Saturday, February 9, 2013
HEROIC: D6 Supers - Part 4a Powers
So as I sit down to look at powers I find myself at a crossroads. 70% (or so) of superhero rpgs use a "builder" system, where essentially they provide you clear categories and from there you build, like with Legos, your super powers. Usually this is done via descriptors. The best examples of this are Mutants & Masterminds and Champions.
The remaining 30% (again or so, this ain't science) use descriptive powers, powers that are already defined but sometimes via limits and such. They can go from near builders (like BASH) to roll-and-prays (like V&V), but they tend to be much simpler than the others.
There is a 3rd type of power system though that usually gets very little love. It is a modelling system. In this system you have a base cost for powers, or a number of powers, and then assign them ranks after picking off a list, or better yet, defining what those powers do.
For example, the idea in the builder systems is that all power blasts are the same, and as such require only 1 power with descriptors to define. I say no. I say that Captain Mar-vel's power blast is not the same as Cyclop's eyebeams which are not the same as Superman's heat vision. While they may all function the same way, they are not the same.
The thing I hate the most about builders is using a power like "telekinesis" to represent a dozen other powers. "He can move metallic objects thanks to his magnetic powers? Well that's just telekinesis with a limit; metallic targets only."
Ugh... how boring! How bland! How smashing through the 4th wall!
So how to fix this problem in a game that requires you do have defined powers to some extent? Well my solution from back in my FASERIP days was to simply write down the power "Eyebeams" and then assign a rank, easy peasy. Not going to work exactly in this D6 hack, since you need to pay for everything.
Now I do not want to sit here and write out an endless list of powers, that would bore me to tears and not be something that really appeals to me.
I could copy and paste the powers list from SUPERS! I would still need to tweak certain things. See what I love about SUPERS! is that every power is open-ended. There are no power stunts persay as there are only creative uses of power. I would explain it, but Grubman did a much better job in this You Tube review.
Now while I love that freedom of powers, I am not as much of a fan of the system built around it. Hence my adventures into D6, a basic core system I can get around. The problem is how to make the powers work.
How to charge for powers beyond the 1D = 1D of power exchange, cause you shouldn't pay the same cost for Super Leaping as you do for Weather Control, no matter how much each can be used creatively.
So what remains is to create Tiers of powers, but to keep it simple, there would only be 3 Tiers of powers, the First Tier is 1D = 1D in the power (energy blasts, movement powers, armours, etc...), then there would be Second Tier powers that cost 2D = 1D in the power (Weather Control, Magnetism, Super Speed, etc...), these are the powers that have more than one obvious built in effect and really open the door for creative players to use their powers. Lastly we have Third Tier powers, which cost 3D = 1D in the power, but here we are talking about crazy world changing powers like Omni Power, Wizardy, Reality Control, etc...
Of course some powers won't have dice in them, beyond what you just having the power (Invulnerability for example) so those I might make Perks instead.
I will provide the "Limits" and "Enhancements" aspects for power, but nothing too kinky.
This is going to take me a bit to get done, so expect it sometime next week if the writing bug grabs me, but it will be posted when it is ready.