Traits - Draft 1 - Open Discussion

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RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Traits - Draft 1 - Open Discussion

Download Traits - Draft 1

This thread is for general feedback, comments, and discussion on this playtest material. Fire away!

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
First Impressions

I guess I will go first, then!

First impressions as I read through them.

Positive Traits

AGI socialization seems good. I like playing my AGI having been out in the world for a while, and this helps me realize that at character creation. Although I do think that I will be looking at the CP cost a bit more later. Social skills cost a lot for AGI, and I am unsure if the 'transhumans only', or basically everyone, balances out such a large bonus for only 10CP. In a similar style, I would like to see more support for such AGI. They have been around since before the Fall, and at the moment if you make an AGI you are basically stuck with the 'wide-eyed explorer' trope.

Brinker Solitude looks cool, gives some flavour to those lone wolf types that can go it alone. I can see being able to use it on quite a few characters.

Factional Expertise is perfect for my ex-Proxy character. Seems flexible enough that I can give it to lots of characters. Which is always a plus.

Freerunning Tricks are cool! This is the kind of stuff I would really like to see more of. Flavourful mechanical tricks that my characters can pick up that give them codified things that they can use. Not looking at the rest of the document yet, I hope that there is a Freefall variant hidden away somewhere. *edit: There isn't. I think there should be.

Introspective Forker; Apt for the current conversations going on on the forums at the moment! Also helps patch a small issue I have with the system, in that I find forking is a bit more dangerous on the mind than it should be.

Large Frame looks really expensive for what you are getting. A +20 to melee attacks in exchange for what is essentially a -10 to dodge in combat and a -20 with anything that isn't one handed? That means that everything from pistols to multitools are basically useless. Good flavour, not sure about the mechanical balance considering the cost. Maybe bring it down to 10CP?

Edit: There also already exists a mechanic for representing reach over an opponent. Page 204 of Core;

REACH
Some weapons extend a character’s reach, giving them
a significant advantage over an opponent in melee
combat. This applies to any weapon over half a meter
long: axes, clubs, swords, shock batons, etc. Whenever
one character has a reach advantage over another, they
receive a +10 modifier for both attacking and defending.

I think Large Frame needs a rewrite.

Murder Simulator Addict; I guess in the future of simulspace, the whole 'video games as murder simulators' thing is an actually worthwhile argument.

Pheonix; Cool, support for characters that die a lot. I like this. It helps things like the extreme-extreme sport or blood sport fighter archetypes.

Repurposing Specialist; Yes! Like the Freerunning Tricks trait, this is awesome. Its mechanical support for something that I haven't ever really considered codifying, but now that it is I would use a lot. I really like traits like this, a lot more than the “+3 initiative in low gravity” types.

Smart Animal Combat Trainer/Teamwork; Bwuhahaha, the Smart Rat King shall rise! I have always wanted to run a character that focuses on using smart animals, and these two traits really help with that. Good stuff.

Trick Shot and Unarmed Combat Techniques; Again, build in the theme of the Freerunning Tricks trait. These look cool. I like Point Defence Shot because I can give it to little guardian robots and the like.

Negative Traits

Faulty Education; “I must apologize for Wimp Lo, he is an idiot. We have purposely trained him wrong, as a joke.”

Firewall Rival; Again, perfect for my ex-Proxy character, so I like it.

In Debt looks OK, but seems quite fiddly at first. I am not sure why. I think it is the inclusion of the random interest. The rest of the character creation system doesn't have random factors in it, I don't really see why you should start now. I do like that payment only really comes into play when characters get Rez though, that at least reduces the bookkeeping on the part of the GM.

-

godmoney godmoney's picture
:)

the draft wrote:
titanian microcorp owner
For every point of Rez she spends working, she gains 2,000 credits instead of 1,000 credits.

does this microcorp "exist" before firewall picks you up?

would you be able to get the 2000cd during chargen?

the draft wrote:
AGI Socialization
The character gains a +10 bonus on all Social Skill Tests made against transhumans. This bonus does not apply to other AGIs, uplifts, aliens, exhumans, or TITAN-infected transhumans.

why could this not be broken up into each one separately? they could apply the same "extensively studied" techniques to other groups...?

the draft wrote:
Specialist Guru
The character chooses one of his Skill Specializations. For every level of Specialist Reputation, he gains a +10 bonus on any Social Skill or Networking Skill Test in which his Specialization is relevant. The gamemaster has final say on whether any given discussion involves the Specialization or not. A character may take this trait once.

so I can get a skill at 60 plus specialization, then buy specialist guru level 3 for 15cp for +30 (so I would be rolling at 90?) for less than I would pay to get there without this advantage? good you can only take it once.

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi!?!

godmoney godmoney's picture
CodeBreaker wrote: I hope

CodeBreaker wrote:
I hope that there is a Freefall variant hidden away somewhere. *edit: There isn't. I think there should be.

I second this.

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi!?!

Mephil Mephil's picture
Edit: Let's follow the form...

Q. 1 – How did you review the material in this draft?

Critical eye, for now.

Q. 2 –What's the most critical problem you've identified in these rules?

Large Frame

I suggest that maybe giving a DUR bonus to people who pick this trait. It makes no sense to me that a larger person would have the same durability as someone with a small frame. Right now, its a pretty lackluster trait, it feels as if you pay 20 CP for a heap of negative things for the ability to wield 2H weapons in one hand.

An increase in DUR/WT would be logical and would also balance it out a bit more.

Q. 3 – What's the best part of these rules?

I like the freerunning tricks and the different trickshots. I also like the AGI socialization trait as well as the microcorp thing. I’ve been doing the microcorp ownership using the patron trait and saying that the patron is the microcorp itself. I can pay for stuff with my company resources, and sometimes I need to fend of rival corporations as well as be careful not to overuse it so I don’t go bankrupt.

Q. 4 – Were there any Positive traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

See comments about the large frame issue above.

Q. 5 – Were there any Negative traits that you felt were too cheap or too expensive?

Socially graceless, for 10 CP you can never train protocol and skillware does not work? I feel that it’s a bit much. Maybe you could make it a quirky skill instead. Like, if you fail a protocol roll its always counted as a critical failure. This way, the character can behave if they try, but when they fail they REALLY fuck up.

Q. 6 – Were there any traits that you didn't think should be included?

Nah, traits are always a fun way to customize characters at creation.

Q. 7 – Are there any traits missing?

I’m missing traits that has anything to do with player housing.

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Tyrnis Tyrnis's picture
godmoney wrote:the draft

godmoney wrote:

the draft wrote:
Specialist Guru
The character chooses one of his Skill Specializations. For every level of Specialist Reputation, he gains a +10 bonus on any Social Skill or Networking Skill Test in which his Specialization is relevant. The gamemaster has final say on whether any given discussion involves the Specialization or not. A character may take this trait once.

so I can get a skill at 60 plus specialization, then buy specialist guru level 3 for 15cp for +30 (so I would be rolling at 90?) for less than I would pay to get there without this advantage? good you can only take it once.

No, it's not an addition to the skill itself. It means that you're widely recognized as an expert in the field and people respond to you accordingly. If Starfleet Commander Smith says there's a subtle design flaw in the warp engines on this ship that's about to launch on its maiden voyage, why should they believe him? Their chief engineer already looked things over, and it was perfectly fine. But when Captain Montgomery Scott says there's a subtle design flaw, he gets +30 on his persuasion check to convince them because he wrote the book on warp engine design. Likewise, when Commander Smith designs an more efficient engine, he might or might not be able to get someone to test the design and implement it. When Scotty comes up with something similar, people are eager to test it out (+30 on the relevant networking check) -- when he talks about engineering, people listen, even though Smith may have just as high a skill rating, because Scotty is a legend in his field. That's what specialist guru is.

