Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-07-2017, 01:52 AM   #131
Mark Skarr
Forum Pervert
(If you have to ask . . .)
 
Mark Skarr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: What will you not allow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Take the character that's the source of my nickname: Dr. Kromm. He has been a villain in a James Bond 007 campaign, the chief medical officer of a moon colony in a Space Opera campaign, a naturalist in a Call of Cthulhu campaign, an inventor in a GURPS campaign, an alchemist in a different GURPS campaign, a physician in an Unhallowed Metropolis campaign, and a good half-dozen other people. He has also appeared relabeled as "Dr. Schaum" a couple of times. He's always stereotypically Germanic (perhaps somewhat offensively, I'll admit), not wholly sane, and scientific-minded (skilled sometimes at medicine, sometimes at natural sciences, sometimes at engineering). Each version was tailored to the campaign: fields of expertise, backstory, and even accents changed considerably. But there's no question that the "mad Germanic scientist" archetype and "scatterbrained scientific idealist" personality were essentially the same.
Exactly. It's that world's Dr. Kromm. They're the same character, but not the same character. The details are different, their motivations may change, but, the core of the character is the same between the iterations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
I've played Jareth in (in kinda this order) BECM D&D, 1st ed D&D, Ars Magica, MERP, 3.5 D&D, NERO (Boffer LARP), another Boffer LARP, Castle Falkenstien, Amber RPG, and now GURPS DF.

I've made 'the character' (as closely as possible) in EQ, EQ2, and WoW... but it's just not the same.
Right, but you wouldn't try to shoe-horn the character into, say, Star Trek, would you?

Sure, I could see someone like that re imagined as a Klingon; J'Reth, or something like that. But you wouldn't try to just have them exist, in Star Trek, as a medieval fighter-type.
Mark Skarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 03:02 AM   #132
Ultraviolet
 
Ultraviolet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Århus, Denmark
Default Re: What will you not allow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMason View Post
In the past I had a blanket ban on Weirdness Magnet, as my style at the time of "make something explode" GMing and WM didn't mix well. I've also had to ban Eunuch (back in 3rd edition) and Anosmia (No sense of Taste/Smell) due to a player who would always take these. But that was all years ago. I don't know if there is any trait that I don't allow currently.

<snip>.
Back in my days of my loong running 3rd ed Cliffhanger campaign there was a player with Anosmia. I don't know if he thought it was a free Disadvantage, but he really got his -5 points worth!
It wasn't relevant in every or every other session, but it came around. When the African expedition was sabotages with expired canned food, he'd still eat it and become sick. He was the last to notice it when the drinks were drugged, so he got the full effect. He didn't notice the opposition has doused the secret hideout with gasoline until they torched it.
__________________
Playing GURPS since '90, is now fluent in 4th ed as well.
Ultraviolet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 03:30 AM   #133
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: What will you not allow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Games -- mostly GURPS -- where characters are a fairly fixed group, and tied to a world. I've played two THS campaigns, where it would not have been ridiculous for characters to cross over, but they were in different parts of the solar system, and had different GMs. In the same way, it would not have been utterly ridiculous for characters from a 1930s horror setting to show up in the WWII campaign, or WWII characters to show up in a campaign in the 1960s, but it's now clear they are all in separate worlds, under the same GM.
Speaking as that same GM, I know that I tend to revisit certain themes (lowish-powered occult investigation in a historical setting), but I'm a sucker for pivotal moments, and for the PCs being the most important people in the story; both of those point to the campaigns being stand-alone.

Of course, some of the same historical people might show up in 1930 and in 1944, but as with Dr Kromm they'll be different instances of those historical people. Chances are I'll give them similar personalities, since I try to base them on what I can find out about them in the real world.
RogerBW is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 03:31 AM   #134
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: What will you not allow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Take the character that's the source of my nickname: Dr. Kromm. He has been a villain in a James Bond 007 campaign, the chief medical officer of a moon colony in a Space Opera campaign, a naturalist in a Call of Cthulhu campaign, an inventor in a GURPS campaign ...
This discussion might work more easily with some terminology.

