Jump to content


Photo

Character Traits?


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 rogerd

rogerd

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 105 posts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:40 PM

Should BRP, or any of the D100 family have qualities and drawbacks at chargen? If so, how would you do it? What kind of things would you include?

Do you think this would benefit the system at all?

#2 Gollum

Gollum

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 251 posts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:49 PM

Should BRP, or any of the D100 family have qualities and drawbacks at chargen? If so, how would you do it? What kind of things would you include?

Do you think this would benefit the system at all?

Cthulhu by Gaslight has a system of traits that are either advantages or disadvantages. They are rolled at the character creation but could also be chosen. They add bonuses or penalties to some stats or skills.


Some examples :

  • Aged (Disadvantage): Add (1D3+1)x10 years to age; age affects statistics starting at age 30 for EDU, 40 for physical attributes (p. 36 of Call of Cthulhu 6th edition).
  • Ambidextrous: Uses either hand without offhand penalties.
  • Eagle-Eyed: +(2D3)x5% to Spot Hidden.


#3 rogerd

rogerd

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 105 posts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:55 PM

Cthulhu by Gaslight has a system of traits that are either advantages or disadvantages. They are rolled at the character creation but could also be chosen. They add bonuses or penalties to some stats or skills.


Some examples :

  • Aged (Disadvantage): Add (1D3+1)x10 years to age; age affects statistics starting at age 30 for EDU, 40 for physical attributes (p. 36 of Call of Cthulhu 6th edition).
  • Ambidextrous: Uses either hand without offhand penalties.
  • Eagle-Eyed: +(2D3)x5% to Spot Hidden.


I do have that supplement but have not read it yet.....time being what it is and all that. What do you think of the ones in CbG? Are there any others you think could or should be included?

#4 Vexthug

Vexthug

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:47 PM

I've never been a fan of advantages and disadvantages tied mechanically to the character. But I do like them tied to the world. I'm thinking of using fae's fate point concept for my games. The high concept, trouble and aspects help tie the character to the world fellow players and give a short background for the PC. With these aspects you can give the PC some motivations and RP material and dual the fate point economy. You don't have to use the fate system to the extreme that Fae does but does help me make my story and world more engaging for my players. This style of play may not be for everyone, but I like it.

Miles

#5 rogerd

rogerd

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 105 posts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:54 PM

I've never been a fan of advantages and disadvantages tied mechanically to the character. But I do like them tied to the world. I'm thinking of using fae's fate point concept for my games. The high concept, trouble and aspects help tie the character to the world fellow players and give a short background for the PC. With these aspects you can give the PC some motivations and RP material and dual the fate point economy. You don't have to use the fate system to the extreme that Fae does but does help me make my story and world more engaging for my players. This style of play may not be for everyone, but I like it.

Miles


Which Fae RPG is this? Just wanted to know so that I can take a look.

#6 Gollum

Gollum

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 251 posts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 10:26 PM

I do have that supplement but have not read it yet.....time being what it is and all that. What do you think of the ones in CbG? Are there any others you think could or should be included?

Of course. This list is quite short and players will inevitably think to a lot of other traits that are used to depict novel or movie heroes... Some traits of this list could also be modified. Animal empathy is for example presented as a disadvantage (the character is too sweet with animals and let them dominate him). But it could perfectly be regarded as an advantage (the character understand animals better and can make them obey more easily, like a horse whisperer).

Now, as Vexthug wrote it, the most important thing to keep in mind is that traits work better when they are tied to the game world.

I come from GURPS, which is a game in which advantages and disadvantages are an important part of the character creation. Perhaps even the most important one. That is why the list of advantages and disadvantages given in the rules is huge... But even with GURPS, if the game master doesn't select the traits that are available in his game world, and the ones that are forbidden, and if the player doesn't justify the advantages and disadvantages he chooses with a good character background, things inevitably sound odd. Likewise, if players take too many traits, performing them during the game is too hard and, eventually, some of them become just forgotten words on the character sheet...

