Trolls (and other races)

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Plot
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Trolls (and other races)

Post by Plot » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:22 am

"Found under a bridge or on the Internet forums."

This topic is regarding the Wastelands base races.

This topic closes at 2300 Friday February 12th or 72 hours after the last comment, whichever happens first.

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Jay Belarpin
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Re: Trolls (and other races)

Post by Jay Belarpin » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:33 am

Elf need buffs! Buff ELF!

But seriously, did you have a specific thing about N̶e̶i̶g̶h̶t̶s̶ trolls you wanted to bring up?
As all of this happened, Bill poured a drink.

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Swordguy
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Re: Trolls (and other races)

Post by Swordguy » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:03 pm

I'd like to get a review on Trolls, specifically.

It seems to me that Trolls, end up in a worse place, after character creation, than any other base race. Specifically:

PRO
-+6 Body
-Save 1 Karma on Sure Grip

CONS
-significantly increased Funding cost
-Oversized Hands increases basically all Crafting Skill costs
-Cannot buy Dodge (which really, REALLY hurts Troll Adepts)

NEUTRAL
-Dermal Armor: Yes, having indestructible armor is good. But they're also paying through the nose for it, and per the rulebook, you still have to pay for Armorer to actually use it. This isn't a *bad* skill, but it's a huge Karma sink.

I get the impression that Body was very highly valued during the initial rules development cycle. Trolls get the highest starting Body (and let's be honest, essentially doubling the starting Body value for most classes is pretty nice). But in general, I feel Troll negatives strongly outweigh the positives.

I'll be up-front. A bunch of this came about because I've got a newbie who really wants to play the Troll Adept she plays in Shadowrun, but the Troll inability to buy Dodge is really, really torching that. Looking at ways around this, I started looking into the Troll race in general, and it seems that they've got a lot more negatives than positives about them.

I'd like to see about couple of small tweaks done to the Troll race (not all of the following at once):

1) Dermal Armor protects against Magic Direct, specifically. The reason that stuff like "Killing Hands" bypasses Armor is a matter of "chi" (as per the Killing Hands rulebook entry). The idea behind that (going back the the Shadowrun source material) is that armor is not included in the target's "spiritual aura". A Troll's skin should definitely count as part of their own "spiritual aura". If this was enacted, the cost for Dermal Armor stays at 10 Karma/buy, because it does something that absolutely no other armor in the game can do.

2) Dermal Armor acts as per listed in the rulebook. However, it explicity may be used IN ADDITION TO your worn armor, for not further cost in Armorer. Right now, that's not technically true; Armorer controls the number of 5-point Armor increments you're allowed to have on your at one time. What Dermal Armor does by its current wording is ADD TO the number of 5-point increments you're currently wearing. If you've got a 10-point suit of armor, and 2 buys of Dermal, you're *wearing* 20 points of armor. However, you have to have purchased Armorer 3 times to actually benefit from 20 points of armor. The Dermal Armor entry should be changed in such a way that you only have to buy Armorer once (in the above example) to gain the full benefit from your 20 points of armor.

If this was enacted, I STRONGLY recommend a drop in the cost of Dermal Armor to between 5- 7 Karma/buy. Racial advantages are supposed to be exactly that: advantages. Yes, Dermal gives you between 5-10 points of essentially "indestructible" armor, but you *are* paying double-cost for that armor. And it's limited in the number of times you can buy it. Frankly, at 10 karma/buy, it doesn't seem worth it to have Armor that's still bypassable and still requires Armorer to use. It doubly doesn't seem worth it compared to other racial advantages such as Elven Dodge, Treebond or Berserk; both of which are much, MUCH cheaper than Dermal. For a 10-point Racial,we should be seeing something that's clearly and outright better than Berserk or Treebond or Gnomish Repair. Dermal, frankly, isn't. It's about at their level, utility-wise...but it's twice the cost.

3) I love the flavor of Trolls not being able to buy Dodge. But MAN does it totally gimp the hell out of the idea of a Troll Adept. I agree that Trolls shouldn't be able to lightly flip through a hail of bullets to get into a dude's face; I think they just outright wade through the hail of bullets like they give zero fucks, walk up on the guy anyway, and pound their face in. This is POSSIBLE to do as a Troll Adept...at about the 150 Karma range (mainly involving 115 karma worth of Health and Beatdowns, Killing Hands, and Adrenaline Rush, and you can do *nothing* but this). Anyone have an idea on how to let Troll Adepts function in this manner? Because +6 Body and spending 20 Karma on Dermal Armor to let them ignore *one* bullet doesn't really cut it.
Mission, Method, Morals...all negotiable.

