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Author Topic: Character creation?  (Read 12908 times)

BARNESGN

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Character creation?
« on: 01 February 2011, 13:24:05 »
I was optimizing my character and was a bit confused on points. I used the life modules to create a noble academy trained Mechwarrior officer. When I finished step 4 and gave the character a tour of duty, I noticed how weak the guy is no attribute is above 360 points. Now I don't want any character flaws. I have several skills can I dump ten or so and use the points to bring up my glass jaw trait and my low attribute amounts?

Maverick

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #1 on: 02 February 2011, 19:38:26 »
Remember that after you optimize, you get to spend the rest of your xp (from the characters I've made, I typically have around 1500xp remaining after optimization).  Also, if you took a tour of duty after finishing up in the Academy, check your age.  If you are over 21, you should get an additional 100 xp per year (at least, that's the way I allow my players to handle it).

Reducing skills is a valid option, but not during the optimization portion of character creation.  That should be done at the end, when you are finalizing your character.  Optimization should entail only adding XP to your total pool, either reducing attributes to their highest attained level (such as optimizing Wealth from 120 xp to 100 xp (1 TP), thereby adding 20 xp to your pool) or reducing negative traits to their next level (such as reducing Enemy -250 xp to Enemy (-3 TP) -300 xp, adding 50 xp back to your xp pool).


Carbon Elasmobranch

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #2 on: 02 February 2011, 21:40:18 »
Getting 100 XP per year over 21 is a suggested possible adjustment, but not the general rule.  There are by-the-book aging rules on page 333 that apply, though, giving free bumps to Attributes at 25 and 31.  Of course, you'll get docked on some if you're 41 or over.

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #3 on: 03 February 2011, 00:04:32 »
Have another think about character flaws.  Pick flaws that also add something to the character. 
I know that sounds a bit of an oxymoron but as a player and GM for the past 20+ years I've found that flawed characters are the most memorable and fun to play.  As a player I enjoy working with in the limitations of my characters to get the job done (I'm a problem solver by nature so this works for me) and flaws also provide great opportunities for roleplaying, which means extra EXP (If your GM doesn't award EXP for roleplaying the give him/her a reason to add it to the game.)  True, this approach has got my characters shot, stabbed, beat-up, locked up (sometimes by other players) but it was hardly ever fatal (we don't talk about the time the GM had a NPC kill me and res me a dozen time because I my character kept giving him lip). 
As a GM I tend to give a flawed character how RP's well a break from time to time because they help move the game away from the numbers and more towards the story.


On to more specific advice about ToW.

Compulsion: This is a great trait for adding some 'character' to your character.  1 or 2 light compulsions can add more to your character than they take away.  eg.  booze, cigars, womaniser, lucky charm/s, honorable, impulsive, light fingers (worth more if you don't have any skill at stealing stuff), spendthrift and the list goes on.  This is good for 100-200pts (more if you have a nice GM)

Animal Antipathy:  This can be a bit of a free 100pts or shear hell (and 100pts), it all depends on your GM.

Dark Secret:  Anything up to 3pts in this is not a real game breaker if it gets out.  Again it depends on your GM.  (I've used it as a GM way to move characters to a new story line, they were getting far to comfortable on that planet anyway)

Enemy:  Again a 1 or 2 pt Enemy isn't going to break your character and a good plan and/or a bit of luck can get them out of the way permenently. (At least until their children/lover/sibling catches up to but that takes time)

Lost Limb:  So your missing a toe and it affects you when you walking a tight-rope.  It's not an inner-ear or a neurolgical problem so it dosn't affect your ability pilot a mech/fighter/vehicle.

Poor Hearing:  The old deaf in one ear is good for the unit explosives expert or the guy plays heavy metal on 11 in the cockpit.

Introvert:  As long as your not the unit face/negotiator this is survivable.

TDS:  Not good for any Aerospace oriented character but for rest it's only a problem if your GM is basing the whole story arc in space.

Unattractive:  See Introvert.  Also good for writing into back stories, the screwed up ejection, acid in the classroom and started knife fighting too early a all good.


Yes you can abuse this style of play/character creation but that up to you (and your GM to pull you in to line if you try it)

   

doulos05

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #4 on: 03 February 2011, 01:59:09 »
-snip-
Awesome assessment. Some of the cheaper Design Flaws can be fun too, and basically free. For instance, if you're in an Alpha Baby, does the absence of cooling jackets on that ML really hurt you that badly?
I mean, it's not like once you having something in low Earth orbit you can stick a gassy astronaut on the outside after Chili Night and fart it anywhere in the solar system.

