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Playing Orphans
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:46 pm    Post subject: Playing Orphans Reply with quote

Over on a site, for the Sparks group, someone brought up the subject, a lot of folk, seem to want to play characters who are somehow orphaned, that way their pc doesn't have family for enemies to target, or for ease of play (less backround to worry about).

But that brought up a few questions..
A) Who would then have raised them?
B) not every planet even has orphanages, or 'street urchin gangs'
C) who taught them what skills they had?


So how do YOu as a dm, handle it if someone wishes to have a character who's an Orphan?
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luke Skywalker was an orphan. Wink

However, that's kind of where the background comes in. If a character is an orphan, you might answer the question briefly, in line with who you want your character to be, but make it clear that this is a footnote.

"My character was orphaned. He was raised by an elderly cleaning droid that has since become deactivated."

"My character was orphaned. My parent's boss kept him on, doing odd jobs, but I took the first transport out of there once I turned 18!"

"My character was orphaned, but it happened in a natural disaster when I was 17. Since I don't have the mindset to declare my revenge against a hurricane, I more or less got along with my life."

It's easy to cut all your background out of the game... heck, Han Solo doesn't really HAVE a background in ANH beyond "Generally good, owes money to crime lords."
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Playing Orphans Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
Luke Skywalker was an orphan. Wink

Actually, Luke only believed he was an orphan when he was growing up. He last parent didn't die until age 23, so does that really count as being orphaned?

garhkal wrote:
Over on a site, for the Sparks group, someone brought up the subject, a lot of folk, seem to want to play characters who are somehow orphaned, that way their pc doesn't have family for enemies to target, or for ease of play (less backround to worry about).

But that brought up a few questions..
A) Who would then have raised them?
B) not every planet even has orphanages, or 'street urchin gangs'
C) who taught them what skills they had?

So how do YOu as a dm, handle it if someone wishes to have a character who's an Orphan?

Does Sparks have a lot of evil GMs? Do GMs specifically bring family members of PCs into the story just to manipulate the players? Before the campaign begins, I talk with each player about the character arc of their PC in the campaign and that includes if background elements should come into the story. As a GM I personally wouldn't bring elements of the character's background into the story without some general agreement with the player up front, if it would be a serious disadvantage for the PC.

A lot of folks wanting their PCs to be orphans so they have less background to worry about sound like lazy players to me. A PC being orphaned should be an interesting part of who the character is. If the player was just being lazy, I'd be tempted to bring in characters the PC would still care about, like other orphan "siblings".

In one campaign, two of the PCs were orphans who were close in age and grew up on the same planet in the same orphanage as their 'connection with other characters'. When they became teens they had separately escaped their orphanage and left the planet. One became a bounty hunter and the other became a pirate. After one PC died, the other PC ended up going back to the planet and having an adventure there.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Playing Orphans Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
MrNexx wrote:
Luke Skywalker was an orphan. Wink

Actually, Luke only believed he was an orphan when he was growing up. He last parent didn't die until age 23, so does that really count as being orphaned?


What you tell me is true... from a certain point of view. Wink
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Savar
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Playing Orphans Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
Whill wrote:
MrNexx wrote:
Luke Skywalker was an orphan. Wink

Actually, Luke only believed he was an orphan when he was growing up. He last parent didn't die until age 23, so does that really count as being orphaned?


What you tell me is true... from a certain point of view. Wink


Roflmao
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ThrorII
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Playing Orphans Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Over on a site, for the Sparks group, someone brought up the subject, a lot of folk, seem to want to play characters who are somehow orphaned, that way their pc doesn't have family for enemies to target, or for ease of play (less backround to worry about).

But that brought up a few questions..
A) Who would then have raised them?
B) not every planet even has orphanages, or 'street urchin gangs'
C) who taught them what skills they had?


So how do YOu as a dm, handle it if someone wishes to have a character who's an Orphan?


In my GM/Player career (spanning 40 years now*...ouch) I've mostly seen this type of behavior from players who are not trusting of the GM. Not because the GM screwed over players, but because the player tended to be controlling and mistrust ANYONE having narrative input on their character or putting them in situations that might steer them in a way they didn't want to go.

My currant group (playing for 12 years now) had one such player. He was also a rules lawyer and became more and more confrontational, until we had to ask him to leave.

*This by no means implies I'm an expert or anything, just that I have a lot of anecdotal experience.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
Luke Skywalker was an orphan. Wink

However, that's kind of where the background comes in. If a character is an orphan, you might answer the question briefly, in line with who you want your character to be, but make it clear that this is a footnote.

"My character was orphaned. He was raised by an elderly cleaning droid that has since become deactivated."


To which i'd ask, "How did a droid raise you, and teach you any of these skills you have"??

Whill wrote:
Does Sparks have a lot of evil GMs? Do GMs specifically bring family members of PCs into the story just to manipulate the players? Before the campaign begins, I talk with each player about the character arc of their PC in the campaign and that includes if background elements should come into the story. As a GM I personally wouldn't bring elements of the character's background into the story without some general agreement with the player up front, if it would be a serious disadvantage for the PC.


Not really, but it was a point, someone was asking, in relation to "How does sparks handle character backrounds". Someone replied kind of jokingly "Just make him an orphan. Done!"
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
To which i'd ask, "How did a droid raise you, and teach you any of these skills you have"??

It's a valid question. The PC's skill dice allocation has to make sense with the character's background. I've asked "How did your character learn those skills?" to many a player over the years. The only one that doesn't have to be explained is the first die in Dodge. That can just be 'lucky'.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly. One of the last games i ran, where someone DID want to play an orphan, he wanted a "minor-jedi, raised on the streets, who had 3d in all 3 of his starting force skills and 5d in his lightsaber skill, since he had a 4d dex"..
YET he had trouble trying to answer "SO who taught you the force, let alone the lightsaber??
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Playing Orphans Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
If the player was just being lazy, I'd be tempted to bring in characters the PC would still care about, like other orphan "siblings".


I tried that once, sorta.
An antagonist for the group was revealed to be a character's long-lost brother. When he realized his relation to the player character, he revealed himself and wanted to partner up with him...

The player character shot him in the head without hesitation.

Only one word: "Nope."

I was...uh...speechless.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Exactly. One of the last games i ran, where someone DID want to play an orphan, he wanted a "minor-jedi, raised on the streets, who had 3d in all 3 of his starting force skills and 5d in his lightsaber skill, since he had a 4d dex"..
YET he had trouble trying to answer "SO who taught you the force, let alone the lightsaber??


"Holocron."
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And how would an orphan, living on the streets even know what a holocron is, let alone have one to study from?
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
And how would an orphan, living on the streets even know what a holocron is, let alone have one to study from?


Found it in the garbage.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Playing Orphans Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:
An antagonist for the group was revealed to be a character's long-lost brother. When he realized his relation to the player character, he revealed himself and wanted to partner up with him...

The player character shot him in the head without hesitation.

Only one word: "Nope."

I was...uh...speechless.

Shocked

DSP for sure.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Playing Orphans Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Dredwulf60 wrote:
An antagonist for the group was revealed to be a character's long-lost brother. When he realized his relation to the player character, he revealed himself and wanted to partner up with him...

The player character shot him in the head without hesitation.

Only one word: "Nope."

I was...uh...speechless.

Shocked

DSP for sure.


Can't argue with that. Shocked Shocked Shocked
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