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19 hours ago, Simlasa said:

As has been mentioned, comic book supers are a problem for RPGs in general.
It always seem a folly to me to emulating a written medium where whatever needs to happen for the plot can be made to happen... there are no rules to what Superman/Batman/Plastic Man can do except for what the writer needs them to do.

But that holds true for any medium used for storytelling, not just comics. Film, TV, books, radio, it is all story driven. Luke is going to blow up the Death Star, Sherlock Holmes will catch the criminal behind the plot, Frodo will destroy the One Ring and defeat Sauron.

The problem isn't that comics are any worse in this regard than any other medium. It's that many (most?) RPGs are not designed to be played with a strong narrative approach. Most stories have to unfold a certain way for the story to work, and there is no guarantee that the dice (or the players) will go that way. BRP is particularly difficult to run that way, and there are very few ways to alter the die results- at least by the rules. Even the Hero Point option was a late addition.

 

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I'm more interested in a setting and supers who are designed with BRP specifically in mind... I'd shun invulnerable (and plot-immune) characters altogether and focus on PC supers who have a special advantage, but can still be taken down by a bullet, blade or bomb if they're not careful. Ignore CGI movie physics and keep to the somewhat more 'realistic' leanings of BRP. (one of the things I loved in City of Heroes were all the monuments and stories of fallen heroes. Much more moving than a bunch of still-thriving unkillable celebrities.)

I don't blame you. The original Wild Cards campaign was something like that. A Superworld campaign where most of the players were authors. THat works too, but it's probably not what most people expect or want from a superhero RPG.

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Give them a solid setting, maybe something in the 30s/40s... with mostly non-powered villains. Make the PC have to think a bit, rather than just punch their problems in the face.
 

Yeah that could work. In fact that might even work better with non-powered heroes. Something like Pulp Cthulhu could be a good fit for characters like the Shadow, the Green Hornet, or even Batman. Maybe something like Doc Savage might work as the template for a group. 

But for people who want to play a superhero group, they are probably better served by other RPGs. That's not a slight on BRP either. It is just that some game systems are better suited to certain types of play. D&D doesn't really work well for "dark and gritty" campaign.

Edited by Atgxtg
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On 4/6/2021 at 11:48 AM, Atgxtg said:

But that holds true for any medium used for storytelling, not just comics. Film, TV, books, radio, it is all story driven. Luke is going to blow up the Death Star, Sherlock Holmes will catch the criminal behind the plot, Frodo will destroy the One Ring and defeat Sauron.

I agree, which is why I generally don't go for games that are trying to emulate books, movies, comics. If I do, I am after some aspect of the setting I enjoy, not trying to recreate it. I like Stormbringer for it's weird fantasy flavor, not because I want to play in Elric's world.

But I think Superheroes are even worse for it, because of they're a such a wide field with such a long serialized history... so many characters with so many different abilities, abilities that often come and go as the plot desires. It's almost like trying to make an 'anime' game, or a 'television' game... it's too wide and diverse of a category.
Sherlock Holmes is just one proto-superhero, and fairly consistent... but comics are a HUGE mish mash that can't really be satisfactorily described by any one set of rules. Better to focus on one particular corner of it, IMO... or play something with hardly any rules at all, just let people do whatever fits their expectations... 'bang, you're dead!'
So no, Superworld isn't the system for emulating the whole wide range of comic book heroes all at once. What system is?
But Superworld does work if you focus, remove some/many of those comic book tropes and go with what it does well.
.

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On 4/8/2021 at 2:39 AM, Simlasa said:

I agree, which is why I generally don't go for games that are trying to emulate books, movies, comics. If I do, I am after some aspect of the setting I enjoy, not trying to recreate it. I like Stormbringer for it's weird fantasy flavor, not because I want to play in Elric's world.

THat's fair enough. Not every RPG is for everyone. 

On 4/8/2021 at 2:39 AM, Simlasa said:

But I think Superheroes are even worse for it, because of they're a such a wide field with such a long serialized history... so many characters with so many different abilities, abilities that often come and go as the plot desires. It's almost like trying to make an 'anime' game, or a 'television' game... it's too wide and diverse of a category.

Mmmm, it depends. If you try to cover every type of comic book character from every universe, then yes. But that's not how most comic books work. Most concentrate on one or a handful of heroes and present them in a consistent fashion. Crossovers are a bit more loose and open ended, and also where most of the controversial stuff happens. But that is more of a problem with crossovers than with comics.

On 4/8/2021 at 2:39 AM, Simlasa said:

Sherlock Holmes is just one proto-superhero, and fairly consistent...

Exactly. 

On 4/8/2021 at 2:39 AM, Simlasa said:

but comics are a HUGE mish mash that can't really be satisfactorily described by any one set of rules.

