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View Full Version : [New RPG] Characters -- how many is enough?


Warcry
2010-12-23, 06:22 AM
The character rules for the current RPG are pretty complex -- you can start with five characters, but you can have that bumped up to seven after six months, and a lot of people run NPCs on top of that. I'd like to have a more straightforward rule for the new game, so that everyone can have the same number of characters and it's easy for everyone to understand.

So the question then becomes, what's a fair number of characters for each player to have?

Discuss, please. :)

Heinrad
2010-12-23, 06:46 AM
If we go without the Combiner Group = 1 character and the "you too can runs hundreds of NPCs" rules, 8 to 10 characters could work.

If NPCs are needed, make them drones.

Blackjack
2010-12-23, 07:28 AM
What Heinrad said.

If we forego the NPC bit, we could start with five, then bump it up to seven. (Or just make it immediately seven for the older players) And then bump it again to nine or ten when the players have played for a longer time. I mean, someone had to play the combiner teams, right?

And NPCs as drones, controlled only by mods, would work excellently.

tahukanuva
2010-12-23, 08:11 AM
I like Blackjack's five-seven-nine idea. It's a bit more complicated than would be hoped, but it prevents new folks from over-whelming themselves, while not restricting more experienced people.

To decomplicate, you could just skip the middle step.


Also, as I've yet to figure out in terms of this RPG, what is an NPC here, since most are, in fact, run by players?

verytired
2010-12-23, 09:21 AM
I also agree with Heinrad.

Springer85
2010-12-23, 03:19 PM
I think the current charater picking rules are just fine, but the NPC thing is out of control. I would say keep it to a maximum of 2 and limit the time they're used as NPC.

Ackula
2010-12-23, 03:32 PM
I would say start with no more than 5 characters, and increase it later if need be. And I would say NPCs are only allowed by staff as a way to progress storyline and place hooks for the players to follow.

Heinrad
2010-12-23, 05:35 PM
For drones, I was thinking along the lines of the drone that was Megatron's assistant/keeper in Beast Machines. They fetch, carry, and make the occasional snarky comment.

Straxus: "Drone, get my axe."

Drone: -under it's breath- "Get it yourself, blowhard."

Straxus: "What was that?"

Drone: "Er..... I don't like to smelt, it's so hard?"

Straxus: -scowls-

Springer85
2010-12-23, 08:32 PM
I would say start with no more than 5 characters, and increase it later if need be. And I would say NPCs are only allowed by staff as a way to progress storyline and place hooks for the players to follow.

It would also mean that new players will have a bigger chance of getting to play their favorite character. It wasn't a really an issue when I joined, but I can imagine that if the new RPG gets of the ground, it could be.

Blackjack
2010-12-24, 05:06 AM
I am massively liking Heinrad's drone idea.

Aero Blade
2010-12-24, 06:07 AM
NPCs is a term taken from video games, meaning non-playable characters, all the little characters running around for various reasons, usually not important. For this rpg, an npc is a character taken up to fill a specific role for a short period of time (ex: We have characters that need fixing at Autobot base, but all the official medics are elsewhere, so a generic medic is pulled into things). Sometimes characters are put in NPC mode for a short time because they're needed to move things along (like I had to with Thrust at the prison for a while).

Over all, the npcs are meant to be used to complete a certain task or role in a plot, then dissapear again. Things however can get out of hand when people abuse the npc permissions to play extra characters beyond the limit for long periods of tme. I agree we should eliminate npcs expcept for by staff, or or for a specified period of time/very specific incident.

Ackula
2010-12-24, 08:24 AM
NPCs is a term taken from video games, meaning non-playable characters, all the little characters running around for various reasons, usually not important. For this rpg, an npc is a character taken up to fill a specific role for a short period of time (ex: We have characters that need fixing at Autobot base, but all the official medics are elsewhere, so a generic medic is pulled into things). Sometimes characters are put in NPC mode for a short time because they're needed to move things along (like I had to with Thrust at the prison for a while).

Over all, the npcs are meant to be used to complete a certain task or role in a plot, then dissapear again. Things however can get out of hand when people abuse the npc permissions to play extra characters beyond the limit for long periods of tme. I agree we should eliminate npcs expcept for by staff, or or for a specified period of time/very specific incident.

