What is the point of Professional Edges?

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walkerp
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What is the point of Professional Edges?

#1 Postby walkerp » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:53 am

I don't quite get Professional Edges. I've never used them as a player and none of my players have ever used them when I GM. The bonuses seem awfully small considering the prereqs. What is their role rules-wise? Are they there to guide players who may be looking for more of a "class"? How important are they to the various setting books?
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Re: What is the point of Professional Edges?

#2 Postby Clint » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:19 am

walkerp wrote:The bonuses seem awfully small considering the prereqs.


Well, a +2 bonus is pretty big in SW. Consider that against a standard TN of 4, that means only a critical failure does not succeed. And most Professional Edges either provide multiple +2 bonuses or a +2 bonus and an additional benefit of some other kind.

walkerp wrote:What is their role rules-wise?


They provide a way to have characters who are far more competent in a chosen field.

walkerp wrote:Are they there to guide players who may be looking for more of a "class"?


I'd say it's a bit more like archetypes within a setting. Professional Edges help define a setting in what types of specialist characters are possible, but then they can also work to allow a player to work with the GM to define their own Prof. Edge for a specialization they want as long as the GM says it works in the setting.

walkerp wrote:How important are they to the various setting books?


Well, as noted above, they can be pretty important in defining the archetypal characters of the setting. Course, there is a bit of a crossover area between Setting Rules and Professional Edges in that role.

Hope that helps.
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#3 Postby walkerp » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:32 am

Thanks, Clint, yes that is very helpful. I totally get the significance of a +2 in Savage Worlds, it's more that it is usually only in one skill or even one skill used in a limited set of applications. Nobody in my group ever takes them, though this could be more a function of the settings we are playing in.

So the idea is if I take a professional edge, say Investigator, that tells the GM the areas I want to be able to kick ass in and when an Investigation roll is needed, I'm on the case.

I call upon your vast experience, but also throw it out to the rest of the community, do you find that players do use Professional Edges fairly regularily?


Thanks again!
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#4 Postby taliesin » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:42 am

My players do not use professional edges. They tend to focus on anything combat oriented. It drives me crazy, especially after I said, "there won't be a whole lot of combat in this campaign."

Someday I'll show them the error of their ways...
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#5 Postby Wiggy » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:55 am

walkerp wrote:I call upon your vast experience, but also throw it out to the rest of the community, do you find that players do use Professional Edges fairly regularily?


All the time. My big game hunter (dino-hunting game) has Woodsman, my consulting detective (Victorian pulp) has Investigator, as does my secret agent in Savage Traveller, and my recently dead Rippers hero had Champion. Our ship engineer in that game has Mr. Fix-It. We don't always use them, but more often than not someone at the table has a Professional Edge.
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#6 Postby Clint » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:19 am

walkerp wrote:Thanks, Clint, yes that is very helpful. I totally get the significance of a +2 in Savage Worlds, it's more that it is usually only in one skill or even one skill used in a limited set of applications.


Not sure I understand that. Looking at the core book at the Prof. Edges that provide a Skill bonus...

Ace - +2 to three Skills always and an extra effect
Investigator - +2 to two Skills always and +2 to another situationally.
Jack of All Trades - Effectively +2 always to all untrained Smarts Skills.
Mentalist - +2 to one Arcane Skill for all opposed rolls.
Mr. Fix-It - +2 to one Skill always and an additional benefit on a raise for that Skill.
Scholar - +2 to two Skills always.
Thief - +2 to two Skills always and +2 to one Skill situationally.
Woodsman - +2 to three Skills situationally (of which Tracking and Survival are typically used in that situation).

So there is only one Professional Edge that is limited to one Skill situationally and that is an Arcane Skill. In fact, it's one of only two out of the eight listed that only affect a single Skill, so the idea that is "usually" works the way stated above doesn't make sense to me. :-?

Are we talking about a particular setting book or something else maybe?

walkerp wrote:I call upon your vast experience, but also throw it out to the rest of the community, do you find that players do use Professional Edges fairly regularily?


The game I'm playing in is up in Legendary Rank, and most of the PCs have multiple Professional Edges. I would even say the two non-Arcane characters still describe themselves by the Professional Edge they started with (as in, "What do you do?" "I'm an <insert Edge Name>").
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#7 Postby 77IM » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:25 am

I frequently see:
- Acrobat (+2 to Agility tricks, +1 Parry, yummy flavor)
- Jack-of-all-Trades (Great, cheap way to get a bunch of d4 Knowledges)
- Mr. Fix It (Actually I see "Ms. Fix It" more often)
- Thief (+2 Stealth alone is worth it, the other bonuses are just icing)
- Woodsman (Combine with Thief to have +2 Stealth all the time)

My group runs a lot of 1-shots so it seems like we are creating characters every other session. I'd guestimate that over half of them have at least one Professional edge.

