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Author Topic: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM  (Read 2243 times)

Sebastian Llywelyn

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HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« on: 01 April 2018, 21:56:17 »
Hi guys,

I am completely and utterly confused/mind-****** by the character creation rules for Battletech AToW. I haven't felt this brain dead since college. I'm hoping someone can direct me to a guide, or video, or anything that will help me understand these rules, because as of right now, I'm completely stuck. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Cheers!
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truetanker

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #1 on: 01 April 2018, 23:54:12 »
What is the problem? I've have some experience...

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guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #2 on: 02 April 2018, 10:49:06 »
agreed, if you could give us a little more information about what is confusing you we can help.

I have to go to work now, but this evening I will most likely work through and post a character concept I am thinking about.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #3 on: 02 April 2018, 13:10:04 »
There's essentially 2 character generation systems, and that may be contributing to the confusion.  There's the Life Path system, and the Point Buy.  The former is MUCH more complicated than the latter.  I'd suggest ignoring the modules for starting and just do some point buy sample characters.  You'll get some familiarity with the rules system and then if you want to begin playing with the life path for characters it'll be less daunting.

BiggRigg42

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #4 on: 02 April 2018, 13:14:59 »
There are two types of character generation: point-buy, and life module. I found that it was easiest to learn point-buy first. So, point-buy is what i will explain.

In point-buy, you start off with a 5,000 X.P. pool to spend on creating your character. There are three things to spend X.P. on: attributes, traits, and skills.

Attributes cost 100X.P. per level. So, if you spend 300X.P. on, say, strength--then you will have a level 3 in strength. Subtract however much you spent on attributes from your starting 5,000X.P. pool; for example, perhaps you spent 1000X.P. on attributes. Now you have 4,000X.P. left for traits and skills. (5,000[starting X.P.]-1,000[attribute X.P.]= 4,000X.P.)

Traits cost 100X.P. per trait point (TP), and traits cost a certain number of TPs as their descriptions say. Subtract however much you spent on traits from your startingX.P. pool. Keeping with our previous example, perhaps you spent 1000X.P. on traits after you spent 1000X.P. on attributes; now you have 3,000X.P. left for skills (5,000 [starting X.P.]-1000 [attributes]-1,000[traits]= 3,000X.P. [remaining])

Skills cost a certain amount of X.P. per skill level, as determined by the X.P. costs table on page 85. Subtract however much you spend on skills from your starting X.P. pool, which is now at 3,000 in our previous example. Once your starting X.P. pool is depleted, your character is finished with creation.



 
« Last Edit: 02 April 2018, 14:04:03 by BiggRigg42 »

Daryk

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #5 on: 02 April 2018, 20:35:24 »
Sorry I didn't see this before... I spent the last hour dealing with a crisis from work we thought was solved on Friday.

I use the life module method, and have instructions on how to use my spreadsheet here.  Hope they help!

Sebastian Llywelyn

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #6 on: 02 April 2018, 21:16:55 »
Sorry for not being too specific, it's because pretty much everything confused me at first. Thanks for all your feedback and instructions, its been very helpful in clearing things up.
« Last Edit: 02 April 2018, 21:19:25 by Sebastian Llywelyn »
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Sebastian Llywelyn

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #7 on: 02 April 2018, 21:19:01 »
Sorry I didn't see this before... I spent the last hour dealing with a crisis from work we thought was solved on Friday.

I use the life module method, and have instructions on how to use my spreadsheet here.  Hope they help!

No worries, I definitely understand how it goes when things go sideways at work. Thanks for sharing that link, I'll probably end up using that and then emailing you my OC info on it.
"By Freedom's Sword"

abou

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #8 on: 02 April 2018, 21:30:00 »
Yeah, the system is confusing and frustrating when you are new. The subtraction and addition of points, the life paths, etc...

However, AToW is also one of the most flexible and creative systems out there. So if you soldier through, there is a lot to gain. As others have said, maybe do the point system rather than the life path.

Sebastian Llywelyn

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #9 on: 02 April 2018, 21:46:12 »
The first part of what you said is exactly what's so confusing, but I have no doubt that you're right about it being really fun once I get used to it. I think part of the problem is that I found a random spreadsheet someone posted online (not the one Daryk posted), which ended up just confusing me even more. I'm thinking now that I'll just try writing everything down on paper the old school way, and if I'm still confused I'll do the point system, for my first time around at least.
"By Freedom's Sword"

monbvol

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #10 on: 03 April 2018, 00:35:23 »
I wonder if you got one of mine, especially an earlier version that really didn't have any explanation to go with it.

Any rate doing life module by hand is certainly a way to go and will probably actually help you get to grips with some of the nuances of the Life Module system better than one of the spreadsheets but I do feel it is wise to caution you to be organized as it is all too easy to put the same skill down more than once and get really confused.  I did that a lot early on myself.

guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #11 on: 03 April 2018, 00:37:05 »
ok much like DARYK I work with the lifepaths. I will say that there are a few points where the book is less clear than it should be about the process.

with that said I am going to attempt to duplicate a character concept from a MechWarrior 2nd edition Archetype, but with a little spin.

instead of a MechWarrior, I am going to make an aerospace pilot.

to be continued.

guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #12 on: 03 April 2018, 01:23:55 »
ok I am going to start by deciding the characters Origin, Since I haven't made a character from Steiner in a while, I will start there.

now that I have an Origin, and a start of a concept, lets jump into the details.
I'm going to start with the "standard" allotment of 5000 XP, standard for an IS character 21 years old
Universal Experience points (pg 53) 850 XP
100 in each attribute, 20 in English language, 10XP perception, 20 XP primary or secondary language
step 0 Nation of origin Lyran Alliance (House Steiner) 150 XP (pg 56)
primary language German
Secondary languages English, Italian, Scots Gaelic, Swedish
Affiliation adjustments (steiner)
Attributes -50 will, -50 edg, Traits, equipped +100, Extra Income +50, wealth 100, Glass Jaw (-100), Skills Negotiation +15, Appraisal +10, protocol/lyran +15
I think I will set my sub affiliation to Donegal Provence so I get some adjustments
will +50xp, Traits compulsion: greedy-75, Connections +50, reputation -50, wealth +50, skills, Appraisal +10, Negotiation +10, protocol/lyran +15

ok lets summarize where we are right now
we spent 1000 of our 5000 XP, and got the following
Attributes
STR 100
Bod 100
RFL 100
DEX 100
INT 100
WIL 100 -50 +50
CHA 100
EDG 100 -50

Traits
equipped +100,
Extra Income +50,
wealth 100, +50
Glass Jaw (-100),
compulsion: greedy-75
Connections +50
reputation -50,

Skills
20 XP in English language,
20 XP primary or secondary language
10 XP perception,
15 XP Negotiation +10
10 XP Appraisal  +10
15 XP protocol/lyran +15

after we consolidate we get:
Attributes
STR 100
Bod 100
RFL 100
DEX 100
INT 100
WIL 100
CHA 100
EDG 50

Traits
equipped +100,
Extra Income +50,
wealth 150,
Glass Jaw (-100),
compulsion: greedy-75
Connections +50
reputation -50,

Skills
20 XP in English language,
20 XP primary or secondary language
10 XP perception,
25 XP Negotiation
20 XP Appraisal 
30 XP protocol/lyran

ok so far so good
moving on we choose a stage 1 module: Early Childhood
« Last Edit: 03 April 2018, 01:39:51 by guardiandashi »

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #13 on: 03 April 2018, 01:24:49 »
Yeah, you're gonna wanna disable emojis on that post.

Liam's Ghost

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #14 on: 03 April 2018, 01:36:08 »
with that said I am going to attempt to duplicate a character concept from a MechWarrior 2nd edition Archetype, but with a little spin.

