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Inigo Montoya
2010-12-05, 01:02 AM
According to the core Feng Shui rule book, when you are first creating a character attributes with an '=' sign next to a number means that they can not be changed. But what I don't understand is what 'Max' means. Does that mean that the number is the maximum it can be raised, or the max that it can be raised to in character creation?

Darrin
2010-12-05, 01:29 PM
According to the core Feng Shui rule book, when you are first creating a character attributes with an '=' sign next to a number means that they can not be changed. But what I don't understand is what 'Max' means. Does that mean that the number is the maximum it can be raised, or the max that it can be raised to in character creation?

The = means even if you increase your primary or secondary attributes, your AV stays the same. The [Max X] notation means that if you increase your primary/base attributes or add skill points, you can't exceed that maximum during character creation.

Once you start play, the = and maximum limits no longer apply.

For example, the Killer has "Guns +10 (=15)" and "Driving +3 (8) [Max 13]". Both of these skills are based on Dexterity, which is a secondary attribute under the primary attribute Reflexes.

Start with your attribute bonuses. If the Killer adds 3 to his Ref, this increases his Driving AV from 8 to 11, but Guns stays the same. If the Killer adds 1 to his Dex, Driving AV goes up to 12, and his Guns AV stays at 15.

(Technically, you can reduce the Guns bonus to +7 or +6, so that Dex + Skill Bonus = 15, but the skill bonuses go away after character creation and you never use them again, so they're a little confusing at first.)

After you add your attribute points, you can add skill points up to your Max values. The Killer gets 6 skill points, so he can spend 1 to bring his Driving up to 13, the max. If the Killer had increased his other attributes, such as Chi or Bod, then Driving would still be 5 + 3 = 8, and he could spend 5 skill points to bring it up to 13. Any leftover skill points he can put into Info/Gangland Politics, or some other non-combat skill (Info skills never have maximums).

Again, once you start actual play, the =, [Max X], and skill bonus goes away and you never use them again. Improving your skills with XP is based on your AV, not your base attribute or skill bonus.

The archetypes were designed to be somewhat balanced against each other mostly by the "eyeball method" rather than rigorous playtesting. This creates something of a pecking order with the combat AVs: The Old Master starts with the best combat AV in the game (Max = 16). Just below him are the Killer, Martial Artist, Sorcerer, and Supernatural Creature (Max = 15). Just below that are the majority of the other archetypes: Ex-Special Forces, Karate Cop, Maverick Cop, Ninja, etc. (Max = 14). Below that are "support character" archetypes where combat isn't supposed to be their main focus: Scrappy Kid, Everyman Hero, etc. Most of the hybrid archetypes that mix two different types of schticks tend to be in the AV 13 range: Abomination, Cyborg, Magic Cop, Masked Avenger (sort of a "flexibility penalty" for not focusing exclusively on one type of combat).

There are a couple archetypes that start off a lot weaker than the other archetypes, and you might want to consider increasing their Max by +1 or giving them another schtick or two. The Big Bruiser is mentioned most often... with a Martial Arts = 12, they are less likely to try stunts, their higher Strength is useless against mooks (they ignore damage), and against named characters (which tend to have higher dodge values) they can't hit often enough for their higher Strength to mean much. Increasing their MA = 13 or allowing them to take out mooks on an outcome of 3 or 4 helps them improve their effectiveness until they can afford to increase their stats/skills. (You can actually build a better Big Bruiser with the Athlete archetype in Golden Comeback, since they get a Martial Arts Max of 13.) The Abomination, Cyborg and Monster Hunter are also considered underpowered, mostly because Arcanowave devices are either unreliable or just plain stink. Allowing them to swap their arcanowave schticks for gun schticks can help a bit. Other than that... it's hard to help them without completely reworking the entire section on Arcanowave.

Inigo Montoya
2010-12-05, 03:34 PM
That's much more detail then I really thought I would get, thank-you! For reference, I'm making a two-fisted archeologist from the 'Seal the Wheel' source book.

Darrin
2010-12-05, 08:34 PM
That's much more detail then I really thought I would get, thank-you! For reference, I'm making a two-fisted archeologist from the 'Seal the Wheel' source book.

Excellent choice! Very difficult to kill, and their other unique schtick is a great anti-magic debuff in a game that has hardly any debuffs.

The skills on that one are a little confusing, because the skills have their own maximums either set or listed, and then the text immediately after that says all skills except Info/History (which you can't raise anyway) have a max of 13.

Signature Weapon or Willow Step are both good picks for your Gun/Fu schtick. Your Signature Weapon does +3 damage on named characters, and it gains some "plot immunity": It can't be damaged, destroyed, or lost permanently. Willow Step only costs 1 Chi, and it can be used without a defensive action for +2 dodge value or combined with a 1-shot active dodge for a +5 dodge value. However, with your "Get Out of Death Free" card, you can put more resources into offense than defense.

Kiero
2010-12-06, 03:39 AM
The real question, if you're playing a two-fisted archaeologist, is have you seen Armour of God?

Signature Weapon or Willow Step are both good picks for your Gun/Fu schtick. Your Signature Weapon does +3 damage on named characters, and it gains some "plot immunity": It can't be damaged, destroyed, or lost permanently. Willow Step only costs 1 Chi, and it can be used without a defensive action for +2 dodge value or combined with a 1-shot active dodge for a +5 dodge value. However, with your "Get Out of Death Free" card, you can put more resources into offense than defense.

Willow Step is a lot better value for money than Signature Weapon. It's the best defensive power in the game, and part of the Horton Utilities for that reason.

Inigo Montoya
2010-12-06, 10:26 PM
What book is Willow Step in?

Darrin
2010-12-07, 12:45 AM
What book is Willow Step in?

Main rulebook. It's one of the first schticks in the Path of the Storm Turtle.

The "Horton Utilities" Kiero is referring to are a collection of low-cost high-value Fu schticks that were popularized by one particular PC, an Ex-Special Forces Sniper named Horton. He only started with a Fu score of 4, so he got the most optimal Fu cost = 1 schticks first. I think the original four were:

Willow Step: your basic Matrix-style slo-mo bullet-cam dodge.

Prodigious Leap: Leap twice your move rating in meters. Jump fences, get on top of buildings, catwalks, balconies, 2nd-story windows, etc.

Hands Without Shadow: Make a martial arts attack that your opponent can't dodge. This prevents named villains with a high shot count and good defensive schticks to avoid your attacks/damage or a great stunt with active dodges.

Friend of Darkness: The first thing Horton usually did in a fight is shoot out all the lights. Using this schtick, this meant everybody else had a -4 AV penalty except for him.

Since learning a new Fu schtick is 3 + X, X = the number of Fu schticks you'll have when you buy your next one, you can pick these up fairly quickly. They don't always fit your character concept... but it's a dangerous world out there.

Inigo Montoya
2010-12-07, 02:11 AM
Thanks. I'm not sure if I'll be a gunslinger or a martial artist yet. Then again, no rules that say I can't do both.