Author Topic: Monbvol's House rule emporium  (Read 14212 times)

monbvol

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Monbvol's House rule emporium
« on: 25 January 2011, 23:49:26 »
Welcome!

First off let me say for the most part I do like what Catalyst has managed to come up with.  There are however a few things I'd like to do differently.

I intend to grow my list of house rules which at this point are mostly just additions rather than alterations.

First up some links to some of my House Rules electronic documents.

Main document

Additional tables to help see how some of the new traits work.

Optional random events tables to help spice up your characters.

And the RPG data for my AU factions.

The RATs for my AU.  Still need work I know but the stuff that is filled in I'm pretty happy with.

An Arms, Armor, and Accessories document for my AU.

Some Gestalt personal AI unit construction rules.

A prototype time line for my AU.

And just for fun some "In Character" write ups for various factions.  I'm still working on them a bit and I know sections are still not filled out but what I do have I am somewhat happy with but feel free to comment.

Probably overall my most munchy faction first up, the Amegis Compact.

Next up the most horrid faction in my AU the Belarus Alliance.

For a bit of a change of pace the introductory document for the Mercenaries Guild.

Last but not least the manifest destiny driven bent on re-uniting humanity under their banner Terran Dominion.

I'll do my best to keep these up to date and if there are any conflicts with any of the posts in this thread the documents are considered to trump what is in the post unless you like the way the post works better for your game.  For that reason, as well as allowing you the reader to see the evolution of my house rules I will not be altering any posts beyond this first one.

First up the big one that does nag me.  Natural Aptitudes.  Frankly I understand the idea of making them expensive to keep them rare but I think the cost as they are now is too high for too little gain.  So I plan on eventually introducing the following next character generation:

Complex skills cost 200 and Simple cost 400.  A character may not have more natural aptitudes than intelligence modifier +1.  That's right a minimum INT of 4 is required for a Natural Aptitude.

Now the next set of rules was inspired by the special abilities section and how disappointed I was that there was so little that could be used outside of the cockpit.  Considering the scale of these I intend for them to be cheaper than those abilities that can be used inside.  Let's start with the combat oriented ones.

Muscle Memory
10 XP
Requirements: Martial Arts or Melee Weapons Rank 4 or higher

A character with this ability receives a +1 initiative bonus when combating a foe with a lower Martial Arts or Melee Weapons score so long as the character is using Martial Arts or Melee Weapons to combat their foe.

Death of a Thousand Strikes
50 XP
Requirements: Dex 6+; Martial Arts, Melee Weapons, or Thrown Weapons 4+

A character with this ability as a complex action may unleash a rapid flurry of attacks on their foe as a complex action.  Doing so allows the character to deal Strength divided by 4 rounded normally plus Weapon Damage plus Margin of Success damage as well as the defender having to make a Will check to avoid losing one of their simple actions.

Sweeping Attack
50 XP
Requirements: Strength 6+, Dexterity 6+; Martial Arts, Melee Weapons, or Thrown Weapons 5+; Death of a Thousand Strikes

A character with this ability may take a complex action to attack all foes within three meters of their present location.

Iron Body
50 XP
Requirements: Fit, Toughness, Martial Arts 5+

A character with this ability gains +1 Melee armor even when not wearing any protective gear.

Power Thrower
25 XP
Requirements: Strength 5+, Thrown Weapons 5+, Natural Aptitude Thrown Weapons

A character with this ability multiplies thrown weapon ranges by 1.5 rounding normally.

Fan of Blades
50 XP
Requirements: Thrown Weapons +5, Death of a Thousand Strikes

A character with this ability can unleash a torrent of thrown weapons such that they can make use of the suppressing fire ability normally available only to automatic fire arms but may only target one hex while following all other rules of suppressing fire.

Since Liam's Ghost complained about a lack of non combat abilities when I talked with him on the matter of special abilities I since had a decent brain storm and came up with a few.

Athlete
10 XP
Requirements: Fit

A character with this ability adds +2 to all movement methods and any checks for untrained skill usage for Swimming and Climbing.

Silver Tongued Devil
25 XP
Requirements: Attractive, Charisma 7+, Acting 3+

A character with this ability may elect to use their Charisma bonus instead of Intelligence bonus even if the skill is an advanced skill already linked with Charisma.

Mind Over Body
10 XP
Requirements: Will 7+

Characters with this ability may use their Will modifier instead of their Bod modifier even if the skill is an advanced skill and already linked to Will.

Clever Mind
10 XP
Requirements: Intelligence 7+

With this ability a character may add their intelligence bonus above and beyond any other modifiers for untrained skill checks.

