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My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience

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Offline Thee Forsaken One

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My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« on: July 31, 2011, 08:29:39 PM »
I thought this would be a good place just to give my feedback on working with the beta pdf on creating a character.

The character creation system is pretty good, in my opinion. I like how it's done and Heroic Traits is a nice little thing to differentiate PCs from NPCs. There are some things which I think could be clearer about it. Really an example character creation would be great for covering any ambiguities and such.

The Apprentice Spell Caster power is really cool, but I have to admit it wasn't until talking directly with the author about it that it finally clicked just how it worked. The multiple buying costs was a little ambiguous at first and took me a some time to understand just what it meant. I love the idea of being able to decide just how much BPs you want to drop on it and that you could theoretically get all the schools you need without buying it for a fourth time if you pay enough for it the first three times. I do think that the costing could be made a little clearer. Perhaps something like this:

Quote
Apprentice Spell Caster (magical)
cost: Varies (See below.)
levels: 1, 3, 8, and 14
Unleashing the might of the unexplained brings glory and adventure. Some may be jealous and others scared, but it does not matter to you.

This unlocks the character’s the ability to know a number of new schools of magic depending on the cost paid:

3 BPs - The character learns one new school of magic.
5 BPs - The character learns two new schools of magic.
7 BPs - The character learns three new schools of magic.
9 BPs - The character learns four new schools of magic.

If purchased at the time of character creation the schools start with 3 points in each. If purchased at levels 2 or above then the schools will start with one point each. Whenever a spell school is raised by increasing the skill, all equal and lower spell schools are also increased by +1.

Note: Once bought, a character cannot put additional BPs towards their current rank of Apprentice Spell Caster without buying a new rank, i.e. if a character buys Apprentice Spell Caster Rank I for 5 BPs, they cannot later spend another 2 BPs to learn a third school. Instead they must by Rank II at 3 BPs if they wish to learn a new school of magic.

That's at least the impression I got from the power. I may have misunderstood its function.

As for how experience works, I think that's fine although I think maybe experience and the chart for how much advances cost in BPs and KPs should be split from character creation. I think they should be given a more prominent place in their own subsection. Perhaps even move from 'Beginning' to the Adventuring section. While on this point, I think character creation should have its own section...

That's just my thoughts. I've not had a chance to run a game yet but I've gone through character creation as well as experimenting with advancing a character so I've got a pretty good grasp (I hope) of how the character generating/powers/experience system works. I couldn't tell you which spells and powers are unbalanced yet, however. I'll need to play a few games for that. :P

Anyway, I hope this all helps. ^^

EDIT: Oh yes, it would be nice of spells had the same detailed description as 'advanced' spells. They have some really cool descriptions of how they work but a lot of the 'basic' spells tend to be just mechanics. I think it's always nice just to have a brief explanation, even if it's only two to three sentences. :)

Offline Age_Past

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Re: My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2011, 07:30:12 AM »
I thought this would be a good place just to give my feedback on working with the beta pdf on creating a character.

The character creation system is pretty good, in my opinion. I like how it's done and Heroic Traits is a nice little thing to differentiate PCs from NPCs. There are some things which I think could be clearer about it. Really an example character creation would be great for covering any ambiguities and such.

The Apprentice Spell Caster power is really cool, but I have to admit it wasn't until talking directly with the author about it that it finally clicked just how it worked. The multiple buying costs was a little ambiguous at first and took me a some time to understand just what it meant. I love the idea of being able to decide just how much BPs you want to drop on it and that you could theoretically get all the schools you need without buying it for a fourth time if you pay enough for it the first three times. I do think that the costing could be made a little clearer. Perhaps something like this:

Quote
Apprentice Spell Caster (magical)
cost: Varies (See below.)
levels: 1, 3, 8, and 14
Unleashing the might of the unexplained brings glory and adventure. Some may be jealous and others scared, but it does not matter to you.

This unlocks the character’s the ability to know a number of new schools of magic depending on the cost paid:

3 BPs - The character learns one new school of magic.
5 BPs - The character learns two new schools of magic.
7 BPs - The character learns three new schools of magic.
9 BPs - The character learns four new schools of magic.

If purchased at the time of character creation the schools start with 3 points in each. If purchased at levels 2 or above then the schools will start with one point each. Whenever a spell school is raised by increasing the skill, all equal and lower spell schools are also increased by +1.

Note: Once bought, a character cannot put additional BPs towards their current rank of Apprentice Spell Caster without buying a new rank, i.e. if a character buys Apprentice Spell Caster Rank I for 5 BPs, they cannot later spend another 2 BPs to learn a third school. Instead they must by Rank II at 3 BPs if they wish to learn a new school of magic.

