Re: Character Ratings

From: Roderick and Ellen Robertson <rjremr_at_...>
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2004 12:24:14 -0700

> > In the published stuff, say you have a character who has Heortling
> > Warrior 15W2. Of course that can't mean all of the skills in that
> > category is at 15W2, does it? I think it must mean one or two at
> > that level and the rest somewhere between 15W2 and 17. Has anyone
> > got any advice as to how they figure it?

Hmm, well since *I* am "They" in a lot of cases...

> Good question - I'd like to see an answer to that, too. Maybe the 15W2 is
> average? And a few skills (those listed separately?) are even higher?

*Technically*, "Keyword 15w2" means all abilities in that keyword are at 15w2. However, the way *I* use those numbers in play assumes that three or four of the "main abilities" in that keyword are +/-1 to 2 points from that number - so it's an "average of the best abilities". The rest of the (unlisted) abilities in the keyword are probably less than that - figure "improv penalties" from -3 to -10 (for a really unused ability). When writing for a supplement, I choose a "feels right to me" number.

I normally don't bother to list Keyword abilities unless they are exceptionally better or worse than the keyword - if I design a "Warrior 15W", then for Riding to be mentioned it has to be either really good (5 points or more better is the rule of thumb I've recently come up with) or bad ("Riding 6"). Otherwise, I just assume that it's "in the ballpark" of the keyword rating.

The main ability, according to the main thrust of the character's role in the adventure, gets mentioned specifically (Combat abilities often, but if the character is not supposed to fight then "Trading" for a merchant, "Alluring Beauty for the princess, etc). This is true even if the ability rating is exactly the same as the keyword ability. This is so the narrator doesn't have to think "should his combat ability be greater than the keyword?"

> While we're at it, would the same sort of answer apply to a Follower with
> keyword? Some of the skills from that keyword woud be at the keyword
> and some would be lower? Or would some be higher?
> After all, a PC with "warrior 17" starts with all warrior skills at 17 -
> does a follower, too? Or not?

A follower (especially a retainer, who basically *is* just a keyword) should be at that rating in all abilities unless you think there is a really compelling reason to change it. Note that for a follower to get individual ability ratings, he has to be a sidekick, not a retainer. Poor old retainers are restricted to a keyword and 17 (by the rules - if you want to raise a retainer's keyword rating, *I* won't stop you). They are *supposed* to be the faceless spear carriers. if you want a more persoanlized followr, than get a sidekick.

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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