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New Edges

 
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cpk666
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:01 pm    Post subject: New Edges Reply with quote

I'd like some feedback on two Background Edges I've created:

Noteworthy
Requirements: Novice
Your character—whether due to lineage, intensive training, or just raw talent—is slightly more capable than the average starting character. Your character begins with 15 experience points, and may spend any or all of those level-ups on Background Edges.
However, your character's remarkable nature is recognized by those who make it their business to know such things. He'll have to deal with the fallout of such recognition—people seeking his assistance, rivals who wish to defeat or discredit him; and others who want to exploit his reputation for their own purposes.

Extraordinary
Requirements: Novice, Noteworthy
Your character is far more gifted than most, and is destined for greatness. He begins play with an additional 15 experience points, and may spend any or all of those level-ups on Background Edges.
Your character also gains an arch-nemesis: a Wild Card NPC who is opposed to all that your character stands for, and who sees your character as a threat to be neutralized or eliminated. An arch-nemesis is always phenomenally powerful, usually intelligent and clever, and likely to have a group or organization to assist in furthering his goals. The identity of one's arch-nemesis may or may not be known initially (GM's choice). Eventually there will be a final showdown between your character and his arch-nemesis. Should your character eliminate his arch-nemesis, another will soon rise up to take on that role.


I designed them by re-tooling Veteran of the Weird West (Deadlands), as follows:

Veteran of the Weird West:
costs 1 Background Edge = -2 BP (Build Points)
20 XP = 8 BP
gain a random Major Hindrance = -2 BP
Total = 4 BP

Noteworthy:
costs 1 Background Edge = -2 BP
15 XP = 6 BP
may take Background Edges for these level-ups = 1 BP
"recognition" issues = -1 BP
Total = 4 BP

Extraordinary
costs 1 Background Edge = -2 BP
+15 XP = 6 BP
may take Background Edges for these level-ups = 1 BP
Arch-Nemesis = -2 BP
Total = 3 BP

Thoughts?

CK
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JackAce
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I understood it so far, you can use the points from VotWW to buy Background Edges anyway. Even if you're starting with an experienced character for any other reason, the Advances taken before the actual roleplaying campaign starts count as a part of character creation, so Background Edges are available.
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cpk666
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JackAce wrote:
The way I understood it so far, you can use the points from VotWW to buy Background Edges anyway. Even if you're starting with an experienced character for any other reason, the Advances taken before the actual roleplaying campaign starts count as a part of character creation, so Background Edges are available.


So do you think these Edges are underpowered?

CK
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Clint
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, a few concerns...

First, there is no compensation for Veteran of the Weird West having two Skills at a d6+ as a requirement while your Edges do not.

Second, there is no limitation on Veteran of the Weird West where it can't take Background Edges. Background Edges can only be taken during character creation; it isn't limited to 0 XPs. If a character starts (like with VotWW) with more XPs during character creation, they can use them for Background Edges.

Lastly, VotWW leaves the character with a random Hindrance, which isn't quite the same as gaining a known semi-defined effect. In addition, that effect is at least a Major Hindrance, but could actually be worse like no beneficial "good" magic works on the character at all or start with a single Benny (the equivalent of two Major Hindrances).

So if we look at them again, it might be more like...

Veteran of the Weird West:
costs 1 Background Edge = -2 BP (Build Points)
20 XP = 8 BP
gain a random Major Hindrance = -3 BP
requires 2 skills at d6+ = -2 BP*
Total = 1 BP

* Personally, I might even go higher. While Guts is definitely useful, the character loses the option to buy it at a d4 and raise it with a level-up "cheaper." Knowledge (Occult) has less use, and those 2 skill points would require at least one level-up to recoup (2 BP) if not two (3-4 BP). I really can see this being a net-sum zero Edge.

But even leaving it at 1, then Noteworthy would need at least an additional -2 BPs to balance it and Extraordinary an additional -1 (-3 and -2 if compared to 0).

Thing is, I don't understand their specific use. Seems easier to get a similar effect to say players can take up to three Minor and two Major Hindrances at character creation, giving the players more choices.

If not, then even still, it'd be easy to say they can take two Minor and a Major and they can choose to take Recognizable (new Hindrance) as an additional Minor or Enemy as an additional Major.

Again, I don't know what the intention is, but that just seems easier since it isn't going the random draw method of VotWW or having any other requirements like it.
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JackAce
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That depends on what effect those XP have on the character's Rank.