So, in my humble opinion, a complete list is not the most important.

First because no list can be complete, especially in a universal roleplaying game which can handle SF as well as fantasy. And second, because the best is when a player imagine a trait inspired by the background and that perfectly corresponds to the character he wants. Moreover, best traits are those that are fine tuned, not generic ones that could fit to every character. Two different alcoholic characters doesn't have exactly the same problem with alcohol for instance... One can become very bad tempered while the other one will just make a lot of gaffes and be very clumsy...

Edited by Gollum, 30 January 2014 - 10:30 PM.


#7 Vexthug

Vexthug

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:01 AM

FAE is Fate Accelerated edition of the Fate core rules system from Evil hat games. It's a $5 rule book that's just 50 pages long for a narrative style RPG. There's a lot of games using this system in one form or another, like Icons, Dresdon files. I'm currently running an Icons game and it plays much truer to the super hero genra than any of the other game I've used in the past, like Hero and Mutants&Masterminds in my opinion. But I prefer BRP for my fantasy and sci-fi games they need a little more crunch for me, but I do like to add some narrative elements to them.

Miles

Sorry I forgot to provide a link http://rpg.drivethru...on?term=fate ac
it's a pay what you want for the pdf.

Mining other games for good ideas and adapting them to your favorate system is always worth doing if done right. Why not adapt GURPS adv./diasads to the game
as long as it adds to the enjoyment. for me I would make them up as needed and avoid making a long laundry list of options.

I know OQ2 has a relationship system for things like rivals, enemies and family, and I think RQ6 may have something similer.
but if you want special powers and abilities you can use the super powers and mutations from the BGB to make just about any effect you could want.
Plus you can reflavor battle magic to mimic advantages/feats as well.

Just some thoughts, I would love to see what you guys come up with tho.

Edited by Vexthug, 31 January 2014 - 12:37 AM.


#8 rogerd

rogerd

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 105 posts

Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:14 AM

Of course. This list is quite short and players will inevitably think to a lot of other traits that are used to depict novel or movie heroes... Some traits of this list could also be modified. Animal empathy is for example presented as a disadvantage (the character is too sweet with animals and let them dominate him). But it could perfectly be regarded as an advantage (the character understand animals better and can make them obey more easily, like a horse whisperer).

Now, as Vexthug wrote it, the most important thing to keep in mind is that traits work better when they are tied to the game world.

I come from GURPS, which is a game in which advantages and disadvantages are an important part of the character creation. Perhaps even the most important one. That is why the list of advantages and disadvantages given in the rules is huge... But even with GURPS, if the game master doesn't select the traits that are available in his game world, and the ones that are forbidden, and if the player doesn't justify the advantages and disadvantages he chooses with a good character background, things inevitably sound odd. Likewise, if players take too many traits, performing them during the game is too hard and, eventually, some of them become just forgotten words on the character sheet...

So, in my humble opinion, a complete list is not the most important.

First because no list can be complete, especially in a universal roleplaying game which can handle SF as well as fantasy. And second, because the best is when a player imagine a trait inspired by the background and that perfectly corresponds to the character he wants. Moreover, best traits are those that are fine tuned, not generic ones that could fit to every character. Two different alcoholic characters doesn't have exactly the same problem with alcohol for instance... One can become very bad tempered while the other one will just make a lot of gaffes and be very clumsy...


I sort of agree, and disagree at the same time. For instance somewhere I did invent some rules for bullet-timing in in BRP; basically using three levels of Fast Reflexes and Enhanced Time Sense (originally Gurps and has found it's way into Unisystem thanks to John Snead). As I cannot find it, I'm working from memory. It basically awarded extra Combat Actions, and something else. But yeah, Gurps went too far with advantages and disadvantages and went from a generic game to one over burdened with mechanics that I lost interest.

At the moment I am verging on another system of advantages being relatively simple in nature:
1 point = fingers, toes, eyes
2 points = arms, legs
4 points = torso
8 points = whole body

I've not worked up from there yet into creating other stuff yet.

