Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Gender
    Male

    Default S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Many moons ago I tried to build a simplified d20 Superhero RPG and with some very helpful input from the GITP community I had the beginnings of an inkling of an idea. I am going to repost it here, updated for time and expand upon it when time permits (before I ineviatbly burn out again and quit or this thread is shut down for inactivity!)

    If you are like me, you have pretended to be Batman since you were five. As I grew, I tried again and again to find a Superhero RPG that was easy, immersive, and easy. (I wrote that twice on purpose)

    I have had no luck. Palladium daunts me, Marvel's RPG license changes hands far too often, and Masks wants me to buy 50+ books.

    So, because I have much more important things to do than try to create a new roleplaying game system, I have decided to create a new Superhero roleplaying game system by myself.


    S.U.P.E.R.B.!


    Based entirely of me once making a new acronym for Shazam (long story), I came up with the idea of six stats, a simple d20-esque method of resolving any or all issues in a game, and all whole lost of nothing else yet.

    So I am just going to periodically dump game system ideas here for your general perusal and evaluation, and maybe one day playtest it as it evolves on the GiTP boards.

    With my nascent stats acronym (not at ALL similar for Bethesda's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats) I go forth.

    Strong For determining how powerful your heroic muscles (or lack thereof) are. Do you even lift?
    Undaunted To see how strong your will is. Are you a weak-willed fool, or a Man Without Fear?
    Precise What kind of mind do you have? Are you a living computer, or a semi-functioning limbic beast?
    Enduring The measure of resilience of body. Are you made of stone, or do they call you Mr. Glass?
    Responsive Physical response time is checked here. Are you quick enough to run between raindrops, or are you a lumbering oaf?
    Beautiful This decides the charms you have, be they physical or cerebral. Are you pretty but dumb, or can you charm the pants off the Pope?
    ! This is the wildcard. A ! can be that heroic last-second surge of strength, a stroke of luck, or good ol Deus Ex Machina.

    And each challenge that faces a S.U.P.E.R.B. Hero can be resolved by polling a number that corresponds to one of those stats.

    What you need:

    1. A creative mind.
    2. A GM who can stretch credibility and suspend disbelief.
    3. PCs who are more concerned with fun than fiat.
    4. Dice and paper, also pencils.


    This is an early attempt at creating a simple game system. I will keep it here for future reference.


    Character Creation

    WORK IN PROGRESS


    You have to start somewhere, so I started here.

    What you need to determine:

    Crunch


    Stats

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    For this, instead of the d20 method 10 being average and 0-20 being better or worse, I've decided to make 1-2 average, and the number beyond as exception, extraordinary, super-human and god-like in their escalation.
    You can roll 1d20, 2d10, 5d4 or whatever randomizer to get a 1-20 score. If you have the idea for your character you can input it manually.

    S is for Strong
    Score Modifier Example
    1-2 0
    3-4 +1
    5-6 +2
    7-8 +3
    9-10 +4
    11-12 +5
    13-14 +6
    15-16 +7
    17-18 +8
    19-20 +9
    U is for Undaunted
    Score Modifier Example
    1-2 0
    3-4 +1
    5-6 +2
    7-8 +3
    9-10 +4
    11-12 +5
    13-14 +6
    15-16 +7
    17-18 +8
    19-20 +9
    P is for Precise
    Score Modifier Example
    1-2 0
    3-4 +1
    5-6 +2
    7-8 +3
    9-10 +4
    11-12 +5
    13-14 +6
    15-16 +7
    17-18 +8
    19-20 +9
    E is for Enduring
    Score Modifier Example
    1-2 0
    3-4 +1
    5-6 +2
    7-8 +3
    9-10 +4
    11-12 +5
    13-14 +6
    15-16 +7
    17-18 +8
    19-20 +9
    R is for Responsive
    Score Modifier Example
    1-2 0
    3-4 +1
    5-6 +2
    7-8 +3
    9-10 +4
    11-12 +5
    13-14 +6
    15-16 +7
    17-18 +8
    19-20 +9
    B is for Beautiful
    Score Modifier Example
    1-2 0
    3-4 +1
    5-6 +2
    7-8 +3
    9-10 +4
    11-12 +5
    13-14 +6
    15-16 +7
    17-18 +8
    19-20 +9

