Jump to content
Brian Stanfield

Whatever happened to Package Deal bonuses?

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

@Duke Bushido @Killer Shrike

Consider the following alternative to a movement MP: Running n", Variable Advantages +1/4 (+1/2).  This allows the Running to be Usable [As Second Mode of Movement] for any mode of movement, or to be half endurance, or any other desirable +1/4 advantage. 

 

Yes, I would and have allowed and encouraged Variable Advantage on movement powers (and other powers).

 

Generally speaking, Variable Advantage is a little inefficient due to the premium on it, but the set list of 4 Advantages option brings the cost down nicely and works well for +1/4 and +1/2 Advantage values.

 

Quote

Is this "free points"? 

 

No. "Free points" are points accrued by a character _in addition to_ the campaign allocation of base points and disadvantage / matching complications and xp.

 

If one character is X base points, Y dis / comp points, and Z experience points, and a second character is X base points, Y dis / comp points, Z experience points, and W extra points from "elsewhere" (package bonuses, point recursions from things that cost points but grant points, flat out extra points awarded by the GM), the second character is benefiting from "free points" over and above what the first character has available to them.

 

Now, to be clear, I don't have a problem with free points per se in the abstract, when deliberately used by the GM as a tool in their toolkit for whatever reasons the GM see fit to allow them. It's a tool I use myself in some contexts, for specific reasons. The point buy model itself and accounting gimmicks within it are just a tool to help a GM to define a setting, and to place some boundaries around how much impact a given character can have on the narrative of campaigns within that setting.

 

I do have a problem with the system itself forcing them as it undermines the consistency of the system and removes some of the GM's control over the point model, and opens the door to exploitation. It's exactly the same as taxes; when loopholes are built in to the tax code itself, it inevitably leads to exploitation of that loophole by the canny for personal benefit beyond what is experienced by those who are unaware of or are unwilling to be bad actors and exercise the exploit.

 

Quote

Would you disallow this?  Why? 

 

I would disallow it, as I would any other ability, if it were being applied to a character for metagame / min-max reasons rather than to model the character's concept.

 

Quote

I feel it's only fair to demand a player buy their movement modes "raw" if the GM is also willing to let a player use both to full potential in the same half-phase move action.  Otherwise there's cost overlap and that leads down the road of "I only have one movement power ever because more is far too expensive". 

 

In practice players tend to not mix movement modes as part of a single half move. I actually commented on this phenomenon long ago in a document on tactics I posted and which got shared around quite a bit. 

 

MOBILITY
This category includes both the obvious abilities such as Flight and Running, and less obvious abilities such as Acrobatics, Leaping, and Clinging. Use your character's movement abilities intelligently; for instance I've seen a surprising number of players forget that heightened STR grants extra Leaping, and I've seen several players with a character that has Clinging (or Flight Only in Contact With A Surface) fail to think in three dimensions.

As a side note, many players don't seem to realize that you can mix movement. All too often I've seen things like a character 1/2 Phase Run to the base of a wall and then stop, waiting until their next action to start climbing or flying or swimming, etc.

 

Get used to thinking in terms of 1/2 Moves, and using movement to position the character intelligently on the battle field to take advantage of terrain, cover, concealment, to maintain distance from dangerous HtH opponents, to force opponents to waste actions closing, and to set up for an attack in a later Phase.

 

If you have the option of standing still + doing something or half moving + doing something then do the later. Unless your character is in a particularly advantageous place, standing still just gives opponents time to assimilate your position and maneuver around you or pin you down.

 

This sort of metagame thinking (half move run, half move leap) tends to get expressed via mechanics (switch my slots?)/(precalculate my intended mixed movement and allocate variable slots?) and then get ingrained into habit...even when it's not relevant, and rules out consideration of alternatives. An example of self imposed limited thinking by those habituated to a particular convention? Maybe.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Brian Stanfield said:

Whew! Long answers for a short question! I love how these forums work. Seriously, it’s great fun. 

