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6 hours ago, Toxxus said:

 

There's that and also the scientific theory that beauty is not that subjective.

 

We are hardwired for it from birth.

 https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6355-babies-prefer-to-gaze-upon-beautiful-faces/

 

Let's say that your friend says he's dating a total 10.  She may not be a 10 based on your preferences, but she's not going to be a 2 either.  You know she's attractive plus/minus a couple notches based on preference.

 

I'm fine with Striking Appearance as a talent, but we used COM back in the day and I found it gave a more granular and more relatable standard.

If all primary stats are scaled from 1 to 20 with a 10 being normal then you have a pretty good idea of what a COM of 12 or 18 or 24 means.

 

If I say they have Striking Presence +2d6 to my players it means nothing to them.  It's unrelatable until I tack on some extra dice to a presence attack.

 

Additionally, it'd probably be easier to use COM as a complimentary roll to support a Seduction attempt since players will intuitively understand that someone who is very physically attractive will have an advantage in attempting to seduce someone.

 

 

 

As a point for consideration, several RPG genres may allow for settings with non-human characters, potentially both NPC and PC. In some settings those may be very common. Their "hardwiring" could be quite different from human.

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16 hours ago, Toxxus said:

I'm fine with Striking Appearance as a talent, but we used COM back in the day and I found it gave a more granular and more relatable standard.

If all primary stats are scaled from 1 to 20 with a 10 being normal then you have a pretty good idea of what a COM of 12 or 18 or 24 means.

 

If I say they have Striking Presence +2d6 to my players it means nothing to them.  It's unrelatable until I tack on some extra dice to a presence attack.

 

Additionally, it'd probably be easier to use COM as a complimentary roll to support a Seduction attempt since players will intuitively understand that someone who is very physically attractive will have an advantage in attempting to seduce someone.

 

Can your players also  not relate to a character who does 14d6 in a game where 12d6 is the norm, or a 15- skill instead of a 13- skill?

 

Scaling is a huge "if".  Some will suggest your "highly trained normal" character should have no stats above 20, because Normals scale from 1 to 20.  Others will cap it at 30, as that is the upper limit of human potential, according to 5e/6e.  Still others will point to Rainbow Archer's DEX of (was it 35?  38?) - she's just a highly trained normal.

 

Should COM be a complementary roll, or an automatic bonus?  Making COM a modifier to interaction where it could be relevant makes lots of sense - it was, in fact, what lead Steve Long to conclude that COM is NOT a characteristic, because all it can be asserted to do is modify rolls based on a different characteristic, PRE.  If it is only going to be used as limited PRE, he reasoned, let us make it limited PRE. 

 

That logic sold me.  Clearly it does not sell everyone, but que sera.

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11 hours ago, Lucius said:

The palindromedary buys a level of Swinging and Missing Appearance

 

A palindromedary would have several dice of wtf-am-I-looking-at.  Most people encountering one would lose their first few phases wondering what just happened to their perception of reality.

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13 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

COM is more of an aesthetic device because it has less\no mechanical impact on the game. A character with high SA can say, "No, you must pay attention to me because Game Mechanics". A high COM character is all roleplay.

COM enabled improved interaction because it has no mechanical effects and so it must be roleplayed. That roleplaying then enabled improved interaction and, uh, roleplaying. Things that produce mechanical effects tend to be used mechanically. Things that do not produce mechanical effects tend to be used for roleplaying.

SA is deficient compared to COM because it produces mechanical effects and will thus become defined by those mechanical effects. Because COM does not do that (produce mechanical effects) it doesn't get defined by, "Well...how much is your presence attack? And what did you actually roll?".

 

I'm not super convinced on any of those but they are the obvious answers from his initial posts.

 

My answers are pretty much covered above as well.

 

Why does anyone see a need to pay points for role playing?  My character can be an all-around boy scout guy, but turn it off as need be if he did not receive points by taking a complication for that.  I will still role play my character with the personality I consider him to have, even if I did not get free points for some aspect of that personality.  Your character may not like redheads, and be strongly attracted to blondes, but mine does not get points back for having red hair, nor spend points to be blonde.  I can describe my character as thin (which our society values) or fat (which our society denigrates), and people can role play their reactions accordingly, with no points spent by anyone.

 

Points are paid for mechanical effects.  You role play outside the points.

 

Mechanics and role playing are not mutually exclusive.  My character can get hit hard, mechanically, by an opponent's Blast.  I mark off the STUN (BOD?  am I Stunned?  KOd?  Killed?).  Maybe he also makes a PRE attack, forcing me to hesitate.  Those are the mechanical effects. 

