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Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.


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OK. I was trying to do an immortal on 350 points, and I'm running into trouble. I could shoehorn it in, but the sheet wouldn't really resemble what I set out to do. Paring away points and coming up with some creative power builds, I couldn't really get what I wanted for under about 425. I also had a similar problem trying to do an android.

 

What are the character concepts that you will never ever get in for 350? I've seen the 350 Supermen, and most of them, though clever, really don't give a true sense of the character.

 

I also throw out Green Lantern. No way in hell can you even get close. I've seen Meteror Man II, and he would be paste in most games. He can't even stand up to most of the folks in CKC.

 

Any thoughts?

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

I also throw out Green Lantern. No way in hell can you even get close. I've seen Meteror Man II, and he would be paste in most games. He can't even stand up to most of the folks in CKC.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Green Lantern, as a basic concept, is just a power armor user with a different special effect (magic ring vs suit of armor). I've done a very effective GL homage for 350 points. OIF the high-end physical stats, EC of basic functionality (flight, FF, etc), and a multipower for TK and other "green beam" effects. And throw in a ring AI as a follower. Eventually, with XP, I did convert from the multipower to a VPP (the comment from the AI was "So, you finally learned how to use me properly." :D); even on the basic multipower though, the character was both effective and had the proper feel.

 

And Meteor Man II is simply an inefficient build. And the build doesn't even match it's own description: it claims there's no focus limitiation on the powers because the ring doesn't glow or indicate it's the source of his powers. Isn't that the definition of IIF (and also one of the 3 plot seeds listed is that his ring gets stolen)?

 

Kelcyron

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

OK. I was trying to do an immortal on 350 points, and I'm running into trouble. I could shoehorn it in, but the sheet wouldn't really resemble what I set out to do. Paring away points and coming up with some creative power builds, I couldn't really get what I wanted for under about 425. I also had a similar problem trying to do an android.

 

What are the character concepts that you will never ever get in for 350? I've seen the 350 Supermen, and most of them, though clever, really don't give a true sense of the character.

 

I also throw out Green Lantern. No way in hell can you even get close. I've seen Meteror Man II, and he would be paste in most games. He can't even stand up to most of the folks in CKC.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

Well, modern superman is impossible on 350. Golden age superman can be done. What you are saying is true of most iconic mega-heroes of comics. Amping up power and sex appeal has become a replacement for story, theme, and actual character development. Another issue is perceived scale. Often champions games make assumptions about "what is super" and certain baselines that force you to spend points where a more modest assessment of what super is would enable more reasonable conversions. And, its pretty hard to model writer's fiat. Also, what kind of immortal are you making? A highlander style immortal, or just a really long-lived fellow?

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

Well' date=' modern superman is impossible on 350. Golden age superman can be done. What you are saying is true of most iconic mega-heroes of comics. Amping up power and sex appeal has become a replacement for story, theme, and actual character development. Another issue is perceived scale. Often champions games make assumptions about "what is super" and certain baselines that force you to spend points where a more modest assessment of what super is would enable more reasonable conversions. And, its pretty hard to model writer's fiat. Also, what kind of immortal are you making? A highlander style immortal, or just a really long-lived fellow?[/quote']

 

I was going Highlander style, with a twist. He was meant to be a supers character, so a certain base stat level was needed. I can see your point about the threshold to super being important. Things like DEX and SPD eat up points fast, but you are kind of limited if you want to use the character in a straight up Champs game. The published characters limit how much you can play with that unless you want to spend a lot of time in the hurt locker.

 

The problem I ran into was skills. In order to represent the wide variety of languages, familiarities and combat skills I wanted to give the character, I would have to spend about 100 points. The alternative is to use Ultimate Savant and similar constructs (which are not quite the right feel) or a VPP. I've heard that the skills VPP is considered to be a sketchy construct.

 

With this build and the android, the life support powers actually ate up a lot of points.

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

With this build and the android, the life support powers actually ate up a lot of points.

 

I feel you here. Life Support is hugely expensive for something that (speaking of my games) doesn't really come up much aside from being a defensive against some NNDs. I've taken to handwaving it in some cases. Robots require refueling and maintenance so they "eat and sleep" in a fashion, they're vulnerable to some thing that humans aren't that similar to diseases, etc.

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

I was going Highlander style, with a twist. He was meant to be a supers character, so a crtain base stat level was needed. I can see your point about the threshold to super being important. Things like DEX and SPD eat up points fast, but you are kind of limited if you want to use the character in a straight up Champs game. The published characters limit how much you can play with that unless you want to spend a lot of time in the hurt locker.

