Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tweaking the Specialties

The adjustments that I’ve made to the core mechanics and to some of the ways in which traits are purchased also has considerable impact on specialties- and in the best possible way. The intention with commando (for instance) is that a commando is innately superior in regards to stealth compared to any other specialty. The +1 cap adjustment didn’t really reflect this in a substantive way. If you don’t elect to take your Stealth at level +1, you have no discernible benefit from being a commando.

By having traits increase in cost as they increase in value, I can take the concept of shifts from Mythweaver/Resolute and apply that here. Now, if you are a commando, you get an automatic +1 shift to Stealth. Sure, at +1 this is only worth 1 point – but you’re a commando, and you took that to get Stealth. That’s the big selling point of being a commando, so you’re going to invest a few points into Stealth. Now, a +2 or +3 rating nets you 2 free character points on your investment, because that +1 shift is worth more. At the top end, when you have a +6 Stealth rating and it shifts to +7, you are getting a bonus valued at 5 character points because of your specialty. It’s a benefit that increases in value as you increase your investment into the trait.

Here are some of the specialties that I’m considering for the Core rules, along with their linked trait (granting the +1 shift). I think that the list should include between 8 and 12 Specialties. I definitely liked specialties from 2E (more military-based) over 3E (more ant-based). However, I want to avoid the overlap/redundancy that hit some of the 2E specialties. For example, Recon ended up being this hybrid specialty that had layers of other things but nothing to call its own. On the list that follows, I particularly like several of these, although I don’t know about the link between Engineer and Explosives (you are the best at building things, so you get rewarded by being good at blowing things up too) and Sniper (this is more of a designation/certification on top of another specialty rather than a spec unto itself).

Armor                          Driving
Artillery                       Tactical Weapons
Aviation                      Aircraft
Commando                 Stealth
Covert Operations       Intelligence
Engineer                      Explosives
Infantry                       Munitions
Ranger                         Nature
Sniper                          Aim

I suppose that I could see taking Infantry out of the mix, and saying that Infantry is a ‘catch all’ specialty – you are in the infantry unless you make it a point to select something else. It would be the only specialty with no minimum attribute buy-in, but then what trait to link it to (maybe Moxy? That fits). Then, I could create a ‘weapons specialist’ specialty that gets the +1 munitions shift… or the +1 aim shift…

Hrm, I should mention while I’m at it that artillery/tactical weapons will likely be linked to Mind instead of Prowess, in order to increase the value of that attribute. Also, I’ve always considered firing a mortar or LAWS rocket a function more of your ability to visualize the math rather than to point and click.

You'll notice also that Heavy Weapons as a spec is gone (at least for now). That's a function of Infantry... although you could say the same about Sniper... clearly, I still have some thinking to do on how these all fit together.