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Author Topic: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions  (Read 176 times)

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Offline Spectre771

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Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« on: December 04, 2017, 11:56:23 AM »
This weekend I introduced two new players to RM2.  My daughters have been playing for a few years now and they wanted their friends to try out the system.  This weekend was spent rolling up PCs and going over basic mechanics.  The process was long as the people arrived at different times and days, but the results are pretty funny and should prove to be interesting.

My youngest daughter rolled up a Barbarian and did pretty well, but rolled poorly on Body Dev and has 40 HP.

My oldest daughter rolled up a Dancer.  She forget to purchase ranks in Dancing, or any of the other 'performance arts' skills, Acting, Poetic Improv, Tale Telling, etc.  But she did buy Seduction, so now she thinks she's going to play a prostitute or stripper.

The boyfriend rolled up a Trader.  While he did buy ranks in Trading Lore, he did not buy any ranks in Trading, Basic Math, Advanced Math, etc.  He did buy ranks in Begging because "...I'm going to beg a lot to get good deals..."  With his -5 for the stats, he has a grand total of 1 for Begging.  He's right... he's going to be begging a lot.

The friend rolled up an Assassin, but spent a background option on Skill at Arms and rolled a 05 - Chivalry.  She will always fight in a fair manner, will always allow the opponent to rearm himself, will not fight from horseback vs. a standing foe, etc.

So the party consists of a Barbarian who can't take a hit, a Dancer who can't dance, a Trader who can't trade or count, and an Assassin who must kill her target in a fair manner.

Granted, they are all level 1 PCs and they have their DP's already planned out for level 2, but it's going to be an interesting time getting to level 2!
If discretion is the better valor and
cowardice the better part of judgment,
let's all be heroes and run away!

Offline Majyk

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 02:18:28 PM »
Awesome stuff and much success in the game with the kids.
Beware roleplaying seduction attempts by the Dancer kiddo, for any non-RP audiences you may have - kids snapchat and stream everything, nowadays, heehee!  :o

For the non-professionals in this party, so far, be kind with situational bonuses or use the old rules for "complementary" skill bonii(ie. Begging is successful, so it adds +15/+25 to the Trading skill roll to follow).

Aside, I always loved playing (N)PCs based on their worst stats vs their best.
The character becomes much more fleshed out when doing so!
Good stats are self evident with skill rolls, so those highs reveal themselves quickly.

SD rolls are best made when a compulsion(kleptomania, Tourrette's, etc.) can override one's natural tendencies not to RP such a moment in time and much hilarity can ensue.
Simply roll under the Temp to avoid following through vs breaking 100/110.
That or make the roll with a Routine/Easy/Light bonus/column. You're looking for a result close to 50/50 to add to the intensity/levity of a situation.

Offline Spectre771

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 02:48:06 PM »

Beware roleplaying seduction attempts by the Dancer kiddo, for any non-RP audiences you may have - kids snapchat and stream everything, nowadays, heehee!  :o


Luckily the Dancer is 21 years old.  However, hearing her say "I'm a prostitute" Is just music to every father's ears..... <sigh>  :(
If discretion is the better valor and
cowardice the better part of judgment,
let's all be heroes and run away!

Offline OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 06:02:35 AM »
...a Trader who can't trade...
Well, he took Trading lore so at least he knows the theory!
"Tragic, deceptive, insane, innocent-looking, manipulative, immoral, lonely... it's what makes a girl fascinating and desirable. So lonely and hurt in her heart you absolutely want to comfort her, so insane and immoral you absolutely fear to become close to her, so deceptive and manipulative you wonder whether you're acting out of your free will.
This is what I call 'fascination'. This is what describes my ideal girl."

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 02:21:06 PM »
I think that's the main issue with Character Creation in RM2 and the massive selection of classes available. I had many such incidences similar to these. Too many skills to choose from and people often forgot to focus on skills other than the ones that would keep them alive (or indeed employed) for the first few levels. I got around both problems by starting characters at 4th level, using the events tables in the companions and therefore creating a "story" during the creation session(s), that way players could "cover the bases" and establish a back-story, connections and other stuff during the creation session.

I've been using RMSS for about 10 years though, I still do the same thing, but the Training packages and *reduced* number of professions makes the process a little more focused.

 

Offline OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 03:12:34 PM »
Except when a player is absolutely sure about the matter (and even then), i don't let my players choose their profession, nor do I leave them creating their character unattended. What I do is to have them think about what they'd want to play, including the hobbies and stuff, how they see themselves playing, etc., in words and independently of any game system. When they have a clear idea of their character, enough to describe it to me, and only then, I suggest them professions that may match it, or tweak on to fit it, and help them with the skill (and spell) selection.

