Making Characters - Open Discussion

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CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Theliel wrote:

Theliel wrote:

Some quick notes: gene freak had suggested profession as surgeon, doesn't actually have the skill to do surgery.

Hacker has suggested profession sysop, but doesn't get any interface to operate said system.

The sheer number of thinly sliced active skills is a pain. Being a social monster or gun bunny is fairly easy, being able to fix a small station is damn near impossible because of all the different hardware skilks you'd need.

I would fix that by increasing number of available skill points by 100, but also setting a requirement for 100 skill points to be distributed in field skills and exotic skills.
That way if you want to be a hardcore techie or universal damn pilot or fucking harper or fucking elite go player you won't have to reduce your usefullness as a Firewall agent to add some flavor. Right now if you want to play a fucking lute you have to spent the points from the same pool as Infiltration and Guns. How could I possibly justify that knowing that the fate of humanity depends on those rolls?

Exurgents wanna eat your ass and you are low on ammo? Register to mobile gear catalogue at eldrich.host.mesh! ORDER NOW! FOR FREE PLASMA MINIMISSILE PACK! *explosive delivery options included

swordchucks swordchucks's picture
Morphs, Ugh.

One of the things I've hated most about EP in the past, and continue to hate in these rules is the way that "your body is disposable... but really not at all". I like the Resources Trait a lot (I play with a house-ruled version of that right now), but the fact that morphs are somehow not resources is... bizarre.

Three things I'd like to see that would make this much better (in my opinion):

1. Morph traits shouldn't be lumped in with Ego traits, thus should not be part of CP.
2. Morphs should be purchased like gear, with morph traits affecting their price.
3. Certain morphs can be too expensive for PCs at the start of the game or require a trait in order to purchase or lowering of the cost via negative traits.

Why go with this over the current system?

a) The current system makes little or no sense in-game. Why would having a reaper morph be the equivalent of 55 points of skills? Of 12 points of aptitudes?
b) The current system can reward you for taking a crappy morph, loading it down with negative traits, and then resleeving into a spare slightly less crappy morph. Even if you don't do that, a game that naturally has a transition via farcasting, etc., will offer an opportunity to shed negative traits.
c) In the current system, because you spend points on Resources and Morphs out of the same pool, you're actually pushing people that are richer toward cheaper morphs. Which is really the opposite of how it should probably work.

Ghostwalker Ghostwalker's picture
swordchucks wrote:One of the

swordchucks wrote:
One of the things I've hated most about EP in the past, and continue to hate in these rules is the way that "your body is disposable... but really not at all". I like the Resources Trait a lot (I play with a house-ruled version of that right now), but the fact that morphs are somehow not resources is... bizarre.

Three things I'd like to see that would make this much better (in my opinion):

1. Morph traits shouldn't be lumped in with Ego traits, thus should not be part of CP.
2. Morphs should be purchased like gear, with morph traits affecting their price.
3. Certain morphs can be too expensive for PCs at the start of the game or require a trait in order to purchase or lowering of the cost via negative traits.

Why go with this over the current system?

a) The current system makes little or no sense in-game. Why would having a reaper morph be the equivalent of 55 points of skills? Of 12 points of aptitudes?
b) The current system can reward you for taking a crappy morph, loading it down with negative traits, and then resleeving into a spare slightly less crappy morph. Even if you don't do that, a game that naturally has a transition via farcasting, etc., will offer an opportunity to shed negative traits.
c) In the current system, because you spend points on Resources and Morphs out of the same pool, you're actually pushing people that are richer toward cheaper morphs. Which is really the opposite of how it should probably work.

Yeah, good points. This is why I have problems to adapt E.P. for GURPS (and I love GURPS, by the way).

The Body is a shell. From the setting concept, all the Morphs are products. I think it should be something like this:

* Some backgrounds have a default morph included, to represent those who did'nt die in the The Fall. Probably Flat or Splicers.

* Most Morphs would be paid in "cache" (or credits, etc.), since they are products.

* Maybe some exotic Morphs would require some Trait to "unlock" to the player

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Currently performing Tank Action

I haven't had time to go into the document / this thread in real depth yet, but very quickly:

- Would it be possible to alter the formatting/arangement of the Trait list(s)?
It would be nice if pure-Ego Traits, pure-Morph traits and Either traits could each have thier own table.
If this isn't feasable, it would be good if the table entries could be colour-coded to make distinguishing types easier - actually, this would be good for Bio-/Synth- traits anyway.

- If it isn't present in the Equipment chapter, a paragraph or two explicitly stating the mechanical differences (basic requirements, equipment availability and so on) between Biomorphs, Synths and Pods could be useful.

- Would it be possible to divide the Morph Ware into catagories - for instance grouping gear that improves perception together, or motion-enhancing gear like grip pads and extra limbs and so on.

- Whilst not immediately applicable, if we're keeping knowledge skills as skills then please put a box next to them on the character sheet where the Complimentary Skill Bonus can be entered.
In personal experience this bonus comes up much more often than the actual skill value.

- Finally, in the Skills section it states that "each skill is linked to an aptitude and bought upwards from that aptitude’s base value" but this is no longer true - the aptitude is applied after the skill is aquired, and the text needs to reflect that.
I like it this way around because it makes equating skill levels to the level of traing much easier to parse - you have X amount of education, but perform at a higher level because of your innate abilites.

I'll post more when I can give it the attention it deserves :D

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Kremlin K.O.A. Kremlin K.O.A.'s picture
Went and tried to recreate my

Went and tried to recreate my old MMO AGI, the one in the IC forum.
They ended up less competent out of the gate, but hey, maybe starting chars are supposed to be less this edition.
They also ended up with gear that they cannot use at all (Armor vest, smart clothes, food maker) and no way to engage in a physical combat. (Got the skills but no access to a gun drone)

The gear system needs to be passed through the can again to take infomorphs into account.

saithorthepyro saithorthepyro's picture
Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:Went and

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:
Went and tried to recreate my old MMO AGI, the one in the IC forum.
They ended up less competent out of the gate, but hey, maybe starting chars are supposed to be less this edition.
They also ended up with gear that they cannot use at all (Armor vest, smart clothes, food maker) and no way to engage in a physical combat. (Got the skills but no access to a gun drone)

The gear system needs to be passed through the can again to take infomorphs into account.

I ended up having the same problem trying to recreate characters I made under the original packages system.

