Jump to content

Tips for running a great Supers Table-top RPG


BlueCloud2k2
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 3 weeks later...

I think in any pulp or Western novel, the characters that make a career out of entering the living environment of others with the sole intent of killing anything they find within and plundering whatever can be carried out would be considered villains to be vanquished. Not so in D&D. Most munchkin players even rationlize this behavior as acceptible in the name of "good" if the victims are themselves of evil alignment.

 

I've always said that (A)D&D is its own genre with its own genre conventions. The, er, fluid interpretations of good and evil is just one of its hallmarks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I think one of the factors with games such as D&D, and my info on that is dated, is that experience was heavily tied to loot in addition to combat. When I used to run games, I did not do this, money has it's own rewards and drawbacks, making it equal experience and the new abilities that come with leveling up only rewards pillaging, so I based all experience on actual actions, combat and non-combat, plus role play.

 

I would suggest that in many super hero campaigns, it is not that there is an implied morality, but that there is an absence of tests of that morality, different gamestyles, different gamers.

 

I enjoy a balance. Smart play gets good results, good role play gets good results, little else factors into how I reward players. As they get adjusted to the style, the value of earning the reward replaces the idea that this is all about their character at every moment getting what they want. That said, an adjustment period is good, as I'm not one to run a game solely for player's wish fulfillment, but it takes time for them to get a feel for how I am utterly willing to adjust the story to their actions based on those actions making some sort of sense given what their character knows and who their character is. They help write the story, but there are always elements they don't get to control, just as I don't get to control when they have a stellar idea that utterly changes my plans for the game.

 

Back to the original video, I liked it, nice and simple, contained a lot of the key issues for a supers game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing is always. Everything depends. While I like the "Batman deliberately draws fire" approach, there is definitely a subset of players who would be incensed at the GM robbing them of their player agency by deciding what their character did, whether for the character's benefit or to their detriment. Those players may be best directed at other games, or even other genres, though.

Uh...Why are you assuming the GM didn't consult the player? Nothing in that part of the video precludes him having asked the player if that was ok.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the hardest part these days in introducing new players to real RPGS is that they're only used to computer "RPGS" so they think of the genre in terms of repetative quests, power acquisition, hordes of dead enemies, and boss fights, rather than adventure, role playing, exploration, interaction, and thinking through problems.  If you can't overwhelm the target you find a way to beat its mechanics rather than thinking through creative solutions or role playing it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the hardest part these days in introducing new players to real RPGS is that they're only used to computer "RPGS" so they think of the genre in terms of repetative quests, power acquisition, hordes of dead enemies, and boss fights, rather than adventure, role playing, exploration, interaction, and thinking through problems.  If you can't overwhelm the target you find a way to beat its mechanics rather than thinking through creative solutions or role playing it out.

Sure. That's why they're called Roll Playing Games. Right?  :whistle:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the hardest part these days in introducing new players to real RPGS is that they're only used to computer "RPGS" so they think of the genre in terms of repetative quests, power acquisition, hordes of dead enemies, and boss fights, rather than adventure, role playing, exploration, interaction, and thinking through problems.  If you can't overwhelm the target you find a way to beat its mechanics rather than thinking through creative solutions or role playing it out.

 

I disagree that it's all about Computer Games. The gateway RPG is D&D which seems to default to Murderhobo play. I don't see much of a difference between the young players I start out now and when I was a young player back in the middle 80's. I was as much of a hack and slasher as they were. It took getting away from D&D style games to change my tastes toward roleplaying and away from the Murderhobo playstyle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, the rules are a structure to control the mechanical aspects of the game, role playing is what the GM and players do with their characters.  You can have aspects of rules that will encourage role playing but they're just mechanics.  The problem with MMOGs is that there's really nothing that helps players role play, since there are so many people that won't it feels weird to do so, and no GM to encourage and keep order.  Plus, the basic structure heavily encourages just killing stuff by the thousand for greater and greater equipment.  Star Wars: The Old Republic has some great RP tools in it, so at least during interaction with NPCs you get some.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I once played in a shared world (three of us GM'd, all of us played) using AD&D rules where we (as players) didn't even track gold.  The players were Knight Errant in a MGM movie style medieval setting and the PC's patrolled the Kingdom and Frontier.  Didn't have to worry about money or lodging because as Knights of the Kingdom we could call on the local Lords and villages for lodging and provisions.   In this case the party all played "good" Heroes and we had a blast.  We definitely were not murder-hobos.

