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StarSiege Relaunch 
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Red Cap

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
Here's my current dilemma: I am thinking of abandoning the 12/18 split and instead going to the TN 18 with a +6 for "Prime" as the main way of describing the game. I did the 12/18 mostly to keep in tune with C&C's description, but I wonder if it does SSEH a disservice not to go with the +6 Method...

I look at it this way: SSEH is all about stacking bonuses and very few opposed rolls... as such, why not just treat everything as a bonus rather than deal with shifting Target Numbers.

Anyone have any strong feelings on this?

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
cheeplives wrote:
Here's my current dilemma: I am thinking of abandoning the 12/18 split and instead going to the TN 18 with a +6 for "Prime" as the main way of describing the game. I did the 12/18 mostly to keep in tune with C&C's description, but I wonder if it does SSEH a disservice not to go with the +6 Method...

I look at it this way: SSEH is all about stacking bonuses and very few opposed rolls... as such, why not just treat everything as a bonus rather than deal with shifting Target Numbers.

Anyone have any strong feelings on this?


I have to admit that I go with the "Every Challenge Base is 18, Primes provide a +6" method for both C&C and StarSIEGE when I'm describing it to new players and when I'm trying to calculate out what the final CL for a roll should be.

It's easier to explain and it makes it easier for me to run calculations (since I only have to do it once, rather than twice depending upon who's rolling).

I'm still not entirely sure why the Trolls didn't shift it in C&C with the 4th printing because it just makes so much more sense (y'know, like BtH and Ascending AC make more sense when compared to Descending AC and either THAC0 or To-Hit Tables).

That said, you did address it in a sidebar in the original edition and I think those sidebars provided a lot of really useful info for both alternate explanations (like "everything's an 18 and Primes are +6") and for optional rules/variations (like hit dice instead of boxes and ammo instead of Reliability).

I liked that, because it allows readers to personalize the game (maximizing it's tool-kit-ness) in a couple of different ways by explaining the mechanics behind the systems.

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Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:35 pm
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Mist Elf

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
I want to add, I do not see the point in adding the Combat Defense value to the Target Number. It is easier to simply subtract it from the players bonuses, e.g. Shooting +5, Weapon +4, Foe's CD -6 comcludes to a +3 to the die roll which must beat an 18.

On the other hand, if the TN stays at 18 all the time, it is easier to add the CD to 18, as it would be the same for all players then. Hm. Might be less calculation, don't know.

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Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:02 pm
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Red Cap

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
Lord Crimson wrote:
That said, you did address it in a sidebar in the original edition and I think those sidebars provided a lot of really useful info for both alternate explanations (like "everything's an 18 and Primes are +6") and for optional rules/variations (like hit dice instead of boxes and ammo instead of Reliability).

I liked that, because it allows readers to personalize the game (maximizing it's tool-kit-ness) in a couple of different ways by explaining the mechanics behind the systems.

I know I addressed it, but I'm thinking of swapping how it's represented in the book. I would, instead use the +6 method across the board and relegate the 12/18 to a sidebar as an optional method.

I think I'm going to go this route... it just feels cleaner to me.

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Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:51 pm
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Red Cap

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
I have added a section on converting from SSEH Attributes to C&C and back again.

Specialties now have four "levels" of training that can be purchased with XP. You have "Untrained" for a -3 (all Specialties start at "Untrained" except for the Specialties under your Primary Skill Bundles). Then you have "Trained" (+0), "Exceptional" (+3), and "Mastery" (+6).

You can now also purchase a "Familiarity" with a Skill Bundle that isn't Primary. With Familiarity, you get a +3 to all rolls (effectively giving out the 12/15/18 spread that people often use).

Defenses are now secondary Statistics that are independent of Specialties.

