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Old 08-21-2019, 12:04 AM   #1
PBarone714
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default The High TL Advantage is game-unbalancing!

I am running a TL 10 Space/Cyberpunk game. Two of my players bought +2 TL for 10 points to make them TL 12. One bought Multimillionaire 1 (1000x starting wealth, I assume his starting wealth is $100,000, since he's TL 12, so he has a wealth of $100,000,000.) He bought an exoskeleton suit that lets him carry 350 lbs, and he has THREE PAGES of advanced TL 12 gear and weapons. It's game-unbalancing! It provides a HUGE ADVANTAGE over the other TL 10 PCs. He even gave another TL 10 player a Disintegrator rifle!

I don't think a TL 12 character in a TL 10 world should have all those benefits for just 10 character points! Ten points can buy you a +1 ST or +1 HT, but those benefits for 10 points pale in comparison to TL 12 gear and weapons in a TL 10 world. I'm going to charge the players with Unusual Background Advantages that will need to be paid-off before the players can increase their attributes, advantages, and skills. How many points of Unusual Background should I charge the players???
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:59 AM   #2
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: The High TL Advantage is game-unbalancing!

The High TL advantage does not increase your starting wealth.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:07 AM   #3
Aldric
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Default Re: The High TL Advantage is game-unbalancing!

I would check Basic p. 27
Mainly 3 things. Starting wealth is still TL10. His high TL gear costs 4x. How is he TL 12? He comes from the future? Because otherwise there is no TL12 gear to buy, he might get something with the invention rules, but that's even more expensive
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:08 AM   #4
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: The High TL Advantage is game-unbalancing!

You're reading too much into the advantage. All the advantage does is give them access to the skills and knowledge, it doesn't give any access to the gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Character, pg 23
You may enter play with skills relating to equipment up to your personal TL.
No part of the advantage says that the equipment is automatically available. As GM, you're justified in saying "You can have the knowledge, in case you ever find it, but you don't get to start with it."
[eta]
But, page 27 does clarify that, and the costs.
[/eta]

Also, as GM, you're not required to allow your players to buy any advantage they want. You're perfectly justified in saying "No, that isn't available."
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:12 AM   #5
Llama
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Default Re: The High TL Advantage is game-unbalancing!

Yes, the advantage doesn't increase wealth unless the GM decides to, also hello this is one of his players and my character has few actually tech level 12 items and she is a gadgeteer, she also is like... old-ish? and made most of her TL 12 items before the campaign. I as a player was wondering why I should be limited when I had to buy a high wealth to afford most of it. also most of the stuff is like LC 3 and 2 so I had to buy legal enforcement powers and authority and stuff to use it. so I basically spent about 115 points to use them on a 250 point game. also, I only have 11 items 2 being translator and a neural communicator, 1 weapon, 7 which is support equipment and armor and one car. I would be unable to pay for it all without paying 75 points for multimillionaire

Last edited by Llama; 08-21-2019 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:08 AM   #6
FuelDrop
 
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Default Re: The High TL Advantage is game-unbalancing!

As a GM, I generally view more than 1 rank in high TL to be an indication of an outside context character. A time traveler, an alien, or someone from Europe turning up in your african tribal campaign (yay colonization!).

I tend to run superhero games, so I have some experience with high TL characters.

Assuming I allow it, my methods of controlling things would be as follows: VERY strict ammunition limitations on weapons and power supply limitations on high technology. A TL 6 civilization isn't able to reliably recharge a TL 8 cell phone, and a TL 2 tribe can't make ammunition for a TL 4 firearm at all!

Another method of keeping things in check is infrastructure. That GPS unit from the future is just a fancy map stored on a microchip when you go back to medieval times, since there aren't satellites to connect to. It can actually be inferior to a paper map, since it relies on batteries while paper doesn't.

Finally, having tech skills at a high TL (from the advantage) means you are at a TL penalty on those checks when using older tech. A modern computer expert is going to have trouble using vacuum tube technology, at least until he adapts to it. Don't be afraid to give your TL 12 guys a -2 on all checks using advanced TL 10 equipment, then give them the option to buy it off as an average technique.


