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Author Topic: Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
Paragon
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Posts: 97
Post Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
on: March 13, 2017, 17:32

Howdy, all. Downloaded my KS backer early rules PDF, and wanted to see if I understand things correctly (I'm the guy on the FB page who suggested a full character gen walk-through would be good).

As I understand it, there are now, essentially, three versions of character generation: I call these bounded random (for reasons I'll get to), guided build, and semi-pure build.

Bounded Random: In bounded random, you roll on the various table (with options to ignore some of them) to determine background and type, roll to see which of the five Basic Characteristics gets each of the possible value (10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 at standard power level), roll two offensive powers, two defensive powers, two miscellaneous powers, and then two weaknesses. You look through the six powers and decide which four of the six seem to fit together most coherently, and designate these your Core Abilities. Each of these will be assigned a number of construction points to buy them based on power level (for standard power level, 20). You can keep one or both weaknesses, gaining a number of points for a weakness that can be assigned to either one of the non-Core Abilities, or to a Basic Characteristic; there is a maximum number of point you can take in weaknesses based on your power level (again, for standard power level, this is 30). Some powers you simply apply straight cost to (Heightened Characteristics), others have a level/cost value; some also have options within them that you either choose one of, or distiribute the points among, as is clarified in the errata. I refer to this as "bounded", because the total points you'll end up with (barring possible bonuses from Weaknesses) remains the same for all characters, just how they're distributed.

Guided build follows some of the same process, but doesn't make any die rolls (unless they feel like it); they still use the general process but they pick their options each step along the way. This is primarily distinguished from semi-pure build in that you'll still get the same kind of character structure (the basic characteristics landing in the general ranges for random, 4-6 powers, 0-2 Weaknesses and so on) but there will be less odd powers and things that may provide some creativity, but also may just not make sense.

Finally you have semi-pure build, where a character is simply built with a number of total construction points and some possible Weakness points, but is otherwise free to expend the points (with the caveat listed below) as you wish. The caveat is that the power level caps still apply; a starting standard power level character (at 150 total points) can't put more than 40 points in one Basic Characteristic or more than 30 in one power/ability, nor take more than 30 points in Weaknesses.

Have I got this pretty much right?

bkadams
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 388
Post Re: Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
on: March 13, 2017, 18:09

Yep, looks like you have it right!

Jeff
Administrator
Posts: 1115
Post Re: Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
on: March 13, 2017, 22:59

Yep, that's right.

The reason why we didn't put in a character generation walk-through, is that even the random rolling sequence is utterly optional. You could take the steps in almost any order and still get a workable character; there are hardly any dependencies where you 'must' finish step X before moving on to step Y. So, the sequence of steps is really just there for convenience. It feels (to us) like putting in a walk-through would make the whole thing feel more rigid than it's supposed to be. Does that make sense? Or have we just made things confusing in the other direction?

-Jeff

Paragon
High-Powered Superhero
Posts: 97
Post Re: Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
on: March 15, 2017, 18:17

Mostly I thought the walk-through would be helpful with the caps table, which I (and I suspect some others) found a little confusing. You could use examples in the walk through showing you're disregarding or doing the steps out of order to show they're optional. In fact, that might make it, if anything, a little clearer how optional they are.

If I get time I'll post an example of what kind of thing I'm talking about tomorrow, and you can do something equivalent with your example character or not as suits you.

Paragon
High-Powered Superhero
Posts: 97
Post Re: Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
on: March 16, 2017, 13:18

Okay, I decided to go through this, if for no other reason, it lets me clarify how some thing work in my head, and gives an example of what kind of thing I'm talking about.

For my example I'm going to use my namesake character, Paragon. Though he's gone through a number of game systems (and, in fact, when trying out a new SH game system with my players, I use him as the exemplar of how character gen works in the system), a version of him actually got his start all the way back in the V&V1 days (I'm an old fart). He's basically a physically augmented human who got his powers when he was exposed to an exotic bioengineering tool that had been repurposed (by people who didn't understand it) as a bioweapon; he's essentially a human body as a host for an advanced quasi-viral colony that contains his consciousness now and augments and will rebuild him any time he's injured in realtime.

I decide what I'll do is do the sort-of middle case where I use the steps listed for rolling, more or less, but pick choices rather than roll them.
First off, I decide to go through the more or less non-mechanical parts just because.