Overall, I like a good deal of the changes I see, especially the condensed skill list, but the new version of chargen is not really one of them. I think trying to simplify chargen went a little too far, and I don't like the new package system that much. Which is weird, because I love Transhuman's Package system and thought it was the best of the three methods given in 1e.

I think the reason I dislike this one is because it lacks the customization from Transhuman's package system, where you could choose more than one focus package, had the customization packages, and also could choose varying levels of packages that increased the benefits you got from them. In here it's choose one option out of a list three times, which isn't as versatile, and while there's the equivalent number of free CP, because this lack of versatility, you're more likely to have skills that you need to get (Fray being the biggest), that you were unable to get from the packages.

Also, just some weird things, like apparently the Investigator doesn't get Perceive, which makes no sense because it's the combination of Perception and Investigation. Also, packages like Hyperlite and Artist getting Provoke, which does make sense, but the Enforcer doesn't get it when he's the one career that really should.

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
UnitOmega wrote:This maybe

UnitOmega wrote:
This maybe should go in wishlist stuff but since I'm thinking about it now I do hope perhaps in the GM's section there will be some official conversion guidelines for people who don't want to wait years for you to reprint their favorite things?

There won't be a conversion guide in the book, but we will put one on the website. For PCs, though, it'll probably be better to just remake them.

UnitOmega wrote:

In skills though, finding the use of the FATE names for a lot of skills a little... unusual. It's not really a complaint directly but it does feel unfamiliar to myself and shows a weird affinity for FATE (which, y'know, still has it's own conversion). You're also dooming me and many, many 1E players to the curse of never remembering what the skills are actually called for the foreseeable future.

The skill terminology change has more to do consistency than trying to be more like Fate (though Fate also leaned towards active verbs).

UnitOmega wrote:

I'll probably mull over it some more, but I think the only really unclear thing which won't be resolved by later playtest works is the traits for various Aptitude tests, unless I missed some language in the Game Mechanics section it doesn't seem to specify which tests those are. Is it defaulting, is it Aptitude (i/e x3) tests or is it akin to a morph bonus and just +5 to all tests derived from that aptitude?

You're missing the section on Aptitude Checks, which is on page 2 of the Making Characters PDF.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
MagisterCrow wrote:Are

MagisterCrow wrote:
Are Ultimates not going to be a PC faction anymore? They don't appear on the sidebar and I wanted to know if that was deliberate or an oversight. I know toward the end of 1e, we started seeing a lot more "potential X-Threat" talk and I remember they and Firewall had some issues, but I'm now kinda curious.

Ultimates have indeed been dropped as a PC faction. As you noted, we pushed them more in the fascist/x-threat direction, and we don't want to be encouraging people to play fascists.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:

EDIT: Do the traits like Empathy, Fitness, and Good Instinct work on skill checks or just raw aptitude checks?

Just Aptitude Checks.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Archon79 wrote:Why remove

Archon79 wrote:
Why remove money? This takes out the crunch that supports the central human conflict, scarcity vs post scarcity economics, rep economy vs old economy, by flattening things so that old economy works the same way as rep anyway, that difference is gone, plus why do old economy people have to like me to sell memthings? An asshole billionaire doesn't need to win popularity contests surely?

Why remove the speed attribute? Having fury morphs being Matrix like blurs was transhuman at a visceral level, the idea of this body that was so far beyond human that they tore thru rooms of flats like they were sacks of meat was again, thematic of a central conflict, transhuman vs biocon, in a way the piles of beads mechanics simply aren't. Crunch should support themes, make them real..that has been harmed by these decisions

Because Shopping: The RPG isn't very fun. Even with cool gear like EP has.

Others have already commented on the issues with Speed, but that was deliberate. Vigor still allows for some of that, but it keeps it in check more.

YMMV.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Ghostwalker wrote:

Ghostwalker wrote:

I didn't like the absense of aptitude bonus from Morphs. So, a flat human is as good as a Fury or a Remade? That's weird.

I've explained this elsewhere, but aptitude modifiers required recalculation of skills when you resleeved. That was easily one of our top complaints about EP1. It slowed things down. So aptitude modifiers had to go. We still wanted to keep the concept of morphs having an impact on your capabilities, though, so that's why we introduced pools.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

Ghostwalker Ghostwalker's picture
RobBoyle wrote:Ghostwalker

RobBoyle wrote:
Ghostwalker wrote:

I didn't like the absense of aptitude bonus from Morphs. So, a flat human is as good as a Fury or a Remade? That's weird.

I've explained this elsewhere, but aptitude modifiers required recalculation of skills when you resleeved. That was easily one of our top complaints about EP1. It slowed things down. So aptitude modifiers had to go. We still wanted to keep the concept of morphs having an impact on your capabilities, though, so that's why we introduced pools.

Yeah, I get it. I like the idea behind the pools. But IMO, that's not enough. Without the pool, the Flat and the Remade are almost the same. That's very, very, VERY sad and disappointing. Does not seem to fit with the transhuman concept presented in the first edition.

I know that recalculating things may be boring for some, and could be better, but not like this.

Ghostwalker Ghostwalker's picture
RobBoyle wrote:Because

RobBoyle wrote:
Because Shopping: The RPG isn't very fun. Even with cool gear like EP has.

YMMV.

And yet, most of the RPGs I know have some "shopping". And is not necessarily bad. Maybe we could have options for "shopping rules", like those Optional Rules in Transhuman.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Most of the RPGs I've played

Most of the RPGs I've played have rules pretty similar to EP actually, the bookeeping involved with a granular money system is just usually not worth it. Even in games with granular money (D&D 5e for example) most groups handwave small expenses and just look at high value amounts, which in practice, looks very similar to a resources system.

The flat and remade are also pretty different. Flats aren't immune to poison, need to sleep more than once every few days, can't walk around comfortably at temperatures well below freezing or near the boiling point of water, can't breath thin CO2 rich air, etc.

Implants make for most of the capability difference between morphs, so the basic structure is just better because of the notably higher DUR/DR/WT and pools. Previously if you ignored implants the Remade was tougher (as it is now) and was ~10% better at many skill checks. It really got stronger, because pools are more powerful than +5 SOM or similar.

