Ooh, look, a response... and I'd pretty much given this one up for dead.
Note: I consider Spycraft a close-quarters game; I like everyone in combat to be on the battlemat. Running any combat off battlemat is a pain in the ass. My choices reflect that.
Fair enough. The only exception I note to this is chases. I tend to have at least 2 chases per session, and the range can pay off in those sorts of situations.
Savvy Special Ops Pointman 3 / Soldier 1
I'd ditch the Marksmanship Mastery feat for the Follow-up Shot feat. Taking a -1 to attack rolls for an extra attack is awesome, but, then again, why not just shoot twice? Consider the Revolver Basics feat and then the Follow-up Shot feat instead if those fit.
Follow up shot... possibly.
Revolver Basics... I'm modeling this after a Military officer, and almost more particularly, Gorman in Aliens. So resolvers' sort of off concept. I see him with an automatic.
Marksmanship mastery is there, in part, for my experience with needing range in chases.
I can see why you'd go with the Ghost Basics feat, but I don't like investing a feat for what is, at this level, a +1 bonus. I'd consider something with more showmanship, like the Equilibrium or Spider Basics feats.
Yeah, good call. This was also building into the concept of the stealthy special ops type.
With Ptm's versatility class feature, didja go with the Talented feat just for the free skill ranks? Otherwise, I'd hack that off and go with the Unlocked Potential feat for Sneak, as that makes it always a class skill, too. In other words, Ambush Basics, Unlocked Potential (Sneak), Revolver Basics, Follow-up Shot, and Spider Basics (as you've someone in the group already with Equilibrium Basics). It's a bit more gun-hungry, but stealthier and infiltration's still the name of the game.
I really hadn't payed that much attention to unlocked potential, but I could see a few places it would fit. I think it fits a bit better with a character who has skill points to burn due to the whole "must max out the skills" thing. I'd also tend to use it if I wanted to qualify for some feats early.
As for this particular character, the talented is there in part for the skill points, but in part because I was running short on class skills. I originally had sneak as one of the versatility skills. But then it occurred to me that for skydiving, Acrobatics is a needed skill too. So I picked up the talented, shuffled sneak out of the versatility. His versatility skills are now athletics, resolve, survival, and sense motive. ( I forget why I took sense motive... it might have been to support the ghost basics. But if I ditch that as you recommend, I might modify this, too.)
Harold “Hal” Cook
Cunning Financier Faceman 4
“Not in the face”
I Can Swim
I want this guy to have a bitchen Wis and Cha, so he'd better because the Financier specialty demands it.
Why would that be?
It happens that his INT and CHA are maxed out. Like I said, he's working towards a schemer build. That might not matter so much for the one shot, but future games with more advanced iterations of these characters might have me progressing the chars into those levels. I'd almost rather work out a fresh faceman build if I'm going to mix that up.
I'd swap out the I Can Swim feat for an unarmed or melee combat feat as that's where this guy's gotta be to get the most use from his "Not the Face!" feat, but I understand the utility in a convention game of the I Can Swim feat, so that's okay.
Yeah, I'm tempted to give all these characters at least one offensive feat... I can see he missed out on that. His strength sort of sucks, so I didn't want to go too far that direction.
Orphaned Jack of All Trades Snoop 4
Extra Gear (Electronics)
I'd ditch the World Traveler feat for the Well-rounded feat as Stimpy has the prereq already. And again with the Talented feat? You know you've a mess of PCs with that, right? And this character's only getting the Streetwise skill for nothin', making him another good candidate for the Unlocked Potential feat instead.
I'm not fond of the training feat, but he gets it from his specialty, so as long as he already has it, I could see that. I do like well rounded, so it's something I'd consider.
Yeah, I like Talented. I like skill monkeys.
But I respect a different viewpoint.
I see him as a better candidate for Unlocked Potential, as (1) he has an 8 sp/lvl class, and (2)he already has one of the skills as class skills. That would really rocket up his streetwise, but I'd have to find another candidate for his "+4 ranks max" ability from Jack-of-All-Trades.
Privileged Thrill-seeker Wheelman 4
One hand on the wheel
So many of the chase feats have no prerequisites that I'd look to taking the ones that do rather than a bunch that don't--the One Hand on the Wheel feat, for instance. And the fact that Bail Out only helps you sucks
I think I had a build reason for bail out... but I forget what it was now. I think I might have been going for the whole stuntman thing, but when I started to look for room for the chance feats, I sort of ditched that idea. So I could lose Bail out.
