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Author Topic: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?  (Read 2946 times)

Hammerhead

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AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« on: 13 October 2021, 16:43:57 »
Hey, everybody.  In a peculiar twist, my small gaming group is looking to add MORE cronch to our game, and are eyeballing the Quirk rules from AToW.  Crazy…

Anyway, I was wondering how to approach the idea of character point based Quirks in relation to the list of “factory” Quirks from the Battlemech Manual.  The Wolverine, for example, in the Manual has more than 5 positive quirks (the cap as I understand it in AToW) and only 1 negative (so nowhere near balanced point values).  So if a character has a Wolverine, but wants to use AToW character points to buy some more, how is this handled?  As I understand it AToW says no more than 5 positive and 5 negative total, with no more than a 5 net positive points after all is done, unless I’m misreading.  If these are just considered separate from the factory quirks, that could add up to a whole lot of positives…

How are you all dealing with this, if you are at all?  Is there an official response that I’ve been unable to find?  Am I misunderstanding tge whole thing?

Thanks!

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #1 on: 13 October 2021, 19:28:59 »
Personally, I would apply the AToW limits above and beyond the vehicle's inherent quirks.  I don't think there's an official ruling on that, but most vehicles that have a net positive set of quirks make up for it in other ways (e.g., the barely armed Ostscout).  As always, the caution in the description of the quirk ("Gamemasters are also well advised to temper such features within reason") applies.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #2 on: 13 October 2021, 21:14:59 »
I personally would not allow any positive quirks. 

guardiandashi

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #3 on: 13 October 2021, 22:02:23 »
the simple answer is to use the Quirks as a cost adjustment for the price of the mech.

lets say for the sake of argument that you have a mech with a net +5 quirks then the mech would likely cost an extra 500 xp than one with a net +0
if the mech has +6 and minus 1 for the stock mech and you add "gremlins" (which is more of a character trait ) it would effectively reduce the cost by 3 trait points (300 XP)

I realize thats not the best example but it gets the idea across

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #4 on: 14 October 2021, 03:30:59 »
The problem I see with that is that just taking those points and investing them in more tonnage will usually get you the next weight class up...

guardiandashi

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #5 on: 14 October 2021, 04:07:59 »
The problem I see with that is that just taking those points and investing them in more tonnage will usually get you the next weight class up...

its more useful if you can take some negative traits on the vehicle to make it cheaper.

for example lets say you get the em interference on lets say a marauders ppc's 2 ppc's -1 point for each, and exposed weapon linkage for the ac5 this combination would reduce the effective cost of the marauder by 4 IE 400xp so said marauder would effectively count as a 3pt trait instead of a 7 point trait on the general vehicle trait table.  of course you would also need at least 2-3 points in custom vehicle to make sure you get to PICK a MAD-3R marauder at the beginning of the game.  and I would also make sure the GM is ok with it, and develop a plan to eventually repair/retrofit (IE pay off) at least some of those negative traits/quirks
because there is no way for example that I would allow you to just spend cbills and repair time to "fix" those quirks for "free" in game if I was running the game.

Hammerhead

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #6 on: 14 October 2021, 15:24:38 »
its more useful if you can take some negative traits on the vehicle to make it cheaper.

for example lets say you get the em interference on lets say a marauders ppc's 2 ppc's -1 point for each, and exposed weapon linkage for the ac5 this combination would reduce the effective cost of the marauder by 4 IE 400xp so said marauder would effectively count as a 3pt trait instead of a 7 point trait on the general vehicle trait table.  of course you would also need at least 2-3 points in custom vehicle to make sure you get to PICK a MAD-3R marauder at the beginning of the game.  and I would also make sure the GM is ok with it, and develop a plan to eventually repair/retrofit (IE pay off) at least some of those negative traits/quirks
because there is no way for example that I would allow you to just spend cbills and repair time to "fix" those quirks for "free" in game if I was running the game.

On a related note; I was thinking of either not allowing EM Interference or expanding it to include the “Improved” electronics quirks and possibly the Command Mech and both Computers, (as well as requiring any Mech that had it to have one or more of these) as we generally play SW Era so far.  Otherwise it strikes me as an easy way to get free points if your ‘Mech doesn’t have any  systems that are affected…

Edit: stupid spelling…
« Last Edit: 14 October 2021, 15:26:48 by Hammerhead »

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #7 on: 14 October 2021, 16:00:18 »
This is where IMHO AToW's point system and the game as a whole fails .
The fact of the matter is the system tries to do to much in the game. While it is necessary for creating a starting character to have set guidelines. When it starts dictating game play it has gone to far. The Vehicle Quirk rules are presented to add flavor to the stall set of numbers that are a Mech nothing more. It is like I have said before regarding Rank, the system is a set of guidelines for making a character and should not be come a straitjacket to the PC or GM in telling their stories.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #8 on: 14 October 2021, 18:13:41 »
Quirks are weird enough that you really should have to spend some "karma" to get them fixed properly.  I don't think it's a problem, really.

guardiandashi

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #9 on: 15 October 2021, 12:23:39 »
Quirks are weird enough that you really should have to spend some "karma" to get them fixed properly.  I don't think it's a problem, really.
I don't really disagree.

but to use an example, of what I mean by too cheesy to allow.
lets say for the sake of arguement you made a char with said em interference marauder.
you start the first game session and buy up 2 replacement PPC's with either personal or unit cash, and swap them out for the "new" ppc's and say that the EM interference was due to "damaged" ppc's that are now sitting on a workbench being rebuilt. you just effectively got rid of a major "bug" in your battlemech for "cheap"

now if you roleplay it and you are picking up parts here and there and spend some XP to buy off the negative perk/trait, or get rid of it after multiple game sessions dealing with and/or having the possibility that the negative trait will kick in then I have a lot less issues with it.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #10 on: 15 October 2021, 13:32:57 »
I don't really disagree.

but to use an example, of what I mean by too cheesy to allow.
lets say for the sake of arguement you made a char with said em interference marauder.
you start the first game session and buy up 2 replacement PPC's with either personal or unit cash, and swap them out for the "new" ppc's and say that the EM interference was due to "damaged" ppc's that are now sitting on a workbench being rebuilt. you just effectively got rid of a major "bug" in your battlemech for "cheap"

now if you roleplay it and you are picking up parts here and there and spend some XP to buy off the negative perk/trait, or get rid of it after multiple game sessions dealing with and/or having the possibility that the negative trait will kick in then I have a lot less issues with it.

And that's what I was talking about. It's a mechanical issues with the Mech that should not have been a perk/trait for the PC in the first place. The player should never have gotten any points for it to began with because it had nothing to do with the character. It was an issues with a piece of equipment. At most it should be a direct reduction in the cost of the Vehicle trait that can't be used for anything else.

Example: Vehicle (BattleMech) 600 points - Vehicle Quick (EM interference)-100 points = 500 points, and the should be the end of it for points. And that should be it for points. After that anything having to due with this should be handled in an in-game as a in universe problem having nothing more to due with the RPG point system.

So with the above example the player starts the game with a Marauder that they paid 500 XP for then during the course of the game they buys 2 new PPCs cost (250,000x2)= 500,000 C-Bills (the equivalent to 800 points in wealth) to fix the issues with the Mech. You see the player getting off easy, where I see the complete opposite here, in that the PC is getting ripped off by the system for a 100 point reduction of cost that would take 700 points to fix. Again this is the problem with the AToW point system, most of it seems like it was written in a vacuum separate from the rest of the BTU games (which it was).
« Last Edit: 15 October 2021, 13:41:42 by victor_shaw »

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #11 on: 15 October 2021, 13:50:47 »
AToW seems to be trying to emulate the GURPS point system. What the writers don't seem to understand that that SJG has a editor thats only job is to go through the numbers and make sure that everything is balanced per point. They also don't get that in GURPS after character creation in-world changes are in-world only and don't cost the player xp points.

Example: While in GURPS it cost XXX character points to get a cyber arm + enhancements points, after Character generation it cost xxx credits and whatever time the surgery takes only.


Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #12 on: 15 October 2021, 18:17:17 »
See, in my opinion, the PC doesn't get to pick what specific part needs to be replaced to fix the problem.  Only the GM knows what's really wrong with that incredibly complex piece of machinery (the 'mech as a whole), and demanding a player pay "karma" to FIND it is totally legit.  If players want to play whack a mole by replacing various bits and bobs, I would chalk that up to a "money pit" scenario (e.g., shiny new PPC, SAME problem).  Sinking personal blood, sweat and tears into finding the problem (by spending hard earned XP) might just turn up that it was an extra safety cut-out blanking out the power installed by a tech 150 years ago to keep a pair of bad PPCs from doing MORE damage to the electronics.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #13 on: 15 October 2021, 22:32:58 »
See, in my opinion, the PC doesn't get to pick what specific part needs to be replaced to fix the problem.  Only the GM knows what's really wrong with that incredibly complex piece of machinery (the 'mech as a whole), and demanding a player pay "karma" to FIND it is totally legit.  If players want to play whack a mole by replacing various bits and bobs, I would chalk that up to a "money pit" scenario (e.g., shiny new PPC, SAME problem).  Sinking personal blood, sweat and tears into finding the problem (by spending hard earned XP) might just turn up that it was an extra safety cut-out blanking out the power installed by a tech 150 years ago to keep a pair of bad PPCs from doing MORE damage to the electronics.

And while I agree the players should have to find out what's wrong.
I totally disagree on it being driven by XP, it should have to do with roleplaying not some arbitrary amount of experience point.
The player should have to used his technical skills (or hire a tech) to find and isolate the problem then fix it.

