Another Experiment!

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Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Tue Dec 06 2011, 08:57

As some of you may know, I've moaned once or twice about Golden Heroes street to (at best) mid level supers abilities and house ruled the heck out of it. We can continue as is (with more house ruling - the combat system using 2d10 is working well, in my opinion, and the mechanic for Dark Power is seemingly doing the job as well) but the point of the Lore Knights game is to try out other systems and find one that's:

  • Easy to play
  • Combat won't drag on and on
  • Covers our needs from street to the stars, so we're not limited to the kind of campaign that can be run
  • Works well over long term play


With that in mind I've been looking at various other systems (and still have a few to look at).

One such is the now defunct Marvel Universe RPG. That was a game that used no dice - it was purely resource management. The player decided whether their character succeeded by determining how much effort went into tasks. That was ok, and I can testify that it works well online, but there are limitations. When you run out of energy to use, you're pretty screwed, which is hardly what happens in the comics. Also the balancing of certain powers and abilities was off. If you had those powers/abilities you had a distinct advantages. It favoured those who knew the system inside out and how to 'min/max', leaving other players/characters like they'd fallen short.

Despite that it was easy to learn, fast to play and cheap to buy - for a time. It seems to be rising in price on ebay now (it's long out of print) and whilst there are PDFs out there, they aren't legal and some have been scanned in fuzzy vision - legible but hardly what you want to sit down and burn an hour or three of your life on, especially as the rules in places were a bit vague.

So I figured I'd house rule that, and it ended up with me putting more of my own spin on it than I thought. It is not finished. I'm still in the draft stage for Character Creation and Combat. Combat was actually pretty easy, but I won't get ahead of myself.

Rather than present great big posts of eye bleeding text I'll try to break it up with diagrams and pictures to explain the system I propose to use for the next round of the Lore Knights game. Both Davids participated in the last one, but anyone is welcome to join in. This game is first and foremost designed to try out and break/fix a rule system we can use for the Vanguard game.

So with that in mind expect a few posts over the coming days explaining the game system (as has been written so far. I started it, took the ideas from what I'd written and rewrote/refined it, then did it again. Currently on the 3rd refining process and that's just for the combat/task resolution section. After that I hope the 'fun' part - listing and balancing powers, and character creation - might come along faster.). I don't intend to rewrite the Marvel game from scratch, rather use certain sections of that and other games to improve on it. Players familiar with the Marvel game will recognise much of what I've written and be able to pick it up easily. Everyone else, well that's why I'm already on my third rewrite, to make it easier to understand.

The Vanguard game remains my priority, so this is 'done when its done' but I've been saying I'll do it for a while, time to get off my butt and and get on with it!

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Feel free to ask questions and join in

Post  Admin on Tue Dec 06 2011, 09:19

This is by no means a thread with a 'hands off!' sign stuck to it. If anyone has questions or queries, fire away. The stuff I write will be collated from/into a word and pdf document anyway, and I plan to use public domain art from out of print (public domain) comic books to break up walls of eye bleeding text.

Introduction

The Marvel Universe Role Playing game came out in around 2003. There were three books published (The Core game, Guide to the X men and Guide to the Avengers) with the fourth (guide to Spiderman) not seeing the light of day until a fan made book appeared. It was dropped by marvel when they realised they wouldn't make millions of pounds out of it - their previous efforts (the TSR game in the 80s and the Card based Saga game) met with varying degrees of success, but RPGs are not as high profile these days when kids can turn on a ps3 or xbox.

There is a forum that is still active and supporting the game ( [url=http://www.murpg.proboards.com ]MURPG game board[/url] ) but as with anything over time there are different interpretations of rules and house rules (some of which are a good idea, some less so) that the core game becomes fragmented.

I played/GM'd on that board for a few years before taking a break of around 4 years (in which time I started this game up after the Executive/Lore Knights games some of us played in fizzled out) so I know the system reasonably well, and think we could adapt it to suit our needs. I'll add more info when I get chance (typing this whilst I'm at work).

What follows is the proposed system I'm working on, rather than the old Marvel game itself.

TASK RESOLUTION

The core of the game is this:

  • The player decides to have their character attempt a task
  • The GM decides on a difficulty number
  • The player uses an Ability, Power or Skill (APS) to use for that task
  • Compare the number rating (from 0 upwards) of the players APS to the Difficulty Number
  • If the APS rating exceeds the Difficulty Number, the task succeeds. If it equals or is lower than the Difficulty Number, the task fails


That's the basics.

Then we have:

  • Some tasks are made harder because of circumstances surrounding the task and the character. In these cases their APS (Ability, Power or Skill being tested) may not be enough.
  • The player can then spend energy points from a pool to boost their APS up to double its value, and can increase it beyond that by spending an ever increasing cost of energy points.
  • Energy points are not unlimited. They recover at a certain rate when expended. If you don't have any energy points, you can still act, but can only call on the APS rating, rather than increasing it.


Example Time:

The Vigilante known as Kestrel tries to climb a wall. The GM rules that the character uses their Climbing skill, if they have it, or their Agility skill as a fall back (but that will increase the difficulty of the task). Kestrel has a Climbing Skill of 5 (a rating of 2 is an average adults score in most stats and any skills they may have, so 5 makes Kestrel a World Class Climber). The GM describes the wall as being sheer, with few hand holds, slick with rain and there's a wind blowing. In addition he is being hunted by vigilant guards with dogs and can't hang about. With that in mind the player figures that even Kestrels 5 Climbing might not do the job. He spends 4 of his energy points (from his pool of 12) to boost it to 9 points. The GM compares with the difficulty of 6 (having not told the player what the score required is. The GM started with 3 difficulty and boosted it because of the weather, darkness and guards). The player needed 7 or more to exceed the Difficulty number, so Kestrel climbs the wall easily.

That's a basic example. I've written a mechanic for accomplishing long, drawn out tasks (for instance if the character wanted to climb a mountain instead) and it seems to work ok.

Basically you use whatever Ability, Power or Skill is appropriate and add energy if you think you need it to exceed the difficulty number. All that needs to be kept track of in the game is the energy pool, health points of the character (for damage) and hero points, which add a boost when the character needs it (effects still on the drawing board for that)

Right, duty calls, more later.
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Abilities and Basic Combat

Post  Admin on Tue Dec 06 2011, 23:27

Abilities are a measure of how smart, strong, fast, agile and tough the character is. They are:

Intelligence - not just a measure of education, but a characters ability to think their way out of situations and figure out solutions to problems, as well as recall facts. It's also used to resist mental attacks. A smarter person will have more self control and therefore be better able to shrug off mental command and blasts, though to be sure you need the Power of Mental Defence.

Agility - balance, hand/eye coordination, accuracy and flexibility, Agility is all that. Vital in combat, for many physical skills and activities, and for getting into and out of places that an ordinary person would cringe at.

Speed - reflexes, speed of thought and body, the ability to think fast and react faster. Speed allows the character to run quicker than a normal person if it's highly rated, but unless the character has a movement power, they can't use it to move at superhuman speed, even if it's rated above 3 (the fastest sprinter runs at 3 speed, which is the cap for movement unless the character has a movement power which allows them to access their full speed, and perhaps more besides). Used to determine initiative in combat when it matters (melee combat generally occurs at the same time, but ranged combat, mental combat, movement and other options may need an initiative test)

Strength - not just brawn and lifting ability, but the ability to properly utilise that strength. used in combat to inflict damage, or, in some cases, for extremely strong characters to use when attacking. They have no finesse, but simply flail angrily at their foes, and for very strong superhumans, it's often effective! Adds to Health points.

Durability - a measure of stamina, toughness and ability to withstand damage. Determines health points and energy points, and can provide a last ditch defence against blunt/nonlethal damage in combat (such as that from fists and clubs, but not knives, bullets or energy blasts).

Health Points - these are calculated by multiplying Durability x3, plus Strength x 1. A normal person has 8 health (2 durability and 2 Strength). Kestrel, with 4 Durability and Strength, has 16 health, bordering on superhuman.