Will the spin also be the gender of the character matches the portrait?  :D

Heh, "become the man his parents expect him to be."
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

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guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #15 on: 03 April 2018, 01:37:40 »
ok so far so good
moving on we choose a stage 1 module: Early Childhood

NOBILITY
Module Cost: 215 XP
The noble-born character is blessed with the most privileged
of upbringings, receiving upper class status, top-rate education
and a luxurious lifestyle where every need and many desires are
automatically met. As a result, “bluebloods” often seem cultured,
but suffer from the indulgences of their soft lives.
Prerequisites: Any non-Clan affiliation; 5+ TP (total) in Title,
Wealth or Property Traits
Fixed XPs: [Attributes] STR (–75 XP), BOD (–75 XP), RFL (–50 XP),
INT (+100 XP), CHA (+100 XP); [Traits] Equipped (+125 XP), Enemy
(–200 XP), Glass Jaw (–100 XP), Reputation (+175 XP), Wealth
(+150 XP); [Skills] Appraisal (+5 XP), Art/Any (+10 XP), Interest/
Any (+10 XP), Language/Affiliation (+10 XP), Protocol/Affiliation
(+10 XP)
Flexible XPs: +5 XP each to any four Attributes, Traits or Skills

Attributes
STR 100 -75
Bod 100 -75
RFL 100 -50
DEX 100
INT 100 +100
WIL 100
CHA 100 +100
EDG 50

Traits
equipped +100, +125
Extra Income +50
wealth 150 +150
Glass Jaw -100 -100
compulsion: greedy-75
Connections +50
reputation -50 +175
Enemy –200 XP

Skills
20 XP in English language,
20 XP primary or secondary language
10 XP perception,
25 XP Negotiation
20 XP Appraisal  +5
30 XP protocol/lyran +10 XP
Art/Any +10 XP
Interest/Any +10 XP
Language/Affiliation +10 XP

and when we consolidate again
Attributes
STR 25
Bod 25
RFL 50
DEX 100
INT 200
WIL 100
CHA 200
EDG 50

Traits
equipped +225
Extra Income +50
wealth 300
Glass Jaw -200
compulsion: greedy-75
Connections +50
reputation +125
Enemy –200 XP

Skills
20 XP in English language,
20 XP primary or secondary language Language/Affiliation +10 XP
10 XP perception
25 XP Negotiation
25 XP Appraisal 
40 XP protocol/lyran
Art/Any +10 XP
Interest/Any +10 XP

Flexible XPs: +5 XP each to any four Attributes, Traits or Skills

total XP spent 1215 of 5000

next is stage 2: late childhood
« Last Edit: 03 April 2018, 01:40:20 by guardiandashi »

guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #16 on: 03 April 2018, 01:57:02 »
Attributes
STR 25
Bod 25
RFL 50
DEX 100
INT 200
WIL 100
CHA 200
EDG 50

Traits
equipped +225
Extra Income +50
wealth 300
Glass Jaw -200
compulsion: greedy-75
Connections +50
reputation +125
Enemy –200 XP

Skills
20 XP in English language,
20 XP primary or secondary language Language/Affiliation +10 XP
10 XP perception
25 XP Negotiation
25 XP Appraisal 
40 XP protocol/lyran
Art/Any +10 XP
Interest/Any +10 XP

Flexible XPs: +5 XP each to any four Attributes, Traits or Skills

total XP spent 1215 of 5000

next is stage 2: late childhood

MILITARY SCHOOL
Module Cost: 500 XP
Whether by punishment or as a matter of familial pride, the
character that spends his late childhood in military school comes
away from the experience with a host of skills and a sense of
discipline that can boost any eventual military or political career.
Prerequisites: WIL 3+
Fixed XPs: [Attributes] CHA (+50 XP); [Traits] Connections
(+15 XP), Fit (+15 XP), Rank (+20 XP); [Skills] Career/Soldier (+25
XP), Computers (+35 XP), Interest/Any (+30 XP), Interest/Military
History (+40 XP), Leadership (+20 XP), Martial Arts (+30 XP),
MedTech/General (+10 XP), Melee Weapons (+20 XP), Protocol/
Affiliation (+30 XP), Running (+30 XP), Small Arms (+50 XP),
Strategy (+10 XP), Swimming (+30 XP)
Flexible XPs: +40 XP (may only be applied to Skills)

and after consolidating again we get:
Attributes
STR 25
Bod 25
RFL 50
DEX 100
INT 200
WIL 100
CHA 250
EDG 50
Any non-Clan affiliation; 5+ TP (total) in Title,
Wealth or Property Traits
Prerequisites: WIL 3+
Traits
equipped +225
Extra Income +50
wealth 300
Glass Jaw -200
compulsion: greedy-75
Connections +50 +15
reputation +125
Enemy –200 XP
Fit +15
rank +20

Skills
20 XP in English language,
20 XP primary or secondary language Language/Affiliation +10 XP
10 XP perception
25 XP Negotiation
25 XP Appraisal 
40 XP protocol/lyran 30
Art/Any +10 XP
Interest/Any +10 XP
30 XP Interest/Any
25 XP Career/Soldier
35 XP Computers
40 XP Interest/Military History
20 XP Leadership
30 XP Martial Arts
10 XP MedTech/General
20 XP Melee Weapons
30 XP Running 
50 XP Small Arms
10 XP Strategy
30 XP Swimming
Flexible XPs: +5 XP each to any four Attributes, Traits or Skills
Flexible XPs: +40 XP (may only be applied to Skills)

note I did not consolidate the interest any because it can be used to represent multiple interests or 1 interest your char is really into

and the next stage is /would be Stage 3: Higher Education
I am thinking: Military Academy, and OCS
as a note OCS is not considered a second pass its an extension of the military academy,
« Last Edit: 03 April 2018, 02:11:08 by guardiandashi »

guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #17 on: 04 April 2018, 00:06:37 »
now doing the military academy is a little more convoluted and where the life path system can get a little confused.
Military Academy (830 XP + Field Costs)
Military academies represent the finest in training for career-minded
characters in the military. Every major realm boasts at least
one interstellar-grade military academy like House Steiner’s Nagelring
on Tharkad, or the Draconis Combine’s Sun Zhang MechWarrior
Academy. As the place where MechWarriors learn their craft and all
recruits are viewed as potential officer candidates, military academies
have stricter entry requirements than simple enlistment.
Prerequisite: If character did not take Prep School or Military
School as a Stage 2 module, apply the following: [Attributes] WIL
(+100 XP), EDG (–100 XP); [Traits] Connection (+200 XP), Reputation
(–100 XP), Wealth (–100 XP)
does not apply

Automatic: [Attributes]
STR +50 XP
BOD +100 XP
RFL +125 XP
WIL +100 XP

[Traits]
Equipped +100 XP
Rank +200 XP

[Skills]
Interest/Military History +15 XP
Leadership +10 XP
Protocol/Affiliation +15 XP
Swimming +15 XP

[Flexible XP]
(+100 XP)

Fields
Basic (+1 year): Basic Training, Basic Training (Naval)

Advanced (+1 year): Analysis, Cavalry, Infantry, Marine,
MechWarrior,
Pilot/Aerospace (Combat), Pilot/Aircraft (Combat),
Pilot/DropShip, Scientist, Scout, Ship’s Crew


Special (+2 years): Doctor, Infantry/Anti-’Mech, Military Scientist,
Pilot/Battle Armor, Pilot/JumpShip, Pilot/WarShip, Special Forces

so I picked the basic training (naval) field, and the pilot aerospace (combat)
so we jump ahead to pg 84 where the military skill fields are, and pg 71 field costs are 30 xp per field with a "rebate" of 6xp per skill that goes back into the pool

so basic training (naval) requires INT 4, RFL 3, and cannot have TDS
Career/Pilot or ships crew +30 XP
Martial arts +30 XP
Medtech/General +30 XP
Navigation/Space +30 XP
Small Arms +30 XP
Zero-G Operations +30 XP
for a field cost of 180 XP
and a rebate of 36 XP

Pilot Aerospace (Combat)
Requires: Basic Training Field or Basic Training (Naval) Field, DEX 4, RFL 4
Gunnery/Aerospace +30 XP
Navigation/Air +30 XP
Navigation/Space +30 XP
Piloting/Aerospace +30 XP
Sensor Operations +30 XP
Tactics/Space +30 XP
Zero-G Operations +30 XP
for a total of 210 XP and 42 back into the pool as the rebate
so the Military Academy training ends up costing:
830, +180, +210, - 36 and -42 or 1220 -78 or a grand total of 1142 xp rather pricy.
of course we could stop there but I said we were doing OCS so lets add that and then consolidate stage 3

Officer Candidate School (550 XP + Field Costs)
Prerequisite: Character must have used the Intelligence, Police
or
Military Schools only, and possess at least one Basic and one
Advanced Field. Characters require this training to access the officer
ranks in the Rank Trait.
Automatic:
[Attributes]
CHA +100 XP
EDG –200 XP
[Traits]
Connections +50 XP
Equipped +50 XP
Rank +250 XP
Reputation +50 XP
Wealth +100 XP

