Sunday, May 17, 2015

Saga of Splintered Supers (Not A Working Title)

So, I was admiring the book for Saga of the Splintered Realm, and it hit me that this engine would make a pretty sweet old school superhero game. The concept is that the makers of the FASERIP system used B/X as the inspiration for their game rather than developing a new game altogether. Before I knew it, I had about 15 pages of notes…  let me show you what I have so far:

Let’s make a character… for fun! This will NEVER become my next game project. No. It won’t. I have to keep telling myself that...

1. Roll 4d6 6 times, taking the best 3 dice:                             

13, 8, 8, 13, 18, 17                             

Wow. That’s pretty good!


2. Roll 1d6 for origin.

1. Artifact. You possess an item that grants you powers. Take +1 power.
2. Construct. You were made, not born. Take +1 to AC.
3. Cyborg. You have been updated with technology. You have +1d6 hit points.
4. Mutant. You were born with your abilities. Take +2 to your Feat rating.
5. Mutate. You used to be a normal human, but have been changed. Take +1 to any attribute.
6. Outsider. You are not human, native to another land, world, or realm. Start one level higher.

I rolled 1. My character uses an artifact, and takes +1 power.

3. Roll for powers and abilities.

Roll 1d6 for the total number of powers/abilities (+1 because I use an artifact). I roll 5+1=6. I roll % dice 6 times (I made a list of 100 powers using notes from my other supers projects), and get:

28           Counter Attacks
71           Pilot
77           Resist Cold
34           Driver
32           Disintegrate
35           Elongation

Wow. This is soooo weird. Okay, so he has elongation, disintegrate and resist cold… but he also has counter attacks, driver, and pilot.

I could min/max on powers as well (trade two I don’t want for one I do want), and I am tempted to drop counter attacks and driver to get invulnerability… in fact, I will do that.

I’m thinking this guy is (or was) a decorated military pilot who went on a secret spy mission over the north pole, and ended up finding an alien crystal that turned him into some sort of frosty crystalline creature who can morph and change. He is composed of constantly shifting crystals, and he can (once per turn) focus his energy into a disintegration beam that comes directly from the crystal (which is now his heart) and destroy stuff.

Wow. This is weird. But AWESOME.

He’s a physical guy, so STR, DEX and CON are going to be important. I see INT, WIS and CHA being less important … I am going to do some min/maxing with one of those 13s, taking it to 11 to bump the 17 to an 18.

STR 18 (+6); INT 8 (+1); WIS 11 (+2); DEX 13 (+3); CON 18 (+6); CHA 8 (+1)

His invulnerability allows him to add his CON modifier to his AC (as well as his DEX modifier), so he ends up with AC 19 (10 base + 3 + 6 = awesome). He has a Feat rating of +10 (4 base +6 from highest attribute modifier), will start at max hit points (6+6=12). His punch allows him to attack at +7 (LM 1 +6 from STR) and deal 1d4+6 damage (all supers deal base 1d4 physical damage unless they take the strike power upgrade).

Narrative:
Once per turn he can attempt to disintegrate an object or foe, rolling a contested Feat against a creature, or a Feat against the DT of the object. His elongation allows him to stretch up to his Feat rating x 10’ (so 100’) each round. He can travel that far in a round as well. He is especially resistant to cold (from the power of the icy crystal), meaning that he takes +2 to Feat rolls to resist cold, and automatically takes half damage from cold-based attacks.

We’ll call him Clarion, the Crystal Man

A few notes:
There is a little bit of game balance built in… things like Feats, AC and modifiers range a lot farther here than they do for fantasy gaming, but they still stay in some check. The fact is that his hit points are still relatively low, his AC is still under 20 (so a creature with even a small bonus has a fair chance to hit him) and his Feat rating, while impressive, is still manageable. His disintegration beam is a bit of a game changer, but he can only use it once per turn, and foes get a resist (and there's got to be some built-in game consequence for disintegrating living creatures).

Honestly, this is so weird and funky, but also so old school, that I LOVE it. It has none of the inherent game balance that I’ve tried to put into my other superhero systems, but instead allows free range over this broad landscape of funky powers that have only a little bit of inherent balance based on character level. Even there, you are going to end up with some pretty wide ranges… for example, strike is a power that allows you to upgrade your unarmed damage… if you roll low, you end up with 1d6 base unarmed damage… but if you roll really high, you can get up to 1d10 base damage (and the two-handed attack upgrade will bump you to 1d12 base damage when you put your fists together and pummel a foe). 

I like that character generation took about 10 minutes and I ended up with a funky cool unique hero who is playable.

And NO this is NOT my next gaming project. I don't know why you keep saying that.