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Nimsul
I've been skimming through the Runner's companion and am mostly pleased with it. I'm trying to wrap my head around Metavariants and their abilities.

Do the abilities Listed add or subtract from the prices of Metavarients or are they included in the package?

Do they follow the SURGE rules as are based off Base Meta Humans with Metagenetic qualities?

Examples:

Night Ones get Keen Eared, Nocturnal, Mild Allergy (Sunlight), Unusual Fur, and Lowlight Vision and cost 35 BP.

Minotaurs get Goring Horns, Metagenetic Improv (Body), Thermographic Vision, and +1 reach and cost 45 BP.

Do you then Add add/subtract the abilities from the cost?

Night Ones, Keen Eared: 5BP, Mild Allergy (Sunlight): -10BP, Unusual Fur: -5 BP, Nocturnal: -10BP, Lowlight Vision: 5BP
Total Cost: 35(+10)(-25) = 20 BP to play a Night One?

Minotaur, Goring Horns: 5BP, Metagentic Body: 20BP, Thermographic Vision: 5BP, +1reach: 5bp (as elongated Limbs?)
Total cost: 45(+35) = 80BP to play a Minotaur?

Or if you cross out the shared Racials with their Parent metahuman, (lowlight Vision, reach and Thermo Vision respectively).

Night One: 15 BP, Minotaur: 70 BP (Possibly 60 or so for losing Dermal Armor and gaining Body?)


I'm just trying to get a grasp around this. These 2 examples are on opposite sides of the spectrum where 1 gets a whole lot for their price, and one gets a ton of penalties for their price.

And if I did this wrong, and What you see is what you get including Price, why didn't they just use a SURGE system to just make all of the Metavariants? It looks like a good universal system.

Thanks in advanced all wise Dragons of Shadowrun. /bow
MatrixJargon
I'm pretty sure it all comes with the package, but I could be wrong. We've never actually used metavarients in my groups, everyteam I have ever run with just found it to be an un-necessary complication.

And I ain't no Dragon, chummer.
Udoshi
The rules are all there, chummer - but they're kind of spread out amongst Surge, metavariants, and the qualities section.

Metavariants
1) Replace the metatype. You only pay once. You use the metavariants abilities instead(you may have noticed how all the dwarf variants have thermographic vision - just like regular dwarves)
2) Use the respective metatypes stat adjustments, min-maxes, etc. Playing a Dryad gets the Elf agility/charisma from the attribute table, for example
3) Metavariants come As-Is on a package. You get the qualities it says it has, at the price listed. You don't add or subtract abilities or points or crossreference shit. You get what you pay for, and move on from there. Just think of it as playing a different type of Metahuman.

However.....

Surge:
1) Much like infected, is applied to an existing metatype or variant.
2) Once you surge, you can always have more - If you have the Surge quality at any level, you can take MORE qualities than the SURGE 1-3 allows for, but they count against the regular 35BP quality limit. Basically, once you surge, you can always surge MORE. Metavariants, however, are also able to do this, by virtue of being a metatype. Yes, this means a nartaki can grab Metagenic improvement instead of Exceptional Attribute, and effectively save himself ten points.
Nimsul
Thanks for the responses.

Since that appears to be the case, it makes me wonder.... What the heck were they smoking?

There doesn't seem to be any consistency, balance or sense of direction between the Metavariants whatsoever. Like 30 people wrote a different metavariant and assigned points to them for no reasons whatsoever then never talked to each other.

Its Alright to have Metavariants that are weak. It's alright to have Metavariants that are strong. It's not alright to have no justification or reasoning behind contributing points costs.

It's a Min/Max'ers wet dream.

eg.) Angsty Weasel. (human) Severe Allergy (People), Nocturnal, Infirm, etc.. Cost to Play: 50 BP
Who would want to play that?

Its like balance is settled on a reverse popularity contest hmmm....

It just doesn't make any sense! Makes my head want to explode =P.

Anyways, thanks again for the responses and clarifying everything. I still have a lot to figure out for this game.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Nimsul @ Jan 19 2010, 07:31 PM) *
Its Alright to have Metavariants that are weak. It's alright to have Metavariants that are strong. It's not alright to have no justification or reasoning behind contributing points costs.

It's a Min/Max'ers wet dream.