Dr. Kromm is an example of using the same personality and characterisation in lots of different games.

Another thing that is playing "the same character" is taking the same character sheet from game to game. This works fine if the games have sufficiently similar settings, power levels and play styles, and everyone is happy with the idea.

There's also a large tangle of related ideas between these two poles, which includes things like "Bob always plays ninjas, with his rules of honour," trying to translate characters between different game systems, rather than rebuilding them, claiming one campaign is the afterlife of another, and so on.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 06:12 AM   #135
The Colonel
 
The Colonel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: What will you not allow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Ditto.

Take the character that's the source of my nickname: Dr. Kromm. He has been a villain in a James Bond 007 campaign, the chief medical officer of a moon colony in a Space Opera campaign, a naturalist in a Call of Cthulhu campaign, an inventor in a GURPS campaign, an alchemist in a different GURPS campaign, a physician in an Unhallowed Metropolis campaign, and a good half-dozen other people. He has also appeared relabeled as "Dr. Schaum" a couple of times. He's always stereotypically Germanic (perhaps somewhat offensively, I'll admit), not wholly sane, and scientific-minded (skilled sometimes at medicine, sometimes at natural sciences, sometimes at engineering). Each version was tailored to the campaign: fields of expertise, backstory, and even accents changed considerably. But there's no question that the "mad Germanic scientist" archetype and "scatterbrained scientific idealist" personality were essentially the same.
Like the Michael Caine of roleplaying...
The Colonel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 08:45 AM   #136
evileeyore
 
evileeyore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: 100 hurricane swamp
Default Re: What will you not allow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
Right, but you wouldn't try to shoe-horn the character into, say, Star Trek, would you?
Right between Harcourt Fenton Mudd and Quark, sure. Since the character is a almost always some stripe of rogue (even when the rules require it say otherwise).

But that's an artifact of poor rules systems shoehorning one into ill-fitting templates.
__________________
Feel free to steal, borrow, fold, spindle, mutilate any rule, advantage, etc I come up with it.
evileeyore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 09:35 AM   #137
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: What will you not allow?

Well, following on John's lead, let me be clear about what I object to.

*X wants to have their character, who was formerly played in world P, travel from world P into my campaign world Q. I can imagine that I might allow that IF I were running world Q as one world of a multiverse. But a lot of my campaigns are set in worlds that are not part of multiverses, and I'm not going to allow alternate worlds to be elements of the setting unless I want to explore a theme that requires alternate worlds. And even if I created a multiversal setting, it might not be able to encompass that particular world P: Maybe I'm assuming that all timelines have the same natural laws, and a world with magic or supers doesn't fit, or maybe I'm having only two worlds on opposite sides of a portal and don't want visitors from other worlds.

*X wants to have their character have exactly the same biography they had in another campaign, including all their adventures in that campaign. That would require me to know what all those adventures were, and to verify that they were all possible in my campaign. In particular, it would require me to have the places where they took place as locations in my campaign. And I may have designed a world where those places don't exist; or I may have set the campaign in the real world, at a specific historical moment, and again those places may not fit on the map. Rather than try to deal with that, I want the character's biography to start fresh.

*X wants their character to be the same age, sex, race, etc. That's not an absolute prohibition. But there are cases where a campaign imposes restrictions; for example, I might run a school-based campaign where all the characters are 14, or 18, or one where the school only admits one sex (though in that last case I might allow a character of one sex who pretended to be of the other).

*X wants their character to be at the same power level that they gained in previous campaigns, with whatever goodies they acquired. That's just flat out, in most cases. I normally define a budget for character creation, and players can have what that budget permits; they don't get to say, "Well, in Joe's campaign, Amaranth acquired a Ring of Awesomeness that does A, B, and C, so he should have a Ring of Awesomeness here."

