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Old 09-19-2020, 11:54 PM   #251
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
While I am sure that such a thing would occur, such adolescents would be sorted out fairly quickly and end up locked away until they learned to behave thenselves. There are actually a number of ways for an individual to attract their preferred gender.
But, the character is not picking out optimum character designs to put on a character sheet to achieve a goal. Unless you can and do actually imagine yourself possessing godlike perfect beauty, while feeling stressed that's not what's going to happen.

Also am I really odd that when I was a kid I tried to move objects with the power of my mind and lift a car just in case I might spontaneously manifest superpowers? Not to mention the flying dreams.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 09-19-2020 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:03 AM   #252
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

I did the same thing when I was a kid, but that was a trope that came from Star Wars. Flight is probably one of the most common abilities among Class I supers, as mentioned previously. I do not know about anyone else, but I knew people in high school (both men and women) who desperately wanted to be achingly beautiful.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:26 AM   #253
transmetahuman
 
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
For the population dynamics to occur as previously stated, the majority of people have to have 'small' dreams in order to have 100- CP of abilities (Class Is). From what I remember of my adolescence during the early 90s, I spent most it trying (without much luck) to hook up with pretty girls, and I really doubt that I am unique. Of course, the dream of spaceflight was powerful before I turned 13, but I was dreaming of my female peers by the time that I was 14. If I had awakened at age 15, I likely would have been a Class I (Class II at the best), as going out with a girl seemed a lot more attainable than going into space.
If this whole thing is about fitting the setting to the predetermined power level frequencies, it's simple enough to declare that there's some other factor involved, rather than argue about whose dreams are small.

Power level could be completely random, or be determined by some combination of (pre-template) Will, how urgent the need is (this plane will hit the ground in twenty seconds vs it's been a really lonely summer break), how rested the person is, how close to a dream state the person is - or how clear-headed they are, how healthy the person's body is, how hungry they are for power, how crazy they are (a variation on Mac Scientist Syndrome), how "pure of heart", and/or whether they have a burning need for this one power specifically versus or their desire is diluted by indecison or desire for many powers...

Could be anything, and there's no need to even decide on a rule. Maybe no one knows why. It's simply a fact that there are a lot fewer strong powers than weaker ones.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Also am I really odd that when I was a kid I tried to move objects with the power of my mind and lift a car just in case I might spontaneously manifest superpowers? Not to mention the flying dreams.
Not if I'm any standard. Heck, I still gesture at automatic doors and make a whoosh sound on occasion.

Last edited by transmetahuman; 09-20-2020 at 12:31 AM. Reason: Added a quote
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:18 AM   #254
Otaku
 
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

That's what I've been suggesting, transmetahuman. ;)

I can see merit in leaving it "mysterious"; from a source book point of view, it lets the GM do what they want with the setting. Just provide a few possible answers to give an idea of what does or does not work for the setting "as is". Things are are very hard to measure - like how strong a person's secret or subconscious desires are - are better for a story than an actual RPG setting, I think. If you're writing a story, you (the author) can easily make sure everything conforms to your perceptions, though you still have to be careful of what we've seen in this thread. Your audience may be "taken out of" your story if you insist too strongly on the nature of desire or creativity.

Besides the "Let's leave it mysterious." route, this could be a way to justify the genetic component actually mattering... because right now, we could probably leave it out and just write it off as 1950s (and after) having the proper mix of culture, creativity, danger (actual or perceived) and technology to produce what would be commonly recognized as Supers from this "survival factor". Supers have otherwise always existed, just not recognized as Supers. Myths and legends, be they of gods, holy men, devils, non-human races, full-on monsters, etc. are all just supers as understood by pre-modern humanity. Even things like American "tall tales" were in fact reports of then contemporary superhumans... but with most folks never having seen folks such as Paul Bunyan, accurate reporting was mistaken as exaggeration!

Another approach is we make the genetics more influential. Such as all humans having at least a tiny, tiny bit of super potential, but without an unnatural, outside catalyst, they'll never manifest, and even with one, the odds are very, very low. That is "baseline" humanity. It isn't just a single dominant and recessive gene, though specific super powers are not genetically encoded. This just determines your maximum (and maybe minimum) potential. Want and need still affect things. Creativity still affects things. This is provides an in-setting explanation of game mechanics like CP budget and build quality.
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Old 09-20-2020, 01:38 PM   #255
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

It seems awfully like a strict genetic aristocracy if the strength of the initial abilities come from the genetics of an individual, much different than the loose genetic timocracy that exists with the original set up. With the original setup, the fact that the strength of the initial abilities came from dreams and from threats made it seem more equitable because the adolescents earned the strength of their abilities, either through having a passionate heart early on in life or facing a grave threat early on in life. It was not fair, the genetic component eliminated fairness, but there was some justice involved.

