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Old 03-15-2018, 08:51 AM   #101
Icelander
 
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Default Re: 25% of Starting Points

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
If a GM wants to do it differently, they can just have them benefit from early maturation or just give them 60 points from age 10 to age 15, whatever they choose. If they want a 10-year-old to have reached their adult potential, no one is stopping them other than themselves.
That's not the point. The point is that the NPC is only worth the points it actually has if bought as an Ally or Dependent, not points it may be worth in the future. Infants are pretty useless as adventurers, which is why they are worth negative points and thus give back a lot of points as Dependents. It's patently illogical and unfair to make players pay for them as Allies according to what they might become ten or fifteen years later, as most campaigns never reach that point.

Which is also why Terminally Ill (In 10-15 years) is not allowed as a Disadvantage that gives any points back. Point costs aren't measuring hypothetical capability in the far distant future, from the perspective of the players. If they were, all mortal characters would be worth negative points, because eventually they die, lose all Advantages and all Attributes reach 0.

GURPS character points don't measure potential, inborn worth, ability or anything else actually present in the context of the campaign world. They solely measure player choices during character creation and aren't designed to measure anything else. As such, nothing that can't at least potentially be an Ally, Dependent, Enemy or similar really makes sense expressed in terms of point value. And those traits use their own rules, where it is absolutely valid to have PCs spending points to buy off their Dependent Disadvantages as their children grow up and perhaps replacing them with Ally Advantages.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I just use the maturity pool as an accounting mechanism, as it does not matter in GURPS whether points are spent or unspent for determining character points, as just giving every human being in existence 260 points from birth to age 15 just seems unrealistic to me.
Unless they are PCs or their point value is being tracked because they are part of a trait on the PC's character sheet, they don't even have a point value.

If they are, then how can it be unrealistic? You really don't think that there is huge gap between the capabilities of a typical infant and a typical adult as adventurers? You don't think that playing the adult will give a player more choices, more abilities to affect the campaign world and a better chance of success against adcenturing challenges? You really think that given the choice, the average player would not opt for the adult over the helpless infant as their character in a typical GURPS campaign?

Remember, that's the only thing character points are supposed to measure, the desirability of traits to players for their characters in a GURPS campaign. The points don't exist outside the context of the gaming table, they aren't abstracted representations of anything that exists in the game world. The traits themselves are, but the point values are simply a character creation and advancement system for players.

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Without a maturation pool as an accounting mechanism, the adult character would have to spend 18 points to keep them as Ally (12-) to keep their Ally over the next 5 years because the adult character would only gain 25 points while the child character would gain 125 points due to maturation and normal character advancement (meaning that the adult character would be 125 points and the child character would be 150 points).
Yes. The PC spends the points when he gains the Advantage of an Ally. He doesn't spend the whole cost of an adult Ally to gain a helpless infant to help him on his adventures.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:51 AM   #102
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Default Re: 25% of Starting Points

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It also means that the change in the point values of children occurs more due to the acquisition of advantages and skills rather than maturation, allowing for easier accounting for Allies, Dependents, Enemies, and Patrons. A 100 point character who takes a 25 point 5-year-old child as an Ally (12-) for 2 points would have to spend 2 points to keep their Ally over the next 5 years using my method because both characters will gain an average of 25 points (becoming 125 points and 50 points respectively). Without a maturation pool as an accounting mechanism, the adult character would have to spend 18 points to keep them as Ally (12-) to keep their Ally over the next 5 years because the adult character would only gain 25 points while the child character would gain 125 points due to maturation and normal character advancement (meaning that the adult character would be 125 points and the child character would be 150 points).
You can use it as an "accounting mechanism" if you like, but don't confuse that with the actual point-value of the child character.

Also, buying a maturing child as a higher level NPC is only one option, but it's not necessarily the only option.

Consider Batman and Robin. If Robin were an Ally, not another PC, Batman could buy him at the level he's worth at 8 or 10 or 13 years old. Then when Robin matures and becomes worth more, Batman has two options. He can pay more to have a higher level Ally, as Robin has gained some experience. Or, he can let Robin move on to become an independent Nightwing or whoever, and replace him with a new young Robin, worth the same value as the original Ally advantage he paid for. Batman can go either way, but he doesn't have to spend points on having a better Ally unless he wants to.

Also consider- why would Batman have to pay for Robin's "potential"? We don't know that Robin's potential will be realised- he could become a paraplegic, he could evolve into a full-fledged hero, or he could become an Enemy. The only important thing to Batman's character sheet is Robin's current worth as an Ally to Batman.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:11 AM   #103
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Default Re: 25% of Starting Points

Allies have always been a bit of a pain in GURPS 3e and now in GURPS 4e. If you treat the NPC's as characters - who progress as if they were player characters, bound by the rules of player characters - then their development should be independent of GURPS dependent values or ally values. If a player earns 3 character points, then his dependent or ally also automatically gain 3 character points? SOmething in me rebels at that, sorry.

Imagine too, buying a patron whose worth is 1.5 times that of the player character? Next thing you know, if the player character started at 150 points, the starting value of the NPC is 1.5 x 150 or 225. Every 10 points the character gains, the NPC gains 15? Even if there is no credible reason in game play for the NPC to gain those points?

In the end? Every GM will decide whether to hew to the RAW line, or make modifications in the rules to suit what they feel is acceptable for their own campaigns (hence, house rules). No one set of rules is worse or better in my eyes, which is why I try NOT to say "You're wrong to use those house rules" when ever anyone brings up their own set of rules. I try to say "I like that rule" or "Hmm, not my cup of tea" and hopefully add "But you can use it as you wrote it - its yours after all". At worst, I might offer a counter argument to the house rule and offer a way to perhaps (and I do mean PERHAPS) improve it, but that's the extent of it.