No, but then not every SciFi setting can be satisfactorily described by any one set of rules, either. But I do believe that one set of rules can satifactory descibe one particlar comic book, or even one comic universe-or at least the majority of it. A DSC or MArvel RPG can cover DC or Marvel. Yes there will the the odd "How the Duck" type comics that don't quite fit the setting, but then that it the whole point of such oddball comics.

On 4/8/2021 at 2:39 AM, Simlasa said:

Better to focus on one particular corner of it, IMO...

Exactly. BTW, this is also why I'm hesitant of crossovers, even in mutiverse settings, as it becomes nearly impossible to do justice to everything in the crossover. It become very difficult not to have one character steal another thunder. The Hulk is a problem in the Marvel Universe, being one of the strongest characters on Earth, but wouldn't be so in the DC universe. 

On 4/8/2021 at 2:39 AM, Simlasa said:

or play something with hardly any rules at all, just let people do whatever fits their expectations... 'bang, you're dead!'

If that were easy to pull off we wouldn't have rules in the first place. 

On 4/8/2021 at 2:39 AM, Simlasa said:


So no, Superworld isn't the system for emulating the whole wide range of comic book heroes all at once. What system is?

Probably Chmapions, although how well it does so in another thing. 

On 4/8/2021 at 2:39 AM, Simlasa said:

But Superworld does work if you focus, remove some/many of those comic book tropes and go with what it does well..

Somewhat, at least with the boxed set. I think it's has a weakness with character vulnerabilities. Namely that if you run into a character with a power that you didn't take some sort of defense for, you're probably a sitting or dead duck. What you don't get is the safety net that characters get in the comics that prevents the bad guys from frying a hero's brain. A good GM can and will compensate for that.

But anything Superworld does, some other Superhero RPG probably does better - and that might be a consideration, especially for GMs who own some of those other RPGs.. If I were going to run a Superhero game, then I'd probably go with the system that best matches the setting I'm going for. Thus I'd probably use one of the various Marvel or DC games for those settings. Superworld I'd probably save for a custom setting, or for a Wild Cards campaign, seeing as it was the system used for the campaign that the novels are/were based on.

 

 

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On 3/18/2021 at 6:21 PM, DreadDomain said:

There was also a Super rule set for Pulp Cthulhu in the work (by Chris  Spivey I believe). It may or may not happen....

Yes, from Darker Hues Studios site:

Pulp Cthulhu Modern Day Superhero Source Book
System: Call of Cthulhu
Publisher: Chaosium
Estimated Date: On Hold

Now, I remember reading somewhere that Chris has turned up the manuscript to Chaosium sometimes ago. Might be wrong.

Yea. I turned it in a few years ago. 

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On 4/19/2021 at 9:15 AM, Chris S said:

Yea. I turned it in a few years ago. 

Would you be so kind (and allowed) to share some design concepts? Say, was the game designed to emulate Marvel and DC breath of character or was it focused on street level super?

What design philosophy did you use behind powers. Was it an extrapolation of the Talents in Pulp Cthulhu? Were you talking advantage of the scaling opportunities offered by Build (were each levels seem to double mass and add +1d6 damage) and Move (were each 2 levels represents doublind speed)?

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On 4/20/2021 at 5:01 AM, DreadDomain said:

Would you be so kind (and allowed) to share some design concepts? Say, was the game designed to emulate Marvel and DC breath of character or was it focused on street level super?

What design philosophy did you use behind powers. Was it an extrapolation of the Talents in Pulp Cthulhu? Were you talking advantage of the scaling opportunities offered by Build (were each levels seem to double mass and add +1d6 damage) and Move (were each 2 levels represents doublind speed)?

I'm not sure what's under NDA, but can say, I wrote it to allow various levels and styles of superhero play with a Mythos horror bent. The GenCon playtesters used characters modeled after Spectrum, Superman, Flash, Moon Knight, and others. I brought a 30 year love of comics to it. 

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16 hours ago, Chris S said:

I'm not sure what's under NDA, but can say, I wrote it to allow various levels and styles of superhero play with a Mythos horror bent. The GenCon playtesters used characters modeled after Spectrum, Superman, Flash, Moon Knight, and others. I brought a 30 year love of comics to it. 

I am not too sure who Spectrum is but were the characters in the ballpark of the power levels of Superman and Flash? A team-up with a Moon Knight expy is pretty cool.

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3 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

I am not too sure who Spectrum is but were the characters in the ballpark of the power levels of Superman and Flash? A team-up with a Moon Knight expy is pretty cool.

Spectrum is one of Monica Rambeau's code names (Captain Marvel, Photon, etc). The Pulp redesign for superheroes was built to allow player flexibility to lean into which aspects/powers the superhero they want to focus on. 

If you envisioned your Superman with ultra-powerful heat vision, you could do that and not be as strong as someone else who went all strength. Both of you have all the same baseline abilities. 

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