Author Topic: Table Top Roleplaying  (Read 11240 times)

Shadow Witch

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Table Top Roleplaying
« on: December 12, 2012, 11:06:42 PM »
Thinking of putting together a table top roleplaying game to help with withdrawal - What system would you use

Zekiran

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 11:42:24 PM »
Depends, what do you like?

>_> I do have my own system, the World of Zekira, which is in need of actual playtesting. It's a remarkably flexible world, with an equally flexible percentage-based system. Alien/modern setting with a variety of things which might make some groups uncomfortable. Powers and mutations = play as a hero/madman (because you know, you have to pay for all that property damage you and your crazy team does), breeding and genetics = play as a furry, politics and intrigue, exploration, even flying horse races.




Anyway... there are lots of systems, and plenty of them available as pdfs online to try out too.

Ad_Astra

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 12:00:53 AM »
If you want to feed your superhero addiction, I highly recommend Mutants & Masterminds. The powers system is pretty flexible and you can duplicate most CoH/V powersets.

Aleksandros

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 06:35:05 PM »
If you can find it (very likely out of print for ages), Villains & Vigilantes was always popular with my weekly gaming group.  And there's always the classic, and IMHO best Superhero tabletop, Champions by Hero System Games.  The Hero system lets you do just about anything, and there was tons of sourcebooks released over the years.

Kistulot

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 09:15:09 PM »
The Hero system lets you do just about anything, and there was tons of sourcebooks released over the years.

It is however a bit dauntingly complex. I've been debating running a game of it, though...
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Profit

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 05:01:27 PM »
If you are looking for quick and easy superheroes Mutants & Masterminds is awesome.

Harlequin565

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 05:05:12 PM »
Champions is a complex system for sure - and as a GM you almost certainly need to know more than your players. However walking through character generation with novices allows you to keep control of the power levels.

A simpler system was Marvel Superheroes but I have no idea how easy that is to get hold of. But once I'd got my head around Champions, I didn't look back. (Never tried V&V)

Other non-superheroic options: (caveat - most of this would have to be sourced 2nd hand as I have no clue how "in-print" these games are now)

For Sci-fi, West End Games' Star Wars was very simple to learn and play. It's a good action orientated system that doesn't get bogged down with rules. There's also not much need to flesh out the gameworld as pretty much everyone has seen the films. You only come unstuck if you're around players that know more than you about the timeline you've chosen. I have no idea what WoTC have done with it but it's probably bad.

Star Frontiers (the TSR version) was also a relatively simple system (thought quite old) and is very playable once you have Zebulon's Guide.

Then there's Paranoia (West End Games version) which is immensely slapstick in its approach and a lot of fun. Our last game of it was entitled "how many troubleshooters does it take to change a lightbulb?" by the end of which we'd decided it was "more than 6". In WEG fashion - the rules are very simple.

Torg (West End Games) was an excellent game set in a (sort of) apocalyptic Earth and very "heroic". Interesting rule system and sometimes difficult to GM for, but stories would often write themselves.

Lastly, my favourite Sci-fi would be Shadowrun. I never bought anything past the FASA years, so can't comment on the quality of the game under the various new owners, but it was rich in gameworld flavour and extremely easy to generate entertainment of an evening with nothing prepared beforehand. The rules can get complex, and I needed to change a few here & there, but it was fun while it lasted.

Contemporary games... Well I only ever ran 2. First up - Call of Cthulhu. From the 1st Edition box through to the 5th edition hardback, not much has changed with the rules. There is very little to learn but it probably requires the most work as a GM (or keeper in Chaosium speak). However there are some amazing campaign books released for it. Masks of Nyarlathotep took my gaming group just over 1 year (1/week for 3-4 hours) to complete. Characters die in this game. Various supplements have been released over the years including contemporary sourcebooks (Delta Green) as well as a terrible idea of converting it to the D20 system.

