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> Confusion about the karmagen system....
MatrixJargon
post Mar 30 2009, 01:07 AM
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I'm a bit confused about something with the karmagen system in companion. I noticed it said there is no cost for your selected metatype...what exactly does this mean? Can you just pick your metatype with no effect what so ever and, essentially, get free bonuses? If i can be a troll, ork, or elf for free why would being human if be an option?

Can someone clear this up for me? Does this mean in that being a drake, free spirit, or A.I is essentially free in karmagen?
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Cain
post Mar 30 2009, 01:27 AM
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I don't have the book handy, but essentially you are correct. There are no racial costs in karmagen, it favors metahumans and oddities, and not everyone thinks this is a good thing.
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MatrixJargon
post Mar 30 2009, 01:30 AM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 30 2009, 02:27 AM) *
I don't have the book handy, but essentially you are correct. There are no racial costs in karmagen, it favors metahumans and oddities, and not everyone thinks this is a good thing.


So, essentially, there's no downside to picking anything but the best when it comes to metatype? If I want to be a free spirit(250bp) not only does it not cost me anything, but I get to spend up to 500 karma on attributes?

I don't understand the purpose of that.
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merashin
post Mar 30 2009, 01:45 AM
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you were supposed to end up paying for the race by paying a higher cost for attributes, upgrading a 4 strength costs more that 1 strength, but with free spirits and ai they kind of ignore the paying for higher attribute thing.
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Cain
post Mar 30 2009, 02:04 AM
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QUOTE (MatrixJargon @ Mar 29 2009, 05:30 PM) *
So, essentially, there's no downside to picking anything but the best when it comes to metatype? If I want to be a free spirit(250bp) not only does it not cost me anything, but I get to spend up to 500 karma on attributes?

I don't understand the purpose of that.

Nope, there's no downside at all. Although Free Spirits are nerfed in other ways, so trolls make for a better example.
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Glyph
post Mar 30 2009, 02:25 AM
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It has already been stated by one of the developers that karmagen is not intended for free spirits or AIs. Drakes don't get their race for free, because it is a quality rather than a race (same for infected).

Trolls are "free", but buying 9 Strength for a troll costs 90 karma, as opposed to a human buying a 5 Strength for 42 Karma (the discrepancy is even greater with SR4A Attribute costs, but I won't comment on that until the errata for Runner's Companion, which is supposed to change karmagen to take SR4A into account, comes out).

Sure, you can simply take a Body and Strength of 5 for your troll and "save points", but you can do the same thing in Build Points. Trolls cost 40 points and lose a point of Edge compared to a human, and get 80 points worth of bonuses - so you can start out with Body and Strength of 5 and have a character who is 30 points ahead of a human.
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Muspellsheimr
post Mar 30 2009, 02:26 AM
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Yes, the theory behind it (as Ancient presented it) was that the higher costs for increasing the strong racial attributes compensate for the lack of metatype cost. Ancient History is a fluff author. There is good reason he should never write rules for the game - this is an example why.

His explanation falls apart for multiple reasons:
1) It does not take into account non-attribute bonuses, such as a Troll's Reach or Dermal Plating.
2) The Troll pays 18 Karma (based off pre-SR4A Karmagen; we don't have errata for it yet) to increase their Strength to 6. It is true, this is expensive, but so does the Human, plus 42 Karma to increase it from 1 to 5. The cost for the Troll to increase their Strength further continues to increase; the Human cannot increase their Strength further (if they do, through Genetics or similar, they still pay the same cost as the Troll, plus 42 Karma).
3) It does not take into account the unusual racial options, such as Shapeshifters or Free Spirits.
4) You are not required to increase your attributes to 'normal' levels. Sure a 5 Body / 5 Strength Troll is weak in comparison to other Trolls. It still has 5 Body & 5 Strength at no cost, which does exactly the same thing as a 5 Body & 5 Strength on a Human character (who must pay 84 Karma to obtain).

The Karma Character Generation system in Runners Companion is very poorly done. How it interacts with non-Humans is the single largest, but not only, problem with it. Even Build Points are better than RAW Karma Generation, & I fucking hate the BP system.
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Muspellsheimr
post Mar 30 2009, 02:29 AM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Mar 29 2009, 07:25 PM) *
Sure, you can simply take a Body and Strength of 5 for your troll and "save points", but you can do the same thing in Build Points. Trolls cost 40 points and lose a point of Edge compared to a human, and get 80 points worth of bonuses - so you can start out with Body and Strength of 5 and have a character who is 30 points ahead of a human.

Yes, that is true. It is still vastly different from not paying anything for the same benefits. The Build Point values are off, but you do pay for the advantages being a Troll gives you. RAW Karma Generation does absolutely nothing at all to balance the power discrepancy.
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Ancient History
post Mar 30 2009, 02:33 AM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Mar 30 2009, 02:26 AM) *
Yes, the theory behind it (as Ancient presented it)

T'be completely fair, my main argument is that people should play what they want to bloody play. Insane thinking, I know.