Ancient History has defended the numbers several times now. But basically everyone who doesn't work at CGL thinks that there's some extra BP cost tacked on the top for "being rare."
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Nimsul @ Jan 19 2010, 05:31 PM) *
Thanks for the responses.

Since that appears to be the case, it makes me wonder.... What the heck were they smoking?

There doesn't seem to be any consistency, balance or sense of direction between the Metavariants whatsoever. Like 30 people wrote a different metavariant and assigned points to them for no reasons whatsoever then never talked to each other.

Its Alright to have Metavariants that are weak. It's alright to have Metavariants that are strong. It's not alright to have no justification or reasoning behind contributing points costs.

It's a Min/Max'ers wet dream.

eg.) Angsty Weasel. (human) Severe Allergy (People), Nocturnal, Infirm, etc.. Cost to Play: 50 BP
Who would want to play that?

Its like balance is settled on a reverse popularity contest hmmm....

It just doesn't make any sense! Makes my head want to explode =P.

Anyways, thanks again for the responses and clarifying everything. I still have a lot to figure out for this game.



Take a deep breath, everything will be all right...
thoguh many individuals do not htink that the Metavariants may be balanced, I actually like them the way that they are, even if they would cost more and have only fluff instead of crunch (Oni for Example)...

it adds options...

Keep the Faith
Udoshi
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 19 2010, 05:35 PM) *
Ancient History has defended the numbers several times now. But basically everyone who doesn't work at CGL thinks that there's some extra BP cost tacked on the top for "being rare."


There is. ALL metavariants get smacked with Distinctive Style for no cost. (It doesn't count against your limit, you don't get points for it, but you suffer ALLlll the downsides.)

Basically: You want to play the one of a handful of Oni in seattle? That's gonna make you kind of easy to find, isn't it....
Nimsul
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 19 2010, 07:35 PM) *
Ancient History has defended the numbers several times now. But basically everyone who doesn't work at CGL thinks that there's some extra BP cost tacked on the top for "being rare."


Ahhh, that would make quite a bit of sense.
Nimsul
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Jan 19 2010, 07:36 PM) *
Take a deep breath, everything will be all right...
thoguh many individuals do not htink that the Metavariants may be balanced, I actually like them the way that they are, even if they would cost more and have only fluff instead of crunch (Oni for Example)...

it adds options...

Keep the Faith


You make a good point. It does add options. However, it can turn people off who want to play something but won't because their cost+abilities don't seem to line up. As roleplayers, the fluff, story and character should be first before numbers and behind the scenes mechanics however, the mechanics are what can handicap you. It can be tough to push the envelope when you have invisible rails trying to encourage/discourage you in different directions.

Thanks again, you guys, for answering my questions. I guess some of its just a mystery or have no reasoning.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Nimsul @ Jan 19 2010, 06:25 PM) *
You make a good point. It does add options. However, it can turn people off who want to play something but won't because their cost+abilities don't seem to line up. As roleplayers, the fluff, story and character should be first before numbers and behind the scenes mechanics however, the mechanics are what can handicap you. It can be tough to push the envelope when you have invisible rails trying to encourage/discourage you in different directions.

Thanks again, you guys, for answering my questions. I guess some of its just a mystery or have no reasoning.


Very Understandable...

Keep the Faith
toturi
QUOTE (Nimsul @ Jan 20 2010, 09:25 AM) *
You make a good point. It does add options. However, it can turn people off who want to play something but won't because their cost+abilities don't seem to line up. As roleplayers, the fluff, story and character should be first before numbers and behind the scenes mechanics however, the mechanics are what can handicap you. It can be tough to push the envelope when you have invisible rails trying to encourage/discourage you in different directions.

Thanks again, you guys, for answering my questions. I guess some of its just a mystery or have no reasoning.

I think that your assumption that when you are playing an RPG you are a roleplayer is flawed. And thus the reasoning that fluff, story and characters should be first is flawed. An RPG is a game first and foremost. When you play an RPG, you game and thus numbers and mechanics should come first. The rails are not invisible, it is not tough to push the envelope, it is only tough when you allow the fluff and story and character blind you to the fact that this is a game with rules.
wind_in_the_stones
QUOTE (Nimsul @ Jan 19 2010, 09:25 PM) *
However, it can turn people off who want to play something but won't because their cost+abilities don't seem to line up. As roleplayers, the fluff, story and character should be first before numbers and behind the scenes mechanics however, the mechanics are what can handicap you. It can be tough to push the envelope when you have invisible rails trying to encourage/discourage you in different directions.


