September 21st, 2007

Voodoo Dolly

Character Growth

In a game where death is 'dramatically appropriate', there can be situations where the characters simply won't die.  Circumstances may have come up where the characters could have died, but were saved to further the story (and that isn't the point of this post).  When the 'dramatic' point is reached, however, characters can survive it -- through ingenuity, luck, or what-have-you.  Which brings us to the question... what curbs character growth?  The assumption I'm making is that, fudge aside, the characters are still progressing in accordance to the rules of the game you're playing.

Now, I've had a few friends say this isn't an issue, because once 'the story is told', the campaign is closed, the characters are retired, and the group moves onto another game.  This has always bothered me, because when I make a character, their goals usually stretch beyond just the one campaign, and it often means that I'm left with a string of characters who never actually accomplish what they've set out to do.

But then, what do you do with more advanced characters?  Assuming you protect them from happenstance over the course of the campaign, if they refuse to shuffle off during the dramatic moments, and if the player refuses to have the character killed 'for the sake of story', what do you do?  Yes, there might be an opportunity for the character to die with meaning, but what if they decide instead to figure out a way to survive?  And if this keeps happening, the character just keeps progressing, and keeps progressing.

I don't consider character progression bad... far from it.  I'm fully willing to GM with characters pushing Level 19+ (my last D&D campaign wrapped with the PCs just hitting 20th level), and my M&M campaign started with the PCs at Level 2, and they're just pushing Level 11, but how do you balance the characters surviving where they would die, and then surviving where they could die?
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Oh hay guyz! New member here!

As horrible as it is, I found you guys through Clairvoyant_Wank.  You guys seemed pretty cool inspite of they guy who got wanked so I came on over.

So to make my introductory post a little more on the side of serious discussion, when I was in Toys R Us the other day, I discovered they have a section called "Roleplaying". For a shining minute I thought I had found an easier place to find new dice when my cats ate the others. Imagine my amused dissappointment to discover it was for when kids dress up to play chefs and cops and robbers.  Still very cute.

But the again, it could also mean I've been LARPing longer than I thought.

While I am thinking of it though: Children and Roleplaying games. Is introducing them to LARPing and table top roleplay a bad idea? Good idea? What would be the age to do this and what do think the rules should be for it?
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