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Falconer
Lets break that down. In order to build a char under karma, which you can't build under BP, you need to find things which cost more than 1.75 karma per BP. (1:1 meaning roughly 1:1 within an engineers 10% ballparking)

And I want to put this up front so it's not lost... I understand where you're going... I think you're trying to state a troll can possibly be built under BP which can't be built w/ karma. The catch is the same things which benefits the human (cheap low stat raises, cheap skill buys) also benefit the troll in saving karma! (equipment and advantages are a wash for both, 6karma to raise a stat from 1->2 offsets 30 karma for 9->10 averaging a mere 18karma for 2 stat raises! and there's more low stat raises than high ones). IF (and I mean IF) a troll had to pay for every stat upgrade from 2->10, he'd average 18 karma per attribute point (6+30/2, 9+27/2... all the way for 18 for 6 in the middle).

Troll (mystic adept): 40BP, 80BP (bod9, str9, all else 1), 35BP advantages, 60BP equipment, 5BP binding costs (1BP per force, max force of 5x magic rating at chargen, log limits active not total bound!). At this point we're up to 180BP of things which clearly match/exceed 1:2 ratio. At this point if we wanted to be a complete cheese, we get the rest in contacts!. Nothing listed is less than 1:2 ratio EXCEPT RACIAL PICK (so we need at least 160BP worth of 1:2 picks to offset that to 1:1.75 starting ratio). Said char cannot be built under karmagen. (said char is also silly and pointless)

More advanced, limiting to 20BP worth of contacts: Race 40BP is free karma! (or another way 80karma worth of freebie stat raises)
Attribs: 80:180, Qual: 35:70, Equip: 60:120, Cont: 20:40, Knowlege: 0BP:30karma freebie rank6 knowledge/language Binding: 5BP/16+10+4 (or 40 if we just get 3 different power foci). Anyhow: 240BP:470karma. 160BP:280 karma to go.... this is not doable as ratio clearly shows you're right back at 1:1.75 marginal karma cost to beat, and this is AFTER expending all our 'karma sinks'.

Things which clearly exceed this ratio and accomplish the goal
Advantages: 1:2... so load up on max 35BP of advantages and no disadvantages.
Contacts: 1:2 again (contacts are unlimited)
Equipment: 1:2... so again load up on max 50BP of gear. (60BP if we spend 10BP on born rich)
Power Focus (2): 12BP == 36 karma (a winner! 1:3)
Power Focus (3): 23BP == 64 karma (again, 1:2.cool.gif
Spell Focus (5): 25BP == 60 karma (a respectable 1:2.4)
Spell Focus (3): 12BP == 30 karma (1:2.5)

Things which can't help us meet the goal:
Skills: Skills start at 1:1 and approach 1:1.6 or so for a rating 4 skillgroup(40BP:65karma)... well under the ratio
Specializations: 1:1 no good
Attributes up to 6: start at 10:6 and goes to 10:18... doesn't help us meet goal
Umm... nothing left!


I know what you're trying to get at though... for higher attribute ranks on the broken case (trolls, trolls tend to break so much in this system). Marginal attribute costs get higher than this breakeven ratio.
Here's the problem.
Attribute Rank2: 10BP == 6karma (1: 0.6) <-- trolls, orcs, etc. also benefit in dump stats
Attribute Rank3: 10BP == 9karma (1:1) <-- again
Attribute Rank4: 10BP == 12karma (1:1) <-- again (and under karma no hardcap penalty)
Attribute Rank5: 10BP == 15karma (1:1.5) <-- again (we're still under 1:1.75)
Attribute Rank6: 10BP == 18 karma (1:1.cool.gif (breakeven roughly)
Attribute Rank7: 10BP == 21 karma (1:2.1) (rank7 + Rank5 is still breakeven though)
Attribute Rank8: 10BP == 24 karma (1:2.4) (again rank8 + rank4 is breakeven)
Attribute Rank9: 10BP == 27 karma (1:2.7) (and again, rank9 + rank3 is breakeven)
Attribute Rank10: 25BP == 30 karma (1:1.2) a steal well under the ratio (Rank10 + rank2 == no contest)

Troll: 5->9 == 40BP == 90 karma (1:2.25)
Troll: 6->10 == 65BP == 120 karma (1:1.9) <-- hardcapping actually costs more and comes very close to that magical 1:1.75 ratio
Orc: 4->8 == 40BP == 78 karma (1:2)
Orc 4->9 == 65BP == 105 karma (1:1.6) <-- again hardcap is actually worth LESS than the 1.75 ratio

However, this is where it gets wiggy, if you look ONLY at the extreme stats, yeah... the trolls seem like a joke.

But lets look at our typical troll adept w/ softmaxed (established above this is most expensive karma ratio)

Expensive: Bod9, Str9, (180karma==90BP, 1:2.25)
Cheap: Agi4, Rea5, Cha3, Log4, Int4 (138karma==150BP, 1:0.92), NB: we're up to 240BP worth of attributes here allowed under karmagen, 180+138==318karma, but trolls have a limit of 375+80 for no good reason!)
Absolute steal!: Wil6 suck it mages, (60karma/65BP, again 1:0.9! no hardmax penalty for mage defense), NB: we're up to 300BP:378karma worth of attributes disalllowed under BP generation and still haven't exceeded the 445 karma limit on troll attribs.
Just for lucks sake... edg5 for 42karma more!
With 25 karma leftover, we still have enough for a Mag3... Mag5 easily doable for the troll adept w/ some smart attrib moves.

We've now under karma spent well under the 445 karma allowed a troll on physical/mental attributes, AND HAVE PROCEEDED TO SOFTMAX EVERY SINGLE STAT DESPITE THE *COST PENALTY* we even hardmaxed Wil to defend against mages. 375 in fact was almost enough to softmax everything including edg, not including mag! Just to point this out 375 isn't enough to softmax 9 5's on a human (including edg), let alone hardmax one stat in there! (despite the supposed advantage humans have on this front! w/ their cheap attributes), even less points to go around if you're a mage, as under karma special attributes like edg/mag are included in attribute cap, unlike BP. (in fairness... 310BP worth of attrib raises not including edge, far in excess of 200 allowed under BP as well).

After all this... can you still say that we don't have a leg to stand on w/ some of these criticisms Totori?!
ludomastro
This thread is proof that if you ask 10 people for their opinion you will get 11 answers.
Abschalten
I know all the numbers and math. I've done it myself and seen the arguments. I've used BPgen extensively, and done a few characters up in karmagen. I've come to the conclusion: I just don't care. smile.gif Karmagen, in my opinion, makes more well-rounded characters. The only way they are really better than 400 BPs is some slightly higher-than-average attributes and more skills. I've started my new SR4 PnP campaign on karmagen, and overall I like their character builds much more now. None of them went apeshit and tried to twink out or min/max like I've seen commonly done in 400 BP builds. So it gets my stamp of approval.