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Swordguy
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Re: Trolls (and other races)

Post by Swordguy » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:06 pm

Oh, one further point.

If the answer is "not all race/class combos should be viable", and the idea is that Trolls shouldn't be Adepts (melee Trolls should be magicians using Mystic Armor/Death Touch, for example)...then we should outright ban Trolls from taking the Adept Class, rather than deny them one of the two core features of that class (Killing Hands being one, the Dodge/Bullet Dodge/Flicker tree being the other).

That's being more honest about the intent in the rules. Absolutely no other race is outright banned from accessing one of the primary features of a given class. "More expensive" is one thing, an outright ban is something else.
Mission, Method, Morals...all negotiable.

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Jay Belarpin
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Re: Trolls (and other races)

Post by Jay Belarpin » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:11 pm

I've always interpreted Armorer as applying to worn armor only, therefore not being needed by Dermal Armor (Your tweak 2). Under this assumption this means that you can go above the normal armor cap of your class with the Troll racial. I agree it may not be worth 10 points this way.

Agree on the dodge. I'd like a +2 to dodge (and not bullet dodge flicker) per buy instead of an outright ban. Another buff to Trolls I'm interested in is a +1 to base melee damages (or a free beatdown, but that interacts with the game differently).
As all of this happened, Bill poured a drink.

Plot
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to clarify

Post by Plot » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:19 pm

Nothing prevents a troll from purchasing and using Killing Hands. (I misread the statement).

Dermal Armor: is in addition to Armorer skill and can be refitted by the troll wether or not they also buy armorer.

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Jay Belarpin
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Re: Killing hands

Post by Jay Belarpin » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:22 pm

Plot wrote:Nothing prevents a troll from purchasing and using Killing Hands.
I misread that the same way at first. He was saying the 2 key adapt features were Killing Hands and the Dodge line. The current Troll mechanics limit them to only Killing Hands.
As all of this happened, Bill poured a drink.

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jazzman831
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Re: Trolls (and other races)

Post by jazzman831 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:52 pm

I agree that banning a class skill (especially the start of an essential skill tree) seems extreme, and I don't know of a flavor reason why trolls shouldn't be adepts. The idea of a big scary dude who can shrug off huge amounts of damage (dodge/bullet dodge//flicker/dermal armor/muscle control) while destroying you with his armor-piercing fists (martial arts/killing hands) is downright badass. So unless I misunderstand the flavor, I can think of a couple fixes/adjustments (in no particular order):
  1. Flat increase in cost of Dodge, similar to what already exists for Funding (perhaps +2 to +5)
  2. % increase in cost (i.e. x2)
  3. Exponential increase in cost (like Muscle Control)
  4. Allow trolls to purchase Dodge, but can't use them except as prerequisites for other skills
  5. OR the same thing said another way, increase the cost of Bullet Dodge for trolls by 3, and remove the prerequisite
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Jay Belarpin
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Re: Trolls (and other races)

Post by Jay Belarpin » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:11 pm

jazzman831 wrote:
4. Allow trolls to purchase Dodge, but can't use them except as prerequisites for other skills
5. OR the same thing said another way, increase the cost of Bullet Dodge for trolls by 3, and remove the prerequisite
I rather like those options, it still gives that "Big and heavy can't dodge" feel while acknowledging that adapts are magically good at dodging.
As all of this happened, Bill poured a drink.

Plot
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Results

Post by Plot » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:40 pm

Whew. So. If I can have your attention please.

I appreciate Rob's discretion in making a portion of our conversation public. I'm also really glad the playership had a chance to chime in and constructively discussed this topic. There were some good points and not just the horns on their skulls. Among them was just owning up that Trolls shouldn't be Adepts. I'm okay with being honest on this topic.

Sometimes I'm wrong.

That said, despite some compelling arguments, Trolls will however remain Big Targets: the dodge skill costs +5 Karma per buy.

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