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Referee's Lounge Discussion of how to (and not to) Referee Traveller and Cepheus Engine games. No edition warring allowed.

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Old April 17th, 2018, 06:37 PM
Enoki Enoki is offline
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Default Dealing with player-character imbalance

So, how would you deal with a player, or even players, that have characters that are radically different from the player's own experience and background? I thought about this when another thread here brought up tactics.

Say you have a player that's supposed to be a highly skilled military veteran yet wants to do things that are clearly... putting it bluntly, militarily stupid... and will likely get the party killed or seriously in deep doo doo. To me this is playing the character contrary to their nature and background.

How do you deal with a situation like this?
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Old April 17th, 2018, 07:21 PM
Keklas Rekobah Keklas Rekobah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki View Post
So, how would you deal with a player, or even players, that have characters that are radically different from the player's own experience and background?
If Army or Marines, I loan them a copy of The Combat Leader’s Field Guide. If Navy, then a copy of The Bluejacket’s Manual.
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How do you deal with a situation like this?
After they’ve read the material, I give them a short briefing on military discipline, the UCMJ, and the General Orders of a Sentry. Then I let them play it out.

If their characters “live” heroically and with honor, then their characters “die” heroically and with honor.

But if they play their characters like a group of stupid, trigger-happy street punks, then that is how they lose their characters, as well.

I had a pair of players whose only goal was to obtain a “Plasma Cannon”. So, I turned them loose on Regina, and let them experience what happens when a pair of mooks go around asking for a piece of field artillery on a world with a high LL and Combat-Armored SWAT teams on standby. It took a while, but they finally learned that a TTRPG is a far cry from being HALO II. They eventually got into the spirit of the game.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 07:24 PM
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For me I say things like, "Your guy would know these are your three best options."

I would simply dump this stuff on the table.

Keep in mind that once upon a time these early games assumed a learning curve for the Players. I would assume that to be the case here. Over time the Player would learn to start asking questions and thinking in a tactical manner.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 07:30 PM
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Probably the same way as with inexperienced players.

Let them sit in as junior members in games until they acclimatize themselves, or point them to usually moving picture media resources where they'll vicariously assimilate the culture.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
I've got no problem with imbalance. I go to work, and there are men that are taller than me, shorter than me, stronger and weaker. Some are leaders, and some are followers. Etc.

Imbalance is life. Characters don't need to be the same in power, stats, skills, whatever.
That's not what he was asking about.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki View Post
So, how would you deal with a player, or even players, that have characters that are radically different from the player's own experience and background? I thought about this when another thread here brought up tactics.

Say you have a player that's supposed to be a highly skilled military veteran yet wants to do things that are clearly... putting it bluntly, militarily stupid... and will likely get the party killed or seriously in deep doo doo. To me this is playing the character contrary to their nature and background.

How do you deal with a situation like this?
If running the game from the start, with the players rolling up characters, I probably would tell him/her that they missed the enlistment for the military and have to go with another career, Merchants or maybe Scouts, or look at Supplement 4 for a career that more fits their background.

If having to deal with this after the character has been rolled up and started, then just let him/her hang themselves, and the rest of the group deal with the issue. Lightening bolts from Above are not a part of Traveller, unfortunately.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 08:15 PM
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He’s talking about (for example) players who have never been in a RW combat situation playing former Imperial Marine Force Commanders.

Come to think of it, how many of us have RW experience in restarting a fusion generator on a damaged Scout vessel in a decaying orbit around a large Gas Giant? Or maybe haggling with a RW hiver over the cost of goods at a Class C starport? Or even trying to get an Exit Visa in time to leave port before the passengers start demanding refunds?

We all learn by playing the game. Some players learn fast, others not so fast. Having a RW veteran in the group does help, and so does steering the non-veterans toward non-military characters - issuing the newbies pregen characters that are more suited to their RW backgrounds might be in order, as well.

Edit: Timerover51 beat me to it.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki View Post
So, how would you deal with a player, or even players, that have characters that are radically different from the player's own experience and background? I thought about this when another thread here brought up tactics.

Say you have a player that's supposed to be a highly skilled military veteran yet wants to do things that are clearly... putting it bluntly, militarily stupid... and will likely get the party killed or seriously in deep doo doo. To me this is playing the character contrary to their nature and background.

How do you deal with a situation like this?
Before starting any game with them, let them have the skills they want and do a 40-minute practice run of the game mechanics, task checks, and injuries with their character against some NPCs. That way they get a sense of things.

You should be vetting your players regardless.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 10:43 PM
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Honestly if they are enjoying themselves let them go at it. If you had seen some of the shenanigans I have seen you wouldn't be worried about Correct.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 02:14 AM
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Highlight the character skills more, and use rolls to check on what the character 'knows' that the player clearly does not.

If the player is informed by the characters' profeesional opinion of what the course of action and chances/consequences are, well let the chips fall where THE PLAYER(S) decided they should.
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