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Starting XP for Replacement Characters
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dph
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally don't like any game (of any system) as a GM or player where new characters come in underpowered. I don't even like giving out varied XP anymore.

I don't think a character should be 'punished' especially if they die... but each to their own.

In SWD6 I always have players keep track of total XP in case a PC does die (or a new player comes in, or an old want starts a different character) so the new PC can just build up to the same 'level'.

Otherwise you might just have to work out the average XP you hand out, how many sessions you've played and maybe err on the side of 'rounding down'.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That almost sounds like you rather play games with 'save mode' enabled.. so if they die, they just reboot from last save point.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tossk wrote:
I personally don't like any game (of any system) as a GM or player where new characters come in underpowered. I don't even like giving out varied XP anymore.

I don't think a character should be 'punished' especially if they die... but each to their own.

In SWD6 I always have players keep track of total XP in case a PC does die (or a new player comes in, or an old want starts a different character) so the new PC can just build up to the same 'level'.

Otherwise you might just have to work out the average XP you hand out, how many sessions you've played and maybe err on the side of 'rounding down'.

I don't see making the replacement PC be a little less advanced than the dead character or surviving party as punishing players when their characters die. It's that characters are being rewarded for staying alive. If replacement characters always come back equal to the player's previous character or party average, then what motivation do players have for their PCs to not die? Even the most mature roleplayers still like to see their PCs grow with experience, and death is not a punishment but should be a setback of some kind.

It's been rare but I have occasionally had players consider having their PCs do something almost certainly disastrous (even for a heroic game), and I have had to ask them if their character is really that brave, or stupid. The motivation to keep their PCs alive sometimes helps the game stay more realistic. Without that, players can just have their PCs do outrageously ridiculous things that get them killed, and then just come back with a new PC that gets the full benefit of the unrealistically idiotic PC who died. Yes, sometimes simple bad luck can get you killed too, but if the rules are the same for all PC death then players still have that realistic motivation to try to keep the PC alive.

I also record total PC character point awards built into the PC so any replacement PCs can come back a little bit behind the PC in the party with the lowest amount. Not a lot behind, only a little. Too much behind and then game balance becomes a concern (I despise mixing PCs of substantially different experience together in the same adventure). But replacement PCs being a little behind is a reward to the players of the surviving PCs in the party who kept their PC alive.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree whill. When players see their characters as easily replaceable cause of coming back at exactly the same 'level' there is not as much desire or reason to not be reckless with them..
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dph
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep track of all XP earned in a campaign (I now give out equal XP to all) and if a new character is introduced, they get 50% of that total bonus XP (to account for CPs spent in game play) though I wonder if that's a bit low. Maybe I should make that 2/3?

Regardless, I think 'punishing' players who die, or just want to try a new character is not for me. My players play in depth characters and don't matagame so I trust mthem. I think bringing in a 'newb' (regardless of RPG system) reduces the fun for everyone.

I haven't met many players who needed the threat of lost XP to stay alive... and those that think like that aren't the kind of players I want to game with.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tossk wrote:
I keep track of all XP earned in a campaign (I now give out equal XP to all) and if a new character is introduced, they get 50% of that total bonus XP (to account for CPs spent in game play) though I wonder if that's a bit low. Maybe I should make that 2/3?

The simple solution I do is to not only track total CPs awarded, but also to track CPs built into each character. It's not hard to just have a stat on your character sheets that's the total of the CPs spent to improve character skills, and just update the running total for each PC after each adventure. That way there is no estimating % of CPs awarded that were burned in game play.

But then again you may feel that is too much bookkeeping since you give all the PCs the same CPs (and thus just keep track of the CP award for each adventure).
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atgxtg
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think "replacement characters" necessarily need to be more powerful that normal starting characters. My reasons why are as follows:

1) Unlike level based RPGs, the opposition doesn't necessarily get tougher as the characters do. Since hit points don't escalate, the standard 4D skill foes can always present a threat.

2) Likewise, the damage done by the opposition doesn't increase much with experience. Grenade and Thermal Detonator damage dice are the same, regardless of the experience of the people that are using them. It's not like in D&D where things like fireball spells exist and can make it nigh impossible for a begging PC to survive.

3) The player characters aren't supposed to be fighting each other, so it really shouldn't matter if the new character don't "balance out" against the old.

4) The important thing is for each player to be able to be able to do things that let him contribute to the game.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a hard and fast rule, but I would also be likely to offer a new PC a package based on what's locally appropriate.

"OK, you can make whatever character you like and I'll figure out how to work him in... OR you can make a character with THESE specifications and bonuses (who will happen to drive the plot forward)."
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

atgxtg wrote:
I don't think "replacement characters" necessarily need to be more powerful that normal starting characters. My reasons why are as follows:

1) Unlike level based RPGs, the opposition doesn't necessarily get tougher as the characters do. Since hit points don't escalate, the standard 4D skill foes can always present a threat.

2) Likewise, the damage done by the opposition doesn't increase much with experience. Grenade and Thermal Detonator damage dice are the same, regardless of the experience of the people that are using them. It's not like in D&D where things like fireball spells exist and can make it nigh impossible for a begging PC to survive.

3) The player characters aren't supposed to be fighting each other, so it really shouldn't matter if the new character don't "balance out" against the old.

4) The important thing is for each player to be able to be able to do things that let him contribute to the game.


Good points all. Especially on #2. Unlike in say ADND, where a group of L5-7 pcs is fighting say against ogres, trolls and a few hill giants, where a L1-2 pc would just be a hit (or two) away from getting splatted, it matters no where as much in SW, if their "levels" are that far apart. Sure that 400cp character, might wind up being a lot harder to even HIT cause he could have bumpped his dodge into the 8d+ region, but with multiple actions, combined fire from enemies etc, he can still get hit.
And the hit TO said pc is still going to be as damaging to one of only 20cp..
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dph
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an OLD thread but as this question comes up regularly in various forums & FB groups for many RPGs, I thought Id leave my standard comment!

Whatever the game, I bring new characters in (whether as a replacement character or new player) at the same 'level/power/experience' as the fellow players.

There's a lot of different views on this of course but I believe that anything else is punishing the player (and why would you punish them!) and making balancing adventures more difficult for the GM.

In the case of SWD6 I have the players record their overall CP totals during play.
If a new character is introduced I give them 2/3 the total CPs of that campaign (which is generally how much my players have left over after spending CPs in game on retools) which must be spend as standard 'character advancement' XP.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dph wrote:
I believe that anything else is punishing the player (and why would you punish them!) and making balancing adventures more difficult for the GM. .


So, if say (in an ADND sense) everyone started out at 10K, and earned their way up, why shouldn't new folks who are bringing in new pcs, start the same way?
And if you are on about 'don't punish the player cause his character died, just let him build as he left off'. Again why is it seen as punishing them to have them start out lower??
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