Translation Trance Appearance

IYTSG (In Your The Strange Game) how much control does a Quickened individual have over their appearance when they use a translation trance to enter a recursion?

Can they make themselves look like someone specific?


  • I would say... no.  As a GM, I could see how that could be ripe for abuse.  "I appear as the long-lost prince!"  And it negates the disguise skill and other sorts of skills or tricks a spinner could use to make themselves appear as another person.  Doing it by translating would cheapen it, I would feel.
  • I agree. I want to give as much freedom as possible, but completely copying a person would be too much.

    Still, in the spirit of "Yes and...", if they wanted to try, and they made a separate Intellect roll against the recursion's level, I would award an asset for use in trying to disguise themselves to look like their target. So they could get close, but not quite there.
  • To me, this straddles the line between player desire and character desire. For instance, I don't imagine that characters choose a focus when they translate, but players do. Likewise, I don't think characters get to choose their appearance, but players do.

    This may be contrary to canon, but I don't have a page number to verify that.
  • Personally, I wouldn't allow this at all. "Yes, and..." and "No, but..." only cover so many things. Allowing this undermines the PCs who may decide to specialize in disguise and steal their steez. As I see it (this is only a personal interpretation, of course) they are translating. That's something that the Strange does, not something that the PC does. What they are is literally translated into something that fits the destination (just like with their equipment etc.). If that person already exists in the destination recursion it makes no sense that they would be translated into that same (or even a similar) form.

    To me, this is gamist thinking that ignores proper story form. Having a character overcome a challenge through witty happenstance is awesome, having the player overcome a challenge is something that happens in a game, not a story.

    I'm very much a story-forward GM though, and my players are the same. For a game-forward person that sort of thing might be fine. Granted that might be the case here; the person's character is the one making the decision...but that doesn't mean it needs to work. "Yes, and..." applies more to 'can I have a dog that has laser eyes' and less to 'can I bend the immutable rules of the setting'.

    That all being said, the important part is to ask yourself this; does this break the experience for anyone at the table? If the answer is 'yes' even for just one person then don't do it. Think long term; as one other poster said, this can be abused. In my mind, it cheapens the whole experience. If the answer is 'no', then go for it. Just understand that you've changed the nature of the reality the story takes place in and you now have to hold yourself to that new paradigm. If it works for that one guy, it works for anyone that wants to do it any time they can pass the roll...even NPCs. You've just created an entire can of worms that you will have to deal with forever.

    Is it worth it?
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