Savin' the day!

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Santa_Jaws

Savin' the day!

Post by Santa_Jaws » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:38 pm

SAAAAVIN' THE DAAAY!

Anyway, I want to do something superhero related, but I don't want to run anything.

I don't really like the Heroes approach to superheroes, where nobody has costumes and everybody's running around as if this were the real world. It always felt that, even though the creators of that show obviously had a love or at least a respect for comics, that the fanbase had this weird thing going on. I don't know, I just woke up and I can't explain it. But it always kinda left a bad taste in my mouth.

I also like that the Marvel and DC universe are bizarre kitchen sinks where the Hindu god Ganesh, a scientist who can shoot fire from his nose and some guy who knows karate can all be in the same room together and even be on a team to pool their resources.

Anyway, enough rambling. Anybody with me?
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Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Lachlan the Sane » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:39 am

I would also be up for playing such a game. DM'ing, not so much.
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krellen
Location: The City in New Mexico
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Re: Savin' the day!

Post by krellen » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:43 am

Lachlan the Mad wrote:DM'ing, not so much.

And this is the biggest problem with games, play-by-post or otherwise. Not enough DMs to go around.

Honestly, if I could make it my livelihood, I'd do a lot more DMing, but as a hobby it's really a lot of work for sometimes very little payout.
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dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
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Re: Savin' the day!

Post by dudecon » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:24 am

I can DM. I've run several RP campaigns before, and I've got a decent amount of dead time at work for the next few months.

Potent possibilities: I suspect this could be really enlightening.

Nearly all modern RPGs are superhero stories of one sort or another. They all have protagonists who are far and away more powerful, capable, privileged, inventive, etc than the general populace. In some ways this makes the superhero genre rather elementary. It also strips away the fluff and exposes the question which plagues us all. Namely "Are my problems external (solvable by increased agency over others) or internal (solvable by a changed personal nature)?" This, I suspect, is why superheros are so often personally dysfunctional. The interplay of great individual power and deficient personal character is necessary to avoid obvious narrative solutions and maintain a franchise. However, we have no franchise to support here. Thus, as informal role-playing enthusiasts, we have the opportunity to find novel conclusions and stories unreachable by the established media.

Settings with a mixture of normal-humans and super-humans always seem to suffer from a lack of imagination. Not necessarily imagination about the various special abilities of the "heroes" in question, but instead about the implications of such abilities and the effects on society in general. I'm an engineer by trade and inclination, so SMBC lands frighteningly close to what I expect most "Superhero" campaigns that I run would morph into. That is, unless the super-humans in question wanted to leave earth entirely and form their own "utopia" somewhere else, away from the masses of relatively idiotic, crippled, and incapable normal people. This potential advantage also lies on the flip-side of my unfamiliarity with established superhero convention. The campaign I run may stray quite far from the well worn roads, by benefit of ignorance of those ruts existence.

I'm also actively working on developing novel RP framework concepts based on flexibility and creativity. If I ran a campaign, it would be one nearly entirely relying on stated player intention and established capabilities. If there are any dice rolls, spreadsheets, etc, it will be entirely on my end so as to provide a clean and immersive environment for role playing and engagement. However I also feel absolutely free to have all characters act without input from the players if no input is forthcoming. This will both keep the game moving, and allow players to provide input as often or as rarely as they desire and is convenient.

I think there's a lot of fertile ground here if you all are looking for a novel RP experience.

Potential problems: Basically, I foresee this potentially getting rather uncomfortable.

This capability of empowerment fantasy to enlighten the struggles of the everyday contributes to the continual appeal of the superhero fantasy. However, at some point, we will get down to an answer to the above question. If I'm the GM, this answer will necessarily be in line with my beliefs, which are unashamedly "religious" in nature. I'm not going to hit anyone over the head with it, if I can help it, but I'm not going to pretend that my GM style is free from these influences. In a superhero setting especially, I suspect we will run aground on these shallows more than once.

A lot of the crime-fighting stuff would invariably morph into political commentary, since the entire concept of "crime" is closely bound to "law". I'm totally game for that kind of thing, but this forum has certain restrictions which may make it difficult to discuss the topics which a superhero setting will naturally touch on. I could roll up a totally new world in which to play, but parallels are bound to crop up. We already had some difficulties of this sort in the Dawn of Worlds thread, where fictional friction harmonically coupled to real-world struggles. Plus I've got a pretty strong libertarian streak, so I can't guarantee that will line up with other people's views of how things "would really happen", even in a fictional world.

