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Pursuits: The Good And The Bad


FancyZergling
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my fated started in the first run, so they chose a spread of basic pursuits (grave robber, pioneer, overseer, mercenary) but a couple of them have moved on, the overseer is now an infiltrator from steam, the mercenary is a ghoul from quarantine and the pioneer is a trapper from the bayou.

I still like the basics for the most part, they are great jumping off points for new players without being too specific. I have a performer but he's only played one session which is a shame as I would like to see more of that pursuit. We had a new player in the last session and out of all 4 books he chose gunfighter, which I think shows the strength of the original almanac.

that said I would like to see more of the forgotten pursuit as there's some great role play potential there, and id like to have a construct too.

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it certainly makes them look tempting to players when they start out, but I think the talents in the first book are a bit more general and useful. As said before a few steps in the graverobber pursuit makes the necromancer pursuit much easier. I think if i started a whole new party and some players had the 0 skills and other sdidn't then there might be room for discussion on balance. (I'd probably increase the starting scrip of the FA pursuits) 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The big problem with pursuits is that they have several essentially non-combat pursuits, which is strange since this RPG is derived from a combat only miniatures game, and I can guarantee that in a session there will be combat.  So Pursuits that start off without a weapon are at a disadvantage.  It is even more disadvantageous to players that want to go into magic but don't start out as such because they cannot just purchase a grimoire.  If you look at really any other RPG every class is a combat class, in TtB it is just a maybe.  This was actually really confusing to the first group that I played with, but it became evident after a couple play session that combat will happen so everyone went combat classes - only that the people who started that way had the most fun in combat because they were the most powerful.

There are some hidden drawbacks to several classes in that they only align with certain factions and have mortal enemies of others at the outset.  If you are any skill or weapon class, you are pretty much welcome wherever you go.  If you are a dabbler or tinkerer,  you already have the Guild as a lifelong enemy unless you are a part of it.  If you are a graverobber, you really are only welcome with the ressurectionists, although the Arcanists may also tolerate you as long as you do not actually raise the dead (but whats the fun in that).

One other complaint is that several advanced pursuits are buried in the Fatemaster's Almanac so as player I didn't even know about them in the fatemaster mentioned them after several sessions.

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I disagree with that a bit. The amount of combat is very much dependent on the FM, of all the characters that started in my group I would actually say the most 'powerful' one is the players that has so far taken two non-combat pursuits (overseer then infiltrator) his particular skillset is such that any time I design an encounter I have to take him into account. the other players constantly mock him for his supposed OP-ness but in reality he plays his pursuit and character really well. 

I've ran sessions with no combat, and sessions with mostly combat, and it's rarely come down to a fated's pursuit as to how successful they are, more to their choice of skills, everyone should take at least one combat skill to 2 at creation- it's a bad place. another non-combat fated i have in my party is a Pioneer who just happens to be very good with a shotgun. That said a lot of social skills can be underused unless you design for them deliberately. 

as for classes only aligning with certain factions you have a point there, but necessity makes for strange bedfellows even in the miniatures game- any faction can hire Anna Lovelace (a resurrectionist) or Hannah (probably a Dabbler) or one of the Crossroads 7 (god knows what they are but they are definitely magic users) and it's fine. My players have strong tied to Nicodem, but also Gremlins, Arcanists and the Neverborn. 

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  • 2 months later...

Also with the faction alignment thing, it all comes down to character in the end. One of the characters in a game I'm running is a grave robber, but he practices the life-well doctrine (ITS). The same grave robber also generally hates the undead and has genus immuto specifically to hurt the undead. He also is a literal grave robber. The pursuits are representations of very basic archetypes, in the example I used, the grave robber best represents someone who has n affinity for necromancy in any of its many forms.

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It really depends on the pursuit. I feel like some of the pursuits from the base book have aged particularly well (Dabbler, Graverobber, Gunslinger and Scrapper), while others have proven less interesting or effective (Tinkerer, Academic) then options presented in later books.

In the case of the Tinkerer, the Engineer does building and upgrading robots better, while the Augmented handles its admittedly sort of random "hit people with pneumatic limbs" abilities very well. The Academic feels a bit too highly specialized, especially considering a callout in Into the Steam suggested giving one of their primary abilities (using Academic skills in place of Aspects) as a base rule most characters have access to from time to time. The pursuits in later supplements tend to be a bit more exciting to look at, though you aren't at a disadvantage simply taking from the Fated Almanac instead.

Many of the Basic Pursuits are more versatile, offering a smorgasbord of abilities rather than an intense focus.  For example, if you compare the Pugilist from Into the Bayou with the Scrapper from the Fated Almanac, you'll see one is primarily focused on the Adrenaline mechanic, while the Scrapper is just a general beatstick. In many scenarios, the basic abilities the Scrapper provides, such as Flurry or Melee Expert, will prove incredibly powerful and versatile. In general, the Fated Almanac pursuits are more "basic", with easy to understand mechanics, easier decisions (due to repeat abilities appearing more often), and a much more broad concept. I think it's nice to have both the more "General" and "Specific" basic pursuits. That said, I'm happy to see some of the Pursuits are getting some tweaking. For example, Abeda's character is already showing some great improvements to the Academic.

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