults, and tree houses), survival: forest, dodge, bow & arrow, etc.
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am using this concept the next time I run a campaign
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
I understand why for game balance reasons you would choose to do that though doing so is not my preference.

One option might be to trade out starting stat dice for extra skill dice appropriate to the character's background. So the primitive Ewok would have lower stats but would pick up some extra skills dice in skills like tracking, sneak, primitive construction (for those traps, gliders, catapults, and tree houses), survival: forest, dodge, bow & arrow, etc.

I feel uneasy about setting up an exchange rate for attributes and skill dice. So sure, you could give extra skill dice to a primitive PC with less than 18D in attributes and that would be a step towards compensation, but I still don't feel that would be that balanced.

Bren wrote:
Whill wrote:
For primitive species I find the more challenging aspect is to come up with maximums that add up to 18D but still don't seem too outrageous for my sense of verisimilitude.

Which is a problem with a presumption that every species (or character) should add up to 18D in stats. I understand why for game balance reasons you would choose to do that though doing so is not my preference.

You misunderstand. Not every species. Not all species evolve equally. In my game many species would have species attribute range maximums that add up to less than 18D. Only species allowable as PCs would need 18D in attributes. Since I wish 18D in attributes to be a constant among PCs, species that I don't stat out with attribute maximums at least 18D simply cannot be PCs.

For this reason, I disallowed Ewok PCs for years because an 18D Ewok seemed absurd to me. It was nothing against Ewoks in the films. Despite being born a little before the Ewok Line, I enjoy them. I just didn't think there would be any 18D Ewoks so didn't allow them as PCs. Then in recent years I had a change of heart. I warmed to the PC concept of a cute little teddy bear who seemed primitive and is constantly being underestimated. So I bumped up some of my attribute maxes and allowed Ewoks with the caveat that there can't be any truly primitive PCs, so part of the Ewok PC's backstory must include that they have already been out in the galaxy for at least three years before the start of the campaign for them to have had time to become more acclimated to galactic technology and society because a 2D in Knowledge and Technical are not at all primitive. Even 1D would not really represent a truly primitive character. Not having any primitive PCs also eliminates the need for any complex rules for disallowing a big list of skills.

For comparison, my Humans are a "14D species" with 2D+1 at the typical value for each attribute and 4D+1 as the maximums. Here's a part of my Ewok stats:

Ewoks
Attribute Dice: 7D

Average
DEX: 2D
KNO: 0D+1
MEC: 0D+2
PER: 2D
STR: 2D
TEC: 0D

Attribute Min/Max
DEX: 1D/4D
KNO: 0D+1/2D
MEC: 0D+1/3D
PER: 1D/3D+2
STR: 1D/3D+1
TEC: 0D/2D

Ewok PC template (without Force skills)
DEX: 4D
KNO: 2D
MEC: 3D
PER: 3D+2
STR: 3D+1
TEC: 2D

Yeah, that's a kick-@ss Ewok, but Ewok PCs would be extremely rare in the galaxy, especially before RotJ when hardly any Ewoks ever made it off-world. Ewoks are the only primitive species on my current allowable PC species list. Gamorreans are less primitive and much stronger than Ewoks, so statting them out an 18D max attribute species I can live with shouldn't be too bad.
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Last edited by Whill on Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bren
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I feel uneasy about setting up an exchange rate for attributes and skill dice. So sure, you could give extra skill dice to a primitive PC with less than 18D in attributes and that would be a step towards compensation, but I still don't feel that would be that balanced.
That's a fair point.

To that I would say two things. First, I'm not especially concerned with balancing PCs. So if some species, say Twileks, Gamorreans, or Ewoks end up with 17D in stats and humans get 18D that doesn't bother me. Frankly I'm more concerned with the few species who get more than 18D for starting attributes. Second, trying to exactly balance attributes is futile. By mandating all PCs have 18D you potentially balance the PCs, but for any given campaign not all attributes are equal so in practice some PCs will have a better arrangement of attributes than will other PCs and thus will not be "balanced."

Quote:
You misunderstand. Not every species.
OK. But admittedly its still a problem for some species that you or your players would like to have as a PC species. So the issue still exists.

Quote:
Not all species evolve equally.
I agree. We just differ a bit on what we think that should mean for PCs from some of those species.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
That's a fair point.

To that I would say two things. First, I'm not especially concerned with balancing PCs. So if some species, say Twileks, Gamorreans, or Ewoks end up with 17D in stats and humans get 18D that doesn't bother me. Frankly I'm more concerned with the few species who get more than 18D for starting attributes. Second, trying to exactly balance attributes is futile. By mandating all PCs have 18D you potentially balance the PCs, but for any given campaign not all attributes are equal so in practice some PCs will have a better arrangement of attributes than will other PCs and thus will not be "balanced."

Sure, I completely embrace the fact that totally balancing PCs is simply not possible in practice. Char gen allocation skill dice are technically differently valued based on what starting attribute value they are placed on. The skills themselves are differently valued no matter how much the GM tweaks the skill focuses before play and tries to balance the in-use value of them in play. But I feel that the mere fact that 100% game balance between PCs starting a campaign not being completely possible does not mean that reasonable efforts I have described should not be made to strive towards the (unobtainable) goal of balancing PCs.

Bren wrote:
Whill wrote:
Not all species evolve equally.

I agree. We just differ a bit on what we think that should mean for PCs from some of those species.

Along the lines of what you mentioned above, for a time before I restatted Ewoks I did have them available as a PC with a 15D template reflecting my species maxes of the day. I figured, if anyone really wanted to play an Ewok, they had the opportunity to and just had to accept a lesser-abled PC. I had no takers during that time. Now I really like the idea that there may exist a few 18D Ewoks in my SWU.

Bren wrote:
Whill wrote:
Not every species.

OK. But admittedly its still a problem for some species that you or your players would like to have as a PC species. So the issue still exists.

I do not admit to any "problem". I have over 50 PC races available to choose from, and my knee jerk reaction to a player that can't choose from one of them is to say "Get over it." But I don't go straight to that. I handle PC race selection in four steps:
    1. I first ask all players to strongly consider playing a human. For many years I have been plagued with not having many players want to play humans. I have ran many adventures with all alien PCs. I don't have a hard rule but I prefer there to be at least one human in every party. If a player is adamant he doesn't want to play a human, he can move on to #2.
    2. Next I have a first tier of near or non-human PC races to consider. These are the species that I feel make the best PCs outside of humans. If a player still wants to play another species, he can move on to #3.
    3. These are the rest of my allowable PC races. If a player considers playing a human, a first tier race, a second tier race, and they still want to play something off-list, then they move on to #4.
    4. Player proposal. I let the player try to sell me on a PC concept of another species. If we can come to an agreement, then we co-design the PC template and stat out the species (or possibly re-stat if I have used them as an NPC species). I then add the species to my second tier PC race list.
OK, I concede it is possible that in the future, me not having an completely open door on PC races may be a problem for a player, so far I have never had a player disgruntled over PC species selection so I must disagree that I have ever experienced a "problem" or "issue" with this.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I must disagree that I have ever experienced a "problem" or "issue" with this.
Now its my turn to say, "You misunderstand." Wink I meant "a problem" more in the sense of an intellectual problem not that you necessarily experienced disappointed or sad players or hurt feelings at the table.
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