Thus, it seems a superhero setting is well suited to arousing discussions whose very nature makes them unfit for this particular medium.

Also, the inclusion of super-humans in a setting rather definitively shatters the assumption of fundamental human equality, and that has pretty far-reaching implications, many of which are disturbing to an equiable atmosphere.

In addition, I'm not really a comic-book fan. I don't subscribe to any of the major super-hero mythos. I don't even know that many super-hero tropes compared to a lot of you folks. My main super-hero experience is the mad-world make-believe games I used to play with my friends when I was, like, eight years old. My super-hero name was "might boy" and my friend was "flight boy". I'll leave deducing our powers as an exercise for the reader. So, basically, don't expect a Xanatos Gambit Pileup or whatever. Barring strong player involvement, I'll probably end up inadvertently covering a lot of well-worn ground in an un-self-conscious manner.

In Conclusion: I'm willing to go for it and see what happens, if a few of you are as well... but I won't be surprised or offended if "Thanks... but no-thanks." is the general feeling.

If there's interest, we'll flesh out a format together along with some campaign goals, a setting, etc.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:46 am

Well,if we have gotten a gm,Im willing to play it.Though Im not that into superheroes,but Im willing to try it out.
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4th Dimension

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by 4th Dimension » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:40 pm

Well, why not. I'll throw my hat in.
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Sudanna

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Sudanna » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:28 pm

That all sounds awful interesting, but how were you thinking of running it? Play by post on here? Skype? Something like MapTool?
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modus0

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by modus0 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:44 pm

Also, which of the myriad of systems designed for superhero games will be used?
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Santa_Jaws

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Santa_Jaws » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:11 am

All that sounds cool, Dudecon. Will there be flashy, gaudy costumes?

Also...I don't really want to try and look for or buy a book to some system I don't have. I don't want to try and hunt down Champions, or Hero, or whatever.
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dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
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Re: Savin' the day!

Post by dudecon » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:16 am

Huh, okay, let's try this! Following are my thoughts. If you're interested in participating, please give me some feedback on things you find particularly attractive or un-attractive. The more details the better.

Santa_Jaws wrote:All that sounds cool, Dudecon. Will there be flashy, gaudy costumes?

Also...I don't really want to try and look for or buy a book to some system I don't have. I don't want to try and hunt down Champions, or Hero, or whatever.
Yep! You can have whatever costume you like! Also... no rule books! (unless you count this huge post as a rule book)

Game Engine/System:
Most RPGs are run using some form of RNG to determine outcomes, and extensive rules to ensure things are fair and balanced. The players attempt to game the rules to maximize their in-game agency, and reduce the effect of the RNG. The GM attempts to guide the players from the other side of the rules by setting up scenarios and events which will provide interesting choices.

But memorizing and enforcing rules sounds like a lot of work, source manuals cost money, and I'm not interested in enforcing slavery to the RNG. So, throw out all that stuff. Here's my alternate plan.

1. Anyone who wants can post ideas. What happens next, what happened in the past, what their character is trying to do, etc.
2. Periodically, the GM posts what happens, canonizing something about the game world.
3. goto(1)

Advantages of this system: No rules, no dice, no post frequency requirement, no limitations on player action.
Drawbacks of this system: No GM accountability, no way for players to secretly oppose each-other (could use PMs, but I discourage this), no guidelines to provide inspiration.

So, the basic idea is that I'll be writing a story, and the players will be contributing to its direction. The story doesn't have to be chronological, in the sense that later posts must occur later in the story. I encourage players to provide inspiration for the history of the world as well as the future... If any of you have played the game "Microscope", I'm thinking something like that, only more informal, and where I'm acting as an arbiter instead of everyone having equal authority over the events and characters.

Speaking of characters...

Characters:
I think of characters as basically indistinguishable from organizations. Thus, for simplicity, I'm going to use the term "character" and "individual or organization" interchangably. Usually, an individual (an organization composed of 1 person, or a 1 sized character) is the fundamental unit, and are generally seen as, on average, equal in capability to any other individual. An organization of a thousand people (1k sized character), say a mid-sized corporation, will have capabilities and resources far outweighing those of an individual. However, a 1k sized character will also have a much larger body than an individual (usually including buildings, equipment, etc), and will thus be much less mobile and responsive, require a greater resource intake for maintenance, etc. In short, larger characters require more upkeep, and are more difficult to store, transport, and direct.