Again this is the issues with AToW, trying to link everything to point values. While this is find during character creation, after that XP should only be used to rise skills and attributes. Everything else should be roleplayed and gained or lost accordingly in game and not just by throwing XP at it.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #14 on: 16 October 2021, 04:11:09 »
I suppose it comes down to what you consider XP to be.  For me, it's the "blood, sweat and tears" I mentioned above.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #15 on: 16 October 2021, 09:30:02 »
I suppose it comes down to what you consider XP to be.  For me, it's the "blood, sweat and tears" I mentioned above.

You miss understand. I'm not saying that XP is not "blood, sweat and tears" as you put it. But its not some "mystical, magical force" that make your complications go away. You don't automatically no longer have an Enemy just because you spend some XP, You have to "Kill, Depower, or Convince" in character to get rid of them. You don't automatically regrow a leg because you spend XP. You have to gather the money and have it regrown or rebuilt in character to remove the trait.

The issues is this idea that Positive/Negative Traits are just some numbers to be bought or bought-off. They are just RPG plot points that you pay for or get XP for during character creation to make your characters more unique at creation, and should have to be role played to remove or gained after the fact.

If your Mech has the "EM interference" quirk, it was a point bonus you gained before you started the game, not so mystical force that follows you through out the game. It can be overcome in-character just like any other problem without just throwing XP at it.

And as I said earlier, Vehicle Quirks are flavor for the Mech (good or bad) like a PC's Traits to make an otherwise boring set of numbers pop and come to life. They are not some magical force that needs to be overcome by expending XP. The reason a Marauder has Exposed Weapon Linkage is because of a design decision or flaw and it adds character to the design, not some XP reason.

Overall, I think the issues here is by design or lack of better explanation, AToW gives the idea that everything can be fixed out-of-game by just spending some XP, when all off these issues can and should be addressed in-character during the game and handled like the story plot points they are.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #16 on: 16 October 2021, 09:50:55 »
Ah, I think I see the issue...  I'm not at all saying that simply spending the XP will fix problems with 'mechs.  I'm saying the in-character "fix" has to be backed by expending XP.  Simply doing the "obvious" by replacing the PPCs shouldn't be enough to fix a quirk.  For me, it's not "or": it's "and".  E.g., just replacing the PPCs with C-Bills and tech time means the problem is still there.  Sitting down with the tech team and going over the problem from the PPC to the cockpit (blood, sweat and tears) might just find the root cause, but STILL require the PPCs to be replaced (or some other just as expensive technical procedure).

As a GM, I want to see some player effort expended, not just a line item in the monthly maintenance budget.  Quirks are the sorts of things that elude factory engineers for CENTURIES.  Fixes to them should almost universally be one-offs.  Just because it works on Angie's 'mech doesn't mean the same fix will work on John's.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #17 on: 16 October 2021, 09:54:18 »
Another place were this issue pops up, is the Rank trait.
Again this is a pre-game XP expenditure that sets you position within their set or existing command structure. It is not and should not be used to determine your worth as a commander in-game. If a PC is part of a Mercenary group and they have the highest Rank trait in the group, they are the commander of the group. It doesn't matter if they call themselves a lieutenant or a colonel, no one in-universe is going to look at their record and see they only spent 500 XP on the Rank trait and determine they can't be a colonel because of this. That is the danger of a point based system. When it is used to make decisions in-game, it can take over the Narrative and force PCs and NPCs to act out of character just to push the point system.


Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #18 on: 16 October 2021, 10:04:20 »
Rank is exactly the same for me as a GM: in-character actions have to be backed by XP expenditure to make them "stick".  "And", not "or".   If in-character actions outstrip XP expenditure, that rank is a brevet that can stripped at any time.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #19 on: 16 October 2021, 10:09:46 »
Ah, I think I see the issue...  I'm not at all saying that simply spending the XP will fix problems with 'mechs.  I'm saying the in-character "fix" has to be backed by expending XP.  Simply doing the "obvious" by replacing the PPCs shouldn't be enough to fix a quirk.  For me, it's not "or": it's "and".  E.g., just replacing the PPCs with C-Bills and tech time means the problem is still there.  Sitting down with the tech team and going over the problem from the PPC to the cockpit (blood, sweat and tears) might just find the root cause, but STILL require the PPCs to be replaced (or some other just as expensive technical procedure).

As a GM, I want to see some player effort expended, not just a line item in the monthly maintenance budget.  Quirks are the sorts of things that elude factory engineers for CENTURIES.  Fixes to them should almost universally be one-offs.  Just because it works on Angie's 'mech doesn't mean the same fix will work on John's.

Again I don't 100% agree.
The example about the "The reason a Marauder has Exposed Weapon Linkage" is a point were I was trying to say some things can't be fixed, as you said its an engineering issues that you except when you buy the Mech since its a outstanding vehicle besides that issues. and adds flavor to the mech.

On the other issues, "I'm saying the in-character "fix" has to be backed by expending XP". Why?

For the "EM interference" quirk it's not a engineering issues that effects the entire Marauder line. It's a issues with a specific Mech (yours) that should be able to be fixed with some elbow troubleshooting, grease, and cash. Again the XP system in any RPG is not supposed to be the fix for everything that happens. It's supposed to represent "Experience" gained through your adventures to raise skills and attributes. Anything else in the game should be handled through roleplaying or in-game actions/resource expenditure

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #20 on: 16 October 2021, 10:18:58 »
Rank is exactly the same for me as a GM: in-character actions have to be backed by XP expenditure to make them "stick".  "And", not "or".   If in-character actions outstrip XP expenditure, that rank is a brevet that can stripped at any time.

Again, Why

What you are describing is not roleplaying it's "point management"
They point of the "point system" is to make a somewhat balanced PC at character generation not to be the guiding force that directs their every move for the rest of the campaign.



victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #21 on: 16 October 2021, 10:39:20 »
If a character has the Enemy trait and kills said enemy in-game. They don't have to pay XP just to get rid of the trait.
The factor that gave them the trait is gone, so they have effectively removed the trait in-game.

If a character has the Vehicle Quirk trait that is not a engineering issues with the design and fixes it in-game. They don't have to pay XP just to get rid of the trait. The factor that gave them the trait is gone, so they have effectively removed the trait in-game.

If a character doesn't have the Contact trait and works to set up a Contact in-game. They don't have to pay 100+ XP just to get the trait. The factor that gives them the trait was gained during play, so they have effectively added the trait in-game.

Again, the point system is there to help create balanced PCs at the start of the game, not to be managed with XP during the game.

Some examples:
1. Your character starts the game with a medium mech, then during the course of the game buys or takes as salvage a heavy mech. They don't have to pay XP to raise there Vehicle level to Heavy. This was achieved during in-game play.

2. you start the game with a 100 c-bills of equipment, then your group raids a weapons depot during an adventure and you pick 2,500 c-bills worth of new equipment. They don't have to pay 100 XP just to use the equipment. This was achieved during in-game play.

3. You start the game with D/B/B equipment (0 XP), then during the course of the game buys or pick up equipment that is D/C/C. They don't have to pay 200 XP just to use the equipment. This was achieved during in-game play.
« Last Edit: 16 October 2021, 10:43:04 by victor_shaw »

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #22 on: 16 October 2021, 11:11:18 »
Again, with those examples, I see temporary situations affecting characters.  If they want those things to "stick", I'm going to extract some XP.

0) Just because you kill an enemy doesn't mean they were friendless or without family to carry on the grudge.  If a player spends the XP, sure, the vendetta ends.  If they don't?  Some other NPC picks it up.

1) When they eventually get shot out of that heavy 'mech, if they want another heavy to be provided by the unit, that only happens if they've spent the XP.  Otherwise, the unit only happens to have a medium available ("Hmmm... your contract says...").

2) Again, if that 2,500 C-Bills of stuff gets damaged or destroyed, don't expect the unit to cough up to replace it unless some XP has been sunk into insurance or favors from the quartermasters (as examples).

3) Same as above.  The unit won't have access to restricted equipment unless they expend capital (financial, political, criminal, or otherwise) on obtaining the licenses (real or forged) necessary to freely obtain it.

To me, XP is shorthand for all the business/political/familial/etc. tricks necessary to make sure a character can KEEP what they get.  Anything they don't spend blood, sweat and tears on can be taken from them as easily as they took it from whoever they got it from.  If they're willing to roll the dice continuously, they shouldn't be surprised when they eventually roll snake eyes.  Conversely, if they sink XP into improving a trait, that advantage will have some systemic protection.  That said, a blatant war crime will have consequences, but even those can be quantified (a new Enemy, a Bloodmark, etc.).  In that situation, the player will gain some XP, but unless they're willing to live with the consequences, they'll bank them to pay off the negative traits when they role play themselves out of the situation.

Again, "and" not "or".

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #23 on: 16 October 2021, 13:13:32 »
Again, with those examples, I see temporary situations affecting characters.  If they want those things to "stick", I'm going to extract some XP.

0) Just because you kill an enemy doesn't mean they were friendless or without family to carry on the grudge.  If a player spends the XP, sure, the vendetta ends.  If they don't?  Some other NPC picks it up.

1) When they eventually get shot out of that heavy 'mech, if they want another heavy to be provided by the unit, that only happens if they've spent the XP.  Otherwise, the unit only happens to have a medium available ("Hmmm... your contract says...").

2) Again, if that 2,500 C-Bills of stuff gets damaged or destroyed, don't expect the unit to cough up to replace it unless some XP has been sunk into insurance or favors from the quartermasters (as examples).

3) Same as above.  The unit won't have access to restricted equipment unless they expend capital (financial, political, criminal, or otherwise) on obtaining the licenses (real or forged) necessary to freely obtain it.

