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Friday, November 16, 2012

Character age

Just something I was thinking about.

When I was 12 and 13, I used to make all my characters 16 to 18 years old. I thought they were then old and tough. Of course, I now think that's young and inexperienced ;).


Lately, I make my fighters in their late teens or early 20's, because honestly, that is a great starting age for a beginning warrior. I make my cleric and mage characters either late 20's all the way through early 40's. It just makes more sense to me, as I think most people wouldn't either have the education (or at least access to magical tomes and scrolls) or religious insight until their 30's sometime to really justify these career paths. I know that's a bit silly, but it's how I view the world now.

4 comments:

The Happy Whisk said...

I don't think I've read a post about character age before. Good idea though.

1d30 said...

I remember one of my really early PCs that I rolled up, for 2E D&D, when I was a kid and cared mostly about having a powerful character. I saw the age penalties in the PHB and thought, "well that's something I want to avoid", and also "ghosts age you and you would need longevity potions to get the years back." It seemed completely reasonable to want a PC as young as possible, as there was no penalty for it.

I asked about starting age and the DM said just pick something in the range given if you don't want to roll. In 2E the age is given as a base with a die roll modifier, for each race. As I was playing a Halfling, and I assumed the die roll modifier could be positive or negative, I started at 8 years old. It didn't come up for several game sessions until yes, we were blasted by ghosts, and the DM was like "come on you wouldn't be let out of the house alone at that age much less given a knife and told to go play in the dungeon."

Pretty dumb, but it was hilarious to think back on how the 8 yr old Halfling F/T managed to pass my common sense check ;P

I like how Traveller does age. You roll up your PC and based on how old you want him to be there are more or fewer rolls for his background experience. There are also more chances to die in character generation the longer you roll it! Some people hate the idea of dying in chargen but I look at it as the choice between keeping a really great set of rolls and starting with a relatively young PC, or keep going and get more skills at the risk of losing what you rolled already. It's a pretty standard game mechanic.

Black Vulmea said...

When I first started playing Traveller, I rarely let my characters go all the way through to retirement before I mustered them out, 'cause thirty-eight seemed too old to me.

Now that I'm in my 'eighth term,' thirty-eight hardly seems experienced enough . . .

Dan said...

It's just funny how I view age vs. experience, the older I get.