FAE is Fate Accelerated edition of the Fate core rules system from Evil hat games. It's a $5 rule book that's just 50 pages long for a narrative style RPG. There's a lot of games using this system in one form or another, like Icons, Dresdon files. I'm currently running an Icons game and it plays much truer to the super hero genra than any of the other game I've used in the past, like Hero and Mutants&Masterminds in my opinion. But I prefer BRP for my fantasy and sci-fi games they need a little more crunch for me, but I do like to add some narrative elements to them.

Miles

Sorry I forgot to provide a link http://rpg.drivethru...on?term=fate ac
it's a pay what you want for the pdf.

Mining other games for good ideas and adapting them to your favorate system is always worth doing if done right. Why not adapt GURPS adv./diasads to the game
as long as it adds to the enjoyment. for me I would make them up as needed and avoid making a long laundry list of options.

I know OQ2 has a relationship system for things like rivals, enemies and family, and I think RQ6 may have something similer.
but if you want special powers and abilities you can use the super powers and mutations from the BGB to make just about any effect you could want.
Plus you can reflavor battle magic to mimic advantages/feats as well.

Just some thoughts, I would love to see what you guys come up with tho.


I suspected that you meant Fate Accelerated but didn't want to make any assumptions without confirmation. Now I do have that somewhere on my spare hard drive. Although I have never played in a game, I want to, although I also have things like Savage Worlds and innumerable other stuff that I haven't played - and want to play at some point. Trouble is most sites I try to play on, the RP's just fizzle out rather quickly and unfortunately I don't have time to arrange around the table games.

Although I have across a foreign system - Sistema Daemon. It is in Portugese but if you have Google Chrome it will translate automatically. Interestingly enough it has stats almost identical to BRP family, although it drops Siz in favour of Agility and Perception. Damage bonus is on strength alone. This does have quite a few traits that can be bought at chargen.

Sistema Daemon Fan Creation

Now this is so popular in Brazil (from what I've read as I live in the UK) that even the Devs has been creating fan supplements - the above being one such example.

#9 Gollum

Gollum

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 251 posts

Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:59 AM

I sort of agree, and disagree at the same time. For instance somewhere I did invent some rules for bullet-timing in in BRP; basically using three levels of Fast Reflexes and Enhanced Time Sense (originally Gurps and has found it's way into Unisystem thanks to John Snead). As I cannot find it, I'm working from memory. It basically awarded extra Combat Actions, and something else.

You are right here. There are times where building an advantage in advance rather than on the flow is absolutely necessary to balance things. Something like bullet-timing, for instance, has so many consequences on combats that everybody around the table must agree on what it exactly allows or doesn't allow. And to do that, nothing best than well thought tested rule... in advance.

But yeah, Gurps went too far with advantages and disadvantages and went from a generic game to one over burdened with mechanics that I lost interest.

To be fair, GURPS can be played in a really simply manner once characters are created... 3D6 under the skill and that is almost all. But, indeed, the character creation is what takes a lot of time.

#10 Atgxtg

Atgxtg

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,243 posts

Posted 31 January 2014 - 07:56 PM

Several version of BRP have advantages and flaws, including the Worlds of Wonder and Superworld boxed sets. I think they can benefit the system and campaigns, but they can also be overused and/or abused. Quite a few BRP players and GMs are against them.

Personally I think they help to cover features and abilities that aren't covered or not possible with the standard rules.
Smiley when you say that. :P

#11 rogerd

rogerd

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 105 posts

Posted 04 February 2014 - 09:49 AM

You are right here. There are times where building an advantage in advance rather than on the flow is absolutely necessary to balance things. Something like bullet-timing, for instance, has so many consequences on combats that everybody around the table must agree on what it exactly allows or doesn't allow. And to do that, nothing best than well thought tested rule... in advance.


^ A thousand times this. Now if I could find my frakkin' rules I'd put them up and someone could test them out if they wanted.