To me, XP is shorthand for all the business/political/familial/etc. tricks necessary to make sure a character can KEEP what they get.  Anything they don't spend blood, sweat and tears on can be taken from them as easily as they took it from whoever they got it from.  If they're willing to roll the dice continuously, they shouldn't be surprised when they eventually roll snake eyes.  Conversely, if they sink XP into improving a trait, that advantage will have some systemic protection.  That said, a blatant war crime will have consequences, but even those can be quantified (a new Enemy, a Bloodmark, etc.).  In that situation, the player will gain some XP, but unless they're willing to live with the consequences, they'll bank them to pay off the negative traits when they role play themselves out of the situation.

Again, "and" not "or".

Then as my gaming buddies would say "you are a rules lawyer GM not a roleplaying GM"
You are not "Roleplaying" you are "Point managing".

"To me, XP is shorthand for all the business/political/familial/etc. tricks necessary to make sure a character can KEEP what they get."

No, and just No.

After Character creation:

XP is the accumulated experience you gain for raise your skill and sometimes your attributes.

Your finances are based on the jobs you do in-character.

You contacts/connections are based your social interactions (skill use not XP) and the palms you grease (money not XP) that you do in-character.

1) No, they get what the unit has available or what they can afford not what they payed for at Character Creation. If the unit doesn't have a Medium mech just laying around, and all they have is a light mech you get what you get. Again this is were total dependence on the point system fails. As new Medium Mech doesn't just spring into existence because they got blown out of theirs. Again, you are paying XP at character creation to have the ability to start with that Mech class, it in no way means that you have the right to always have that Mech class during play. On the opposite side, it also doesn't limit you on what you can obtain during play.

2) The Wealth trait in no way saids that you will always have that money or that financial level of  The Wealth Trait Table indicates how much starting cash per the entry.

the character receives based on the TP score of this Trait, but does
not establish the equipment ratings the character may access, nor
does it establish any pay rates or extra income a character may
receive during game play. Any unspent money may be carried
over into general game play for later use.


So, no this is not some ongoing money reward and yet it takes XP. So the points spent on it during character creation even by RAW no effect on whether you can or can get that cost of equipment again.

3)"The unit won't have access to restricted equipment unless they expend capital (financial, political, criminal, or otherwise) on obtaining the licenses (real or forged) necessary to freely obtain it."

And why does any of this have to do with XP?
A PC can easily buy or obtaining the licenses trough in-game/in-character interactions. Pay the right people, make the right skills rolls and your done.

Same as above, but the RAW do allow a GM to use them in play if they want (or IMHO if to lazy).
Though this Trait is primarily used during character creation, the gamemaster
may use this level of equipment access throughout game play




"To me, XP is shorthand for all the business/political/familial/etc. tricks necessary to make sure a character can KEEP what they get.  Anything they don't spend blood, sweat and tears on can be taken from them as easily as they took it from whoever they got it from.  If they're willing to roll the dice continuously, they shouldn't be surprised when they eventually roll snake eyes.  Conversely, if they sink XP into improving a trait, that advantage will have some systemic protection.  That said, a blatant war crime will have consequences, but even those can be quantified (a new Enemy, a Bloodmark, etc.).  In that situation, the player will gain some XP, but unless they're willing to live with the consequences, they'll bank them to pay off the negative traits when they role play themselves out of the situation."

So you are ignoring the purpose of negative traits (extra XP) to make this work. Because all Banking XP is doing is giving the illusion that the characters are getting xp for the trait, but in truth it is just the same as if you just gave then the Enemy trait during game play and then removing it when they accomplished what is necessary to remove it.


Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #24 on: 16 October 2021, 13:48:17 »
If you see it as "the same", why are we arguing?  ???

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #25 on: 16 October 2021, 14:41:11 »
If you see it as "the same", why are we arguing?  ???

The point is in the example you gave, your own argument is showing that the points are not really changing hands, they are just giving the illusion that they are.

As for the others, IMHO and from what I have read in the RAW (which are poorly defined) the point spent on Traits in character creation have nothing to do with the game once it starts, they are only their to help make balanced starting characters. After that, Roleplaying takes over and they are gain and lost by in-character interactions and not point expenditures. If you dumb the game down to a point system, what is the incentive for good roleplaying? All the characters have to do is make contracts, get payed and and spend their XP to get rid of the Traits. And before you go off on they have to roleplay the actions that lead to the Trait removal. Then you have started double-dipping (Something players tend to hate). Know not only do they have to preform the actions would normally fix the issues, paying off a debit/obtaining a license/fixing the mechanical issues, they also have to wait until they have the XP to pay it off. I'm sorry but if that was the way any GM my players or I where going to run with ran their game we would never play with them.

Roleplaying is about Playing a role in character, it is never about arbitrary point systems totals that you have to meet for you in game actions to have lasting effect. If I buy a license for a weapon, and run through all the proper channel, I should not also have to pay XP to gain the item since it's higher level then I started the game with.

If I spend days/weeks (in-game) tracking down a new informant, rolling Streetwise after Streetwise Skills, paying off the bartenders/Hoods and then Negotiation after Negotiation skill rolls to setup a new contact. I should not have to spend 100+ XP on it as well. The work was all done in-game and that should be all-she-wrote.

As I said, point systems are ok(though they never seem to work right) for creating a new character, as you don't have the Roleplaying background yet on the PC to justify what they have and don't have at the beginning, but after that they serve no purpose as the player now has the opportunity to earn said Contacts/Ranks/Equipment/ETC. through roleplaying.

« Last Edit: 16 October 2021, 14:44:03 by victor_shaw »

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #26 on: 16 October 2021, 14:56:45 »
We skin the cat differently, that's all.  You call it "double dipping", I call it "blood, sweat and tears".

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #27 on: 18 October 2021, 11:46:35 »
I will say Design Quirk is in my top three of traits that I do not like as presented.

I don't see why you can't spend enough time, money, and effort to eventually get rid of negative ones or get new positive ones instead but at the same time I take Daryk's point of the process should be both something role played and extensive enough that it could be deemed effectively XP spent in name too.  Or else it does become a loophole to get 'free' XP at character creation.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #28 on: 18 October 2021, 14:36:43 »
I will say Design Quirk is in my top three of traits that I do not like as presented.

I don't see why you can't spend enough time, money, and effort to eventually get rid of negative ones or get new positive ones instead but at the same time I take Daryk's point of the process should be both something role played and extensive enough that it could be deemed effectively XP spent in name too.  Or else it does become a loophole to get 'free' XP at character creation.

Like I have always said, there is nothing wrong with making the players pay for it, but don't make them pay twice.
IMHO, were AToW truly fails as a system is in the point system trying to do to much, to often, while being to generic.

Don't get me wrong, GURPS one of my favor game system (those its hell on the GM) use a point system. The major difference is that SJGs goes out of their way to insure that every point is balanced vs. each other for character/universe creation. then the system steps back and lets you roleplay from then on out.

For a point system to work you have to put in the effort to make sure the points you spend/get for one trait/skill/attribute/Etc. is balanced with the points you spend/get for another. On top of that you need to separate Character creation points (both mentally and system wise) from advancement in the game. And live with the fact that characters are not going to and should not stay balanced after Character creation. And that what you start with from Character creation is just that, what you start with and you are not entitled to keep it or automatically replace it because you paid for it at the start of the game. And finally, the system needs to have a point range that can both handle the range/types of options without over burdening the GM/PCs with waste points.

AToW fails on all these points.
1. Point cost in the system are not unique and are just set numbers. All trait/skill/attribute/Etc. are treated the same DEX, STR, CHA are all the same Acting, Security Systems, Surgery are all the same in the point system.
2. The point system likes to override Roleplaying as written, yes I know you can ignore this, but as written is does.
3. They system gives GM/PCs this feeling that I paid for its mine till the end.
4. The system also gives the feeling that it punishes players for not "wasting" points on something they got during play.
5. They system point levels are ridiculously high for the sake of being high. As most of the point totals are just 3rd ED points with a zero or two added.

Overall, the system fails to be an effective point based system on all the points that you need for a point based system. What's sad about it is that with a point ranges half to two-thirds as high they could fix most of these issues.

The above needed to be said for my point below.

From the earlier example: the "EM interference" quirk is a -100 XP negative trait, not much in this system. If the player was to replace the PPCs as described earlier, the player would be paying around 500,000 c-bills for the PPCs and what every the going rate for a Mech/tech.
Now if we look into the point system at the trait that covers money for equipment (Wealth) we see that to have that many c-bills is a +800 XP trait. So, at least to me by the Traits as Written if the player has earned the money to pay for this in game, their in-game actions have already surpassed the -100 XP they earned from the negative trait by 700 XP. Why would they then have to pay 100 more XP to get rid of the trait.

This is where again AToWs point system fails due to its unbalanced nature and want to control the in-game balance. Because of the generic nature of points in the system and the complete lack of balance, getting 500,000 c-bill can get rid of a negative trait, but you wind-up have to use 800 XP worth of in-game resources to do it.

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #29 on: 18 October 2021, 15:07:08 »
Like I have always said, there is nothing wrong with making the players pay for it, but don't make them pay twice.
IMHO, were AToW truly fails as a system is in the point system trying to do to much, to often, while being to generic.

Don't get me wrong, GURPS one of my favor game system (those its hell on the GM) use a point system. The major difference is that SJGs goes out of their way to insure that every point is balanced vs. each other for character/universe creation. then the system steps back and lets you roleplay from then on out.