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#8 Postby TheLoremaster » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:34 am

When I create characters, usually the first thing I pick is his Professional Edge, if not his primary Edge if there's no matching Professional Edge. Once I've met the requirements, then I know how many points I can spend on "other stuff". Each one usually captures enough of a feel for the character and the setting that it's easy to see what the character will specialize in.
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#9 Postby JmOz01 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:41 am

Never really payed close attention, but it seems that in everygame my group has ran someone either had a proffesional or was working towards one...

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#10 Postby walkerp » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:53 am

Clint wrote:So there is only one Professional Edge that is limited to one Skill situationally and that is an Arcane Skill. In fact, it's one of only two out of the eight listed that only affect a single Skill, so the idea that is "usually" works the way stated above doesn't make sense to me. :-?

Are we talking about a particular setting book or something else maybe?


My own inability to read rules closely! :)

Okay, I'm convinced. I'll pay closer attention to the Professional Edges the next time I savage up a character.

Is there a rule or general guideline for the relationship between prerequisites and the bonuses Professional Edges give?
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#11 Postby SlasherEpoch » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:20 pm

Yeah, I take Wizard all the time, it helps me save up those precious Power Points.

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#12 Postby wanderingmystic » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:59 pm

I never play a character without taking a professional edge, whats more I currently run two savage worlds games and every player i have always picks up one. Nothing else make you quite feel like a fleshed out character at least for me.

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#13 Postby Dylan S » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:18 pm

I've had players take Acrobat (an excellent edge for a dextrous fighter), Assassin (from the Fantasy Companion, I think), Thief, Ace (great in an 80s action setting!), and McGyver (taken in a one-shot, mostly for comedic inventions). I myself have taken Scholar, although I cheated a little and applied one of the two bonuses to the Healing skill, rather than a Knowledge skill.

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#14 Postby Yorktown » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:29 pm

My characters regularly take professional Edges in my Deadlands: Reloaded game. Scout is a popular choice, as are Wilderness Man, Snakeoil Salesman, and Soldier.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

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#15 Postby SlasherEpoch » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:18 pm

Yorktown wrote:My characters regularly take professional Edges in my Deadlands: Reloaded game. Scout is a popular choice, as are Wilderness Man, Snakeoil Salesman, and Soldier.


Oh JEEZ Snakeoil Salesman. A smooth talking player can turn that character into a real monster.

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#16 Postby cpk666 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:00 am

taliesin wrote:My players do not use professional edges. They tend to focus on anything combat oriented. It drives me crazy, especially after I said, "there won't be a whole lot of combat in this campaign."


If they are so combat-oriented how are they overlooking Acrobat? It adds +1 to Parry and gives an Agility bonus, which makes it better than Block. Are they just hack-n-slash types, or do they use Tricks in combat? I have yet to see a game where at least one character didn't have or acquire Acrobat. Not to mention Champion & Holy Warrior, at least for games where supernatural evil exists.

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#17 Postby Yorktown » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:37 am

SlasherEpoch wrote:
Yorktown wrote:My characters regularly take professional Edges in my Deadlands: Reloaded game. Scout is a popular choice, as are Wilderness Man, Snakeoil Salesman, and Soldier.


Oh JEEZ Snakeoil Salesman. A smooth talking player can turn that character into a real monster.


It's led to some... interesting scenarios. Good times are had by all.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.


- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Concord Hymn"

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#18 Postby jonnywaistcoat » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:14 am

Yorktown wrote:
SlasherEpoch wrote:
Yorktown wrote:My characters regularly take professional Edges in my Deadlands: Reloaded game. Scout is a popular choice, as are Wilderness Man, Snakeoil Salesman, and Soldier.


Oh JEEZ Snakeoil Salesman. A smooth talking player can turn that character into a real monster.


It's led to some... interesting scenarios. Good times are had by all.


I know what you mean - one of my players had a female huckster with Snake Oil Salesman, Attractive and Whateley Blood for +5 to her persuasion and interaction rolls. If it was male, she could make it do pretty much whatever she wanted. I did have fun sending her to Shan Fan where she didn't speak the language, though.
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#19 Postby Yorktown » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:41 am

Yeah, that's pretty much what's going on in my current play-by-post campaign. Lucky for me, one of the big villains is female. :mrgreen:
Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.


- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Concord Hymn"

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#20 Postby walkerp » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:52 pm

Yes, I am convinced now!

Just to reiterate my other question, which I think got lost in the parade of great responses, I'm curious if there is a rule of thumb for designing Professional Edges. Is there a relationship between the number and quality of bonuses they give and the prerequisites?
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