Author Topic: Table Top Roleplaying  (Read 12441 times)

Elindor

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2012, 11:14:13 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

When playing Supers in Mutants and Masterminds, I found that Power Level 10 with 150 Power Points is a decent starting point - it worked quite well for the game I've been running for the past 12 months. I've been raising the Power Level after major arcs, so they're currently at PL 12, and likely to break into PL 13 soon. I've also done some work translating City of Heroes characters, and PL 10 seems to work quite well there. If there's interest, I can post a few conversions I've done.

There are official statistics for various characters from the DC Universe, which gives us some better reference marks. The members of the Teen Titans are generally Power Level 10-11. For the classic Justice League, Batman is PL 12 (and significantly exceeds the normal point budget there), and Superman clocks in at 15. Green Lanterns are around PL 13-14, while Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter is PL 14. Aquaman is PL 12, as is the Flash (Jay, Barry and Wally). (New 52 Justice League has Cyborg instead of Martian Manhunter - PL 10 for him)

Adelante

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2012, 01:23:39 AM »
I played Warhammer Fantasy RPG for a few campaigns last year and enjoyed it a lot.  A lot of that was getting to meet new people and spend more quality time with my then-fiancee (and now ex-fiancee).  We stopped playing when it became clear that the GM was a douchenozzle.  If things didn't go the way he wanted, or if we made choices he hadn't made meticulous plans for, he basically just tried his best to kill us so that we'd start over fresh.  Got to be very un-fun after a while.

I used to play both Palladium Fantasy & RIFTS with a bunch of school friends.  We stopped after our GM died in a car accident, and it's been over a decade since I've even looked at those sourcebooks.  It was fun, though.

For my money though it's BattleTech.  I have always, always loved "Mech" things and BattleTech really fit the bill.  I even won a tournament at a major event.  Well, I came in third, anyway.  It was such a blast.  Took like 12 or 13 hours, it was a simply massive game.

Harlequin565

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2013, 06:07:10 PM »
My (superherioic) Champions campaign was based around:

- 250 point based characters with 150 worth of disadvantages.
- GM capped Dex of 30 (base CV of 10, though levels could push higher)
- Capped 75AP in any attack, so 15d6 Energy Blast, 10d6 AP Energy Blast, 5d6RKA, etc.. If the power + advantages were more than 75 points it got pushed back to the player unless it had severe limitations.
- Elemental Control (framwework) powers must be tightly grouped. Rarely allowed skills within them unless they were "all-skill/talent" ECs
- 5 slot caps on Multipowers. No more than 2 MPs per character
- A total of no more than 60 points of defence for Energy/Physical. So a player could do 30/30 PD/ED or 35/25 etc etc. With "Tank" style players I sometimes allowed higher on an individual basis depending on their Dex (and corresponding CV)

Average villains had a CV of 9, PD/ED of 30/30 and a Speed of 6.

I'd generally look over the character sheets as part of the process and make suggestions to better round out the character and to force building in limitations where the player had decided to create a "super-tough" power-gamed monstrosity.

For example, a fire based character with a few extra d6 that only worked against cold using characters and extra ED vs Heat based attacks (taking them over the caps) but a corresponding Vulnerability to cold based attacks. The disadvantage was an important part of making the PC wary of engaging cold based characters.

Things to watch out for...

Players who take limitations on powers that aren't really limitations. "Doesn't work in outer space" is of no limitation if your campaign never leaves the Earth's surface. The player can have the limitation, but it's not worth any points. Focusses - especially inaccessible ones are a cheap way of getting point costs down. "Cyber" the cybernetic hero in my campaign had extra STR focussed on his OIF (Arms) and Superleap focussed on his OIF (Legs). We still take the mickey out of him for the two sessions he spent in a wheelchair. And whilst his super strong arms could do wonders, his shoulders, and torso were all human which meant he just squashed differently when Grond pancaked him with a Tank.

Players who become useless in a certain environment. A player whose forcefield, gun, springy boots, and amulet of Arkansas all stop working when they are underwater may be fun for everyone else, but for that player it will be a nightmare. In a "superheroic" environment a 15d6 energy blast against someone without their defences working could easily leave a smear on the tarmac and a pair of smoking boots.

These same rules apply to Disadvantages too. "Takes 3d6/pha if underwater" for the above character makes them a real paper tiger if you play in any coastal/river area. "Hunted by the Arkansas Astronauts (14-)" is fine if you're prepared to spend the time creating all the NPCs. Not so much of a disadvantage if you're not.

I generally have out xp at the rate of 2-3 points per 3-4 hour play session with a couple more at the end of a long campaign-story.

-H

Mysterious J

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2013, 05:03:45 AM »
For what it's worth, I've written a (free) superhero RPG, called Kapow!  It's available for download at http://www.rpgnow.com/product/95884/Kapow%21

It takes a much more free-form approach to defining your powers than something like Hero, M&M, or Silver Age Sentinels.  You could really easily do something with the feel of Paragon City, though you wouldn't come close to having the actual mechanical limitations (though I suppose the more you know about the exact way powers work, the more you could treat your powers as having exactly those limitations, making the "Primary Rule" "Does this sound like something from City of Heroes" instead of "something from a comic book.")
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 06:56:56 AM by jamused »

Tenzhi

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2013, 06:43:21 AM »
I prefer Mutants & Masterminds - to me it's like Champions with less headache.  However, I occasionally find myself wanting to implement optional rules to switch it over to a more typical HP/damage system.