Practical Experience
25 XP
Requirements: Clever Mind

Using this ability a character may roll three six sided dice keeping the two best for any untrained skill check.

As a final warning I may be inclined to change some of the costs of these abilities.

[edit]Changed cost of Natural Aptitude.[/edit]
« Last Edit: 12 July 2013, 13:56:37 by monbvol »
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Jackmc

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #1 on: 26 January 2011, 14:11:03 »
I think tying Natural Aptitude to INT is bad as it's not a question of raw intelligence but rather a physiological one.  Sometimes that resides i nthe brain, but other times it resides elsewhere in the body. 

What about tying Natural Aptitude to one of the relevant Attributes for a given skill?

-Jackmc


monbvol

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #2 on: 26 January 2011, 16:25:01 »
The rules as written already tie Natural Aptitude to Intelligence allowing a character to have a maximum number of Natural Aptitudes equal to their Intelligence score.

The problem I see for your proposal is one of complexity, or more accurately in A Time of War terms, Advanced skills that link to multiple attributes.  It's not a bad idea though but since I'm not inclined to go through that much work myself to futz about with figuring out a fair way for Natural Aptitude to cost with limits of how many you can have based on varying attributes.
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Jackmc

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #3 on: 26 January 2011, 16:57:04 »
just follw the KISS principle and allow the palyer to use either ATT for complex skills.

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monbvol

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #4 on: 26 January 2011, 17:02:50 »
Which is why I'm inclined to keep the maximum limit of Natural Aptitudes tied to Intelligence modifier.  The cost of them I already have tied to if it is a Simple or Complex skill so you know problem solved there.
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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #5 on: 26 January 2011, 17:34:39 »
Even with the reduced cost, they're not cheap which makes me wonder if tying them to an Att is warranted at all.  The only real reason I can see for the limit is to prevent munchiness.  IMO, i liketo use the rule of thumb that GURPS line edtor Sean "Kromm" Punch uses ie the goal shouldn't be to try to limit munichiness but rather to keep the option from becoming so attractive that it becomes a "must have."

-Jackmc   


monbvol

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #6 on: 26 January 2011, 18:35:44 »
I'm not sure what you are driving at.

My view is as written Natural Aptitude is so expensive as to be unapproachable despite a character being able to have a maximum of 9 Natural Aptitudes.  My alteration makes the trait itself cheap enough that if I didn't put in a limit that a character could easily wind up with 10 or more.

Intelligence modifier +1 works for my purposes as it keeps it simple and limits to a maximum of 2 Natural Aptitudes on one character without having to figure out some complicated means of enforcing a max based upon link attributes.
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monbvol

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #7 on: 14 February 2011, 18:22:41 »
And the latest house rule from my sanity challenged brain.  Optional random events!

I know they're a bit imbalanced just yet but they are still something of a work in progress.  I wrote them per stage rather than per module because I was having enough trouble coming up with things for even that much but they should be workable despite that.

Stage 1
2: Severe accident at a young age.  Choose a following pair:  Combat Paralysis -10 XP, Compulsion/Fear of Guns -10 XP; Slow Learner -10 XP, Introvert -10 XP; Glass Jaw -10 XP, Handicap -10 XP; Lost Limb -10 XP, Compulsion/Chemical addiction -10 XP.  Edge +20 XP.
3: A rare disease strikes at a young age.  Handicap -10 XP, any skill gained from this module -10 XP, Interest/Pharmacology +5 XP, Arts/Any +5 XP, Interest/Any +5 XP and choose one of the following: Glass Jaw -5 XP, Handicap -5 XP, or Lost Limb -5 XP; Toughness +10 XP.
4: Abducted by pirates.  Must choose Adolescent Warfare, Spacer Family, or Street as next module.
5: Orphaned.  Compulsion/Traumatic Memories -15 XP, Connections +10 XP, Interest/Any +5 XP
6: Parents caught up in local revolution but taught you important skills.  Comms/Conventional +5 XP, Small Arms +5 XP, Demolitions +5 XP; Enemy -15 XP; Must choose Adolescent Warfare or Street as next Module.
7: Ordinary childhood. +5 XP to any skill; -5 XP to Edge.
8: Young virtuoso.  Arts/Any +20 XP, Compulsion/Arrogant -20 XP.
9: Early sports star.  Fit +15 XP, Interest/Any sport +20 XP, Compulsion/Chemical Addiction -35 XP.
10: Avid hunter.  Small Arms +10 XP, Tracking/Any +10 XP, Good Hearing +10 XP, Good Vision +10 XP, Introvert -40 XP.
11: On one of your trips you find some interesting items.  Equipped +10 XP, Connections +10 XP, Wealth +50 XP(if Clan exchange for Equipped +50 XP) Enemy -70 XP.
12: Choose one or roll again twice.

