May 29 - Making Characters - Feedback Thread

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AdamJury AdamJury's picture
May 29 - Making Characters - Feedback Thread

This is the feedback thread for the Making Characters chapter, updated on May 29th.

It can be downloaded as part of the EP2 Open Playtest at: http://bit.ly/ep2playtest

We are getting down to the wire for this playtest. This is likely to be the final update to the Eclipse Phase Second Edition playtest. At this point, core mechanics and major features are locked down. Things to look for:

• Numbers and terms that are inconsistent or seem off-base with each other
(IE: a number/rule/term was updated in one chapter but not in another, or a number in text that contradicts a table).
• Unclear wording or explanations, typographical mistakes.
• Rules that are easily exploitable that lead to un-fun game situations, characters mechanically hogging the spotlight, etc.
• Places that should have cross-references (“p. XX” references) to other sections but do not OR vice-versa — places that seem to have excessive cross-refs.

Please exercise restraint in back-and-forth posting in this thread.

branford branford's picture
Doesn't the Reaper morph on p

Doesn't the Reaper morph on p.28 of the playtest need Enhanced Vision in order to use its T-Ray emitter?

dragonmarkeddm dragonmarkeddm's picture
Know Skills Paragraph Missing Sub Type

On page 18, in the paragraph directly under KNOW: [FIELD]

The paragraph says "Know skills are loosely grouped into three types: academics, interests, and professional training."

Shouldn't Art be added to that list and three changed to four?

Roswynn99 Roswynn99's picture
Typo in Fray skill text in Making Characters, p.14

The text for the Fray skill in the Making Characters pdf, p.14, reads "You start with a base Perceive of REF x 2" (1st paragraph, line 2).

Maybe someone else already pointed that out, in that case, nothing else for now!

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
The text for the psi trait

The text for the psi trait (page 32/33) mentions still needing to take the Instability and Mental Vulnerability traits, as well as a second mental disorder for level 2 psi, all of which are no longer the case according to the psi section

Roswynn99 Roswynn99's picture
Typo in Galatea text, p.27 Making Characters

In Making Characters, under Synthmorphs, the description of the Galatea shell (p.27):

Galatea’s look (and are) expensive and their mental architecture is crafted to enhance the wearer’s personality and charm.

Roswynn99 Roswynn99's picture
High Aptitude & Skill ratings assessment

Okay folks, I'm not sure this is the right place to post this, so you do what you have to with this post.

This could very well just be me, but I would like a more detailed breakdown of the meaning of Aptitude and Skill ratings, p. 14.

Like, an Aptitude can go from 0 to 30, 5 is a child, 10 is an unaugmented human, 15 is transhuman, but no hints for what higher ratings could mean. Same for skills, 50 is advanced training, but 60, or 70, or hell, 80 or 90? What do ratings like those mean?

Did you leave those high ratings out of the table because they're very subjective, because they're rare...? It makes it slightly trickier to give a pc or npc the effective ability you envision, I think.

My very personal opinion would be to add the assessments for higher ratings. Other than that I'd be very grateful if someone could tell me what they think the higher ratings mean in their opinion - they're not word for word the same as in first edition, and that confuses me a bit.

BTW, a related problem I'm having with skill range: a skill of 50 is defined as advanced training, but it still succeeds only half the time. I think I'm missing something. Like, I've read that easy tasks can give you a +10, +20, even +30 if they're really really basic. You can also get a bonus by spending extra time. But it still looks quite strange. What am I not getting or taking into consideration? Again, thanks to anyone who can clarify this for me.

Androminous Androminous's picture
Ammo values in the Profession Packs

On page 41 an onwards the ammo value for weapons seems to be from a previous version of the playtest documents. They should be harmonised with the values from the Actions and Combat chapter.

Androminous Androminous's picture
Roswynn99 wrote:

Roswynn99 wrote:

This could very well just be me, but I would like a more detailed breakdown of the meaning of Aptitude and Skill ratings, p. 14.

I think this probably is an editing error, the tables being cut in half. The previous playtest documents had the values:

APTITUDES
Rating Assessment
5 Child
10 Unaugmented Human
15 Transhuman
20 Enhanced
25 Superhuman
30 Posthuman

SKILLS
Rating Assessment
10 Rudimentary Ability
20 Some Familiarity
30 Novice
40 Basic Professional Competence
50 Advanced Training
60 Experienced Professional
70 Expert
80 Authority
90 Master
98 Pinnacle of Achievement

Those should be included in full in the final book.

