Savin' the day!

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mwchase
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby mwchase » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:11 am

I suspect that Deadpool has a higher A in comics than he would in this game, because dudecon isn't under any obligation to make things work out for him.

As to absorbing... under these rules, I think such a character would need a "characteristic baseline" of standard performance and the required absorption levels to maintain that. I mean, there isn't a standard C value that we hit exactly, it's more like... there's a C that gets us typical performance, beyond which we cannot leverage further C into properly proportionate gains in A. So, we have a character with that's capable of getting an A of ~1 (I'm assuming S=1 and is constant) if they don't use their powers. But this is true of any character, pretty much: if you don't go beyond baseline human... you're pretty close to baseline human.

That got muddled up with a few different ideas... Would it be fair to calculate the scores for a character under "the best likely circumstances"? I mean, in some versions of Superman, his A drops to 1 if you keep him in the dark long enough. Rogue's baseline is 1, except when it isn't (comics, don't ask), but it seems like the easiest way to pull off such a character within this framework is to give them a "power cap", and take that as their A.

I think this framework, or something like it, is something I'd really like to see. Some of the X-Men got in this weird loop where their powers got summarized, and the summary redefined their powers, and it eventually ended in stuff like Iceman getting an Omega designation, apparently.
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Trix2000
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby Trix2000 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:09 am

I mostly brought up the immortality thing in a general sense for stories/roleplaying, since its an interesting concept and changes the way we look at effective challenges. Death or losing their volition is no longer what the character avoids (ie: using upkeep), but instead less concrete concepts such as the effects of relationships (and losing them). If an immortal cannot die but as a result ends up the only living being, would that be any different/better than death?

That might be a bit outside the scope of the thread, though I do wonder if there's a way to broaden upkeep beyond just 'things needed to not die/lose agency'. Might be more trouble than it's worth though - mostly just a thought experiment for me.
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dudecon
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby dudecon » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:59 am

krellen wrote:...And he does hate dying. He still feels pain, and dying usually hurts a lot...
Hmm. It kind of seems like you're saying that his mental inhibitions against dying partially offset his ability which makes death, however inconvenient, quite recoverable. If so, I've been down this road a ton of times in GURPS. I saw super powerful characters who were nominally balanced by their mental handicaps all the time in that system. It's like Wolverine saying that it hurts to extend his claws... it never seems to make a difference when it really matters.

I'm certainly willing to work with you on this character concept... but what you've got now John Doe sounds like a super hero class that, whenever he uses his (only) ability, both splits the party and breaks character. I'm open to counter-arguments though! The last thing I want to do is down-play your long-time personal favorite hero idea and say you can't use it here. Either way, I encourage you to write a short story about John Doe and his exploits! I feel like he might be more fun to narrate than he would be to play in a group.

4th Dimension wrote:...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.
My intent with a "character" is to make it easier to define fundamentally linked groups of people. Like you say above, everyone in "the character" gets "hurt" when one member is injured or killed. This kind of tight-knit team would follow formula 3.
If you're playing several separate characters, then their values would add (formula 2).
And of course, you could mix and match. The advantage of taking on a bunch of low-level mooks to lower the character value is offset by those mooks acting as a weak point in your team. You can do it, certainly, but be assured that I'll take full advantage of it.

V isn't attack or defense. If anything, that would be A (ability to do stuff), and maybe S (since larger groups are harder to kill, and harder to avoid). The Value is essentially intended as a rough guide for balancing player's agents. It means (roughly) "This character (or group of characters) is equal to V number of ordinary people". So, if we decide to run a gritty street-level campaign, maybe V=1k or less would be appropriate. If you're looking more for Super-hero-opera and super-man scenarios, something upward of 100M is probably called for.

Example time! Say a player wants to play as two groups and some extras, the TMNT, a midget street gang, and a couple isolated mad scientists.
TMNT = single character (fight as a team, stick together, etc). 4 turtles (4x(A:10, S:2, C:2)) April (1x(A:2, S:1, C:1)) and Splinter (1x(A:20, S:0.5, C:0.5))
Add it all up, A:62, S:9.5, C:9.5. (62^3)/(9.5*9.5) = 2640
Street gang = single character (stick together, etc). 11 tough midgets, and let's say they have expensive tastes (11x(A:1.5, S:0.5, C:2))
Add it all up, A:16.5, S:5.5, C:22. (16.5^3)/(5.5*22) = 37
Two scientists = separate characters (don't know each other, work alone, etc). Mad Scientist is as smart as a whole group of normal people, but also requires lots of space and supplies for his experiments (A:15, S:3, C:4)
Since they are separate, we'll calculate it before adding. (15^3)/(3*4) = 281.
You add all the characters together to get the final value of the player's characters:
1*2640 + 1*37 + 2*281 = 3239

I'm trying to keep this away from hard and fast rules because I'm planning on improvising most of the in-game outcomes. All the math stuff is just to give you an idea of the range of characters I foresee being roughly equivalent in-game.
Daemian Lucifer wrote: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.
Yeah, Mr. Supes' is off the charts.

