[Edges] Requirements

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Vinzent
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[Edges] Requirements

#1 Postby Vinzent » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:31 pm

Do you find some of the Edge requirements unbalanced with the bonuses they give? Do you alter an Edge's requirements for your homebrew?

Champion was the offender that brought this to my attention. It has a huge laundry list of requirements but only +2 damage and a +2 Toughness when fighting supernatural evil.

Another is Knight from the Fantasy Companion, which also has a huge list of requirements, but all you get is some gear and +2 Charisma.

I'm curious as to what guidelines, if any, were involved in creating the requirements for Edges.

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#2 Postby shadd4d » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:58 pm

Rippers alters Champion to no longer require the AB Miracles or Faith skill. But the edge exists for more...Paladin type characters, I think. While it has high requirements, +2 to damage and +2 to toughness is quite a bit, especially in settings without armor (a la Rippers/DL:R). Also note that that additional toughness does not disappear to armor piercing. It roughly gives the same benefits of Improved Tough as Nails (an improved version of a Legendary Edge), at novice, with the possible benefit of Improved Tough as Nails still available.

All that gear you get with Knight is beyond the buying power of even a character with Noble + Filthy Rich. Remember that starting funds are usually ~ $500, so the warhorse starts at $750 and everything adds to that. Plus, the gear from Knight doesn't eat into your starting $500 as it would if you did the Noble + Filthy Rich combo...nor does a Knight have an estate to worry about, but instead an abstract cause to remain true to, a different, but in my opinion, a lot less restrictive problem that a noble would have in terms of protecting an estate. Plus, Knight is focused on those who can (with capability) be riding across a battlefield upon horseback, rather than nobles.

Also note that both are available as novices, but have effects (like Champion) of Legendary Edges.

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#3 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:48 am

If anything, I find some of the edges to have too lax requirements. For instance, First Strike only requires Agility d8, whereas I'd say it also requires a Fighting skill of d8.

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#4 Postby Jordan Peacock » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:19 am

I have sometimes puzzled over the Requirements of certain Edges. In the case of Champion and certain other Professional Edges (I believe that's where it was located?)

I suspect that the laundry list of Requirements was included at least in part for the purpose of giving players something to strive for - a "career goal" of sorts.

Either that, or perhaps it was for the sake of role differentiation; in points-based systems (as opposed to rigid class or archetype systems), it's easy for players to pick-and-choose whatever skills seem most useful, and it's sometimes harder for one character to find a well-defined "niche" in the group. (I've found this to especially be the case in game systems where incremental improvement in skills is frequently done - say, some sort of improvement in the character profile after every session - and thus certain players are prone to impulsively improve or acquire whatever skills seemed to have been potentially useful in the latest session, rather than following any sort of long-term progression goal.)

Thus, by having a set of requirements that fit into a particular professional archetype (e.g., the skills commonly associated with a D&D-esque Rogue/Thief being required as prerequisite for the Thief Edge), you can make sure that the character that invests in that will get a unique benefit no one else in the party will have ... unless, of course, another player wants to have a "thief" as well, and commits to meeting all the same prerequisites with his character.

For an Edge such as First Strike, on the other hand - it's just another step of progression for the general goal of being a better fighter. If you're a "fighter" type, there's the obvious option to improve your Fighting skill, but ultimately you can only go so far with that; skills max out at d12 until you reach Legendary. Edges such as First Strike, Sweep, etc., give characters opportunities to improve their fighting ability in specific areas (potentially giving even greater distinction amongst a party full of "fighters").

I personally as a GM would have no problem with having a character with a low Fighting skill have First Strike. The Agility requirement is in keeping with the idea that this Edge is possible through great reflexes. If the character nonetheless only has d4 Fighting, then - sure - you'll get to attack first, but it's not going to be too impressive if you hardly ever actually hit. (Still, someone might want to go that route, and improve the Fighting skill later. Who knows?)

Anyway, that's just my take on it. I'd be curious to learn more about the rationale behind some of the choices regarding Edges, and what the intentions were for game balance. That would help me as a consideration when I try to introduce new Edges (and such) as house rule additions to my own games.
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#5 Postby 77IM » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:39 am

I only consider an Edge requirement to be steep if it's something you would not necessarily want otherwise. For example, Champion's high Vigor requirement seems out-of-place to me. Why can't there be swift, frail Champions? Or ones that utilize Shooting instead of Fighting. The most glaring example is Mr. Fix It, which for some reason requires Weird Science plus some Knowledge skills, just to be better at fixing things.


I don't like to alter Edge rank or Attribute requirements but I might allow substituting one Attribute or Skill for another if there is reasonable justification. Like if someone wanted to be a rapier-wielding swash-buckling Champion, I'd let them switch Agility for Vigor in the requirements. Attributes are somewhat hard to come by so they seem like a good way of preventing every character from getting the same Edges.

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#6 Postby Jordan Peacock » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:18 pm

77IM wrote:For example, Champion's high Vigor requirement seems out-of-place to me. Why can't there be swift, frail Champions? Or ones that utilize Shooting instead of Fighting. The most glaring example is Mr. Fix It, which for some reason requires Weird Science plus some Knowledge skills, just to be better at fixing things.


I have to agree with both of those examples, as they have, in particular, come up as things I'd be tempted to houserule. I've specifically run into instances more than once where we had a campaign without "Weird Science" (per se), but someone wanted to play a techie or McGyver type - someone good with machines and good at fixing them, but not in the "techno-spellcaster" sense.

In fact, for the "player guide" for my current Savage Ghostbusters campaign, Mr. Fix-It was one of the Edges I specifically set a setting rule for, because we've got gizmos aplenty that could benefit from quickie field repairs, but no Arcane Backgrounds.
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#7 Postby Clint » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:52 pm

One major underlying factor to keep in mind here is the Edges being discussed are primarily Professional Edges, and as in the GM section <italics added>...

"What you really may want to look at are Professional Edges. These help you create the archetypal characters of your world."

Professional Edges are supposed to fit particular settings, and the ones in the core rulebook are just general ideas and examples. As noted above, in some setting books Pinnacle has removed or altered Requirements for Professional Edges because that is what fits the setting.

So questions of "why can't there be..." regarding a Professional Edge is kind of pointless as any particular restriction or lack thereof may be based purely on the setting.

And regarding that particular Edge, I'm a bit surprised to see it listed as "only" providing a +2 to damage and Toughness vs. supernatural evil. Considering it takes two Legendary Edges just to get +2 Toughness and the Veteran Giant Killer Edge is the closest thing to providing a bonus to damage against limited targets, Champion provides a pretty significant capability for a Novice Edge.
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