*X is describing their character in ways that take no account of the particular setting I've proposed. That's not something I can actually prohibit. It strikes me as bad roleplaying; but I don't insist that all my players be skilled roleplayers. But I do feel unhappy if they don't make the attempt, or don't care. My feeling is that, if I described a particular setting, and they rated that campaign favorably, they were saying they wanted, or at least agreed, to play in that setting; I want them to engage with it, to make use of some of its elements in creating their character.

I don't think that, for example, what Kromm is talking about violates any of those strictures (well, possibly the one about age, sex, and so on). So I'm not objecting to that, I don't think.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 11:03 AM   #138
Phantasm
 
Phantasm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: What will you not allow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
*X wants their character to be the same age, sex, race, etc. That's not an absolute prohibition. But there are cases where a campaign imposes restrictions; for example, I might run a school-based campaign where all the characters are 14, or 18, or one where the school only admits one sex (though in that last case I might allow a character of one sex who pretended to be of the other).
This ties into one thing I have a problem with: mixed kids/adults in a campaign.

One superhero game I was in, with a rotating GM chair, started off with a group of adult superheroes, or at least folks able to pass for a legal adult. I've seen some RL 15 year olds pass for 18, so there was little issue with "teenager passing for adult". HOWEVER, one later player misread our intentions and put forth a character who was 12 (actually more like 512, being a genie, but trapped in his 12 year old body) trying to pass for 15.

And then one guy decided to bring in a 5 year old super-genius (Professor X expy, power-wise, right down to the wheelchair), which the guy then in the GM's chair approved before the rest of us had a say. The rest of the player group managed to talk the player up to 15, much to that GM's consternation (he insisted "a 5 year old character fits the campaign"; other than the 12 year old genie, everyone was in the 18-35 age range). (Said GM also tried to throw out previously-established information - that this was a shared Marvel/DC Crossover Earth - in favor of his own setting without telling us until we made reference to it.... We overruled him in that respect.)

Since then, I've had a standing "NO CHILDREN!" policy for most of my games, most notably my GURPS Rifts game and my upcoming Marvel Reboot Shadowguard game, though in the right genre (ala New Mutants, Avengers Academy, or Winx Club) I'd encourage a younger age range. My Ranoc setting has 15 as a legal adult in most nations (for humans; other races have different ages of maturity), so there I might have permitted a 12 passing for 15.
__________________
"But mom, I don't wanna go back in the dungeon!"

The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting
Phantasm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 11:05 AM   #139
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: What will you not allow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post

I don't think that, for example, what Kromm is talking about violates any of those strictures (well, possibly the one about age, sex, and so on). So I'm not objecting to that, I don't think.
My example is a specific case of what I consider a general principle:
You can try to roleplay anything. Unless you have a shelf full of Emmys, Oscars, and Tonys, however, you're going to roleplay only a small few archetypes well. While those archetypes aren't necessarily facets of your personality, your personality is the single largest influence on them. To turn in a strong roleplaying performance, then, it's best to play to your strengths by choosing an archetype you slip into easily.
I was at the top of my class in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics as a youngster; I originally majored in chemistry; and I earned two university degrees in physics, in both cases with additional honors. I spent a decade in the academy. My natural inclinations are clearly toward STEM fields. My most influential role models for many years were academics – including my father, who had six university degrees across three broad areas (arts, education, and journalism) when he passed away last spring. This is why it's very easy for me to play an educated-but-scatterbrained scientific idealist, which happens to fit into almost any setting, as it's a flexible archetype: geeky kid, inventor, mad scientist, professor, technical expert . . .

The cultural origins are likewise from my personal experiences. My two most memorable physics professors were German; one was a bit of a rebel in his personal life, while the other was socially conservative but a true mad scientist (yes, there are stories) of the socially acceptable kind. As one of my father's research interests was a small German principality, a small army of his more colorful colleagues were German, including one who told me stories about the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich under von Hindenburg. So I associated the German accent with atypical educated people who had had interesting experiences. But again, this is mostly adaptable, as any setting with its origins on Earth has Germans, and fantasy settings generally rip off European cultures.

