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Andrew Collas
08-12-2012, 08:48 PM
Hey gang,

So I ran my first Supers! session tonight and I have to say it was a blast!

The system is smooth, fast and fun! My players really enjoyed it, and overall loved how it played and forced them to be creative instead of figuring out how the system tweaks and crunch worked.

As a Gm I really appreciated the on-the-fly aspects that allowed me to just assign some difficulties and get down to it.

We did use some House Rules, which were as follows;

1] Wild Die. As per D6 for the most part, one of the dice was a Wild Die. The difference being though that on a 1 they could either let it take away the highest, or keep the whole role but suffer a Setback of some kind. On a 6 it could explode, or stay as it is and get a Perk out of it. Both were tried over the course of the night and both worked well. The best Perk being the Masonic Knight using his to be able to save the non-fliers when their supersonic transport was shot down heading into Costa Bendito.

2] Staggered Panels (actions) and Pages (rounds). Using a variation of Grubman's adaptation of the V&V initiative rules, every one rolled initiative and got their first Panel on their number and then again 6 less and so on, it worked really well and given the limitations of how often powers and such could be used, it forced them to think more and more with each subsequent Panel they had. Great success!

3] Competency Dice as Hero Dice. This was a big hit for them. Using their CDs they could add a D6 to a roll (up to 3 at one time), or spend them for things like their opponent rolled a 1 on the Wild Die, spend a CD for an immediate Counterattack. Also we use them as XP like Karma from FASERIP, so that really was a lot of fun.

So overall my first impression (and 5 out of 6 players' as well, the crunch master liked it but prefers crunch) was that it was a LOT of fun and we want to keep going with it!

Cheers!

Note I am also going to cross post this at rpg.net

Dragonfly
08-12-2012, 09:34 PM
Howdy Andrew! [I posted this in rpg.net, but I'll post it here as well.]

I'm glad you had such a good experience with SUPERS!. I love the game, and for many of the same reasons you state. It places story over mechanics. It has mechanics that are simple and quick, but robust and surprisingly comprehensive. What isn't included is easily added by GMs and players, and the RAW encourages that sort of flexibility. It also manages to stress narrative with out creating all the fiddly interaction rules that most story-telling games seem to resort to.

I like the wild die option. Dustland and a few other folks suggested incorporating that mechanic a few months back, and I think it works really well.

The Hero Die option is cool. I use Competency Dice this way myself, allowing not just for die roll modification, but for power stunts (adding Ads to powers or doing something weird with them), activating Advantages that are normally one-shot deals, etc.

I'm glad you had such a success with the staggered panels, but that's something I'd probably shy away from myself. I guess I'd have to play-test it for myself to be fair, but it just feels like adding layers of unwanted complexity to the game.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences with the system. Again, welcome aboard the SUPERS! train! It's a great ride!

Cheers!

Dragonfly

Andrew Collas
08-12-2012, 09:38 PM
Cross-Post with rpg.net


I'm glad you had such a success with the staggered panels, but that's something I'd probably shy away from myself. I guess I'd have to play-test it for myself to be fair, but it just feels like adding layers of unwanted complexity to the game.


Actually two of the players addressed why they liked it... it wasn't just sitting around waiting for everyone to go. It gave them something too look forward to they felt. I agreed with the and to be honest 6 PC heroes, 2 NPC heroes vs 8 NPC villains, and it never slowed down other than when I rolled the first initiative.


I would recommend trying it since it adds a nice comic book dimension and it really gave the players the chance to think outside the attack/defend dynamic.


I am thinking of allowing 2 CD to be used for a Reset, with the limit you can only reset a power for Defense if you used it Offensively, or vice-versa.


But that would be a playtest thing to see if it works or breaks the system.


We did find that Apptitudes, as written, were pretty useless, maybe we are using them wrong I don't know, but they just only came into play as last-resort actions, even after presence attacks.


Cheers!

Dragonfly
08-12-2012, 09:56 PM
Hmm...

We use Aptitudes all the time, and to good effect. I guess it depends at what power level you play. If Powers in your games have really high die codes, then I can see how Aptitudes would fall by the wayside. A 3D in an Aptitude, though, can make for a pretty good Resistance (Athetlicsm for Dodge, Fighting for Parry) in a game where Powers fall in the 5D range, not to mention all the non-combat applications of Aptitudes like Academia, Medicine, Occult, etc.