    Race

    There might be more to add, but to keep it simple, start with these:

    Human. The most common race of superhero.
    Alien. Not from around these parts, either a different planet (i.e. a humanoid from outer space), alternate dimension (i.e. an alternate Earth where dinosaurs evolved into the dominant species), plane of existence (i.e. devils or angels) or anything else not of this earth.
    Evolved human. Because you can't say "Mutant" without a big, angry Mouse Lawyer breathing down your neck.
    Mutated Animal or Plant. Like an Immature Radioactive Samurai Slug. Or a Swamp Thing. Or a Man-Thing. Oe something.
    Augmented Human. Like a cyborg or a brain in a jar.
    Sentient Machine. The whole gamut from a living computer to a Robot who wants to be human.
    Mythological Being. You're Hades. Or Gilgamesh. Or Glooscap. One of Joseph Campbell's Heroes with a Thousand Faces (also conveniently, Public Domain).

    Heroic Archetype (aka class)

    This can get bloated quickly, so to keep it simple I've got these basics:

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Alien. Your race is also your powers. What's normal to you is amazing to humans. You might be a vanguard for an upcoming invasion, an exile from your homeworld, a curious astronaut, or the LAST OF YOUR KIND. You usually have superhuman abilities, magic, psychic powers, or superior technology.
    Tech Hero. Some sort of super suit or gear. Or both. Or perhaps you are a time-traveler, whose suitably-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Otherwise just a normal squishy human.
    Exceptional Individual. Through training, prayers and vitamins, you have achieved the peak of human capabilities. You might be a master martial artist, Super genius, or the World's Greatest Detective.
    Augmented Human. The Race is the power again. You might have brain implants that make you a psychic battery, 6 million dollars worth of cybernetics, or a special tonic that makes you really flexible. Or perhaps Someone has placed your brain into the body of an ape. The possibilities are endless.
    Magic. Be it a magic spellbook, the robe Jesus wore before being crucified, prayers to an extra-dimensional octopus, or the blood of dragons, you have powers that cannot be measured by science. There is always drawbacks, just to keep it balanced.
    Evolved or Augmented Human. You were born with laser eyes. An omnipotent being gave your Fourth-Wall and Narrative Awareness. You were exposed to Cosmic Rays. You fell into a vat of chemicals. You were the prototype of a Super Soldier program. Whatever the source, you are now more than human.
    Mutated Animal or Plant. You were a simple sting-ray until pollutants dumped into the ocean turned you into... Ray Stinger! Or so forth.
    Artifical Being. You are a desktop OS that became self-aware. A toaster possessed by the Devil. Or a servant robot who asked his creator to equip him with an arm cannon to help him defeat his rival's robot masters. Or a cloud comprised of a million nano-bots with a hivemind. Whatever you are, you were built, not born.

    Fluff

    Origin: What dead planet, chemical accident, amoral experiment, above-average intellect, ancestral sword, recessive gene, or vast wealth made you what you are today?
    Motivation: Why are you traipsing about in spandex at midnight? Did your parents get murdered before your eyes? Does the voice in you amulet compel you? Do you have great responsibility?
    Personality: Are you a brooding loner, stoic champion of the weak, genius asshat, or peppy mutant hamster?
    Morality: Are you a hero, a villain, an anti-villain, an anti-hero? This spectrum would be along the lines of Noble Good, Monstrous Evil, Lawful Stupid or Selfish Jerkass.

