New Player Question: Skills at character creation (and a Roll20 character sheet)

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Sojur Sojur's picture
New Player Question: Skills at character creation (and a Roll20 character sheet)

Hello! Thanks for clicking on the topic and taking the time to help. I'm a brand new player to Eclipse Phase, and the GM running it is also new to it. We had a question that had us scratching our heads for a moment because we wanted to make sure we were adding up the skills at character creation correctly. I'll use the stats from my own character as a example - I ask you all to check and make sure I did it correctly:

My character has a base Aptitude of 20 SOM. His morph (Steel) adds 10 additional SOM. I have also purchased Muscle Augmentation (+5 SOM) and Hardened Skeleton (+5 SOM). This brings his final total SOM to 40.

Okay so I want him to be devastating at Unarmed Combat. The skill starts off at 20 for "free" because of his base SOM from his ego.

I then add 20 additional points to it from the Isolate background (+20 to two skills of choice). This brings the current total to 40 Unarmed.

Now I spent 20 CP to bring it to 60 Unarmed.

Then I spent 40 CP to bring it to 80 Unarmed.

Last step, I add my Morph Bonus to that total - including bonuses from cyberware installations. This means +10 from my Steel morph, which brings it to 90. Then +5 from Muscle Augmentation, making it 95. And finally +5 from Hardened Skeleton, making it 100.

Did I do this correctly? If not, where did I go wrong?

The second part of this question, and what has me and the new GM confused, is that we're trying to kick off our game over Roll20. The character sheet we are using is tallying up the bonus for the skills completely different. To use my above example, if I punch in 80 Unarmed into the character sheet, the character sheet automatically adds my entire 40 SOM total (bringing the final tally to 120 Unarmed), not just the 20 SOM I have from the morph and cyberware bonus. Is the character sheet miscalculating everything?

For those of you familiar with Roll20, it's the character sheet made by Lars Kroll (as stated at the very bottom), and I think Roll20 uses it as the default Eclipse Phase character sheet. It can be found here:
https://github.com/Bathtor/EPSheet

Wyvernjack Wyvernjack's picture
Personally I'm always a

Personally I'm always a little worried when the first thing a new player does with/to a new gm is min-max like that. Especially when they go to the forums to make sure the min-max works.

As for the first question, it does seem to be correct. 20 Base, +20 Skill, 20CP to go from 40 to 60, then double CP cost per point up to 80. Morph and wares come on top of everything.

Technically you can move skills around during character generation if i recall, so you could grab both +20 to one skill and put them into unarmed, but it'd be pretty much the same result.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Welcome!

Welcome!

To answer your question, yes, you can totally push your skills to a 100. Its a good idea to pick a morph that will improve your skills. A character with COG skills does well with a Menton, Social characters do well in a Slyph, etc. Remember, a roll of 99 is still an automatic failure (though, you could try to convince your GM to not bother rolling the dice because of there only 1% chance of failure).

However, it is my understanding that a Steel has an aptitude cap of 30, so you can't get 40 SOM with that morph. You can get around that problem by taking the exceptional aptitude trait (core rulebook, p. 146) for 20 cp to increase the cap on SOM.

I think that roll20 might be in error. I can't say for sure since I have no experience using it.

Sojur Sojur's picture
Wyvernjack wrote:Personally I

Wyvernjack wrote:
Personally I'm always a little worried when the first thing a new player does with/to a new gm is min-max like that. Especially when they go to the forums to make sure the min-max works.

Thanks for responding. Without straying too far from the topic at hand: I'm working closely with my GM through every step of the character creation process to make sure that we both got it right, and to make sure he approves of all my decisions. And I've also told him that if my character turns out to be too overpowered in any regard, I'll go back and tone it down.

Quote:
As for the first question, it does seem to be correct. 20 Base, +20 Skill, 20CP to go from 40 to 60, then double CP cost per point up to 80. Morph and wares come on top of everything.

Thank you! If I calculated that one skill correctly I'm pretty certain I got the rest of them correct.

Quote:
Technically you can move skills around during character generation if i recall, so you could grab both +20 to one skill and put them into unarmed, but it'd be pretty much the same result.

Understood. Thanks!
Sojur Sojur's picture
DivineWrath wrote:Welcome!

DivineWrath wrote:
Welcome!