Item creation: Class now consists of "Always On", "Use-Activated", or "Conditional". Always On represents bonuses or advantages that always exist for the character. A Suit of Power Armor that boosted your Physique and provided an Armor Bonus and Environmental protection would be "Always On". "Use-Activated" require an action to make use of... most weapons are "Use Activated", as would a point-defense Force Shield that you have to move to intercept an attack. "Conditional" items/powers only work if a specific condition (which is set when created) is met. A normal suit of armor would be "Conditional" in that it only provides an Armor bonus when a specific Damage type is inflicted on the character... (which also means that you will be able to purchase specific Damage types). So your Ballistic Vest would have a Conditional Armor Value that only came into effect when Ballistic Damage is incurred.

Item Creation: there are six different types of Damage you can inflict: Ballistic (for high velocity attacks like guns), Force (for low velocity attacks like swords or arrows), Energy (for special attacks like lasers or plasma), Concussive (for explosive attacks like grenades or missiles), Panic (for stress attacks), or Confusion (for stress attacks). Damage types have some special effects when you take the damage (frex: Concussive attacks have a burst radius that deals the damage all around while Ballistic attacks move too quickly to be dodged).

More details as I write more.

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Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:08 pm
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Mist Elf

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
personally, I do not like the -3 for 'untrained'. Why not having 'untrained' at -3 for secondaries and at 0 for primaries?
-3 to every roll that a character does not possess seems harsh to me and subtracting 3 points of nearly any roll a character does will be forgotten most times anyway. It also puts even more focus on Specialities instead of Skill Bundles.

I like the idea of Familiarities, though.

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Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:04 pm
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Red Cap

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
pansophy wrote:
personally, I do not like the -3 for 'untrained'. Why not having 'untrained' at -3 for secondaries and at 0 for primaries?
-3 to every roll that a character does not possess seems harsh to me and subtracting 3 points of nearly any roll a character does will be forgotten most times anyway. It also puts even more focus on Specialities instead of Skill Bundles.

I like the idea of Familiarities, though.

You automatically get all of the specialties under your Primary at "Trained +0", so you're issue has been addressed.

I'm trying to compress the numbers a bit and think that adding the -3 for Untrained helps that.

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Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:42 pm
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Mist Elf

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
Since I do not know the rest of the new StarSIEGE system, I can only guess a bit:

a character, not possessing the 'Combat' SB and not having 'Shooting' as a Speciality, will need to roll 18+3+<targets defence>-<weapon bonus>, e.g. 18+3+4-6=19 on a d20 to hit? Wow. That's only a 10% chance for an untrained person to hit somebody ...

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:08 am
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Red Cap

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
pansophy wrote:
Since I do not know the rest of the new StarSIEGE system, I can only guess a bit:

a character, not possessing the 'Combat' SB and not having 'Shooting' as a Speciality, will need to roll 18+3+<targets defence>-<weapon bonus>, e.g. 18+3+4-6=19 on a d20 to hit? Wow. That's only a 10% chance for an untrained person to hit somebody ...

Hrm... a first level Wizard in C&C that uses a Sword or a Crossbow against an opponent has a -4 to their to-hit roll. Against a simple Goblin (AC 15) they will hit on a 19 on their d20 roll (10% chance)...

The lesson: if you're bad at combat, perhaps you should avoid it?

But I'll take this into account and look at my numbers some. Perhaps the -3 is a bit stiff. Depends on how the new equipment bonuses end up.

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:43 pm
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Mist Elf

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
I don't know nothing about combat in C&C, but isn't it if you hit your target you do damage? In StarSIEGE it is only the chance to hit, damage might be subtracted by armor after the hit. My conclusion: you should be able to hit your target more often, but doing damage is an other thing ...

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:46 pm
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Red Cap

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
pansophy wrote:
I don't know nothing about combat in C&C, but isn't it if you hit your target you do damage? In StarSIEGE it is only the chance to hit, damage might be subtracted by armor after the hit. My conclusion: you should be able to hit your target more often, but doing damage is an other thing ...

True, but you're talking about the equivalent of a completely unskilled person opening fire. Real world hit statistics would be far less than 10%.

Look at it this way, NYPD put out their hit statistics over the past 10 years or so, and those trained professionals only have about a 30% hit rate.