I prefer the original setup because it places a value on passion and dreams and on facing down threats. A young super who awakened in a war zone when a tank column is advancing on her home could have become quite powerful, especially if she was defending her family. If she also possessed a passionate heart, then she may actually become a Class V or higher.

For example, imagine that girl manifesting TK 22 (Increased Range, 100x, +60%; Super-Effort, +400%) [616]. She is capable of tossing tanks miles into the air with a thought (though the damage she causes by tossing does not increase). If her power level comes from her passion and the level of the threat that she faces, then there is a narrative justice to it, especially if she could have just as well wasted her chance by falling in love a week later. If her power level comes from genetics though, it is fate and there is no narrative justice.
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Old 09-20-2020, 02:03 PM   #256
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

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If her power level comes from genetics though, it is fate and there is no narrative justice.
Narrative justice is a dubious concept. Sounds like the whims and biases of the narrator.

As for passion, there is no passion stronger than psychopathic rage so you might get something like "Batman villains become Superman vilains".

A lot of people might prefer a dispassioante demiurge who disguised his whims as genetics rather than justice.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:51 PM   #257
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

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It seems awfully like a strict genetic aristocracy if the strength of the initial abilities come from the genetics of an individual, much different than the loose genetic timocracy that exists with the original set up.
As that doesn't even resemble what I mean, let me try again.

The genes - plural - that can lead to the development of super powers are widespread, with nearly every human possessing at least one. The odds of that one gene activating are next to nothing, though not literally nothing (GM Fiat). The more "super" genes a person has, the better their odds of at least one manifesting, but it is never guaranteed. All but guaranteed, sure, but never absolutely guaranteed.

Much like with everything else, your genetics determine your maximum and minimum capacity. This should actually rarely matter; to reach your maximum, everything has to go right. To only achieve your minimum - but still manifest - almost everything needs to go wrong. Unless you - the player - are bent on creating such characters, this is a background detail.

Your drive to survive and overcome matters far more in determining your raw power (how much CP you're allowed to initially spend on powers). Usually your drive is proportional to what it is you're trying to overcome, but not always. The greater your drive to survive (or overcome), the more CP you're allowed to initially invest in your powers. Your desires and creativity the shape those powers, however.

Perhaps part of the problem is I am saying too much at once, so I'll stop there before I get to the effects of the insecticide as a catalyst for manifesting powers.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:34 PM   #258
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

IRL, genetics does not give people a floor in capabilities. Depending on education, environment, experiences, etc., genetics gives a probabilistic average of capabilities, but people can range easily to 20% below to 20% above this average without any major anomalies in their life. For example, a stroke in adulthood can cause to become a savant in a specific area after healing (or, more likely, leave them a vegetable).
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:45 PM   #259
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

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IRL, genetics does not give people a floor in capabilities. Depending on education, environment, experiences, etc., genetics gives a probabilistic average of capabilities, but people can range easily to 20% below to 20% above this average without any major anomalies in their life. For example, a stroke in adulthood can cause to become a savant in a specific area after healing (or, more likely, leave them a vegetable).
Real genetics doesn't include your base Supers Package, and Class I through IV Supers concept. Considering I already mentioned that it was possible even someone with good genetics wouldn't manifest, I would hope context made it clear; I just mean that, if a Super manifests at all, they're still at least Class I. I'm not married to that concept, just trying to stick to one of the parameters you gave us.

Wait. Wait. Wait. I re-read your comment, AlexanderHowl, and now I'm a bit confused. Did you catch that I've been discussing this change in the context of initial power manifestation? Your last sentence doesn't make sense when viewed in that light.
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My GURPS Fourth Edition library consists of Basic Set: Characters, Basic Set: Campaigns, Martial Arts, Powers, Powers: Enhanced Senses, Power-Ups 1: Imbuements, Power-Ups 2: Perks, Power-Ups 3: Talents, Power-Ups 4: Enhancements, Power-Ups 6: Quirks, Power-Ups 8: Limitations, Powers, Social Engineering, Supers, and one issue of Pyramid (3/83), most of which was provided through the generosity of others. Thanks! :)

Last edited by Otaku; 09-21-2020 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Noticed all the typos; revised whole post for clarity and corrections.
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