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custom backgrounds peer review

Discussion in 'Module Discussion' started by Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril, Jun 30, 2015.

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  1. Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril

    Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril Member

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    I'm about to try my hand at making my first few custom backgrounds, and i would like everyone's opinion of how balanced they are, and on the feasibility of them. Yes I'm aware there are formatting inconsistencies and other errors too.

    and one free 'like' to anyone that reviews them and can name, specifically, all the references.

    ->Elf Exclusive<-
    Ancient Archmagus:
    As an ancient archmagus, you crafted a powerful and complicated ritual to restore your youth
    buy changing yourself in to an elf. it worked, but the spell cast you in to a sleep you have
    only recently awoke from. It wipes all spell knowledge from your mind and your long sleep has left you
    physically weak and slow and out of touch with the world, but you still have the impressive mental
    fortitude that went with it, and one of the spell components, Elder Dragon Blood, has bonded
    with your own blood, giving you superior psychical fortitude as well. due to your focus on
    prolonging your life you take a significant penalty to subtle actions and anything technology
    related.

    Str -4
    Dex -4
    Con +4
    Wil +4
    Per -6

    all stealth skills -4/4
    all tech skills -8/4

    ( no specific references here)

    ->Human Exclusive<-
    Hexed Sniper
    A powerful mage attempted to cast a dark mind-warping spell on you, and it worked,
    leaving you a weak-minded shell of your former self. Eventually he was killed buy a passing
    adventurer, but his spell lingers still, giving you a massive penalty to your will power.
    The reason he used you as a sniper was your affinity for guns and your above average physical
    prowess but many missions without proper medical care have left you horribly disfigured and
    compromised your immune system. The nature of those missions, however, has given you a slight
    bonus in 'upper-story' ability's. An Eldrich and painful (the sustaining magic is cut in to
    you eyes) increases your perception. Due to the nature of the mind altering spell, you also
    suffer a crippling penalty to your social skills, except persuasion witch was keep useful by
    use. The only pleasure you were allowed in the mages service was reading the books he has in
    his tower.

    Str +1
    Dex +1
    Con -2
    Beu -7
    Int +2
    Wil -7
    Per +2

    prowl, lock-picking, pickpocket +2/4
    fire arms +4/4
    gamble,haggle,heal -6/4

    ( no specific references here)

    ->Unrestricted Race<-
    Miskatonic Scholar
    As a scholar you have read many books, too many in fact. Small bits of information have come
    together and some investigation into them has driven you quite mad. Paranoia and gibbering
    terror are your constant companions. You have become convinced there are Great Old beings
    under the sea, and have developed an irrational fear of right angels. You fear being alone but
    drive off most who come near you. People know you are mad, but the strange ring of truth makes
    them find you oddly compelling. A somewhat macabre doctor attempted to kill you(so he could
    revive you, according to him) and the attempted murder gave you a massive scar across your
    throat. All of this has destroyed your faith in the ephemeral thing known as 'good' and
    convinced you that we are all insignificant and doomed. You were on your way to an expedition
    to the south pole when you boarded the airship.

    dex +1
    int +3
    per +1
    beu -6

    persuade +4/4

    -10 evil. can not go higher
    -20 reaction
    can only have 1 companion

    (4 references here)

    ->Unrestricted Race<-
    Disgruntled Toy-maker
    As a toy designer you made the company what it was with your magnificent designs. Then on a
    trumped up complaint, that your new new designs were too drastic, who wouden't want a baby
    doll with a buzz saw arm anyway? They fired you. So you went out and bought a flame thrower, all the
    fuel, and explosives you and a small army of mechinised toys could carry and then turned the
    toy factory (and a significant portion of the surrounding town) in to a blasted heath. You
    have been declared criminally insane and have fled. People find you unsettling, but find that
    your rants and songs you sing whale working can somehow overcome this.

    int 4+
    cha -7

    persuade +8/4

    -20 reaction

    start with 100 fuel
    no money

    (one reference)

    ->Dwarf Exclusive<-
    Stonebreed
    A once in a millennium occurrence, you are a Stonebeed, a dwarf born from the union of a dwarf
    woman and one of the multitude of earth spirits. You are viewed with suspicion by all. part
    of your nature is that you are vulnerable to heat, but abnormally intelligent, yet weak in will. The
    other part of your altered nature is that you are stronger, more robust and can sense things
    that no one around you can. You are slower than other dwarfs but somewhat resistant to
    electricity. You are also fairly unpleasant to look at.

    int +2
    str +1
    con +1
    dex -1
    wil -2
    beu -3

    reaction penalty -20

    fire vulnerability +15
    electricity resistance +10

    (one vague reference)

    ->Half-Ogre Exclusive<-
    Wild Jagermonster

    As an experimental construct, one designed to be very hard to kill at that, you have been without a master for a number of years. The nature of the alterations means there are certain changes when you are not with others of your own kind. Namely you have become less vicious, more erudite, and more mentally and physically flexible, but you are also not a normal color and have lots of fangs and you are still berdend with the reputation of a Jagermonster. You also have to avoid traveling in large groups for the same reasons.

    Str -1
    Con +1
    Dex +1
    Beu -5
    Int +2
    Wil -2
    Cha+1

    reaction penalty -20
    -1 folower

    (one reference)

    updated.(feedback) lowed AM willpower, removed scholar's strength bonus, added firearm penalty to the toymaker

    updated. (feedback and play testing) spelling, grammar fixes. Lowers AM WP bonus again, removed flame thrower from toy maker and penalty to firearms. Added hints as to what I'm referencing with each one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  2. Philes

    Philes Well-Known Member

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    That first one is incredibly overpowered and lacks anything resembling balance, so I kinda stopped reading the rest.

    Sorry.
     
  3. Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril

    Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril Member

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    i know its OP. the idea for that one was a background that forces you to cast spells for everything becaus nothing else is viable. you *could* give tips on balancing it out. thats kinda why i posted it.
     
  4. on1ondevelopment

    on1ondevelopment Member

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    I don't think you should change so many attributes at once, one or two is enough. If you are planning to do a pure mêlée fighter for example, then getting a significant boost to Strength/Dexterity would make you incredibly overpowered during the earlier parts of the game, allowing you with your easily earned character points to either make those attributes even higher, learn more skills, or to put points into what was lowered initially when choosing your background. Arcanum's deafult backgrounds are much better balanced as they don't change a lot, for example the one where you grew up on a snake farm that increases your poison resistance slightly but lowers your beauty slightly.

    I like the stories themselves that you've written for the backgrounds, just keep in mind the changes themselves that should be just a few different attributes, and also be minor changes with just a few points.

    Take away some less significant character changes affected by backgrounds, make those that were more directly affected by the background (Such as losing an eye in a battle, lowering Perception, while also increasing Willpower due to wanting revenge) less changing, so instead of something like PE -4 WP +4, do lesser edits such as PE -1 WP +1, so as to ensuring that characters that won't need what they lose but need what they gain won't become too powerful.
     
  5. Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril

    Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril Member

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  6. on1ondevelopment

    on1ondevelopment Member

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    Ancient Archmagus has too much willpower, you are actually able to reach 20 WP right at the start of the game - make it a bit lower.

    Hexed Sniper is better balanced, though as I said before all changes are too drastic - so the bonuses should be lowered and the penalties should be lowered.

    Mistaconic Scholar is okay, but PE and ST should not be raised in my opinion - If you read a lot of books your physical strength would probably not change, and you would perhaps be less perceptive if you look too much down in a book.

    Disgruntled Toymaker is still overpowered, the Flamethrower is one of the best weapons in the game - you shouldn't be able to use it that early.

    I have nothing to say about Stonebreed and Jägermonster though.
     
  7. Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril

    Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril Member

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  8. on1ondevelopment

    on1ondevelopment Member

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    You could release them as they are now; there might still be changes needed to be made, but it would be easier to determine that by playing through the game with each of these backgrounds. I'd love to try them!
     
  9. Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril

    Dr. Ferb Wallace Mythril Member

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    Updated in response to feedback and play testing. Please respond some more. I will eventually up-lode them but first I have to separate them from the backgrounds that came with WIP 6. It will take a while, but I am posting all my changes as I go along.
     
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