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Old 10-31-2023, 01:43 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: supers: nine options

Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I've got just the core book for SW... one thing I couldn't find there was super strength. Is there a way to do it that I'm overlooking?
I should note that my experience with SW is with "Deluxe". There's a newer edition called "Adventure Edition", SWADE as opposed to SWD. I'm not familiar with the differences between the two.

But on to super strength in SWD.

There's a "Super Powers Companion" (SPC) book that goes into the extensions. It has a new edge, Super Attribute(), that lets you raise attributes above the normal d12. Such are denoted with a positive modifier, e.g. d12+1, d12+5, up to d12+12, and that's exactly how you'd roll them. The "Street Level"* super examples have a Strength of about d12+2. There's a table with increased values for the derived stats, so, for example, the max weight for d12 Strength is 240, Super Strength d12+1 is 400, d12+3 is 1 ton, d12+6 is 10 tons, d12+9 is 100 tons, d12+12 is 1000 tons (so you can see the logarithmic scaling factor). There's another table for heavy weapons that adds extra damage if your brick is melee'ing with a lamp post or city bus or the like. Weapon weight doubles per step and the damage goes up by +1.

As with GURPS, characters that want to Hulk out are probably buying other synergistic Edges as well, like Brawny, which multiples those table numbers for weights, Armor to boost Toughness even beyond what the increased Strength does, or Melee Attack to let them do extra damage (over and above their Strength) or make it armor-piercing for punching out tanks.

Super Strength by itself doesn't give you every advantage you might imagine a strong person could do; it just increases the character's attribute. But there are a couple of rules for creative application of an ability, "Power Stunts" and "Power Tricks".

Power Stunts cost a benny to use, and are basically a rule for imitating any other super ability as long as you've got a rationale that makes sense to the GM / group. The book example is a Super Strength character clapping their hands to get a Cone Attack (straight out of the Hulk playbook), even though the character didn't buy a Cone Attack. (The benny cost will keep Probability Control Man under control...)

There are also Power Tricks, which are a way to use a super ability that affects a target at a penalty (again with some appropriate narrative fluff) to apply any of a list of additional side effects to a target, like penalizing their defenses, giving allies a bonus to attack, slowing them down, or lowering their initiative. To try to put that in the Super Strength context off the top of my head, perhaps the Hulk's player wants their melee attack to grapple an enemy to hold them for the rest of the team to pummel, rather than just be a straight-up punch for damage. Or if the game were more four-color and sillier, maybe it's a pound to the top of the enemy's head to pile-drive their feet into the ground to slow their move as they climb back out of the hole.

* The book defines five levels of power for supers from "Pulp Hero" up to "Cosmic"; the level defines how many points you get for buying super abilities, basically 15 * level. Super Strength costs 2 per level, and RAW forbids spending more than a third of your points on any single ability. (There's an ability, Best of The Best, so you can pay for the privilege of spending half your PP on one ability.)

Just as a heads-up:
These super ability purchase points in the SPC are called "Power Points", which are confusingly not the same thing as the core book's "Power Points". Core Power Points are spent per use of spells and such, Core "Powers". The SPC Power Points are, as far as I can tell, just a character creation currency with a duplicate name; SPC super abilities don't require a "mana" resource to use. Characters use them at will. In that, they're unlike Core Powers.

And yes, this would get especially confusing for the Super Sorcerer character whose magic gives them Power Points to temporarily buy SPC abilities that represent the effect of the "spells", especially if that character were also to have Core's Arcane Background Magic, using a different set of Power Points to energize those Powers. The SPC Super Sorcerer is a flexibility master, kind of like a GURPS Modular Ability pool - levels of this ability cost 2 PP to give you one PP that you can reconfigure.

I'd recommend just using different names for the two resources, but then of course the table lingo won't match the books.
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