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[TC: Aeon] Character Creation - alternatives and questions

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  • [TC: Aeon] Character Creation - alternatives and questions

    So a starting Aeon Psion gets by the book:

    6/4/2 dots of Attributes (12) , all Attributes according to Favourite Approach get also raised by one, one free Attribute to allocate completly free, then possibly another one trought the Prometeus Chamber (or instead PSI +1). So a starting character got 16 or 17 dots to allocate.

    A total of 15 Skill dots (the 3 Paths + 6 freedots), A free specialty for any Skill that hits 3, one free Skill Trick (Getting free specialities highly favours experts )
    A Starting PSi of 2 (3)
    Every Path gives 2 dots of Path related Edges for a Total of 6 + 4 free dots of Edges
    4 Dots of Psi Modes.

    If I´m not mistaken: Every Path gives Community, Contacts and Access - thus every Character starts with 3 different communities, contatcs(1 dot, 1 tag) and access.

    I hope this sums it up correctly.
    ----

    Questions:

    1) Why Favourite Approach? I get it in a narrative way, but why costs switching it 15 xp? Does one reassign the dots? Meanwhile - Tweaking and relocating a single Attribute dot does not cost a thing. And is imho the better narrative and gamistic mode to show the shift of focus of the character.

    2) Raising a Path does not provide 2 free dots of Edges - or does it? It only raises skills and the provides another dot and tag to the path contact (it seem to mechanically better to strengthen one contact than to have several at once)

    3) XP Equality. Building a PSI 3 Psion with one auxiliary Mode got 4 XP more than another character with 4 modes inside theri aptitude and a PSI of 2.
    One could circumvent this by providing the difference in +4 starting XP or for simplicity let it cost 1 free Edge to either aqquire PSI 3 or an aux. Mode. So

    4) Except for raising Connections and the narrative, raising a path is rather limiting. But how to make it more interessting.
    My alternate mode would be: Characters start wit on additonal dot of a Path, but only 3 free Skill dots and 3 free edges. But this path dot also provides the 2 free Edges dots as the other Paths dots. This would also sharpen the characters as it provides either a fourth path to broaden the character or it deepens either Origin, Role or Society.



    Gamelines: Requiem, Lost, Awakening, Trinity Continuum: Aeon, some V5.
    Likes cheesecake (quark-based)

  • #2
    1) No one I've seen has provided a good reason to pay 15 xp to shift your favored approach. Especially since you can move dots around over time through tweaks.

    2) It does provide 2 dots of path edges. It is cheaper to buy the skills and edges via a path dot than to buy them piecemeal.

    3) If someone wants to start wit Psi 2 and the extra attribute dot rather than Psi 3, I can see giving them the difference in xp. However, for the auxiliary mode, they are slowing their growth towards Psi 6 and becoming Tier 3, which is a big power jump. So, I don't think I'd give them any xp benefit for not choosing an auxiliary mode over another mode dot.

    4) Every path dot, no matter when it is gained, provides the same bonus: 2 edge dots, skills, and contact dot. Does that change your thinking?

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    • #3
      Agree with Florin in every answer, but 3.

      I think the character development is up to the player. If you want to optimize your character you must put everything in Psi and your aptitude modes, and nothing else is relevant. The change in target number worth the effort, but you will hardly see any “end game character” with low connections, or lacking a good amount of skill dots and edges. In other words, if the player wants a more human and less psi character it’s up to him to make the decision.

      Honestly, my greatest concern in Storypath is the way experience works and how it creates extreme min-max characters after a char gen that spread the dots more evenly all around the sheet, but I have no suggestions on how to deal with it so far...


      House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
      Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
      Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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      • #4
        My solution was to tell the players Psi 6 would require story events, which I would control, as well as the other requirements, and that I wasn't planning on putting those story events in until towards the end of the game. That let the player who has a compulsion to optimize his characters know he shouldn't rush towards Psi 6, and he did buy at least one dot in a Path as well as buying multiple auxiliary mode dots.

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        • #5
          Okay. it was not clear to me, that you get always to dots of Path Edges by buying a Path dot. This makes Paths quite favourable.

          to 3) I do not intend to play till Tier 3 or Sub-Proxy level. ^__^ It will be more a "Down-to-Luna" Huang-Marr-Conspiracy run. I don´t even intend the players to hit more than PSI 4.

