Maximum Racial Ability Scores, optional rule

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 31, 2013 - 12:51pm
Alpha Dawn wrote:
Players can increase thier characters' ability scores by trading 1XP to raise an ability score 1 point. No ability score can be raised above 100.


The implication is that all abilities of all characters can be raise to 100, regardless of species as if all species have equal capabilities and yet they dont. Each species has a base set of ability modifications at character creation. Dralasites +5 STR/STA, -5 DEX/RS; Vrusk -5 STR/STA, +5 DEX/RS; Yazirian -10 STR/STA, +5 DEX/RS, +5 INT/LOG.

I'm porposing that the maximums for each species should reflect their species ability modification set thus a Dralasite could only raise his STR or STA to 105 and his DEX or RS to 95.

The automatic fail on a dice roll is still and all other rules concerning skill and dice checks are in force but it would be possible for a character to exceed 100 on one or two of his ability scores simply because his species is built better in that area and that they would come up against a lower ceiling on other ability scores where the species in naturally "weaker"

Thoughts?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

Abub's picture
Abub
December 31, 2013 - 12:54pm
I would go along with that if I ever got to a point where a player was pushing 100.  Remembering where the human put thier +5 by that point might be tough.


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Rollo's picture
Rollo
December 31, 2013 - 1:20pm
Though I've never had an experience where a player got to this point with their character, it could certainly happen. This mechanic seems sound to me as well. But as Abub noted, anyone playing a human (or created alien with a similar ability) would have to permanently note on their character sheet where their bonus went at the time of character creation in order to keep track of it.
I don't have to outrun that nasty beast my friend...I just have to outrun you! Wink

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 31, 2013 - 1:55pm
If the rule is in force at the time of character creation or the player remembers where they put that 5 pts when its enforced then it shouldn't be a problem to mark it on the character sheet. the act of marking it on the character sheet is also a statement of hope that someone will get to that point- sort of reminds the player every time they look at their ability scores that they could spend EXP there.

One thing might is that another column could be added to the section for ability scores listing the maximum possible score.

Then if a player does the shifting of points between an ability pair these maximum scores could be adjust to reflect the shifting of points.

I cant help but think this is all a bit much but on the other hand I like that it suggests greater differences between PC races.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Rollo's picture
Rollo
December 31, 2013 - 2:16pm
I agree Jed, that it adds more record keeping. I don't see it as a big deal especially since it helps define differences between the various races - that's me though. This sort of falls into the same situation as the swimming rules where everyone swims 10 m/turn regardless of race. Or the movement rules where everyone of like race moves at the same rate(s). This was addressed in 'Jet Boots Don't Fail Me Now!' Dragon Magazine, #139 p.62 (www.spy.net/~curator/_jetboot.htm), though I'm not sure it was a very popular solution as it is pretty crunchy.

Hrm, has anyone attempted to simplify the 'Jetboots' solution to common movement rates?

Regardless Jed, your suggestion is an option so people can use it or not however they wish.
I don't have to outrun that nasty beast my friend...I just have to outrun you! Wink

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 31, 2013 - 3:36pm
I think the simplest thing to do is have a base mevement rate by race with tables for modifying it in small increments. If such an ability is over X gain +Y bonus per 10 points over X. (Which ability do you wish to use to modify movement in SF?). Then if the character has appropriate training like athletics skill (skilled frontier rules). For dralasite they get a +Z bonus for each additional leg over 2. If character has a prostethic leg -W but bionic/robotic leg +V but two bionic legs on a human or yazirian is +U. And so on. Further the concept of winded should be used based on stamina and race. Your winded score determines how long you can perform strenuous activity. The straight winded score is number of turns the character can sprint/run but a fraction of it is used for swimming. Winded score could be used fir intense physical activity like breaking rocks and when limit is reached character has to make a STA save or suffer a medical condition from the activity - as simple as 1STA wound for blisters on hand or fatigue -20 to all activity till he rests or other options perhaps a table to choose. Gravity should also impact winded score as well.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
January 1, 2014 - 1:49pm
So Sathar leadership is 110 max. No wonder those guys kill themselves when ordered with the top leadership giving it 110% effort.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 1, 2014 - 7:04pm
rattraveller wrote:
So Sathar leadership is 110 max. No wonder those guys kill themselves when ordered with the top leadership giving it 110% effort.
LOL

Well my thining is that the scale of 30-100 is arbitrary and introducing the possibility of some variance breaks up the artificialness. If we created a wookie species as a PC or an antropomorphic gorilla you'd want to bump their strength but in the end you would not want the strongest human to be equal to the strongest wookie or ape man variant.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
January 1, 2014 - 7:54pm
It's probably a good idea but truth be told, I don't think it would ever come into play.  I've never seen more than a few XP be spent on characteristics.  I almost always goes into skills or racial abilities.  You'd need a seriously long campaign to get to the point where the PC's want to spend a lot of XP on their stats over their skills.  Although maybe that's just me.
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AtomikDyce's picture
AtomikDyce
January 2, 2014 - 1:24pm
Most of my XP goes towards skills as well, although I occassionally hit up my Sta and/or Dex scores. I had one Vrusk with a Dex of 100 and a high level Laser Pistol skill (aka Beam Weapons from original rules). He was real squishy, though.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 2, 2014 - 1:40pm
The general concensus seems that people like the idea but that its not really neccessary and I have to agree. I think I'll still write this up as an optional rule though.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Abub's picture
Abub
January 3, 2014 - 10:01am
You know... with the rarity this would happen with (maxing out ability scores) ... I would suggest just not worrying about human's +5% and basically allowing them just take any one score they want to 105.... rather then worrying about it for all those adventures in the unlikely case it will ever be important.

So, don't worry about extra columns, don't worry about noting which got the +5%... just let the player take any one score to 105 when they get there.  It won't break anything and they didn't truely get anything for free.  Plus they are humans... the defacto gaming race of generality and flexibility.


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jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 3, 2014 - 5:08pm
So the rule is reduced to a table that reflects the racial ability score adjustment table and a human simply chooses one ability when the time comes and can raise it to 105. That is pretty simple and no documentation needed.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
January 3, 2014 - 5:35pm
Especially since the table already exists in the rules Smile if you want to just say apply the racial ability modifiers to 100 to get the maximum characteristic value.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Abub's picture
Abub
January 7, 2014 - 3:41pm
yup
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