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Author Topic: Character-Trees  (Read 1682 times)

Prospernia

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Character-Trees
« on: 19 September 2022, 14:28:52 »
Character-Trees are hinted in Mechwarrior 1st Edition to make game-play faster and increase play time for non-combat characters or wrong combat; imagine being a mechwarrior in an aerospace game taking place in space.

Now, Battletech has a rich, 1,000 history, so why not use it?  Why can't you have a character-tree that spans the centuries; take the rise of House Kurita, say you have a character-tree that starts at the beginnings of the House, to the Succession-Wars, Clan-Invasions and post-Clan?  Say you have a jumpship-pilot fighting the Ozawa-Clan, a mechwarrior in one of the Succession-Wars, a tech during the Clan Invasion and a spy during 3145.   I used Kurita as an example as that's the only House Book I can find at the moment.

Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #1 on: 19 September 2022, 15:50:50 »
What are you asking?
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Daryk

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #2 on: 19 September 2022, 17:52:25 »
I think I see what you mean, but a bit more explanation would help all of us understand...  :)

Prospernia

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #3 on: 20 September 2022, 02:18:01 »
What are you asking?

Not really asking, but suggesting; in MW1, they suggest moving XP between different-characters and why can't you travel through time?   If you're going to play a Battletech RPG, why confine yourself to the latest era in time?  The Battletech-universe is immense and have a chain of related characters.

Atlas3060

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #4 on: 20 September 2022, 05:59:31 »
If you're going to play a Battletech RPG, why confine yourself to the latest era in time?
Who said that?
No really what are you trying to convey here?
There's Era Digests and Era Reports with guidelines on how to play them with A Time of War.
You aren't constrained to just the latest era.
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Richard S.

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #5 on: 20 September 2022, 11:13:09 »
Are you talking about character family trees a la Pendragon, where new characters inherit some of the abilities of the ones before?

Aotrs Commander

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #6 on: 20 September 2022, 11:29:31 »
I mean, it's taken us nine years (and counting, we're in the end phase) to get through our first D&D adventure path, Rise of the Runelords* (less than a year in in-game time), and you're suggesting BT campaigns that last literal in-universe decades...?



I mean, seriously, I stopped buying adventure paths at around the point I realised that, if I do nothing but DM and we get through about one Paizo AP book (out of six) every six months (which was about what took each portion, when were were still meeting virtually every week), realistically, everyone would be too old and/or dead before we reached ten. (And at current rate, I'm not certain we'll get through the second one we started before we run out of players.)



I mean... You could, I suppose, if you you did a lot of timeskips and only did, like, a few sessions in each era as a "highlights of" but you'd run the significant risk of the player not really being attached to their characters very much if they're only going to play them for a few weeks.



*Started August 26th, 2013, which I know because I wrote the first third up on the Paizo forums as I played... As usual when I do something like that (up to and including my own official Entirel Optional Lore for my day-job, not bitter about it at all), to more or less complete deathly silence, which is why I didn't bother with the next two chunks...

Daryk

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #7 on: 20 September 2022, 18:05:51 »
This community is at least a little different from the Pathfinder crowd (I say that with a foot in both camps).  As I said above, I think I know what the OP is talking about, but a bit more explanation would help SOME people here.  There is no official mechanism to pass XP down through the generations in AToW, but I think there could be.  Done right, it would be AWESOME!  :thumbsup:

monbvol

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #8 on: 20 September 2022, 19:54:59 »
Theoretically it may be possible via MW1e's system.

But it'd be something I'd expect any competent GM to keep in check.

Aotrs Commander

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #9 on: 21 September 2022, 06:02:33 »
This community is at least a little different from the Pathfinder crowd (I say that with a foot in both camps).  As I said above, I think I know what the OP is talking about, but a bit more explanation would help SOME people here.  There is no official mechanism to pass XP down through the generations in AToW, but I think there could be.  Done right, it would be AWESOME!  :thumbsup:

Not really confined to advanture paths; modern APs are just a good measuring stick for time, since they are a set length format (as opposed to other campaigns, i.e. ones I wrote myself or converted AD&D ones) and the one in question had a uniquely-defined start date.

I mean, the longest running party we had - which was in Rolemaster, system of choice before 3.0.3.5/PF1 came along* - (which, granted was run on day quests, which happen quarterly and usually not the same party in a row, so maybe one or two a year and thus not a weekly evening campaign) lasted about, oh, 22-24 years. And ended when I specifically did a double-length capstone adventure for my 40th birthday party in late 2019. A party which I choose to officially retire, since we getting older and the characters were stupidly power-bloated (the final boss was a 60th level great time drake ninja lich with precursoer technology shields... For a 12th-level party). Related image. Disturbingly prophetically, since we lost one over lockdown, and it was one of the younger players, too (36 is no age to go).

I can only estimate the duration, since the first quests predated me having a PC, and thus I can't check the exact date of the files of the first quest I have on computer because has been through pretty much every PC, and I am only certain that, unlike some of the supplementary weapon lists it wasn't written on the Atari ST first was because that quest (quest 02) was written for my special double-length advanture for my 18th birthday (late '97), and that was a crossover of two already existant parties.

