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 Post subject: Archetype Discussion - Current vs. Future
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:41 am 
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I wanted to open up a thread for suggestions on how Archetype Disparity (real or perceived) might be addressed if there were a rules update (Either errata, supplement or even Arcanis v1.5).

I'll start with Archetypes...I also welcome feedback, criticism (constructive), other suggestions or even completely new thoughts on the matter.

Archetype - Character Generation
The big thing I see here is that in general players like choices. I can't imagine anyone (except a new player to the system) wanting to have a character just like everyone else. To that effect, after race (Particularly in Arcanis), Archetype plays the biggest part in defining your character concept and mechanics. It determines your starting abilities and your advancement options. Each Archetype should offer something unique or special (As Hat mentioned) for a starting character that no other Archetype can do. It doesn't have to be a big thing or an important thing, but there should be something. Right now, here is what I can come up with as the unique thing for each (Not including Advancements for the moment):
Arcane: The only potentially 'unique' thing that Arcane Archetypes get is generally the ability to cast "Unravel the Thread" and "Move Object" (The usefulness of which can be debated). On the flip side, an Expert or Martial character could do it with the right build, but it would involve some intense commitment.
Divine: Same as Arcane currently.
Expert: Currently, there is nothing 'unique' that the Expert Archetype offers that other Archetypes do not also offer during character generation. They get 1 more skill and can 'choose' their skills and talents, but that's not a feature, it is merely a broader application of what others get.
Martial: The one 'unique' thing Martial Archetypes get is Advanced Armor Training. To date I'm unaware of any other way to get this Talent and it's uses for a Martial Archetype are well known. EDIT: I've been told Squires get this in errata. I've no idea why as it doesn't make sense, but apparently it's no longer unique.

Suggestions (Changes I'd recommend to make the Archetypes feel special and give them at least one thing other Archetypes can't poach)
Arcane: I would make "Unravel the Thread" Arcane (or Divine) Archetype only. I would also create an Arcane Talent (Limited: Arcane Archetype) that allows the Arcane Archetype to choose 1 additional spell from their Primary Tradition each time they take (or are given) the Arcane Spell Casting Talent. This provides them with the 'greatest number' of spells possible over other Archetypes.
Divine: I would make "Unravel the Thread" Divine (or Arcane) Archetype only. I would also create a Devout Talent (Limited: Divine Archetype) that lowers the Speed of any spell (Base or Adapted) cast from the Deity Tradition by 1 (to a minimum of 1). This gives them a special connection to their deity which makes it faster to cast those spells (and fits the theme of 'quick and predictable' given in the text)
Expert: I would create a Skill Talent (Limited: Expert Archetype) that allows the Expert to pick 1 Skill each Tier with which they are always considered to be "Focused" (roll 3d10 and drop lowest when making skill check) even while distracted. This represents the Expert's mastery over skills.
Martial: I would expand the Martial skills to be Choose any three Combat or Physical Skills. EDIT: Given the new Advanced Maneuver creation rules, I would create a new Combat Talent (Limited: Martial Archetype) that lowers the recovery of created Advanced Maneuvers by 1 (minimum 1). This would stack with celerity rune.

Archetype - Advancements
Each Archetype should be able to advance their core capabilities better than any other Archetype, while still providing flexibility for multiple builds. Here are my thoughts on the current Advancements and suggestions to fix the problems I see.
Arcane: The Arcanum Talent and new Lore Skill Advancements are fine. However, splitting the Arcane’s Skill Advancement into 2 Advancements causes the disparity as it forces all Arcane Characters to add to Stealth and Deceit, even if their concept doesn’t support it.
Divine: The Devout Talent and new Social Skill Advancement are fine. Again, splitting the Divine’s Skill Advancement into 2 Advancements causes a different problem. There are only 5 Social Skills, so a character with a high Logic has wasted skill advancements.
Expert: Expert advancement options are actually fine as is.
Martial: Martial advancement options are actually pretty good as is. The one shortcoming is in the Skill Advancement. Martial characters start off with Heal but then can’t keep it maxed. Otherwise, I think the breadth of Combat and Physical skills is a good mix for Martial Characters.

Suggestions
Arcane: Combine the Skill Advancements into a single Advancement: “Gain 1 Rank to a number of Trained skills equal to 3+ Passive Value to be selected from the following: any single Arcanum Skill, Deceit, Stealth, any Lore skill.” In addition, allow the Arcane Caster to take “Acquire a new Trained Lore Skill” advancement twice.
Divine: Combine the Skill Advancements into a single Advancement: “Gain 1 Rank to a number of Trained skills equal to 3+ Passive Value to be selected from the following: any single Arcanum Skill, your Deity’s favored skill, Knowledge (religion), any Social skill.” In addition, allow the Divine Caster to take “Acquire a new Trained Social Skill” advancement twice.
Expert: No changes
Martial: Change the Skill Advancement to be: “Gain 1 Rank to a number of Trained skills equal to 3+ Passive Value to be selected from the following: Combat skills, Physical skills, or Heal.”
Optional (I’m not sure how popular the +4 Stamina is): Replace Gain +4 Stamina with “Acquire a new Trained Combat or Physical Skill; you gain this skill at 2 Ranks per Hero Tier” (Not repeatable)

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Last edited by Harliquinn on Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Archetype Discussion - Current vs. Future
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:53 pm 

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Harliquinn wrote:
Martial: The one 'unique' thing Martial Archetypes get is Advanced Armor Training. To date I'm unaware of any other way to get this Talent and it's uses for a Martial Archetype are well known.