 

Now I role play my character's reaction.  Is he afraid of this powerhouse?  Does he surrender?  Does he seek another target?  Flee the scene?  Focus on that powerhouse because he's the most dangerous opponent on the field?  Make a rousing speech to his teammates that we have to hold the line?  Ask to join his team because he respects power?  Fall to his knees and beg for his miserable life?  Mechanics do not prevent me from role playing.  They set the scene within which I role play.

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3 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Why does anyone see a need to pay points for role playing?

 

Social power and influence matters.  I have a player on my Wednesday night games who's character has 20 PRE and high social skills. 

 

The actual player's social skills are not great and I don't feel like he should be penalized because he can't do the things his character can.

 

Interactions will generally go along the lines of:

Player - I convince the guard to let us cut in front of the line.

Me - And how do you do that?

Player - With words.

 

I exaggerate only slightly.  The guy doesn't have persuasion or high PRE in real life, but he wants to play a character that can do well in an area he can't.

 

Because it is a game the ability to advance or win via certain avenues costs points.  Whether that's stealth, weapon skill or being so ridiculously attractive that NPCs are inclined to treat you favorably.

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How about this:

 

Good Looking:  +1 with all Interaction Skills (4 Active Points); Only vs characters that would find Players appearance attractive (-1 1/2) Real cost: 2

 

Gives more granularity then Striking Appearance, and has an ingame effect that COM doesn't. The -1 1/2 Limitation is because theoretically over half the population wouldn't be sexually attracted to the character.  If aliens are part of the campaign they also wouldn't care about he characters appearance. 

 

2 CP for this ability, is equal to 4 points of COM (if I remember correctly 1 point of COM cost .5 CP), so for general discussion sake  you could say this character has 14 COM, buy it twice and they have 18 COM, 3 times 22 COM, and so on. 

 

So my super-hot super-spy has +3 with all interaction skills vs. characters that would be attracted to her. This means she has the equivalent of 22 COM when matters of appearance are described. Another player on the team has the cute-farm-girl-mechanic character who only has +1 and the equivilent COM stat of 14. 

 

If the character needs massive appeal, then they take Striking Appearance. 

 

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7 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

My answers are pretty much covered above as well.

 

And they are good ones! :)

 

Quote

 

Why does anyone see a need to pay points for role playing?

 

Well...who said anyone "needed" to? You CAN. COM is *A* way to do that.

 

To me it's like Fringe Benefits. I could play a super whose secret ID is an FBI agent and pay the points for federal law enforcement powers.

Or we could just hand-wave it as part of his background.

 

I could just say my PC is a medical doctor, take PS: Medical Doctor and not take surgery or even paramedics and not buy the fringe benefit.

Or I could get real gritty and buy a nice suite of skills and perks\bennies, including military rank (former Army trauma surgeon) and a license to practice medicine.

 

Either could be used to support roleplaying. Or either could just strictly be mechanics effects. Or they could be free for various reasons.

 

Heck, why have Psych Lims and stuff, right? We can roleplay those too.

I mean if I'm voluntarily roleplaying stuff then is it really disadvantaging me? Should I get points for it?

 

I think of Hero as being used to describe things.

COM is a way to describe things. SA is another. Roleplaying too. Body models (what we called it when you pick an actor\model\person that your character looks like). Perks\Fringe Benefits. Disads.

 

 

 

Quote

  My character can be an all-around boy scout guy, but turn it off as need be if he did not receive points by taking a complication for that.  I will still role play my character with the personality I consider him to have, even if I did not get free points for some aspect of that personality.

 

But by the same token if you want to describe your character as being a boy scout and feeling this will sometimes disadvantage him then you could also take points for it. And then not really roleplay it all and only grudgingly abide by the code when the GM gets frustrated with your murderhobo ways.

 

So you CAN, if you want, if it fits your game, playstyle, group, and character, get points for that.

Or just roleplay it if that works better.

 

I could say my PC is Zooland good-looking and...do nothing mechanically. I could take a Disad that he's recognized and chased around in public like Austin Powers. Or I could just buy up my COM. All good options! :)

Or take SA. Or SA and COM. Or just roleplay it.

 

You know, like Hero does.

 

 

 

Quote

  Your character may not like redheads, and be strongly attracted to blondes, but mine does not get points back for having red hair, nor spend points to be blonde.  I can describe my character as thin (which our society values) or fat (which our society denigrates), and people can role play their reactions accordingly, with no points spent by anyone.

 

Sure and neither COM nor SA really prevent that. I'm still going to be roleplaying. If the GM says, "Oh, SuperHottie sure is hot, SA Presence Attack + Seduction roll says you are totes smitten!"