Stage 2
2: Run in with a street gang leaves it's mark.  Choose either Unattractive -20 XP or Compulsion/Traumatic Memories -20 XP; Fit +20 XP.
3: Family moves to the frontier and loses it all.  Wealth -15 XP, Equipped -10 XP, Zero-G Ops +5 XP, Survival any +20 XP.
4: The judge gives you a choice, Military or Jail.  Must take either Organized Crime or Military Enlistment/Academy as next module.
5: Part time job after school.  Wealth +5 XP, Slow Learner -5 XP.
6: Gifted student. Add 5 XP to any three skills gained from this module and may enter University next module,  Introvert -15 XP.
7: Boooooring.  +5 XP to any trait; Wealth -5 XP.
8: After school activities.  Choose either Fit +20 XP, Running +20 XP, Throwing +20 XP, Acting +20 XP, Computers +20 XP, or Technician any +20 XP; Edge -20 XP.
9: Family training. Choose either Piloting/Any +20 XP, Driving/Any +20 XP, or Technician/Any + 20 XP; Choose either Vehicle +15 XP or Equipped +15 XP; Compulsion/Stubborn -35 XP.
10: Super prodigey.  Fast Learner +40 XP, Introvert -40 XP.
11: You have an undiscovered talent. Natural Aptitude/Any +70 XP, Unlucky -70 XP.
12: Choose one or roll again twice

Stage 3
2: School scandal causes problems.  Wealth -10 XP, Reputation -10 XP, Choose either Will +20 XP or Patient +20 XP.
3: Field study goes horribly wrong.  Lost Limb -25 XP, Extra Income +25 XP.
4: You earn a trip to the medical labs of a highly regarded university.  Must choose Travel as next module and Handicap -10 XP, Poison Resistance +10 XP.
5: A bit side tracked but worth it.  Dependent -15 XP, Connections +15 XP.
6: Who knew you had such a way with machines? Tech Empathy +15 XP, Unlucky -15 XP.
7: Could be worse but all this free time you have gives you a chance to better yourself.  +5 XP to any attribute,  Compulsion/Arrogant -5 XP.
8: Superior training.  Player may choose an additional training field above and beyond current restrictions/choices for no additional time or may take one less year for this module.  Cost and rebate are not affected by this event and thus are paid and gained normally.
9: Fish to water. Any skill gained at this stage from a field +20 XP, +15 XP to any other skill gained from this module, Slow Learner -35.
10: Wow this is easier than I thought.  Natural Aptitude/any skill gained from this module +40 XP, Enemy -40 XP.
11: Grants come through giving you some extra cash.  Wealth +70 XP, Reputation -70.
12: Choose one or roll again twice

Stage 4
2: You get in over your head gambling.  Wealth -10 XP, Compulsion/Gambling -10 XP, Connections +20.
3: Those are some unsavory characters you've met up with.  Choose either Enemy -25 and Edge +25 or Reputation -25 and Connections +25.
4: Cut backs leave you high and dry for a while.  Must choose Ne'er-do-well as next module.
5: The label said whiskey but the blindness says otherwise.  Poor Vision -15 XP, Poison Resistance +15 XP.
6: Properly “medicated” you become the life of the party.  Gregarious +15 XP, Compulsion/Addiction -15 XP.
7: Nothing out of the ordinary here.  +5 flexible XP, -5 XP Dark Secret.
8: An undiscovered talent sends you back to school.  May choose a Civilian stage 3 module next.
9:  Earn the attention of an important person.  Choose either Wealth +35 XP, Rank +35 SP, or Connections +35 XP; Blood Mark -35 XP.
10: Lucky sob.  Edge +40 XP, Enemy -40 XP.
11: You make one heck of a breakthrough while tinkering.  Choose either Equipped+70 XP, Wealth +70 XP, or Reputation +70 XP; Introvert -70 XP.
12: Choose one or roll again twice
« Last Edit: 13 June 2011, 16:59:34 by monbvol »
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Jackmc

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #8 on: 14 February 2011, 19:18:00 »
Overall I like what you have, but I think a full thousand points for rolling a 2 is a bit steep on a 2D6 curve.  With a 2.67% chance per stage, an average sized group would likely end up with a crippled pc out of this.

-Jackmc


monbvol

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #9 on: 14 February 2011, 20:14:34 »
My bad.  Those are supposed to be in XP not trait points or skill ranks.

