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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 66 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Character Points and Conservativism  (Read 2684 times)
Eric J.
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« on: July 19, 2004, 11:19:32 PM »

I think I'm having some system troubles for a change.

As you may or may not know, I'm still GMing a Star Wars D6 game for me and my friends and it's going fantasticly.  Here's a snag though.

Character points.  They're experience as well as a buffer for skill use in session.

My players have a tendancy to spend them like candy.  I get this idea from the sound that they make before they start rolling extra dice for their skills (They shout out the word 'candy').  The problem is that they, sometimes, have little experience afterwards to increase their skills with.

Sometimes they'll spend them without neccecity or to totally eliminate any risk in a situation.  I know that some of this can't be avoided.

But are their any tips?

My current strategies have been along the lines of advising them when they do or don't need to use them.  And telling them what range the DC might be in.

What I DON'T want to do is to give them character points to compensate for their using of them, else there's no reason not to use them and failure becomes a head scratching affair.

It's not a gigantic deal but I'm still trying to figure out a better method or something.

They simply need certain skills and abilities at higher levels and players enjoy improving their characters and I enjoy sending realisticly leveled villains after them.  One thing I like to do with my villains is to give them something to work up to, else it becomes a progression of being able to do mundane things 5 times or 7 times a round.

Please forgive the incoherent post.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Pyron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2004, 06:43:45 AM »

Hi Eric,

I guess I'm not seeing the problem. Are they unhappy with any aspect of the improvement of their characters' skills? Is the slow-to-minimum rate of improvement demonstrably a problem?

Best,
Ron
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ErrathofKosh
Member

Posts: 190

Lest Darkness Fall.


« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2004, 08:31:58 AM »

What my group did is stretch out the periods between the awards. (Very much like going up a level in D&D.)  This leads to players using most of their points for development, and hoarding the few left over for those really bad situations.  It isn't as flowing as the original system, but it gives challenges more edge, for sure.  

Just be sure not to hand out huge amounts each time.  (And reduce the amount you give if the player is using them for mundane reasons.)

The only other way I can think of doing it would be to set a limit on the amount of points available per session.

Hope this helps...

Jonathan
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Cheers,
Jonathan
ErrathofKosh
Member

Posts: 190

Lest Darkness Fall.


« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2004, 08:35:00 AM »

Oh yeah, one last thing...

Try switching to D20, it works really well for Star Wars and is fairly easy to convert to.  And you can still use all of that WEG product that takes up a bookcase! (Well, mine only takes up half a bookcase...)  :)

May the Force be with you... always.

Jonathan
AKA Darth Errath
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Cheers,
Jonathan
Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2004, 08:43:07 AM »

Eric,

I suggest reading this super-old thread on 7th Sea where I encountered a similar problem. The solution was to only allow spent character points to be used for advancement, which seems a little crazy, but works like a charm.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
John Kim
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2004, 10:52:19 AM »

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
  I suggest reading this super-old thread on 7th Sea where I encountered a similar problem. The solution was to only allow spent character points to be used for advancement, which seems a little crazy, but works like a charm.  

Yeah.  The problem is that by using the same pool of points to be used for both XP and hero points, you get a split between "hoarders" and "spendthrifts".  Spendthrifts will dominate the game in the short term but will have little or no character growth.  Hoarders will at first fade in the background, but as they accumulate permanent power they will dominate in the long term.  

If you don't want to have a split between hoarders and spendthrifts, then don't force people to choose between the two -- i.e. have separate points for each function, or require them to be used for both as Clinton suggests.
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- John
Eric J.
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2004, 12:21:20 PM »

Thanks for the advice.  I guess I'll answer everyones posts in order since they varie a lot.

Ron,
 It's a personal frustration as well as a player frustration.  I get frustrated when they take away any risk by spending their character points like crazy and they get frustrated when they don't have many character points leftover.  They claim that my encounters are too hard.  Maybe they are.  Hm... The thing is they'll sometimes spent character points liberally on the easy tasks too (i.e. just for fun or whatever).

Jonathan,
 Actually, that's some really good advice.  It also helps explain some of the rules in the D6 book.  There's  a rule that I try not to ignore about never giving the players more than 15 character points at a time.  This has always furstrated me since I've convinced myself that we run longer sessions than the book assumes (i.e. more stuff you have to spend character points on).  I'll think about your idea.  And thanks, I have all the D20 stuff, but this is a D6 campaign.

Clinton,
 I read the thread and I can see where it's going.  However, I reject the notion as it applies to character points.  However, it really really makes sense in the context of force points, which work exactly that way already.  The difference is that force points are used like drama dice, to make a scene more dramatic and stuff, while character points are there to, as I see it, kindof save the characters' butts and improve their actions from time to time.  It concures perfectly.  Force points already achieve all of the ideas in the thread:  They can't be used for experience.  They are to create drama, and they can only be gained (with one excpetion) by using force points.  Good ideas, though.  Thanks for the thread.