[Skills]
Leadership +10 XP
Protocol/Affiliation +25 XP

[Flexible XP] (+115 XP)

Fields
Basic (+1 year): Officer Training
Note: Upon completion, character may select the “O” grades on the
General Rank Table (see p. 124)

so back to pg 84

Officer
Requires: Basic Training or Basic Training (Naval) Field; Rank O1 or higher
Administration +30 XP
Leadership +30 XP
Melee Weapons +30 XP
Protocol/Affiliation +30 XP
Training +30 XP
so 150 XP and a rebate of 30
or a total for OCS of 700 -30 or 670

Attributes
STR 75
Bod 125
RFL 175
DEX 100
INT 200
WIL 200
CHA 350
EDG -150
Any non-Clan affiliation; 5+ TP (total) in Title,
Wealth or Property Traits
Prerequisites: WIL 3+
so basic training (naval) requires INT 4, RFL 3, and cannot have TDS
Requires: Basic Training Field or Basic Training (Naval) Field, DEX 4, RFL 4
Requires: Basic Training or Basic Training (Naval) Field; Rank O1 or higher
Traits
equipped +375
Extra Income +50
wealth 400
Glass Jaw -200
compulsion: greedy-75
Connections +115
reputation +175
Enemy –200 XP
Fit +15
rank +470
Skills
20 XP in English language,
20 XP primary or secondary language Language/Affiliation +10 XP
10 XP perception
25 XP Negotiation
25 XP Appraisal 
140 XP protocol/lyran
Art/Any +10 XP
Interest/Any +10 XP
30 XP Interest/Any
Administration +30 XP
25 XP Career/Soldier
35 XP Computers
40 XP Interest/Military History +15 XP
20 XP Leadership +10 XP +10 +30
30 XP Martial Arts +30
10 XP MedTech/General +30
20 XP Melee Weapons +30
30 XP Running 
50 XP Small Arms +30
10 XP Strategy
30 XP Swimming +15 XP
Career/Pilot +30 XP
Gunnery/Aerospace +30 XP
Piloting/Aerospace +30 XP
Sensor Operations +30 XP
Tactics/Space +30 XP
Navigation/Air +30 XP
Navigation/Space +30 XP +30
Zero-G Operations +30 XP +30
Training +30 XP

Flexible XPs: +5 XP each to any four Attributes, Traits or Skills
Flexible XPs: +40 XP (may only be applied to Skills)
(+100 XP)
[Flexible XP] (+115 XP)

for a grand total of 3027 of 5000

guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #18 on: 04 April 2018, 00:16:20 »

Attributes
STR 75
Bod 125
RFL 175
DEX 100
INT 200
WIL 200
CHA 350
EDG -150
Any non-Clan affiliation; 5+ TP (total) in Title,
Wealth or Property Traits
Prerequisites: WIL 3+
so basic training (naval) requires INT 4, RFL 3, and cannot have TDS
Requires: Basic Training Field or Basic Training (Naval) Field, DEX 4, RFL 4
Requires: Basic Training or Basic Training (Naval) Field; Rank O1 or higher
Traits
equipped +375
Extra Income +50
wealth 400
Glass Jaw -200
compulsion: greedy-75
Connections +115
reputation +175
Enemy –200 XP
Fit +15
rank +470
Skills
20 XP in English language,
20 XP primary or secondary language Language/Affiliation +10 XP
10 XP perception
25 XP Negotiation
25 XP Appraisal 
140 XP protocol/lyran
Art/Any +10 XP
Interest/Any +10 XP
30 XP Interest/Any
Administration +30 XP
25 XP Career/Soldier
35 XP Computers
40 XP Interest/Military History +15 XP
20 XP Leadership +10 XP +10 +30
30 XP Martial Arts +30
10 XP MedTech/General +30
20 XP Melee Weapons +30
30 XP Running 
50 XP Small Arms +30
10 XP Strategy
30 XP Swimming +15 XP
Career/Pilot +30 XP
Gunnery/Aerospace +30 XP
Piloting/Aerospace +30 XP
Sensor Operations +30 XP
Tactics/Space +30 XP
Navigation/Air +30 XP
Navigation/Space +30 XP +30
Zero-G Operations +30 XP +30
Training +30 XP

Flexible XPs: +5 XP each to any four Attributes, Traits or Skills
Flexible XPs: +40 XP (may only be applied to Skills)
(+100 XP)
[Flexible XP] (+115 XP)

for a grand total of 3027 of 5000
so at this point the character is "mostly roughed out" there are still several things left to do, like XP optimization, fixing prerequisites, taking additional optional disadvantages or traits, but I hope it helps

kronovan

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #19 on: 04 April 2018, 02:00:05 »
I'm just going to chime in and agree with those saying the points buy approach is easier. That said, if your goal is to build  a PC with a rich background that can be effectively roleplayed in a variety of situations, the life stages approach will be better for building you that character.

CoreWatch

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #20 on: 07 April 2018, 18:20:48 »
Just a point of note as well for the point buy method. Kind of the golden rule so to speak. Be honest, be humble, be balanced, and be flawed with the character. Try not to Min/Max the build into a god complex it can do it all type character.

Some GM's get all in a tizzy when the character goes crazy wild with spending so many points on a certain trait, skill, or attribute to the point where the character is a one or two trick pony and/or has no obvious flaws.

A good way to make the character with the point buy method is to use the life paths as a guideline as to how you imagine the character to become. And then write down on the character sheet every skill and trait associated with those life paths. Do you need to write every single trait, skill, and attribute with every single +/- associated in the book... hell no! But be honest with yourself and say why would my character not have this particular trait, skill, or attribute afterwards.

Now, make sure to take into consideration as many others have mentioned that the system is built with the idea in mind that a 21 year old person from the inner sphere (age 18 for clans) starts with 5,000 points and then either add 100 points per year above that age or subtract 100 points for every year below that age.

Use the ages in the lifepath module system as idea of how old the character should be by adding up the "+ age" modifier next to each module that you want to assume the character spent that amount of time to learn that trade-craft of skills and traits associated with the lifepath.

If you go above age 25 then you also get aging effects associated on page 333 of AToW. Remembering that you can take multiple stage 3 and stage 4 lifepaths as a guideline.

Now once you have all those little skills and traits written down with nothing truly spent yet. I recommend that you ask yourself how do you see this character flawed first. Your character can purchase up to 10% of their initial character generation points to buy negative traits (meaning the 5,000 and the +/- 100 per age). So for example let's say a character with all those lifepaths that you decided on added up to age 30 (and he is an inner sphere human phenotype) That means he/she will have 5,900 point total (age 21 = 5,000 ... and add 900 for the 9 year difference) Technically you could have 590 negative trait points, which of course gives you more positives to spend. Obviously this is a ball park figure and most traits require increments of -100... so common sense just says round it to -600 if you wanted some negatives.

Again some GM's may be picky and want the exact flaws that each lifepath should say you get. The biggest take away from character creation is to be honest, be flawed! humans are by nature flawed! We all have compulsions and enemies and even some of those other negative traits located in the book. Encourage your players to give you their ideas for character creation. A character with no flaws is truthfully there to ruin the fun of role-playing.

Like other have said you need to consider that the minimum for human attribute is a 1, so that's 100x8 points gone right from the get go. The maximum is what the phenotype says on page 122. Common sense says have your GM take a looks at all the skills and traits as well and ask what skills are the most useful and what traits will they allow or not allow.

Now that you have that as a basic guide... build the protagonist of the story! Just try not to build the monster everyone hates.