For a point system to work you have to put in the effort to make sure the points you spend/get for one trait/skill/attribute/Etc. is balanced with the points you spend/get for another. On top of that you need to separate Character creation points (both mentally and system wise) from advancement in the game. And live with the fact that characters are not going to and should not stay balanced after Character creation. And that what you start with from Character creation is just that, what you start with and you are not entitled to keep it or automatically replace it because you paid for it at the start of the game. And finally, the system needs to have a point range that can both handle the range/types of options without over burdening the GM/PCs with waste points.

AToW fails on all these points.
1. Point cost in the system are not unique and are just set numbers. All trait/skill/attribute/Etc. are treated the same DEX, STR, CHA are all the same Acting, Security Systems, Surgery are all the same in the point system.
2. The point system likes to override Roleplaying as written, yes I know you can ignore this, but as written is does.
3. They system gives GM/PCs this feeling that I paid for its mine till the end.
4. The system also gives the feeling that it punishes players for not "wasting" points on something they got during play.
5. They system point levels are ridiculously high for the sake of being high. As most of the point totals are just 3rd ED points with a zero or two added.

Overall, the system fails to be an effective point based system on all the points that you need for a point based system. What's sad about it is that with a point ranges half to two-thirds as high they could fix most of these issues.

The above needed to be said for my point below.

From the earlier example: the "EM interference" quirk is a -100 XP negative trait, not much in this system. If the player was to replace the PPCs as described earlier, the player would be paying around 500,000 c-bills for the PPCs and what every the going rate for a Mech/tech.
Now if we look into the point system at the trait that covers money for equipment (Wealth) we see that to have that many c-bills is a +800 XP trait. So, at least to me by the Traits as Written if the player has earned the money to pay for this in game, their in-game actions have already surpassed the -100 XP they earned from the negative trait by 700 XP. Why would they then have to pay 100 more XP to get rid of the trait.

This is where again AToWs point system fails due to its unbalanced nature and want to control the in-game balance. Because of the generic nature of points in the system and the complete lack of balance, getting 500,000 c-bill can get rid of a negative trait, but you wind-up have to use 800 XP worth of in-game resources to do it.

For me that all comes across as you are letting yourself get caught up on the numbers and are charging XP without actually saying you're charging XP.

Still I can't disagree some traits are pretty terrible to actually make logical use of as they are now.  How I order them does seem to change from time to time but I do tend to agree that as they stand as written Rank, Title, Wealth, Equipped, Vehicle(Design Quirk by extension) are the big ones for me for needing fixed going forward.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #30 on: 18 October 2021, 19:28:14 »
Those can (and should be) tweaked, so I agree with both of you there.

That said, I think AToW overall succeeds.  Sadly, most games have about the same lifespan as the average merc unit (i.e., not particularly long).  AToW works fine in that scope.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #31 on: 18 October 2021, 21:15:14 »
@monbvol
I don't charge the extra XP, that was a response  to Daryk more the you.

And it's  life expectancy in more like that of an orphanage  during a capella air raid.
I have found few player that can get passed character creation  let alone play the game.

Paul

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #32 on: 06 November 2021, 16:27:51 »
I do tend to agree that as they stand as written Rank, Title, Wealth, Equipped, Vehicle(Design Quirk by extension) are the big ones for me for needing fixed going forward.

What would you (and others in this thread) consider a fix for those?
Feel free to link to a thread/post where you've explained your ideas.
The solution is just ignore Paul.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #33 on: 06 November 2021, 16:48:15 »
Are TPTB finally able to look at the Fan Rules forum, then?  ???

Paul

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #34 on: 06 November 2021, 20:26:50 »
Sure, we just don't.
The solution is just ignore Paul.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #35 on: 06 November 2021, 21:58:08 »
What would you (and others in this thread) consider a fix for those?
Feel free to link to a thread/post where you've explained your ideas.

For me the trait issues are just a symptom of many larger problems with the game. Mainly the overblown and intrusive point system.

Well I would say;

For Rank my first thought is it is not needed at all since your rank should be story/roleplaying based not point based, but if you must have it nothing above captain at character creation. Above this it all should be based on in-game roleplaying and no longer have anything to do with points. While the expanding Rank compassion chart are great to get an idea what the different ranks mean in different states giving them points only leads to PCs trying to get them out of character creation.

Titles fall into the same category as above. These are thing that should be gain through play and not point based. And again if you must have them then limit them to lower levels. Maybe nothing higher then a Baron.

For Bloodname again to me this should be just a GM/Player decision but if it has to be point based I would say the Trait gives the lineage and not the name itself. The act of getting your Bloodname is one of the most important parts of a Clan campaign, so bringing it down to a point expenditure is killing the core of a Clan game.

For Wealth and Equipment I think they both need to be toned back and it needs to be clear that they are a one-time thing in character creation that is not used in play.

For Vehicle, things like Custom Vehicle, Own Vehicle, Design Quirk should be modifiers not their own traits.

The Vehicle trait itself should take into account that the player is spending lot of XP on an item that could be blown out from under them in the first game. This Trait should cost maybe half what it does.
so more like
+1-2=light, +3-4=Medium, +5=Heavy, +6=Assaults. or something of that nature.

Design Quirk should be an optional rule that is only in effect when you uses the Design Quirk in the game as a modifier to the type of vehicle you get.

But the main issues with the game is the Point system.
1. The game has a 5,000 point spread and most things are in multiples of 100?
2. Skills seem to be the way they are just to add Fast and Slow Learner.
3. Lifepath entries are suggestions at best since they don't actually give you anything close to complete at the time. With some so far away from complete that the seem to be their just to waste points.
4. Most of this system could easily be divided by 10 and still work without hindering the game.
5. The Point System is to intrusive in game and should be dropped after character creation.
6. If you must keep Fast and Slow Learner make them a XP bonus/penalty of like 10% and leave it at that.
7. The Lifepaths need to be their own thing and not just a extremely vague/light template for the point system.
8. Things like Starting Attribute (which should start at human norm), universal skills, Etc. should be full pointed out not some small level of the skill or below human norm Attribute.

Overall, the game needs a lot of work in my opinion.

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #36 on: 06 November 2021, 23:02:55 »
A lot of my revisions at one point revolved around the idea of making Wealth and Equipped a subset of Rank and Title, up to mashing Rank and Title into a Status trait instead and making it a more relational than absolute trait.

The root idea is that you have to be in a position of power/responsibility to actually have the nice stuff.  It doesn't have to be Military either.  It could be Civilian/Nobility, Intelligence, or Criminal.

I even tossed around the idea of using the same subcategories as Connections for this new Status trait but with both Connections and Status give point pools that the player could distribute among the subcategories as they saw fit.

I don't think I'm really explaining it well or very thoroughly and to an extent I take some of victor_shaw's points about how really a lot of this can be shuffled off into the background a bit or otherwise become a non-factor so when it really comes down to it I have to admit I probably really need to re-think a lot of this.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #37 on: 07 November 2021, 05:17:37 »
I don't really see a problem with Rank.  Anything a player does in character creation is subject to GM approval.  If a GM doesn't think a PC should have more than Rank 6 (Captain) at creation, then they won't.

Wealth is pretty clearly a one-time bonus, especially in light of "Extra Income".

Equipment to me represents connections/authorizations/licensing that works as described.

Given that Custom Vehicle/Owns Vehicle/Quirk are useless without the Vehicle trait, I see them as de facto modifiers.  Would it be more convenient if they were listed with the "Vehicle" trait instead filed alphabetically in the list on their own?  You bet!

As far as points being "intrusive", honestly, I see them as no more intrusive than any other experience point system.  AToW simply made the points the same during and after character creation, and I think that's a feature, not a bug.

I think I'll stop there because I just looked at the thread title again and realized how far afield I am.  Paul, did you want to start another thread for where we've wandered to?  Because if you're actually fishing for input to the next edition of AToW, I'm IN (and my sig block has more than a few links regarding that).

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #38 on: 07 November 2021, 08:50:04 »
I don't really see a problem with Rank.  Anything a player does in character creation is subject to GM approval.  If a GM doesn't think a PC should have more than Rank 6 (Captain) at creation, then they won't.

Wealth is pretty clearly a one-time bonus, especially in light of "Extra Income".

Equipment to me represents connections/authorizations/licensing that works as described.

Given that Custom Vehicle/Owns Vehicle/Quirk are useless without the Vehicle trait, I see them as de facto modifiers.  Would it be more convenient if they were listed with the "Vehicle" trait instead filed alphabetically in the list on their own?  You bet!

As far as points being "intrusive", honestly, I see them as no more intrusive than any other experience point system.  AToW simply made the points the same during and after character creation, and I think that's a feature, not a bug.

I think I'll stop there because I just looked at the thread title again and realized how far afield I am.  Paul, did you want to start another thread for where we've wandered to?  Because if you're actually fishing for input to the next edition of AToW, I'm IN (and my sig block has more than a few links regarding that).

The intrusive of the system is not that the point system is used for Skill progression after character creation. It's that it is used for everything after character creation.

For example lets look at the Bloodname trait.
As the rules stand now if you take it you have a Bloodname at character creation and if you don't you have yet to earn one.
Lets say that a PC and the GM agree that the players lineage is Kerensky.
The player then through the game enters the Grand Melee wining a spot, then wins all the fights including the last round securing the Bloodname over the course of 6 game session. In the way you have indicated you play they would still have to pay 1,300 XP to claim the Bloodname. Why? By all in-game reasoning you have paid for it with you blood sweat and tears (literally) This is where the system becomes intrusive as the player has already done everything they need to do to gain the name in-universe, but do to this system they are being made to pay to collect what they have already earned.

Another issues is that one other game I have every played makes you pay for in-game rewards (Contacts, Titles, Equipment, Etc.) after character creation, and I have played a lot of them. That was Fantasy Heroes, and I have never played it since and most of the RPG player I know will not play it either.

 

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #39 on: 07 November 2021, 08:53:38 »
If that's a concern for you as a GM, simply give the player the XP to buy the trait when they "earn" it.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #40 on: 07 November 2021, 09:24:43 »
If that's a concern for you as a GM, simply give the player the XP to buy the trait when they "earn" it.
Why they already earned it, why would they need XP for it?
That's the point, the game doesn't need to account for this and shouldn't but it does. So the system is broken.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #41 on: 07 November 2021, 09:48:24 »
I think it has use.  It reduces the guess work when balancing encounters, something newer GMs need.

Hammerhead

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #42 on: 07 November 2021, 10:11:47 »
I was always under the impression, with any point-based purchase of equipment, that it was the GM’s responsibility to ensure that a character always has access to said equipment or a reasonably close equivalent.  In this case, for example; if a character spent points on a vehicle with Quirks that got shot to pieces, after the scenario that player would miraculously find that their vehicle was actually salvageable, or they were awarded a replacement by a grateful lord/employer/populace or something similar.

At least, that’s the way I’ve always run it in a Superhero game with tech-based characters.  Unless I’m totally missing the root of the debate, here.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #43 on: 07 November 2021, 10:27:41 »
No, I think you hit it pretty squarely on the head.

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #44 on: 07 November 2021, 10:30:36 »
Because of how it matters in certain types of campaigns and for certain characters I think it is fine to have certain things as up front opportunity costs but yes it should also be fine to just award things in a logical, but never trivial, way once the game starts.

Case in point the difference between what kind of favors, leeway, and assistance a Clan Warrior that has already earned the Kerensky Bloodname can expect from other members of Clan Society(even from members of other Clans) is going to be far different than a Clan Warrior that is merely eligible for it and likewise will be different than say a Hazen or Osis.

Or a great example of why I think Equipped is better suited as a subset of Rank/Title.  A Captain in the Davion Assault Guards is going to have access to much different gear than a Squad Leader in the same unit despite having the same total XP invested in Rank which is going to also be different from the kind of gear that a Captain in some Outback March Militia unit has access to.

Yet the system as it is now means you need no Rank or Title to have Equipped at max levels.  Same for Wealth.

I was always under the impression, with any point-based purchase of equipment, that it was the GM’s responsibility to ensure that a character always has access to said equipment or a reasonably close equivalent.  In this case, for example; if a character spent points on a vehicle with Quirks that got shot to pieces, after the scenario that player would miraculously find that their vehicle was actually salvageable, or they were awarded a replacement by a grateful lord/employer/populace or something similar.

At least, that’s the way I’ve always run it in a Superhero game with tech-based characters.  Unless I’m totally missing the root of the debate, here.

I'm not automatically against the idea of replacing a unit or not being up to the GM.  Ultimately there is always going to be a lot of work on the GM's part to figure out what works for them as a balancing factor and how to handle possible min/maxers.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #45 on: 07 November 2021, 10:33:41 »
I was always under the impression, with any point-based purchase of equipment, that it was the GM’s responsibility to ensure that a character always has access to said equipment or a reasonably close equivalent.  In this case, for example; if a character spent points on a vehicle with Quirks that got shot to pieces, after the scenario that player would miraculously find that their vehicle was actually salvageable, or they were awarded a replacement by a grateful lord/employer/populace or something similar.

At least, that’s the way I’ve always run it in a Superhero game with tech-based characters. Unless I’m totally missing the root of the debate, here.

That has never been the way in any of the point based systems I've played. The points spend on the equipment are there to allow a player to start the game with more then they normally would if the did not pay the point, but it is never a free magical way to keep the gear no matter how badly they handle the equipment.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #46 on: 07 November 2021, 10:52:32 »
*snip*
Or a great example of why I think Equipped is better suited as a subset of Rank/Title.  A Captain in the Davion Assault Guards is going to have access to much different gear than a Squad Leader in the same unit despite having the same total XP invested in Rank which is going to also be different from the kind of gear that a Captain in some Outback March Militia unit has access to.
*snip*
You would be amazed at some of the things Sergeants can lay their hands on that Captains would never even think to ask for...

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #47 on: 07 November 2021, 11:25:34 »
You would be amazed at some of the things Sergeants can lay their hands on that Captains would never even think to ask for...

True there is a factor of imagination familiarity that a Sergeant would likely have over a Captain but still there are things a Captain can ask for and get that no Sergeant would be able to without skirting the rules or having said Captain's authorization.  Or some other Officer's authorization.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #48 on: 07 November 2021, 11:31:53 »
Which is exactly why I think Equipped works as a separate trait.  :)

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #49 on: 07 November 2021, 11:53:59 »
Either case it is still very much predicated on the person being in a particular profession and being in reasonably good standing with their employer.  So very much tied to their Rank.

Still it is why my earlier solutions step away from the idea of a certain amount of Rank(Status/Military is what I've renamed it to) equal specific ranks and represent more of what kind of access to Information, People, Wealth, Equipped, Vehicle, and I feel like I'm forgetting something else from the subcategories I tied to Status your character can reasonably access.  So less absolute and more relational.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #50 on: 07 November 2021, 11:56:54 »
Property maybe?  Or did you roll that into Wealth?

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #51 on: 07 November 2021, 12:11:33 »
Just checked and nope I actually didn't forget anything.  Huzzah!

But I probably should stop going into any further details on how I addressed some of this stuff to avoid getting this sent to the Fan Rules section.

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #52 on: 07 November 2021, 15:59:37 »
Either case it is still very much predicated on the person being in a particular profession and being in reasonably good standing with their employer.  So very much tied to their Rank.

Still it is why my earlier solutions step away from the idea of a certain amount of Rank(Status/Military is what I've renamed it to) equal specific ranks and represent more of what kind of access to Information, People, Wealth, Equipped, Vehicle, and I feel like I'm forgetting something else from the subcategories I tied to Status your character can reasonably access.  So less absolute and more relational.

if I am understanding what you are arguing maybe having title, wealth (iffy on this personally) and rank give bonuses to the equipped trait, I think owns vehicle, and custom vehicle might also be reasonable to benefit if that change was made.

the only question then is what would be a reasonable benefit rate?

edit typo

Paul

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #53 on: 07 November 2021, 19:14:05 »
Why they already earned it, why would they need XP for it?
That's the point, the game doesn't need to account for this and shouldn't but it does. So the system is broken.

??
Why do you think you need to pay for a Bloodname if you've earned it in-game?
Guess we need to expand a bit on p. 332
"In A Time of War, this is expressed by
the Experience Points (XP) a character earns during game
play, as well as other tangible rewards, such as monetary
compensation, rank promotions and the like.
"

The solution is just ignore Paul.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #54 on: 07 November 2021, 20:36:35 »
??
Why do you think you need to pay for a Bloodname if you've earned it in-game?
Guess we need to expand a bit on p. 332
"In A Time of War, this is expressed by
the Experience Points (XP) a character earns during game
play, as well as other tangible rewards, such as monetary
compensation, rank promotions and the like.
"



Just to be clear I don't think it cost XP. This is just a continued response to:


Again, with those examples, I see temporary situations affecting characters.  If they want those things to "stick", I'm going to extract some XP.

0) Just because you kill an enemy doesn't mean they were friendless or without family to carry on the grudge.  If a player spends the XP, sure, the vendetta ends.  If they don't?  Some other NPC picks it up.

1) When they eventually get shot out of that heavy 'mech, if they want another heavy to be provided by the unit, that only happens if they've spent the XP.  Otherwise, the unit only happens to have a medium available ("Hmmm... your contract says...").

2) Again, if that 2,500 C-Bills of stuff gets damaged or destroyed, don't expect the unit to cough up to replace it unless some XP has been sunk into insurance or favors from the quartermasters (as examples).

3) Same as above.  The unit won't have access to restricted equipment unless they expend capital (financial, political, criminal, or otherwise) on obtaining the licenses (real or forged) necessary to freely obtain it.

To me, XP is shorthand for all the business/political/familial/etc. tricks necessary to make sure a character can KEEP what they get.  Anything they don't spend blood, sweat and tears on can be taken from them as easily as they took it from whoever they got it from.  If they're willing to roll the dice continuously, they shouldn't be surprised when they eventually roll snake eyes.  Conversely, if they sink XP into improving a trait, that advantage will have some systemic protection.  That said, a blatant war crime will have consequences, but even those can be quantified (a new Enemy, a Bloodmark, etc.).  In that situation, the player will gain some XP, but unless they're willing to live with the consequences, they'll bank them to pay off the negative traits when they role play themselves out of the situation.

Again, "and" not "or".

As for a way to fix this argument I would add a paragraph to the start of the Trait section that states
 "Unless otherwise noted in the Trait description a GM is free to assign any Trait that
 is appropriate to the In-game situation without cost or penalty."

With some examples.

Paul

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #55 on: 07 November 2021, 20:51:50 »
As for a way to fix this argument I would add a paragraph to the start of the Trait section that states
 "Unless otherwise noted in the Trait description a GM is free to assign any Trait that
 is appropriate to the In-game situation without cost or penalty."

With some examples.

Seems unnecessary, but I guess the fact that you're bringing it up at all may suggest I'm wrong about that. Call it a blind spot: something I considered so straight forward, it wouldn't need specific mention. Apparently players aren't mind readers. =)
The solution is just ignore Paul.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #56 on: 07 November 2021, 20:58:50 »
Because of how it matters in certain types of campaigns and for certain characters I think it is fine to have certain things as up front opportunity costs but yes it should also be fine to just award things in a logical, but never trivial, way once the game starts.