Most of the power of a morph being in the implants really helps the transhuman feel IMO, because if someone wanted to, they could make a flat into a budget Remade with the implants, and would have most of the capability, but lack the raw power of the base chassis, which seems pretty transhuman to me.

mellonbread mellonbread's picture
RobBoyle wrote:MagisterCrow

RobBoyle wrote:
MagisterCrow wrote:
Are Ultimates not going to be a PC faction anymore? They don't appear on the sidebar and I wanted to know if that was deliberate or an oversight. I know toward the end of 1e, we started seeing a lot more "potential X-Threat" talk and I remember they and Firewall had some issues, but I'm now kinda curious.

Ultimates have indeed been dropped as a PC faction. As you noted, we pushed them more in the fascist/x-threat direction, and we don't want to be encouraging people to play fascists.

Previous EP books like Rimward made a huge deal about how Ultimates had a bunch of internal factions with different interpretations about what the ideology meant. Rounding them off to "fascists we don't want people to play as" is a huge step away from "EP as an interesting setting" and toward "EP as agitprop". I can say pretty confidently that this won't stop me from playing one, and I don't think it will stop anyone else either.

Did you hear the one about the guy who became a fence?

Spoiler: Highlight to view
They say he was a real posthuman
Archon79 Archon79's picture
RobBoyle wrote:Archon79 wrote

RobBoyle wrote:
Archon79 wrote:
Why remove money? This takes out the crunch that supports the central human conflict, scarcity vs post scarcity economics, rep economy vs old economy, by flattening things so that old economy works the same way as rep anyway, that difference is gone, plus why do old economy people have to like me to sell memthings? An asshole billionaire doesn't need to win popularity contests surely?

Why remove the speed attribute? Having fury morphs being Matrix like blurs was transhuman at a visceral level, the idea of this body that was so far beyond human that they tore thru rooms of flats like they were sacks of meat was again, thematic of a central conflict, transhuman vs biocon, in a way the piles of beads mechanics simply aren't. Crunch should support themes, make them real..that has been harmed by these decisions

Because Shopping: The RPG isn't very fun. Even with cool gear like EP has.

Others have already commented on the issues with Speed, but that was deliberate. Vigor still allows for some of that, but it keeps it in check more.

YMMV.

But..but shopping was the entire point of Shadowrun and Shadowrun is awesome! (True fact I spend as long agonizing over gear for a run as I do planning the other aspects, I LIKE shopping the RPG)

On Vigor: I have yet to encounter a pool system that does not degenerate into heated arguments about what EXACTLY was meant by sub-clause g in paragraph 17 of chapter 6 and why that means the pool applies to just this exact edge case I want it to, so..yea fixed, defined and permanent effects that aren't open to debate are preferable, imho.

Also I second the motion about Ultimates, they are interesting, and like the arguments over what makes an exhuman exactly I can guess that they have a large number of people who see the point the saner factions are making, after all, 'be strong or die' is a powerful motivator, and appeals to the innate murderhobo in most RPG players. Also:
'Yes, man must sink or fight; be strong or die
That is thy law, oh great free strenuous west.
The weak thou wilt make strong, till he defy
Thy buffetings; but spacious prairie breast
Will never nourish weakling as its guest.
He must grow strong or die: Thou givest
All an equal chance to work to do their best
Free land, free hand – they son must work or fall
And so I love thee, great free rugged land
Of cloudless summer days, with west wind croon
And prairie flowers, all dewy diademed
And twilight long, with blood red low hung moon
And mountain peaks that glisten white each noon
Through purple haze that veils the western sky
And well I know the meadowlarks glad tune
As up and down he lilts and circles high
And sings sheer joy – be strong, be free.
Be strong or die.

—–

Source: The Great Lone Land by Betty Coulton

Is that not an Ultimate to the bone?

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
On Defaulting

Alright, let me distil my objection to No-Defaulting skills into a more cogent argument. The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of thing a character can do without any formal training, by defaulting to a linked attribute (remember that a character can get up to +60 by stacking modifiers):

  • Isolate a specific chemical compound

  • Solve Fermat's Last Theorem

  • Translate a previously unknown language

  • Scratch-build a Reaper

  • Disarm a bomb

  • Plot an interplanetary transfer orbit

  • Field-strip a plasma rifle

  • Repair a submarine

  • Calculate the time dilation factor for a given value of c

  • Sythesize liquid thermite

  • Design and install cybernetic implants

  • Perform open-heart surgery

  • Build a thermonuclear device

  • Fly a helicopter

  • Conduct an orchestra

  • Disarm a security system

  • Build a computer

  • Reprogram the human brain

If a character can do all of those things by defaulting, why are Programming and Infosec different?

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Ian Argent Ian Argent's picture
Ultimates as PC faction

If the Ultimates go "away" as a PC faction, then there's no "PC friendly" group dedicated to "ethical self-improvement." I have recently re-read the various EP1 sourcebooks (for fun), and I've seen that the Ultimates are moving towards the fascist/x-threat direction. Perhaps they can schism?

I'd like to see a faction dedicated to "friendly excellence," where they want to be "the best there is" but not Rule All The Lesser Beings? There were strains of this in the early presentation of the Ultimates, and then they seem to have fallen by the wayside.

Ghostwalker Ghostwalker's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Implants make for most of the capability difference between morphs, so the basic structure is just better because of the notably higher DUR/DR/WT and pools. Previously if you ignored implants the Remade was tougher (as it is now) and was ~10% better at many skill checks. It really got stronger, because pools are more powerful than +5 SOM or similar.

Most of the power of a morph being in the implants really helps the transhuman feel IMO, because if someone wanted to, they could make a flat into a budget Remade with the implants, and would have most of the capability, but lack the raw power of the base chassis, which seems pretty transhuman to me.

Ok, you got a point. And we don't know yet how equipment work.

But I will repeat myself:

If someone is stronger, what this mean mechanically speaking?
If someone is smarter, what this mean mechanically speaking?
If someone is faster, what this mean mechanically speaking?

AND

If Aptitudes do NOT represent ANY of that, WHY there are test based of those things, associated with those concepts? Because at least in 1st, many of the mechanical aspects of SOM involve strenght and resistance tests. The Apt was used for Damage calculation, and many real physical things.

And what about someone with superhuman SOM (40) in a very weak body? Or the oposite, someone with a very low SOM with a superman-strenght body? How do you do that?

At least in GURPS that's easy. ST is clearly related to a physical thing, the only real mental atribute is IQ (and, of course, the other secondary characteristics associated with, like PER or WILL). In Eclipse Phase, that's not clear.

When the body end and the Ego begin in 2E of EP?

