Episode 540 – to splat or not, part 3

* (0:24) Putting Dale in the hotseat as a Game Master.

* (10:01) Pitching the same idea to Chad and Wayne as theoretical players.

* (17:13) Judging the regularity of and motivation for playing unusual characters.

* (23:52) Kicking the pitch back to Dale again.

* (32:46) The unique problems of playing from splat you wrote.

* (38:17) Flipping the script and using splat to empower other characters. But it did get worse.

* (43:52) Dan’s trouble with trust.

Hosts: Chad, Dale, Dan, Wayne

Comments (2)

WerebuffaloMarch 22nd, 2020 at 8:25 pm

This is a fascinating series!
Not that anyone asked, but I figured that I’d add my thoughts as both a GM and a fellow player if Dan pitched that character…

As a GM: I’m fine with a functionally immortal character, once the limitations to chargen that were discussed were implemented. I’d be fine with immunity to disease, but I’d counter with some kind of drawback to balance it- perhaps a susceptibility to poison or radiation? Something that gave some balance to the flavor you wanted. As for the equipment being well outside what the setting accommodates? I could be talked into the appearance of it, but mechanically? Hard no. If you want armor that had been power armor that has deteriorated to the point that it still moves like power armor, but has stats equivalent to normal armor in the setting, fine. The same with the weapon. Higher-powered form, I can work with. Higher-powered function, that’s not something I’m willing to completely rebalance the game to accommodate.

As a player hearing another player pitch this character? Here’s my only thought: “Oh, great. Dan wants this game to be all about his character, and now he’s coming up with spurious reasons how the other PCs still matter too.” And my interest in the game would plummet, because the only way my PC will matter is in relation to that PC. Or I have to scrap my character idea and make something over-the-top to match that character. No thanks.

Do I have Abused GM Syndrome? Yup. And Abused Player Syndrome. But that’s how I’d react.

DanMarch 23rd, 2020 at 12:15 am

Glad that came across, because that’s exactly what I was trying to illustrate. My proposed character was to Traveller what Sword & Fist was to D&D 3.x.

I probably could have come up with a better example if I had more time. Something a bit more subtle in its insidiousness. But I wanted to present a character whose existence demonstrated the problems I usually see with splat, and then see what kinds of solutions Dale would propose. It was a way of testing my view in real-time, not to trap Dale, but to really give myself a chance to learn from his perspective.

The only solution I wasn’t willing to accept, “We’re going to swap that for something already in the game,” since that approach had already been shot down in the discussion about, “Why can’t your cat person just be an elf with the serial numbers filed off?” If the armor was stat-ed EXACTLY like something already in Traveller, then I think that’s where we’d have been.

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