Birthplace: Paragon (Thomas Shey) was born in Los Angeles, California, in the modern period; Species: Human (sort-of); Age: He appears to be in his late 20's, though he's actually a couple decades older than that; Gender: He's a cisgendered man with the same expression as his identity, and he's a straight-leaning bisexual.

Motivation: He's primarily motivated about protecting the innocent and making up for the rest of his law-enforcement team that died when they were exposed to the bioweapon (he blames himself for this even though there's a limit to what he could have done); that's easily enough rolled up into Penance, I think.

Origin: Though he's got some rationale that puts him in Mutated (he had a minor mutation which is why he survived exposure to the bioweapon), he really fits best in Science Accident.

Power Level: For simplicity, I'll build him as a Standard super.

Basic Characteristics: Classically, his important attributes have been his toughness, strength and intelligence/perceptiveness in that order, so we assign him STR 16, END 18, AGL 10, INT 14, COL 12.

Powers: I go ahead and pick six powers, split into the usual three categories; he's got a couple of other things he sometimes does with offensive use of his quasi-virals that could be bought as poison, but those aren't a high priority, so for this version I skip them. His defensive choices are Heightened Endurance and Regeneration; his offensive ones are Special Weapon and Heightened Expertise; and his miscellaneous powers are Heightened Senses and Experience Levels. Out of these the Heightened Endurance, Regeneration, Heightened Senses and Special Weapon are the most important, so we'll call those his Core Abilities.

Before we move on to buying them, let's look at his Weaknesses. As it turns out, he's got two that have been pretty central to him in the past; his acrophobia, and the fact the conducting quality of his quasi-virals makes him very vulnerable to electricity. So we take Phobia and Vulnerability. Since heights come up rather a lot in superhero situations, I decide to call that reasonably common and give him an extra 10 CP for it. In regard to the Vulnerability, he's Vulnerable to Damage rather than attracting it, and he's only vulnerable to Electrical Energy, so that's worth 2.5 points per +2; I decide to give him +4 damage from it, yielding 5 points.

Now let's go back to the actual powers. First, I decide to look at what I want to do with the points from the Weaknesses. I could just lump them in the overall points, but I decide to follow the rolled guidelines here, and put them in his non-Core Abilities and/or his Basic Characteristics. Since Paragon has got an unimpressive Agility, I probably really want those Heightened Expertise and Experience Levels.

Heightened Expertise: I spend 10 CP here. I'd probably prefer to just apply this to melee attacks, but that's too broad for one class and not broad enough for All Attacks, so I just go with the latter instead, giving him a +2 hit chance.

Experience Levels: That leaves me the 5 points for Experience Levels, which gives him a +1 Defense and Skill bonus.

Now I move along to his Core Abilities.

Regeneration: This is almost the character's defining ability. He's essentially unkillable, and bounces back from damage very fast, unless he's damaged by something heavily cell-destructive like fire or acid. That suggests the Limited Modifier, Constant Modifier, and Heal from Death Modifier. Unfortunately, with the +5 cost from Heal from Death (since you can finish him off with the fire or acid) and the +10 from Constant, even with the -2.5 from the Limited, it would cost him 30 CPs. While that's legal, its probably more than I can afford to spend when he's got three other Abilities I want to buy. I decide I can live with him only regenerating when resting, and ditch the constant. That gives him 1 hit/round Regeneration with Heal from Death (+5, not if burned), Limited (not against fire or corrosion) at 20 CP.

Heightened Endurance: As it turns out, however, when I get to his second power, I can't spend all the 20 I want to on it anyway. He's already got a an 18 Endurance, so I can't spend more than 12 on Heightened Endurance. Given that, I just spend the 10 to bring it up to 28, and toss the other 10 back at his Regeneration, giving it back the Constant modifier.

Heightened Senses: One of the other things the quasi-virals do is function like one massive sensorium, augmenting his senses in a number of ways. I'm not likely to be able to afford all the things this does, but some have priority. First of all, he has a proximity sense, where his sense of Touch is capable of picking out motion around him by disturbances in the air so he can fight in the dark and detect hiding or invisible foes. Looking at Touch, it seems like this would be covered well just by making it Ranged (+5). It might be nice to make it a Full Sense, but I think we need to points to give him his second most important sense: his sense of smell, which he can use to track and make fine distinctions. In fact, that sounds like upgrading his Smell to a Full Sense for +10 points. Finally, his Vision operates in somewhat lower light than normal, which sounds like at least a level of Amplified sense here (+5). That uses up the 20 we have to work with here.