If I had to "balance" it in some way (and this is in no way playtested or even fully thought out, so I'm just throwing it out there) I'd make people pay karma for the attributes before racial mods and make them pay the metatype cost in double karma (trolls would be 80 karma). But really, like I said, I haven't seen a problem, so that little fix isn't even needed.
TheOOB
QUOTE (Abschalten @ Sep 20 2008, 02:17 AM) *
I know all the numbers and math. I've done it myself and seen the arguments. I've used BPgen extensively, and done a few characters up in karmagen. I've come to the conclusion: I just don't care. smile.gif Karmagen, in my opinion, makes more well-rounded characters. The only way they are really better than 400 BPs is some slightly higher-than-average attributes and more skills. I've started my new SR4 PnP campaign on karmagen, and overall I like their character builds much more now. None of them went apeshit and tried to twink out or min/max like I've seen commonly done in 400 BP builds. So it gets my stamp of approval.


Thats more or less how I feel about it. The BP system strongly encourages players to super specialize there characters, you see a lot of 5(or racial max-1) on attributes, and a lot of ones, and a lot of skills either at 4 or not existing. Most the build I see with it arn't characters that I find fun to be with, the karma system just lets people be more diversified with their characters which in turn creates characters that are funner.

That said, you still gain benefits for playing the metatypes (most notably ork and troll, but elves and dwarves are better then humans 9 out of 10 times if there is no cost.) and like all other things you should need to pay for the benefits with karma.

As I said above, the simplest way to do this is to just make the metatypes cost their BP cost in karma (lower the elves to 25 or even better 20) this will give each of the metatypes a small, but meaningful cost. The numbers are small enough where the metatypes(including humans) all still have a net karma increase for their attributes(in fact at humans are at +6, dwarves are at +7, and elves at 20 karma are at +1 which is all pretty close. Orcs and Trolls are much higher, but have lower racial maximums, racism issues, and their stats benefit a few build way more then others) and the numbers are small enough where you can pick whichever metatype you want without making you feel like your choaking your starting karma. The prices however are large enough where playing a human gives you enough extra resources to give them a boost and make them closer to equal. The other metatypes will have higher max attributes then a human(save edge), but humans will have a few more karma for skills, qualities, resources, and the like.

This system also works well when allowing metavarients and other character types(shapeshifters, infected, ect) it grants them a cost so you don't take the decision to be one lightly, but the cost is light enough so that you still have wiggle room in making the character even when playing an expensive archtype(free spirits I'm looking at you).
ElFenrir
QUOTE
This thread is proof that if you ask 10 people for their opinion you will get 11 answers.


QUOTE
I know all the numbers and math. I've done it myself and seen the arguments. I've used BPgen extensively, and done a few characters up in karmagen. I've come to the conclusion: I just don't care. smile.gif Karmagen, in my opinion, makes more well-rounded characters. The only way they are really better than 400 BPs is some slightly higher-than-average attributes and more skills. I've started my new SR4 PnP campaign on karmagen, and overall I like their character builds much more now. None of them went apeshit and tried to twink out or min/max like I've seen commonly done in 400 BP builds. So it gets my stamp of approval.


/agree. Totally agree. I love the idea of more well-balanced characters. Yes, on average they are more ''powerful'', in the sense of having more solid attributes across the board, but again...more well-rounded. I'll take an average DP increase of 1-2 across the board if it means the characters look more like characters anyday.

And yes, it is possible to twink a 400 BP character to be around 700+ Karma, depending on what you do. Again, they won't be the most balanced or well-rounded at all, but you can, indeed, do it. Assuming your table allows anything, you could make a pretty horrific twinked face; through maxing money, contacts, Charisma, getting more Charisma twinking qualities, making them an Adept Pornomancer, whatever. Again, are they balanced? No, but the answer to the question of ''is it possible to transform 400 BPs into 750 Karma'', the answer is ''yes''. But, I sort of abide by the ''the two systems shouldn't be mixed.''
Mx
QUOTE (ElFenrir @ Sep 20 2008, 02:43 PM) *
/agree. Totally agree. I love the idea of more well-balanced characters. Yes, on average they are more ''powerful'', in the sense of having more solid attributes across the board, but again...more well-rounded. I'll take an average DP increase of 1-2 across the board if it means the characters look more like characters anyday.

QFT
toturi
QUOTE (Falconer @ Sep 20 2008, 12:37 PM) *
After all this... can you still say that we don't have a leg to stand on w/ some of these criticisms Totori?!

I never said you do not have a leg to stand on. All I said was whether you could make a BP build that is much more expensive to build than in karma, without limitations other than RAW.

And the troll is not the most expensive karma ratio I know of. It is one I came up with during breakfast. Enjoy.

Human (because there is no racial karma saving for human) 0 karma
Nosferatu (150 BP not within 35 BP limitation) 300 karma
Softmax Intuition and Logic (softmax to 7 each, for 9 free Knowledge Skills at 4 and 1 free Knowledge Skill at 6, 80 BP) 253 karma
35 BP Positive Qualities 70 karma
50 BP Resources 100 karma

Total BP spent - 315, 85BP left
Total karma spent - 723, 27 karma left

Karma to BP ratio - 2.295

And you mis-spelt my name.
Falconer
Well nicely done Toturi. (sp! :)), Hats off to you on that one.

I really like how you did the mental stat finesse to get the freebie skills as karma sinks. Only nitpick is you undercosted the knowledge skills karma it looks like.
80BP, 122karma (4->7 x2). 22x9=198karma (9x rank4), 44x1 (Rank6)
366karma (366-253==113, 113-27==86)

So your final tally is +85BP, -86 karma in the hole.

That only makes your example more impressive.
toturi
QUOTE (Falconer @ Sep 21 2008, 10:22 AM) *
Well nicely done Toturi. (sp! smile.gif), Hats off to you on that one.

I really like how you did the mental stat finesse to get the freebie skills as karma sinks. Only nitpick is you undercosted the knowledge skills karma it looks like.
80BP, 122karma (4->7 x2). 22x9=198karma (9x rank4), 44x1 (Rank6)
366karma (366-253==113, 113-27==86)

So your final tally is +85BP, -86 karma in the hole.

That only makes your example more impressive.

I don't think so. Knowledge Skills are 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Not 4, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 as Active Skills are.

My numbers are correct.

Further, bond a Reach 2 Weapon focus for 2 BPs, since you already factored in the Positive Qualities(5 for Adept) and the money. 2BP for 10 karma. Buy Contacts with the rest of the BPs.
Falconer
That's what I get for posting before double checking my book.... I had the BP and karma costs confused.
For some reason I was thinking it was 1 point to specialize a knowledge, 2 to advance it... mea culpa.

Looking at the chart on p264, I just realized something. I always thought it was 1 karma to specialize a knowledge after chargen... but all specs are 2 karma. In chargen, it's 1BP for a knowledge spec and 2BP for an active spec.
Cain
After examining karmagen, I have to offer this: it's new, and different, but that doesn't mean it's not easily broken. I've seen karmagen systems get broken in the past; it just depended on the time involved. I suspect that before too long, people here will be posting pornomancers for karmagen; it's just a matter of time.

