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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    A few days ago, I stumbled into a thread that asked "how would you make super-heroes in 3.5." There were a lot of great suggestions, and they got me thinking...is there a simple way to do this?

    Here are my thoughts:

    The game would be based on a system where all characteristics are purchased via character points. It might looks something like this:

    Characters begin play with 25 character points, and use their points to purchase the following characteristics
    .

    Hit Die
    d6 = Free
    d8 = 1 points
    d10= 2 points

    Skill Points
    2+Int = Free
    4+Int = 1 points
    6+Int = 2 points

    Class Skills
    Choice of 5 = Free
    Choice of 7 = 1 point
    Choice of 9 = 2 points

    Attack Bonus
    Poor (ends with +10) = Free
    Average (ends with +15) = 1 point
    Good (ends with +20) = 2 Points

    Saves and Defense
    Poor (ends with +6) = free
    Average (ends with +9) = 1 point
    Good (ends at +12) = 2 points

    Attributes would be replaced with attribute modifiers. All attributes start with a rating of 0 and can be purchased up to 5 at character creation, at the cost of 1 character point each.

    Once all that is done, you've basically created a class.

    Now, as for super-hero powers, lets turn to psionics!

    All characters have a power-point reserve equal to their level x10 (feats can be used to increase this). At level 1, a character gains access to a single rank 1 psionic power. Every other level they gain access to another psionic power of the next rank. If the character wishes, he may choose a power of a lower rank instead.

    Finally, all characters have a limited ability to heal themselves. At the beginning of each day, the hero has a Healing Reserve equal to his (Level x 5). This can only be used to heal the character, and may be spent as the character sees fit.


    And that's it. It's essentially "build your class." It's very rough, and I am certain that i am missing stuff, so please help me fix this up. I think i might try it in a game this weekend, so any input would be helpful!

    One last thing: Before anyone asks, I am aware of the Mutants and Masterminds system. I have played it before, with mixed results: I find that some people are daunted by its complexity, and I dislike the way damage is handled -- honestly, in a superhero game, why not keep HP? Its one of the few mediums where a "badass normal" can withstand a grenade blast and not get killed. In other words, HP just makes sense in that kind of setting!
    Last edited by wayfare; 2011-03-04 at 07:10 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    A few more ideas:

    The Power/Skill Trade-Off

    Some heroes are all about raw power, desiring the ability to lift tanks and out-perform super computers. Other heroes prefer skill to power; rather than incredible natural talent, these heroes focus on exacting execution of skill. When you create your character, you choose your particular focus: power or skill.

    A Power focus grants:

    1) +1 to a single attribute at 2nd level and every two levels thereafter
    2) 1 feat at 4th level and every four levels thereafter

    A Skill focus grants:

    1) 1 feat at 2nd level and every two levels thereafter
    2) +1 to a single attribute at 4th level and every four levels thereafter

    Starting Feats

    Thinking of adding a Starting Feats section to the above post. It would probably look like this:

    Starting Feats

    1 Feat = Free
    2 Feats = 1 point
    3 Feats = 2 points

    Focus

    I'm thinking of adding a characteristic that functions like psionic focus, and can be used to enhance powers.
    As a basic function, the hero could expend his focus as a free action to re-roll any d20 roll he makes.
    Last edited by wayfare; 2011-03-04 at 08:40 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    This looks pretty cool

    For starting feats, note that 2 feats grants 1 extra feat whereas 4 feats grants 2 extra feats instead of 1 like the others. This means it's better than the other class feature upgrades which give the same bonus for each point spent, if any of that makes sense.

    Are you going to allow the purchase of bonus powers with character points?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    Is it just me, or is this already starting to look like Mutants & Masterminds?

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    New Feats

    Feature Feats: There feats grant you the class features from 3.5

    Uncanny Dodge
    Prerequisites: Dexterity 2
    Effect: The hero retains his Dexterity bonus to Defense even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to Defense if immobilized.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge
    Prerequisites: Uncanny Dodge, Level 5+
    Effect: The hero can no longer be flanked. An opponent cannot sneak attack the hero unless the opponent has 4 or more levels than the hero.

    Sneak Attack
    Effect: If you are flanking an opponent or attack an opponent that is flat footed, you may deliver a precise strike that inflicts an additional 1d6 points of damage.
    This precision damage, and does not apply to opponents without discernible anatomies (plants, oozes), or creatures that lack constitution scores (Constructs, Undead).
    Sneak attack damage is not multiplied on a critical hit.

    Improved Sneak Attack
    Prerequisite: Sneak Attack, Level 2
    Effect: Your ability to inflict precision damage has increased. When executing a sneak attack, you inflict an additional 2d6 points of precision damage.

    Advanced Sneak Attack
    Prerequisite: Improved Sneak Attack, Level 4
    Effect: Your ability to inflict precision damage has become a key part of your fighting style. When executing a sneak attack, you inflict an additional 3d6 points of precision damage.

    Unexpected Strike
    Prerequisite: Improved Sneak Attack, Level 4+
    Effect: As a swift action, you may expend your focus to consider an opponent flanked for the purpose of making a sneak attack.