QUOTE
Ancient History is a fluff author. There is good reason he should never write rules for the game - this is an example why.

Hey now! Uncalled for. Especially when you can blame Aaron for AIs and free spirits. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Muspellsheimr
post Mar 30 2009, 02:50 AM
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And I do. Not because they are bad (& they are), but because they use different rules for PC's & NPC's, which is fucking retarded.


I may simply be overlooking something I am not aware was your work, but few of the rules you wrote are functional (as in, not broken in at least one regard). You have some excellent fluff writing, but stay away from mechanics.
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Ancient History
post Mar 30 2009, 03:01 AM
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The enchanting rules are workable. The Hacker's Handbook material is no worse than anything else in Unwired. The SR3->SR4 conversion works. Digital Grimoire is palatable. Won't take much credit for for martial arts, but chemicals and manatech came out nice.

The Infected, shapeshifters, and sapient critters...well, they're better than everything else has come before, for what little that counts for.

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Dunsany
post Mar 30 2009, 04:02 AM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Mar 29 2009, 09:26 PM) *
Yes, the theory behind it (as Ancient presented it) was that the higher costs for increasing the strong racial attributes compensate for the lack of metatype cost. Ancient History is a fluff author. There is good reason he should never write rules for the game - this is an example why.

His explanation falls apart for multiple reasons:
1) It does not take into account non-attribute bonuses, such as a Troll's Reach or Dermal Plating.
2) The Troll pays 18 Karma (based off pre-SR4A Karmagen; we don't have errata for it yet) to increase their Strength to 6. It is true, this is expensive, but so does the Human, plus 42 Karma to increase it from 1 to 5. The cost for the Troll to increase their Strength further continues to increase; the Human cannot increase their Strength further (if they do, through Genetics or similar, they still pay the same cost as the Troll, plus 42 Karma).
3) It does not take into account the unusual racial options, such as Shapeshifters or Free Spirits.
4) You are not required to increase your attributes to 'normal' levels. Sure a 5 Body / 5 Strength Troll is weak in comparison to other Trolls. It still has 5 Body & 5 Strength at no cost, which does exactly the same thing as a 5 Body & 5 Strength on a Human character (who must pay 84 Karma to obtain).

The Karma Character Generation system in Runners Companion is very poorly done. How it interacts with non-Humans is the single largest, but not only, problem with it. Even Build Points are better than RAW Karma Generation, & I fucking hate the BP system.


I'm not sure this is a fair characterization of either the karmagen system or of Ancient History. The goals of the two systems are different. Karmagen achieves the goals it set out fine, they just happen to be different than the goals of the BP system (and apparently different than your own goals.) The goals of each system have been outlined before so I won't go through it again unless someone really doesn't understand. Personally, I would have recommended that the purpose of the karmagen system be laid out clearly within RC, but that's a poor editing choice and one I'm not sure you can entirely lay on the author of the system itself.

But in the end, each character creation system for each game that you play will have different things that it would like to discourage. The Karmagen system just happens to not discourage choosing to play something other than humans (though it doesn't penalize you for playing a human). It is true, that the system does not discourage people from choosing a metatype for only the bonuses, but that isn't one of the goals of the system. And if you have a table of people that play that way then karmagen isn't for you (though perhaps a variation of karmagen would suit you). We have alternate systems because people enjoy playing the game differently. You may think other styles of play are "bad" or not the way the game was meant to be played, but luckily the developers of the game encourage a little diversity amongst their player-base. At least luckily for players like myself and others.
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Muspellsheimr
post Mar 30 2009, 04:13 AM
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RAW Karma Generation is essentially saying you get 750 Karma to work with. But that guy over there, he gets 775, because his concept is cool. Oh, and the third guy, yea lets give him 850 just because. I don't care that your characters are supposed to be equal in power - I like him more.


No, RAW Karma Generation is broken. The 'goal' was for character creation to use the same system as character advancement. And in poor choices creating this system, it is heavily unbalanced favoring meta's & (especially) advanced racial options - except Infected & Drakes, for some reason, who must pay the increased attribute advancement cost used to justify free metatypes, but must also pay for their 'species'.
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Cain
post Mar 30 2009, 04:54 AM
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QUOTE
The SR3->SR4 conversion works.

*You* wrote that? I'm sorry, but they don't work. If you have a highly advanced, high-karma character, you could end up with a mediocre but functional one, who might be roughly equal to a starting SR4 character. If you're converting a starting character, you will end up worse than a native starting character from SR4.

