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 Post subject: Extra occupation as a racial trait?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:19 am 
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There is a whole big story about how I thought I was writing a new campaign setting before farming Wilderlands of High Fantasy for ideas and found my whole campaign setting already written and mapped (my brain decided to let me think my memories were new thoughts instead) that provides background here, but isn't really necessary for the question at hand.

I've been adjusting the 3.5 version of the setting to be my default DCC setting, mostly by changing up the stats listed in the player's guide to things I feel are more appropriate (most varieties of human having no mechanical adjustments at all, for example).

In that process I've been considering allowing certain races an extra occupation of a limited nature: Avalonians being a mariner or a shipwright in addition to whatever else; Gishmesh also being merchants; Karakhan being animal handlers with a focus on horses and so on.

The questions I have for other judges are these:
1) With a two occupation 0-level, how would you approach the starting weapon and equipment? I've been thinking of allowing the player the choice of which they would like, or having the extra occupation not factor into the decision at all.

2) What about a second occupation (from a list of about 10 or so) being the only feature of a race? The halfling flavor text in the book mentions only that they (the common halflings, at least) focus on the skills that they feel are most valued in the city - cooking, food-service, leather working, and sometimes burglary - and yet states to use the standard 3.5 PHB stats for halflings which I don't feel fit that description at all (luck and fearlessness being their largest features in 3.5, but entirely unmentioned in their setting description).

I'm not really looking for opinions on whether an extra, bar or crime related occupation is "fair" as a trait when compared to something else (like elven sleep immunity), but more whether you as a player would hear "You get a bonus occupation from this list," and think "Cool!" or "...and?"


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 Post subject: Re: Extra occupation as a racial trait?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:35 pm 
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If they have a second occupation they should get skills and equipment to match it, especially if it's the only racial trait.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra occupation as a racial trait?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
I'm not really looking for opinions on whether an extra, bar or crime related occupation is "fair" as a trait when compared to something else (like elven sleep immunity), but more whether you as a player would hear "You get a bonus occupation from this list," and think "Cool!" or "...and?"


My knee-jerk reaction is more that a second occupation might dilute the character concept.

Otherwise, I see little impact one way or another.

Cheers!

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Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra occupation as a racial trait?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:47 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

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Thanks for the replies, fellas.

I hadn't thought about diluting the concept of the character, but that is definitely something I will be bringing up with my players to get their opinion on - I think it would mostly enrich a concept, but I could see a few seeming like poor mixes.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra occupation as a racial trait?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:04 pm 
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To be clear: I don't think your proposition would have a significant impact on game enjoyment. If you feel it will help your game's story, I wouldn't hesitate a second.

My comment stems from my short experience with DCC where level 0 characters are defined mostly by their occupation, if not almost exclusively. They have nothing else anyway. So whenever a player says "Rodrigo does this or that", everyone goes "who?" and the guy playing Rodrigo says "the butcher", then everyone goes "oh, yeah". If PCs end up with two occupations, and some are repeats, the players will have a hard time saying who's who and the little definition that the zeros have might further fade.

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Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra occupation as a racial trait?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:20 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

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That I had especially not really given thought to - you are right, many times the other players are like "whoever the heck that is," when one of the players says the name of their character... we have been getting a lot better about it the more funnels we play through, specifically because players keep managing to get around 4 or 5 farmers in a set of 16-20 characters so while everyone rolls up characters that chat about names, occupations, even animals owned and their names as well...

If that trend keeps up - which I hope it does because of all the 0-level "They got Jimmy! Kill the bastards!" moments that it has created - then there won't be a problem... but there is definitely potential for some problems, exceptionally so in the even that a player manage one character that's a soldier, one character that's an innkeeper, and a halfling that is both.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra occupation as a racial trait?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:46 am 
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Skyscraper wrote:
level 0 characters are defined mostly by their occupation, if not almost exclusively. They have nothing else anyway. So whenever a player says "Rodrigo does this or that", everyone goes "who?" and the guy playing Rodrigo says "the butcher", then everyone goes "oh, yeah".
I'm thinking of playing a funnel where we don't bother to roll stats until the characters reach first level, and for pretty much this reason. Everyone gets a +0 to do everything. Then you reach first level and stats emerge at the same time as "real" hit dice, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra occupation as a racial trait?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:23 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

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That's a pretty interesting idea Finarvyn.

You'll have to let us all know how that works out if you go through with it. My group would likely be disappointed by that approach when rolling scores less than 9 and developing the negative modifiers to go with them. Being zero level for a while with their low scores seems to be the needed "romance" period for them to fall in love with the flaws present in the character's ability scores.


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 Post subject: Re: Extra occupation as a racial trait?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:09 am 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
That's a pretty interesting idea Finarvyn.

You'll have to let us all know how that works out if you go through with it. My group would likely be disappointed by that approach when rolling scores less than 9 and developing the negative modifiers to go with them. Being zero level for a while with their low scores seems to be the needed "romance" period for them to fall in love with the flaws present in the character's ability scores.


Yeah, I kind of agree with TND here that players seem to like the ability scores. The guy with 4 Luck, the hobbit with 5 INT and the dwarf with 4 STR get a lot of laughs out of the table because of their low stat. And the guy with 17 Luck, who picked up a bow and 4 arrows in the funnel, keeps finding his arrows because of his luck rolls. I think we're kind of happy with the ability scores being there, but I'm also curious to hear how your table likes the experience with more generic zeros.

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Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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