If there were no BP cost for rarity, these wouldn't be rare types. You're right, the fluff should drive your choices. So they put a 5 or 10 BP premium on them - that makes them not extremely expensive, and also makes it so only people who really want to, play them. You don't have every third troll being a Fomori, just because their numbers work out better for the particular skillset someone wants to play.

I'm playing a minotaur right now. I don't know how the points compare to a regular troll, and I don't care. It fit the character I wanted to play.
Glyph
I'm ambivalent. I don't have a problem with variants that aren't "optimal", but then again, I probably wouldn't play one of them. Just like I don't mind that there are assault rifles that are less than optimal, but usually pick the Ares Alpha.

But the costing for rarity thing doesn't add up, as a rationalization, because while some of the rare metavariants may be more expensive, there are other, equally rare ones that are a bargain. For an example, take a look at two of the rare elf metavariants. If you play an Xapiri Thepe, you pay an extra 10 points, and get two 10 point allergies. On the up side, you get photometabolism. Whoopie. sarcastic.gif If you play a Wakyambi, though, you pay an extra 5 points, but you get celerity and elongated limbs, making you come out ahead compared to a normal elf.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Glyph @ Jan 19 2010, 07:53 PM) *
I'm ambivalent. I don't have a problem with variants that aren't "optimal", but then again, I probably wouldn't play one of them. Just like I don't mind that there are assault rifles that are less than optimal, but usually pick the Ares Alpha.

But the costing for rarity thing doesn't add up, as a rationalization, because while some of the rare metavariants may be more expensive, there are other, equally rare ones that are a bargain. For an example, take a look at two of the rare elf metavariants. If you play an Xapiri Thepe, you pay an extra 10 points, and get two 10 point allergies. On the up side, you get photometabolism. Whoopie. sarcastic.gif If you play a Wakyambi, though, you pay an extra 5 points, but you get celerity and elongated limbs, making you come out ahead compared to a normal elf.


But you will also stand out a lot more than a Normal Elf as well... Being Distinctive is not often a good thing in the Shadows...

Keep the Faith
Draco18s
QUOTE (wind_in_the_stones @ Jan 19 2010, 09:30 PM) *
If there were no BP cost for rarity, these wouldn't be rare types.


By that reasoning, and that reasoning alone, Magician, Adept, and Mystic Adept cost one quarter what they should. And increasing your Magic attribute should cost double what it does

Mages are rare, right? And powerful mages are even more rare, right?
toturi
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 20 2010, 11:44 AM) *
By that reasoning, and that reasoning alone, Magician, Adept, and Mystic Adept cost one quarter what they should. And increasing your Magic attribute should cost double what it does

Mages are rare, right? And powerful mages are even more rare, right?

Amongst the whole population, Awakened are about 1% of the population. Among the subset of population that are runners, I am not sure if they are supposed to be rare.

QUOTE (Udoshi @ Jan 20 2010, 08:38 AM) *
There is. ALL metavariants get smacked with Distinctive Style for no cost.
As far as I know, it hasn't been clarified what constitutes "advanced character options". If there has been a developer post on the subject that directly address this, please do link it.
Nimsul
Rarity shouldn't factor into character effectiveness/points cost. That's all fluff. What does it matter if your character is 1/10 or 1/1000000?

Thats something that should be played out in the Setting, not in character creation. thats just my opinion though =P.
toturi
QUOTE (Nimsul @ Jan 20 2010, 12:32 PM) *
Rarity shouldn't factor into character effectiveness/points cost. That's all fluff. What does it matter if your character is 1/10 or 1/1000000?
I think it should. Not so much rarity in terms of the overall population but rarity amongst the PCs. If you want a certain combination different from the norm, you have to choose those other options. What does it matter if your character can't do others can when you are 1/1000000?
Nimsul
QUOTE (toturi @ Jan 19 2010, 11:44 PM) *
I think it should. Not so much rarity in terms of the overall population but rarity amongst the PCs. If you want a certain combination different from the norm, you have to choose those other options. What does it matter if your character can't do others can when you are 1/1000000?