Cheers!

Dragonfly

Dragonfly
08-12-2012, 10:00 PM
I would recommend trying it since it adds a nice comic book dimension and it really gave the players the chance to think outside the attack/defend dynamic.

Well, I rarely reject an idea without play-testing it first, so I probably will. Still, I know my players. I can see them getting lost trying to keep track of the panels. It's just the way they roll! :) Anyhoo, I'll let you know how it goes when I get a chance to try it.

Cheers!

Dragonfly

Andrew Collas
08-13-2012, 12:25 AM
Maybe the Apptitudes are okay... I dunno, they just seem too... weak to me.

On another note, I was thinking of how BASH does powers, bear with me here, and I created a power for Spangle in my game called Master of the Martial Arts. It is essentially a Wuxia power, ala Crouching Tiger, House of Daggers, etc... I did this as a power that allowed her to be a contender with others.

I will post more of my house rules (including powers, ads and disads for example) if there is an interest.

Cheers!

Simon W
08-13-2012, 12:59 AM
Maybe the Apptitudes are okay... I dunno, they just seem too... weak to me.Cheers!

Aptitudes are largely mundane skills; so compared with superpowers they will be kinda weak. No different to any other super heroes system. If you are having a game where investigation is needed, you'll want some investigative or streetwise skills. If you're dealing with the media or the cops after catching the crooks, some presence or other skills might be needed. They help round out your character. They are what he does when he's not being "super".

Andrew Collas
08-13-2012, 01:16 AM
Aptitudes are largely mundane skills; so compared with superpowers they will be kinda weak. No different to any other super heroes system. If you are having a game where investigation is needed, you'll want some investigative or streetwise skills. If you're dealing with the media or the cops after catching the crooks, some presence or other skills might be needed. They help round out your character. They are what he does when he's not being "super".

I see your point on this, but things like having a "Fighting" apptitude are what doesn't work for me. Titan has 8D of Super Strength, but 3D of fighting. After using his Super Strength to block a tank shell let's say, he then punches the tank with only 3D?

Am I missing something here? It confused me a bit and sort of left me wondering, so thank fully you lads are here to set me straight :)

Simon W
08-13-2012, 01:37 AM
yeah, because he used his strength to resist getting blasted by the tank, leaving him a bit short on his attack. That's how the game works - whittle your opponent's best powers and then hit them with all you've got. He should have used his fortitude or armour (if he has any) to defend the tank shell (maybe even if it means taking some damage) and then punched the tank. It makes you think. It makes for some tactical decisions. It makes it better fun than just relying on your Super Strength for everything as you would in any other supers rpg. You just need to decide how or when you are going to use your best power.

Dragonfly
08-13-2012, 06:40 AM
Maybe the Apptitudes are okay... I dunno, they just seem too... weak to me.

On another note, I was thinking of how BASH does powers, bear with me here, and I created a power for Spangle in my game called Master of the Martial Arts. It is essentially a Wuxia power, ala Crouching Tiger, House of Daggers, etc... I did this as a power that allowed her to be a contender with others.

I will post more of my house rules (including powers, ads and disads for example) if there is an interest.

Cheers!

For me, this is just a Super Weaponry power used to simulate a supernatural form of Martial Arts.

If it does Kamehameha blasts and stuff like that, then you might want to take Energy Control (Chi).

Cheers!

Dragonfly

Andrew Collas
08-13-2012, 10:35 AM
yeah, because he used his strength to resist getting blasted by the tank, leaving him a bit short on his attack. That's how the game works - whittle your opponent's best powers and then hit them with all you've got. He should have used his fortitude or armour (if he has any) to defend the tank shell (maybe even if it means taking some damage) and then punched the tank. It makes you think. It makes for some tactical decisions. It makes it better fun than just relying on your Super Strength for everything as you would in any other supers rpg. You just need to decide how or when you are going to use your best power.

No I get that Simon, that's not what I am saying though, what I am saying is that if Ms. Marvel punches me, I would have to expect a certain amount of damage, she is super strong all the time. By having her super strength be limited like that, it causes her to be only strong for one thing... now maybe that's the way you see it, which is cool, I just am having a harder time getting my brain around the idea she could do something that is "super strong" one second (Let's say she caught a falling bus) and then the next second when she goes to clock Commander Chaos, she hits just like everyone else.