You are wrong that the term NPC comes from video games, it comes from Dungeons and Dragon's 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide© . You are however correct that NPCs are only controlled by the GM(Game Master..on here Staff) and used to advance plots, be plot devices in and of themselves, give players "hooks" to follow, and fix the mess when a player doesn't take a "hook.

They are not really supposed to be used to develop character or anything, they aren't anything more than back up cast in your story. They shouldn't be used to advance major plot courses unless the GM requires it. They can get out of hand if people start using them as an extension to play another character outside their limit, thus Staff only should have that control over NPCs in this RPG.

Blaster
2010-12-24, 08:26 AM
2 or 3!

Blackjack
2010-12-24, 09:14 AM
They can get out of hand if people start using them as an extension to play another character outside their limit, thus Staff only should have that control over NPCs in this RPG.

Me. I'm guilty of this. :glance:

Ah well, good thing we're starting over.

Clogs
2010-12-24, 12:53 PM
Yes, what Heinrad said... but with some reservation, as I think it would be nice for brand new, squeaky clean players to take on one character while getting used to the way things work (I did and Heinrad looked after me until I was bedded into the TFA format), then have the option of the full five when a Staff quorum agree the player is ready.

Staff to be allowed up to seven main characters and no more than two NPCs/fanmades at any time. Oh, and we'll need to consider which characters should be reserved for/by the Staff as we really do need that strong continuity.

Blackjack
2010-12-24, 01:56 PM
Hmmm... So new players start with 1 character, then 5, then 7, then (maybe) 9?

I think the character cap should be more than 7 (like it is now), maybe 8 or 9. But newer players need to be proove themselves to increase their character slots.

Springer85
2010-12-24, 02:12 PM
How about new players are allowed 2 characters, but one needs to be an Autobot and one needs to be a Con? I think that would work quite well and it'll keep both fations filled out. Eventhough I mostly play Autobots :p

Warcry
2010-12-24, 06:08 PM
There doesn't seem to be that much consensus on exact numbers, but it seems like we've got a reasonable framework sorted out.

After reading what you guys have said, I'd like to suggest a compromise:
New players can start out with a maximum of two characters. We'll recommend that they pick one Autobot and one Decepticon, but if they have a very good idea and need two 'Bots or two 'Cons to make it work we'll look at waiving this.
Once a player has a handle on the game, they'll be able to claim up to six characters. Current/returning players would start out here.
Veteran players who have participated in the game for at least a year uninterrupted can have eight characters. However, if we run the new game alongside the end of the old one this rule won't kick in until after the old game is finished.
NPCs are restricted to staff and can only be used temporarily when the plot requires it.
No more than two fanmades per player.
No more than two post-G2 characters per player.
Staff can veto fanmade and post-G2 characters if they don't fit.
Staff are subject to the same character rules as everyone else.

Does this sound fair? :)

Springer85
2010-12-24, 06:38 PM
Sounds good to me :)

optimusskids
2010-12-24, 06:52 PM
It sounds fair to me but I'm going to struggle to pare down everyone I want to play to 8

goes to fetch list and red pen

Aero Blade
2010-12-25, 01:11 AM
You are wrong that the term NPC comes from video games, it comes from Dungeons and Dragon's

Not wrong, I simply never played DnD. You were able to supply an example that even further predates mine. It still boils down to the same point, that the NPC is there for a specified purpose and needs to be used only for as long as they're needed for that purpose, be it the civilians running around to set the mood or the guy that starts you on your epic quest. So unless really needed otherwise, npcs should be staff-controlled and as limited use as possible.

Blackjack
2010-12-25, 02:50 AM
Oh-kayy...

So that means I can have eight, right? I've been here for almost a year... or do I start from six first? That would mean four/three from my current characters and four/three new ones, I suppose.

-notes the Santa Prime image on the top right corner and laughs-

Springer85
2010-12-25, 01:43 PM
•Once a player has a handle on the game, they'll be able to claim up to six characters. Current/returning players would start out here.

FYI :)

Blackjack
2010-12-25, 02:09 PM
Bingo. :up:

Time to choose my six, then...

Springer85
2010-12-25, 02:34 PM
Looking forward to your roster. I've compiled mine, though I'm wondering if current players needs to have atleast one 'Con too? I currently have Autobots only :lol:

Blackjack
2010-12-25, 03:01 PM
My tentative character roster of six includes three old characters from my current roster, and three new ones. None of the Sports Car Patrol is among my new roster, though. Ohohoho. ;)

I do plan on picking Blackjack up EDIT: after a year if it becomes viable. It just doesn't seem that feasible for a Micromaster to be in the beginning of the war compared to, say, Scorponok.