That same logic works in the exact opposite direction as well, however. What does being 1/1000000 matter? You're not some chosen one, you're nothing special. Your character is rare for an insignificant reason. And its essentially just vanity and fluff reasons that shouldn't transition over to game mechanics and point sinks. thats essentially saying "this Metavariant has Yellow stripes. They serve no purpose, really. However, if you want to be the metavariant with Yellow stripes, who come from Location X and aren't very common, You must pay 10 extra BP." Its just hokey.

You shouldn't have to pay more for different flavors of icecream, unless one has Narcotics in it. =P

Edit: I wanted to note that this is just in regards to Metavariants that just don't seem to add up. Not all Metavariants in general. Some get a lot of bang for the buck, some you're paying extra for no benefit at all, and some even still you pay more for Negative effects. Its the Latter I'm primarily talking about. I just don't feel that the rarity card should be justified as a reason to increase points costs.

But it is what it is. smile.gif
Glyph
That's what I mean. An Xapiri Thepe stands out just as much as a Wakyambi, but one is penalized, and one is not. On the other hand, why not just play one of the "good" ones? In SR3, light pistols were scorned because there were heavy pistols with the same concealability that did massively more damage.

These exotic types were introduced in Runner's Companion, so I don't see why anyone would have a character concept that is hung up on one certain type. Xapiri Thepe and Oni are lame - so why play them? Leave them as NPCs or whatever. Yeah, they could have all been balanced better, but if you go too far doing that, then everything has a dreary sameness, and character creation choices don't matter as much.

And hey, sometimes you pick the less optimal option because it fits your character. But it's like playing an adept without bioware, or a troll shaman - you are making a less optimal choice, so expect it to be less optimal.
toturi
QUOTE (Nimsul @ Jan 20 2010, 04:03 PM) *
That same logic works in the exact opposite direction as well, however. What does being 1/1000000 matter? You're not some chosen one, you're nothing special. Your character is rare for an insignificant reason. And its essentially just vanity and fluff reasons that shouldn't transition over to game mechanics and point sinks. thats essentially saying "this Metavariant has Yellow stripes. They serve no purpose, really. However, if you want to be the metavariant with Yellow stripes, who come from Location X and aren't very common, You must pay 10 extra BP." Its just hokey.

You shouldn't have to pay more for different flavors of icecream, unless one has Narcotics in it. =P

Edit: I wanted to note that this is just in regards to Metavariants that just don't seem to add up. Not all Metavariants in general. Some get a lot of bang for the buck, some you're paying extra for no benefit at all, and some even still you pay more for Negative effects. Its the Latter I'm primarily talking about. I just don't feel that the rarity card should be justified as a reason to increase points costs.

But it is what it is. smile.gif

As I stated before, it is not rarity of the race in the game world that is the concern. The point cost is there such that you as the player have a disincentive to create such a character and so such characters remain rare. Your character is not rare for an insignificant reason, your character is rare because the rules make it so. It is perfectly reasonable.
HappyDaze
Native Americans are pretty rare too, and Australian Aborigines. Neither has a point cost associated with them.
DuctShuiTengu
QUOTE (wind_in_the_stones @ Jan 20 2010, 03:30 AM) *
If there were no BP cost for rarity, these wouldn't be rare types. You're right, the fluff should drive your choices. So they put a 5 or 10 BP premium on them - that makes them not extremely expensive, and also makes it so only people who really want to, play them. You don't have every third troll being a Fomori, just because their numbers work out better for the particular skillset someone wants to play.

I'm playing a minotaur right now. I don't know how the points compare to a regular troll, and I don't care. It fit the character I wanted to play.


Bad example with the Fomori. For 5 extra BPs from the normal Troll, they exchange Dermal Deposits for Metagenetic Improvement: Body (a 10 point increase in value), and pick up Arcane Arrester (valued at 25 points by itself), putting them 30 BP (minus any points of Distinctive Style that might be automatically attached by your GM) ahead of the curve compared to normal trolls. Priced as such, having every 3rd troll be a Fomori is a rather conservative estimate.

