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Old 10-31-2023, 02:43 PM   #11
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: supers: nine options

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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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Old 10-31-2023, 03:37 PM   #12
Anthony
 
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Default Re: supers: nine options

A fairly important thing to consider is the degree to which you want luck to be able to overcome differences in raw power. Suppose we have a normal person going up against someone with the strength of eight men (going with eight because that works easier in several systems)

In Champions, that's Str 10 vs Str 25. If you're rolling dice and counting body, the weaker character can win, but the odds are about 0.2% to win and 1.1% to tie. Unlike the systems below, this is not scale-invariant; strength 15 vs 30 is not the same as 10 vs 25.

In Fudge, it all depends on what rank you call what strength. If we call a rank x2, that's 3 ranks and the weaker character wins about 7%, ties about 7%.

In GURPS, that's Str 10 vs Str 32 (unwinnable), or 10 vs 20 (0.45% to win, 1% to tie) if using KYoS.

In M&M, that's Strength +0 vs +3 (34% to win, 4% to tie); with the rescaled ranks and measures I mention it's +0 vs +9 (14% to win, 3% to tie).

I'm insufficiently familiar with how SW die rolling works to evaluate it.
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Old 10-31-2023, 03:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: supers: nine options

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In Fudge, it all depends on what rank you call what strength. If we call a rank x2, that's 3 ranks and the weaker character wins about 7%, ties about 7%.
In FUDGE, each step of scale multiplies strength x1.5. Four steps of scale approximate strength x5, and a fifth step takes us to x7.5. A scale step is equation to an attribute step plus a gift, so this amounts to buying strength (or the relevant attribute) up from Fair to Legendary 2.

As for cost, a gift equates to two attribute levels, so this equates to fifteen attribute levels, or forty-five skill levels.

I might go with six scale steps, or x10 strength, just going from I-scale to D-scale in GURPS terms. That could be called ST 32, though of course in GURPS you rarely roll ST vs. ST, and there are no ST-based skills. It might be called 220 points. Since you're going to want the character to have some skills, you could either call it 250 points, or call it 200 points and take some disadvantages to get to 250.
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Old 10-31-2023, 04:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: supers: nine options

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In FUDGE, each step of scale multiplies strength x1.5.
That's familiar now you mention it. You'll probably want to use Scale mechanics rather than simply using ranks, though.
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Old 10-31-2023, 04:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: supers: nine options

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That's familiar now you mention it. You'll probably want to use Scale mechanics rather than simply using ranks, though.
I'm not sure what you mean when you say "ranks." I don't think of that as a FUDGE term. Can you give an example?
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Old 10-31-2023, 05:28 PM   #16
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Default Re: supers: nine options

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I'm not sure what you mean when you say "ranks." I don't think of that as a FUDGE term. Can you give an example?
Level, I guess is what Fudge calls it. Superb, Terrible, etc. Looking back at what you said, though, I think it's a moot point and I misinterpreted what you said.
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Old 10-31-2023, 05:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: supers: nine options

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I'm insufficiently familiar with how SW die rolling works to evaluate it.
Trait values -- attributes and skills -- are rated as one of the polyhedral dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12). A test rolls against a target number (TN) of 4; >= 4 is a success. Modifiers apply to the die roll, not the TN. So, an unmodified d4 is 25% chance of success, d6 is 50%, etc.

Trait tests and damage rolls can "explode" on the high end. If you roll the maximum value on that die, roll it again and add it to the first result (which was the max). This process can repeat, so you could theoretically roll a d6 for (say) 6+6+6+4 = 22.

Opposed rolls like a Strength-vs-Strength struggle are a roll from each side, where the high total wins. The TN isn't needed, as it's effectively the opponent's roll. Ties mean the struggle continues, or perhaps has a tied result if that's possible in narrative terms.

Just to make it even more complicated to work out odds of success in your head at the table, important characters, which includes all of the PCs and the important allies, villains, and significant monsters, are classified as "Wild Cards". Wild Cards get to roll a "Wild Die" -- a d6 -- along with their trait die, and take the better of the two as the result for that step. Ones on both dice (snake eyes) is a critical failure, where the GM makes up something bad to happen to you.

Note that with the Wild Die, either die could be its max, making the roll of the pair explode. And if you're rolling a d4 trait, the explosion trigger might not even be the max of the pair (d4=4, d6=5; that roll explodes, leading to 5+another roll).

It's easier to do than it is to describe, but not as simple as most systems.

"Bennies" are a hero/fate/destiny/karma point kind of resource. You get a few, can earn more during play. Spending one lets you reroll the entire test (not a single die) and keep the better result.
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Old 10-31-2023, 06:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: supers: nine options

SW without the wild die isn't too bad; if we want to compare a d6 to a d12+2, it's just
Code:
output [ explode 1d12 ] - [ explode 1d6 ] + 2
at anydice.com; a 0 is a tie, less than 0 is win for 1d6, greater is a win for 1d12+2. Which is a 13% win chance and 5% tie for the 1d6. Like Hero, it's not scale invariant unless both people are rolling d12+X. Adding the wild die is a bit of a mess.
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Old 10-31-2023, 08:26 PM   #19
whswhs
 
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Default Re: supers: nine options

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
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.
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. I think that's sufficient to rule that option out. I haven't been all that favorably impressed with SWD so far; I don't think I want to invest more in it just to investigate it as a possible option.

Thanks!
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Old 10-31-2023, 09:16 PM   #20
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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. I think that's sufficient to rule that option out. I haven't been all that favorably impressed with SWD so far; I don't think I want to invest more in it just to investigate it as a possible option.

Thanks!
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.

The biggest issue with SavW for supers is that the powers are VERY short durations -- most are in rounds.

Also note: the Wild Card/mook divide pervades the whole game. Also, a number of powers have a 1 on the just the trait die having side effects, and so does shooting into melee.

It may be a bit too low powered. But it's easy to run.

-=-=-=-=-

Champions/Hero System is the most flexible, but of the ones I know, only GURPS is as mathy. Like GURPS, the math is mostly preloaded.
Scale feels better for Champions to me, but your GURPS familiarity may make its value different

-=-=-=-=-

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.

-=-=-=-=-

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.

-=-=-=-=-

I've only run V&V once; it was NOT street level, due to a few lucky (and well witnessed) rolls... That was in 1987. And yes, we used the random gen... that didn't work out well.

-=-=-=-=-

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.

-=-=-=-=-

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.

Any 1's in the rolled pool cause problems, and can't be in the kept dice

It's more about social drama than superheroes, much like the show it's license was for.

-=-=-=-=-

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.

Which I use is audience dependent. And time, as well. AMSH I can walk someone through character gen in 15 min start to finish, +10 per additional person. All three have extensive lists of supers pregenned (AMSH the most, MHRP most in core. Sentinels, no one is going to know them unless they play one of the other games in the IP.)

Note that 4C system is a fairly true retroclone of MSH/AMSH.
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