My estimation puts it around sometime 1994-1996 start... And I only know that because one of the characters first appeared as an NPC in a RM time-travel campaign, which I can tie to 1994 date specifically because of an incident I randomly recorded in my school jotter with the date because of the remarkable incidient the guy who was playing himself killed a 5th level time-lizardman with a cricketball after the entire rest of the party with their advanced sci-fi weaponry entirely failed to hit it. Over the years, this sort of thing became standard for RM, but it was the first time...)



*We did play AD&D a bit in the day, though never quite the same set of rules under each DM. But when 3.0 came out, we never looked back, though. We now (primarily) play 3.Aotrs, because at the point you have 1000+ pages of houserules, you functional have your own edition (admittedly, a fair amount copy-pasted from 3.5 or PF1 and just collated in one place to theorhetically reduced the amount of physical paperwork which would otherwise exceed what wil fit in my 90-litre backpack; but like with the changes from 3.5 from 3.0 and PF1 from 3.5, there are quite a few bits where there's a few changes.) RM still sees some use (well, theorhetically, I haven't written a single quest of my own since lockdown) as it serves some purposes better than 3.Aotrs (for more skill-based, less combat heavy, more explore-y games)

Daryk

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #10 on: 21 September 2022, 17:35:14 »
That does indeed sound like the ChartMaster I remember...  :D

Prospernia

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #11 on: 22 September 2022, 22:45:08 »
This community is at least a little different from the Pathfinder crowd (I say that with a foot in both camps).  As I said above, I think I know what the OP is talking about, but a bit more explanation would help SOME people here.  There is no official mechanism to pass XP down through the generations in AToW, but I think there could be.  Done right, it would be AWESOME!  :thumbsup:

Well, there's mention of transferring XP in MW1e, so, if you can move XP between to different characters, in the Battletech-universe in a game, why not transfer the XP through time? 



I mean, it's taken us nine years (and counting, we're in the end phase) to get through our first D&D adventure path, Rise of the Runelords* (less than a year in in-game time), and you're suggesting BT campaigns that last literal in-universe decades...?

. . .



I know what you mean; my players were all excited when Dragon-Kings came out, and they'd talk about what they'd do when they became a 30th-level Dragon.  I hated to be the one that tells that kids there's no Santa, but seriously, how long has any one of us actually played the same character?  I mean, lets not get into months or years here,  in real life, but what the maximum-level we got?  5th?  Most of our games, we never got to name-level. What on Earth did they think that they were going to reach 30th?  Do, um, they insisted I run more often.

BrianDavion

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #12 on: 23 September 2022, 00:25:55 »
that saiod it all depends on the form the game takes, AME's Mirkwood campaign has a real neat structure in that every adventure is basicly a year or two later

Aotrs Commander

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #13 on: 23 September 2022, 04:16:38 »
I know what you mean; my players were all excited when Dragon-Kings came out, and they'd talk about what they'd do when they became a 30th-level Dragon.  I hated to be the one that tells that kids there's no Santa, but seriously, how long has any one of us actually played the same character?  I mean, lets not get into months or years here,  in real life, but what the maximum-level we got?  5th?  Most of our games, we never got to name-level. What on Earth did they think that they were going to reach 30th?  Do, um, they insisted I run more often.

We DID have one party that ran into low epic (21-22, something like that, in 3.5(ish) ), and this AP will end at 18th. I was half-planning to convert Return of the Runelords to 18-Epic as a sequel... (Because am insane having previously done said campaign converting Dragon Mountain and not learned my lesson.) But there is now, since lockdown, a very real danger the weekly group may run out of regular players to do much of anything within the next year or so[1]. I was starting to think that I really ought to prepare for my Osirion super-campaign (the one I wanted to run since the early 90s when my Dad borrowed some questbooks from a work mate and I read Phaoroah), but... I may never get to do that.

(I could have easily accelerated the RM party to higher level, but because XP had become "when I feel like it" since about the midpoint, I, funnily enough, did not feel like making the frackers any WORSE past level 12...)



[1]From a group which at the start of the AP had eight characters and nine players (two shared one for various reasons), now we are down to five at most, running some weeks with only three (running two each - at level 16) and if one player does indeed move away, we will be struggling to play week to week.

Prospernia

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #14 on: 27 September 2022, 13:44:10 »
Another reason I suggest character-trees, is that, the biggest campaign-killer, besides moving away, was finding something cooler or just getting bored with the current game. We played Bloodrite for a while, and that got old; and yes, the Clans' NPCs had horrible skills.



We DID have one party that ran into low epic (21-22, something like that, in 3.5(ish) ), and this AP will end at 18th. I was half-planning to convert Return of the Runelords to 18-Epic as a sequel... (Because am insane having previously done said campaign converting Dragon Mountain and not learned my lesson.) But there is now, since lockdown, a very real danger the weekly group may run out of regular players to do much of anything within the next year or so[1]. I was starting to think that I really ought to prepare for my Osirion super-campaign (the one I wanted to run since the early 90s when my Dad borrowed some questbooks from a work mate and I read Phaoroah), but... I may never get to do that.