 

As as a spillover from the 6e forum that ran its course (thanks for moderating that, KillerShrike: I loved it and learned so much)

 

I have more to say on that subject in that forum, but have been distracted by other things this week.

 

Quote

 I have to admit that when I first learned Champions 2e, coming from years of D&D, I felt like I was getting away with something once I learned the trick about the rounding rules and figured characteristics. I think we all felt that way a little bit, if we’re honest with ourselves. It virtually insists that I min/max those points. When the original Fantasy HERO came out I was all over that, and never looked back at D&D again. The lack of classes and levels was exactly what I was looking for, let alone the far superior combat system. But then there were these package deals that helped shape certain types of characters. Not only was I getting free stuff for the figureds, I was now getting free stuff to go with a package deal. In a point build system, it was the equivalent of going through all of the D&D weapons charts and picking out every “best” weapon based on its damage and speed, etc. I can be anything I want, but if I start with the rogue package, I get a “deal”!

 

I didn’t play HERO again until 6e came out. I missed all the intervening editions, so didn’t grow into the more complex developments of the rules. Imagine what it was like to find 6e (ten years late I might add, in two huge volumes which I couldn’t actually get physical copies of) and try to absorb all the changes. I read reviews, etc., about the new edition, and the most common complaint was about dropping the figured characteristics. I’ll admit, I was a little bit disappointed that they were dropped because I felt like I was losing out on that game-within-the-game of milking points for the primaries and figureds. 

 

After some one time to read the rules and let it all soak in, I had to admit that the new edition makes a great deal of sense and I appreciate its continuity. I got over feeling like I was being cheated of my “free” points from the figureds, and in fact now look back at it as a bit of an impediment to my character creation before 6e.   

 

Ya. For me, the aspects of the Hero System that forced me to play a mini-game called "min-max" to "optimize" a character, which really meant "squeeze as much extra value as possible from exploits embedded in the system" vs "make sure the character is the best possible version of its concept at the power level the campaign is trying to model", where unwanted. Sure, the first hundred characters it was interesting as an exercise of learning the corpus of the rules, warts and all, and showing off a bit (look at me, I can cheat the intent of the rules by exploiting the letter of the rules better than the next guy, aren't I clever? Wheeee!). After the next fifty characters and the next fifty characters after that, and so on and so on and so on, it got very tiresome.

 

One of the things that drew me to Fate, for instance, was that all the things that are just "chrome" tacked on to the mechanics of a Hero System character ARE the character in Fate, and then some mild mechanics are attached to that vs the other way around. The most "optimal" character before play begins is the character that best defines its concept in a way that is applicable to the story, and the process of "optimizing" the character after play begins is mostly tuning the chrome by adjusting Aspects or switching +'s around or swapping Stunts out for different Stunts vs getting MORE stuff.

 

Quote

I got got a copy of Fantasy HERO 6e and found the templates for all the different types of professions and backgrounds. I thought, “Ok, now here’s where I can make up some of those free points I lost from the decoupled characteristics.” No dice. They had me figured out! Mr. Min-maxer got headed off at the pass. Again, I was a bit miffed and felt cheated of all the devious joy of milking points for free from my pre-6e days. And then I got a grip and saw the logic behind dropping the package deal bonus.

 

As KillerShrike wrote above, there is just no real reason for the free points in the context of playing according to campaign guidelines that everyone should be following anyway. I don’t need to play a dwarf, but if I do, then this is how he should be at the most basic level. In fact, I realize that the package deals are an excellent way to set campaign guidelines without creating an endless document trying to define every little detail. 

 

Indeed. 

 

Quote

Anyway, the “free point” debate is an interesting one. But personally, while I see that there are some ways that the game mechanics account for points that allow for a little abuse if left unchecked, I’m not all that worried about it. It’s the arbitrary “free points” of package deals that I actually understand eliminating. Same goes for the figureds, but that issue has been beaten to death so I won’t talk about it (although, @Killer Shrike, I don’t think you ever gave your final manifesto against figureds, and I was looking forward to that. Could you message me a rundown of your argument if you don’t post it?).  