Winterborn

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #5 on: 04 February 2011, 00:13:32 »
I have a char that has a -4 trait compulsion/Hatred WOB, and it has gotten her almost a killed a few times, so yes negative traits like compulsions, and even enemies can add a lot of flavor to the char.  Question I have is the amount of negative points one can dump into a character.  I know it is 10% of starting xp for use in optimization if you are using life modules, but what about point buy system.  Is it still 10% of starting xp for use on negative traits, or since you are not adding negative traits one would get in life modules is it still the same.  It just came up in my game and was wondering, or is for that more open to a house rule.

idea weenie

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #6 on: 04 February 2011, 11:45:25 »
Has anyone tried to do a Lifepath: Terran Born for sheer humor/munch?  Be a great way to have a single terran born businessman who also piloted Mechs as a hobby.

Carbon Elasmobranch

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #7 on: 04 February 2011, 13:17:51 »
Not really much munch to be had in any life module, as such; the Terran affiliation, in particular, is expensive and tears off great big huge chunks of Edge, among other things, so one way or another' you'll be paying for what you get, in some cases even more from having to buy back the critically sunken Attributes.

Winterborn

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #8 on: 04 February 2011, 13:21:07 »
I did a Terran born belter life module. he came out pretty munch, but I was able to offset some of the low stats by taking some of the Belter traits, he was also 31 or so, so he had a bit more xp to start with.  I ended up taking him out of the game because he was just to munch.

Halo_One

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #9 on: 04 February 2011, 18:57:31 »
I did a Terran born belter life module. he came out pretty munch, but I was able to offset some of the low stats by taking some of the Belter traits, he was also 31 or so, so he had a bit more xp to start with.  I ended up taking him out of the game because he was just to munch.

I just didn't do a good enough job of trying to kill him off. ;D
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Jackmc

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #10 on: 05 February 2011, 01:57:11 »
Lost Limb:  So your missing a toe and it affects you when you walking a tight-rope.  It's not an inner-ear or a neurolgical problem so it dosn't affect your ability pilot a mech/fighter/vehicle.

Actually a missing toe will make it harder to fly an air/aerocraft and pilot a jump-capable mech as those types of vees use toe controls for certain actions.

-Jackmc


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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #11 on: 05 February 2011, 03:04:14 »
Actually a missing toe will make it harder to fly an air/aerocraft and pilot a jump-capable mech as those types of vees use toe controls for certain actions.

-Jackmc

From a rules perspective it doesn't matter.  So unless you have (or are) an overly pedantic GM the table on p.120 of ToW will let get by with 1-3 missing toes
Quote
–1                1-3 Toes (total)           â€“1 to all RFL-related rolls related to balance
–2                4+ Toes (total)            –2 to all RFL-related rolls related to balance; –1 from all movement rates

As a GM I'd rule that you'd have to be standing for the condition your feet to have any impact to balance related rolls.  As most vehicles are piloted from some sort of seat, the condition of the feet (Up to 1 or 2 pts  and assuming that the wounds are healed and not causing ongoing pain.) would not affect any piloting roles except maybe Battlearmour.

As I said its my interpretation of the rules how other people view it is up to them.

Crunch

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #12 on: 05 February 2011, 03:38:45 »
Maybe it makes me "overly pedantic" but if I'm giving a character points for a flaw, it's going to come up in the game.

Actually I usually right my adventures out of my characters flaw bag.
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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #13 on: 05 February 2011, 20:19:55 »
Maybe it makes me "overly pedantic" but if I'm giving a character points for a flaw, it's going to come up in the game.

Actually I usually right my adventures out of my characters flaw bag.

Exactly!

Although by the sound of it I may give my players a bit more slack than you do but each to his/her own.

A 1pt flaw in my mind shouldn't gimp a character all the time, just in specific situations (as per the rule).  As a rule I try to keep my RP sessions away from vehicle combat.  (If the storyline heads that way the next session is a Battletech session rather than a RP session.)

My favorite use of this particular flaw is when that characters are doing a mad scramble to get into their Mechs/fighters/vehicles.  There is always a slippery patch of something somewhere.  (a light shower is great if the vehicles are parked in the open, then everyone has to make the roll)  When a play realises that they're going to have to burn edge to avoid that 10 meter fall to the ferrocrete from the shoulder of their mech then the flaw has paid me back for letting the player have it.
 