I know I am seeing it a particular way, not trying to be a pain, just trying to get my brain around it. :)


For me, this is just a Super Weaponry power used to simulate a supernatural form of Martial Arts.

If it does Kamehameha blasts and stuff like that, then you might want to take Energy Control (Chi).

No it isn't Street Fighter :) Though eventually she could develop the Golden Glow. For now it is just all that crazy Shaolin stuff people attribute to magic and they attribute to being centred. While you call it "supernatural", in a superhero world I would just call in normal. Take the Justice League episode with Deadman at Nanda Parbat, the disciples who are running around defended it are doing leaps and running on thin edges, etc, but they aren't "super" per-say to my mind, they are just better.

That make sense?

Simon W
08-13-2012, 11:15 AM
No I get that Simon, that's not what I am saying though, what I am saying is that if Ms. Marvel punches me, I would have to expect a certain amount of damage, she is super strong all the time. By having her super strength be limited like that, it causes her to be only strong for one thing... now maybe that's the way you see it, which is cool, I just am having a harder time getting my brain around the idea she could do something that is "super strong" one second (Let's say she caught a falling bus) and then the next second when she goes to clock Commander Chaos, she hits just like everyone else.

I know I am seeing it a particular way, not trying to be a pain, just trying to get my brain around it. :)



Well, you are probably looking at it wrong. You aren't super-strong for one second then not super strong. You are super strong all the time, you just can't put all of your strength into everything you do all of the time.

So, you caught the tank shell and tossed it away - that required a huge amount of effort, didn't it? And it was pretty cool using your super strength like that (not many systems would allow you to do that). However, putting all your effort into that cool trick means you are briefly a bit distracted so you can't really put as much power into your attack for a few moments (bearing in mind these things happen at virtually the same time, in "reality"), so you have to rely on your fighting aptitude to get a blow in at all. Never mind, next round (or a brief moment later) once you've got over the minor distraction of the tank trying to blow holes in you, you can rip it open with your 8D strength. However, that takes quite a bit of effort too, so you won't be able to rely on your strength to help you out against any attacks on you.

It also depends on why you decided to put virtually everything into your 8D Super Strength, to some degree. Most strong types have a halfway decent fortitude they can rely on or even armour.

Dustland
08-13-2012, 11:44 AM
No I get that Simon, that's not what I am saying though, what I am saying is that if Ms. Marvel punches me, I would have to expect a certain amount of damage, she is super strong all the time. By having her super strength be limited like that, it causes her to be only strong for one thing... now maybe that's the way you see it, which is cool, I just am having a harder time getting my brain around the idea she could do something that is "super strong" one second (Let's say she caught a falling bus) and then the next second when she goes to clock Commander Chaos, she hits just like everyone else.

I think this is the #1 thing that people resist when it comes to Supers. I believe this is a result of conditioning from crunchier games rather than anything else. Keep in mind, this is a simple game that encourages creative (and to a lesser extent tactical) play, not a game that accurately models what would happen if a true super strong dude popped up and went around fighting crime. There's really not much more to get your head around than that.

The good thing is the basic rules are easy to mod and you could adjust how Super Stats (or anything else for that matter) work in your game. In the fantasy game I ran, I handed out Gauntlets of Ogre Power which gave the user +1d to any action requiring brute strength. Worked well for what my group wanted, but it wasn't Supers, it's Supers + some crunch.

Andrew Collas
08-13-2012, 01:51 PM
I see what you guys are saying.

I also agree with the House Rule option that you mention Dust, cause that allows me and my group to tailor it as needed.

Allow me to also say this, I have NO issue with the RAW. Fantastic and well done!

I just like a few more options and this system is so damn flexible it lets me add them :)

Win/Win

More to come as my campaign goes on.

Cheers!

Dragonfly
08-13-2012, 04:05 PM
That make sense?

Yep. Makes sense. It's still Super Weaponry. Actually, I was thinking about this on the way home.

Martial Arts that does more damage than mundane karate? Super Weaponry with the Complication Touch Attack Only.

Martial Arts that does Kamehameha blasts type stuff? Just Super Weaponry, as ranged attacks are possible.

"Martial Arts" that allows for Kamehameha type blasts + some chi based utility stuff (like creating force fields, etc.)? Energy Control (Chi).