 

I still intend to do that. The basic argument was captured in this document I wrote up a very long time ago, and was fleshed out in numerous posts over the years on these forums (some of which are lost due to the purge). It's been so long since I waged that particular argument that I've forgotten most of the subtleties and nuance that arose along the way, sharpened by debate / disagreement / debunking / other d-words.

 

So, I started to write the post a few times and discarded it for various reasons ranging from my irritation of needing to revisit that old battlefield, to the awareness that math-based people see the problem with figureds without it needing to be explained, logic-based people can be reasoned with by establishing the givens and at least can be debated with even if they ultimately reach a different conclusion and are willing to defend it with givens of their own, but those types of people are already either on board with the lack of figureds, or can live with it. The audience that remains are mostly those who are not swayed by math or logic, and prefer what they are used to because they are used to it.

 

My argument is entirely math and logic based, and founded upon the idea that spending 1 point on an ability that grants back 1 or more points of other abilities does not make sense in a model purportedly founded on the idea of abilities should cost points, and that this flaw is further compounded when one discovers that only a few abilities do this, and furthermore, the extra abilities granted can also be bought separately, and furthermore can also be sold back, and furthermore are strongly biased towards combat capable characters, and furthermore non-combat capable characters get no similarly effective exploit, all of which undermines the validity of "points are a tool to help measure character effectiveness and allow characters of the same points to be considered to be equivalent in effectiveness", and slants the entire system towards combat monsters, like a crooked foundation slants a house sitting upon it.

 

The math of it all has been explained to death. Further belaboring the math and logic of it will have little impact on those who have already rebuffed previous explanation over the years. So, I basically am left with the task of just restating the basic case and starting the argument all over again between "objective thinkers" and "subjective thinkers" OR trying to summarize 30 years worth of discourse on the subject which has already convinced the people likely to be convinced and maybe pick up a few more stragglers or provide context for people who missed out on the historical back and forth. Neither of which is particularly intriguing to me, as I don't need to rehash an argument that has already been won, and I don't need to revisit the historicity of it as I lived it. 

 

There's also some evidence that most of the people involved in the thread have either lost interest in further discussion or are just tuning me out or bikeshedding rather than engaging in point by point discussion. Also, it seemed to me like it was starting to become an echo chamber, with people coalescing into camps rather than an open forum in which people's opinions might be moved one way or the other based upon information presented. 

 

So, yeah, I intend to write something up, but I'm conflicted on whether I should be brief and just kick out a half-assed treatment (which is counter to my personality) for completionary purposes, or if I should suck it up and gird myself for battle and mount a massive attack which I'm not really in the mood to mount and which is largely pointless...like Eisenhower launching another assault on the beaches of Normandy a couple decades after the war was over. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Brian Stanfield said:

 

Any idea what the formula was?

 

As I recall it (and I think this was in 1st edition Fantasy Hero) if a Skill or other required element of a package was "only moderately useful) you got a rebate of 1/4 its cost; if it was "not useful in most circumstances" the rebate was 1/2 the cost.

 

So if you have a package deal for an order of magicians and it includes a Magic Skill, that Skill doesn't effect the bonus because it will be used every time the magician casts a spell; if it also includes an 11 or less KS: History of the Order that is expected to never come up, that's 1 pt added to the Package Bonus

 

Lucius Alexander

 

A Lucius Alexander post comes with a palindromedary tagline. It's a package deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved package deals. I thought they represented a certain kind of campaign flavour. A shorthand expressed in a points framework for both the action and the drudgery of being a Policeman, Until Agent or Paranormal Investigator. Or maybe the genetic ups and downs of being a dwarf.