Tempus

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #14 on: 19 February 2011, 04:22:14 »
with regards to limits on negatives,  our convention has been that you can add a max of 10% (typically 500 exp) worth of new negative traits (or add to existing) BEYOND what you ended up with at the end of optimization.


e.g. if your life modules ended you up with in-for-life and enemy 2, those points do not count towards what you can add.


To some degree allowances were made for using negative skills to cancel out positives awarded in modules, (where you won't end up with the neg trait 'on the final sheet') provided there is a decent backstory or other justification for it.  we give a fair bit of leeway for a good character concept.


a little flavor is good.   there is such a thing (I speak from experience of having played with a few) as too much.  ESPECIALLY if the character conveniently forgets about their limitations and just flat out never plays as if the negative traits are there.  There are also traits that are just inappropriate, like a mechwarrior with gremlins.. sorry, I just don't see someone with gremlins having that kind of profession.

There's a fine line between the eccentric off kilter oddball that people tolerate because they are useful, and the totally batshitwacko the other characters won't get within a 100 meters of and are plotting to frag when they get the chance.


 (sez the man edging right up to that line (maybe over) by playing a hotshot mechwarrior with PTSD who every now and then flips out, starts spouting german and attacking in a berzerker rage, friend or foe alike.  she had a traumatic childhood, what can I say.)
« Last Edit: 19 February 2011, 04:30:09 by Tempus »
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BirdofPrey

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #15 on: 20 February 2011, 05:03:28 »
I am making a char for the Solaris 7 RP on these boards, and my character, being only 22, is also a bit light on xp; the life paths i took ate into INT and CHA in a bad way and i needed a 3 or 4 in most of the attributes due field prereqs in stage 3, so i burned most of my discretionary xp on attributes, so i ran into the same kind of problem.  For a young char I think you pretty much need some negative traits to get xp to fill the gaps.

Remember two point though:
1. ?Not all of them are necessarily character flaws; a enemy trait just means you pissed somebody off, the grievence doesn't even have to be real, miscommunication causes loads of problems., and if the gm send them your way get rid of them and gain some xp.  Having a bad reputation doesn't have to be a bad thing either, imagine interrogating someone when you have the reputation of Vash the Stampeed >:D, if you run into cops though. . .
2.  They make a character more balanced and realistic; everyone has issues of some sorts, no reason a fictonal person shouldn't.  Characters that are writen to be 100% undistilled awesome are known as Mary Sues; avoid them.

Personally, I think anything you give to your character should have a reason in his/her backstory, be them skills, equipment or traits, both good and bad.    Heres the character I am writing for the Solaris 7 Rp on these boards as an example.  First of all I wrote a bio before I even looked at doing the character sheet.  I was forced to take XP in Enemy by the  Tour of Duty module, but that could be justified of being favored for a promotion over someone else, or your unit putting the hurt on another and them despising you for it (in the latter case it could even be justified as them not hating you personally, but rather they would like to see anyone affiliated with your unit go to hell simply by association).  I took unattractive and Compulsion/Hatred of Word of Blake based on my character's profile, however.  Having half your unit killed and being lit on fire tends to color your view of a group, and scars are not good for stories when they cover half of your left side.  I haven't gotten to the equipment stage yet, but I fully intend my character to wear long sleeves often, and once I get into the RP any blakists are going to be very much kill on sight for my character.

Carbon Elasmobranch

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #16 on: 20 February 2011, 13:39:53 »
Characters that are writen to be 100% undistilled awesome are known as Mary Sues; avoid them.

Not unless they're a self-insert around which all the action unnecessarily gravitates toward and other characters love or hate them just because.  In actuality, "100% awesome" characters are merely made with a higher point total, and thus one cannot help but avoid making them, as you will run out of XP if you attempt it.  ^VVVVV^

Jackmc

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #17 on: 20 February 2011, 19:36:06 »
with regards to limits on negatives,  our convention has been that you can add a max of 10% (typically 500 exp) worth of new negative traits (or add to existing) BEYOND what you ended up with at the end of optimization.