As a side note, EVERYONE is gonna want that juicy high tech gear for reverse engineering. Shady corporations, governments... have them dragged before the government and given the Iron Man 2 hearing, where the government tries to confiscate their tech for their own use. Make a big deal out of it. Slap them with penalties for trying to blend in using their advanced tech. Put bounties on their gear getting captured. All sorts of fun stuff like that.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:10 AM   #7
ericthered
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Default Re: The High TL Advantage is game-unbalancing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FuelDrop View Post
As a GM, I generally view more than 1 rank in high TL to be an indication of an outside context character. A time traveler, an alien, or someone from Europe turning up in your african tribal campaign (yay colonization!).
I find the rest of this post a little too heavy handed, but the comment about "out of context" is spot on. Before you allow such a character into a setting, you should establish where they came from, who else can come from there, and what sorts of things make that more likely. The big question for this setting is "why don't high TL people rule this planet?", and as you explore that limitations for the out of context visitor will materialize.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
The High TL advantage does not increase your starting wealth.
To elaborate, starting wealth is based on the campaign TL, not on character TL. And GMs are free to tweak those numbers to fit various settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBarone714 View Post
I don't think a TL 12 character in a TL 10 world should have all those benefits for just 10 character points!
Not all point expenditures are created equal. A few give bigger bangs for your buck. High TL is one of them, especially in multiple levels, or if you raise the TL to full TL 9, full TL 5, or full TL 12. TL 12 is the last tech level, and as such allows some truly miraculous gear. Even without super-science.

However, I don't think high TL is the real culprit here, though it exacerbates the culprit. Wealth, especially high levels of it, is a game warper in just about every tech level it shows up in. I like the way it warps game, to be honest, but I also insist that my multimillionaires act like multimillionaires.

And you don't have to allow anything in your game that doesn't fit. What would you have said if they asked to be an RPM mage? The setting determines what's available, and yes, players can make requests, but be aware they're asking you to change the setting.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:26 AM   #8
martinl
 
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Default Re: The High TL Advantage is game-unbalancing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
... Wealth, especially high levels of it, is a game warper in just about every tech level it shows up in.
Seconded. A future multimillionaire time slumming with ridiculous gear is an interesting idea for a PC, but probably not worse than a current multimillionaire hiring mercenary companies, buying off various government arms, and hiring assassins to kill the BBEG would be.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:06 AM   #9
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: The High TL Advantage is game-unbalancing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBarone714 View Post
I am running a TL 10 Space/Cyberpunk game. Two of my players bought +2 TL for 10 points to make them TL 12. One bought Multimillionaire 1 (1000x starting wealth, I assume his starting wealth is $100,000, since he's TL 12, so he has a wealth of $100,000,000.) He bought an exoskeleton suit that lets him carry 350 lbs, and he has THREE PAGES of advanced TL 12 gear and weapons. It's game-unbalancing! It provides a HUGE ADVANTAGE over the other TL 10 PCs. He even gave another TL 10 player a Disintegrator rifle!
As others have pointed out, High TL doesn't let you start with more money.

A TL10 character of Average wealth starts out with $50,000. A High-TL 2 [10] character who brings an average disintegrator rifle into the game spends $18,400 on it (four times the normal cost), not counting TL12 power cells, which cost $80 per pair of C cells and are limited to the number you start with. (You can jury-rig TL10 power cells, but it's risky.)

That's nice, but it's hardly game-shattering. You've spent around a third of your starting wealth on a single high-TL weapon.

Now, sure, if you're a Multimillionaire 1 [75] from TL12, you get to bring in a lot of ultra-tech equipment (your starting wealth is $50M), but you paid 75 points for the privilege to do that in addition to the 10 points for High-TL. So you're not getting tons of benefit for just 10 points.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:34 AM   #10
namada
 
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Default Re: The High TL Advantage is game-unbalancing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBarone714 View Post
I am running a TL 10 Space/Cyberpunk game. Two of my players bought +2 TL for 10 points to make them TL 12.
The rules issues have been clarified, but ultimately this is your problem, as others have also pointed out. If your setting is TL10, where do these TL12 characters come from? Just because a Trait is in the Basic Set doesn't mean that it's available in this specific campaign. If the maximum TL is 10, then you, as GM, should have forbidden the High TL advantage from entering play, as such characters simply don't make sense within the setting. It's also possible that the "story" you intend to tell doesn't have room for High TL characters, so that's another possible reason for you to feel free to forbid the advantage.

Granted - you do need to inform your players before character creation what is and isn't available. This is an incredibly important step in campaign design, and I'd argue vital for those new to GURPS. Enforced Template use can be one way to handle this, or you can just make a list and cover special cases of Traits in that list.
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