          Experience: This is always the problem with a fixed point based system - but it also generates characters that are competent in their fields.
          you can circumvent it by using a hard (I.E.:new doting rating times 3 ) or soft scaling method (new dot xp cost: basecost+dot-level) if you want to controll it via XP, otherwise maybe even allow a Skilltrick or Spec at lower levels.

          I´m also looking at Equipment and some things seemed off, especially with Wealth edge. Yes Mateus! I already got you pdf! But I did´nt have time to consult it on that matter.


          Gamelines: Requiem, Lost, Awakening, Trinity Continuum: Aeon, some V5.
          Likes cheesecake (quark-based)

          Comment


          • #6
            I don’t know if you have played Blades in the Dark, but they have an interesting approach on experience. Basically you learn by doing risky actions related to the skills, and the experience gained is related to the skill you used, marked in a clock next to it. Once you fill the clock you gain a dot in the skill. It’s a simplified explanation, the system has some rules to define this advance, but that is basically the idea and that’s basically what I have in mind, but it gives a over complication that goes beyond the needed for Storypath.

            The other option is to have “Psi Beats”, like Arcane Beats form MtAw, that work to buy Psi and mode dots, while regular experience is used only for human traits. But than I need to balance when the characters gain psi beats.


            House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
            Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
            Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

            Comment


            • #7
              I think the characters in my game have earned over 100 xp by now, and honestly, the flat progression hasn't been a problem. Of course, I like a high-flying cinematic game. So I'm happy with them throwing around 5-dot powers. One thing my players keep forgetting to use are specializations. I really like the way the system works with specializations giving you a bonus to other skills rather than the skill generating the specialization. So, yes, the system encourages specialization, both in skills and with psi powers, but I think that's intentional. They want characters to be specialized because that means they have to rely on each other to succeed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                The other option is to have “Psi Beats”, like Arcane Beats form MtAw, that work to buy Psi and mode dots, while regular experience is used only for human traits. But than I need to balance when the characters gain psi beats.
                I am not familiar with Mage, but this is basically what I've been doing - handing out Psi progression at specific milestones and having them use xp for everything else (at the suggestion of one of my players, who has played Mage, so that's probably where the idea came from!). So far it's encouraged people to branch out into different skills, which I don't think would've happened much at all otherwise. But it *is* tricky figuring out how to pace those milestones. Anyone here have thoughts on roughly how many mode dots a psion should have before getting another psi point?

                The Blades in the Dark method sounds like it could make a good homebrew alternative. Might have to be really careful about psionic dysfunction if you used it for psi modes, though. But having it develop directly out of a *player* deciding to use the same power a lot is kind of neat.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Teanjel View Post

                  I am not familiar with Mage, but this is basically what I've been doing - handing out Psi progression at specific milestones and having them use xp for everything else (at the suggestion of one of my players, who has played Mage, so that's probably where the idea came from!). So far it's encouraged people to branch out into different skills, which I don't think would've happened much at all otherwise. But it *is* tricky figuring out how to pace those milestones. Anyone here have thoughts on roughly how many mode dots a psion should have before getting another psi point?

                  The Blades in the Dark method sounds like it could make a good homebrew alternative. Might have to be really careful about psionic dysfunction if you used it for psi modes, though. But having it develop directly out of a *player* deciding to use the same power a lot is kind of neat.
                  well, in CoD you don’t get experience in the end of the session, as in oWoD and Storypath, instead you gain beats that 1/5 of an experience point when some stuff happens. Arcane beats are given to mages when they do some arcane things, like succumbing to their need of learning, and failing when using spells. The idea would be, the more the characters try to use their powers, more beats they gain that can be used only to buy psi stuff, and it would be additional to the regular experience.

                  The idea of a character going disfunctional due to over using is one of the things I like most to be fair. But it would escalate really quickly.


                  House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                  Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                  Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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                  • #10
                    Ah, we're a bit closer to the dnd milestone leveling system, then (you all defeated your first nemesis aberrant, have a mode dot). Though I'd like to have gaining psi points a bit more connected to the narrative - gained at the moment of pushing powers to do something extraordinary, or finding some psionic alien artifact.