John,
 I understand what you're saying, but here's my problem: The characters don't know what the DC is.  To them, using 3 character points to avoid being shot every round seems perfectly reasonable.  From my point of view: They wouldn't have been hit even if they hadn't spent them, so the encounter is only serving to shave down their experience (the exact opposite of what I want) instead of providing a challenge.

Here's what I'm looking at right now.

I'm going to take Jonathan's advice and start implimenting the D6 character point rules more (no more than 15 per gain, but you can give them some durring the session).  I don't think that I can wait long periods of time to give them character points because then I'm just fueling their mass consumption (i.e. giving them character points based upon how many they spend).  Actually I should bring up something else that relates.

Clinton, your thread reminded me of force points and in the campaign their usage has been extrmely low.  This is for 2 reasons, I think.

A)They save their force points for 'we're screwed' moments.
B)Force points double their dice.  If they have 3 dice into something it's more economical to use character points.

The ONLY force point use I have seen this campaign was pretty cool though.  One of my players had their master 'kidnapped' and he was invited by a Sith Lord (One of the main antagonists in the campaign) called Darth Janus to an hourglass looking platform connecting two buildings.  The Sith guy just wanted to talk and to bargain with him but the character (Aran) decided to charge him instead.  In that battle where the Sith Lord only played defence, he spent 2 force points and maybe a dozen character points.  It was actually really cool to see his character so passionate.  In the end I gave him a force point back and a dark side point (both of which he was fine with).  Anyway, it turned out that his master saved HIM and hadn't been captured by this guy after all.  I gave the Sith master reasonable abilities (i.e. double Aran's) and Aran still managed to wound him in a couple places.

Anyway- Maybe if I can get my players to spend more force points and fewer character points it'll make the situation a little bit better.

The real problem is that Jedi need a LOT of character points to increase their abilities using my mods (since IMHO the original system just doesn't make any sense).  I'm still looking for alternatives to the original Jedi system.

Like I said, this all isn't that much of a problem but I figured that I'd learn a thing or two bringing it up.  Thanks again guys.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Pyron
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ErrathofKosh
Member

Posts: 190

Lest Darkness Fall.


« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2004, 12:34:23 PM »

Yep!
I had that experience too.  The system as written is bad for Jedi campaigns.  However, I wrote a a rule revision that works pretty well.  I'll see if I can find it by the end of the week and pm you (and anyone else who expresses interest).  

Something about the Force making Luke a better pilot, not a worse one seems like it's contradicting the rules of d6.  

Awww the power of Drift....

BTW, I have always liked d6, just thought they wrote it poorly.  Maybe I've to go back and take a look into writing a d6 game. :)

May the Force be with you.

Jonathan

(BTW, Errath of Kosh is the dark side alter ego of my d6 character Sol Kelstar, who has recently come back from the dark side in a d20 game.  Just in case anyone was wondering...)
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Cheers,
Jonathan
Valamir
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2004, 12:49:37 PM »

Quote
Clinton,
I read the thread and I can see where it's going. However, I reject the notion as it applies to character points.


Why do you reject it for character points?

Is it out of some sense that you'd be letting the players get away with something?  That letting them have their cake and eat it too would somehow be bad?
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Eric J.
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2004, 01:52:53 PM »

Jonathan,
 Thanks a lot.  That would be really interesting to read.  Right now, I'm kindof winging the force attribute improvement (They ask you to treat it as an attribute in the creation and then as a skill?  What the heck?!).  I also created about 40 force powers and changed how you aquire them.  You must have a teacher to teach the basis of them to you.  They cost either 5, 10, 20, or 30 character points.  Then you can spend time meditating which helps you to learn them.  After that you have to use your force skill to use the power at a high difficulty then you can use them.  Meditating decreases the final DC.  That or you can spend a force point (but you don't get it back unless it's in an appropriate situation).

BTW- Pyron was my first character and an overpowered Jedi Knight before any of this plot nonsense was involved.

Ralph,
 I didn't really mean 'reject' except that I think the thread applies to force points better (though I'm not familiar with 7'th sea).  I just don't think that I should further split character points into use pools and exp. pools (since that kindof limits the players and deprotagonises them a little bit.  It is kindof like saying what they can and cannot do with them and how many, just too strong a change for a not to strong problem).  They already have force points for that.  I also don't want to reward them for saving their own butts with character points every time they trip the computer systems or miss an apponent.  There are already force points to take care of drama really.

So basicly what you said.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Pyron
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