RE: [HeroQuest-rules] 17 vs 13 Starting Abilities

From: Mike Holmes <homeydont_at_sCeU_TvG-vuQJJO0rW_UeeRpx9aIj6_-3JoU6cgoQmIxT1-C26QrHvMkzqhJ-YiMiLo9F>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2004 23:59:56 -0500

>From: Bruce Ferrie <>

> > I don't want to go back to exploring "loose" individuals
> > in play anymore - I want characters that are all about realistic core
> > identiies, not about who's strongest, or best looking.
>If people *do* want to play that way, which doesn't interest me much
>changing the numbers around a little like this won't change it one way or
>another. Even if the "pickup" abilities start at 17, it's not magically
>all those relationships, personality traits, etc.

You can't have it both ways. Either shifting the numbers has some effect on play, or it doesn't. You're saying that, somehow, shifting to the other way to create characters means that the individuality of the characters is emphasized, but you don't de-emphasize the group identity portion. That's having your cake and eating it, too.

If the players turn around and emphasize the same things again that the original system did, then it's the same as if you hadn't changed it to start. I suppose that your method gives them the option, but, again, I don't want to give them that option. I mean, the whole set up makes a lot of sense to me in terms of the scale, for instance; it says that people are basically competent in the things that are central to their identity. Do you assume with your method that the scale changes? Or are people bad at things like remembering their own culture's festivals and such if they have the knowledge at the default level?

BTW, I really don't like the narrative method. I think it does tend to emphasize things that aren't really important to the character; the player is instructed to take keyords almost in passing. Strength or such abilities are interesting, but in a secondary way. As such I want them to be secondary abilities unless the player really chooses to emphasize it. The list method does this best, I think. It says, come up with the most important stuff, and then come up with ten more things that just make the character personalized. So they aren't just like every other farmer or whatever (I think each character is quite an individual when your done, just an individual that belongs to groups).

In any case, I'm not knocking your method, I'm just telling people that there's nothing wrong with the original method, and what it promotes. The methods are just different, and people should use the one that most closely matches their needs.


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