Cheers!
-Chris

"All that's necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

Daryk

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #21 on: 07 April 2018, 21:15:33 »
As a GM, you hit on a lot of the reasons I just ask the players for what they want, then do all the spreadsheet work myself.  Of course, it's a back and forth process, and we keep tweaking until we're both happy.

guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #22 on: 07 April 2018, 22:25:38 »
ok well I am not totally happy how the character came out, but here we go

Attributes
2 STR 200
3 Bod 300
4 RFL 400
4 DEX 400
4 INT 400
4 WIL 400
4 CHA 469
1 EDG  100
age 19

Traits
Vehicle 800 owns vehicle
Custom Vehicle 200 (Chippowa Heavy Aerospace Fighter)
equipped +400
Extra Income +100
G- Tolerance 100
wealth 500
Glass Jaw -300
compulsion: greedy-100
Connections +100
reputation +200
Enemy –200 XP Enemy -200 enemy -300
rank +400
Skills
level 1 30 English language,
level 1 German
level 1 Administration
level 1 Appraisal
Level 0 Art/Any +20 XP   
level 2 Gunnery/Aerospace
level 2 Piloting/Aerospace
level 1 Career/Pilot
level 1 Career/Soldier
level 1 Computers
Level 0 Interest/Any
level 1 Interest/Any
level 2 Interest/Military History
level 3 Leadership
level 3 Martial Arts
level 1 MedTech/General
level 2 Melee Weapons
level 1 Navigation/Air
Level 3 Navigation/Space
level 1 Negotiation
level 1 perception
level 5  protocol/lyran 
level 1 Running
level 1 Sensor Operations
level 4 Small Arms
level 1 Strategy
Level 2 Swimming
level 1 Tactics/Space
level 1 Training
level 3 Zero-G Operations

XP 5000/5000

all skills are at the minimum, all leftover points were dumped into cha although I am tempted to reduce something like connections to get attractive and maybe lower a skill to get the rest of the points to advance cha to level 5

the next step would be to pick out equipment, with equipped lvl 4 and wealth level 5 the character could have a fair amount of gear.

guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #23 on: 07 April 2018, 23:09:58 »
Young Noble Aerospace pilot
equipment
equipped 4 = E D D
wealth 5 - 50,000 C-Bills
Aerospace Pilot Kit: Combat Flight Suit, Pilots NeuralHelmet, Flight Gloves, Boots, 4275 cbills, (unless patches and spare gloves and boots were obtained and or suit was higher quality )
Grip Shoes 30
Lyran Alliance Armor Kit, Helmet, Jacket, Boots, Gloves plus ablative/flak pants
Sonic stunner  100 c bills
M&G Flechette Pistol 100/4 (40) 10 reloads
Rifle TK Assault 5.5kg 150/3 (30) 10 clips
Vibro sword, 300 cbills
Knife
Vibro dagger
Pulse Laser Pistol 1000 cbills
~1000-5000 cbills worth of clothing including at least 2-3 formal outfits
Communications headset
military communicator
Holo map
holoprojector portable
personal music set
tri-vid set
compad, noteputer
personal computer
pocket transcriber
various power packs
heavy duty recharger
solar recharger
deluxe Tool kit
energy weapon kit 850 cbills
reloading kit
slugthrower kit
advanced field kit
electronic compass
emergency flares
emergency Rations
portable life support unit
advanced medical Kit
Combat Medipack
2 medipacks

William J. Pennington

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #24 on: 08 April 2018, 12:56:01 »
Owns vehicle is for starting character a points sink you can ill afford. You are spending massive points on something easily lost. it gains you..well, not much you can't obtain on your own later. 1k of points returned to attributes and skills will help you tremendously. You night not start out in an awesome vehicle, but a good character in a more basic, unit owned vehicle is going to work better for you in terms of capability and contribution and frankly, survival.

Start without one. The GM will provide you with a unit owned vehicle. If you really wan't your own, then opportunity to take it from someone else will come up.

You can take a few tours of duty to age your character to your best advantage using the aging rules. 25 is good one. 2 more points of STR, 1 of Body, at a minimum, maybe 2 edge, 2 each to RFL and Dex. (Attribute checks in those areas).

At 25 you get +1 Str, bod, Rfl, Int,Wil, Cha. Unless the campaign is purposefully based around starting, green characters, this is the minimum age starting regulars should be. Playing a younger character is, in essence, a 600 point XP penalty.

31 gives you another +1 Str, Bod, Int, and Wil, while taking back the +1 RFL. But just ten years later, you start getting more aging penalties. In some campaigns that allow long breaks in time, or for travel, its possible your character will age that much, meaning losses due to aging may come into play..but its negligible really, a net 25 poitn loss. You dont face any significant aging penalty until you hit 51.

Of course, check to see if your GM uses the aging rules. They may ignore them completely, or change them. Or if the GM has age limits.

But back to tweaking your stats by dumping the vehicle.

Right off the bat, all of the points spent on owns vehicle desperately need to be shunted to attributes and skills. 2 STR, 3 BOD, even for an aerospace pilot is way too low. 1 Edge needs to be a bit more, edge is , well, what keeps a PC alive in a very brutal system. Between these 1k points and aging, you should be able to majorly boost stats, improve skills,  and do more of what you want to do--at the penalty of probably flying an inferior vehicle for a little bit until you find a way to get something better. Being better at what you can do in a RPG is far more important than the exact vehicle you pilot, and who's name is on the title.

RFL and DEX, if not both of these skills would be more useful if boosted to a 7, which then effective improves your skill in every area these skills are linked to. Attribute based saves can be important, at least a 5 or 6 in the attribute for a pilot seems called for. In many ways 100 points on an attribute boost to 7 is cheaper than buying all of the skills you have linked to it up by one. (Your gunnery and piloting are RFL and DEX; Martial arts is RFl, Melee is Dex (At advanced level, both become RFL and DEX), Zero G is RFL; Small Arms is Dex; Stealth is RFL (You don't have it..but at some point you'll want it in a RPG campaign-- at some point, everyone has to sneak.); Running is RFL.

Quite often, its possible to save points by raising an attribute, and lowering points on skills, keeping target numbers equal.

If this is going to be a long term campaign, then fast leaner is a no brainier. In fact, I consider it broken and don't allow it as a GM for that reason.If its not going to be a long term campaign, without  many sessions, then you may not hit its break even point.






monbvol

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #25 on: 08 April 2018, 13:13:22 »
Owns vehicle is for starting character a points sink you can ill afford. You are spending massive points on something easily lost. it gains you..well, not much you can't obtain on your own later. 1k of points returned to attributes and skills will help you tremendously. You night not start out in an awesome vehicle, but a good character in a more basic, unit owned vehicle is going to work better for you in terms of capability and contribution and frankly, survival.

Start without one. The GM will provide you with a unit owned vehicle. If you really wan't your own, then opportunity to take it from someone else will come up.

You can take a few tours of duty to age your character to your best advantage using the aging rules. 25 is good one. 2 more points of STR, 1 of Body, at a minimum, maybe 2 edge, 2 each to RFL and Dex. (Attribute checks in those areas).

At 25 you get +1 Str, bod, Rfl, Int,Wil, Cha. Unless the campaign is purposefully based around starting, green characters, this is the minimum age starting regulars should be. Playing a younger character is, in essence, a 600 point XP penalty.

31 gives you another +1 Str, Bod, Int, and Wil, while taking back the +1 RFL. But just ten years later, you start getting more aging penalties. In some campaigns that allow long breaks in time, or for travel, its possible your character will age that much, meaning losses due to aging may come into play..but its negligible really, a net 25 poitn loss. You dont face any significant aging penalty until you hit 51.

Of course, check to see if your GM uses the aging rules. They may ignore them completely, or change them. Or if the GM has age limits.

But back to tweaking your stats by dumping the vehicle.

Right off the bat, all of the points spent on owns vehicle desperately need to be shunted to attributes and skills. 2 STR, 3 BOD, even for an aerospace pilot is way too low. 1 Edge needs to be a bit more, edge is , well, what keeps a PC alive in a very brutal system. Between these 1k points and aging, you should be able to majorly boost stats, improve skills,  and do more of what you want to do--at the penalty of probably flying an inferior vehicle for a little bit until you find a way to get something better. Being better at what you can do in a RPG is far more important than the exact vehicle you pilot, and who's name is on the title.

RFL and DEX, if not both of these skills would be more useful if boosted to a 7, which then effective improves your skill in every area these skills are linked to. Attribute based saves can be important, at least a 5 or 6 in the attribute for a pilot seems called for. In many ways 100 points on an attribute boost to 7 is cheaper than buying all of the skills you have linked to it up by one. (Your gunnery and piloting are RFL and DEX; Martial arts is RFl, Melee is Dex (At advanced level, both become RFL and DEX), Zero G is RFL; Small Arms is Dex; Stealth is RFL (You don't have it..but at some point you'll want it in a RPG campaign-- at some point, everyone has to sneak.); Running is RFL.

Quite often, its possible to save points by raising an attribute, and lowering points on skills, keeping target numbers equal.

If this is going to be a long term campaign, then fast leaner is a no brainier. In fact, I consider it broken and don't allow it as a GM for that reason.If its not going to be a long term campaign, without  many sessions, then you may not hit its break even point.