I can say, "Oh, she's really hot for a redhead even though I'm not usually in to that", or you could just roleplay it and say, "Oh, she's really hot for a readhead (because of her COM 20) even tho I'm not usually in to that".

 

 

Quote

 

Points are paid for mechanical effects.  You role play outside the points.

 

Points are paid for all kinds of stuff to represent and describe game constructs.

You roleplay with those game constructs.

 

My PC doesn't have to roleplay anything when a 16d attack comes at him in a 8d game.

Or he can roleplay being terrified based on what that mean in-game.

 

That's roleplaying directly from mechanical effects.

 

When I build dudes in Hero I pay points to make their mechanics match my desires for them.

I pay points to try to describe them mechanically as I think they should be in a roleplaying sense.

 

If you'd prefer to strictly segregate Roleplaying from Mechanics then...that's totally cool and you should do that.

 

Personally I don't mind things going from mechanics\points to roleplaying and vice versa.

 

If a PC takes, "Prince" as a Fringe Benefit I have no problem with that translating in to better roleplaying (not social skill role mechanics) interactions with peasants.

 

If a PC wants to play a medical doctor and wants to roleplay that as having in-game effects he can buy the Fringe Benefit...and then we'll just roleplay it.

 

 

 

Quote

 

Mechanics and role playing are not mutually exclusive.  My character can get hit hard, mechanically, by an opponent's Blast.  I mark off the STUN (BOD?  am I Stunned?  KOd?  Killed?).  Maybe he also makes a PRE attack, forcing me to hesitate.  Those are the mechanical effects. 

 

 

Agreed! They are not mutually exclusive.

 

 

Quote

 

Now I role play my character's reaction.  Is he afraid of this powerhouse?  Does he surrender?  Does he seek another target?  Flee the scene?  Focus on that powerhouse because he's the most dangerous opponent on the field?  Make a rousing speech to his teammates that we have to hold the line?  Ask to join his team because he respects power?  Fall to his knees and beg for his miserable life?  Mechanics do not prevent me from role playing.  They set the scene within which I role play.

 

Sure, and if he makes a rousing speech we can roleplay that. Or he can make a Pre Attack to actually create mechanical effects. And if his roleplaying is good I might give him a bonus on the Pre attack. And if his roleplaying is bad, like Toxxus says above, I wouldn't penalize him mechanically for that.

 

And if the powerhouse in question has a COM of 35 and is of an desired gender\sexual configuration for my PC then I might roleplay the "ask to join his team because he respects power" instead of fleeing based on the mechanics.

 

Or I might roleplay my character fleeing because he's got a roleplaying only bad history with NPCs with 30+ COM scores and he ain't fallin' for that no more.

 

 

IF COM is a useful too, for you, for your game, for your players, then use it. And if it is not useful, even if you are playing 4th edition and it's clearly right there in the rules, then don't use it.

 

 

What's useful is....what is useful to you and your players about it?

 

How does it effect or not effect your games?

 

What problems does COM create? What problems does SA create?

 

 

 

 

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Just now, mallet said:

How about this:

 

Good Looking:  +1 with all Interaction Skills (4 Active Points); Only vs characters that would find Players appearance attractive (-1 1/2) Real cost: 2

 

Gives more granularity then Striking Appearance, and has an ingame effect that COM doesn't. The -1 1/2 Limitation is because theoretically over half the population wouldn't be sexually attracted to the character.  

 

 

That's a good build. But...

 

I don't think COM needs to be sexually specific. "Good looking" folks tend to be treated better. Tall ones too.

I might not get an awkward boner talking to a hot dude but I might be more friendly and polite than I would with a disgusting trash person with a horrible skin condition.

I might not even do it deliberately. I might just have an unconscious biased reaction against "gross" people and towards good looking ones.

 

I like your solution though. Easy way to recreate COM again, giving it a minor mechanical effect, and the point cost continues to workout basically the same.

 

The question would be: Would this improve your game? Do your players want this kinda of thing in 6th edition?

 

Because that's kinda the thing, right? For those of us playing older editions COM is there and works like it always has. And if we wanted it to do more then...we add those rules.

 

So it's only going to be 6th edition players and GMs who do not find Striking Appearance to be a good replacement for COM and who want something to represent appearance that isn't SA, or Disads\Complications, or Powers constructs who are going to have issues.

 

For those potential folks that are playing 6th and want something like COM....uh....just use COM again, right? I guess if you only played 6th that wouldn't be obvious but for most of us it will be and as folks have shown in the thread constructions like yours tend to cost out about the same so if somebody wanted to roll their own "Appearance" stat that didn't really do much but represent looks...it would basically work out the same as COM used to.