Daemian Lucifer wrote:Anyway,Im more interested in powers of rogue and deadpool.How valuable would absorption and knowing-you-are-part-of-a-game be?
mwchase wrote:I suspect that Deadpool has a higher A in comics than he would in this game, because dudecon isn't under any obligation to make things work out for him.
Quite so. Though, his own inherent powers are, IIRC, not insubstantial. Knowing that you're part of a work of fiction is not, by itself, inherently useful, and I would thus consider it as relevant as the costume. Interesting, but not mechanically pertinent... unless, that is, the ability included knowing what was going to happen in the future, by reading the script. I'm actually open to some measure of future-prediction, as analysts and engineers do this kind of thing all the time. Perfect inerrant knowledge of the future, however, is out of bounds.
mwchase wrote:As to absorbing... under these rules, I think such a character would need a "characteristic baseline" of standard performance and the required absorption levels to maintain that... Would it be fair to calculate the scores for a character under "the best likely circumstances"? I mean, in some versions of Superman, his A drops to 1 if you keep him in the dark long enough. Rogue's baseline is 1, except when it isn't (comics, don't ask), but it seems like the easiest way to pull off such a character within this framework is to give them a "power cap", and take that as their A.
Yeah, I'd probably try to handle it something like that. The character's maximum ability level that they could achieve would be their A. Of course, the cost of this is essentially nullifying another super-human, so the C increases as well. I haven't run the numbers, but we could work it out if someone is interested in playing a character with these kinds of powers.

mwchase wrote:I think this framework, or something like it, is something I'd really like to see. Some of the X-Men got in this weird loop where their powers got summarized, and the summary redefined their powers, and it eventually ended in stuff like Iceman getting an Omega designation, apparently.
Does your interest refer to the campaign as a whole, the general RP framework I have proposed, or the absorption mechanics specifically? In any case, I'd be happy for you to join in!
Trix2000 wrote:I mostly brought up the immortality thing in a general sense for stories/roleplaying, since its an interesting concept and changes the way we look at effective challenges. Death or losing their volition is no longer what the character avoids (ie: using upkeep), but instead less concrete concepts such as the effects of relationships (and losing them)... That might be a bit outside the scope of the thread, though I do wonder if there's a way to broaden upkeep beyond just 'things needed to not die/lose agency'...
Well, I would say that if one character is immortal... why isn't everyone else? It seems that, if the world is an understandable place, immortality would be able to be replicated somehow, just like other effects. Maybe the cost is prohibitively high, so that only a very few can become immortal... who is chosen to live forever?
Slight religion stuff under the tags. Personally, I find the whole immortality-worse-than-death theme played out and uninteresting. Eternal life is either enjoyable, in which case it's awesome (no matter if you're the only one left or not). Or it's not enjoyable, in which case it is literally Hell (even if you're sharing it with other people)... What more is there to say on the topic? That was rhetorical, please don't answer.
Like I said, I'd be willing to play a campaign that includes functional immortality, but it would have to be something that was available to all of the players, and not just a few characters.
As far as re-defining death and failure... well, here's an example. Let's say Hero H has friend F. If F loses his job, then H will be so sad that he's effectively nullified. Here we have a failure state that is not death related... but as far as the game goes it's basically the same. H may as well be dead if the player can't use him any more. If, however, the failure state does not nullify the character... then it's not really a failure any more. If H can somehow soldier on after F loses his job, then it's more of a story point that can be used for character motivation than it is a fundamental failure state.
I'm fully intending to employ non-death motivation in the game, but making other states failure points as well seems to confuse the issue. Death by any other name has the same consequences; Namely, Game Over.

dudecon wrote:If there's interest, we'll flesh out a format together along with some campaign goals, a setting, etc.
Seems like there's still interest. So, to anyone who is interested in playing, here's my questions:
  • What V would you like to play at? Put another way, your hero is the equivalent of X normal people. What X do you have in mind?
  • Is there a particular setting you're interested in? Ancient; Modern; Future? Earth-like; Terrestrial; Impossibly Alien?
  • What "feel" do you want? Golden-age with invincible costumes and flowery dialogue? Gritty noir introspection against a rain-washed backdrop? Clever intrigue and politics laced with spies and lies?
  • Hard or soft science? Hard or soft magic? High-tech, low-tech?
  • Immortality... Allowed in-game or not?
  • Is there a particular character you have in mind? I'll try to be open minded (sorry again Krellen!).
  • Other comments? A particular scenario or villain or inspiration?
Thanks again everyone! It's been fun thinking about this, and hopefully just as entertaining to actually get started playing.
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krellen
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby krellen » Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:05 am

dudecon wrote:I'm certainly willing to work with you on this character concept...

I was throwing the concept at your system to see what you would do with it. I'm not really that interested in playing.
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mwchase
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby mwchase » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:12 am

I was specifically expressing interest in the general idea of a means of budgeting based on effectiveness. It's kind of gamey, but on the other hand, the superhero genre leads readers across a bunch of narrow tightropes, and they don't always admit when they've fallen off... Rassum-frassum over-wrought analyses of Batman's moral code...