    More to come, feel free to comment. This is osrt of a placeholder right now and subject to change.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    I am trying to make a superhero to see if the rules are sufficiently consistent for allowing such a thing.
    This superhero is an human tech hero with as a gadget a cellphone 1% more powerful than the average cellphone.
    Its origin is that his inherited wealth afforded him a better than average cellphone.
    Motivation: Wearing spandex and the research of glory.
    Personality: a self centred person which bores people and can not keep any friend for long due to being excessively confrontational.
    Morality: selfish jerk.
    S:1
    U:1
    P:1
    E:1
    R:1
    B:1
    !:you can not find because there is no method to deduce the amount of ! of a character in the current version of your system
    On his adventures he uses his cellphone to enable communication with his team (and gets kicked out of his current super hero teams every few days)
    I successfully made a superhero thus I conclude the character building rules are sufficiently consistent.
    Anyway have fun with your project.
    Last edited by noob; 2020-10-29 at 02:03 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    I am trying to make a superhero to see if the rules are sufficiently consistent for allowing such a thing.
    This superhero is an human tech hero with as a gadget a cellphone 1% more powerful than the average cellphone.
    Its origin is that his inherited wealth afforded him a better than average cellphone.
    Motivation: Wearing spandex and the research of glory.
    Personality: a self centred person which bores people and can not keep any friend for long due to being excessively confrontational.
    Morality: selfish jerk.
    S:1
    U:1
    P:1
    E:1
    R:1
    B:1
    !:you can not find because there is no method to deduce the amount of ! of a character in the current version of your system
    On his adventures he uses his cellphone to enable communication with his team (and gets kicked out of his current super hero teams every few days)
    I successfully made a superhero thus I conclude the character building rules are sufficiently consistent.
    Anyway good luck on your project.

    ! is like Action Points in Ebberon. A Work in Progress in all senses
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    sandmote's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    US
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    I haven't read all of the old version, but I'd drop race/archetype as a separate distinction. If you're a cyborg, you get cyborg powers. If you're an alien, you get alien powers. If you're a batman/green arrow/hawkeye/ect. you get extra of whatever non-powered feat equivalents you have.

    Players only having positive modifiers I like thematically. I assume average human is maybe 3 with natural humans maxing out at maybe 5, and that hopefully ends the scale before PCs encounter the superman problem. Then when you choose your starting powers are generation, you get +XDY to certain stats if you have powers than generally increase that stat, so the flash still only has 3 to Strong and you don't get a character who is only risks losing as long as you force them to use Beautiful (See: superman again).

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    I don't mean this as a bad thing, but this sounds very similar to Mutants & Masterminds, but with a reduced number of attributes (a good thing in my opinion, given M&M's long list). You don't have anything to cover skills, powers, or random traits--e.g., Skills, Powers, and Feats in M&M, but I reckon that's because it's a work-in-progress.

    What about taking the free M&M chassis, using a reduced skill list, and changing the starting power points to compensate?

    I'd also recommend putting in a summary of what, in other games, your attributes usually mean. Just from reading it and thinking of systems in general, I view the SUPERB as
    Strength = well, strength. Pretty straight-forward
    Undaunted = willpower, mental fortitude and resistance
    Precise = precision and dexterity-based abilities
    Enduring = fortitude and physical endurance
    Responsive = perception and speed based things. Ability to notice and respond to things.
    Beautiful = both inward and outward beauty, and the ability to use body language and sense of presence. I mean, you could go with straight-up looks, but that makes it shallow. This encompasses more of a "Presence" than beauty itself, but the name fits the acronym well enough.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    I don't mean this as a bad thing, but this sounds very similar to Mutants & Masterminds, but with a reduced number of attributes (a good thing in my opinion, given M&M's long list). You don't have anything to cover skills, powers, or random traits--e.g., Skills, Powers, and Feats in M&M, but I reckon that's because it's a work-in-progress.

    What about taking the free M&M chassis, using a reduced skill list, and changing the starting power points to compensate?