Aleksander Aleksander's picture
Intense Relationship

Q. 2 –What’s the most critical problem you’ve identified in these rules?

the draft wrote:
Intense Relationship
...The character must spend at least 1 Rez Point each time the character
completes a mission to represent the energy and effort the character spends to help the NPC when the character can’t physically meet the NPC.

And why, exactly, can't he or she fork himself/herself, to stay with the family - and go to a mission?
Is that just a psychological pressure from within the character to contact them - even when knowing he's/she's already with them?
Mephil Mephil's picture
Dude if he forks himself then

Aleksander wrote:
Q. 2 –What’s the most critical problem you’ve identified in these rules?
the draft wrote:
Intense Relationship
...The character must spend at least 1 Rez Point each time the character
completes a mission to represent the energy and effort the character spends to help the NPC when the character can’t physically meet the NPC.

And why, exactly, can't he or she fork himself/herself, to stay with the family - and go to a mission?
Is that just a psychological pressure from within the character to contact them - even when knowing he's/she's already with them?

Dude if he forks himself then HE himself won't be there. Its like he's addicted to his family. If you fork yourself and your fork takes your fix of heroin you yourself will still crave it.

That being said, I'm not a fan of having rez point reductions. I think its much more logical to just give the character negative modifiers on all skills (-10, -20 and -30 on each level) if he fails to contact his family / loved one. As well as suffering stress if he fails to do it over a period of time. This will force the character to ROLEPLAY this interaction. A rez point reduction will just be something that is never roleplayed but just happens after the sessions. Thats not very fun!

I also suspect that the rez point thing will make players avoid taking it, as well as storytellers houseruling it away.

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godmoney godmoney's picture
so i have Deception[Fast Talk

so i have Deception[Fast Talk] 60[70] and specialist guru (fast talk) level 3. with this advantage i would only get the bonus if the person i was fast talking to knew i was "famous" for fast talking? plus any complimentary skill bonuses?

as i type this and read the wording, the word "relevant" is key i guess. anytime i can work my specialty into the situation i should be able to get the bonus?

still from a point cost/munchkin view it is a good deal. or am i missing something (i havent actually played EP is some time)

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi!?!

Mephil Mephil's picture
godmoney wrote:so i have

godmoney wrote:
so i have Deception[Fast Talk] 60[70] and specialist guru (fast talk) level 3. with this advantage i would only get the bonus if the person i was fast talking to knew i was "famous" for fast talking? plus any complimentary skill bonuses?

as i type this and read the wording, the word "relevant" is key i guess. anytime i can work my specialty into the situation i should be able to get the bonus?

still from a point cost/munchkin view it is a good deal. or am i missing something (i havent actually played EP is some time)

It feels weird to me to be a notorious expert in fast talking. I think this should be meant for academic skills or field skills.

You are a lvl 3 guru in Hardware: Electronics

So when you are deceiving someone that you could very well rebuild the your flashlight into a death laser, you get a +30 on that roll.

This will prevent instances of "Deception: Lying" Lying guru lvl3, and then people are suddenly surprised when you lie to them.

The skill to me, doesn't work like that. I picture the whole thing more in terms of.

*Character shows his Ph.D on his ecto* "I am actually an expert in quantum entanglement, and I say that we could very well entangle some qubits!"

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godmoney godmoney's picture
I agree that the wording

Mephil wrote:
So when you are deceiving someone that you could very well rebuild the your flashlight into a death laser, you get a +30 on that roll.

so my fast talking neotenic is known for being able to talk people into doing things that they normally wouldn't, everyone knows this.

"Man, I knew he would do something like this! I know I shouldn't give this kid my flashlight, but man does he make it sound freaking awesome!!!"-spoken just as the Maglite Deathstar comes online.

would this situation apply? what if the guy was a well known negotiator?

I agree that the wording should be updated to include the word "field skills only" possibly?

the description does say "specialized field" but does not specify what skills apply.

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi!?!

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
godmoney wrote:so i have

godmoney wrote:
so i have Deception[Fast Talk] 60[70] and specialist guru (fast talk) level 3. with this advantage i would only get the bonus if the person i was fast talking to knew i was "famous" for fast talking? plus any complimentary skill bonuses?

as i type this and read the wording, the word "relevant" is key i guess. anytime i can work my specialty into the situation i should be able to get the bonus?

still from a point cost/munchkin view it is a good deal. or am i missing something (i havent actually played EP is some time)

The bonus only applies if you're having discussions about Fast Talking.

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
LatwPIAT wrote:Question 2:

LatwPIAT wrote:

Question 2: Most Critical Problem

Several of the traits were made to reduce the threat of taking Stress, especially when going up against TITANs or Exurgents. This is something I don't think makes for a good game, because Stress should be a fundamental and ever-present threat to characters who go up against TITANs and Exurgents; they, like Call of Cthulhu monsters, are dangerous not because they kill you, but because they drive you insane; a victory against a TITAN or Exurgent should be bittersweet, and bonuses on Stress tests is counterproductive to this.

The is from the response thread.

I don't agree with this. The traits aren't nobrainers and I like that people are able to make chars that have experience that makes them less susceptible to Stress from certain sources. At worst there's a cost issue imo.

I can see that there are certain campaigns where they won't fit, but in that case the GM should ban them, like he should with other traits and background that don't fit the campaign framework.

Solar Solar's picture
Honestly the biggest issue

Honestly the biggest issue that I have with the traits as they exist so far is that the skill based ones like Smart Animal Trainer, Unarmed Combat Techniques and Re-purposing should all be available as they are for free, with anyone able to use them. Perhaps put a requirement on a skill of 40 for the use of these advanced techniques, sure, but I really don't think it's far to ask someone to pay 30CP in order to merely make all those tricks available to them.

Those traits shouldn't be traits. It just locks off the more interesting and complex parts of the game and isn't necessary. Ones like Unarmed Combat Techniques and Trick Shots are different as they are often just flat bonuses, but even they have elements that are really cool, but require you to drop those points (otherwise -30, a very very hefty penalty) which feels needless.

Also there are a couple of traits that seem too good, and a couple that seem too weak. Brinker Isolationist is insanely powerful, Large Frame is very weak.

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
I, on the other hand, quite

I, on the other hand, quite like that the mechanical tricks are locked behind a small paywall. And it is a small paywall. The mechanical benefits you are getting are basically those that, before, would be handled by giving a person a negative modifier due to difficulty. These give the player the chance to put down on their character sheet, in concrete terms, things that their character can do without those negative modifiers.

I guess, thinking about it, that I do think that the non-combat skill tricks could do with a price reduction. But having them only cost 5CP seems to be enough of barrier that characters who want to have unique things to do can pick them up, while making sure that it remains a kind of unique thing. I think that simply giving them to anyone who happens to have the skill at a high enough skill level, especially with how awfully low of a barrier a skill of 40 actually is, lessens their impact.

So yeah. I love the skill tricks. I think that you should perhaps set them all down to 5CP, or maybe develop a new subsystem outside of the trait subsystem for their use.