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

They also ended up with gear that they cannot use at all (Armor vest, smart clothes, food maker) and no way to engage in a physical combat. (Got the skills but no access to a gun drone)

The gear system needs to be passed through the can again to take infomorphs into account.

Gear packs are still a work in progress, but we are open to suggested alterations. Most of them will probably start with a weapon of some sort.

As to infomorphs -- you will have the option of switching out gear for something of an equivalent Complexity with GM approval. I've also been toying with a package that is for infomorphs in place of their normal career gear pack, but still debating that one.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
TheGrue wrote:Alright, let me

TheGrue wrote:
Alright, let me distil my objection to No-Defaulting skills into a more cogent argument. The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of thing a character can do without any formal training, by defaulting to a linked attribute (remember that a character can get up to +60 by stacking modifiers):

If a character can do all of those things by defaulting, why are Programming and Infosec different?

I'll reiterate something I said earlier, you've listed a lot of cases where there is actually a good case against defaulting - the problem is that many of these are field skills. This creates an issue, because while I might agree that say, somebody with no training can't perform brain surgery or building a bomb in your bathtub, because those might be covered under Field skills I would say there should be some level of base level overlap between skills (I/E the default aptitude). If you're trained in the basics of open heart surgery on a human, some of that basic biological knowledge would apply if you had to do open heart surgery on a horse. Not a lot, but defaulting is usually bad anyway.

And I personally argue for Field skills because it's good for differentiation. Not just fluff, but if say, Hardware was one skill somebody could sink 80 points into being amazing at way too many tasks across different scales and specialties.

So the question becomes, would you prefer an extra layer of rules to apply defaulting to all things which logically persist with no defaulting? Because me personally, I can also totally see why you can't default on stuff like program or infosec. How the heck do you understand or write code without training in it? If you got a program to translate the Programming language to you, that would basically be like an ALI with it's own skill.

(Also I'd argue you can't practically accomplish a lot of those things by defaulting - a lot of those sound like they'd be pretty hard without proper tools and training, and defaulting pools are pretty low.)

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

Kremlin K.O.A. Kremlin K.O.A.'s picture
RobBoyle wrote:MagisterCrow

RobBoyle wrote:
MagisterCrow wrote:
Are Ultimates not going to be a PC faction anymore? They don't appear on the sidebar and I wanted to know if that was deliberate or an oversight. I know toward the end of 1e, we started seeing a lot more "potential X-Threat" talk and I remember they and Firewall had some issues, but I'm now kinda curious.

Ultimates have indeed been dropped as a PC faction. As you noted, we pushed them more in the fascist/x-threat direction, and we don't want to be encouraging people to play fascists.


And here was me hoping for a schism between the Iconics and the Overhumanists.
Let the warrior poets ditch the fascists and form a new faction.
TheGrue TheGrue's picture
UnitOmega wrote:I'll

UnitOmega wrote:
I'll reiterate something I said earlier, you've listed a lot of cases where there is actually a good case against defaulting - the problem is that many of these are field skills. This creates an issue, because while I might agree that say, somebody with no training can't perform brain surgery or building a bomb in your bathtub, because those might be covered under Field skills I would say there should be some level of base level overlap between skills (I/E the default aptitude). If you're trained in the basics of open heart surgery on a human, some of that basic biological knowledge would apply if you had to do open heart surgery on a horse. Not a lot, but defaulting is usually bad anyway.

And I personally argue for Field skills because it's good for differentiation. Not just fluff, but if say, Hardware was one skill somebody could sink 80 points into being amazing at way too many tasks across different scales and specialties.

So the question becomes, would you prefer an extra layer of rules to apply defaulting to all things which logically persist with no defaulting? Because me personally, I can also totally see why you can't default on stuff like program or infosec. How the heck do you understand or write code without training in it? If you got a program to translate the Programming language to you, that would basically be like an ALI with it's own skill.

(Also I'd argue you can't practically accomplish a lot of those things by defaulting - a lot of those sound like they'd be pretty hard without proper tools and training, and defaulting pools are pretty low.)

I'm 100% behind Field skills overlapping, that's a great mechanic and it goes a long way to making Field skills less thinly sliced and more worth taking. For the sake of this discussion, I'm talking about a character who has no ranks in any related Field skill, and is just defaulting to COG.

As to what I would prefer, what I would prefer is that the "No Defaulting" restriction be removed from all skills. That's the simplest fix, and also the easiest to remember. A granular way of determining which skills can be defaulted according to some arbitrary categorization might be more "realistic", but it would also be more difficult to remember on the fly - and besides which, as general game design theory I am rarely a fan of restricting player options.

You may ask how a person could understand code without being trained, and you have a point. I would reply with one of the following arguments; you may take your pick as to which you find more compelling:

  • Computers are ubiquitous in the transhuman future. Computer code is already a part of general K-12 education right now in the 21st century; do we have any reason to think this will go away by the time of the Fall? I submit that a transhuman whose basic education did not include some rudimentary form of programming or infosec is roughly equivalent to a modern human that was never taught to read, or do arithmetic; such a deficiency is better represented as a negative trait than a global rule about skills.
  • Code is difficult to interpret without training, yes. But is it impossible? If yes, why is it impossible to interpret code without training, but possible to perform tasks on my list with the same lack of training? Is neurosurgery really more intuitive than HTML?

Regarding the difference between theoretically possible and practically achievable, this distinction is irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion. It is sufficient to argue my case that a character can default on Medicine: Neurosurgery and has a non-zero chance of success, yet cannot even attempt Infosec or Programming without formal training. But this leads into another argument, an argument I was holding off on until we saw the Gear chapter but I can actually get into now: how easy it is to get circumstantial bonuses.

Take Joe Cyborg, for instance. Joe is a statistically average transhuman, meaning all of his aptitudes are at 15. Joe, for whatever reason, has no ranks in any Active skill, but he is very well read and has an arbitrary number of Knowledge skills at 30 (which, with his 15 COG, puts them at 45).

Joe needs to prune a fork of himself to send to visit his mother on Extropia, preferably one optimized for small talk and with a dampened sense of taste. Joe doesn't have any ranks in Medicine: Psychosurgery, so he's defaulting to his COG 15. But he does have Academics: Psychology at 45, which gives him a +10 complimentary skill bonus. He can also get his neighbour, Jill Robot, to assist him for a further +10. He can spend a point of Insight or Flex for a further +20, and since there's no time pressure he can take extra time for another +20. This brings him to the maximum of +60, meaning his target number is now 75. His odds of success are about 3 in 4; if has Insight or Flex left to flip the dice, his odds improve to about 9 in 10.