That's at least the impression I got from the power. I may have misunderstood its function.

As for how experience works, I think that's fine although I think maybe experience and the chart for how much advances cost in BPs and KPs should be split from character creation. I think they should be given a more prominent place in their own subsection. Perhaps even move from 'Beginning' to the Adventuring section. While on this point, I think character creation should have its own section...

That's just my thoughts. I've not had a chance to run a game yet but I've gone through character creation as well as experimenting with advancing a character so I've got a pretty good grasp (I hope) of how the character generating/powers/experience system works. I couldn't tell you which spells and powers are unbalanced yet, however. I'll need to play a few games for that. :P

Anyway, I hope this all helps. ^^

EDIT: Oh yes, it would be nice of spells had the same detailed description as 'advanced' spells. They have some really cool descriptions of how they work but a lot of the 'basic' spells tend to be just mechanics. I think it's always nice just to have a brief explanation, even if it's only two to three sentences. :)

To let you know I have my book document opened now and I am working on just that.  I want to make the rules more clear and I will have a better charts describing character creation.  I am, in fact, dedicating two more whole pages to this!

On the spell descriptions... this may not get done... the reason is that it will take more space and becomes a formatting nightmare, and can get expensive to add more art to cover the area.   I did intend for this and may place a description like the powers have to give some flavor to the spells, but it pushes everything back.  Right now there is exactly enough space for the info for each spell school.

I also will be dedicating more space to explain how actions work.  people are having a difficult time understanding how they work.

Offline Thee Forsaken One

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Re: My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2011, 08:12:02 AM »
Sounds good to me. That sounds like about the right extra space. :)

That's fair enough. I understand it would probably be a massive headache.

You talking about the part with General, Combat, Reflexive actions, etc. I forgot about that... Yeah it's pretty vague, I'm glad you're expanding the explanation on that. ^^;

Offline Thee Forsaken One

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Re: My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2011, 04:44:44 PM »
Though of something else, I know I mentioned it elsewhere but I think a page or something with a list of typical hair colours, names, eye colours, heights, weights and other non-rules impacting characteristics would be useful for character creation. :)

Offline Age_Past

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Re: My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 09:11:16 PM »
Though of something else, I know I mentioned it elsewhere but I think a page or something with a list of typical hair colours, names, eye colours, heights, weights and other non-rules impacting characteristics would be useful for character creation. :)

Okay I'll see what I can do.  If i need a page I could fill a page with this material.  Formatting is silly like that.  Content in controlled by space.  I like random charts that people can choose to use.  I did this with the flaws and people seem to like it.  If they can't decide it easy enough to just roll them up randomly.

I also need a quick reference sheet for all the things you can do... like grapple... you roll this the enemy rolls this...  Printable sheets are key to help players out.

More ideas please!  these are good!

Offline Thee Forsaken One

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Re: My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2011, 11:23:53 PM »
Cool. A few more things that came to mind were ages (Since presumably each race has a different lifespan) and distinctive markings (Like scars, piercings, tattoos). There are probably other things like even randomising what sorts of scars and such but that could be getting a bit silly.

Also now that you mention flaws, I found that the flaw list had some really nice things but was also lacking somewhat. I think there needs to be more flaws.

Offline Age_Past

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Re: My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 07:40:28 PM »
Cool. A few more things that came to mind were ages (Since presumably each race has a different lifespan) and distinctive markings (Like scars, piercings, tattoos). There are probably other things like even randomising what sorts of scars and such but that could be getting a bit silly.

Also now that you mention flaws, I found that the flaw list had some really nice things but was also lacking somewhat. I think there needs to be more flaws.

I think this is a good idea.  I might use it if I have an extra page left over.  Formatting is funny that way!  But I just might be able to do this.  I am also adding a huge new play hook called god marks.  Ill elaborate in another post.

Offline Thee Forsaken One

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Re: My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 07:42:06 PM »
Oooh I like the sound of that. I shall look forward to the post. ^^

David Dostaler

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Re: My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 07:48:41 PM »
Thanks for the great post, The Forsaken One. I pretty much agree with all your suggestions and I think I can see some of the great improvements as a result in my PDF thanks to Mr. Locke. Kudos!

--David

Offline Age_Past

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Re: My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 02:37:00 PM »
Thanks for the great post, The Forsaken One. I pretty much agree with all your suggestions and I think I can see some of the great improvements as a result in my PDF thanks to Mr. Locke. Kudos!

--David

I try to take suggestions seriously.  I implement as much as possible to make a better  product!!

Please submit any ideas that you have!!

David Dostaler

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Re: My Thoughts on Character Creation, Powers and Experience
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2012, 12:29:19 AM »
Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate that. I might just do so. :)

--David