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Desslok

You'll believe that an RPG can fly. . . .

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3 minutes ago, Desslok said:

Actually, thinking about it - the CoH brand is probably cheap enough to licenses with very little overhead, but clearly comes with at least some brand recognition and nostalgia. I wonder if it would be in the realm of possibility for FFG to pick up the name? I guess it comes to if they peruse branded supplements (well, above and beyond the obvious one already on the books :) ) for the range.

There was actual a CoH RPG in the works at one time, back when the video game was still live.  Sadly it died on the vine.  I'd love to see FFG pick up the license, but I don't know how easy NCSoft is to work with.  They did just put Statesman in their new fighting game Master X Master, so maybe they haven't totally forgotten the license.

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16 hours ago, Desslok said:

Actually, thinking about it - the CoH brand is probably cheap enough to licenses with very little overhead, but clearly comes with at least some brand recognition and nostalgia. I wonder if it would be in the realm of possibility for FFG to pick up the name? I guess it comes to if they peruse branded supplements (well, above and beyond the obvious one already on the books :) ) for the range.

There was supposed to be a PnP game for CoH, but the company that was developing it folded.

Man...now I want really to add CoH to my list of themes...

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Honestly the loss of the "Force Dice" is a real tragedy because super powers (and power levels of various depths) could have been handled like force powers. If they aren't being included by this stage, the dice certainly won't make an appearance.

But, we'll have to see how their magic system is implemented for the fantasy genres, as that's an easy analogue for super powers.

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I've run a bunch of hero system over the decades ... most of the bulk of recent editions isn't actually rules, but advice and special case handling to avoid powergamers walking over the GM. The older editions (like 2E) were not nearly so big, and had most of the same power list.

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On 6/29/2017 at 3:07 PM, Desslok said:

Actually, thinking about it - the CoH brand is probably cheap enough to licenses with very little overhead, but clearly comes with at least some brand recognition and nostalgia. I wonder if it would be in the realm of possibility for FFG to pick up the name? I guess it comes to if they peruse branded supplements (well, above and beyond the obvious one already on the books :) ) for the range.

After NCSoft shut City of Heroes / Villains down, a group of players spent a couple years in talk with their parent corporation in an attempt to secure ownership of CoH. NCSoft came back with a number in the eight digit range that didn't begin with a one. I think it's safe to say they value their property very highly, and I doubt a license could be had on the cheap.

That said, I started developing a superhero RPG some years ago, borrowing a good many ideas - Inspirations, Influence, and so on - from my eight years in Paragon City. Maybe I'll have to open up that file and see how much of it can be ported to Genesys...

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On 6/28/2017 at 6:44 PM, Richardbuxton said:

Perhaps that's how the different "careers" would be split up. Tech Specialists (Batman, Iron Man), Super Enhanced (Superman, Wolverine), Mind/Psychic Supers (Xavier), World Altering (Storm). Some of the iconic characters would bridge multiple careers such as Cap who would have something from Enhanced and something from Tec Spec.

When I was writing Excelsior!, I had Origins, which were divided like so:

  • Unenhanced - Heroes who use their wits, human ingenuity, and invention.
    • Tech/Gadgets - Heroes who make use of gadgets, power suits, or advanced weapons.
    • Trained - Heroes who have received intense training in a particular (usually martial) skill.
    • Natural - Heroes who rely on quick wits and their natural strength and ability, normal humans with the willpower to do amazing things.
  • Birthright - Heroes for whom power is inherent by virtue of who they are.
    • Outsider Birthright - Heroes whose power is derived from their outsider heritage; angels, demons, fairies, aliens, anything not from here (wherever here might be).
    • Magical Birthright - Heroes with a magical gift from birth. Seventh son of a seventh son. Firstborn of a wizarding family. Direct descendant of Merlin.
    • Evolutionary Birthright (Mutation) - Heroes whose powers stem from the evolution of their species; genetic anomalies of their kind.
  • Changed - Heroes who were once just human, but have become something greater!
    • Changed by Bestowed Gift - Heroes who have been granted power by some sort of gift. An alien artifact, a mighty sword, a powerful ring, even ascension.
    • Changed by Power - Heroes who have been exposed to some great source of power - the Well of Souls, an alien device of unknown origin - and were changed by it.
    • Changed by Accident/Experiment - Heroes whose powers come from some fringe science experiment, or an arcane ritual gone awry.
  • Artificial - Heroes who have been made. Or at least partially.
    • Cybernetic Enhancement - Heroes who may not be completely artificial, but still require their enhancements to live and to do their good works.
    • Technological Construct - Heroes who are synthetic lifeforms and artificial intelligences. Androids, robots, and the like.
    • Magical Construct - Heroes brought to life by magic, such as golems and homunculae.
  • Incarnate - Heroes whose power comes from their very being as the avatar of some tremendous force.
    • Incarnation of a Deity - Heroes who are, or once were, gods, demigods, and other eternal beings.
    • Incarnation of a Place - Heroes representing the combined psyche of a given place, such as the protector of a city, the ghost of an ancient burial site; a being representing a specific place.
    • Incarnation of an Ideal - A hero who is the manifestation of a specific concept, such as hope, peace, or justice. 