    Death Attack
    Prerequisite: Improved Sneak Attack, Unexpected Strike Level 8+
    Effect: Your ability to deliver lethal precision damage is unmatched. Before attacking an opponent, you may expend your focus to deliver a Death Attack. On a successful strike, your opponent must make a Fortitude Save (DC 10 + 1/2 your level + Dexterity Rating). On a success, your opponent is simple subject to a standard sneak attack and is immune to your death attack for 24 hours. On a failure, your opponent is reduced to 0 hp, and takes normal sneak attack damage as well.

    Enrage
    Effect: You have the ability to drive yourself into an animalistic frenzy for a short time, dramatically increasing your combat ability. As a full action, you can drive yourself into a rage state. While enraged, you gain a +2 bonus to Strength, +2 to Fortitude and Will saves, and +2 temporary hp/level. However, as a result of your enraged state, you take a -2 penalty to Defense and cannot use any skills based on your mental ability scores.
    A character remains enraged for (Constitution + 1/2 level) rounds, after which he gains the Fatigued status that lasts as long as the character maintained rage.
    A character who is fatigued cannot become enraged.
    Special: If you are focused when you become enraged, you automatically lose your focus.

    Focused Rage
    Prerequisites: Enrage, Wisdom 5+, Level 4+
    Effect: Intense concentration allows you to maintain your focus while enraged.

    Tireless Rage
    Prerequisites: Enrage, Constitution 5+, Level 4
    Effect: You no longer become fatigued after rage. You must still wait to become enraged again.

    Swift Rage
    Prerequisite: Enrage, Level 4
    Effect: You can snap into a rage at a moments notice. With this feat, you can become enraged as a swift action instead of a full action.

    Mighty Rage
    Prerequiste: Enrage, Level 8
    Effect: While enraged, you gain a +3 bonus to Strength, +3 to Fortitude and Will saves, and +3 temporary hp/level. The penalty to defense remains at -2.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeta Kai View Post
    Is it just me, or is this already starting to look like Mutants & Masterminds?
    I don't follow. Mutants and Masterminds uses a free form sorta thing, where you can customize your skills and whatnot as you go. This allows you to create your own class, which then advances in a linear fashion.

    In after character creation, your character will advance at a steady, predictable rate.
    Last edited by wayfare; 2011-03-04 at 08:42 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhem View Post
    This looks pretty cool

    For starting feats, note that 2 feats grants 1 extra feat whereas 4 feats grants 2 extra feats instead of 1 like the others. This means it's better than the other class feature upgrades which give the same bonus for each point spent, if any of that makes sense.

    Are you going to allow the purchase of bonus powers with character points?
    Yeah, i might just simplify it to 1 feat at 1st level. But, I'll make the change and see how people feel about it.

    As for bonus powers, I'm not really sure. I think that could be a huge advantage at level 1. But, if you want to add it, i would recommend:

    Starting Powers
    1 power = free
    2 powers = 2 point
    3 powers = 4 points

    A bit more expensive than most characteristics, but could be worth a lot at lower levels.
    Last edited by wayfare; 2011-03-04 at 08:40 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    Ooh, I love superheroes, I'll see if I can be of any help.

    Now for this class thing, there is this person that made a class sort of based around superpowers call The Gifted. You might want to take a look if it'll help you.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    So do I.
    The problem with building superheroes is that they tend to be far more powerful than D& D characters.Bricks tend to have damage reduction and immense STR scores,speedsters and martial artists tend to have very high DEX (and speedsters have superhuman movement modes) blasters fire off innate energy blasts,psionics is very common and don't let me get started on super-mages.
    And many supers have flight.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Cross View Post
    So do I.
    The problem with building superheroes is that they tend to be far more powerful than D& D characters.Bricks tend to have damage reduction and immense STR scores,speedsters and martial artists tend to have very high DEX (and speedsters have superhuman movement modes) blasters fire off innate energy blasts,psionics is very common and don't let me get started on super-mages.
    And many supers have flight.
    Its very true that the standard 3.5 system doesn't do a really great job with characters on the super-heroic power scale: in order to perform some of the feats seen in comics, 3.5 characters would have to have attributes in the hundreds.

    The system outlined above allows you to create characters that are low to mid-levels of power in terms of superheroics: ranging from guys like batman to guys like luke cage or cyclops. At high levels you might be able to build a good version of storm and a pretty sweet version of the cyborg from DC. Characters like Iron-Man and Steel could probably be done...though it would be a challenge.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating Super-Heroes in 3.5; Lets Make A System!

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfare View Post
    I am aware of the Mutants and Masterminds system. I have played it before, with mixed results: I find that some people are daunted by its complexity, and I dislike the way damage is handled -- honestly, in a superhero game, why not keep HP? Its one of the few mediums where a "badass normal" can withstand a grenade blast and not get killed. In other words, HP just makes sense in that kind of setting!
    Just a sidebar, here -
    The Mastermind's Manual offers an alternate system for damage which uses hit points, damage rolls, and damage reduction.
    I don't see how hit points are a better model of surviving a grenade blast than toughness saves.

    That said, the complexity can be a bit much for new players. I feel it's best if someone familiar with the system goes through character creation with newcomers asking the basic questions:
    What superpowers do you want?
    What do you want to be able to do well?
    What areas are not as important to you?
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