The ability of a character is how good they are at being useful. This includes manual labor, insightful analysis, human companionship, etc. Let's say that a normal individual has ability of 1.

The density of a character is how much they can accomplish, divided by how "big" they are. A person takes up about 2 cubic meters (without accounting for claustrophobia). They can also be easily transported, and are fairly quick to respond to their environment. Normalizing around an average human, let us say a normal human has a density of 1. Density includes the character's overall momentum (physical and mental).

The capacity of a character by saying that it is equal to the character's capabilities to perform useful tasks, divided by the cost of their upkeep. Let us normalize this also, and call this a capacity of 1. Capacity includes how difficult it is to keep this character alive, compared to their usefulness.

In contrast to normal people, Super-humans generally have much greater capabilities than normal individuals, but without the added body size, reduced mobility, increased maintenance cost, etc. In short super-humans have abnormally high density and capacity, especially compared to normal characters of comparable size. A super-human equal in ability to a 1k sized character usually (I say making a vast generalization about a fictional sub-species) only needs to consume a 1 sized character's portion of food, shelter, social interaction, etc, giving them a clear economic advantage. We would say this super-human has a capacity of 1k and a density of 1k (compared to a normal 1k sized corporation, which would have a capacity and density both equal to 1).

Finally, let us say that the value of a character equals their ability times capacity times density. Thus our theoretical super-human would have a 1M value, compared to the normal 1k corporation, which would have a value of 1k.

Put another way:
A = Ability
S = Size (volume, momentum, etc)
C = Cost (upkeep)
V = Value = A*A*A/(S*C)

In view of promoting a semblence of player equality, I propose each player have ostensible authority over the mind of one character of value V (please provide feedback on how large V should be for this campaign).
For example, if V = 5k, then the player could control (for example):
  • A single superhero with the abilities of 17 men, but normal human physical needs.
  • An unusually competent five hundred person company (with corresponding costs), but the abilities of a company twice its size (1k ability)
  • A small nation of twelve million incredibly incompetent people (and just as hard to transport, organize, and communicate with as twelve million people), equal in ability to only four thousand people, but who only consume the resources (collectively) of only a single person.
  • A team of four nuclear powered heroes with the ability of a thousand men (the same as the super-competent company above), but who require the upkeep of an entire city's worth in radioactive fuel pellets or whatnot (cost = 50k)
  • A normal guy, with a normal guy's abilities, but only an inch tall (1/70th the size of a normal person, with 1/70th the response time, resource consumption, etc)

I'm not planning on jacking V upward at an appreciable rate, as it leads to power creep and all sorts of strange in-world consequences that you see in D&D and other normal RPGs. The starting characters should be powerful enough to allow the players to enjoy the fantasy of being a superhero without ratcheting the stakes upward all the time. In other words, expect very slow character ability progression, if any.

So, that's my initial proposal, subject to feedback of course. Let me know how that sounds, and what Value the player characters should be (basically, how "super" the superheroes in this game world generally are). Also, everything else above is subject to change if there are good suggestions on a better way to do it.
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Santa_Jaws

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Santa_Jaws » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:13 pm

Alright...I'm reading the character creation ideas that you've put forth, and I think I get some of it, but some of it I fear is eluding me.

So let me ask: How would I make a really powerful character like Superman using your system?

And then in the other direction, how would I make a really trivial and useless character like Aunt May?
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mwchase
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Re: Savin' the day!

Post by mwchase » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:44 am

So, if I'm reading this correctly, Superman's Value is basically his power relative to a single average human, cubed. I don't want to get into that math, especially since the value varies over time.

To have Aunt May as a playable character, you'd probably need to define a spider-family organization, and play all of it. Which brings up another question: is it okay that Value is only sometimes linear? Suppose you have a normal human (Value 1) and someone twice as capable as a normal human, but the same size and upkeep (Value 8). Together, they have value 6.75.

I was kind of out of it, so it took me quite a while to notice that that's not only lower than the sum of the values, it's lower than one of the individual values. Let's see how far we can take this...

Actually, let's not, because I managed to hurt myself with the math. (Mainly my pride). Let's try something simplified. Suppose V is 216. We can then field 216 normal humans, 27 double humans, or 32 of each. In other words, by taking on "sidekicks", a hero or team can reduce their calculated value while increasing their sum value.

... I can't tell if that's a bug or a feature.
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dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
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Re: Savin' the day!