 

Can't remember if we ever got much use out of them and I think they provided the flavour equally well whether or not they were used or just read by your players when creating their characters. As a GM I was just as likely to offer everyone x number of free points for non-combat background skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Package bonuses existed in Espionage and Justice Inc. but neither one explained how they were generated.  It's possible that was done in an Adventurers Club, but of the core books, the first one I can find it in is Fantasy Hero.  I'm pretty sure it was in all of the non-super core books that came after.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I got a lot of notifications on this, and after a quick re-read, I _totally_ see why.

 

Shrike, I can't answer most of your questions because I straight up don't know what the hell I was trying to say, either.  Except for the rotisserie thing.  I almost went with revolver cylinder, but decided I like the imagery of "rotisserie" better-- sitting in a gas station, waiting for the perfect movement power to come into striking range of the tongs....

 

Yeah, fine; it's just me.

 

If no one minds terribly, in the interest of reducing the already-too-much time I've spent here tonight, let me repost a slight piece I put somewhere else a few minutes ago.

 

Be right back.

 

Here you go:

 

 



Okay; I'm awake!  :lol:

 

 

Yeah, sounds strange, but let me explain:

 

I was four days (Sunday and three work days) laid out with the flu.  Should have laid out one more, but I was going stir crazy.  Went back to work knowing better, but I wanted to get out, and of course, there's that whole "work or go hungry" thing working against laying out in the first place.   My typical workday is thirteen hours; sometimes it's a bit short, sometimes it's a bit long.  Yesterday's was, mercifully, a couple of _hours_ short, allowing me a few minutes to catch my breath.    I checked in here, but I had to get ready for the youth group game: an extended session (that turned into a nearly all-nighter) that saw the exciting climax and conclusion of their campaign.  It was a huge success, and there was celebration afterward (pre-ordered of course; this town is too small for an all-night anything except Sprawl-Mart).

 

So I got precious little rest, and needed even more than usual.  Tried to post this last night, when I got in, but I got sidetracked on the board and ended up I dont' even know where and woke up in  in this chair, computer glowing, sun coming up....    decided I should take a little nap......

 

I didn't manage to get much of a nap, either, but I did get three of them, roughly thirty minutes each----

 

I love you guys, but I've got to cut my time here back considerably.  The only place I can find more time is to cut more sleep, and I'm too damned old for that these days; it's really starting to show.  

 

I would like to ask for a do-over, where I will take the time to ensure that I am coherent, and I will try to address your questions thus-far asked in that go, if everyone's cool with it.  You were more than hospitable in your 6e thread, and I have great interest in living up to the stellar example.

 

 

I _think_ I was relatively clear on the bulk of  the movement multi gripe (in spite of the unpopular metaphor)  and will go ahead and say that as a GM that has shot that down, you are, in my own experience, in pretty rare company.  As to the rest: I understand that it's cheaper to buy one movement, and that might be the way everyone's doing it these days.  When I first discovered the movement multipower thing (the rec center of Ft. Stewart, 3e era, but we knew BBB was coming), I didn't see it where people only had one movement.  It was as if one guy tried it, got it okayed (as a one-time thing, it doesn't seem so abusive), then _everyone_ had one.   I mean every single table.  My players were angling for them, even if they didn't _use_ the powers, on the basis of "but for only a few more points, I could be triple-effective" and such.  My argument was "what's you're concept for this?  Sell me on it."  And the replies would be things like "well _he_ has tunneling...."  Yeah.  That's his schtick.  He's also the emissary of the Subterrans.  It makes sense for him.  You have ice powers....  

 

From a story point of view, I waffled a lot on it: there are those characters I could see justifying it: The powered armor guy could certainly justify it, since he had already bought Flight and Swimming.    But from a GM point of view, everyone having one seemed a lot like dimming the spotlight on those few unique abilities only one or two characters had, and everyone had -- well, one or two of those.  Those whose unique abilities were movement-related would miss out on a chance to shine.  For example, powered armor guy was the _only_ guy with Swimming.  Or LS, for that matter.