Finally we get to his Special Weapon. This is a custom battle-staff which normally has a built in ranged weapon. We just split the points between the two functions here. For 10 points we get a +d6 blunt attack, which is fine (he's not supposed to be all that powerful on the offense). The ranged element is a little more complicated. Normally its a laser, but I'm not going to split off into Light Control, so we'll just call it a flechette launcher and go with Sharp Ranged. For 10 points that would normally get him a d6+d8. 12 charges is more than he really needs, though; usually its more like 6 in most game systems. Hopping over to the list of general Ability Modifiers, I find this saves him about 5 CP. I also notice that the Two-Handed Gear modifier will save him an extra 2.5. I decide to use the 2.5 to push the melee damage up to d6+1, and on the ranged end, actually push it down to 2d6, but add 5 points of Armor Piercing on the darts.

At this point, all I should need to do is figure his calculated and secondary characteristic values, and decide on things like his legal status.

Carrying Capacity: 240 lbs.
Basic HTH Damage: 1D6+1 (so 2D6+2 with his battle-staff)
Save numbers: EN 13 AG 10 IN 11 CL 11
Initiative: D6
Hit Points: 25
Healing Rate: 4.5 (though his Regeneration makes it kind of moot).
Power: 68
Physical Defense: 11 (+1 from Experience Level)
Mental Defense: 15 (+1 from Experience Level)
Move: 18
Inventing Points: 5
Mass: 230 lbs; d6

Backgrounds: Education/Academia and Security/Law Enforcement

Wealth: d4

Luck: 10

Name: Paragon
True ID: Thomas Shey
Costume: Black and smoke grey bodysuit with boots, gloves, and full face mask.

Legal Status: He would likely not have a license because he's overly leery of some of his history catching up with him. He's not exactly wanted, but there's an investigation not entirely dead about the disappearance of his prior identity (and it doesn't help that he hasn't changed his name).

So, if I'm not confused that appears to be a compete character, and I don't think I've missed any steps needed for process. As is typical, he's probably better at taking a hit (between his high hit points and regeneration) than dishing one out, but that's the way he rolls. He's also a little less mobile than he could be, but not terrible. Between his Background and superhuman sense of smell, he can be an effective investigator.

Majestic
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 3135
Post Re: Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
on: March 16, 2017, 15:52

Nicely done, Paragon!

It's nice that you walked through this; I'm sure some will find that incredibly helpful.

The only disappointment I felt while reading this was that you had to change his laser into something more physical (like armor-piercing darts).

And I really don't know the system yet (just digesting it, really), but from characters I've seen so far, his Physical and Mental Defense scores look incredible. Just as a point of comparison, when Jeff converted a couple of our high-level Guardians characters (my namesake Majestic and my friend's PC Neutron) for a 3.0 game that didn't end up happening, they have scores of:

Majestic: Physical: 2, Mental: 2
Neutron: Physical 6, Mental: 10

Those are a couple of characters over 20th level (in 2.1), with pretty amazing stats. On the other hand, they had Protection values (via Armor and the like) that gave additional protections. And this was like 5 years ago, so things might have changed.

A more recent character - Bandit - has a 4/4, others are more in this range too (Enigma is 1/2, Dynamo is 5/3, Brimstone is 2/0, but again, some of them have Armor (so they might be easier to hit, but more able to ignore the hit due to protection).

Overall, though, I think this is a very helpful illustration, and serves as an excellent discussion starter on learning how to build characters with this new system.

V&V GM and player since 1982 (my current campaign is 22 years old); also run West End Games d6 Star Wars monthly, as well as the occasional The One Ring and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game

Jeff
Administrator
Posts: 1115
Post Re: Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
on: March 16, 2017, 16:46

Defenses (page 19):
Each character has a Physical Defense score equal to their AG save -10, and a Mental Defense score equal to their IN save -10.

So, Paragon's Physical Defense is 1 (AG save 10, -10, +1 from Experience Levels), and his Mental Defense is 2 (Intelligence save 11, -10, +1 from Experience Levels).

And to address another point Majestic brought up, Paragon didn't *have to* change his laser into darts; he could've applied the 'Different Damage Type' Modifier (page 96) if he wanted to stick with the Special Weapon ability, or even just shifted the CPs into 'Light Control A) Laser'. But I think his goal here was to walk through the random character generation process, without going into all of those fancier options. That's not the process we recommend for converting existing characters, of course (see 8.6 Converting V&V™ 2.1 Characters, p.153).