Energy - A character has 3x Durability in their energy pool, and when they recover energy points, they gain their Durability score back. Energy points can be reduced if the character has taken damage. Their maximum energy drops to half when the character is reduced to half health, and 1/4 when reduced to 1/4 health, but their recovery rate (equal to Durability) stays the same regardless of damage taken.

Hero Points - used when the character needs to pull their fat out of the fire. For those "I SAY THEE... NAY!" moments when the hero is on the ropes and going down, but somehow pulls off a win. Use sparingly, because they are handed out for good roleplaying and when used, are gone! The only way to get them back is by good roleplaying!

There is also another important ability : Combat skill

This is figured by adding Intelligence, Agility and Speed together.
In melee combat a character can instead use Strength to substitute for Intelligence and Agility, useful for big, brutish types (with smaller heroes often exclaiming "How can something so big move so FAST!" )

=========

Combat takes place either at melee or missile range (usually 3m or more away).

How it works in Melee is this:

  • Both combatants choose whether to add energy to attack, damage, or defence.

  • Each combatant adds their Combat skill + an appropriate Skill (like Close Combat or Ranged Combat) + the number of energy points they put into attack.

  • Compare the two totals. The highest total wins, and the difference between the two scores is called Accuracy.

  • Add to accuracy damage from strength, any weapon used, and any appropriate power for a damage total, and add any energy spent on damage.

  • The Defender reduces damage from any defence + energy spent on defence, and the remainder is taken from Health.

EXAMPLE:

A ninja (Intelligence 3, Speed 3, Agility 3, Strength 3, Durability 3, Close Combat 4, 9 energy, 12 Health, using nun-chucks giving +3 damage) takes on Bullet Fist (Intelligence 5, Speed 4, Agility 5, Strength 8, Durability 6, Close Combat 5, Energy 18, 20 Health, 4 Toughness)

The Ninja has an attack of 9 (from Combat Skill, which is Intelligence + Agility +Speed) + Close Combat of 4. The GM boosts this with energy by 9 points to 22. The Ninja has no energy left.

Bullet Fist has an attack of 14 + Close Combat of 5. His player boosts the attack by 6 points (up to 25) and damage by 4 points. Bullet Fist has 8 energy left.

Bullet Fist gets the higher total (25 vs 22) by 3 points (this is called Accuracy). He then adds Strength ( 8 ) and 4 points from energy (which would have been wasted had he not got the higher attack total) for a total of 15. The Ninja deducts this from his health of 12, and is knocked clean out, clattering against a wall!

Bullet Fist looks about, hides the unconscious Ninja, and moves on.


A note on adding Energy.

At most times a player/the GM can add energy to boost an APS or Combat Skill up to double their normal value for 1 round on a 1 for 1 point basis. They can boost beyond that, but it costs more:



So for example, Bullet Fist could boost his attack from 19 to 37 by spending all 18 energy points on his attack. If he's attacking a tough foe he might want to boost his damage to overcome any resistance, and may want to save some energy to boost his own resistance. If he wanted to boost his strength, it would cost 8 points to bring it up to 16, then looking at the table it would cost 2 points to bring it to 17, 3 points to bring it to 18, 4 points to bring it to 19 and so on. At some point you'll run out of energy, so whilst you can exceed your limits, it will cost you!

The trick with combat is knowing when to attack, when to hang back and avoid a blow (dodging allows you to effectively double one of your Abilities for one round to help with avoiding blows, but after that round the character must wait a round before being able to dodge again) and when to pile everything in to overwhelm the other characters' defence and lay them out! Adding to damage means that even if a character only scores 1 point of accuracy, in melee they add all of their strength plus any energy they boosted it by. You could instead boost the attack by as much as you can to ensure you hit (and each point of accuracy inflicts 1 damage as well) but depending on your energy total it may make more sense to boost damage (or boost both to cover all your options Smile ). It's always useful to set some aside fro defence as well. There are several defensive options. One reduces the accuracy of an attack (if it reduces accuracy to zero the attack misses) and is called Reflexive Dodge. It's extremely expensive though can be boosted by energy. A cheaper option is Toughness, which reduces damage from all incoming attacks by its value, and can be boosted with energy which helps when facing heavy hitters!.

Durability is the last ditch option for reducing damage from blunt nonlethal attacks. A character can spend up to their Durability value in energy points to reduce this kind of damage, but must pay the exceeding APS limits costs for any reduction beyond that.

e.g. Chrome has 5 Durability and gets punched in the face. His player spends 5 energy to reduce the damage by 5 points, then spends another 5 points to reduce it by a further 2 points (look on the table for costs). That's cost 10 energy to reduce the damage by 7 points.

Energy is recovered at the characters Durability score at the beginning of every round in combat, so Bullet Fist recovers 6 points at the start of a new round with his 6 Durability, the Ninja would have recovered 3 points, and Chrome would recover 5 points. Outside of combat the energy recovery occurs every hour. Only during combat is the adrenaline rush pushing the character to their maximum!



NOTE: I'm still in the draft stage for this, so juggling figures about. Energy and Health scores, for instance, may be multiplied by a higher amount depending on whether it makes fights last longer for dramatic effect. We don't want them to be over too soon, after all...

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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Wed Dec 07 2011, 19:37

Admin wrote:


e.g. Chrome has 5 Durability and gets punched in the face. His player spends 5 energy to reduce the damage by 5 points, then spends another 5 points to reduce it by a further 2 points (look on the table for costs). That's cost 10 energy to reduce the damage by 7 points.

Ok I follow everything you've said so far, (more on that in a moment) but I didn't get where the figures where coming from in this example.

The way I am reading the table (and therefore I know I need clarity) is that you said he bosts by 5, that is 5 over the APS(?) which according to column 2 is a cost of six but a total cost of 20?!!! This I don't get at all.

First why two figures and second presumable the second column (far right) counts as the final cost - or else what is it there for? Second I have no idea how these figures add up. So the second line talks about over aps by 2 but the cost is 3 is that 3 per point over 1 - which should indicate a total cost of 6 but its 5? See my confusion.

Ok so onto how do I read this. Man this sounds simple but as always very abstract until we start to play it. To be honest with you Paul, on one level I read this and my head spins, on another level if feel if I started playing not knowing all this, would I have enough to go on so as to be able to play smart at all? I guess what would be better is a half way house. Maybe play though rounds of limited combat where you introduce the different elements much like you do in a game where you go through a tutorial level.

I don't need spoon feeding me, but a starter adventure where we actually play through the rules.

Secondly my big worry about this (unfounded or not) is resource management v poor choices - either over doing it or being over cautious v needing help because we put it all on strength (Hulk Smassssh etc). I am concerned that our characters will be the same, but as players we'll be less able because we're learning the rules, by which we determine our characters actions - so the normally dashing and able Anyman suddenly appears to have a glass jaw and keeps getting his teeth kicked in. Do you see what I mean. I kinda of want a run through or six, before I get let loose on anything other than a crash test PC.

Otherwise ok.

Sj
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Wed Dec 07 2011, 21:55

I'm confused by the chart too. The example doesn't make any sense with that chart. heck, the example didn't make sense to me at all. My head was bleeding by the third sentence.

I for one hate energy points. It's the greatest weakness to SquadronUK and other hero games. A guy with fists can always swing away but a guy with energy blasts can't fire away as much? It does pretty much force everyone to have some level of superstrength or weapon attack skills because you are only shooting two rounds out of five.

I found that out fast with Wandafar. Fired his two rounds and then got out of the way for three rounds. And in a PBEM game that could mean he didn't do anything else for a few weeks. Or swing away and do 1d6 points of damage that most basic armor and padded suits would absorb.

And I hate energy points for determining how much damage you can do and how often you can do damage. And I don't like the idea of using them to absorb damage either, that's what Armor and Toughness are for. Now you could take something like that Durability score and determine how many rounds of combat you could be active in before needing to take a breather. That might work.

Say I have a Durability of 3 and you have a Durability of 7, if I can't beat you in those three rounds, I am going to probably lose, unless you are a megalomaniac and I can sweet talk you into stopping your attack on me while you regale me with your plans to take over the world and give me a round or two to get my wind back and attack you again.... bounce

I would like to suggest the Bimbo Points alternative instead of Hero Points and instead of using energy to increase your abilities, damages, skills or whatever. It's from the Femforce RPG. Hard to find on Ebay at a cheap price. I think 40 dollars American was what I last saw the game listed at.

