Author Topic: ATOW point purchase character creation  (Read 4937 times)

tcabril

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ATOW point purchase character creation
« on: 15 April 2016, 08:07:38 »
I have been trying to get any mechwarrior RPG running and it seems that ATOW may have to be the way to go....
I love MW2 as an easy fun system but limited
MW3 is good but diverges from the 2D6 system and that can cause some issues (though not insurmountable...)
ATOW has nice mechanics but the character creation system is a convoluted mess!!!
Took me 2+ hours to make a practice character and was about as much fun as a CPA exam!

The Point Purchase creation method has some merit...

How do you all feel about the Point Purchase method and how do you get around the issue of some TRAITS being linked to certain affiliations?

Thanks!
 

Atlas3060

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #1 on: 15 April 2016, 08:40:35 »
I don't mind it, then again I also like the Life Module system when I don't have a clear idea of what I want in my head.
Full disclosure, I did start with MW3 edition so that might explain my ability to see into the Warp and not be afflicted.

Refresh my memory but what traits were specifically linked to affiliations?
I could have sworn any trait was workable with enough imagination and bluffing to the GM.
It's not about winning or losing, no it's all about how many chapters have you added to the rule books after your crazy antics.

tcabril

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #2 on: 15 April 2016, 09:17:48 »
Sure - I have to think I don't have my book right here.
I believe the "Citizenship" TRAIT requires it an I believe there are some TRUEBORN CLAN Traits

Thanks!
Todd

Atlas3060

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #3 on: 15 April 2016, 09:25:24 »
Oh yeah, Citizenship for the CapCon, RoTS, and the other traits dealing with Trueborns.

Personally I don't have that much of a problem with them, because I treat them no different than the Titles ranks.
You want to be called Lord Flufflebottoms? Where's the points in the trait for that, until then you are Mr. Flufflebottoms good sir.

Capellans have a similar mindset. Are you a true citizen? Well those points in that trait reflect your effort into that.
It's not about winning or losing, no it's all about how many chapters have you added to the rule books after your crazy antics.

monbvol

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #4 on: 15 April 2016, 14:05:50 »
To clarify a bit Citizenship can be purchased for any faction or ignored for any faction, it just has certain consequences if you do not have it for certain factions(the aforementioned Capellan Confederation).

I will say it is one of the traits that I think could be better defined/expanded upon to have more value/consequence to other factions as well but I think I'll stop there.

It is true Trueborn and Pheonotype are heavily related and are intended to be exclusive to the Clans.  I'll admit I've toyed with the idea of allowing them for Inner Sphere characters to represent certain dark projects or just that exceptional of a person.  Really it is up to your GM on that.

As for character creation under A Time of War is about 30 minutes for a Life Module character(Affiliation to Stage 4) and about 10 minutes for a standard 5,000 XP 21 year old Inner Sphere character.  Under MW3ed I was could about match that 30 minute mark for a similar character but would usually need more time.  Though I do understand all those numbers coming at a person all at once, isn't exactly easy to deal with even if it is simple addition and subtraction.  Which certainly makes it more daunting for some people but I would never say convoluted or complex.

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #5 on: 15 April 2016, 17:56:17 »
To clarify a bit Citizenship can be purchased for any faction or ignored for any faction, it just has certain consequences if you do not have it for certain factions(the aforementioned Capellan Confederation).

I will say it is one of the traits that I think could be better defined/expanded upon to have more value/consequence to other factions as well but I think I'll stop there.

It is true Trueborn and Pheonotype are heavily related and are intended to be exclusive to the Clans.  I'll admit I've toyed with the idea of allowing them for Inner Sphere characters to represent certain dark projects or just that exceptional of a person.  Really it is up to your GM on that.

As for character creation under A Time of War is about 30 minutes for a Life Module character(Affiliation to Stage 4) and about 10 minutes for a standard 5,000 XP 21 year old Inner Sphere character.  Under MW3ed I was could about match that 30 minute mark for a similar character but would usually need more time.  Though I do understand all those numbers coming at a person all at once, isn't exactly easy to deal with even if it is simple addition and subtraction.  Which certainly makes it more daunting for some people but I would never say convoluted or complex.

I didn't find it hard to set up a spread sheet for character generation.  Columns for affiliation and life paths, rows for attributes (eight), traits (a dozen, most of which will be zeroed out if using those rules), and skills.  The final row can add up all the columns for final score of everything, and if you have the total XP per column tracked too, keep a running total of what is spent when time comes to fill things in at the end.

One point is the XP for advancing a character is the same for generating that character.  So 100 XP for an extra point in a trait is the same whether you spend in generation or from game XP.  Once you understand building a character, you can understand how spending your later XP will advance them.
« Last Edit: 15 April 2016, 19:17:30 by Nikas_Zekeval »

Daryk

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #6 on: 15 April 2016, 18:00:27 »
Monbvol (and others, including me) have built spreadsheets to help with character creation.  I'll be reposting mine after I hear back from a friend who's error checking for me.

tcabril

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #7 on: 15 April 2016, 18:31:43 »
Thank you gentlemen!

I have decided that I am going to learn ATOW even if it kills me - be prepared for lots of questions!!!!
I really appreciate all the advice and opinions!
I has helped me make up my mind

Todd

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #8 on: 15 April 2016, 19:27:19 »
Hmm, for those that have experience running characters under ATOW, is it better to invest points in upping your attributes and traits at the expense of skills, or getting your attributes just high enough to avoid penalties and only go over 4 in an attribute if you have a required minimum that is higher, and spend the points elsewhere?