                    Psionic dysfuction really has a lot of interesting character potential. Gave an npc dysfunction (psycholocation) and he's become one of my favorite concepts. I might have to try something next time I get to play instead of SG...

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                    • #11
                      I don´t have a problem with XP-progression or players buying stuff out of thin air. Also I normally dish out XP at milestones, but I would let player "pre-buy" a skill, edge or whatever when it fit´s nicely into the story or narrative.
                      Especially with Psi it´s easy - as Psions can overreach to higher modes - which is a very good "training montage". I always reommend players to use experience in a reasonable way. going back to the order in downtime to train any skills and getting new edges. Since I played Call of Cthulhu - i alwaays played with this assumption. Also I will stay with the flat progression. Especially as some psion concepts need sometimes a mode at 4 to come online - yeah, I´m looking at the Teleporters here .


                      Gamelines: Requiem, Lost, Awakening, Trinity Continuum: Aeon, some V5.
                      Likes cheesecake (quark-based)

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                      • #12
                        A mode at 4 just make the job easier, to be honest. Long Jump, for example, will be pretty hard for a Psi 3 Translocation 1, as it will require 3 extra successes and 3 extra psi, but not impossible. But the second dot in the mod will add a dice to the pool and reduce 1 success to the needs, making it more reasonable, and the third dot will make it pretty easy to be honest.

                        That is one thing I love about how psi works in Aeon, it’s something you learn and get good at, not a sequence of powers you get gradually.

                        Getting back to the psi beats, I would add a few extra xp exclusive to psi (each line once per session):
                        - Using your powers during the session grants 1xp
                        - Reaching a dot you don’t have during the session grants 2xp
                        - Spending at least half of your psi points (not counting recovered points) grants 2xp.
                        - Using powers to achieve an aspiration grants 1xp
                        - Using powers in a innovative way, resulting in a great advance in the story grants 2xp
                        - Failing in a power use roll grants 1xp

                        This can probably power up the psi advancement of the character and leave the rest of the XP to the human traits. It also may accelerate the characters advancement, if you think they don’t evolve fast enough (not the case here).


                        House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                        Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                        Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by maekkel View Post
                          Also I normally dish out XP at milestones, but I would let player "pre-buy" a skill, edge or whatever when it fit´s nicely into the story or narrative.
                          I'm curious how this will work for you. Not in the XP side of things but on the momentum side of things. The ability to spend half the momentum pool and get a point of group XP has kept the momentum pool fairly small in the games I've run. In fact, they often empty their pool a couple of times in a session, and they've only ever maxed their pool out in one or two sessions. I'm curious to see if that happens in a game where spending momentum doesn't get you XP.

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                          • #14
                            "That is one thing I love about how psi works in Aeon, it’s something you learn and get good at, not a sequence of powers you get gradually."
                            Absolutly - I also like rewarding risks or power that comes with a price. i.e. I would let a player suffer Psi Dsyfuntion when they reach the treshold even just temporarily.

                            Concering Paths - there is the status Suspension and Revocation, the latter which says That you are still on the Path and just can´t use any connection (but weirdly it´s edges, especially stuff like that is intrinsically connected to "walking the path" ( Wealth, Biotek Prototypes, Norca Safehouses or a Legions Weapons Cache etc. ) - i figure that it is intrinsically a thing that you reconcile with your path.

                            But what about leaving a Path behind?
                            My simple gamistic solution: All intrinsically connected edges are frozen as are the connections.
                            The player develops a new path and pays 3 xp per level of the old path, to establish themselves in the new path. Thus they gain Connections of the new Path. intrinsicallly connected edges get refunded for edges of the new path. furthermore I would allow teaking of skills - to show that the character left the old path behind & developed new skills.








                            Gamelines: Requiem, Lost, Awakening, Trinity Continuum: Aeon, some V5.
                            Likes cheesecake (quark-based)

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                            • #15
                              I would allow to Tweak edge dots, as described for Attributes and Skill dots in Core (page 39), but not path dots.

                              Even if you lost the connection to the path you can still recover it and it defines much of what the character is as part of the past.


                              House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                              Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                              Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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