Post by dudecon » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:04 am

Santa_Jaws wrote:Alright...I'm reading the character creation ideas that you've put forth, and I think I get some of it, but some of it I fear is eluding me.
Yeah, I was afraid of that. It's not entirely clear to myself either, so you're in good company
Santa_Jaws wrote:So let me ask: How would I make a really powerful character like Superman using your system?
Well, Superman is kind of a crazy case. He's the unobtanium. He's the equivalent of... how many people? More than the entire population of the earth? He breaks all kinds of laws of physics. I wouldn't even know where to start with Superman in ANY RP system. He's basically game-breaking.

But, to come close to your question, say you want to make a superman-esque character. He can fly as fast as a jet, has super-human senses, can fire energy beams as a natural ability, and is really difficult to injure ("invulnerable" is game-breaking, so let's say this guy has a skin hardness of tempered spring steel). Oh, and it's just one guy, who eats as much as a regular person. I'm going to make a wild guess and say that character is around A:1000, S:1, C:1 which puts the characters total value at around 1G (1k^3 = a billion). In this system, an equivalent character would be the (roughly) the entire nation of China.

Santa_Jaws wrote:And then in the other direction, how would I make a really trivial and useless character like Aunt May?
That's easy. She's about half as useful as an able bodied person, and consumes a bit less resources as well. A:0.5, S:1, C:0.8. Total value is 0.16. You could basically play this character for free.

Also note, this system naturally supports adding characters of different values. So, say you wanted to play just one of the four nuclear heroes mentioned above. The individual would have the ability of 250 men, and require the upkeep of 12.5k people, but have a value of only 1250. If the budget is 5k, this would allowing you to spend the remainder on other things... like such as... an army of twenty three thousand Aunt May clones.

mwchase wrote:...Which brings up another question: is it okay that Value is only sometimes linear? Suppose you have a normal human (Value 1) and someone twice as capable as a normal human, but the same size and upkeep (Value 8). Together, they have value 6.75...In other words, by taking on "sidekicks", a hero or team can reduce their calculated value while increasing their sum value.

... I can't tell if that's a bug or a feature.
That is an interesting observation. I had intended to deal with characters of differing abilities addatively (as above) instead of cumulatively, but you could go that route as well I suppose. The drawback is that taking on sidekicks makes "the team" more unweildy and vulnerable to damage (since the whole team will become distracted if one of the members is in distress)...
I can't figure out if it's a bug or a feature either... How interesting!
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Santa_Jaws

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Santa_Jaws » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:19 am

Ok. Well, I understand a bit more.

So, we could work with you about our character concept, right? Like, we don't have to make him blind and hope it works? :P
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Trix2000
Location: California

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Trix2000 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:49 am

dudecon wrote:"invulnerable" is game-breaking

Not incredibly useful or relevant to the discussion at hand, but I feel like this can actually be addressed by placing more focus on failure states beyond 'you died'. I mean, we all know Superman basically can't be killed, but there's still that element of suspense because we may not know if he can save the day for everyone else or not.

It makes me kind-of want to make an effectively immortal character just to see the kind of possibilities there might be in addressing it - keeping the stakes high regardless. I think it would mostly rely on having the player place value in something/someone else that ISN'T invulnerable.
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Santa_Jaws

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Santa_Jaws » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:18 am

Now that I'm rereading, does your character creation process allow us to make a giant robot character?

Can we actually make a team of people, as a singular 'character'? That would actually be interesting to make one of those impossibly tight knit sort of crews, like the Ninja Turtles, or Beavis and Butthead. You know, the guys you would never want to actually play just by themselves?
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dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
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Re: Savin' the day!

Post by dudecon » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:39 am

Santa_Jaws wrote:...So, we could work with you about our character concept, right? Like, we don't have to make him blind and hope it works? :P
Totally. I'm not going to pull any "gotcha!" gimmics. The above is to give you some general ideas, but I'm fully planning on developing the characters in detail to arrive at something feasable for the game and satisfying for the players.
Santa_Jaws wrote:Now that I'm rereading, does your character creation process allow us to make a giant robot character?
Can we actually make a team of people, as a singular 'character'? That would actually be interesting to make one of those impossibly tight knit sort of crews, like the Ninja Turtles, or Beavis and Butthead. You know, the guys you would never want to actually play just by themselves?
Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes! All of this. The idea is to let you play as anyone or anything, especially allowing the player to play as a group (or collection of groups) instead of a single individual.
Trix2000 wrote:
dudecon wrote:"invulnerable" is game-breaking
Not incredibly useful or relevant to the discussion at hand, but I feel like this can actually be addressed by placing more focus on failure states beyond 'you died'. I mean, we all know Superman basically can't be killed, but there's still that element of suspense because we may not know if he can save the day for everyone else or not.