It's IMO pretty impossible for a beginner to correctly choose skills to develop, spells and even a profession in RM2, as there are just too many of them, with not always descriptive enough names. There is also too much "noise", meaning close-to-useless skills (how often did anyone use stilt walking or pole vaulting?), many professions only differing from a few skill costs or level bonuses, spells not that different from each other, etc. Yes, the slight difference may be important, but it's not something one can expect a beginner to apprehend.
"Tragic, deceptive, insane, innocent-looking, manipulative, immoral, lonely... it's what makes a girl fascinating and desirable. So lonely and hurt in her heart you absolutely want to comfort her, so insane and immoral you absolutely fear to become close to her, so deceptive and manipulative you wonder whether you're acting out of your free will.
This is what I call 'fascination'. This is what describes my ideal girl."

Offline Spectre771

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 07:09:17 PM »
OLF and Grinnen, you touched on the biggest reasons we always started players out as level 5.  The number of skills available, the length of time needed to create a PC, then the possibility of a quick "crit death."  We wanted to give the players a fighting chance with more rounded PCs and better developed skills.  5th level was a good jumping off point for us. 

One thing I did over the years that probably wasn't best for brand new players to the system (worked fine for veteran RM players) was start them at level 5.  I walked them through, couldn't let them do a full build solo, and made lots of suggestions.  What worked out better was the last weekender we did.

I had the new players make a level 1 PC, gave them a quick 'mission' of sorts to get them used to the mechanics.  The first one was Player A your father sends you to find some healing herbs in the woods for his mother, while searching, he runs into Player B who was being attack by a wounded wolf cub.  They did what they could and then instant level up to level 2.  They had a better idea of what skill they would need and like to have, then another quick mission.  The second one was stalk/hide across town with a stolen item as part of a "contest", and instant level 3. So on.  Saturday morning they were level 5 and everyone ready to play.  There was one new player from the old method I used and he was kind of bummed/ticked-off.  He wished (as did I after that) that he had leveled up that way.  He had skills he didn't want and skills he really wanted and he was stuck with them.

This past weekend, with my kids and their friends, I have them at level 1 and I think I'm going to send them on the quick one-off missions and get to level 5 after short missions, then get into the meat of the campaign.  This will help build up a short background story for each as well.  I don't know how often they will all be around since they are now in college or recently graduated, so the quick jump to level 5 may give them more involvement sooner.
If discretion is the better valor and
cowardice the better part of judgment,
let's all be heroes and run away!

Offline intothatdarkness

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 08:50:42 PM »
With new players I'm always careful to both give them solid background skills and spend some time going over what they need for their chosen Profession. In some settings I even do "basic training" packages where half the DPs are spent for them on essential skills they'd learn in some sort of formal training. Starting at higher levels is always in my view a bad idea with new players, because it's much harder to fix missing skills. If you don't take one at first level, it's not the end of the world and you're not too far behind the curve in terms of bonuses (but you do get some good stories out of it). I also never found it too difficult to get them involved at lower levels. But I also do a lot of non-fantasy gaming, and that sort of adventure design lends itself well to lower level campaigns (you're more used, I think, to scaling things and being mindful of how easy it is to kill characters).

I had a party once where the Barbarian forgot to take any weapons skills. He ended up standing on top of a crumbling wall throwing rubble down at people (he did have a good STR...somewhere around 95 if memory serves).
Darn that salt pork!

Offline Spectre771

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 06:31:45 AM »


I had a party once where the Barbarian forgot to take any weapons skills. He ended up standing on top of a crumbling wall throwing rubble down at people (he did have a good STR...somewhere around 95 if memory serves).

Now THAT is awesome!!!  It makes for a great player quirk.  Who's to say that the barbarian's talent wasn't throwing?

I'll do a similar method as many folks here have posted.   I run through the list of skills they should have no matter what, then I let them pick the skills they would like.

Body Dev
Primary weapon skill
Maneuver in Armour (if they wear it)
General Perception
Sense Ambush Assassin
Stunned maneuver

I strongly recommend First Aid and Herb Lore and at least one rank in Body Damage Stabilize.

I'll point out to them the low cost skills because their profession is really good at it and they should therefore invest in them.  But no matter what, I have them invest minimum 1 rank in the first 6 skills per level.
If discretion is the better valor and
cowardice the better part of judgment,
let's all be heroes and run away!

Offline OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 12:28:03 PM »
I'll point out to them the low cost skills because their profession is really good at it...
Or not. This is the same wrong reasoning that some person I won't name makes: a low cost for a given skill doesn't make a profession better in it than a higher cost for another profession, as long as they can develop the same number of ranks per level. If at level 10, a character has 20 ranks in a given skill, it doesn't matter that its cost was 1/2 or 3/7. A profession is best in skills whose category he has a level bonus, the higher the bonus, the better: the low cost merely allows him to have more skills, not to be better in them.