-

Solar Solar's picture
5CP is not a small amount

5CP is not a small amount though, really. Whenever I make characters, I always find myself trying to squeeze the points, and 5cp goes further than you think. All I am saying is that my character has a Free-running of 60 and an unarmed of 60 plus a boss morph and the right situation etc etc etc.

So why is that if I haven't spent the requisite 10pts I can't to a divebombing KO attack on some chump? It's not something that's going to come up a lot at all, it's something that my expert level character should totally be able to do, but unless I've spent those points it's something that is going to be nigh on impossible for me to pull off due to the penalties.

Some of the advantages make sense, because they are flat bonuses rather than new abilities. The little initiative bonus, for example. But the unique tricks should not be further locked off when really they are things that should be folded into those existing skills as is.

If they are going to be "buy this or take a penalty" then the penalty should not be so high. -10, maybe. But I really don't see why someone who has already spent the CP on unarmed 60 going for a knockout punch which requires that he cause eight damage or get a crit should be further hindered by -30 because he didn't buy that ability. This isn't a totally new or unique advantage, it's something that should be covered by unarmed already.

Solar Solar's picture
And with regards to the non

And with regards to the non-combat tricks traits, like re-purposing, isn't that exactly the point of scrounging anyway? If you lock that ability behind a trait, you are losing half the practical worth of the skill, it's basically mandatory alongside scrounging if you actually want to do anything useful with it.

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Traits are great. Everyone

Traits are great. Everyone with the skill being able to do those things are boring. Let those who find them cool enough to pay the CPs shine.

Solar Solar's picture
I just feel like taking those

Stuff like the +1 initiative, the bonus to grappling rolls, the bonus to dodge using free-running, those should be paid for because those are flat out superior. And martial arts maneuvers and free-running stuff based around that is totally great. I agree with you guys whole-heartedly there and I would definitely like to see martial arts systems included into EP as well as specialist parkour and free-falling systems.

The special maneuvers like the dive bomb attack and the using free-running to climb, however, should be useable as standard, just how before you would do them by working with the GM on the fly rather than taking it as a 5CP trait. Same with the scrounging ability and the training of smart animals. Those are things that scrounging and animal handling should do by default, otherwise you have a weird situation where you need to buy a trait to fulfill the description of the existing skill in the core book. I'd be a bit disappointing as a player if, using hard-ware mechanic and scrounging at a really high level, I couldn't take a bit of unearthed gear and use it for another purpose because I don't have the requisite bonus cost to do that.

I mean, look at the Mercurial Scavenger and the Anarchist Techie. Those guys are able to do that stuff right now, but drop this extra into the game and now a new player can't grab those characters and do those things because of a later trait release. Seems to make the game a little less accessible.

Regardless, I am sure the designers will do what they feel is best, and so far they've shown to make excellent choices. Just making my opinion clear.

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
Please note that the

Please note that the Specialist Guru trait only applies to a skill specialization and the bonus only applies when the character's reputation is relevant.

For the Deception: Fast Talk character above, he essentially has the reputation of being a con artist on the level of George Clooney's character from Ocean's 11. He can use that authority to get help for a heist - in other words making Network Skill Tests for favors - or on Persuade Skill Tests to convince the NPC Firewall Proxy to let him talk down the Exsurgent infected terrorist instead of just bombing the office building (and killing all the hostages inside) He can't use it to get a bonus to deceive someone unless he was deceiving someone about the subject of fast talk.

Trick shots and techniques are a variant of specializations - your character has spent a lot of time learning that specific technique to the point it is muscle memory. For example, the Knockout Strike technique could represent hundreds of hours boxing instead of just learning generalized unarmed fighting. The bonuses are not just a flat +10 because some techniques are more specialized than others.

If you couldn't guess earlier, Repurposing Specialist is the McGuyver trait. The Scrounging skill just finds things of value but this trait allows characters to find something that may seem worthless but capable of becoming valuable if it was modified.

Solar Solar's picture
I just don't see why you

I just don't see why you couldn't do that with hardware and scrounging already. Like, why does that combination of skills in that function require an additional cost?

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
Scrounging as written only

Scrounging as written only covers "Scrounging is your ability to find things, particularly things of use or value that are concealed, buried, or hard to find." Repurposing Specialist means you can recognize value in things that are otherwise worthless or find a different value than what is intended with them. Not every techie will be a DIY expert. It's an area not covered by the original rules and I would that it would be an unusual ability in Eclipse Phase. After all, most engineers just assume you can fabricate any part or tool you need when you need it. The idea of repurposing tech for a different use would not be taught or practiced by mainstream engineers or technicians.

A note on large frame - it probably should be rewritten as "Giant Frame" or something like that - it's meant to cover morphs that are 3 meters or bigger.

The point about apply some of these traits to previously written morphs is good - all aquatic focused morphs should have aquatic streamlining while large/giant frame should be applied to Fenrirs at least.

Acatalepsy Acatalepsy's picture
Interesting. I'm a little

Interesting. I'm a little skeptical about the potential for abuse for some of these - debt in particular just smells like cheese to me, as does the AGI socialization. I'll be looking it over with a more critical eye; but I've got a game in progress that I'm running and I plan on letting players buy some of these traits or use the systems in here and see how they work in practice.

It does seem to me, though, that many of the 'skill tricks' are something that should just be a standard part of the skill's use rather than some special thing you pay CP for.

This isn't a war ordinary humans can win. This is the future. Death's an inconvenience, now. Nothing more.

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
On further review, and some

On further review, and some discussions with friends:

Anything related to firearms
There are way too many bonuses to the various firearms skills; Kinetic Weapons and its ilk are already super-easy to powergame; +10 from smartlinks, +10 from homing ammo or a laser pointer, +10 to +30 for aiming, and we're already at +50. Spend 5 CP to specialize in the gun you're going to use, and we reach +60. With a measly base of Kinetic Weapons 40, we can now only miss on a 99.

Then you can add a gyroscope to negate the penalties for moving, and you can be a running and gunning combat-monster...

...and to this, we should add a +10 bonus to shooting people behind cover? Cover is one of the few ways to avoid getting perforated in the first round of combat; it's that, smoke grenades (which are negated by Enhanced Vision and/or Echolocation) and being prone, and with this Trait even that can be negated.

Also, for 5 CP, we can pick up Cover Shot, negating yet another -10 penalty, this time for being behind cover. So with Kinesics Weapons (Some gun) 40 (50), we have a 99% chance to hit targets behind minor cover, while ourselves being behind cover, in total darkness. The total investment for this is about 35 CP and the gun (which costs about 2 CP)

But wait there's more! Don't you want to leave the confines of your cover? Well, just connect a small drone to your tacnet, spend 5 CP on Tacnet Sniper, and you can fire from behind cover, at a target behind minor cover, in complete darkness, and still hit 99% of the time.

Ranged weapons skills are the ones that need a power-boost the least, and some of these are insanely powerful. Want to hit a common housefly that's behind cover, in darkness, without exposing yourself? Get Pinpoint Shot and you can do that with 90% of all shots!

Want to hit several targets at once? Multi Shot halves the penalty for multiple targets!

Freerunning
Given the relative lack of breathable atmospheres and habitable biospheres, the majority of Eclipse Phase is set in cities and space habitats. With this in mind, Free Climbing gives you Climbing at 5 CP (those should probably just be the same skill to begin with), an investment that will be worth it as soon as you put 10 CP into Freerunning - and why shouldn't you? For another 5 CP, you can substitute your Freefall for Infiltration, and even move faster while doing so!