Basically, your powers and skills do what your powers and skills do. You are basically world class in your skills, not some novice who needs training. If you want to do something above and beyond what you can normally do with your powers or skills, like climbing a sheer wall in the middle of a storm or do extra damage or you can only lift two tons but need to lift a five ton rock off an ally before they are crushed to death by it. You declare a bimbo point and automatically succeed.

If you want to do something that would be incredibly hard or impossible to do but still almost within the realm of possibility, you declare two bimbo points. Something like an archer who is tied up and can only use his feet to fire his bow, using his teeth to pull the string, to bounce the shot off a couple of walls to strike a button that stops the Doomsday device from going off that he can only see by the reflection of it in a computer screen.

The GM would decide if it is a one or two bimbo point event if there is any question as to costs.

If you want to do something your powers normally don't let you do at all, you declare Three Bimbo Points. And you succeed. Something like Anyman shifting into the form of a large red dragon and breathing fire at someone. He can normally shift into a small red dragon but not a large one and he can't breath fire at all so this would normally be beyond the scope of his powers. This would also cover something like using the Dark Powers since we are going beyond what we normally can do.

And a character can only collect so many Bimbo Points before he has to "pay" for it. And until he pays for it, he can't call upon them again. Depending on how many times you want us to use the Dark Powers in combat, that could be as low as three BPs or maybe as high as 12 BPs, which would be using it four times in combat, or higher. [It kind of disturbs me we are at a point where we pretty much have to use the Dark Powers when we are in combat in order to succeed. We do lose the unique flavor of our own power sets because of that.]

"PAYING" for it would or could be a subplot event or something that happens during some other event. Femforce had a chart where you could randomly roll to see what events would happen. They ran the gamut from "bad date" to "costume falls off/blasted off in public" to "IRS audit" to "loss of powers" to "change in powers" to "swapping bodies with someone/friend/foe" to "death of a family member" to "kidnapped" and "replaced on team by duplicate" to "you are about to be knighted and you let out such a huge fart it can be heard all over the hall" to "your friends now look like your enemies while in battle and your enemies now look like your friends".

Once you survived or went through this event then your BP counter reset to zero and you could use them again as you needed them.

No math involved in using something like this. Player declares what he wants to do and what he thinks it should costs in BPs and the GM decides if he agrees with the cost or not and if not, tells the player what he thinks it should cost and see if the player wants to do it anyway.

And we could call it something other than Bimbo Points - Fate Powers; Hero Points; Karma Points; Kismet Points, Reality Points, whatever you want. We can set up a quick easy to read chart of what certain actions would costs in these points and use that to determine costs for other comperable actions not listed.
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Wed Dec 07 2011, 23:16

Plenty to go at there.

Right, first of all the wording on the table is probably wrong. I will remove the middle column completely. All you then have to choose is how many points you wish to go beyond double the Ability/power/Skill and look at the total cost. Apologies!

With the Durability example, that is a form of defence that does not reduce damage at all unless you spend energy. I plan several kinds of damage avoidance options:

1) Reflexive Dodge - reduces ACCURACY and so might allow the character to completely avoid damage at all. Very, very expensive in terms of cost to buy for the character. If two characters fight each other, and one exceeds the others score by 5 points, that's accuracy of 5. If the character who's been hit has 5 Reflexive Dodge, they avoid the hit completely. if they have 4 or less Reflexive dodge, they get hit and the attacker then adds damage from their strength, power, weapon or whatever they are using.

2) Toughness - this is straight damage reduction. If you have 5 toughness and get hit for 10 damage, it reduces damage to 5 points.

3) Energy Defence - no effect against physical attacks but very effective at reducing energy based damage like fire, cold, radiation and force energy (e.g. Cyclops).

4) Force Field - reduces all kinds of damage by its value. Very effective, Very Defensive.

5) Durability - this does not reduce damage in any way! What it allows you to do is spend energy to reduce bashing, non lethal damage (like a punch or being hit by a stick) by 1 point per energy point spent up to the characters Durability score, then paying more energy for reducing damage beyond that (see the confusing chart. D'oh.) It's a means for those without any other more effective form of defence to reduce damage at the cost of energy



Say a character with 4 durability gets punched for 10 points of damage. They can spend 4 energy to reduce the damage by 4 points. To reduce it by a further 3 points of damage costs 9 energy points, making it very expensive indeed!

Ok, hopefully that is a bit clearer now the table is fixed.

The original Marvel Universe game had energy points for everything. Basically, to do anything at all you had to spend energy, and if you were out of it you were properly screwed.

I've changed that with this set of mechanics. If you have an energy blast of 9 you can use it every round at level 9. If you have 6 strength, every round you can use 6 strength. If you have no energy at all, it doesn't matter, because you still have your Abilities/powers/Skills to fall back on.

Energy is a way to boost your APS beyond their normal limits. I wanted a mechanic that would give the player total control over the fight, without hoping and praying that the dice would go their way. Go on the offensive, or leave some back for defence? Save all the energy you can this round and dodge incoming blows so you can pound the opponent into mush next round? That's you call. Boost your normal Energy blast from 7 to 14? That will cost 7 energy points.

Energy points are there so the character can put their maximum effort in. Effectively, the APS ratings are 'half power' of their potential maximum, and even then, you can exceed those limits by spending more energy. Want to really smash that bad guy into the sky with your punch? Use energy to boost strength from whatever it is, then spend extra on top. The bad guy will surely feel that.

Energy points aren't the be all and end all. If your character is built in such a way that their APS are highly rated, they may not even need much in the way of energy at all. Take Superman, as a character. Through most of his adventures over the years he's just about sleep walked through them all, barely being pushed to his theoretical maximums until he was depowered with the Byrne reboot in the 80s. After that time he was knocked silly by everything he came across. Made the character more appealing but for some he didn't feel like Superman.

I might separate Health Points and Energy Points from Durability, or figure it in such a way that Durability only covers one of those aspects (probably Health) with the energy pool bought separately. Heck, you could build a character in such a way that they don't have energy at all, but they won't be able to increase their normal power levels, so you'd need to buy them high enough.

I hope this makes clearer the way energy points work. You can blast every round, punch with full strength, fight at full effectiveness, every round, Energy points give you a chance to increase that, and as a player it's up to you how you spend it. Going up against a powerful strong type? Dodge around for a while, wear his energy pool down a bit, then pile yours all in to flatten him. Use toughness to reduce damage and if its not enough, spend energy to up it. Lock pick skill of 4 might not be good enough? Spend energy, boost it.

Energy points remove the need for dice, which as we know throw out all sorts of nutty results. I originally wanted to use a 1D10 roll to add to APS and ditch energy, but we're back to the old scenario where a lousy series of dice rolls can ruin things.

David M, I'll take your post in sections and comment...
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Wed Dec 07 2011, 23:36

DavidMcMahon wrote:I'm confused by the chart too. The example doesn't make any sense with that chart. heck, the example didn't make sense to me at all. My head was bleeding by the third sentence.

Oops. Sad

I for one hate energy points. It's the greatest weakness to SquadronUK and other hero games. A guy with fists can always swing away but a guy with energy blasts can't fire away as much? It does pretty much force everyone to have some level of superstrength or weapon attack skills because you are only shooting two rounds out of five.

I found that out fast with Wandafar. Fired his two rounds and then got out of the way for three rounds. And in a PBEM game that could mean he didn't do anything else for a few weeks. Or swing away and do 1d6 points of damage that most basic armor and padded suits would absorb.

And I hate energy points for determining how much damage you can do and how often you can do damage. And I don't like the idea of using them to absorb damage either, that's what Armor and Toughness are for. Now you could take something like that Durability score and determine how many rounds of combat you could be active in before needing to take a breather. That might work.