In any case, I'm up for trying this out. However, I don't have a concept in mind, yet. I can turn some ideas over in my head overnight, though.
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Nalyd
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby Nalyd » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:12 am

What about characters that don't really do things that can be measured by the capabilities of normal people? What about someone who can read minds, or talk to animals, or travel in time? What about characters with significant power but serious situational weaknesses, like a vampire having super strength and speed and resistance to damage and turning into mist and controlling animals but bursting into flame in sunlight? What about inconsistent power levels like Shazam or a werewolf? What about powers that have untapped but dangerous depths like Jean Grey? What about shapeshifters - would they be judged by the highest power thing they can become, or by everything they can become added together, or what? What about Mystique? You said no unerring knowledge of the future - does that mean no precognition a la Spidey-sense? What about heroes with technically one power but a very wide variety of applications, like Dr. Strange(same sort of question as the shapeshifter one, I guess)? What about people who can bring the dead back to life, or communicate with them? What about people that get their powers by allowing another entity to control them, perhaps to do things against their will? What about eldritch abomination-style things, that aren't meant to be fully understood?
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4th Dimension

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby 4th Dimension » Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:03 am

I'll try to lay out what I thought about playing, so we can see if it's too overpowered and such. MOst likely it is.

He is basically has super powered computer skills. He can directly connect to any computer or a computer connected with a network to him via wired networks (he might be able to tape into wireless). Once he is in his main ability is the ability of his brain to sift through electronic data at incredible rates, and the ability to create software he needs by basically formulating in his brain what he needs this software to do. The more time he takes to clarify in his mental design document what this software needs to do the less problems this software will have.

And as you can allready see he is a bit too powerfull for our 5K setting. He is basically able to do in a day what would take a development team (~50 guys) a year or more. He does have a hidden cost in that he does need access to hardware where he will put this software on, and access to networks and Internet when he wants to retrieve some information, but I don't think they are too great to offset his primary abilities.

In fights he would be next to useless, allthough I was thinking of giving him basically 0 second reaction time. This would mean that since he interacts with things at computer speeds and greater on daily basis, his mind works a lot quicker, and as such he can make desicions quicker. His body is still of an average non athletic human, but he reacts to situations with precision and swiftness greatly past that.

An example. LEt's say that our hero is sitting i his room doing nasty things to some computer system over the Internet, searching for something that struck his fancy, when an enemy blows the door of the hinges and barges in. Let's compare that to a similar sitation, only the hero will be a supehuman with human mind but a body with greatly increased strengths and speed, also let's call gim Great Guy (GG).
Due to the GG's human brain he takes about 1 second to get over the shock of unexpected entry of an enemy. Than his superhuman body executed a dodge in a fraction of the second throwing him behind some cover (0.3s). Once he is safe he takes additional time to formulate his actuall response (2s) and than finally his superhuman body jumps out of the cover and punches the head off the mook in something less than 0.5 sec. Total time it took him to win is 1+0,3+2+0,5=3,8 s.
On the other hand for Site Surfer (name is work in progress) things go differently. For him combat is allmost a turn based affair where he makes instant decisions (from the point of view of someone other than him) and than watches as his frail human body executes them. So the moment the sound of his door crumbling in reached his ears, he is aware that somebody is coming for him, and has allready planed behind what to take cover. So his decision time is near as equal to 0, but the time it takes for his body to execute it will be greatly longer (let's say 2s) than the time it takes GG to do the same (0,3s). Now behind cover, he has GG beat on decision time, because it takes him effectivly 0s to decide that the best course of action is to grab a nearby half eaten half decomposing pizza, throw it at the enemy to confuse him and gross him out and try punching him in the throat or nuts before he can recover. But unlike GG it will take him a lot longer to do this . . . .

and so on and on.

On second thought the second ability might be usefull as a suporpower of another hero that basically only had that and maybe basic speed and strength boosts.
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby mwchase » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:48 pm

I just had some thoughts on how the setting can work. Here's something that seems to me like a key question:

If a character decides to just up and sell super-stuff on the open market, can they actually get to market, and then succeed? This is kind of a variation on the whole "why isn't everyone doing it" above. In a more general sense, what's the relationship between society at large, and supers? Does everyone know about them? To the extent of having their tech? Conversely, if supers are secret, how secret are they? Is there a masquerade? If so, who's maintaining it? (The answer could be "humanity's reluctance to acknowledge super-powers") Or are people with superpowers constrained to fight out of the way of the public, so they're simply not seen in the first place?

If there's one thing from comics I personally don't want to see here, it's Reed Richards Is Useless.

In any case, I did think of two concepts. Haven't fully fleshed the first one out, and I don't know if the setting would support the other. In short: the whole super-villain prison concept (High C and S offset an A high enough to contain many PC-level villains), and also, Hannibal Chau, but with supers instead of Kaiju. Which is super-gross, but hey, black market.

