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fmitchell
08-23-2007, 05:13 PM
Just curious. I wasn't that impressed with it -- it reminded me of GURPS with a different dice mechanic -- but some people I've met enthusiastically confirm the "Fast, Furious, and Fun" slogan.

PhishStyx
08-23-2007, 05:25 PM
I have a copy, but I've never had the chance to play it unfortunately.

Skunkape
08-24-2007, 06:53 AM
I bought a 1st edition copy of the rules and have read through them twice. I haven't run it yet, but it does appear to be a very quick and easy system. One of the main things I like about it is that you don't have levels per say like DnD and you don't have classes either.

I know they have a 'levels' system in the game, but it's not quite the same as the DnD version and you get to enhance your character every x number of experience points, I think it's every 5, but my memory isn't always the best!:D The level system is more to allow you to choose better edges (their 'feats' system) as you improve, not that your character gets better as they level. It's kind of hard to explain in a short post.

Anyway, for the most part it looks to me to be a good system, and I'll be running a game in October. It's a one shot that takes place in the Deadlands setting. If my players really like the game, I might run more than just the one shot, but I'll make some world modifications if it becomes a continuing game.

From looking at the rules though, they're fast and furious claim appears to be pretty accurate. Oh yeah and the other thing I really like about the game is that so far, when they've done a new edition, I think we're at 2nd right now, they aren't changing the rules, they're editing them. Nothing really changes from rules edition to rules edition, they end up tweaking the current system to fill holes in the rules.

And they release a free PDF of what's different between each edition. But like I said, they don't really change the rules so much as edit them! That's worth a whole lot of points to me!:D

trechriron
06-29-2008, 04:38 PM
I LOVE Savage Worlds. :cheer2::tea::first::humble:

I didn't like the idea at first when reading the first edition and or the online "test drive" (about 2 versions of the Test Drive ago...), and I didn't particularly enjoy the first incarnation of Deadlands (from what SW was derived somewhat), but I have ran it many times now and this is one truth...

It is freaking BRILLIANT in actual play. It plays exactly as they say, Fast! Furious! Fun!! It is a breeze to prep, has just the right balance of rules, and every player who sits at a game comes away having really enjoyed the experience.

If you live in the South Puget Sound or are willing to travel to Tacoma, I am starting a game in July (see my campaign post here on P&PG).

If you can, hit a demo at a local con or find a local group and play it. It really is a solid game system that just works.

I still use all my other books for reference, ideas, etc. But I am pretty much all Savage Worlds now as far as system goes...

Also, in my experience, the fiddly-bits that are included in some systems relating to corruption, insanity, terror, emotions, humanity, plot-changing, et al don't work very well. They are generally not recieved well by the various players I have ran a game for. I guess in the end I am more of the "these things come out in the game in roleplaying" versus having to have a mechanical representation in the system. YMMV of course!

Savage Worlds provides the basic resolution framework that then fades behind the story and the interaction. Because it's fast, you don't have to pay the system much attention.

Just my two cents... :D

trechriron
06-29-2008, 04:51 PM
...

I know they have a 'levels' system in the game, but it's not quite the same as the DnD version and you get to enhance your character every x number of experience points, I think it's every 5, ...

Oh yeah and the other thing I really like about the game is that so far, when they've done a new edition, I think we're at 2nd right now, they aren't changing the rules ...

First, for every 5 XP you get an Advance. With that you can;



Gain a new Edge
Increase a skill that is equal to or greater than it's linked attribute by one die type.
Increase two skills that are lower than their linked attributes by one die type each.
Buy a new skill at d4.
Increase one attribute by a die type. (but only once per Rank).


Heroes (called Wild Cards in the system jargon) have Ranks showing how experienced your Wild Card is;

0-19 XP = Novice
20-39 XP = Seasoned
40-59 XP = Veteran
60-79 XP = Heroic
80+ XP = Legendary

As your character increases in Rank,this can open up new Edges with special rules that make your character more capable. Not to mention all the Advances that just make you more capable to begin with.

It's also a good measuring stick to determine the character group's capabilities for encounters, etc.

The only major differences from 1st to 2nd is in how wounding\dying works and weapon damage. They simplified the wounding system and weapon damage is listed as a die type (you roll) + attribute (if applicable) instead of a set bonus (so a sword does STR + d6 instead of STR +2). The STR would be the die type of your STR attribute.

trechriron
06-29-2008, 05:30 PM
I thought I would add the basic system summary:

A character is composed of Attributes, Edges, Hindrances, and Skills. Attributes are rated by a die type (d4, d6, d8 , and d12, then d12+1, d12+2, etc). Skills are related to an attribute in that they cost less if you buy a die below the attribute die, and cost double for each die over your attribute die type.

The Attributes are Agility, Smarts, Spirit, Strength, and Vigor.

Edges are those special abilities, talents, and training that set you apart (kind of like d20 feats.). You can take one major and two minor Hindrances that you can then trade for additional skills, attribute dice, or edges. (I really like how the hindrances are limited and controlled. It makes playable characters with some charm and doesn't take all day to make the characters).

Skills are a manageable (short and concise) list with some customization possible for setting\genre specific applications as desired.

Action\Conflict Resolution: If you have a skill use that die. If not use the attribute the skill is based on but you make the roll with a -2 modifier. Wild Cards (them is you hero types) also get a special Wild Die (a extra d6) to throw. You choose the highest result (it's one or the other). Now being special and all that you also get to be especially dangerous. If you roll a 1 on both your dice, you have done something specially bad and critically failed. :D

(Note: Unskilled attempts apply a -2 to any die you choose for that attempt)

die roll + modifiers = result. Your target number is a 4 (usually). For every 4 you get over the target number, you get a raise (which can do extra damage or determine extra success).

In melee combat your TN is the parry score of your opponent. In ranged combat the TN is 4 with modifiers for range.

In combat, initiative is determined by an Action Deck (a regular deck of playing cards). You act in card order with ties resolved in reverse alphabetical order of suit (Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs). If you draw a Joker (yes you leave both in), then you can act at any time in the order and get a +2 bonus to ALL your rolls. Whenever a Joker is drawn, you reshuffle the deck. I use the oversize card deck from PEG and they are super awesome. It makes combat order super easy to determine. There are edges that allow you to draw 2, keep 1 and eventually draw 3, keep 1.

The Action Deck is used for other purposes in many of the Plot Point campaigns to determine encounters, or treasures, or all kinds of random stuff (all optional but can add a flair of random fun).

There you go. The Savage Worlds system in a nut shell. From a Nut. :biggrin:

Webhead
06-30-2008, 09:27 AM
I've been intrigued by Savage Worlds ever since it was first released. I used to play the old Deadlands system upon which Savage Worlds is roughly based. From what I've read, Savage Worlds cleans up a lot of what made the original Deadlands slow and clunky.

When the new Explorer's edition came out, I came dangerously close to buying it for the $10 price tag, but I've managed to talk myself out of it as I don't need "yet another system" and probably wouldn't be able to talk my group into playing it.

Thanks for the info though. I've heard a lot of people have good things to say about the game. I may get around to picking it up someday.

MortonStromgal
07-23-2008, 04:51 PM
Its ok but... I have other systems I like better for everything I've tried with it so far. Though I'll admit the fan created star wars book is awesome.

Neal5x5
08-23-2008, 11:42 PM
The real benefit of Savage Worlds is the fact that prep time is cut to a bare minimum. For my D20 games, I usually require at least one evening ahead of time to get ready for a session. With Savage Worlds, I can put together an entire adventure in less than an hour without sacrificing any of the important details.

This easy prep gives me more time to think about story and how I'm going to fill in the character's five senses in a scene. Instead of trying to put together a villain with a complete set of feats, attacks, spells, equipment, etc., I can think about what the villain is like and why he/she is a villain.

Plus, the plot point system in the world books is great for a long-running campaign. The heroes start off as low-level characters and work their way up in levels while advancing the overall storyline of the world itself. It guarantees that the heroes are part of a larger picture while still magnifying their roles.

Zig
12-12-2008, 04:00 AM
I played 1e deadlands liked some stuff, didnt care at all for the plot/fear system. My current DM is considering running a Savage Lands super hero game and I want to know a bit more about it. He tells me the supers game is called "necessary evil" and the story is that all of earth's supers died fighting an alien race and only the villans are left. sounds pretty cool if a bit strange... I'm wondering...

1) do any of you have expirence with this?
2) how does it compare to champions/hero?
3) how defined is combat and martial arts etc? (are there hit locations, and hth manuvers?)
4) I hear there are templates which act as classes... I've hated superhero games with classes in the past (too limiting) and am wondering how that works... how do you pick or choose your powers?
5) how do super powers work? say you've got a firestar type character... what determines the use of your fire powers? making flames bigger, more dammaging, etc? is it just a skill roll or is it better defined?

THX

Webhead
12-12-2008, 09:53 AM
...My current DM is considering running a Savage Lands super hero game and I want to know a bit more about it. He tells me the supers game is called "necessary evil" and the story is that all of earth's supers died fighting an alien race and only the villans are left. sounds pretty cool if a bit strange...

Indeed. The next setting that I want to pick up for Savage Worlds is Necessary Evil. From what little I know about it, it is as you describe: all the Earth's heroes died battling invading aliens, leaving only the super villains left. The problem is, now the aliens are continuing their plot to dominate/destroy the Earth and the super villains are the only ones powerful enough to stop them.

All my comments below pertain only to the "core" Savage Worlds rules. Necessary Evil is supposed to include expanded rules for Super Powers and other things to bring out the potential of a supers campaign. Having not read the book, I can't comment on what it brings to the table in that regard.


1) do any of you have expirence with this?

I have not read Necessary Evil, but I have read Savage Worlds. I am really anxious to begin running games using the system because it is very simple to use, yet flexible enough to create PC who have their own unique abilities.


2) how does it compare to champions/hero?

Nowhere near as complex and consequently nowhere near as detailed and customizable in terms of game system. IMHO, I tend to favor a swing toward simplicity for the most part, so I'm okay with sacrificing the granularity of HERO system for the speed and ease of Savage Worlds, but that's my style. Whereas a full HERO system character can take an hour or two to fully flesh out, a Savage Worlds character will take more like 10 or 15 minutes.


3) how defined is combat and martial arts etc? (are there hit locations, and hth manuvers?)

While there are "combat options" which include the ability to make called shots to specific hit locations or "fight defensively/aggressively" etc, there are not detailed "attacks" or "attack maneuvers" such as spin kick or uppercut or anything like that. Likewise, combat skills are kept very simple with all melee combat using the "Fighting" skill and all ranged combat using the "Shooting" skill (except thrown weapons which use "Throwing"). If it's detailed GURPS: Martial Arts style action you're looking for, Savage Worlds isn't built for it (but could easily be house-ruled).


4) I hear there are templates which act as classes... I've hated superhero games with classes in the past (too limiting) and am wondering how that works... how do you pick or choose your powers?

There are no "classes" or set "templates" that you have to choose from. Character creation is free-form based on a sort of point-buy system. The points you spend on "Super Powers" either give you more powers, more power points to use them (using powers drains your pool of "power points" which slowly regenerates) or makes you better at using them.


5) how do super powers work? say you've got a firestar type character... what determines the use of your fire powers? making flames bigger, more dammaging, etc? is it just a skill roll or is it better defined?

Powers work on an "effects-based" system and are divided by effect. So, you have powers like "Bolt" which is a power that launches a damaging ranged attack. The "descriptors" or "trappings" of the power are left up to the player. Thus, the "Bolt" power could be a blast of fire, or it could be a robotic rocket-fist or even a swarm of stinging insects. Mechanically, they all do the same thing. There is the "Elemental Manipulation" power that allows a character to manipulate/create from their element of choice. A Firestar heroine would probably take such a power.

Powers work from a skill roll against a specific target number or against an opponent's defensive roll for powers that target another.

Hope that helps.

Zig
12-13-2008, 05:09 AM
went over to the savage worlds site last night... they are completely sold out of NE but are printing a new 2e to go with their "explorers" 2e core book (all of 10 bucks... how awesome is that!) <grumble grumble, never paying more than 20 bucks for a damn gaming book again ever grumble grumble> some one also mentioned that they are comming out with another supers campaign/world book I expect it will be more traditional comic orientated. planning on getting both when available...

also I am friggin amazed by their forums... they have all these posts asking how to create xyz powers etc or general rules questions and most of the time its answered first by one of the designers... some of those have like 10,000 posts on their records, I've never seen a gaming company offer so much access to their designers and staff, amazing.

Webhead
12-13-2008, 10:52 AM
My limited experience with their staff is also of the highest quality. I had picked up a copy of the Explorer's Edition book from my FLGS only to discover that I had gotten one of the copies with binding problems 3 days later, so I e-mailed them about what to do about replacement. They responded the next morning letting me know that they would ship me a replacement right away. It looks like it is scheduled to be delivered today.

That very prompt and curteous response over a $10 book was very encouraging and I think they've earned my repeat business in the future. Besides, there's a bunch of Savage Worlds settings that I want to get my hands on. :cool:

Zig
12-14-2008, 02:52 AM
I'm looking over some books from savage worlds now... one issue I am having is that many of the campaign books include special rules and edges that seem to me like they should have been in the core rules... for example their deadlands campaign has rules for "superior kung fu" which includes various martial styles and bonuses for those styles... the supers game NE does not have those edges (diffrent licensee) so no martial arts (holy climbing claws bat man how can you have a super hero game without ninjitsu?) and their vietnam game "tour of darkness" has many rules for firearms (supressive fire, sniping, shell shock, etc) and edges for firearms that I would think should have been in the core rules, at least as options...

now they do say GM's can import any of those rules and edges etc into other campaigns however, if I have to go and buy almost every supplement to get those few pages of rules, even if the books are only 8-20 bucks each, I'm looking at hundreds of dollars of dammage to my wallet and 98% of that information I probably wont use. I guess there are issues with licenseing and IP ownership but, sigh, there should be a way around it to get me what I should already have without bankrupting me.

but if thats the only complaint I have (and one I... ahem... hope I can find a simple way around) I'll still be very pleased with the system.

Webhead
12-14-2008, 04:58 PM
Yes, the core system goes for a very broad sort of appeal to keep things simple and condensed to a single (6x9) volume of 160 pages. It doesn't give you everything that you might want or might think of during a game session, but it gives you the foundation upon which to fill in any blanks that you need filled.

In general, I'm in favor of the "start broad and let the GM create more detail if he wants it" style rather than the "give them everything and then have the GM discard what he doesn't want" mostly because the latter leads to larger, more cumbersome to browse, more muddled and more expensive books.

Webhead
12-15-2008, 04:50 PM
Its ok but... I have other systems I like better for everything I've tried with it so far. Though I'll admit the fan created star wars book is awesome.

If I may, which Star Wars conversion are you referring to? I know a couple of fan-made conversions and I wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing out on one.

Thanks.

Zig
12-28-2008, 04:38 AM
ok, I ran my first Savage Worlds Necessary Evil game last week... there are some big problems.

I am used to champions or dark champions where players are doing all kinds of things in combat. bricks are throwing cars, and knocking people through walls, martial artists flip around all over the place while using martial arts manuvers that feed off of what martial manuver their opponent last used, energy projectors having a lot of varyation over what they can do with their blasts, (autofire, cone effect, NND, RKA etc ) etc.

I wanted a supers game with the same superhero feel of combat without all the math overload and advanced accounting character creation system champions requires. The savage worlds system is not it.

The combat in this system is extremely bland, pretty much ammounting to roll to hit, roll dammage, oponent spends benny and soaks dammage or rolls vigor to reduce impairment. rinse then repeat.

there is no official martial arts suppliment so at the very least I tryed to find martial arts rules on the net that would make combats more exciting...

there were a few pdf files but those ammounted to nothing more than a handfull of edges that really didnt work for a supers level game. then I started hitting independant company forums and found that there are a bunch of setting books that are supposed to come out with these type of rules (still no idea if they would work for supers) but none have come out yet, none are comming out in 2009, and some of the forum posts about the suppliments are more than 4 years old.

It looks like if I want manuver based martial arts in my generic rpg system I am going to have to spend 10+ hrs to write them up myself. Not having rules for martial arts or a martial arts supliment available for a "generic" rpg system is a crime IMO.

another major flaw is there is absolutely no ballence to this game. one player has very high defenses and good attacks (armored "device" based character) another has very low defenses and mild attacks (gadgeteer). the same villian that couldent hurt the first player with 6 attacks, could maim or kill the second character with one attack even if he rolled crappy on the dammage. I dont see a way to fix this.

the powers are far from ballenced... a 5 pt power can allow your character to touch somebody and kill them instantly if they fail one vigor roll... another power might cost 10+ pts and will barely stun a normal non super mook (energy control)

Also the powers can be used in combination to make your character/npc invulnerable. (I made a speedster named blur that had invisibility and danger sense... he's -18 to be hit when he's running and basically can only be hit by AOE attacks which cant be targeted on him because he's invisible) this is not even an intended rule rape, its just part of the powers/rules.

another villian I created I wanted to be kind of an energy projector vigillantie, I wanted the most powerful "bolt" type attack I could buy for the points and gunslinger type edges (level headed, quickness, head shot, extra actions etc) and no other powers, pretty basic concept as far as I was concerned...similar to a Cyclops type character... This NPC can kill the entire party in one round commonly before the fastest PC can get a single action, seriously no joke, I was shocked at how ungodly powerfull only having one power can be.

so there are HUGE flaws with this system when used for supers, but the campaign is still fun and I think I can fudge my way through the 8 remaining plot point adventures... then mostlkely I'll change games.

Now I'm looking at Feng Shui, and considering comming up with alternate rules for supers battles. but the characters for that game seem extremely generic and that bothers me.

fmitchell
12-28-2008, 05:29 PM
You may want to try Necessary Evil with Mutants and Masterminds. It was designed expressly for superheroes, and several people I know rave about it.

You might also look at Truth & Justice, an ultra-light superhero system based around Prose Descriptive Qualities. Superpowers are less cut-and-dried, requiring more GM interpretation ... and it can produce genre-faithful but counter-intuitive results, such as Batman and Superman being equally matched. On the other hand, if you care less about tactical battles and more about free-wheeling comic-book action, it might be the system for you.

Briski
12-28-2008, 09:56 PM
I agree with fmitchell -- I'm a big fan of Savage Worlds, but when it comes to four-color superheroes done on a point-buy basis, Mutants & Masterminds is probably the better system. M&M characters take much longer to create (I'd say 1-2 hours, longer for someone who wants to "tweak" their point spend); after that, actual gameplay is very fast & easy. BUT -- if you dislike SW combat because it is abstract, you may not like M&M's combat system either (I think it's also fairly abstract).

For our group M&M has worked particularly well because we're less interested in resolving lots of complex combat mechanics -- we just want to get on with the game.

A previous poster noted that SW seemed to them to be GURPS-like. I agree, to me it looks similar to GURPS without a lot of the rules cruft that Steve Jackson games introduced in 4th ed., and a switch in emphasis from "realistic" to "cinematic" action. I used the SW rules to run a one-shot inspired by the Paranoia setting. Conversion was a snap, the players picked it up right away and the ruleset performed admirably. YMMV.

fmitchell
12-29-2008, 12:14 AM
A previous poster noted that SW seemed to them to be GURPS-like. I agree, to me it looks similar to GURPS without a lot of the rules cruft that Steve Jackson games introduced in 4th ed., and a switch in emphasis from "realistic" to "cinematic" action.

Hm, being a 1st-3rd Edition GURPS GM and player, GURPS always had a bunch of "cruft", just scattered over dozens of world-books that contradicted each other. GURPS 4th merely pulled them into a smaller number of books, and smoothed out the contradictions ... with the side effect that reading the TWO books in the Basic Set feels like drinking from a fire-hose.

I'd love to do a GURPS one-shot, if nothing else, but I fear it would be like rewatching that TV show you loved growing up and realizing, as an adult, how painful it actually is. These days I prefer systems even lighter than Savage Worlds.

Zig
12-29-2008, 06:36 AM
Lighter than savage worlds? like what? wushu? That game seems to ammount to not much more than flip a coin, heads you win, tails you'll have to flip it again later, and you dont get to flip the coin if anybody objects to what your trying to do.

I bought feng shui today... just begining the study... already it seems light in character creation and skill/character development (dont like that) but seems very heavy in combat (all kinds of crap to remember, fortune points, reducing armor, wound levels, chi costs, shot count, ammo use, lots of little powers that can effect all of these, etc ) I have been studying up on... what do they call it... resolution based systems? where the tatics and mechanics take a back seat to drama and well... actual role playing. but so far those systems seem to be way way way too rules light for me. there is another superhero resolution based system called "godlike" that takes place durring WWII but I just dont really like those kind of systems.

with those I never get that ARRG! feeling from combat, its more of a "oh how nice... he thought of a semi interesting way to hit the giant monster and the GM is allowing him to get away with it. <golf clap>" all the viseral of combat just goes out the window along with suspense and tatical gameplay, theres no thrill of rolling that crit just when you needed it or countering some finishing move the villian is throwing at you with quick thinking alone.

also they tend to make combat seem more like a combat in "charmed" the tv show... big bad starts messing with the players lives behind the scenes, players spend hours roleplaying that and managing to identify and track down big bad, players hit big bad a couple of times with some ancient widget they found just for this purpose (combat takes all of 5 minutes or less), big bad goes whoosh, and the players go back to hours of roleplaying being college students or shop keepers or whatever.

Not a type of gameplay I'm fond of. I like minatures and lots of maneuvers, quick combats that allow a lot of various actions, etc, or if theres a lack of maneuvers at least there is some kind of formal ruling of how to allow my giant car smashing mutant brick to grab a "normal human" villian's arm and try and break it or rip it right out of its socket rather than just having the GM say "no, thats not a superheroic action" or "you can try it if you want... but you'll make a roll at minus an impossible number that I will pull completely out of my butt and is no way related at all to the ease of the action your attempting, and if you somehow manage to succeed, the villian will get a very easy save against it" leaving me to say.. "um... ok I guess I'll just... um... hit him again instead." (* punnishing you for thinking slightly outside of the box)

I actually own M&M but its hidden in an box in a basement somewhere, I remember it reminded me of d&d with superpowers but the superpowers were carefully defined, meaning there wasnt much tweaking allowed, nothing like what happens with champions (opposite side of the coin)... plus it was too much of a 4 color comic. big giant powers and anti-grit, at least thats how I remembered it... maybe its changed since the first printing. I like my supers game to be a bit more like the daredevil/spawn/electra movie variety (where the heroes might easily be killed with guns if they did something stupid, and have to out think their foes etc), than the "superman returns" type (all drama very little action)

If a ballence between the massive calculations of champions using all optional rules (hit location, limb impairment, etc) and the "every hit does the exact same thing regardless of what you want" rules of savage worlds does not exist... I'll make up a system myself, or expand on something similar to what I want. Feng Shui may be it... maybe not.

fmitchell
12-29-2008, 09:05 AM
Lighter than savage worlds? like what? wushu? That game seems to ammount to not much more than flip a coin, heads you win, tails you'll have to flip it again later, and you dont get to flip the coin if anybody objects to what your trying to do.

There's FATE (and Spirit of the Century), PDQ (underlying Truth & Justice and The Zorcerer of Zo, among others), and custom systems for setting-centric RPGs like Castle Falkenstein, Grimm, and the upcoming A Song of Ice and Fire RPG.

I'm starting a BRP campaign, and arguable BRP is lighter than Savage Worlds because it doesn't have Edges (a.k.a. Merits, Advantages, Qualities, Feats, Stunts, etc.) As a previous poster said, they and their inevitable counterparts Flaws/Disadvantages/Drawbacks/etc. tend to up the complexity of a system enormously. In BRP, there are only characteristics and skills (modulo a magic/psi/power system), and one usually rolls percentile dice and compares them to a skill or characteristic on one's sheet.

However, getting back to the topic, BRP doesn't scale well to supers, at least high-powered ones, but its combat system is GURPS-deadly, so maybe it might interest you. (If you've seen Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, or any other Chaosium RPG ever save perhaps Pendragon, you've seen BRP.)

akela122301
12-29-2008, 09:22 AM
I don't know if this counts, but a buddy of mine introduced me to a form of RP that is different. No dice, no character sheets, no DM.
He called it Star Enter. Basically, everyone controls the game. How it worked, is someone describes what their character does, and how the uncontrolled characters react. Then, someone else would describe what their character did, etc.
Now, I know that people will likely see this as illegitimate. I mean, people can make their characters capable of doing and being anything, even gods.
But, that's just it. When all the characters are as powerful as gods, all you have to do is set up some powerful situations to even it out.
Anyway, it's not an official way to roleplay, but it's fun.

Briski
12-29-2008, 10:08 AM
Hm, being a 1st-3rd Edition GURPS GM and player, GURPS always had a bunch of "cruft", just scattered over dozens of world-books that contradicted each other. GURPS 4th merely pulled them into a smaller number of books, and smoothed out the contradictions ... with the side effect that reading the TWO books in the Basic Set feels like drinking from a fire-hose.I feel your pain. ;)

With previous editions of GURPS it was pretty easy to shield players selectively from the avalanche of world books (not that many GURPS 3e world books aren't great in terms of content). But 4e is overwhelming for me as a GM, and I wouldn't want to inflict it on players. I ran a short Low Fantasy setting 'plot arc' a couple years ago using the GURPS Lite 16-page booklet, selectively bringing in bits and pieces of 4e. It worked out, but there were some points that could've been issues because I didn't limit players' ability to incorporate material from full 4e.

Zig, I'm not sure what you mean by that M&M doesn't allow a lot of tweaking. I think it has overwhelming tweaking of powers and abilities, enough easily to get lost among all the powers and options (i.e., "Feats", "Power Feats", "Extras" and "Flaws"). Also the enforced power level limit, though artificial, is something that our group really likes. But it's definitely legit to say M&M is 4-color and anti-grit. I'd say that's not a flaw, it's a feature. If your group doesn't like that play style -- HERO system and GURPS handle gritty much better, but at the cost of being a good deal more complicated in character creation and play.

Webhead
12-29-2008, 01:28 PM
Lighter than savage worlds? like what? wushu? That game seems to ammount to not much more than flip a coin, heads you win, tails you'll have to flip it again later, and you dont get to flip the coin if anybody objects to what your trying to do...

Oh, Wushu is so much more than that. It gives a kind of freedom that no other RPG I've played does. It's hard to go back to more "traditional" RPGs after working myself into Wushu's "groove". It all feels so arbitrarily constrained. :frusty:

I love Wushu, Risus, PDQ, Pace and FATE. Some of my favorite game systems with Wushu generally coming out on top in terms of sheer, unbridled potential in the hands of imaginative players.

On the M&M subject, I always found the HERO system to be too much work and so I fell back on M&M as a game which, to quote someone whose name escapes me, "does 90% of what HERO can do with 10% of the work". No, M&M can't do everything to the same degree of detail that HERO System does, but it also takes less than half the time to put something together within the rules.

I'm not sure if the version of M&M you have is the 1st or 2nd Edition, but 2e did make considerable progress toward opening up the system to unlimited tweakery. Truly, M&M is about the most complex RPG that I would care to play. It is very streamlined, yet mind-bogglingly customizable for those who want to dig deep enough.

Yes, it probably won't handle the "tough and gritty" combat the way you might like it. In that case, as was suggested, GURPS or HERO is probably gonna work better for you. Me? I would play GURPS or HERO if someone in my group was running them, but I wouldn't run them for the sheer amount of joyless effort it would require from me. But I don't get my jollies from system crunching. I would rather spend that time building stories. That's one of the reasons I tend to turn away from heavy systems and steer toward lighter ones.

In an effort to find your middle ground between "excruciating detail" and "muddy generica", I would probably start with M&M 2nd Ed. It rests closer to the "detailed" end but dials down several notches from HERO's painful level of crunch. If M&M turns out to be too crunchy, you might consider then looking into either Unisystem or BESM. I've only played BESM a few times, but it seemed to manage a decent balance of customized detail and simplicity of resolution.

My 2 cents.

fmitchell
12-29-2008, 05:15 PM
Lighter than savage worlds? like what? wushu? That game seems to ammount to not much more than flip a coin, heads you win, tails you'll have to flip it again later, and you dont get to flip the coin if anybody objects to what your trying to do.


Oh, Wushu is so much more than that. It gives a kind of freedom that no other RPG I've played does. It's hard to go back to more "traditional" RPGs after working myself into Wushu's "groove". It all feels so arbitrarily constrained. :frusty:

I love Wushu, Risus, PDQ, Pace and FATE. Some of my favorite game systems with Wushu generally coming out on top in terms of sheer, unbridled potential in the hands of imaginative players.

From Zig's comments I gather that's not his thing; he prefers tactical combat with complexity and hard-and-fast rules over freewheeling narrative action. There's nothing wrong with that, although in that case I'm at a loss as to what to recommend (especially since M+M didn't grab him either).

Still, let me bend forum rules by derailing the thread further, and commit aggravated D&D 4e criticism besides.

Part of the 4e game I was in went well: mostly investigation and negotiation, with a skill roll every so often. And then the battle map came out, and suddenly I was using the other 90% of my character sheet to figure out what Powers to use during play, and how to get flanking bonuses, and how many squares I was away from other characters, and whether I'd provoke an Attack of Opportunity, and so on.

Contrast that to the FATE game I'd been in before then. We used at best a stragegic map for combat (i.e. a sketch on a piece of paper, with markings to show where we were in relative terms). The Aspect mechanic of FATE allows you to exploit the environment for combat (or other) advantage, and we players made good use of that ... in addition to our personal Aspects and Stunts augmenting skill rolls.

In the FATE game we had a ninja killing snake-people with one stroke, a grapple-gun-wielding mercenary swinging across ships, a super-strong Russian wrestler defeating eldritch horrors by smashing the ground under their hooves, and a combat pilot strafing towering stone golems on the Giza plateau while avoiding their crushing fists. Combat moved faster, and proved more interesting than "I shift one square and fire at the orc with a Sly Flourish".

But my point isn't to bury 4e or to praise it. My point, rather, is that a good GM and imaginative players can turn those "loosey-goosey" rule systems into triumphs of tactics and strategy without counting phases or consulting modifier charts.

Webhead
12-29-2008, 08:01 PM
...But my point isn't to bury 4e or to praise it. My point, rather, is that a good GM and imaginative players can turn those "loosey-goosey" rule systems into triumphs of tactics and strategy without counting phases or consulting modifier charts.

Aye, which is where I was attempting to go by suggesting that Wushu is a great deal more complex than "heads you win, tails you lose", even if it doesn't appear as such at first glance on the page.

But yes, good points fmitchell. That summed up quite nicely the appeal of FATE for me.

I too am a bit troubled as far as what to recommend for Zig. As I said, if a second go at M&M 2e doesn't do it, then I would look at either a step up in complexity (GURPS) or a step down (BESM). Other than that... :noidea:

Zig
12-31-2008, 07:35 AM
well I've finished my study of Feng Shui...

went to the shop paid 50 bucks for the main book, and the main 30pg supplement. read them both cover to cover, I was right about the record keeping.... there's a lot on the player side, more on the GM side (hell they have created hand held combat trackers for your mobile devices for it lol) but whats more disturbing is the fact that its an un-finished game.

let me preface that... when I buy a generic game like Gurps or Hero I expect that I will have to buy a world book or two to flesh it out, maybe some kind of monster manual. when I buy a specific rpg like oh say deadlands (origional) or heck gamma world, I expect that 90% of what I need to play will be in the core book or books, and the classes will be mostly balanced, the game will have been expertly play tested to get rid of rapes and foibles in wording, gross confusion issues, etc.

Feng Shui got some of the highest marks on RPG.net for any role playing game, just about every review was a 4 or 5 out of 5. I figured I couldn't go wrong buying it because even if it wasn't what I wanted, with such good marks it would be a good read... I was wrong (again... damn you RPG.net!!)

classes are totally mis-ballenced in that the classes that are good for combat are way way better than the more role playing classes and lack few skills the role playing classes get, there are no rules for constructing your own classes, skills, martial arts, etc.

The magic system is extremely limited (only citing a few uses of powers) character abilities (such as supernatural monster, abomination etc) are limited in 5-6 picks of powers (and each character chooses 4-5 at start up) and worse yet some powers have no fleshing out such as "transformation" allows you to turn into a different monster, a human, an animal, or an object like a vehicle or table. it does not give any stats for animals, or vehicles, and only gives three examples of other supernatural monsters (3!!!) generally the game tells you to use the character creation rules to create any monsters or thugs you need (ugg)

even the supplements don't flesh those out much more and at 20-30 bucks a shot and like 8 more I'd need to buy, I'm not willing to invest that much to find out. finally I decided I was tired of buying poorly written half finished games and wanted to return the books (two days after I had bought them) the gaming store would not take any returns and now I am out 50 bucks for a game I will most likely never play and now regret buying. hopefully I can get some old gamer to buy them off ebay for a little more than half of what I paid for them.

at this point I wont go out and buy another game I haven't played... or examined in other ways... for a long time. although the math in Hero can be daunting and can put a lot of potential players off, as it stands, I haven't found a better game for the money, at least not one that covers every angle and I have to wonder about what I'm paying for.

I'll continue to mod and fix savage for my players with hope that when February comes around and the new edition comes out (Savage has a horrible track record for not meeting the shipping dates...) that will fix my problems... I also read on the savage site there are new "martial arts/ superhero/ and fantasy tool kits" coming out this year to allow you to better create your own worlds, and with Savage charging 1/2 or less than their competitors its worth it to find out (10.00 for a core book and free PDF is awesome!). we'll see.

as to M&M... I just think its too 4 color for me... too much Kalell not enough Logan. maybe when they put out their version of dark champions I'll re-consider it, but at 40 bucks for their core book I'd only want to buy it at a place that has a money back guarantee (aka not a gaming store).

the other systems you mentioned... fate etc, I'll try and find more out about them, they sound interesting and I have no problems with games that have nothing but skills and stats. generally I don't like feats (of course with a game like champions you create your feats just like powers so not sure if its so different in that way)

Honestly all of this has got me thinking maybe I should try writing a game rather than just *****ing about them... I don't see how I could do much worse than many of the games I don't like but that sold well this past year.

Oh and I remember another supers game that was awesome... didnt like the system but the world was one of the best I had ever read... guess you could call it "super-punk" genre... mini supers with guns... or Marshal Law the RPG

oh here...
http://www.pen-paper.net/rpgdb.php?op=showbook&bookid=251

Webhead
12-31-2008, 04:29 PM
...as to M&M... I just think its too 4 color for me... too much Kalell not enough Logan. maybe when they put out their version of dark champions I'll re-consider it...

If I can input my 2 cents as someone who is well read in M&M and has experimented with it thoroughly in the past...

It does not have to be totally "4-color" if you don't want it to be. Sure, its artwork and its most popular (but certainly not all) published settings veer toward the 4-color end of the spectrum, but the game system itself is not completely biased to that angle. In fact, there are several very good supplements (some 3rd party and some official) that showcase how M&M (without the addition of extra rules...how many systems can boast that?) can be used to create much grittier types of action-stories. Dan Brereton's Nocturnals supplement is a fine example. Modern fantasy-horror tales with guns and swords and cthuloid monsters. The only thing that Nocturnals does different is suggest that the PCs start at a lower power level and that certain powers be off-limits to players (like Time Travel, Cosmic Power, etc.).

The damage mechanic can support a "grittier, more lethal" campaign as well, by limiting some of the powers and by characters using "lethal" attacks rather than "non-lethal" ones.

All I'm trying to say is that while M&M looks to be "4-color" by default when just looking at it, it really isn't specifically married to that genre and I've run more than a few games with M&M where the PCs ducked for cover when a bad guy pulled out a handgun. Try running a game at Power Level 5 instead of 10 and keep a handle on which powers your PCs take. You will notice the game becomes a little different and a bit more deadly. Consider it a challenge... ;)

FYI, there are many good write-ups in the M&M community for characters like Punisher and Wolverine. Some of the write-ups take the "over-the-top" angle while others approach the characters a little more "grit-ily". Both are very doable and both can be played effectively.

Zig
01-01-2009, 06:53 AM
well, I'm willing to give M&M another shot... after I look through books etc, and assuming that the supplements coming out for Savage Worlds do not cover my needs. but that would be for a future endeavor... my players have made they're characters, want to keep playing the game, and I'm not going to drop a new $40.00 book on top of them and make them convert... I will look around for M&M supplements and player conversions/house rules to see if its what I'm looking for...

about that... how does M&M cover martial arts?

Another thing I love about Hero system is that even if you don't want to use the whole game you can take parts of it and convert it over into just about any system... and it will work. I've decided to convert "the ultimate martial artist" to Savage Worlds and alter the initiative system slightly (handing out extra cards for each additional action a hero has, so that multipule attacks wont happen all at once, delayed attacks such as haymaker can still land with a delay, the combats will be more back and forth the way I like, be 100 times more tactical, and create more suspense/drama, I think I found my solution...)

and how does M&M cover things such as called shots, impaired or destroyed limbs/organs etc from gun fire and stabbing? are there rules for bleeding and saving some ones life with medical skill alone? I might be wrong but I sort of remember there was no "body" like stat in M&M, the worse that could happen would be unconsciousness... is that wrong?

by the way... In champs I wanted to run a character similar to silver samurai, and I wanted him to be able to chop people's arms and legs off (etc) with his adamantine katana... of course no GM was allowing the dark champs rules for called shots, and limb amputation etc. I got around that by calling his sword a "transformation attack" (2d6 penetrating, cumulative, invisible power effects, causes stun/body damage, variable effect, side effect-bleeding, triggered-hit by sword-, damage shield, etc so basically he jumped around blocking attacks until the villain had taken enough transformation damage to allow me to "transform" him into a dismembered person slowly bleeding to death or an impaled person with internal organ damage lol damn I'm evil, most people took one look at that power, imagined all their villains they spent hours designing as quivering masses of dismembered goo and just said "NO!" but it still gives me the jollies...maybe there's a way to do the same kind of thing with powers in M&M?)
--- Merged from Double Post ---
oh just found this...

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:ZIxBVwAWfpUJ:www.mecha.com/~conkle/mm/gmnotes.doc+%22Mutants+and+Masterminds%22+bullets&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us

aparently in M&M there are stunning and lethal attacks but the worst thing that can happen to you is failing a saving throw by 10+... then this happens...

Disabled (conscious but any strenuous action changes status to Unconscious and Dying, DC20 Con check to recover after 1 day)

Dying characters must pass DC10 Fort Save to stabilize or die.
Stabilized characters must pass DC10+1/hour Fort Save to stay alive each hour until they receive DC15 Medical Aid or die.
Regeneration rank adds to recovery checks, recover Stun/round, Hits/minute, Disabled immediately.
Back from Brink, DC30 Con check to recover from Death.



so, you cant be killed outright? no bleeding, limb amputation, perminant dammage? that is pretty much definatively 4-color. I dont know how hard it would be to make a DC 10 fort save but I assume its not very hard on a d20, 50/50 chance for a normal to make it? that would mean you could shoot a normal in the head with a .50 cal sniper rifle and he would just lie down... assuming he did nothing more strenuous than walking quickly by the next day he could be fine? something stinks here.

Briski
01-01-2009, 03:12 PM
aparently in M&M there are stunning and lethal attacks but the worst thing that can happen to you is failing a saving throw by 10+... then this happens...

Disabled (conscious but any strenuous action changes status to Unconscious and Dying, DC20 Con check to recover after 1 day)

Dying characters must pass DC10 Fort Save to stabilize or die.
Stabilized characters must pass DC10+1/hour Fort Save to stay alive each hour until they receive DC15 Medical Aid or die.
Regeneration rank adds to recovery checks, recover Stun/round, Hits/minute, Disabled immediately.
Back from Brink, DC30 Con check to recover from Death.That's not entirely correct. There's a "Fails by 15 or more" category that has the effect of rendering a character "Unconscious and Dying".
The "Dying" condition is preventable fairly easily if the character gets healing or medical attention... provided s/he makes an immediate DC10 Fort. save upon entering the Dying condition. Without medical attention, the character only stabilizes on a roll of natural 20... meaning s/he is almost certain to succumb to those wounds.

Zig, I think your 'silver samurai' example is interesting on a couple levels. I'm no expert on HERO/Champions (only skimmed the rules occasionally in the past), but your convoluted approach looks to me like its intent is to play rules brinkmanship and would break the spirit of the game. It also doesn't say much for the "hero" part of "superhero". If the rest of the group wants to play heroic characters and your PC is leaving a trail of dismembered bodies in his wake... well that's something that needs to be sorted out.

Of course if the whole party wants to play bloodthirsty vigilantes, that's a different sort of campaign, which would be fine. If I were running such a game, I would expect the group to be on the "10 most wanted meta-villains" list in short order, with the real good guys hounding them at every opportunity. And if the GM were really evil, they might decide to fight fire with fire... change the official government status of the group members to "wanted: dead or alive", and use powerful psionicists or gadgets (i.e., orbital mind control lasers -- you *know* the U.S. government has them!) for "enemy target disablement".

Webhead
01-01-2009, 04:59 PM
...about that... how does M&M cover martial arts?...

Martial Artist type characters are usually handled through a combination of good physical attributes and combat scores, specific feats and a few powers (such as Strike for increase hand-to-hand damage, Stun or Paralyze for "ancient pressure-point techniques" or Deflect).

By the way M&M handles powers, they can represent not only superhuman abilities or mutations, but also things like special training or secret knowledges.


...and how does M&M cover things such as called shots, impaired or destroyed limbs/organs etc from gun fire and stabbing? are there rules for bleeding and saving some ones life with medical skill alone? I might be wrong but I sort of remember there was no "body" like stat in M&M, the worse that could happen would be unconsciousness... is that wrong?...

There are not really special rules considerations that are included for "called shot" attacks in M&M aside from assigning a penalty to attack rolls for some special effect as developed between the player and GM. If you strike at someone's arm, you take a penalty to your roll and based on what you were trying to do (make your opponent drop a held item, amputate, etc.) and how much damage is inflicted, you and the GM work out what happens. There are no charts or tables for hard and fast rules about hit location. M&M leaves those details up to the people playing.

Likewise, there are not specific rules for "bleeding" or "organ damage/failure". All of the rules concerning injury are detailed in the mechanics for a character's condition and recovery. It is assumed that part of what is going on when your character is rolling to stabilize/survive from heavy damage (at least from lethal sources) is that the character is holding on for dear life against blood loss, shock and physical trauma.

Lethal damage in M&M can take characters beyond simply "unconcious" to conditions including "Disabled" (if you fail the save by 10 or more) or even directly to "Dying" (if you fail by 15 or more). With a 5 second extrapolation of the injury rules (for DMs who want a little more lethality), you can even allow for 1-hit kills for characters that roll really horribly on their Toughness Save (failure by 20 or more).

Performing anything strenuous while Disabled shifts you to Dying and Dying characters have to make constant checks to avoid death (until they get medical attention or roll a natural 20). Then, of course, while you're lying there unconscious and bleeding, any further damage that you take can kill you, so it leaves you in a bad spot for an enemy to empty an extra round into you or to stab you as he walks by.

It's also important to remember that "minions" or "normals" (most NPCs in the game who are not major antagonists or protagonists) are much more susceptible to damage. If a "normal" fails a save against lethal damage by any amount, that character immediately shifts to "Dying" unless the attacker wishes to inflict lesser damage.


... In champs I wanted to run a character similar to silver samurai, and I wanted him to be able to chop people's arms and legs off (etc) with his adamantine katana... of course no GM was allowing the dark champs rules for called shots, and limb amputation etc. I got around that by calling his sword a "transformation attack" (2d6 penetrating, cumulative, invisible power effects, causes stun/body damage, variable effect, side effect-bleeding, triggered-hit by sword-, damage shield, etc so basically he jumped around blocking attacks until the villain had taken enough transformation damage to allow me to "transform" him into a dismembered person slowly bleeding to death or an impaled person with internal organ damage lol damn I'm evil, most people took one look at that power, imagined all their villains they spent hours designing as quivering masses of dismembered goo and just said "NO!" but it still gives me the jollies...maybe there's a way to do the same kind of thing with powers in M&M?)...

Your Silver Samurai approach, while possessing of its own merits, seems to me like a gross overcomplication. Is such a thing do-able in M&M? Certainly...though, to be honest, there are probably much quicker and simpler ways to carry out the same effect. Would it require some leeway with the GM to allow your "hero" to make dismembering attacks? Probably. But that is part of the GM's responsibilities anyway.


...so, you cant be killed outright? no bleeding, limb amputation, perminant dammage? that is pretty much definatively 4-color. I dont know how hard it would be to make a DC 10 fort save but I assume its not very hard on a d20, 50/50 chance for a normal to make it? that would mean you could shoot a normal in the head with a .50 cal sniper rifle and he would just lie down... assuming he did nothing more strenuous than walking quickly by the next day he could be fine? something stinks here.

As I mentioned above, though M&M does not spell out 1-hit kills for you, it is instantly identifiable how to allow it (i.e. fail a save against lethal by 20 or more). Bleeding? Covered by damage and recovery rules. Amputation? Covered by an extrapolation of penalties from lack of limbs and damage values (quick and easy ruling: If a character was attacking a limb with a "lethal" attack and the damage results in an effect of "Dying" or worse, the character is instead "Disabled" and the limb is severed or otherwise rendered useless. Obviously, such a called shot to the head results in death.).

Permanent damage (if desired or necessary) is extraploated by the GM at best judgement. Loss of attribute points from dismemberment, reduced movement speed, new flaws, etc. Since M&M is a point-based system, any GM who distributes negative point values in such a way, should really consider giving an equal amount of points back to the character to be spent later on.

As far as the recovery scenario. Let me use an example with a "normal" character or "minion", with 10 in all attributes. If a minion is hit and reduced to "Dying", they have to make the immediate Fort save. The DC is "10" so the minion has a 50% chance not to die instantly. If he rolls a natural 20, he stabilizes and is now "Unconcious" and "Disabled" and must recover from there. Each hour, he must make another Fort save with the DC increasing by 1 each time (DC 11, then 12, then 13, etc.). If any of these saves fail, it results in death. He must continue to make Fort saves until he is either given adequate medical attention or manages to roll a natural 20.

Now, to give a sense of the lethality of damage against this character:

A normal, light handgun has an example damage bonus of +3. This means that if a minion is shot by it, he must make a Toughness save with a DC of 18 (base 15 + 3 from the weapon). The minion above thus has a 15% chance to succeed, avoiding serious injury. If the save fails, even by 1 point (an 85% chance), the character is immediately reduced to "Dying" and must start making Fort saves.

Start looking at heavy pistols (+5 dmg) or a shotgun (+6 dmg) and regular people will be ducking for cover real quick.

PCs and major NPCs are a little more durable, sure. And that's because they are expected to be in dangerous situations quite often. Here's how that is broken down:

Fail save by 1-4: 1 level of "Bruised" and "Injured" (reduces all future Toughness saves by 1 for each level)

Fail save by 5-9: "Bruised" and "Injured" plus "Stunned" for 1 round (can take no actions, lose dodge bonus to defense)

Fail save by 10-14: "Staggered", "Disabled" and "Stunned" (can only take 1 standard action each round, any actions reduce character to "Dying", can take no actions for 1 round)

Fail save by 15+: "Unconcious" and "Dying" (make a DC 10 Fort save or die)

I hope that helps give you a better picture. In the end, I'm not trying to convince you that M&M is the greatest system ever or that it will do all the things you want it to. But since I know the system well and have found that I quite like it (even for genres other than 4-color comics), I just wanted to help give you the most informed decision possible as well as perhaps spur ideas as to how you can make M&M work for you...something the game is very anxious to do.

Zig
01-02-2009, 04:06 AM
All good stuff, working as a night auditor at this hotel gives me a lot of time to peruse the Internet trying to find answers to my quandaries, I looked up a lot about M&M, first off their forums are every bit as technical as the Hero Games forums, I could not follow 1 in 5 of those conversations because everyone was using abbreviations for powers, effects, modifiers, saves, source books, etc. in a weird way I am wondering if the longer M&M goes on the more it starts looking exactly like champions (the forum posts are nearly identical in complexity.)

I do like the source books that M&M came out with... you have "paranormals" which is like the TV show Heroes (an entirely realistic approach to what would happen in the real world if supers suddenly showed up on the scene) then there is the golden age book (covering comics of the 40's-50's where the heroes are battling Nazis during WWII) then the silver age book ( early 50's to early 60's) they skipped bronze age, and finally... ta-dah the Iron Age source book...

the Iron Age is the age of comics I am most familiar with and the style of games I enjoy most. In the Iron Age (early 80's hitting full swing between late 80's and mid 90s) the characters were often leather clad, and dark and brooding. The action and violence was extreme compared to earlier ages (and even the modern age we are in now) it was the age of "the dark knight returns" the development of "the punnisher" as a character, the wolverine limited series (where he fought "the hand" ninja clan) Faust, Marshal Law, Ghost Rider, Sin City, Judge Dread, The Crow, Grendel, The Watchmen, and on and on. As far as I am concerned it was without a doubt the best age of comics including the best writing and most developed characters and I think most people will agree with that as most of the Marvel and DC movies that are coming out now days were the graphics and plots developed in the 80's and 90's IMHO

I read the Dev journals on the Iron Age source book where they say there are optional rules to make combat more lethal etc, as well as new archetypes (not sure what an archetype does... does it offer extra power points or plot abilities?) if I buy M&M eventually I'll probably buy that book first. I do have a bit of issues with the authors... in their interviews they talked down about the Iorn Age a lot and made fun of the overdrawing of muscles, the impossibly huge guns of the era (Cable etc) but I'll still read it. all of that defiantly sparked my interest.

As a side note, my point with the Silver Samurai character... an impossibly strong guy hitting somebody with an impossibly sharp, unbreakable sword should decapitate, cut off a limb, impale them, or at the very very least have a chance at doing one of those things.

Now it might not be "modern standard" for super heroic games, but it also doesn't make the character having that power any more evil than any other character. Superman clearly has the ability to impale somebody with his fists, or incinerate them with eye beams, but he "chooses" not to... The rules should reflect the ability in my opinion, not discard it as an impossibility for the entire genre.

But ultimately my point was even if a GM some how limits the lethality of a game by raising the power level (where defenses stop most damage from causing decapitations etc) or limiting optional rules that would allow such things (not using Iron Age or Dark Champions source book optional rules), or outright refusing to extrapolate the rules in a way that would allow a dismemberment, etc, Most supers games have loopholes that will still allow that kind of thing to go on for a specific character even if ultimately the GM does not want you to abuse those loopholes. IMO that's one of the things that makes games that include rules for point based power construction so awesome.... you should be able to do anything with them assuming the GM allows it, and regardless of what the "official" rules don't want you to be able to do.

and bottom line I guess that's one of my issues with S.W. Necessary Evil, and possibly M&M.... they're power creation rules aren't balanced and don't have rules allowing you to create any power you can imagine... it requires inventing new rules or making rulings. perhaps its good thing because it stops the game from having an 800 page, "if it fell off the book shelf it could kill you", hero system esque giant rule book, but when your used to Hero its kind of hard to make the switch without wanting to carry some things over (like a detailed maneuver based martial arts system rather than having "feats" to "simulate" martial arts type maneuvers, if you get the difference.)

Webhead
01-02-2009, 10:52 AM
...the Iron Age is the age of comics I am most familiar with and the style of games I enjoy most. In the Iron Age (early 80's hitting full swing between late 80's and mid 90s) the characters were often leather clad, and dark and brooding. The action and violence was extreme compared to earlier ages (and even the modern age we are in now) it was the age of "the dark knight returns" the development of "the punnisher" as a character, the wolverine limited series (where he fought "the hand" ninja clan) Faust, Marshal Law, Ghost Rider, Sin City, Judge Dread, The Crow, Grendel, The Watchmen, and on and on. As far as I am concerned it was without a doubt the best age of comics including the best writing and most developed characters and I think most people will agree with that as most of the Marvel and DC movies that are coming out now days were the graphics and plots developed in the 80's and 90's IMHO...

I agree that the Iron Age was an age of fantastically deep and fertile storytelling in a way that hadn't really been explored in the medium before. It was the age of self-criticism, where comic book writers challenged the preconceptions of the work that had come before them and sought to defy previous boundaries and appeal to a less innocent "adult" audience in ways that the Comics Code Authority of years past forbade.


...I read the Dev journals on the Iron Age source book where they say there are optional rules to make combat more lethal etc, as well as new archetypes (not sure what an archetype does... does it offer extra power points or plot abilities?) if I buy M&M eventually I'll probably buy that book first. I do have a bit of issues with the authors... in their interviews they talked down about the Iorn Age a lot and made fun of the overdrawing of muscles, the impossibly huge guns of the era (Cable etc) but I'll still read it. all of that defiantly sparked my interest...

I don't know why, but I had almost forgotten about the Iron Age M&M book. I own it. When I get home, I will crack it open and give you an idea of what some of the suggestions and optional rules are for tweaking M&M so that you can judge its value to you.


...As a side note, my point with the Silver Samurai character... an impossibly strong guy hitting somebody with an impossibly sharp, unbreakable sword should decapitate, cut off a limb, impale them, or at the very very least have a chance at doing one of those things.

Now it might not be "modern standard" for super heroic games, but it also doesn't make the character having that power any more evil than any other character. Superman clearly has the ability to impale somebody with his fists, or incinerate them with eye beams, but he "chooses" not to... The rules should reflect the ability in my opinion, not discard it as an impossibility for the entire genre...

The 2nd Edition of M&M allows you to do exactly that. Any power or attack (so long as logic does not contradict) can deliver either "lethal" or "non-lethal" damage as the attacker chooses when they make an attack. While Supes, as you mention, chooses to use his heat vision in non-lethal ways, in M&M, he could (if provoked) use his power to deal lethal damage instead. Even his super-strength could be used to deal lethal damage if he so chooses. M&M as a game doesn't "force" you not to kill. Any character (hero or villain) can choose to kill. That's just it...it's their "choice". It's just a matter of what kind of game the GM is encouraging. In that way, I think M&M does exactly what you're looking for.


...IMO that's one of the things that makes games that include rules for point based power construction so awesome.... you should be able to do anything with them assuming the GM allows it, and regardless of what the "official" rules don't want you to be able to do...

Which is exactly the goal that I interpret M&M to be attempting...to give you a sandbox in which to build whatever it is you're looking for with enough time and effort and it supports both "quick and simple" builds as well as much more exhaustively detailed builds.


...and bottom line I guess that's one of my issues with S.W. Necessary Evil, and possibly M&M.... they're power creation rules aren't balanced and don't have rules allowing you to create any power you can imagine... it requires inventing new rules or making rulings. perhaps its good thing because it stops the game from having an 800 page, "if it fell off the book shelf it could kill you", hero system esque giant rule book, but when your used to Hero its kind of hard to make the switch without wanting to carry some things over (like a detailed maneuver based martial arts system rather than having "feats" to "simulate" martial arts type maneuvers, if you get the difference.)

While I can't yet speak for the game balance in Savage Worlds, I can comment on M&M. Especially with 2nd Edition, M&M does a very good job of balancing abilities. Is it perfect and unbreakable? No. Neither is HERO System. But you can tell that there was care and playtesting that was taken seriously to iron out the kinks and allow characters of all stripes to be useful, effective and fun. And the M&M corebook gives you the tools to build mostly anything you could want.

For extra inspiration and even more details on just how far you can go with powers in M&M (and just an all-around awesome book), you'll want to pick up the Ultimate Power sourcebook which includes (among many other things) close to 200 example powers including such things as Dimensional Control (meaning you can shift yourself or others' dimensional properties...i.e. 1-D, 2-D, 4-D or even 5-D) or even Evolutionary Shift (where you can move yourself or others forward or backward in evolutionary level, from primordial goo to bodiless entity of pure intellect.

As far as the martial arts angle, yes, M&M would have you use powers or feats, but this can be view the same as manuevers as that is essentially what they are. Combine them with power feats and extras, called shots, Hero Points and Extra Effort and you can get detailed. It may not be exactly what you want, but you should still be able to get your kicks. :drum:

Sorry.

Anywho, as always, I'm here to answer any and all of your M&M needs. As I said, I'll take a look at the Iron Age book and get back with you on exactly how it suggests you tweak your game for maximum grit/lethality.

Briski
01-02-2009, 02:47 PM
... and I can add (to bring SW back into the mix) that the present released rules for Savage Worlds high-power Supers (from the Necessary Evil book) are in my opinion M&M-like, but not as complete and detailed, and not as well balanced.

No one's brought this up yet, but going back to the (lack of) dis-membering/decapitation rules... let's get some perspective. Severing a limb off a human being pretty much guarantees the victim is out for the fight, and s/he is going to die without immediate medical attention (and even then, saving that life may be dicey)... In M&M or Savage Worlds, when you get a result that determines the target has been killed, the GM can simply add trappings fitting to the attack. "Silver Samurai slices off both of the bad guy's arms, which fall to the ground with a sickly 'splorch'. He follows up with a neat decapitation. What remains of the headless, armless body falls prone." There's no point in recreating that famous scene of King Arthur facing the Black Knight in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" ('Have at you!'). ;)

Still, Zig, I'd recommend you stick with Champions/HERO... it sounds like you want a system that is both easy to pick up and play, and yet has the full complexity of Champions/HERO does. M&M can't live up to your expectations, for the simple fact that it isn't Champions. M&M is a solid system in its own right, however.

The concept of Lethal vs. Non-Lethal damage described by Webhead means that players and GM-run NPCs always have the choice of doing lethal vs. non-lethal damage. The games I've played in, superheroes and supervillains really only attacked to subdue... if not for ethical reasons, because of practical ones: Everyone knew that what goes around, comes around. The meta-villain who commits murder just might not make it to jail; a hero who "goes rogue," if captured by the villain, might get a bullet to the head rather than being imprisoned in the villains' impregnable Fortress of Fortitude. Opponents like robots and monsters, however, would attack to kill.

Webhead
01-02-2009, 05:31 PM
... and I can add (to bring SW back into the mix) that the present released rules for Savage Worlds high-power Supers (from the Necessary Evil book) are in my opinion M&M-like, but not as complete and detailed, and not as well balanced...

Though I have no direct experience to speak from, this is the impression that Savage Worlds gives me as well. It strikes me that it handles "low to medium heroic" well, but probably start to break down at both the upper and lower ends of the spectrum. Thus, it probably doesn't do true justice at the "super-heroic" end of the scale.

That's just my current observation. Right now I'm really interested in starting up a "heroic fantasy" campaign with the system and, if it comes to pass, I will let everyone know how it goes and the strengths and weaknesses I perceive.

Zig
01-03-2009, 03:36 AM
well hero system will always be my fave game system, but the problem I have with it is...

1) it takes forever to teach somebody how to play and how to create a worthwhile character
2) the giant book and complexity of the combat system/points system intimidates the hell out of people
3) there is nobody around the town I live in who plays hero/champions
4) the phase system confuses the hell out of new players and tends to slow down combat to a crawl if you have a really fast character or NPC in the mix. (I tried getting rid of it once... it didnt work)
5) way too much math for new players, takes way too long to figure the chance of hitting (maneauvers, combbat levels, etc), roll to hit, figure where the shot hit, count dammage (of an average 12d6 attack but as high as 20d6 or 30d6 rarely) apply defenses (roll for random defenses), figure con stunning, and subtract dammage from stun/body, re-figure new defenses, subtract endurance costs, apply impairment to limb/body, etc etc etc.

if your well adjusted to the system (have played it for a few years) you get really fast at doing all of the above and if it wasnt your fave system before generally it becomes it. but if you havent gotten adjusted... well... hero games should offer some kind of colledge credit course on how to use their system. hence I am looking for another more simplistic supers system that does "close" to what champs does without all the math, figures, combat accounting, etc. and years of pratice it takes to get good at. M&M sounds about as close as I can ask for.

I am hoping that when necessary evil 2e comes out all my problems will be solved (but I'm not really expecting it hence the desire to invent new house rules or convert champs stuff into S.W. just for the people who want to use it.)

about MM used in a fantasy setting... thats what I used it for origionally, just gave the 2e AD&D characters in my game 1 "fantastic" power and ran it like the barron munchousen movie... went really well for about 15 adventures, (but that was like 10 years ago I think).

about dismembering in a supers game... what about regeneration? robots? cyborgs? shape shifters? undead? all kinds of characters in supers games can realistically loose limbs, not die, and continue to fight. not to mention though a big brick might have lost an arm, depending on his powers (made of concrete etc) or how much fortitude he has, it might not matter much at all other than the inconvience of having one less fist. I like the idea of a character having to finish a fight one handed and then go find some super scientist to re-attach his arm or make a cyber replacement... it worked for Luke in empire strikes back... and its exactly the kind of thing that occasionally happens in comics.

webhead- I look forward to seeing what Iorn age is about... maybe we should move any discussion about purely M&M to an M&M forum?

Webhead
01-03-2009, 10:45 AM
...webhead- I look forward to seeing what Iorn age is about... maybe we should move any discussion about purely M&M to an M&M forum?

My thoughts exactly.

fmitchell
01-03-2009, 01:34 PM
Yeah, I wondered whether I shouldn't split this thread off at some point. I still might.

Briski
01-03-2009, 07:25 PM
3) there is nobody around the town I live in who plays hero/champions

Sounds like the best system is whatever other folks are willing to play! :) Here in the Boston area I've seen a fair amount of uptake of M&M. It also got into our group relatively easily because it was d20-based. The D&D fans in the group were immediately comfortable with the core mechanic.


I am hoping that when necessary evil 2e comes out all my problems will be solved (but I'm not really expecting it hence the desire to invent new house rules or convert champs stuff into S.W. just for the people who want to use it.)

I know Pinnacle Entertainment Group (publisher of Savage Worlds) has a generic superheroes supplement in the works. I'll be (pleasantly) surprised if it's more than a re-packaging and update of the Necessary Evil ruleset. I don't think it'll beat M&M. BTW, I like your mention of using M&M with a fantasy setting -- some folks in our group that plays M&M have high hopes for the upcoming M&M "Warriors & Warlocks" supplement.


about dismembering in a supers game... what about regeneration? robots? cyborgs? shape shifters? undead? all kinds of characters in supers games can realistically loose limbs, not die, and continue to fight. not to mention though a big brick might have lost an arm, depending on his powers (made of concrete etc) or how much fortitude he has, it might not matter much at all other than the inconvience of having one less fist. I like the idea of a character having to finish a fight one handed and then go find some super scientist to re-attach his arm or make a cyber replacement... it worked for Luke in empire strikes back... and its exactly the kind of thing that occasionally happens in comics.

Superheroes occasionally get their limbs chopped off? I think we're reading different types of comic books ... ;) The whole Luke Skywalker/Empire Strikes Back hand thing is a bit wonky, as Vader's lightsaber cauterized the wound, but regardless, our protagonist wasn't in a position to jump up and continue the fight. He was done for.

In M&M, you're right, the system isn't set up to generate results for tearing limbs off constructs, undead etc. I'm sure you could import such a table from another system (Hero?) if it were necessary. The Savage Worlds core book has a simple crippling injury system that could be imported readily into M&M (one table, with basic rules how to apply it). The SW rules assume (generally correctly) that a crippling injury goes hand in hand with an Incapacitating blow. If you feel as a GM that it's necessary to the flavor of the game you're running, I'm sure you can bolt on such an occasional-use table without too much effort. How a player might react if her/his beloved character gets a limb lopped off -- well that's a discussion for another day.

Zig
01-04-2009, 02:56 AM
In Los Angeles or Orange county when I lived there (10yrs ago) suggesting that you play any superhero system other than Champions (such as Villains and Vigilantes etc) was always met with stifled giggles, now I assume its different.

People forget that champs came out just 7 years after D&D and was the first real supers system, and gurps was just a spin off of champions. Champs has a long history and a truly devout gang of players and GMs who wont play anything but champs or hero.

unfortunately those groups tend to form around cal-tech in LA and is way too far for me to drive to (4hrs there and 4hrs back... I think its where Steve Long plays and where I first met him.), and its not worth it to move for a game I like. so yeah... I agree any game that people are most willing to play where you live tends to be the best game around.

about adding powers/skills/mods to Savage Worlds... I was thinking of grabbing my champs book and just typing up a conversion for their power mods and lims along with the martial arts system.

in Necessary evil there's only like 3-4 mods (if that) for any power and I felt that was limiting, like what if you want your character's entangle to be sticky and effect anybody who tries to help the character out of it? champs has a mod for that, Necessary Evil just considers that a trapping of the power (a special effect) and its either free or not allowed.

but when I read the world design section of the S.W. core book they state that though it might be your first impulse to invent new edges/powers/etc you should never do this as it lessens the value of the edges and powers they have in the book, makes the game more complex (anti the fast furious fun aspect they shoot for) and changes the creation point system.

Then they say "but do what you want because it's your game". then if you look at the campaign supplements that come out, they do exactly what they are telling you you shouldn't do. (with super powers getting 20 pts not 10 and changing every power in the book, not requiring that every power has a separate skill etc) so all of that confuses me.

part of me thinks I should just leave it as is and keep running a more simplistic game that annoys me, the other side just wants me to go nuts and change Necessary Evil into "Champions lite"

I think I'm going to go with the latter.

oh and I remember wolverine loosing his claws and occasionally limbs (when they stripped the adamantium off his bones), the hulk loosing nearly every limb, Thor loosing an arm, Deadpool loosing every limb at one time or another, and on and on. it happens occasionally, but ehh... its rare. I just liked the idea of a bad ass vigilantie or villain type with that unbreakable amazingly sharp sword leaving a wake of discarded limbs behind him without ruining the game for everyone with a one shot insta-kill weapon, and again it wasnt ever a character I got to run or placed against the players in my game... more of an exercise in what was possible.

Briski
01-04-2009, 08:38 PM
in Necessary evil there's only like 3-4 mods (if that) for any power and I felt that was limiting, like what if you want your character's entangle to be sticky and effect anybody who tries to help the character out of it? champs has a mod for that, Necessary Evil just considers that a trapping of the power (a special effect) and its either free or not allowed. Yes, M&M (2nd ed.) clearly does options better. To me, NE's superpowers also felt "bolted on" to the rest of the system rather than integrated with it. For example, M&M (and I expect Champions) make it possible to build "super-normals" that through special training and skills can be equivalently powerful to other types of supers such as mutants, aliens etc. In NE, if you built a PC for the NE setting without super-powers, seemed to me his nickname might be "bullet magnet"... or simply "toast"...

What about HERO System's Sidekick rules? Are those still around, and have you considered them? Sidekick might accomplish everything you're looking for: (a) get people onto a game system you like, (b) lower the complexity level so people who are daunted by 5th ed. HERO have a simple ruleset they can use, (c) have a low buy-in for prospective players that don't want to buy the Phone Book. If Sidekick is derived from HERO, you could very easily incorporate elements of the full system, adding them over time.

Zig
01-05-2009, 03:05 AM
well you can build normals in NE but they are at a pretty severe disadvantage, you can build a pretty bad assed normal but against supers... well its not much of a contest, you can build a "super normal" and give them a lot of powers that dont look like powers and skills, stats, etc and have them be every bit as competitive as the supers (some more so) you can also take other arcane backgrounds (such as weird science, magic use, psionics, etc) but those are about half as powerfull (if that) when compaired with supers.

I'm not sure if sidekick is still around... should be, but the problem isnt so much just with the powers end of champions (once they understand how the powers and mods/lims work having more isnt all that big of a deal) its more just with the combat/skills system that takes soooooo long if the player hasnt built up the math skills it takes to exceed at. but less choices for a character in Hero system is kind of anti what that system was designed for even if it did quicken character creation. If I was going to do champs I'd do it all the way... modding NE is just something that would take a bit of time and I think a lot of people would use the mod that I write up... but I'll wait till the end of febuary when those books are supposed to come out for NE/Savage Worlds and see if I even need to mod the system.

cliff
04-22-2009, 07:31 PM
For the folks that have a lot of familiarity with running Savage Worlds, I've seen a lot of surface discussion regarding Plot Points, but I've never seen anything about how it works under the hood.

I've read that there's a global storyline, and some sort of random adventure generator that ties into it somehow or another, when you're playing a Plot Points campaign. This sounds pretty interesting to me, but how exactly does it work?

Thanks!

fmitchell
04-22-2009, 08:52 PM
gurps was just a spin off of champions

Minor peeve: GURPS borrowed the point-buy and advantage/disadvantage mechanics of Champions, but it's a descendent of Steve Jackson's first RPG, The Fantasy Trip (derived from Melee and Wizard). For example, stats were ST, DX, and IQ, and attacks and skill checks were stat or lower on 3d6.

Aside: When GURPS came out, I heard far too many rants from Champions players that GURPS was bastardized Champions, citing as evidence the many differences between GURPS and Champs. One guy perseverated about GURPS listing disadvantages in detail instead of an umbrella Psych-Lim or Phys-Lim(?) cost; GURPS details game effects of disadvantages, whereas most Champs GMs I knew only remembered disads once in a blue moon.

Sorry, back to Savage Worlds.

cliff
04-22-2009, 09:00 PM
You tease me!

GoddessGood
04-23-2009, 08:53 AM
Hmm, as I'm currently playing Savage Worlds, I haven't allowed myself to read the plot points. You might PM Webhead, though.

Briski
04-23-2009, 09:21 AM
Hi Cliff,

Plot points are like a story framework. There is usually one main plot with lots of different navigation options that the PCs might take along the way. Then there are numerous smaller subplots that the GM can pepper in as needed, depending on where the group goes and what it chooses to do next. It's a happy medium between the old-style "dungeon module" -- where a small area is covered in a great amount of detail -- and a free-form game where the GM makes up what happens next session by session.

The plot point campaign design leans more towards giving the GM the NPCs/foes, situations and overall flavor/feel for individual adventures, while it's still flexible enough to improvise, and *probably* have something to throw at the players if they decide to do go off on an unexpected tangent. The GM is left to come up with maps and finer details.

Personally, I don't use plot point campaigns, though I've gotten a couple good ideas to throw into my own homebrewed settings. I like the SW concept of throwing everything the GM and players need to run a setting into a single book (characters, beasties, world description and adventures). But it's not how I use the books myself.

cliff
04-23-2009, 03:35 PM
Thanks, Briski. I was really wondering, but didn't want to spring for one of the books without some knowledge before hand.

MortonStromgal
08-20-2009, 01:23 PM
Well I bought the PDF of Hellfrost and I must say I am beginning to finally understand the appeal of Savage Worlds. In fact I will be running a SW game fairly soon, not necessarily Hellfrost but something to give it a good test run ;)