Say I have a Durability of 3 and you have a Durability of 7, if I can't beat you in those three rounds, I am going to probably lose, unless you are a megalomaniac and I can sweet talk you into stopping your attack on me while you regale me with your plans to take over the world and give me a round or two to get my wind back and attack you again.... bounce

That's kind of what happened in the Marvel Universe game. You unloaded everything in the first round, then were on the defensive until you recovered enough energy to have another go. Energy blast in GH is much the same. With the previous post I hope I explained some of what I was aiming for. You can blast every round at your full APS rating without spending a single energy point. Have 10 energy blast? Great! You can blast away with 10 Energy Blast every round. At any point if you wanted to boost it, add energy points. If you don't add energy? You can still use 10 Energy blast without it, as many times as you like,

I would like to suggest the Bimbo Points alternative instead of Hero Points and instead of using energy to increase your abilities, damages, skills or whatever. It's from the Femforce RPG. Hard to find on Ebay at a cheap price. I think 40 dollars American was what I last saw the game listed at.

Basically, your powers and skills do what your powers and skills do. You are basically world class in your skills, not some novice who needs training. If you want to do something above and beyond what you can normally do with your powers or skills, like climbing a sheer wall in the middle of a storm or do extra damage or you can only lift two tons but need to lift a five ton rock off an ally before they are crushed to death by it. You declare a bimbo point and automatically succeed.

If you want to do something that would be incredibly hard or impossible to do but still almost within the realm of possibility, you declare two bimbo points. Something like an archer who is tied up and can only use his feet to fire his bow, using his teeth to pull the string, to bounce the shot off a couple of walls to strike a button that stops the Doomsday device from going off that he can only see by the reflection of it in a computer screen.

The GM would decide if it is a one or two bimbo point event if there is any question as to costs.

That's what I was getting at from the first post in this discussion, but I guess something got lost in translation. I agree with you. Batman is a world class at... well, everything. He doesn't do one thing then stagger about, panting. Put it this way. Using the Energy Points mechanic would allow Batman the chance to stand toe to to with Superman when they have one of their disagreements. Let's face it, Superman is in several leagues higher than everyone. Energy Points and skillful use make the battle more interesting and less predictable than the inevitable first round knockout to the man in blue tights.

If you want to do something your powers normally don't let you do at all, you declare Three Bimbo Points. And you succeed. Something like Anyman shifting into the form of a large red dragon and breathing fire at someone. He can normally shift into a small red dragon but not a large one and he can't breath fire at all so this would normally be beyond the scope of his powers. This would also cover something like using the Dark Powers since we are going beyond what we normally can do.

And a character can only collect so many Bimbo Points before he has to "pay" for it. And until he pays for it, he can't call upon them again. Depending on how many times you want us to use the Dark Powers in combat, that could be as low as three BPs or maybe as high as 12 BPs, which would be using it four times in combat, or higher. [It kind of disturbs me we are at a point where we pretty much have to use the Dark Powers when we are in combat in order to succeed. We do lose the unique flavor of our own power sets because of that.]

I'm still working on the Hero point mechanic. I'll listen to any/all suggestions but the mechanic would have to do more than simply boost a characters normal abilities, like energy does.

"PAYING" for it would or could be a subplot event or something that happens during some other event. Femforce had a chart where you could randomly roll to see what events would happen. They ran the gamut from "bad date" to "costume falls off/blasted off in public" to "IRS audit" to "loss of powers" to "change in powers" to "swapping bodies with someone/friend/foe" to "death of a family member" to "kidnapped" and "replaced on team by duplicate" to "you are about to be knighted and you let out such a huge fart it can be heard all over the hall" to "your friends now look like your enemies while in battle and your enemies now look like your friends".

Once you survived or went through this event then your BP counter reset to zero and you could use them again as you needed them.

No math involved in using something like this. Player declares what he wants to do and what he thinks it should costs in BPs and the GM decides if he agrees with the cost or not and if not, tells the player what he thinks it should cost and see if the player wants to do it anyway.

And we could call it something other than Bimbo Points - Fate Powers; Hero Points; Karma Points; Kismet Points, Reality Points, whatever you want. We can set up a quick easy to read chart of what certain actions would costs in these points and use that to determine costs for other comperable actions not listed.

So Bimbo points represent the unexpected, the 'pulling fat out of the fire', as Batman does with his utility belt, Superman does when he's dying with a lump of Kryptonite nearby, Iron Man does when his armour has conked out? No actual boost to APS but instead some unexpected effect, edge or occurrence that saves the characters' bacon? Maybe they should be called Karma Points instead of Hero points.

Food for thought. In my next post I will run a combat example, and we'll pull it to bits.

in summary:

Your APS ratings (Abilities, powers, Skills) can be used at any time at their normal level.

Energy points are used to boost your normal APS ratings beyond their normal limits, up to double their value.

You can go beyond double their value, but it costs dear in terms of energy.

Energy can be used to attack, increase damage or absorb damage, your call. The points boost your existing APS (save in the case of Durability - see the last post)

Hero/Karma/Bimbo points do something beneficial for your character, whether it be lucky, planned, or straight up amazing. Spiderman beat Firelord once. He probably couldn't do it again, and using most games mechanics, he couldn't do it. I hoped, with this one, he could.

Anyhow, see what you think. I'll rewrite what I need to make it easier to understand, but would like to run an adventure with it, pure to iron out bugs and see how it plays, plus fix stuff that needs it.
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Thu Dec 08 2011, 00:27

Any new powers with this new set of rules or new skills?

For example, I for one would love some kind of generic "all movement powers" and "survive in changeable environment power" power to go with Putty's shapeshifting ability so when he takes the form a a bird, he can fly high without losing consciousness, when he takes the form of a cheetah or stetches his legs out 20m, he can run faster than human or when he is in the form of a shark, he can breathe and swim underwater. He forms himself into a large kite, he can float. etc.

And more I think about it the more I think we should call them Reality Points rather than Hero Points, since you are basically changing reality in your favor, not the odds but actual reality. rendeer
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Dec 08 2011, 07:09

I wanted to add my two penny worth in as well...

Firstly I am so relieved to hear you talk about APS points giving a certain level to do stuff, its so annoying to go from hero to zero with the current system and get a pasting when you energy levels drop to 0 and you've still got 3 rounds to go. Why not just take strength with everything?

Secondly I don't know if you saw it, but I think Dave makes a really important point that wasn't picked up:

DavidMcMahon wrote:It kind of disturbs me we are at a point where we pretty much have to use the Dark Powers when we are in combat in order to succeed. We do lose the unique flavor of our own power sets because of that.

Whilst I wouldn't say it disturbs me, I have found myself using DPP more and more, partly because its easier, but as a result, I find myself (and Dave even more so) pulling powers like their sweets in a pick a mix shop. And though this has been fun, and appropriate for the level of threat we are facing, my worry is the Genie is out of the bag and it won't go back in.

I say this, not because I haven't enjoyed the bigger threats (verity is good) but I prefer Spiderman/Batman level, personally. Which I think comes back to Dave's second comment in that sentence above,
"our unique power set".
I like being Frostbite, or Lionheart - I like the big powers, I don't mind evolving and changing but I also don't mind going down a level from time to time as well.

I love what you're doing Paul, so I say all this with a healthy does of appreciation, I couldn't manage the level you do. But if I had the chance to comment, I'd agree with these points Dave is making.

Finally one other thing - lets stick with the name Hero points, that is how their gained and that is how they should be spent - being heroic in the line of duty. How you administer them is fine, but the point being that they are their to service the point of us being heros, its not all about power but about Character or a willingness to take up great responsibility.

Just my 2p

Sj
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Thu Dec 08 2011, 09:02

Point taken - and with regards the Dark Power, it's a necessary evil if we want to mix the campaign up some. As you know the GH game is firmly rooted in street-mid level, and arguably that's where the fun comes from. Lately I'll grant you that you've needed to call on the Dark Power to deal with threats too powerful for your own powers. That left me with two options - keep you at or around the same level and keep the threat level to suit, or use the Dark Power as a boost when needed, rather than being at that level all the time (and that really would get tiresome, fast). However, with your (valid) comments in mind I will steer us on a different path from the one I had planned to resolve the 'Dark power taking over' issue at least for a while. You may have to call on it a while longer (rather than completely reboot the adventure we're on now) but after that you should be plain, old Frostbite, Putty, Sentinel, Sky Eagle with your powers as per the sheet. I'd already planted the seeds of that thought when the Dark Shadows offered a truce to Frostbite to combat the threat of the Devourer, so we'll go with that. Feedback always welcome, and acted on.

