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Old 09-11-2018, 11:25 AM   #11
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

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Originally Posted by JanMikal View Post
I posted before that one of my players has created a child character (25ish pts) in order to 'grow' the character organically, so that when it gets to 100ish points, it's a fully fleshed, well-known character that has a solid, confirmed backstory. I, personally, think this is a great idea, as it would lend itself quite beautifully to RP, even though it takes some time.

However, I've run into a wall. Since this is a younger character (10-11ish), I am having trouble figuring out what to /do/ with them. Clearly, a 'go slay this generic monster' run is a bad idea since the character only has 1 point in a combat skill - knife - because she helps out at the local butcher shop on the regular. Likewise, mysteries are out (a lack of investigation skills) and so on. So, any idea on what this young character could get into to give them some adventuring experience? I'll write her out below so you can see what I'm dealing with.
I'm sorry to say that my first thought on seeing the age was to check for Magery, and then suggest that a half-giant shows up with an invitation to a magic school. I'm not sure Caithness has those, though.

More seriously, children do have to deal with bullies, and doing so can form important life experiences, especially in a culture where the bullies can get away with things they couldn't in a modern Western culture, and so can the kids retaliating against them.
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 09-11-2018 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 09-11-2018, 05:08 PM   #12
sgtcallistan
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

One of my group's campaigns had characters who began as children, had a few memorable incidents such as:
the bard telling a scary story,
death of a relative and how it's explained to them,
a druid visiting to see who has been learning their lessons, who has not, and who is worthy of the presents he brought. (Lessons in their own culture)

When a year or two short of adulthood, the GM took the time to have simple adventures like:
meet and talk with most of the character's relatives,
get some of the beer available at the chieftain's feast,
watch over cows when the rival village might send people to steal them,
practise a weapon skill secretly with the relative who wants you to succeed as they did,
attend the spring festival so that they notice / get noticed by another family's son / daughter,
get hints and perhaps more about how the rites of adulthood will go depending on how much the teller understood,
encounter a rival / enemy who will remember you without favour,
explore beyond the area you know, get into trouble, do you have the wit to bring something back that proves what you did?

All this is to educate the player in the character's culture, myths and legends, as well as the known world and even subjects like the stars and planets; their future paths in their society, even a divination of their destiny or geases to influence their behaviour depending on quirks, advantages and disadvantages.

This above was the beginning of our fantasy game, and it's been very successful, we've played it on and off for years.

Hope this is useful.
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:48 PM   #13
Toptomcat
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

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Originally Posted by zoncxs View Post
Something to note, most kids would have the following disadvantages (and most adults too):

Pacifism (reluctant killer)
Combat Paralysis
Post Combat Shakes

Those go away once you have actual combat experience and training (points to buy them off) or the players could buy them off. If its not a straight dungeon crawl then I make sure all my players start with those, but have the option to buy them off during character creation.
Alternatively, an adventure themed around the character noticing that they seem to lack these common traits- that they are a wolf among sheep- could be interesting. A seemingly mundane combat challenge can be made to be impressive if everyone in their peer group is losing their **** while they buckle down and do What Needs To Be Done. Does this mean they’re a monster, or a hero? What do they think about themselves- and what do their friends think? What do they think about their friends? Are they confused and alienated, contemptuous, protective? Will they choose to temper this trait with a Sense of Duty or Code of Honor, or embrace their Bloodlust and Bad Temper?

Think Ender’s Game.

Last edited by Toptomcat; 09-11-2018 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:55 PM   #14
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

I believe those are culturally acquired traits for people with suburban or urban backgrounds. Children of hunter-gatherer and pastoral cultures learn to kill animals for food really early on (as early as age four from my recollection) and are taught how to defend themselves from predators (animal and human) from an early age. Children of rural families in both the developed world and developing world will learn to hunt and kill from an early age in the modern era, and I doubt that anything but the weapons would have changed for a medieval or ancient society.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:39 PM   #15
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

I've been reading Douglas Cole's outstanding adventure, Hall of Judgment, and his chapter on local festivals got me thinking about possibilities for younger characters in these sorts of cultural events. There's plenty of room at festivals, carnivals, and circuses for challenges and competitions that don't put the character's life on the line. They could also be a good backdrop for other sorts of hijinx. Big crowds and loud festivities keep the adults occupied while the kids try to outsmart someone, solve a mystery, humiliate a bully, score some cash, unmask a villain, etc. For a darker flavor, you could take inspiration from Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:59 AM   #16
David Johnston2
 
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A larger girl takes a dislike to our heroine and wants to "teach the elf-blood her place". Run or fight?

Having found a private place for herself, our heroine is placed in the position of overhearing the plot of two rather dull-witted adults to break into the house of a friendly old woman.

The community's children are being stalked by a vampire that prefers young blood. The adults think it's a disease and anything the children report is just their imagination, and it is left to our heroine to figure what the mysterious nocturnal figure was, and where the vampire's lair is from the fact that animals steer well clear of it.

Our heroine must deal with being targeted by a creepy spirit-possessed doll.

Our heroine discovers a nearly dead man in the forest who has nearly been whipped to death, but when she goes back she discovers that there's a minor noble and several retainers being hosted by the community who appear to be looking for a missing bond-servant.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:20 AM   #17
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

One of the oldest melodrama macguffins who are also children is the "True Heir" - either royal or just rich. Lenses include the Spoiled Brat (who is what the name implies) and the Orphaned Heir (who has no idea they're an heir). Keeping them alive (or staying alive in their vicinity) is usually the focus of an adventure.

Another Lens is the Awakening Power. Supernatural abilities are a good subject for inheritance, and the uncontrolled surges of manifesting Power is a nice drop-kick to deliver to adventurers.
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:47 AM   #18
AlexanderHowl
 
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Half-elves tend to have Longevity rather than Extended Lifespan 1. Without the feature Early Maturation 1, a 10 year old with Extended Lifespan 1 would have the same maturity as a 5 year old human. Since it is only a feature though, it can be added to the racial package without any issue.

In a medieval setting, a 10 year old child will be working the majority of the time, though they will be given less responsibilities than an adult. If they are rural commoners, they will likely be taking care cows, geese, pigs, sheep, etc. If they are urban commoners, they might be apprentices or be working in a shop. If they are noble boys, they will likely be pages serving other nobles. If they are noble girls, they will likely be serving their mothers in the management of noble households.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:55 AM   #19
JanMikal
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

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Half-elves tend to have Longevity rather than Extended Lifespan 1. Without the feature Early Maturation 1, a 10 year old with Extended Lifespan 1 would have the same maturity as a 5 year old human. Since it is only a feature though, it can be added to the racial package without any issue..
Page 191 of Banestorm shows the Half-Elves as a template for 27 points, with IQ+1 [20], Extended Lifespan [2] and Magery 0 [5].
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:25 AM   #20
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

Yes, I know, but the character will technically mature at half human rate without the addition of Early Maturation 1. It is an easy correction, just add the 0 point feature to the template and it is fixed. Otherwise, a 10 year old half-elf is only as mature as a 5 year old human by RAW.
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