WOIN How character age in WOIN works
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  1. #1
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    How character age in WOIN works

    Someone mentioned the other days that most non-human races have such long lifespans that they'll always be young starting PCs. I thought I'd take a moment to explain the effect age has on some campaigns.

    For many campaigns, age will not matter. But for those who wish to fully take advantage of the full scope of the age and the downtime character advancement option, it does come into play. A campaign can revisit characters years later at different stages of their lives. We just revisited Han Solo and Leia in The Force Awakens, 30 years later. It adds a new dimension to the traditional campaign structure.Thise two characters will both have spent 30 years taking a bunch of career grades - Leia is now a general, and Solo is ... well, he went back to smuggling after a few years of generalling.

    The fun part is that those with really long lived characters can actually outlive the humans. Someone playing a human character might have to create a new character because the character died of old age, while the guy playing the Grand Elf is still young and healthy. There are some RPGs out there which allow you to play different generations of a clan or family; this takes a hint of that idea and mixes it with some longer lived races for some really dynamic campaign structures.

    Of course, you don't have to do all that. But you can, and the game supports it.

    Alternatively, a human character in NEW may need to keep replenishing with anti-aging drugs. Depending on how common or rare you want to make them in your game, that could even be a focus.

    Anyhow, that's a basic description of how those rules impact certain campaign types. Hope it helped!

  2. #2
    In certain editions of D&D having characters of different levels (career paths in WOIN) is highly inadvisable. How well does WOIN handle it? Given the flatter progression it seems like it should be less of an issue. What's the biggest gap you've had?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLynch View Post
    In certain editions of D&D having characters of different levels (career paths in WOIN) is highly inadvisable. How well does WOIN handle it? Given the flatter progression it seems like it should be less of an issue. What's the biggest gap you've had?
    It's a lot flatter in that regard - characters tend to get broader as higher skill levels and the like in specific endeavours become harder and harder to reach.

    While one character might decide to hyper-optimise in a single thing, and they will be the star when that thing comes up (and that's OK), even a higher grade character can't do that in multiple things.

    Add to that the time component of extended skill tasks, and you find that multiple team members have to be involved because no matter how good someone is at a particular aspect, they can still only make one check per hour/day whatever. So if you only have 3 hours to build a tunnel, and it requires six hourly successes, the single guy can't do it alone no matter how good he is. You need some people completing simultaneous man-hours.

  4. #4
    Nice. So it sounds like having that "ultra long lived character" whose been around for a few generations of other characters will still be able to continue playing and not outshine the rotation of generational humans who come and go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLynch View Post
    Nice. So it sounds like having that "ultra long lived character" whose been around for a few generations of other characters will still be able to continue playing and not outshine the rotation of generational humans who come and go.
    The maximum dice pool limit makes it harder and harder to to do that as your grade increases. You still have plenty of resources to buy new skills and learn new things; long-lived characters would be typified more by the fact that they have skill in many things.

    That's not to say you *can't* break it and find a corner case where one player outshines everybody else (every game can be gamed!), but the system makes it harder.

  6. #6
    I really like the downtime advancement rules, i have always wanted to see characters grow old trough play and have some guidelines for downtime advancement. I'm slightly worried about balance with species of different lifespans though, Venetian could take huge amount of grades with downtime advancement without it affecting them much, and my felan smuggler was already old age at character creation because of few high career rolls, so i can't even improve my physical attributes during play.

  7. #7
    Are you letting players take variable amounts of downtime? I'd expect a DM to say "7 years pass" and then players roll to see how many grades they get through in that 7 year period. There's still luck, just less impact the lifespan of characters have.

  8. #8
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    A Venetian player can't take longer periods of downtime than another player - at least, not unless he has a time machine! Downtime passes at the same speed for all players. As John says, if 7 years passed between adventure, it's 7 years for everybody.

    Remember, especially in a future campaign, it's totally up to the GM whether characters actually die of old age.
    XP AngryTiger gave XP for this post

  9. #9
    True, i forgot there isn't actually penalties for aging, well except not being able to raise your physical attributes anymore, unless that rule has changed from the version i have (Haven't gotten the core rules yet, waiting for hardcover). Even for future campaign it seems weird to be already old at age of 30 and not die of old age at over hundred years old, logically eventually you would die of old age, and a Venetian character would still be young when the Felan player gets his fourth or fifth character(unless GM forces him to retire the character when rest of the crew dies).

    But i see your point, guess it's less of a balance issue and more of a verisimilitude issue i have having short lived races actually live practically forever even though they are already old at 30. Also being agility focused smuggler and not being able to raise my main stat during play because character is already old at character creation. Feels like i'm losing half of the benefits of getting grades right there, when other species won't have that issue.

  10. #10
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    The short lifespan is certainly a disadvantage for Felans!

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