I've been thinking about both of your comments/criticisms on the energy points thing, and ran a sample combat which I was going to post in here. Basically, the all round guy with more energy mopped the floor with the big bruising guy with strength and toughness, high health but lower energy. Fight was over in about three rounds. So much for his toughness!

So it's back to the drawing board.

Think I'll aim for 2D10+APS vs target number.

Combat will be combat score vs combat score (a mixture of stats) +2d10 each (dice explode on doubles). Highest total 'wins' that round.

Damage is equal to the APS being used (Strength, Energy Blast, a weapon etc) with every 3 (or 5?) points difference between hit rolls added as 1 point damage.

E.g.

A Nazi goon takes on Anyman

Anyman has 6 Intelligence, 5 Agility, 4 Perception, total 15. He adds a relevant combat skill (if he has one) which is boxing:2. Total 17. He adds 2D10, roll 5+6 (11). Total 28

Nazi Goon has 2 Intelligence, 4 Agility, 4 Perception, total 10. He adds relevant combat skill (he has martial arts:3). Total 13. He adds 2d10, roll 7 and 1 (8). Total 21.

7 points difference so Anyman wins and adds +2 damage (+1 per 3 points difference) to his strength of 7 for 9 damage. The Nazi has toughness of 3, so reduces damage to 6 points. He takes 6 points from his Htc (or just keep one health point total?)

A hero point (instead of energy, or anything else) would allow the player to add an extra 2D10 to their roll then pick which two dice to use, discarding the rest. If the initial roll (before any hero point roll) comes up double 1, it's a critical failure.

Example:

In the next round the Nazi goon uses a Hero point. The GM rolls 2D10, then an extra 2d10 (after the first lot didn't come up with double 1). He picks 6+6 from the four dice, and discards the other two. This 'explodes' and gives another 2 dice, which roll a total of 7. Total roll 19, added to his Attack score of 13 for 32. Anyman got a roll of 14 (8+6) to add to his total of 17 for 31. The Nazi wins this round, and inflicts his strength (10) vs Anymans Toughness (7) for 3 health (or htc or whatever) damage.

With dice the unexpected can (and do!) rear their heads, whilst Hero points act as an equaliser of sorts, allowing you to roll extra dice and pick the two you want whilst disregarding the rest. Still no guarantee, but it helps increase the odds.

See what you think with that.

How about: To accomplish tasks, assume that a character needs to get a total of 10 or more (representing 100% success) over the tasks difficulty number. If picking a lock is rated at 4 Difficulty, you need to get a total of roll+APS over 14 or more to succeed, with each attempt taking a certain amount of time. Some tasks will allow you to 'chip away' at the difficulty, others require that you start again. In this case, you either open the lock, or you don't.

Climbing a mountain (or performing another long, drawn out task) might be different. The Difficulty is 3 so the target number is 13. But it's a big mountain, so the task number is 30. Every point you roll over 13 reduces the task number, so if your expert climber (6 climbing) gets a roll of 19 for a total of 25 he exceeds the difficulty number by 12 and chips the task number down to 18 (from 30). Next roll, he gets a total of 18, 5 points over, so chips the task number to 13. Next roll, he gets a double (8+8) then rolls 11 for a total of 29, plus climbing of 6 for a total of 35. This is 22 points over the difficulty, which reduces the task number to zero, meaning the character succeeds. It took 3 rolls to climb the mountain, and each roll is assumed to have taken around 1 hour in time for the character, so in 3 hours, they get to the top of the mountain. A normal climber (skill 2) would need to use various climbing aids and ropes so failure would not have them tumbling down, and might eventually chip away at the mountain climb in 10-15 hours, depending on rolls. They might give in instead - "If at first you don’t succeed, give up, no use being a damn fool" - or some such.

When one character opposes another at a task, it's a straight APS +2d10 vs the other, higher wins.

e.g. Frostbite holds a door closed against a Nazi goon. The goon has 8 strength, Frostbite has 6. Roll 2D10 and add to strength each. If Frostbite gets higher, he holds the door closed. Otherwise the Nazi crashes in and rolls his neck, grinning evilly as he pops his knuckles and closes in on our hero.

I'll get back to our scheduled program today (updates). Don't want this to take up more time that it has to.
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Dec 08 2011, 17:36

Paul just got in, will be out again soon, so no time to write quickly on this. But please do not change anything as regards the current storyline. At some point, yes I'd like to return to street level fighting, but just as that can be boring if that is all we did, so cosmic level could in time also get tedious but its not the case right now. You work so hard, (and I know what its like to come up with long term plans) so please feel free to continue as is, but perhaps at some point we could move between them a bit more.

For me this is why we have an ensemble group, individually we can play adventures that suit one power level (like Spidey and Batman) and then together we can face larger threats. I realise you've got a lot of plot threads dangling, but unlike D&D where characters only go in one direction, in a supers game that needn't be the case, so lets play with it - but since this is the first I've spoken of it (I had to sound critical and I didn't wish to discourage you) please don't change anything, but just work it in once the current crop of plans is worked out.

I'll read through the rest and comment more later.

Thanks

Dave
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Dec 08 2011, 20:10

Ok I am good with the latest round of changes, but I thought we were trying to get away from dice. Please can we get away from using dice?

Personally though I don't mind rolling them in front of me, rolling them over the net, seems to be jiggered. I just can't seem to get good rolls when it comes to, well pretty much anything. I remember when I first rolled up Frostbite, not realising that we could pick powers so I rolled randomly. And I think in my first fight I had to be helped as I was severely trounced against that robot and had to have you reconfigure my powers to allow me not to die.

Personally I'd like to see the end of dice, and yes go with power points as first suggested.

But one thing worries me and I am not sure we can resolve it until we actually start trying the system out (come on no more talk lets try a few rounds) is whether you need to tell us the target numbers we're trying to exceed? Or else we'd be spending points like its going out of fashion and perhaps falling fowl of to poor resource management? What do you think.

Sj
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Thu Dec 08 2011, 20:38

Hmmm ... target numbers. Yeah, being told what are target number is might help or might slow us down. Dice over the net are tricky. Right now, I prefer the GM do the rolling because if it is really really bad, he might fudge to keep the character alive. What a Face

Another thing we haven't really talked about - weaknesses. This game isn't designed to encourage weaknesses. Other than roleplaying there is no advantage to having any. I would like to see us try something that would encourage the use of weakness by giving us an advantage for doing so, not just for roleplaying purposes.

How about we get a free permanent hero point for every weakness we take? With a maximum number of weaknesses allowed. These could be something that restricts powers or is some kind of psychological weakness.

Example: Anyman has an aversion to acid attacks or even the threat of acid around him due to how his face and hands were originally destroyed. It's been played a couple of times, making him hesitate or fearful or irrational for a short bit.

Another example: I mentioned a new kind of environmental comfort power a post or two back, so one could survive in great heat, cold, lower oxygen or even underwater. Anyman could take a limitation on it that he doesn't get it unless he is in some form that would normally have it - Polar Bear, Camel, Shark, etc.

In either example, he would get a permanent HP that someone else who had the exact same powers but didn't take any limitations would not get.

Just a thought.

Also, lets try a few rounds of this new idea. Instead of doing a story, why not convert our own characters over to this new system and have them go at each other, fighting and skill challengers? That would show up any apparently weaknesses and strengths fairly quickly.

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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Thu Dec 08 2011, 21:44

I just got in from work (Man, it is WILD out there!) and need to dry off (been drenched and dried out three times today - literally look like I have been pulled through a hedge).

How about this:

fixed energy points. Everyone gets 20 (or some number we agree on) energy points to spend as they want and they recover every , what, 5 rounds? 3 rounds? use them as your dice rolls, so to speak? So you have 6 strength, boost it to 12? that will cost 6 points from your pool of 20.