 

 

But your concern is points.  The P/A guy bought his powers straight-out (with the limitation Only In Hero ID).  Had he suggested a multi, I would probably have allowed it.  He didn't, and I don't know that we'd done a movement multipower before then, honestly.  Then we get exposure to the idea, and suddenly everyone _needs_ one.  Yeah, common problem.  So what does it do? You've already mathed it up.  Guy who paid for his stuff-- essentially gets boned, and people are paying much less for the same stuff--

 

 

Okay.

 

Problem solved.

 

It's all about perceptions.  I am clearly perceiving problems that aren't there because the totals are different.  Because I don't worry excessively about points-effectiveness, I will likely have larger totals or smaller "gains" for my expenditures, and I perceive conception-first as more important-- at least to me-- than points first, and anything points-first I will perceive as method of getting extra pickles for the same cost.

 

Yep.  Perception.

 

It's all me.  My bad.

 

Weird, even though we know the answer now, I'd still like a do-over, if only so I don't sound so much like I need a penguin suit.

 

 

oh-- and in this instance, AMG was "awesome-at-math guys."  When they are going "here's where you went wrong" or "have you considered this?," they're awesome.  

 

When they're going "You shouldn't do it any other way because breakpoints, [or whatever] ), then they are angry math guys.

 

When they find a nice _clean_ way to make a build without having to throw a line or two of multiple modifiers (say five or more), they're awesome again.  I totally get that some people do math for fun.  I'm not one of them.  I do it all stinking day (well, only about seven hours of the day; the other six are equipment operation), and that's enough.  :lol:

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

As a GM I was just as likely to offer everyone x number of free points for non-combat background skills.

 

I used to give people points equal to their INT in that kind of background skills.  If I were to be able to run games again, it would be a flat amount to everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enhancers

24 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

It seems to me that a package deal is basically a framework for Skills, that is, a group of related items that got a cost break for being part of a concept.  

 

Custom Enhancers fill that role now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KS to the quick. Yes I know that 6e has Templates.  And they illustrate really about Package Deal and free points. In the Template model, a player is suppose to chose what he wants for the character. A Package Deal however a player takes whatever is in the Deal-lump sum -the good and the bad. In exchange for that, the player gets “free” points. I say free cause if your buying something that your forced to take then the “free” points can be used to buy something that you wanted to take. As with anything else in this game, it has its good points and bad points. I too wonder why PD Disadvantages never went towards characters Disadvantages total-I likes your method for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:

So, yeah, I intend to write something up, but I'm conflicted on whether I should be brief and just kick out a half-assed treatment (which is counter to my personality) for completionary purposes, or if I should suck it up and gird myself for battle and mount a massive attack which I'm not really in the mood to mount and which is largely pointless...like Eisenhower launching another assault on the beaches of Normandy a couple decades after the war was over. 

 

By no means rehash it all for my sake. Sometimes it’s best just to let things lie, especially in a thread that has gone dormant. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ninja-Bear said:

KS to the quick. Yes I know that 6e has Templates.  And they illustrate really about Package Deal and free points. In the Template model, a player is suppose to chose what he wants for the character.

 

In a point buy "build the character you want" game, a player is supposed to chose what they want for their character. GM's are free to take away or erode that precept, but the system itself should not undermine its own stated goals.

 

1 hour ago, Ninja-Bear said:

A Package Deal however a player takes whatever is in the Deal-lump sum -the good and the bad.

 

The main issue with this is that it is predicated on the idea that some abilities are bad. However, it doesn't make sense in a point based "buy what you want" game for some abilities to be intentionally bad or undesirable to players. Instead, either the "bad" abilities need to be buffed to become good, or their costs need to be changed to values that accurately measure their utility (including "0"). But that's a tangent; I understand you to mean "the things a player thinks they want vs the the things they think they don't need".