I should be working, so I'll try to flesh this stuff out later.
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CraigM

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby CraigM » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:06 pm

I will have to read through the thread later (was so not expecting that there'd be new posts that I didn't even look) but just throwing my hat in the ring if still possible. Once I get home from work I'll bring myself up to speed.
PossiblyInsane

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby PossiblyInsane » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:57 am

I am interested in this, and shall work on some character/setting concepts.

Looking over the formula discussion, a question arises when we deal with characters capable of growing in A with a corresponding increase in C and V

For example, let's take hypothetical Multiple Man. Multiple Man is capable of cloning himself at will, but each clone requires resources to maintain and organize like a regular human. Like the aforementioned Rogue parallel, his powers fluctuate over time, and by the additive formulae would have a hard cap for the number of people he could clone equal to the alloted K (possibly less to reflect lack of clone maintenance in downtime).

If we have Multiple Man share a roughly human consciousness across his clones, then the close knit team formula fits best. We come to the same hard limit as the former case without trouble.

But what if we play with the values so that each clone is half as effective but takes up twice the volume and resources (due to shoddy mass production)? By the additive formula, each clone has a V of 0.03125. With a 2k cap, we reach a limit of 64000 clones, an effective collective A of 32000, and an effective CV of 256000 (64000x2x2). By the close team formula, these numbers would (if I am doing my math correctly) produce a K of 128000000. By adding a new independent member with each use of the power, Multiple Man is able get the abillity and costs of a K value much greater than the sum of his parts. This disparity increases the lower you make the A and the higher you make the CV.

So, if a character like Multiple Man presents himself, we must consider the mathematical consequences of the formulaused to represent his value, so as not to abuse mathematical quirks to exploit the system.
PossiblyInsane

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby PossiblyInsane » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:15 pm

Bare bones of the above: Don't use the additive formula for individuals with a K value of less than one, or it breaks the system.
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dudecon
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby dudecon » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:46 am

Nalyd wrote:What about characters that don't really do things that can be measured by the capabilities of normal people? ...
All excellent questions. That's kind of where I was trying to get when asking about the harness/softness of the setting. If the players want a setting with lots of "magic" in the sense of things that are unexplained and unaccountable (which seems to be what you're asking about), then that's fine. Basically, in order to GM, I need to enforce the rules of the in-game universe, so I need to know what those rules are. I started by proposing rather "hard" guidelines (as opposed to "soft"), because it's easy to soften a setting and make things stranger. If the rules are "I don't know, it's crazy man weirdness man!" I can roll with that... but it's going to be crazy weirdness for sure.

Are you interested in playing a particular character? A particular set of powers? A particular setting? I can accommodate anything you've mentioned, as long as there are no objections from the other participants.
4th Dimension wrote:...He is basically has super powered computer skills. He can directly connect to any computer or a computer connected with a network to him via wired networks (he might be able to tape into wireless). Once he is in his main ability is the ability of his brain to sift through electronic data at incredible rates, and the ability to create software he needs by basically formulating in his brain what he needs this software to do. The more time he takes to clarify in his mental design document what this software needs to do the less problems this software will have....

In fights he would be next to useless, allthough I was thinking of giving him basically 0 second reaction time. This would mean that since he interacts with things at computer speeds and greater on daily basis, his mind works a lot quicker, and as such he can make desicions quicker. His body is still of an average non athletic human, but he reacts to situations with precision and swiftness greatly past that...

On second thought the second ability might be usefull as a suporpower of another hero that basically only had that and maybe basic speed and strength boosts.
Okay! Very interesting! The first half sounds like you'd like to play an AI. We could easily offset the abilities by making the "body" large, difficult to move, and require lots of electricity.
The second half sounds like some sort of super-quick reflex character. It would also probably have excellent perception, able to scan a large area quickly and absorb details. Maybe a robot with tons of sensors and stuff?
The difficulty with tightly cyber-integrated characters is that they are very vulnerable to this avenue of attack as well. Plus if the character thinks as quickly as it interfaces with computers, it might get really easily bored, or have trouble waiting for things without going a bit nuts. Or go off on tangents just for something to do.
The comment about "not good in fights" is an interesting one. I'm not planning on giving all characters ad-hoc immunity (or eliminating access) to common weapons of whatever setting we're in, so keep that in mind. A super-reflex super-perception character with a gun would be pretty formidable.
mwchase wrote:...If a character decides to just up and sell super-stuff on the open market, can they actually get to market, and then succeed? ...
Absolutely yes! Of course, the answer to this and your additional questions depends on the setting and what the other players want, but I'd be more than happy to run a campaign where The Flash delivers pizzas and priority mail.
mwchase wrote:In any case, I did think of two concepts. Haven't fully fleshed the first one out, and I don't know if the setting would support the other. In short: the whole super-villain prison concept (High C and S offset an A high enough to contain many PC-level villains), and also, Hannibal Chau, but with supers instead of Kaiju. Which is super-gross, but hey, black market...
Very cool! Those both sound like really fun characters. Workable powers, lots of possible synergies with other characters. Please do develop them!
CraigM wrote:... just throwing my hat in the ring if still possible. Once I get home from work I'll bring myself up to speed.
Certainly still open for submissions. I know how it goes. I was out of it for a few days myself.
PossiblyInsane wrote:Bare bones of the above: Don't use the additive formula for individuals with a K value of less than one, or it breaks the system.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but what you're suggesting is a character that can split himself into ever larger, fatter, hungrier, stupider, more useless copies of himself all of which will be uncooperative. Think of the time Calvin duplicated himself. Unless I'm missing something, I wouldn't have any great objection to allowing Multiple Man admission to the campaign.