    I'd also recommend putting in a summary of what, in other games, your attributes usually mean. Just from reading it and thinking of systems in general, I view the SUPERB as
    Strength = well, strength. Pretty straight-forward
    Undaunted = willpower, mental fortitude and resistance
    Precise = precision and dexterity-based abilities
    Enduring = fortitude and physical endurance
    Responsive = perception and speed based things. Ability to notice and respond to things.
    Beautiful = both inward and outward beauty, and the ability to use body language and sense of presence. I mean, you could go with straight-up looks, but that makes it shallow. This encompasses more of a "Presence" than beauty itself, but the name fits the acronym well enough.
    No bad thing taken. I am always happy to piggyback off of someone else's work.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    I kind of feel like you're coming at this the wrong way. For a dedicated superhero system, the most important thing is superpowers. That's the core of the game; that's the point you build from. What exact skills or abilities you use is tertiary concern when designing a system...and that's including the dice math. How you address things like wildly differing levels of super-strength, massively open-ended abilities like transmutation or a Green Lanturn ring, potential auto-win cards like flight, intangibility, or damage immunities... that's where you need to start, because some of those answers might involve warping the entire system around them.

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Golly, a genuine Homebrew celebrity! Love STaRS.

    I think the powers might be tied into the SUPERB!s, with access to powers depending on the scores. Say for example 1-5 gets you access only to exception human abilities. Captain AMerican would be 5s across the board for example. I'll dig into that when I get a chance.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Your attribute system looks very special. ;-)

    I like the look of it. I'm guessing that you'll keep bonuses more or less on the d20 scale? So, 0 is human average, 1 is good, 4 is standard human average, 5 is human maximum, and anything above that is superhuman?

    I look forward to seeing what you do with this?
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Your attribute system looks very special. ;-)

    I like the look of it. I'm guessing that you'll keep bonuses more or less on the d20 scale? So, 0 is human average, 1 is good, 4 is standard human average, 5 is human maximum, and anything above that is superhuman?

    I look forward to seeing what you do with this?

    You See What I Did There


    Something of the sort. I am thinking of making each attribute on a sliding upward scale, or I might scrap the bonus system altogether and make the SUPERB! acronym an ability buy-in like TMNT's Bio-E Points.

    1-5 Maximum Human Achievement. This means the strongest human alive ever, fastest human etc. (It makes less-tangible stats like Intelligence a problem however. The smartest person in history is probably immeasurable. So I have a lot of work going forward).

    5-10 Maximum Occurrence in Nature. i.e. Fast as the fastest-measured land animal speed (cheetah). Quickest reaction speed (star-nosed mole). Strongest natural healing factor (the axlotl iirc).

    11-15 Metahuman Ability. Not science fantasy powers yet, but certainly abilities beyond the natural scope. However they are plausibly achievable through sufficiently advanced science (super-high jumping, great speed, super-vision, super-hearing, resilient body etc.)

    16-20 Supernatural Abilities. Eye Lasers. Flight. Supersonic Speed. Invisibility. The kind of things that buzzkill reality tells you you can't do Because Reasons ("Supersonic speed would kill you with the friction alone" "you couldn't be invisible or else you couldn't see" "How could you shoot fire out of your hands with setting yourself on fire?" Those kind of fun-killing arguments)
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2020-10-29 at 07:08 PM.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by redzimmer View Post
    11-15 Metahuman Ability. Not science fantasy powers yet, but certainly abilities beyond the natural scope. However they are plausibly achievable through sufficiently advanced science (super-high jumping, great speed, super-vision, super-hearing, resilient body etc.)

    16-20 Supernatural Abilities. Eye Lasers. Flight. Supersonic Speed. Invisibility. The kind of things that buzzkill reality tells you you can't do Because Reasons ("Supersonic speed would kill you with the friction alone" "you couldn't be invisible or else you couldn't see" "How could you shoot fire out of your hands with setting yourself on fire?" Those kind of fun-killing arguments)
    The only thing I would change off of this is I might make these two categories also go on the standard scale. So, I might have +4 Fire Projection, or +12 "Super-Senses". The upper scale might apply to standard attributes; if I have a +12 Strength, I'm super-strong. If I have +4 Fire projection, I'm not the strongest fire projector, but it's an ability that normal people do not have; if I run into someone with a +4 Responsive (I might rename this attribute "Reaction", or just "Response"), then my fire projection might be good enough to hurt them. If ALL supernatural abilities are in the 16-20 range, you can't be BAD at something like that, and normal people will always lose out to people with powers... Batman can't really beat Poison Ivy or Bane, because Batman is limited to the human range, while Poison Ivy and Bane are in the Supernatural or Metahuman range. If you make their superpowers follow the standard scale, then Poison Ivy might have Plant Control +8... hard for him to beat, but not impossible.

