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What is "Lifepath"?

Started by Torquemada, June 01, 2005, 08:49:56 AM

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Quote from: ShimCould you possibly extend this "Lifepath" thing to cities and society?
Is there already something like this?

An interesting idea.  I see no particular reason to think this could NOT be done, in some manner.  On the other hand, a persons life stages are pretty consistent and we can plan for them, I'm not sure the same can be said of population centres.

Edit: tho that said, if the cities in question flew through space or something, they might indeed have meaningfully comparable histories.
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Quote from: ShimCould you possibly extend this "Lifepath" thing to cities and society?
Is there already something like this?

I don't see why not, depending on your group's priorities. The only game I can think of that has approached something like this is Aria, although there could be others. But Aria was way too much for me.

On the other hand, in Burning Wheel, we often assign important locations or societies a set of Beliefs and Traits that are common among the populace. It's discussed very briefly in the Monster Burner, but we may return to it and flesh it out more at a later date.

In my experience, this is more useful and more playable than doing a more full-blown lifepath sort of deal for locations or societies.

So you might have a bootstrapping village somewhere like this:
1. The measure of a man is how well he provides for his family.
2. Don't trust anyone that doesn't worship properly at the shrine.
3. Never speak ill of the lord or his minions where they might hear, and disassociate yourself from anyone who does.

Traits: Hard-nosed, Suspicious of Strangers, Self Reliant

Mike Holmes

Dang, Thor beat me to Aria. For searching it up, it's full name is Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth

Anyhow, as for Dark Conspiracy, the lifepath system therin was actually GDW's house system at the time. It was developed from the Traveller system and used in a couple of the editions of the game. I think there may be a couple of other games that used the system (Cadillacs & Dinosaurs?) as well.


P.S. Oh, and I keep forgetting, the computer game Darklands also used something similar for chargen.
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In that vein, I guess you could have "Geopaths" as well. You could take it as far as you want and have any type of path.

Powercenters come across my mind when I think of this Social Lifepath thing. A Powercenter would reach critical mass, unable to keep all the people happy. Two Powercenters would emerge, conflict would occur, and a division would soon follow (much like a cell). The losing Powercenter would be sent off into the world, picking up survival traits depending on the enviroment and finally settling upon a location.

It could be a tad bit complicated.
I'll think about it.


When I started looking at incorporating what I have been calling a "Birth to Play" lifepath that would include accumulating skills as well as social input, I realized a few things.

1.  A lifepath is good in culturally homogenous settings.  In otherwords, you can't have a single lifepath that will handle both "American Western" culture as well as "Egyptian Muslim" culture.  The two are too different to be used synonomously.

2.  It's humanocentric.  In a system where you are going to have PCs able to be anything from intelligent sharks to borgs, there is so much physiological difference and "physical cultural" difference, it can't fit for both.

3. It's timeline limited.  Since you can't trust (assuming the variances of the first two would exist) a character to always start learning at age 6 to age 18 for basic education, you have to seriously think of how things will blend.  If the ages change, you can't set up a year by year timeline.

The only solution I've figured around this is to create an "even specific" lifepath that doesn't depend on similar time periods.  In Orion's Arm, I have to deal with non human characters, even Artificial Intelligences, that can effectively live a few millenia.  

So, it's an upward haul for me but thought I'd toss in just incase it'd help someone else. :c)
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Mike Holmes

Well, the other solution to the problem in question, MDB, is to make lifepaths for each culture/species. This is what Luke has done in Burning Wheel. There are Orc Lifepaths and Elf Lifepaths, etc, in addition to the human lifepaths.

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