Your concern is noted... I will check how things shake out in playtest.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:32 am
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Mist Elf

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
Only 10% ? Wow, that is impressively low. Referring to my Archery training I would have expected more.
Anyway, it is a game in the end and I am glad you check it while playtesting - in the end it depends on if it is fun to play. :)

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:13 am
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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
cheeplives wrote:
True, but you're talking about the equivalent of a completely unskilled person opening fire. Real world hit statistics would be far less than 10%.

Look at it this way, NYPD put out their hit statistics over the past 10 years or so, and those trained professionals only have about a 30% hit rate.


With those stats, the NYPD, where I grew up, would be considered unskilled in the use of fire arms. Probably because they grew up in the concrete jungle.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:13 pm
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Red Cap

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
Arduin wrote:
cheeplives wrote:
True, but you're talking about the equivalent of a completely unskilled person opening fire. Real world hit statistics would be far less than 10%.

Look at it this way, NYPD put out their hit statistics over the past 10 years or so, and those trained professionals only have about a 30% hit rate.


With those stats, the NYPD, where I grew up, would be considered unskilled in the use of fire arms. Probably because they grew up in the concrete jungle.

Those stats are about average for trained firearms users across the board. Hitting an armed combatant who is actively fighting back/avoiding you is HARD.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:34 pm
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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
cheeplives wrote:
Those stats are about average for trained firearms users across the board.


Like I said, we'd consider them incompetent. It takes a couple of decades of weekly shooting to become really proficient.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:26 pm
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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
cheeplives wrote:
Those stats are about average for trained firearms users across the board.


Like I said, we'd consider them incompetent. It takes a couple of decades of constant shooting to become really proficient. At that point, the weapon is like an extension of your body. Police train to a minimum proficiency in very controlled environment.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:30 pm
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Red Cap

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
Arduin wrote:
cheeplives wrote:
Those stats are about average for trained firearms users across the board.


Like I said, we'd consider them incompetent. It takes a couple of decades of constant shooting to become really proficient. At that point, the weapon is like an extension of your body. Police train to a minimum proficiency in very controlled environment.

Not sure what to say here. These are "Combat Conditions" (i.e. no ear protection, hostile attacker, adrenaline, etc) accuracy, something that's hard to train for. I'd imagine, in an actual combat theater operation, 30%-40% hit rate would be considered insanely good. Sure, things might go up for specialized fire types, like snipers or the like, but "in the thick of it" fire, you're looking at LOW volumes of hits, and even fewer lethal ones.

I have no idea what training you have experienced, but I'm just basing my numbers on statistical models put out by Police Agencies and the Armed Forces.

This isn't to say I'm trying to model these numbers, just give some perspective on that 10% number that panosophy mentioned earlier for a completely untrained person firing a gun in a combat situation... 10% seems a good, realistic number... but might not work for a RPG.

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
I've got to agree with cheeplives on this one, with the assumption cheeplives is looking for realism vs. heroism type game play.

If your looking at a more military type encounter the hit rate is even lower when engages in a pitched battle. This isn't a dual where your shooting at a stationary target, people are moving, hiding, firing at you ect. Smaller engagements also have those firefight properties.

Two separate articles I've read. One was the police talking about urban-gang related shoot-outs, that even those gang members that have "street-trained" abilities have an incredibly low hit-rate as their training does not compare to professional training. (There is a reason why gangs prefer drive-by's or ambush type hits on a particular target and why innocent bystanders are just as likely to get hit in a gang related incident.) The other was a psychological study, in that the majority of people are not psychopathic killers and experience a reluctance to shoot another person, even an enemy they know is out to kill them, because they don't want to kill. (Some people close their eyes when firing, not because of the big bang or the small flash, but because they don't want to see if they hit the target or not, until after the shot, a denial of action.) It is not uncommon for a trained soldier to fire some weapons above or just before a target, even in a firefight. This includes trained soldiers and police officers. Sometimes the fight or flight instinct can play havoc and even freeze up the most trained professionals.

