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Nikoli

Superworld/BGB Powers and WEG Star Wars

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I'm very interested in the topic of BRP's superpowers and updating Superworld. 

Reading around some of the issues on this forum, about scale, I was wondering if a WEG (the D6 Star Wars) method might work. 

E.g., instead of having supers with fixed Str etc., might we just revert the characteristics back to the 3D6? Normies have 2d6. That way, by using the WEG difficulty scale (30+ is heroic) we can have a narrative scale while also having a superhero soak roll. For example, if shot for 1d10 damage the soak of 3d6 (I would opt for half soak, round down, against firearms - so 1d6) would model a more heroic game. Points over soak go to Hits. Damage die can explode, however. So 10 is roll again and add. Powers could buy extra D6s, rather than plus 5 or 10 to a 3-18 stat. 

WEG states that 12d6 is the best in a galaxy. By that scale, Superman might have 12d6 or even more in strength, since he is arguably powerful across many galaxies. (To limit roling, one can average half of these dice, resulting in 21+ 6d6.) That's 6d6 soak against guns. (Make every point of armour a pip, so 3 is an extra d6.) Strength can also replace Con rolls, as in WEG. (Perhaps regular humans have 2d6 in starting stats, as per WEG. But no soak against lethal. Though perhaps they could soak brawling.)

This would seem to replace the damage bonus rules of regular BRP, as STR rolls for damage and soak would now be combined. Moreover, in terms of Siz, this can be used for starting HP, but perhaps just that. WEG had rules for scale, such as large things, which I recall being very inuitive. Very big things soaked a lot from smaller things! (I think they got an extra 4d6 or so, depending. I'd have to look. But it essentially linked Siz to ability to withstand damage.) 

To judge whether someone can lift something very big, like a plane, just set it at heroic difficulty level. It would require 10d6 STR to do this reliably. Likewise for bashing through very thick steel in one go. Just narrate it.

Skills can remain percentile. Though they too 'could' be converted for narrative super play. Every 25% assigned or earned is a D6, with characters making skill rolls with attributes plus skills. E.g., STR affects brawling, as per WEG, therefore 5D6 STR and 75% skill points in Brawling means 8D6 brawling (averaged/streamlined to 14 + 4D6). This would effectively, or so it seems (this is very off the top of my head), transplant the narrative WEG difficult and skill success system over BRP. It seems nice, too, as the percentiles can still be used for improvement rolls. 

The benefit of the above is it seems to allow for the WEG narrative approach, and for scalable stats up to galactic level. One could even add in character points and 'force points'. Of course, at this point, especially if converting skills, one might ask why not just play WEG. Good question. I guess the main issue is we can still use the BRP sheet while thinking of the WEG difficulty rolls. The percentiles then replace the 'pips' of improvement, since now we only go up a d6 after 25%. You might make this 20%. 60% in a skill, and 3d6 in a related stat, leads to 6d6. But this seems a little too good at a 21 average for the narrative WEG difficulty level. By contrast, it would be 5d6 for a starting super and 4d6 for a normal. This seems to fit the WEG difficulty levels (10 to 15 was challening, if I recall, but not difficult). So the 25% skill to 1d6 conversion seems to fit. Also, with BRP, we can use the weapon damages as is. It seems to fit. A sword doing D10, from a normal, would add 2d6 normie STR db. A starting non-modified super would soak that with 3d6 STR. (It might be good to use half STR, round down, to soak from firearms.)

Just some thoughts. If using skills as regular percentiles, with no D6, which does seem wise to keep BRP as BRP, perhaps every D6 over 3D6 in a related stat adds +5 to related skill categories. E.g., 6d6 in STR would mean a +15 to all STR skills, such as brawling and jump, etc. 12d6 would be +45%. This would replace the BRP skill modifiers based on a 3-18 stat. The stats would then just be used for opposed rolls and heroic stunts. And soak. A punch would be d3 plus 2d6 as standard. But is soakable. A firearm might do d10 but uses half soak against supers.

(By extension, this above would seem to allow for star wars space combat.)

Is the above pure madness? (I've been up late, so maybe!) I'm not sure if the above would solve any of the issues. But it does seem to refit the statistics to a 12d6 galactic level and to add a narrative difficulty level that fits a supers game. 

