Hello all, and welcome to my first report since the beta release of our new character system! First of all, I wanted to thank all of you guys for your input, both positive and negative, on our new system. My team and I are hard at work on a variety of updates, but this week coincides not only with the return of the Crusades, but the return to school. I have a major symposium I am participating in next week, and prep is eating most of my free time.
Arion has been doing amazing work on the ACC site, and I’ve been very happy with his progress. We’ve done some internal testing of a variety of functions and it looks promising. We should have some cool new features, but our primary goal is to bring back compelling storytelling to the ACC. You’ll have more details on that in the near future.
I’m extremely happy with how the system has been received by membership. By and large the feedback has been amazing, and quite positive. I think a lot of the issues are things that will be sorted out as my team and I work through fixing up descriptions and clarifying issues. Please keep playing around with the system and getting us feedback!
I’m going to go over a few questions I’ve gotten recently, or that came from the comment thread on my announcement post, starting with one that I think is particularly important. Because some of these come from the anonymous comment form, I’ll be paraphrasing.
First of all, for this round, they won’t. Beyond that, I’ll let the Voice do the talking here:
“The intent is to never limit a member of our club's ability to write fiction unless they are breaking the system or ignoring the rules of the ACC. A simple example would be PRT Joker utilizing flow walking while shooting force lightning at Muz. We don't want that. Ronovi writing about her knowledge of lore from her experience at the Shadow Academy is both logical, normal, and expected. I think you can expect common sense to rule the day.”
I want to highlight the last line in particular. While I personally feel that these character sheets are an excellent place for a member to highlight what he or she thinks his or her character is best at, this is as much to help other members write about that character as it is to guide a member.
We chose to cap skill tiers for a handful of reasons. One of these is that I have taken the approach that rank is directly related to a character’s experience. Obviously, characters have experiences before joining the Brotherhood, and I encourage members to make use of Aspects to reflect this. Furthermore, we have renamed Skill Level 2 to “Trained” to reflect the actual idea behind that tier. At “Trained” in a skill, someone has basic to some more advanced training in the skill, and is generally pretty competent in its general usages. I also want to clarify that these tiers are extremely wide. Skill Level 3 is Proficient; this isn’t meant to be just that you’re “capable,” with a skill, but that you are actually very talented with it and are something of a veteran with its usages, and for all practical purposes could make a very good living with it (e.g. you are a professional). We are working to clarify this in Skill and FP descriptions. MANY skills have Feats that augment them, and if your favorite skill is missing a Feat, contact me about that and we can work on one together. Finally, Aspects are a great way to show your character’s preference and ability towards skills. While I discourage Aspects that just say “My dude rocks as a pilot!”, you can use them to explain a level of comfort and familiarity with your favorite craft that can understandably impart additional ability in that craft.
You’re right, it is… and it isn’t anymore. Lore now functions like linguistics. So, pick it up if you want it. Also, it is now “usable untrained”, in other words, everyone’s character can have some basic knowledge. That includes things like the current era in the Star Wars universe, recent history, and lore about the Dark Brotherhood. If you have an old Lore Skill, please update your CS to the new format!
For people that want to know what to do about proposing a species: 1a) First of all, review it's Wookieepedia article. Identify what the race is good at, what it is bad at, and why for each. If possible, have multiple options. 1b) If your race is in SWRPG source material that you have access to, try to draw from that. Include as much information from the source material as possible when you email us about it. If you don't have access to it, mention where you think the race details can be found so we can have someone look it up :) 2) Next, head on over to the Beta Character System document which contains Species and the feats they have. Take a look at the general setup. Note that I am very reluctant to grant perks to races that boost Might, Intellect, Resolve, Endurance, or Athletics unless it is situational. Perks and flaws should both be so minor as to note be the defining reason a person chooses a Species, but a nice flavor bonus for doing so. 3) Try to throw out some suggestions of perks and flaws based on Skills and the like that we have right now. 4) Write up what the species is good at, bad at, and why, along with proposals you have for perks and flaws, what source materials you used, and anything else relevant to your request, and email it to myself, Wally, and Sarin.
Think of them primarily as comparative limitations. The limitations on ranged Force Powers is a good example of this, wherein ranged powers are less accurate and less powerful the further they are used from a target when no feats are involved. Sorcerers largely overcome this limitation. However, a character’s feat and Aspect choice makes a big difference here, so one shouldn’t assume Sorcerers are the only ranged combatants. For instance, Juggernauts and Marauders need not be melee characters, and it is best to examine a potential opponent’s Feats and Aspects for preferences in combat, rather than assuming that a Marauder will always try to close gaps. No everyone that uses Force Powers at range is going to be a Sorcerer by any means... but those that are Sorcerers are going to be quite skilled at delivering Force attacks at range effectively. So, if you are a character with no feats in a particular set of Force Powers, and you are facing off against a Sorcerer, when kept at range, that Sorcerer would be more accurate and cause more damage to you, all things being equal.
