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Old 02-15-2021, 09:25 PM   #21
Join Date: Dec 2004
Default Re: TFT Life History Character Generation

Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Does every one of the two percenters actually know a spell or do they have the aptitude to someday learn a spell?
Context suggests the former. From ITL, page 134:

"Perhaps one person in 50 will have some small ability with magic. Fewer than 1 in 300 will be true “wizards” within the meaning of this game. This is due mainly to the length and difficulty of magical training. A good comparison would be to doctors or engineers on our Earth."

Italics are mine.
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Old 02-16-2021, 12:15 AM   #22
Steve Plambeck
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: TFT Life History Character Generation

The percentage of wizards in the general population of a world setting really isn't coupled to the percentage of wizards appearing in play, making it a moot point in character generation and game mechanics.

Parties of PCs are normally comprised of whatever characters the players want to play, regardless of what the census bureau might say.
"I'm not arguing. I'm just explaining why I'm right."
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Old 03-09-2021, 07:27 PM   #23
Jack O'All Trades
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: TFT Life History Character Generation

My intuition is that whatever Traveller-y life path system you develop, it would work best with TFT if the standard procedure is to spit them out and play them as PCs at whatever point they get to 32 attributes, rather than at a set age. You might end up with young up and coming heroes mixed in with older late bloomers, which seems to fit with how 'naturally grown' PC parties tend to look (that is, what players come up with on their own) and gives more diverse life stories and perspectives.

You'd probably want to let them fill out any 'missing' talent points, too, and generally aim for an expected 3-4 talent points to be missing, so that any character can become a new fighter or pick up some social skills that aren't too tied to professions/life history per se.

Of course you could probably use the same setup to develop more experienced characters, but I think most players like the 32-34 pt period enough to play it out rather than incentivize maxing out the life path game (as a lot of Traveller players end up doing - it works within the very different system + setting, I don't think it would be as fun in TFT).
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Old 03-11-2021, 12:57 AM   #24
David Bofinger
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: TFT Life History Character Generation

In my experience complicated backgrounds for characters tends to be generated and then forgotten. There's a few reasons for this:
  • The player or automatic system creating the background doesn't know where the game will go and is likely to create a back story that doesn't naturally fit into the story.
  • The backgrounds of different characters generally don't naturally interact.
  • Other players and the GM will find it hard to remember largely independent facts, and can't be bothered to go look them up.

So how could we make player backgrounds relevant? This approach is to ask the players to say how their character interacted with the most interesting and relevant events of the setting's history. I call this the "What did you do in the war, Daddy?" system.

The GM divides a period before play into a series of eras. Each era is described by a notable event that occurred during it. Each player character is expected to say what they did in that era, including how the defining events of that era affected them. Some of those events will be randomly determined. Others will be chosen by the GM as elements of the setting and of the arc plot of the campaign. The players don't know which is which.

The eras for example, with player responses, might be:
  1. Between 0 and 3 years ago: A great military expedition opened the left bank of the river, which had been infested by monsters, to colonisation. I was a soldier in that operation. I was awarded a medal, which I later traded for a meal, a whore and enough drink to make me unconscious. I'm proud of what I did, but angry about how the army kicked me aside once I wasn't needed.
  2. Between 3 and 8 years ago: A good times, during which population increased, and the main city became crowded. I left my parents' farm to join the army. There were plenty of migrants eager for a job, and enough money to pay them, so I felt I wasn't needed. I was an idiot in those days. Probably still am.
  3. Between 8 and 18 years ago: An outbreak of the green pustules killed many. My grandmother died in that outbreak. Afterwards my grandfather would sit in a corner, rocking back and forth. My parents said after he lost her he didn't know what to do with himself.
  4. Between 18 and 35 years ago: The War of the Four Horses caused devastation, but also brought the region under one ruler for the first time in recent history. I wasn't born in those days but I've heard the old soldiers talking. Weird to think battles and skirmishes were fought in places I remember as peaceful villages. There are stories of buried pay chests near my parents' farm, maybe one day I'll make a fool of myself looking for them. Actually my parents probably wouldn't own their farm outright, except for so many being driven away and land going cheap. It's an ill wind and all that.
  5. Between 35 and 60 years ago: The unexplained death of the great wizard Phyops and all his students ended his cheap supply of magic items. Just goes to show, nobody's immortal. I've used his death talking to wizards, persuading them they need a bodyguard.

Has anyone seen anything like this? What was your experience with it? I think there's a member of the FATE family that does it?
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:46 AM   #25
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: TFT Life History Character Generation

Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
I think there's a member of the FATE family that does it?
Doesn't FATE also encourage the back-stories to include and overlap with other characters - thus creating a narrative which binds the characters together from the beginning with grudges, debts and shared friends/enemies?
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