But wait, there's more! For just 5 CP, you can get an extra +10 bonus on your Freefall full-defence roll! With your already maxed out climbing-freerunning-infiltration-skill, you can now be an untouchable god of swiftness too!

In Debt
This costs 30 CP. It costs 1 REZ per time REZ is awarded.

If you expect the game to last less than 30 sessions/adventures, pick this and get free points. If you expect the game to last more than 30 sessions (which, I should add, is a lot; more than half a year of weekly gaming without interruption), don't pick this because you'll lose REZ in the long run.

But wait! If you just really want those 30 CP in a long-term game, just go on a dangerous mission! Like fighting Exurgents. Which you're probably going to be doing anyway, if you're playing a Firewall game.

@-rep +2
C-rep +1

Mephil Mephil's picture
freerunning tricks and unarmed combat techniques.

Guys, don't forget this line: Characters who lack a specific trick may still attempt them, but at a -20 penalty.

or for unarmed combat: Characters who lack a specific technique may still attempt them, but at a -30 penalty.

So everyone CAN use them. And if you pay 5 CP (or I guess 5 REZ?) you can do it easier than others.

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Mephil Mephil's picture
LatwPIAT wrote:On further

LatwPIAT wrote:
On further review, and some discussions with friends:

Anything related to firearms
There are way too many bonuses to the various firearms skills; Kinetic Weapons and its ilk are already super-easy to powergame; +10 from smartlinks, +10 from homing ammo or a laser pointer, +10 to +30 for aiming, and we're already at +50. Spend 5 CP to specialize in the gun you're going to use, and we reach +60. With a measly base of Kinetic Weapons 40, we can now only miss on a 99.

You are 100% right in what you say...Though... Its really a moot point since you can still reach +60 but I just want to point out that laser sight and smartlink don't stack. (Core: 342, under laser sight)

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exferior exferior's picture
I like Repurposing Specialist

I like Repurposing Specialist, but a guideline on timeframe might be useful.

The various trick shot style traits are great, although I'll have to read them over to see how applicable they actually are.

On Titanian Microcorp Owner, are the only small-scale corporations in the setting from Titan? If that's not so (and I really don't see why an Extropian or even someone living in the Planetary Consortium couldn't own their own business), this might be better as just Microcorp Owner?

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
As for firearm modifiers,

As for firearm modifiers, they look great until you think about opportunity costs for most of them

Smartlink is a free +10 - that's true

If you use homing bullets or laser guided bullets, you obviously can't use another smart ammo type. That's a minor disadvantage. No accushot to ignore range penalties though. +10 aim from that.

Spending a quick action to aim means you can't do anything else that turn but aim and shoot - you can't even make a minor movement like stand up, go prone, draw a weapon, talk, or activate an implant. I'd personally rule that you can't take advantage of cover if you use your quick action to aim. Cover usually means you lean out to shoot and then pull back behind the cover. If you're hanging out there the entire time, then you can't really take advantage of it, can you? The rules don't explicitly describe whether using cover counts as a Quick Action or not though. So even if you can, that's a +10.

Spending a Complex Action to aim is very dangerous because your shot is ruined if the enemy moves out of sight - not to mention losing an entire attack.

Specialization in a weapon type is tricky because you can only have 1 per skill and there is no one perfect weapon type. Pistols and SMGs lack range, stopping power and AP while rifles aren't exactly stealthy. How do you sneak a machine gun into a habitat loaded with spimes and sensors? No way of telling what kind of gun will be used for the next mission.

Of course, if you're really smart, you will do a called shot to bypass armor (which the GM may disallow) otherwise your shot might not even penetrate the target's armor. So there's a -10 penalty a lot of the time.

So really it's a +10 (called shot, smart link and quick aim) or +20 (homing bullets) most of the time.

However, I'm surprised you didn't mention the real power of firearms - burst fire and full auto. If you absolutely have to hit a target, you can unload 10 rounds for a +30 to hit or 3 bullets for a +10 to hit or gain bonus DV but you don't get both. Most of the time you want the bonus DV.

"But wait there's more! Don't you want to leave the confines of your cover? Well, just connect a small drone to your tacnet, spend 5 CP on Tacnet Sniper, and you can fire from behind cover, at a target behind minor cover, in complete darkness, and still hit 99% of the time."

This build means you sacrifice a Complex Action for aiming so everyone else gets 2 shots for his 1. Also, Tacnet Sniper costs 20 CP.

This build isn't as overpowered as you might initially think when you consider what your characters are fighting in Eclipse Phase - usually well-armed and trained enemies who will be able to do the same things you can or are exsurgents/TITAN war machines that can do things no one else can do. Your enemies will be able to see in the dark, aim just as well you can and can throw grenades, disarm your weapon with a called shot, launch seekers, employ nanoswarms, etc. Don't forget Wound and Trauma penalties are cumulative so once your character gets hurt, it will throw his aim off.

The thing is, the core game makes firearms very dangerous very easily, but most lethal weapons are very dangerous anyway - plasma weapons and shredders for example. The new traits don't fundamentally change anything about combat. Measuring a character's power in combat by his weapon skill alone is fundamentally flawed. A combat-focused character has to invest in a number of things to be a top-tier fighter and weapon skill is only one part of that. Things you have to buy include:

Fray skill (as much as possible)
High aptitudes (REF, COO, SOM, and WIL - don't want to go crazy when fighting exsurgents)
Multiple weapon skills (never know when you need a Freezer or have to rely on a Diamond Axe or your fists)
Perception (detect ambushes)
Infiltration (ambush others)
Demolitions (disarm mines etc.)
High end morph
Implants
Weapons and armor
Traits like high pain threshold and ambidexterity

Characters in Eclipse Phase are more durable than say Call of Cthulhu characters, but combat is usually very nasty and brutal unless you have a very easygoing GM.

Being able to accurately hit enemies for a fairly low CP cost has been part of Eclipse Phase since the beginning. It does not break combat unless your enemies are felled by 1 shot and that isn't the case most of the time.

Mephil Mephil's picture
clockworkjoe wrote:

clockworkjoe wrote:

Cover usually means you lean out to shoot and then pull back behind the cover. If you're hanging out there the entire time, then you can't really take advantage of it, can you? The rules don't explicitly describe whether using cover counts as a Quick Action or not though. So even if you can, that's a +10.

Shooting from cover comes with a -10 penalty to hit, so aiming merely evens this out to a +0 modifier. So you should very well be able to stay behind cover and shoot/aim. Its not that you suddenly jump out of cover and charge them, you kind of huddle up behind your safe place and fire off a few rounds while you peek out. Sure, you might expose SOME of your body, but most of it is behind cover.

-10 to hit your opponent because you have an awkward position
-10 to BE hit by your opponent because you are behind cover.

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clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
From the rules:

From the rules:

Aiming is a special case in that it is a Quick Action but requires a degree of concentration that rules out other minor actions. If you wish to aim before making an attack in the same Action Phase, aiming is the only Quick Action you may make during that Action Phase.

So if you quick aim, you *can't* take any other quick actions. Given that small moves like drawing a weapon counts as a quick action, I could see using cover counting as a quick action OR if you quick aim and use cover, it counts as minor cover, regardless of what you're behind.

It's clear from the rules that you aren't supposed to be moving *at all* when quick aiming.

Acatalepsy Acatalepsy's picture
Mephil wrote:So everyone CAN

Mephil wrote:
So everyone CAN use them. And if you pay 5 CP (or I guess 5 REZ?) you can do it easier than others.