That's the main problem I have with the VotWW Edge as it is described in DL:R. You get to start as a Seasoned character, but that also means that those free levels really come from your regular "stash" of advances. Basically, you only gain levels earlier, that you would have earned later on anyway. And to do that, you need to sacrifice one level (the cost of an Edge) and you gain an additional Hindrance...

If, on the other hand, the free levels are in addition to the character's regular advancement (i.e. the character still starts the game with 0 XP) then the Edges would be way overpowered (basically, you'd get two two Edges for the price of one, and take an additional Hindrance for a third Edge).
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cpk666
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clint wrote:
Thing is, I don't understand their specific use. Seems easier to get a similar effect to say players can take up to three Minor and two Major Hindrances at character creation, giving the players more choices.

If not, then even still, it'd be easy to say they can take two Minor and a Major and they can choose to take Recognizable (new Hindrance) as an additional Minor or Enemy as an additional Major.

Again, I don't know what the intention is, but that just seems easier since it isn't going the random draw method of VotWW or having any other requirements like it.


The point was to allow for characters with a little more oomph, as it were. I personally don't like the idea of allowing them to just take an extra minor and major Hindrance. I could easily end up with some very mentally unbalanced PCs, something I'm not interested in.

So if I remove the incorrect +1 BP for adding Background Edges from the calculated costs, and add the requirement of Guts d6+ & Knowledge (Occult) d6+ for Noteworthy (maybe up it to d8+ for both at Extraordinary) that should bring them in-line with Veteran of the Weird West, yes?

Noteworthy:
costs 1 Background Edge = -2 BP
15 XP = 6 BP
requires 2 skills at d6+ = -2 BP
"recognition" issues = -1 BP
Total = 1 BP

Extraordinary
costs 1 Background Edge = -2 BP
+15 XP = 6 BP
requires 2 skills at d8+ = -2 BP
Arch-Nemesis = -2 BP
Total = 0 BP

CK

PS This is for a modern fantasy/horror game. I could just port VoWW for the game, but I wanted something with more predictable (and less gruesome) results.

PS I'm thinking that I may just go ahead and use VoWW. Anyone got a better (more modern) name for it?
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JackAce
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clint wrote:
Thing is, I don't understand their specific use. Seems easier to get a similar effect to say players can take up to three Minor and two Major Hindrances at character creation, giving the players more choices.

I second this suggestion, or something like it.

For example, in our ongoing Rippers campaign, the GM allowed us to take up to 6BP worth of Hindrances, in any combination. I ended up with two Major and two Minor Hindrances, but if some player had wished to take three Major or six Minor Hindrances, that would've been OK as well.
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Clint
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cpk666 wrote:
PS This is for a modern fantasy/horror game. I could just port VoWW for the game, but I wanted something with more predictable (and less gruesome) results.


Well, the question to ask is without that unpredictable effect, would any player not take this in this setting? That random result can be a huge drawback (as it occurs only after the character is finished). If you really want to play a "two-gun kid," are you going to take the chance you might end up a "one-armed bandit."

cpk666 wrote:
PS I'm thinking that I may just go ahead and use VoWW. Anyone got a better (more modern) name for it?


How about...

"Gazed into the Abyss"
"Marked by Darkness"
"It's the Mileage"
"Got the Scars to Prove it"
"I've Seen This Before..."
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Tuesday
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The point was to allow for characters with a little more oomph, as it were.


Why not just start everyone with more XP?
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skylion
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tuesday wrote:
Quote:
The point was to allow for characters with a little more oomph, as it were.


Why not just start everyone with more XP?


Best option....s'what I do...
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cpk666
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skylion wrote:
Tuesday wrote:
Quote:
The point was to allow for characters with a little more oomph, as it were.


Why not just start everyone with more XP?


Best option....s'what I do...


Because that would affect all PCs. I was looking to offer options similar to Veteran of the Weird West; something that not everyone would take.

CK
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Last edited by cpk666 on Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Patrick Fannon
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps something more in the between?

Set a limited list of Hindrances that can be selected from (or rolled/drawn at random) in exchange for Noteworthy, and an additional/enhanced list for taking Extraordinary.