Warcry
2010-12-25, 04:21 PM
I haven't actually checked, but I think that all of our active players right now have been here long enough to qualify for eight, except for maybe Selkadoom...not sure how long he's actually played. The reason we'd all starting off at six is because we haven't decided yet when we're actually starting.

Clogs
2010-12-25, 08:59 PM
I agree with optimusskids :D

Good call, Warcry. I'd go with those basic guidelines - but I'm still a little unsure that the 'one 'Con, one 'Bot' route is best for new players as they might want to sue for two of a particular faction for some purpose bwah-hah-hah etc you know how it goes. I suppose, like today's feast, that the proof is in the pudding.

verytired
2010-12-25, 09:44 PM
I really want to play some humans. Maybe that makes me sick :D but if there is scope in the game for a human presence when we get to earth, I'm calling dibs.

As I am only a returnee, I'd probably only wanna take a couple transformers.

Blackjack
2010-12-26, 03:16 PM
I dunno, needing to play one 'Con and one 'Bot, or only one of each, seems pretty fair for me. The mods can gauge the newbies' playing ability pretty well. All they need to do is to play for one month or so before the staff declare them enough to get the full five slots.

Besides, if they really need to play two characters, well, a staff could baby-sit the other one for them.

optimusskids
2010-12-26, 07:46 PM
It'll be interesting to see people integrate characters from other continuties.



Feels like Lord Sugar on the Apprentice have it down to 15 possibles just need to decide who to fire.


We couldn't lift the limit to 10 ? I could probably get it down that far :D

Heinrad
2010-12-27, 03:33 AM
Don't feel too bad. You're not the only one who needs to trim the cast down.

Blackjack
2010-12-27, 06:44 AM
Ditto.

Between the three of us and Warcry and maybe ziggy, each of us do have quite a big roster, don't we? -sighs- I have narrowed my roster down to six, though... it hurts to let those characters I love go... Laserbeak! Whirl! Road Hugger! Blackjack! Bombshell! Drift! Okay, maybe not that last one...

Good thing that we're restarting it so it would be more fair for newer players.

Selkadoom
2010-12-27, 01:13 PM
I haven't actually checked, but I think that all of our active players right now have been here long enough to qualify for eight, except for maybe Selkadoom...not sure how long he's actually played. The reason we'd all starting off at six is because we haven't decided yet when we're actually starting.

i've pretty much have been playing since i signed up in august of 09

and if were making claims i want to claim a stake at one very well known decepticon traitor COUGH(it's starscream)COUGH

Blackjack
2010-12-27, 01:58 PM
But Clogs is playing Starscream... and former character claims are carried forward, right? Plus knowing Clogs she will never ever let Screamer go.

Springer85
2010-12-27, 02:19 PM
Can we call dibs yet? :p

Clogs
2010-12-27, 11:36 PM
But Clogs is playing Starscream... and former character claims are carried forward, right? Plus knowing Clogs she will never ever let Screamer go.

MIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

:p

Blaster
2010-12-31, 06:13 AM
But Clogs is playing Starscream...

I played him first. My claim supersedes.

Selkadoom
2010-12-31, 11:10 AM
Damn, well at least i've got my medic

Warcry
2010-12-31, 05:43 PM
You damn well better play Hightower. He's awesome. :)


FYI, you guys have been asking for a character claims thread so here it is: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=49529

Blackjack
2011-01-01, 03:07 AM
Agreed. I liked Selkadoom's Hightower. He's like the only sane Constructicon among the rest of the crazies or half-insane guys.

Clogs
2011-01-02, 11:54 PM
I played him first. My claim supersedes.

Having discussed Starscream's potential elsewhere, I have now claimed him in the proper thread.

Blackjack
2011-01-26, 10:55 AM
Just looked at the claims thread. Probably we'll need rules on Japanese G1 characters as well, otherwise there's nothing stopping someone from claiming a roster full of Japanese characters. Or for someone like me to drop everything and claim Grand Maximus, Dai Atlas, Grandus, Victory Leo, God Ginrai,Overlord, Black Zarak, Sixknight, Metrotitan, Greatshot and whomever there that's unclaimed.