Re-reading the thread, Santa_Jaws seems to have the most direction as far as tone goes:
Santa_Jaws wrote:...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... 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...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...
Unfortunately, this has left me a bit confused. So, how about it Santa_Jaws? Are you still interested, and if so, can you clarify? Are you more interested in "down to earth" or "bizarre kitchen sinks"? I'm having trouble imagining a campaign that treats both styles fairly.
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CraigM

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby CraigM » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:50 pm

Well now there are some interesting theoreticals here. Since everyone else is taking their turn trying to break the system, I'll give my shot.

So the concept I have is something of a tinkerer. So her power is the ability to transform materials into usable pieces. For example she could take a fan, metal tube (telescope, pipe, etc.), and battery and make them into a jetpack. Objects don't retain their shapes (i.e. it doesn't hold the form of a pile of junk, but more an actual proper jetpack) but do retain certain characteristics.
-objects retain their baseline material. Aluminum doesn't transform into plastic, etc.
-some basic function needed, though can be distantly related. In the jetpack it needs something to move air, something to direct air, and something to provide power.
-conservation of mass is in play, with one trick. The mass of components is slightly higher than finished product. This degradation of material is justified by the process of creation being imperfect, and some of the materials are lost into the environment (say 5% mass).
-pieces can be reworked. A metal tray could be purposed into an armor chestplate, the later into a parabolic dish. Each time it loses some of it's mass, and as such may become unfit to transition back to original form. i.e. the armor is converted to a dish, then back to armor. Due to the loss it is only 90% as effective (either smaller or thinner than before)
-This power is strictly on inorganic materials. This to prevent power creep into shapeshifting, transmogrification, medical applications, curing cancer, immortality, etc.

As for other specs, size is that of average human female, with required upkeep of same. Their only power is their machine Midas Touch, no super strength or speed.
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dudecon
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby dudecon » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:52 am

CraigM wrote:... Since everyone else is taking their turn trying to break the system, I'll give my shot... power is the ability to transform materials into usable pieces. For example she could take a fan, metal tube (telescope, pipe, etc.), and battery and make them into a jetpack... objects retain their baseline material... some basic function needed, though can be distantly related... conservation of mass is in play... degradation of material... (say 5% mass)... pieces can be reworked... This power is strictly on inorganic materials...
Ahh! A hero dear to my heart. With the power of a team of engineers and an entire factory full of manufacturing equipment! Being an engineer myself, this is exactly the kind of super hero I would be glad to have in the campaign. The ability and power level can also be easily scaled to fit the campaign by adjusting the amount of time the "tinkering" takes to complete.

Also of note, if she is able to manipulate and re-form inorganic materials so easily, she would probably also be able to bore through solid rock, build bridges and infrastructure with ease, etc. She could also probably refine raw materials, create alloys, remove rust, that kind of thing. I imagine she would drive around in a huge truck loaded down with useful bits and spare gadgets which she could tear apart and re-assemble into whatever was called for. Costume made of pockets for storing parts... A modern day Agatha Heterodyne.

Also, she would probably not be allowed on to commercial airlines.

Excellent idea! Are you interested in playing this character, or is it just to see how "the system" would deal with the concept?
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mwchase
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby mwchase » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:25 am

So, I'm going to focus on one of the concepts I have for the prison (the other prison concept's backstory being amazingly Not-Safe-For-Twenty-Sided):

The Prison (name pending) has several internal divisions, and a few loosely connected external groups.

The Director: No official records. No name. No history at all until they appeared a few years ago, championing previously unheard-of technology as a means to combat social ills. In the end, they spearheaded these efforts in the creation of The Prison, a massive complex staffed mainly by robots. The Director idolizes technology, and has apparently been attempting to convert their own body to a fully mechanical version, to embrace the perfection of machinery. The Director's strengths lie in their force of will and their technological knowledge and intuition. I haven't decided precisely where I want the Director to be from, though something like a divergent timeline seems like a good candidate for the characteristics I want them to have.

The Staff: An army of unsleeping robots that keep order within The Prison's walls. They are outfitted with non-lethal weapons, and (I thought about this, and it seemed clever, but now I'm not so sure) simple control panels on their backs that "alter their personality", for example, between "good cop" and "bad cop" (in a metaphorical sense, since they're prison guards). These panels do not actually control the robots in any meaningful way; they match their behavior to the controls because they were trained to, and can override them without any effort if the situation calls for it. This design is there to give the illusion of control to humans observing the robots. The Staff represent the bulk of The Prison's power, and conversely, do not operate well outside of it.