My personal solution to this has been to convert each metavariant into a single quality (only available to the appropriate metatype) that incorporates the value of all the changes from the base metatype, occasionally with some minor adjustments for things here and there. (Fomori, for instance, becomes a 30-point positive quality (I attached 5 points of Distinctive Style - compared to many of the others, they don't really stand out that much and are relatively common at least to their native region), while Night One came out to be a 25 point negative quality (There was enough overlap between the sunlight allergy and nocturnal that their combined value was reduced to 15 rather than 20, unusual hair and keen hearing balanced out, and I threw in 10 points of distinctive style - they're rare even in places that have them, and they're remarkably easy to pick out in a crowd.))
Nimsul
QUOTE (DuctShuiTengu @ Jan 20 2010, 04:14 AM) *
Bad example with the Fomori. For 5 extra BPs from the normal Troll, they exchange Dermal Deposits for Metagenetic Improvement: Body (a 10 point increase in value), and pick up Arcane Arrester (valued at 25 points by itself), putting them 30 BP (minus any points of Distinctive Style that might be automatically attached by your GM) ahead of the curve compared to normal trolls. Priced as such, having every 3rd troll be a Fomori is a rather conservative estimate.

My personal solution to this has been to convert each metavariant into a single quality (only available to the appropriate metatype) that incorporates the value of all the changes from the base metatype, occasionally with some minor adjustments for things here and there. (Fomori, for instance, becomes a 30-point positive quality (I attached 5 points of Distinctive Style - compared to many of the others, they don't really stand out that much and are relatively common at least to their native region), while Night One came out to be a 25 point negative quality (There was enough overlap between the sunlight allergy and nocturnal that their combined value was reduced to 15 rather than 20, unusual hair and keen hearing balanced out, and I threw in 10 points of distinctive style - they're rare even in places that have them, and they're remarkably easy to pick out in a crowd.))


Thats actually a pretty good idea to do. Its actually what I questioned originally (kinda), where you subtract/Add the abilities that the Race has from the Points cost listed, etc...

I was actually doing some generic number crunching with the basic Metatypes and found that the Trolls and Elves are indeed the closest points cost for what they get. Elves Costing 30 and get 35 BP worth of qualities and Trolls being 40 and getting 45 BP worth of qualities and just threw all their eggs in one basket. Orcs and Dwarves get the most bang for their buck at costing 20 and 25 respectively and getting 35 BP worth of Qualities.

That is unless my Number crunching is flawed. I'm going off of a Racial Attribute Increase is 10 BP (some will say as a quality its more, but this is standard racial generation, and it looks like thats how it goes). Lower Reaction/Intuition affects Initiative which is 2 combined Attributes, and figured each point of Initiative lost is worth 5.


Eg.) Trolls get +40 Bod, +40 Str, +5 TGV, +5 Reach, +10 Armor, -10 Agil, -20 Cha, -10 Int, -10 Logic, -5 Init. Total comes out to 45 if my math serves me correct. I suppose you could also count the 25% cost increase as a -5, which would make them break even.

I've been reading up on the game fairly extensively and marking the things I like/don't like in hopes of house ruling some things. I love everything they've done with the game, but there are some things that make me go "eh?" Like when was the last time you saw an Olympic Bodybuilder outrun an Olympic Runner =P (Str vs Agil/React for running), etc.. etc..

Thanks for all the input in the thread. Its been really helping me wrap my head around this stuff as well as some great ideas being thrown around.

Edit:Another thing I've noticed is that Dwarves and Orcs get an additional debit of 5 for each negative they have in an attribute that doesn't apply to Trolls. Possibly because lowering an attribute below 6 is worth more than raising one above 6?

Orc originally thought 35 BP worth of stuff for 20 BP. //+30 Bod, +20 Str, +5 LLV, -10 Cha, -10 Log
Dwarf. originally thought 35 BP worth of stuff for 25 BP//+10 Bod, +20 Str, +10 Will, +5 TGV, +5 P/T Bod, -10 React, -5 Init.

comparing them next to the Elf, all 3 of them get 35 BP worth of effects and cost 20, 25, and 30 respectively. Elves have no negatives. Orcs have 2, dwarves have 1. Made it look obvious that they were knocking off 15 for each negative instead of 10. Which would bring Orcs down to 20 and Dwarves down to 25.

Something they didn't do with the Trolls, or they did, but made stats above +2 cost 15. /shrug
Nimsul
Oof. This is probably stuff that's already been noticed before and exposed. Sorry. Good to see I noticed it on my own though, I suppose ha ha. Doesn't really appear to apply to MetaVariants though. They're a completely different thing that doesn't even come close to following the same patterns used in the MetaHumans.
The Jopp
Hmm...