I'll go ahead and see about clearing that up here in a bit.
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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #10 on: 14 February 2011, 20:25:06 »
My bad.  Those are supposed to be in XP not trait points or skill ranks.

I'll go ahead and see about clearing that up here in a bit.

Ah, gotcha.  looks good then, a little character without being derailing.  Good job.

-Jackmc


monbvol

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #11 on: 21 February 2011, 22:06:25 »
Noticed I forgot a special ability.

Iron Fist
Requirements: Martial Arts 5+, Fit, Toughness, Iron Body
Cost: 50 XP

Benefit: Character gains 1M Armor Penetration for unarmed attacks.

My next to do is a Random Allocation Table for my Alternate Universe.
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BirdofPrey

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #12 on: 22 February 2011, 03:04:16 »
Got a reason Iron fist should require iron body? 

monbvol

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #13 on: 22 February 2011, 08:02:31 »
My possibly not entirely correct understanding of real world Martial Arts techniques.  Plus going from 0M to 1M without cybernetic augmentation or equipment is actually a fairly potent capability so making this one fairly expensive seems appropriate for game balance anyway.
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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #14 on: 22 February 2011, 08:19:54 »
Ah, I suppose it's good to have a prerequisite.  It just seems odd to me for the prerequisite to be a defensive ability; I would think being able to take a punch takes a different kind of discipline than knowing whee to hit someone else to do extra damage (what I would assume would give you armor penetration), though since there are no other punch related abilities that I see, I am coming up empty (someone likes throwing knifes quiaff?)

monbvol

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #15 on: 22 February 2011, 15:01:35 »
I will admit if anything I probably do have them backwards in terms of prerequisits from a real world perspective but from a game mechanic perspective it is just too useful of an ability to not cost a lot.  Since most characters can only get 1 or 2 subduing damage in hand to hand fighting someone with even a flak jacket or a good leather coat makes for some rather tough going but suddenly with this ability the fight becomes much more interesting.

I know I probably do overly favor the archiac forms of combat but sometimes it does feel like the rules let them down too much.

I'm still toying around with another idea to have a special ability that allows a character do lethal damage instead of subduing but I'm not quite finished with it since that really needs some hefty drawbacks.
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monbvol

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #16 on: 13 March 2011, 21:29:47 »
I'm looking at my optional random events and I am starting to think I should make them zero sum affairs.  Basically they should do nothing to the cost of a module nor should they give you more than normal.  Okay revisions made.  I feel a bit better about it but it still feels a little imperfect.

Might have to give it a try to see how well it actually works.
« Last Edit: 13 March 2011, 21:49:53 by monbvol »
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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #17 on: 14 March 2011, 19:28:39 »
And something to make Citizenship a bit more worthwhile.

Character must have Citizenship to enter any Stage 3 Module except Family Training.
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BirdofPrey

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #18 on: 14 March 2011, 21:31:14 »
Wouldn't that requirement be based on affiliation?  In some places everyone is aa citizen if they were born there.

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #19 on: 14 March 2011, 23:33:22 »
And something to make Citizenship a bit more worthwhile.

Why bother.  It's worthless.  Far better to make a lack fo citizenship a negative trait for thsoe socities.

-Jackmc


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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #20 on: 15 March 2011, 06:48:53 »
Whether you are automatically a Citizen or not doesn't change if you in fact have the Citizen trait and because it is worthless as presented in AToW is exactly why I'm changing it.

Considering even though I was born in a country where even being born there grants automatic Citizenship I still had to present proof of Citizenship or permission to be in said country to go to college I don't think it is that unreasonable.
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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #21 on: 15 March 2011, 11:11:41 »
Some mulling on the Attributes issue that seems to have come up again.  I'm still toying around with it but I figure why not put my initial thoughts here to see what others think.

Attribute ScoreModifier
0-4
1-3
2-2
3-1
40
50
61
71
81
92
102
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Nargrakhan

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #22 on: 15 March 2011, 17:14:59 »
The main problems I have with the Attribute/Modifier setup, relate more to the nature of initial character design costs and increased skill roll failure. I don't agree with giving starting PC's more than 5000 XP, just to "fix" that issue either. I simply make "3" an average Attribute. I use this:


Attribute ScoreModifier
0-8
1-4
2-2
30
40
50
6+1
7+1
8+2
9+2
10+3


I increase the penalty for lowered Attributes, to strongly discourage anyone going for 2 so they can min-max, as well as sweetening having 4 at game start, so they'll have a "buffer" in case of something temporarily reducing their Attributes. It also makes things deadlier and interesting when Attributes do slip that far.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2011, 17:21:40 by Nargrakhan »

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #23 on: 15 March 2011, 17:16:43 »
Oops... Sorry about this... double posted by accident.

monbvol

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #24 on: 15 March 2011, 17:24:47 »
Eh no worries about the double post.  It's happened to most of us at least once.