 

The problem I ran into was skills. In order to represent the wide variety of languages, familiarities and combat skills I wanted to give the character, I would have to spend about 100 points. The alternative is to use Ultimate Savant and similar constructs (which are not quite the right feel) or a VPP. I've heard that the skills VPP is considered to be a sketchy construct.

 

With this build and the android, the life support powers actually ate up a lot of points.

 

I can see that skill points can be a problem. One way around that in a meta-game sense is Skill Degradation. Sure once upon a time, you were a monk copying Bibles by hand, but that has been many years ago. You may have that skill at a familiarity or not at all. I grew up on a farm and has been over 20 years since I last did anything of sort. I would have to relearn alot of things but I feel I have a at least a 8- to build on.

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

 

The problem I ran into was skills. In order to represent the wide variety of languages, familiarities and combat skills I wanted to give the character, I would have to spend about 100 points. The alternative is to use Ultimate Savant and similar constructs (which are not quite the right feel) or a VPP. I've heard that the skills VPP is considered to be a sketchy construct.

 

Skill based characters can be a real bear to make. They look cheap, but it adds up. The VPP is easily abused, which is why people don't like it. Skills are cheap so you need almost nothing in the way of expenditure to get every skill you could possibly want. At higher levels the control cost tends to even it out a bit. The character with the highest point totals on our team is actually the skill hound, who is the one member of the team without powers. In our game we use hero points and allow background skills that would be unlikely to come up more than once in a blue moon to be written down at zero points. If you ever need it you pay a hero point. It requires some negotiation, but it works and keeps people from dying for their art in terms of character definition that's unlikely to have much impact on play.

 

And I understand your pain with the character with full life support. Both that, and senses, can eat up large amounts of points if you want to build some concepts.

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

One wy to clean up the problem with skills is not being too fussy about skils you need to be a certain career. If a character has a background of solider, but these soldierly skills only come up very rarely, let it be covered by PS: Soldier--and not make the character buy tactics, leadership skills, , KS marching, KS logisitics, KS military history, KS military protoco, Ks Miitary justice--when those abilities would rarely be used.

 

If those skills are used in a more daily base of adventuring, sure, then make them be purchased.

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

These are the characters I see as most difficult/controversial when it comes to creating them on 350 (in no particular order):

 

Martian Manhunter (such a vast array of powers attached to a Superman template)

Kilowog (A major brick/gadgeteer plus a Green Lantern ring?)

Rogue (duplicating full powers while maintaining her own flying brick power)

The Invisible Woman (Those IPEs get damned expensive, especially with the already expensive FWs)

Mr. Fantastic (Only when trying to add his vast resources and gadget pool)

Jean Grey Phoenix (Raw power off the scale)

 

I've seen decent homage versions of the following, but they're always, IMO, too underpowered:

 

Thor

Superman

Doctor Strange

Green Lantern (any)

 

I'm also waiting to see a good 350 point Plastic Man.

 

There are a ton of villains I wouldn't even try to scale to 350, but since they're NPCs I don't think it really matters.

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

When someone in our group tries to stat out a character "homage", and falls short due to point constraints, once it is clear that it wont work, the Player often says something along the lines of "I am changing this character's name to Paper Tiger".

 

The other popular name to change to is "Pale Shadow" ;)

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

Any attempt at a direct homage of a popular comics character is impossible once the character gets past 25 issues or so, or more than two writers/editors. The reason being that each writer has their own interpretation of things, and in superhero comics they'll just make stuff up on the fly.

 

EXAMPLE: The newest incarnation of the Kate Spencer Manhunter was a brilliant example. Every single issue she'd be pulling some new 50+ point power out of her butt. It was a brilliant comic, but not in any way translatable to a 350 point character.

 

EXAMPLE 2: I've brought this up before, when the Marvel supers game was popular there was an issue of Spiderman where Spider man beat the crap out of Firelord. There was lots of talk about the karma system making it theoretically possible in that game, but it would have required spidy to be parked on something like 200,000 karma points. Immediately after this I was in a forum with the designers of the game at GenCon. They started their talk by refusing to accept questions on this topic.

 

As to archetypes, the one that's nearly impossible is the duplicator. They're not much fun to actually play either, because players quickly find that rather than the monstrously powerful buttkicker (Rogue curse Marvel forever) they end up with a hanger on to other heroes. Either the PC is gimped by the limits that make duplication possible, or they end up so powerful that they overshadow and irritate the other players.

 

"I think we left dupligirl in that reactor! Without Captain Radon's powers she'll die!"

 

"And?"

