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Author Topic: 3.0 / Mighty Protectors™ Origin Types
Jeff
Administrator
Posts: 1159
Post 3.0 / Mighty Protectors™ Origin Types
on: August 13, 2011, 15:10

Design Goals:

Every comic-book superhero's origin is extremely important to their character concept. However, this is one aspect of the superhero genre that we feel has never been addressed satisfactorily in any version of V&V.

In Original V&V, players rolled for a random Origin Type - and each Origin Type had its own random table of abilities. There were several problems with this. Firstly, we kept running into examples of characters from the comics who had abilities that were not available on the tables we'd created. Second, many players have personal preferences regarding the types of characters they're interested in playing. And finally, it was all too possible to roll up a set of abilities that produced an inefficient character.

We attempted to improve this in Revised V&V and 2.1, by re-arranging the abilities by 'origin type related' groups, rather than specifically by origin, and allowing players to roll on whichever table(s) they wanted. This made sure that all the origin type and ability combinations seen in comics were possible, and it put the choice of Origin Type more directly into the player's hands. If the player didn't want to play a 'magical' superhero, then all he had to do is avoid the Magic/Psionics or Magic/Psionic Items tables. Unfortunately, the Revised / 2.1 approach leaves players who don't have a preference with no guidance - and it fails to address the 'inefficient character' problem.

So. The approach taken in 3.0 is as follows:

1) Restore random origin types, but as an option. Players can roll for an origin type randomly, or pick one, or even leave the question of origin entirely open until after they've rolled for their abilities.

2) Re-organize the ability list into three tables: Offense, Defense, and Utility. As implied, the abilities on the Offense table are those which have a significant offensive capability, Defense table abilities provide a significant defenses, and Utility abilities are those which are not primarily combat related. Abilities that have multiple functions, such as Ice Powers, appear on multiple tables.

3) In order to help ensure efficient characters, players are strongly advised (but not forced) to roll for two of their six random abilities on the Offense table, two on Defense, and two on the Utility table.

4) Origin Type, whether rolled randomly or chosen by the player, now comes into play during the character customization phase of character creation. Origin Types provide guidance as to whether each randomly-selected ability is a Power, a Device, a Mystical Item, a Mental Ability, or a Skill. Those factors - the difference between a Power and a Device, for example - are now handled as modifiers which can be applied to almost any ability. So, whether your character's Armor is a Power, a Device, a Mystical Item, a Mental Ability, or a Skill is now entirely up to you - guided by your character's Origin Type, and by common sense.

© 2011 Monkey House Games

-Jeff

Majestic
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 3190
Post Re: V&V 3.0™ Origin Types
on: August 13, 2011, 16:01

Sounds very cool; looking forward to seeing those random origin tables! 🙂

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

Keyes
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 278
Post Re: V&V 3.0™ Origin Types
on: August 13, 2011, 17:06

Quote from Jeff on August 13, 2011, 15:10

3) In order to help ensure efficient characters, players are strongly advised (but not forced) to roll for two of their six random abilities on the Offense table, two on Defense, and two on the Utility table.

I'm glad that part I bolded is made clear. D&D4E took the approach of completely eliminating "sub-optimal" choices and as a result, I was never able to create the character that I wanted to play. Bottle-necking things down to a A or B choice didn't sit right for me.

DSumner
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1940
Post Re: V&V 3.0™ Origin Types
on: August 13, 2011, 17:36

I'm waiting to see what the choices for origin types are going to be. Are they going to be similar to the ones used in Living Legends, 1st edition, a mix of the two, or something completely new?

Tempest
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 392
Post Re: V&V 3.0™ Origin Types
on: August 13, 2011, 19:27

Every time I read about one of your and Jack's proposed reworkings for this game, Jeff, the more I get the feeling that this is moving in the right and considered direction. The thing that I especially like about this particular concept is that it also services those who pretty much know what they want for their characters going into the game - be they freshly made up or transfers from 2.1 - in that the Offence/Defence/Utility breakdown will streamline the choices instead of presenting them in one "clump". Not that I'm complaining about the 2.1 Powers charts, mind you - just that I agree it'll present a better arrangement of powers capabilities for neophyte players.

I agree that the whole "secret origins" bit is something that hasn't been fully addressed in V&V to this point. However, that also applies to every superhero RPG I've come into contact with; M&M, DC Heroes, Marvel...it's more a storytelling point and individual player satisfaction issue than a usable game engine piece. One thing that Austin Grossman keeps pushing on the reader - and that makes Fatale unique - in Soon I Will Be Invincible is how Fatale's Technology origin both provides her with superhuman capabilities and limits her as a human being. She'll need to be in a clinic three weeks out of the year for the rest of her life, there's a chance that Doctor Impossible planted override commands in her software, and she's incapable of having children, as that's where her cybernetics' power plant went in. All of these things are issues that a solid origin choice - and some dedicated discussion between the player/s and GM - can contribute to help turn a character from a bunch of stat blocks on paper into someone that the player actually cares about.

Please continue handing us these developments - very much looking forward to the next steps in the process. 🙂

psychopand-
a
High-Powered Superhero
Posts: 84
Post Re: V&V 3.0™ Origin Types
on: August 15, 2011, 12:33

I like it. Sounds like the origin type acts as "flavor" for the different powers you get. Roll up a natural weaponry with a Magic device origin and you could say you have a "Magic Sword". If I got that right?

I have a question about the Offense, Defense, Utility tables. You mentioned that some powers will be listed on all tables, e.g. Ice Powers. If you roll on the Offense table and get Ice Powers does that mean you can only use the attack portions of that power? So you could use ice blast but not ice shield?

Jeff
Administrator
Posts: 1159
Post Re: V&V 3.0™ Origin Types
on: August 15, 2011, 14:48

Quote from psychopanda on August 15, 2011, 12:33
I like it. Sounds like the origin type acts as "flavor" for the different powers you get. Roll up a natural weaponry with a Magic device origin and you could say you have a "Magic Sword". If I got that right?

Yes, that's right.

I have a question about the Offense, Defense, Utility tables. You mentioned that some powers will be listed on all tables, e.g. Ice Powers. If you roll on the Offense table and get Ice Powers does that mean you can only use the attack portions of that power? So you could use ice blast but not ice shield?

No, you could still take the offensive and defensive parts of Ice Powers, even if you rolled it on the Utility table.

-Jeff

Majestic
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 3190
Post Re: V&V 3.0™ Origin Types
on: August 15, 2011, 15:51

Would those take up three 'power slots', Jeff (one as offense, another as defense, and a third as utility?)

Or will some powers (like Ice Powers) cover all three (like 2.1)?

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: 1159
Post Re: V&V 3.0™ Origin Types
on: August 15, 2011, 16:19

Quote from Majestic on August 15, 2011, 15:51
Would those take up three 'power slots', Jeff (one as offense, another as defense, and a third as utility?)

Or will some powers (like Ice Powers) cover all three (like 2.1)?

Some powers will cover all three.

-Jeff

Jeff
Administrator
Posts: 1159
Post Re: V&V 3.0™ Origin Types
on: February 5, 2013, 11:16

Quote from DSumner on August 13, 2011, 17:36
I'm waiting to see what the choices for origin types are going to be. Are they going to be similar to the ones used in Living Legends, 1st edition, a mix of the two, or something completely new?

They will be the same ones used in Living Legends:

Mutated / Evolved
Tech Accident
Mystical Accident
Tech Project
Mystical Project
Physical Training
Mystical Training

-Jeff

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