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Old 12-17-2013, 10:30 AM   #1
PseudoFenton
 
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Default [DF] Replacing a dead/retired character, what CP build total?

So let's say your 400 point character just died to a dragon (or whatever), their body is utterly destroyed, and you have to make another. Everyone else is equally powerful, they've got many hundreds of CP under their belts. You, however, are now forced to start over at 250 points!

Or, lets say your character, having defeated said dragon, is now rich beyond your dreams. Reminded of your mortality due to the loss of a friend during the fight, (and a little bored of the character you've been playing for the last year) you decide to settle down and start your own inn. You effectively retire from adventuring, and look to make a new character. Your new character will obviously be joining your former characters companions, who are all 400+ points... but you'll be a novice just out of training with 250 points!

Or, lets say you're just a friend who's never played before, and happen to be over during the game. You watch this epic dragon fight go down, and get really interested and want to join in next session. So you learn the rules, and decide what sort of character you want to play, and then roll em up... on only 250 points, hardly an equal to the legends you saw slay that dragon!


Okay - if all of the above happened at the same time, I'd ask the other players if they wanted to make a new group/start a new campaign or whatever, as that's three players who are all 'new blood'. Assuming only one of these scenarios happen though, is this fair?
Should you have to start over from scratch when everyone else playing are clear veterans with massive character point pools? Can it still be 'fun' at the bottom of the ladder when everyone else is so powerful in comparison?

How do you handle these situations in your games? What point totals do you allow for building new/replacement characters?


(For full disclosure, I have rules for all of the above situations, each slightly different - but contention with a current player has led me to consider re-evaluating my position on them. So I'm curious as to what everyone else does. I also wish to build a consensus of opinions which either backs them up and changes my mind, or backs me up so I can point at them and go "see, I'm not the only one who thinks that" in an attempt to convince them I'm not a tyrant.)
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: [DF] Replacing a dead/retired character, what CP build total?

I'm not running DF, but I am running a fantasy campaign where the characters started at 300 points and are now around 485. I've had to add a character for a new player twice recently, which seems like relevant experience.

I round the point total of the existing characters down a bit and use that for a new one. This reflects that newly-designed GURPS characters tend to be slightly more point-efficient than ones that have accumulated a significant fraction of their points in small experience awards.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: [DF] Replacing a dead/retired character, what CP build total?

I start players at the base total for the game and then either give them 1/4 to 1/2 the points of their previous character or (as I am doing in my current game) allow them to roll their point total randomly. I don't usually get complaints.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: [DF] Replacing a dead/retired character, what CP build total?

Mixing a brand new char with a veteran group is probably a bad idea.
The GM is supposed to be balancing the foes to the party level.
In my Monster Hunters game the party is at 880ish pts, if I were to allow a newbie of 400 pts to face off against the enimies they face it would destroy the newbie. He's a liability not an asset. The same is true of DF.

Also, unlike some systems that give out XP based on character & encounter level GURPS does not. The new guy will get the same XP as the veterans so the new player will never 'catch up'.

In my expireance, most GMs (myself included) let the player make a new character with point equal to the lowest pt PC. Somtimes with a small pt penalty.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: [DF] Replacing a dead/retired character, what CP build total?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostdancer View Post
I start players at the base total for the game and then either give them 1/4 to 1/2 the points of their previous character or (as I am doing in my current game) allow them to roll their point total randomly. I don't usually get complaints.
How do you roll for XP randomly?
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: [DF] Replacing a dead/retired character, what CP build total?

New/replacement characters get built on something in the ballpark of existing characters, though I don't have a formula. Playing at a significant power imbalance is, in the minds of my players (and me, for that matter), Not Fun.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:02 AM   #7
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: [DF] Replacing a dead/retired character, what CP build total?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
How do you roll for XP randomly?
First, I decide on the power level(s) I want. This can be anything from Heroic (100 - 200 points) all the way up to Godlike (1000+ points). I then break down how I want the levels to interact and assign them rolls. Say, I want five levels, with the minimum of 100 and the maximum of 200, my chart might look like:

Roll Result
1 100 points
2 125 points
3-4 150 points
5 175 points
6 200 points

Players roll one die before they even start in on their concept and go from there. I adjust the point total for really assume ideas that the player cannot otherwise make and don't bother when it comes to lazy players (of which I currently have none, thankfully). This allows me to get a very "real" feel for my games. Not everyone starts out the same or even ends up the same and my players love that. I also "hide" point totals after the game begins. They don't need to know that information (and no one ever asks anyways) and as long as they can do what their concept demands they don't care.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: [DF] Replacing a dead/retired character, what CP build total?

If your character dies, your new character should be at least 25 points lower than your dead one--otherwise, Extra Life is just a waste of points. If you retire your old character, I believe the same logic applies--take a minimum of a 25 point hit, up to a max of the character with the lowest point total.

If a new player enters the game, I would just set his or her total equal to the lowest-point PC.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:27 AM   #9
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: [DF] Replacing a dead/retired character, what CP build total?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
New/replacement characters get built on something in the ballpark of existing characters, though I don't have a formula. Playing at a significant power imbalance is, in the minds of my players (and me, for that matter), Not Fun.
The real problem is that the player who sits there with the underpowered character may very well be afraid to speak up, to voice his dissatisfaction, because this hobby is rampant with accusations of immaturity, munchkinry and so forth.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: [DF] Replacing a dead/retired character, what CP build total?

This problem has cropped up once or twice in some of my games, and I wing it. I recently pitched a new campaign to some of my people though, that would necessarily include a lot of PC death, at least, early on - it's a feature of the setting that life it lethal. The way I plan to run it will be that players can replace dead characters (or just start a new character, if they don't like their old one), at a point total equal to the lowest point total of the surviving characters, minus a penalty. What the penalty should be is dependent on the level of play - my game is shaping up around [100]-[150] PCs, and I think the penalty will be about 10%. This way players are penalized for the deaths of their characters, but the group as a whole will be kept more-or-less together, points-wise.

It remains to be seen how much of a "low-CP trap" exists that will spiral new characters down ever deeper as they continue to die, while the rest of the party lives. I'll have to keep an eye on it, but I don't think it'll actually cause problems.

New characters will come into the campaign with enough personal backstory to justify their point total - they're not "just out of boot camp," as it were, but rather, "veteran transferred into the unit."
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