Cheers!

Dragonfly

Dragonfly
08-13-2012, 04:22 PM
I think this is the #1 thing that people resist when it comes to Supers. I believe this is a result of conditioning from crunchier games rather than anything else. Keep in mind, this is a simple game that encourages creative (and to a lesser extent tactical) play, not a game that accurately models what would happen if a true super strong dude popped up and went around fighting crime. There's really not much more to get your head around than that.

The good thing is the basic rules are easy to mod and you could adjust how Super Stats (or anything else for that matter) work in your game. In the fantasy game I ran, I handed out Gauntlets of Ogre Power which gave the user +1d to any action requiring brute strength. Worked well for what my group wanted, but it wasn't Supers, it's Supers + some crunch.

I agree with you, Dustland. It's one of the harder things to get about the system. I know it took me awhile to buy into it. I may have mentioned it before, but for the longest time I refused to play SUPERS! because of Spider-Man. I was conditioned by other systems to think that Spidey (or any similar character) would avoid attacks by virtue of their Reaction. It really bothered me that Spidey only got one Reaction roll per round. "What about the Sinister Six?" I would scoff. "How is he supposed to fight them?" Then I realized that the system models that just fine. Spidey doesn't dodge with his Reaction. He dodges with his Reaction + Athleticism, Fighting, Danger Sense, Wall-Crawling & Webs. Then he punches one of the Sinister Six with his Super Strength or flies into one, feet first, with his Leaping. It's about tactical choices that translate to neat narrative descriptions. Because of this, it's hard to guage SUPERS! attributes according to the logic of other games.

Andrew - the Super Strength and Fighting thing reminds me of one of the early Web of Spider-Man comics (back from the '80s). In that issue, Spidey fights the Hulk. For panel after panel you see a very frustrated Hulk, tearing web fluid off his eyes, tearing out of Web cocoons, or otherwise contending with Spidey's web-shooters. In SUPERS! terms, that would be Spidey attacking with Webs and Hulk resisting with Super Strength - leaving the Green Goliath with only Fighting to attack with. As Simon expalined, the Hulk is still Super Strong, but he is too unbalanced to connect with a blow. If he rolls well enough (and Spidey low enough), he might be able to nick him with a might blow for minimal damage. The beauty is that the narrative elements come into play, so you don't have to chince out the Hulk's power in terms of how the scene is described. Sure, the blow fails to connect with Spidey and does no damage, but there is nothing stopping the Judge and player from describing the collateral damage of the blow in Super Strength terms (as long as it's only flavor text).

Just some stuff to think about.

I, personally, look forward to hearing more about how your games go. I also enjoy discussing the rules with newer fans, so thanks for sharing your groups stories. I look forward to more!

Cheers!

Dragonfly

Dustland
08-13-2012, 04:47 PM
Here's my favorite "I'm sold" experience I had with a friend of mine last Christmas who is a D20 devotee: he was playing a super smart scientist that used Wizardry to model Gadgeteering and had dumped 5d into Super Brain. A few rounds into his first fight, things weren't going very well (he couldn't land a blow) and I pointed out that he could use his Super Brain to attack with instead of his low-powered aptitudes....he looked at me blankly.

"How can you attack with your brain?"

- You say you are studying the patterns of your opponent using your incredible IQ and thus allowing you to anticipate his next move. Your skill in combat is not so important if you know what he's going to do and you can react to it, right?

"Holy crap! I love this game!"

Supers has its warts, but man, once you accept the premise of the game and embrace the narrative aspect of it, it is so much more entertaining than any other game I've played in my past two decades of tossing the dice!

Ok, I'm done gushing :)

Andrew Collas
08-13-2012, 11:07 PM
You had me at Hulk vs. Spider-Man ;)

Ok, ok, I am sold.

You bunch of cultists ;)

Actually went to coffee with one of my players and he was singing the praises of the whole "Only use the power once" thing and how it really made him have to think, etc...

I think since we use the segmented initiative that Grubman proposed, it just comes home faster, since there are potentially more actions in the round.

Will let you know after the next session how I am feeling.

Oh and would you like to see some write-ups? :D

Dragonfly
08-14-2012, 07:54 PM
Sure! I love to see PC and villain stats! Go ahead and post 'em.

Cheers!