 

 

But since most folks don't really care about COM, and since pre-6th players already have it (and can not use it if they don't like it), and since 6th edition players can just add it back in, or make their own constructs for it, or just use SA instead....

 

And if you're playing in a setting with loads and loads of aliens and SA and\or COM are species dependent then happily Hero has all the tools to adjust for that usage. As you've shown in your build.

 

 

 

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Good Point about COM not being linked to sexual attraction always. In that case the Limitation would be lowered, based on how much of the in-game population would be affected. Heck, maybe give it an Activation roll 11-, 12-, 8- or something to represent not everyone will react the same way to a character's physical appearance.

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17 minutes ago, mallet said:

Good Point about COM not being linked to sexual attraction always. In that case the Limitation would be lowered, based on how much of the in-game population would be affected. Heck, maybe give it an Activation roll 11-, 12-, 8- or something to represent not everyone will react the same way to a character's physical appearance.

 

Totally!

 

Or just roleplay it. I mean the cost would still be adjusted based on those factors but I think players and GMs could probably just decide on a case-by-case basis if X PC\NPC is attractive\attracted to Y NPC\PC, even though there might be mechanics to back up those roleplaying choices.

 

Because that's another thing, right?

 

How much effect the Com\SA\"other" is going to have should reflect the point cost, eh?

 

Part of the point of paying points is so that it can have a vaguely proportional game effect. It's one of the ways they describe things.

 

If I pay 30pts for COM and SA and Reputation 14-: Superhottie then I'm gonna want that to do stuff in the game on the regular. Even if it's just roleplaying NPCs being nice to me because I'm world famous supersupermodel Klemptor.

 

But if was just like, "I think my superhero guy should be pretty good looking...", and spend 3pts on COM (or SA or whatever) then I probably don't, and shouldn't, have an expectation that a measly 3pts is going to have major game effects.

 

Kinda like buying Life Support: Doesn't Age.

It's cheap. But it costs points. But it'll mostly be roleplaying outside of specific games\campaigns.

 

But if you want to play Immortal Guy and buy a bunch of Contacts and other stuff that the character has build up over his immortal lifespan...that costs more points. Has more of a game effect. And while it can still just be totally roleplaying it's got more mechanical effects to back it up.

 

 

But, yah, I like the Activation role (or just Limited Power) to represent aliens in a sci-fi setting or Cronenberged Rick and Morty (wait, that's a a sci-fi setting...) or whatever else.

 

 

 

 

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I tend to disagree with the "subjectivity" part of the argument here.  My reason is as follows: We are not trying to simulate real life, we are simulating a story.  If the story says, you have a beauty which stuns and distracts people, then you buy the power/talent/perk/skill etc. to do that.  Its not about, well, "I have a thing for redheads" or "I have a thing for midgets", its about whether you or the GM are setting up the environment to be able to do that.  The GM sets it up as part of their campaign or house rules.  The player sets it up as part of the character build.

 

Now whether a comeliness stat or a striking appearance talent is better is just personal taste.  

 

Boiled down:

Arguments for a stat:

1) Granularity (or ranking).  This just means I am prettier or uglier than you.

 

Arguments for talent:

1) No longer allows a negative stat to have benefits.  It was the only stat where having a negative value could be beneficial.

2) Its standardized giving a PRE attack bonus for a conditional situation under the control of the player.

3) It expanded looks beyond cosmically beautiful or hellishly ugly.  It could now represent weirdness or fame or anything visually based.

4) It removes superficial ranking when comparing characters.

 

Somethings I did not note above

1) It enhances role playing.  Any game mechanic can enhance or detract from role playing.  Role playing really is up to the players.  You can say "The presence based skill system detracts from role playing.  People should say their speeches and not have an oratory skill.  That's role playing." but no one is arguing about oratory because we can't all be Winston Churchill or Mark Twain.

2) It could be simulated with a disadvantage/complication.  We are talking about about a benefit to a character, so it being a disadvantage or complication is a different beast.  Yes it could be a disadvantage or complication, but you could also buy the talent/stat too with neither(talent/stat or complication/disad) causing a problem for the other.

3) It didn't need to change.  No it might not have but the game designer thought it should have and that it would improve the game.  The question is, is there a need for it not to?

4) Negatives.  Its easier to slam the opponent than to prove your point.  I don't know about you, but I am tired of it in the news so I won't do an argument against.

 

Did I miss a reason for stat or talent?

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14 hours ago, Toxxus said:

 

Social power and influence matters.  I have a player on my Wednesday night games who's character has 20 PRE and high social skills. 

 

The actual player's social skills are not great and I don't feel like he should be penalized because he can't do the things his character can.

 

Interactions will generally go along the lines of:

Player - I convince the guard to let us cut in front of the line.

Me - And how do you do that?

Player - With words.

 

I exaggerate only slightly.  The guy doesn't have persuasion or high PRE in real life, but he wants to play a character that can do well in an area he can't.

 

Because it is a game the ability to advance or win via certain avenues costs points.  Whether that's stealth, weapon skill or being so ridiculously attractive that NPCs are inclined to treat you favorably.

 

Paying for PRE and high social skills is paying for mechanics, not paying points to role play.  The character paid for a 20 PRE and a 15- Persuasion?  Then he has a far better chance of persuading that guard than the character with 10 PRE and an 11- persuasion skill.  Even if that character's player is a skilled orator. 

 

You get the abilities of your character. 

 

If one of my players has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, it buys him exactly 0 points of Martial; Arts.  I do not expect the player whose character has a 17- Acrobatics roll to demonstrate that tumbling routine he just described his character as undertaking.  So why should making a great speech out of character equate to making a great speech in character?  If anything, playing a character with low PRE and no social skills as a suave ladies' man or a persuasive con man is BAD role playing, not GOOD role playing.  You designed the character.  You created the role.  Now play within that role.

 

9 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

 

And they are good ones! :)

 

 

Well...who said anyone "needed" to? You CAN. COM is *A* way to do that.

 

To me it's like Fringe Benefits. I could play a super whose secret ID is an FBI agent and pay the points for federal law enforcement powers.

Or we could just hand-wave it as part of his background.

I could just say my PC is a medical doctor, take PS: Medical Doctor and not take surgery or even paramedics and not buy the fringe benefit.

Or I could get real gritty and buy a nice suite of skills and perks\bennies, including military rank (former Army trauma surgeon) and a license to practice medicine.

 

Either could be used to support roleplaying. Or either could just strictly be mechanics effects. Or they could be free for various reasons.

 

If the player invests points in those abilities, then there should be value in-game from those abilities.  The player whose character delivers newspapers or waits tables spent his points on skill levels, and will get in-game benefits from those.  The player who spent points on police powers or an MD Suite should similarly benefit from those points.  If they don't, we have designed the game to penalize such characters, rather than reward the effort that went into that coherent, well realized back story.

 

9 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

Heck, why have Psych Lims and stuff, right? We can roleplay those too.

I mean if I'm voluntarily roleplaying stuff then is it really disadvantaging me? Should I get points for it?

 

A chosen limit is considered to generate points because it will challenge or limit the character.  If not does not, then we are in the "no drawback means no point savings" rule.

 

9 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

If a PC takes, "Prince" as a Fringe Benefit I have no problem with that translating in to better roleplaying (not social skill role mechanics) interactions with peasants.

 

If a PC wants to play a medical doctor and wants to roleplay that as having in-game effects he can buy the Fringe Benefit...and then we'll just roleplay it.

 

What's the benefit from that fringe benefit?  That in-game benefit is what points are paid for. 

 

9 hours ago, mallet said:

Good Point about COM not being linked to sexual attraction always. In that case the Limitation would be lowered, based on how much of the in-game population would be affected. Heck, maybe give it an Activation roll 11-, 12-, 8- or something to represent not everyone will react the same way to a character's physical appearance.

 

That does not address the individual who will react negatively to the "pretty boy", rather than positively.  But then, neither does Striking Appearance.

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16 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

If the player invests points in those abilities, then there should be value in-game from those abilities.  The player whose character delivers newspapers or waits tables spent his points on skill levels, and will get in-game benefits from those.  The player who spent points on police powers or an MD Suite should similarly benefit from those points.  If they don't, we have designed the game to penalize such characters, rather than reward the effort that went into that coherent, well realized back story.

 

"Designed the game". No. 

 

Yes, the player (or NPC) should get in-game benefits from spending points. Usually proportional to the value of the points as well.

Sometimes those benefits are mechanical (more Str = more dmg in fights) and sometimes roleplaying (picking up an entire tank to dissuade someone from even trying to fight you).

Sometimes you get your point value in roleplaying value of being able to say, "I'm a cop, you idiot!", and pulling out your real actual police badge.

And sometimes it's the mechanical benefit of being able to carry a concealed handgun in places you otherwise wouldn't be allowed to. 

 

If somebody pays 20pts for an insane COM score they should get some benefits from that expenditure. Even if they are only RP benefits.

In the same way that a PC with EDM to a single dimension (20pts, right?) should get some benefits. Even if it's only the RP benefit of, "I travel back to my homeworld to spend some time with family while the group does X or Y.".