I cannot find that Metavariant abilities cannot be stacked with Changeling abilities in Runner Companion

After all, metavariants arent changelings, they are a metatype divergence and SHOULD be able to buy the changeling qualities as well.

You want to have a drooling horde of faithful servants after you? Pick a dryad and take Glamour + Changeling Quality Glamour.

Want to be called Stilts? Picka a Wakyambi with Elongated Limbs Changeling Quality.

Of course, you get twice the bonus, but also twice the drawback.

A Nartaki With X8 Arms, sure, just pay for it.
Aerospider
QUOTE (The Jopp @ Jan 20 2010, 11:07 AM) *
Hmm...

I cannot find that Metavariant abilities cannot be stacked with Changeling abilities in Runner Companion

IMHO it is implied that qualities only stack where it is explicitly allowed. For example, an elf cannot take a quality bestowing low-light vision (or maybe they CAN but it's just burning BPs) whereas an infected character could cash in on a more severe allergy than that listed (gaining the difference in BPs). Personally, I'd decree that choosing a race/metatype with a given quality means the player has 'bought' that quality and therefore cannot buy it again.

In cases like the glamour example, the GM could rule that some dryads are even more 'glamourous' than others but then each quality should be assessed individually (as and when) to determine whether stacking will keep balance and fit the table's interpretation of the Sixth World.

WRT SURGE qualities specifically, I'd be inclined to say no since the quality is a genetic expression. I wouldn't consider that the metavarient has in some way been granted a different baseline (for want of a better word) to others the genome has already mutated so the quality has already been bought and applied.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Glyph @ Jan 20 2010, 01:52 AM) *
These exotic types were introduced in Runner's Companion, so I don't see why anyone would have a character concept that is hung up on one certain type. Xapiri Thepe and Oni are lame - so why play them? Leave them as NPCs or whatever. Yeah, they could have all been balanced better, but if you go too far doing that, then everything has a dreary sameness, and character creation choices don't matter as much.



How about because I would want to play an Oni?

Keep the Faith
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Jan 20 2010, 02:06 AM) *
Native Americans are pretty rare too, and Australian Aborigines. Neither has a point cost associated with them.



There is nothing special about them though... which is why there is no point cost...

Keep the Faith
HappyDaze
There's really nothing special about Oni either. Sure, you have some cosmetic effects, but that's about all you get with the ethnic groups I've mentioned too compared to the dominant population groups.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Jan 20 2010, 06:37 PM) *
There's really nothing special about Oni either. Sure, you have some cosmetic effects, but that's about all you get with the ethnic groups I've mentioned too compared to the dominant population groups.


The fact that they are a variant of Ork says that they are...

Keep the Faith
Glyph
Metagenetic qualities can't be "doubled up". If your metatype already has one of those qualities, you can't buy it again - you already have it.

But the qualities you get with your metatype don't count against the SURGE quality, either. If you have a dryad with SURGE III, you start out with glamour, and then get to pick 30/15 more points in qualities. Or, if glamour was all you wanted, you could be a dryad instead of getting SURGE, and have all 35 points available for other positive qualities.
Udoshi
its worth noting that having access to metagenetic qualities through metavariants let you take not only positive qualities, but negative ones to - and get points for them.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Jan 20 2010, 09:22 PM) *
The fact that they are a variant of Ork says that they are...

Keep the Faith


So they're ethnic orcs the same way Native Americans are...ethnic humans.

Gasp.
BishopMcQ
This argument has been hashed out several times since 2008 when the book was released. LINK Here is the link to Synner's post. He was the Line Developer for the book and explains it all. If you read the rest of the thread, both before and after, you will see some further explanations by other notable posters.

My recommendation, play with the rules as they are presented unless you disagree. If they aren't fun for you and your group, sit down with everyone and hash out a new set. They work fine for my table, but my people have issues with other sections. We all have our own quirks, play with the cards you are dealt or trade cards with a partner until everyone likes their hand.

Got any fours?
Apathy
While that may be the equation they used, it ignores the fact that not all attributes are equal (e.g. Agi is way more useful than Str in every profession, and physical stats are easier to cyber up than mental ones), and bonuses are more valuable than negatives (which only decrease your cap, not your actual stat value.)
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 21 2010, 09:29 AM) *
So they're ethnic orcs the same way Native Americans are...ethnic humans.