The name "Dr. Kromm" was by popular demand. People liked the "trademark" and were actually disappointed when I went with something different. As I saw roleplaying as serving a public – if a small one – I liked to be accommodating. "Dr. Kromm" it was.

So . . . in a sense, I always play the same character, and I bring with me some assumptions about education and culture. However, I have yet to run into the campaign where a faux-Germanic person with a STEM background isn't fitting. Probably the longest reach was the fantasy alchemist, who had to be one of the few members of a tribe of raiders – influenced by real-world Germanic ones on the edge of the Roman Empire – to visit civilization and enter an "academic" field. It was a bit iffy to typify alchemy as science, but I justified that and his odd behavior in general as being because he had an unusual cultural background.

I've never actually had a GM constrain PC age or sex, so I have no idea how I'd react to that. Every GM I've had for 38 years has felt it important to leave decisions like that to the player. You could say that I consider freedom to choose age, sex, and (within what exists in the game world) culture and skin color to be inviolable rights of the player, thanks to four decades of gaming with people who see it that way.
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My LiveJournal [Just GURPS News][Just The Company]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 11:53 AM   #140
trooper6
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Medford, MA
Default Re: What will you not allow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
My example is a specific case of what I consider a general principle:
You can try to roleplay anything. Unless you have a shelf full of Emmys, Oscars, and Tonys, however, you're going to roleplay only a small few archetypes well. While those archetypes aren't necessarily facets of your personality, your personality is the single largest influence on them. To turn in a strong roleplaying performance, then, it's best to play to your strengths by choosing an archetype you slip into easily.
I reject that principle. That may be a principal for some types of gamers, but certainly not all—and certainly not me. With the exception of one-shots, I do not approach PCs as archetypes, rather as people. One of the reasons I was drawn to GURPS in the first place was because it was a system that supported PCs as people rather than only PCs as archetypes. Each of my PCs is different because I approach them not as archetypes in the first place. I tend to approach them in terms of interesting internal or external conflicts that are tied to the particular campaign. That is different. For the most part I aim to surround myself with players who game similarly. In my gaming world, that general principle isn’t even relevant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I've never actually had a GM constrain PC age or sex, so I have no idea how I'd react to that. Every GM I've had for 38 years has felt it important to leave decisions like that to the player. You could say that I consider freedom to choose age, sex, and (within what exists in the game world) culture and skin color to be inviolable rights of the player, thanks to four decades of gaming with people who see it that way.
And I have gamed with people for four decades who have seen it differently. In my spaces GMs have always had the perogative of placing limits on character creation. That might be class/level/alignment, but it could be culture, age, gender, profession, etc. I’m used to GMs who present campaign premises with constraints and the players buying in or not. And if you buy in, you also buy into those constraints. This might mean, in one campaign everyone must be a high school student (age), or everyone must be a female aspect of Bluebeard’s Bride (gender), or everyone must be an elf from the great forest (race/culture), etc.

There are different ways to run a game. The beauty of GURPS is that you can have a game that is archetypal where you play the same basic character with every campaign and all your campaigns have a triple heaping of action. At the same time, I can be in whswhs THS campaign where with one exception, none of us played archetypes but characters, and all characters that were imbedded and inseparable from the specific campaign whswhs proposed, and there was basically only two combats in three years of play.

Not all game systems support that diversity of play. I love that GURPS does. I hope it always continues to do so.

I don’t enjoy playing with or GMing for a person who plays the same character over and over. Some people only enjoy playing the same character over and over. What is great, is by being able to articulate what we as GMs won’t allow (thanks to the OP for offering the topic) we can all be more likely to find people who are compatible with our gaming style and we are more likely to be able to have successful campaigns.
trooper6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.