RE: Character Ratings

From: Jane Williams <janewilliams20_at_...>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 00:45:22 +0100

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

And I thought I had schizophrenia problems ;)

> *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).

That feels right, when looking at PCs. In fact, I wonder if PC sheets should perhaps ignore the initial keyword ratings once play has started? If you need to know the rating again, take the highest three or four main abilities and average them?

> 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.

And even then, they're restricted to only a few abilities. My sidekicks keep telling me their backstories and trying to promote themselve to alternate PCs. I think I need five or so PCs with one player. I would say "working as a team", except that they keep arguing :(

> 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.

An intriguing thought for you - when you "get" a new follower or either type, they don't just come out of thin air. They may well have been NPCs in the last scenario who we got on with. If an NPC decides to become a follower, of either type, do they suddenly lose all their skills and become an X-17 keyword?

I think my trouble is, I still see NPCs as PCs who happen to be being run by the GM today. That's how we've always tended to do things in games I run, look at the next scenario, decide which characters will join in, which will stay at home, which will tag along, choose who's playing which one, and decide who's a PC and who's a "follower" based on that. The HW/HQ sharp division between Hero (capital H) and faceless spearcarrier just doesn't seem to allow for this.

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