House Rule: Alternate Perks

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Here Comes The Flood
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Re: House Rule: Alternate Perks

Postby Here Comes The Flood » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:59 am

Savioronedge wrote:But also, let me bring up a few Perks:
Strong Willed
In any Scene in which a character with one of these perks does not have to test Defeat, the perk was 'Wasted XP'.

That's not a fair equivalence.

The perks you list are insurance perks - they help against something that might happen. Even if you don't use them, they were there for you if you needed them.

That's not the same as losing your riverboat or raptor at the start of the adventure and being told you definitely won't be using it for several sessions.
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Re: House Rule: Alternate Perks

Postby Savioronedge » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:37 am

Here Comes The Flood wrote:That's not a fair equivalence

I see where you are coming from, and I still maintain it is at least close to a fair equivalence.

You want to take one of these Perks, you are sacrificing XP for something you hope you will never use.
Take a Drake or Animal Companion or Linguist or Trademark Vehicle or...and you are sacrificing XP for something that you realize you will not always be able to use.

When the Aysle PDF was released, it completely destroyed the direction I wanted my Strong Willed character to go. Upon reskinning/repurposing, I found that perk to be too costly to keep. I am planning on taking it again for Concept; right now it would cost 9 XP.

That said, I am not opposed to the PlanB house rule. I would probably not implement it in my games, though.

PS note: I am reminded of a story from a Superhero RPG book. A player had generated a hero with the Flight power who was afraid of heights, so he never flew. Adventures pass, and the hero ends up in a death trap. It's all over but the monologuing until the player gives one last look at his sheet and remembers, he can just fly out. Everyone had forgotten he had the power. Moral of the story: an mostly unusable ability is not wasted as long as it contributes to the story somehow.

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Re: House Rule: Alternate Perks

Postby utsukushi » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:02 am

I have to agree with Flood. Survivor is a weird one and I don't think I've ever seen anyone take it, but if you've dumped Strength for Spirit - and if you have Strong Willed, you did - then you're using it every time you roll anything Spirit based. And vice-versa for Brute.

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Re: House Rule: Alternate Perks

Postby Savioronedge » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:33 am

utsukushi wrote:...Survivor is a weird one and I don't think I've ever seen anyone take it....

[whisper]JT has Survivor[/whisper]

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Re: House Rule: Alternate Perks

Postby OldCoot » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:19 am

To be honest, I'd feel a bit squidgy about it at my table (as either player or GM).
I really like the idea that as a player, your choices are your choices, and you get to deal with the difficulties as well as the benefits. Not to mention the opportunity to play certain Perks for laughs (or drama). Being able to overcome limitations is key to being a real champion. As long as the misery gets shared around more or less equally, so you aren't picking on anyone in particular, I'd encourage everyone to roll with it. TORG already plays fast and loose with realism (it's more like a guideline, y'see, arrr), so GM and players should be flexible with what is 'possible' in any setting.

That said, were I to do this as GM, I'd give the players (all the players) a description of why I think Perk A will be completely useless or unavailable. The player with Perk A gets to choose: (1) pick a suitable replacement Perk that is not specific to any Cosm, for which they already have all pre-requisites, which is not above Alpha level, and completely forego any benefit from the Perk they're replacing until the beginning of the next Arc; or (2) play it as it lies - they can use their Perk if they can come up with a way to do it, and they get dealt an extra Possibility. Keep it simple, make it clear, and make sure everyone knows what is going on.

( I'm pondering the usefulness of picking Wealthy as the temporary replacement Perk and stocking up on cool gear...)
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Re: House Rule: Alternate Perks

Postby Kuildeous » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:03 am

And I’m probably just looking at it from my perspective. Other players may be more apt to pick up the sometimes useless perk. Myself, I would probably never take the signature vehicle because a) I don’t want to deal with the headache of trying to make it work in every act and b) I don’t want to force the GM to deal with that headache either. So I assume that other players might be the same way.

It’s probably not something I would actually do in my game, but if a player tells me, “I want to have the saber-toothed cat, but I don’t want you to feel like you have to ditch the corporate infiltration arcs,” then I’d propose the Plan B idea. If a player is more dégagé about it than I am, then cool deal. Nothing needs changing.
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Re: House Rule: Alternate Perks

Postby utsukushi » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:49 pm

I feel vaguely guilty about Signature Vehicle. I can't help worrying that it exists in some part because of all my compl--- um, bringing people's attention to the RAW difficulty of ever actually owning a vehicle. Which it does technically fix, obviously, but... first of all, I feel like an Electric Samurai shouldn't need *another* functionally useless Perk just to exist*. And otherwise - really? The GM is supposed to work a significant percentage of adventures around a river boat? I don't think so. I mean, don't get me wrong - the Archetype made me smile. The African Queen is one of my Mom's favorite movies and watching it with her is a treasured childhood memory, so on a personal level it was awesome to see someone I strongly suspect is deliberately modeled after Charlie. And OK, actually that would be an awesome scenario for an Orrorsh adventure. The leeches scene alone! shudder

But.... really??

The Masked Flyer, though, seems like a good example of what I mean about how these kinds of Perks should be maybe situationally balanced, and... I'm really not sure about this, if I'm honest. It does feel a little bit like, say, Magic Users in D&D -- "balance over time", where they're useless at early levels and render everyone else useless the rest of the time, isn't really a fun balance and it's a terrible way to do things. And that twin-machine-gun-airplane thing seems kind of overwhelming in some situations and totally unavailable in others, which seems like a tradeoff I might consider as a player but as a GM, or as a fellow player, it could be very annoying. And it definitely seems like scenes in which it would fit but be balanced - eg, where both sides have forces both on the ground (since the Flyer's Corsair can only hold one person) and in the air - are either going to be rare or feel super forced. I don't know. It's not a simple issue. Trademark Vehicle I do agree might be a strong candidate for an, "Or this Substitute Perk" option.

But yeah, I don't see how a saber tooth cat - or even a small dragon - is more of a problem for the corporate infiltration arc than the Edeinos already was.

*- Not complaining! I'm still trusting that the Pan Pacifica book is totally going to fix everything. :lol:

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Re: House Rule: Alternate Perks

Postby cloudshaper2k » Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:19 am

I suspect some of this comes down to player - GM communication before a campaign starts. Signature Vehicle seems like one of those perks that won't be appropriate to every campaign, particularly depending upon the vehicle. In a campaign centered mostly around the Nile, a river boat could be an excellent choice - it becomes a base of operation for the team and transport up and down the Nile. Yeah, they may not be able to use it all the time, but just knowning they have a home to go back to can be a big thing for some groups. Flip side of this: I can't see it being right for a Living Land focused campaign regardless of the vehicle chosen.

So, my thinking here is I would be upfront with my players about where most of our stories will be taking place and strongly discouraging taking such a perk if it doesn't fit with the campaign rather than create a workaround.

Of course, you could also just go the 'Sea Hawk' route and have the Signature Vehicle be the latest in a long line of 'beloved' vehicles that get sacrificed to further the plot. "Alas, poor Nefertiti's Eyes VII, your noble dive into Battlegroup Wu-Han's command dirigible will not be forgotten." There's also a 7th Sea mechanic where salvaging something from the previous ship allows for the continutiy of that ship's legacy you could use. In this case, maybe what makes it a Signature Vehicle is the fuzzy dice the character likes to hang somewhere in the vehicle before using it.

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