Dunno, open to ideas to get away from dice. More after I've dried off!
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Fri Dec 09 2011, 00:59

Another alternative to using dice...

The Marvel Saga game used Cards. I'm not an expert on it, but here's the lowdown:

Your character has Abilities/Powers/Skills as usual. Each is rated from 1 point upwards.

The character also has Edge (which is a measure of experience and standing, so that Captain America has 4 edge, having been around forever. Spiderman is pretty experienced and resourceful with edge 3. Human Torch is a one trick pony (the fire thing), but has still gotten out of scrapes, so has edge 2) and Hand Size. Hand size determines how many cards the character holds at any one time. Cards have a number value from 1 to 10 and a 'trump value' of one of the following; Strength, Agility, Willpower, Intellect.

How it works:

The player is dealt the cards for the character. Whenever the character does anything, they use an Ability/power/Skill and pick a card to use and add its value to the A/P/S being used.
If the cards value is equal to or less than the characters edge, they can use another card as well. If that is equal/lower they can continue the process, adding low value cards.
If the trump on the card matches the Ability being used (so Hulk using his strength uses a card with a strength suit, for example) then the GM flips another card over for the player from the deck to add to the total. If that is trump, another gets flipped over from the deck and added, and so on.
When the character is done playing cards, add the total up and compare vs difficulty number. If its equal to or greater than difficulty number, the action succeeds.

EXAMPLE:

Frostbite has

Intelligence: 5
Agility: 5
Strength: 10
Willpower: 8

He has Edge: 2 and Hand: 3 (WWII version. Modern version would have hand:5)

Powers include:

Cold Blast: 13
Cold Control: 11
Tough Skin: 4 (this adds to strength for defence)
Phasing: 13
Flight: 6
Computer Mind: 4 (adds to Intelligence where appropriate for computing/figuring stuff out)

He's dealt a hand of:



Frostbite comes across a crashed alien spaceship. Joe Hoskyn doesn't know the first thing about computers. Luckily his internal computer can help! He has an effective Intellect of 9 when dealing with computers (his modern counterpart would have a higher intelligence, probably of 8 or more). The GM decides on the difficulty of the task for an average person in WWII era Britain. He rules it as Daunting (16) difficulty. That means Frostbite has to come up with 7 points worth of cards. He has:

Hawkeye (5) Agility trump (Showing Spiderman)
Loki (8) Doom (Doom is never Trump!)
Quicksilver (6) Agility
Captain Britain (4) Strength (showing the Hulk)

His only option for success is to play the Doom card so he plays it. The GM deals the player a new card and states that Frostbites Intellect action succeeded (9+8 for the Doom card=17, greater than the 16 Difficulty). The Doom card, however, gets put to one side for the GM to add to a difficulty of their choice at some point - such is the price for playing a Doom card! The players new dealt card is Professor X (7) Willpower trump.

And that's it really. The player attempts an action, the Gm decides what ability is used, the difficulty and the player plays one or more cards to add to their ability. Equal or exceed the Difficulty and you succeed.

I'm still working my way through the book so will post a combat example at some point. It would be easy enough to use a pack of playing cards, with Diamonds the Intellect trump, Spades the Strength, Clubs the Willpower and hearts the Strength. The 'royal cards' of Jack, Queen, King could be doom cards (turn another card over to take a number value and apply it to them, so a Doom card value is different every time).

Anyway, it's just an option. Don't let the thought of "eh, cards? What's he on about now? Is he MAD?" freak you out, it's just an option that I am not pursuing until I can figure out the combat example in the rule book.

I think it goes:

Attacker uses Ability (Strength for Brawling) or Power + Cards

vs

Narrator card (one card draw at random every round) + Easy difficulty (4) + Agility of foe

if attacker gets equal/higher, attack hits.

Like I say, don't get too hung up on it. It's a diceless option, but not even being considered right now.

On the femforce front, I know you champion that game David M, but it's a swine to get hold of a copy for reasonable money, as you mention. I got hold of a scan and it makes my eyes hurt to read it, so it's not an option for me at the minute, but will keep an eye out for it on ebay.


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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Fri Dec 09 2011, 16:00

Admin wrote:Another alternative to using dice...

Without seeming to be rude, I'd rather use dice to this system or just go entirely narrative. I hate the idea and to be honest I am not sure how you'd administrate it, with lots of files of pictures cards going up in threads and what not. Oh no that sounds like a) more work for you, b) harder inventory to keep track of c) a step (or 6) backward from dice. I appreciate what you're trying to do mate, but in all honesty the Marvel system with the energy points pool has bar far sounded like the best options so far. But apart from lousy dice, I never had a problem with the old system, other than it was creaking at the seams.

Anyway not trying to be rude mate, but I would like to try the marvel system with points you suggested, as that seems more elegant for a PBEM and also fairly straightforward.

Sj
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Fri Dec 09 2011, 19:27

On the femforce front, I know you champion that game David M, but it's a swine to get hold of a copy for reasonable money, as you mention. I got hold of a scan and it makes my eyes hurt to read it, so it's not an option for me at the minute, but will keep an eye out for it on ebay.


If I had a working scanner, I could spend a day scanning the interesting parts but I don't. And it is not a great game in one respect - it uses energy too. But! And this is the really bad thing, your damage comes off that energy as well as any activity you do, including throwing a punch or running. Heavy heavy number crunching and at low levels [1-20 like D&D, using d20s to hit, with an AC rating to roll against] two, three rounds of combat could see EVERYONE knocked out because they ran out of energy.

But I love its magic system, bimbo points idea and the fact that they recognize the fact that if a superhero has skills, they are experts in those skills, just like in the comics.

If they had reworked the combat system a bit, splitting off damage from hit points and maybe lowering the costs of doing things or getting rid of energy completely, it would have been a much much greater system.
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Fri Dec 09 2011, 22:58

I'll admit, I still don't 'get' the Marvel Saga game. It's supposed to be easy and fast to play, but doling cards out means, like you say, scanning and posting up, and lots more book keeping. Plus, I post a lot from power stations and sidings (otherwise I'd be sat staring at the back of the train in front 3m away with a flashing red light in my face) and unless I scanned the cards individually, it'd be a no no.

Ok, we'll try it with energy points. Let me spruce up the mechanics and we'll give it a try once I've outlined the basics and combat options. However, I have a few options to run by you:

1) Everyone has 20 energy points to spend over a certain number of rounds (maybe I can determine that randomly. Say, everyone gets 20 energy, I roll 1D6 in secret and you spend you energy points as you will, then recover them a number of rounds later as per the roll? Blow it all in one round, get the guy out of there? Risk being without energy for up to 5 rounds beyond that? Be frugal, plan as best you can to spread it out, only to get your energy reset at 20 the round after and kick yourself because you lost the points you didn't spend?

2) You are awarded experience points based on the number of energy points you DON'T spend. Say everyone has 100 points to spend at the start of an adventure/issue. When the Issue ends you are awarded experience based on how well the goals were accomplished and roleplaying, that sort of thing, plus a decent bonus for every energy point remaining. So yeah, it'd be nice to be successful, but the reward for being efficient and still accomplishing your goals is considerable. Boost that energy blast and take the bad guy down, or risk the fight running for three more rounds and not spend any energy? Your call...

3) Every round everyone gets 2D10 energy, dice exploding. Outside of combat, you get 2D10/hour. You effectively get to choose the amount to add to every action. Increase your attack total, your damage total or defence total? Boost your mental defence against the insidious guy with the foot high forehead? Pay for a power stunt, expensive, but if it comes off, you get a boost of energy equal to the stunts energy to add to your APS? E.g. Human Torch goes Nova for the first time. GM states it's 20 difficulty. You need to exceed 20 on 2D10. You can add energy points to the roll. If you add 7 points, a roll of 14 or more means you succeed, and get to add 20 points to Torchs' flame blast, both to increase it's damage, range and area of effect as you see fit (boost each separately by spending your 20 energy points). A mixture of dice and points in other words.