The only professional firefights that I can see scoring a decent percentage would be the highly trained special-ops types, but even then they go into a situation with a lot of intelligence a plan that could've taken weeks to prepare and usually have the element of deception and surprise.

So, barring a whole host of modifiers to cover very different situations I don't think a -3 is all that out of line.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:26 pm
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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
cheeplives wrote:
Specialties now have four "levels" of training that can be purchased with XP. You have "Untrained" for a -3 (all Specialties start at "Untrained" except for the Specialties under your Primary Skill Bundles). Then you have "Trained" (+0), "Exceptional" (+3), and "Mastery" (+6).

You can now also purchase a "Familiarity" with a Skill Bundle that isn't Primary. With Familiarity, you get a +3 to all rolls (effectively giving out the 12/15/18 spread that people often use).


I'm still not entirely sold on the "specialty levels", myself (for the aforementioned "capping out" concerns I mentioned up-thread). That said, I do think that -3 to +6 is a pretty good spread and allows for quite a bit of differentiation.

I also like the "Familiarity" option as a sort of "half-way" between Primary and not. Makes buying a Bundle up to Primary something that can be done in smaller bites, too.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:53 pm
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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
cheeplives wrote:
I'd imagine, in an actual combat theater operation, 30%-40% hit rate would be considered insanely good.


I'm talking police NOT combat. VASTLY different. LOL Most of the times police fire in the line of duty, they are not under fire.

To become VERY accurate under various circumstances takes years. Not the time spent in a police academy and the occasional requal that peace officers go through.

I guess to really understand you'd have to have been using since you were a small child. A good example of this is what happened when the Brits ran into Jackson's boys in the war of 1812. Seasoned troops (learned weapons only during service) vs. people (who didn't have battle experience close to the Brits) who grew up with one in their hand and used them to survive from a young age.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:10 pm
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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
I have to agree that 30% is a good guide. Shooting while under stress and hitting any moving target is tough. Especially when you are moving also. If you want a close simulation try playing paintball some time. Moving targets are tough.

As a side note watch the topshot show. In the first season they took a few combat shooting pros (these guys can drive nails with bullets) They put them under stress (a timer) and moving targets. They were not happy at all with their accuracy. The army and swat vets did a little better. But not by much.

And police officers are all pretty skilled with their weapons, Not all are experts but they are required to requalify yearly and most all put in extra time at the range. The range I used to frequent in Texas was was a favorite with the local law enforcement for practice during off hours. Dont assume cops go years with out using their weapons till something kicks off and they are forced to use them.

As a corrections officer I had a lot of time in the range. We also had to qualifying yearly. So months before your time was up you would go to the range practice weekly or so till your time came. So I only practiced with service weapons 3 or so months of the year, And I was no where as good a shot as most the cops at the range.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:00 pm
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Mist Elf

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
My problem with negative initial skill values while untrained is, that I cannot allow some players 'unneeded' skills like "knowledge of x". It would mean if I put that skill into play a character without the skill would be at -3 - even if that skill is just a cosmetic, and will rarely appear during gameplay.

I know, if it is just cosmetic, it should not make a difference, but if you play with some rules-lawyers, it makes gaming pretty hard. ;)

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:10 am
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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
Arduin wrote:
I guess to really understand you'd have to have been using since you were a small child. A good example of this is what happened when the Brits ran into Jackson's boys in the war of 1812. Seasoned troops (learned weapons only during service) vs. people (who didn't have battle experience close to the Brits) who grew up with one in their hand and used them to survive from a young age.

This would still be an example of both being skilled with weapons. I don't think it matters how you learn to shoot.

Anyway that was mostly tactics. Both British and American soldiers of 1812 where using that era of war tactics of standing in a line with brightly coloured uniforms vs. hide and dodge tactics. American military got massacred the same way when facing the natives on the British side.

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:16 am
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Red Cap

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
pansophy wrote:
My problem with negative initial skill values while untrained is, that I cannot allow some players 'unneeded' skills like "knowledge of x". It would mean if I put that skill into play a character without the skill would be at -3 - even if that skill is just a cosmetic, and will rarely appear during gameplay.

