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Old 07-16-2018, 10:04 AM   #21
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Banestorm Victims And High TL Skills

The discussion here seems to have evolved from "how do I handle high-TL skills for characters who are being banestormed into a low-tech world?" to "how do I stop characters who are being banestormed into a low-tech world from being built with improbable expertise in archaic skills?" That's a different issue.

I think the answer requires looking at fiction about such characters. In the Nantucket trilogy, for example, a lot of the main characters turn out to have unexpectedly useful skills/advantages, from advanced training in kendo to speaking Lithuanian. But that's because they're the protagonists! There are people who don't have specially relevant skills, who get walk-on scenes; there are even people who can't adapt and commit suicide or get killed—the Lisketters, for example. But they're not the ones we spend most of our time reading about. In the same way, we don't usually want to read about the castaway who starves to death and leaves behind only his bleached bones.

So I think it's fair to allow players to design characters who have some useful skills and a background that justifies them, even if that background is improbable. (After all, nothing in their background is likely to be as improbable as being banestormed!) And I would tell my players that their characters were going to end up in another world. Of course I'd review their character sheets and question them if they came up with something that looked really abusive, just as I would players in ANY campaign. But I would tend to allow them to be a bit improbably prepared to take up their new lives; characters unexpectedly having useful skills is one of the tropes of this genre, isn't it?
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 07-16-2018, 11:55 AM   #22
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Banestorm Victims And High TL Skills

I was thinking the same thing as whswhs. If the players, knowing the premise ahead of time, start building characters that have improbably useful skills, those are the characters they want to play. What kind of game is the GM running? Is it "Modern characters go to Yrth?" or is it "Modern characters go to Yrth and don't have the skills to cope?" There is much to recommend a fish-out-of-water campaign, but if that's what you want it to be, say so to the players so they can get on board with the premise. Otherwise there's no reason to restrict improbably skilled characters.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:36 PM   #23
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Banestorm Victims And High TL Skills

I agree. If I run a 'modern characters go to Yrth campaign', I expect that my players will play a disproportionate number of former military, martial artists, pagan sorcerers, SCA members, scout leaders, etc. Of course, we will have a discussion about the effectiveness of exotic skills and magical spells on Earth beforehand, but I am not unwilling to allow characters from a low mana Earth possess limited magical knowledge or invest in exotic skills (at 250 points, they generally do not have enough points invested in such abilities to disrupt my campaigns).

In addition, the players will be playing the type of people that I grew up with and have been friends with all of my life, so I will not have any real issues with them making characters who resemble the people that I have known and loved throughout my life. It is probably just due to my life experiences, but I have no objection to people playing that type of character in any campaign, regardless of if it is modern day or not, because they have always been in my life. Of course, not many people have had quite as an eclectic background as I have, so they may have different points of view.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:24 PM   #24
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Default Re: Banestorm Victims And High TL Skills

My players once played rock stars in a zombie apocalypse. They had more skill in music and performance than in anything remotely resembling a good survivor, or an independent adult for that matter.

They were still amazing characters to play and excellent for the story.

Unless your players are dedicated powergamers that only want to increase their DPS, I really, really wouldn't worry about balancing point values much at all. If it still bugs you, look at Tolkien. Gandalf was a level 20 wizard in a party with some mid-level fighters and rangers plus four level-1 rogues.
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