Case in point the difference between what kind of favors, leeway, and assistance a Clan Warrior that has already earned the Kerensky Bloodname can expect from other members of Clan Society(even from members of other Clans) is going to be far different than a Clan Warrior that is merely eligible for it and likewise will be different than say a Hazen or Osis.

Or a great example of why I think Equipped is better suited as a subset of Rank/Title.  A Captain in the Davion Assault Guards is going to have access to much different gear than a Squad Leader in the same unit despite having the same total XP invested in Rank which is going to also be different from the kind of gear that a Captain in some Outback March Militia unit has access to.

Yet the system as it is now means you need no Rank or Title to have Equipped at max levels.  Same for Wealth.

I'm not automatically against the idea of replacing a unit or not being up to the GM.  Ultimately there is always going to be a lot of work on the GM's part to figure out what works for them as a balancing factor and how to handle possible min/maxers.

As I said earlier I am against the idea of Bloodname Trait in the first place, and I am against the idea of paying for it before the game starts all together. But if you have to have a Bloodname Trait it should be to show you have the blood lineage to compete for it. As for the idea that it's not useful for a player, caring the lineage has already been show in the books and stories to bring a higher level of respect from your peers, but also a higher level of expectation so it is kind of a trade-off.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #57 on: 07 November 2021, 21:06:36 »
Just checked and nope I actually didn't forget anything.  Huzzah!

But I probably should stop going into any further details on how I addressed some of this stuff to avoid getting this sent to the Fan Rules section.

The main reason I have not really given any fix ideas or charts. :thumbsup:
Legal can be a real pain in the butt.

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #58 on: 07 November 2021, 21:12:47 »
As I said earlier I am against the idea of Bloodname Trait in the first place, and I am against the idea of paying for it before the game starts all together. But if you have to have a Bloodname Trait it should be to show you have the blood lineage to compete for it. As for the idea that it's not useful for a player, caring the lineage has already been show in the books and stories to bring a higher level of respect from your peers, but also a higher level of expectation so it is kind of a trade-off.

To an extent yes even being eligible for certain Bloodnames does seem to grant a certain level of advantage and expectation but actually having one goes even further in the fiction I am familiar with.

All in all I consider it both a strength and weakness of the official setting.  It makes things like this matter in ways that you have to address it in the RPG and sometimes GMs and players want to play more established characters.  Hence there needs to be an opportunity cost for these sorts of elements for those sorts of campaigns at character creation.

if I am understanding what you are arguing maybe having title, wealth (iffy on this personally) and rank give bonuses to the equipped trait, I think owns vehicle, and custom vehicle might also be reasonable to benefit if that change was made.

the only question then is what would be a reasonable benefit rate?

edit typo

More details can be found in my house rule thread and the master house rules document linked there.  Or feel free to remind me to address your question in that thread so that I can avoid being responsible for getting this thread sent to Fan Rules.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #59 on: 07 November 2021, 21:26:19 »
if I am understanding what you are arguing maybe having title, wealth (iffy on this personally) and rank give bonuses to the equipped trait, I think owns vehicle, and custom vehicle might also be reasonable to benefit if that change was made.

the only question then is what would be a reasonable benefit rate?

edit typo

The main issues here is the all or nothing 100 point cost of Traits.
AToW is way to Rigid with its 100 point cost that modifiers would have to be in 100 point clusters.
This is a failing in the design, as it limited the way it can be modified and adjusted.
A better way is like it is handled in GURPS where the game/GM sets a number, 200 for a light mech lets say, and it is set at a light mech at that point. Then you add positive (Enhancements) and negative (Limitations) modifiers to it to get the final cost.
« Last Edit: 07 November 2021, 21:38:28 by victor_shaw »

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #60 on: 07 November 2021, 23:27:57 »
So without getting to in depth as to set off legal issues.
Here is may "Wishlist" of changes I think need to be made.

1. The point system needs to be reigned in. 5000 point is a bit much for what the system is trying to accomplish. As the system is so rigid about point, this seems to be a bit overboard. Now if the system was modified to be less rigid the large point total could work.

2. Traits need a complete overhaul. The rigid 100 point per level allows for no real modification and produces way to much waste XP at the end of Character creation. There is also the issue that Traits are not well balanced verses each other due to this.

3. Lifepaths should be redesigned into packages that provided a set number of Skills/Attributes/Traits. There could also be a "most people have this" section added for examples of extra Skills/Attributes/Traits that they might want to get.

4. Since Field Skills all get the same levels per skill the discount should already be figured out and added to the package cost.

5. The Universal points should provide the points to make the Attributes human norm and the skills should provide at least level 1 in the skills.

there are more but i am tired lol

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #61 on: 08 November 2021, 10:57:08 »
So without getting to in depth as to set off legal issues.
Here is may "Wishlist" of changes I think need to be made.

1. The point system needs to be reigned in. 5000 point is a bit much for what the system is trying to accomplish. As the system is so rigid about point, this seems to be a bit overboard. Now if the system was modified to be less rigid the large point total could work.

2. Traits need a complete overhaul. The rigid 100 point per level allows for no real modification and produces way to much waste XP at the end of Character creation. There is also the issue that Traits are not well balanced verses each other due to this.

3. Lifepaths should be redesigned into packages that provided a set number of Skills/Attributes/Traits. There could also be a "most people have this" section added for examples of extra Skills/Attributes/Traits that they might want to get.

4. Since Field Skills all get the same levels per skill the discount should already be figured out and added to the package cost.

5. The Universal points should provide the points to make the Attributes human norm and the skills should provide at least level 1 in the skills.

there are more but i am tired lol

1: I am fully willing to admit it is because I am not intimidated by large numbers and have learned to be organized and that really helps with the supposed rigidness of AToW that I doubt we'll ever fully agree on this being an issue really.  Especially as much as I'm a detail oriented person I also have a pretty decent track record of not getting overly caught up on numbers.

2: My copy of AToW makes it pretty clear traits are not meant to be balanced on a point value as the nature of one type of campaign can change how useful a trait can be versus another. Still yes a few could stand to be re-worked and I do go back and forth on if traits and attributes should be a linear progression or if they should be a non-linear progression like skills are so to an extent point is still taken.

3: Not feasible without doing a very extensive overhaul.

4: This one is more feasible.  I have a fairly simple solution for it down in my house rules thread.

5. A bit torn on this.  It's not a terrible idea but something about having to build down if I want a character that is below human norm in an attribute or two doesn't quite sit right with me versus just starting low and then building up.  But because that could very well just be a me thing I think I could get over it and support the idea.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #62 on: 08 November 2021, 19:17:36 »
I believe starting at the minimums makes making children easier.

As far as Traits, there are a few SPAs that cost some multiple of 50 instead of 100.

EDIT: Missing word.
« Last Edit: 09 November 2021, 03:55:42 by Daryk »

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #63 on: 08 November 2021, 22:14:44 »
1: I am fully willing to admit it is because I am not intimidated by large numbers and have learned to be organized and that really helps with the supposed rigidness of AToW that I doubt we'll ever fully agree on this being an issue really.  Especially as much as I'm a detail oriented person I also have a pretty decent track record of not getting overly caught up on numbers.

2: My copy of AToW makes it pretty clear traits are not meant to be balanced on a point value as the nature of one type of campaign can change how useful a trait can be versus another. Still yes a few could stand to be re-worked and I do go back and forth on if traits and attributes should be a linear progression or if they should be a non-linear progression like skills are so to an extent point is still taken.

3: Not feasible without doing a very extensive overhaul.

4: This one is more feasible.  I have a fairly simple solution for it down in my house rules thread.

5. A bit torn on this.  It's not a terrible idea but something about having to build down if I want a character that is below human norm in an attribute or two doesn't quite sit right with me versus just starting low and then building up.  But because that could very well just be a me thing I think I could get over it and support the idea.

1. It's not so much being intimidated by large numbers. It has more to do with their really being no point  to the being  that large since the  rule do really  use the space between for anything  important. Everything I the game including skills can be divided by ten without seriously harming the rules.

2.if that's the choice they are going for  I  think  it is a bad decision,  but it's their game.

3. Maybe I'm the only one,  but that think that's the point right now. From what I've seen the games not doing well right now, so it may need this much work.

4. It's a given.

5. Why? The rules for life path already reduce  attributes  (a lot). So why would  starting  at a higher level  make it harder to understand?

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #64 on: 08 November 2021, 22:44:47 »
1.  Players like progression.  The numbers as they are now keep progression from being too fast while also allowing XP to be XP in that it spends the same at character creation as it does at character advancement.  Simply dividing by 10 makes this a much trickier proposition.  Personally I appreciate this approach.

2.  It is more a concession that TPTB know no matter what they put in print it'll never stop min maxers and taking this approach actually grants greater freedom in campaign styles that can be played.

3.  Revise? TPTB do seem interested in that.  Rework it so that the easily thousands of combinations of modules possible never result in mid points between attributes, traits, and skills seems another all together.

4.  The hardest part of this would be layout and page count considerations for sure.

5.  Never said it was harder to understand.  Just that the way my mind works it prefers to build up rather than down and as stated it is something I can deal with if the decision is made to go that route.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #65 on: 09 November 2021, 06:30:42 »
1.  Players like progression.  The numbers as they are now keep progression from being too fast while also allowing XP to be XP in that it spends the same at character creation as it does at character advancement.  Simply dividing by 10 makes this a much trickier proposition.  Personally I appreciate this approach.

2.  It is more a concession that TPTB know no matter what they put in print it'll never stop min maxers and taking this approach actually grants greater freedom in campaign styles that can be played.

3.  Revise? TPTB do seem interested in that.  Rework it so that the easily thousands of combinations of modules possible never result in mid points between attributes, traits, and skills seems another all together.

