Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: Variable Life-Path Numbers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    40
    Rep Power
    16

    Default Variable Life-Path Numbers

    I had an idea for a game that I need some feedback on...

    I am running a game with a group of players who are brand new to burning wheel, and this is the first game that I have run. I was wondering if it would skew stuff too much to have players with different numbers of lifepaths. I plan on setting a hard cap of 5 and telling my players that they can have any number of LP's UP TO 5. Would this skew stuff too much? My players are aware that the more LP characters would have a 'power' edge while the lower LP characters would progress faster.

    Also, what would be an appropriate skill/stat exponent cap for this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    968
    Rep Power
    723

    Default

    Are we talking about a campaign whether the players play one single character stock?

    The players neet to be aware that generally the character's capabilities increase with the number of lifepaths. But you need to also make it clear that Burning Wheel challenges character concept as well as the capability of the character.

    The Gifted Child trait enables the players to play a much younger character with slightly less pain than it might be without it.

    We were playing a high power all-orc game. 7 lifepath limit. One player took 6 life paths instead. I didn't worry about it so much. There were problems because the player realised he wasn't a fan of this character, his beliefs were weak and consequently I was struggling with these things too. Later he decided that his guy didn't have the will to live when he bled out from serious to death. He now has a 7 lifepath blacksmith with prophetic dreams and the need to protect his 2 favourite sons as their commander descends into hateful insanity. We're a fan of this guy.
    - Guy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,714
    Rep Power
    380

    Default

    It would be fine, but I wouldn't recommend it for your first game. Really though, 4LP and 5LP characters are pretty viable together. 3LP characters are going to be much more limited in ability.
    -Devin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uruguay (South America)
    Posts
    459
    Rep Power
    222

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skwerel View Post
    I plan on setting a hard cap of 5 and telling my players that they can have any number of LP's UP TO 5.
    A hard cap of 5? My characters tend to have B2 Skills. xD

    EDIT: Oh. You are talking about LPs cap, not Skills Exponent cap.
    Last edited by Etsu Riot; 04-04-2011 at 02:35 PM.
    - Alejandro

    Sorry my english.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    244
    Rep Power
    62

    Default

    In the first BW campaign I ran (here), the group really wanted to do a "farm boys to heros" thing, so we had four characters who were 3 LP (one dropped out early--and swore they'd never play BW or anything similar ever again--so there were three) and two who were 5 LP mentor/protector types. They knew there'd be a power difference and were okay with that. We also said that the 3LP characters were tied up more directly in the destiny that was the premise of the campaign while the two 5 LP characters were in support roles to some extent.

    It worked okay. I'd probably allow it again if they wanted. Not sure I'd recommend it, though I wouldn't particularly caution against it either.

    Actually, the power difference between characters with the same number of LPs was a much bigger culture shock to the group (one of the 5 LP characters was much more powerful than the other). I understand and philosophically accept that characters in BW aren't meant to be arbitrarily "balanced", like most other games, but I still sometimes have moments of culture shock, especially since one of my players is a blatant power-gamer and makes characters who are often dramatically more competent than most the other characters in the campaigns (though he also embraces the advancement and artha cycle in BW so his power-gaming tends to drive awesome play).

    YMMV, of course.
    -John B.

    Not currently running BW, but here's an AP for an older compaign:
    Heirs of a Burning Destiny (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)

    Google Plus: Here

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uruguay (South America)
    Posts
    459
    Rep Power
    222

    Default

    Random thought: A young prince with a dead father (1 or 2 LPs), his devote and helpless mother (3 or 4 LPs) and a samurai warrior who swore protect the child (5 or 6 LPs). It's all what you need for a challenging BW/Blossoms Are Falling Adventure or Campaign. That, and the dead emperor military adviser (the traitor murderer) seeking to end the life of the heir and proclaim himself Shogun (7 or 8 LPs). Who cares the balance? This is drama, not a board game. Play to lose!
    - Alejandro

    Sorry my english.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    284
    Rep Power
    93

    Default

    Ok, so here's the biggest culture shock I watch people do, over and over when it comes to characters in BW:

    "I made a Village-Born, Baker, Baker, Tinkerer - why does my character suck (at adventuring)?"