Public Relations: A small group of unpowered humans. There to be the face of The Prison, and, in an OOC sense, because it seems like a decent hook to have a few human characters who have to approach combat in a fish-out-of-water kind of way. Individual members of PR are basically unremarkable, except for their abilities related to communication and spin; still possible for an ordinary human, but the kind of stuff you can build a career on.

The big thing I'm missing is a containment method that gels for me. Young Justice had those inhibitor collars, Earth's Mightiest Heroes (and I'm presuming, by extension, Marvel in general) has a mix of purpose-built cells and compact inhibitors. I mean, now that I think about it, I guess something like nanite injections might make sense, but fictional nanites are, um, broken. Pulling in a few restrictions (not stable outside of saline solution and circulatory fluids, incapable of novel behavior and advanced processing) gets them closer to something I'd feel comfortable asking for.

The other thing I'd like to have is a group of loosely affiliated bounty hunters, if there's power budget remaining for it. Only real idea I have so far is, I'd like to base one of these characters off Anita King from R.O.D. You know, just have someone with a bad attitude and a lot of raw power try to get through the world, and maybe learn the value of teamwork or something. Let's see if I can nail down the power characteristics, if not the precise flavor: no passive abilities beyond a normal human. Offensive and defensive abilities require concentration. A bit short, and sensitive about it.
PossiblyInsane

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby PossiblyInsane » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:00 am

You know, going back to that Calvin Duplicator incident gave me a wonderful idea for a superpowered misdemeanouring Multiple Man, who fills a city with tens of thousands of fat, hungry, unhelpful, impotent, obstructive clones that don't actually break the law and be a pain until the city gives Multiple Man a large donation to go away.

He is tolerated due to the extension of this ability, which would allow him to flood the planet with (and be subsequently consumed by) 67 billion tumourous masses of flesh with 1/32nd the ability, but 32 times the size and appetite of the average human. (A: 0.03125, C: 32, V:32, each independent)

For a more serious setting, it may be interesting to have a character with the ability to create and grow independent creatures from his/her flesh, which I shall expand into an actual character concept when I have a moment this morning.
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4th Dimension

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby 4th Dimension » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:17 am

dudecon wrote:Okay! Very interesting! The first half sounds like you'd like to play an AI. We could easily offset the abilities by making the "body" large, difficult to move, and require lots of electricity.
The second half sounds like some sort of super-quick reflex character. It would also probably have excellent perception, able to scan a large area quickly and absorb details. Maybe a robot with tons of sensors and stuff?
The difficulty with tightly cyber-integrated characters is that they are very vulnerable to this avenue of attack as well. Plus if the character thinks as quickly as it interfaces with computers, it might get really easily bored, or have trouble waiting for things without going a bit nuts. Or go off on tangents just for something to do.
The comment about "not good in fights" is an interesting one. I'm not planning on giving all characters ad-hoc immunity (or eliminating access) to common weapons of whatever setting we're in, so keep that in mind. A super-reflex super-perception character with a gun would be pretty formidable.

I wasn't thinking of playing AI. To me he is more of an average geek Internet user/couch potato that somehow (origin story not defined) got his brain and nervous system upgraded so it can interface with modern computers and process things at computer or super computer speeds. Now these powers don't make him a deity since 1) he pretty quickly realized that if he interfered with economy too much (by becoming the source of all software) he would destroy it, and that would not be fun 2) he is lazy but who is much more content to sit and scan Internet all day (which has impacted greatly his personality) and doing vanity projects from time to time (like let's say sending to Oculus Rift team an almost perfect lag canceling set of drivers for OR dev kit (which subsequently got Carmak fired since he was no longer useful. Whoops.))
So he has great powers but is limited in using them, and I guess we can add the fact that considering how much he is on internet he would go loony if deprived from access to it too much, unless he could redirect his obsession into something else. Thus he requires a reasonably large bandwidth connection.
As to combat, he is in some cases better than a normal human, but for example a couple of SWAT dudes would own him since his body is still of an slightly overweight no exercising geek, and his quick perception matters nothing when a single bullet or a strong slap can knock him out or kill him.
As to attacks on his mind via computer networks, I was thinking he would be sort of invulnerable from that side. While it'snot difficult to "ping" his mind, his "OS" (not really) is to god damned weird and alien to be accessed and broken into.

@CraigM Sounds sort of like a magic Iron Man/MacGyver? As in I built this robot suit out of box of scraps. We could eliminate the problems dudecon pointed out by limiting the "action radius" in which she can transmute objects.
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CraigM

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby CraigM » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:59 am

dudecon wrote:Excellent idea! Are you interested in playing this character, or is it just to see how "the system" would deal with the concept?


Definitely one for the play list, and as for transportation and gear you are thinking pretty much right in line with where I was. She's the super hero wearing, essentially, a cross between a camping backpack and this.

Naturally her vehicle would also be... special. After all if you could manipulate things like that wouldn't you? So an electric pickup (I'd have said hybrid, but let's face it she'd go full electric.) with outlets, wifi, etc. All the things a geek would need.

