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RPR Archive GM Resource: The Special Abilities Character Building System

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by Saintheart, Jul 9, 2007.

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  1. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Introduction
    Are you looking for something a little different in creating characters with your players? If so, then this system may be for you.

    This is an 'ability buying' system by which characters can give themselves certain exceptional abilities -- in exchange for buying disadvantages which the GM can then use to complicate the player's life. Hopefully this will increase the enjoyment of both players and GMs in the RPG they play! This system is designed to be used by GMs for any Star Wars RPG on the forums.


    How it works
    The concept is simple. Below you'll see a number of character advantages listed. Each has a point value attached to it. Further below, you'll also see a number of character disadvantages listed, which also have a point value attached to it.

    If a player wants to buy an ability -- or a number of abilities -- they may have to pay for them by balancing those abilities with an equal 'point value' of disadvantages. For example, you want to be able to wield two lightsabers at once? It costs 15 points. So to pay for it, you might buy a disadvantage or disadvantages worth 15 points: your character is hunted by the Empire (a government) which is worth 15 points.

    A character can have a maximum of 60 points of advantages, and a maximum of 40 points of disadvantages. A player has 20 free points to spend on advantages without having to pay for them with disadvantages. Beyond that, any combination of abilities or disadvantages is welcome (subject to the rules stated below).

    Characters will be able to use their abilities in the RPG. The disadvantages are used by the GM in the campaign as story elements to complicate the character's life and make things a bit more personal and interesting to your character.

    A GM should approve any proposed character sheet generated using this method, and as always his or her decision is final about whether one can use certain disadvantages or advantages in the campaign.

    How to use this system
    (1) GMs wanting to use this system should follow this process:
    (a) Make your first post creating the game (including the character sheet), and then...
    (b) Make a second post straight after that, with the text that's contained at this page. Just copy and paste the text there as your second post. That text contains all the information players need (as set down in the post below). This is so you don't have to worry about doing all the fancy formatting again!

    (2) The one rule to remember with applying this system to characters is this: a disadvantage that doesn?t cause the player any hindrance is not worth any points! You?ll see some examples of this below, but as GM it?s up to you to decide whether a particular disadvantage should be allowed or not.

    (3) GMs using this system should not be afraid to veto a particular combination that doesn't work for them. For example, a character takes the character advantage of ?Vaapad mastery?, paid for partially by taking a character disadvantage of going berserk. One GM might legitimately say "Yep, that's fine, with Vaapad the character is exposed to the Dark Side; I'll just have your character go Yoda on other players at some stage," while another GM can just as legitimately say "No, to achieve Vaapad mastery your character would have had to master himself first, and is unlikely to go berserk. I'm not allowing that combination because it's impossible." As a GM you still have the final say as to how this system is implemented. A GM should never be at the mercy of his players simply because they say they've got Vaapad mastery and he thinks they're using it unfairly.

    (4) This system is an assist to GMs and players, not a complete character creation guide. It is a way to help powergamers and less-experienced players try and look for some deeper backstory to their characters and enforce the idea that an exc
  2. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    This will change RPing forever. Very good stuff.

    So the players pick the advantages and the disadvantages? Or does the player pick the advantages and the GM pick the disadvantages?
  3. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Nope; the player picks their advantages and disadvantages. The GM just has the freedom to do nasty things to a player who picks certain disadvantages. [face_devil]
  4. NaboosPrincess Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 6
    Very interesting system, nice work!
  5. blubeast1237 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2007
    star 5
    I look upon this and smile.

    Nice work.


    Beast[face_peace]
  6. Mitth_Fisto Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 6
    I must say reading this brings warm feelings to my heart.