"[23:00] <Roxas> Will anything for Sith Spawn be added? Or maybe Mandalorian specific?"
Not as of yet, but it's a possibility for the future. For Mandos, a few people are already incorporating them into Aspects. I'm not against figuring out ways to include Sith Spawn and Mando-based stuff, so if you have ideas, let me know.
"[23:01] <ArdenKarn> My largest curiousity, that hasn't already been addressed to death in the comments is thus : Why do away with statistics all together?"
The decision here was made for a few reasons. First, we felt that our skill set accurately reflected whether an individual was, relatively speaking, above average in a particular physical or mental category. Furthermore, we wanted to shift focus from absolute stat comparisons - e.g., comparing 17 to 19 - and towards something that was more context and character driven. It's clear from our scores that characters are far above average in a category, but the condensing of point spread was done deliberately to force considerations of context, and also to help members visualize a bit better that proper context can make almost anything possible in this system.
[23:21] <@`Invictus> What are the chances of rearranging the system for alotting skills (as opposed to Force Powers). Have any other methods been considered and, if so, what were they and why were they disgarded?
We have looked into other options, but as I mentioned, we really want to stress that we want skill tiers to be tied to experience. Because of that, we needed some measure of experience. Other options were time in the club and prestige... and neither of them seemed like a good option, given that prestige can decrease, and time in the club is something that doesn't necessarily indicate anything relating to activity. Also, [23:25] <Muz> both of those suck and i told him no. :P
I’m going to take this chance to highlight a couple really nice characters sheets from two members: Dark Jedi Master Keirdagh Taldrya Cantor and Dark Jedi Knight Atyiru Araave. This will become somewhat of a regular fixture to my report; I'll be on the lookout for really good CSes that come through the door, and if you think you know of someone's that fits this bill, let me know. The goal here is to showcase the kind of diversity of characters that you can construct with these sheets, and the wealth of information they can convey. For Yacks and Atty's excellent work, they have both earned a shiny new Dark Cross!
When reading Keirdagh’s character sheet, it becomes immediately clear that he is an incredible pilot, even if we don’t see his +5 in piloting small and medium vessels. From his Aspect about being a pilot to his choice of a Feat dealing with piloting (Leaf on the Wind), Keirdagh’s preference towards and capability in space combat are clear, making him a deadly foe to anyone in space. On top of that, we also get an idea of how Keirdagh would behave leading his troops, both on and off the battlefield, and how he’d probably seem towards others. Who would have thought that Keirdagh would apparently border on arrogance. ;)
Atyiru’s character is clearly not the darkest of individuals. Beyond her various Aspects that point to a forgiving, optimistic individual, we also see how Atyiru would behave in group combat situations. Her skills compliment her general character archetype, and overall we could imagine Atyiru as a character that is eager to support and help others, no matter the cost.
I'll be pulling the Changelog from the Character System Beta Reference Document to put into each of my reports so that members can see some of the changes to our character sheet system that have happened since my last report. I've also included a few of the coding changes James has implemented for the system which I think are relevant to either the other staff working on this system, or the members.
|Date||Changed By||Type||Area of CS||Change text|
|8/22/2013||Mav||Errata||Language||"Reading ancient Sith" is acceptable as a language (assuming points in Linguistics - so skill name may need to be changed.|
|8/22/2013||Mav||Errata||Language||If being a Mandalorian is mentioned as an Aspect, even with +0 Linguistics, a member may have Mando'a as a language.|
|8/26/2013||Mav||Errata||Language||(+0) in Linguistics assumes knowledge of Galactic Basic, so long as your species is capable of learning it.|
|8/29/2013||Mav||Species||Species||Pantoran, Arkanian added|
|8/29/2013||James||Coding||Wizard||Lore Skill Updated|
|8/29/2013||James||Coding||Approval||Can now "Approve with comments" on CSes.|
|8/29/2013||Mav||Errata||Lore||Lore skills are now chosen by members, and are reflected with a single skill. Each level grants additional lore topics.|
|8/29/2013||Mav||Errata||Feat||Updated Elementary to properly display that level in Sense matters with it's usage.|
|8/29/2013||James||Coding||Skills||Skill Rank Tier 2 is now "Trained."|
|8/29/2013||Mav||Species||Species||Epicanthix added - Note: Perks will be added soon|
As always, I’m available any time, by email or IRC. Please continue giving us feedback and letting me know what you like or don't like!
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