4th Dimension wrote:@CraigM Sounds sort of like a magic Iron Man/MacGyver? As in I built this robot suit out of box of scraps. We could eliminate the problems dudecon pointed out by limiting the "action radius" in which she can transmute objects.


I was working under the limit of direct or indirect touch, but now I see I hadn't specified that. But yes, the idea was for this power to operate much like the Midas Touch, and I am working on formulating a hero name that references that. Machine Midas? Golden Mechanic? Golden Ratio? Hmm, I actually kinda like that last one.
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dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA
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Campaign Update, the direction so far

Postby dudecon » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:02 pm

Campaign Update
So far, the fourumites who have expressed interest are:
Santa_Jaws, Daemien Lucifer, 4th Dimension, mwchase, and CraigM
The first has given some setting input, and the last three have submitted initial character ideas. (DL! What's your angle?)
After reviewing the input so far, we seem to be headed toward a setting with near-future levels of technology that includes super-humans who have powers over, or related to, technology. There will probably also be alowance for a variety of different super-powers, but all the PC concepts are tech-centric so far. From the character concepts, I'm guessing V ~= 60M (characters roughly equivalent to the nation of Italy, France, or the UK... in the future).
No one has (so far) expressed serious interest in: Immortality, magic, comedy, or absurdity.
So, at this point, we're looking at a fairly serious hard-science near-future earth-like technology-oriented campaign. I'm not ready to call it a "setting" yet, so let's stick with "theme". For convenience, I'm calling this the "Cyber-Robo 60M" theme.

Please issue any and all objections and/or refinements to the Cyber-Robo 60M theme at this time.
Also, please continue to post character ideas. Don't be afraid to throw something completely crazy in there. I like how this is shaping up folks!

mwchase wrote:The Prison (name pending) has several internal divisions, and a few loosely connected external groups....The big thing I'm missing is a containment method that gels for me...
The other thing I'd like to have is a group of loosely affiliated bounty hunters, if there's power budget remaining for it...
I continue to enjoy the Super Prison concept. Robots, cyborgs, control (and the illusion thereof), all very workable.
PossiblyInsane wrote:... it may be interesting to have a character with the ability to create and grow independent creatures from his/her flesh, which I shall expand into an actual character concept when I have a moment this morning.
Looks like the campaign is developing into a very tech-heavy setting. Some bio-powers could add welcome contrast... What I'm saying is, sounds neat! Don't keep us waiting!
4th Dimension wrote:...To me he is more of an average geek Internet user/couch potato... can interface with modern computers and process things at computer or super computer speeds. Now these powers don't make him a deity since 1) he pretty quickly realized that if he interfered with economy too much (by becoming the source of all software) he would destroy it, and that would not be fun 2) he is lazy... So he has great powers but is limited in using them... he requires a reasonably large bandwidth connection...As to attacks on his mind via computer networks, I was thinking he would be sort of invulnerable from that side.
So, basically, Deck from Free Radical + neural reflexes - ninja training. Cool!
However, a few... they're more guidelines than actual rules:
1. I'm going to be balancing characters based on their potential, not their performance. I'm fine if you RP Site Surfer as a slacker who doesn't employ his powers to the fullest, but I'm going to consider the full socio-economic ramifications of his abilities, regardless of how he uses them.
2. You say "sort of invulnerable" which comes back to the "immortal" question. I touch on this above, namely, it doesn't look like immortality or invulnerability is going to be a thing in this campaign. If your character has I/O, it's going to work both ways. Every advantage has its drawbacks. At the very least he could get disoriented by a dropped connection or jamming.
CraigM wrote:...Definitely one for the play list... formulating a hero name... Golden Ratio?...
Maybe... "Golden Rachel"? It would work way better if she were a boy... "Horatio" would be too good to pass up.
Maybe play around with "transmutation" themes? Circutry, creating life... Ooh, if she could make robots out of most anything, she'd be like the robot mother. I'm sure you'll come up with something awesome.
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krellen
Location: The City in New Mexico
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Re: Savin' the day!

Postby krellen » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:31 pm

Would I be allowed to play a megacorp, such as appears in the Shadowrun setting (minus the magic)?
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Campaign Update, the direction so far

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:48 pm

dudecon wrote:No one has (so far) expressed serious interest in: Immortality, magic, comedy, or absurdity.


But thats precisely why I asked about rogue and deadpool.

Anyway,I decided to make characters out of a comic book.Literally.I can tone down the comedy,but not the absurdity of this concept.

So,an experiment with an extra-dimensional door(or magic,if that is preferred)has turned one comic book alive.If we are going to use real world setting,then its one of the avengers comics(just so I could easily look up the characters needed,because I havent read a single one).

Anyway,exactly X characters were formed out of living ink(Ill have to decide on the exact number depending on the strength of this concept,though Im partial to 17).They can shape change at will,though they have to maintain the same volume,however they can change their density a bit(lets say from 25% to 500% of their original).

