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Author Topic: Iconic Classes and Specialties  (Read 5777 times)
Morgenstern
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« Reply #45 on: September 07, 2009, 12:57:06 AM »

So does that mean thatyour starting action dice are reduced by 2, not that you just play with 2 less AD, if you don't take an iconic class?

What does it say?
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« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2009, 01:52:20 AM »

So does that mean thatyour starting action dice are reduced by 2, not that you just play with 2 less AD, if you don't take an iconic class?

What does it say?

If your level in any base class is higher then your level in <some class>, your starting action dice decrease by 2.

So that begs the question, when do action dice stop being considered starting action dice?  At level 2?  Next session?
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« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2009, 04:17:22 AM »

So that begs the question, when do action dice stop being considered starting action dice?  At level 2?  Next session?

Page 28: Starting Action Dice: The number and size of action dice you gain at the start of each session.

and

Page 29: Starting Action Dice: Many abilities have a number of uses or grant a bonus based on your starting action dice (see Table 1.4: Career Level, page 27). Character options that increase or decrease starting action dice affect these abilities normally.

So a Dwarven Assassin, without any Species feats, would have only 1 action die.  At level 2, he could use his Cold Read ability once per session.  A 2nd level Human Assassin would be able to use Cold Read up to 3 times per session.


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« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2009, 05:16:46 AM »

Yeah, that's what I thought.
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« Reply #49 on: September 08, 2009, 06:55:58 AM »

I'm all about advantages vs drawbacks with character builds. However I look at the elves and i'm struggling to figure out what 'awesome' advantage they have to justify half healing on top of the iconic limitation. Am i missing something? They seem very weak compared to the other races.

For myself i'm not really pleased with things like iconic classes because it seems limiting to the designer's view of a race rather than being able to fit my worldview.

Why not simply make humans more powerful?
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« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2009, 07:03:59 AM »

I'm all about advantages vs drawbacks with character builds. However I look at the elves and i'm struggling to figure out what 'awesome' advantage they have to justify half healing on top of the iconic limitation. Am i missing something? They seem very weak compared to the other races.
Off the top of my head (book not hand). Always acting in the surprise round, 8x vision range, these are awsome advantages.

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For myself i'm not really pleased with things like iconic classes because it seems limiting to the designer's view of a race rather than being able to fit my worldview.
These are indeed the designer's view on the traditional fantasy interpretations of thes races. If it doesn't fit your fantasy setting then why not swap the classes/specialties for different ones. I'm fairly sure the balancing factor in the races design is that they are limited to n classes/specialties, not which specific ones they currently are. Of course I could be wrong.
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« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2009, 07:20:58 AM »

I guess to me that while the sensory range is nice its useless in doors. Acting when surprised is nice but entirely dependant on circumstance. On top of their class limits they only get half healing... doesn't seem worth it. Especially not when compared to the bonuses of the other races.

I guess i'm not sold on them being that much better than humans.
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« Reply #52 on: September 08, 2009, 07:30:41 AM »

Big attribute bonus, elf sight and hearing boost are going to be the main culprits. I'm not sure that elfsight is worth it -- how many encounters are fought outside the first couple of range increments?
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« Reply #53 on: September 08, 2009, 08:40:13 AM »

I'm all about advantages vs drawbacks with character builds. However I look at the elves and i'm struggling to figure out what 'awesome' advantage they have to justify half healing on top of the iconic limitation. Am i missing something? They seem very weak compared to the other races.

Always acting in surprise rounds (unless deafened, a rare condition) means they basically never get ambushed. Elfsight gives them the only sniper scope in the game - being able to see a mile is also handy if you're out of doors. +4 Wis is HUGELY burly as far as attribute bonuses go - consider that a human has NO option for a +4 bonus in any Talent. The half healing would be crippling in D&D - but fortunately this isn't D&D, and you can heal pretty dang quickly without magic (note natural healing is not "an effect").

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For myself i'm not really pleased with things like iconic classes because it seems limiting to the designer's view of a race rather than being able to fit my worldview.

There's a species feat for that. Alternatively, you can swap classes to fit your campaign.

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Why not simply make humans more powerful?

