Backgrounds vs talents?

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Backgrounds vs talents?

Post by Slloyd14 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:03 pm

There are two talents in the book (knighted and status) which are more to do with a hero's background than a hero's abilities. Maybe at character creation, we could have backgrounds as well as talents. There are a couple of ways of doing this:

1) Backgrounds are separate from talents and provide equal benefits.

Every hero starts with both a background and a talent. Knighted and status are now backgrounds and the hero can start with a background with a particular social scale, but each background has a benefit equal to those provided by knighted and status.

Here are some example backgrounds which may or may not be balanced with the status and knighted backgrounds. Basically, every title from the AFF book could be a background choice.

Craftsman background: The hero starts with a social scale of 3, 1 point in the crafting skill (the hero needs to select a trade) and 1 point in the bargain skill.

Craftsman (merchant) background: The hero starts with a social scale of 3 and 1 point in the skills bargain and evaluate for free.

The soldier background: The hero starts with a social scale of 1, increases their initial stamina by 1 and has 1 point in a weapon skill.

The farmer background: The hero starts with a social scale of 2, increases their initial stamina by 1 and has 1 point in the skills (terrain) lore and either animal lore or plant lore. Fishermen also come under this category and get sea lore and fishing.

The criminal background: The hero starts off with a social scale of 0 and has 1 point in any two stealth special skills.

2) Hero's start off with similar backgrounds (social scale 1-6) but they can use their talent to get a better background and start the game with no talent.

Basically, I'm stopping status and knighted being talents because they don't sound like talents. Everything else stays the same.

3) The heroes can exchange skills and talents for social scale points.

At the moment, social class points are determined randomly (they are the only things that are determined randomly at the moment), but how about heroes start with a social class of 0 and they can exchange a skill point to increase it by 1 up to a maximum of 6. They might get some extra money because of this but they don't get any other benefit unless they decide to exchange their talent and get it to 7 or 8.

This basically creates another points system where you exchange points for skills, social scale and talents.

What do people think?

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Post by torus » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:26 am

I like the idea of backgrounds, and I would add more, such as Sailor, Trapper, Clerk/Scholar, Tribesman etc, keeping them simple like you have done.

In general I would like to add more flavour to Hero generation and link it more closely to the setting, without adding complexity. I would require players to pick a place of origin and appropriate background, from which to flesh out a backstory.

For this reason I'm less keen on the social scale, as I think high status should only be possible at the Director's discretion, or at least, as it is now, at the cost of a talent. So your option 2 would be the best, and one could then provide a list of higher status backgrounds: Captain, Courtier, Priest, Physician, etc with more starting wealth and skills.

Also there isn't a uniform social scale applying all over Titan. A Hero's title and ranks in one place may mean nothing on another continent. Even their gold might be worthless in some places. Only their skill, stamina and luck are universal.

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