To quote Mr. Scott: "The more complicated the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."
Ol' Scratch
Soft-maxed Charisma and Social Skills plus the Empathy program is enough to make a "pornomancer." That's more a problem with Social Skills and the insane number of options you have to improve them in SR4 more than one with any of the character creation methods.

Your point remains, though. In the end, it's up to the GM to reign in that sort of thing. By and large, the Karma system encourages well-rounded and believable characters whereas the standard BP system encourages more crippled (comparatively) and over-specialized yet unremarkable characters. Can you create the opposite in each system? Sure can. But that doesn't change the basis of what each encourages.
Cain
QUOTE
Your point remains, though. In the end, it's up to the GM to reign in that sort of thing. By and large, the Karma system encourages well-rounded and believable characters whereas the standard BP system encourages more crippled (comparatively) and over-specialized yet unremarkable characters. Can you create the opposite in each system? Sure can. But that doesn't change the basis of what each encourages.

"Believable" is up to the player, not the stats. I think you'll agree, here-- I've witnesses good players that the most unremarkable set of stats, and put out a wonderful character. I've also seen the opposite.

"Well rounded" is also somewhat subjective. What do you mean by that? For example, in my mind, it means you've got basic abilities in several areas necessary to function in the 6th world as a shadowrunner. You need at least some stealth, some social skills, combat ability, basic technical skills, and a good perception ability, at the bare minimum. I prefer the term "balanced", which indicates that a character can be uneven, so long as the overall picture works out.

Now, while my experience with karmagen is limited (as it should be, considering the book has been out less than a month in my town) my experiments and my readings indicate that you can create even stronger monsters than before, especially at 750 karma. So, I'll put this to Dumpshock as a whole: is it really that much better than BP at creating balanced characters? Worth the added complexity and math? And if there's a better balance point, in terms of total karma, what is it?
Ol' Scratch
Oh I agree with your first point. By believable I was referring more to the well-rounded aspect; there's just a certain number of skills in SR4 that every runner should have that are above the norm (0). Infiltration and Shadowing, Etiquette and Negotiation, Dodge, Perception, First Aid, nearly the entire Athletics group, at least two different Combat Skills (one melee-related, one ranged-related), their professional skills, a large array of Knowledge Skills, and so on and so forth. All of which should be in the 3-4 range just becuase of how often and how important they would be to a professional runner. And the Karma system allows for that a lot more readily than the BP system does.

I know that the BP system was designed around the idea that characters should be more "street-level" which is little more than a nicer term for "low-powered noobs to the shadows," but... I dunno. It just falls flat in that regard and I often get frustrated when I have to build a character with the BP system. Especially since I'm a huge fan of Knowledge Skills; they can even be the great equalizer if you are forced to have a more lop-sided character build, either through concept or limitations in the creation method. But even in the BP system, you have to struggle to have a decent number of Knowledge Skills. Which sucks for me.

So... yeah. I greatly prefer the Karma System. Even with a lower amount of Karma the characters I've made under it have been more satisfactory than what I've created in the BP system. And I'm someone who actually prefers playing Human characters (and no, not because of Edge which I also hate), which has pretty much no advantage to speak of in the Karma system.

The alternate BP system Frank Trollman created (I've tried finding a link to it but it seems to have been lost in the migration to the new forums) was a pretty nice comprimise between the two, too. The Karma system ends up doing much of the same thing that system did, however, without keeping to some of the more unfair advantages in the BP system (which greatly rewards and encourages higher stats over lower stats).
Glyph
Personally, I don't think it's how the Karma-gen system is set up that encourages "well-rounded" characters - it's the fact that you can usually get a lot more with it. If you can soft-max your way to an optimal point in your specialty, then yeah, you'll branch out a bit, to either shore up your weaknesses, or to add other things you're good at.

400 Point characters are min-maxed because usually, you have just enough points to be good in your specialty. If you have 500 Points, though, then you will be just as likely to be "well-rounded" as the Karma-gen build. That's assuming the normal caps are left relatively intact, though. If you raise things like Availability or maximum resources, then people will soft-max to the new (higher) optimal point before branching out.
toturi
Actually if you think about it, karma doesn't favor either low or high stats. Because if you went the karma efficient(better numbers overall) way during chargen, your character development does not have the kind of acceleration if you went less karma efficient. It is more flexible in a manner of speaking because if you know that you have a party of specialists, then you could specialise while if it is a party of few people, then you can spread out to cover more bases.
ElFenrir
IMO, sure, the 750 Karma lets folks have higher things, which means it lets them branch out...but it's not a bad thing. I mean, I look at attributes. I see so many builds where people are dumping 1's into their Strength or Charisma because they, god forbid, wanted a couple of 5's, or...gasp...wanted to max ONE stat! IMO, if a person wants to max a stat, they are not automatically making Broken McBroke, munchkin runner. Good stats have nothing to do with how much spark is in a character-you could have crap for stats and crap for personality, and great stats and be a wonderful character. Or vice versa. It depends on the player.

And again, the attribute boosts it gives...say under the BP system, someone takes 4/4/4/4/3/3/3/3, or the even spread. Ok. That's a nice set of stats. But say they wanted higher for whatever reason. They saw their character as very physically impressive that 5's might have matched, as well as more charismatic, etc. So this turns to 5/5/5/5/4/4/4/4. As I said before...this adds, even after mods or whatnot, ONE DIE to their die pools. This is not enough to break games. At all. And...since the skill caps are still in place(1 6, other 4 or less, or 2 5s, etc), they already had their two, say, main weapon skills at 5+2-and can't gain more there. Hell, the 2 4+2's they had can't go higher, either...since the rest are capped at 4. But yes, their 1-3 skills can gain a bit...and then they can get more. So their lower skills will gain some more dice...but it's highly doubtful it's enough to wreck a game(and all characters SHOULD, IMO, make their characters under the same system.)

I usually think, for a ''typical runner'' (there are atypical runners which deviate from this, different backgrounds, etc...but this is sorta textbook), a core list looks like: A weapon skill, a social skill, Dodge or Athletics, Perception, Infiltration. That's the bare minimum core list, IMO. I then list skills as ''Core Archetype Skills'', which are, of course, core skills X archetype would have(and of course, some of the above skills are increased for some archetypes.) I, personally, usually run ''Main Skills'' in the 4-5 range(+2 If i specialize), and then the others around 1-3, and this is as many as I can, but when the skills cost between 4-14(1 to 3+2), that's only so many(especially since I just blew probably around 60 BP, at least...on my core skills...200 on base Attributes, 10-20 on Edge...etc...of course, there are Contacts and Resources.)

Then there are those flavor skills. Things like Artisan: Metalworking and Armor(Melee weapons) for your street sam, who loves to make his own blades(and has knowledge skills of old weapons, and histories, and you may even dropped a small chunk of nuyen on a weapons collection for him.) IMO, the BP sam, while he will no doubt be able to be a nice, effective sam...the Karma sam will just be better...not as much in the die pools(which, yes, he will have 1-2 higher due to better attributes and skills), he will, again, just be that much cooler as a character...and he won't have to sacrifice his ''role'' to do it.

