Making Characters - Open Discussion (Round Two)

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DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I'm hoping you guys get the

I'm hoping you guys get the gear section ready soon. I'm finding the lack of gear rules affects my character builds. I can't finish them.

There is no gear stuff later in the book for step 3 interests. For instance, if I pick Jammer as my character's interest, I don't have any gear to go with it.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Some comments on the traits.

Some comments on the traits.

Both the Fury and Ghost shouldn't have Enhanced Behavior traits. Those traits are ego only.

Psi Camouflage - Instead of saying the morph trait is only available to biomorphs, maybe say that it only works with biomorphs. It can be taken as an ego trait, so there is a chance that the person might be resleeved in a synthmorph. Better yet, say it only works with an organic brain. Biomorphs can have cyberbrains, and synthmorphs can have brain boxes.

Psi Defense - See above. Make it work for organic brains only.

Hypersensitivity - How does this work on morph variants? Do mods taken during character creation count as after market addons?

Neural Damage - Repetitive Behavior - The first sentence is repeated. It might be funny having it stated twice, but isn't always helpful. Also edit the third sentence to make it more clear. "You need to make a COG check to avoid doing repetitive actions while under pressure.".

o11o1 o11o1's picture
DivineWrath wrote:I've been

DivineWrath wrote:
I've been playing around with flexbots. The problem with them is that you need many flexbots to do the whole combining business. This gets expensive quickly, but by using negative traits, you can reduce them to 1 CP.

As for buying gear, CP has considerably less buying power. You also have less of it to spend on gear. This has made it difficult to design characters that have the skills to fill multiple roles. For instance, a character might be a good techie person, but also has maxed out infosec skills (80). Getting exploit software will take up a good 1/5th of your given CP. In EP 1st edition, it would cost you 1/20th of your possible wealth, and you had much more CP that you weren't allowed to spend on wealth.

If you have any Negative Morph Traits, you cannot also buy multiple Morphs. I agree that this should be re-examined for Flexbots, but with the newer modules only costing 2 MP (Fighter excepted), you could set up a Crafter, a Rogue, and a Wizard together for 6 MP.

Hmmmm. The "2 Minor or 1 Moderate ware" , is that per Morph or per Module?

A slight smell of ions....

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Woops. I may have read the

Woops. I may have read the rules wrong. I thought you buy morphs with cp, like you did in EP 1st. I'm going to have to reexamine my character builds.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Some more feedback.

Some more feedback.

My flexbot character didn't suffer much. The switch to MP, bonus MP from resources, and inability to take negative morph traits allowed my character to take the same morphs. However, I had a short story that no longer works. It was about of how they got their fighter module for cheap because it had the Proprietary Tech trait from a hypercorp that went out of business.

This character did get a significant boost to CP, so I'm back to shopping.

Another character of mine wound up getting an unplanned boost to MP. I'm not really sure what to spend it on yet. I might remove the negative traits.

I'm still debating whether or not if no negative traits if you have multiple morphs is a good thing or bad. For my flexbot character, I was only using negative traits to reduce the costs to 1 MP. I wasn't making 'throw away' morph where I fill one morph with negative traits that I end up not using. I was sincere about wanting to use all the morphs I selected.

Another question. What effect would negative traits would have on a flexbot? Proprietary Tech probably only effects the one module. What about traits that raise or reduce aptitude tests? What about Dominant Limb or Memory Artifact? Would they have an effect if a character was sleeving the flexbot from a different module?

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Consider the case where I,

Consider the case where I, with no special resources at all, decided that I wanted to take the following morphs:

  • An Exalt with an addition to alcohol ( 2 MP - 1 MP)
  • A pleasure Pod with Planned Obsolesence ( 4 MP - 3 MP )
  • A Bouncer with Poor Instinct ( 4 MP - 3 MP )
  • An Arachnoid with Proprietary Tech and Indifference ( 6 MP - 2 MP - 3 MP )
  • A Neo-Gorilla with Dominant Limb and PSI Vulnerability ( 3 MP - 1 MP -1 MP)
  • An Ikon digimorph with Memory Artifact (2 MP -1 MP)

If this guy has Resources 0 and no particular Rep, what is he doing with six different "1 MP" Morphs?

A slight smell of ions....

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
You can't do that. No more

You can't do that. No more that 6 MP can be gained by negative traits. Your total is 15 MP, 9 points too much.

eaton eaton's picture
Yeah, might be useful to note

Yeah, might be useful to note that the 6MP is per player-character, not per morph…

o11o1 o11o1's picture
I'd intended that as an

I'd intended that as an Argument from Absurdity as to why you can't take negative traits and also have multiple morphs.

A slight smell of ions....

Londoner Londoner's picture
Like the new morph points

I like the separate morph points and the impact of resources. (A late response, I know, as it was posted in November.)