4.  The hardest part of this would be layout and page count considerations for sure.

5.  Never said it was harder to understand.  Just that the way my mind works it prefers to build up rather than down and as stated it is something I can deal with if the decision is made to go that route.

1. Let me be clear, I am not against the 5,000 points system because it is a large number. I'm against the fact that this large number is not really used for anything as most of what comes out of it is rigidly set to 100 point increments. As for skills, there is no real needed for the system to have to have skill progression be the same in character creation as it is in play. Actually, most RPGs don't have it set up that way.

Now I am going to say something that most will not find agreeable.
I actually like the 3rd edition Character creation system. The issues with the system where never the Lifepaths, it was the split of the Gunnery skill into 3 skills, the low skill points provided, and the random event tables.

2. The problems with the Traits right now is the fixed 100 points limits the variation that the Traits can have as higher level can drive the cost out of reach of a starting player. So you windup with Alternate ID and Ambidextrous costing as much as a Light Mech. You also run into the issues that you can't really mod them without seriously under/over pricing them.

4. this is just here for completeness as I believe the writers have already acknowledged that this needs to be fixed.


3/5. Ok, let me put it to you within the system.
Per the book pg.35 (An Attribute score of 4 defines the level an “average” person may expect). Now this opens a bigger can of worms, as Basic training requires a min of (WIL 3, INT 3) and Mechwarrior requires a min of (RFL 4, DEX 4) so this tells me that the military takes below average soldiers and average mechwarriors.  8) Now I will assume this in in error and it should be 3 for the stats below and edge only needs to be 1.

I will also do this as a run through with one Tour of Duty and just what is assigned to the Attribute, extra bonus specifically to Attribute will be assigned to RFL and DEX a mechwarriors main Attributes.

Noble born Federated Suns Mechwarrior
Path: Fedsuns-Nobility-Military School-Military Academy-TOD (Innersphere) Total cost: 2,735
Final Attribute totals; STR: 125, BOD:125, RFL: 175, DEX: 150, INT: 150, WIL: 250, CHA: 250, EDG: 50
Total extra XP needed just to reach minimums and human norm: 1,125

Mercenary Brat Mechwarrior
Path: Mercenary-Born Mercenary-Mercenary Brat-Family Training-TOD (Innersphere)Total cost: 2,530
Final Attribute totals; STR: 250, BOD:225, RFL: 300, DEX: 150, INT: 80, WIL: 210, CHA: 30, EDG: 125
Total extra XP needed just to reach minimums and human norm: 970

Clan Wolf Trueborn Mechwarrior
Path: Clan Wolf-Trueborn Creche-Trueborn Sibko-TOD (Clan) Total cost: 3,163
Final Attribute totals; STR: 200, BOD:275, RFL: 350 (+100*), DEX: 310(+100*), INT: 125, WIL: 245, CHA: -5, EDG: 100
*Clan Mechwarrior Phenotype Trait.
Total extra XP needed just to reach minimums and human norm: 725

Total cost to finish paths and have Human Norm + Minimums
Noble born Federated Suns Mechwarrior: 3,860
Mercenary Brat Mechwarrior: 3,500
Clan Wolf Trueborn Mechwarrior: 3,888

All the paths I ran required points to be added just to bring them to Human Norm + Minimums.
This is what I am talking about when I say the Lifepaths are at best light templates and at worst broken.
And lets not get into the wasted points that are all rebated at the end.

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #66 on: 09 November 2021, 10:13:01 »
1. Let me be clear, I am not against the 5,000 points system because it is a large number. I'm against the fact that this large number is not really used for anything as most of what comes out of it is rigidly set to 100 point increments. As for skills, there is no real needed for the system to have to have skill progression be the same in character creation as it is in play. Actually, most RPGs don't have it set up that way.

Now I am going to say something that most will not find agreeable.
I actually like the 3rd edition Character creation system. The issues with the system where never the Lifepaths, it was the split of the Gunnery skill into 3 skills, the low skill points provided, and the random event tables.

2. The problems with the Traits right now is the fixed 100 points limits the variation that the Traits can have as higher level can drive the cost out of reach of a starting player. So you windup with Alternate ID and Ambidextrous costing as much as a Light Mech. You also run into the issues that you can't really mod them without seriously under/over pricing them.

4. this is just here for completeness as I believe the writers have already acknowledged that this needs to be fixed.


3/5. Ok, let me put it to you within the system.
Per the book pg.35 (An Attribute score of 4 defines the level an “average” person may expect). Now this opens a bigger can of worms, as Basic training requires a min of (WIL 3, INT 3) and Mechwarrior requires a min of (RFL 4, DEX 4) so this tells me that the military takes below average soldiers and average mechwarriors.  8) Now I will assume this in in error and it should be 3 for the stats below and edge only needs to be 1.

I will also do this as a run through with one Tour of Duty and just what is assigned to the Attribute, extra bonus specifically to Attribute will be assigned to RFL and DEX a mechwarriors main Attributes.

Noble born Federated Suns Mechwarrior
Path: Fedsuns-Nobility-Military School-Military Academy-TOD (Innersphere) Total cost: 2,735
Final Attribute totals; STR: 125, BOD:125, RFL: 175, DEX: 150, INT: 150, WIL: 250, CHA: 250, EDG: 50
Total extra XP needed just to reach minimums and human norm: 1,125

Mercenary Brat Mechwarrior
Path: Mercenary-Born Mercenary-Mercenary Brat-Family Training-TOD (Innersphere)Total cost: 2,530
Final Attribute totals; STR: 250, BOD:225, RFL: 300, DEX: 150, INT: 80, WIL: 210, CHA: 30, EDG: 125
Total extra XP needed just to reach minimums and human norm: 970

Clan Wolf Trueborn Mechwarrior
Path: Clan Wolf-Trueborn Creche-Trueborn Sibko-TOD (Clan) Total cost: 3,163
Final Attribute totals; STR: 200, BOD:275, RFL: 350 (+100*), DEX: 310(+100*), INT: 125, WIL: 245, CHA: -5, EDG: 100
*Clan Mechwarrior Phenotype Trait.
Total extra XP needed just to reach minimums and human norm: 725

Total cost to finish paths and have Human Norm + Minimums
Noble born Federated Suns Mechwarrior: 3,860
Mercenary Brat Mechwarrior: 3,500
Clan Wolf Trueborn Mechwarrior: 3,888

All the paths I ran required points to be added just to bring them to Human Norm + Minimums.
This is what I am talking about when I say the Lifepaths are at best light templates and at worst broken.
And lets not get into the wasted points that are all rebated at the end.

1.  That it's not common for XP to be XP in that it always spends the same honestly is a selling point to me that helps AToW stand out from the competition as something different and interesting.

2.  Alternate ID and Ambidextrous depending on the type of campaign desired can come up a lot more and be utilized more than the fact that a character has a Light Mech.  So again while the point totals are the same a different campaign style changes how useful each trait is.

That the gunnery skills were split was never the problem with 3rd.  It was the random events.  I personally watched someone try to generate a police detective but instead wound up spending so much time in prison that it was something of a joke that we all agreed he was a serial killer instead.  And the life modules there were no better about making sure attributes, traits, and skills came out at exact levels.

Personally I have zero problem with AToW lifepaths being light templates.  Gives gentle nudges without being straight jackets.  That's what a module system should do in my opinion.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #67 on: 09 November 2021, 10:26:27 »
1.  That it's not common for XP to be XP in that it always spends the same honestly is a selling point to me that helps AToW stand out from the competition as something different and interesting.

2.  Alternate ID and Ambidextrous depending on the type of campaign desired can come up a lot more and be utilized more than the fact that a character has a Light Mech.  So again while the point totals are the same a different campaign style changes how useful each trait is.

That the gunnery skills were split was never the problem with 3rd.  It was the random events.  I personally watched someone try to generate a police detective but instead wound up spending so much time in prison that it was something of a joke that we all agreed he was a serial killer instead.  And the life modules there were no better about making sure attributes, traits, and skills came out at exact levels.

Personally I have zero problem with AToW lifepaths being light templates.  Gives gentle nudges without being straight jackets.  That's what a module system should do in my opinion.

Well we can agree to disagree then, because all the reasons I gave are the reasons that the 10+ players I have tried to get to play AToW said they were not interested.

It comes down to whether I like AToW or not as it is, if I can't get people to play it then it serves no purpose to me or my players if it exist or is doesn't. I am not saying that other might not like it but some people like MW: Destiny (I have no clue why). Doesn't mean I can get anyone to play it.

I gave some of the problems (there are more) my players and I have with the current version of AToW and my opinions not going to change. Arguing about it serves no purpose. So you/they have my issues.

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #68 on: 09 November 2021, 11:17:36 »
Well we can agree to disagree then, because all the reasons I gave are the reasons that the 10+ players I have tried to get to play AToW said they were not interested.

It comes down to whether I like AToW or not as it is, if I can't get people to play it then it serves no purpose to me or my players if it exist or is doesn't. I am not saying that other might not like it but some people like MW: Destiny (I have no clue why). Doesn't mean I can get anyone to play it.

I gave some of the problems (there are more) my players and I have with the current version of AToW and my opinions not going to change. Arguing about it serves no purpose. So you/they have my issues.

*shrug*

I do know AToW needs work.  Like most things how much work it needs probably lies between our two view points.  Which isn't a bad thing as I actually do take a lot of your points and don't actually disagree as much as you probably think about certain things.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #69 on: 09 November 2021, 11:28:28 »
*shrug*

I do know AToW needs work.  Like most things how much work it needs probably lies between our two view points.  Which isn't a bad thing as I actually do take a lot of your points and don't actually disagree as much as you probably think about certain things.