IMO, the idea that you should sacrifice your role in a group-be less effective at it(like, dropping your core skills down to a 2-3 range instead of a 3-5 range), just because ''it lets you make character!'' is an attitude that needs to die, along with the one that says ''deficient characters have more CHARACTER!'', which sort of go hand in hand. For /&%#&'s sake, I LIKE playing someone not only kicks ass at their role, but has a nice sized pile of flavor-skills as well. This attitude might get me scorned by hardcore ''real roleplayers'',(I use the term loosely, and in quotes, to signify its THOSE type I am talking about) but ahh well, I don't think I'd like their table, anyways.

And btw, I wasn't ranting at anyone in this thread, because I know a lot of folks are sort of on this boat as well, and this site does have it's nice share of normal, sane gamers. biggrin.gif But that attitude does exist in gamers, and frankly I don't like it, but I mean...whatever makes someone have fun at the table is alright with me, I suppose. I don't have to be a part of every table.

QUOTE
So... yeah. I greatly prefer the Karma System. Even with a lower amount of Karma the characters I've made under it have been more satisfactory than what I've created in the BP system. And I'm someone who actually prefers playing Human characters (and no, not because of Edge which I also hate), which has pretty much no advantage to speak of in the Karma system.

The alternate BP system Frank Trollman created (I've tried finding a link to it but it seems to have been lost in the migration to the new forums) was a pretty nice comprimise between the two, too. The Karma system ends up doing much of the same thing that system did, however, without keeping to some of the more unfair advantages in the BP system (which greatly rewards and encourages higher stats over lower stats)


I too play a lot of humans. I make an elf now and again as well, or whatever I had in mind for the character. I've never made a metahuman with Karma just because they are ''better'' under karma. But I won't lie...I've made the 4 Body, 3 Strength Ork before, under BP, and so have friends of mine. nyahnyah.gif

And yeah, Frank's houserules rocked. It was a great balance between the two...yeah, had the same BP disadvantages, but me and my buddies liked it a lot.
Cain
QUOTE
So... yeah. I greatly prefer the Karma System. Even with a lower amount of Karma the characters I've made under it have been more satisfactory than what I've created in the BP system. And I'm someone who actually prefers playing Human characters (and no, not because of Edge which I also hate), which has pretty much no advantage to speak of in the Karma system.

When it comes down to it, I've only played humans in SR4, although I've created non-humans; it's just that humans tend to come out better. However, I am curious: the karma system seems to favor metahumans, rather extensively. Do metahumans come out as relatively overpowered as I think they might be?
QUOTE
And again, the attribute boosts it gives...say under the BP system, someone takes 4/4/4/4/3/3/3/3, or the even spread. Ok. That's a nice set of stats. But say they wanted higher for whatever reason. They saw their character as very physically impressive that 5's might have matched, as well as more charismatic, etc. So this turns to 5/5/5/5/4/4/4/4. As I said before...this adds, even after mods or whatnot, ONE DIE to their die pools. This is not enough to break games. At all. And...since the skill caps are still in place(1 6, other 4 or less, or 2 5s, etc), they already had their two, say, main weapon skills at 5+2-and can't gain more there. Hell, the 2 4+2's they had can't go higher, either...since the rest are capped at 4. But yes, their 1-3 skills can gain a bit...and then they can get more. So their lower skills will gain some more dice...but it's highly doubtful it's enough to wreck a game(and all characters SHOULD, IMO, make their characters under the same system.)

Won't that depend, like BP's, on how much you're allowed to spend on base attributes? I mean, if I removed all caps from attribute purchases, under either system, you could do the same thing. I agree that karmagen is more granular, but that's not necessarily a good thing: the more granular your system gets, the more you encourage number-crunching, IME.
QUOTE
Then there are those flavor skills. Things like Artisan: Metalworking and Armor(Melee weapons) for your street sam, who loves to make his own blades(and has knowledge skills of old weapons, and histories, and you may even dropped a small chunk of nuyen on a weapons collection for him.) IMO, the BP sam, while he will no doubt be able to be a nice, effective sam...the Karma sam will just be better...not as much in the die pools(which, yes, he will have 1-2 higher due to better attributes and skills), he will, again, just be that much cooler as a character...and he won't have to sacrifice his ''role'' to do it.

You're preaching to the choir, here. However, I did notice that you don't get free Knowledge skill points under karmagen. Won't that discourage the purchase of knowledge and language skills?
ElFenrir
In my experience making and seeing Karma metas...no. Not at all. If anything, I notice their ''lower'' stats being boosted more than the biggies. Most folks who like the idea of their Uber Body Troll...unless they have their ''tank of all trades'' concept...I rarely see go over a 7...maybe an 8 for Body, and Strength is usually around 7-ish. A lot of folks that I have spoken to(mind you, I haven't spoken to every gamer, but ones Ive talked to about karma recently), find it rather rough to drop around 100 Karma on ONE attribute. It seems the points get funneled toward the ones which tend to suffer under BPs.

Karma is more numbers, yes...but you know, I don't have a problem with removing the attribute cap from BP. IMO, it would work better without it. If someone wants to blow all of their BPs to get a bunch of 5s and a 6(345 BPs, is it?) they should be allowed to. It's spending more in one area, less in another. Someone is allowed(technically, a GM might well veto it), to drop all 1's in attributes that can be bought up, proceed to buy them up(via, say, restricted gear), and then spend the rest of their BPs, which might be well over 200, on skills.

As for the Knowledge skills...I find the exact opposite happens. In BP, folks most of the time, if not almost all the time, spend only their allotment on knowledges. However, under Karma...I find characters much of the time have many more knowledges and languages. I too thought it might work opposite...but it doesn't, for some reason. I'm sure you'll have some folks here and there that ignore them, but you'll find players that ignore a bit of anything around, no matter what system you use.

In the end, I just cannot find anything that will unbalance a game with Karma, unless you have problem players or have a GM that will allow absolutely anything and everything in a game. Well, let me rephrase that. Our table is find with it. All tables are indeed different and some just may have some problem with Karma. I'm just in the boat that finds it exactly what we wanted for SR4.
Ancient History
QUOTE
When it comes down to it, I've only played humans in SR4, although I've created non-humans; it's just that humans tend to come out better. However, I am curious: the karma system seems to favor metahumans, rather extensively. Do metahumans come out as relatively overpowered as I think they might be?

If you go for a minimal-build - i.e. the lowest attributes you can possibly get - then yes, metahumans have the points for a few more skills and whatnot. It's generally not as bad as some of the more vocal detractors make out.

QUOTE
You're preaching to the choir, here. However, I did notice that you don't get free Knowledge skill points under karmagen. Won't that discourage the purchase of knowledge and language skills?

Not so much, if only because skills are relatively cheap at lower levels, and there are no restrictions on specializations.
Falconer
I'm just going to throw this out there. There is an awful lot I like about karma.

