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masterchief7390

how to create a Superman?

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I've got some experience with the saga edition of star wars rpg, but I'm new to FFG. However, I am excited about getting into it. I've got an idea for a campaign that I think the players would really enjoy, but I'm not really sure how to pull it off with this system and I'm hoping for some helpful tips.

I'd like to make a story roughly equivalent to Superman in the Man of Steel. They would get to create their characters like normal and decide skills, talents, etc. The twist is that I would have a secret list of their super powers and actual stats like super strength and toughness. As the game progresses, they would quickly realize that they're not ordinary. The focus of the campaign would become learning how to be hero, dealing with public perception, etc. How should I go about implementing these kind of ideas without breaking the game? Although I want them be powerful, I can't put them in a spot where they feel like they don't need to roll the dice anymore or that they can do anything. I need to have some kind of definable limitations and weaknesses. I've never played any other rpg besides the star wars ones, so I'm not sure how they balance this, and I actually do want this to be in the star wars universe.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

p.s. I have all three FFG Star Wars core rulebooks.

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so, when players roll for their skills, their innate characteristics (ex: Brawn) factor into the roll.

 

Have you thought about how things like super strength will manifest into their rolls?

 

For example, if a character has Brawn 3 and Athletics 2, his normal skill check for jumping a gap would be YYG.

 

But if he had super strength (or super jump, or whatever), would you hand him extra dice to roll, or tell him to swap out the green with a yellow and wait for him to figure out why? 

 

Was curious to know how you'd implement this mechanically.

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I would second using a superhero system as a base. For example how do you plan to implement:

Teleportation, Phasing, Invulnerability, enhanced senses, superhero scaling (anything already in core but taken to beyond mortal levels), Superspeed, Weather Control, etc...

There are a few Apocalypse system hacks that introduce superpowers in a narrative based game system...also FATE and Savage Worlds may be worth a look. Even if your heart is set on FFG RP, I suggest taking a gander at those for some ideas. :)

Edited by Tiltowait

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@Rookhelm,

Offhand, my feeling is that since this system isn't meant for superheroes that I'd probably keep my own separate stat page for him that shows me his "real" brawn as being several levels higher and maybe even give boost dice to account for his being uniquely powerful. I'd build the dice pool for him and then describe the results of his actions accordingly and let him figure out why, I guess. At least, that's what I was thinking, but I'm not familiar enough with this system to know how far I can push these kinds of things and still make the game's mechanics make sense.

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Star Wars heroes definitely aren't supermen (no matter what the later EU tried to do with some characters!)

 

Watch the films again.  A sense of vulnerability makes them more human and somehow heroic.  There's not much heroism required if you're immune to bullets and can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

 

And as regards messing with the player stats? Take it from someone who usually likes messing with such things (but didn't in this game): DON'T.   It's balanced for a reason, and higher than expected stats will totally trivialise the  gaming experience.

 

Of course, you can do what you like at your table, but you'll be ruining the experience for yourself.

 

 

There are 'action hero' levels of power in the game already.  'Last Man Standing' lets you kill every non-Boss enemy with one roll.  With a mere two Force dice, you can hurl multiple ATATs into each other with your mind.  You can use a Force power to drain your enemy's life-force and simultaneously resurrect a fallen friend. 

 

Crazy stuff can happen... but the heroes (and enemies) are usually vulnerable, and that's how it's meant to be.

 

Seriously; there are more appropriate systems for what you want.

Edited by Maelora

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Yeah, have to agree that you're much better off using one of the many superhero RPGs that are on the market rather than trying to force this system to do something it was never meant to do.

 

Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition is pretty solid, and is my preferred choice for a supers RPG as it's got a fair bit of crunch and flexibility when it comes to building powers and running combats without getting too bogged down.

 

If you're looking to keep the mechanics on the simple side of things, I've had good experiences with ICONS.

 

And while it's out of print, if you can track down a copy the Marvel Heroic RPG by Margaret Weiss is pretty solid, and may actually support your idea of powers being revealed gradually instead of all at once.

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This system doesn't inherently lend itself to the superhero genre.  While the narrative dice, critical hits and minions rules have a lot of potential, the gear and offensive setup means that any starting character is probably going down in two or maybe three shots.  Even the most powerful Sith Lord is one autofire volley away from swiss cheese.

 

I agree with whafrog.  Check out Savage Worlds. The core rules are ten bucks, and they handle over the top heroics really well.  If you want to spend another 20/30$ more, there's a supplement book specifically dedicated to super heroes.

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I disagree with everyone here in that this is possibly the perfect system for the super hero system. You have the force, so you actually have a machanical representation to use for your hero points. Just in order to do so, you have to think of a few things.

What power level? Are we talking extreme super power level or are we thinking X men, where most have one defining power but are otherwise normal.

Is this going to be set in the Star Wars universe? And are there going to be other, AWESOME amped up villains to match? I mean, we all heard about the rumours of wookies being strong enough to rip limbs out, let's see that super strength in action!

