hello there! i created this little alien generator for X-PLORERS in the looooooooooooong wait for some more content. basically, it's a way to generate a random alien as class PC. i posted it in the other X-PLORER forum, so i figured i'd go ahead and post it here also...
very nice. I like what you did there making aliens a class option. I'm wondering if aliens won't have too much of an advantage with stat modifiers, skills, and additional special abilities? Maybe limit them to 2-3 skills with additional abilities, instead of 4. Just a thought. I'll have to try out your alien class in actual play and see. thanks for the addition.
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The Primary Rule: "Nothing can be done contrary to what could or would be done in actual war." -Fred T. Jane
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yeah, they could wind up being slightly overpowered....but with all the randomness they could also wind up with 2 negative stat mods...and they might wind up being really good at only 1 or 2 skills while humans always have 4 skills. chances are good though that they'll be a little more powerful. maybe they'll need more xp to level if they're too powerful...? or maybe a limit on how many party members can be aliens? let me know how it goes if/when you use it!
This is not scientific, so take it for what it’s worth. I did not get to use your alien generator in actual play. What I did was use it to generate 10 random aliens and see how it worked out. So, here are some of my observations and suggestions based on this limited run through.
The Body type and Characteristics tables worked well and the different combinations can be rationalized creatively (i.e. Cybernetic- mineral based, humanoid amorphous, etc.)
The Stats modifier table also worked well and even if you would roll, for example, -1 AGI with an ability such as prehensile tail or multilimbed, this could be justified. But -1 AGI and an ability of Quickened would not work as well. The same would apply with -1 PHY and an ability of Large, to a lesser degree.
The Skills table I don’t think works well. Out of the ten characters I rolled up, Security came up 9 times. At the same time, I never rolled Computers, Medicine (these are the first two on table), or Sociology. I also ended up with combinations that didn’t mesh well with the Body type and/or Characteristics. I have some suggestions below that I might try.
The Abilities table worked okay considering how many there are. But, again (due to the law of averages), I never rolled the first three on the list, nor the last four on the list (rolling four 1’s or 6’s is tough). What I did roll was a number of (6 total) regeneration abilities (which I think should be rare instead of common). So, I think I would modify this table into two separate tables (A & B). Table “A” would contain more common alien abilities (less fantastic) along with the first one on the list being a loss of a roll and the last one on the list being a roll on table “B”. Table “B” would be a short table that includes rarer abilities like Self Healing, Telepathic, Symbiote, Shape Changer, Mind Link, and Regeneration or Quickened.
Back to Skills. I think to make this more workable, I would make aliens a class (race) with the other classes as sub classes (classes) where you could pick three skills from those being offered. In other words, I would make an Alien Scientist or Alien Soldier, etc. Or another option would be to maintain the four skills for each class, but change the XP progression. The reason is that aliens are also benefiting from potentially gaining two abilities (which kind of work like another skill and actually seem better then skills in many instances). Bottom line, I’d get rid of the random skills table unless you wanted to create new skills tables unique to the alien body type and/or characteristics. Say, if you roll up a Non-human Reptilian, you get to choose three of these six skills or you get these four skills with no choice. I’d keep the lists short.
Basically, I like the idea of X-plorers being human centric. So, I hesitate to give aliens any more benefits then human characters. An option to give a little balance would be to include a table of faults (such as alien can not be exposed to sunlight, oxygen is poisonous, vital organs are exposed -2 AC, etc.). These faults might require special and, consequently, expensive means of dealing with them and the solutions may inhibit the character as well (i.e. Special goggles to protect eyes from direct light that interfere with peripheral vision. -1 to hit when attacked from side or +1 surprise for opponent). This is getting a little beyond what I think you had in mind for a quick generator. I’m just throwing them out there as ideas.
Overall, I think your Alien tables have a lot of good info in there and certainly got me thinking about some options in X-plorers. I hope this feedback helped.
hey guys...i made some small changes to the generator. i changed the ABILITY table to a d20 roll instead of d6's, dumped out the last ability and made it a little more rewarding to roll a natural 20. i also cleaned up the presentation a bit.
derv- thank you for the feedback! i see what you're saying about some of the abilities not coming up. i tried to limit the charts to d6's and d20's since that's what the game is based on. i'll see if i can fix that.
as far as having stat mods and then rolling negatives...well, that could be a problem - unless you get creative and say something like "well, he's fast on his world - but all the gravity out here is slowing him down some". or, you could just re-roll lol.
when i have some more time i'll play with it a bit more...for now, you can download the new generator off my blog:
Using only d6 and d20 you can still achieve more diverse results. Examples: d2 (low/high, even/odd), d3, d10, d66 (actually 36 outcomes), d40, etc. Another popular solution used in many d6-only games is to create a nested table where the first roll determines the class of sub-table and the next roll is a full table and an optional third roll picks specifics for some of the results.