Joe's mother is fond of geese, and he wants his fork to bring her a gift. Extropia is too far to send a physical item, so he'll have the fork fab something on arrival. He could grab a blueprint for a sculpture of a goose off his rep networks, but Joe wants to add that personal touch and do it himself. So Joe decides to create a custom blueprint of a goose sculpture; he doesn't have any ranks in Programming, but his COG is 15. He does have Interest: Sculpture at 45, which gives a +10 complimentary skill bonus. He can again get his neighbour Jill to assist him for a further +10, spend a point of Insight or Flex for a further +20, and take extra time for another +20. This brings him to the maximum of +60, meaning his target number is now 75 - except he still can't attempt the task, because he isn't allowed to default on Programming.

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
I like a lot of the changes

I like a lot of the changes to skills, I felt that 1e had way too many, especially for certain roles (Finding alternate routes, playing a Face, etc). That said, there's one skill that still remains that I think should have kicked the bucket: Profession.

The problem with Profession is first that it can be implied by a lot of other existing skills. For instance, I can take Medicine: Psychosurgery and Profession: Psychosurgery going off of the suggested fields alone. If we extrapolate this further, every skill that involves a useful trade can be bundled up into a Profession version as well. In that case, what does do? Going off of the text, it appears that all it gives is knowledge of how the industry itself runs and operates (So, in the above example profession: psychosurgery would cover making appointments and the lingo used?) which has a very niche use, about as niche as Art and Animal Handling, and those got shunted off into Exotic Skills. Furthermore is the question of what happens when a situation would call for it. Can you default to the trade skill? If so there's no point in taking it. Do you absolutely require it? Then anyone who has a trade skill is obligated to pump points into their Profession version if they ever used it to make money.

Speaking of the need to double up, there's the question of what it says about someone if they have one skill but not the other. Someone with the trade skill but no points in the profession would mean that someone took all the time and effort to learn a valuable trade, and then not only have they not held a job with it they have not paid even the slightest bit of attention to the industry (And I would also question how high someone could really get a skill without in the field experience). Even worse is a situation where someone has a high profession skill, but nothing whatsoever in the actual skill. I can only imagine some Chicken Boo level shenanigans involved in someone apparently having worked as a surgeon for some time without actually knowing even the basics. And yes, I'm sure examples of both exist in the real world either due to eccentric hobbyists or nepotism, but this is the sort of anal granularity that the 2nd edition rules are moving away from.

Leetsepeak Leetsepeak's picture
It doesn't seem like it would

It doesn't seem like it would actually be difficult to play an Ultimate in 2e, even if the book isn't listing them as a faction.

I think there's probably something to be said about how in absence of an actual schism, the more moderate members of the Ultimates are still participating in the institution with the Overhumanists in a fashion that makes them complicit.

If they schism, somewhere like the announced Solar Gazetteer would be a great place to describe that schism, but if I had to hazard a guess, the 'good guys' would probably not be the ones who get to keep the Ultimates name.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
What I'm getting from the

What I'm getting from the transformation of Ultimates to Fascists/X-Threats, is that I should bring back my idea for a custom "True Nietzche" faction as a discreet faction rather than a subgroup of Ultimates.

Like I've always said, Nietzche's Overman has a lot more in common ideologically with the Scum than the Ultimates anyway.

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Honestly, "faction" seems

Honestly, "faction" seems much more strongly an RP guideline than anything now - a natural part of describing your character but lacking a concise mechanical element (Other than affecting the Blacklisted trait and some free Knowledge skill points). There's nothing really stopping you from playing the Ultimate, Exhuman or Singularity Seeker ideology inherently in the system - as opposed to 1E where factions were a major mechanical component. I mean, the game even says you can go "Factionless" and become the True Neutral of EP.

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Decivre Decivre's picture
Finally spent all morning

Finally spent all morning perusing the new releases. I love what I see on character creation.

  1. Origins simply being a 260-point distribution of skills is excellent. The Common Fields element is a nice touch, because it remains fairly brief with broad fields present. I like fields more broad, since skills now are more broad.
  2. I love the shrinking of overall point costs. This implies to me (if Rez will work similarly to how it worked before) that Rez will also be more valuable, and that's awesome.
  3. Ego Flex? HELL YES!!! I'm so glad that there's still an Edge attribute for the ego. The surprisingly low cost and cap is refreshing as well... I'll basically be getting all of them with every character.
  4. I like that gear comes with blueprints, AND I love that it comes in fixed packages. This raises a question, however: do morphs come with blueprints/genetic templates as well? I know players who would be pleased by that, three-year growth rates be damned (note that blueprints shouldn't necessarily inform one about the makeup of GSPs, so even morphs with Planned Obsolescence could come with genetic templates).
  5. I now see why you wanted to switch to d6s. The math makes more sense. Most morphs have few pool points anyways, so regaining 1d6 is usually going to fully fill you up. I'm guessing the switch for damage dice was to make combat less instantly lethal and more cinematic. I'm okay with this.

Now for the nitpicks:

  1. I noticed that the cost of morphs is total CP of properties divided by 4, rounded up at .5. Be warned that optimizers will screech about the fact that morphs aren't built to optimal point values (1, 5, 9, 13, 17 and so on).
  2. If you recommend keeping aptitudes and skills on values divisible by 5, why cap the skill system at 98? I'm not even obsessive-compulsive and that's giving me an itch down my spine. Especially if Rez grants 5 skill points per point spent....
  3. I hope you'll have other starting equipment options in the core book. At least one for mercenaries as well. And try not to accidentally make those templates overlap with career templates. Simple item packages seem to me the easiest way to expand the playable possibilities of the game setting, and you definitely should capitalize on it.
  4. If Savvy aptitude checks are for "resisting social manipulation", isn't that largely the same as Willpower's "resist emotional manipulation"? I think that Savvy should just be about real emotional bonds and empathy... leave most of the mental resisting to Willpower.
  5. Ultimates aren't core book. I'm triggered. I will promptly un-trigger myself if you promise to put morph creation in core instead. :P

I think I like how hardening acts as a penalty to SAV or WIL more than a penalty to Moxie-now-Flex. Is there a limit to how many you can slap on either? Can I just keep dumping on SAV and become a totally out-of-touch sociopath instead of a rambling madman, or is it capped at total SAV or WIL? Is it a penalty to the aptitude, or the aptitude test? I don't think Deceive should be affected by Hardening. People who become more emotionally-distant from others don't necessarily become worse at lying. I'd argue the contrary.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

MagisterCrow MagisterCrow's picture
Ian Argent wrote:If the

Ian Argent wrote:
If the Ultimates go "away" as a PC faction, then there's no "PC friendly" group dedicated to "ethical self-improvement." I have recently re-read the various EP1 sourcebooks (for fun), and I've seen that the Ultimates are moving towards the fascist/x-threat direction. Perhaps they can schism?