My only beef w/ karma is that metatype costs are outright broken. The arguments given for giving metas for free, and then giving freebie attribute points don't pan out. (higher costs for high stats are balanced by cheap costs for low stats.. so you end up averaging under 1.75 karma per BP still).

The best part of karmagen is that there is no discrepancy between char build BP and in-game karma advancement. Similarly, you wouldn't see a discrepancy if people were awarded BP's (instead of karma) in game to spend to advance their chars.

Almost all BP based build optomizing decisions are based around minimizing future karma costs while keeping the character viable and survivable early on. This results simply because two difference systems w/ two different costs are used. Since costs are difference between them.

As far as how generous karma is... 375 karma is enough to do straight 5's on a human. (all 4 phys, all 4 mental, plus 5 karma... with nothing leftover to advance magic, 8*42==336 +36==372). Which is far in excess of the 20 attribute advances allowed under BP. Such a limitation could have been done under karma as well. You can advance attributes 20 times then you're done (or 25 times). I'd posit, it's too generous as it's more advantageous to advance attributes than skills.

I also like how karma produces more balanced characters, because it eliminates that impetus under BP to max everything you can while keeping everything else at 1 rank. If the game awarded BP instead of karma, we'd see the same thing, but people would advance skills equally at all levels, rather than advance lower skills faster than higher. That's a point in karmas favor, increasing marginal costs.


Elfenrir:
I take issue with only one part of your statement... that advancing an attribute is just one more die.

It's one more die to the skill pool you're interested in. But it's also one more die to base attribute tests. It's one more die to every other skill linked to that attribute. And it's one more die when you need to default.

The important thing in a system is the marginal costs. How much does it cost to advance a given skill/skills by 1.

Attributes only cost 3x in karma
A skill GROUP cost 5x in karma
A skill costs 2x in karma. (min 4 because of first rank double)

Look at p111.
Agility: 18 skills
Body: 2 skills (damage reduction, and physical track)
Reaction: 7 skills (avoidance and initiative)
Strength: 3 skills (melee damage)
Charisma: 6 skills
Intuition: 10 skills (initiative)
Logic: 18 skills (not counting +-2 street magic, hacking skills which link program not logic)
Willpower: 2 skills (resisting spells, stun track)

It's another argument for another time, that Body and Strength would be a lot less problematic if they were one stat. (why does bod limit armor instead of str, there's so few skills linked to each... each is only worth half as much as say agi or rea. It would solve a lot of the troll/dwarf/orc problem as it would be far cheaper to advance one attribute than two)... Anyhow that genies long out of it's lamp now, and can't be put back in.

But advancing an attribute advances on average 8 individual skill pools. As well as advancing tests which involve attribute + attribute. So back on point... that's 8 pool increases for 3x new rating cost.

Advancing a skill group advances 3.5 individual pools on average, for 5x new rating (w/ a double penalty)

Advancing individual skill, one skill pool increase, for 2x new rating (w/ double penalty)

That is directly at the heart of why attribute costs are so important. And why people gripe about metas having higher.
Cain
QUOTE
Karma is more numbers, yes...but you know, I don't have a problem with removing the attribute cap from BP. IMO, it would work better without it. If someone wants to blow all of their BPs to get a bunch of 5s and a 6(345 BPs, is it?) they should be allowed to. It's spending more in one area, less in another. Someone is allowed(technically, a GM might well veto it), to drop all 1's in attributes that can be bought up, proceed to buy them up(via, say, restricted gear), and then spend the rest of their BPs, which might be well over 200, on skills.

That's where I'm wondering. It's been shown, repeatedly, that 750 karma characters > 400 BP ones, and that's leaving out deliberate metahuman cheese. I know the obvious fix here is to reduce the starting karma... but where should I put it? Would 600 do the trick? 650? Where should I draw the line, so that characters aren't more powerful than before?

QUOTE
If you go for a minimal-build - i.e. the lowest attributes you can possibly get - then yes, metahumans have the points for a few more skills and whatnot. It's generally not as bad as some of the more vocal detractors make out.

As Falconer pointed out, attributes can and do make a huge difference, even more than skills do. Someone here posted a troll build that had soft-maxed attributes with karma to spare, well under the cap. If we use one of the more exotic metatypes, then we could pump even more karma into attributes. So, just from what I've heard, metahumans not only get to spend more on attributes, they can raise them higher, and it costs them nothing for this privilege.

QUOTE
Not so much, if only because skills are relatively cheap at lower levels, and there are no restrictions on specializations.

I see where you're going with that, but I don't understand what you mean by "no restriction on specializations". Last I checked, you can only have one specialization per skill, right? That was the only limit I was aware of.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Sep 21 2008, 01:53 PM) *
If you go for a minimal-build - i.e. the lowest attributes you can possibly get - then yes, metahumans have the points for a few more skills and whatnot. It's generally not as bad as some of the more vocal detractors make out.

Or, you know, just stay within the Human range. Like, oh you know, all but two or three of the sample characters in SR4 do. Trolls, for instance, start out with the equivalence of 84 bonus Karma (not including the value of Reach, Natural Armor, or Thermographic Vision). That's more than a "few more skills" worth of Karma. And despite people like you implying if not out-right insisting that they're all going to soft-max every one of their attributes, there's no reason at all for them to do so. Especially if playing a non-physical archetype, like a Troll Street Shaman. (Who, incidently, doesn't have a single attribute over 5 in SR4).

When your idea of game balance revolves around "well, I expect them to do this and this" you've already failed. Doubly so when you completely ignore that metahumans can do things a Human can't, which is a boon not a hindrance.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Cain @ Sep 21 2008, 07:27 PM) *
That's where I'm wondering. It's been shown, repeatedly, that 750 karma characters > 400 BP ones, and that's leaving out deliberate metahuman cheese. I know the obvious fix here is to reduce the starting karma... but where should I put it? Would 600 do the trick? 650? Where should I draw the line, so that characters aren't more powerful than before?

Honestly it depends. If you think the types of characters you create under the BP system are "just right" for your preferred style of game, then lowering the starting Karma to something closer to 650 works well enough. Personally, I haven't seen any reasonable Karma-built characters (ie, not concept ones used to prove a point) who were overboard. Versatile, yes, but not insane. And if you're allowing insane characters in a game, you can do the same thing with the BP system.
Cain
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Sep 21 2008, 05:52 PM) *
Honestly it depends. If you think the types of characters you create under the BP system are "just right" for your preferred style of game, then lowering the starting Karma to something closer to 650 works well enough. Personally, I haven't seen any reasonable Karma-built characters (ie, not concept ones used to prove a point) who were overboard. Versatile, yes, but not insane. And if you're allowing insane characters in a game, you can do the same thing with the BP system.

Honestly, I think the BP system is more than a little insane; it puts a bunch of arbitrary limits in place, but they don't actually rein in characters, they just encourage hyper-specializing. But before I start allowing karmagen in my games, I want to make sure that the characters are equivalent.