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I only have Elder Godlike, which I started reading. But using that, and the above, 5EP (Eldritch Points) could buy 10D6 extra strength. (Instead of 10 per 1EP.) I think Con should be seperated, so strength and toughness are not identical. So a Superman type would need about 15 EP. Super strong, super tough, and the other 5EP for flight, laser eyes, and infrared vision. Elder Godlike uses 5EP characters, but it's interesting if a Superman can be modelled on 15. (The damage bonus can be bought directly in Elder Godlike, at +2d8. I don't know why this is; perhaps because buying strength direct didn't link up well with the damage bonus partly based on size. This 'could' be kept, but I think it's best left out and replaced with STR. Unless you want to have a very lethal attack independent of STR. Like a death touch. Maybe it's fine and a fair tradeoff if you go for deadliness as opposed to pure strength.)

Magic points could be used like WEG character points, with a max expenditure of 5 on any roll. And 'Hero Points' like Force Points. So all stats can double, and all damage dice etc., for a round. This means a ray weapon doing 4d8 (in Elder Godlike) could do either 9d8 (plus 5 MPs; an average of 36) or they could spend a hero point and get all stats doubled (including skills), so the ray would be 8d8 that round. 

Dex could be scaled to derive some ascending speed. 4d6 would be 100 metres in 10 or less seconds. So perhaps some exponential scale after that. At 12d6 I think we want to break the sound barrier and maybe more. That speed does impact dodge, though, as mentioned above. But not crazily. Initiative can be the d10 plus the number of die.

The damage needs more clarity, for brawling and lethal, if using BRP ratings. So a kick is 1d6 plus db, which here we replace with STR. So a normie would kick for 3d6. As it's brawling, another normie gets a full soak of an average 2d6. This is okay once we can tweak the variability as it will impact hits. WEG had stun, so a failed soak could result in stun or half the rolled over soak damage. Maybe you choose. So rolling a good 15 damage from 3D6 and the soak being a very bad 3 on 2d6 would leave 12, which halved is 6 off hit points. Not too bad and very BRPish. (Brawling is half rolled damage after soak; melee weapons are rolled damage after soak; firearms are half soak dice for supers only. Normies get no soak against guns.) So it seems we can still have understandable lethality, while also having pulp and heroic soaking. Armor is variable as it now adds pips, so 3 is a d6. It goes directly onto soak for supers. A normie would only get the armor itself as a soak. So being super tough (12d6) with 9 armor would be 15d6 soak. An average of about 51.

As BRP has dynamite etc., perhaps the max damage that can be rolled, to fit the above heroic and galactic mechanics, is 30d6 against a comparable size scale. So super versus regular sized super. But a death star vs a planet would be comparable, so there would be 30d6 against the planet's standard 12d6. This is without hero points and fits the 30 heroic difficulty number, for neatness. Using a villain (hero) point would make it 60d6. Superman would be in serious danger here, on the planet, even if he spent a Hero Point. But he could get lucky. Even without the villain hero point, such a weapon of that planetary scale would pose a serious threat to any superhero. I forget the mechanic, but WEG has a scaling feature for larger things shooting smaller things. 

Just some ideas. I'm using Elder Godlike as a power builder, so of course the feel of the above is not EG. I just wanted to see if a Superman type could be modelled. With 15EPs, it seems EG could do it. 

Likely there are many gaping holes above. :-) 

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There was an unofficial Runequest Star wars PDF a couple years back, have you read that?  I'm not sure how far you can go to blend BRP and a D6 pool system before you have your own game system.

I agree that a BRP type system Star Wars game with lots of Jedi characters might be best run with Superworld.  Every blaster and light saber is treated as a super power with different levels of power (2D6, 3D6, etc.).  All the force powers become super powers.  You would need to boost the Dodge rolls for the characters (Heroic Dodge at Dex *3?) or they need to wear some Armor, plus maybe a 'Force Blessed' hit point bonus?  Spend 1 creation point to get a 3 extra hit points?  Max of 2 creation points for extra hit points? 

Edited by ORtrail

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Hi,

It wasn't Star Wars I was interested in playing, though I did see that conversion. It was BRP with a good supers mechanic. I think it must be doable even at higher levels, but likely requires a rethink of the characteristics. I noticed that a 3d6 stat is only a jump away from the WEG approach, so I was wondering if the narrative difficulty of Star Wars and the percentile skills of BRP could be used together by making stats WEG-based.

