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Messages - Chris Goodwin

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brainstorming & development / Re: Supers - some basic rules including powers
« on: September 02, 2012, 11:12:44 PM »
Out of interest, this is what I've produced so far: it's only about 50% there, but it's been an interesting experiment for me. As you'll see, I've dropped all the stats and replaced them with power, a resource that rises and falls through play and will also serve to replace experience when I'm done. The Origin and Style playbooks will be designed to be properly paired together, so that when you put one of each side by side, they also give you the name of your superhero!

James, I completely love what you've got, to the point where I'm afraid I'm going to unintentionally steal some of it, and I don't want to do that. 

brainstorming & development / Re: Supers - some basic rules including powers
« on: September 01, 2012, 08:48:14 PM »
Good stuff there; I totally agree with the list of new MC moves, they are a perfect fit for a supers game. I've made some similar choices myself in a supers hack I've been working on, where some of those options are alm  ost word-for-word the choices the players have to make on some 7-9 results! :-D Still a very early draft stage and I've gone for a dual-playbook format, where players pick one playbook for their origin and one for their style, which reflects what powers they have. I like the way you've used tags to enable players to create their own powers though.

Thank you!  Using the tags for powers was the first thing that occurred to me when I first saw them.

I went with a people-with-powers idea, rather than powers-define-people idea; the playbooks represent archetypes found in comics not insofar as powers but in roles. For example, the Survivor is the only one of his kind, the rest of whom were wiped out by something. The Savage doesn't get along in society for whatever reason--he's the Hulk but he's also Wolverine. And so on. But what powers they have isn't what they bring to the table; in the game I'm building, you're not a flying brick (which, as a longtime comic reader and superhero gamer, I find boring) but the Last Son of Krypton (which is interesting).

Yeah, and most of the people-with-powers sources -- Wild Cards, NBC's Heroes, maybe the 4400 -- I think are closer to AW's tone.  I'm going a little more four-color, I think.  

I'm not sure you're doing yourself any favors by using the standard AW basic moves, particularly the violence moves (sieze by force & go aggro).  They don't fit any of the supers sub-genres or tones that I'm aware of.  

I may change the names -- go aggro especially, which, it seems to me from my reading of the text is almost the equivalent of a Champions presence attack.

I can definitely see the relationship between power stunts in the source material and moves in AW. But could you come at it from a different angle, though?  Like, make the core moves represent the types of conflicts/actions that supers in your game take.  Make their powers have tags & descriptors (similar to what you have now), with their own stat bonuses.  When you describe using your powers to make a move, you roll +that power's stat bonus.


If I maneuver by summoning winds to lift me to the top of the building, I'd roll +1 (for Control Winds) and on a 7-9 the "imprecise" tag could be really problematic.  If I then race against time to summon storm clouds (since Control Weather is slow), I'd roll +2.  While they get here, I could defend (myself or others) by hurling blasts of wind around (rolling +1).  Once the storm clouds arrive, I can assault the poor schmucks on the ground by unleashing a lightning bolt (rolling +0 but seriously messing them up on a hit).  (In case it's not obvious, the italics are ideas for basic moves... just ideas, though.)

The "power stunts" would then evolve naturally out of play, as players wracked their brains with how to apply their powers to trigger the moves they want to make.

I thought of that, and a post of yours triggered an idea for freeform stats/traits which I think triggered the tags-as-powers thing.  I'm not sure I want to go that direction, though.

To prevent power-spamming, you could use a carrot instead of a stick: you mark XP the first time each session you use a power to make a particular basic move. Make sure everyone's got 2+ powers and you'll see some serious creativity, I think.

I've got something like this in mind.  I'm still poking away at the exact implementation.

Bigger picture question: What's the tone of the supers game you want out of this?  Like, sanitary Code-era stuff with little blood and no real consequences for the enormous violence that supers can dish out?  Grittier Ultimates-style, where Bruce Banner Hulks out in Manhattan and hundreds of people die?  

I'm thinking somewhere between mid-80's Marvel (mainly X-Men, Avengers, FF) and Astro City.  Four color, not afraid to go a little darker and drop a few F-bombs.

Finally, how is doing it with the AW engine better/more appropriate than, say, Marvel Heroic? Or Capes? Or With Great Power?

If it ends up not working at all, which I don't think will be the case, I'll have learned something in the process.  :)  And I massively love the AW engine.

brainstorming & development / Re: Supers - some basic rules including powers
« on: September 01, 2012, 02:37:46 AM »
Some of my new MC moves:

  • Threaten their loved ones.
  • Inflict collateral damage.
  • Trigger a weakness.
  • Mess with their secrets.
  • Take away their powers.
  • Threaten innocents.

I know that these are mostly restatements of the ones we already know, or at least specific instances of general cases, but I'm going to hang onto them. 

Some AW MC moves that are practically straight out of superhero literature:

  • Separate them.
  • Capture someone.
  • Put someone in a spot.
  • Announce off-screen badness.
  • Announce future badness. 
  • Take away their stuff.
  • Activate their stuff’s downside.

Note: In the supers genre, it’s impossible to overuse announce future badness. Every superpowered battle has future badness built in all over the place!

brainstorming & development / Supers - some basic rules including powers
« on: August 31, 2012, 10:43:09 PM »
I've only got the barest hint of one incomplete playbook (the brick) but the basic framework is out there, in a Google document here.  The folder with all the stuff I've got so far is here.

It's rough and incomplete, but any feedback and questions are very much appreciated!

blood & guts / Freeform traits rather than stats
« on: August 24, 2012, 06:21:52 PM »
This is an idea I had, maybe looking for some feedback.

Start with eight traits, and you get a total of +5 to spread between them.  You can take negatives to add positives (so you could take -2 to one and add +2 to spread among others).  Values between -2 and +3 as usual.  They should be roughly like PTA traits in scope.  

These traits would substitute for stats when making moves.  

The first time you roll one of your traits, mark it.  When they’re all marked, erase those marks and mark one advancement.  Yes, this tracks across sessions; if you’ve rolled five of your traits last session, you’ll still have to roll the other three in order to advance.  

In this thread, Jeremy writes this:

Quote from: Jeremy
Final thought: the basic moves don't have to be tied to a specific stat. I've been working on a hack in which the moves themselves are potentially broader than in most hacks, but they aren't tied to the stats. The moves have clear fictional triggers, but the way in which you describe hitting that trigger influences which stat you roll. For example:

When you attack your enemy from a position of strength or safety, roll to assault.  On a 10+, inflict harm as established and choose one...

When you chase, follow, or track down your quarry, roll to pursue. On a 10+ you corner your prey or catch them in the open. On a 7-9...

If you assault someone by drawing a bead and sniping them, roll +Cool to do it. If you assualt a group by casting fireball, roll +Magic.  If you assault a dude by bashing a chair over his head from behind, roll +Brawn.

If you pursue someone by running after them through the streets, roll +Grace.  If you pursue someone by following their tracks through the woods, roll +Wits.  If you pursue someone by asking around in town, roll +Presence.

Has anyone given something like this any thought?  Tried it?  

Apocalypse World / Re: Last Child playbook (again)
« on: August 17, 2012, 09:26:38 PM »
I like it. 

It makes me think of witch burnings in 1692. 

brainstorming & development / Re: Amber hacks
« on: August 04, 2012, 04:35:19 PM »
Charles, do you have them shared anywhere?

brainstorming & development / Amber hacks
« on: August 01, 2012, 08:35:53 PM »
Has anyone done anything with Amber?  There are a couple of threads involving threats, and I'm just wondering if anyone has gone further.

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