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The Death of Freebies, and perhaps Initial Distributions

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  • The Death of Freebies, and perhaps Initial Distributions

    Looking to mine people's experience with changes to the Chargen system.... the way things are done under the last set of rules-as-writte that I can remember (2d Ed. or Revised), I recall that there was tremendous incentive to freebie things as high as you could in order to maximize the "virtual XP" value of your freebies. (After you bought five dots in Can't-Be-Bought-Any-Other-Time-Generation, of course.)

    Anybody here ever kill off freebies entirely and give XP instead? If so, how many points?

    Anybody ever kill the entire 7/5/3/13/9/5/3/5.... scheme and give an XP total instead based on a blank character sheet? (Maybe with initial attribute dots, so that the Nos flaw hurts a little.)

    I'm toying around with the latter idea for the next edition of my rules, wanted to know how it worked out for everyone.

  • #2
    I kill off XP and give freebies instead. Linear chargen exponential progression systems can go ahead and die.

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    • #3
      I've played in games where everything was XP.... it's generally not worth the extra effort; esp. for getting rid of the base dots distributions.

      If you want to move to a more even system, I'd follow where the CofD and Storypath games are and more to a flat XP system (those there is no need for freebies vs. XP as they'd be the same thing). It's far less mental overhead if you want to break up the starting dots, and there's no optimization "virtual XP" issues if you don't.

      I would be careful about using the VtM base freebie value assignments. It's not awful for something quick, but doing a bit of math (such as using the XP cost of the 3rd dot) is usually an improvement since the starting freebie values are skewed towards different priorities than the XP costs.

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      • #4
        You're actually a little late for that - V5 does away with the free dot distribution and gives straight stats to distribute (one Attribute at 4, three others at 3 and so on) and some age-dependent XP on top of that. Those seem pretty balanced to me and since there are three possible skill distributions (Jack of All Trades with lots of low skills, Specialist with a few high skills and a few low ones, Balanced with... a mix), they aren't too inflexible either. Generation is simply agreed upon by the group.

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        • #5
          There's a small math error in the V5 Skill arrays that makes Specialist a couple XP shy of the others IIRC.

          V5's biggest XP disparity problem are Predatory Archetypes and the bonuses/flaws they provide being wildly uneven in value; especially since V5 continues to use exponential XP. So while it might not be as bad as previous editions, there's still issues here.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Legendre View Post
            Looking to mine people's experience with changes to the Chargen system.... the way things are done under the last set of rules-as-writte that I can remember (2d Ed. or Revised), I recall that there was tremendous incentive to freebie things as high as you could in order to maximize the "virtual XP" value of your freebies. (After you bought five dots in Can't-Be-Bought-Any-Other-Time-Generation, of course.)

            Anybody here ever kill off freebies entirely and give XP instead? If so, how many points?

            Anybody ever kill the entire 7/5/3/13/9/5/3/5.... scheme and give an XP total instead based on a blank character sheet? (Maybe with initial attribute dots, so that the Nos flaw hurts a little.)

            I'm toying around with the latter idea for the next edition of my rules, wanted to know how it worked out for everyone.

            I haven't done it with Vampire, but I've played in Aberrant and Mage (the Revised/2nd mash up my group uses) with a only XP-variant of chargen. It seemed to reduce some of the need to invest FB into the FB-only buy things. I didn't find CharGen to take any longer then normal.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Anarade Relle View Post
              I didn't find CharGen to take any longer then normal.
              That's good to know... thanks!

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