4) Forget energy. You have Hero Points. Every action uses 2D10 + APS vs target number or opposing total. Hero Points buy an extra d10. You pick the two dice you want to use and discard the rest. This would not need a lot of work to use the DC Heroes system that we used before.

5) Every player gets a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20 to use over 6 rounds. You choose which die to use in which round. Your D20 may get a crappy roll (Frostbite, yeah, I mean you...) and your d4 a great roll of 4. Rolling the maximum result on the die makes it explode. So whilst d4 and d6 give the lowest results, they have a higher chance of rolling the maximum (25% in d4 case). I'm not sure, but I think Savage Worlds uses something like this. Could be wrong though. Maybe I'm thinking of Deadlands.

Any of those any good? Open to suggestions. I'll work with what you guys wanna go with, and have something ready to run by Sunday night, family permitting. It's an itch I have to scratch now, so don't expect this thread to go quiet any time soon!
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Sat Dec 10 2011, 00:24

if we are going to use energy, I pick number 4
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sat Dec 10 2011, 08:47

Ok my preference isn't here - which was the pool of energy and you recover that amount according to another stat like durability, the next round which was what you stated with, I liked that most of all.

But since that isn't here and in the interests of co-operation I'll go with Dave on option 4. But I am becoming phobic about online dice ;-)

Sj
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Sat Dec 10 2011, 11:51

I ran a sample fight with a strong, tough guys vs a less strong, faster more rounded guy. The less strong guy had 30 energy, the strong guy had 20 energy. It was over in 3 rounds. The strong guy burned up most of his energy just trying to hit the faster guy, whilst fast guy bided his time, waited until the other fella didn't have energy (round 2) then laid down the smack. by round 3, it was all over bar the shouting. Another round or two of one sided pummelling and it would've been a knockout win for the fast guy having not taken a point of damage. So there's probably still room for dice.

Another option.

instead of rolling for initiative each round, roll 2d10 for each side. Heroes get 2d10, bad guys get 2d10. That's how many energy points the characters have to spend on initiative, attacking, damage and defence each. Say the bad guys get 17, the good guys get 6, that's clearly going to be a round in which the good guys are best going on the defensive but the dice can turn that all around. Each individual character then has a pool of hero points to spend to boost that personal pool by 1d10 (to replace one of the 2d10 rolled).

Say for example:


Good Guys get 14 on 2d10 (8 and 6)

Anyman sticks with 14
Frostbite uses 3 hero points, rolls 3d10 (coming up with 8,3 and 9) He sticks with 8+9 and discards the rest
Silver Sentinel spends a hero point. He rolls 1d10, gets a 2. He sticks with the 8+6 of the original dice.

That way you're all in the same boat - one for all and all for one, unless you want to spend some of your hero points to increase the chance of a higher energy pool.

Just a thought. Being nagged by an 8 year old, so had to go for now, more later.
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sat Dec 10 2011, 13:10

Admin wrote:I ran a sample fight with a strong, tough guys vs a less strong, faster more rounded guy. The less strong guy had 30 energy, the strong guy had 20 energy. It was over in 3 rounds. The strong guy burned up most of his energy just trying to hit the faster guy, whilst fast guy bided his time, waited until the other fella didn't have energy (round 2) then laid down the smack. by round 3, it was all over bar the shouting. Another round or two of one sided pummelling and it would've been a knockout win for the fast guy having not taken a point of damage. So there's probably still room for dice.

Another option.

instead of rolling for initiative each round, roll 2d10 for each side. Heroes get 2d10, bad guys get 2d10. That's how many energy points the characters have to spend on initiative, attacking, damage and defence each. Say the bad guys get 17, the good guys get 6, that's clearly going to be a round in which the good guys are best going on the defensive but the dice can turn that all around. Each individual character then has a pool of hero points to spend to boost that personal pool by 1d10 (to replace one of the 2d10 rolled).

Say for example:


Good Guys get 14 on 2d10 (8 and 6)

Anyman sticks with 14
Frostbite uses 3 hero points, rolls 3d10 (coming up with 8,3 and 9) He sticks with 8+9 and discards the rest
Silver Sentinel spends a hero point. He rolls 1d10, gets a 2. He sticks with the 8+6 of the original dice.

That way you're all in the same boat - one for all and all for one, unless you want to spend some of your hero points to increase the chance of a higher energy pool.

Just a thought. Being nagged by an 8 year old, so had to go for now, more later.

Ok not sure about more dice, but I see you point from the earlier combat, just one question how often do you recover hero points, as at present I pretty much need them anytime I get into combat? also the more dice in play the more swwwwingyness on the results, I find. So spending hero points more frequently might be a problem, especially when you've got the dark power to always worry about.

The other thing is that if the bad guys only get to roll 2d10 and have to live with the result, and we get to effectively keep rolling, till we get a result we like (assuming we care to spend that many hero points) we then have a much higher chance of doing damage. Had you thought about that as well?

One of the things that doesn't scale well in D&D 4e is player abilities. As they go to upper paragon and epic, they have so many resources, its said to be harder to challenge them (in truth you just keep piling it on and forget balance). But if you matched the monsters to the heroes in scale, then you end up with neither side having much advantage and the combat just takes as long as it takes - which can be tedious.

Not sure what the answer is, game design isn't my strong suit, but I do know what its like to playing in a game that grinds on, when it need not. Fights should be cinematic, fast and furious, but allowing for tactics and smart thinking.

Actually can we introduce something for smart or creative thinking. I know hero points should I guess do this - but in practice we use them to keep the Dark Power in Check. I'd like to see that whole thing changed but more on that in a moment. Sometimes the game should reward smart or an attempt at smart thinking also. It bothers me that sometimes a smart move, mechanically doesn't yield much compared to a power, (sure or else everyone would do it - right) but when its being pulled off by a hero in that improbably moment - I'd like to see the chances of it doing something the equivalent of the power.

In this way hero points could be used to pull off the improbably - as Dave said with Bimbo points, so that smart or creative use of powers can work out to being something fun.

My other point is this, Dark power, either its going to possess us or its not? It seems like everytime we use it (and for a long time I refused to on this basis) there is a threat of loosing control. We know that the more we use it the stronger it becomes hence we only ever use hero points (oh save Sentinel's latest run in) for resisting its ego.

I guess I'm wondering where this is going? I feel like I've made a deal with the devil and at any point he is going to collect - but the more we use this power the more we find we need it? I guess that is why part of me wants to go back to street level, because I want to reduce my dependence on the dark power. Do you see what I mean?

Its so good to finally be able to throw a dragon or the Crimson Legion about, but in truth it can't last! So I guess I as a player don't want to become too accustomed to it. If you see what I mean?

Anyway I'm not laying down the law on any of this, just sharing some thoughts as we talk about the way the game is structured and the way we're going forward, as all of these things have an effect.

Sj

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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Sun Dec 11 2011, 23:41

Valid points as usual. I've been giving it some thought. See what you think of:

Characters would start with a pot of hero points apiece. Say, 25 or so. Save a bystander? +3 points. Beat the bag guy? +5-10 points and so on.

When you spend hero points, you state before any rolls are made how many you wish to use, be they on attack, damage or defence, so for example:

Frostbite attacks a Nazi Metahuman


Dave E decides to use 2 hero points on attack, 2 on damage and 1 on defence (just in case the Nazi gets one up on him). The Nazi spends 3 on attack (bad guys use 'villain points' but for ease of use we'll call them hero points too. Or energy, or whatever.)

Attack is made up of: Agility, Intelligence, Perception stats, plus any applicable skill or power.

Let's say Frostbite vs Nazi goon looks like this:



Both are engaged in fisticuffs/biting/scratching/kicking/pulling hair and calling names (Delete as applicable) so initiative doesn't matter. (If initiative does matter its Agility+Perception+Perception+2d10 each+certain powers like super speed. Highest wins.)

Frostbites attack is 6+7+5+4 (Agility+Intelligence+Perception+Brawling) = 22
Nazis attack is 21 (Agility+Intelligence+Perception+Boxing)

Boxing gives the Nazi an edge (+1 point) over Frostbite as Frostbite doesn't have the skill, but Brawling gives Frostbite an edge over the Nazi (as the Nazi is not the brawling type and doesn't have the skill) so gets +1 as well and cancels out the bonus.