Oh boy is there some potentially bad advice in there.

1. Rules as written do say that Owns Vehicle is actually separate from Vehicle.  So you can't count on the GM providing one for you if you don't put any into the Vehicle trait.  Since there are eras with warriors lacking machines it becomes even more important to clarify this with your GM depending on the era in question.  This is something you need to check with your GM for how they want to handle it.

2. If Fast Learner is allowed it is always a no brainer despite the length of the campaign.  It pays for itself at 1,500 XP invested in skills.  Which is really easy to get any method of character creation you use.  Personally as written yeah I do agree Fast Learner is a bit much but again this is something to check with your GM on.

guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #26 on: 08 April 2018, 13:39:17 »
Owns vehicle is for starting character a points sink you can ill afford. You are spending massive points on something easily lost. it gains you..well, not much you can't obtain on your own later. 1k of points returned to attributes and skills will help you tremendously. You night not start out in an awesome vehicle, but a good character in a more basic, unit owned vehicle is going to work better for you in terms of capability and contribution and frankly, survival.

Start without one. The GM will provide you with a unit owned vehicle. If you really wan't your own, then opportunity to take it from someone else will come up.

You can take a few tours of duty to age your character to your best advantage using the aging rules. 25 is good one. 2 more points of STR, 1 of Body, at a minimum, maybe 2 edge, 2 each to RFL and Dex. (Attribute checks in those areas).

At 25 you get +1 Str, bod, Rfl, Int,Wil, Cha. Unless the campaign is purposefully based around starting, green characters, this is the minimum age starting regulars should be. Playing a younger character is, in essence, a 600 point XP penalty.

31 gives you another +1 Str, Bod, Int, and Wil, while taking back the +1 RFL. But just ten years later, you start getting more aging penalties. In some campaigns that allow long breaks in time, or for travel, its possible your character will age that much, meaning losses due to aging may come into play..but its negligible really, a net 25 poitn loss. You dont face any significant aging penalty until you hit 51.

Of course, check to see if your GM uses the aging rules. They may ignore them completely, or change them. Or if the GM has age limits.

But back to tweaking your stats by dumping the vehicle.

Right off the bat, all of the points spent on owns vehicle desperately need to be shunted to attributes and skills. 2 STR, 3 BOD, even for an aerospace pilot is way too low. 1 Edge needs to be a bit more, edge is , well, what keeps a PC alive in a very brutal system. Between these 1k points and aging, you should be able to majorly boost stats, improve skills,  and do more of what you want to do--at the penalty of probably flying an inferior vehicle for a little bit until you find a way to get something better. Being better at what you can do in a RPG is far more important than the exact vehicle you pilot, and who's name is on the title.

RFL and DEX, if not both of these skills would be more useful if boosted to a 7, which then effective improves your skill in every area these skills are linked to. Attribute based saves can be important, at least a 5 or 6 in the attribute for a pilot seems called for. In many ways 100 points on an attribute boost to 7 is cheaper than buying all of the skills you have linked to it up by one. (Your gunnery and piloting are RFL and DEX; Martial arts is RFl, Melee is Dex (At advanced level, both become RFL and DEX), Zero G is RFL; Small Arms is Dex; Stealth is RFL (You don't have it..but at some point you'll want it in a RPG campaign-- at some point, everyone has to sneak.); Running is RFL.

Quite often, its possible to save points by raising an attribute, and lowering points on skills, keeping target numbers equal.

If this is going to be a long term campaign, then fast leaner is a no brainier. In fact, I consider it broken and don't allow it as a GM for that reason.If its not going to be a long term campaign, without  many sessions, then you may not hit its break even point.
you can argue either way on the vehicle, remember though I was working from the young noble concept, so ageing the character doesn't really work, and having an above average vehicle (the young noble MechWarrior starts with a medium mech) sort of fits the concept as well.  I needed to have at least 5 points in wealth, property, or title, so 5 points of wealth fits.  as far as the rest well I did say that I wasn't totally happy with the skills and stats, but its a tradeoff could I have dumped 4 (400) points towards vehicle sacrificing the "owns" the chippy and forcing a roll on what vehicle the character has, or is assigned? sure I mean technically I could have dumped a bunch of rank as well because the only requirement was O1 not O4 as the char worked out to. technically the char was only a few XP short of 05
and technically I think that the character already has around 1400 XP worth of skills which means that technically they are basically at the break even point for fast learner already.

but I will counter that this was not an exercise in making a perfectly optimized character it was working through a character concept, to demonstrate HOW to make a character and sometimes characters end up flawed, now if I was going to PLAY this character of course I would be working to pay off some of the weaknesses asap, going for toughness to pay off the glass jaw for example building up physical stats and such, but that's a whole other subject.

William J. Pennington

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #27 on: 08 April 2018, 14:13:04 »
Oh boy is there some potentially bad advice in there.

1. Rules as written do say that Owns Vehicle is actually separate from Vehicle.  So you can't count on the GM providing one for you if you don't put any into the Vehicle trait.  Since there are eras with warriors lacking machines it becomes even more important to clarify this with your GM depending on the era in question.  This is something you need to check with your GM for how they want to handle it.
n.

I was forgetting this is a new gm. One of the first pieces of advice I give to any GM is ignore the Vehicle Trait, if they already haven't figured it out. (second is ignorign the life module system.)

Charging a character hundreds of points to be able to do the basic purpose of a character (besides the affiliation, attribute minimums, skills, and perqs they've already acquired )is..well, I've never seen it come up. ever. After all, what  GM is actually going to have a PC sit out of the initial sessions because they didn't take the Vehicle trait?  As many have noted, its a rather annoying and pointless trait, existing mainly as a character role tax if you choose to be a pilot, mechwarrior, or power armor soldier.

Commonly, how every GM I've coem across is that zero points gets you the lightest unit the GM has available for the particular campaign..which is fine for a starting character. The moment salvage is available, he can move up. (Its not like you have to increase the trait to utilize another unit). many simply roll randomly, or assign heavier, based on the needs of the campaign.

If you actually want to own the mech, then maybe I can see the point of a the trait..but for a starting character, its a horrible idea idea. The only merit would be if you were promised replacement of at least an equal or better unit were lost in service to the House/Unit or extra financial compensation if a the character is a merc. But that is something you have to negotiate with the GM. Nothing in the rules gives you any benefit for owning the vehicle. All the owns vehicle trait gets you is..well, 200 points lost.

But yes, OP, talk to the GM, and make sure that you'll get a light aerofighter at generation for 0 points in the vehicle Trait--and all other characters should work the other way. If they insist on it...well, at least everyone else is having to waste points, so it keeps characters somewhat equal (unless its a strange mix of characters where some don't have vehicles). At that point, take the trait for the lightest vehicle possible, and don't own it, or customize it.

In general, being a better character is better than equipment, You can potentially steal/take everything not nailed down (and bring the right tools to take care of those nails), but each adventure only offers so much XP.







Daryk

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #28 on: 08 April 2018, 14:44:40 »
As a GM, I prefer the life module system.  It helps flesh out backgrounds and ensures everyone has a variety of skills vice ridiculous Gunnery and Piloting and not much else.

As far as the Vehicle trait, it depends entirely on the campaign and the group.  Entirely.

truetanker

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #29 on: 08 April 2018, 14:53:24 »
How would someone who is running a clan chara switch clans, like winning a Harvest or losing a Trial and becoming the others bondsman turned warrior?

Clan Ghost Bear -> Clan Hells Horses or vice verse, after the Mark or Clawing Rituals?

I can't seem to find this... there a page reference or line I'm missing? Got both books...

TT
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That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
TT, we know you are the master of nasty  O0 ~ Fletch on 22 June 2013
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monbvol

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #30 on: 08 April 2018, 15:06:38 »
Owns Vehicle as written does do a poor job of making how it does change the potential dynamics of the player's negotiating power with who they work for.

Some things you can do to make it worth while that are at least somewhat supported by the fluff:

In eras where dispossession was a real possibility having your own mech instead of a rare state provided one would give you priority over someone who didn't come with their own when salvage was available.

Solaris stables would be forced to give much larger portions of the purse to the warrior who risked their own machine instead of a stable's machine.
[/examples]

How would someone who is running a clan chara switch clans, like winning a Harvest or losing a Trial and becoming the others bondsman turned warrior?

Clan Ghost Bear -> Clan Hells Horses or vice verse, after the Mark or Clawing Rituals?

