I run mostly with cheap backgrounds(due to start another map sickness and semiIron man runs od deadly) and they I don’t have a single 4 roll on Melee Skill stat. The highest was 3 for primary stats(RS,MS,RD,MD) and 4 for secondary(Fatigue,Bravery,HP,Init) but often than not I get 1 for primary and 2 for secondary stats. Not a single 4 for primary or 5 for secondary.
Over all I get enough of lower rolls that I think it was below average 2 for primary or 3 for secondary stats.
It make cheap background very weak especially compared to high basic stats of professional military and noble backgrounds, better traits of their and their better progression(on forum guys report 4 growth for primary stats).
The current stat growth is punishing player for investing time into not optimal recruits.
Not reliable stat growth is especially hurting with static and not refundable perk system.
The current system have three pillars that soldier is build:
-basic stats based on background
-perks and traits(traits affected by background and negative one are clearly bad)
-level up stats growth it supposed to be random and not affected by backgrounds but who knows
But let think about the idea of forth pillar:
-trainings and experiences
Let me explain.
– basic stats are rolled in much bigger range that before but ranges are the same for any background(yes the same) with some minor differences between social class(Commoners eat everything, Nobles have some bonuses to stats but demand high quality food)
– traits get remodelled to not make them not pure negative or positive (with some exceptions)
For example Optimist don’t give a flat increase of Resolve but grant bonus to rolls when Morale can get increased.
On the other hand Pessimist get big bonus to resist negative morale checks(he expect bad things to happen) but penalty for a rolls to morale increase.
Or say Cocky(right now its terrible trait 5resolve is not worth 5Melee and range defence) Grant resolve bonus for using resolve based skills but also great penalty when getting hit(as he is not really brave but a fake).
The traits should be more occasional than just flat bonuses.
-the level up stats could be both random and chosen
Any character could have a small random growth automatic applied on level(not affected by player choice). Soldier level up and he get few points as a free upgrade(not too much say 1MS and 2 fatigue or 1RS and 2 Init). Not too much and they are free.
But also player can add some small amount to 3 stats as before(say 1 for primary and 2 for secondary stat). Not too much but still it would be a thing after ten levels.
– then there is a Training and Experience
What exactly differ professional Soldiers from Fresh recruits?
Training and experience.
Its like perk system but it mostly grant flat stat increase and can be earned by many ways. By simply spending time with company, earning experience, slaying enemies or dealing damage, or fighting set amount of battles, or using weapons set amount of time, etc.
-basic Military training(grant 5MS,5RS)
Soldier who spent few days with company have increase chance to earn this. Soldiers train each other and having experienced soldiers could trigger this fast.
For example all Militiamen come with a at last 1 or 2 levels of experience and they have Basic Military Training.
Sellswords start on 4-5 level and have Advanced Military Training.
Some backgrounds can come with Survival training that increase HP and fatigue(hard working people) other can have reflex training(Thieves or Ratcatchers) etc.
Trainings increase stats by flat amount.
Weapon proficiency give user weapon based bonus(either Accuracy, damage, defence or fatigue cost reduction or even additional skill or reduced durability cost on use).
Experience grant user bonus against specified enemy(bonus chance to hit, bonus damage, bonus to resolve or bonus to defence).
It will greatly help to give troops individual feeling.
Like look at this Militiamen(2Lv):
-he has Basic Spear Proficiency
-basic Military Training
-Advanced Physical Training
He cost 500 coins to recruit, 10 to upkeep and will eat everything
Look at this Swordmaster(5Lv):
-Master Sword Proficiency
-Basic Dagger Proficiency
-Advanced Reflex Training
-Advanced Defence Training
This guy cost 5000 coin to recruit, 30 to pay upkeep and demand wine and meat on his dinner
All have varies degree
The big thing is that it can be achieved by anyone but it take time and guys without it have harder times to survive.
So either player can get experience mercenaries but at great monetary cost or get some freshmen and train them.