Quote:

BTW, a related problem I'm having with skill range: a skill of 50 is defined as advanced training, but it still succeeds only half the time. I think I'm missing something. Like, I've read that easy tasks can give you a +10, +20, even +30 if they're really really basic. You can also get a bonus by spending extra time. But it still looks quite strange. What am I not getting or taking into consideration? Again, thanks to anyone who can clarify this for me.

You are assumed professional with a skill value of 40, and you shouldn't roll for routine tasks, only when the situation is challenging or forces are working against you according to the Game Mechanics chapter. But everyone makes errors. Even if you work in a field where you are assumed to have an academic degree in your field, probably having around 50 in the skill just after leaving university, most workplaces would have routines that double or triple check your results for quality assurance. In most lines of work, the workday would consist of tasks that are easy or very easy, giving +20 or +30 to the test if any check is needed at all. Only those working at the very frontier of their field with research or development (and thus having PhDs or the like) would have to solve hard or very hard tasks on a normal day. At most places of work I have been, what distinguishes experienced employees from newbies are that the latter use more time on the same task. You get +10 per extra minute or 25% extra time on task actions according to the Game Mechanics chapter. So your newly educated professional would be guaranteed to succeed on a slightly hard test using two-and-a-half times as much time on the task.

In my opinion, this works out. What can be hard to agree upon in a group is what the difficulty levels very easy, easy, hard, very hard etc is relative to. A hard task for an untrained individual would be easy for a professionally trained in the field. I suggest that it should be made clear for what kind of character those levels are relative to. I would assume it is relative to an experienced professional (with 60 in the skill.) So if you are making a Pilot:Ground Vehicle test, whether it is a hard or an easy test would depend on whether someone who have been a professional driver for most of his or her career with experience from different vehicle types and terrains would find it easy or hard, not the average commuter who only use the car queuing to the office and back and take an occasional weekend drive (which I would assume would have at most Pilot: Ground Vehicle 30.)

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Neo-octopus seems to be able

Neo-octopus seems to be able to swim at speeds unachievable by sprinting Olympian.

Is it intentional?

20 walker vs 32 swim

(Dragonfly morphs get 32 fly speed)

I wouldn't hesitate to give some humanoid morphs faster sprinting speeds.

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CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Fighter Module - "common

Fighter Module - "common shape adjustment" text is doubled.

Edit: Digital speed is listed as Ware, yet it is featured as a morph trait in Traits list

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CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Please bring back the Lemon

Please bring back the Lemon trait in some way, it was hilarious.

Injector swarm is very much more intuitive name for a swarm that injects chemicals and farmaceuticals.

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Roswynn99 Roswynn99's picture
Thank you Androminous!

Thank you for the full tables, Androminous, much appreciated, now it makes a lot more sense, and your very thorough explanation is really, really useful! I'm copypasting your reply for my group's use, it'll clear up a lot of doubts.

Can I ask Adam & Rob to include a shortened version of Androminous' answer in the rules, or an otherwise brief sidebar about the thought process behind the skill ratings and how they're actually supposed to work in play? I've been told many other new gms and players misunderstand these concepts and I think it would be beneficial to spend a couple words on them, and it'd help transition to this game.

Thank you guys!

ubik2 ubik2's picture
CordialUltimate2 wrote:Neo

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Neo-octopus seems to be able to swim at speeds unachievable by sprinting Olympian.

Interestingly, there's not an easy way to get your transhuman to run as fast as Usain Bolt (bit over 12 m/s - perhaps move of 6/30 with a superior success). The Battlesuit and Exowalker will get you that effect.

The fastest swimmer is a black marlin, clocked at a shocking 35 m/s (something like 10/80?). The jet propulsion of a squid (which I assume is the model for the Neo-Octopus) swims at 8 m/s (perhaps 4/20). It looks like they used the default submarine movement type of 8/32, which is excessive. If you want this to be more realistic, the Neo-Octopus movement should probably be reduced.

It would be nice to adjust the walker speed to be a bit faster. Either 6/30 or 4/32 would be more realistic. Other mobility systems are available as mods, and it seems reasonable to allow a morph to add a faster walker (8/32) for the same [Mod] cost. Ideally, this would be available for the biomorphs too, and not restricted to [Hard].

Overall, I don't think the designers are too concerned, since people don't play EP on a tactical grid where movement comes up often. Instead, it's just a crude ballpark that doesn't need to distinguish between a horse and a human.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Page 6, Step 2: Career:

Page 6, Step 2: Career: Academic.
I just want confirmation that the numbers are right, since it is the ONLY career that has 90 points in Active Skills, and 130 points in Knowledge Skills. Considering all the other Careers are 130 Active and 90 Knowledge, I think maybe there should be more knowledge skill points?

