Sunday, October 22, 2017

Retirement age in DF Felltower?

The idea of retired characters came up in the comments on another post the other day. Basically, I dismissed the idea that "Stericksburg" would be renamed after an active PC because he was pretty badass. Maybe when he's retired, I said.

When would that be?

Probably never.

No Mandatory Retirement Threshold

One thing about my game is that it's all about hack-and-slash fun.

So as long as someone is having fun playing their hack-and-slash guy, they can keep playing that guy.

There does reach a power level when you're basically not challenged by much of what you encounter. But GURPS is GURPS - there is never a level where you're effectively invulnerable. And no matter how powerful you get, there are things you just might not be able to deal with.

A perfectly lethal knight won't ever be able to overcome some magical effects, especially ones that automatically overcome resistance and need post-effect remedy, not a good roll.

An epic-ly powerful wizard won't be able to overcome foes in melee in a NMZ.

A powerful cleric might wave away undead with trivial ease but lack to the ability to destroy non-undead with sufficient ease.

So I'm not especially concerned. As long as people are having fun with their guys, they can run their guys. I'll let them sort out the who and what and when of stopping playing a particular paper man. And if someone wants to basically set a PC aside for special occasions, that's fine too. We've got a dozen or so templates to choose from and lots of levels, side levels, attached side areas, and so on to explore in the megadungeon game. It's all about the player's fun, not the PC.

One of my players did say, basically, that he means to keep playing one of his guys until he dies and can't get brought back. That's not counter to the game. You don't win in DF Felltower by getting to retirement age or being unbeatable. You win by risking your paper man to have fun. And as long as I can keep up the challenges, why set a PC aside?


  1. It's not like they're going to get a pension. I think the idea is to adventure until you've gotten out of it what you wanted, and then retire on your own terms. Or die. Whichever comes first!

    As one who does not balance encounters versus the party, I am totally OK with parties of different power level PCs. The lower guys mooch off the higher guys, but it all evens out over time.

    1. It's true. In-game, there are not retirement packages. You have to live off what you earn. That might be why "I buy a tavern!" is so popular.

  2. I've never wholly gotten the whole "retire to a domain" that was early D&D. Yeah, I get that they were war gamers who wanted to build themselves up to a point where there characters can war-game, but folks like the adventuring stuff more. Yes, Tenser and Robilar can go on their own individual adventures with their packs of retainers, but that misses the socialization aspect. Few gamers' whole goal is to be always running Krunk with their platonic life partner.

    1. I think that whole domain thing makes more sense when you come from wargaming to roleplaying. But it's pretty obvious that as fun as marshalling your own army can be, taking your PC into dungeons is more fun - one didn't spin off of the other because it was less interesting.

      You bring up an aspect of "solo" play I think people overlook sometimes - it is often solo player, not solo PC. "I went into Felltower alone and survived! Just me, my lone PC, and no help at all except for my bodyguard, my hirelings, those torchbearers, the owlbear I charmed a few sessions back, my summonable allies . . ."


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