Re: Buying & increasing (follower abilities and) keywords

From: Roderick and Ellen Robertson <rjremr_at_...>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 15:13:45 -0800

> Oh, yes, I completely agree. I'm still waiting for anyone to have a
> definitive answer on whether or not the rules intend for this to be
> or not. Is the Keyword+3 abilities meant as merely a starting place, or
> meant to be a limit on the number of abilities. I'd personally prefer it
> be a starting place, and will probably be allowing any sort of development
> in play. But, yeah, if the basic rule is that you can't add more abilities
> or up keyword ones, then that is sorta odd.

Top of page 85. It's a starting place.

While it says "The narrator can add abilities", you can always try to convince your narrator to do this. Remember, it's a game of negotiation, not fiat. Maybe a better wording is "The narrator must approve new abilities".

> >Well, naturally. My instinct and impression is that (my) players could
> >do with some incentive to spend points on followers at all wrt the HQ
> >baseline, but obviously experiences may differ. (I couldn't claim my
> >own is exactly extensive either, partly due to being deliberately fuzzy
> >about the mid-game switch from HW to HQ over such matters.) Some sort
> >of 'discounted' keyword increase rate would encourage follower
> >advancement, without 'forcing' it in the direction of description-
> >lengthening or extreme specialisation.
> Can't be like a two for one, however, because then the player could put
> bonuses into the follower, and get a keyword with double the total bonus
> it. Probably have to be accompanied by a "no more raised on the follower
> than on the PC" caveat. Hmmm...

Frankly, because of the way individual sagas progress, Issaries *shouldn't* make a rule about how to advance sidekicks. I *do* think that allowing a hero to simply buy up a keyword of a sidekick is the thin end of a wedge into buying up a hero's keywords, and so shouldn't be done.

Various ideas of ways to advance sidekick Keywords:

If the campaign is of the saga variety (long time passes between adventures), then Advanced Experience can be used. Variations might be whether the player must split his own Adv. Exp., or if the sidekick gets his own "directed" advance.

If the campaign is of the "Every week is another adventure" kind, then you might allow the sidekick to raise a keyword after the *hero* spends X number of HP on rasing his own abilities (Some arbitrary kinda-high number, like 24 HP; or +20 added to his abilities, not counting those 12 you get for "free" when buying a new ability; or something along those lines). Again, the group has to decide whether the Hero's HP must be used to raise the sidekick's keyword or not. Maybe the hero has to spend 1 HP to raise a sidekick's keyword after the Hero has met the minimum requirements.

A straight buying of a Sidekick's keyword should depend on the keyword - after all, a Homeland keyword is not as useful (generally) as a Occupation keyword, and a Magic keyword has expensive magical abilities in it. So maybe 5/10/20 for Homeland/Occupation/Magic keywords. I don't personally *like* this option, but hey.

Allow a keyword increase after the sidekick has +x (2? 3? 5?) to the three Other abilities. Again, the group must decide if this is automatic or does it cost HP.

It is by my order and for the good of the state that the bearer of this has done what he has done.
- Richelieu

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