I'd like to see a faction dedicated to "friendly excellence," where they want to be "the best there is" but not Rule All The Lesser Beings? There were strains of this in the early presentation of the Ultimates, and then they seem to have fallen by the wayside.


Agreed. One of the reasons a friend of mine played Ultimates a lot was because of that focus on excellence and pushing the limits of his transhuman capability. While I get that the Ultimates have a lot of attached strings with being fascist and their conception of gene trash, I feel like in some ways there was also that odd individuality to balance things out. Like, the interview with the Ultimate in Rimward had the guy speaking to another...not necessarily as an equal, but someone with whom at least they were friendly.

I dunno, I guess I look at it and see Ultimates becoming just another band of exhumans with a good reputation, which, as stated, basically paints anyone trying to push past transhuman as 'evil.' I get transhumanity being scared of tech advancing too quick, but surely there's got to be some folks who are seeking to push the boundaries of transhumanity in all its forms and band together to give it a shot that aren't psychopaths, brinkers, or fascists.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Decivre wrote:[*]If you

Decivre wrote:
[*]If you recommend keeping aptitudes and skills on values divisible by 5, why cap the skill system at 98? I'm not even obsessive-compulsive and that's giving me an itch down my spine. Especially if Rez grants 5 skill points per point spent....

Well, on one hand, its hard to get skills to 98 during character creation. Normally, you can get to 80, or 90 (+10 for specialization). You would need a trait to push a skill further.

On the other hand, I recall that if you got bonuses that pushed your odds to 100 or higher, that the GM could simply rule that you automatically succeed. I would like to have a skill that high, to be able to automatically succeed unless some complication comes along.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Here's a question - if we're

Here's a question - if we're recommended to stick to multiples of 5 when picking attributes, why don't we just move the whole system from a d100 to a d20?

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arthexis arthexis's picture
Defaulting and other Stuff

Regarding pools, I like them. Initially I was skeptical since it's another thing to remember... but I think it's definitely better than flat attribute bonuses. It's more interactive, it provides more options, the options aren't too unintuitive... I'm glad that Speed is gone but that Vigor can still be used for that, in a more controlled fashion.

I think no skills should be prevented from defaulting, since it will probably be a point of contention at the table. I could argue that Medicine shouldn't be defaulted either, but anyone could make up a reason for why it could. So, it's simpler if the rules apply the same to all skills. Infosec is a little contentious, since there could be a lot of automated tools you can use to probe for security holes after reading up the instructions on the mesh for a few minutes.

Instead, just make sure the defaulting explanation is clear enough that the players understand that it should be used for somewhat "simple" actions. For example, if you have no Programming, you could still copy and paste code or debug a simple issue with mesh access, or adjust some maker blueprint slightly, but you shouldn't be able to create a super virus or an AGI out of thin air. The GM should adjudicate.

Money replaced by Resource Trait... I think that's fantastic. It really took up a looong time to properly use and I don't have that. I play a lot of Chronicles of Darkness and we never had an issue with Resources and it works very similar to the new Trait. Even when playing DnD we very rarely spend money except for consumable stuff (and DnD is more of a resource management game which EP isn't).

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
That'd break crits and

That'd break crits and possible superior success, as well as making the Flex number swapping less interesting.You'd also lose a lot of granularity with aptitude checks.

There's actually a dark horse faction for hardcore self improvement-the Planetary Consortium shares the eugenic meme with the ultimates, which now is has more personal connotations than in the modern day. The difference is you'd probably have more of a Dosh-Monk warrior than an old philosophic-Monk warrior.

arthexis arthexis's picture
You still "level up" one by

You still "level up" one by one. That's why in a system like D&D you only gain attributes modifiers every 4 or so levels instead of every time. Switching EP to d20 would require a much complex rewriting and you would have to deal with situations like the one I outlined.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:That

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
That'd break crits and possible superior success, as well as making the Flex number swapping less interesting.You'd also lose a lot of granularity with aptitude checks.

Would it? A roll of 30/60 translates to 6/12 on a d20. As for crits, the odds of rolling doubles on 2d10 are 1 in 10, or 2 in 20; the same odds as rolling either a 1 or a 20 on a d20, which works out well because in d100 EP the highest roll is an automatic fail and the lowest an automatic success.

As for spends, an option to flip the digits on a d100 is roughly equivalent to in terms of odds to rolling twice and taking the better result. Regarding granularity, I disagree entirely. If all modifiers are multiples of 10, if you can only buy skills in multiples of 5, and if you're strongly encouraged to also buy aptitudes only in multiples of 5...where exactly is the granularity there?

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Decivre Decivre's picture
TheGrue wrote:Would it? A

DivineWrath wrote:
Well, on one hand, its hard to get skills to 98 during character creation. Normally, you can get to 80, or 90 (+10 for specialization). You would need a trait to push a skill further.

On the other hand, I recall that if you got bonuses that pushed your odds to 100 or higher, that the GM could simply rule that you automatically succeed. I would like to have a skill that high, to be able to automatically succeed unless some complication comes along.


Note that I was making that statement on the assumption that Rez will be similarly valued to CP, much as it was in 1st Edition... it was one of the best mechanics of the game. With the likelihood of receiving 5 skill points per Rez used, it'll be annoying to ultimately cap a skill at 98, having two odd points to spare.

That said, having higher stats also plays to the posthuman themes of the setting. In 1st Edition, certain NPCs were printed with 100 and even 120 (if memory serves, I'm still searching) in skills. It makes sense that truly advanced minds would be dipping into the posthuman a bit (not necessarily as far as ASI).

Think about it mathematically: 160 is omnipotence... that means regardless of modifiers you have a 100 minimum in the skill and pretty much automatically succeed in most cases. ASIs can have skills that get there, and posthuman PCs can get high but not quite there yet. I say aptitude +80-90.