Jus' saying, since the current RPG has one...

tahukanuva
2011-01-26, 03:18 PM
I don't see why the rule should be Japanese characters, but I can see a limit on Leader-type fellows. I could see a problem with Ginrai, Thunderwing, and Scorponok far more than say, Black Shadow, Blue Bacchus, and Gaihawk.

Blackjack
2011-01-26, 05:47 PM
Yeah, I meant Japanese faction leaders — God Ginrai, Blackzarak, Overlord, Deathsaurus, Victory Leo, Star Saber, Dai Atlas and their ilk. Guys like Blood and Jalgar and Pipo and Blacker and Minerva would be harmless enough.

Just saying, there should be a line about them on the rules, just like our current game's rules.

tahukanuva
2011-01-26, 06:57 PM
But why Japanese leaders rather than just leaders? Stop trying to make a point while I'm arguing semantics, dang it!

Blackjack
2011-01-26, 07:07 PM
But technically Optimus and Megatron are Japanese leaders as well!

Warcry
2011-01-26, 07:41 PM
I really don't see the problem, to be honest. Every new character who gets introduced needs to find a niche that makes sense in the new history that we're writing. As long as players can do that with any Japanese leaders they want to play, they'll be fine.

The reason we've got the rule in place now is that every Japanese leader character literally fell out of the sky directly from their show of origin, landed in the game and spent most of their time acting like anime caricatures. There were a few exceptions to that, but it had gotten far too prevalent and needed to be reigned in.

I don't think we'll have the same problem here, because characters aren't allowed to fall out of the sky from a different dimension. They need to make sense in the context of the new game, in terms of backstory, power level and behaviour. That applies to Star Saber or Dai Atlas just as much as it does to Sixshot or Omega Supreme.

Also, keep in mind that many of the most powerful Japanese guys would fall under our blanket ban on citybots for the moment -- Overlord, Grand Maximus, Metrotitan, Grandus, Sky Garry, Gigastorm and Brave Maximus, just off the top of my head.

tahukanuva
2011-01-26, 08:14 PM
But technically Optimus and Megatron are Japanese leaders as well!

Go **** yourself!



because characters aren't allowed to fall out of the sky from a different dimension.

:(

Heinrad
2011-01-27, 06:01 AM
Be glad about that one. Otherwise Breastforce would be running around..... :D

tahukanuva
2011-01-27, 06:15 AM
I loved the dimension thing! BW Buzzsaw came from another dimension and he was an American character in a fresh game!


....I think I see the issue.



[No Boobpatrol? :( This thread's full of bad news that sucks.]

Heinrad
2011-01-27, 06:43 AM
Where's the fun in introducing a whole combiner team when nobody else has combiners? Fights would wind up going like this:

Tracks: "What is it?"

Roadbuster: "It's a Decepticon. That means it's dead!"

LioKaiser: -stomps Tracks and Roadbuster into the ground, goes looking for more Autobots to smite-


It doesn't mean versions of them won't show up in the future, but if/when they do, they won't be the ones you're used to.

Blackjack
2011-01-27, 08:50 AM
Go **** yourself!

Can't! :(

Well, technically they are!

Be glad about that one. Otherwise Breastforce would be running around..... :D

You way that like it's a bad thing, Hein...


I don't think we'll have the same problem here, because characters aren't allowed to fall out of the sky from a different dimension. They need to make sense in the context of the new game, in terms of backstory, power level and behaviour. That applies to Star Saber or Dai Atlas just as much as it does to Sixshot or Omega Supreme.

Also, keep in mind that many of the most powerful Japanese guys would fall under our blanket ban on citybots for the moment -- Overlord, Grand Maximus, Metrotitan, Grandus, Sky Garry, Gigastorm and Brave Maximus, just off the top of my head.

Well, when you put it that way... :up:

BTW, to justify for Sixshot's power levels and stuff... on Earth could he be kept out of action like some sort of Phase Six last resort or something? Else with his 'evil Captain America' vanguard-breaker persona I have in mind for him, it wouldn't really be a fair fight when he fights, say, Warpath.

Add Black Zarak to that list too, I guess. And maybe that Grandus repaint from Animated.

Shine
2011-02-01, 10:14 AM
If I manage to play my two characters well enough, would I be able to pick up a third as soon as possible?

optimusskids
2011-02-01, 12:16 PM
A random thought about Sixshot depending on the level of development of Triplechanger technology he could be a test bed / guinea pig for the technology of multi changing so while on paper he is all powerful there are still some kinks to be ironed out