Childhood

From: Dom Twist (thazar@globalnet.co.uk)
Date: Fri 14 May 1999 - 00:13:58 EEST


Myself.
>>Childhood is pretty simple
>> for most players to get a handle on.

IUL Labor :-
>It doesn't really excite playing that out, unless you do it in as much
>detail and colorful depth as Ken Rolston's Patroma brats in Pavis.

No game is that great unless you're GM puts some effort in. Granted playing
kids isnt nessacarily that much fun. 'Opps fumbled my bladder control role
again...anybody got some diaphers?' But I'm not talking about children. I'm
talking about young men and women. 16-18+. The fresh warriors and clansmen.
Childhood is over...the gm can easily explain what is was like...its up to
the players to decide their coming roles in soceity.

To give a few examples from my Current Campaign.
    One character was quite pro-lunar. He sought out a Lunar merchant and
talked about the Lunar way...fully prepared to give the Lunar a chance of
converting him to Lunar ways. The two got on badly, arguing over Lunar
Slave Trading, and to cut a long story short the Lunar Merchant eventualy
died in suspcious circumstances. The player is now a fervant Orlanthi on the
run from the Lunar Army. This was not the role GM or Player perceived on
role-up and just emerged through role-play. The character has become the
Focus for the campaign and the other players, but this was never intended by
GM or Player.
    Another character struggles with the dilema of giving up his weapons and
taking the white healers robes. All because unknown to him nobody else
bought healing magic during generation, he has become the groups healer by
default. His character has grown into the role and is now considering the
healers vows. But it would mean giving up his warrior role, and the right to
vote in tribal moot (IMG).

These are great role playing possibilitys that would have never surfaced if
characters had just gone through x-years previous experiance...or some 'I
want a Storm Bull Berserk this time' system.

>Let me rephrase this: how many adolescent Fantasy novels start out with
>the main Hero as a child?

Many. But not just adolescent Fantasy. I wouldnt call Robin Hobb's Farseer
series adolescent for example. Or Egils Saga for that matter. And Egil
lived, his bones are a matter of historical record. No matter if his
biographers may not have been a tad creative from time to time <B-}, A
genuine Berserk to make a Storm Bull proud!

Also whats your market? For RPG's I mean. Ok so many of us are 20-30
somethings who've been playing RQ/ADD/Traveller since some of us at least
were spotty teenage dweebs back in the 70's and 80's (and the fact that this
is on-line means probably a pretty high percentage of us lived there, just
now we're grown up Grand High King Dweebs). We aint adolescants any more.
But how many of those new 50k odd new Gloranphiles are going to have to be
just that? We arnt going to get many of our age band back......we're either
diehards or long given up RPGS.

>Tried it. Was tiresome. My gaming people responded better to rounded out
>characters with a bit of nudging here and there.

Well what works well for one group is crud for another. Maybe the GM just
didnt put the work in <B-}. Rounding out a character can also be hard work.
Especially for none-Gloranphiles. Frankley when I came to introduce a new
set of players to Glorantha going through enough background to allow players
to generate well rounded adult backgrounds would have boring. I dislike
giving players 'Homework' to read. Reading stories aloud is a good way to
get background, but after awhile my voice just gives out! And as I've
already said playing it out can take you to unexpected places.

>These things always end up as quasi-mandatory in new players' (and
>especially new referees') minds if presented with the core rules.

This was my great fear for 'Starting Rune Levels' (since banished!). I see
no reason why it couldnt be stated as a option in the rules. Along with
starting as a Rune Level. CoC does ok with presenting a experiance/age
choice as have many RPG's past and present.

>Both child characters (with a certain character profile in mind) and
>mortals before their embrace ("do I get to choose my tradition?") in V
>often seem pretty pointless because too much of the outcome is
>pre-ordained.

I agree completely with you here.....playing with a pre-ordanied out-come or
destination, even partially would be boring as heck, and not worth doing.
But if there is NO pre-set out comes......My current players are pretty
experianced RPGers, only one newbie, but they've NEVER played RQ before,
although CoC is close. As such they have NO IDEA about what to aspire for in
game mechs. So they base their ideas not on game stats but heroic ideals and
visions. They want to make a legend. They want to be as feared and respected
as that Humankti Death Lord they met, although they have no idea,YET, what
that would require. But they want to try. Much like a young steader setting
out in life hmmm?

 (And in the V game I played, players didnt get to choose their
tradition/clan. They were chosen by the clans for the way they played. One
of the Big Flaws of games like Vampire or Cyberpunk 2020 or wotever is that
professions or clans or wotever might as well be ADD character classes.
Boring Boring Boring.)

Dom 'Thaz' T

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