    I'd also steal liberally from e6, or my Star Wars H1... no levels, just feats.
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2020-10-30 at 09:41 AM.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    The only thing I would change off of this is I might make these two categories also go on the standard scale. So, I might have +4 Fire Projection, or +12 "Super-Senses". The upper scale might apply to standard attributes; if I have a +12 Strength, I'm super-strong. If I have +4 Fire projection, I'm not the strongest fire projector, but it's an ability that normal people do not have; if I run into someone with a +4 Responsive (I might rename this attribute "Reaction", or just "Response"), then my fire projection might be good enough to hurt them. If ALL supernatural abilities are in the 16-20 range, you can't be BAD at something like that, and normal people will always lose out to people with powers... Batman can't really beat Poison Ivy or Bane, because Batman is limited to the human range, while Poison Ivy and Bane are in the Supernatural or Metahuman range. If you make their superpowers follow the standard scale, then Poison Ivy might have Plant Control +8... hard for him to beat, but not impossible.
    That sounds like good advice to me.

    It also helps you emulate mundane weaponry. So while a mundane human can't have Fire Projection +4, they could have a flamethrower that uses that statistic.
    To reflect increased utility with additional ranks, maybe every 5th rank unlocks something like a feat. So someone with Strength 5 (top human) gets a special Strength-based trick they can do. Someone with Strength 20 has 4 of those, and you could have better ones unlockable with higher rank (e.g., the Rank 20s aren't available to a Rank 5 person). Whether this should be a list of feats, or some generic thing you work out with the DM... depends on how crunchy you want the system.
    But that still allows a mundane human to, at times, beat a supe, if they use what advantages they can leverage properly.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    I made a complete game system and a setting on the original thread. My playtesting was limited because my brother lives 400 miles away, but the system works well enough to play a game, which we did.

    The bones of the game are on the old thread and I believe Superb City is the title of the thread containing the setting. My brother has the only copy of the complete ruleset and setting.

    I understand the OP wants something different, and that's cool. I won't post further in this topic about my previous effort. However, if someone is curious or has questions, send me a message.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    I made a complete game system and a setting on the original thread. My playtesting was limited because my brother lives 400 miles away, but the system works well enough to play a game, which we did.

    The bones of the game are on the old thread and I believe Superb City is the title of the thread containing the setting. My brother has the only copy of the complete ruleset and setting.

    I understand the OP wants something different, and that's cool. I won't post further in this topic about my previous effort. However, if someone is curious or has questions, send me a message.
    If you have a working system then by all means carry on. Im trying to get something working so I can then move onto my next stage, coding the system into a customizable game.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    sandmote's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    US
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Personally, I'd have restricted skills for the powers. If your character has fire powers, only then can they get levels in "pyrotechnics." Add one basic ability for having the skill, and each time you get another rank you choose one ability of that rank or lower for the skill.

    For instance:
    • Rank 0: You gain resistance 5 to fire per rank in this skill.
    • Rank 1: You can engulf a single target in flame. They must make a saving throw or take 1d8 fire damage per rank in this skill.
    • Rank 1: You can make a 10 foot radius ball of flame, forcing each creature inside to make a saving throw or take 1d4 damage per rank in this skill
    • Rank 1: You can make the area around you swelteringly hot. When you do so, creatures within 10 feet of you take take a 1d4 penalty to Enduring for each round they spend within the effect, for a maximum number of rounds equal to your rank in this skill. If a creature is reduced to 0 Enduring, it falls unconscious.


    Then add stronger powers at higher ranks.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    The problem with powers I find is how it imbalances the game. A regular Pencil & Paper game won't let you have Laser Eyes at level 1.