For attack, both sides roll 2d10 (to ensure they don't roll double 1, which is a disaster in a fight). If they roll double 1, any hero points they would have spent are lost!

If neither rolls double 1, an extra d10 is rolled for every hero point spent. Frostbite spent 2 on attack, the Nazi spent 3.

1d10=9, 1d10=7, 1d10=3, 1d10=5 for Frostbite. Dave E picks his best 2 rolls, which were his first. If he'd gotten a double, he'd have picked them. 16 rolled.

1d10=9, 1d10=6, 1d10=5, 1d10=1, 1d10=4 for Nazi goon. Again, his best two rolls were the first ones, meaning his extra rolls were a waste, essentially. 15 rolled.

Frostbites attack is 22+16 (38 total) vs 21+15 (36 total). It's close but Frostbite wins that round, striking the bad guy, but not enough to cause lots of extra damage (+1 per 3 points or part of over the targets total, so he just gets +1 damage)

Damage is 2d10 + Strength (or appropriate power) + extra damage caused (1 point in this case) vs 10 + Opponents resistance (Nazis 8 body. He has no other defensive powers) Every point over this is damage to subtract from the Nazis health score.

Frostbite spent 2 hero points on damage, so rolls the initial 2 dice to make sure he didn't get double 1 then rolls an extra 2 dice.

1d10=5, 1d10=1, 1d10=9, 1d10=1. First two dice came up 5 and 1. 1s don't 'explode' like numbers 2-10 do when they come up doubles. Instead they explode 'downwards' with you rolling 2d10 and subtracting from the total! That means even Superman, or someone like him, could cause no damage if unlucky enough to roll badly. Makes things interesting, rather than big blue mashing everyone he meets into the floor. Dave E picks 5+9, adds Strength (7) and extra damage (1) for a total of 22. This exceeds the Nazis defence of 18 by 4 points. He takes 4 health points damage.

If the Nazi so chose, he could instead have rolled 2d10 for defence instead of using 10, and spent hero points as well. Let's assume he spent a hero point and rolled for defence as well, rather than assuming 10 + resistance (8) for a total of 18.

1d10=4, 1d10=4, 1d10=1 Double! First two dice didn't come up with double 1, but did come up with double 4, despite being less than the 10 he could have taken otherwise. That means rolling another two dice: 1d10=1, 1d10=3. Not great, but a total of 8+4=12, plus resistance (Nazis body of 8) for a total of 20. That would have meant he'd have only taken 2 damage from his health instead.

I'll condense all that gobbledigook:

  • Add Agility+Intelligence+Perception together to find combat score
  • Add appropriate skill or power
  • Choose how many hero points/energy points (whatever they are called) you want to spend on attack, damage, defence.
  • Opponent does likewise
  • Roll dice. Double 1 is bad (and explodes downwards). Double 2-10 explodes upwards. If using hero points roll extra d10 per hero point and choose which two dice to use, discarding rest.
  • Compare totals. Highest one 'wins' that round and hits. Add +1 damage per 3 points (or part of) over the opponents total.

  • Damage is 2d10 + Strength/Appropriate power + extra damage vs 10 + Opponents Resistance (or the opponent can instead choose to roll dice instead of taking 10)
  • If the attacker gets a higher total, the difference between two scores is taken from the defenders health score.


If the player describes a special move or tactic, award 1+ hero/energy/whatever points FREE to add where they wish to improve chances of a decent roll.

E.g. Frostbite makes the floor slippy with ice. He adds +3 dice to his attack for every round the Nazi fights on the slippy floor.

E.g. Anyman changes into Adolf Hitler, unnerving the Nazi goon in front of him. +4 dice for the first 3 rounds of combat.

With Hero points, we can have it where they are a finite pool, gone when spent, or have the character call on a pool which replenishes.

Thinking Health points should be 5 per Body and 3 per strength, meaning Frosty would have 61, the Nazi goon would have 67. If that makes fights last too long, we'll drop it to 3 for Body, 1 for strength. We can have HTC and HTK totals as well. Unless they have a special defence power or equipment, characters would have no resistance vs HTK attacks. Energy pool would be separate from stats. Maybe a standard pot for Class 1-5 characters, so Class 3 have 15 energy and recover 3 per round, Class 5 have 25 energy and recover 5 per round, Class 1 have 5 energy and recover 1 per round, that kind of thing. Point is, even without energy, a decent roll can turn things around.

For skills like Combat, it would have a number of subskills (Boxing, Wrestling etc) giving +1 to attack (or even +1 die to roll?) if the opponent doesn't have that skill. Cancelled out if the opponent has a skill the other combatant doesn't. Someone like Batman or Captain America would know every fighting style in the book. You can bet your bottom dollar they'd have an answer for every move!

Ranged combat would often need initiative sorting out. Targets defence is increased by range (so its harder to hit the further away you are)

Dodging would give +2 dice for the defender. They can't add a skill unless its of defensive type (Close Combat would be ok in melee, with the defender effectively using their combat skills to avoid blows) like Acrobatics.

e.g.

Anyman gets blasted by a Nazi in the sky. His combat score doesn't get increased by any combat skill but his stretching allows him to deform his body and dodge around blasts, so add that instead, +2 dice for dodging. If he gets a higher total, he dodged the opponents attack. If the dodger is moving, add their speed to defence but remove the +2 dice bonus from dodging.

e.g.

Superfastman (one of General Wynns recruits) dodges a Nazi blast. He runs at speed 8. He can add that instead of rolling the free extra +2 dice, and add any defensive skill/power he has (acrobatics in this case).

See what you think.

It's basically roll 2d10, add stuff and get over a target number or opponents total. It means somebody is nigh on guaranteed to land a blow in every round (unless there's a tie, in which case roll again) and hopefully speed combat up no end.

The effects of individual powers need to be defined (stretching used for defence to avoid blows, or maybe used to boost resistance, players choice) but can't be used twice in the same round (though the points can be split. Anyman with say, 8 stretching, could add 4 to defence, 4 to resistance).

Player ingenuity and roleplaying is rewarded by rolling free extra dice.

Energy pool depletes or is fixed and regenerates, limits and type to be determined.

Maybe the option to 'take 10' instead of rolling 2d10, available with every task or combat check, for those with a phobia of dice ...

Thoughts? Happy to run an example combat, once I've converted a character to the system and cooked up an opponent.
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Sun Dec 11 2011, 23:56

With regards the Dark power mechanic for our existing game, a 'quick fix' in the mechanics will mean it's harder to call on them. When the 'Dark power Growth' is at zero, using the Dark power the first time bumps it to +1 (and adds to the Dark powers ego for the ego check). It reduced by 1 point per hour the Dark power isn't used.

Using it again whilst the Dark Growth is at one point adds an extra +2 Dark power growth (for a total of 3) and a third time adds +3 (for a total of 6) meaning things are getting dicey with the ego check. A fourth time would add +4 (making it +10 to the Dark power ego, surely too much for anyone to overcome?)

To compensate a 1 when rolled for the Dark power points would not cancel out an exploding die (gained when you roll a 10)

example:

Anyman uses the Dark Power. He chooses 8 dark power points, so it's his ego of 12 + 2d10 vs Dark power ego of 8 + 1 for dark power growth +2d10. If he gets a higher total he gets 8d10 Dark power points, and every 10 adds an extra d10.

He loses the Dark power growth point in an hour if he doesn't use the dark power in that time. If he DOES use it for the same amount (8 points) within the hour it would be Anymans 12 ego +2d10 vs Dark power ego of 8 + 3 (Dark power growth) + 2d10.

This is to stop it being used willy nilly (though you guys aren't really guilty of doing that, seeing as you know the risks). See what you think.

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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Mon Dec 12 2011, 02:58

You know, the hero point system you are coming up with seems like a lot of bookkeeping for everyone to keep track. I'm not always at home where I could keep a sheet of hero point totals handy for reference. I would much rather just use them in a limited fashion to suceed or keep from having a catastrophic failure rather than use them for everything.
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Re: Another Experiment!

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