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Is there anyone of you who plan to use Basic Roleplaying to play a superhero game? If so, how do you game such a setting? Superhero stuff have very little appeal to me, but I would like to hear how other people are planning to use this part, and how the setting would be.

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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Is there anyone of you who plan to use Basic Roleplaying to play a superhero game? If so, how do you game such a setting? Superhero stuff have very little appeal to me, but I would like to hear how other people are planning to use this part, and how the setting would be.

SGL.

Na. Not really. I am not that much into superheroic gaming or a comic fan. But its nice to have rules for this in the BRP book. Maybe you can use parts of them for other more realistic settings. Like Transhuman Space genetic modifications, Traveller Psionics or as base for mutations in some funky aftermath worlds.

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This is something I would look into with BRP. I am a big comic/superhero fan. I played Champions a lot up till the 5th edition. I also have GURPS Powers, Mutants & Masterminds, Silver Age Sentinels, etc. I definitely enjoy the genre and like to read all systems about it, especially settings, to give me ideas.

The only problem I have had is getting people to play a superhero game. :(

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I've played Superworld before and it didn't really work.

The problem with BRP superhero games is that BRP differentiates between skills, characteristics, powers and so on and there isn't really a mechanism for them all to work together.

So, Megaman has STR 100 and tries to lift Gorgo (SIZ 120) using the Resistance Table, all well and good. But what if Zapman uses his Mind Zap ability against Megaman? How will he resist?

Also, with BRP you need to describe each ability down to the last detail, what it costs, what damage it does, how it is resisted and so on.

HeroQuest is a far better system to play a SuperHero game, in my opinion.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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I ran/played Superworld in the past. We used a couple of different settings, from the Wild Cards world, the Marvel Universe, and even a custom made one. In most cases the setting is fairly close to the modern world, with a sprinkling of superheroes thrown in.

Generally, how you plan such a thing is in essence, similar to how you would plan just about any other RPG.

1) The GM creates a setting. Most of the time this is the real world with some supers and magic added. Occasionally, this is a historic era, an alien wold, or an alternate dimension (I once had a group go back in time, where the archer PC hero met up with Robin Hood).

2) The players create their characters. They come up with a concept, and then spend points to build the character. One neat option introduced by V&V years ago, is to write up yourself as a character, and then give yourself superpowers. This not only adds an ego trip element (most people who play super RPGs have some wish to fly, lift trucks, etc.), but also helps to flesh out the campaign. It adds a whole new dimension to the campaign when characters not only need to put out the burning building, but do it fast enough to be home in time for dinner.

3) Adventures typical revolve around a NPC villain committing some sort of crime, and the heroes trying to stop him. With super villains, the crimes can take on a larger than lie quality. For instance, instead of robbing a bank, a villain might try to steal the entire bank. Other types of stores, like natural disasters, rescues, and even stopping street thugs or reforming punks are all possible ideas.

As for Superwolrd,

It works. But it is a bit clunky. Going with soltakss' example, the mind zap would be resisted with the appropriate trait (POW if a mental attack, AP/HP if a physical one).

Powers are really written up to about the same level of detail as in champions (SUPERWORLD is basically BRP with Champion styles powers thrown in on top). It DOES work. But frankly, so do a few other superRPGs, and most of them work better. Much like GURPS, the benefits of the BRP system, such as it's realistic style, are at odds with the genre. With Super campaign we don"t want reality, we want the reality of the comics. So when "Mr. Invulnerable" falls off the roof of a 10 story building, we don't want him to go spat from 30d6 damage-we want to see him stunned, and a bit hole in the asphalt.

SUPER RPGing in general can be a lot of fun-just as log as the players realize that it isn't a dungeon crawl. One fun group I ran, involved the players writting up kids who end up getting superpowers. We set that in our home city (always a good choice) allowing the group to use local landmarks and such.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Powers are really written up to about the same level of detail as in champions (SUPERWORLD is basically BRP with Champion styles powers thrown in on top). It DOES work. But frankly, so do a few other superRPGs, and most of them work better. Much like GURPS, the benefits of the BRP system, such as it's realistic style, are at odds with the genre. With Super campaign we don"t want reality, we want the reality of the comics. So when "Mr. Invulnerable" falls off the roof of a 10 story building, we don't want him to go spat from 30d6 damage-we want to see him stunned, and a bit hole in the asphalt.

I think you are on to something there. BRP with its nitty gritty realistic approach does not really fit well as an enginge for toon-like superhero gaming. Were there ever any published scenarios for Superworld or any of the other superhero games?

