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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 18 2012, 12:01

I don't think I'm 'in' on the SQUK thread (in yahoo groups?) but I do think some of the ideas we've been bouncing around (Speed/Agility making you harder to hit, one roll for hit/damage, having stat as bonus to a die roll, exploding dice etc) would improve the game. That's not just me being big headed, but we have tried a lot of that stuff and it works. The combat (one roll) thing whereby the higher you roll, the more accurate you are is one I intend to adopt in every game I run from now on, including D&D and anything else. It speeds things up no end instead of getting a die for this, pile of dice for that and so on.

If there's any specifics of the revised SQUK rules you want to quote or bounce off me just drop me a line. I understand you'll be under some kind of NDA (non disclosure thing) so don't be specific, just give an idea as to what works/don't work and I could throw my own (meagre) brain at the problem. It is worrying that Simon might not go far enough in updating the game - it's not as if its played by thousands of players that will be upset, so if I were him I'd start from the ground up, keeping the combat rounds/frames thing and maybe campaign ratings, and start from fresh with everything else. Don't restrict it to the UK either, but have settings the players can choose from.

e.g.

UK - the British people took a long time to come round to people in brightly coloured underwear flying about and the press in particular had a field day. At first there was a hard line and crack down on Vigilante activity until the authorities realised they were alienating the people who were trying to help them and driving others to the side of the criminals. Now there exists an uneasy truce whereby the...

Europe - Germany was quick to enlist its superhuman citizens and uniform them, put them out there for all to see. They operate as 'special forces' and are handsomely paid for it. In France most of the supers have public identities and are treated like movie stars (in fact, a few have 'acted' with spectacular results in the adult film industry...). In Italy riots broke out when the government declared all superhuman activity illegal and...

USA - there exists a kind of 'Wild west' mentality with regards supers. Because they are so many and varied, with power levels all over the place, the US administration has taken a different stance every four years as the public generally supports supers. As a result the hard line anti supers tend not to get a look in come election time and as a result unrest is growing...

China - Information is Classified and restricted. Western experts predict that China was quick to take superhumans under their wing and indeed, some say they are exploiting the superhuman resources at their disposal - to make more of them...

Russia - Behind closed doors the leaders of Russia are worried. They have the Soviet Stars, the huge group of state sponsored heroes, who are the public face of superhuman activity, and then there is the undergound. Disaffected superhumans who work from the shadows to help the common man - which is not always in the best interest of the Ruling Party at Moscow. Things were already building to a head when it was revealed that some breakaway Russian states have their own superhumans and that the people in those states are demanding justice against certain Russian sanctions/aggressions...

That's a 'top of my head' thing but there's no reason why different genres can't be listed in the core book (including future and past) and expanded on in future supplements. Right, I'd best get a shower (my sleep patterns are all over the place at the moment so only got up at 11.00...)
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Wed Apr 18 2012, 12:21

I came up with a backstory for a superhero universe that I may actually try my hand at writing. Victor has encouraged me to do it and I toy with it but nothing serious yet.

Anyway, I came up with the idea that the US government back in WW2 or perhaps earlier came up with a Supers Public ID law. It is sort of a registration law which allows them to have two identities. The Super gets a legally 'confirmed' or 'real' identify in his super persona. He gets an ID card, can get a driver's license, enter into contracts, get a job, buy a house, get a Social Securty card, pay taxes, etc. So that he can do whatever a 'normal' person can do. It also allows him to be a witness in trials. And then his secret ID that the government doesn't know about.

In one way, he is also like a registered sex offender or ex-felon, he has to register with the police, with an address and phone number or some other way where they can reach him when they want him.

When you stop and think about it, there are very few jobs where you can disappear from work for an hour or two to take down some bank robbers and not have your co-workers wonder where you are. The Maestro, my premier hero for this universe I created, has a secret ID as a romance novel writer and makes good money at it.