If it was a -10 penalty for those without the trait (or, better, +10/+20 bonus to those with the trait), then you'd have a point. But a -20/-30 is pretty damned bad considering that, on average, someone who has "experience from professional-level work, some advanced training" is a 50. While someone could in principle execute the trick, it would take several tries and have pretty good odds of landing them in hot water if they fail; they are very unlikely to actually attempt it in practice. It seems like having a 5CP trait give a +10 or +20 for the 'trick' is a much better solution, and an at most -10 for trying it without the trait.

This isn't a war ordinary humans can win. This is the future. Death's an inconvenience, now. Nothing more.

exferior exferior's picture
Socially Graceless:

Socially Graceless:

The flavor is great, but the mechanical effects overlap with the existing trait Incompent way too much to justify a separate trait, in my opinion.

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
LatwPIAT wrote:Anything

LatwPIAT wrote:

Anything related to firearms
There are way too many bonuses to the various firearms skills; Kinetic Weapons and its ilk are already super-easy to powergame; +10 from smartlinks, +10 from homing ammo or a laser pointer, +10 to +30 for aiming, and we're already at +50. Spend 5 CP to specialize in the gun you're going to use, and we reach +60. With a measly base of Kinetic Weapons 40, we can now only miss on a 99.

You're forgetting Fray.

And I'm Kinetic Weapons 40 or so in real life, and I'm not going to miss an aimed shot at close range. That's just the nature of firearms. Under ideal conditions shooters make tiny groupings. I have a light hunting rifle and I can consistently hit small deer in the lungs or heart under field conditions (typically standing with support for the rifle, with wind and range estimated) out to 200 meters. When I was in the army hitting mansized targets with my AR with ironsights at 300 meters was easy.

The system is generally fine numberswise. For added realism it should have modifiers for firing position and you should lose your Fray roll if you were aiming or otherwise stationary, but it really is very easy to hit consistently under ideal conditions.

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Mephil wrote:clockworkjoe

Mephil wrote:
clockworkjoe wrote:

Cover usually means you lean out to shoot and then pull back behind the cover. If you're hanging out there the entire time, then you can't really take advantage of it, can you? The rules don't explicitly describe whether using cover counts as a Quick Action or not though. So even if you can, that's a +10.

Shooting from cover comes with a -10 penalty to hit, so aiming merely evens this out to a +0 modifier. So you should very well be able to stay behind cover and shoot/aim. Its not that you suddenly jump out of cover and charge them, you kind of huddle up behind your safe place and fire off a few rounds while you peek out. Sure, you might expose SOME of your body, but most of it is behind cover.

-10 to hit your opponent because you have an awkward position
-10 to BE hit by your opponent because you are behind cover.

If we're talking real life, you just need the sight line and barrel to clear the cover to shoot, and you can hide pretty much everything but an eye, a small part of the head and your hands behind the cover (tucking your elbow in has little impact on accuracy). From standing and kneeling, the only problem with that is if you're going around a corner on your weak side. Getting a braced firing position is generally difficult though - even at corners on your dominant side you need to reposition a lot to maintain maximum cover. The army taught us that we should go for the better firing position and cover was secondary - it is much easier to hit a small target from a good firing position than to hit a larger target from a poor firing position.

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
Mephil wrote:You are 100%

Mephil wrote:
You are 100% right in what you say...Though... Its really a moot point since you can still reach +60 but I just want to point out that laser sight and smartlink don't stack. (Core: 342, under laser sight)

I said "or", in the sense that you can use smartlinks or a laser sight to get the +10 bonus.

Smokeskin wrote:
And I'm Kinetic Weapons 40 or so in real life, and I'm not going to miss an aimed shot at close range. That's just the nature of firearms. Under ideal conditions shooters make tiny groupings. I have a light hunting rifle and I can consistently hit small deer in the lungs or heart under field conditions (typically standing with support for the rifle, with wind and range estimated) out to 200 meters. When I was in the army hitting mansized targets with my AR with ironsights at 300 meters was easy.

The system is generally fine numberswise. For added realism it should have modifiers for firing position and you should lose your Fray roll if you were aiming or otherwise stationary, but it really is very easy to hit consistently under ideal conditions.

You underestimate yourself; a soldier who is "army rifle certified", at least by the US Army standard, has a hit-probability of about 25% for a human-sized target at 300 meters. If you found it easy, you're probably a much better shot than what EP calls "Kinetic Weapons 40".

Furthermore, my issue isn't that it's too easy to hit 99% of the time, but rather that it's too easy to hit 99% of the time under extreme conditions, once you start stacking these bonuses.

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C-rep +1

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
LatwPIAT wrote:

LatwPIAT wrote:

You underestimate yourself; a soldier who is "army rifle certified", at least by the US Army standard, has a hit-probability of about 25% for a human-sized target at 300 meters. If you found it easy, you're probably a much better shot than what EP calls "Kinetic Weapons 40".

It was 15 years ago, I was much better back then. I shoot less than 50 shots per year now.

25% seems really low for an infantry rifleman, but I guess that's only enough for support functions, and what firing position is that and how long do they have?

Quote:

Furthermore, my issue isn't that it's too easy to hit 99% of the time, but rather that it's too easy to hit 99% of the time under extreme conditions, once you start stacking these bonuses.

What sort of situation do you think is unrealistic, as an example? I think the system is quite reasonable.

Solar Solar's picture
Incidentally, with regards to

Incidentally, with regards to AI socialization

You can quite easily make a social networking infomorph current, and this just makes it far, far easier.

Sav of twenty, easy. Socialization and Social Butterly (already one of the best traits in the game for cost effectiveness by far). First Impression as well, let's go with that. Lets play an autonomist as well, for laughs.

So right now we have a networking of 20+10+10+30 = (70) and if we deal with someone we haven't talked to before, we are on 80. Other networking skills are defaulting at 40 with 50 if we haven't met them before, and that's assuming that our background hasn't given us bonuses there as well.

much as I do absolutely love AGI socialization as my longest running character is an AGI who would totally take that, even I have to admit that it makes the infolife downsides pretty weak. It's not even that hard to build up really good regular social skills, especially if you get a morph with pheremones and a SAV bonus. We're looking at 40-60 base easily without even having to spend skill points.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Hi. I would have commented

--Comments--

AGI Socialization - I think that this trait's focus is too narrow. Why can only AGIs learn it? Why can only they learn it at character creation? Why does it only work when used on humans, and not transhuman subspecies like uplifts, or AGIs?

If the issue is a problem with the "Infolife" background not being able to learn social skills easily, then maybe this trait should be revised to allow the AGI to learn 1 social skill to up to a rating of 40 at no cp penalty (during character creation).

If AGIs have some special advantage when learning such a trait, then please mention why. Otherwise I'm left wondering why other subspecies of transhumanity can't learn it.

Brinker Solitude - This trait feels like the character has the attitude of "Fuck off! I work best alone.". The whole +10 bonus when no one is able to physically aid the character in question is the reason why I get that impression. Such bonus literally means that when alone, they work better. It makes it the character's dominant strategy to rudely tell its allies to leave him alone. Its like the character would rather face the TITAN monsters alone than to accept help.

I think it would make more sense that there were certain tasks that could be done alone, but works best if you had 1 or more people to assist you. Not having aid should apply a penalty to such tasks. Then there would be an opening for traits that could negate some of those penalties.