To be fair, GURPS can be played in a really simply manner once characters are created... 3D6 under the skill and that is almost all. But, indeed, the character creation is what takes a lot of time.


Yeah, that's quite often the problem that puts people off - chargen. At the end of the day they just want to play and learn the rules later so it needs to be simple from the ground up.

Something I had been thinking about streamlining for BRP too. Maybe have skills split into: Combat, Physical, Mental, Social, Manipulation. Now instead of there being set values, the GM determines whether you start at Dex or Dex X2 etc. Plus then mental skills like Knowledges are a darn site easier, you can either have a basic skill and have a good general knowledge and for each specialisation picked you gain an extra 20% to tests on that. Hell maybe specialisations could be a trait? Although I am not sure that would improve the game quite frankly and you'd be quickly over burdened with lots and lots of traits. So I'd be inclined to keep my first suggestion though, for ease and speed at chargen.

Several version of BRP have advantages and flaws, including the Worlds of Wonder and Superworld boxed sets. I think they can benefit the system and campaigns, but they can also be overused and/or abused. Quite a few BRP players and GMs are against them.

Personally I think they help to cover features and abilities that aren't covered or not possible with the standard rules.


Kind of like World of Darkness and Unisystem currently is - not a good thing as it makes choice and min-maxing more prevalent, something I tensely dislike and makes chargen a rather tedious process as you feel like you need to double check everything picked by the players, twice over.

#12 seneschal

seneschal

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 04 February 2014 - 02:43 PM

As a longtime Champions/Hero System fan, I don't generally have a problem with advantages and disadvantages. It helps round out a character and gives the GM automatic plot hooks to play with. Preventing mini-maxing and "free" character points is the GM's responsibility, regardless of what game system is being played. As others have said, a trait must fit the campaign setting and the GM must regularly enforce the consequences of disadvantageous ones. If the cops dislike your character, he can never get a break from them no matter how many times and how dramatically he saves the city. If your character is hunted by the evil Dr. Beansmith, expect him or his minions to show up on a regular basis, even in subtle ways (such as the PC discovering that his employment records or tax returns have been altered, and not for the better). Someone following your character? If it isn't Dr. Beansmith, it's probably the PC's ex-wife, or a detective hired by her, trying to collect overdue alimony or child support (you did remember to mail the check last month, didn't you?).

I know some folks don't like traits at all, but their potential for abuse in BRP is modest because of their sheer scarcity. A hero in Superworld might have one or two Failings, tops. By contrast, a normal action movie protagonist in Hero System with have three or four. And since traits are randomly rolled in Cthulhu by Gaslight, you're just as likely to get stuck with a disadvantage as with something that will help the character out. That said, hard times for your PC are good for the game. Melodrama is the stuff of which epic poetry, soap operas, comic books, and role-playing campaigns are made of. ;)

#13 Vexthug

Vexthug

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 04 February 2014 - 03:36 PM

Yeah advantages are what makes your character look badass but disadvantages is what should make your character interesting. Take the classic D&D monk, use the martial arts power from super world that adds a bonus to hit and damage with unarmed attacks plus a defence bonus. Then balance that with a vow of poverty and abstinence from worldly indulgence, you have a basic monk and some interesting RP material.

From that you can add a lot to your game world, like where is his temple, what is their philosophy, are they tied to a cult,who are their enemies ?
I ran a lot of Hero games as well and it was a challenge keeping track of all the disads in the game because of players just trying to get more build points hoping you forget most of them. I once had a player who took 5 hunteds, 3 of them fanatical. I let him have them just to see how it would pan out story wise, it was ugly. But after that he did rain in the disad abuse, plus it was fun hunting him down each game session for the short time he survived.

So the short answer is advantages and disadvantages are great but the need some control from the gm to make sure they don't unbalance or disrupt your game.

Miles

#14 Gollum

Gollum

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 251 posts

Posted 04 February 2014 - 03:55 PM

I fully do agree with both of you. And the best way to control advantages and disadvantages is to ask the player to justify each one of them. Players then tend to choose much less traits (it's hard to find a good justification for each one of them) and to play them much better (they are more coherent with their character concept and background).