So he makes money as the Maestro by having a stipend from the police - being on call and helping out when they need him, plus any deals with toy companies, comic books companies, movies, etc. He owns a very nice old home in downtown Raleigh, filled with statues - actually more statues to be nice and into the realm of a cluttered mess but since they can come alive and protect his known superhero home .... cheers
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 18 2012, 12:48

It *kind of* reminds me of the Incredibles storyline, but in that Bob Parr (Mr Incredible) is more like in the witness protection program and the government cleans up his mess after he goes 'off piste' and does something public - and super - and probably stupid which means they all have to move again.

Sounds like fun - I'd encourage you to play about with it and (dare I say?) run a game with it if you have the time Razz If you wanted to do it on here feel free as you and Dave E have been moderators for months, so I assume you can make new forums and the like as well as heading off any dreaded spam which we have been spared from, thankfully.

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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Thu Sep 13 2012, 00:15

A heads up on this. After much head scratching I have another tweak to add/play around with which we'll adopt as we continue Jade Hood and Stone Fists adventures in the next issue.

1) No more effort points - it was book keeping, I couldn't nail down a decent way of recovering energy without 'hand waving' and hopefully a new method is easier and faster.

2) To roll extra dice when you attempt any action, you can sacrifice 3 points of an ability, power or skill from your roll and roll an extra die. You then get to pick the best two dice and drop any extra.

Example:

Anyman clobbers a Nazi goon. He has an Attack (Composed of Agility, Intelligence, Perception and Brawling) of 12 points. Normally his attack would be: Roll 2D10 + 12, compare against opponents defence. He can sacrifice (temporarily, for this roll only) 3 points to roll an extra die and pick the best two of three dice, plus 9. If he wanted more dice he could sacrifice another 9 points and roll 6D10 in total, pick the best two dice and add 0 points to the roll result.


If you feel a dice roll bonus is of more benefit than potentially rolling higher or rolling a double, you don't have to do anything, just roll as is.

3) I'm thinking about cutting down dice rolling, so there'd be a roll for initiative, to hit, and defence, cutting out the damage and resistance rolls. That said, every roll that is made gives you guys, as players, more options and control over your characters (decide whether to add bonus to roll or increase number of dice, and whether to spend hero points which also buy extra dice). Will have a look.

None of this really impacts on you guys. You state your intentions, the dice get rolled, you react on the results that I spout. I'm just juggling things around whilst trying to give you options and tweaking the rules for speed, hopefully.

If you want to make new characters, there'll be further delay whilst I give you a (very basic) rundown on character creation and a list of powers with very limited explanations to choose from. Or, we stick with the kung fu guy and battling bruiser, your call.
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Thu Sep 13 2012, 00:38

I'm fine with Stone Fist.

Not sure about the new dice idea though. Math is a bit shakey so correct me where I'm wrong.

Normally his attack would be: Roll 2D10 + 12, compare against opponents defence. He can sacrifice (temporarily, for this roll only) 3 points to roll an extra die and pick the best two of three dice, plus 9. If he wanted more dice he could sacrifice another 9 points and roll 6D10 in total, pick the best two dice and add 0 points to the roll result.

In the above example, 3 points of damage would be lost to gain between 1 and 10 points of damage, average damage being 5.5 points. So you would gain on average 2.5 points of damage if you do it [5.5-3]. There is a slight increased chance of getting doubles since it would be three dice and not two dice. A minor increase in damage but is it worth doing that much paperwork for a PBEM game for that little increase? I can see it for a tabletop game but not sure for a home game.
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Sep 13 2012, 07:39

DavidMcMahon wrote:In the above example, 3 points of damage would be lost to gain between 1 and 10 points of damage, average damage being 5.5 points. So you would gain on average 2.5 points of damage if you do it [5.5-3]. There is a slight increased chance of getting doubles since it would be three dice and not two dice. A minor increase in damage but is it worth doing that much paperwork for a PBEM game for that little increase? I can see it for a tabletop game but not sure for a home game.