TheGrue wrote:
Would it? A roll of 30/60 translates to 6/12 on a d20. As for crits, the odds of rolling doubles on 2d10 are 1 in 10, or 2 in 20; the same odds as rolling either a 1 or a 20 on a d20, which works out well because in d100 EP the highest roll is an automatic fail and the lowest an automatic success.

While I would agree that you could get a very simplistic adaptation if you used natural 1s and 20s only for criticals, and had a supremacy range of 2-7, 8-13 and 14-19, it would lack the granular shift in critical odds during skill gain (if you have an 80 in a skill, you have a 8% chance of critical success and a 2% chance of critical failure; a skill of 50 ensures exactly 5%/5% either way).

It's approximate, but not the same.

TheGrue wrote:
As for spends, an option to flip the digits on a d100 is roughly equivalent to in terms of odds to rolling twice and taking the better result. Regarding granularity, I disagree entirely. If all modifiers are multiples of 10, if you can only buy skills in multiples of 5, and if you're strongly encouraged to also buy aptitudes only in multiples of 5...where exactly is the granularity there?

A little. Flips are a bit more than that, as a specific flip is tied to each specific roll (a roll of 19 always has a flip of 91... practically useless). Math is similar, but not quite the same. Besides, I like percentile myself. Not interested in simplifying the mechanics down to the lowest denominator.

Now when they announce the Eclipse Phase wargame, I think we're onto something here. Wargames require simplification.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Yeah I don't disagree; I too

Yeah I don't disagree; I too prefer the granularity of a percentile system.

The point I was trying to make is, it seems like we're losing that granularity in 2E.

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Decivre Decivre's picture
TheGrue wrote:Yeah I don't

TheGrue wrote:
Yeah I don't disagree; I too prefer the granularity of a percentile system.

The point I was trying to make is, it seems like we're losing that granularity in 2E.


Intervals of 5 were pretty much recommended in 1st Edition as well. They're just a bit more on the nose with it, what with granting you skill points in packs of 5 per CP.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
No it doesn't match. There's

No it doesn't match. There's a ~10% chance of critical success on a successful roll in EP (it can change a little bit with skill ratings like 21), and a 10% chance of critical failure on a failed roll.

If you were to just use 1 and 20 as critical numbers there would be a 5% chance of critical success on a success and similar for failure. You also can't get 66 being two superior successes *and* critical success with that system.

I'm also skeptical that 5e advantage and number swapping actually have the same statistical spread, but if you want to analyse it with anydice or something I'd be interested to see how different they look. IIRC dice swapping tends to produce a weird "lumpy" distribution, while (dis)advantage produces a smooth curve above or below the baseline.

I see nothing recommending buying aptitudes in 10 CP chunks. In fact I think buying enough to get a critical breakpoint seems better to me. (Like getting one extra point in an aptitude to make a skill rating of 65 66 to get the double superior critical success instead of crit failure)

Theliel Theliel's picture
Character Creation

Overall Thoughts on character creation.

Packages work for characters that are all fighty, all hacky, or all seduction. Fight, Hack, Fuck works as advertised.

Otherwise mixing packages on narrative basis can leave huge gaps. The drone focused interest doesn't have infosec or interface to actually connect to or defend the drone.

Many packages come with the core skills needed to do the task, but not the support skills you'd need to get to the task. Take running a drone. You need Pilot: Whatever the hell the drone is to fly it. if it's got weapons you'll need that skill. But before that you need Interface to make a connection or keep it while someone else uses Interface to jam you. You'll need Infosec to protect the drone from getting hacked - and while battle hacking doesn't work that great against morphs it works pretty ok on drones that've been jammed.

Actually according to the setting damn near everything needs Interfacing since most equipment doesn't actually have screens or other dials. Kit relies on mesh interafaces unless it's pre-fall milspec or Jovian.

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:Many packages come with

Quote:
Many packages come with the core skills needed to do the task, but not the support skills you'd need to get to the task. Take running a drone. You need Pilot: Whatever the hell the drone is to fly it. if it's got weapons you'll need that skill. But before that you need Interface to make a connection or keep it while someone else uses Interface to jam you. You'll need Infosec to protect the drone from getting hacked - and while battle hacking doesn't work that great against morphs it works pretty ok on drones that've been jammed.

I think we'll need to see the updated Jamming material before making that call. The 1E rules were written with the 1E skills in mind, and I'd be shocked if they didn't streamline the skills involved. We already know that Interfacing is used to operate the onboard weapons for bots and jammed vehicles ("Interface is also used to attack with non-portable weapon emplacements and weapons mounted upon bots, vehicles, or spacecraft…") so there's no need for your Hacker/Jammer to pick up Guns unless he needs to.

And, I'm still lobbying hard for a single non-field "Piloting" skill. If that were the case, a drone jammer would need two core skills: Interfacing and Piloting. Add a dollop of Infosec for protection against antagonistic counter-hackers (or purchase a pair of security AIs to assist you, and things look a little nicer.

Quote:
Actually according to the setting damn near everything needs Interfacing since most equipment doesn't actually have screens or other dials. Kit relies on mesh interafaces unless it's pre-fall milspec or Jovian.

Theoretically, although it's defaultable, your muse has Interfacing 40, and nearly every device comes with a simple onboard helper AI to explain usage. According to the 2E playtest, "Use Interface to manipulate electronics, command software, forge video files, scan for wireless devices, jam frequencies, get sensor readings, control life support functions, and understand a device with which you are unfamiliar." That's stuff you could ask your muse to do for you — at skill 40 — and put up with the delay.

This issue in the RAW is definitely a weird one though, and it's come up in 1E discussions as well. I'd really like to see Interface moved to INT rather than COG, spreading out the must-have skills a bit better.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:No

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
No it doesn't match. There's a ~10% chance of critical success on a successful roll in EP (it can change a little bit with skill ratings like 21), and a 10% chance of critical failure on a failed roll.

If you were to just use 1 and 20 as critical numbers there would be a 5% chance of critical success on a success and similar for failure. You also can't get 66 being two superior successes *and* critical success with that system.


Incorrect. There is an exactly 10% chance to get ANY critical at all, divided between success and failure based on how high your target number is (there are exactly 10 doubles between 00 and 99, including 00 and 99). There is exactly the same total chance for rolling 1 or 20 (5% for each, 10% total).

The only difference is that critical probability varies in EP, and doesn't vary in the system using d20.