The other game I ran was Danger International. Not even a wikipedia entry for this one, but it basically uses cut down Hero System (Champions) rules and can easily be emulated with a copy of the Hero System rulebook.

Most fantasy games are complicated. There's the D&D monster of course, but I really loved Middle Earth Roleplaying which was comparatively simple. MERP uses a cut down version of Iron Crown's Rolemaster RPG which is complexity incarnate. But boy - you've got to love those critical tables. A whole book of them!

That's my tuppence!

-H

Shadow Witch

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 08:40:02 PM »
Thanks Guys

Systems I am looking at the moment for it are Champions [I like the game a lot but not sure how it would convert to CoH it is almost too flexible and has the disadvantage that a lot of the players I play with have done GURPS so straight points based systems like Champoins could be a pain] {Oh and that was one of the things that put me off the online game is such deep world background that the online game dosent use well}
Mutants and Masterminds [never quite got my head around how to build pwers with the system]
Silver Age Sentinals [hmmmm has elements ff both but not a fan of the Combat System]
and Wild Talents [Good system also flexible however not sure how you would buld power sets in it]

Scifi - Star Wars etc all good
Modern - Cuthulu, Suprised given the rush of Zombie movies etc no one mentioned eden All Flesh must be eaten Con X Witchcraft etc
Fantasy D&D GURPS [works well for fantasy games]etc [ps used to run Rolemaster and Spacemaster]

If I get the time will try to put together some characters in each of the systems to see how they play

HEATSTROKE

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 08:56:59 PM »
 You can make anything in City of Heroes in Champions system easily. You can make any hero from the world of comics in Champions system. I have played VandV, DC Heroes, Marvel Superheroes, Gurps, and Champions/Hero system is simply put..

THE BEST.. period...

Sailboat

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 08:58:27 PM »
A group I'm in  recently finished the Necessary Evil campaign module in the Savage Worlds system.  Savage Worlds had advantages and disadvantages over other systems with which I am more familiar; some powers and effects were relatively easy to buy the way we imagined them, for example.   But the system has two glaring flaws for superpowered gaming.  Firstly, the "no hit points" system is weird, and makes it hard to be significantly more durable than other characters.  Secondly, damage dice can "explode."  That means if you roll the top number on a die, you re-roll that die, ad infinitum.  So even weak minions would eventually, statistically, produce a gigantic damage number that would lay anyone low, no matter how tough.  It was not uncommon to be rolling, say, a d12 plus a d4, and get results like 5, 11, 8, 3, 54.  And that 54 was a killer.

I've played Hero System/Champions for several campaigns; I ran two campaigns myself for over ten years.  I know the system pretty well.  We just had a fairly young campaign (our first using the Sixth  Edition changes) fold up after the GM moved out of state.  (We tried to play over the internet, but his heart wasn't in it.)  It's a great system, but even though I love it, I'm also newly learning Mutants & Masterminds for a new campaign, and I can see some things I like about either system.

Nos482

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2012, 09:53:24 PM »
In case you want to play an Incarnate, I'd suggest White Wolf's Scion. You start out as a little hero and work your way up to godhood... the powers get quite epic near the end.
On the downside it's more Hercules than Superman in style; you are for example discouraged from getting too much attention.
And of course there is WW's dreaded (by many) storyteller system ;)
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Elindor

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2012, 02:37:03 AM »
Mutants and Masterminds [never quite got my head around how to build pwers with the system]
Power construction in Mutants and Masterminds is fairly straightforward, I find (in 3rd edition, at least). If you want specific examples, Green Ronin are putting out a series of PDFs called Power Profiles, each of which is about 6 pages or so, and it covers a specific theme (such as Fire Power, Ice Powers, Animal Powers, etc). They posted a sample from Mental Powers for free - http://grfiles.game-host.org/3e_files/PowerProfile-MentalPowers_SAMPLE.pdf