My main problem is 3 not having a modifier feels too inexpensive no matter how much you penalize 0, 1, and 2.  It probably isn't when you really stop to think about it especially when you have to go and make an attribute check but it is just one of those irrational things that just doesn't sit right with me for no real good reason.
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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #25 on: 19 March 2011, 16:24:42 »
Whether you are automatically a Citizen or not doesn't change if you in fact have the Citizen trait and because it is worthless as presented in AToW is exactly why I'm changing it.

It matters for character creation and it puts players from a minority of affiliations at a notable disadvantage to a character from the majority of affiliations.  That's not to mention that in only two of those affiliations that do require citizenship, do citizens represent the exception rather than the rule.

Quote
Considering even though I was born in a country where even being born there grants automatic Citizenship I still had to present proof of Citizenship or permission to be in said country to go to college I don't think it is that unreasonable.

I don't think it's analogous at all.  It's just a requirement to present your bona fides.  If you lose said bona fides, you don't lose your citizenship, you just have to find/replace the bona fides.  IF you lack the ability to obtain said bona fides, then  your from another affiliation.

-Jackmc


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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #26 on: 19 March 2011, 17:40:48 »
Just because you have something because you can prove you were born in a certain place does not make it worthless.  That's like saying Title is worthless.  The benefits are not immediately observable.  In fact applying the trait evenly actually brings things into balance so that no faction has an advantage over the others.

I know it treads danger close to politics but it is the only example I know.

With my real life citizenship I can:

Get a job with anyone that finds my qualifications acceptable to their opening with no risk of being deported.

Go to college.

Travel the nation I have citizenship with.

If it were not for my age and weight I could even join the military.

I don't know about you but I consider those some pretty nice perks.  Yes I know most of that can be done without citizenship but it often costs more and in several cases would come with significant risk of imprisonment or worse.

I don't find it too much of a stretch to apply these real world standards to AToW.  In fact you've just convinced me to extend the worth of Citizenship to Stage 4 modules.

Modules in Stage 4 that I can see not needing Citizenship:

Agitator
Dark Caste
Guerilla Insurgent
Ne'er-do-well
Organized Crime

There are a couple others that can be fudged but it would really be on a per character and per campaign basis.

Plus on a final note it is not like I am forcing anyone to use any of this.
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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #27 on: 20 March 2011, 16:13:54 »
Another thing about citizenship restrictions:  throughout history there have been numerous societies that either did not require citizenship to serve in the military (French Foreign Legion) or granted citizenship for service (current US policy).

-Jackmc


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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #28 on: 20 March 2011, 19:14:30 »
Funny thing about those though.  While a French Foreign Legion member may not have been a citizen of France they were a citizen of somewhere before hand and could prove it.

Just for fun straight from the French Forgein Legion recruiting website:

Quote
Which documents must be carrier a candidate for the recruitment ?

The presentation of any identity cards ( on current validity ) delivered by the State of membership of the candidate is asked so as to facilitate the process of selection and recruitment (ID card, passport, driving licences, diplomas of state). In every case, an act or a birth certificate with filiation will be required before the end of the first year of contract.

In other words you have to prove you have to have what AToW would call the Citizen trait with someone before the end of your first year.

The US Army citizenship for service?  So much easier to do if you can prove you have what AToW would call the Citizenship trait with someone.  Not to mention the standard background checks that go on to join the US Army.

Plus it seems you completely missed these part of my last post:

Just because you have something because you can prove you were born in a certain place does not make it worthless.  [snip]
Yes I know most of that can be done without citizenship but it often costs more and in several cases would come with significant risk of imprisonment or worse.
[snip]
Plus on a final note it is not like I am forcing anyone to use any of this.

So enough dragging real world politics into this.
If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics suck.

House Rule/AU thread

What If...(AN AU FanFic)

AToW Character Creation Aides

Jackmc

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Re: Monbvol's House rule emporium
« Reply #29 on: 21 March 2011, 15:10:32 »
Plus it seems you completely missed these part of my last post:

This wasn't in response to your last post, it was a addendum to my earlier post because this was a point I had wanted to make in that post but had forgotten to include.

My general view on Citizenship is that it's bad game design.  It's the default state for the majority of characters with not having it being the exception rather than the rule.  If you're going to use a game mechanic, it should be to address the exception rather than the default.   


-Jackmc.