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Starting XP for Replacement Characters
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southpaw
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:41 pm    Post subject: Starting XP for Replacement Characters Reply with quote

Curious to know what other GMs do about this, when characters get killed or leave the story. My gut feeling is to allow them to start with equal XP as existing characters if they die heroically, but have them start with no bonus XP if they leave or just want to play something new.

Thoughts?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In many games i see others advocating that, but to me it is almost like saying 'go ahead and die, there is no real penalty.
Heck with keeping it at the same CP (D6 uses cp not XP), you can make the exact same character up..

Now our sparks group does it where for every effective 50cp you earn for the guy who just died/retired, your back up gets 25.
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Guardian_A
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I try to keep track of how many CPs everyone has invested in increasing their characters stats as a game progresses (Instead of spending them to just look good.) When someone dies, retires their character, or if we just bring a new player into the game, I take the smallest number of CPs and use that as a starting point for the new character. This allows the new player to be competitive with the weakest member of the group without anyone feeling like they have been cheated.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So if all 6 pc's earned 46 cp, but two spent 41 of them, 1 spent 38, and the last 3 spent all 46.. 1 pc dies and now comes in with 38 cp??
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Guardian_A
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
So if all 6 pc's earned 46 cp, but two spent 41 of them, 1 spent 38, and the last 3 spent all 46.. 1 pc dies and now comes in with 38 cp??


Its a touch more complicated than that, but you've got the jest of it.

For example. Over the course of your campaign, you award 46CP's to all of your players. You would add the points that each player spent on stats and their remaining CP when creating your total.

Player 1:
Spent In Game: 3
Spent On Stats: 41
Remainging: 2

Player 2:
Spent In Game: 5
Spent On Stats: 41
Remainging: 0

Player 3:
Spent In Game: 1
Spent on Stats: 38
Remaining: 7

Player 4:
Spent In Game: 0
Spent on Stats 46
Remaining: 0

The CP totals would look like this:
Player 1: 43
Player 2: 41
Player 3: 45
Player 4: 46

The new character would be created normally, then have 41CP that they could use to build up their character. Any left over CPs remain in that character's CP pool.

Its really not very hard to keep track of if you write things down at the end of every session. I have an index card where I keep track of how many CP I have awarded during a campaign along with a running tally each character that looks like the above example. On the rare occasions I have needed a CP total, I can call a short recess while I add up a couple of totals
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vanir
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the Player and the adventure. Firstly you want them to be part of the story, which may influence their CP and secondly you should modify for appropriateness with the Player. If it's a new Player to the game, it's a bit harsh to make them start with dramatically disadvantaged CP, they can't join in on half the action for a long time.
But if it's someone who got killed and wants a replacement, a penalty is mandatory. You should usually have them either take over a Party henchman of their choice (who will typically have half PC CP), or have them write up a new character at henchmen CP/die but give them special adventure-CP bonuses for making their new character fit into the existing party well, so you sort of bring them up to speed as GM through gameplay.

As GM the single most useful thing you can do for Players is try to make absolutely everything and anything about their Characters happen only during gameplay. Got a question about your character? Start the game. Want to make an adjustment to your sheet? Start the game.
Want to start a new character with extra CP? Play the game.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guardian_A wrote:
garhkal wrote:
So if all 6 pc's earned 46 cp, but two spent 41 of them, 1 spent 38, and the last 3 spent all 46.. 1 pc dies and now comes in with 38 cp??


Its a touch more complicated than that, but you've got the jest of it.

For example. Over the course of your campaign, you award 46CP's to all of your players. You would add the points that each player spent on stats and their remaining CP when creating your total.

Player 1:
Spent In Game: 3
Spent On Stats: 41
Remainging: 2

Player 2:
Spent In Game: 5
Spent On Stats: 41
Remainging: 0

Player 3:
Spent In Game: 1
Spent on Stats: 38
Remaining: 7

Player 4:
Spent In Game: 0
Spent on Stats 46
Remaining: 0

The CP totals would look like this:
Player 1: 43
Player 2: 41
Player 3: 45
Player 4: 46

The new character would be created normally, then have 41CP that they could use to build up their character. Any left over CPs remain in that character's CP pool.

Its really not very hard to keep track of if you write things down at the end of every session. I have an index card where I keep track of how many CP I have awarded during a campaign along with a running tally each character that looks like the above example. On the rare occasions I have needed a CP total, I can call a short recess while I add up a couple of totals


Wouldn't the replacement character's total be 38? Since before you said that they would get as many points as the weakest character has spent improving stats.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
Wouldn't the replacement character's total be 38? Since before you said that they would get as many points as the weakest character has spent improving stats.
No. He is using CP Awarded - CP used in play so the total includes CPs spent to increase skills and attributes as well as CPs added to the available total. The only CPs that are excluded are those used during the game to add to die rolls.
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Guardian_A
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
Raven Redstar wrote:
Wouldn't the replacement character's total be 38? Since before you said that they would get as many points as the weakest character has spent improving stats.
No. He is using CP Awarded - CP used in play so the total includes CPs spent to increase skills and attributes as well as CPs added to the available total. The only CPs that are excluded are those used during the game to add to die rolls.