faith.grins

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 04:06:27 AM »
If you want to feed your superhero addiction, I highly recommend Mutants & Masterminds. The powers system is pretty flexible and you can duplicate most CoH/V powersets.
That.  3rd Edition M&M is pretty good.  There's a couple of things they changed going from 2nd to 3rd that I didn't like, most notably that they made it far, far harder to be an effective party buff character, but otherwise it's a very robust system which is a total blast to play or to GM for.  (The Hero Point system is genius.  Player gets lucky and zots the Godzilla running amok downtown in one blow?  No, they didn't, they just earned a Hero Point for starting the fight off with such a resounding blow!  It lets you set the pace and the tone of the story, and it lets your players participate in that equation.  I wish every table top system had something like it.)

Mutants and Masterminds [never quite got my head around how to build pwers with the system]
It's actually remarkably simple, it's just very time-consuming.  I'd be happy to try my hand at explaining it, if you wanted.  (I'd need to know which edition of sourcebook you had access to, but translating from 2nd Ed to 3rd is fairly straightforward... just, again, time consuming.)
Aram:  "Man, just look at all this.  Sometimes it's hard to believe that we get to live surrounded by such wonder."
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Shadow Witch

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2012, 07:06:41 PM »
Again ta for the replies

Have second edition Mutants and Mastermind and have started working my way through character creation have a much better idea of how it works - It is looking like the front runner at the moment for converting to a CoX game [yes I love Champions but it is a lot of work building NPCs {ps I can wing stuff but prefer to develop my main NPCs}]

I have Scion and also Aberant but the handfuls of D10s can be a pain [I do like some stuff WW do but the system can be a pain]

Play serenity with the savage world system - not a great fan of the system but the game was quite good

BobMc

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2012, 09:49:03 PM »
I was active in The Forge indie roleplaying game creation website years back.

One superhero game that was being pleytested back the became this...

Capes
http://www.museoffire.com/Games/index.html

another was

With Great Power
http://ipressgames.com/
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Harlequin565

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 04:24:08 PM »
It would be fairly easy to break down the various ATs into powers within Champions. Taking a simple set as an example...

Power Bolt    10d6 Energy Blast
Power Blast    12d6 Energy Blast
Energy Torrent    10d6 Energy Blast, AoE (line/cone)
Power Burst    15d6 Energy Blast
Sniper Blast    18d6 Energy Blast with increased activation time
Aim                    Extra OCV levels with (perhaps) an increased END cost, or recharge time limitation
Power Push    12d6 Energy Blast, Does no damage, No range, Double knockback.
Explosive Blast    12d6 Energy Blast, AoE (Explosion)
Nova                 20d6 Energy Blast, No range, AoE (Explosion) w/hole-in-the-middle, Costs more END.

One could then attach power point costs to those powers, tweaking them with advantages and disadvantages to bring them into balance and make them a bit more exciting. This could then be done across all ATs. Earned XP could be spent improving the power/removing limitations, or outright buying of the next power in the tier.

One would probably have to set characteristic limits in place for different ATs. For example, a Tank would have capped Dex (they're supposed to get hit) but high capped STUN/BODY, and a high cap on PD & ED. A blaster would have a high Dex cap, but a low cap on STUN and defences. There are holes in this model (an SR Tank for example) that would need to be thrashed out, but it's entirely possible.

Delivering this "package" to players would help enormously with power balance as well as make the game seem much simpler. it would, however, require a large amount of up front work!

Interesting project though :)

-H

GamingGlen

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 05:47:03 PM »
Power Push is ranged.

I'd do away with having the two similar attacks. That was one thing I didn't like about CoX: two very similar attack powers, instead just have one attack with faster recharge and use the other slot for something else.