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
I'm also skeptical that 5e advantage and number swapping actually have the same statistical spread, but if you want to analyse it with anydice or something I'd be interested to see how different they look. IIRC dice swapping tends to produce a weird "lumpy" distribution, while (dis)advantage produces a smooth curve above or below the baseline.

It's not the same by any means. There are 400 probable rolls with 2d20, only 100 in Eclipse Phase. Each roll in EP is paired with a single swap option, criticals excluded, whereas every d20 result can be paired with each other d20 result.

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
I see nothing recommending buying aptitudes in 10 CP chunks. In fact I think buying enough to get a critical breakpoint seems better to me. (Like getting one extra point in an aptitude to make a skill rating of 65 66 to get the double superior critical success instead of crit failure)

Page 9, second-to-the-last paragraph under the heading "Step 6: Total Skills": "We suggest keeping aptitudes and skills in multiples of 5 for simplicity, but this is not a requirement."

Obviously it's not a requirement. But it's also very odd that the game's overall cap is 98 instead of a multiple of 5.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I like how Medicine went to

I like how Medicine went to describe the different fields, such as use Medicine: Biotech to upgrade morphs and use Medicine: Pharmacology to create drugs. I very much encourage the devs to do more of that. It really helps to make sense of things.

Theliel Theliel's picture
Field Skills

How is Medicine: Biotech functionally different from Profession: Morph Design?
Slicing Medicine thin is the same problem, only worse, from Hardware.
If I have Medicine: Biotech, and it covers upgrading morphs and installing implants with surgery, why can't I use that to perform trauma surgery? What is even the skill I need to be a Skilled Surgeon? Do I need the heretofore unmentioned Medicine: Surgery to go with Medicine: Paramedic, Medicine: Biotech, and another unlisted Medicine: Virology & Medicine: Infectious Disease just to have the competence of a 21st century MD? Why do I need another, unlinked skill that has to be raised from base? Why aren't these siloed off into Profession or Academics?

I think That's an even better explanation to why I hate the Hardware field skill, and pilot as well, because Hardware: Electronics is 90% of Hardware: Demolitions, but you're stuck buying separate skills that both start from the same base and advance separately.

If you're going to have Active skills sliced that thin and accept that complexity then there really should be design around raising a base "fixing shit" skill so that buying hardware: Aerospace doesn't start @ 15 while you have Hardware: Electronics @ 40 & Hardware: Industrial @ 80 - elec covers the vast majority of the tech bits, industrial specifically covers life support (a key component of aerospace vehicles) - so why do you effectively start from scratch as if you were, say learning to Exotic Skill - Blind Drawing?

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:No

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
No it doesn't match. There's a ~10% chance of critical success on a successful roll in EP (it can change a little bit with skill ratings like 21), and a 10% chance of critical failure on a failed roll.

If you were to just use 1 and 20 as critical numbers there would be a 5% chance of critical success on a success and similar for failure.

You did the math wrong; you calculated the probability of a critical out of all possible successes successes for the first, and then compared it with the probability of a critical success out of all successes AND failures for the second. Apples and oranges, my friend. Let me walk you through my math:

If your skill rating is n (where n is between 1 and 98) vs a d100, and a critical success is a success where the dice show doubles, then your chance of a success being a critical success is 1+rounddown(n/11) in n. This is usually close to 10%, and at very low skill values can be even higher. Across the possible range of skill ratings, from 01 to 98, the mean probability is ~0.12 and the median probability is ~0.10

However, if your skill rating is n (where n is between 01 and 19) vs a d20, and a success is where the die shows 01, then your chance of a success being a critical success is 1 in n. Here the distribution is a bit different; across the possible range of skill ratings, from 01 to 19, the mean probability is ~0.19, and the median is 0.10 exactly. The reason the mean value is skewed so high is because at lower skill ratings there are fewer possible successes that are not 1.

Check out these curves, d100 and d20. You can see the latter is quite a bit wider at the lower values, but they are not so dissimilar on the whole.

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jackgraham jackgraham's picture
Dilf_Pickle wrote:LatwPIAT

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
LatwPIAT wrote:

I don't like the design where everyone except the Faceman can zone out and play with their phones while Faceman plays a one-on-one game with the GM of convincing the NPC, but at least when it's Faceman's turn to do things, it's mercifully short.

Unless you, you know, role play.

I think you're being a little harsh there, but it does get at an interesting question of play culture (which doesn't always come out in rules). I'd say Rob & I are both the type of GMs who tend to let roleplay with important NPCs play itself out before we roll dice—if we roll dice at all. I'd also say neither of us are big on penalizing low social skill PCs from participating in NPCs talks if a more socially skilled PC is "leading" the interaction. (E.g., the NPC is going to pay more attention to the words of the fixer with Persuade 80 than the socially graceless enforcer, unless the enforcer is making a point of being a huge jagoff).

Do we say to do this in the rules? Not really. I think it's a GMing style/play culture thing that comes out of years of playing and reading about lots of different social skills systems and ways of using them as GMs across many games. At any rate, it's not our intent that the system sideline low-social PCs from roleplay.

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
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TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Since you bring it up Jack,

Since you bring it up Jack, has the Posthuman crew ever recorded any Actual Plays of EP?

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jackgraham jackgraham's picture
jackgraham wrote:

jackgraham wrote:

[...]
Do we say to do this in the rules? Not really. I think it's a GMing style/play culture thing that comes out of years of playing and reading about lots of different social skills systems and ways of using them as GMs across many games. At any rate, it's not our intent that the system sideline low-social PCs from roleplay.

Oh, and the more I think about this, the more I think it would turn into Apocalypse World if we tried to codify it somehow. I like PbtA, but it's not what we're going for here. So I don't think we want to get into the business of being too prescriptive about how to run social skills.

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

jackgraham jackgraham's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:[..]

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
[..]
I'm also skeptical that 5e advantage and number swapping actually have the same statistical spread, but if you want to analyse it with anydice or something I'd be interested to see how different they look.

Thanks for mentioning anydice. I had yet to discover this tool—looks extremely useful!

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Yeah, that's what I get for

Yeah, that's what I get for using mental math, but the point remains that the "magic numbers" at 33 and 66 won't exist, and it won't be possible to get critical and superior results at the same time, which I suspect has pretty profound ramifications.

I'm glad you found anydice, it's a really useful tool for this kind of thing, and I honestly can't remember how I did things without it anymore!

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