Twins & Hobbits

Two questions from my character burning session last night, really just interested in your thoughts or ideas on how you would have handled these things:

  1. Two players wanted to play elves: twin sisters. We were burning 4 lifepath characters – and since the lifepath years have to add up exactly for twins, I told them to pick lifepaths that got them in the same age bracket on the elf age chart, and then I averaged their years (one ended up at 195 and 205, so they both ended at 200 years old.) Am I breaking anything or does this have unforeseen consequences in game terms? How would you have handled this?

  2. One of my characters wanted to play a Hobbit (it’s a Middle-earth game.) We looked at the Roden lifepaths and the Human ones, and eventually he just went with human lifepaths and I will give him a few cultural traits. Anything else I should consider doing to make it more hobbit-ish? He went Born Village > Village Guard > Runner > Vagrant. He’s playing a young Shire sheriff who ends up being a messenger between The Shire and Bree, before eventually getting a wandering itch and ending up in the company of Radagast the Wizard. Vagrant seemed the closest fit for “wanderer”.

  1. I think that’s fine. The exact age doesn’t affect the mechanics.

  2. I’d give him/encourage him to take character traits to reflect being a hobbit–Furry Feet, for instance; or Always Hungry (there’s a great die trait called Bottomless Stomach that’s even better!). Also encourage him to keep his Power below his Speed and Agility, much like Dwarves have to do with Speed. As far as LP’s, though, I think they’re closest to humans, particularly Peasant and Village Men.

Hobbits should definitely have Diminutive (or whichever one is below Middling) Stature. They’re short, remember.Tolkien described them as being somewhere between 2 and 4 feet tall.

Otherwise, yeah, I’d stick with the lifepaths of man, using Peasant and Villager settings. Honestly, Villager will probably get you the closest to the “feel” of hobbits.

I’d go with Diminutive Stature, Large and Hairy Feet, and maybe something like “Courageous” - a Call-On for Steel tests when facing certain doom.

Fantastic help, thank you!

Strange that there is no a Twins Trait in BW. Maybe something that allows you to change your age to match that of your twin, forcing you both to have a similar number of LPs and making an average between the two or whatever.

Well, other than age ranges for stats, age is just color. I suppose you could both take a “Twin” character trait, but why? Just say they’re twins and be done with it.

Well, if the players make a Character trait about it, they obviously want it to matter and come up in game. There are a lot of ways that a pair of twins could create trouble playing to their twin nature - and that can earn Artha.

Of course, they could also want to develop some kind of twin powers. Like a variant of Sixth Sense that functions when the other twin is in danger or something.

I think age is not just Color (but Color is important anyway) and could have significant consequences in a particular Setting. IMO, when you make a BW character you are making decisions which means you must make sacrifices. (And age is an important element in this regard, at least for me.)

A Twin Char Trait can be really nice (a lot of oportunities there) but I think a Die Trait is more appropiate. Not only for the age thing, but also because maybe you can “feel” when your twin is in trouble or whatever.

I forgot to mention I did make them buy a “Twin” trait for 1 pt during character burning in exchange for the age averaging privilege (I thought they needed to pay for it somehow.) I don’t know exactly what “Twin” is going to entail, but I figured originally leveraging it for Artha in game was good enough – but I also really like the idea of a Die Trait involving some sort of extra emotional sense of communication (like knowing if your twin is injured or in danger.) Thanks for the idea!

Good point. If they want the fact that they’re twins to have a significant impact on play, they should buy character traits for it. As for something greater (like the whole sympathetic angle), the Monster Burner has advice on burning and pricing custom traits!

Seldom affects, not doesn’t affect.

Lars, did you adjust the Stride for the Hobbits? Since Dwarves have a 6, I would recommend a 5 for the smaller Halflings. In fact, the Diminutive trait specifies no taller than 5 feet, but Hobbits rarely exceed 4 feet so you may need to give them a new trait. Maybe “Pint-size” or something? :stuck_out_tongue:

“Hobbit-sized”? :slight_smile: Yes, that’s what I was going to do: adjust stride to 5. I was actually not going to encourage including a hobbit in this campaign, but the player came up with such a great character! As for Power, the player has B3 in Forte & Power, and B6 in Agility & Speed, which I think is fitting.

Since you didn’t want a Hobbit in the campaign, I suggest a, “CURSE YOU AND ALL HALFLINGS!” trait. I don’t even know what it would do, but you should have it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Aramis, you’re right: I recall certain LP’s have age requirements as well. Am I missing anything else?

First question, are they Identical Twins?

As for ideas for the Twin’s Trait - Watch the Corsican Brothers for a fun idea; they feel each others pain.

Maybe some kind of Sympathetic Twin bond might be cool, perhaps an Affinity for My Twin or something similar.

The whole twins thing, it could be very fun once ex-lovers, old enemies and friend get in on the act later in the game.

Could also be fun to just start with “Twin” as a character trait and see how the players use it in play and upgrade it over time.

Sounds nice.
Starting with a Character Trait for both and then step it up during gameplay via Trait Vote to a Die Trait or even a Call-On Trait later. That way it encourages the players to not only be twins, but come up with some meaningful interactions, showing that they possess more than just the same day of birth and similar features.

Yes, they are identical twins, both girls (and actually played by girls.) …I have no doubt on their capabilities to play up the twin thing for some insane amount of drama… I can’t wait! I’ll try to remember to update this thread as the campaign progresses, to discuss how they’re approaching the trait in play.

For the hobbit, I gave him Diminutive Statur, Hairy Feet (Char), Always Hungry (Char) and Courageous Heart (Call On for Steel tests when a friend’s life is in mortal danger.) Thanks for the help there, the player loved these.

Age determines attribute pool base. Which is what I was thinking of. It’s not overly likely, but averaging might bring one across a breakpoint.