 

Are those good and effective uses of points for a PC? Well, that'll depend on the game and the setting and the players and point limits and how folks like to roleplay and all of that stuff.  

 

But if somebody wants to slap down 3pts to be an attractive person, or 3pts to be an FBI agent, or 3pts to get a default Dex roll in Lockpicking as a hobby, or 3pts for a 12- PS, or 3pts to be a Lightsleeper, or 3pts to just not ever sleep at all, then those should all be useful, but probably minor effects.

 

Even tho a 12- DBA\Plumber\Electrician\SysAdmin is probably a lot more valuable than sometimes maybe waking up when somebody comes in to your room at night. In terms of making money and such.

 

If you spend 15pts on SA and 15pts on regular Presence and 15pts on Presence (only to be pants-shittingly terrifying) then you should see about 45pts of in-game utility be it mechanical or roleplaying.

If you spent 2pts on SA or 2pts on COM then you should see about 2pts of in-game utility benefit. You know, roughly the utility value of being a Knight, which is less utility value than Perfect Pitch. I don't know if I consider Perfect Pitch to be 50% more valuable than being a full-on Knight.

Nor do I know if in most games Perfect Pitch will get you the same in-game benefits as a 16 COM. Possible a Dex roll skill in Lockpicking would be better. Or a single point of Dex. 

 

 

 

Quote

 

 

A chosen limit is considered to generate points because it will challenge or limit the character.  If not does not, then we are in the "no drawback means no point savings" rule.

 

Right, so if it doesn't challenge or limit you, because you're going to roleplay like that regardless then it shoudn't be worth any points because it won't be challenge or limiting. It's just doing what you want to do.

Like if I play Bats or Supes and take Code Vs Killing and I never, ever, even when Joker beats Jason Todd to death, consider breaking that code...not challenging or limiting. 

 

Or it could just be a roleplaying thing. Even though they got 20pts for it. 

 

 

 

Quote

 

 

What's the benefit from that fringe benefit?  That in-game benefit is what points are paid for. 

 

Sure. Roleplaying benefits only. Or mechanical benefits only. Or roleplaying and mechanical benefits only. Situational benefits (the MD can come in the Cop can't). Campaign oriented benefits (the guy that didn't buy "FBI Agent" won't have as much inter-departmental politics fun in an X-Files games, very sad for him). 

 

And often I think plenty of players and GMs and situations call for effectively giving folks in-game mechanical (roleplaying) benefits for things even if they don't pay points for them.

Like if somebody wants to play a Knight or Doctor and not actually pay points for Knight or Doctor that's probably fine. Depending on the game, the players, etc, etc.

 

You could make all the players Knights and make them write it on their sheets with a 2pt cost. Or you could say, "You guys are all Knights now, so deal with those extra social responsibilities suckers!", and make them write DNPC: Hapless Peasants on their sheeet as a Disad\Complication and then not even give them points for it. Or just roleplay that they are Knights now and not write anything down anywhere.

And they could still get in-game mechanical and roleplaying benefits from it.

Like when they go to rally the peasants in the face of the next wave of goblins attackers you can give them a bonus on the Pre Attack because they are Knights even tho nobody paid for that. 

 

Whatever seems most best and fun for the game and the players and the setting and whatever else makes it an enjoyable experience for you.

 

 

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5 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

Yes, the player (or NPC) should get in-game benefits from spending points. Usually proportional to the value of the points as well.

Sometimes those benefits are mechanical (more Str = more dmg in fights) and sometimes roleplaying (picking up an entire tank to dissuade someone from even trying to fight you).

Sometimes you get your point value in roleplaying value of being able to say, "I'm a cop, you idiot!", and pulling out your real actual police badge.

And sometimes it's the mechanical benefit of being able to carry a concealed handgun in places you otherwise wouldn't be allowed to.

 

Here, I believe we are in agreement.  Where we appear to disagree is in terminology.

5 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

If somebody pays 20pts for an insane COM score they should get some benefits from that expenditure. Even if they are only RP benefits.

 

You appear to be using RP to mean "anything which is not combat".  I am not.  A bonus to interaction is a mechanical bonus.  There is no "RP Bonus" - bonuses are mechanical.  The impact on success and failure of attempted in-game actions.

 

If I am correctly interpreting the OP, he prefers COM to SA precisely because COM lacks any form of mechanical benefit.

 

Or, perhaps, this is better stated that it lacks any mechanical benefit under the control of the player, or defined by any rules. 