Want proof? Let's take a human with 3 karma from SR3. He converts to having an Edge of 1, which is impossible for a native SR4 character. Sorry dude, but the conversion rules do not work.
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Medicineman
post Mar 30 2009, 11:21 AM
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Welll,Hmmm,
If you had a new SR3 Char it would've been better to start with a New SR4 Char anyway. I allways thought that the Conversion rules were for "bigger" long-time-played-SR3 Chars witjh lots of Karma to be konverted.
(By The Way I had about 25 SR3 Chars (all between 25 and 250 KArma) I did'nt use the Konvertion Rules. I made everyone up from the Beginning and added his Karma.
I Would've done it with the RC-KarmaGen-Rules,if they were allready existant in 2005/2006
so I was Stuck with the BP Rules and they came out ....OK not Perfectly but OK)

Jahtahey
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Phylos Fett
post Mar 30 2009, 11:50 AM
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Isn't the karmagen system just based on BeCKS, anyway?
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Medicineman
post Mar 30 2009, 11:57 AM
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Well The Karma Sys is based on Karma (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
I Think that BeCKs was based on Karma Too,so....
Yes ,but the other Way 'round

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darthmord
post Mar 30 2009, 01:24 PM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Mar 29 2009, 10:26 PM) *
Yes, the theory behind it (as Ancient presented it) was that the higher costs for increasing the strong racial attributes compensate for the lack of metatype cost. Ancient History is a fluff author. There is good reason he should never write rules for the game - this is an example why.

His explanation falls apart for multiple reasons:
1) It does not take into account non-attribute bonuses, such as a Troll's Reach or Dermal Plating.
2) The Troll pays 18 Karma (based off pre-SR4A Karmagen; we don't have errata for it yet) to increase their Strength to 6. It is true, this is expensive, but so does the Human, plus 42 Karma to increase it from 1 to 5. The cost for the Troll to increase their Strength further continues to increase; the Human cannot increase their Strength further (if they do, through Genetics or similar, they still pay the same cost as the Troll, plus 42 Karma).
3) It does not take into account the unusual racial options, such as Shapeshifters or Free Spirits.
4) You are not required to increase your attributes to 'normal' levels. Sure a 5 Body / 5 Strength Troll is weak in comparison to other Trolls. It still has 5 Body & 5 Strength at no cost, which does exactly the same thing as a 5 Body & 5 Strength on a Human character (who must pay 84 Karma to obtain).

The Karma Character Generation system in Runners Companion is very poorly done. How it interacts with non-Humans is the single largest, but not only, problem with it. Even Build Points are better than RAW Karma Generation, & I fucking hate the BP system.


What I did with a group I started recently was to charge BP * 2 in Karma for race and the racial mods are free. Everyone worries about starting at 1 and raising up to a max of 6. Also on that note, if someone leaves a stat at 1 and has a penalty to it, they have to deal with that penalty when making the rolls with that stat. Ex: Using Con, you roll Con + Charisma. They have a 1 Charisma and a -1 Racial Penalty. For the purpose of the roll, they have a 0 Charisma.

So far, it's been well received. Haven't received anything particularly game breaking.
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Aaron
post Apr 6 2009, 02:10 AM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Mar 29 2009, 08:33 PM) *
Hey now! Uncalled for. Especially when you can blame Aaron for AIs and free spirits. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

=iP

Don't make me post the rules for AIs and free spirits that I actually submitted to editing.
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Muspellsheimr
post Apr 6 2009, 02:27 AM
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QUOTE (Aaron @ Apr 5 2009, 08:10 PM) *
Don't make me post the rules for AIs and free spirits that I actually submitted to editing.

I am certainly interested.

Handwave - "You want to post the rules for AIs and free spirits you submitted to editing."
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Aaron
post Apr 6 2009, 03:36 AM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Apr 5 2009, 08:27 PM) *
I am certainly interested.
Handwave - "You want to post the rules for AIs and free spirits you submitted to editing."

It's not actually mine to post anymore. CGL bought and paid for it, so you'll have to ask them. I will say that designing rules for PC free spirits was a fun challenge.
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Shilaleagh
post Apr 6 2009, 06:17 AM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Apr 6 2009, 01:27 PM) *
I am certainly interested.

Handwave - "You want to post the rules for AIs and free spirits you submitted to editing."



Second That!!!!
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darthmord
post Apr 6 2009, 02:46 PM
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I don't think the rules for Free Spirits are that bad, just horrifically over-priced for what you get.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Apr 7 2009, 02:26 AM
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And as for Karmagen in general, my experience has shown (to me at least) that I am able to create a character with a little more breadth and depth than is capable with the Build Point System (and not for sheer power; the characters created are not as "specialized" as I see with Build Points, as they tend to have the ability to buy what they want, not just what they NEED for a base concept)... And, Ironically, I tend to create humans with Karmagen, not the metavariants... go figure...

My Two Cents
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