Another comment, Paragon, is that the BC caps *include* any Heightened attributes. So, you could legally have taken his EN as high as 40 (18 to start, plus up to 22 more from Heightened Endurance). That's pretty much why the BC caps are 10 points higher than the Ability Caps; to accommodate Heightened attributes.

Finally, you didn't pick specific careers for his Backgrounds. That's a necessary step in 3.0, because it clarifies the sorts of things the GM should award the character for when making 'skill-like' task checks. The generic background names are too broad.

All in all, he looks good!

-Jeff

Paragon
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Posts: 97
Post Re: Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
on: March 16, 2017, 17:58

Quote from Majestic on March 16, 2017, 15:52
The only disappointment I felt while reading this was that you had to change his laser into something more physical (like armor-piercing darts).

I didn't necessarily have to; I could have diverted points to Light Control, made it Gear, and gone that way. It was just easier since I was already in Special Weapon to do it that way.

And I really don't know the system yet (just digesting it, really), but from characters I've seen so far, his Physical and Mental Defense scores look incredible. Just as a point of comparison, when Jeff converted a couple of our high-level Guardians characters (my namesake Majestic and my friend's PC Neutron) for a 3.0 game that didn't end up happening, they have scores of:

Majestic: Physical: 2, Mental: 2
Neutron: Physical 6, Mental: 10

I think I added 10 to each of those that I wasn't supposed to, now that I recall how the system deals with Defense. If you look at it in those light, you'll see they're not all that.

Paragon
High-Powered Superhero
Posts: 97
Post Re: Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
on: March 16, 2017, 18:07

Quote from Jeff on March 16, 2017, 16:46
Defenses (page 19):
Each character has a Physical Defense score equal to their AG save -10, and a Mental Defense score equal to their IN save -10.

So, Paragon's Physical Defense is 1 (AG save 10, -10, +1 from Experience Levels), and his Mental Defense is 2 (Intelligence save 11, -10, +1 from Experience Levels).

Yeah, I done goofed up that part. I thought so as soon as I was rereading it, but I had some things to do and wasn't sure until I had a chance to reread how Defense was done.

And to address another point Majestic brought up, Paragon didn't *have to* change his laser into darts; he could've applied the 'Different Damage Type' Modifier (page 96) if he wanted to stick with the Special Weapon ability, or even just shifted the CPs into 'Light Control A) Laser'. But I think his goal here was to walk through the random character generation process, without going into all of those fancier options. That's not the process we recommend for converting existing characters, of course (see 8.6 Converting V&V™ 2.1 Characters, p.153).

Mostly correct, though I'd completely missed the "Different Damage Type" modifier; I'm still absorbing some of the fine details of the Modifiers and some of the more obscure powers. And of course this is a character who'd evolved in use over the years considerably from his much simpler V&V1 versions, so its more accurate to think of him as converting from a generalized conceptual basis than from that.

Another comment, Paragon, is that the BC caps *include* any Heightened attributes. So, you could legally have taken his EN as high as 40 (18 to start, plus up to 22 more from Heightened Endurance). That's pretty much why the BC caps are 10 points higher than the Ability Caps; to accommodate Heightened attributes.

I think I managed to get the BC and CP caps backwards; for some reason my brain keeps getting hung up here (you'd think a guy who'd dealt with Champions, DC Heroes, Mutants and Masterminds and others for years, and recently managed to temporarily engage with Invulnerable would have less trouble here).

I'd have had to decide whether another 10 EN or the Regen modifier was worth it, too. Tough choice.

Finally, you didn't pick specific careers for his Backgrounds. That's a necessary step in 3.0, because it clarifies the sorts of things the GM should award the character for when making 'skill-like' task checks. The generic background names are too broad.

Ah. I must have skimmed those sections too quickly. I'm actually not 100% sure the Academic one was the best port for his other career, anyway (college psychology MA).

All in all, he looks good!

-Jeff

Thanks. Its good to note I only misstepped in a couple of places, one of which I admittedly hadn't read well.

Paragon
High-Powered Superhero
Posts: 97
Post Re: Seeing if Ive got 3.0 character gen right.
on: March 16, 2017, 18:09

Oh, for some dumb reason I think I thought his Mental Defense was (IN-10) not (IN Save-10) too; when looking at the system, its obvious why this would be dumb.

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