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Old 06-25-2016, 01:15 PM   #1
Mr_Sandman
 
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Default [Supers] Mixing power levels and scales

A supers game that I planned years ago, but never got off the ground had the concept that after years of heroes having low-level powers (Doc Savage, the Shadow, etc.), suddenly teenagers were expressing true superpowers. I was giving players the option of choosing which they wanted to be. They could play an older generation of hero, who had a lower point value, but could spend those points on high skills, contacts, status, reputation, etc., as well as a few lower point value powers. Or they could play a young super, who had higher point values, but could only spend a very limited amount on mundane advantages, skills, etc., and would instead have one or more high point value powers.

I recently realized that the power scales from Supers could be used to a similar effect. If the older heroes were limited to I-scale powers, and younger characters could pay a UB to get access to D-scale powers, it would leave the youngsters with considerably fewer points to spend on non-super power traits. They would be considerably more potent in a fight, but less well-rounded in most other situations.

Has anyone ever run or played in a GURPS game with large point value, or power scale differences? How did it work out?
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:19 PM   #2
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: [Supers] Mixing power levels and scales

I've played with a GM who proved that total points means NOTHING by using a 500 point character to utterly destroy a 2000 point characters. Point efficiency means a LOT more than total points, and a character focused on immobilizing and murdering a helpless victim beats the crap out of the guy who hits like a train loaded with semis loaded with nukes, so long as the beefstick is unable to actually go anywhere.

So yeah, our current setting has 500 point characters interacting with 10,000 point characters on a regular basis, and it ends up kind of like the Justice League: Green Arrow takes on low-powered villains, while Superman comes in when a god-like being wants to claim Earth as his newest planet.
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Old 06-25-2016, 03:41 PM   #3
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: [Supers] Mixing power levels and scales

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Sandman View Post
A supers game that I planned years ago, but never got off the ground had the concept that after years of heroes having low-level powers (Doc Savage, the Shadow, etc.), suddenly teenagers were expressing true superpowers. I was giving players the option of choosing which they wanted to be. They could play an older generation of hero, who had a lower point value, but could spend those points on high skills, contacts, status, reputation, etc., as well as a few lower point value powers. Or they could play a young super, who had higher point values, but could only spend a very limited amount on mundane advantages, skills, etc., and would instead have one or more high point value powers.

I recently realized that the power scales from Supers could be used to a similar effect. If the older heroes were limited to I-scale powers, and younger characters could pay a UB to get access to D-scale powers, it would leave the youngsters with considerably fewer points to spend on non-super power traits. They would be considerably more potent in a fight, but less well-rounded in most other situations.

Has anyone ever run or played in a GURPS game with large point value, or power scale differences? How did it work out?
I'm currently not running one, but THREE campaigns like this (all set in the same supers universe). The player characters in my A-Team game are from 1,000 to 3,200; B-Team is from 800 to 1400; and C-Team is from 350 to 700. I've got another two campaigns planned: D-Team is post-apocalyptic future supers in the same campaign setting, while E-Team is a reformed villain team that's somewhere between Suicide Squad and the Thunderbolts.

The thing with running high point totals is to put the PCs out of the their comfort zone and keep them there for about 30% to 40% of them time. It forces the players to think vs. relying on what just their characters can do. Don't do it too much though because it WILL cause frustration. It's a balanced act, but one that comes naturally after a while.

The thing for running disparate point totals is that everyone must be useful. And for the love of Glob enforce niche protection. In fact, while creating characters demand everyone pick a role and stick to it. Each PC doesn't have to be useful in the same way - don't expect your combat expert to be an awesome investigator.

If you go to my blog I actually write about this a quite a bit.
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Old 06-25-2016, 06:53 PM   #4
simply Nathan
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Default Re: [Supers] Mixing power levels and scales

The example characters in the Basic Set are a team ranging from 200 through a bit over 1,000 points.
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