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Old 05-20-2020, 04:23 AM   #1
JimmyPlenty
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Hitting the pasture...

On a related note to the experience point thread, I see a lot of people talking of 40 pt characters. This made me think about the idea of retiring characters.

How often do you force the players to "cleanse the palette"?

What time do you think is good to "end" a plot arc "big baddie" with a character and let them fade away. (or at least, as Steve put it ITL, come back for a cameo now and again? (paraphrasing)"

Move over Kirk...it's Jean Luc's turn now!

Kirk has his Klingon's, Picard had his Borg, Sisko had the Dominion...etc.

Can you imagine that series if Kirk was still the only Starship Captain?
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:13 PM   #2
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Hitting the pasture...

When I was younger (~11-20) and we played TFT frequently using the original rules, it was important for the vitality of the campaign to effectively retire people once they got ~55+ stat points. My current campaign has been going regularly for a year and a half, but it doesn't feel like that point is anywhere in sight. And I'm not sure we'll get there. It is hard to imagine 'growing' a character who gets so powerful they are boring to play under the new rules set.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:17 PM   #3
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Hitting the pasture...

I don't force PCs to retire, unless a game has an agreed-upon scope, and/or I have a limit to what I want to GM.

I usually run dynamic campaigns that have situations but not plot arcs... again, unless it's a limited campaign where I'm only intending/agreeing to GM a certain context. What determines that tends to be my interest level and available time/energy. Sometimes I'm curious to run an experiment or situation but am not really up for an ongoing campaign. That's what then determines the scope of play, and it's not generally about attribute levels of PCs.

I'm also allergic to the terms "plot arc" and "big baddie" (and, well, post-Kirk Star Trek).

TFT character progression is however very interesting to me in terms of how best to handle it, and what the "breaking points" seem to be. But that's also a huge and detailed topic that everyone has their own perspectives on.

I'd say that I think if you let TFT characters start to get up to a certain point, they start to seem like super-heroes, people who totally outclass normal people, people who do everything well, people who make too many otherwise-interesting situations irrelevant because of their extreme abilities, and/or people who don't seem much like the same people they were when they were 32 points, so I do think that limiting attribute growth help prevent this, and ideally, players will continue to be interested in developing characters without feeling the need to perpetually increase their powers the way they did when going from above-average to very capable.

I'd add that magic item accumulation can break balance and power level in TFT games faster and in worse ways than high attributes do.

In our original campaigns, high power levels did start to be an issue. They led to more and more high-powered play, involving more powerful organizations and larger numbers of people in conflict at larger scale than individual fights. When we'd get burned out on one campaign, we'd switch to another, in some cases starting with lower powered characters, switching settings, and/or involving different kinds of situations that weren't just about individual character abilities.

When we had played TFT heavily for about 5-6 years, our longest-surviving (46-point) character was only using a couple of magic items (leaving several others stored to avoid attracting attention and because it was more fun/interesting) and we had added some house rules to make gaining XP require actual dangerous situations for the powerful characters, and other house rules that limited the ability to over-use magic items.

At that point, we were ready for a combat system that was interesting to us and felt more right to our detail-&-realism-thirsty tactical gaming appetites that had been amped up by playing that much hex-based tactical combat... we didn't retire our 42-46 point surviving characters... but we we found we really wanted a more detailed and unpredictable game, so we retired TFT and started redesigning the game to try to add what we wanted... and then GURPS 1e came out, and it gave us pretty much exactly what we wanted at that point, so I converted my TFT campaign and the high-powered characters to a modest-power-level version in GURPS, which worked very well.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:42 AM   #4
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Hitting the pasture...

I would say it is basically impossible for a non-wizard with no magic items to become superhumanly powerful in combat (or other contexts, e.g., avoiding traps), but that you can become extremely competent - enough so that you would match the exploits of principal characters from quasi-realistic fiction. But the idea of such a character defeating 10+ competent foes in a straight-up fight (something a powerful D+D character could do easily) is farcical. That might have been possible under original edition rules but not now.

Add magic items or highly competent and supported spell casters to the mix and superhero-level powers are back on table. Even within the constraints of the 'rule of five', it is trivial to gear up a character to the point where almost nothing presents a serious threat of death.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:36 PM   #5
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Hitting the pasture...

The furthest I ever got a hero was 42 points, and one wizard got to 42 points as well. (These two PCs never met face to face, being in separate campaigns simultaneously occurring in different regions of the World -- I'm sure they would have made quite a pair fighting side by side).

And I believe I did about the best of anyone in my group except for one other PC, during the course of two decades continuous play. A few other characters did get as far, but died. My two best were still alive and kicking when the group retired.

So when people speak of 46+ characters and even 55+ characters, developed in just 5 years of play, I just kinda shake my head in wonder. Was my group's World that tough? Our parties did go through the ringer, someone dying almost every day of play, even advanced characters that had lived 10+ years of play time. And that was fun!

At least we never had to worry about attribute bloat or forced retirement. Those concepts seem alien!
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Old Yesterday, 08:30 AM   #6
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Hitting the pasture...

The original rules provided a path for rapid progression through the Job rolls. I don't know whether it was intentional or a 'bug', but once you had one high stat you could take on a very risky job with little danger of death and then you would have a pretty good chance of going up one stat point every few months of game time. I don't know about other groups, but this is the only way I've seen someone get their stats up above 50. It sounds like a 'cheat', but it should also be noted that NPCs in the old edition often had really high stat totals, so I feel like the implied grade inflation on PC advancement was intended and necessary.
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Old Yesterday, 01:09 PM   #7
hcobb
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: Hitting the pasture...

2 XP per job success moves the non-combat NPCs up one job level every five years, which is about right to fill in the various levels of the organizations.

If they get much more XPs then they'd all be captains of the guard (or whatever) and if they get much less then there would be no captains.
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Old Yesterday, 02:01 PM   #8
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Hitting the pasture...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
2 XP per job success moves the non-combat NPCs up one job level every five years, which is about right to fill in the various levels of the organizations.

If they get much more XPs then they'd all be captains of the guard (or whatever) and if they get much less then there would be no captains.
To clarify, I believe this is a suggested house rule - not anything found in either original or legacy edition rules.
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Old Yesterday, 02:41 PM   #9
hcobb
 
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Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: Hitting the pasture...

Care and feeding of NPCs is left to the GM. I'm just noting the progression rate implied by the job table.
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