Tuesday, June 21, 2011

DC Heroes wins..?

Alright, so I re-read the Mutants and Masterminds-based DC Adventures again last night and while the game certainly seems appealing on many levels, there are some things that are problematic for me. This is in light of going over MEGS again and again, trying to find out where it failed as previously stated. Essentially, DCA takes some of the best ideas from MEGS (logarithmic scale for instance) and implements them in a stupid d20 way. I'd go so far as to call DCA an actual clone of MEGS using the OGL. Maybe it's just the flat d20 roll that bugs me so much; 2d10/reroll doubles has a nice distribution with some extremely improbable results, just like the comics.

Anyway, I finally decided what I wanted specifically, and DCA doesn't give me that, for whatever reason. DCH, however, is the perfect system mechanically but I could do without the hero creation process. What I want is DCH with more open-ended powers (like MSHRPG), randomly determined. For the longest time I thought DCH was a bit limited in power selection, but really, you can implement any comicbook power, some of them are just non-obvious at first. Case in point, I saw a write-up for Colossus and thought, that works but it's not apparent from reading the rules. Anyway, the solution was pretty simple: come up with random tables, like Marvel, and couple them with DCH. That's it. This is easier said than done, but essentially all I need to do is come up with some sort of reasonable distribution for AP assignment to attributes based on character background. The powers themselves will be taken directly from the Ultimate Powers Book, probably using the same exact random generation charts. A further consequence of doing this is blurring the powers themselves. I think Invisible Girl/Woman is perfect for spelling out exactly what I mean. Invisible Girl, yeah, she could turn invisible. And that was about it. As time progressed and Sue became a Woman (deflowered by Mr. Fantastic, no less), she began to exert more and more control over her powers, including force fields, limited telekinesis, weapons of "force", etc. In DCH/Champions/point-buy terms, she probably has Invisibility, Force Manipulation, Ranged Attack, etc. In Comic terms she has "invisibility powers". If Invisible Woman were a PC, her player was extremely creative in coming up with all sorts of plausible uses for a power that could be pretty lame.

Another thing I like about DC Heroes is sub-plots. These are basically player-directed plots within the game. It allows the player to dictate the action as long as it is fun and comic-like. Hero points I think should stay, but only usable in "dramatically appropriate" situations. It would be obvious when these situations occur, and the GM should be able to tell a player that their hero points are unavailable. The players should revel in failure; embrace it and encourage it.

I wonder who would actually play this game...

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