Dave makes a valid point. Personally rolling dice is great on a table top game, after all what else do players get to control. In a PBEM rolling via Invisible castle so you're not tempted to cheat and posting results takes a lot of that away. So to be honest it was one of the reasons why I preferred you to roll dice: that and also you didn't have to wait for a result to post a reply (which speeds things up, so important) and my terrible dice rolling anyway.

As far as I am concerned in a game like this its the Role playing that is more important than rolling so do whatever you think best. In any case I am happy with Jade Hood. Been missing playing him, actually.

Sj
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Thu Sep 13 2012, 08:34

Well, I figure more dice (remember you pick the highest dice, or a double and reroll) gives you guys more chance of success and less chance of suffering the 'Dave Eadie curse' (sorry Dave Razz ) of exceptionally lousy dice, all the time!

There has to be a cost for that, and so to cut down on book keeping, I figured you sacrifice 3 points from the amount you add to the dice roll instead of spending other resources.

That said, 2/3 objections is enough to force a rethink. We'll stick with a pool of 'hero points' (as in the original game) that you can choose to influence the dice. More later, my 2 year old is harassing me. No rest for the wicked ... Sad
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Wed Oct 17 2012, 01:47





I'll explain what all this means when I get chance. Basically we'll be playing the DC Heroes game more 'as written' instead of my mish mash house rules. There will be a couple of house rules in effect (can't help tinkering) but I will explain the basics of the game (you both have the rules I assume).

Hero Points replace the Effort Points (or Energy points, I never did settle on a name) and you can add them to your attributes, powers or skills to temporarily raise them when attempting a DICE action - one that requires a dice roll to succeed.

Some of the powers and abilities will look new. Jade Hood has a larger list of skills and they are horrendously expensive when compared to powers, so he has more drawbacks to compensate, otherwise both characters have been built on exactly the same number of points.

More later!


Last edited by Admin on Wed Oct 17 2012, 09:26; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Had to resize sheets - let me know if not clear, will post link for PDF EDIT AGAIN - final tweaks)
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Wed Oct 17 2012, 07:41

Admin wrote:Some of the powers and abilities will look new. Jade Hood has a larger list of skills and they are horrendously expensive when compared to powers, so he has more drawbacks to compensate, otherwise both characters have been built on exactly the same number of points.
More later!

Looks fine and it looks like fun, yeah more skills for Jade Hood. Haven't even looked at the DC stuff at present, so much going on. But happy to bump along like normal.

Sj
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Wed Oct 17 2012, 09:37

Right, took another quick look and tweaked it again. Both characters have been built with exactly the same starting points, 450 + 110 from disadvantages. Rather than boost stats and give the characters abilities far beyond what they have, both have some extra skills and powers, though at low level. Both would be considered 'street' level though Stone Fist has skin durable enough to shrug off all but the most determined and accurate machine gun fire, though an exploding shell would still be a problem (he could withstand one, a second, maybe not...)

Jade Hood is more dextrous and a more skilled fighter, and despite his lower strength hits just as hard as Stone Fist (or more effectively shall we say) as he uses his Martial Arts to substitute for Strength when making a blow if he likes (so, 7) and Stone Fist has Strength (6) + Skin Armour (+2) making his skin hard as steel.

A quick note about Hero Points:

Hero points replace 'effort points'. Whenever you attempt an action that has a chance of failure (a Dice action) you can spend a hero point (or more) to increase your Acting or Effect values (for instance Dexterity would be an Acting value, used for hitting, Strength would be an Effect value, used for damage) or if on the receiving end, Opposing or Resistance values (Dexterity for avoiding being hit, Body for resisting physical damage).

Example:

Jade Hood has ventured deep into the undead Counts lair and comes across a vampiress! She attacks with near superhuman speed and strength! Dave decides to spend 2 points on Jade Hoods opposing value (helping him to dodge) and 3 on his resistance value (helping him to absorb any blow).

