House rules that I contemplate. , Desiring some feedback. in Rules & Errata
Starbrat May 28 2006, 09:39 Group: Grid Cop, Moderator AI Quote Post
I would keep Xenomedicine, at least for my games. Aliens are alien, thats kind of the point, and a harmless disinfectant for one species could be a contact poison for another.

As for the whole species ability score thing, I've always simply added or subracted a base number from whatever is purchased pointswise. So if you want to max out a Weren you can just buy 14 points-worth. Of course that'll be subtracted in another score, such as Dexterity, which is how I usually show the difference between large and small species.

As regards the piloting of spcecraft, if it's active hand-on-the-joystick stuff then no, flying a big ship isn't like flying a small one, especially if you're highly skilled, since you make more assumptions before you even think. It's the difference between a hatchback and an artic.
Spicer May 28 2006, 23:42 Group: Grid Cop, Researcher for the College of Justice Ethics Quote Post
Author
Character generation:
The 'spend 60 attribute points' irks me, as it more or less leashes players in orbit around 10 in each stat.

It's really up to each GM to determine the amount of starting skill points he wishes for characters to have, depending on the style of his game. There's advice sprinkled throughout the various Alternity sourcebooks that provide guidance on it. About the only other thing I'd stress is that you make it consistent. Don't bump up the aliens and mutants vs. humanity. The species are already balanced according to their starting benefits and broad skills.

Author
The Weren, despite being eight foot tall masses of muscle, will likely not be much stronger than a human in practice, as they would have to sacrifice heavily in their other stats to achieve their 16 strength cap.

This is intentional. There are trade-offs built into character generation that orchestrate a careful balance between the species. Weren may be typically stronger (hence, their increased maximum in STR), but they're also typically further behind the other species when it comes to knowledge (particularly advanced technologies and concepts), hence the different range for their INT score.

Author
To curb that somewhat, I'm giving each alien race an inherent +2 in the two stats that they're strongest in. To make sure that the stat points actually go to those stats, I'm hiking the minimums in those stats by the same amount. So while the T'sa get two free points in dex, they have to spend at least eleven points on it, so they can't just invest nine and use those two points elsewhere.

I don't believe hiking the minimum will truly do that much for enforcing your intended goal. Most players don't dive that deeply into the minimum ranges on ability scores anyway. Believe me, they'll find a way to adjust anyway.

Author
Skills:
I dislike a lot of the 'This skill must be purchased separately...' skills. Your pilot can fly circles around a gnat in your medium sized starship, but is completely unable to even attempt to fly a slightly larger ship?

Vehicle Ops in Alternity already comes with a grouping of classifications for ship sizes. So Vehicle Ops-space should definitely designate one of those groupings. But I will agree with you on one point...that being, a pilot who is familiar with starships ought to be able to at least try to fly a ship of a different size...but I'd inflict the untrained penalty on him. All other PCs couldn't even attempt such a feat, though...not unless they have the Vehicle Ops-space specialty. And, just for kicks, I'd probably apply a cumulative +1 step penalty for each size grouping of ships by which the hero's current -space specialty is removed from the ship he's attempting to fly.

Author
I especially dislike it when it comes to the medical skills. Bob got shot and is bleeding to death? Oo, sorry, John didn't have enough points to purchase Xenomedicine for Fraal, and apparently can't work out how to use a bandage on such bizarre alien biology, so Bob's going to die.

I think you've got other options besides adjusting the underlying skill mechanics here. If you're worried about intra-party healing capabilities, why not go with one of the earlier suggestions. Or, just declare that your space opera setting has a prevalent enough presence of allied aliens that any trained medical professional (regardless of his base species) knows how to properly treat them.

For Star*Drive, this would mean a human doctor would automatically know how to treat a Fraal, T'sa, Mechalus, Weren, and Sesheyan. But he wouldn't know how to treat a Xe'reen, Bhruu, Medurr, Klick, etc. Only the species that his particular culture is familiar with, would be open to him. All other species would then require dedicating skill points to the -xenomedicine specialty. I think that solves your problem more directly...and it becomes more of a campaign-specific decision as opposed to an across-the-board modification to the rules themselves.

Author
Last Resorts:
I'm blatantly robbing Deadlands for its excellent fate chip system...

I'm familiar with Deadlands fate chip system...and that's an interesting direction to go...but I'm not so sure you'll find it to be very compatible with Last Resorts in Alternity. Shifting success by that many degrees isn't a good idea, in my opinion. That's because Alternity's degrees of success carry so much more weight than the chips in Deadlands.

Also, if you go this route, you'll need to concern yourself with the Free Agent's profession benefit that allows him to spend multiple Last Resorts on a single action. Do you simply give such a character more fate chips at the beginning of play? Or do all of his white chips automatically translate to red? I think you'll need to either revise or replace that benefit to make the Free Agent work correctly.

Author
The 'chip pool' refreshes for free at the start of each new adventure (not each session).

Now I really think this is a bad idea. Last Resorts in Alternity are SO much more than fate chips in Deadlands...or action points in D20 Modern...or just about any other "luck" system I've ever seen. Using them represents a "big deal" in story terms and game terms. And acquiring more carries significant weight. They shouldn't just automatically refresh. They need to carry some kind of cost associated with them. Otherwise, your games can quickly become one "super-heroic" scene after the next as each player spends his or her points to alter the outcome. Your SCMs won't have enough to counter them or even balance things out. So think twice before applying Deadland's fate chips that liberally in an Alternity game...

Author
Advancement:
I'm making skill points avalable to be spent immediately upon being acquired instead of waiting for a level to dump a pile of points in the player's lap. People learn in bits and pieces rather than in big chunks. Level will still need to be tracked to determine when a character may purchase things like attribute boosts, but the flow of spendable skill points should be neatly smooth.

No problems here. I think it's always been an Alternity GM's call as to when to make skill points available. I prefer to wait at least until there's a break in the action, though. Let a hero "learn" through one action or challenge scene...and then let the player spend the points after you award them when the current action or challenge is over. I used a technique similar to this in one game and basically waited until the end of each Act to award achievement points...and then players could spend them before we started the next Act. Worked out quite well, I think, in retrospect...

Author
Cyberware:
Ten skill points is too excessive for most cyber items. It's easier to learn to be a surgeon than learn to use a cyberarm? I agree with spending skill points to learn to use new things in one's body, but am dropping the cost to five.

If this feels right for the amount of cybertech prevalence you expect in your campaign setting, that's fine. I'd encourage you to keep an eye on it, though, particularly if you plan to actively use psionics, mutations, and/or FX alongside cybertech. There's a balance between all those things. And if you go tugging too hard on cybertech's "costs" it may cause problems for you.

Personally, I never found the 10 point cost for cybertech to be a terrible thing. It certainly forces a few considerations during character creation, but it usually works out okay once the game gets underway. Now, if you've got a campaign world where virtually everyone has a NIJack and a nanocomputer for interfacing with the Grid...and your whole plot arc depends on every hero having one...then by all means, consider assigning that as specialized gear and waiving the initial 10 point skill cost. However, you might want to bring the subject up again if any of your players pursue elevating their use of cybertech beyond that base amount. Perhaps when they accumulate enough cybergear to cross their first cyber tolerance threshold? Or if they go beyond a total size of cyber gear than 2?

My two-cents,
--Neil
Qlint Apr 27 2017, 18:18 Group: Heroes, Level 2 Quote Post
So my new group is shaping up to be incredibly diverse, race wise, so I am thinking an awful lot about xenomedicine.

I am not liking the big huge penalties, and here is why. Veterinarians. They treat dozens of species successfully. Granted, there are significant similarities, they did after all evolve on the same planet. But there are significant differences too.

So here is what I am thinking, if you take xenomedicine for a species, you can use any other medical skill for that species at either the rank of your xenomedicine, or the skill, whichever is lower. (i.e. rank 7 surgeon, with 1 rank in xenomedicine fraal, is effective as a rank 1 fraal surgeon)

Am I nuts? Or could this work?
TerroX Apr 27 2017, 21:23 Group: A.Net Staff, Admin of Doom Quote Post
I thought there was a rule about using related skills, if a skill is similar enough you can use it instead but with a +2 or whatever seems right. So that handles specialist skills in pilot and xenomedicine.
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