I have a player who is very keen on making a certain character, but getting to where he needs to be will require 7 LP’s and our game is capped at 5.
So, I proposed to him the following trait:
Stubborn Learner - Dt - 2 pts
Some people just don’t get it. Sometimes it’s because they’re dim or because they don’t care. Other times it’s because they’re stubborn as a stone! That’s this character. He’s as bright as anybody, but he doesn’t yield easily to anybody or anything – even experience! This character can exceed the LP cap set by the GM by up to 2 LP’s. However, he receives only 2/3rds of the skill points he would normally receive and his physical and mental stat pools do not advance beyond the capped LP limit.
(And yes, I was imagining that he would still receive the Resources and other benefits from the other LP’s)
I’d be against it. For one thing, if you set the max LPs at 4, this guy gets 6 instead, and if the average skill points/LP remain constant that cancels out the main drawback of the trait while giving him access to extra skills and traits. Now, if it had some effect in play, like adding 1 or 2 to their aptitude for learning, I’d be a bit more in favour.
Yeah, it is definitely a beneficial trait. That said, if you 7 LP character would normally start with 35 skill points, he would only have 26. That’s fairly significant reduction and he won’t be receiving the +1 P or +1 M (or whatever) after his fifth LP.
I don’t think things like the LP or starting Stat caps are items in the rules in the same way that, say, your max stats or age charts are part of the rules, and thus really shouldn’t be an issue for traits. In a game conceptualized at 5LPs with someone whose concept really requires 7LPs and isn’t being a dink about the whole thing, I think the better way to go is to think about the reason for the 5 LP cap and to either stick to it or to raise it to a 7 LP cap and let the others stay at 5 if that’s right for their concepts and it will all work together.
If you want to keep people from taking extra LPs just because they can you could consider the starting artha differences by number of LPs like Burning Empires uses.
He’s a Dwarf:
Born Noble, Noble Ardent, Noble Axe-Bearer, Lead to Dwarven Host, Graybeard, Captain, Lead to Dwarven Outcast, Oathbreaker, Adventurer.
The concept is a high-born Dwarf who led the host into battle, then fell from grace after he was wrongly accused of murdering his his wife and father (it was really his best friend). The player wants it to have been a pretty far fall from grace.
The easy solution that lets you keep the LP cap? Use that build all the way up to Captain. Now give him the Oathbreaker Trait and have him buy Affiliations/Reputations accordingly. Given the concept, there’s no reason he has to have spent years as an Oathbreaker AND as an Adventurer already - he’s about to experience those LPs in play.
Born Noble, Noble Ardent, Noble Axe Bearer, Prince, Oathbreaker. 5 LPs, done. You could throw Captain in there if you really needed it, but honestly? Those are all pretty burly LPs. It’s not like he’s going “No, I want to have been an Apprentice before I was a Conscript, can I please have six?”
I agree with Chris that there’s no need for him to have taken Adventurer, not for that concept. Let it happen in play.
Unless the other characters are going to be very powerful – as in multiple gray shades – do not allow that build. Ask the player to rethink his concept.
Hm. Okay, fair enough. There are also two other Dwarven warriors in the party, making their skills somewhat redundant. I’ll ask him to come up with something else. Thanks for all the advice, guys!
You can get that story in without taking all of those lifepaths. Taking a lifepath means you are an experienced representative of that profession. So maybe his inaugural action as captain resulted in some deaths, and during the confusion his wife was found dead. You wouldn’t have to take the Greybeard or Captain lifepaths, because the mistake happened when he was still green.
The number one rule of running a game is to set your limits and stick to them consistently. The rules and limitations are there to inspire creativity. It sounds like this guy wants to do a lot of “playing before you play.”
I wouldn’t fiddle with what LPs do or how they work that much. But I would compare the desired build with other characters. In this case it’d make for one heck of a tough Dwarf, but in a party with Elves and Dwarves at some number of LPs it can be quite reasonable to have a Man or Roden with more LPs. Quite a lot more, if many of them are low-resource, low-skill every-day LPs.