Optional Circle Advancement Rules

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Optional Circle Advancement Rules

Post by Mcgarnagle » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:55 pm

One of my players stated that he wanted to use the optional advancement rules found in the Player's Guild on pg. 453 and we've encountered some confusion with it.

Mainly, does the rule still restrict the number of talent options that are available at each circle? As per the rule on pg 84, it states:
Talent Options are more versatile. At each Circle, an adept can choose one talent from a pool of optional talents, keyed to his status level in the Discipline (Novice, Journeyman, Warden, and Master).
if the character was a Warrior adept, under the normal rules, he would need to get all of the discipline talents up to rank 2 before advancing to the next circle (Avoid Blow, Melee Weapons, Thread Weaving (War Weaving), Tiger Spring, Wood Skin) and, he'd have the option to purchase just one of the Novice talent options at Circle 1 (Acrobatic Defense, Anticipate Blow, Danger Sense, Distract, Fireblood, Maneuver, Missile Weapons, Shield Bash, Tactics, Unarmed Combat). He needs 5 talents to advance but can have up to 6 talents at Circle 1.

Using the optional rules, can the warrior select any talents he wants without limitation (ie. he could theoretically purchase all of the listed discipline talents and talent options at circle one), or does it mean that he can select up to 6 talents at circle one (the equivalent of 5 discipline talents and 1 talent option under the standard rules), and then each circle he advances, he unlocks the ability to purchase 2 new talents from the above noted pool, adding into said pool of options, the discipline talent noted at the new circle?

Assuming that they are limited in the number of talents they can have, why does the optional rule suggest to throttle the amount of legend awards earned at higher circles by half and more at even higher circles?

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Re: Optional Circle Advancement Rules

Post by Bonhumm » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:47 pm

Personally, I have never been in a group that did NOT use that optional rule; to the point of me discovering that it was not the official rule only about 2 years ago.

As for the talent options, that rule does not change anything to the NUMBER of optional talent that you get per circle (that is: ONE).

So, WITHOUT the optional rule, to go from 2nd to 3rd circle (for example), your warrior would need to have:

Avoid Blow, Melee Weapons, Thread Weaving, Tiger Spring, Wood Skin AND Wound Balance at at least Rank 3. The rank of your optional talent are having NO effect whatsoever to Circle Progression.

WITH the optional rule, your warrior would need:

6 Talents at Rank 3 (or more), no matter if they are Discipline Talents or Optional Talents as long as (at least) one of them is a 2nd Circle Talent.

The optional rule does not make any references about changes to the '1 talent option per circle' rule.

As for the why on the recommendation on reducing the amount of LP; I guess this is to reflect the fact that it would be much easier (usually) for someone to level up a character 'the way he wants' with the rule as this would allow him to ignore Discipline Talents that he does not care much about and put those LP in the optional talents instead. For example; your 7th Circle Warrior would probably have little use to a Rank 7 Thread Weaving talent and would probably rather put those LP elsewhere. Without the optional rule, your Warrior would need to put LP in both Thread Weaving and whatever Talent Option that he his fond of, thus slowing his progression.

So; just to make this clear; this optional rule does NOT change ANYTHING to the talent themselves: in both cases you get 5 Discipline Talents AND 1 Optional Talent at First Circle then 1 Discipline talent AND 1 Optional Talent at every other circle. This rule only changes the requirements to advance in Circle, nothing else.

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Re: Optional Circle Advancement Rules

Post by sigfriedmcwild » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:40 pm

The reason for the suggestion to reduce LP awards is that under this rule most people would be using a bunch of their novice and journeyman talent options rather than their warden and master discipline talents

(Or at least that is my guess)

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Re: Optional Circle Advancement Rules

Post by Lursi » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:58 pm

Although I like the optional rule, the cost structure should not be not touched. Hence you have 2 slots per circle and you can fill it with your current or lower options. The cost is however determined by the circle in which you choose the talent. So you master talent option can be fillled with melee weapons but it will cost you 500 LP for the first rank.
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Re: Optional Circle Advancement Rules

Post by Mcgarnagle » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:55 pm

We were heavily leaning towards the belief that the optional rule worked the way you outlined it, Bonhumm. Thanks for yours (and everyone else’s) input.

The big thing that was throwing us was the legend point reduction, and to be honest, I’m still not sure of the reason. It seems punitive to punish a player for taking talents they want vs ones that the don’t (such as the thread weaving example you provided above). It was this LP reduction that led us to speculate that maybe there were no limits to the amount of talent options you could buy. That could potentially be game breaking, particularly at higher circles, hence the suggestion on LP rewards? I’m doubtful of this as well, however.

As Lursi pointed out, the standard rules state that you can take novice talent options in place of Journeyman ones but they cost the same as if it were A journeyman talent option.

I’m sure that The reduced LP awards were suggested for a practical reason (ie. to prevent breaking the game) but I can’t figure out the specifics.

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Re: Optional Circle Advancement Rules

Post by ChrisDDickey » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:33 pm

I would not say it is punitively punishing players.
It is just saying that the standard rules assume that a player will keep all Discipline Talents "at circle rank" because the rules say they must, plus they will almost certainly keep several highly desired Talent Options near or at circle rank as well because they want to.
With the optional rules they are unlikely to do so, instead they will likely be keeping a smaller mix of all talents at a rank equal to their circle. Since the average high tier character is requiring fewer LP to advance circles, the GM may wish to slightly slow LP income so they don't advance circles faster than they otherwise would. The theory is that if you remove one (artificial) brake on advancement, you ought to at the same time adjust some other aspect to compensate.

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Re: Optional Circle Advancement Rules

Post by Mataxes » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:39 pm

That's the case -- the recommended awards in the GM Guide are based on a particular "budget" of Legend Points.

The optional rule changes the "expense" numbers in that budget, so you might want to adjust the "income" to compensate.

But it's not necessary, and not a big deal if you don't.
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