 

Maybe someone will be extra-nice and help out that looker. Or maybe that same someone was snubbed by the cheerleader in high school and has an axe to grind against every good-looking female, so that COM points were paid for will be detrimental instead of advantageous.  But she doesn't get any kind of bonus/benefit from that point expenditure unless someone else decides it has a benefit.  All the player gets is bragging rights - "my hot chick PC is hotter-looking than your hot chick PC".

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On 5/17/2019 at 4:13 PM, dsatow said:

1) Granularity (or ranking).  This just means I am prettier or uglier than you.

You can do this with SA just as well, though.  If Amaza has SA "Beautiful" +2/2d6 and Miss Earth has SA "Beautiful" +3/3d6, Miss Earth is prettier.  If Freako has SA "Fugly" +1/1d6, he's uglier than anyone without equivalent or greater SA with similar SFX.  All you lose are mechanically meaningless intermediate breakpoints, and those shouldn't be a thing anyways.  "You get what you pay for unless you don't pay in certain increments" is a garbage philosophy. 

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On 5/18/2019 at 10:54 PM, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

You can do this with SA just as well, though.  If Amaza has SA "Beautiful" +2/2d6 and Miss Earth has SA "Beautiful" +3/3d6, Miss Earth is prettier.  If Freako has SA "Fugly" +1/1d6, he's uglier than anyone without equivalent or greater SA with similar SFX.  All you lose are mechanically meaningless intermediate breakpoints, and those shouldn't be a thing anyways.  "You get what you pay for unless you don't pay in certain increments" is a garbage philosophy. 

I agree, but for some reason, people like the individual numbers for incremental ranking even if it has no effect.

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No one needs to apologize for liking something, or not liking something, or preferring one thing to another. That's normal human nature. Where we raise controversy is in taking the position that the reason we prefer something makes it objectively, qualitatively "better." If we can't quantify the difference in a way that makes direct comparisons meaningful, there's no way to win that argument.

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I believe Dr. Destroyer has a reputation bonus of +5/+5d6 to appropriate interaction rolls and PRE attacks("Holy crap, it's Dr. Destroyer!").  That costs him 15 points.  15 points of SA(beauty/sex appeal) will get a +5 to Charm(seducing and befriending people), Persuasion(getting people to believe you and persuading them to do things which may or may not be in their best interests), and Conversation(getting them to reveal personal information about themselves or casually let slip important information or even secrets).  It also gives a +5d6 to related kinds of PRE attacks.  Adding 5d6 to, say, a PRE of 15-20 will get you PRE+20 effects against normal(they are awed, IIRC, and lose a full phase).  

If you want the same incremental effect as COM, just buy SA incrementally, so you get +1, small group; +1, medium sized group; +1, large group, etc.  

If you want COM to have a meaningful effect consistently, you're going to have to come up with your own house rules for your campaign. E.g., COM rolls are complimentary to some kinds of social interaction skill attempts, add dice to some kinds of PRE attacks, and a high COM is as noticeable as a high PRE in everyday social situations.  

To me, though, I think those benefits are functionally identical to SA, but with SA you don't really have any "wasted" points.  

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4 hours ago, Cassandra said:

COM was originally a substitute for the Seduction skill.

The foregoing statement carries the implication that the Seduction skill existed prior to COM … since one cannot substitute thing A for thing B if thing B doesn't already exist. As a result, said statement is patently false, as COM appeared in the 1e core rulebook while Seduction didn't appear in a core rulebook until 4e, IIRC.

 

1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

In what version of the rules was that ever specified?

None, of course, because you can't substitute one item for another if said other doesn't (yet) exist.

 

20 hours ago, Greywind said:

Whether or not those points are wasted under COM is also purely subjective.


In a system built around the idea where one gets what one pays for, if COM has no mechanical impact, any points spent on it are, indeed, wasted, because one gets no mechanical impact for the expenditure of points. That's objective, not subjective.  Why? Well, I believe it's clear in RAW that if something is not limiting, then it's not worth points (back). What logically (and objectively, not subjectively) follows from that is that if it has a mechanical impact (i.e. advantage or benefit) then it IS worth points (spent).  But, as put forth by the originator of this thread, COM isn't mechanical -- i.e. it does nothing mechanical -- so (in this system where one supposedly gets what one pays for) it should cost nothing because there's no mechanical advantage/benefit derived from it (and it's all supposedly about role-play).  Clearly, if someone then makes COM cost points … while rendering no mechanical advantage/benefit … well, those ARE wasted points … since one paid for … (wait for it) … nothing.

 

And, of course, if it costs points and there IS a mechanical advantage/benefit (even as small as one-upmanship) conveyed, well, then you've completely diverged from the topic of this thread, as the case being made for comeliness entailed COM having no mechanical effect -- and being purely for role-play.