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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But its nice to have rules for this in the BRP book. Maybe you can use parts of them for other more realistic settings. Like Transhuman Space genetic modifications, Traveller Psionics or as base for mutations in some funky aftermath worlds.

That's a good reason for me to be happy to have them in the main book. It should be easy to use them for designing your own cyberware and such.

I also know BRP is supposed to be gritty and realistic, but I'd certainly would like to try and GM a superhero game with it. The book does include rules for playing with legendary or heroic-level characters and is supposed to have some additional rules for non-lethal damage (if I remember correctly). These, and a liberal use of Hero points, could do the trick.

Happy owner of number 226 of 420

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I think you are on to something there. BRP with its nitty gritty realistic approach does not really fit well as an enginge for toon-like superhero gaming. Were there ever any published scenarios for Superworld or any of the other superhero games?

SGL.

I think there was maybe one supplement for Superworld. Most of the superhero RPGs did have supplements printed for them, though. The best supported were the first Marvel and DC rpgs, not surprisingly.

Yeah, BRP's engine doesn't really work well for a 4 color comics campaign. Some of BRP's strengths actually work against it when it comes to Superheroes. There are some tweaks in the Superworld boxed set that makes it work better than the WoW rules, but it still isn't a good fit. Then again, BRP wasn't a good fit for the mythic setting of Glorantha, either.

IMO, the worst fits are probably GURPS (which really breaks down, as it tries to be grittier than BRP), and Palladium (no non-lethal combat, so people don't drop unless dead or dying, making most heroes mass murderers).

My overall favorites for Super gaming would be Golden Heroes, and Marvel (SAGA version). The two most popular super RPGs are probably Champions, and Marvel (TSR version, revised edition).

The real trick to Supers gaming is to get players who are into comics and that sort of thing. If they go at it with the typical fantasy RPG approach, the campaign won't last long. A supers campaign is less about acquiring things and character improvement then it is about doing good deeds, saving lives, and thwarting evil. It's a lot of fun to be able to do things you otherwise can't do, as well.

Unfortunately, Super gaming doesn't get a lot of respect from fantasy RPGers. I once had a guy who refused to play a Super hero RPG saying that the powers were silly. Later the same night, while playing D&D, I pointed out how in our group of four characters, we had one guy with superhuman Strength, another who drank a potion of elongation, a third who could go invisible, and the guy who through supers were dumb had points of fire breathing and a necklace of fireballs, and could fly. My Fantastic Four analogy won my argument, but ticked the guy off more than convincing him to play. Still, he stopped giving us flak for playing supers.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I think you are on to something there. BRP with its nitty gritty realistic approach does not really fit well as an enginge for toon-like superhero gaming. Were there ever any published scenarios for Superworld or any of the other superhero games?

SGL.

I ran an extended SuperWorld game some years ago, and there's one big key to making it work well.

Understand its Limits. SuperWorld did not work well for high powered superheroes. It could do an decent, in some ways superior job with middle to low powered supers, but would pretty much break if you tried to force it to the upper end, in part because BRP is simply not set up to do geometric progression, which is the way almost all successful superhero games handle power range.

There were, in fact, two books of scenarios specifically for Superworld. One was set in a high school and designed for teen supers, the other contained four individual scenarios for other sorts.

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Years ago my group ran a successful Superworld campaign with mulitple GMs. We would trade off adventures and each GM had a regional sphere of influence.

We came to the same conclusion as Nightshade. Our best adventures and encounters were at the beginning of the campaign, and it broke down once the heroes became powerful. Designing villians for the high-powered heroes became difficult.

BRP Ze 32/420

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Much like GURPS, the benefits of the BRP system, such as it's realistic style, are at odds with the genre. With Super campaign we don"t want reality, we want the reality of the comics. So when "Mr. Invulnerable" falls off the roof of a 10 story building, we don't want him to go spat from 30d6 damage-we want to see him stunned, and a bit hole in the asphalt.

Sounds more like Roger Rabbit

But what do I know about Superheroes? Nothing. Ok, I read some Superman comics as I was 8. :)

But I liked the X-men films 1-3. Are X-men superheroes? Or just mutants? If they are superheroes then I could imagine to use BRP for a x-men superhero setting. x-men dont seem to be over the top or immortal or flying around with light-speed. (which I personally found always very silly)

They just have some very interesting mutant powers but are otherwise rather normal mortals.

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Years ago my group ran a successful Superworld campaign with mulitple GMs. We would trade off adventures and each GM had a regional sphere of influence.

We came to the same conclusion as Nightshade. Our best adventures and encounters were at the beginning of the campaign, and it broke down once the heroes became powerful. Designing villians for the high-powered heroes became difficult.