There's no reason something like that couldn't serve as the basis for Career / Specialization in a supers game.

(Edited to flesh out the descriptions.)

Edited by Simon Retold

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3 hours ago, Simon Retold said:

When I was writing Excelsior!, I had Origins, which were divided like so:

  • Incarnate - Heroes whose power comes from their very being as the avatar of some tremendous force.
    • Incarnation of a Deity - Heroes who are, or once were, gods, demigods, and other eternal beings.
    • Incarnation of a Place - Heroes representing the combined psyche of a given place, such as the protector of a city, the ghost of an ancient burial site; a being representing a specific place.
    • Incarnation of an Ideal - A hero who is the manifestation of a specific concept, such as hope, peace, or justice. 

There's no reason something like that couldn't serve as the basis for Career / Specialization in a supers game.

(Edited to flesh out the descriptions.)

Wouldn't an Incarnation of Invincibility be a bit overpowered?

Then again, they just pulled that in Kamen Rider Ex-aid (japanese action series) where the main hero now has a truly invincible power up mode. But teh bad guys are begining to work around it by making sure he no longer can use his transformation device.

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On 6/30/2017 at 4:09 PM, dresdinseven said:

Honestly the loss of the "Force Dice" is a real tragedy because super powers (and power levels of various depths) could have been handled like force powers. If they aren't being included by this stage, the dice certainly won't make an appearance.

Problem with using Force dice is that they can be very unreliable leading to effects powered by them to fail (mostly as the PC doesn't want to use the dark side pips).

And for a lot of superheroes, unreliable is something that's not the case with their powers.  Superman's powers are "always on" and there's no chance of his strength or flight or invulnerability giving out on him unless there's some outside factor (such as green kryptonite or red sunlight).  With Wolverine, his healing factor is always going, and there's not really any chance that his adamantium skeleton is going to suddenly give out on him.  Captain America's Super-Soldier serum-enhanced body is 100% on the go, only fitzing out when the writers need to have Steve step down from the mantle for the latest marketing stunt.

It's really only if the hero is completely brand new to their powers that there's generally any real chance of unreliability, and even that tends to fade pretty quickly.

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5 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

Problem with using Force dice is that they can be very unreliable leading to effects powered by them to fail (mostly as the PC doesn't want to use the dark side pips).

And for a lot of superheroes, unreliable is something that's not the case with their powers.  Superman's powers are "always on" and there's no chance of his strength or flight or invulnerability giving out on him unless there's some outside factor (such as green kryptonite or red sunlight).  With Wolverine, his healing factor is always going, and there's not really any chance that his adamantium skeleton is going to suddenly give out on him.  Captain America's Super-Soldier serum-enhanced body is 100% on the go, only fitzing out when the writers need to have Steve step down from the mantle for the latest marketing stunt.

It's really only if the hero is completely brand new to their powers that there's generally any real chance of unreliability, and even that tends to fade pretty quickly.

While I understand your point, the counter point I would give is your opening paragraph. If the clunky "morality" system is discarded and strain was the only penalty to black pips, then the force dice become "always on" exactly like you detailed at length. Instead, the limiting factory would be how much you can use it (strain over time) and power strength (number of dice you roll/choose to use).

The reason force powers were so unreliable was because of the morality system. So the problem isn't the dice, but the poorly implemented secondary rules attached to them.

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12 hours ago, dresdinseven said:

While I understand your point, the counter point I would give is your opening paragraph. If the clunky "morality" system is discarded and strain was the only penalty to black pips, then the force dice become "always on" exactly like you detailed at length. Instead, the limiting factory would be how much you can use it (strain over time) and power strength (number of dice you roll/choose to use).

The reason force powers were so unreliable was because of the morality system. So the problem isn't the dice, but the poorly implemented secondary rules attached to them.

Except using those black pips also requires flipping a Destiny Point, which as been part of the rules since the EotE Beta, which not every PC is going to be able to do, either because the Destiny Pool doesn't have any light side tokens for them to flip, is low enough the PC doesn't want to burn them to disadvantage the other players who might need them for something they deem as more important, or simply don't view what they're doing as being worth taking strain and burning a Destiny Point.

The Force die mechanic is set up in such a way that a novice Force user will often struggle to properly connect with the Force, and will often draw upon excessive emotional content to do the job.  In contrast, for a great number of superheroes, there's no need to connect with some mysterious quasi-sentient energy field to work their mojo.

