RPG characters compared to characters in stories

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
Excepting that none of the followers of the AD&D ranger will be higher than first level;
This seems a bit off topic, so apologies to the OP, but I'm not sure where you're getting this idea. In AD&D, the ranger's followers are determined by the DM upon reaching 10th level by rolling on the tables appearing in the DMG, pp 16 and 17. Maybe you missed them. Among the possible results of those tables are a level 6 human fighter (Boromir), level 4 dwarf fighter (Gimli), and level 5 elf fighter (Legolas), as well as lower level halfling fighters or maybe a halfling fighter/thief. The only real stretch is that the elven and dwarven fighters come in pairs and that Gandalf, IMO, is best represented on the tables by a polymorphed pixie. A level 3 magic-user can also be rolled. No standing up to a balrog for the ranger's followers!

Also, Sam is Frodo's follower, not Aragorn's.
I don't think it's too far of a stretch to re-fluff "followers" to "companions".

Further, most of the AD&D classes attract followers at name level. So also the BX ones. But those only come if the character settles down to a location in most cases.
Not so with the AD&D ranger. There's no requirement to build a stronghold or take any other specific action. All that's required is that the ranger reach 10th level (ranger lord), and the ranger automatically attracts 2-24 followers of which the DM informs the player.
 
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aramis erak

Legend
Most of these examples would be a matter of switching one Focus out for another, which you can do with a Normal milestone (any adventure where you play a reasonably big part), or potentially moving points either within Disciplines or (more rarely) Attributes. The idea in STA is that Starfleet Academy turns out personnel that are already near their maximum potential, and that if you want to improve in one area you will need to fall behind in another.
exxcept that (Esp. LaForge) we still see the old ones just as competent. In STA terms, adding specializations, not replacing. He's still a damned fine shipdriver and engineer in the later seasons... and in Picard, clearly adding elements not easily reflected in STA (administrative...)

That they give us raw PC scaled version for multiple setting timelines doesn't mean they're accurately modeling the show; I think all your examples are irrelevant because they buy into replacement rather than lateral growth, which is probably my biggest complaint about STA overall.
The lack of meaningful growth, vertical or lateral, is the biggest complaint my players have had about STA, especially after playtesting and playing dune, where there is slow but steady growth in breadth of skill...

I genuinely think we're not going to agree, either way...
my biggest complaint about Classic Traveller was the incredibly slow in play growth; MT's increase system is slower than Char Gen rates, and, right after the ship design nightmare, my second biggest complaint about MT; Mongoose's is slower for experienced, and faster for inexperienced characters than Char gen.
My and my groups complaint about Spirit of the Century was, again, swap rather than increase... It's counter to my experience as a human to trade one skill for another outside the physical skills, but I'm odd, since I still remember things from before my second birthday.
 

Staffan

Legend
My and my groups complaint about Spirit of the Century was, again, swap rather than increase... It's counter to my experience as a human to trade one skill for another outside the physical skills, but I'm odd, since I still remember things from before my second birthday.
I strongly disagree with this. It is fairly common to forget expertise with skills in real life when you don't keep them up. Skill atrophy is a real thing. I used to be real good at moderate-level math, but I've forgotten a bunch of it on account of not really using it for twenty years or so. Same thing with a bunch of stuff I learned when doing my mandatory military service. In addition, there's skill ossification, where skills just aren't relevant anymore. You need to keep up with new developments in your field, and if you don't you'll fall behind.

One way of handling it would be the method used in Megatraveller, where you had a maximum number of skill ranks equal to Intelligence + Education (or something like that). If you gained skill points to put you over that, you needed to lose skill ranks somewhere else. Megatraveller also had a thing where 0 in a skill was different from not having it at all (I never got into the nitty gritty details of the game, but I think not having a skill at all meant you rolled at a penalty), so that would reflect former expertise that had now atrophied into mere familiarity. The Megatraveller method also allows for actual growth, but only up to a point.
 

At the moment, if someone asked me for advice on what system can somewhat reconcile the promise of flavour with some of the basic play conceits, without the heartbreak, I'd recommend Torchbearer.
From what I've seen of the playthrough, heartbreak, sorrow, and turmoil are part and parcel of Torchbearer.

(Humor!)
 

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