 

But that was a few and very far between game. 

It also helped me leave fantasy and get into Supers games.  

I just don't like what has almost become the anti-roleplaying feel of most sword and magic games out there.

 

One of the reasons I really think D&D 5th is a massive step forward, is it deliberately has left the door wide open for actual role-playing.   Now, whether anyone chooses to seize the opportunity is another matter.  But the game system is definitely designed to allow non-murder-hobo play. 

 

And there are a lot of new and newer RPG's that have finally grasped the concept after all these years. 

All the collective "we" need to do now is wade into "murder-hobo" land and facilitate the conversion of the "roll-hobo" into a "Role-player".   As distressful and downright punishing as that can be to see well crafted adventures crushed and  ignored by the "Ug! we kill'em now" player....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree that it's all about Computer Games. The gateway RPG is D&D which seems to default to Murderhobo play. I don't see much of a difference between the young players I start out now and when I was a young player back in the middle 80's. I was as much of a hack and slasher as they were. It took getting away from D&D style games to change my tastes toward roleplaying and away from the Murderhobo playstyle.

 

I started my RPG career in 1977 with original D&D. It was murderhobo-ism from the get-go. Make a character, equip him, then go murder things and take their stuff on an endless quest to become more powerful so you could murder bigger, tougher things and take their better stuff. My wife, however, says, that while she did start with murderhobo play when she switched to an all-woman group even D&D became all about the roleplay. They told stories. Yes, sometime there was a fight, we killed our share of goblins, but it was in service of a larger story. They actually got XP for having craft skills and exercising them, for using diplomacy to solve problems instead of weapons.

 

My wife also sent me a link recently to this article: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/oct/16/video-games-power-agency-control

 

The gist of it is that computer RPGS (but all RPGs really, I think) are more about agency than about killing things. They give you the opportunity to feel like you're in control, and to make decisions. But you only choose between options you can imagine. In early D&D, we (me and my friends, other peoples' experiences may differ) went delving in dungeons for XP and loot because that's often all there was to do at the time. With time, our options expanded. I still remember when one of the players in my first gaming group (we'd moved on to Traveller) decided, rather than play her character to the bitter end, to RETIRE that character. That was a mind-blowing revelation. You don't HAVE to play your character til he dies in combat. You can CHOOSE to do something else.

 

Many of my earliest characters didn't even have names. They were collections of stats and equipment. That changed after a while, and we started crafting actual characters with backstories and personalities--but not at first. It isn't so much about starting with D&D, it's more about what you see as possibilities in the game. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think game mechanics and especially modules that were dungeon crawls encouraged murder-hoboism.

 

The first, by rewarding looting, establishing levels, et al.

 

The second, because, when you have a dungeon with sections each full of orcs ostensibly on the same side, the only solution is for the DM to totally ignore this fact and never have them sound the alarm and attack the PCs en masse, murder hoboing them before players can get their murder hoboing on. Always, they are just waiting in the room they are placed in, 250 orcs dispersed in 30 neighboring rooms, orcs who are completely oblivious to what is going on one room away. Did someone hear steel clattering, incantations, and a fireball? Nah...

 

Tucker's kobolds were a wake up call for many.

 

And the sneaky path is right out as soon as you are sword fighting or anyone has any plate armour.

 

A dungeon crawl in a dungeon full of creatures should either be a desparate bloodbath, or something sneaked through with almost no combat. At least in most situations.

 

This is why scenario based role play is both more realistic and creates better roleplay.

 

Aside from that, the main reason I favor games like Hero over D&D is that the former gives one the tools to make anything you want, the latter gives you the opportunity to buy supplements so that you can make what they are selling. There's more flexibility now than there used to be, but it will always lag behind games like Heroes in this sense. But, that is also an advantage of their business model. Look at Warhammer. It used to be a system to design the armies you wanted. Now, it is a system in which you must purchase the most recent products if you are going to play with others that do.

 

I kind of think Heroes should do an end run around this. Make it seem like you are releasing books with special package deal character classes only available in those books, while secretly just using legitimate builds. But make it seem like everyone needs the new thing. I won't tell.

 

Also, I think Heroes could use something like a basic set, set up as though there were only certain options, but, when examined from the scope of the full system, totally by the rules, to attract gamers who are afraid of the build aspect of the game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...