I’m just over half-way through writing up the racial traits, which is one of the key aspects to Machinations of the Space Princess and not something I’m sure has been done before. Going through the various species, culture and exotic traits available to potential characters, it’s pretty obvious that the potential for min-maxing is huge.
Is this a problem?
I don’t know that it is. While I expect the game to be reasonably deadly I think more competent characters will compensate a bit for that and be in keeping with the genre.
After all, when you look at science fiction of all sorts, the aliens aren’t so alien after all. they’re specialised and extended versions of us. The klingons in Star Trek are a warrior culture with redundant organs and great martial skill and they’re hardly the only ones. Aliens of all sorts in all kinds of fiction exemplify particular traits.
The traits in Machinations aren’t that major in effect, they’re more than cosmetic but they’re not earth-shaking. It’s more about a way of guiding how you play the characters and giving them colour and flavour that goes far beyond just picking a class and race.
If people want to min-max, more power to them. If that’s wrong, it’s a failure of the player, not the game and hey, who doesn’t want to be the best at what they do? Bub.
” If [wanting to min-max is] wrong, it’s a failure of the player”
Note the use of the word ‘if’. Opinion is divided. RPGs have to account for a lot of different situations and rules can always be abused or ‘gamed’. Better, I think, to leave those kinds of choices more in the hands of the group to say ‘This character is broken’ rather than the rules to work on being restrictive of every instance.
Oh! Now I get it.
I thought for a second that you were advocating for full minmaxing there.
Perhaps each trait can be a double-edged sword, a la Aspects in FATE. E.g. Logical Mind grants a bonus to science and technological skills but a penalty to social and artistic skills (since aliens that logical don’t understand subtext, humor, or ambiguous emotions).