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Old 10-31-2023, 10:29 PM   #21
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Default Re: supers: nine options

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Yes, you can...
but it's by either using the boost attribute power (p.110) for temporary boosts, or by simply allowing Str >d12 for always on, or by changing the time durations as a world setting.
I hadn't spotted that power. It seems, though, as if it's inherently designed to be usable on others. Is there a form of it that you can use only on yourself?

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Mage is probably a bit too over the top - a competent player can be warping reality massively; the power level is way past all the other WWG games. Since you're thinking street level, understand that a starting mage is capable of a variety of effects that make them capable of taking out cities by themselves, let alone in a covenant.
If I were to use Mage, I would require powers to be bought as Talismans, with fixed effects.

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I'll second the "Fudge is a Game Constuction Set, not a game itself" motif. There's nothing that makes it great, nor anything that makes it suck, for supers at the street level. It's going to come down to GM prep and how the GM sets up for supers.
Not so much of an issue for me; I'm now running my third FUDGE campaign, and the first one was in fact a covert supers campaign.

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While BTRC's CORPS and EABA both have power systems, and are suitable for street level, I wouldn't use either for supers, despite Greg (the designer) having called out how to do so. The rest doesn't work that well.
I'll have to take a look at my copy of EABA. I hadn't remembered that it had a discussion of supers.

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Smallville - Smallville is all about the relationships, and character gen by the rules written is intended to make everybody already know each other and have existing good/bad/indifferent relationships.

And by "all about the relationships" - that's literal. It's Distinction die + power's die + relationship's die + asset d6 + target condition's die as your dice pool; keep best 2 dice. Note that distinction is either d8 or d4.
Are you sure? I've been going through the rules, and what I'm seeing is that Distinction can be anywhere from d4 to d12. I'm also seeing that the standard roll is drive plus relationship, often plus another die like Distinction or Ability.

In fact, where I'm currently hung up is on the issue of how to adapt the rules to a group of characters who don't necessarily know each other. In effect, each of them would be the equivalent of a Feature brought in by the GM. I'm not sure what a player is supposed to roll for the Relationship die in that case. And it seems the character creation process would need to be modified.

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For supers, I've three go-to games:
  • Sentinel Comics, from Greater Than Games, which is low-end 4-color or high-end street level, depending upon play mode. It's perfectly suitable for doing the "who are you?" "Does it matter while Dr Death is killing people?" type entry.
  • The old Advanced Marvel Super Heroes. It can do street level, but not well. Scaling is great from the lower end of four color to just shy of Silver-Surfer type stories...
  • Marvel Heroic Role Play - which is sadly unobtanium. Note that it's not a stand-in for Smallville - they both use "roll a pool built from atts", "Keep best two as success, largest unkept as damage level", and distinctions, but the list for what goes in: affiliation die + Distiction die + power's die from set 1 + power's die from set 2 (if there is a set 2) + skill die + asset die + target complication die.
I ran a campaign in MHRP, but I wasn't happy with the results. When I moved out of San Diego, I let it drop, whereas I went on coming down from Riverside to run my other campaign (which was GURPS bronze age fantasy). Just not my idiom.

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Note that 4C system is a fairly true retroclone of MSH/AMSH.
I don't recognize "4C." What is it when you spell it out?
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Old 11-01-2023, 05:45 AM   #22
johndallman
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Default Re: supers: nine options

A question that may help: should powers reliably outperform use of mundane skills with mundane equipment? The systems I'm familiar with from your candidates all have different answers to that.

In Mage: the Ascension, powers normally do this.

In Champions, they usually do this in my experience, but it's possible to set up positions where they don't, if you're willing to spend a lot of points on skills. This also depends on if you're charging points for equipment, such as guns.

In GURPS, skills are cheaper relative to powers, and it's easier for them to outmatch powers, given relevant equipment.
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Old 11-01-2023, 08:24 AM   #23
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: supers: nine options

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
So I can't get super strength from using Savage Worlds Deluxe, but have to be a separate volume, and one whose compatibility with the core volume I'm not sure of.
Glad to help.

I'm not sure if I want to use SW or GURPS should we choose to play that game. The group has a little SW experience, as well as GURPS, but it's beena while for both. GURPS has better detail for building abilities to capture all the nuances, but I'm not sure many in the group have that much expertise (or patience) with doing so. And after explaining how the SW die rolls work for Anthony, I've reminded myself that I'm not entirely a fan of all that dice mechanism clanking away in the basement.

