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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Children Characters

    Due to repeated requests from players, my friend an I are trying to figure out how to make children characters. This is what we have so far:

    There are 4 "tiers": 1-3/4, 3/4-1/2, 1/2-1/4, and 1/4-0 times maturity age. For humans, who have a maturity age of around 16, a 10-year old character would be in tier 2. Tier 4 would be considered unplayable, but we left it for realism's sake.

    Your Strength, Constitution, and Wisdom all go down by 2xtier level.
    Your Intelligence and Charisma go down by tier level.
    Your size goes down a number of sizes equal to tier level-1.

    Questions, thoughts, comments, criticisms?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    That doesn't sound too bad overall. I would add a dex penalty of tier level-1 as while a 13 year old may have the same hand eye coordination as an adult, a 10 year old probably doesn't.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tengu_temp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    D20 Modern gives prepubescent children -3 strength and constitution and -1 to all other ability scores, base movement speed of 20 feet and no classes (which translates to Commoner in 3.5, only without any skills). After that, you have the stats of an adult.

    Once again, I am willing to challenge to a duel anyone who suggests that children should have a dexterity or charisma bonus because they're nimble and/or cute.

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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    Star Wars: Saga Edition has some rules on creating characters who have not yet reached adulthood. They seem to be fairly good, though admittedly I haven't tested them yet.
    It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of... unsavory character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favors promptly.. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Toreador avatar! )

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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Lord Iames Osari's Avatar

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    I believe this thread is relevant to your interests.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Children Characters

    Enh.

    Children don't have the age (obviously) to have engaged in the years of study required to achieve first level (and yes, it DOES require years of study to become a first-level fighter), so stats are unnecessary as they are essentially worthless in a fight.

    NPC children should be treated as stat-free targets (or meat shields, depending on the party), and if anybody wants to PLAY a child, he should be told he'll be unable to gain XPs until he's finished his training ... at age of majority.

    Now if somebody wants to play a character who's JUST under age of maturity (say a year or two for humans), just give him a -2 to every stat except maybe CON and INT. That's a flat -1 to rolls across the board, which seems reasonable.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    monty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    Quote Originally Posted by grinner666 View Post
    Enh.

    Children don't have the age (obviously) to have engaged in the years of study required to achieve first level (and yes, it DOES require years of study to become a first-level fighter), so stats are unnecessary as they are essentially worthless in a fight.

    NPC children should be treated as stat-free targets (or meat shields, depending on the party), and if anybody wants to PLAY a child, he should be told he'll be unable to gain XPs until he's finished his training ... at age of majority.

    Now if somebody wants to play a character who's JUST under age of maturity (say a year or two for humans), just give him a -2 to every stat except maybe CON and INT. That's a flat -1 to rolls across the board, which seems reasonable.
    Well, what if you want to play, for example, a sorcerer whose powers manifest prematurely? Presumably you'd still get sorcerer HD as normal, but you'd have to apply the age modifiers as well.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    Thanks everyone for the advice!

    Lord Iames Osari, that link is great! However, my characters for some reason want to play actual characters that just happen to be age 6, or whatever. Otherwise, your system is far superior.

    Tengu temp, I totally agree with you about the dexterity/charisma thing, I just think that children should not be penalized in dexterity because of their size difference.

    Also, because of the ever strange desires of my players, if someone wanted to play a child in another campaign, what would the ECL be. -1 per tier is what my friend and I were thinking.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Banned
     
    Cubey's Avatar

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    Quote Originally Posted by Olo Demonsbane View Post
    Tengu temp, I totally agree with you about the dexterity/charisma thing, I just think that children should not be penalized in dexterity because of their size difference.
    Let's just make them Small then. That gives them AC and +attack for size differences, while still having a penalty to Dexterity - kids are hard to catch but rather uncoordinated, when compared to adults at least.
    The same goes with Charisma. Kids may be cute (relative opinion - some can't stand them), but they don't make very good leaders or persuaders.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    i'm actually playing in a campaign right now that has a child character in the party. while it's true that the training required for a class is lacking, exceptions can be made. say, for example, if you were using a sorcerer, or in the case of my campagn, a favored soul, it's plausable. also, depending on the age, i can see a child character being allowed to play as a rogue, with proper back story. there are so many stories about child thieves and sneaks, it's not even funny. stat wise, make them small size, movement speed 20 ft, -2 to con, str, and int for lack of physical and mental development. leave the rest, cause a child could be very personable and quick on their feet, and dex because four negatives is a bit much. you need to remember that characters with class levels are exceptional. even a child could be exceptional beyond the ken of regular men.


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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Tempest Fennac's Avatar

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    I don't see anything wrong with having child characters due to the fact that starting ages may not apply to all characters. Ignoring Sorcerers and Favoured Sould, someone could train to become, for instance, a Rogue or a Fighter at a young age. (I tend to assume my characters started training at around 10 so that I can start at the minimum starting age; I can;t see any point in starting older due to not wanting t run the risk of aging penalties nerfing my characters for no logical reason).
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    My friends and I had played a full party of children before in a d20 Harry Potter series of adventures. 7 adventures, each one reflecting a differant year of our time at school.

    We approached it as the following. Beginning with an 11 year old child, we used the point buy system for stats with a total of 8 points. Every year that passed, we gave ourselves a "stat up" independant of the ones recieved at 4th levels. By year 7 as adults, we all were roughly the 30ish points that we would have used to allot a standard adult adventurer.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Children Characters

    I'm going to be the first to point out that children make excellent dragon food.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Children Characters

    Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about creating an accurate mechanical representation of children in your game. If you want to have child adventurers, give them the same stats as normal players (perhaps with a size decrease). Is it terribly realistic? No. But it is in genre (the vast majority of child protagonists in fantasy are preternaturally smart and skilled for their age), and, unless everyone is playing a child, it's needed for party balance.

    If you're worried about the realism of the stats, work out stat assignments with the players on a case-by-case basis. For example, you might not want to allow high-strength or especially high-con child characters, but pretty much any other high score can be passed off as the child being a prodigy - which it most definitely is if it has PC class levels.
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Prometheus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Children Characters

    The extra skill points that come with a base class are supposed to represent those obtained growing up, so children would get a fraction of those for realism. Humans infants are Tiny (size of a cat), not Diminutive (size of a bat or frog, so perhaps you would go with something like adults are regularly sized, Tier 1 and Tier 2 are -1 size (Small humans), and Tier 3 and Tier 4 are -2 size (Tiny humans).

    CthulhuM has it right though, you have to figure out whether the players want to have drawbacks for the sake of being an interesting character or whether they just like the idea of being a child and there need not be any mechanics involved. If they do want the drawbacks for the challenge and the flavor, it might be good to figure out what their idea of a challenge is (or might not).

    Finally, negative LA is tricky to balance. They did away with in when they converted from 3.0 to 3.5, and I think it was a good decision. If you have all the players with that same drawback and losses in ability scores across the board, than it's not as big of an issue. However, that might not be always the case.
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