I can't seem to find this... there a page reference or line I'm missing? Got both books...

TT

See changing affiliations page 53 A Time of War or if you want to keep it simple and potentially more in line with your specified timing just scrounge up some XP for the Protocol/Clan Hell's Horse and Interest/Clan Hell's Horse Rememberence.

truetanker

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #31 on: 08 April 2018, 15:40:27 »
* Checking asked requested page(s). *

Oh... Halving the final starting XP, rounded down and apply to said trait, skill or attribute... and only use final clans restrictions. Oh ok...

Now what about a Harvest Trial later on... a third clan? Do I keep everything and add the same restrictions as I did in Stage 4

Let me show you:
Stage 0 Goliath Scorpion -> CHH
Stage 1 Trueborn
Stage 2 Trueborn
Stage 3 ???
Stage 4 Seeker
Stage 5 repeat Stage 4 Washout -> CHH Stage 2 Freebirth- Calvary
Stage 6 ???

See where I'm hung up on?

TT
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That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
TT, we know you are the master of nasty  O0 ~ Fletch on 22 June 2013
If I'm attacking you, conventional wisom says to bring 3x your force.  I want extra insurance, so I'll bring 4 for every 1 of what you have :D ~ Tai Dai Cultist on 21 April 2016
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monbvol

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #32 on: 08 April 2018, 18:46:04 »
Repeating some information from the PM I sent you since others might find it helpful:

Clans don't have a stage 3 module since that is done for them in their stage 2 modules.

Now for some new info since I saw this after reading your PM:

Me personally I don't think I'd make you take Washout as that more represents someone who failed their Trial of Position in the first place or make you take new training.  After all it is pretty rare that Clans would re-train a bondsman for some other duty and probably wouldn't have taken the bondsman in the first place if they didn't fight with skill and honor.

Paul

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #33 on: 09 April 2018, 01:17:51 »
2. If Fast Learner is allowed it is always a no brainer despite the length of the campaign.  It pays for itself at 1,500 XP invested in skills.  Which is really easy to get any method of character creation you use. 

I don't follow why people say that. Most chargen, you want about 3500 in attributes, and at least some in Traits (here, at least 300 in Fast Learner). So 1500 out of chargen doesn't seem an easy hit.

Let's presume that you spend 1200 on skills.
That means you need to spend 300 XP, or about 30 *sessions* worth to *start* seeing benefit from Trait. And even then, you'd need many more sessions before you *really* start feeling you're outpacing people without it.


Let's say it is that easy to start with 1500 in skills, and you gain a benefit the very first time you play that character: you spent 300 XP on something, shouldn't something nice happen? That could've been Natural Aptitude or 3 points in Property, to give 2 crude comparisons.

Maybe I'm underestimating the problem?


monbvol

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #34 on: 09 April 2018, 01:52:17 »
It does do something nice from the get go.  All skills are 20% cheaper to raise and you get more XP from down time.

So the 1,500 XP in skills may go down to 1,200 XP with the 20% rebate but the skill levels don't change.

But if you do have only 1,200 XP in skills if you could scrounge up 60 XP you'd already have Fast Learner paid for as it'd rebate 240 XP from your skills without dropping any ranks.

Just as an example the sample Mechwarrior in AToW has 1,160 XP in skills.

guardiandashi

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #35 on: 09 April 2018, 01:54:44 »
I don't follow why people say that. Most chargen, you want about 3500 in attributes, and at least some in Traits (here, at least 300 in Fast Learner). So 1500 out of chargen doesn't seem an easy hit.

Let's presume that you spend 1200 on skills.
That means you need to spend 300 XP, or about 30 *sessions* worth to *start* seeing benefit from Trait. And even then, you'd need many more sessions before you *really* start feeling you're outpacing people without it.


Let's say it is that easy to start with 1500 in skills, and you gain a benefit the very first time you play that character: you spent 300 XP on something, shouldn't something nice happen? That could've been Natural Aptitude or 3 points in Property, to give 2 crude comparisons.

Maybe I'm underestimating the problem?
to use the example character I made up thread, that character has ~1400 XP in skills and frankly isn't what I would consider much beyond "average" in skills,  With that said, the crossover point is ~1500 XP worth of skills where the "harvesting of 'saved skill XP' makes the fast learner a no brainer, IE the table on pg 85
at "standard" XP a lvl 0 skill spends 20, and fast learner only 16 saving 4 XP
level 1 saves 6 XP (per skill) level 2 saves 10, level 3 saves 16, level 4 saves 24, level 5 saves 34 level 6 saves 56 and so on

monbvol

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #36 on: 09 April 2018, 02:05:55 »
That is pretty much the thing.  If you can get it before you have to finalize optimization of skills there is no reason not to.  If you can't then campaign length starts becoming a consideration.

William J. Pennington

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #37 on: 09 April 2018, 09:17:03 »
That is pretty much the thing.  If you can get it before you have to finalize optimization of skills there is no reason not to.  If you can't then campaign length starts becoming a consideration.

Yep. If you are playing a 'talent, but no training' type (very heavy on attributes, traits, but very little training), the frequency of play and length of the campaign matters for fast learner.m If you are doing a one off game, or very short campaign, then it may not be worth it. But those are pretty limited circumstances, which is why I rul it out of my campaigns.

I'm wondering if, in the full history of ATOW, if anyone's actually taken 'Slow Learner" as a trait, or not bought it off during chargen.

Paul

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #38 on: 09 April 2018, 12:09:52 »
Yep. If you are playing a 'talent, but no training' type (very heavy on attributes, traits, but very little training), the frequency of play and length of the campaign matters for fast learner.m If you are doing a one off game, or very short campaign, then it may not be worth it. But those are pretty limited circumstances, which is why I rul it out of my campaigns.

I still don't see the problem.
It seems like the threshold of the problem is "at 1500, it pays for itself". So what? It's a Trait, it should give you some benefit.

Here, some examples:
That 'talent no training guy', let's say that's 500 XP in skills, with heavy Attributes. He'll need 100 sessions to break even.
The more typical build with 1000ish XP? 50 more sessions!
That 1500 XP in skills build, so immediate gain: He still needs to play 2 sessions before he can even get a +0 skill (which then saves him a whopping 4XP. To bump a nice +5 to a +6 would need 5 sessions of play, instead of 6.

And since the most typical frequency of play is monthly, I have a hard time looking at any of that as 'broken', or substantially better intrinsically.

How am I looking at this wrong?


Quote
I'm wondering if, in the full history of ATOW, if anyone's actually taken 'Slow Learner" as a trait, or not bought it off during chargen.

Probably never, unless it matched their concept of the character.


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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #39 on: 09 April 2018, 13:16:12 »
Fast Learner also doubles downtime XP so if there is extensive jumpship travel in the campaign it can cut into that 100 sessions pretty quick.

And even at 500 XP it is already off setting it's expense a decent amount as that'd be 100 XP you could return to other things and thus Fast Learner already 1/3rd paid for.

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #40 on: 09 April 2018, 13:48:31 »
Fast Learner also doubles downtime XP so if there is extensive jumpship travel in the campaign it can cut into that 100 sessions pretty quick.

And even at 500 XP it is already off setting it's expense a decent amount as that'd be 100 XP you could return to other things and thus Fast Learner already 1/3rd paid for.

Again, it seems like you guys feel that it paying for itself = broken.
At 1500 XP, the trait has done exactly *nothing*.

Where is the problem?


William J. Pennington

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #41 on: 09 April 2018, 14:58:43 »
I still don't see the problem.
It seems like the threshold of the problem is "at 1500, it pays for itself". So what? It's a Trait, it should give you some benefit.


Oh, it gives plenty of benefit. The problem I have with it, as a GM, is that any character, in a standard campaign that is going to go on for more than a few sessions is effectively handicapping themselves by not taking it. Its always going to pay for every type of character,  no matter the situation, unlike other traits which are more situational. 

As a player, in a campaign, I'd take it every time in a non-one-off game, without fail.

Not arguing thatits a benefit, but that its too good of a benefit. And I ont think theres a way to fix it or slow learner--other than drastically reducing their cost and only having them affect training times/costs, and not XP in any way.

monbvol

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #42 on: 09 April 2018, 15:10:21 »
For me the fact that Fast Learner doesn't have the same opportunity cost is pretty much what it boils down to.