The GM compares the Acting value (Dex) of the Vampire against Jade Hoods increased Dex (opposing value) and makes the roll. Even if the vampire does hit Jade Hood spent the points to increase his resistance value (his Body of 6, boosted to 9) and hopefully the foul thing won't hurt our hero!

Hero points can also be used to soak up damage (1 point per damage absorbed) and make emergency healing checks (called desperation recovery) as well as improve the character - they are like experience points so the more you use, the less you have to improve the character! With that in mind think long and hard before you blow them willy nilly Smile
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Wed Oct 17 2012, 13:21

Big question is, how fast do we get new Hero Points. Jade Hood has none and Stone Fist has 3 at the start of our next adventure. Knowing the answer to that question will help us with what we do in the adventure.

And any chance our third player wants to join in on this?
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Thu Oct 18 2012, 04:51

You'll be starting with 30HP each and earn them at the end of each issue. I plan to dole them out fast enough that you can see real improvements in the characters if you are careful with how you spend them during the adventure. In fact, I'm thinking of some way to award a bonus for NOT spending hero points. Awarding hero points for succeeding (by spending hero points) feels like a treadmill to me. Succeeding without them should be worth more as a reward, but only you can decide how bad you want to succeed.

Watch for something starting this weekend. Will try to pick up the story soon after where we left our heroes. Will see if Ross fancies joining in this game too.
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Oct 18 2012, 07:05

Sounds great.

Sj
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Fri Oct 19 2012, 20:59

Hey, let's go back to America by way of India, China and Japan! Always wanted to go to Hong Kong.

Take the Suez Canal south and catch a ship heading East. Puts us in San Francisco, after stopping in Hawaii, and needing a train East to NYC but lots of potential adventures that way.

This is the Age of the Yellow Peril, yeah racist but that's the time period, so we could run into the likes of Fu Manchu or Dr. Wu Fang, Li Shoon, Ching Lung, the Yellow Claw, Pao Tcheou and Weng-Chiang.

We could rescue a fair maiden from the clutches of some India Rajah who lusts after her pure white skin and silky blonde hair. Probably got tired of a harem of dark haired lovelies. Very Happy

There were a few giant monsters who were only a couple of dozen feet high in old Japanese monster movies. We would run into one of them. Or other Yokai could work.

Then we hit the American West and maybe save a schoolmarm who unknowingly has her home and school house on a gold mine and the crooks are trying to scare her off so they can claim the land all legal like. Might be trying to use the "supernatural" to scare her off.

BTW, you can find lots of pulp magazine covers here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/pulpgallery

Ought to give you lots of ideas of adventures we could have with our low level supers.

pig
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Sat Oct 20 2012, 02:06

Points noted! Let's see if I can do the ideas justice... Probably be starting up on Sunday (I have another shift to grind through - just about to go to work for a 02.50 start...)
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Wed Jun 12 2013, 22:03

I've come up with the figure of 172 HP each for the months long adventure you guys ground through.

With regards character improvement, current sheets are:




Well, I say 'current' but I need to re-jig Jade Hood to add Acrobatics (still causes me to facepalm when I realize I left that off).

Then we have:



This shows the costs for improving stuff. Here's where it gets a little tricky, because any attributes that are linked must be improved by the same amount as the attribute they are linked to. That's the downside of linking - what you save at the start bites you on the backside in long term play.

Another thing - when I made these characters I was using the 3rd edition version of the rules from DC Heroes RPG. we're using the Blood of Heroes rules (which are actually the 2nd edition BoH rules, just to confuse things)  which works out as '3.75e' of the DC Heroes rules. In other words I will write the characters up again, tweak them for best bang for buck, then apply the points you've earned (if you spend any on character improvement) on top. So you guys just have to say what you would like to improve, and I'll do the math. 