I know, if it is just cosmetic, it should not make a difference, but if you play with some rules-lawyers, it makes gaming pretty hard. ;)

Here's some design philosophy about SSEH: If things are "cosmetic" then they don't get rolled. This game is all about only making rolls when the outcome would be interesting to the story being told. "Cosmetic" skill rolls aren't interesting to the story and are mainly done for filler or to abdicate decision making on the part of the player or SIEGE Engineer. And while sometimes they can make things interesting, this game isn't designed around using them.

Also, don't forget Nova Points. You can always spend one for an auto success... it's a limited number, but can be helpful.

In those cases where you want a "cosmetic" skill, then I'd suggest assuming there isn't an "untrained" level of that skill. Everyone is at least "trained" (+0) in cosmetic skills... hell, I can add a side-bar on this. Need a better name than "cosmetic", though... "Genre Skills"? Dunno...

Also, I think I'm changing the Specialty Levels from four to six: Untrained/-2, Trained/+0, Practiced/+2, Experienced/+4, Expert/+6, Mastery/+8. This gives a bit more granularity and reduces the "cap out" a bit. Also, I wanted Specialties to let you be "even better" than the bonus of a Skill Bundle. Also, by switching to a +2 bonus, I can lower the Untrained penalty to -2, which increases a completely untrained person doing something completely foreign to them to 15%.

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:32 pm
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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
Quote:
In those cases where you want a "cosmetic" skill, then I'd suggest assuming there isn't an "untrained" level of that skill. Everyone is at least "trained" (+0) in cosmetic skills... hell, I can add a side-bar on this. Need a better name than "cosmetic", though... "Genre Skills"? Dunno...

Also, I think I'm changing the Specialty Levels from four to six: Untrained/-2, Trained/+0, Practiced/+2, Experienced/+4, Expert/+6, Mastery/+8. This gives a bit more granularity and reduces the "cap out" a bit. Also, I wanted Specialties to let you be "even better" than the bonus of a Skill Bundle. Also, by switching to a +2 bonus, I can lower the Untrained penalty to -2, which increases a completely untrained person doing something completely foreign to them to 15%.


Ah, right! Now I am fully with you again. 15% chance for doing something untrained is ok I guess. :) Maybe not in reality, but for RPG purposes it seems about right (to me). :D
Also, the finer granularity helps to keep a longer campaign going. Thanks!

BTW: what about "Hobby Skills"? Or "Descriptive Skills" instead of "Cosmetic" ...

cheers!

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:48 pm
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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
Sir Ironside wrote:
This would still be an example of both being skilled with weapons. I don't think it matters how you learn to shoot.


Not really. The average combat soldier of a couple years has a tiny fraction of the weapon skill of someone who has 20 years experience on an almost daily basis. Thus, the slaughter. After many years, it is, see it, hit it. Most soldiers and 99.9% of police don't come within 1000 miles of that skill level. That's just the reality of it.

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Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:40 am
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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
I think this is not the right thread to discuss Realism & Firearms ...

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
pansophy wrote:
I think this is not the right thread to discuss Realism & Firearms ...

Some small part of me doesn't think we've been discussing Realism & Firearms at all... but that's just the snark in me.

More details as I get it... Right now working on the chargen section... beefing up the Lifepath system and introducing a point-buy option as well.

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
I'll take playability over realism any day.... Realism is often a 500 page game.

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Post Re: StarSiege Relaunch
cheeplives wrote:
Also, I think I'm changing the Specialty Levels from four to six: Untrained/-2, Trained/+0, Practiced/+2, Experienced/+4, Expert/+6, Mastery/+8. This gives a bit more granularity and reduces the "cap out" a bit. Also, I wanted Specialties to let you be "even better" than the bonus of a Skill Bundle. Also, by switching to a +2 bonus, I can lower the Untrained penalty to -2, which increases a completely untrained person doing something completely foreign to them to 15%.


This sounds like a fairly solid choice. And counting by 2s is a little easier to do/remember than counting by 3s.

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Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:43 pm
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