As far as I'm concerned, I recommend first skills from categories with a +3/level, then +2, then +1, then skills with a first cost of 1 since those are "freebies".
"Tragic, deceptive, insane, innocent-looking, manipulative, immoral, lonely... it's what makes a girl fascinating and desirable. So lonely and hurt in her heart you absolutely want to comfort her, so insane and immoral you absolutely fear to become close to her, so deceptive and manipulative you wonder whether you're acting out of your free will.
This is what I call 'fascination'. This is what describes my ideal girl."

Offline Spectre771

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 12:44:57 PM »
I'll point out to them the low cost skills because their profession is really good at it...
Or not. This is the same wrong reasoning that some person I won't name makes: a low cost for a given skill doesn't make a profession better in it than a higher cost for another profession, as long as they can develop the same number of ranks per level. If at level 10, a character has 20 ranks in a given skill, it doesn't matter that its cost was 1/2 or 3/7. A profession is best in skills whose category he has a level bonus, the higher the bonus, the better: the low cost merely allows him to have more skills, not to be better in them.

True.  Very true. 

The stats play a bigger role in what a character is "good" at.  Being a lower cost allows them to purchase more ranks more affordably, freeing up points to allow for a more fleshed out PC. 

One of the players this weekend rolled a "+25 to all Adrenals" as a background and suddenly the direction the player wanted to go, changed to focus on the Adrenals and the bonuses she was going to have for using them.  It also turned out that her SD bonus was bumped up to a +20 from another background option roll.  The cost for Adrenals is a little pricey 3/7, but with all those bonuses, simply buying just one rank per level gave her a substantial bonus to Adrenals.

The Trader on the other hand, due to the stat +/- has 3 ranks in Begging for a grand total of 1.  Roll, add 1. LOL.  But it's better than -50 at least.

By "good" I meant that those are the skills that Profession should/would have an easier time learning (as opposed to Spell List 20DP).  They are a lower cost because that professional learns them more easily and spends less time training/focusing on it.  Not to imply that the profession's total skill bonus will be better than another Profession with the same number of ranks.
If discretion is the better valor and
cowardice the better part of judgment,
let's all be heroes and run away!

Offline intothatdarkness

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 01:45:48 PM »
I explain skill cost based on access to training, pure and simple. It varies from setting to setting (and by that I mean fantasy or espionage for example, not campaign setting), but the idea's the same. A fighter will have an easier time getting sword training than a mage, but the fighter will have a hard time convincing an experienced mage she wants to learn spells (hence the higher cost).
Darn that salt pork!

Offline OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2017, 04:36:11 AM »
I explain skill cost based on access to training, pure and simple.
This, however, is hardly true in any incarnation of RM. Since you cannot change "professions" in RM and choose your "profession" at creation time, it's more a "inherent hardcoded abilities" feature (i.e., how gifted someone is at something, determined at birth) than a "variable feature based on access to training". If it were the latter, social status would play a huge role (since, you know, the wealthier and from a upper class you're, the easier it is for you to access to training and, in fact, learn), teacher's qualities would as well (having the best teachers makes it easier to learn) as well as... your actual job, which is unrelated to what your character's "profession" (which is nothing more than a class, actually) is. You may have rolled a Fighter then, later, actually work as a private eye (for which there is a different "profession"), then change again and work in the wilderness as a forest ranger, even receiving a specific training for it, without your skill costs ever changing from your original Fighter costs.
Skill costs in RM determine how talented someone is at something, not how much more accessible training is for him.

Quote
A fighter will have an easier time getting sword training than a mage, but the fighter will have a hard time convincing an experienced mage she wants to learn spells (hence the higher cost).
Or the "fighter" may just go to a mage course, whilst paying everything needed to get both the best teachers and the best materials, and taking time to study, leaving aside his "physical", fighter training for a while. IRL, it'd allow him to "easily" learn the skill; in RM, it wouldn't. IRL, many many people learn new skills unrelated with their line of work; how easy it is for them is more related on the quality of the teaching/teachers/materials (and willingness to learn, of course) than anything else. In your case, your "fighter" may actually have easier access to fighting teachings yet be actually a poet at heart and but more gifted at learning poetry, meaning that its RM "profession" is actually Bard, even though he trains as a Fighter.

In other words, a "profession" in RM is actually nothing more than a "predisposition template".
"Tragic, deceptive, insane, innocent-looking, manipulative, immoral, lonely... it's what makes a girl fascinating and desirable. So lonely and hurt in her heart you absolutely want to comfort her, so insane and immoral you absolutely fear to become close to her, so deceptive and manipulative you wonder whether you're acting out of your free will.
This is what I call 'fascination'. This is what describes my ideal girl."

Offline Spectre771

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Re: Fun PC quirks and Party Compostitions
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2017, 07:08:30 AM »


In other words, a "profession" in RM is actually nothing more than a "predisposition template".

I love it!  That is an awesome, very apt description.
If discretion is the better valor and
cowardice the better part of judgment,
let's all be heroes and run away!

 

Cloudlords of Tanara