WOIN Alternatives to Lifepath?

It’s been a while since I looked at WOIN, but the box set has piqued my interest again.

When I first looked at it, I remember thinking that I’d love to play a Star Wars based game with the N.E.W. rules.

But I also wanted to dial back the breadth of skills, and (sacrilege!) do away with the Lifepath system, which seems somewhat tied in to the large number of skills that the rules support, and also to the default setting’s alien races.

Has anyone come up with a simple alternative to Lifepath for use with WOIN?
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Not to my knowledge; that would be quite a major change to the game's basic structure. I suppose if you're only talking character creation, you could try the following, but I have NOT tested this and am just making it up on the fly out of my head:
  • 5 careers would each normally give 4 attribute points each, so that's 20 points to spend in attributes. I'd put minimum and maximum limits though. Maybe max 10 in any attribute. Minimum of 1 of course (except the supernatural attributes).
  • 5 careers would each normally 2 skill points, so that's 10 points to spend in skills. I suppose you could reduce the skill list to the categories--academic, combat, crafting, etc.
  • Then you'd need 5 exploits from somewhere. I'm not sure how you'd handle the choices there.
The Galactic Sentience Catalog has rules for building new heritages/species with a point-buy system so you could do the Star Wars species there, although you might not need to--a lot of the SW species have analogues in the book. Wookies, androids, for sure.
 

Suskeyhose

Explorer
It seems like a really strange ask to get rid of lifepaths. They're not really that tied to the core setting and can be easily adapted to star wars, and if you like i'd recommend instead going through and simply noting down which careers don't seem to fit, and then maybe note down some things you feel are missing.

Making new careers isn't very hard following the instructions in the book, so you could add any careers that you feel are missing and your group shows interest in.

I also think that careers aren't inherently tied to the breadth of skills in the game, if you want there to be fewer skills you could, as morrus said, just make each category a skill, then perhaps make each career grade only give 1 skill point.

That said, I'm curious what the issue is with the large number of skills since as a gm you don't have to keep track of them all. You really only have to keep a few special ones in mind like perception and chemistry or alchemy, because the intended game flow is that the gm almost never calls for a specific skill roll. Instead you call an attribute roll, and it's the player's responsibility to ask if one of their skills applies to this particular roll, and you can say yes, no, or partially which grants at most 1d6.

Sorry if this reply feels a little combative but i'm just curious about the motivation here.
 

Tashtego

Explorer
I'm fond of WOIN and ran a successful NEW campaign a while ago. Today my group prefers lighter fare. However, it's got a solid, modular design by purpose and can handle a lot of hacks. To respond to OP, I would do the following:

  • Curate your own list of skills—perhaps get about twenty or so, or use the category names as the skill instead (e.g. Academic, Artistic etc).
  • Look at the table on page 68 of NEW (Typical point values & advancement cost). I'm not sure if this exists in the online WOINRULES.COM version. A starting character has 44 Attribute Points, 13 skill ranks, 7 exploits, a 5d6 Max Dice Pool and XP of 50. So in the career-free chargen hack, I'd get players to pick their species, and allocate attribute points and skill ranks where they see fit. Because of the MDP concept, the system has a bit of inherent protection against drastic min-maxing and I don't think this would break the game (not having tried this, of course.)

On the philosophy of 'why hack/change this game? It works perfect for me!" Each GM/group is different and no game fits everyone. And house-ruling and game hacks have been with us since the beginning of time (or at least D&D)! And because WOIN is open source thanks to Morrus, there's a lot people can do with the system. For example, I'm thinking about a rules-light(er) variant that can still support long-term campaign play, (a bit like WEG Star Wars). Thanks to the modular game design, I'm looking at replacing the tactical combat system with a variant that favours of a lighter, Theatre-of-the-Mind play (something that feels like WEG Star Wars/d6 in play). (I find WOIN has a lot better integration of genres, and some nice features that I feel improve on the open d6 stuff, but I digress.)

I'll see what the starter set looks like first. I know people who started Pathfinder with the beginner box, and wanted a level 1-20 version of that rather than jumping from the starter set to the full game.
 

Belisarion

Explorer
For example, I'm thinking about a rules-light(er) variant that can still support long-term campaign play, (a bit like WEG Star Wars). Thanks to the modular game design, I'm looking at replacing the tactical combat system with a variant that favours of a lighter, Theatre-of-the-Mind play (something that feels like WEG Star Wars/d6 in play). (I find WOIN has a lot better integration of genres, and some nice features that I feel improve on the open d6 stuff, but I digress.)
Could you share your rule-light variant?

I've also been on the constant hunt for a generic rule system to rule all genres. I delved in GURPS (which I dearly love, but preparation and world building is so time consuming). WEG D6, OpenD6, Mini Six are great systems to just start out of the box, extremely easy to play and building characters from scratch. But it lacked the details of customizations, I was looking for (advantages, exploits, you name it). OpenD6 was going a very intriguing route with advantages/disadvantages but I think it felt rather as being still in development and fell short because of it's unfinished feel.

WOIN is the (as good as) perfect scratch for my generic system itch. As @Corporate Dog is seeking to play Star Wars, I was also looking for a system handling that almost out of the box. And what can I say, the Star Knight ist almost identical with a Jedi Knight. Tweak the exploits a bit, add some who are missing and maybe an additional Jedi Master career or even a Guardian and Consular one, if you like. Exploits for each light saber fighting style should be easy to implement. Use the Cinematic Mode and implement the ideas from the How to handle minion groups? thread to make the heroes feel even more heroic.

@Morrus , which books besides N.E.W., Galactic Sentience Catalog and Starship Recognition Manual would you recommend for a Star Wars game?
 

Tashtego

Explorer
@Belisarion I'm still thinking through it at at the moment, but will let you know via these forums when I have something ready for feedback. I'm planning to do two rules modules to start with - one that replaces the gear shopping lists with a simple resource/point buy system, and the other would be an article exploring Theatre of the Mind combat in more detail.
 

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