They posses telepathic communication between themselves,and operate sort of like a hive mind,but the range of this is limited,and can be obstructed with regular matter(their cognitive functions do suffer when separated).However,they cannot communicate with actual sound(inner organs of humans are unknown to them),but they can communicate by forming speech bubbles from themselves floating in mid air.

They dont posses the powers of the actual characters from the comic,but they prefer to emulate them,as well as their appearances(so a captain america ink blob would throw a part of itself formed as a shield).

They dont need to feed or rest,nor do they feel pain,but they can be hurt in some unconventional ways(for example,they can be dissolved with water or burned by fire,so they arent immortal),and so they have to feed on ink in order to regenerate.

And,since they are a superhero comic,its in their nature to try and act just and valiant.
PossiblyInsane

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby PossiblyInsane » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:00 pm

Krieg (working name) was a German bio-artificer specializing in limb and organ replacement. He eventually grew tired of mere repair, and covertly turned his interests toward improving what had been lost, and eventually creating new types of limb and organ, turning flesh into art. By the time the medical company Krieg worked for realized where their funding was going, Krieg turned himself into art that could beget art, manipulating and growing his body to his will. He flew to less developed Central Africa, where he could experiment free of interference and always have some target to field test his creations.

Krieg currently hires himself and his creations out to various warlords as a mercenary and occasional labor force. He sees it as a public service, helping warmongers and murderers destroy each other while ensuring that at least some of the inevitable casualties in the conflicts are not strictly human and can be easily replaced.

Krieg grows his creations from his body. The simpler and less oversight intensive the biological construct, the easier it is to make and maintain. So, growing and directly controlling a human sized creature with the strength of 100 humans and an ultra-efficient metabolism would take a considerable amount of effort to design, grow, and maintain. Controlling and maintaining multiple creatures becomes exponentially more difficult. It is easier to allow creatures to independently function, freeing concentration so that more can be created using the same amount of material. Independently functioning creatures lose the coordination and efficiency of a shared consciousness.

Krieg's creations are on a sliding scale of complexity vs. ease of mass production, concentration conservation vs. performance quality. For the same material and level of concentration, Krieg could create a small group of mentally linked efficient superhumans, or a huge quantity of independent hungry masses of barely capable muscle.
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4th Dimension

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby 4th Dimension » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:00 pm

*fuck*
I was composing a response and was logged out while doing and so lost it so what follows is a much shortter thing, since I can not be bothered with writing the whole thing again.

@dudecon
I propose the following. Dropped connections annoy him greatly. Prolonged lack of network access will lead to withdrawal symptoms mostly expressed through impotent pathetic childish rage and an obsession with reconnecteng no matter the costs. Although he ould probably be fine for like 6h quadriple that if he prepares for it.
Personality wise he is as you might guess a looser manchild whose onyl reason he is not living in poverty is that he can do ocasional software creation jobs on the side. And as to that poverty thing, he might as well be poor considering his dietary practices and the place he callls home. Basically a cavelike romm with only enough of space for his bed and computer. He has lived there evene since before the event that gave him powers.
And as to comedy, I'm fine with that, considering my char is a living charicature of the most awrfully stereotypical internet user, youtube poster and such.
In the case for example he ever expiriences the compelte loss of powers, he would be hard pressed to know how to call somebody from an modern phone since it's his gift that makes him able to shape software and computers, and not his knowledge. He has NO idea how any of the stuff that he does works.
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Nalyd
Contact:

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby Nalyd » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:20 pm

I propose the following. Dropped connections annoy him greatly. Prolonged lack of network access will lead to withdrawal symptoms mostly expressed through impotent pathetic childish rage and an obsession with reconnecteng no matter the costs. Although he ould probably be fine for like 6h quadriple that if he prepares for it.
Personality wise he is as you might guess a looser manchild whose onyl reason he is not living in poverty is that he can do ocasional software creation jobs on the side. And as to that poverty thing, he might as well be poor considering his dietary practices and the place he callls home. Basically a cavelike romm with only enough of space for his bed and computer. He has lived there evene since before the event that gave him powers.


Someone's read American Gods.
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Santa_Jaws

Re: Savin' the day!

Postby Santa_Jaws » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:28 pm

It's funny, one of my ideas was actually a sort of toned down sort of vigilante, kind of like Batman but minus the gadgets, and does things purely with his physicality. And originally, I imagined that he had kind of a Far Eastern, Hindu kind of thing going, where it was all mind over matter. Kind of like the spiritual aspects of the first Matrix movie, actually. Where he could leap buildings because he -believed- he could leap buildings, that kind of thing.

And it's funny, because I got the idea for this character after reading Batman Year 100, which was a version of Batman set in a dystopian sort of cyberpunk version of Gotham City, where these important people with their great advanced technology couldn't deal with this guy using oldschool tactics, who was almost entirely off the grid and lowtech. So, it's funny that the campaign is so far shaping up to be this way.

Anyway, Dudecon, is the mysticism and pseudo spiritual aspect of that character straying too far from your world idea? If so, I could totally change him up somehow.

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