In that way, you can control things so that people don't end up with "crippled" characters

Sample "Noteworthy" List -

Anemic (representing a supernatural disease contracted)
Bad Eyes (Minor; make it Light Sensitivity, maybe)
Enemy (Minor)
Hard of Hearing (Minor; damaged hearing from some very loud incident)
Outsider (Defined as 'Spooky,' makes everyone uncomfortable)
Phobia (Minor)
Quirk (Minor - with a list of setting-appropriate ideas)
Ugly (Scarred)
Wanted (Minor - got on the wrong side of the law at some point)

Sample "Extraordinary" List -

Bad Luck (Cursed or Night Terrors)
Enemy (Major)
Habit (Major - an addiction)
Hard of Hearing (Major - Deaf)
Lame (An injury)
Phobia (Major)
Wanted (Major - got a murder rap on him)

Just some late night thoughts for the mix...
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Theophage
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cpk666 wrote:
skylion wrote:
Tuesday wrote:
Quote:
The point was to allow for characters with a little more oomph, as it were.


Why not just start everyone with more XP?


Best option....s'what I do...


Because that would affect all PCs. I was looking to offer options similar to Veteran of the Weird West; something that not everyone would take.

CK


I just don't get the difference between the two:

* Joe's character is more powerful than the others because he has chosen the "noteworthy" edge. This edge reflects an inherent difference in power between Joe's character and the others.

* Mary's character is more powerful than the others because she is starting the game with 15 more experience points (to reflect her background before play).

Both methods produce a character which is more powerful/experienced than the others, but the latter does not require inventing a new edge to do something the rules already allow.

Your complaint about adding extra experience for one character seems to stem from an idea that "it isn't equitable or fair" to the rest if it isn't given to everyone (and no, it doesn't need to be given to everyone). Well, the edge you invented isn't "equitable or fair" either, so I guess I just don't understand the objection.
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cpk666
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theophage wrote:

I just don't get the difference between the two:

* Joe's character is more powerful than the others because he has chosen the "noteworthy" edge. This edge reflects an inherent difference in power between Joe's character and the others.

* Mary's character is more powerful than the others because she is starting the game with 15 more experience points (to reflect her background before play).

Both methods produce a character which is more powerful/experienced than the others, but the latter does not require inventing a new edge to do something the rules already allow.

Your complaint about adding extra experience for one character seems to stem from an idea that "it isn't equitable or fair" to the rest if it isn't given to everyone (and no, it doesn't need to be given to everyone). Well, the edge you invented isn't "equitable or fair" either, so I guess I just don't understand the objection.


See Veteran of the Weird West. A player can choose that Edge to begin play with extra advances, at the expense of having something really bad happen to them in the past. Now, Noteworthy as written definitely doesn't balance that out, but it isn't like the precedent hadn't been set by VotWW.

CK
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razorwise
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiya!

Are you wanting more oomph or are you wanting them to have more hindrances? We ported several ideas from SWR into RE that work great for both solutions:

1. Remove Rank restrictions on characters, either at character creation or permanently. This increases the power level of the game right off the bat.

2. Allow characters to take one extra Major Hindrance at character creation for more points.

Let me know what you think.

Regards,

Sean
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Jordan Peacock
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

razorwise wrote:
2. Allow characters to take one extra Major Hindrance at character creation for more points.


Slipstream provides a good model of this: Since it's supposed to be a high-adventure pulp setting with (presumably) heroic characters, it (roughly paraphrased) allows new PCs the option of taking the "Heroic" Hindrance without counting it against their maximum Hindrances they can start out with. (The actual rule is actually more involved than that, but that's the basic gist of the effect.)

Allowing players to start with more than just "one major, two minor" hindrances at the start would definitely give the option for some PCs to be a little "grittier" than others, if desired: They get more skill points, etc., to start with, but at the expense of whatever those Hindrances are.

If you're concerned that PCs might pick really lame Hindrances in order to max out those points, then you might want to list what you think to be "lame" or acceptable: Either prohibit Hindrances you don't want to see in the campaign, or just write a list of the extra Hindrances you WOULD like to see in the campaign (ala Heroic, Code of Honor, etc., if you want a party of paladin-wannabes).

(For instance, I strongly discourage my players from picking "Cautious," for reasons I've outlined in another thread - and I'd hate for players be tempted to pick that as their "extra Hindrance.")

Or, if it's one of those vague things ("I know it when I see it.") that isn't easily relegated to a list, then you could just word this option for an "extra" Hindrance as "subject to GM approval."
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