Because that would blow the doors off compatibility with our other games? Humans are powerful through flexibility.
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« Reply #54 on: September 08, 2009, 10:38:29 AM »

Mastercraft will presumably come into it's own once a couple of settings are out, 10,000 Bullets meets Fantasycraft, anyone?
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« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2009, 12:01:48 PM »

Always acting in surprise rounds (unless deafened, a rare condition) means they basically never get ambushed. Elfsight gives them the only sniper scope in the game - being able to see a mile is also handy if you're out of doors. +4 Wis is HUGELY burly as far as attribute bonuses go - consider that a human has NO option for a +4 bonus in any Talent. The half healing would be crippling in D&D - but fortunately this isn't D&D, and you can heal pretty dang quickly without magic (note natural healing is not "an effect").


Never getting ambushed is nice.  But it only comes up in a very specific situation (being ambushed).  And after the surprise round, the advantage does nothing.  Meanwhile, compare this to natural DR or Breathing Flame... not really that exciting.

The sniper aspect is cool, but only if you play a lot out doors.  A lot of fantasy gaming takes place in doors or in urban environs, so that is pretty limited.

The attribute bonus... standard humans in all 3.X iterations suffered from not being able to match non-humans in a specific attribute, whether that was because they never had a modifier or the non-human had a higher (or more) modifier.  That seems to me to a be a wash with human's versatility and their lack of an attribute penalty (especially Con).

Granted, I don't know all the uses for Wis in FC... does it effect spells like in D&D? 

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For myself i'm not really pleased with things like iconic classes because it seems limiting to the designer's view of a race rather than being able to fit my worldview.

There's a species feat for that. Alternatively, you can swap classes to fit your campaign.

Which brings up another point... the 'iconic' drawback is /only/ a drawback for people who want to play outside of the proscribed limits of the implied setting of FC.  If they are fine playing those classes and backgrounds, they aren't penalized. 

So, as a Drawback, its not really universal or consistent (like 1/2 Healing is).  That being the case, I don't understand how it is a balance at all.  To paraphrase many point based games, "A Drawback that isn't a Drawback isn't worth points."  In this case, playing the iconic means you get your 'power' for free.  And if your powers are free sometimes, then why aren't they free all of the times?

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Why not simply make humans more powerful?

Because that would blow the doors off compatibility with our other games? Humans are powerful through flexibility.

I'd not imagine much cross pollination between FC and Spycraft, but I'm not really aware of other lines you have planned.
 
Wouldn't the flexibility (the choice of Talents) that allow Human PCs custom optimize their class/combo be their 'power' which the other races by virtue lack? 
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« Reply #56 on: September 08, 2009, 01:22:07 PM »

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Granted, I don't know all the uses for Wis in FC... does it effect spells like in D&D?  


Wis: Number of Spells known
Int: Spellcasting roll (higher level spells require higher spellcasting DCs to cast)
Cha: Spell save DC

So elves know a lot of spells, they also have a feat that allows them to sub wis for int a number of times/session for spellcasting rolls, and they also have IIRC, feats restricted to their type (Fey) that directly boost charisma.

So elves are very good spellcasters if built for it. I'm trying to think of a race that does it better, Drakes get a bonus to int (+2) but thats it.

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Which brings up another point... the 'iconic' drawback is /only/ a drawback for people who want to play outside of the proscribed limits of the implied setting of FC.  If they are fine playing those classes and backgrounds, they aren't penalized.  

So, as a Drawback, its not really universal or consistent (like 1/2 Healing is).  That being the case, I don't understand how it is a balance at all.  To paraphrase many point based games, "A Drawback that isn't a Drawback isn't worth points."  In this case, playing the iconic means you get your 'power' for free.  And if your powers are free sometimes, then why aren't they free all of the times?

It limits class choice, or background choice.

I think everyone in 3x thought that favored class [any] was an advantage and favored class [wizard] a disadvantage, so its much the same here.

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« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 01:24:03 PM by prototype00 » Logged
Crafty_Alex
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« Reply #57 on: September 08, 2009, 02:02:19 PM »

Always acting in surprise rounds (unless deafened, a rare condition) means they basically never get ambushed. Elfsight gives them the only sniper scope in the game - being able to see a mile is also handy if you're out of doors. +4 Wis is HUGELY burly as far as attribute bonuses go - consider that a human has NO option for a +4 bonus in any Talent. The half healing would be crippling in D&D - but fortunately this isn't D&D, and you can heal pretty dang quickly without magic (note natural healing is not "an effect").


Never getting ambushed is nice.  But it only comes up in a very specific situation (being ambushed).  And after the surprise round, the advantage does nothing.  Meanwhile, compare this to natural DR or Breathing Flame... not really that exciting.