Never assumed you did.
It just comes down to there being no point in going back and forth over the same thing again and again.
You are right that it probably is some place in the middle and I would more then likely be fine with it if that's what it finally come out as.
But the major point is as it currently sit AToW needs a lot of work on it's character creation and advancement. As the core system is fine as it is. Jut not sure TPTB are willing to put the work in that the game needs even if the writers are.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #70 on: 09 November 2021, 20:25:15 »
Monbvol: totally with you on the "that's a feature not a bug" issues.  :thumbsup:

Victor_Shaw: I think we agreed to disagree some time ago, but that hasn't stopped us from helping each other or voicing our respective opinions on matters.  That is certainly a feature of this board!  :thumbsup:

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #71 on: 09 November 2021, 22:02:59 »
Monbvol: totally with you on the "that's a feature not a bug" issues.  :thumbsup:

Victor_Shaw: I think we agreed to disagree some time ago, but that hasn't stopped us from helping each other or voicing our respective opinions on matters.  That is certainly a feature of this board!  :thumbsup:

Not sure we have ever agreed on  anything  lol

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #72 on: 09 November 2021, 22:20:00 »
Certainly not 100%, but I think there's enough commonality to continue the conversation.

Hmmm... I think we might be aligned on our opinions of the latest RPG system I can't name without a warning...  ::)

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #73 on: 13 November 2021, 04:26:11 »
So I'm going to change gears here, as most of what I have written so far are the failings of AToW and previous editions. I will start by saying that the core game system is not bad and works (for the most part) well. I have heard few complaints for players that made it through character creation about the actual system itself.

These are the things that I think should be done with AToW to make it the best it could be. Some may not agree but I will try to get across my reasonings for these changes.

1. Bring back the Priority system or at least divide Skills/Attributes/Traits into separate point pools. From my own experiences and from players I have talked to, the Priority system work well to handle the issues of trying to assign point values to diametrically different areas like skills and traits. This also allows for more variation within the categories as you are not having to balance them verses each other.
With this you can have Alternate ID  worth 10 XP, Ambidextrous worth 15 XP, and Light mechs worth 40 XP and still have skill progression stay the same as it is now. And as Traits are earned in-game after the creation prosses it doesn't effect the overall game balance.

2. Attributes need a defined norm other then one hard to find sentence. They should also be balanced to that norm. Either the lifepath system needs to address this by meeting this norm 90% of the time or the universal points spent in the beginning need to equal the norm or just fall short of it. As it stands right now the universal points starts at the minimum for a PC to even be alive and the Lifepath system barley adds on to this. And if you follow the ideas in #1 of making Attributes a separate pool and/or using a Priority system it would be easy.

3. Point spending in the Lifepaths needs to be more intuitive and create a more complete PC. One of the most complained about "features" at least to me by my players, it the amount of points that are spent, then consolidated, then respent. A major culprit of this is the Field Skill packages, but most of the lifepaths have the same issues. While my players and I could overlook this with the skills (to an existent) as they are non-linear in their progression, for things like Trait and Attributes it becomes a mess when you are getting back multiple 100s of XP on most of the time incomplete traits/attributes that could have easily not have been spent in the first place.

4. At least IMHO the idea of the Lifepath system is to give the feel of growing with the PC through his/her early life. For all its faults and failings the Lifepath system in MW3 gave this feeling and felt like you had created a character. At least in my experience you don't get this feeling from the AToW lifepaths system. It feels more like you have run through a template system thinly disguised as a Lifepath system for the point buy system. The AToW system is to generic, to light on spending 5000 points, and it doesn't even spend all the points you used. The keep factor that I think helped the Lifepath system in MW3 was that is was not tide down to the point system.

5. I personally don't feel that Skills need to have the same system in both character creation and in-game advancement, but if they do this should not be tide to the same system as Attributes and Traits as it artificially inflated the latter two.

There are more but this is enough to start with.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #74 on: 13 November 2021, 06:28:54 »
I'm really not sure how MW3 gave you the feeling of an organically grown character but AToW doesn't (your #4).  I get that feeling much more strongly from AToW.  And the "incomplete" traits and skills help that, I think.  Every one of those is a suggestion (nudge) to fill out that Trait or Skill, driving a decision.  Life choices are what character creation is all about to me.

I think the reason the Priority system was abandoned is that it's VERY easy to break.  Much like Shadowrun before it, it's rapidly apparent the first priority has to be Attributes (since there are no mages in BattleTech).

As for your last point, different systems before and after creation are what drove the worst abuses of MW2.  Attributes were SO expensive after creation, you really had to make those investments up front.

I think this conversation belongs in a different thread, though...

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #75 on: 13 November 2021, 08:18:29 »
I'm really not sure how MW3 gave you the feeling of an organically grown character but AToW doesn't (your #4).  I get that feeling much more strongly from AToW.  And the "incomplete" traits and skills help that, I think.  Every one of those is a suggestion (nudge) to fill out that Trait or Skill, driving a decision.  Life choices are what character creation is all about to me.

I think the reason the Priority system was abandoned is that it's VERY easy to break.  Much like Shadowrun before it, it's rapidly apparent the first priority has to be Attributes (since there are no mages in BattleTech).

As for your last point, different systems before and after creation are what drove the worst abuses of MW2.  Attributes were SO expensive after creation, you really had to make those investments up front.

I think this conversation belongs in a different thread, though...

Except that Shadowrun went back to the Priority system in the last two editions, it only got rid of it for one edition (4th) and added it it back in to the Run faster book (their version of the Companion).
I just tried to make the same character in both 3rd and AToW using the same lifepaths and trying to keep the same traits/attributes/skills, and from the experience I can say.

1. AToW took 3 times as long to make a character that was not even half as good.
2. The MW3 Attributes where far better.
3. I had to add negative traits to the AToW character just to have Attributes that met the minimums and were even remotely passable.
4. The MW3 character came out of creation with an Assault mech (no points added) were I had to add points to the AToW character just to have a light mech.
5. It took one piece of paper to make the MW3 character where it took 3 for the AToW character.
6. The AToW character for all the extra work was not even better then the MW3 character when it came to combat skills.
7. The only place where the AToW character exceeded the MW3 character was the amount of for the most part minutia skills that it had.
8. With the MW3 character I felt like each of the paths where a complete time in the characters life, but with AToW it always felt like I was just adding numbers to a running total. So yes MW3 did give the feeling I was expresing in #4 and AToW did not.

overall, not a good showing for AToW.
« Last Edit: 13 November 2021, 08:28:40 by victor_shaw »

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #76 on: 13 November 2021, 08:38:25 »
Can you PM me the paths you took?  I'm fairly certain I'll get different results...

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #77 on: 13 November 2021, 08:46:32 »
Can you PM me the paths you took?  I'm fairly certain I'll get different results...

Why are you so sure?
I am completely familiar with both game, I kind of take this as a insult that you would think this.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #78 on: 13 November 2021, 08:58:46 »
We have such different views on the system, I don't think it's a proficiency issue.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #79 on: 13 November 2021, 09:03:21 »
MW3: Draconis Combine-White Collar-Military School-Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy- TOD: Draconis Combine-TOD: Draconis Combine-TOD: Draconis Combine
Random rolls used as it is a core part of the system

AToW: Draconis Combine/Pesht District-White Collar-Military School-Military Academy- TOD: Innersphere-TOD: Innersphere-TOD: Innersphere
Random rolls not used as it is a optional rule of the system

if you need the rolls let me know.
« Last Edit: 13 November 2021, 09:05:02 by victor_shaw »

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #80 on: 13 November 2021, 09:05:59 »
Ah, there's the issue.  AToW penalizes repeating the same path pretty severely.  Switch those repeated tours of duty with other Stage 4 modules (like Explorer, Civilian Job to represent a garrison posting, etc.) and you'll get very different results.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #81 on: 13 November 2021, 09:15:34 »
Ah, there's the issue.  AToW penalizes repeating the same path pretty severely.  Switch those repeated tours of duty with other Stage 4 modules (like Explorer, Civilian Job to represent a garrison posting, etc.) and you'll get very different results.

So I have to take paths I don't want to just to please the system. Sounds like a failing to me.
With MW3 you just get a -1 (cumulative) to the event roll per pass.
So there is another issues with AToW that I forgot.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #82 on: 13 November 2021, 09:18:19 »
Now just to be clear, I don't like MW3 over AToW when it comes to the core game system.
I was just illustrating how the current AToW Lifepath system is not vary good.
Truth is, I would probably not take either character if I had a chose.
And if I had to play AToW I would just use the Point buy system.
If I had a chose between the two characters (and this is not the first time I tried this) I would take the MW3 character and just convert it to AToW.
« Last Edit: 13 November 2021, 09:27:36 by victor_shaw »

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #83 on: 13 November 2021, 09:32:47 »
-1 (cumulative) on the event rolls doesn't even come close to "no Attributes or Traits, but pay for them anyway".  Both systems nudge you toward younger characters (one harder than the other, clearly).

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #84 on: 13 November 2021, 09:40:59 »
-1 (cumulative) on the event rolls doesn't even come close to "no Attributes or Traits, but pay for them anyway".  Both systems nudge you toward younger characters (one harder than the other, clearly).

No Attributes or Traits is the same in MW3, the difference is that MW3 doesn't charge for Lifepaths.

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #85 on: 13 November 2021, 10:02:49 »
Ah, there's the issue.  AToW penalizes repeating the same path pretty severely.  Switch those repeated tours of duty with other Stage 4 modules (like Explorer, Civilian Job to represent a garrison posting, etc.) and you'll get very different results.

*nod*

I can agree that is a failing of AToW versus 3rd.

 

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