I'm thinking about starting an online game, with players who don't have every book. I'm very leery of allowing karmagen, especially if it gives those players a significant advantage, or the ability to cut into someone else's spotlight time. I don't want to reward extreme number-crunching, and I really don't want to reward those who can afford the books over those who cannot.
Ol' Scratch
Well no, they don't create characters that are equivalent to each other. That's inherent to any alternative creation methods. While I haven't tried it out, I'm pretty sure the Priority system would create just as many inconsistancies between the two. So allowing characters to be made with different systems is usually a bad idea regardless of what systems are being used. At least that's been my experience.

On the plus side, typing up the basics of the Karma system isn't that hard. I did it just last night.
Cain
QUOTE
On the plus side, typing up the basics of the Karma system isn't that hard. I did it just last night.

That, I *know* I'm not allowed to do. I can't cite whole rules sections without having to worry about copyright infringement. And sending copies to them would be illegal as well. It might be safe in a home game, but sending complete pdf files would be too much, I think.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Cain @ Sep 21 2008, 08:21 PM) *
That, I *know* I'm not allowed to do. I can't cite whole rules sections without having to worry about copyright infringement. And sending copies to them would be illegal as well. It might be safe in a home game, but sending complete pdf files would be too much, I think.

1. It's not a whole section.
2. It's only copyright infringement if you cut-and-paste it verbatim.
3. It's a set of rules; you can't copyright/trademark that, only the way it's presented.
4. Even if it were, this is more than covered by fair use.

Example.
Cain
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Sep 21 2008, 06:51 PM) *
1. It's not a whole section.
2. It's only copyright infringement if you cut-and-paste it verbatim.
3. It's a set of rules; you can't copyright/trademark that, only the way it's presented.
4. Even if it were, this is more than covered by fair use.

Example.

I'm no copyright lawyer, but again, there's a difference between summarizing something on Dumpshock and sending off pages of the pdf. While I might link to your summary, I wouldn't feel right about copying whole sections of rules onto any online forum-- that's what got SR3R kicked off of Dumpshock.

At any event, after thinking about it, I'm not going to allow karmagen for my online game. Not everyone has RC; and several are complete newbies. I can't possibly be there to go over each of their characters with them as they build it. So, I'll just stick to the basics for now. Probably for the best, really.
Falconer
Cain:
You could always just refer them to karma advancement page 263 SR4.

Example:
Instead of spending BP to build the character we'll be using karma. We just use the standard rules to make a character starting on page 70 with some minor changes.

You have 600 karma, no more than 300 can be spent on your physical and mental attributes (edg and mag/res bought seperate, just like normal).

The changes are.
1. If the is a cost listed in BP to do something, simply double it to determine the karma cost.
2. The cost to learn, advance, or specialize an attribute or skill is on page 263 instead of the BP cost tables on p88.
3. You gain (INT+LOG)x6 karma to spend on learning & language skills.


There, that should help you out. Nice, simple, and very straightforward, and the chars will all be roughly equivalent to 400BP chars. I do really like how karma encourages starting characters to come out with a nice balance of skills instead of being hyperspecialized like BP encourages. The important thing is everyone in the game uses the same rules to build, and that you have the power level pegged down.
Samoth
Instead of making a new thread I thought I'd bump an old one.

The RC rules say that the max that can be spent on attributes is equal to 1/2 total karma (plus the BP for whatever race you pick x2).

To clarify, does that mean if I make a 750 karma Elf Ghoul, the max I could spend on attributes is 505? (375 total plus 130 for metatype and infected variant) or 435 (375 plus elf Bp cost x2)?

If infected variants count, then you could spend 675 points on attributes for a Nosferatu, which seems incredibly unbalanced.
Mx
QUOTE (Samoth @ May 13 2010, 02:38 PM) *
If infected variants count, then you could spend 675 points on attributes for a Nosferatu, which seems incredibly unbalanced.

Considering that being a nosferatu cost 300 karma mx you could use for attributes is 520 karma and thats is only if you take max negative qualites and no positvie ones, also that means that the characters have nothing but his atributes and a bunch of negative qualites, i really dont see that being unbalanced in anyway.
But ofcource all that would be tru only if the infected qualites counted for that max and I'm 99,9% sure that isnt the case.
Samoth
QUOTE (Mäx @ May 13 2010, 02:42 PM) *
Considering that being a nosferatu cost 300 karma mx you could use for attributes is 520 karma and thats is only if you take max negative qualites and no positvie ones, also that means that the characters have nothing but his atributes and a bunch of negative qualites, i really dont see that being unbalanced in anyway.
But ofcource all that would be tru only if the infected qualites counted for that max and I'm 99,9% sure that isnt the case.


Can I get a page reference to a karma cost for infected characters? I was under the assumption that infected was a "free" quality just like metavariants are in terms of karma cost. Obviously paying for it is totally logical, but I haven't seen it actually written.
Mx
QUOTE (Samoth @ May 13 2010, 04:25 PM) *
Can I get a page reference to a karma cost for infected characters? I was under the assumption that infected was a "free" quality just like metavariants are in terms of karma cost. Obviously paying for it is totally logical, but I haven't seen it actually written.

Being an infested is a special quality that doesnt count against the quality point limit, A metavariant is an other race option not a quality.
Only the race is free in karmagen, not qualities, so there no reason what so ever to assume that you would get to be an infested for free in karmagen.
And the qualities cost BP*2 in karmagen so thats where i got the 300 karma for being a nostrefatu.
Samoth
QUOTE (Mäx @ May 13 2010, 07:11 PM) *
Being an infested is a special quality that doesnt count against the quality point limit, A metavariant is an other race option not a quality.
Only the race is free in karmagen, not qualities, so there no reason what so ever to assume that you would get to be an infested for free in karmagen.
And the qualities cost BP*2 in karmagen so thats where i got the 300 karma for being a nostrefatu.


Thank you, I guess I glossed over the fact that infected doesn't count as a race (not sure why I thought it would).
Mx
QUOTE (Samoth @ May 13 2010, 08:13 PM) *
Thank you, I guess I glossed over the fact that infected doesn't count as a race (not sure why I thought it would).

Clad to be of help. I think the reason why the infected are a quality is that all metahumans can become ghouls and i'm pretty sure metavariants can take the same infested qualities as their parent race.
But on the vain of your original post, an Ai character can spent 595 points on attributes in karma gen and a free spirit character could technically spent 875 points of karma in attributes, but using the RAW limit on the amount of negative qualites the max karma availebul would be 820. cyber.gif
But i still stand by my assesment that being apple to spent a ridiculous amount of points for attributes isn't in anyway OP.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Falconer @ Sep 4 2008, 08:47 PM) *
I have to agree w/ the other posters... I LOVE how karmagen gets rid of the differences between advancement and chargen costs. I hate how BP really encourages extreme min/maxing topping of stats and skills so you don't pay the extra karma, then round out the character in play w/ karma.

The problem. Metatype is the elephant in the room... it's absolutely broken once you add metatypes and eliminate the price incentive to pick a human over anything. And while I agree it's a huge problem to address... the problem is metatypes aren't paying more for larger dicepools... a maxed elf and a maxed human gunbunny... the elf always has the advantage because of his higher natural agility and freebie stats and abilities. That is my only criticism of karmagen.