Personally I am not a fan of springing it on your players blindly, but one idea might be to just tweak things a little, add. A few new force powers and just give them 3/5 force dice. That enhance check for athletics? Describe it as super speed and describe how they cross distances in incredible time. Allow them to commit as many force dice to enhance strength as they desire. Characters with seek? Well if they roll enough pips just hand them the dms notes as they penetrate the fourth wall. Ever wanted to be the invisible woman? Illusion can make it so! Making those coming out of the closet moments all that more spectular! Xd

Yes, I am serious, give them the keys to powers and let them dial it up to 11. But make sure they specify clearly what their powers are. After character creation, they can enhance what they got. But they can't take any more force powers, and limit them to two/three at most. From there on, they will have to live with the powers they selected and likely spend much of their exp between enhancing Careers and powers. Main reason is you don't want them to become so good that they tower over everything, kind of like how captain American is clearly stronger then any man but isn't superman. In order for a sub stainable hero campiagn there must be challenge. If people are too good at everything there is none.

My advice? Go for it, just try and see the system first and try and keep your amendments within the scope, there's a lot of things you can do already without changing much.

Oh, and feel free to invent some trees for stuff you don't have, but try and keep it in line with other force trees.

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Just as an addon to my Ipad account: Use the triumphs and advantages narratively to enhance the effect. Like if someone is aiming to run really fast, describe a triumph on an altheltics check to do something really cool. "For a brief moment the character accelerates beyond the sound barrier, creating a deafening shockwave upon arrival that deafens the thugs, upgrade check of the thugs twice as their resolve is greatly shaken, or alternatively upgrade your first check twice against them." something like that.

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@LordBritish:  nice thinking outside the box.  I like the extra Force dice as a way to leverage the superpower.  My main concern is that as far as damage output goes, this game does tend to bring down the PCs more quickly than other games.  But then you can always play with Soak, double the Wound and Strain thresholds, etc.

 

I could see giving the PCs a single partially filled Force power (so they still have something to grow into) and amping up the results.  Even just Enhance could turn someone into Dash from the Incredibles; Influence could be like "whatshername" from the recent Avengers; Protect could be that force bubble that Violet in the Incredibles uses; Unleash could be "flame on"...etc

 

Giving out more than one amped up superpower could be overkill though, so the normal character options might need to be limited.

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Just give everyone access to only one Force power, and treat it like the Heroes series, where these individuals have vastly different abilities but are all still very human. And yeah, you could mess around with the Force rating...like, if you want it to be superpowered, maybe give them a Force Rating of 3 and just let them run wild (but again, they're limited to that one power). You'll probably also want to be very selective with any specializations from Force and Destiny.

Edited by awayputurwpn

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Using this game for any other system has one big stumble: The Careers and Specializations. While some game types, like Fantasy can take them and just modify them for a medieval flair, others don't fit so well.

 

They could somehow be twisted for superheroes. I could see the Mystic career being 'Magic Based Powers", Warriro "Physical based", etc. 

 

Then there is the real issue. The Powers. You can use the existing Force Powers to craft different powers. While I don't have a grand idea for the powers, I do for how powerful.

 

Use Force Rating as a stat for how strong a player is with the power. So, a Physical character may have Enhance at 3 (Force Rating), but only Sense at 1. That allows a player to have 3 dice to roll and activate Enhance with. But only 1 in Sense, which is mostly used to commit. (just a thought).

 

The bigger issue is how powers are presented so far. There are only what, 10 different Force powers. While that can do some things, it can't do what Superheroes do. 

 

And this idea is coming from a "using the book as is as much as possible" mentality. I've been toying with this idea for a number of different settings or conversions. (I almost want to surprise everyone with how well Rifts can translate to this system.)

Edited by ApocalypseZero

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You might try creating your supers as ships. This was the theory in the Palladium supers game.

This way you could have Batman as a normal human in a vehicle (the Batjet) taking on Superman...

Another option is to nerf the minions even more so your heroes can take out many with one roll. Super villains would be rival and nemesis types so you can keep the balance the same that way.

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I appreciate all of the tips and suggestions. With everything you guys have given me (and anything else you might think of that you'd like to share  :)) I believe I can move forward with my plans and actually make this work. I'm fascinated by the idea of someone like Superman living in a star wars universe and how his existence would influence the decisions of people like Palpatine, the Jedi, Crime lords, Mandalorians, etc. I really think this is something the players in my group would appreciate also.

Thanks again and if there are any more suggestions I would love to hear them.

Edited by masterchief7390

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I appreciate all of the tips and suggestions. With everything you guys have given me (and anything else you might think of that you'd like to share  :)) I believe I can move forward with my plans and actually make this work. I'm fascinated by the idea of someone like Superman living in a star wars universe and how his existence would influence the decisions of people like Palpatine, the Jedi, Crime lords, Mandalorians, etc. I really think this is something the players in my group would appreciate also.

Thanks again and if there are any more suggestions I would love to hear them.

 

I imagine it would be very similar to the star wars universe today.

 

CRANKED UP TO 11.

 

Though logically speaking, it would make sense. Some people have super reactions, the power of advanced telekinesis, and mental manipulation. The sky really is the limit of where heroes with super powers are a very real threat to the empire. Perfect thing is that there's a simple explanation for it; they are adapts especially touched by the force.

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@Lordbiscuit

That's the great thing about it all.....the star wars galaxy is full of extraordinary things already so there is at least some precedent for these kinds of things. Take Anakin for instance. He was the Chosen One. He was immensely talented and the entirety of the first 6 star wars movies revolved around him. The Jedi and the sith changed their plans for him. So, if there were another "super-being" thrown into the mix would they do the same or would they try to destroy him? It's just something interesting to explore.

Edited by masterchief7390

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