Dragonfly

Andrew Collas
08-15-2012, 10:01 PM
In honour of Dragonfly, here is the name-same hero and senior member of the Protectors of New York!

Name: Dragonfly
Secret ID: Dr. Jerome Mahoney

RESISTENCES
Composure 3D Fortitude2D
Reaction 3D Will 2D

APPTITUDES
Academia 3D, Medical 2D, Technology 2D

ADS
Dumb Luck, Instant Change, Resources

DISADS
Enemy: Damselfly, Old Age, Slow Recovery

POWERS
Size Change: 5D Down to 1 inch. Complications: Only Shrinking

Energy Control 4D Complication: Only Shrunk, Limited Use: Blast Only, Boost: Split Attack

Flight 4D 200mph Complication: Only When Shrunk

BREAKDOWN
Res 6D + Aps 4D + Pows 10D = 20D


http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/AslanC/Zenith%20Comics/Misc%20Heroes/DragonflyLogo.png
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/AslanC/Zenith%20Comics/Misc%20Heroes/Dragonfly-1.png

Jukeboxer
08-16-2012, 10:24 AM
I like this Dragonfly! Interesting that he can only use his Energy Control when his is shrunk... To me, this is a good example of a character that I wouldn't want to play in most superhero RPGs, but I think he'd be fun in SUPERS.

The thing that I'm really beginning to appreciate in SUPERS is character flexibility and effectiveness. In crunchier games, you have to account for range, distance, duration, area of effect radius, rate of movement and so forth. These factors inevitably create "gotchas" or situations in which a character is rendered ineffective against certain threats or foes. In play, those situations are not so fun - usually. And crunchier games have to add more rules crunch to allow for ways to work-around game-breaking scenarios. SUPERS characters can more easily avoid these problems.

Dragonfly
08-16-2012, 05:14 PM
Ah! Very nice! I'm honored! This seems like a really neat Wasp homage! :-)

Interestingly enough, MY Dragonfly had a rival hero (somewhat romantic interest) named Damselfly! :-)

My Dragonfly, however, was a riff off of the Ted Kord Blue Beetle, complete with a vehicle named The Pest. :-)

I think I'll commission Dustland to draw him for me one of these days.

Thanks for posting Dragonfly, Andrew!

Cheers!

Dragonfly

Dragonfly
08-16-2012, 05:15 PM
I like this Dragonfly! Interesting that he can only use his Energy Control when his is shrunk... To me, this is a good example of a character that I wouldn't want to play in most superhero RPGs, but I think he'd be fun in SUPERS.

The thing that I'm really beginning to appreciate in SUPERS is character flexibility and effectiveness. In crunchier games, you have to account for range, distance, duration, area of effect radius, rate of movement and so forth. These factors inevitably create "gotchas" or situations in which a character is rendered ineffective against certain threats or foes. In play, those situations are not so fun - usually. And crunchier games have to add more rules crunch to allow for ways to work-around game-breaking scenarios. SUPERS characters can more easily avoid these problems.

I agree with you on this, Jukeboxer. It's one of the things I love about the game too.

Cheers!

Dragonfly

Andrew Collas
08-16-2012, 09:04 PM
So I was looking at Darren Bulmer's write-ups and I found myself wondering if I was selling my players short with only 20D... what do you guys think is a good, middle of the road comic book amount of dice?

Dustland
08-16-2012, 09:19 PM
Honestly I don't mind 20d as a starting point. The highest die total I've played in was around 40d and other than having to count more dice each round, I really didn't notice too much of a difference from playing at the lower dice pools. I do have to admit though, the 30d range is fun because you can really start to play around with Area of Effect, Split Attacks, etc to add some ::umph:: to combat, and you can spend the odd 1d-2d on miscellanous powers and aptitudes that help to flesh out the character.

If you're planning on a moderate-length campaign, I'd suggest starting at the 20d mark and give the players a die or two each game to enhance their characters. Just keep in mind Dice Caps really matter past 20d; some players will naturally dump each and every die into one power and as the Judge, it makes things a bit difficult to challenge them (though not as bad as in other games since you can only use each power once each round, more or less).

Andrew Collas
08-17-2012, 12:46 PM
I am starting to think 30D may be the sweet spot I was looking for. I am gonna take a stab at remaking the characters at that total and see what happens. :)