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How Viable is a Jack of All Trades Build?

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  • How Viable is a Jack of All Trades Build?

    How viable is a jack of all trades build where a young adult character just comes out of chargen with 5 Will, and then 3's in a bunch of other ability stats?

    My plan is to take the PC down the Greenseer/Skinchanger Benefits path (I'll start her with Animal Cohort, Third Eye, and Third Eye Opened), so she'll eventually raise Cunning to 4 nab the Greensight Benefit, and then I'll raise her other stats depending on how her in game character development goes.

    The game I'm joining (this is my first ASOAIF campaign) has our house as a small newly landed house in the North. Ned Stark landed us in the Gift and we've been charged with defending against wildings.

    Based on that, I thought the Greenseer path would provide good RP flavor for the setting. I also thought it would be good for her to have a balance of combat abilities (Fighting, Athletics, Agilty, etc so she wouldn't be completely helpless if she was ambushed) and social abilities (Persuasion, Awareness, etc she won't be completely naive with noble politics).

    But would I be creating a weak, unplayable build that has trouble contributing later in the game (or earlier in the game)? I don't need my PC to be OP, just viable.

  • #2
    Re: How Viable is a Jack of All Trades Build?

    I don't think there's any build that isn't 'viable'. If you like your character and play it well, you'll have fun, which is the point of the game. That said, you'll probably have a little more fun if there's something your character is good at (4D). There aren't a lot of times where you're going to overcome an obstacle with a Will roll. I recommend taking a 4 in something like Survival, Healing, Persuasion, Deception, Fighting, or Marksmanship, so you really feel like you're contributing - it's a lot faster to change 2s to 3s 10xp at a time than to change 3s to 4s.


    • #3
      Re: How Viable is a Jack of All Trades Build?

      Really depends on what challenges your narrator throws at you, and even more so if any fellow PC's are around to tackle them and what their stats are like.

      For example, if you've got 3's in everything and are in combat with PC's with Fighting 5 and 4's in physical stats and your enemies are supposed to challenge your fellow PC's, you'll be squishy and pretty much useless (though animal cohorts can be pretty good in a fight).

      In a setup where there's a lot of TN 9 tests which you could try your hands at, having 3's in everything allows you to succeed on a lot of stuff. I once played a guy with 3's in pretty much everything in a PbP game that was like that, he managed to get by nicely enough through creativity and getting small rewards for being able to partake in a lot of events which was structured like: succeed on three different TN 9 tests and reap small rewards. He generally got utterly overwhelmed whenever there was a real challenge on his hands. If it wasn't for all those small rewards (and me being creative in working around the limitations, truly enjoying the PC helped), the jack of all trades setup probably wouldn't work. But because he snatched the small rewards in almost every event there was, while those getting the big rewards typically only got the small rewards in at most half the events, he managed to keep up and be as productive as any other PC.

      So it very much depends on how the game is structured, at least half the games I've been in, all 3's would be a horrible setup, probably including all of those I've been running. (sadly, never managed to get my RL pals to pick up SIFRP, so only PbP for me).

      At least as far as mechanics goes, if you're light on rolling and heavy on the story, it may not matter much.