The background Squire provides it, per the errata.

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 Post subject: Re: Archetype Discussion - Current vs. Future
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:02 pm 
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I'm not convinced that was intentional. I just saw it in the errata but I can't for the life of me understand how it makes sense. Squires don't even wear armor generally, they help their knight with theirs.

That said, I'll add a new suggestion to the Martial.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Archetype Discussion - Current vs. Future
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:10 pm 
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Squires probably got it because of what a Squire is. They are trainee knights who are effectively fostered to real knights and have no real income. The Knight trains them in how to be a Knight (including wearing armor), but because they are basically apprentices or unpaid interns, they don't get their own armor. Hell, while Knights have historically been considered a noble class, that doesn't mean they are all rich. This means that the Knight might not be able to pay their squire or buy them armor when they 'graduate' even if they wanted to!

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 Post subject: Re: Archetype Discussion - Current vs. Future
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:17 pm 
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Cody
To me that all means they should get Armor Proficiency not Advanced Armor Training. Not sure why that changed.

John

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Kelb'Bakari Masalio, Dark-kin Altherian Corsair, Gentleman Archaeologist, and Wandering Bard
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 Post subject: Re: Archetype Discussion - Current vs. Future
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:23 pm 
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::shrug:: creative decision?

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 Post subject: Re: Archetype Discussion - Current vs. Future
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:48 pm 
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Nierite wrote:
::shrug:: creative decision?


Just seems odd to give what was a Martial ability to anyone taking Squire. That said, this isn't the thread for that discussion, so I'll back off.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Archetype Discussion - Current vs. Future
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:46 pm
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John,

Thanks for starting this.

Harliquinn wrote:
I wanted to open up a thread for suggestions on how Archetype Disparity (real or perceived) might be addressed if there were a rules update (Either errata, supplement or even Arcanis v1.5).

I'll start with Archetypes...I also welcome feedback, criticism (constructive), other suggestions or even completely new thoughts on the matter.

Archetype - Character Generation
<snip>Expert: Currently, there is nothing 'unique' that the Expert Archetype offers that other Archetypes do not also offer during character generation.


They ignore requirements and immediately gain the benefits of their skill talents. Taking Adaptation helps them pick any 2 skills for extra ranks with an ability to still add one at the end. They can take Encyclopedic Memory with has a 9 rank requirement but no tier requirement. As such they gain the benefits immediately at Tier 1.1, don't need 3 knowledge skills or Eclectic Knowledge. They could take Secret Lore at start as well which requires Encyclopedic Memory for example. The ability to take the talents and ignore the requirements has tangible benefits.

Harliquinn wrote:
<snip>Martial: The one 'unique' thing Martial Archetypes get is Advanced Armor Training. To date I'm unaware of any other way to get this Talent and it's uses for a Martial Archetype are well known. EDIT: I've been told Squires get this in errata. I've no idea why as it doesn't make sense, but apparently it's no longer unique.


Martial can also ignore the requirements on a Martial Technique at start making Rapid Shot accessible and Sweeping Strike accessible to non-might builds. Also, while Advanced Armor Training isn't exclusive it is still limited to Martial and Squire. As to why Squire, I have no idea. I asked specifically about it going into the last round of errata and was told it was intentional.

Harliquinn wrote:
Suggestions (Changes I'd recommend to make the Archetypes feel special and give them at least one thing other Archetypes can't poach)


I agree with the principle, I need time to think about the specific suggestions.

<snip>

Harliquinn wrote:
Archetype - Advancements
Each Archetype should be able to advance their core capabilities better than any other Archetype, while still providing flexibility for multiple builds. Here are my thoughts on the current Advancements and suggestions to fix the problems I see.


I agree with many of the suggestions. Martial still has no social skill it can advance. My original suggestions for additional skills to add to the Martial list in whole or in part were Intimidate, Beast Lore and Heal.

Depending on where the archetype comparison analysis nets out may provide other suggestion for changes to character creation or advancements.

I'll try and find time over the next day or so to think about these suggestions more. I still feel the scope of the problem needs to be defined before solutions can be worked.

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Archetype Discussion - Current vs. Future
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:55 pm 
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Paul
While it offers benefits, I don't consider the "bypassing requirements" an Expert unique feature. Any archetype ignores requirements at the Archetype and Background stage. The Arcane and Divine archetypes just have no Talent choices at Archetype. It's a factor of happenstance and not designed into the system for that reason (based upon what I've read on the forums) and not a specific Expert (or Martial) ability, though it does offer a side effect benefit.

In terms of Martial Advancements, I'd have no qualms with Martial getting Intimidation or Beast Lore. However, the one thing I keep mentioning is, if all the skills are advanceable by Arcane, Divine, or Martial characters, then there are few (Artisan and Perception) skills that Experts can be the best at, given they are the skill characters.

John

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"The highest compliment an Altherian can pay you is to shoot you with his flintlock. It means you were worth the expense."


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 Post subject: Re: Archetype Discussion - Current vs. Future
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:06 am 
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Interesting topic.

Broadly speaking I agree with the general principles (that the archetypes should provide a benifit that helps their core function that can't be poached or replicated). And I am intrigued by your suggestions. I especially agree that I dislike how the advancement of skills for arcane and divine archetypes are split, and would recommend them being united in some fashion in a future change.

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