Suggestion: Keep a decent slug of heroes points for the next adventure. I intend to throw the kitchen sink, everything in it and a few sticks of burning dynamite into the mix to make our heroes lives hard as they hunt down futuristic would be world conquerers, alien invaders, Nazi supermen and mystics from the far east who might be the biggest menace of all...
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Wed Jun 12 2013, 22:26

Paul this looks great, not sure if I should spend points and if I did it would only be to improve the things I've got.  But not sure if I should spend any, because I've still not got a good feel for what the static improvement might do v the specific bump when I spend HP at the point most needed.  

So I think, unless Dave is going to upgrade like mad, I'll stick.  However I don't want to end up falling way behind being level 1 to his Level 12 equivalent character (I find talking in D&D normative quantities, like levels as an examples, so much easier) so its a real pain trying to balance an encounter.  After all if it was challenging for Dave/Stone Fist it might end up being the death of me Sad.

Sj
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Wed Jun 12 2013, 22:42

Dave, Jade Hood has all those skills, which are horribly expensive and thus has a lot of linked stuff. In addition in order to balance the books I gave him the 'intensive training' advantage which cuts the costs of linked skills by more points (-2FC in addition to the -2FC from linking). That makes skills more palatable but there is a downside. It's more expensive (!) to increase anything beyond 8APs (which is the peak human limit thing which only Batman and a couple of others exceed in the DC game) and powers cost more to buy.

I propose to drop the powers (not really used thus far) and take a look at the skills to prune a few and add Acrobatics. Linking skills only really cancels out an unskilled penalty (+2CS) but gives no other bonus, but the problem is a low power character can't afford really decent skills so we're a bit stuffed. That's the sort of character Jade Hood is though (martial artist) and he's done fine so far so the character just needs tweaks. Anything on the sheet you want to change or drop?
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Wed Jun 12 2013, 23:51

My original idea for Stone Fist, and staying with it for now, is he is going to continue to mutate into a Super-Human and gain new powers but they are not attack powers but increases in his senses - In other words, have all the super-senses of Superman/Daredevil plus a few more.

Probably raise his regeneration and skin armor up too.

Gain Running and some slight invulnerability

Would also like to get skills in:
Detective/Clue Analysis and Legwork
Medicine/First Aid


So powers I would like to eventually have [from BOH alphabetically]:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent
Directional Hearing
Extended Hearing
Full Vision
Hypersensitive Touch
Life Sense
Microscopic Vision
Radar Sense
Sonar
Super Hearing
Thermal Vision
Telescopic Vision
True Sight
X-Ray Vision

I figure keep half his HP for the adventure and spend the other half on improving/gaining the above and do it that way at the end of each adventure.

So how ever many of any of the above I can get, buying the cheap stuff first, is what I want to do, in no real particular order.  I will let the GM decide what can be afforded.  Twisted Evil

But if you go for a super-sense power, I would kind of like to rotate through them as much as possible.  Currently he has a vision power -Ultravision, so getting a taste/touch/hearing power next would be okay with me.

This way, since Stone Fist is mutating in ways he doesn't understand, he will "discover" new abilities when the need arises.


For Jade Hood, since you are a martial artist perhaps you could look at some of the mystical type powers that a martial artist might develop as he gains control over his Chi or Ki energies?  Things the martial arts masters do in the high fantasy martial arts movies or ninja movies?


Just ideas thrown out - True Sight, Swimming, Systemic Antidote, Suspension, Spirit Travel, Running, Remote Sensing, Reflection/Deflection, Recall, Paralysis, Mystic Freeze, Mind Shield, Mind Field, Mind Blank, Jumping, Iron Will, Invisibility, Hypnotism, Gravity Decrease [Self- so you can run along the top of water or the leaves on the treetops], extended hearing, Dumb Luck, Directional Hearing, Digging, Detect, Color, Cold Immunity, Comprehend Languages, Cling, Chameleon, Aura of Fear, 
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 13 2013, 00:35