It seems a good balance that would let you go for the 'sci-horror' campaign where you wake up in a new morph every session with half the last session missing from your memory and the more traditional rpg where you generally get richer and upgrade your stuff. Also it avoids what I hated about the old system which was getting a massive early (dis) advantage from (not) spending points on morphs that's wasted after the first session or two.

Now I wonder whether you integrated it with the gear acquisition system yet ...?

o11o1 o11o1's picture
I'm probably just blind and

I'm probably just blind and can't find it, but when you take a Muse (or a Kaos AI) how do you determine what it's starting aptitudes are?

A slight smell of ions....

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
o11o1 wrote:I'm probably just

o11o1 wrote:
I'm probably just blind and can't find it, but when you take a Muse (or a Kaos AI) how do you determine what it's starting aptitudes are?

If you are asking where in the new rules to find it, then I don't know right now.

If you are asking about where in the old rules, I can help. Its on p. 331 - 332 of the core rulebook.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Looks like the Kaos has Ref

Looks like the Kaos has Ref 20 and the Muse has INT 20. Aptitude 0 for the others?

A slight smell of ions....

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
No. It says that they have

No. It says that they have aptitudes of 10 unless it says otherwise.

Quote:
Below are some commonly available AI programs.
Unless otherwise noted, these AIs have aptitudes of 10
and one Language skill at 80. These AIs may also be
equipped with skillsofts (p. 332).

So the Muse have COG 10, COO 10, REF 10, INT 20, SAV 10, SOM 10, and WIL 10.

It has these stats because all aptitudes were 10 unless it says otherwise. Then it said that it had INT 20, which only changes INT.

Androminous Androminous's picture
Morph Points / Resources / Reputation

Making Characters p 13 says:
"No more than 6 MP worth of negative traits may be purchased."

Acquiring Gear and Morphs p 5 says:
"Finally, you can always acquire extra MP by purchasing negative
morph traits (p. XX), up to a maximum of 4"

The above is inconsistent.

Also, Acquiring Gear and Morph says on the same page:
"PCs without Resources may use their rep scores in a similar way.
By expending a Moderate (1 MP) or Major (2 MP) favor, the PC
may increase the MP available to them."

Making Characters p 13 says:
"You may use your MP for extra gear. Minor Complexity gear
costs 1 MP, Moderate 2 MP, and Major 4 MP."

So if you have used all your MPs and want to start with extra gear with Moderate complexity (usually a Moderate favour) and not having the Resources trait, you'll have to use up a Major favour to get the 2 extra MPs to get the Moderate gear. Is this deliberate? It seems harsh to those making characters coming from societies with reputation-based economies. If this was better balanced, not everyone would take the Resources trait. My suggestion is to give 1 MP for a Minor favour if the character has an applicable reputation of 40+, 2 MP for a Moderate favour and it has an applicable reputation of 50+ and 4 MP for a Major favour and applicable reputation of 60+. And being explicit that this option can't be used if you are applying Resources (either you offer cash in the cash economy or you ask for favours, you don't have time for both.) It should also be restricted to one of your networks.

Regarding the wording of the Resources trait, I would also suggest that the rules are made explicit regarding the Resources trait where it says
"At Level X, you can acquire [Complexity] gear items given the appropriate time frame"
that the time frame is the one corresponding to the Complexity level and not 1 minute if the item is digital unless it is the intention that a character with Resources level 3+ could acquire 60 blueprints for Major gear during an hour off. The 1 minute for digital items should be rephrased so that it states that you can get the software faster, but that it doesn't change the time before the acquisition refreshes. I imagine even a Resource level 3+ character has limited amounts of liquid funds and would need to transfer funds, refinance, sell bonds or whatever between doing Major purchases even if the goods are digital.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Androminous wrote:Making

Androminous wrote:
Making Characters p 13 says:
"No more than 6 MP worth of negative traits may be purchased."

Acquiring Gear and Morphs p 5 says:
"Finally, you can always acquire extra MP by purchasing negative
morph traits (p. XX), up to a maximum of 4"

The above is inconsistent.


While I agree a confirmation that it's as intended would be nice, it's not "inconsistent".

As far as I understood the Beta when I had a look at it, there are negative Ego and Morph traits, like in the first edition. So my interpretation is that you can't have, ever, more than 6 negative traits that combine both (so 2+4, 3+3, etc...). The second limit simply states that no more than 4 of those 6 can be Morph negative traits, so if you want to go to the max, then you can get 2 Ego negative traits and 4 Morph negative traits.

Androminous wrote:

Also, Acquiring Gear and Morph says on the same page:
"PCs without Resources may use their rep scores in a similar way.
By expending a Moderate (1 MP) or Major (2 MP) favor, the PC
may increase the MP available to them."