That's not a convention, that's the rules as written. for characters built with the lfie modules (vs points buy)


-Jackmc


Tempus

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #18 on: 23 February 2011, 04:28:25 »
That's not a convention, that's the rules as written. for characters built with the lfie modules (vs points buy)


-Jackmc


OK good point.   but I've seen some people not get that distinction (maybe earlier versions of the rules were less clear in that regard??)  and think there is a limit of 500 negative trait xps period.


And I also agree that flaws make the character.  Characters without some kind of flaws or weaknesses are just boring in most ways. 
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Cannon_Fodder

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #19 on: 23 February 2011, 04:42:39 »

OK good point.   but I've seen some people not get that distinction (maybe earlier versions of the rules were less clear in that regard??)  and think there is a limit of 500 negative trait xps period.


And I also agree that flaws make the character.  Characters without some kind of flaws or weaknesses are just boring in most ways. 

The limit is equal to 10% of the starting XP Pool to 'buy' negative traits for point based or after optimization.

Since 5,000 is the is the default starting pool the default limit works out to be 500.

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StCptMara

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #20 on: 23 February 2011, 04:50:48 »

TDS:  Not good for any Aerospace oriented character but for rest it's only a problem if your GM is basing the whole story arc in space.

 

So, in my current group that I am running the campaign for, we have several who took TDS....
Their first mission involved the person hiring them footing the bill for a command circuit of about 3 jumps...
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Cannon_Fodder

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #21 on: 23 February 2011, 05:02:13 »
So, in my current group that I am running the campaign for, we have several who took TDS....
Their first mission involved the person hiring them footing the bill for a command circuit of about 3 jumps...

I have a charter with TDS and the unit has been taking a lot of command circuits including a L-F Batt. double jump.

When he hears the terms "command circuit" or "double jump" he grabs an overnight bag and heads for the med deck.

EDIT: Nausea and disorientation are not very interesting to role-play. But loopy from anti-nausea meds can be. Leave the Action Check modifiers the same.
« Last Edit: 23 February 2011, 05:06:37 by Cannon_Fodder »

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Jackmc

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #22 on: 23 February 2011, 14:24:37 »
Since 5,000 is the is the default starting pool the default limit works out to be 500.

Orginally though, it was just 500 pts (after optimization) as until relatively late in the beta, IS/Periph characters were built in 4500 points.

It's very easy to get confused if you came through the beta.

-Jackmc


Carbon Elasmobranch

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #23 on: 23 February 2011, 16:04:07 »
Orginally though, it was just 500 pts (after optimization) as until relatively late in the beta, IS/Periph characters were built in 4500 points.

It's very easy to get confused if you came through the beta.

-Jackmc

Harsh.  I have enough problems with just 5000.

Cannon_Fodder

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #24 on: 23 February 2011, 18:12:44 »
Are group upped our starting pool to 5,500.

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Jackmc

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #25 on: 23 February 2011, 18:18:12 »
Are group upped our starting pool to 5,500.

Which is around right anyway.  If you have a miltiary character with a single TOD, you're looking at a 25 year old which should be 5400 pts (5K base +100 per year odler than 21) plus another 300 from the aging table.

-Jackmc

 


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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #26 on: 23 February 2011, 18:35:35 »
We also don't use aging XP. You are the age you are at the end of creation, be it 16 or 61 you don't get extra XP. We do use the again table on pg 333 to adjust final stats. But unless you plan for it the 50 pts rarely moves you anywhere.

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Jackmc

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #27 on: 23 February 2011, 22:40:18 »
We also don't use aging XP. You are the age you are at the end of creation, be it 16 or 61 you don't get extra XP. We do use the again table on pg 333 to adjust final stats. But unless you plan for it the 50 pts rarely moves you anywhere.

that 50 points is x 6 so you're looking at enough freed up xp to buy a fairly significant trait such as NA or Fast Learner ect.

-Jackmc


Cannon_Fodder

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #28 on: 23 February 2011, 22:49:59 »
that 50 points is x 6 so you're looking at enough freed up xp to buy a fairly significant trait such as NA or Fast Learner ect.

-Jackmc

We avoid some of this by gradually applying the bonuses. For the age 25 adjustments starting at age 20 we randomly assign +50 to one stat each year until all 6 are applied.

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Re: Character creation?
« Reply #29 on: 24 February 2011, 20:42:38 »
I generally frown on auto-XP (at least, positive bonuses as opposed to the rigors of age) with the passage of years.  It isn't that reaching some benchmark suddenly makes you stronger, more resilient, etc., but the effort you put into what you do in that time.