Somewhere on the boards here, there was someone working on a system specifically for City of Heroes.  Unfortunately I was never able to find a moment to check it out, so I don't know how good it is.
When you insult someone by calling them a "pig" or a "dog" you aren't maligning pigs and dogs everywhere.  The same is true of any term used as an insult.

Tenzhi

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2013, 06:57:59 AM »
Incidentally, here is the thread for the City of Heroes RPG I mentioned.
When you insult someone by calling them a "pig" or a "dog" you aren't maligning pigs and dogs everywhere.  The same is true of any term used as an insult.

Sailboat

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2013, 05:32:31 PM »
Although I am warming to Mutants & Masterminds, I have to laugh at their advertised claims that the system does away with the tedium of tracking hit points.  It does -- but replaces it with the tedium of tracking bruises.  Every time I have to write down my bruises, I can't help but think, "this could just as well be hit points, couldn't it?"  Furthermore, M&M introduces more "conditions" (i.e., "held," "dazed," "debilitated," etc.) than COH's status effects plus Hero System plus Savage Worlds combined. Heh.  We've been playing a few months now, and still scramble to figure out what it means when someone is "staggered" or "restrained."

As far as point values go, while you can use any level, M&M (3rd Edition currently) seems to peg PL 10 as the "novice superheroes starting out" level.  Champions/Hero System used to use 250 for that, but their current 6th Edition has upped that to 400 (I think the removal of "figured characteristics" raised the baseline costs).  In Champions, The_Laughing_Man's numbers are a decent guide, although I personally would prefer to peg the median speed lower, so that speed-themed characters are more differentiated from the pack.  (I traditionally like to see about half the players at 4 and the other half at 5, except for deliberate outliers).

The important thing about setting power levels is to make sure everyone is on the same page.  I was once in a Champions campaign that was intended to be "street level," meaning both "dirty and violent" and also "lower-powered."  My character concept was a super marksman (Bullseye-type); another player had a master of kung fu whose mutant power destroyed gunpowder/explosives, and we had a catboy.  After dealing with a few bank robbers and terrorists, we were joined by a new player whose character, for reasons never fully explained, had enough telekinesis strength to rip the torch off the Statue of Liberty -- and wield it.  In the inevitable "we wind up mistakenly fighting the new player before she joins the team" scenario, I was trying to do things like momentarily blind her with a thrown paperclip...and she picked me up and threw me a few hundred feet, instantly ending the fight and hospitalizing me (I would have bled to death without GM intervention).

For decades afterwards, that mismatch in powerlevel has been the go-to example of what to guard against during character design.  "Street-level" should not mean "able to level the entire street."

Harlequin565

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2013, 05:01:53 PM »
Champions/Hero System used to use 250 for that, but their current 6th Edition has upped that to 400 (I think the removal of "figured characteristics" raised the baseline costs).

They what?? Crikey...

I am a bit of a Champions dinosaur and had the original Champions I II and III (with Goodman's Rules of Cost Effectiveness!!) which I had until 4th Edition I think. Then I bought the Big Black Book because it was so pretty...

I did run a "super-street" (based on the Repairman Jack novels) campaign based on 125 point characters. Gear (guns, ammo and body armour) were all bought with money so the players went wild with decent skills and often a lot of martial arts. I did allow the occasional telepath type character and everyone was forced to take "Normal Characteristic Maxima" as a disadvantage (every non-figured characteristic over 20 cost double). Then I could throw vampires, werewolves and other nasties at them.

Your anecdote is very true of Champions without a GM who can force players to balance their characters. I never understood GMs who arbitrarily allowed anything into their games without forcing the player to rip out anything game breaking. I remember looking at a D&D character sheet from a fellow player who'd turned up for the session and claimed that his 17 point average across all stats was truly randomly rolled...

What a nostalgic thread...

-H

Sailboat

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Re: Table Top Roleplaying
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2013, 03:35:58 PM »
They what?? Crikey...

Yeah, Sixth gets rid of figured, you pay for everything straight up.  Also, Combat Values are now stats separate from Dex.  After an initial period of open-mouthed staring, I think I like the 6th changes.  The ability to unlink OCV and DCV from Dex (and from each other) lets us have more fine-tuned control over the sorts of characters we imagine (easier to make, say, a calligrapher with great Dex-based skills who is not impossible to hit) and the lack of freebie figured characteristics, strangely enough, means you're no longer inefficient or "doing it wrong" to buy up your stun if you're not super strong.  The general rise in starting hero points, I think, makes up for the need to buy individual things without the "free" figured stuff.

I am a bit of a Champions dinosaur and had the original Champions I II and III (with Goodman's Rules of Cost Effectiveness!!) which I had until 4th Edition I think.

Speaking of Champions dinosaurs, a small brag -- my name is in the 4th edition, credited as a playtester.  Happened to be in school with Rob Bell.