Sounds like you wouldn't play an elf, then Smiley

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The sniper aspect is cool, but only if you play a lot out doors.  A lot of fantasy gaming takes place in doors or in urban environs, so that is pretty limited.

It sounds like it would be in your campaign. In my campaign (the Epoch playtest), it was useful all the time. That's why it's not hugely expensive as a benefit.

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The attribute bonus... standard humans in all 3.X iterations suffered from not being able to match non-humans in a specific attribute, whether that was because they never had a modifier or the non-human had a higher (or more) modifier.  That seems to me to a be a wash with human's versatility and their lack of an attribute penalty (especially Con).

They also suffer attribute penalties (example, +2 Int, -2 Con), so I beg to differ.

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For myself i'm not really pleased with things like iconic classes because it seems limiting to the designer's view of a race rather than being able to fit my worldview.

There's a species feat for that. Alternatively, you can swap classes to fit your campaign.

Which brings up another point... the 'iconic' drawback is /only/ a drawback for people who want to play outside of the proscribed limits of the implied setting of FC.  If they are fine playing those classes and backgrounds, they aren't penalized.  

So, as a Drawback, its not really universal or consistent (like 1/2 Healing is).  That being the case, I don't understand how it is a balance at all.  To paraphrase many point based games, "A Drawback that isn't a Drawback isn't worth points."  In this case, playing the iconic means you get your 'power' for free.  And if your powers are free sometimes, then why aren't they free all of the times?

Well, apparently a number of people think it's some horrible shackle to their characters, so I would say it is a valid drawback Smiley. Nearly every drawback has a way around it - in the case of iconic classes, it's either a) taking an equal or higher levels in an iconic class than other BASE classes (Expert Classes are not counted or affected here) or b) taking a Species feat which grants an additional iconic class and gives you something extra. Burden of Ages is the most "costly" drawback in our little formula - note that it doesn't apply if your group doesn't use healing magic, or if your character is a fast healer, or if you grab a feat from the elf Species upcoming Epoch setting. But saying that because that because there's a path around a drawback means that it's not a drawback at all and thus should not exist does not compute.

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Why not simply make humans more powerful?

Because that would blow the doors off compatibility with our other games? Humans are powerful through flexibility.

I'd not imagine much cross pollination between FC and Spycraft, but I'm not really aware of other lines you have planned.
  
Wouldn't the flexibility (the choice of Talents) that allow Human PCs custom optimize their class/combo be their 'power' which the other races by virtue lack?  

If you're asking to simply make non-human races more powerful than humans (essentially, that's what this is), then no. We have a point-balanced system which we use to grade the utility and power of ability modifiers, benefits and drawbacks which has been tested and refined over the course of 7 years. Each species/talent receives 7 points of aggregated benefits. In building these systems, we need to consider all the

Sounds like your idea of what balance and power is, is different from what ours is. Feel free to change or ignore those rules as you like. We built an elf that followed the core design principles of our game
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« Reply #58 on: September 08, 2009, 02:36:39 PM »

Because D&D has apparently forever ruined the idea of flavorful non-humans who are anything other than humans with 1 strange feature, I present - Elves with no flavor at all!

Type: Medium folk (1x1) with a Reach of 1.

* [1] +2 Wis, -2 Con
* [2] Elfsight: Per written elf.
* [.5] Light Sleeper: Per written elf.
* [1] Natural Elegance: Per written elf.
* [.5] Pointy Ears: You have pointy ears and pretty clothes.
* [2] Sharp Hearing: Per written elf.

And there you have it. All the regular elf stuff, without any serious modifiers or penalties. Dull as dishwater.
I sense sarcasm and frustration.
Alex I know that you and the gang have put a lot of effort into FC, but understand us the customers.
We area group of people that has tastes so varied that a single race presentation might not do. Your elves are great for LOTR-style campaigns where elves are really quite powerful. But many of us come from the D&D tradition of having elves that are not some semi-deific beings but a different species, with no real extra power compared to humans.
Your elves are not D&D elves, but claiming that D&D elves are not flavorful because of stats is, well, not right.
Allow others to have their opinions, because right now, in my eyes, you don't.
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« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2009, 02:48:23 PM »

OK. You're right. Our opinion as designers is there on the page. My point was (futilely) that the endless harping on this point is not going to change what's on the page. There are ways around the iconic classes drawback, but no one seems to recognize or accept that.

I going to remove myself from this thread, because I am just beating my head against the wall here.

Have fun, kids.
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