Author Topic: Questions: 1.Character progression/improvement 2.Realism?  (Read 1343 times)

Offline Teeko

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Questions: 1.Character progression/improvement 2.Realism?
« on: August 07, 2014, 07:31:12 AM »
I've been wanting to discuss these things for quite some time now, but since I'm lazy it just hasn't been done...
These questions are mostly directed to our glorious gamemaster @Nicoleta but it would of course also be interesting to see other's opinions.

First, how to handle character progression and improvements in our PnP?
As we have discovered in the time we've played, there's been skills our characters should have known that we just didn't think about when we put them in writing on the character sheet. We have so far been allowed to purchase these skills with our earned xp to compensate for our oversight at character creation. I'm assuming we'll be allowed to continue that way?

I also have the problem of deliberately leaving out skills (in my case, it's mostly spells) the character would know, simply because I ran out of points at character creation.

The Teeko in TSW the mmo has unlocked the panoptic and all currently available aux weapons. Although I'm not using everything. Teeko started with blood/fist for both soloing and group. Over time that changed to chaos/fist for soloing, blood/fist for group healing and some weird blood/chaos for group dps that later changed to elemental/blood dps.

The Teeko in our forum play-by-post stories may possess all those skills (and just not using them all), but she definitely knows hand-to-hand combat, healing, blood magic and elemental magic. (Joleene learned "everything she knows" about elemental magic from Teeko)

The Teeko in our PnP knows hand-to-hand combat, healing and a few of the most basic elemental spells. (like that light spell she's used on several occasions) She also got the pistols skill and of course rocket launcher :P This makes her missing two of her most prominent abilities - blood magic and powerful elemental magic.
If I remember correctly, she's not just missing the spells, she also needs a higher level of the Magery advantage.
I don't know if there's any compendium or some expanded rule book that covers blood magic in gurps, but there's nothing about it in the basic rulebook I got, so we might need to create those spells from scratch. If they will be allowed?
I suppose my actual question about this is How should I go about adding this to the character? The new level of Magery alone is 20 points if I remember correctly. Also, protective blood magic bubbles and ranged elemental spells would make Teeko much more useful in combat, instead of now where she hasn't even reached the baddies before the rest of the group have gunned them down. It will make quite a change and it would feel strange if at one session I just suddenly can blast an enemy with a bolt of fire. So I'm not sure about just adding these things as we go, like we we've done with those skilled we've missed. But on the other hand, this is abilities she already should know...


Over to the other subject: Realism

It's always strange talking about realism in a setting where people can shoot lightning from various body parts. But where does the line go?
I know we at the last session (or the one before that) mentioned Teeko's "computer hacking" skill, which in the rules are labeled a "cinematic" skill and something that doesn't really work in real life but was ok in our campaign since it's not overly realistic. I believe Teeko also got some more "cinematic" abilities as a part of having that jump attack ability and/or her claw weapon expertise.

In the computer game we never need to sleep, eat or take bathroom breaks. In the pnp we've done at least the first two fairly regularely, so that is a step closer to reality compared to the world in the mmo. Injuries is another thing. How realistic do we want things to be?
In movies and tv series things like "bodily functions" and hygiene are often treated as they simply don't exist. After a year on an abandoned island, a man might have grown a beard, but a woman is still hairless under her arms and... at other places... (legs) And I believe George Lucas has stated that there simply aren't any toilets existing in the Star Wars universe. To take two examples.

As Rav pointed out, trying to encourage us all to go skinny dipping, our characters must have been reeking by that point, having gone without a shower or bath for over a week (and likely in the same underwear...)

All this makes me a bit uncertain on what's expected of me and how to act at certain times.

Sorry for the wall of text. When I'm passionate about something I tend to overdo stuff... I've put the core questions in italic for easier focus. (I hope)

Offline Nicoleta

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Re: Questions: 1.Character progression/improvement 2.Realism?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 08:11:58 PM »
Well, to comment on a couple things. It was the intention to focus on what our view of the character's main focus would be. Such as Welsh and Sylvia both have all the abilities, but neither of them ever use magic. Welsh did as part of her NM build, but that was not her as a character, but a means to the end of getting through the NM as DPS.

Likewise, she has almost all of the auxiliary weapons, but again only ever uses the flame thrower as it is intrinsic to her character.

So really, it should be more on what the characters main focus is. The think with PnPs is the more spread out the character is, the less capable they are. While they can function in many different roles, they are just not very good at any of them. This was the problem with the bard in classic D&D - sort of a mage, sort of a thief, and not especially good at either.

With Teeko, it is fine to presume she has the knowledge of Blood and Elemental magic, and can be expressed through the Thaumatology skill, without taking the spells. Though she would not be able to use those spells, but has a reasonable reason to know the study of that magic.

It also comes down to just the idea of having the chance to learn all those abilities. In TSW, our characters are able to learn how to accurately use different weapons, martial arts, and different schools of magic in mere months. This is unreasonable to assume in a more realistic setting. So there is a bit of a divergence there from the game environment. Of course, there are the bees that could seemingly help, but it is vague just how much they help beyond the resurrections.

Additionally, it is also the idea of keeping characters simple and easy to understand, both in game rules, and while in play. If they had all the abilities available that the TSW characters do, they would become quite the mess - needing closer to a 1000 points each.

On the concept of realism, TSW tries to be a more realistic world, typical of the standard urban fantasy genre of fiction. As such, with the game, I have attempted to make the stories and NPCs more fitting with our current world and how that world would be with a few, if secretive, magical entities.

Beyond that, the game world is meant to reflect our characters as real people who need food, and other normal, mundane human life activities. So they are human, with some extra-human abilities. We just don't need to sit on their human requirements, but can still assume they occur.