If you wanted to show that the character works best alone, then maybe you should make a negative trait (or several) that does that. The character in question would suffer penalties when someone was around that could be a source of distractions "I can't work when you are looking over my shoulders!".

I think the name should be something like "Don't look over my shoulders", "Leave me alone. You're distracting me.", or "Works best alone".

*Note: I've provided a few example negative traits below.

Drug Fiend - This trait got my attention. I've made a few characters that use drugs to enhance mental or combat performance. This would allow such characters to push themselves further and recover more easily.

Information Wants to Have Fun - I have a slight problem with this trait. It is because it applies a penalty to interacting with a group of people who are not the target of this specialization. Perhaps the base bonus should be +10, but it could be pushed to +20 if the character is willing to suffer a penalty to everyone else.

I'm also thinking that this trait could be revised so it could be taken many times, each time it applies to a different subgroup of transhumans like uplift apes or uplift octopi.

Introspective Forker - This is a trait I want to put to use. I have a few characters that like to fork a lot.

Large Frame (morph only) - Too expensive. I think the devs over value the advantage of larger sizes. The ability for a morph to wield a pair of plasma guns 1 handed will not be over looked by the enemy in a fire fight. It is likely that the larger morph will be first to be targeted. Without improved defensive ability, it the morph will likely to go down quickly.

Mod Spotter - I have a character that knows morphs. This character is the kind of person who might run up to someone and ask about the person's morph. I can see my character running up to a guy who has a few hidden weapon implants (and is not in a friendly mood) so he could ask him about his hidden implants.

However, this character doesn't have much ranks in Kinesics, but it does has many ranks in Interest: Morphs (it fits the character concept). I'm wondering if this interest skill would work fine with this trait instead of Kinesics.

Also, how would this trait work with enhance senses? Some senses, like enhanced vision, can allow a character to see right through a synthmorph. Would that enable a character with this trait to try to find hidden implants in a synthmorph? I think its worth considering.

Repurposing Specialist - One of my characters is a very techie character. This character would love this trait. However, I think that these tasks should be possible to do without this trait, maybe at some penalty of course.

Smart Animal Training - I think that these traits are over valued and cost too much. In a typical firewall game, you may end up being egocasted all over the place, requiring you to leave your valuable pets behind. In order to benefit from these traits once more, you will need some down time to train a new bunch of new smart animals. Some habs don't have animals, so you are out of luck then.

I think you would be better off with robots and robot traits. Robots can be built nearly everywhere.

Specialist Guru - Why can a character only select this trait only once. Can't a character be well known for many things?

Titanian Microcorp Owner - Too narrow in scope. Are Titanians the only ones that have people who own their own businesses? Perhaps this skill should be renamed "Small business Owner" so it could be used elsewhere.

My other issue with this trait is it distorts the value of cp. It literally doubles the amount of credits a character can get from cp. Things like this makes my inner munchkin restless.

Faulty Education - When I read this trait, I recalled another trait called "Lemon" (from the core rulebook). I wonder if an automatic failure is appropriate for a trait such as this, or if the character should be allowed to make a moxie roll (like with the Lemon trait) to notice its error.

Firewall Rival - Too narrow in scope. I think it should be renamed "Allied Rival" and make a few adjustments so that it may be applied to other organizations.

In Debt - I do not like this trait. It drains several times the cp that it gives when selected at character creation. I do not like things that drain experience points in any form. My inner munchkin would never let me take a trait such as this.

Intense Relationship - Another an experience point sink... even worse than "In Dept".

In the event you devs decide to keep this trait anyways, I think that this trait should have an escape clause. The "In Dept" trait allows the character to eventually pay off the people it is in dept to, but this trait does not appear to do the same. Like "In Dept", I think that once the character spends at least 2 to 3 times the cp (making it up to those who are the focus of the relationship) on this trait than what the character got in the first place, that the character gets over its guilt issues (at least to a manageable level) and no longer has to keep wasting cp. I think this escape clause is important because at sufficiently intense levels, the character might not be getting enough cp to advance the character at all.

Low Gravity Adaptation (morph only) - Bad name. Reading it, and the first impression I get is that it should provide an advantage in low gravity environments. It does not do that. The fact it makes you vulnerable in higher gravity environments is most unexpected. I would rename it to something like "High Gravity Vulnerability" or "Gravity Intolerance".

Muse Phobia - Another problem with the name. I would rename it to "Mesh Phobia" to reflect that the character can't seem to handle the mesh right and that it finds Muses disturbing. Maybe I would break this trait into 2 parts, one for finding muses disturbing, and another that would be uncomfortable with remaining connected to the mesh. When forced to use the mesh, the mesh phobic character suffers a penalty.

Also, does this trait only apply to Muses, or does any infomorph that serves the character as a mush also a problem?

--Suggested Negative Traits--

Can't work with others (5 cp) - The character with this negative trait doesn't work well with others. This character can't benefit from teamwork bonuses. The character may be overly critical of help from others, or simply refuses to accept help. Also this character's aid is more hurtful than helpful. Any time the character tries to offer help in the form of a teamwork bonus, the character applies a -10 penalty to the test instead. The character may be aware of this problem and simply opts to not to get in the way of others, or may be unaware or unwilling to consider itself a problem and simply thinks that everyone else is incompetent.

Finds others distracting (10 cp) - The character with this trait finds that people who are not helping are distracting. They could be looking over the character's shoulder as the character works, or maybe they are making annoying sounds. No matter what they are doing, this character will find something about them that is annoying. Its possible that the character can be distracted through the mesh as well. The character has difficulty doing tasks that take a minute or more to complete when other people are being distracting. Having 1 person as a distraction applies a -10 penalty to all such tests, 3 people applies a -20, 10 or more people applies a -30 penalty.

Mesh Phobia (5 cp) - The character can't seem to mesh with the... err... mesh. For what ever the odd reason is, the character prefers to be disconnected from the mesh and avoids using it at all times. The character also suffers a -10 penalty when using the mesh due its discomfort with it.

Muse Phobia (5 cp) - The character finds Muses frightening and/or very uncomfortable to be around. The character will seek to avoid using a muse when ever possible. In times that it can not avoid using a muse, the character suffers 1d10 + 2 SV every 24 hours.

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
One thing to note about a few

One thing to note about a few traits like Titanian Microcorp Owner: Rez Points are only earned through gameplay - while they spend the same as CP, they are not CP.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Nice catch. I didn't notice

Nice catch. I didn't notice the distinction that it said rez points and not cp. Most of the time, cp is equal to rez, but in this case it seems that the difference actually matters.

Still, I don't think many people will notice that. The similarities between cp and rez is so strong (they're practically used for the same things and in the same ways so often), that the devs will probably going to need to specifically mention that the Titanian Microcorp Owner is only useful *after* character creation and that you can't use it to double your credits before the game begins.

Fion Ravenwater Fion Ravenwater's picture
Not much to say, not having

Not much to say, not having played with the stuff yet, but Mod Spotter seems off to me. Kinesics seems like a good skill to use for the spotting but Deception doesn't seem right at all for the counter. From what the core book has to say about it Deception seems like an entirely social skill, dealing with actually deceiving people.

I'd say it should stay Kinesics on the spotters' end but I'm not sure what the defending skill would be. Logically it should be the skill of whoever made the morph or installed the hidden hardware, but that's not exactly easy to implement. I guess you could key it to Disguise if the person has made their own effort to hide the mods, but that still feels off as even if you're not good at disguise well-hidden mods should still be difficult to see.