Yes it may cost 300 XP that you can put elsewhere if you don't take it but as I pointed out at a mere 500 XP in skills you're actually only 200 XP down in total raw XP opportunity cost for trying to keep the same skill ranks as a normal learner character would have.*

How quickly you can make that up depends on a few variables but Tech Empathy is the only other trait that actually changes total raw XP opportunity cost in such a beneficial manner for taking it.

Toughness or Property 3 would still have a total raw XP opportunity cost of 300 XP no matter how you invest in attributes, skills, and traits.

Now these other traits have other benefits other than raw XP opportunity cost to help make them worthwhile but hopefully I've shown that how Fast Learner has a variable raw XP opportunity cost makes it a much more worthwhile investment.

Still I grant broken doesn't seem quite the right word but I'm not sure what a better one would be.

Now to cover the converse side of this a bit.

Slow Learner does have a variable raw XP opportunity cost to it as well but figuring it out is a bit trickier.

For the same 500 XP in skills and Slow Learner you'd have a couple of choices.

1. Try and keep the same skill ranks.  This would require 100 XP of the 300 XP you got from Slow Learner thus making it's raw XP opportunity cost of -200 XP.

2. Accept that you'll have to lower some skill ranks or even lose some skill altogether.  Where this will leave your raw XP opportunity cost depends on how skill XP was distributed and could potentially net a more favorable raw XP opportunity cost.

*The only two ways Fast Learner actually has it's full raw XP opportunity cost of 300 XP is if you buy it after character creation is finished and thus can't get the XP back from the skills you already have or have so little XP in skills that the rebate you get from lower XP thresholds for the same skill rank would round down to zero.

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #43 on: 09 April 2018, 15:31:38 »
How would someone who is running a clan chara switch clans, like winning a Harvest or losing a Trial and becoming the others bondsman turned warrior?

Clan Ghost Bear -> Clan Hells Horses or vice verse, after the Mark or Clawing Rituals?

I can't seem to find this... there a page reference or line I'm missing? Got both books...

TT

I don't see a problem here. If a character from Clan Jade Falcon becomes a bondsmen for Clan Wolf, said character keeps all of his old stats as there is no reason for them to magically change. However, this character may level up differently now that said character is with a different Clan.

In sum, just change how the character spends XP, to level up, once the switch to a different clan happens. 

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #44 on: 09 April 2018, 18:20:30 »
Oh, it gives plenty of benefit. The problem I have with it, as a GM, is that any character, in a standard campaign that is going to go on for more than a few sessions is effectively handicapping themselves by not taking it. Its always going to pay for every type of character,  no matter the situation, unlike other traits which are more situational. 

Yeah, that's simply and objectively not true, as I keep pointing out.

Please give me a crude example that demonstrates the problem.


Quote
And I ont think theres a way to fix it or slow learner--other than drastically reducing their cost and only having them affect training times/costs, and not XP in any way.

On Fast Learner, there is nothing to fix.
On Slow learner, those fixes might be OK, but I think the problem is that aesthetically, people don't want to delay their progress as a character. They dont mind working around specific problems (missing limbs, compulsions), stuff that has an RP impact. But just sucking at gaining skills isn't really an RP opportunity.


hopefully I've shown that how Fast Learner has a variable raw XP opportunity cost makes it a much more worthwhile investment.

No, I still don't see that.


Quote
Still I grant broken doesn't seem quite the right word but I'm not sure what a better one would be.

I acknowledge your position isnt as strong as WP's.



Quote
*The only two ways Fast Learner actually has it's full raw XP opportunity cost of 300 XP is if you buy it after character creation is finished and thus can't get the XP back from the skills you already have or have so little XP in skills that the rebate you get from lower XP thresholds for the same skill rank would round down to zero.

Optimization is the devil. ;)


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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #45 on: 09 April 2018, 18:39:56 »
Yeah I wouldn't ever ban Fast Learner but changing how much XP equals a skill rank never quite seemed right to me and with how all the various traits that can change XP to skill rank thresholds to add a little simplicity to my games I do have house rules that I'd like to use someday.

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #46 on: 09 April 2018, 18:46:47 »
Yeah I wouldn't ever ban Fast Learner but changing how much XP equals a skill rank never quite seemed right to me

What do you think would've been a better method? A flat bonus every time XP is awarded in the game?
Actually reversing it, so Fast Learner has a negative trait Cost?


Quote
and with how all the various traits that can change XP to skill rank thresholds

Not connecting the dots on what you mean here? Example?


monbvol

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #47 on: 09 April 2018, 18:52:26 »
My house rule does boil down to it just improves non-campaign XP gains(downtime, training, pretty much anything a GM doesn't give you at the end of the session/campaign).

As for an example of what I'm talking about probably the best way to show you what I'm talking about is a spreadsheet I put together that is in the second link in my signature, first post, SkillRankChart.xls.

It contains all the possible combinations of traits that alter how much XP equals each particular skill rank 0-10.

[edit]didn't capitalize XP.  Lower case puts in a smiley.[/edit]
« Last Edit: 10 April 2018, 01:02:34 by monbvol »

William J. Pennington

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #48 on: 10 April 2018, 00:44:45 »
Yeah, that's simply and objectively not true, as I keep pointing out.

Please give me a crude example that demonstrates the problem.
Quote

After the break even point in skills, the character with fast learner is, effectively, getting more out of his XP utilized for skills than the character without. Another way of looking at it: not taking Fast Learner is assigning a character a 10% experience penalty on all skills purchased past the break even point.

The benefit for advanced skills taking half time to train is not of great significance msot of the time. The extra Downtime XP added--literally XP for nothing in comparison to the normal learner.  This is a minor perk, except in campaigns that really cover a lot of time with large, frequents breaks in sessions, where its a tad more significant.

With a successful career check, and a decent INT (6 to 8) will make 12/16 XP per month of downtime, as opposed to 6/8. Downtime is  variable, some campaigns have little, other have months of travel occur all the time. In those with little downtime, the training reduction time is more useful, while in those with more downtime, the free extra XP is going to be noticed more than the reduced training time.

the trainign During Downtime rules lets a fast learner get in double the amount of training checks. Many variables there, but the end result is the fast learner is goign to double the training gain this way of an other wise similar character who didn't take fast learner. Some months of downtime can make this method really generate a good amount of XP, especially in basic skills.

In terms of effectiveness, any character should be taking Fast Learner if they plan on ever having more than the break even point of XP spent on skills, or have a good deal of downtime to get free XP or train. Its simple math. Fast learner is past that easy to reach break even point,  handing the character free XP.  Characters without fast learner become increasingly disadvantaged in comparison to characters with Fast Learner as soon as the character pass the break even point in XP spent on skills  and factoring in the difference in downtime/training XP. The more the campaign goes beyond that point the more significant the advanatge gets. There's nothing special a character has to do to really benefit from it Fast Learner. Unlike other traits, that might not get used in a session, every adventure is going to feature the PC's earning XP and putting it to use eventually.

About the only way character without fast learner avoids this is if, at the end of the campaign, the non fast learner has kept the total XP of the character used on skills below the break even point, and spends the XP earned beyond that point on anything else but skills.

Something that universally good, and (objectively) worth more than its cost is, well, too good, and that is why I don't have it in my campaigns. (That and simplifying points based buying, with no differing costs for skills).



Paul

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #49 on: 10 April 2018, 10:09:50 »
After the break even point in skills, the character with fast learner is, effectively, getting more out of his XP utilized for skills than the character without. Another way of looking at it: not taking Fast Learner is assigning a character a 10% experience penalty on all skills purchased past the break even point.

Yes. And the practical consequences of that are far less damaging than you keep indicating.


Quote
In terms of effectiveness, any character should be taking Fast Learner if they plan on ever having more than the break even point of XP spent on skills, or have a good deal of downtime to get free XP or train.

I hope that completely theoretical advantage they have UNTIL they hit the ""easy to reach"" break-even point keeps them warm at night.


Quote
About the only way character without fast learner avoids this is if, at the end of the campaign, the non fast learner has kept the total XP of the character used on skills below the break even point, and spends the XP earned beyond that point on anything else but skills.

Which isn't as weird and rare as you seem to indicate.


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(That and simplifying points based buying, with no differing costs for skills).

A legitimate problem of those Traits, I agree.


Here's some examples that illustrate my opinion.

1. Skill sparse build:
3500 in Attributes. (Exact ones not very interesting)
1000 in Traits (including Fast Learner)
500 in skills.