Gasp.



With Striking Skin Pigmentation... Gasp... which Native Americans do not have... Gasp...

Nitpik, but there you go... If you don't like them, don't play them... I happen to like them, don't mind the extra cost, and even have a few concepts for them... especially since our campaign takes place in Asia...

Keep the Faith
Draco18s
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Jan 21 2010, 08:19 PM) *
With Striking Skin Pigmentation...


Which is a flaw, not a positive quality.

So why am I paying positive BP over an orc?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 21 2010, 07:26 PM) *
Which is a flaw, not a positive quality.

So why am I paying positive BP over an orc?



So What... so it is a flaw... big deal, you are unique, and choose to play something that is different... so, why complain about the costs... sometimes it is not about the mechanics...

Oh, Silly me, this is Dumpshock... what was I thinking... Sorry...

Keep the Faith
Nimsul
QUOTE (BishopMcQ @ Jan 21 2010, 11:53 AM) *
This argument has been hashed out several times since 2008 when the book was released. LINK Here is the link to Synner's post. He was the Line Developer for the book and explains it all. If you read the rest of the thread, both before and after, you will see some further explanations by other notable posters.

My recommendation, play with the rules as they are presented unless you disagree. If they aren't fun for you and your group, sit down with everyone and hash out a new set. They work fine for my table, but my people have issues with other sections. We all have our own quirks, play with the cards you are dealt or trade cards with a partner until everyone likes their hand.

Got any fours?




Thank you for the link. I didn't see this topic in the search fields or I wouldn't have reopened this can of worms.

toturi
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 22 2010, 10:26 AM) *
Which is a flaw, not a positive quality.

So why am I paying positive BP over an orc?

Because you are paying for the privilege of playing an oni. It is your choice and that is the cost.
MatrixJargon
This is, of course, with everybody forgetting that the ultimate and final BP costs of absolutely everything is the GMs call. If he thinks there is a balance issue, he can deal with it accordingly with his GM magic.
toturi
QUOTE (MatrixJargon @ Jan 22 2010, 06:14 PM) *
This is, of course, with everybody forgetting that the ultimate and final BP costs of absolutely everything is the GMs call. If he thinks there is a balance issue, he can deal with it accordingly with his GM magic.

Actually he doesn't need to think there is a balance issue, if he wants to house rule it; everything is his game is subject to his whim if he wants to use GM magic.
Draco18s
QUOTE (toturi @ Jan 22 2010, 04:32 AM) *
Because you are paying for the privilege of playing an oni. It is your choice and that is the cost.


Ha, I'm sorry. The two of us must be talking about completely different notions of balance here.

QUOTE
A game would be called unbalanced if one or more players have an unfair advantage over the others.

A more complex definition of game balance that critics have described is that, when players have multiple options or routes to victory, most or all of these options are about equally effective or feasible. To be perfectly balanced, each of these options would have to be strategically identical (in which case they wouldn't be substantial choices at all). In a game where various options (such as armies in a real-time strategy game, fighters in a fighting game, or character classes in a role-playing game) have significant qualitative differences between them, the game is balanced if the options are roughly equally likely to lead to success despite their differences. In a suitably balanced game, players would make such choices based on their personal preference, strengths, and playing style, rather than on an inherent advantage in one option. If one option were weaker than the others, then it would rarely be selected by any player and will not contribute to the complexity of the game.

When trying to create a complex or strategically rich game, game designers typically strive to maintain balance by using a careful selection of game mechanics, while offering the greatest possible number of these options, which in turn increases the difficulty of balancing the game. Balanced games are generally more enjoyable, and are considered better-made, than unbalanced ones.


You're asking me, as a player, to pay an in-game resource (BP) for an...out-of-game...sense of personal satisfaction?
toturi
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 22 2010, 10:14 PM) *
Ha, I'm sorry. The two of us must be talking about completely different notions of balance here.

You're asking me, as a player, to pay an in-game resource (BP) for an...out-of-game...sense of personal satisfaction?

No, I am telling you as a player to suck it up and pay the in-game resource for the in-game effect of being able to use that race.

QUOTE
A game would be called unbalanced if one or more players have an unfair advantage over the others.
It is your choice to choose that race. Nobody has an unfair advantage over you.
Draco18s
QUOTE (toturi @ Jan 22 2010, 09:21 AM) *
No, I am telling you as a player to suck it up and pay the in-game resource for the in-game effect of being able to use that race.