If used as written, the advanced Superworld tended to mitigate this, ironically because it pretty much capped advancement at some point; most powers had caps based on attributes, and even if you used powers to boost the attributes, even that had limits (there was essentially no way in the game to have more than a 24 Power, for example, and since Power/2 capped most offensive powers, this made a practical limit of 12 dice for most offenses. There was a multiplier cost for bypassing this, but at that point the practical limit on total power points tended to start coming in pretty soon).

That doesn't mean you couldn't start to run into some issues even within that range, but they were generally manageable if you were cautious.

The big issue was that there were simply character types from superheroes that were essentially undoable, usually because they were too powerful, too broad, or both. If you could live with that, the rest would mostly work, though people had to pay attention to their defenses and the like.

As some said, though, the interaction of skills and powers was a little problematic, and the Super-Skill power as written didn't really do what it needed to.

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Unfortunately, Super gaming doesn't get a lot of respect from fantasy RPGers. I once had a guy who refused to play a Super hero RPG saying that the powers were silly. Later the same night, while playing D&D, I pointed out how in our group of four characters, we had one guy with superhuman Strength, another who drank a potion of elongation, a third who could go invisible, and the guy who through supers were dumb had points of fire breathing and a necklace of fireballs, and could fly. My Fantastic Four analogy won my argument, but ticked the guy off more than convincing him to play. Still, he stopped giving us flak for playing supers.

Great story!

Maybe "realistic" mortal heroes like Batman or his enemy joker work with DBRP. In this respect one could even use an additional hero points subsystem (finally! yeah!) to enable him his incredible bat stunts.

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Great story!

Maybe "realistic" mortal heroes like Batman or his enemy joker work with DBRP. In this respect one could even use an additional hero points subsystem (finally! yeah!) to enable him his incredible bat stunts.

Realistic heroes do work better than 4 color heroes in BRP. A Captain America type, with good stats and great skills, and a high AP shield would be easy. Batman, a little more difficult, due to gadgets, and more powerful heroes more problematic.

Still, SUPEROWLRD did handle the high power characters fairly well. My character concept for the "Wildcards" setting was a teenager whose family was killed by the swarm, and felt powerless for not being able to save them. When she got superpowers, I literally had her become the most powerful heroine she could image, Supergirl, and gave her most of the same powers, although toned down to fit within my point allowance, and she had to be a bit delusional to get enough extra points to do it. She may not have matched up to the DC character, but she could pick up a M1 tank.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Yeah, it all depended on your mindset at the onset. DC heroes are severely overpowered in my book. I find Marvel heroes more plausabily in my mind.

If you tried to re-create a comic book hero with Superworld, then you would run into issues. However, if you created a hero from scratch within the Superworld rules framework, then you can create some really cool heroes.

BRP Ze 32/420

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Sounds more like Roger Rabbit

But what do I know about Superheroes? Nothing. Ok, I read some Superman comics as I was 8. :)

But I liked the X-men films 1-3. Are X-men superheroes? Or just mutants? If they are superheroes then I could imagine to use BRP for a x-men superhero setting. x-men dont seem to be over the top or immortal or flying around with light-speed. (which I personally found always very silly)

They just have some very interesting mutant powers but are otherwise rather normal mortals.

Well, the issues are that the X-Men movies are to some degree, toned down versions of the comic characters (the exception being Storm who seems approximately the same power level--note that she whipped up a collection of tornadoes at will in the second movie). It would be able to handle most of those, but largely because it ignores or reduces the power of the more over the top comic X-Men.

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I think you are on to something there. BRP with its nitty gritty realistic approach does not really fit well as an enginge for toon-like superhero gaming. Were there ever any published scenarios for Superworld or any of the other superhero games?

SGL.

- 1 scenario pack called 'Bad medicine for Dr Drugs', which is for a teen hero campaign (not good, compatible with Champions, 2nd Ed and Villains and Vigillantes)

- a second scenario book called 'Trouble for H.A.V.O.C', which contained 3 scenarii, one of them clearly drawn from Cthulhu mythos.

Plus Superworld companion (additional rules, conversion for champions, and some other things)

Runequestement votre,

Kloster

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Yeah, it all depended on your mindset at the onset. DC heroes are severely overpowered in my book. I find Marvel heroes more plausabily in my mind.

If you tried to re-create a comic book hero with Superworld, then you would run into issues. However, if you created a hero from scratch within the Superworld rules framework, then you can create some really cool heroes.