(I could have easily accelerated the RM party to higher level, but because XP had become "when I feel like it" since about the midpoint, I, funnily enough, did not feel like making the frackers any WORSE past level 12...)


[1]From a group which at the start of the AP had eight characters and nine players (two shared one for various reasons), now we are down to five at most, running some weeks with only three (running two each - at level 16) and if one player does indeed move away, we will be struggling to play week to week.

That's the inherent problem with long-term RPGs; unless you play everyday, like for summer-break when you're in high-school or college, your character isn't going to go anywhere.  We played for over two years, every Friday night, a Vampire: the Masquerade game just out of high-school and the reason some of my friends couldn't visit me in college, was, that they RPG on the weekends as they all worked Full-time jobs during the week. 


that saiod it all depends on the form the game takes, AME's Mirkwood campaign has a real neat structure in that every adventure is basicly a year or two later

I actually ran a D&D game based off of Mirkwood, back in the day, all  because I found this maphttps://i0.wp.com/ugi-games.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/10922-ice-iron-crown-merp-middle-earth-tolkien-rpg-supplement-book-mirkwood-realm-2019-5.jpg?fit=1920%2C1280&ssl=1 at a local comic-book store; when I inquired about the price of the loose-map, they just gave it to me for free, which the campaign started. We played off an on, for about a year or two.

Aotrs Commander

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #15 on: 27 September 2022, 14:21:51 »
That's the inherent problem with long-term RPGs; unless you play everyday, like for summer-break when you're in high-school or college, your character isn't going to go anywhere.  We played for over two years, every Friday night, a Vampire: the Masquerade game just out of high-school and the reason some of my friends couldn't visit me in college, was, that they RPG on the weekends as they all worked Full-time jobs during the week. 

Prior to 2020 when lockdown shut everything down, the core of the weekly group had been meeting since before even I joined in 1990.

Daryk

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #16 on: 27 September 2022, 18:28:46 »
Prospernia: I'm having a hard time orienting on that map... where's Lothlorien? ???

BrianDavion

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #17 on: 27 September 2022, 21:09:50 »
Prospernia: I'm having a hard time orienting on that map... where's Lothlorien? ???

not on the map, Lothlorian is to the south a ways

Prospernia

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #18 on: 28 September 2022, 15:37:32 »
Prospernia: I'm having a hard time orienting on that map... where's Lothlorien? ???

I believe it was too the left, somewhere; when I got that map, I actually had to do research as I had no idea what it was for! 

Also, the river appears to flow up hill for a bit.

Daryk

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #19 on: 28 September 2022, 18:14:52 »
Thanks... it's almost like the folks who made that map weren't Tolkein himself...  ;)

Hellraiser

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #20 on: 02 October 2022, 14:38:41 »
Not really asking, but suggesting; in MW1, they suggest moving XP between different-characters and why can't you travel through time?   If you're going to play a Battletech RPG, why confine yourself to the latest era in time?  The Battletech-universe is immense and have a chain of related characters.

Theoretically it may be possible via MW1e's system.

But it'd be something I'd expect any competent GM to keep in check.

Wait, are you guys talking about the "In the Same Lance" XP moving or is there something in MW1E that I'm not remembering.

The XP in the same lance was designed to allow you to create a full lance of PCs & have "in theory" 1 of them be a Veteran LT lance leader while those that donated the XP were Rookies.

There was no actual transfer of earned XP later in the game.  It was just giving some of the "Generation Points" around to create a spread of better/worse characters.

It was mostly a bad idea & they even give an example of 3 people getting points from the 4th & if the 4th dies they HAVE to use the lesser/stolen total when creating a replacement PC & don't get the "standard" amount when they create a new PC.
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Prospernia

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Re: Character-Trees
« Reply #21 on: 21 October 2022, 21:22:51 »
Speaking of Mechwarrior RPG and time, certain editions have a certain feel to them.

For games up to 3025, I'd use Mechwarrior 1e.

For Clan invasion I'd use Mechwarrior 2e.

For the Bird of Wake, Jihad and above, and use Mechwarrior 3e.

For 3145, I'd use Destiny.

Wait, are you guys talking about the "In the Same Lance" XP moving or is there something in MW1E that I'm not remembering.

. . .

There's the suggestion, on page nine, of the Mechwarrior RPG, that players make several characters, all part of the same company, but different roles; if you have a Mechwarrior, a tech and a scout, two of them are going to be sitting around waiting to play.

The Character Tree concept is straight from Dark Sun, which, due to the lethality of the game, suggesting having multiple characters and you can move allocate XP.  Which, it a good idea for an RPG game of armored-combat.

In Mechwarrior 1, you can use XP like Edge-points to change the outcome of in-game die-rolls.

 

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