I've ordered the WEG D6 revised Powers system. (I have the pdf.) The body points match heroic hit points, so the game seems similarly scaled. I'm curious if all the powers (there are many) can be grafted onto BRP. By using WEG soak, the powers should scale, avoiding the problem of BRP lethality. 

I've also ordered Elder Godlike. It seems interesting, but it's unclear so far how to make a traditional hero with it. It wasn't intended for that, but I really want to make BRP fully 'superable'. There must be some way. (The BGB is not available locally. And due to mixed reports on Supers, I was looking for another possible option.)

I'm tempted to purchase an expensive Superworld box set, but I chose Elder Godlike in the hope that a newer mechanic had been wisely devised. It could work if the STR stat was rescaled. If STR was matched on one WEG scale, the character would be lifting 100 tons or more at 77 STR. (Some reports here think Superman might have 800 STR or even higher - with extra zeroes. So scale is an issue that WEG solves.)

I may get the BGB eventually. I love percentiles; MW and Stormbringer going over 100% was a revelation after playing CoC for years and never having seen such a mechanic. I firmly believe the skill system can be married to all sorts of mechanisms. 

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Thing is, I think when you're going to go this abstract with Supers you might want to start using Call of Cthulhu stats and create your own superhero skills. At some point 20d6 damage becomes 1d10 adventurers.

 

Superworld was messed up because whatever stat gave you energy dominated the game (not interested enough to look it up). Get rid of that right off the bat. Start assigning skills and powers based on the character's individual ability scores. Someone is really strong? They get skills of strength. Someone is really fast? they get skills and abilities based on Dexterity.

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I was wondering about that approach too, Chaot. I noticed Elder Godlike has skills for most powers, but for super strength or INT it modifies the characteristics. This means you can't quite scale them for what I would like.

If we had super strength like a skill, it could oppose other supers as a skill, and the skill could have a scale for lifted weight developed for it. Perhaps every % in the skill would be +1 to the original attribute, or it starts at original STR in %. But now it has its own scale. 

So a PC with STR 15, who buys super strength, now has 15% in it. They automatically win in opposed STR against normals (as if they had 30), but have only 15% skill against other supers. I'm not sure what the scale might be. 

Reading the marvel fan wiki, it seems the target to reach is lifting 100 tons. That is the main limit or capacity, or so it seems, of heroes like The Hulk. Beyond that it gets crazy. But if 100 tons could be modelled, most heroes could be developed. That might suggest that each % is a ton!

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Extra IQ would suggest that each point is an IQ point over 100, plus your starting INT. Making 218 the human limit. Or something similar. Perhaps it grants an extra 100% to relevant knowledge rolls. (See DEX below for a similar combat mechanism.)

Super speed could be similar. Each point is an extra Dex for initiative. I saw that DC Universe had some crazy extra actions...sometimes 18 per turn...which would be a gaming nightmare. So I think extra speed could be modelled, as it seems to be cinematically (having watched Watchmen recently again, with Ozymandias) as making it easier to do things. Just like with INT and knowledge skills, others struggle to fight such a figure. So Super Speed at 100% could be an extra 100% to reaction or attack skills, like dodge. It could also be 100mph on entry to the power plus 1 or 10 mph per %. As with STR, you win against normals, but other superfast supers compare the level for initiative. Perhaps the difference in ratings is the skill added. So a fast super of 60% facing a faster super of 80% means the faster super gets +20% to relevant skills. Free actions maybe cost a MP. So you can't dominate the game without cost. Or maybe you can do lots of non-combat free actions, one per MP, so you could run around and do a lot, but combat actions require skill and typical deductions and the usual minuses offset by the extra points gained by super speed. So you could do 4 actions, with each extra costing -30, which you get extra skill points to help with, and they all happen before anyone else due to DEX initiative. You should be fast, able to do stuff, able to attack and dodge with more ease, but not be a ridiculous multi-action nightmare. 

Super tough would, like super STR, suggest 1% equals 1HP. It perhaps could oppose STR. Against a normal each % is like armor, so 10 is like kevlar or such, but against super STR they oppose. If STR wins, damage as normal human level damage. So a punch is still d3; if toughness won, it just does 1HP. A special or critical maybe just goes plink. Supers fighting supers perhaps always count as doing at least human damage if the toughness roll fails. It's like scaling the threat level.