Surreal

P.S. Why one needs to pay points just to roleplay without mechanical advantage/benefit … is beyond me. Hugh has already done a bang-up job of explaining that mechanical effects are merely a means to enable role-playing anyway...

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Actually, let's analyze the book-value of COM.  FRED says "COM Rolls are sometimes used as Complementary Rolls to some Interaction Skills in situations where a character’s appearance (good or bad) might influence what happens."

We can model that via  a series of Interaction Skill Levels (hereafter ISL) with the Conditional Power "Only where a character's appearance might influence what happens" Limitation and the Activation Roll Limitation*.  Let's call the former a -1/2 by assuming that prettiness doesn't matter over the phone but does work against both genders.  There's no rules in FRED for 7- or worse Activation Rolls, so we'll apply the "lesser effect" clause and cost them as 8-**.  An ISL is 5 AP. 

 

COM 10 provides +1 on a 11-, +2 on a 8-, +3 on a 6-, +4 on a 4-.  This sums to 5 real, which is exactly what you get for selling it back.  So far so good.  Except, of course, that the sellback doesn't remove your ability to make the Complementary Roll. 

COM 20 provides +1 on a 13-, +2 on a 10-, +3 on a 8-, +4 on a 6-, +5 on a 4-.  This sums to 7 real (2 more than baseline), indicating we're breaking away from the COM formula. 

COM 30 provides +1 on a 15-, +2 on a 12-, +3 on a 10-, +4 on a 8-, +5 on a 6-, +6 on a 4-.  This sums to 10 real (5 more than baseline) and indicates the COM formula doesn't hold. 

COM 40 is where the +1 is (functionally) guaranteed on a 17-.  It's also interesting since from that point on, every 10 COM (5 real) just provides an ISL with (functionally) no Activation Roll (3.33 real). 

COM 5 provides +1 on a 10-, +2 on a 7-, +3 on a 5-, +4 on a 3-.  This also sums to 5 real, or no cost difference compared no sellback.  A clear issue. 

COM 0 provides +1 on a 9-, +2 on a 6-, +3 on a 4-.  This sums to 4 real and indicates that COM sellbacks are vastly more lucrative than they should be under this formula. 

 

Conclusion: COM is overpriced based on the price of limited ISLs.  It is, however, decently effective at enhancing interaction skills. 

Side comment: COM can enhance a Familiarity.  An ISL cannot.  I do not factor in an Advantage to account for this.  This is an excellent avenue for further analysis. 

 

*: Technically the math works out differently between a single activation roll with different thresholds and multiple activation rolls with the same thresholds.  But it's close enough for our purposes. 

**: Another option would be to extend the 6e formula. 

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3 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

In what version of the rules was that ever specified?

 

I think the first edition where it was more power/character based.  Skills came from games like Espionage, Western Hero, and Justice Inc.  The 5th Edition melded skills into the powers/characters framework.

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1 hour ago, Surrealone said:

The foregoing statement carries the implication that the Seduction skill existed prior to COM … since one cannot substitute thing A for thing B if thing B doesn't already exist. As a result, said statement is patently false, as COM appeared in the 1e core rulebook while Seduction didn't appear in a core rulebook until 4e, IIRC.

 

None, of course, because you can't substitute one item for another if said other doesn't (yet) exist.

 


In a system built around the idea where one gets what one pays for, if COM has no mechanical impact, any points spent on it are, indeed, wasted, because one gets no mechanical impact for the expenditure of points. That's objective, not subjective.  Why? Well, I believe it's clear in RAW that if something is not limiting, then it's not worth points (back). What logically (and objectively, not subjectively) follows from that is that if it has a mechanical impact (i.e. advantage or benefit) then it IS worth points (spent).  But, as put forth by the originator of this thread, COM isn't mechanical -- i.e. it does nothing mechanical -- so (in this system where one supposedly gets what one pays for) it should cost nothing because there's no mechanical advantage/benefit derived from it (and it's all supposedly about role-play).  Clearly, if someone then makes COM cost points … while rendering no mechanical advantage/benefit … well, those ARE wasted points … since one paid for … (wait for it) … nothing.

 

And, of course, if it costs points and there IS a mechanical advantage/benefit (even as small as one-upmanship) conveyed, well, then you've completely diverged from the topic of this thread, as the case being made for comeliness entailed COM having no mechanical effect -- and being purely for role-play.

Surreal

P.S. Why one needs to pay points just to roleplay without mechanical advantage/benefit … is beyond me. Hugh has already done a bang-up job of explaining that mechanical effects are merely a means to enable role-playing anyway...

 

That's my point.  A character could make a COM Roll from Skills before there was a Seduction skill existed.

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