Making Characters p 13 says:
"You may use your MP for extra gear. Minor Complexity gear
costs 1 MP, Moderate 2 MP, and Major 4 MP."

So if you have used all your MPs and want to start with extra gear with Moderate complexity (usually a Moderate favour) and not having the Resources trait, you'll have to use up a Major favour to get the 2 extra MPs to get the Moderate gear. Is this deliberate? It seems harsh to those making characters coming from societies with reputation-based economies. If this was better balanced, not everyone would take the Resources trait. My suggestion is to give 1 MP for a Minor favour if the character has an applicable reputation of 40+, 2 MP for a Moderate favour and it has an applicable reputation of 50+ and 4 MP for a Major favour and applicable reputation of 60+. And being explicit that this option can't be used if you are applying Resources (either you offer cash in the cash economy or you ask for favours, you don't have time for both.) It should also be restricted to one of your networks.

I agree that Resources is too attractive, while Reputation not only has the unfamiliarity of the players to fend off, but also the "not broken" label, like Resources has.

Mind you, I think making MP from Rep a more expensive option serves to represent that the system doesn't have enough stuff to go around for everybody, but be aware that characters from rep economies have access to tons of open source gear!

Androminous wrote:

Regarding the wording of the Resources trait, I would also suggest that the rules are made explicit regarding the Resources trait where it says
"At Level X, you can acquire [Complexity] gear items given the appropriate time frame"
that the time frame is the one corresponding to the Complexity level and not 1 minute if the item is digital unless it is the intention that a character with Resources level 3+ could acquire 60 blueprints for Major gear during an hour off. The 1 minute for digital items should be rephrased so that it states that you can get the software faster, but that it doesn't change the time before the acquisition refreshes. I imagine even a Resource level 3+ character has limited amounts of liquid funds and would need to transfer funds, refinance, sell bonds or whatever between doing Major purchases even if the goods are digital.

I wouldn't really be worried about blueprints. Considering forking and accelerated simulspaces, there is very little preventing a player to place a team of beta forks churning blueprints, one Major every 4 days (by the rules) thanks to time dilation. Note how Downtime is measured in weeks, so the team's geek can, with access to enough hardware and adapted forks of himself, churn out "free" blueprints. This means, simply, that the access to fabbers and base materials is the limit, and no matter how much money you do have, getting access to 24 fabbers for a whole day so you can print your newly acquired Major Complex gear is hard to justify unless you own all of those.

In fact, what worries me is that three downtime activities are not, by logic, something that "counts" against the one action limit (making stuff, Mod yourself, Manage your rep, and in several instances the fulfill responsibilities).

I think a whole chapter for forking, specially for the new GM's (and a smaller intro for players) would be a great idea.

Androminous Androminous's picture
Xagroth wrote:As far as I

Xagroth wrote:
As far as I understood the Beta when I had a look at it, there are negative Ego and Morph traits, like in the first edition. So my interpretation is that you can't have, ever, more than 6 negative traits that combine both (so 2+4, 3+3, etc...). The second limit simply states that no more than 4 of those 6 can be Morph negative traits, so if you want to go to the max, then you can get 2 Ego negative traits and 4 Morph negative traits.

I find that an interesting interpretation, and agree that if that is correct, my quotes from the text don't constitute any inconsistency. Such a limit of total negative traits would be a good way of limiting overuse of negative ego-traits so that the player will have more flexibilities when choosing morphs later. The rules should be made clear so that this intention won't be misunderstood.

Androminous Androminous's picture
Planned Obsolescence

This negative Morph trait is worth 3MP.

In my impression, the rules are now laid out so that the characters will have incentives to resleeve every mission, getting ~6MP + Resources level / Rep favours for new Morph and Gear at their new location. Getting 3MP for a negative trait that only will be a nuisance after a month and can be negate with a Moderate favour (which only earns you 1 MP if you use it up front for extra MPs) seems like a deal that is too good to be true. I suggest reducing the MP bonus to 1 for Planned Obsolescence. Even then it would be a better deal than using a moderate favour up front, unless you increase how many MPs you get for favours as per my previous suggestion.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
All the things!

I was hoping to wait for the next playtest document before posting. Ah well.

Maybe I've been assuming things, but I don't think you get 'more' MP, whether from the GM or the resources trait.
The way I've been interpreting it, the value from the GM shows how prosperous/generous the habitat is and/or how many resources Firewall is funneling the team, which the Resources trait can increase, but once you're 'there' it doesn't change. You can swap items out for no loss, but the cap will only change if you move somewhere else.

In essence, resources allows you to have a set amount of items in addition those you get through rep, instead of being an alternate income stream.

Planned Obsolescence is odd and needs balancing, but you can't guarantee that you have a whole month till it activates, just that you have a month once you've spent the favor.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

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