I wouldn't be any more concerned about the compatibility of the separate volume than I would be about using GURPS Supers along with Basic. It's an extension to support a genre. But there's no incompatibility or changes of basic rules that I noticed, just some extensions of the Strength scale. GURPS Supers also has a Super-Effort table to extend the scale of the core rules to achieve expected super-level feats.

The editorial flub (two different uses of the term "Power Points" in SWD) is just that; had they picked a different word, I wouldn't have batted an eye. Reusing the same word is dangerous given WotC and Paizo encouraging the literalist mindset.

I point out the distinction between SW: Adventure Edition (SWADE) and SW: Deluxe (SWD) because those are different editions of the rules. Pinnacle apparently just doesn't want to number editions like normal people. Each edition has its own supers book, so it seemed like a good thing to know before someone clicks on the wrong one while ordering on a website. PEG's website tags them; I didn't check to see how clear DriveThruRPG, etc., is in making that distinction.

I don't know much about the differences in SWADE other than that they're fairly minor and there are free update PDFs on PEG's website -- but it's an edition change. I'd certainly be concerned about using the 3e GURPS Supers with 4e, or vice versa. The SWD SPC is compatible with the SWD Core, and presumably the SWADE SPC is compatible with SWADE. (Now that I think about it, I might as well grab those free SWADE update PDFs while I'm thinking about it, which should at least give me an idea of what they revised.)

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
A question that may help: should powers reliably outperform use of mundane skills with mundane equipment?
An interesting perspective. Thanks for the insight!

That angle pushes me further toward GURPS or SW (which is to say away from Hero), as I was aiming for a mix of equipment and super abilities.

(I was thinking that there lots of mundanes in WW II, along with the rapid tech development of that era being something to see in the game rather than bury. Meanwhile, the PCs are super-human so they can carry out their derring-do, but I didn't want four-color supes so powerful that they're directly turning the tide, taking tank main gun rounds to the chest, wiping out entire Panzer divisions while swooping overhead, capsizing battleships with a punch, or just flying to Berlin to kill Hitler. Super-agents, but not the Justice League righting wrongs. So those elite mundanes with their mere normal TL6 equipment need to pose some sort of threat; allied normals should still be useful on missions, not just dependent targets that have to be protected; and everybody gets sprinkled with a bit of super-spice all around, without necessitating imposition of an entire Red Skull / HYDRA organization to make sure the Avengers have something that can pose a challenge. The supes could make some difference on a battlefield, but that's not the most effective leverage you could get out their advantage.

So in GURPS terms, maybe around 400 points (Monster Hunters), given elite normals at around 250 (SEALs, Otto Skorzeny in the 3e WW II book). But I haven't gotten to the point of building characters to see what I can break at that point. Most likely do it with the "build a competent action adventurer with 150 points, then add 250" sort of bucketing.)
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Old 11-01-2023, 09:07 AM   #24
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Default Re: supers: nine options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
That angle pushes me further toward GURPS or SW (which is to say away from Hero), as I was aiming for a mix of equipment and super abilities.

(I was thinking that there lots of mundanes in WW II, along with the rapid tech development of that era being something to see in the game rather than bury. Meanwhile, the PCs are super-human so they can carry out their derring-do, but I didn't want four-color supes so powerful that they're directly turning the tide, taking tank main gun rounds to the chest, wiping out entire Panzer divisions while swooping overhead, capsizing battleships with a punch, or just flying to Berlin to kill Hitler. Super-agents, but not the Justice League righting wrongs. So those elite mundanes with their mere normal TL6 equipment need to pose some sort of threat; allied normals should still be useful on missions, not just dependent targets that have to be protected; and everybody gets sprinkled with a bit of super-spice all around, without necessitating imposition of an entire Red Skull / HYDRA organization to make sure the Avengers have something that can pose a challenge. The supes could make some difference on a battlefield, but that's not the most effective leverage you could get out their advantage.

So in GURPS terms, maybe around 400 points (Monster Hunters), given elite normals at around 250 (SEALs, Otto Skorzeny in the 3e WW II book). But I haven't gotten to the point of building characters to see what I can break at that point. Most likely do it with the "build a competent action adventurer with 150 points, then add 250" sort of bucketing.)
While for the campaign I'm envisioning, all that war stuff would be in the backstory, I would definitely want it to have taken place, and I would want similar restrictions on the effectiveness of supers in combat. Certainly I wouldn't want to have the "tank" and "battleship" characters of Über.

