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Attribute Point Buy


p_clapham

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So I've been making a few sample Characters and noticed some bits about the attribute point buy system.

To illistrate I've made two sets of Characters, with no EDU stat and a Size of 10. All four characters have their attributes evenly spread among Str, Con, Cha, Int, Pow and Dex.

Here's the two Heroic characters. The first one uses the 3 to 1 ratio for Dex, Int and Pow. The second uses a 2 to 1 ratio.

Character 1

ST 13 Con 13 App 13 Int 13 Pow 13 Dex 13

Character 2

ST 14 Con 14 App 14 Int 14 Pow 14 Dex 14

Here's the other two built using Epic levels of attributes. Once again the first one is built with the 3 to 1 ration and the second 2 to 1.

Character 1

Str 14 Con 14 App 14 Int 14 Pow 14 Dex 14

Character 2

Str 16 Con 15 App 15 Int 16 Pow 15 Dex 15

My point in all of this? The 2 to 1 ratio seems a better fit to me. The example 1st Heroic and Epic characters didn't strike me as particularly Heroic or Epic. Of course my games tend to be more action oriented and player driven. It's an otherwise minor tweak, but I like it.

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I was being sarcastic.

Personally, I think an even playing field is boring.*

*This statement brought to you by the My Opinion Is Like God's Own Word Institute. If you don't agree with it, obviously you're just a heathen.

"Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal..."

- H.P. Lovecraft

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An equal / even playing field is an excellent idea if the PCs have to compete

against each other, but at least in my game this is rarely the case. And to

establish such a playing field with the enemy (e.g. PCs and monsters having

equal stats) seems to be somewhat counterproductive.

Having "strong" and "weak" PCs in the party usually makes the game more re-

alistic, and offers additional opportunities for roleplaying, I think.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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In many ways, every member of a group competes against each other. If not directly, then for screen time and effectiveness during the game.

If a mixed party were some are strong and some are weak, what incentive is there for playing the "Weak" character? Is that something you'd like to play?

I prefer my characters to all be equally competent in their respective fields, so that everyone feels like they can contribute equally to the game.

Having a mixed party level is asking for trouble. Encounters that challenge the strong members can be lethal for the weak ones, and those that are a challenge for the weak leave the strong have nothing to do.

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It depends on the style of roleplaying one prefers. In our group we consider it

far more important who the PC is (biography, personality, motivations) than

what the PC can do (attributes and skills), and it can be quite a roleplaying

challenge to play a crippled old man or a child (= a "weak" character) instead

of the usual hero, whom everyone of us has played dozens of times already.

Besides, playing a "weak" character means that you have to develop new me-

thods of solving old problems, a test of cleverness and creativity. Playing an

average hero is a simple task, once you have done it a couple of times, and

after some years of roleplaying (thirty years in my case) you can do it while

asleep. It even becomes quite boring. So, why not try something different,

and play the clumsy clerk or the one-legged oldster ?

But, again: In the end it is purely a matter of personal taste.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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So, why not try something different,

and play the clumsy clerk or the one-legged oldster ?

Cause while maybe perfect for Cthulhu, they're not good for much else.

But, again: In the end it is purely a matter of personal taste.

It's a resurrection of the balanced thread, that's what it is.

"I don't like playing useless sidekicks!" "My farmer girl whopped ass that the mighty warriors couldn't bring down!" etc. :D

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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It depends on the style of roleplaying one prefers. In our group we consider it

far more important who the PC is (biography, personality, motivations) than

what the PC can do (attributes and skills), and it can be quite a roleplaying

challenge to play a crippled old man or a child (= a "weak" character) instead

of the usual hero, whom everyone of us has played dozens of times already..

I see your point. However I should point out that the examples you've given are physically weak. To compensate for the weakness of the body, would they have a corresponding bonus to their mental or social capabilities?

And, while most of us who post here have played the hero before, not everyone who plays the game has done so. For nearly 5 years, I had to induct people into gaming to find players. I was constantly asked why they couldn't play the character they wanted, simply because the dice said so.

Also, it's one thing to decide to play such a character, and it another thing entirely to have such a character foisted upon because of how your dice rolls went during character creation. What if you want to play a martial arts expert, but your dice say "crippled scientist"?

Besides, playing a "weak" character means that you have to develop new me-

thods of solving old problems, a test of cleverness and creativity. Playing an

average hero is a simple task, once you have done it a couple of times, and

after some years of roleplaying (thirty years in my case) you can do it while

asleep. It even becomes quite boring. So, why not try something different,

and play the clumsy clerk or the one-legged oldster ?

Again, I see your point, and again I will assert that this is a choice made by the player. I can see the value of playing something different, but only if you, as a player, want something new or challenging.

But, again: In the end it is purely a matter of personal taste.

I agree completely. Thank you for taking the time to make a well-reasoned post on the subject.