For those of us who have used GURPS since MAN TO MAN first came out, we end up with the issue of being comfortable with GURPS CLASSIC, as well as having entrenched house rules we use despite the RAW - in addition to having to remember the rules as written! So, sometimes, we (meaning I!!!) might make reference to a house rule thinking it is the rules as written. That's why it makes sense to say "Sorry, My bad" and get over the feeling of embarassment. ;)
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Old 03-15-2018, 12:43 PM   #104
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Default Re: 25% of Starting Points

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Allies have always been a bit of a pain in GURPS 3e and now in GURPS 4e. If you treat the NPC's as characters - who progress as if they were player characters, bound by the rules of player characters - then their development should be independent of GURPS dependent values or ally values. If a player earns 3 character points, then his dependent or ally also automatically gain 3 character points? SOmething in me rebels at that, sorry.
Since character points are just an accounting device, not an in-world reality, and since Allies, Dependents, and Enemies don't spend all their time standing right next to the player-character doing whatever they want or don't want, but have lives of their own, I don't see the problem. In the setting, the NPC isn't getting character points because the PC got character points; the NPC is living his or her life and developing in his or her own way.

Come up with justifications if you like. During the Case of the Bejeweled Glove, Holmes's Ally Watson saves a rich socialite from a thug. Holmes earns five character points that session, so Watson does too. The GM gives Watson a three-point Reputation (Heroic savior of the helpless; all rich socialites in London) +2 and spends the other two points on his Boxing and Guns (Pistol) skills (which he used during the rescue).
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:25 PM   #105
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Default Re: 25% of Starting Points

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
The issue of children is why I give them a 'maturation' pool of CP to children according to their age. Infants have a pool of 290 CP, 5-year-olds have a pool of 160 CP, 10-year-olds have a pool of 60 CP, and 15-year-olds have a pool of 0 CP. The fact that they have a pool of CP they cannot access except through growth is balanced by the fact that they can grow without effort.
I usually do something like that too, and think it's realistic; a 5-year-old doesn't have to do weight training to be stronger by the age of 15. Something very similar is RAW in GURPS Third Edition.

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Exceptional children might just be benefiting from early maturation, as a surprising number of exceptional children seem to become average adults (girls are notorious for reaching their adult ST before boys). 5-year-old child with IQ 12 might be a genius compared to their peers, but they might just have reached their adult IQ 12 before their peers, meaning that they will just be bright as an adult....
Remember, though, that GURPS IQ is very different from the IQ as measured by a test (I think it specifically says that in Third Edition, but it applies to Fourth as well). GURPS IQ is not just inherent intelligence, it's not just the basis for Perception and Will, it measures life experience (which is why defaults come from it). The kid at 12 is not likely to have the same level of life experience they'll have at 15.

Admittedly, they'll have more life experience at 30, but GURPS largely reflects that by them having more years to earn and spend points.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:39 PM   #106
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Default Re: 25% of Starting Points

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I usually do something like that too, and think it's realistic; a 5-year-old doesn't have to do weight training to be stronger by the age of 15.
No, but a child does have to do something to get that Strength increase from the GM: age. This is usually pretty easy to do...
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:54 PM   #107
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Default Re: 25% of Starting Points

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No, but a child does have to do something to get that Strength increase from the GM: age. This is usually pretty easy to do...
Nowadays it's easy. Just a couple of centuries ago, about half of children were failing to do it.

Who says kids today are underachievers?
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Old 03-17-2018, 02:55 PM   #108
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default Re: 25% of Starting Points

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Because players can have characters who become parents. Because children can become player characters if enough campaign time passes. Sons of nobles can become squires. Twins born of player characters can be destined to be mages, etc.

In addition, npcs are essentially player characters run by the GM, especially if they have to be built and maintained as allies or enemies.
Agree with all the above. I had a player who wanted to play the daughter of her and another's PC as her new PC (it was an SF game, and the PCs had jumped forward about a decade in time, meaning the left-behind NPC preschool daughter had grown up to be a teenager). I've played GURPS long enough I've played more than one offspring of one of my PCs, even on Yrth (18 of our world's years later).

I design my significant NPCs like I do my PCs. I even liked an NPC so much I asked and got permission from a GM to make it my PC.

EDIT: Loling with Stormcrow and RyanW

Last edited by Alden Loveshade; 03-17-2018 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Loling
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:26 PM   #109
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Default Re: 25% of Starting Points

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No, but a child does have to do something to get that Strength increase from the GM: age. This is usually pretty easy to do...
In an era where for every two children born, one would die before reaching the age of 15 - aging can be a problem for some. ;)

If you ever want to have a sobering thought or ten? Visit some of the older cemeteries. My wife enjoys the hike for Watkins Glen, and always spends time at the cemetery by the Indian Trail. One of the grave markers looks like a miniature DC Monument. On its four sides, are multiple names of children. I don't believe even one of them made it past 15, and all died within a matter of years of each other, some the same year.

Again, something that our generation of people have not had to endure thanks to not only reliable food production, but also medical science. Hell, I'm lucky I survived when I was born - as I was an RH baby, born 5th of five. But not for total blood transfusion when I was born, something that was lacking prior to the 20th century - I too would have perished before my first month's existence.

On that note... simply aging was not so simple sometimes. ;)
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:55 PM   #110
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Default Re: 25% of Starting Points

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On that note... simply aging was not so simple sometimes. ;)
The POINT is that the GM grants you the effects of maturing automatically, because this is a change that happens to your character in the game, just like he'll automatically give you the One Arm disadvantage if you lose an arm in the game.
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