This. I have to agree completely. However, its worth mentioning, at our table, we use German Karmagen. As it turns out, RC's karmagen rules were meant for 4th Anniversary, and someone messed up. The only big change is this: Karmagen Metatype cost = BP cost in karma, and attributes are rating x 5, not rating times 3. And..... its actually really balanced. It prevents fuckery like playing Free Spirits for no cost, and grabbing five initiations/force 11 out the door, or an AI from hell. The only further thing to clarify is that Edge/Magic doesn't count against the attribute limit, which doesn't gimp awakened characters.

I ran some numbers, once. Going from in the 1-6 range, Rx3 attribute cost is about half-off cost compared to BP-gen. I mean. Really. Just imagine what you could do in BP-gen if all your stats were 5bp/level instead of 10, and maxing out wasn't 25. That's why we don't use RAW karmagen. With a bit of should-have-been errata and common sense, its by far my favorite chargen system.
Mx
QUOTE (Udoshi @ May 13 2010, 11:32 PM) *
This. I have to agree completely. However, its worth mentioning, at our table, we use German Karmagen. As it turns out, RC's karmagen rules were meant for 4th Anniversary, and someone messed up. The only big change is this: Karmagen Metatype cost = BP cost in karma, and attributes are rating x 5, not rating times 3. And..... its actually really balanced. It prevents fuckery like playing Free Spirits for no cost, and grabbing five initiations/force 11 out the door, or an AI from hell. The only further thing to clarify is that Edge/Magic doesn't count against the attribute limit, which doesn't gimp awakened characters.

I ran some numbers, once. Going from in the 1-6 range, Rx3 attribute cost is about half-off cost compared to BP-gen. I mean. Really. Just imagine what you could do in BP-gen if all your stats were 5bp/level instead of 10, and maxing out wasn't 25. That's why we don't use RAW karmagen. With a bit of should-have-been errata and common sense, its by far my favorite chargen system.


Excepts, as has been pointed out in this topic allready, you can with 400BD makes character that cost more then 750 karma on the old system, to say nothing about that updated karmagen.
And thats is why i really really hope agains all odds that when that RC errata comes out, the succested karma amount for normal chargen is raised to 1000, as that will enable one to make those same rounded out character as the current one does. If they just ugrade the prices with the SR4A ones and leave it to 750 karma, thenkarma-gen takes a train to min-max land of numbers on a sheet instead of character that is the BP-gen, except BP-gen makes stronger characters.
becouse many of the karmagen builds i have are not maxed to hell and back, they cant afford to lose dises in from the main pools, so all those points needed to pay for the increaset atribute cost fill come out of the secondary and knowledge/language skills and non essential fluffy gear and qualities. So the no effetines to do the job their made to do is lost, just everythink that actually makes them living breathing characters.
Falconer
Udoshi... look when that post was made... it's been around for a while. Someone thread necro'ed. You'll also see in other threads I'm perfectly aware that the german RC was published with some errata such as the SR4a 5x costs included. You'll notice I started a small firestorm (accidentally) when i asked if the RC reprint in the states included the errata. So everything you wrote is prefaced on an understanding that I'm ignorant of the differences. I'm not, if anything you're either unaware of or simply not acknowledging the abuses still rampant in the system.


In any case, I still hold my opinion... karmagen as published sucks the big one and is a disgrace to character generation EVEN THE GERMAN EDITION!!! It continues all the problems of giving metas freebies while penalizing humans. (I always thought humans should get something nifty like 7 is the max rating for any human skill... to make up for their humdrum attributes. Toss in an exceptional skill and skill mods and potential for a 12 dice in skill alone then for a human.... which kinda makes up for the lesser attributes).

An orc intuition tradition mage has nothing EXCEPT benefits over a human one... even take human looking... no one will know the difference. Except the ork paid next to nothing for his increased bod and 'average' str. Stats for free is bad mojo. Even his logic doesn't suffer from the lower cap, he still pays the same reduced rates a human does.


I still hold the best way to do it is to simply charge race BP cost in karma... IE: 40karma to be a troll... now buy your stats exactly the same way as a human... AFTERWARDS apply the metatype adjustments after buying. Great you're not penalized any more than an average human for getting average troll STR. It also avoids silly stupid stuff, such as metas get bonus karma that they can spend on attributes!!! (just why is it that an orc can spend 40karma more on attributes than a human?! especially the ork intuition mage who has zero intention of raising body or strength above!). And they're still paying a little for the special stuff like improved vision, reach, natural armor, freebie package deal improved attribute caps and the like. (the balance isn't perfect.. but it's close enough, and perfection is never a good goal).

I heavily suggest you read back, as all this has been hashed out many many times before. I repeat the karmagen rules published in the german RC are still badly broken, just only slightly less than the pre-SR4a published english first printing. (jury's still out on the second printing).

Karoline
Max amount of karma you can get out of the BP system: 1350ish if I recall properly
Max amount of BP you can get out of the Karma system: 750

So, both can get about double out of the other system if you really want. The BP system character was more playable, but the Karma system character could be made very playable by dropping it to about 700BP.

Both of these done with the 5x karma cost and karma cost = BP cost for race.

QUOTE
And thats is why i really really hope agains all odds that when that RC errata comes out, the succested karma amount for normal chargen is raised to 1000, as that will enable one to make those same rounded out character as the current one does. If they just ugrade the prices with the SR4A ones and leave it to 750 karma, thenkarma-gen takes a train to min-max land of numbers on a sheet instead of character that is the BP-gen, except BP-gen makes stronger characters.

Please, 1k karma? Even with the increased 5x cost my characters generally end up better overall being made in karmagen (750) over BP (400). There are some exceptions, mostly in the form of trolls with soft maxed body and strength, but in general... Also, BP is the system that encourages min/maxing, not karmagen. BP encourages you to get everything at maximum available or not bother getting it. Karmagen encourages you to get a smattering of stuff with a few high end skills, though it still allows for higher end stuff as well.
Falconer
The ONLY way to get that much karma out of the BP system is to well and truly go only for max karma gaming the system.

IE: buy up logic & intuition for all the freebie knowledge skills you can get... then max out a few (each one at rating 6 is 21 karma). Intentionally buy and bond rediculously high force foci (especially power foci). Oh yeah, lets not forget soft-maxing racial stats just because you can.

I don't buy the claims that people need more than 750. Only in the most badly powergamed or numbercrunched situations. (or weird stuff like the str 10 troll since it's obviously too obvious to treat a str10 troll as just as abnormal as a str 6 human in terms of attribute cost!!). (see comment about applying attribute bonuses and negatives after buying attributes)
Karoline
QUOTE (Falconer @ May 13 2010, 05:50 PM) *
The ONLY way to get that much karma out of the BP system is to well and truly go only for max karma gaming the system.

IE: buy up logic & intuition for all the freebie knowledge skills you can get... then max out a few (each one at rating 6 is 21 karma). Intentionally buy and bond rediculously high force foci (especially power foci). Oh yeah, lets not forget soft-maxing racial stats just because you can.