Yep! And thanks for clearing that up on my behalf!
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so whoever used the most CPs in game is used to calculate?
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Bren
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
Ok, so whoever used the most CPs in game is used to calculate?
Assuming they all received the same CP award at the end of the adventure, yes that person would establish the minimum CP award for that adventure.

Then you sum the minimum awards over all adventures and that is the number of CPs that the new PC gets.

Note: I am just explaining what I interpret Guardian as saying. I don't actually do this. Typically I start characters either at base 18D attribute, 7D skills, 5 CPs and 1 FP (2 if force sensitive). Occassionally if a player is going to run with a group of PCs with a lot of skill - then rather than track CPs I'll just add more skill dice for the new PC.
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Guardian_A
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
Ok, so whoever used the most CPs in game is used to calculate?


Pretty much!

Its always worked well for me.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guardian_A wrote:

Its really not very hard to keep track of if you write things down at the end of every session. I have an index card where I keep track of how many CP I have awarded during a campaign along with a running tally each character that looks like the above example. On the rare occasions I have needed a CP total, I can call a short recess while I add up a couple of totals


So in effect there is no penalty for dying..

You start the same as you effectively left... Shocked
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Guardian_A
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:

So in effect there is no penalty for dying..

You start the same as you effectively left... Shocked


Only if you are the lowest person in the group.

The new character takes the biggest hit in the form of gear and history.

Its a house rule that works well with our group. Like all house rules, what works with one group might not work with another. We tend to look to the long term with our characters since our campaigns tend to run for months, and we usually use our characters in multiple campaigns. Because of this, our players tend to become VERY attached to their characters. Loosing them is usually the last thing they want.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guardian_A wrote:
I try to keep track of how many CPs everyone has invested in increasing their characters stats as a game progresses (Instead of spending them to just look good.) When someone dies, retires their character, or if we just bring a new player into the game, I take the smallest number of CPs and use that as a starting point for the new character. This allows the new player to be competitive with the weakest member of the group without anyone feeling like they have been cheated.


I'm similiar to that except that I usually still make the new PC have an amount a little lower than the lowest in the group. That way even the lowest guy still feels the benefit from having earned all of his PC's CPs and not dying.

Also, I go by total CPs awarded, regardless of how they are spent. It is easy to keep track of. Starting with my first campaign in 1988, I have used an adventure log that records how many CPs I award to every PC for each adventure. If a player burns all of his PC's CPs for the one-time benefit during play and never uses them to advance his character in skill, then the new PC may actually have more CPs to build into his character starting out. In that case, the player who burns all his CPs has no right to resent the new PC for starting out more advanced because the old PC still got the benefit of buring those CPs.

However I now minimize cases of any PC falling too far behind in character advancement behind by reintroducing the IE "Skill Points" into the game. Skill Points can only be used to raise skills, not having the option to burn during play. Skill Points are given for experience, in my game usually earned at a rate of 1 SP per chapter played in an adventure (a "chapter" being equal to what they call an "episode" in RAW).

However I also have CPs that come with the option to work as bonus Skill Points or the 2E-exclusive additional option of buring during play. CPs are awarded as "bonus" point for good roleplaying, etc. on top of the SPs that are the "base" points. SPs are always awarded at the end of the adventure, while the bonus CPs can be awarded at any time - at the end of an adventure, chapter or scene, or even instantly during play.

It is an extra stat on my character sheet, but having both SPs and CPs prevents PCs from burning too many CPs during play and neglecting character advancement through experience.

I also have a stat called "Caliber" for PCs and NPCs, which is actually a combination of three stats (3 numbers separated by slashes). The first number is the number of attribute dice the character has (this will never change for PCs as I don't allow attribute advancement). The second number is the starting skill dice used to allocate to skills during character creation. Alien special abilities that provide a one-time bonus to skill dice allocation during character creation are added to this total, but ongoing benefits that provide a bonus to every roll of the skill use do not count here. (So this number never changes for PCs or NPCs). And the last number is the only number that changes for PCs. The last number is the number of Skill Points and Character Points combined that the PC has accumulated. Each time points are awarded, the player must update the last number in Caliber for it to be a running total of SPs and CPs earned.

So a Caliber of "18/12/5" means 18 attribute dice, 12 skill dice total 7D base skill dice + 1D bonus die (which is used for advantages, split up into 3 specialization dice or pips or used as an extra skill die ) + 4D skill dice from species abilities (i.e., a species that gives you +4D to allocate to any technical skills), and 5 SP/CPs awarded to the PC (such as for a starting PC).

This Caliber stat make it easy for me to compare PCs to each other and plan enounters based on experience-levles, as well as improvise encounters when necessary during play. Then I also use a character advancement sheet for each PC that tracks where each SP and CP awarded is spent and after which adventures.
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