Having to tell someone to "suck it up and deal with it" is not:
1) A way to convince them that you're right
or
2) Very nice.

QUOTE
It is your choice to choose that race. Nobody has an unfair advantage over another.


Oh, I'm pretty sure that a rule that said, "for 10 BP you inhaled too much helium as a child and thus are not as capable as everyone around you" would never be chosen because it's not balanced (why take an inferior choice?) which is exactly what playing an Oni over an orc does. The other players are, effectively, 10 or more BP stronger than you are because you spent extra BP on air.
BetaFlame
QUOTE
So What... so it is a flaw... big deal, you are unique, and choose to play something that is different... so, why complain about the costs... sometimes it is not about the mechanics...


QUOTE
No, I am telling you as a player to suck it up and pay the in-game resource for the in-game effect of being able to use that race.


Sorry, but these two posts smack of flippant arrogance and a rediculous sense of closing your eyes and chanting "booksarerightbooksarerightbooksareright".

Here's something to consider. Books are written by people, and people are sometimes wrong.

Regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, at some point all players have to take a hard look at their character and say "Damn, how effective is he gonna be when the shit hits the fan?" If they spent around 30bps gaining penalties, they are gonna fall into the category of "not very effective". The metavarients are flavorful and nice, but in a game where I expected to have to, you know, roll dice to take actions I wouldn't play one. I'd rather stick with a normal metarace and use SURGE if I felt the need to make a off-shoot race.

The metavarients are terribly balance. You can argue about "rarity" and "special snowflake" all you want, but unless you can point out a Quality with a point value for Rare, math says they are imbalanced.
Rystefn
I'm sorry but I utterly fail to see how "If you don't like it, don't play that kind of character" makes a numerically inferior choice suddenly balanced. Am I missing something? While the Ares Alpha is is (in most situation) the superior AR, it at least has the common decency to cost more. If there were a more expensive one that was exactly the same except it glitched on 2s as well as 1s, would you defend it, and tell people who called it worthless to "suck it up"?
toturi
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 22 2010, 10:27 PM) *
Having to tell someone to "suck it up and deal with it" is not:
1) A way to convince them that you're right
or
2) Very nice.

Oh, I'm pretty sure that a rule that said, "for 10 BP you inhaled too much helium as a child and thus are not as capable as everyone around you" would never be chosen because it's not balanced (why take an inferior choice?) which is exactly what playing an Oni over an orc does. The other players are, effectively, 10 or more BP stronger than you are because you spent extra BP on air.

I do not need to convince you I am right. I know I am right. You just need to be told that I am. I am not nice.

Yes, precisely, and that is the cost of your choice. The writers in costing the metavariants as they have are making sure that there is a disincentive for you to choose oni.

QUOTE
Sorry, but these two posts smack of flippant arrogance and a rediculous sense of closing your eyes and chanting "booksarerightbooksarerightbooksareright".

QUOTE
I'm sorry but I utterly fail to see how "If you don't like it, don't play that kind of character" makes a numerically inferior choice suddenly balanced.

The books just are, like the earthquake in Haiti just happened. Life isn't fair, the costs of various options do not need to be equally viable or even nearly so; at least in character generation, you get to make a choice. The balance is thus: You have a choice. Choose, you do not have to choose the inferior choice.
Rystefn
QUOTE (toturi @ Jan 23 2010, 12:47 AM) *
The books just are, like the earthquake in Haiti just happened. Life isn't fair, the costs of various options do not need to be equally viable or even nearly so; at least in character generation, you get to make a choice. The balance is thus: You have a choice. Choose, you do not have to choose the inferior choice.


Only the books were written by people. People who claim that this is balanced and fair. If a human person (or group of them) had caused the earthquake in Haiti and said that is was fair to punish them for their choice to live in Haiti, or if the game was developed by uncontrolled geological forces (or even if the devs said "yeah, screw Oni, life's not fair") you might have a valid comparison.

None of which actually explains what makes you think "You don't have to play the unbalanced character" is the same as "this character is balanced." I find myself wondering if you even understand what the word "balance" means.

Oh, and I don't see you telling the people of Haiti to "suck it up." I find that telling.
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