If your's is the 1st ed of DC Heroes, you're getting pre-crisis characters, which are GROSSLY overpowered. If I remember well, Superman's strength was 50, as a normal one was 2, and each increment was a doubling. That meant 48 doubling, or 2 power 48 times the normal strength.

Runequestement votre,

Kloster

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Yeah, it all depended on your mindset at the onset. DC heroes are severely overpowered in my book. I find Marvel heroes more plausabily in my mind.

If you tried to re-create a comic book hero with Superworld, then you would run into issues. However, if you created a hero from scratch within the Superworld rules framework, then you can create some really cool heroes.

What made "Supergirl" world was that she wasn't actually Supergirl, but a watered down copy. It gave the character some depth too. Basically, she couldn't handle the death of her family, and rejected her normal identity for her delusional one. It was sort of interesting, since it would be difficult to psychoanalyze someone who could duplicate the powers and abilities.

Her biggest vulnerabilities were not so much to more powerful villains, but to villains with knowledge of the comics. She was worried about being exposed to Element #36 on the periodic table. We knew it would have no effect on her, but she figured it was lethal. :lol:

But yeah, overall DC character are more powerful than Marvel ones (pre-crisis Superman can, and did bitchslap the Hulk), making them harder to work out in most RPGs.

As will any 4-color "team" campaign, the GM needs to vary the challenges in order to ensure that all the heroes are useful. Sometimes this can be funny.

"Yeah I can fly. Oh, fly a PLANE-no I can't do that! I could carry the plane there, though. If it doesn't break in half. But pilot one, no."

Hey, can Clark Kent drive? :confused:

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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If your's is the 1st ed of DC Heroes, you're getting pre-crisis characters, which are GROSSLY overpowered. If I remember well, Superman's strength was 50, as a normal one was 2, and each increment was a doubling. That meant 48 doubling, or 2 power 48 times the normal strength.

Runequestement votre,

Kloster

Yup. With Jimmy Olsen STR 2, Pre-crisis Superman STR 48, and post-crisis Superman STR 25, the difference between post-crisis and pre-crisis Superman is the same as between the post crisis man of steel and Jimmy!

By comparison, most of your Marvel heavies, such as the Hulk, the Thing, Iron Man, Thor and the Submariner would be around STR 13 in the old DC game.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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- 1 scenario pack called 'Bad medicine for Dr Drugs', which is for a teen hero campaign (not good, compatible with Champions, 2nd Ed and Villains and Vigillantes)

I'd argue that wasn't a bad scenario, just a specialized one; it did a pretty good job with the teen heroes genre of the time, but if that wasn't what you were after...

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Superworld was in fact Champions, 2nd ed system for managing powers tacked on BRP.

It was one that part badly done and prone to breaking (we tried and succeded successfuly at that time when we were quite powerplayers):

With champions, the active cost is divided by 1+(sum of limitations) to get the real cost, which drives a reduction of efficiency each time you add a limitation.

With superworld, you get a price break of n 6th of the price for each limitation, which means that if you get 6 1/6th limitations (or 3 1/3rd limitations), the power cost becomes ... ZERO, and you could get all the powers of the book at an infinite level for free.

At that time, a friend of mine discovered that. We were already more inclined to used Champions and, in addition with the lack of support from Chaosium, that was the crippling blow. We stopped using Superworld because some players were unstoppable.

Another problem was that the number of power points was to be equal to the total sum of characteristics, which could drive to stupid characters, just to have the right amount of power points.

Runequestement votre,

Kloster

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...

IMO, the worst fits are probably GURPS (which really breaks down, as it tries to be grittier than BRP), and Palladium (no non-lethal combat, so people don't drop unless dead or dying, making most heroes mass murderers).

...

I never saw a better assassination attempt on GURPS Super and Heroes Unlimited (that was the name). How true.

...

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I think there was maybe one supplement for Superworld. Most of the superhero RPGs did have supplements printed for them, though. The best supported were the first Marvel and DC rpgs, not surprisingly.

...

No, Champions wins, no question asked, for the best support and the sheer amount of products.

Even if, from France, I never had the ability to see all the production on the subject, here is what I saw or have (in addition to rules):

- Superworld - 3 products.

- Villains and Vigilantes (FGU): Around 10 scenarii I do have.

- MSH (TSR) and Advanced (Sic) MSH: 5 sextensions and around 20 scenarii.

- DC Heroes (Mayfair Games) : 3 extensions.

- Golden Heroes (Games Workshop) : 2 Introductory scenarii (excellent).

- Heroes unlimited (Palladium) : 1 extensions.

- Champions (Hero Games) : more than 30 Scenarii and more than 50 extensions.

Runequestement votre,

Kloster

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