In this example, that Trait does absolutely nothing of benefit to the player until 100 sessions are played. Longest campaign I've ever played (if I count carry-over between MW3 and ATOW), I *might* be at 50 sessions. 100 sessions at 1 per month means an 8 year sentence before any advantage is even noticed.
Yes, likely less due to Training, a bone thrown given how crap the Fast Learner Trait actually is.

2. More typical build
4000 on attributes & Traits in some proportion. Includes Fast Learner.
1000 on skills. (Most sample characters are built along these lines)
Break-even happens after 50 sessions. Still *years*. Let's call it 3.

3. Skill-heavy build
3500 on Att+Trait
1500 on skills. Break even achieved during the first session.

Can we agree that both #1 and #2 represent builds where Fast Learner isn't just not powerful, but actually a really bad buy? That player could've had some more interesting Traits, higher attributes or higher skills right out of the gate, getting immediate benefit, vs the theoretical payback 'at some point' in the future, years removed. Even if they game weekly with #2, that's a whole calendar year. 50 get-togethers where everybody else at the table is literally better than you.
Seems like you've earned a little advantage at that point, if you ever get to cash it in.


Now let's look at #3, the ideal. There is no way to make that build without really cutting in to attributes, or without making a savant who's only good at 1 thing. He'll be objectively better in whatever skills were focused on, and objectively garbage at everything else, likely taking penalties at all skill checks, except the ATTs he got to 4 (possibly only 2 or 3 of those, presuming DEX/RFL for our MW wunderkind)

Not only doesn't that seem broken to me, it seems like you need to make some pretty hefty sacrifices just to get your 1500 out of the box.


But I'm getting the feeling I'll not convince you. I think by now I've made my case as best as I can, so if that still doesn't change anything, that's just how it is, then.

Paul

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #50 on: 10 April 2018, 19:16:52 »
I've built quite a few characters in AToW (mostly NPCs), and I have to say I'm with Paul here (as rare as that seems to be).  Only a small number of them actually benefit from Fast Learner.  Granted, those that do really benefit.  It seems to be a "rich get richer" sort of thing.  But overall, I think the trait is balanced as is.  It's not an automatic choice for everyone.  It really depends on where you expect the character to go.

Paul

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #51 on: 10 April 2018, 20:34:56 »
I have to say I'm with Paul here (as rare as that seems to be).

 :clap:

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #52 on: 12 April 2018, 10:22:26 »
For me, character creation is about executing a character vision as an archetype.  Fast Learner does not represent that archetype, nor does it offer a decision based on the archetype.  It's simply about the numbers on my sheet crossing a specified threshold, then I take it automatically.  The opportunity cost just isn't there.  It's not like, say, Attractive which is a specific investment in social situations and basically a dead trait in combat.  There I make the conscious decision to go for the social situation aspect to the exception of combat with that 200 XP.  That's a decision based on the archetype I'm executing, such as the dashing noble, the hotshot pilot, or even the shrewd businessman.  Fast Learner just isn't about that.  It's about if, in executing the vision of my character, I ended up spending more than a specified number of XP on skill points.

I bare no particular ill will toward it.  I wouldn't even say it's particularly broken.  I just feel like Fast/Slow Learner, as implemented, do not meaningfully contribute to the game experience.  Ironically.

Anyway, that's my two bits on it.

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #53 on: 12 April 2018, 12:13:16 »
Related to Fast/Slow/Boring, learning...

A D&D group of mine from LONG ago, played as 'Peasant Heroes', using sub-par stats. The adventure went just as well as any other, up to about L3, when we stopped playing them. The difficulties we faced might not have been as dramatic as those which everyone somehowmagically rolled all 18's for each stat.

Conversely, a different group from several years ago were complaining about min/max'ing, while they still wanted to use maximum effectiveness (you know that guy who takes x levels of ninja, y levels of rogue-this, z levels of rogue-that so they get +wun meeleun to their rolls)... They refused to allow me to play a character with average stats - 7 to 10 on most, and the highest being an 11.


Fast learner DOES help considerably. BUT to select this Trait on EVERY character somewhat detracts from the Role Play factor (while still being valid and allowable). I don't mind if all players choose to Fast Learner, and I sometimes recommend they do, if it would help THEIR experience.
However, in the spirit of "character death during creation", Natural Selection would suggest that mainly those with Fast Learner, and far less Slow Learner, would survive, or be otherwise noteworthy enough to play-as.

As a side-note, the Random Character creator I've created will occasionally produce a mix of both Fast or Slow-learners, which I feel does give a far more organic world than when A = B = C ... etc.
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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #54 on: 12 April 2018, 12:20:18 »
Yep. If you are playing a 'talent, but no training' type (very heavy on attributes, traits, but very little training), the frequency of play and length of the campaign matters for fast learner.m If you are doing a one off game, or very short campaign, then it may not be worth it. But those are pretty limited circumstances, which is why I rul it out of my campaigns.

I'm wondering if, in the full history of ATOW, if anyone's actually taken 'Slow Learner" as a trait, or not bought it off during chargen.

Slow Learner is awesome.  No, really.

I've never played ATOW, but I have built a number of characters for it, primarily just to see how the system worked.  I'm not really that big a fan.  But I've built at least one or two characters who had Slow Learner.  I don't have their character sheets anymore, but if I remember correctly, I used it for a very specific character optimization trick.  I wouldn't normally do it, but Slow Learner rules in the right situation.

The way to "break" ATOW is by taking lifepaths, maximizing the number of negative traits that your character can live with, and then try to keep positive traits and skills that you don't want under the buyback level.  Slow Learner can (in certain situations) help with that.  For instance, let's say a particular lifepath gives you Slow Learner at -100.  It also gives you +50 to two different skills, but you don't intend to really specialize in either of them.  Yippee, I got +50 to Running and +50 to Tracking.  I'm sure my nobleman mechwarrior is really going to use those.  :-\

So what do I do?  If I buy off Slow Learner, then I'll have level 2 skills in Running and Tracking, that I'll probably never use.  I'll also have to pay 100 points to get rid of Slow Learner.  Meh.  But if I keep Slow Learner, I'll get an extra 200 points in the character optimization stage, since the negative trait will increase to its full level of -300.  I'll also get to reduce the number of points assigned to Running and Tracking.  A normal character (no Slow Learner, no Fast Learner) will hit level 2 in a skill at 50 XP.  But Slow Learner gets there at 55 XP.  Since my character won't have the full points for level 2 in those skills, during character optimization it falls back to level 1.  That's 33 XP.  So I get back 17 XP for each skill that I wasn't really going to use anyway.  That's a 34 point savings.  Now yes, each skill that I want to be good is going to cost more.  I won't advance as quickly.  But I'm going to get enough points back from the stuff I don't really use that this shouldn't be an issue.  And I've got an extra 200 XP from not buying off Slow Learner that I get to start with.


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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #55 on: 12 April 2018, 12:33:36 »
Errata changed the penalty to 20% a while ago.  So you'd only salvage 28 XP and probably spend more than that 200 XP on skills you do want.

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #56 on: 12 April 2018, 12:52:18 »
Errata changed the penalty to 20% a while ago.  So you'd only salvage 28 XP and probably spend more than that 200 XP on skills you do want.

Not if you're a stat/trait heavy character.  And you're not just getting the points back from two skills.  You're getting points back from every skill you didn't specialize in.  Did you somehow end up with +20 to Andurien History?  Well now you get that all back.  Build a character with it, pick your lifepaths carefully, and you'll see what I mean.

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #57 on: 12 April 2018, 13:20:29 »
And the break-even point for a character would be 1500 points of skills for a Slow Learner.  And that’s presuming you WANT all those skills.

monbvol

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #58 on: 12 April 2018, 14:33:01 »
Having actually played a fair number of campaigns now Slow Learner is more of a liability in practice than it is in theory.

monbvol

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Re: HELP: HOPELESSLY CONFUSED BY CHARACTER CREATION SYSTEM
« Reply #59 on: 12 April 2018, 14:56:35 »
And as a counter point I added up how much XP is in skills for the sample Elemental in A Time of War, who has Slow Learner, and got 1,860 XP.

Leave it to the Clans and their phenotypes to muddy the waters a bit since what you get from a phenotype doesn't always zero sum and add in the sample characters don't always make it particularly clear when they've maxed out their negative traits.

But if I could buy off Slow Learner before skill finalization that character would have the same skill ranks but actually be 10 XP better off.

Going full other end of the spectrum for Fast Learner would actually be 20 XP better off keeping the same skill ranks.

 

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