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Well it is an Academic. So he

Well it is an Academic. So he like... you know... Knows more...

But to be serious I would love a sum up number of points in Active and Knowledge skills mentioned somewhere so I could do the character creation the old fashioned way.

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Xagroth Xagroth's picture
CordialUltimate2 wrote:Well

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Well it is an Academic. So he like... you know... Knows more...

But to be serious I would love a sum up number of points in Active and Knowledge skills mentioned somewhere so I could do the character creation the old fashioned way.

They all but the Academic have the same values. It equates roughly to 790 CP in skills from the 1st Edition, with 5 CP extra on Reputation, and the same effective values on Aptitudes (an average of 15, since COOrdination has been removed). I have placed an Spoiler with a little more detail on http://eclipsephase.com/ep2-focused-builds-how but you can grab the second entry on each step of character creation on 2nd Ed and add the numbers for a total on all the entries (the only different being the Academic).

My confirmation petition is more in the lines of "just give him 20 extra points on Knowledge Skills" or something like that that makes it attractive over other packages.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Background: 170 Active and 90

Background: 170 Active and 90 Knowledge
Career: 130 Active and 90 Knowledge
Interest: 100 Active and 40 Knowledge
Faction: 30 Knowledge
Total: 400 Active and 250 Knowledge

The Academic trades some Active for Knowledge skills (since that's what they care more about).

In the Total Skills section, they make it clear that you can move these skills freely, as long as you don't move Knowledge skill points to Active. The steps just make it more natural for new players to build a realistic character.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
I'm pretty sure we're

I'm pretty sure we're supposed to use Guns skill to shoot the weapons on bots we're jamming, but the Interface skill description on page 15 still mentions using Interface for weapons mounted on bots.

I don't know if we're supposed to use Interface for vehicle mounted weapons, and I think we are supposed to use Interface for fixed emplacements. In any case, it would help if this was clear. I'm assuming Guns since the Security ALI has that skill (which is presumably used to shoot from the controlled bot).

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
ubik2 wrote:I'm pretty sure

ubik2 wrote:
I'm pretty sure we're supposed to use Guns skill to shoot the weapons on bots we're jamming, but the Interface skill description on page 15 still mentions using Interface for weapons mounted on bots.

I don't know if we're supposed to use Interface for vehicle mounted weapons, and I think we are supposed to use Interface for fixed emplacements. In any case, it would help if this was clear. I'm assuming Guns since the Security ALI has that skill (which is presumably used to shoot from the controlled bot).

As far as I understood it, Interface is used instead of Guns when remote controlling a drone or similar situations, since the PC is not "assuming direct control" of everything... The ALI, on the other hand, is "sleeved" in the drone, so it needs the actual skill :S

ubik2 ubik2's picture
I've been viewing it this way

I've been viewing it this way:

Jammed -> Use Guns. Use your aptitudes for things like SOM checks. You can use the Vigor or Flex pools of the drone, and if you have a Drone Rig, you can use your Insight pools as Vigor for the drone. You can use the Insight, Moxie, and Flex pools of your own morph for actions you take with the drone body. You cannot use your own Vigor pools for these actions.

Autonomous mode -> Issue command to ALI. ALI uses Guns. ALI uses its aptitudes for things like SOM checks. ALI has access to the Vigor and Flex pool of the drone, but has no ego pool points. You can't spend your own morph's pool points on the drone's actions.

In the case of Jamming, you've actually done an integration test. At that point, I think you're pretty fully immersed in the body. Your mind is still running on the original morph, so Endocrine Control, Mind Amp and similar mods still benefit you.

Edit: Added more Guns vs. Interface
While I think it should be Guns, the rules don't really support my interpretation.

Pro Interface support:

  • Bot/Vehicle ALIs don't have Interface, but are often armed. If they use Interface to shoot this isn't a problem.

  • p. 15 of Making Characters explicitly says Interface is used for bot/vehicle weapons. This rules out my Guns interpretation.

Pro Guns support:

  • Security ALI (and Kaos ALI) has Guns skill, which wouldn't be useful if Interface was used to shoot.

  • When sleeved in a morph, you use Guns. Jamming a bot seems to be about the same as sleeving, so using Guns seems to make sense.

  • p. 9 of Actions and Combat mentions that spaceship weapons, habitat defense systems, and emplaced turrets use Interface. These are all essentially weapons on a stationary mount that is not jammed. Similarly, these use Insight pool instead of Vigor.

Mixed:

  • p. 2 of Actions and Combat says to use Guns for ranged weapons and Interface for electronic weapon systems.