I don't buy the claims that people need more than 750. Only in the most badly powergamed or numbercrunched situations. (or weird stuff like the str 10 troll since it's obviously too obvious to treat a str10 troll as just as abnormal as a str 6 human in terms of attribute cost!!). (see comment about applying attribute bonuses and negatives after buying attributes)


Yes, it was a purposeful attempt to get as much karma out of the BP system as possible, just as the other was the same. I have the sheet on my other computer which I may actually get around to rebuilding sometime soon. But, the opposite was also true. In order to get 750 BP out of the karmagen system you basically have to keep all attributes at 2 and get every single skill in the book at 2. The point of those two characters was to show that each could be made to be 'better' than the other system all depending on what kind of character you made: min/maxing is better on BP, and well rounded characters are better on karma.

If you missed my post, I'm also on the side of leaving it at 750. There is plenty of karma there to make a good character that is easily comparable to (and often superior to) a 400BP character. The idea of needing an extra 250 karma is ridiculous.
Cthulhudreams
To me the ultimate test is what is the karma and BP values of the sample characters in the base book provided match the ratios provided in RC.

That is actually fair and reasonably unbaised compared to specific, stupid builds cooked up by people to make a point one way or the other.

Hint: They don't, pointing our how unreasonably more powerful 750 karma characters are than vanilla 400 BP ones.

Karoline
QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ May 13 2010, 07:07 PM) *
To me the ultimate test is what is the karma and BP values of the sample characters in the base book provided match the ratios provided in RC.

That is actually fair and reasonably unbaised compared to specific, stupid builds cooked up by people to make a point one way or the other.

Hint: They don't, pointing our how unreasonably more powerful 750 karma characters are than vanilla 400 BP ones.


Not really. There is constant mention of how poorly built the sample characters are. A better comparison would be to pull up some old character sheets that were made with the purpose of being played in mind, and aren't being specially made for this conversation. That would be a much better comparison. The simple truth is that for the BP system to be used to its fullest, you need to utilize at least a bit of min/maxing, and the sample characters seem to try as hard as they possibly can to be average in nearly every respect (Which is of course the strength of the karmagen characters).

In fact, I was making a technomancer just recently, purely for the sake of making a technomancer as it is something I haven't really tried before. Not finished yet, but at last count she was around 420ish BP, and just under 800 karma, which is basically the same in both systems.

Still, that said, I want to emphasize again, I'm not in favor of giving any more karma to karmagen. I like it at 750, with attributes at x5. Seems to generate quite similar power levels.
Glyph
Karmagen with the German rules comes closer to 400 BP, although it still usually works out to more than 400 BP if you compare them. But it is more like 400-something, rather than 600 BP or so like the old karmagen was.

I don't think humans really get screwed over that much in the German rules, except that Special Attributes being included in the 375 Karma cap makes awakened characters such as adepts much more problematic. Metahumans, after all, come out ahead in BP too.

It's simply more of a sliding scale in karmagen. They gain a bit more if they start out with the minimum in their boosted Attributes, but pay through the nose once they start raising them over the normal human range. For example, a troll has a net gain of 90 Karma over a human (40 cost and losing 10 from not having an edge bonus, vs. 140 karma from two 5's) if they take minimum Body and Strength. If they raise Body and Strength to 9, though, they have spent 300 karma, vs. 140 karma for a human to have Body and Strength of 5. In BP, by contrast, the troll stays 30 points ahead of the human all the time.
Ancient History
T'be fair, the German rules did include my errata.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Falconer @ May 13 2010, 03:23 PM) *
Udoshi... look when that post was made... it's been around for a while. Someone thread necro'ed.

HAHhahahahaha oops. Sorry pal, thats really my bad.


That being said, you can break both BP-gen and Karma-gen. With proper optimization, its not hard to do exceptional things in either. The question should really be 'which makes characters better', followed by 'how do we balance it?' I, for one, put my vote with karmagen - because I hate minmaxing my characters(bp-gen) to get decent dice in my primary role on the team. I can do it, I can do it well, but that doesn't mean i have to like it - or that its the best way to get players introducted to the system.
Falconer
Yes, and if the troll/orc chooses NOT to raise Str and Bod (say a troll decker/mage...), that troll is effecitvely 90 karma AHEAD of any human, as he's not penalized at all for raising his mental stats outside of the caps. The exact same 'savings' that people tout for humans apply FULLY to the troll. AND he can spend 80 karma MORE on attributes than can the human (higher special attribs like magic and edge... you can still only max out one, but under karma you don't have 'soft-max/hard-max' penalty BP cost.


10BP ~= 20karma... so attributes over rating 4 cost more in karma than in BP. Under 4 and you're paying less in karma than in BP.
IE: comparing BP to karma... for every stat the troll raises above 4... he makes up with the savings from raising a mental stat from 2->3. 5->6... 1->2. Since Str & Bod are only two stats out of 6 basic ones... each one is offset by karma cost savings in 3 other attributes!!! (compared to BP). The only way this can be addressed is to charge extra to raise penalized stats, but this isn't done.

Metas for free == bad idea... just as only giving attribute bonuses and not applying penalties does similarly!

Trolls are just so extreme, they break/distort a lot in the system... bows, elves (in half), variants, and chargen.
Mx
QUOTE (Karoline @ May 14 2010, 04:03 AM) *
Not really. There is constant mention of how poorly built the sample characters are. A better comparison would be to pull up some old character sheets that were made with the purpose of being played in mind, and aren't being specially made for this conversation. That would be a much better comparison.

Actually thats kinda what i did, i originally build my Sasha(combat face) with BP-gen and then i remade her with karmagen, in that proces she got +1 to agility,intuition,strenght and edge aas well as +1 to her weapon and social skill and she turned in to a dryad. So thats +2 dice to weapons and +3 dice to most social skill, so not that much stronger, well i quess that being able to speak 17 languages can also help with the face job, but not much concidering lingua softs exist.
Now making the conversion to SR4A costs would requier 211 more karma(166 for atributes and 45 for race), all of those can be taken from the fluffy parts of the character sheet, but at that point i could just make it easier for myself and just go back to BP-gen.
Karoline
QUOTE (Mäx @ May 14 2010, 04:27 AM) *
Now making the conversion to SR4A costs would requier 211 more karma(166 for atributes and 45 for race), all of those can be taken from the fluffy parts of the character sheet, but at that point i could just make it easier for myself and just go back to BP-gen.


See, now that's the hanger. I don't think anyone will argue that using SR4a costs is balanced with BP gen (though plenty will complain that you should still use them because they want to be munchkins). It is the 5x attribute cost and paying karma for race that keeps it balanced.

QUOTE
Yes, and if the troll/orc chooses NOT to raise Str and Bod (say a troll decker/mage...), that troll is effecitvely 90 karma AHEAD of any human, as he's not penalized at all for raising his mental stats outside of the caps

And in BP he is way ahead of a human regardless of raising Str and Bod. Only difference is that in karmagen he can get to max at no penalty instead of soft max.
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