If I were to use Smallville, I think that the war experience would be the Life-Changing Event stage of character generation.

The issue about equipment in Champions is very definitely relevant. I'm not sure how good Champions is at balancing energy blasters who pay points for their attack with marksmen who don't pay points for their rifles and grenade launchers. But it just feels too weird to me to have every uniformed cop cost a lot of points for his gear.

I think that streetlevel characters are about at the right power level for this: advantaged enough to be tactical assets, perhaps, especially if you have a squad or two of them, but not to be strategic assets.
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Old 11-01-2023, 11:08 AM   #25
Anthony
 
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Default Re: supers: nine options

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
The issue about equipment in Champions is very definitely relevant. I'm not sure how good Champions is at balancing energy blasters who pay points for their attack with marksmen who don't pay points for their rifles and grenade launchers. But it just feels too weird to me to have every uniformed cop cost a lot of points for his gear.
Well, it's the late 1940s or 1950s, they're not going to be paying a lot of points because cops don't have grenade launchers. Also, point accounting is mostly for PCs. You might use it for NPCs to evaluate how significant they are as allies or adversaries, but a guy with a gun is undoubtedly more significant than an unarmed person in that case.

Still, if you're opposed to paying points for gear, Hero is probably better at it than GURPS, mostly because it's a lot cheaper to match the capabilities of gear.
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Old 11-01-2023, 11:16 AM   #26
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: supers: nine options

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I'm not sure how good Champions is at balancing energy blasters who pay points for their attack with marksmen who don't pay points for their rifles and grenade launchers. But it just feels too weird to me to have every uniformed cop cost a lot of points for his gear.

.
in my experience Champions never really uses gear-as-points and gear-as-purchased with money at the same time and Hero System itself always assumes one or the other but not both.
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Old 11-01-2023, 12:11 PM   #27
whswhs
 
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Default Re: supers: nine options

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
in my experience Champions never really uses gear-as-points and gear-as-purchased with money at the same time and Hero System itself always assumes one or the other but not both.
Huh. That seems difficult: On one hand I really don't feel that there should be a point cost for an automatic pistol, a cell phone, or a bulletproof vest, but on the other I feel that Hawkman should pay points for his wings and Spider-man for his web shooters.
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Old 11-01-2023, 12:19 PM   #28
Anthony
 
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Default Re: supers: nine options

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Huh. That seems difficult: On one hand I really don't feel that there should be a point cost for an automatic pistol, a cell phone, or a bulletproof vest, but on the other I feel that Hawkman should pay points for his wings and Spider-man for his web shooters.
Mostly what happens if you don't charge points for gear is that people don't build 'energy blaster' type characters unless they don't actually care about point efficiency. Which is pretty much the same as GURPS.
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Old 11-01-2023, 12:28 PM   #29
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: supers: nine options

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Huh. That seems difficult: On one hand I really don't feel that there should be a point cost for an automatic pistol, a cell phone, or a bulletproof vest, but on the other I feel that Hawkman should pay points for his wings and Spider-man for his web shooters.
All I can say is that getting things that provide the same benefit as Powers (even ones bought as Gadgets) but cost no character points is giving free points to some concepts.

It's a problem that's worse in Gurps as some mundane gear like anti-tank rockets would cost a huge amount of cp. Even rifles can outshine some offensive Powers.
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Old 11-01-2023, 01:36 PM   #30
johndallman
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Default Re: supers: nine options

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
It's a problem that's worse in GURPS as some mundane gear like anti-tank rockets would cost a huge amount of cp. Even rifles can outshine some offensive Powers.
We handle this in the occult WWII campaign by simply not buying offensive powers. The original set of players all took this route without consultation; there's so much powerful weaponry around that buying powers that do similar things seems pointless. Becoming skilled with big-game rifles, explosives and aircraft is cheaper than powers, and that's what the characters did. Magic was mainly used for information, concealment and influencing enemies.

That campaign has powers (all of them magical) becoming known to the wider world during the course of the war. I don't know if Bill's setting was similar in that respect, or if powers were already known before the war.
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