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Rogue Janson
29 July 2003, 03:02 PM
Or UCPS for short. Yeah, I tried to think of a funny acronym, but couldn't.

In short, this is where you can't stop thinking about how you're going to advance your character as they gain levels (or character points, whatever it is in D6).

(The character in question at the moment shall remain anonymous, though for anyone who knows the characters I play, it's pretty obvious who it is.)
So I'm there wandering around at work thinking "hmm, I wonder if officer is a worthwhile PrC to go for. Or what about Infiltrator? And should I take martial arts as a bonus feat... but then I'd need weapon finesse, so maybe some soldier would be appropriate and get me those bonus feats. So when can I justify taking noble levels? Or should I stick with scoundrel until the break in BAB progression..." and so on and so on.
This is despite the fact that, for example, those two feats means planning 4 levels ahead, and even with soldier levels, infiltrator wouldn't be available for a minimum of 5 levels. And, more importantly, it's entirely pointless because the levels I take will depend on what the character has done.

Does anyone else experience this infuriating syndrome?
(and do you have any ideas on how to counter it?)

Jedivisionary
29 July 2003, 03:38 PM
All RPGs can cause said syndrome. I remember back when I played D & D in the old days, when future options weren't so flexible, planning which spells to pick and which proficiency slots to devote to what.

The new d20 system in a world setting with a lot of PrC's just creates more options, which it's supposed to. I think you're out of luck as long as you play any RPG. Even with relatively simple games from back in the day like Mechwarrior and Paranoia you could still speculate quite a bit on what to do with future development.

I remember trying to dole out Karma to mages and shamans in Shadowrun judiciously and Initiate at the right time without leaving any crucial skills behind in their development as the character grew.

My own dear SW PC is only 6th level, but I have all 20 planned out (like I'll ever get there):

Jedi Guardian 6/Jedi Ace 5/Jedi Master 4/ Jedi Instructor 5

dgswensen
29 July 2003, 04:40 PM
I see this syndrome in my players a lot, and it can be irritating. I have one player in particular who agonizes over every decision constantly, and is always trying to discuss it with me (all his questions boil down to: is it OK if I make my character the most badass guy in the universe?)

I don't have the problem much myself. When I create a character, I think about his personality and motivation first, and worry about stats and "dots" later on. That way, when the time comes to advance my character, I already know what he/she "wants," so it's no big deal.

Jedivisionary
29 July 2003, 05:05 PM
Yes, I know the type of player mentioned above (i.e., may i please be bad ass?).

The most annoying variety I ever encountered was an individual back in my D & D days who had the most min/maxed powerful character in the group and somehow he mysteriously found ways to be separated from the party when the you-know-what really hit the fan. The other players resented how he would hog the spotlight unless he thought the enemy would have a chance and then he was nowhere to be found while his lesser powered colleagues were getting pounded and needed his help.
His character would just find "reasons" to be separated from the group during challenges of his own level.

Jim Williams
29 July 2003, 05:40 PM
(all his questions boil down to: is it OK if I make my character the most badass guy in the universe?)

Good one.

Rogue Janson I sympathize mightily. My only recommendation is to set up the character at a level you'll probably never quite reach. See what you'd want it to look like in all your wildest dreams. Then proceed carefully and keep your options as flexible as possible.

Then merge that with campaign events that come up.

I recently had to forego a Jedi Master level because he had to give up training his padawan in order to devote more time with a number of students (we're strict on early entry into the Master PrC). Fortunately, my PC's 13th level was JI 3rd, and it kept in character cause he's still always been a problem-solver....

Good luck!

Ardent
29 July 2003, 07:37 PM
Eh, mechanics are always in the back of the mind. I just worry about the role more than the roll with Star Wars. SW has the potential to be the most mentally-based d20 game in the library right now. Physical characters can still cruple under one lucky shot, which is a bit different from DnD or d20 Modern, where it takes a really, really hard hit to kill the average tough guy.

That's something I try to keep in mind as the numbers are stumbling through my head. If it's a choice between combatant and partisan, chances are high I'll go with the partisan route. Remember, a role can always be revised, so it's important to be able to revise a character. Make sure you discuss this with your group. Every new supplement my players are allowed to make alterations to their characters based on the new material. I handle all the actual crunching, they just make the choice of what goes and what comes in.

Obviously, you can't drop all your Jedi levels and become a Scoundrel/Crime Lord out of nowhere, but I'm pretty leniant about it.

Often, just knowing that moderate revisions are part-and-parcel is enough to kill a lot of the UCPSY. When you don't have to plan quite as carefully, you feel better about letting the role define the stats.

wolverine
30 July 2003, 02:59 AM
Originally posted by Jedivisionary
Yes, I know the type of player mentioned above (i.e., may i please be bad ass?).

The most annoying variety I ever encountered was an individual back in my D & D days who had the most min/maxed powerful character in the group and somehow he mysteriously found ways to be separated from the party when the you-know-what really hit the fan. The other players resented how he would hog the spotlight unless he thought the enemy would have a chance and then he was nowhere to be found while his lesser powered colleagues were getting pounded and needed his help.
His character would just find "reasons" to be separated from the group during challenges of his own level.

That's when you have the trouble just come for him!

Jim Williams
30 July 2003, 05:37 AM
Every new supplement my players are allowed to make alterations to their characters based on the new material. I handle all the actual crunching, they just make the choice of what goes and what comes in.

That's a good idea!

Dashdar
1 August 2003, 05:40 AM
I think I have you beat Janson. I was sitting around the house yesterday with nothing to do. College is out so I have been doing a lot of this recently. Suddenly I got the urge to play. Nobody was around so I just rolled up some character and started to plan some stuff for a game that only I was going to me. Me playing 4 pirates…….Kinda sad.

Rogue Janson
1 August 2003, 03:06 PM
That's pretty bad. I mean, working out a few characters for fun is ok, but planning a game just for yourself is a bit too far...

I've actually got over this problem for the moment. Now I'm on to planning adventures for my Paths of the Force campaign. Which is a bit better, but probably just as pointless. So far I think I'm about 2/3 adventures ahead - and these are long adventures.

Dashdar
1 August 2003, 05:30 PM
well, it actually turned into more of a play testing thing. In my defense

Jeskan
31 August 2003, 04:37 PM
Jedivisionary, u think u had it bad. I was in a group with 5 other people who all had the majority of their levels in the fighter class, and all of them would try to find an escape and ditch me with the monster if it was ever close to their level. If the couldn't run they would wine and complaign to the dm. I always stayed and fought with my Fighter 8/ Barbarian 7, but the Fighter 15, Rogue 6/ Fighter 9, Fighter 3/ Wizard 3/ Arcane Archer 9, Ranger 11/Tempest 4, and the Cleric 8/ Paladin 7 wouldn't even lend a hand. Thankfully my dm beleived that karma should be swift and more times than not, they ran into a powerful trap while abandoning me.:D

Mithrandir
3 September 2003, 07:57 AM
I replaced my SWRPG thinking with something else - Star Wars Galaxies... The New Evercrack..

DOH!

:D