Also, I wouldn't bother making the ATs (never much liked class-based systems anyway) and let people not be so restricted.  Champions worked out pretty well that way anyway and people can make characters like their CoX version if they want but do not have to.

faith.grins

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2012, 08:21:50 PM »
I'd do away with having the two similar attacks. That was one thing I didn't like about CoX: two very similar attack powers, instead just have one attack with faster recharge and use the other slot for something else.
It was necessary for the way City powers and recharges worked.  Very quickly recharging powers, like Snap Shot and the first Rad Blast power (the name of which escapes me) have very low damage-per-activation times, which was the only metric that mattered at high levels once you've got enough powers and Blue Bar that you don't spend time mid-fight just sitting there.  That's why they standardized everything for Blasters and spread that love to other ATs if the change was a net buff.  Sure, at low levels having a power that recharges in 1.5 seconds is great as it means you don't just sit there for as long between shots, but for anyone but a Force Field Defender, you get other stuff to fill your time with pretty quickly and it becomes less and less useful to have something which deals little damage whose primary advantage is that it doesn't leave you with downtime.  In games where powers with recharge times are the exception rather than the rule, you can see that there aren't nearly as many variations on a single type of power.  (E.g.:  In World of Warcraft, where cast time and mana costs are your big limiters, you'll see a blast-y class that has two main Blast-type powers:  one with a long cast time and high mana efficiency, and one with a short cast time and high damage, high cost.  Those are the only two variations that class needs on that theme, so their other powers tend to be utilitarian in nature or niche-fillers:  things that buff their overall damage, things that slow enemies, things that deal damage over time, things which stun or interrupt their enemies, etc.)

Sure, in a tabletop system, where you don't have to track Blue Bar costs or equivalent religiously, it makes little sense to take two different powers whose only difference is magnitude, and even that is small.  It does make sense to have some choice in how much damage you do, just for the sake of being able to subdue your attackers rather than outright kill them, but many game systems which work on a point buy will let you do that anyway.  (E.g.:  In Mutants and Masterminds, you can downrank any power you have at any time at no cost.  So you can run at merely 25% speed, or you can hit them with a fire blast with only 50% intensity.)  But tabletop systems are designed to make combat go more smoothly, not more impressively, so it's kind of a no-brainer to not give your players six different ways to blast things for X damage.
Aram:  "Man, just look at all this.  Sometimes it's hard to believe that we get to live surrounded by such wonder."
Gamal:  "We don't live over there." Aram:  "We don't?"
Gamal:  "No.  We live over there." Aram:  "... But it's all on fire."
Gamal:  "Yes it is, Aram.  Yes it is."

Shadow Witch

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2012, 09:07:51 PM »
Just a quickie [Sorry havent responder earlier but christmass etc] - What sort of power lvl would be the best place to start for Champions and Mutants and Masterminds

Canine

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2012, 10:26:37 PM »
Just a quickie [Sorry havent responder earlier but christmass etc] - What sort of power lvl would be the best place to start for Champions and Mutants and Masterminds

It all depends on what power level the GM wants the campaign to run at.  You can run any setting at any power level IMO, so it's all down to the GM's personal preference.

I played (years ago now) in a 'Dark Champions' campaign in Champions 4th Ed.  It was set as a street level vigilante game, and IIRC (which I may not, it's ages ago now, and my memory is a little fuzzy), we were built on 75 points + 75 points of equipment pool for stuff like guns, body armour, cars, bases etc. but I can't remember now how much we could get from disadvantages.

And you'd be amazed how much you can get out of 75+75 when you spend three days staring at the rules and crunching numbers....  Especially if you can convince the GM to let you have Elemental Power Pools, Adaptive Power Pools (if that's the name, it's been about 20 years now...) and so forth.

So far as Energy Blast in Champions goes, I'd be tempted to build it as an EPP or APP, myself.  Gives you the flexibility in how you use your powers, and if you stick to theme and always add in knockback, or whatever, then you should be able to get pretty close.

Of course, everything I just typed could be utter rubbish, but like I say, it's been years, I played Chapions 4th ed, and my memory's fuzzy.

In Champions, come up with a character concept and build the powers around that, it's not a system you can do the opposite in, to my thinking.  In CoH, you could pick a couple of powersets you liked the look of and build a character around them (and I did, a couple of times :) )