That's not a bad idea with Jade Hood. For example giving him an attack like Iron Fists' Chi power (allowing him to heal, punch with a energy blast fist and jump about etc), superhuman senses (like an animals, so better sight/smell/touch/taste/hearing) and so on. I know JH is the unpowered skill guy of the duo but skills are a proper pain in the backside in this game. Hellish expensive and when you have to do the kind of jiggery pokery I had to do to afford the character in the first place, it seriously limits his options with regards future expansion. In other words Dave, to use a D&D type analogy, it'd be like the character having a penalty to earned experience. Like... I don't know, -75% Sad 

Having a stack of hero points to boost abilities (powers stats skills can be raised to twice their value by spending HP) is a way round it. it's how the game enables Batman to run with Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Martian Manhunter in the JLA. Heck, in the comics he pretty much saves the day every time.

How? Hero points. So don't spend em all on boosting the character Smile
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Thu Jun 13 2013, 00:47

Having a stack of hero points to boost abilities (powers stats skills can be raised to twice their value by spending HP) is a way round it. it's how the game enables Batman to run with Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Martian Manhunter in the JLA. Heck, in the comics he pretty much saves the day every time.

How? Hero points. So don't spend em all on boosting the character 






Yep, which is why I'm doing half character advancement and half for use in the next adventure.  BTW, is Dunecat joining us in that adventure?
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Jun 13 2013, 07:38

Hey Paul I like Dave's idea, it kind of make JH the monk type character from D&D with Psi type powers or as Dave suggested mystical edge.  I like the idea that he can improve his punches and do all sorts of crazy stuff, but lets still keep it toned down.  

As regards to skills, I am happy to prune them a bit - Artist, Animal handling (never come up these two) and possible Occultist.  And add Acrobatics and also maybe later some sort of energy attack, power fist style.  But for now I am happy to drop the above skills, and instead gain Acrobatics, and see what HP I have left.  Could you tell me what an energy attack type melee attack would cost, perhaps we could gain it if it costs no more than a third to half HP, if its more than that then leave it for now.  

Hopefully by pruning skills, I can afford to boast one or two in time.  However with the use of HP, it might get me over that tricky situation, when I need it at the time.

Sj
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  DavidMcMahon on Thu Jun 13 2013, 11:58

later some sort of energy attack, power fist style

"KA-ME-HA-ME-HAH!!!!!!!"

Just don't get so powerful you blow up the moon with that attack.  {Dragonball reference]   Laughing
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Mon Jun 24 2013, 00:12

From what I can tell:

Dave E - Jade Hood - is sticking with what he has for now but the character may well need revising with certain (unused) skills being dropped and the character being more of an Iron Fist type - skilled but with an occasional use of super powers, like a 'Chi'

David M - save half of the points and spend the other half on new powers. Just read up on that section (it's been a while...) New powers cost ten times the base cost and are paid for on the 'increasing attributes' table rather than the 'purchase at the beginning which is much cheaper' table. So, the best I could come up with is either a factor cost of 5 for certain powers like Extended Hearing, which fulfills your remit of a different skill, or Running (base cost zero) and you can get 3 APs of that for 60HP, which is actually slower than the character has (4APs thanks to high Dex) already. I wonder if you can increase it on that basis, so that your 3APs becomes 7APs. Makes sense that way, maybe Dunecat will pitch in with his thoughts.

As for Ryan/Dunecat, he seems busy these days with regards posting rate but the invitation is always open for Ryan/anyone to join in this low power pulp game set in the 1930s with all the cliched bad guys that brings (Gangsters, Yellow Peril, mad scientists, spies, plus of course would be conquerers from the future, aliens and cthulu type beasties).
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Re: Another Experiment!

Post  Admin on Mon Jun 24 2013, 00:55

Episode 5 is up, and starts with a relatively harmless encounter with some Nazi gentlemen...
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Re: Another Experiment!

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