    The biggest mental hurdle I hear a lot about is people pick bizarre, non-adventurer type life paths, and wonder why they end up with maybe 2 or 3 skills at rank 2 or 3 and a lot of not-useful skills.

    Tying into what jb.teller said, the biggest thing is to try to get players to get 2 LPs in the same setting- "Ok, you guys are in the army, your last 2 LPs need to be in Professional Soldier or a Knight LP".

    I'd probably give everyone the same number of Lifepaths to start, because BW character creation is complicated enough without adding more choices in the mix to new people. If you do limit players to having to choose 2 LPs in a given type, though, you can probably have a 3-5 LP spread and it'll work out ok, because everyone should have similar skill sets.

    Definitely make sure players buy into the situation - if you've got a struggle for the throne and the Baker/Tinkerer shows up, you need to look at the player and ask WTF they're thinking.

    Chris

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    40
    Rep Power
    16

    Default

    Couple clarifications:

    1. We have multiple stocks involved. Namely, an elf, an orc, and three humans. I have a sixth character that missed last session, so I don't know what her character concept is yet.

    2. Before I get razzed about the preceding... I know I have quite a few players, partially because I expect a few people will drop out, just based on what I know about my group.

    3. The situation is: Elven dude gets a vision about how somehow humans are going to cause the demise of the world and decides to destroy them, human priestess gets a vision and takes off with a few ships full of people, human lands get blown up. Human princess follows after her elven fiance tells her what is happening, and is sailing off when they witness the destruction of the homeland. The Remant has to figure out how to survive in new environment and deal with orc raiding parties, elves who want to kill off the rest of them, dwarves whose stance is unknown as of yet, and a possible political restructuring (IE, former monarchy, the princess wants to establish some other form of government).

    The nice thing about this situation: I gave the players a free reign in creating it, and just threw in some suggestions here and there. I posed them with a series of open-ended questions to try and spark brainstorming, and that is what we came up with.

    4. The initial problem I ran into is that I have a powergamer in the group. He gave his character concept as "a young orc trying out new ideas." His small tribe of orcs have joined forces with the Humans to help them survive and hold off the elves. Kind of a "enemy of my enemy is my friend" sort of deal. After pitching the "my dude is a young naive orc" thing, he called me this week and told me he wanted to play with 5 LP's, based on the thought that orcs are immortal and so a 50 year old orc could be "young" by those standards. I have a feeling his character is going to get the "DM's Veto Pencil."

    So I think as a way to quell the powergamer and also to cut down on the complicated-ness for the new peoples, I'm giong to just say 4 LP's and call it good. From what I've seen, 6 exp cap seems like a good one to go along with this.

    Speaking of which, I at one point burned up a dwarf in a campaign who ended up with a B7 greed in a game with an exp cap 6. Does this mean that I have to take a G2, or does it just get bopped back down to a B6?
    Last edited by skwerel; 04-04-2011 at 04:09 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uruguay (South America)
    Posts
    459
    Rep Power
    222

    Default

    5 LP for an orc is fine. Anyway, I don't think you must have an orc character in a human/elf campaign. Just humans, or just elven, or just orcs is better. Maybe all human and an elf, I don't know. But not an orc in a human castle or a human in an orc clan, or someone is going to die very quickly.
    - Alejandro

    Sorry my english.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    968
    Rep Power
    723

    Default

    The rule of thumb in the character burner seems to be:

    Human with X lifepaths.
    Is balanced with...
    Elf with X-1 lifepaths.
    Is balanced with...
    Orc with X+1 lifepaths.

    But of course balance does not have to be a major concern.
    - Guy

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •