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Thread: [SUPERS!] Rules questions

  1. #1
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    [SUPERS!] Rules questions

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    Okay, I've had the rulebook for quite some time now in both pdf and the Cubicle 7 hardcopy. I've read the book multiple times and really love the game. For me it is the perfect superhero rpg. Light and easy to pick up but robust enough to cover most situations that come up in superhero games. I've been turned off by other superhero games that have extensive rules, that take forever to make characters, and are a chore to read and learn the rules. The SUPERS! rulebook is a delight to read in contrast. Kudos to you Simon for writing such a cool game!

    Recently I have begun planning for a PbP game here, and I have also been running my two kids (13 and 7) through some adventures at home. Mostly through play with my kids, I've discovered that I have a few questions about the rules. I know the rules are open to interpretation and GM fiat in many cases but I would like to hear how some of you would handle these things.

    First, can multiple powers be active at the same time? For instance, can a character with Invisibility use Teleport or Shape Change while invisible? Or can a character be using Flight (actually be flying) and attack with Super Strength (attack another flyer in midair using Super Strength)?

    How does an Invisible attacker or defender work? Does the act of attacking make him visible? Do you apply negative modifiers to anyone trying to attack an invisible opponent? Can Invisibility be used as a defense? Like say he is attacked by an energy blast and turns invisible at just the right moment causing the attack to miss.

    Do obvious lethal attack modes kill opponents that have a Resistance reduced to 0D? For instance, attacks from guns, blades, claws, etc. Or is the victim of such an attack just knocked unconscious? Or is this purely a case of what the GM wants to have happen? Maybe this depends on whether the person being attacked with a lethal attack form is a normal or a super.

    Some of those situations have come up with my kids and I'm really interested to hear how others would handle them.

  2. #2
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    Howdy Toric!

    Here are some quick responses:

    1) Multiple Powers? Yes, they can be active at the same time.

    2) Invisible Attackers? Good question! I'd be curious to know how others do this as well. First, Invisibility can be used as a defense. The example that you give about going invisible to avoid an energy blast is a perfect example. Normally, I would rule that an invisible character cannot be attacked (except maybe by an Area Effect) if they are leaving combat. I would also rule that a character stays invisible even while attacking, unless they purchased a Complication for the power that says otherwise. I guess I would rule that once a character attacks, they have given up their position (for that moment anyway) and are subject to attack. At that point they could use their Invisibility to defend. If the character forgoes an attack on the next round, and chooses to leave the combat, I would let them do so. At this point they basically become unattackable once more (unless their foes have area effects, or some other ability that could locate their invisible opponent).

    3) Lethality? This one is up to you! The rules are mum about it. In a standard superhero game [four color, at least] I would rule that guns and other attacks don't automatically do damage that is somehow more lethal than Doctor Doom's blaster. Some games, however, may require a more lethal tone. In another forum I said the following regarding grittier-and-grimmer games:

    I recommend ruling that characters who lose twice their value in a Resistance are either dead or permanently disfigured, depending on the narrative requirements and the Resistance being affected.

    I also recommend that characters who go into negative numbers (without reaching twice their value) heal at a slower rate.

    Example) Thrasher has Fortitude 3d. He takes 2d worth of Fortitude damage in combat. Tha heals normally, so he's up at full for the next fight. In that fight, however, he suffers 4d worth of Fortitude, placing him at -1. He is incapacitated, and the Narrator rules that it will take him longer than normal to heal that damage. [Days? Weeks? I still haven't decided.] A week later, Thrasher is at Fortitude 2d. He suffers 5d of damage, which puts him at -3d. That's twice his maximum value of 3d! Poor Thrasher is D-E-A-D!

    Hope that helps!

    Best,

    Dragonfly

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    Howdy Toric!
    1) Multiple Powers? Yes, they can be active at the same time.
    Kinda what I figured but thought a second opinion would be good to have.

    2) Invisible Attackers? Good question! I'd be curious to know how others do this as well. First, Invisibility can be used as a defense. The example that you give about going invisible to avoid an energy blast is a perfect example. Normally, I would rule that an invisible character cannot be attacked (except maybe by an Area Effect) if they are leaving combat. I would also rule that a character stays invisible even while attacking, unless they purchased a Complication for the power that says otherwise. I guess I would rule that once a character attacks, they have given up their position (for that moment anyway) and are subject to attack. At that point they could use their Invisibility to defend. If the character forgoes an attack on the next round, and chooses to leave the combat, I would let them do so. At this point they basically become unattackable once more (unless their foes have area effects, or some other ability that could locate their invisible opponent).
    Again, this is what I was thinking but it's good to get another opinion. If an invisible character makes an attack, they are still invisible but have given up their position to anyone in the area who is aware of what is happening in the combat. At that point, the invisible character is subject to attacks from those that are aware for that turn only. If the character does not attack on the next turn, he can't be located again until he gives up his position again with another attack or until someone with an ability that can locate an invisible opponent does so.

    3) Lethality? This one is up to you! The rules are mum about it. In a standard superhero game [four color, at least] I would rule that guns and other attacks don't automatically do damage that is somehow more lethal than Doctor Doom's blaster. Some games, however, may require a more lethal tone. In another forum I said the following regarding grittier-and-grimmer games:

    I recommend ruling that characters who lose twice their value in a Resistance are either dead or permanently disfigured, depending on the narrative requirements and the Resistance being affected.

    I also recommend that characters who go into negative numbers (without reaching twice their value) heal at a slower rate.

    Example) Thrasher has Fortitude 3d. He takes 2d worth of Fortitude damage in combat. Tha heals normally, so he's up at full for the next fight. In that fight, however, he suffers 4d worth of Fortitude, placing him at -1. He is incapacitated, and the Narrator rules that it will take him longer than normal to heal that damage. [Days? Weeks? I still haven't decided.] A week later, Thrasher is at Fortitude 2d. He suffers 5d of damage, which puts him at -3d. That's twice his maximum value of 3d! Poor Thrasher is D-E-A-D!
    I agree with it mostly depending on the tone of the game. Claws and blades and guns may mostly only incapacitate in a four-color game rather than kill. In a grim and gritty game, that might be far different.

    As for characters who have resistances that fall into the negative numbers, there are rules for slower recovery in the book.

    Page 10 under Recuperation:
    "Resistances are recovered at a rate of 1D per hour if below 0D. At 0D or above, they are recovered at 1D every 10 minutes. If several Resistances have been affected, you decide which Resistance to apply Recuperation to."

    I'm not sure how I feel about having a character die at twice his maximum Resistance value. Last night, my youngest son had his character down to 1D in all of his Resistances and then was attacked by an 8D energy blast. He had used all of his powers to either attack or defend in the same turn and was left with rolling 1D for defense. He ended up taking 14D in damage which after application to three Resistances left him at -4D in Composure and Fortitude and -3D in Reaction. All of those were more than twice his maximum values. I can see this happening in some fights that just go badly and wouldn't have wanted to kill him off. None of the attacks he suffered were particularly lethal. I think for most attacks I might rule death only happens at three times the maximum value of the Resistance. Perhaps two times the maximum value would only apply to the most lethal forms of attack. Heck, under the Recuperation rules, his character was out for quite a long time as it was. Only one Resistance heals at a time as per the rule on page 10 with the player deciding which Resistance to apply his Recuperation to. So his character had to heal a total of -11D which would take 11 hours. Then once they are at 0D they heal 1D per 10 minutes. So it took a little over 11 hours for him to regain consciousness and nearly 12 hours to be back at full strength.

    Thanks for posting, Dragonfly!

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    I think you guys have covered the topics pretty well between the two of you. Here's my two cents worth...

    Ok, having coined the phrase "Rus's disposable heroes" during my years of gaming (mostly dnd), character death usually sucks, but not always. Sometimes it's an opportunity to try something new. But usually it just sucked. That's why when I gm I always explain to the player the situation (you just crashed in a burning plane loaded with a shipment of tnt into an active volcano...) and ask their opinion. Is this the end of your character? Or do you want him to come back?

    Usually if they say come back I make them give me some plausible explaination as to how they survived, much easier in a supers game, and more often than not it leads to more plot hooks!

  5. #5
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    Howdy Toric!

    I'm glad my post helped. I know how it is. Sometimes it's just nice to have some sounding boards, even though you have an idea of how you'd handle a situation in your own games.

    As for the lethality rates I suggested (with the lower healing rates, etc.) = I would never use those for anything approaching four color. Those are rules that I might use for a Watchman style game, or maybe a Wild Cards type setting, where things are supposed to feel grim-gritty and somewhat more realistic - where damage from gunshot wounds wouldn't be recovered at 1D per hour. Even so, I haven't play-tested them, so I don't know how they would work out.

    Dustland: You sound like a cool GM. :-) Seriously, I wish I'd played in your game over on the BASH boards.

    Best,

    Dragonfly

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