ScienceGuy ScienceGuy's picture
Skills vs Traits

One of the things our gaming group really likes about the Eclipse Phase system is that many of the skills are pretty broad in remit.

I really like that that some of the new traits (eg. Cleaner, Freerunning Tricks, Mod Spotter, Repurposing Specialist, the Smart Animal ones, Trick Shot, Tacnet Sniper, Unarmed Combat Skills) give us additional options for using various skills, but I think I'd prefer if these were just given in a separate section on expanded skill use. Doesn't seem like they need to be specific traits, per se.

Myrmidont Myrmidont's picture
Skill tricks

Hi, just took a look at some things at a glance (cue groans from the more experienced).

With skill tricks, like Freerunning Tricks, Trick Shot or Unarmed Combat Techniques, I feel like there should be a minimum score (say, Freerunning/Kinetic Weapons/Unarmed 30 without morph or gear bonuses) or something.
Otherwise it is possible to create a character who buys a freerunning trick, but who doesn't actually have any skill points in the relevant skill (relying only on their aptitude score, gear bonuses etc).
I feel that skill tricks are something that only someone somewhat practised in the use of that skill would be able to achieve.

Brinker Solitude
The trait specifies "when no ally can physically rescue or aid the character", but what about aid from remote/non-physical sources? I would change this to "when no ally can physically rescue or aid the character, or is providing a teamwork bonus to their actions, even player characters".

Repurposing Specialist
If my player could justify it, I would allow this kind of use from the Scrounging + Hardware/Programming skills anyway, with a suitable penalty. Perhaps this Trait should just reduce or eliminate negative modifiers from working with or creating improvised gear.

Tacnet Sniper
This Trait is intended to only be usable with weapons that can be fired around obstacles, not straight through them, yes?
Perhaps rename it to "Tacnet Curve Shot" or "Tacnet Ricochet" rather than "Tacnet Sniper" if it is meant for Indirect Fire.
As it is, it stirs the image of a guy with a 12.5mm sniper rifle shooting straight through walls rather than someone able to send a shot around them, as going through the walls has different mechanics.

[@-rep +0|c-rep +0|f-rep +0|g-rep +0|i-rep +0|r-rep +0|x-rep +0]

Enigma32 Enigma32's picture
Thoughts

I like the "intense relationship". My very first thought was, "hey, that's one of the defining traits of the main character in my novel." It seems to me like that would actually be better served as a mental illness trait - in particular, I read it as being a form of Dependent Personality Disorder. I may just have been reading that into it when it wasn't there given that I'm coming at it from that angle. Approaching it from this angle, here's my thoughts on it.

Spoiler: Highlight to view

When the character is away from their source of comfort (I'd be careful defining this, too, since some creative players may make their muse an informorph alpha fork of their support structure, thus negating the effects of this. I would halve the point value if the emotional crutch is their muse in some fashion):

Level 1, I'd multiple all stress values by 1.5x when they're not near their emotional support. They're capable of resisting the stress and functioning on their own, but when it hits them, it hits them. They're not mentally prepared to deal with the stress when they're without their living security blanket. Should something happen to their security blanket (even if they see their loved one/bff/whateve) die - knowing death is not permanent - they automatically suffer d10+2 SV (this is not affected by the normal multiplier). Even if you know that it isn't permanent, it's still traumatizing to see someone rip the arm off of the stuffed animal that you grew up with. Same theory is at work here - it's still highly upsetting and traumatizing to see something that you care about and depend upon to be killed or destroyed, even if you can put it back together. I'd probably set this at -15 points.

Level 2 sees all stress values doubled. Not only that, but they suffer a -10 penalty to all checks to avoid stress, since they're not emotionally equipped to handle the real world and, given the opportunity, they'd retreat into their living security blanket and forget about everything, letting their support make all of the major decisions for them. Should their emotional support end up getting knocked off, they suffer d10+5 SV automatically (not affected by the 2x multiplier) and they automatically pick up one short-termed derangement, even if they wouldn't normally from the SV. This would probably be -20 points.

Level 3 is probably not needed, since the character breaks rather quickly when you multiple stress values by 2.5x and the character suffers a -20 penalty to all checks to avoid stress. If their security blanket is destroyed, they suffer d10+5 SV automatically that is affected by the multiplier. I would add that they pick up one free mental illness, but even at a minimum roll, this is still 15 SV, which is probably more than enough to push someone well over the edge. This is -25/-30 points.

I'd exempt some types of stress here. For instance, the stress you get from seeing the Pandora Gates - that's not necessarily emotional stress, and the way I read that, it's less tapping into fear and more "the geometry breaks my break trying to comprehend it" (in classic Lovecraftian form). Stress that isn't directly related to some emotion or important decision I would avoid apply this too. Since there isn't a lot of that kind of stress, though, this can be a very dangerous flaw in the hands of a sadistic GM.

"If we succeed, we're geniuses for doing it. If we fail, we're stupid for trying it. If we succeed beyond our goal and our dreams, we're insane for reaching so high and getting there."

Mr Purple Mr Purple's picture
Thoughts

Well, my response doesn't fit neatly into the questions framework, so I'll post it here instead.

Just taken a look at the material, so far.
Here are my thoughts:

Overall there are some nice effects, but many seem to be tied to specific character concepts. Murder Simulator Addict is a good example of this kind of fluff. Perhaps an approach of generic traits and guidelines as to how characters gained them, and what to call them, may make them more useful to more players.

The Iffy
Repurposing Specialist is great: Perhaps the mechanics should adjust the time frame of a roll, however, instead of making the roll possible at all. After all someone with the right hardware skills and scrounging should be able to do this kind of thing.

Proprietary Tech is also nice and flavorful, but again it might be better as a time frame modifier.
Unarmed Combat tricks might be better served by being split into two sections: An Advanced Unarmed Combat section and traits that reduce penalties, in a similar manner to how the more complex Ranged Combat system currently works.

Factional Expertise should probably explicitly not stack with specialisations, and may be better with a +10 bonus.

The Bad
TITAN Hunter and Exsurgent Survivor make the TITANs and Exsurgents seem less alien, less terrifying, which is a bad thing for me.

Freerunning Tricks replacing skills devalues those skills (especially climbing), and the -20 penalty comes across as a just a little steep for the others.

Rez point sinks: Trading Rez for CP only works for certain kinds of games, plus can be hard to justify at times, though personally Anything that changes Rez expenditure is something I'd try hard to avoid. The traits themselves have a nice flavor, but could possibly be better handled as modifiers to reputation rolls (kinda like an inverse Guru), stress values, or other mechanical effects.

The Terrible
AGI Socialization: The AGI costs multiplier was, IMHO, a terrible idea to begin with. If this is designed to counter that then possibly removing the double and half costs would be a better use of the trait.

The Great
Specialist Guru is a great idea, and makes it possible to have characters that have a low general rep but are still recognised as highly capable in a field which was something I found lacking before.

Faulty Education is nice and flavorful, perhaps some guidelines on whether the GM should tell the player the check failed would be nice, however.

Phoenix, Trusting Heart and Introspective Forker are also really cool ideas.

Hailspork Hailspork's picture
Brinker Solitude: Brinker

Brinker Solitude: Brinker only? Also, this seems like an overly potent reward for a behavior that's usually discourage at RPG's. I like the part about the stress test bonus, but I think the all-inclusive +10 to skills is a bit excessive. Perhaps instead, ignore 1 trauma or wound while working alone on something? Also, perhaps this should come with a -5 penalty or so to giving or receiving teamwork?