 

So, I will point out that I personally use package deals heavily, particularly in the 5e era, and regularly put together magic systems and similar subsystems that force characters buying into them to purchase abilities such as specific required skills or talents or perks or all the above as a form of concept modeling and overhead cost / tax.  

 

I don't have any problem whatsoever with a GM offering set "packages" or "bundles" or "templates" or whatever term of art one might attach to them, or offering devils bargains or tit for tat arrangements for that matter. My opposition is not to "packages" (which I myself am a notable user of and advocate for) but to the Package Deal "bonus" itself, which was a very poor and unnecessary tool IMO. It's removal from 5e was an improvement and made the creation and broad usage of packages easier.

 

1 hour ago, Ninja-Bear said:

In exchange for that, the player gets “free” points.

 

Why must there be an exchange, and if there must be one why must it consist of "free points"? 

 

In other words, why the assumption that a player choosing a Package or Template should get anything in return other than the abilities in the Package / Template that they are buying with their cp? The essence of a point buy game is you get what you pay for. 

 

And if there is some sort of a quid pro quo in effect between the player and the GM, such as "You take this Foo Package which represents a basic Foo in this setting, and in return for conforming to the setting's expectations I'll give you some special consideration.", why must it take the form of "free points"?

 

This reminds me of another practice that never made sense to me that seems similar...GM's that give players extra experience points for their characters if they provide a background. The idea that it is necessary to bribe players to meet the minimal expectations of playing an appropriate character in a given campaign setting has never made sense to me. 

 

Also, going a step further, where is it written that a Package / Template is chiseled in stone? If a player wants to play concept X, and there's a Package / Template for that but it contains things the player does not want for their character, that's an opportunity for a conversation to flesh out the character. Engage the player to explain to you the GM why their character is different from most other people of a similar background, such that they don't have whichever items in the Package / Template they object to, and as they flesh out the character's background with you substitute abilities that are more appropriate to the story they are weaving, and perhaps suggest ways in which their lack of conformity might sometimes complicate their dealings with their peers, etc.

 

That seems much more effective and purposeful to me than saying "nope, that's the package like it or leave it, gotta take the good with the bad dontchaknow...but hey...here's a spoonful of free point sugar to help you choke it down".

 

1 hour ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I say free cause if your buying something that your forced to take then the “free” points can be used to buy something that you wanted to take.

 

Well, except no. You're double dipping on your argument here. 

 

Either the "free points" offset the cost of "bad" skills in the package OR they are just extra points to buy other things outside of the Package...they can't be both simultaneously for the same Package.

 

1 hour ago, Ninja-Bear said:

As with anything else in this game, it has its good points and bad points.

 

I don't see it that way at all. I don't believe that everything in the game system has good and bad points (or upsides and downsides or pros and cons). 

 

I believe that most things in the game are beneficial. There's a small set of tradeoffs or operating assumptions that must be observed to avoid misuse or failure of the game system, which is "the downside". There's an even smaller set of flaws in the game, most of which are minor, and almost all of which are correctable.

 

From 4e to 5e to 6e, a recurring trend has been the identification and correction of flaws. Along the way, a few new flaws have been introduced, but the balance of flaws removed and their weight vs the flaws introduced and their weight is (in my opinion at least) very favorable. Also in my opinion, one of those minor flaws that was removed along the way was the way Packages were defined. It was a very minor flaw with very little weight but it was "low hanging fruit" and was consistent with the overall trend towards removing mathematical aberrations and was a change that is 100% for the better, again in my opinion. 

 

1 hour ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I too wonder why PD Disadvantages never went towards characters Disadvantages total-I likes your method for it.

 

You mean the way I used them for 5e Fantasy Hero? If so, yes that approach worked very well for me over the years. I have not used that method for 6e thus far as I generally like changes made vis a vis Disadvantages and Complications and have been less concerned with "Disadvantages Abuse" in 6e.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brian Stanfield said:

By no means rehash it all for my sake. Sometimes it’s best just to let things lie, especially in a thread that has gone dormant. 