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

EXAMPLE: The newest incarnation of the Kate Spencer Manhunter was a brilliant example. Every single issue she'd be pulling some new 50+ point power out of her butt. It was a brilliant comic, but not in any way translatable to a 350 point character.

 

I'm not familiar with the character, but if the powers can be fit into a multipower framework, you can do a lot with 350 points.

 

EXAMPLE 2: I've brought this up before, when the Marvel supers game was popular there was an issue of Spiderman where Spider man beat the crap out of Firelord. There was lots of talk about the karma system making it theoretically possible in that game, but it would have required spidy to be parked on something like 200,000 karma points. Immediately after this I was in a forum with the designers of the game at GenCon. They started their talk by refusing to accept questions on this topic.

 

Imo, this would have more to do with the inherent problems with the Marvel game rules than with the impossibility of Spidey beating Firelord. This got discussed at extreme length here: http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19461

 

Okay, at the risk of hijacking this thread, when I tried to reread portions of the thread in my link, I found that one of the poster's comments have been deleted, so they will only show up in posts where his comments are quoted. What did I miss? :confused:

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

Rogue is the big offender here....literally impossible for 350. You can't even build a super wimpy homage of her for 350.

 

Rob

 

Yeah, mimicking powers with a VPP is one thing, but stealing their powers (and memories (and skills)) from them period is a pain to stat out.

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

I'm not familiar with the character' date=' but if the powers can be fit into a multipower framework, you can do a lot with 350 points.[/quote']

 

Oh granted, if you have it all spelled out nice and neat up front. What happened in Manhunter was that Spencer'd just pull this stuff up out of nowhere. Like a Cosmic VPP called a "The Writer's a Lazy Ass Pool". And it's hardly like Manhunter is alone in this. How many damn powers does Spiderman have now?

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

Oh granted' date=' if you have it all spelled out nice and neat up front. What happened in Manhunter was that Spencer'd just pull this stuff up out of nowhere. Like a Cosmic VPP called a "The Writer's a Lazy Ass Pool". [/quote']

I must write up a character with this VPP :D

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

You can make just about anyone who's non-cosmic on 350 if you restrict yourself to within a year of their first appearance. But if you try to make someone who's popular or been appearing for decades or is a Mary Sue then you are SOL. Even if Supes only got a point of XP per appearance he's into high four-figures by now, even post-Crisis.

 

lapsedgamer, you're familiar with Cateran in CKC, right? She's been hanging around for quite awhile; use her as a template. Also immortality doesn't necessarily mean flawless memory and the ability to spake Olde English may not be so useful now.

 

Rogue is a silly character. Some newby player, probably the GM's girlfriend, said she wanted to play and "Can I play that villain that you used the other day in your Avengers game?" Almost all of the players in the X-Men game said "Hell, no," especially Ariel/Sprite's player who was pissed that she had to start with, like, only 200 pts because she laughed at the GM's clumsy passes and now Miss Thing gets to play a character that can suck an Asgardian dry.

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

...

 

I've seen decent homage versions of the following, but they're always, IMO, too underpowered:

 

Thor

...

...

Green Lantern (any)

 

I'm also waiting to see a good 350 point Plastic Man.

 

...

 

Seems a bit odd to add Thor to the list as he is arguably just a version of the Superman template with more opportunities to take Limitations on his abilities.

 

GL can be done as long as you limit yourself to a Multipower instead of VPP to start with.

 

Plastic Man possible as long as you focus on the combat stuff first and wait to buy all the fancy shapechanging abilities later with XP.

 

There's a link to my versions of the last 2 in my sig below.

:D

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Re: Concepts You Just Can't Build on 350 points.

 

You can make just about anyone who's non-cosmic on 350 if you restrict yourself to within a year of their first appearance. But if you try to make someone who's popular or been appearing for decades or is a Mary Sue then you are SOL. Even if Supes only got a point of XP per appearance he's into high four-figures by now, even post-Crisis.

 

lapsedgamer, you're familiar with Cateran in CKC, right? She's been hanging around for quite awhile; use her as a template. Also immortality doesn't necessarily mean flawless memory and the ability to spake Olde English may not be so useful now.

 

Rogue is a silly character. Some newby player, probably the GM's girlfriend, said she wanted to play and "Can I play that villain that you used the other day in your Avengers game?" Almost all of the players in the X-Men game said "Hell, no," especially Ariel/Sprite's player who was pissed that she had to start with, like, only 200 pts because she laughed at the GM's clumsy passes and now Miss Thing gets to play a character that can suck an Asgardian dry.

 

 

That was very funny. It makes me wonder what kind of games you've played in, but still funny.

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