    I just worked up one of the characters I use through this system and he comes out at 70/66, and in reality only his military training and property ownership of things as of yet unused or even likely to be mentioned. But his disadvandages in this light actually outway his advantages if I don't count the property.
  7. SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2005
    star 5
    *waits to see the system in action*
  8. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    When can we expect to see this implemented in an RP?
  9. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I suppose when a new GM comes in and sees this and thinks "Gosh, I'll give this a try in my own RPG." It's 'open-source', so anybody can pick it up and use it! :D
  10. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Wow...this is really nice! Good work!
  11. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    I could definitely see this in an RPG like DarkSithDrew's "The Star Wars". Where it is entirely open ended and the story is made by the players themselves.
  12. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    That sort of RPG would work, since it's designed to fit *any* character. :)
  13. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    I'm interested to see what RPG will be the first to use this...I would definitely be interested in joining.
  14. SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2005
    star 5
    You know what would be a fun Disadvantage (and I wish I'd thought of this while we were discussing in the CDG so it'd make the final cut)?

    Addiction: The character is dependant upon a substance, and without it, they will begin suffering from Withdrawal and be all-around less useful.
  15. Alcoholism: The character cannot function without alcohol. Because it's relatively easily come by (what's Star Wars without a Cantina Scene?) it recieves a lower point value. (5 points)

  16. Death Stick Addiction: Although potentially more destructive, Death Sticks are still probably easier and cheaper to come by than Spice, meaning they will be less likely to succumb to Death Stick Withdrawal. (10 points)

  17. Spice Addict: Spice is an illegal substance on most worlds outside of Hutt Space, and thus must be smuggled in. You usually need contacts to get ahold of Spice. If you can get your hands on that Glitterstim fix, though, it'll give you a brief opportunity to read minds. Still, is that worth the high risk of not getting that fix? (15 points)
  18. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Interesting. And it still can make the final cut. I'll just adjust the GoogleGroups document to take account of it. :)
  19. SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2005
    star 5
    I suppose the GoogleGroups thing is permanently editable, then?
  20. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I hope so. It looks like it. [face_worried]
  21. TheSithGirly Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2007
    star 3
    An interesting System, I must say. Reminds me a lot of the good old "Vampire-The Masquerade"

    I will try to convert my existing characters into this, just to have a look how functional it is . . .
  22. Darth_Sarlacc Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Wow, this system is actually... It's the best system I've ever seen! This helps power-down those "Godlike" characters at the GM's will! HAHAHA! Oh yes, and I have a sugguestion... Why don't you make Force Sensitive an advantage? Alot of players want to use the force, so you could make them pay points for something like this:

    Force Sensitive:
    Force Learner-Knows all basic powers (15)
    Force Adept-Knows... any power (Lightning, grip, heal, etc.) with any point cost you desire

    So on, and so on...

    I think, for RP's with Jedi or Sith characters, this could be used to allow stricter use for force abilities. Just a thought.

    I see you already did this, but it could be used in a more detailed system.
  23. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    This was discussed in the original working thread, but I decided against it simply so as not to complicate the system too much further than it already is. If people want to "mod" the system, that's fine by me -- or if someone's willing to sit down and come up with a full list of powers, that too is fine.
  24. Darth_Sarlacc Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Oh, that's cool... Modifying it is probably a good idea if the GM is going for a specific feel or type of RP.
  25. DarthShocker Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Oh, hello. I'm creating an RP that is using this system, so if you want to join, check it out later.
  26. TheSithGirly Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2007
    star 3
    So, I have lost my main-computer last week. Will hopefully be online in a few days. But before that I had taken the time to have my two main-characters build with this system. Saarine Du´Lac and Darth Krayt (who was more difficult, for being hell of a powerful char).

    I will post them here immediately when I have my comp back but let me say, even Lord Krayt worked absolutely FINE with this system. Interesting and probably I have found a GM giving it a serious test of practice shortly for a Star Wars story.

  27. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I'm very pleased that even the Dread Darth Krayt does fit as a template under this system ;)

    In other news, I have added to the GoogleGroups document SephyCloneNo15's disadvantage of "addiction". As it turns out the document is permanently editable and as such we will be able to expand it as time goes on.

    :)
  28. Beta-Commando Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2007
    star 1
    What about a smaller version of the 'Tool of Destiny' disadvantage? Like 'Clumsy' or something?

    Also, what about 'stubborn'? So if a character finds out that continuing to do something he's doing will be hurtful, he must continue to do it?

    I don't know, just a few suggestions.

    Also, I'm going to implement a modified version of this is my new RP. Thanks for this wonderful system! ;)
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