To answer your question, yes, you can totally push your skills to a 100. Its a good idea to pick a morph that will improve your skills. A character with COG skills does well with a Menton, Social characters do well in a Slyph, etc. Remember, a roll of 99 is still an automatic failure (though, you could try to convince your GM to not bother rolling the dice because of there only 1% chance of failure).


I see. Thanks for the answer!

Quote:
However, it is my understanding that a Steel has an aptitude cap of 30, so you can't get 40 SOM with that morph. You can get around that problem by taking the exceptional aptitude trait (core rulebook, p. 146) for 20 cp to increase the cap on SOM.

Steel morphs do have an aptitude cap of 30. However, it was my understanding that cap only applies to the ego's aptitudes and the inherent morph bonus. "External" factors such as implants can boost it above the morph max, to an absolute cap of 40.

Copy pasted from page 124 of the core rules PDF I got:
APTITUDE MAXIMUMS
Every morph has an aptitude maximum, sometimes
modified by traits. This maximum represents the
highest value at which the character may use that
aptitude while inhabiting that morph, reflecting an
inherent limitation in some morphs. If a character’s
aptitude (including any bonuses from that morph)
exceeds the aptitude maximum of their morph, they
must use it at the maximum value for the duration
of the time they remain in that morph. This may also
affect the skills linked to that aptitude, which must be
modified appropriately.
Some implants, gear, psi, and other factors may
modify a character’s natural aptitudes. These augmented
values may exceed a morph’s aptitude maximums,
as they represent external factors boosting the
morph’s ability. No aptitude, however, augmented or
not, may ever exceed a value of 40. Innate ability only
takes a person so far—after that point, actual skill is
what counts.

Quote:

I think that roll20 might be in error. I can't say for sure since I have no experience using it.

We think so too. I'm looking for character sheet alternatives right now that can tally up the bonuses correctly.
DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
*looks at p. 124*

*looks at p. 124*

Ah. I forgot about that. Carry on then.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
Yes, you can easily get a

Yes, you can easily get a skill to 100 or beyond. I often see folks do this, especially hackers or combat folk who can get by without much. That all said, it's not a guarantee of success: Keep in mind most of your unarmed rolls are going to be opposed by a target's fray, and if you both succeed but they roll high, you still lose.

Sojur Sojur's picture
Urthdigger wrote:Yes, you can

Urthdigger wrote:
Yes, you can easily get a skill to 100 or beyond. I often see folks do this, especially hackers or combat folk who can get by without much. That all said, it's not a guarantee of success: Keep in mind most of your unarmed rolls are going to be opposed by a target's fray, and if you both succeed but they roll high, you still lose.

Thank you for the response and confirmation.

But at this point, I think I made it a tad unclear of the intent of my example - and that's my fault. I wasn't so much asking "Can I legally stack a skill up to 100?" The question I was trying to ask was "Did I add up the skill points and CP cost at character creation in the correct order?"

In other words, am I correct in the order of calculating skills is that:
1) I choose a skill I want to increase at character creation.
2) The skill starts at my ego's base associated aptitude for "free."
3) I then add background or faction bonuses to it if there are any.
4) I then spend CP to increase from where the skill currently is (after base aptitudes, backgrounds, and factions have been added up) up to 60 at a cost of 1CP per 1 skill point.
5) If I choose to do so, I then spend CP to increase the skill from 60 up to 80 at a cost of 2CP per 1 skill point.
6) Finally, I add the MORPH BONUS (and bonuses for any associated implants) onto the final skill total - which is allowed to break over the initial soft cap of 80 when spending CP.

Lazarus Lazarus's picture
Wyvernjack wrote:Technically

Wyvernjack wrote:
Technically you can move skills around during character generation if i recall, so you could grab both +20 to one skill and put them into unarmed, but it'd be pretty much the same result.

Very technically you cannot do that. The backgrounds says "+20 to two skill". You are putting both bonuses on one skill.

Practically, however, it makes very little difference. You would simply put 20 cp less into another skill, use the +20 bonus on that skill, and then spend the 20 cp on the first skill.

There are two edge cases where this wouldn't work. The first would be that you have no other skill where you've spent at least 20 points. The only reason I can ever see a character being built that way would be because someone was trying to prove a point rather than make an actual character. The other edge case is a bit more probable and involves a character where they have over a 60 in a skill before they ever spend any cp. This could be a character with an Exceptional Aptitude of 30 or a character who stacks the +40 bonus on top of bonuses from their faction.

My artificially intelligent spaceship is psychic. Your argument it invalid.