Edited by Gollum, 04 February 2014 - 03:57 PM.


#15 Atgxtg

Atgxtg

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,243 posts

Posted 04 February 2014 - 04:06 PM

Kind of like World of Darkness and Unisystem currently is - not a good thing as it makes choice and min-maxing more prevalent, something I tensely dislike and makes chargen a rather tedious process as you feel like you need to double check everything picked by the players, twice over.



Choice isn't a good thing? Sorry I don't follow you there. But yes, ads/flaws can lead to a lot of mini-maxing and make chargen more tedious. Or not. It depends a lot of the type of players you have in your group and why the players are taking the ads and flaws- especially the flaws. If they are trying to fit a concept that's one thing, but if they are just trying to max out their characters points, that's something else.

I personally pushed Superworld to it's limits with ads and flaws, but I was trying to recreate Supergirl, and a Wild Cards version at that, in the system and so the flaws I took fit the character concept.

But,. I've also seen players load up on flaws to get the most points. They generally don't do that in my campaigns, as I've made sure that a flaw actually is a flaw and that it will come back to haunt them at some point or another.
Smiley when you say that. :P

#16 threedeesix

threedeesix

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 948 posts

Posted 04 February 2014 - 04:44 PM

Yeah advantages are what makes your character look badass but disadvantages is what should make your character interesting. Take the classic D&D monk, use the martial arts power from super world that adds a bonus to hit and damage with unarmed attacks plus a defence bonus. Then balance that with a vow of poverty and abstinence from worldly indulgence, you have a basic monk and some interesting RP material.


That's exactly how I built the monk in Classic Fantasy. Hmm, great minds...

Rod
Join my RuneQuest: Classic Fantasy Yahoo Group at https://groups.yahoo...roups/RQCF/info
Join my BRP: Classic Fantasy Yahoo Group at http://games.groups....classicfantasy/

#17 Vexthug

Vexthug

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 04 February 2014 - 05:26 PM

That's exactly how I built the monk in Classic Fantasy. Hmm, great minds...

Rod


Then I really need to by that PDF instead of waiting for your Legend version. Write faster (cracks whip). ;)

Miles

#18 jp42

jp42

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts

Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:21 AM

So, regardless of how one feels about advantages and disadvantages, edges and flaws, talents and complications - whatever you want to call them - is there anything approaching a consensus on how to balance them against one another, and perhaps even against attributes and skills?

And not just superhuman gifts (covered in Superworld and BRP) or magic (covered all over the place, but rarely balanced against other skills) but even normal traits like ambidexterity, eagle eyes, hard of hearing or vow of poverty?

#19 Vexthug

Vexthug

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:10 PM

With BRP I'm not sure how to balance it other than a case by case GM call. If your using the newer gen RQ or OQ you can give them an improvement point cost the same way you by spells. If you want to ad flaws just give them a cost discount for your talents. In my game I use many of the battle magic spells as talents/feats instead of describing them as magic, so you have a benchmark there to help you make new ones when you need them. This is why I prefer the improvement point system over the check skill system, it's easier to balance the game. I hope this helps, and I'm sorry if any of my previous Post's seemed like thread crapping I realy was trying to be helpful. I do use A form of talent/flaw system for my games, but each one is A case by case judgment call by me. I don't have any formula other than the battle magic benchmark.

Miles

#20 rogerd

rogerd

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 105 posts

Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:51 PM

@ Vex: No worries.

Now you've touched upon a rather interesting point there actually- using some of the magic spells as advantages. It is a rather ingenious way to go about things, and in many ways is closer to bringing BRP into the toolbox mentality of RP's, that being as we all know, mix n' match. And yeah, i see no reason not to have a way of improving those advantages over time. Can players, with your talent / flaw system redeem flaws for points elsewhere, as long as they do not obviously render the negative trait moot?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users