It makes me kind-of want to make an effectively immortal character just to see the kind of possibilities there might be in addressing it - keeping the stakes high regardless. I think it would mostly rely on having the player place value in something/someone else that ISN'T invulnerable.
Yeah, true. Immortality gives you effectively zero upkeep cost (which means infinite character value in this system), because no amount of neglect will or abuse will prevent the character from having continued agency in the world. If all of the players would like to play as immortal characters, I'm up for that, but in a mixed group it becomes rather pointless for the mortal ones. In the case of an immortal cast, I would simply drop the upkeep cost parameter, as it becomes meaningless.

Superman is bullshit anyway. Why doesn't he do construction? Haul materials into orbit? Provide surveys of subterranean minerals, or astronomical bodies? And on and on. His powers are so much more beneficial to society doing constructive work than they are... catching bullets? Punching giant robots? He seems like more of a narcissistic stage magician than a really practical hero of the people.

But yeah, I'd be interested to see what becomes of a group of truly immortal beings with limited agency. What sounds more appealing? Immortal superheros, or mortal ones? Keep in mind that your opponents are going to be playing by the same rules!
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Santa_Jaws

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Santa_Jaws » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:52 am

If Superman was real, he would render words like 'economy' completely meaningless.

How much does it cost NASA to hang a few satellites up in the space-sky? How much does it cost Superman to hang the rest of them around the entire globe, in 30 minutes? And so on and so forth.

Also...I've always liked really more down to earth settings(with the exception of full blown cosmic operatic space fantasies, but that's different.). Noir, pulp, vigilantes, the whole works. Wolverine was better when guys with uzis scared him. When he started surviving falls from orbits and Nuclear bombs, it kinda dulled what he was about a little. At least to me.

Anyway, just because I like street level concepts doesn't mean I want to hamstring anyone else here. What I've always loved about most traditional superhero teams is all these freakishly different figures actually banding together under one roof or cause.
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krellen
Location: The City in New Mexico
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Re: Savin' the day!

Post by krellen » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:16 am

Curious, dudecon:

One of my long-standing super hero ideas has been that of John Doe. John Doe is immortal, but not in the "never dies" sense, but rather in the "always resets" sense. Every time John Doe dies, he wakes up the next morning in the same dumpster downtown. He doesn't remember anything from before the first time he died, but he retains memories between deaths since.

Other than the fact that he doesn't stay dead, he's just a regular guy - no special powers beyond the constant resurrection. He could go without any kind of upkeep, but it comes with the cost of him dying and waking up in that dumpster because he didn't have a drink of water.

He has no identity and no fortune, and when he dies, everyone else forgets him, so he can't keep any resources between deaths.

How would you adjudicate this character in your system?
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Santa_Jaws

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Santa_Jaws » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:24 am

Oh, so he's kind of like Mr. Immortal from the Great Lakes Avengers?
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dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
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Re: Savin' the day!

Post by dudecon » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:56 am

Santa_Jaws wrote:If Superman was real, he would render words like 'economy' completely meaningless...I've always liked really more down to earth settings... Noir, pulp, vigilantes, the whole works... just because I like street level concepts doesn't mean I want to hamstring anyone else here. What I've always loved about most traditional superhero teams is all these freakishly different figures actually banding together under one roof or cause.
Yep. Like I said, I'm fine with either way.

krellen wrote:Curious, dudecon:

One of my long-standing super hero ideas has been that of John Doe. John Doe is immortal, but not in the "never dies" sense, but rather in the "always resets" sense. Every time John Doe dies, he wakes up the next morning in the same dumpster downtown. He doesn't remember anything from before the first time he died, but he retains memories between deaths since.

Other than the fact that he doesn't stay dead, he's just a regular guy - no special powers beyond the constant resurrection. He could go without any kind of upkeep, but it comes with the cost of him dying and waking up in that dumpster because he didn't have a drink of water.

He has no identity and no fortune, and when he dies, everyone else forgets him, so he can't keep any resources between deaths.

How would you adjudicate this character in your system?
Well, the main problem with the system I proposed is that it doesn't deal well with superlatives like complete immortality.