    But what is the point of being a superhero in a game where you have to "earn" your powers with leveling - You aren't much of a hero if you start out with just bad breath and strong feelings.

    But instead of "gaining" powers, what about learning to control your powers as you level up?

    Picture a level 1 Superman who cannot fly straight, does not know he's bulletproof, and if he lets the heat vision loose he's more likely to be as collateral damaging as Homelander? The powers are latent but not either mastered or fully developed?

    As levels go up there will still be a question of balance between "sunlight makes me GOD" heroes, "I cannot die and I got pointy hands" heroes and "I life weights and have lots of money" heroes, but at the start they are all weak in their own special way.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    JNAProductions's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Avatar By Linklele!

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by redzimmer View Post
    The problem with powers I find is how it imbalances the game. A regular Pencil & Paper game won't let you have Laser Eyes at level 1.

    But what is the point of being a superhero in a game where you have to "earn" your powers with leveling - You aren't much of a hero if you start out with just bad breath and strong feelings.

    But instead of "gaining" powers, what about learning to control your powers as you level up?

    Picture a level 1 Superman who cannot fly straight, does not know he's bulletproof, and if he lets the heat vision loose he's more likely to be as collateral damaging as Homelander? The powers are latent but not either mastered or fully developed?

    As levels go up there will still be a question of balance between "sunlight makes me GOD" heroes, "I cannot die and I got pointy hands" heroes and "I life weights and have lots of money" heroes, but at the start they are all weak in their own special way.
    Why use levels at all?

    M&M, for instance, does have a power level system, but you're generally expected to start no lower than 7, which can get pretty dang super.

    Not every system needs to be "Zero-to-hero." You can start off perfectly competent, and even super! Likewise, you don't really need any vertical growth. If you start off able to lift and throw a tank, does the game improve because you can alter lift and throw two?
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

    Spoiler: Former Avatars
    Show
    Spoiler: Avatar (Not In Use) By Professor Gnoll!
    Show


    Spoiler: Avatar (Not In Use) By Cdr. Fallout!
    Show

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Why use levels at all?

    M&M, for instance, does have a power level system, but you're generally expected to start no lower than 7, which can get pretty dang super.

    Not every system needs to be "Zero-to-hero." You can start off perfectly competent, and even super! Likewise, you don't really need any vertical growth. If you start off able to lift and throw a tank, does the game improve because you can alter lift and throw two?
    Yes, a good question, one I still struggle with.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by redzimmer View Post
    Yes, a good question, one I still struggle with.
    I posted something similar with H1 for Star Wars Saga edition... basically, using the Saga Edition/d20 framework, and making the system levelless.

    The old Marvel Superheroes was also a levelless system... you started with the powers you had, and probably would not get more, and improving them over your base level was very hard. It was more likely you would learn new skills than improve your fire generation power.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    This is why I used tiers in my iteration of S.U.P.E.R.B.

    Begining at 0 makes it difficult for a cgaracter with a power that can only manifest at high level. Thus, if flight is a level 5 power, the character will either have no power until then or will have to give up some other power to gain it upon achieving level 5, or there must be an extensive and well thought out point-buy system which kind of defeats the 'simple' requirement mentioned in the OP.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    sandmote's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    US
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: S.U.P.E.R.B.! Once Again Trying to Make a Simplified Superhero RPG - Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    The old Marvel Superheroes was also a levelless system... you started with the powers you had, and probably would not get more, and improving them over your base level was very hard. It was more likely you would learn new skills than improve your fire generation power.
    I'm not familiar with this system, so I'm not 100% sure what sort of skills you'd learn.

    Whether it was in reference to my example or not, "improve your fire generation power," makes me think my example should list a flat amount of damage (ex: 2d8) for a power, and allow you to reroll damage dice based on your rank. I think this might better reflect learning to more efficiently/effectively harness a power, particularly as your PC better learns to utilize their fire generation (or whatever else) in different methods to deal with different problems.

    That said, I fully admit one of my favorite things in stories with superpowers is seeing people come up with clever ways to use an ability and am biased toward a system where PCs regularly get to do this.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •