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Old 06-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #1
ammulder's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Philadelphia Area
Default Character Development Time Frame

So I noted in another thread that while I've tracked skills and prestige for an arena campaign, few if any characters got enough to make a difference. Normally we could string 5-6 games together -- but even then sometimes you'd use the dedicated driver and gunner versus the one-seat generalist, and of course the "earnings" from an event were by no means guaranteed.

I'm wondering what the right balance is for the new edition. Based on my experience, it would be nice if a character got some tangible benefit every 2-3 games. But that might be way too fast if others are or expect to be playing a weekly game or something and think their typical character lifetime is much longer. I was never involved with big-time Car Wars groups (always more general board game groups where CW was occasional rather than frequent), so I don't know what the high end of the scale is. 20 games for a character?

I can also see that you'd want it to go slower for a more RPG-oriented campaign, though for prestige at least it's easy to scale back if most of the action isn't on camera. Maybe not so much for driver or gunner if every session still involves some vehicular mayhem.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:29 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Harrisonburg VA
Default Re: Character Development Time Frame

Just an opinion:

I think sponsorships are a good thing for the "tangible benefit every 2-3" niche-- something to increase your options and differentiate characters at the same time. (So the guy with the machine gun sponsorship becomes "Machine Gun Kelly" and the guy who won amateur night with a crazy heavy rocket hit becomes "HR Burgess.") Also... all those skills that nobody used for the most part-- if it is a slightly cyberpunky setting, then dole those skill points out as microtraining and then have some sort of job table that they can attempt to score on. (It'd be a longshot that any of these could pan out.)

I think the skill point awards should be balanced so that you usually have to be an ace before you get to Driver-1 and Gunner-1.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:40 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CA
Default Re: Character Development Time Frame

The 2.5e skill progression produced some advancement every 3-5 combats. Of course it could be gamed - killing a cycle was the same as a big rig, but it was pretty good - it even let you spend money (and take time off) to learn new skills. Skills got harder to improve after +3 so it somewhat scaled.

Prestige was huge - a prestige of 25+ (which wasn't too hard to get, you got 5 for becoming and ace and 10 for a double ace) cut prices in half.

The skill progression seemed about right to me, prestige was a bit too easy.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:00 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Snohomish, WA
Default Re: Character Development Time Frame

As I noted on another thread the first problem with the skill system is that 30 points could buy 3 skills at level 0, one at level 1 and a second at level 0, or one at level 2. You couldn't get very many skills at all to start with, and it often was a better investment to just be good at 1 or 2 things.

At the other end of the spectrum is the effects of higher skill bonuses.
The effects of higher level skill bonuses were most noticable in the gunner (and handgunner) skills, due to the bell curve nature of the attack rolls. Shifting the odds 2 points could grossly improve your chances of hitting. And, having played with a character that got his gunner skill up to +5 (we were playing weekly with corporate), I can tell you that it was absolutely brutal to the other players.

I think that I'd prefer a system where progression is fairly quick at lower levels and gets steeper and steeper as you advance, essentially encouraging characters to become more diverse as they advance rather than sinking more points into a few skills.

Something like:
Level | Additional Points | Total Points
0 | 5 | 5
1 | 10 | 15
2 | 20 | 35
3 | 30 | 65
4 | 40 | 105

I think that with a progression like the above, we'd see more well-rounded characters being used rather than everyone sinking all of their points into Driver and Gunner. Yes this would mean that level 2 is out of reach of starting characters. I personally don't see an issue with that.

Last edited by Magesmiley; 06-27-2012 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Trying to fix the mangled formatting
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:20 PM   #5
ak_aramis's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Alsea, OR
Default Re: Character Development Time Frame

The extant progression DOES steepen past +3...
Points Level
0-9: unskilled
10-19: Skill+0
20-29: Skill+1
30-39: Skill+2
40-59: Skill+3
60-79: Skill+4
80-99: Skill+5
100-129: Skill+6
130-159: Skill+7

I'd agree that can be too low.

I'll also agree that prestige was too quick.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2012
Location: LA, CA, USA
Default Re: Character Development Time Frame

I always like doubling:

0-5 = unskilled
6-10 = skilled
11-20 = skilled +1
21-40 = skilled +2
41-80 = skilled +3
81-160 = skilled +4
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:59 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Character Development Time Frame

Personally I've never had a problem with using the compendium progressions. Recently, however I've been costing +0 skills at 5 s.p. This hasn't seemed to effect game balance (in road games).
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