 

Nah, I'm going to post up SOMETHING because I said I would and I generally do what I say I'm going to do. Once my internal conflict has resolved and the timing is right, the words will flow. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Lucius said:

 

As I recall it (and I think this was in 1st edition Fantasy Hero) if a Skill or other required element of a package was "only moderately useful) you got a rebate of 1/4 its cost; if it was "not useful in most circumstances" the rebate was 1/2 the cost.

 

So if you have a package deal for an order of magicians and it includes a Magic Skill, that Skill doesn't effect the bonus because it will be used every time the magician casts a spell; if it also includes an 11 or less KS: History of the Order that is expected to never come up, that's 1 pt added to the Package Bonus

 

It seems like, if the system thinks knowledge skills aren't worth as much as other skills, it should either make those skills more useful or reduce their cost directly.

 

The Scholar Enhancer (and similar enhancers that apply to similar skills) indicates some awareness at the system level that soft skills of this kind that lack a combat application are perhaps overpriced. The 2/1 cost option does as well.

 

18 hours ago, Lucius said:

Lucius Alexander

 

A Lucius Alexander post comes with a palindromedary tagline. It's a package deal.


It is a package, but is it a deal?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The package deal bonus was an endanger species as of 4th edition and by 5th edition, they became extinct.  Blame has been placed on global warming and the over hunting by big game players seeking out every last point.

?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Late to the party, but one thing that hasn’t been fully addressed is opportunity cost.  This most often comes up with attacks, but can also apply to other things, like skills.

 

The simple example is attacks.  Having a 9d6 Energy Blast for 45 points is one thing, paying an additional 45 points to get a 6d6 Armor Piercing Energy Blast is generally not worth the expenditure.  It certainly helps more than not having the power, but those 45 points could have been used for things far more important for your character.  Heck, if you don’t have to worry about campaign limits, you could have just bought another 9d6 of EB to make an 18d6 EB.  That’s why multipower exist, so a character can have diversity in attacks and other powers without that diversity being prohibitive in cost.

 

Now, let’s look at Package Deals.  Let’s say you have a campaign where everyone is a member of the Thieves’ Guild,  and you create a package deal that includes (among other things) Stealth and Forgery.  Is there an opportunity cost?  Well, for most campaigns, particularly one focused on thievery, everyone having Stealth is a good thing.  Points used to purchase Stealth are not wasted.  Now, how about Forgery?  As long as the characters work together, there is an opportunity cost for everyone taking Forgery.  Typically, you only need one character to roll Forgery (the one with the highest skill).  For the most part, having 5 characters with Forgery means that 4 of them have spent 3 points on a skill they will hardly ever use, and could have used those points to buy something more relevant to the character.  Giving a discount for taking a Package Deal is an incentive for people to take skills they otherwise wouldn’t take, because it is thematic to the characters and the game.

 

Sometimes an opportunity cost comes from inefficient game mechanics.  Most skills cost 3 pts, and are +1 for an additional two points.  However, unless it is a skill that you use all the time, it’s more efficient to buy skill levels, particularly Overall Skill Levels (perhaps the best value in the game).  It is true that the guy with Forgery 18- will have a significant advantage over the person with Forgery 12- and one Overall Level...though the Overall Level has many other uses.  However, what about the guy with 7 skills at 15-, versus the guy with 7 skills at 12- and 3 Overall Levels.  Save for the very, very rare situation where you are trying to use two or more skills simultaneously, the guy with the Overall Levels is equal to the high skill character...but also can put those skill levels in any other skill, or combat stats such as OCV, DCV, and/or damage.

 

Package Deals saving points isn’t a perfect system...but it’s not necessarily unbalanced, either.  It all depends on what method works best for the campaign and the players.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...