The John Doe that you describe certainly has some drawbacks that partially offset his central power. However, it still seems game-breaking to me. If people forget about John Doe after he dies, how do they explain the effects he has on the world? If he can remember things from before he dies, even if people forget him, he could use the things he learns to quickly regain their trust (kind of groundhog-day style). He could also stash resources and go recover them after he dies (essentially a corpse-run). Combined with the implicit teleportation, this ability would be extremely powerful.

If people want to run an immortal campaign, I'd be totally down with it. We'd have to work out some kind of system to deal with the implications of immortality, but that can be done. If people are more interested in a fully mortal campaign (like Santa_Jaws seems to be) I'd have to say that even a heavily offset immortality like that of John Doe is probably incompatible with the setting.

However, you could certainly play a super low-maintenance character in a mortal setting, which is kind of the same? Someone who has the abilities of a normal person, but who never sleeps, never breathes, and only needs a glass of clean water (or the dim glow of a nightlight for a few seconds) every couple months to survive.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:08 pm

krellen wrote:Every time John Doe dies, he wakes up the next morning in the same dumpster downtown.


So you are playing kenny?
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krellen
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Re: Savin' the day!

Post by krellen » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:53 pm

dudecon wrote:If people forget about John Doe after he dies, how do they explain the effects he has on the world?
They remember John Doe, they just don't recognise the new life as the same John Doe.

And he does hate dying. He still feels pain, and dying usually hurts a lot.

Daemian Lucifer wrote:So you are playing kenny?

Yeah, except the idea pre-dates South Park. I'm fucking old, dude.
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4th Dimension

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by 4th Dimension » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:16 pm

dudecon wrote:
mwchase wrote:...Which brings up another question: is it okay that Value is only sometimes linear? Suppose you have a normal human (Value 1) and someone twice as capable as a normal human, but the same size and upkeep (Value 8). Together, they have value 6.75...In other words, by taking on "sidekicks", a hero or team can reduce their calculated value while increasing their sum value.
... I can't tell if that's a bug or a feature.
That is an interesting observation. I had intended to deal with characters of differing abilities addatively (as above) instead of cumulatively, but you could go that route as well I suppose. The drawback is that taking on sidekicks makes "the team" more unweildy and vulnerable to damage (since the whole team will become distracted if one of the members is in distress)...
I can't figure out if it's a bug or a feature either... How interesting!

The problem here is do we use the formula that separaely summs up Ability, Cost and Size, and than feeds them into the formula (AAA/CS) or do we calculate the value of each teammember and add them up. Basically do we use (I'll be using E instead of the summation symbol):

Code: Select all

  E (A(i)^3)                    A(i)^3               ( E A(i) )^3
-------------      or    E ----------     or ----------------
E C(i) * E S(i)               C(i) * S(i)           E C(i) * E S(i) 


It all depends on how we interpret your original post. If we want for additional temmembers to inherently increase the value of the team than second furmula is the best. The third one is probably closer to the examples that you gave but it also allowes for crazy amount of hiding power, the larger the team gets.
For example we have 3 heroes (A=10 each) and all are pretty normal as humans thus each have S=1 and C=1 (thus each separately is V=1000). Add to them a team of henchmen 10 large with each henchie being three times as good as average John Doe (let's say they are trained mercenaries, and thus each is V=27).
So using the second formula we would have 3*10*10*10/(1*1)+10*3*3*3/(1*1)=3000+270=3270. a respectable amount of force, most of which is contained in those three heroes.
Using the third formula we get (3*10+10*3)^3 / (13 * 13) approx 1300 which is barely stronger than a single hero gets.

The disparity grows with the power disparity of teammembers and can get ridiculous. For example the aforementioned A17 that has V of 5000, with a normal sidekick drops down to approx 1500.

This all does raise the question what does mechanically V mean in terms of defence and attack. We might allow the use of third formula if we introduce, as some other have mentioned, non standard fail scenarios. So thile A17 above can punch for 5000 he will loose if his V1 teammate dies. We might introduce certain penalties for stacking all power into a single guy by making an A17 guy easier to incapaciate than a team of 4 A10 guys that give a similar score in terms of V.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Savin' the day!

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:46 pm

Ok,now that I had time to do some research,I can roughly estimate that superman would be at roughly 4*10^26,because he can single handedly blow up earth.

Anyway,Im more interested in powers of rogue and deadpool.How valuable would absorption and knowing-you-are-part-of-a-game be?
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