As a GM, would you also restrict 'fast learner'?

Daryk

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #9 on: 15 April 2016, 19:57:56 »
I think Fast Learner is self limiting.  It's not worth the investment until you've spent 3,000 points on skills, so as long as you're conservative with XP awards, there shouldn't be a problem.

As far as attributes, it depends.  For battle armor, I think it's worth buying up to seven for the bonus since the minimum is so high.  For most purposes though, four is the way to go.

monbvol

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #10 on: 15 April 2016, 20:06:51 »
Something to watch for and I see happen a lot in my group is putting Dexterity and Reflexes to 7 each.  This gives a +1 or +2 bonus to just about every combat skill.  Intelligence to 7 will give a bonus to most of the rest and will help increase downtime XP gain, especially when combined with Fast Learner.

Page 40 does have a box that says the GM should not allow the application of attribute bonuses to the Piloting and Gunnery skills.

Daryk

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #11 on: 15 April 2016, 20:18:31 »
That same box also says you can't have a target number lower than zero.  I think the omission of attribute modifiers was simply an oversight.  Why limit it twice?

bluedragon7

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #12 on: 15 April 2016, 20:31:12 »
Fast learner pays off after 1500 XP in skills (20% as of 2nd printing) so everyone should have it. As a GM I would require that either all of the SCs have it or none.

Attributes 4 or 7 is quite effective though the secondary uses (hit points etc.) make other values not completely wasted.

I prefer solid attributes, traits however, especially the equipment related ones, tend to be overpriced so I spend not much XP on them. As my characters tend to be quite old I also end up with lots of skills.

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #13 on: 15 April 2016, 20:43:02 »
Fast learner pays off after 1500 XP in skills (20% as of 2nd printing) so everyone should have it. As a GM I would require that either all of the SCs have it or none.

Attributes 4 or 7 is quite effective though the secondary uses (hit points etc.) make other values not completely wasted.

I prefer solid attributes, traits however, especially the equipment related ones, tend to be overpriced so I spend not much XP on them. As my characters tend to be quite old I also end up with lots of skills.

Hmm, or depending what age your character comes out at, well you might start at just below those thresholds and let a year or two of campaign aging push you over?

Also Fast Learner applies to you during character generation, so your initial skills come under that 1500 XP break even point.

Daryk

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #14 on: 16 April 2016, 06:41:23 »
Hmmm... I had thought the "updated" pdf I had was second printing, but it still says 10%.  The errata has it right, though.  Even so, as long as you're conservative with XP awards, it's self limiting.

bluedragon7

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #15 on: 16 April 2016, 09:06:17 »
Hmm, or depending what age your character comes out at, well you might start at just below those thresholds and let a year or two of campaign aging push you over?
indeed, I once had a young aspiring heir to a mercenary command starting out at 19 who had only saved 254XP at beginning of play, a year of downtime would have earned him enough to break even.
Quote
Also Fast Learner applies to you during character generation, so your initial skills come under that 1500 XP break even point.
That is already factored in the 1500: if a fast learner spends 1200 XP in skills ( and 300 for the trait) he can have the same skill levels as a normal learner spending 1500.

monbvol

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #16 on: 16 April 2016, 11:57:31 »
That same box also says you can't have a target number lower than zero.  I think the omission of attribute modifiers was simply an oversight.  Why limit it twice?

Because even without attribute bonuses it is possible to invest enough skill to go into negative target numbers in the conversion to Total Warfare play.

Daryk

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #17 on: 16 April 2016, 12:14:48 »
Hmmm... the omission of Linked Attribute Modifiers is repeated on page 201 as well.  I'm going to ask in the errata section, I think.

Acolyte

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #18 on: 16 April 2016, 14:04:56 »
Hmmm... the omission of Linked Attribute Modifiers is repeated on page 201 as well.  I'm going to ask in the errata section, I think.

I did. The answer was "whatever works at your table". If you are OK with superhuman skills in the heroes of your campaign, then it's OK to allow. If you want more "grit" then don't. :)

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Daryk

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #19 on: 16 April 2016, 14:25:14 »
Xotl must have missed that earlier question too, he already pointed me to the rules section to ask again, though I did ask if it was a deliberate omission.

monbvol

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #20 on: 16 April 2016, 16:04:57 »
Link attribute modifiers is something I've been debating for a long time now.  With a 2d6 mechanic even a +1 or +2 can be quite powerful and with how the players in my group tend to build their characters it is always seems to come up in a way that makes creating challenges for them a bit more problematic but I don't really have a good way to solve it.

Daryk

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #21 on: 16 April 2016, 16:19:34 »
I figure if they want to invest 300 XP in jacking up an Attribute, why not?  If your players make this a problem for you, limit their starting XP.  I've found perfectly viable characters can be built with 4,500 XP.

monbvol

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #22 on: 16 April 2016, 17:15:07 »
For my group it is more about getting them to spend their XP in different ways than needing to limit them.  To that end I've already decided on some nasty tricks to pull on them because of certain things they have not invested in for my current campaign.

bluedragon7

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Re: ATOW point purchase character creation
« Reply #23 on: 16 April 2016, 17:35:01 »
As older characters can easily reach way over 2000 additional XP trough ageing, reducing the base XP to 4500 at 21 has actually not that much impact on the strength.

If linked attributes are too strong in your group make them only work on untrained skills like they did in MW3, I prefer my chars more like Cassie, Kai, Joker ;)

 

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