If it is Interface for firing bot weapons while jamming, it's probably appropriate to use Insight pools for this action instead of Vigor.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
How I understand it, you use

How I understand it, you use Interface for shooting stuff if you're using a joystick or other interface to aim rather than moving the gun itself. So, rather than jamming the entire vehicle or having the vehicle fire, you're instead using this if you're sitting in a cockpit directly firing weapons on a vehicle without jamming it.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
On p. 12 on making characters

On p. 12 on making characters, it mentions that selecting psi-chi sleights raises your base infection rating. I'm under the impression that is no longer true?

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Please bring back the Lemon trait in some way, it was hilarious.

I think it is "INHERENT FLAWS" now. See p. 36 to find it. The Case has it as a trait.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Inherent flaws only gives you

Inherent flaws only gives you a boring chance 10% chance to acquire a Wound on critfail.

Lemon on the other hand tells the GM clearly o scrw the player. And the player usually knows it.

If it will not be there by RAW I will homerule it!

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ubik2 ubik2's picture
p. 26 The Wizard module has a

p. 26 The Wizard module has a WT of 6, rather than 4.
p. 29 Perhaps the DUR, WT, and DR of the Infomorphs should be shown here too.

It would be nice if the skill cap were 100 instead of 98. Players buy these in increments of 5, so 98 ends up being strange. Obviously, having a target number higher than 98 isn't useful (since 99 still fails), but those extra 2 points are nice for keeping even numbers when you have a penalty.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
ubik2 wrote:Obviously, having

ubik2 wrote:
Obviously, having a target number higher than 98 isn't useful (since 99 still fails), but those extra 2 points are nice for keeping even numbers when you have a penalty.

Considering how the mods for rolls work, having 100 with -30 means rolling at 70, while having 98 with -30 would mean a final target of 68...

I would say that the limit of 98 is after all mods applied, since a 99 is always a failure, and 100 does not exist (since the game rolls from 00 to 99), so the skills reaching 100 is not really a problem, but can be confusing.

Magnavox Magnavox's picture
Pg 43. Gear packs for Techie

Pg 43. Gear packs for Techie career.

The techie get's Fokus, but it doesn't list a number of doses. I assume it should be 5 like all the other drugs in the equipment packages.

Any man can handle adversity. If you want to test a
Man's character, give him power.
- attributed to Abraham Lincoln

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
On not being able to have

On not being able to have multiple morphs with negative traits:

Quote:
I think instead there should be a minimum morph MP cost that negative traits bring the morph to. For example 1 MP. You already cannot have a morph with negative MP. So this would be less clunky. If you want an army of cases you can still probably do that.

I would also consider giving Cases an "Uncomfortable Sleeve" trait. You get stress when you engage in an activity that the Case is unsuited for. For example climb a long set of stairs your servos overheat. You are frustrated, get stress.
Your charging port malfunctions you have to push on emergency power before you can get it fixed. There is plenty potential to signify how shit... (Corporate Policy.Exe -user override) MINIMALISTIC these morphs are. Right now anything that the GM does to signify that can be seen as antagonistic by the players.

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Dr. Maxwell Dr. Maxwell's picture
Page 27, Flexbots, have some

Page 27, Flexbots, have some confusing elements. Does shape adjusting 'stack' by flexbot, allowing flexbots to grow more complex as they get bigger? Do you get a set of limbs each flexbot, or do you need to use the shapechanging 'ware to have limbs at all? How do flexbots interact with positive traits? I assume if any flexbot has a given bit of 'ware, other than armor affecting 'ware or durability 'ware, they all get it, to reduce bookkeeping, but that being explicit would matter too. While it doesn't seem extremely efficient, can a flexbot stack up on pool affecting 'ware on each bot? Overall the flexbot rules are much simpler and have fewer weird interactions and calculations, which is very good, but it just needs some more clarity, though not so much specificity that flexbots require tracking a bunch of weird edge rules and interactions.

On the subject of jamming and guns, I assumed jamming just used guns. Minimizing the difference between jamming a drone and your own morph seems ideal just to reduce the learning curve of jamming, especially because now psi uses the jamming rules sometimes and it doesn't make sense for them to need interface.

EDIT

Can Swarmanoids join a flexbot if they take shape adjusting? How would that work mechanically? Can Swarmanoids take a cyberweapon and pneumatics to start smashing folks to death? What about ranged weapon implants? Like many other weird morph mechanics they seem to have been slimmed down in complexity, which is really good, but need just a smidgen more clarification on their limitations and capabilities.

Don't forget to check out my open source biomorph and medtech files!

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
This simplification means

This simplification means leaving this up to GM as was done in DnD5e.

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