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Fantasy BRP can be tough on assigned/bought attributes though with the way different races generate their statistics.

I've always used rolled stats at the table but assigned or bought stats seem very common in PBP. I think the fair and balanced thing is more important when you may not actually know any of the other players than when gaming with a group of friends.

In my PBP RQ game though it was just unworkable with the different races involved. How do you point buy a Dark Troll or Minotaur compared to a Human? The average scores are already unbalanced, and the ranges very different.

Help kill a Trollkin here.

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@ Trifletraxor:

Not only for Cthulhu, they are also doing quite well in our science fiction set-

ting. That one-legged oldster can be rather dangerous with a gauss harpoon

in his hand ...

@ Charles Green:

Of course you are right, we always leave it to the player to decide whether

he / she wants to accept a character with "weak" attributes, or prefers to

reroll for a "better" character.

And I have to admit that we sometimes "balance" a "weak" character with

in-setting advantages (like lots of contacts for the oldster) that make sense

with the character in question.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Fantasy BRP can be tough on assigned/bought attributes though with the way different races generate their statistics.

I've always used rolled stats at the table but assigned or bought stats seem very common in PBP. I think the fair and balanced thing is more important when you may not actually know any of the other players than when gaming with a group of friends.

In my PBP RQ game though it was just unworkable with the different races involved. How do you point buy a Dark Troll or Minotaur compared to a Human? The average scores are already unbalanced, and the ranges very different.

Oh, I'd say by setting the stats to average and giving the players 4 points to spend, and allowing them to sell down attributes to buy up others, within the limits of Species min an d max scores.

That is functionally the same thing as the 80 point method and is as fair and balanced as a Dark Troll PC can get.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I was being sarcastic.

Personally, I think an even playing field is boring.*

*This statement brought to you by the My Opinion Is Like God's Own Word Institute. If you don't agree with it, obviously you're just a heathen.

Some people find equality boring. Others find gross inequality frustrating. Obviously these people are going to be irritated trying to play in the same games, but that doesn't make either superior to the other. They're simply incompatible.

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Oh, I'd say by setting the stats to average and giving the players 4 points to spend, and allowing them to sell down attributes to buy up others, within the limits of Species min an d max scores.

That is functionally the same thing as the 80 point method and is as fair and balanced as a Dark Troll PC can get.

I used a point buy method based on average racial values retro-converted, and reduced skill point availability if attribute availability was higher (and increased it in the few cases it was lower). It wasn't perfect, because in the long term, something with more attribute points is just going to be better, but it helped.

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How do you point buy a Dark Troll or Minotaur compared to a Human? The average scores are already unbalanced, and the ranges very different.

The Games Masters Guide has rules for points buying of nonhuman races. You have slightly more points for a dark troll and slightly less for a duck. I haven't tried it, but it seems reasonable.

By the way, the GM's Guide is really good.

[Oops, wrong Forum :o - forget what I just said (but the GM's Guide is really good) ]

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Then review it! :D

SGL.

I was going to yesterday, but it wasn't there then. Now it has appeared, I'll review it while the rugby is on.

You haven't included the GM's Screen either.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I used a point buy method based on average racial values retro-converted, and reduced skill point availability if attribute availability was higher (and increased it in the few cases it was lower). It wasn't perfect, because in the long term, something with more attribute points is just going to be better, but it helped.

Teah, If one species has an average STR and SIZ of 18 and the other stats about the same as a human they are going to be better. That is just the way it is, and also they way it was intended to be by the designers. THey never really intended for it all to balance out that way. Otherwise we'd have gotten Dark Trolls with something like +4 STR, -2 INT and CHA.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I end to prefer characters that are less random. It always frustrated me in Call of Cthulhu when I came up with a character concept.... like say a professor. Then end up with an Int of 9 and a Edu of 11. I prefer the point buy system for putting all the players on an even playing field as well giving them more flexibility in characters.

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Teah, If one species has an average STR and SIZ of 18 and the other stats about the same as a human they are going to be better. That is just the way it is, and also they way it was intended to be by the designers. THey never really intended for it all to balance out that way. Otherwise we'd have gotten Dark Trolls with something like +4 STR, -2 INT and CHA.

That doesn't mean its always a good game thing, though, if you're in a setting where there aren't big constraints on nonhuman characters. It can mean everyone migrates to the characters with the best attributes (and let's face it, even if you aren't playing a bruiser by choice, there's enough reasons for a big size to be benign in a lot of campaigns, just because of hit point contributions that that's attractive. It gets even more true if you have a race that has a potentially higher Int or Dex).

As I said, there's no really good help for it, but varying the number of initial skill points can at least help a little.

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As I said, there's no really good help for it, but varying the number of initial skill points can at least help a little.

Well, I have a points system where you have to pay extra for races that have advantages over humans.

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