Aka "advanced experience"?
> Of course, if the player
> wants to start a new ability ("Hey, 'Repair Equipment' should
> be part of the warrior keyword, I want to buy it at my
> keyword rating") do you want him to start it at the average
> of the four top abilities? That's a decision you'd have to make.
Good point. You'd probably look at the vaguely similar skills in the keyword, if any, and see what level they are.
> > 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 :(
> It's when you argue back that you have to really start worrying :-).
These are all run by me, remember? Or possibly vice versa :(
> > If an NPC decides to become a
> > follower, of either type, do they suddenly lose all their skills and
> > an X-17 keyword?
> Remember that there's also allies, enemies, patrons, etc. If
> the NPC is about the same power level as the character, will
> he *really* want to follow the hero?
Probably not, but he can be quite a bit lower than them and still be more interesting than "warrior 17".
I think you're right, though, what I'm after is Allies. Far more flexibility.
NPC to sidekick:
> You might give him some
> "negative" abilities ("Hates the rest of Group", "Drinks to
> excess", Thinks he's better than everyone else", "Fawns on
> hero", etc) to balance out the extra experience he's had.
Nice! Though I'm still not sure why a rules construct that says "yesterday you were an NPC, today you're a sidekick" should alter his abilities? He's the same guy. If he was a PC, you'd just write an extra Relationship on his sheet.
> No-one says that they have to be always good for the
> character (look at Kallyr's trickster!)
Oh, I have. Believe me, I have. And even without going that extreme, clashes make for story. PBeM has the great advantage that I can write the IC for my PC and her followers having arguments, without having to resort to silly swapping of hats to know which one's talking.
> They sound like Allies to me (even if they aren't at the
> hero's level of
> expertise): have lives outside the hero's, don't always come
> when called, et c.
That's them. Even the ones with "loyal to PC W2" have ideas of their own, and sometimes get run as independent PCs.
> Once you've decided whose bothering to join the current
> adventure, you can parcel them out to the players & let them
> have "really experienced sidekicks" for that session.
That's what we seem to do, yes. Allies. I can see I need to look up allies. And forget Retainers, as "faceless" just isn't the way we do things.
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