Needs a lot of work. But it seems super characteristics and skills could be combined. Buying into a super skill effectively puts you beyond the norm, but other supers could oppose. STR vs STR and Toughness (CON) vs STR. If each super characteristic had simultaneously a human comparison and also a built in super comparison (via the percentile), it might work.

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Actually, the more I think of it, the more I think a Maelstrom approach could work for super characteristics. 

Super STR could be a skill, with each use defining a rank similar to probability in Maelstrom. You go from 'strongman' (bending bars), to punching through walls, then up to lifting a car, a plane, and such. Perhaps a 5 degree scale. You get one free use per day per purchased level. After that, you spend a MP per use or attempt, or perhaps per level, regardless if you are successful. Allowing for failure at higher levels similar to Maelstrom would model how Superman might sometimes struggle to stop a plane dead in its tracks (he succeeded at lower levels and is slowing it down) or might be forced back by a missile yet slow it down. The complete stop might be played as an extended action requiring a certain number of successes. (Not to mention the fact that a dead stop would seriously hurt those onboard.)

Similar to Maelstrom defining the rank for impossible, the above might define from exceptional but still human all the way to Superman. In fact, when I think of it, archetypal heroes could define the high levels of each power. Want to be like The Flash in Dex? That's level 5 speed. Maybe Wolverine is 2 or 3. A beggining, middle, and end might be enough to create a descriptive scale, with wiggle room between. Stronger than Wolverine (3) but less than Superman (5). That's a 4. 

Spiderman might be STR 2; The Hulk might be 4 STR (for the sake of example and argument, anyway, rather than truth to the character here); Superman 5. With the Hulk and Superman is a difference of 1. So Superman may get a bonus of 20% per difference to STR skills, including the effort roll and/or the resistance roll, in a fight. This would equal a starting resistance roll of 70/30 to the stronger. 90/10 if the difference is 2 (and plus 40% skills). 110/05 or 01 if more, such as Superman vs Spiderman. A super always has a chance to slip out, though, hence the 01. Maybe an extra % per spent MP, too. 

Dex would be similar; INT too. Lex Luthor could be 5.

We use archetypes to define the end of the comic playable scale. Scaling beyond that might still be 5 rolls, but at level 6 level 1 is always on; at 7 level 1 and 2 is always achievable; etc. So higher levels result in guaranteed lower level activation, meaning the degree of 5 extra is always still present. We might then up the scale to 10, with Superman in STR a 9. (Since he did get killed once.) So he always has up to 4 'on'. (That scale might be lifting a car or a bus.) Perhaps a 10 scale might be ideal, with higher levels buying automatic lower levels, while still keeping the Maelstrom 5-roll mechanic. That would make a strongman 1; Wolverine maybe 3; Thor 5; Hulk 7; Superman 9. We have wiggle room between each and above each. So we can always narrate weaker, stronger, and similar.

INT might also yield such combat bonuses with sufficient time to prepare a deadly narrative trap or environment to offset the stronger party. Maybe INT reduces by 20% rather than increases, and requires wealth. If some skill is reduced to 0, maybe the opponent is immobilised. 

Verbs and adjectives might also form the basis of powers, similar to how Technoir uses verbs and adjectives. We have fly as a verb; tough as an adjective. Oppositional rolls could force (comparative) adjectives onto opponents, such as 'weaker'. Or 'injured'. In technoir, these go from temporary to fixed. But this may need more work than the Maelstrom mechanic. 

Whatever the scale, it seems a Maelstrom approach, using archetypes and comic-style achievements to define each degree, or at least to typify the high range, might work narratively. If differences add to skill it can still allow for a skill-off. Super Toughness (CON) might soak levels of damage. Maybe an extra variable armor to the character, such as a die type. D3, d6, d8, d10, d20. At higher levels the die is maxed. So 3 + 1d20 for level 6. 6 plus 1d20 for 7. Up to 20 plus d20. Tough but not immortal, without other powers to block radiation or fire, etc. (In case you get nuked.) 

These are just ideas to spark a genuinely workable mechanic. As is, it's just a concept here for likely better system-minded people to tinker with.

Edited by Nikoli
Typo

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