Closest example of a hero with truly unreliable powers is the lead from The Greatest American Hero, and most of his issues were caused by him literally having not read the instruction manual on how to use his powers.

Frankly, I think you're grasping at straws to shoe-horn in a mechanic that really doesn't fit with the genre.

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While I don't think a morality or duty mechanic works, I think some kind of disadvantage system could work. I don't think I'd narrow the focus as much as the Obligation mechanic, but some kind of way to add psychological weaknesses (Tony Stark's alcoholism), physical weakness (kryptonite), dependents (Oh no! Doc Ock is marrying Aunt May!), and assorted berserker button pushing ("Hulk SMASH puny solder!") would enhance the setting.

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3 hours ago, Desslok said:

While I don't think a morality or duty mechanic works, I think some kind of disadvantage system could work. I don't think I'd narrow the focus as much as the Obligation mechanic, but some kind of way to add psychological weaknesses (Tony Stark's alcoholism), physical weakness (kryptonite), dependents (Oh no! Doc Ock is marrying Aunt May!), and assorted berserker button pushing ("Hulk SMASH puny solder!") would enhance the setting.

Well, in HERO System those sorts of things gave the player bonus points, and an expert with the HERO system could milk their disadvantages for all they were worth; there's a reason HERO system is held as one of the gold standards of how point-buy systems can be grossly manipulated if the GM allows their players too much free reign on creating characters.

Over in Mutants & Masterminds 3e, such things are called Complications, and instead of giving you points the way a disadvantage would, they instead grant your character Hero Points, which are the game's currency to do some pretty cool stuff as well as dramatically boost your chances of success on a d20 roll (pretty much turns it into a reroll where any result less than 11 gets a +10 bonus to the result).

Personally, if there was a supers themed supplement FFG, I'd rather it take the second approach, with the drawback providing a benefit when it comes up rather than an up-front reward by offering more build points.  With M&M3e's approach, players are actually encouraged to come up with complications that will appear in the game and may even try to have some of those complications show up in the session, where a disadvantage system tends to skew towards players trying to find ways to maximize the point gain and minimize the chances of the disadvantage ever actually showing up.

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Just ignoring the colour of the Pips on the Force dice is always an option. But removing them and using skill checks is a much simpler set of rules to implement. WFRP did spell casting rather well with skill checks, super powers could easily be reliant on good skill pools.

An iron man is a good pilot and gunner. Spider-Man is athletic and coordinated. Batman is athletic, coercive and stealthy. Wolverine is Resilient, Athletic and a Brawler. They just get Powers that allow Success Advantage and Triumph to be spent in unique ways.

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17 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

Well, in HERO System those sorts of things gave the player bonus points, and an expert with the HERO system could milk their disadvantages for all they were worth; there's a reason HERO system is held as one of the gold standards of how point-buy systems can be grossly manipulated if the GM allows their players too much free reign on creating characters.

Oh man, so much this. Even to include power generation. I mean, building a gun as an OAF (obvious accessible Focus), but how about that Power framework ring: OIF, fire effects only, cannot target, bla bla bla. There were some reductions that I could get on a power that... frankly I shouldn't have been allowed. Especially with the character generation program... I'd just spend time looking through all the crap I could tweak. Sometimes just to get those extra points for a new power, or points on a stat or whatever. I agree, as much as I like Hero, you can see the player who's had longer in the system, and for that much benefit... that's just not fair. MM's system is much better, IMHO as well.

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I love a good disadvantage/complications system.  I played Hero for decades, and enjoyed the flavor of their disads.  I also enjoy obligation in EotE.  I happened to be blessed with a group that's not super min/maxy, so that wasn't a huge issue. 

I don't really care what the bonus is for my disads, it can be hero points, skill points, the ability to pick an extra talent, or whatever.  As long as it's a reasonable and balanced exchange.  I just want something worthwhile enough that characters will take disads, because they add so much flavor to the characters, and as a GM they give me a lot to work into my plots.

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1 hour ago, Hexnwolf said:

Oh man, so much this. Even to include power generation. I mean, building a gun as an OAF (obvious accessible Focus), but how about that Power framework ring: OIF, fire effects only, cannot target, bla bla bla. There were some reductions that I could get on a power that... frankly I shouldn't have been allowed. Especially with the character generation program... I'd just spend time looking through all the crap I could tweak. Sometimes just to get those extra points for a new power, or points on a stat or whatever. I agree, as much as I like Hero, you can see the player who's had longer in the system, and for that much benefit... that's just not fair. MM's system is much better, IMHO as well.

Well M&M has the benefit of being far less granular than HERO, which helped cut down on attempts to squeeze every last possible point you could out your drawbacks.  I've still seen some efforts at 'gaming the system' to try and get the maximum perk with minimal penalty out of M&M builds over on the Atomic Think Tank, but it generally doesn't nearly as crazy as such things could with the HERO system.

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