Cleaner: This seems like an application to existing skills that a good GM would already allow. I like the rules here, but I think they'd be better off in a section expanding existing skills than a special trait.

Freerunning tricks: I really like the flavor here. However, I think Silent Freerunning is a bit too powerful. As it is, it completely replaces infiltration in a really common environment. Perhaps instead, it could serve as a complementary skill to infiltration in that setting? That would still provide a hefty bonus with decent flavor.

Large Frame: I agree with everybody else; this seems a bit too pricy. That said, in combination with the new morph design rules, it would only be 5 CP, which seems about right. Perhaps if this were a trait for design only? It makes sense that you'd have to custom-tailor your morph to get it this large...

Repurposing Specialist: Like Cleaner, this is one that I think could be included as an expansion on existing skill rather than a trait. I like the flavor, but I don't think you should need a trait to pull this off.

Smart Animal Combat Trainer: Again, this seems like something the Animal Handling skill would already cover; well, aside from the damage and init bonuses. I could definitely see the trait keeping the bonuses, but making the rest of it folded into the skill itself.

Specialist Guru: I like it, but it needs an example. Otherwise, people seem to be confused.

Titanian Microcorp Owner: Must be Titanian? Also, wouldn't they earn Kroners instead of credits? Perhaps instead, 1 rez can be spent for both 5 @rep and 1000 credits?

Faulty Education: This is a huge penalty for a huge cost. Overall, I think it's a little extreme. Perhaps only 20CP and is balanced by a moxie roll to mitigate the error into a trivial (but perhaps humorous) mistake? Similar to the existing Lemon trait.

Acatalepsy Acatalepsy's picture
Honestly, traits like TITAN

Honestly, traits like TITAN Hunter and Exsurgent Survivor don't seem like they make Exsurgents any less terrifying. Okay, so you don't go completely nuts at the sight of one, but they are still ridiculously powerful, dangerous entities who can offer fates far worse than death in a setting where death has become an inconvenience. I can understand why some people wouldn't like them, but not every game has to be about the horror of encountering these sorts of lifeforms. And, objectively speaking, someone who has run into these things before, has intellectually accepted their existence and has survived encounters with them before is going to be better prepared to handle facing them. Human minds are adaptable, transhuman minds even more so. I actually had a homebrew trait in one game called "in the know" which gave the players who took it a basic knowledge of what the Exsurgent is, and gave basically that same bonus.

If you want to run a game where the players might face Exsurgents/TITANs and you want them to be basically clueless about them, reacting like lovecraftian protagonists encountering an Elder Sign - where Exsurgents and TITANs basically are Cthulhu-esque cosmic horrors, well, that's fine. If you want to have a game where the players job is to confront these sorts of things on a semi-regular basis, that's fine too, and it makes sense that characters would have, to some degree, gotten over it. If you're running the former game, just don't allow anyone to take the traits in question; regardless of whether or not you'd personally use it, they aren't bad traits.

This isn't a war ordinary humans can win. This is the future. Death's an inconvenience, now. Nothing more.

LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
Acatalepsy wrote:Honestly,

Acatalepsy wrote:
Honestly, traits like TITAN Hunter and Exsurgent Survivor don't seem like they make Exsurgents any less terrifying. Okay, so you don't go completely nuts at the sight of one, but they are still ridiculously powerful, dangerous entities who can offer fates far worse than death in a setting where death has become an inconvenience.

Backup from a non-violent death is 1d10/2 SV. Slightly more than "an inconvenience", I'd think.

Acatalepsy wrote:
I can understand why some people wouldn't like them, but not every game has to be about the horror of encountering these sorts of lifeforms. And, objectively speaking, someone who has run into these things before, has intellectually accepted their existence and has survived encounters with them before is going to be better prepared to handle facing them. Human minds are adaptable, transhuman minds even more so.

There are already rules for mental hardening in the core book. It's somewhat more expensive than this trait - not to mention this trait reduces the downsides of the existing hardening-rules significantly.

Acatalepsy wrote:
If you're running the former game, just don't allow anyone to take the traits in question; regardless of whether or not you'd personally use it, they aren't bad traits.

They're traits I'll have to houserule away in order to be able to maintain the horror-tension in a game that styles itself as a horror game.

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Acatalepsy Acatalepsy's picture
LatwPIAT wrote:Backup from a

LatwPIAT wrote:
Backup from a non-violent death is 1d10/2 SV. Slightly more than "an inconvenience", I'd think

More than an inconvenience, but less than, you know, death. It's stressful, but stress 1d10/2 SV is something that is fixed in less than day of therapy. With a violent death, it's something that's fixed in half a week.

LatwPIAT wrote:
There are already rules for mental hardening in the core book. It's somewhat more expensive than this trait - not to mention this trait reduces the downsides of the existing hardening-rules significantly.

I didn't see any way to take any form of hardening at chargen. It's marginally more expensive (in the form of a point of moxie, 15 CP vs 10 CP) and it's more total. I mean, succeed on five will tests and pay 5 CP and then you're immune to stress from that particular source (though I suppose we can change how broad or narrow we are about defining a source, and that might make a difference). This is a +10 bonus; on a 15 WIL character it's the difference between a 45% chance of passing the test and a 55% chance. This is not, I think, a big deal, even if you want to keep Exsurgents as mindbending horrors.

LatwPIAT wrote:
They're traits I'll have to houserule away in order to be able to maintain the horror-tension in a game that styles itself as a horror game.

They're traits that I have to houserule into existence in order to maintain player functionality in a game that gives "you go around hunting Exsurgent monsters" as the default campaign. It's easier to say "no, you can't have [trait] or [gear] or [character type] because it doesn't fit in my campaign" than it is to create entirely new traits, gear, or character types from scratch.

This isn't a war ordinary humans can win. This is the future. Death's an inconvenience, now. Nothing more.

Solar Solar's picture
I always wonder to what

I always wonder to what extent other groups actually use the stress rules

because we don't and never have, we just rely on RP, and it works really well

essentially, someone who wants to RP that stuff properly doesn't need the SAN system, and someone who doesn't want to do that isn't going to do it just because the SAN system says so. If they do, they probably won't like it.

Regardless, the best traits there I think are Phoenix, Introspective Forker and Specialist Guru. Unique, interesting elements that let you do something beyond what the existing skill system and so on allow. Even in the case of flat bonuses, it's nice to be able to say "my character has average wil or whatever, but they find resleeving much easier."

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I was meaning to address this

I was meaning to address this sanity and horror stuff sooner, but I'm not familiar with the whole trope.

The problem I have with sanity systems is, they seem to be designed to make people crazy and do so at the worst possible moments. They also seem to make people unusually mentally fragile. While there may be real life instances where people have been crippled by fear, I think these systems seem to be designed to make people crack and go nuts far more often than what would happen in real life (again I'm not familiar with this trope so I could be wrong).

Personally, I prefer to do away with the system and the themes. I don't quite understand why looking at a pandora gate, with its weird shape and stuff, and somehow become disturbed by the process. I also think that natural selection would help to remove those people who would crack when faced with TITAN horrors from the gene pool. Also transhumanity is supposed to be better than regular old humanity. So yeah, I don't think this should be the game for Lovecraft style horror.

Overall, I'm in favor of anything that weakens or remove the sanity rules, and removes the things I don't like about them.

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