Also, I'd want things that are useful outside the chase Dramatic Conflict system. For instance, combining the Get Radical! and Need for Speed feats makes any car (or bike! or skateboard!) into a plane, which is awesome. Honestly, I don't know what I'd pick, I'd consider ditching all three of the chosen feats (One Hand…, Offensive Driving, and Bail Out) for different things that help the entire group or allow cool stuff.
Hmmm... of those, offensive driver is the one I'd be most loath to get rid of. It makes chases
cool by making the penalty discouraging cool maneuvers less severe.
Other than that, good call.
Resolute Investigator Hacker 4
Talented (Private Eye)
False Start (Techie)
Four skill feats at level 4 and this character's not
a scientist? I'd strongly reconsider. You probably don't want hacking dramatic conflicts in your convention game anyway, and scientist with these skill feats makes everyone better at what she wants to do.
Hmmm... I'd not considered that.
What I HAD considered is dropping a level of hacker for a level of sleuth, because it's more in line with the concept.
The 4th skill feat... False Start... came as the 4th level bonus feat. I had a hard time deciding which one to take. I almost took training and picked up athletics.
And the scientist with the Boxing Basics feat? Awesome. Also, this is another character that benefits more from the Unlocked Potential feat than from the Talented feat as the Talented feat is only hitting one skill that isn't already a class skill.
Again, this is an 8 point skill class, and she already has one of the skills as a class, so I can see that. But do I want her to be an uber-investigator? Sure, why not.?
I had only taken talented here because her specialty gave her private eye, and it chaps my hide to have a basic skill feat and not have the skills it goes with as a class skill. But Unlocked Potential works too... though it does give her a hit in the skill point department. I'll see if she can afford it.
Graceful Wanderer Intruder 4
Talented (World Traveler)
Equilibrium Basics (?)
Another character who'd benefit more from the Unlocked Potential (Cultures) feat than from Talented. And if you're going the route you're thinking, go for both the Equilibrium Basics and Mastery feats. I'd ditch the World Traveler feat
It comes from her specialty. Canna do that.
Other than that, sounds good. She's the newest/iffiest character, and I'm more open to variations in the concept.
Vigilant Soldier of Fortune Soldier
(as a side note, I hate the change to the name of the mercenary specialty... it sounds so redundant with "Soldier". BID.) (Note: Me, too)
This is solid. I'd quibble about the Observer feat and might exchange it for the CQB Mastery feat (to eliminate the other
I'd like to do this, but again, the Observer feat comes with the Specialty.
Aside from which, I debated putting a straight up soldier in at all. Though there will be some fights, I don't want the soldier player to be bored while the action is still at a lull. So I felt like the vigilant angle gave her something to make her more important out of combat. Search and Notice isn't a lot of skill points for a skill that can be levied often out of combat in an espionage game.
Shrewd Contract Professional Sleuth
As an add-on character, this requires going into detail about the entire contacts system, which you can largely ignore with every other character. Add-on characters should be easier to play, not harder. I'd make this guy the interrorgation expert,
That was sort of the intent. Or rather, the sideline I was going for on the way to the cleaner build.
And I had considered jazzing up CUTTER'S and SERENDIPITY's contacts, since you mention it.
ditching the Hustler and Marksmanship Basics feats for the Iron Will and Hold Out feats.
Hustler comes from the sleuth bonus; it's gotta be a style or basic skill feat. (Unless I apply "The Great Game" to the campaign like I do my home campaign; that wouldn't be that out of line with the sort of game I run anyways.)
Yes, this introduces a potentially messy Dramatic Conflict or two to the table, but in my experience PCs are always going to interrogate, so it's not that big of a deal, and sometimes an expert in it is necessary. This means switching from the Shrewd talent to the Disciplined talent and the Contract Pro specialty to the Operative specialty. However, this character does get the full benefit from the Talented feat, so I'm good with keeping that.
The contract professional is where the talented came from, in this case. But in this case (unlike many others, which were randomized), the specialty selection was intentional. Again, for entry into the cleaner build.
Shrewd, I'm not married to.
Thanks for the feedback.