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Cassandra

The Coming Epic Failure of the DC Movie Universe

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Dad gum! Has it come to this? The Dc movies thread is all about marvel? Sad, I prefered Marvel growing up, but DC has produced many of the most iconic Superheroes. They have squandered so much!

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3 hours ago, pinecone said:

Dad gum! Has it come to this? The Dc movies thread is all about marvel? Sad, I prefered Marvel growing up, but DC has produced many of the most iconic Superheroes. They have squandered so much!

 

As I've said before, it's the epic failure of the DCCU to hold our interest. 😁

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You can have characters of differing power levels on the same team.  You just have to be liberal with how you define those characters and their abilities.  In other words, you can't be a stickler for the idea that Batman has a 20 Dex, 4 Spd, and 8 PD.  Adhering to NCM makes things harder.  Batman is a lot of things, but normal isn't one of them.  Superman is going to hit harder than Batman, and he can take more damage.  That doesn't mean he's always more useful to the adventure.  In a no-points-limit scenario, Batman is a fast martial artist with a skill list a mile long and a monstrous VPP through his utility belt.  He might as well be a Green Lantern who can't fly and who isn't vulnerable to yellow.

 

I've built literally dozens of Batman writeups over the years, same with Supes.  You can pretty easily get some good representatives of the characters, in a way where neither shows up the other, if you want to.

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On 4/20/2018 at 3:14 PM, Lord Liaden said:

Remember back when Cassandra started this thread, how many folks gave her a hard time over the title? I guess we owe you a collective apology, Cassandra.  Your name is truly apropos. :hail:

 

Thank you.  That's why I picked the name.

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Deadpool even calls DC out on that in his latest movie trailer.

 

Funny thing is, for the longest time in the comics, DC was the positive and optimistic world where heroes were respected and lauded; while Marvel was the tragic angsty world in which heroes were often distrusted and even persecuted. That point was actually raised in-character during the Avengers/JLA crossover early in the millennium.

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1 hour ago, massey said:

In other words, you can't be a stickler for the idea that Batman has a 20 Dex, 4 Spd, and 8 PD.  Adhering to NCM makes things harder.  Batman is a lot of things, but normal isn't one of them.

 

I tend to look at comic-book characters the way I might if I was a Champions GM, and since I'm a proponent of tight character concepts, I would object to any changes that make Batman anything other than peak human. NCM most definitely applies to him. He is not an alien. He is not a mutant. He is not the result of scientific enhancement. He is not a master of magic. He has some nice technology at his disposal, but he is still not (supposed to be) the same as, say, Tony Stark. All attempts to "evolve" Batman in a direction that departs from his original conception--apart from updating him for the basic technology of the times--are forced and contrived and would make me send the player back to the drawing board (with regard to spending his XP).

 

The only reason one forcibly departs from the original character concept is to shoehorn the character into scenarios he doesn't belong in an attempt to make him relevant and survivable for the duration of that storyline. When the storyline only lasts an issue or two of a comic book, we can usually just disregard it as a curious side-narrative, but when it becomes the norm for the character, that's when all creative integrity has been simply abandoned.

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59 minutes ago, zslane said:

 

I tend to look at comic-book characters the way I might if I was a Champions GM, and since I'm a proponent of tight character concepts, I would object to any changes that make Batman anything other than peak human. NCM most definitely applies to him.

 

Batman is also physically tougher and faster than most other superheroes (and villains). If he is forced to be within the NCM limits, so should they be.

 

This bunches everyone into an arbitrary narrow range without any obvious benefit to the game. It clearly wasn't the intention of the game's designers, who provided us with plenty of examples of "normal" characters outside that range.

 

NCM was designed for non-superheroic genres. It is, in my opinion, misapplied when it is used in superheroic games.

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23 minutes ago, assault said:

NCM was designed for non-superheroic genres. It is, in my opinion, misapplied when it is used in superheroic games.

 

The Champions genre book actually addresses this, by setting the characteristic maximums that humans can achieve without being superhuman at well above NCM. Anything more than that needs some explanation for how the character attained it; but for example, human STR and DEX top out at 30. In that range we're dealing with the likes of Captain America, Tarzan, Conan, or Doc Savage. INT can reach as high as 50 (for your Reed Richards/Victor Von Doom types).

 

I think of the most recent depictions of Batman in DC movies. He performs feats that no real-world athlete can match, and which could not be accommodated within NCM. And yet what I heard most often from fans is that this was finally the "real" Batman they're used to seeing in comics, cartoons, and video games. Superheroes who are supposed to be "just human" often exceed realistic limits for skill and athletic prowess; consider Hawkeye in Avengers shooting aircraft out of the sky without even looking in their direction.

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Well, Captain America is no longer "simply human", the super soldier serum saw to that. Steve Rogers is not subject to NCM anymore. Batman, on the other hand, is a normal human capable only of that which normal humans are capable of. It is quite evident that the notion of what non-enhanced humans are capable of in comic book universes has strayed further and further into absurdity as the years have gone on. But even if we cut comic book universes some slack here and permit normal human comic-book heroes to do what action movie heroes do, especially in terms of durability and survivability, it remains that comic book writers have to go to special lengths to keep characters like Batman "safe" (usually by seeing to it that only the low-level grunts go after him) and make him useful in JL battles where the enemies are capable of flattening buildings with a single attack.

 

It's no different than if I as a GM have to constantly fudge things during combat so that the supervillains with 12D6 Energy Blasts don't ever attack the normal human gadgeteer detective hero whose costume is only good for about 6 PD and ED (at best). It's a sign that the character has found himself in the wrong campaign...

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22 minutes ago, zslane said:

It's no different than if I as a GM have to constantly fudge things during combat so that the supervillains with 12D6 Energy Blasts don't ever attack the normal human gadgeteer detective hero whose costume is only good for about 6 PD and ED (at best). It's a sign that the character has found himself in the wrong campaign...

 

Except that the normal human gadgeteer is as tough as or tougher than half the other characters in the game.

 

Also, 6 PD/ED costumes are just fine by me in a 12 DC game. Slapped on top of cinematic levels of the character's own PD/ED too, naturally. If anything, the result would be a little overcooked.

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3 minutes ago, Pattern Ghost said:

NCM is a soft cap. It only means a character has to pay double for exceeding it.  Batman certainly has. But he has a lot more points in skills, bases, vehicles, gadgets, contacts, etc.

 

That doesn't solve the issue. Why are there different rules for some characters compared to others?

 

And the problem extends far beyond Batman. Every character whose characteristics can't be justified as "superhuman" is affected too, and most of them aren't as fit/well-trained as him.

 

But, of course, some of them have magic words in their character description. It's cheaper for, say, Cyclops to buy a 23 DEX than Batman because he is a "mutant".

 

End result: Moon Knight or Daredevil, rather than Batman.

 

No benefit, just a run around.

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I think you may be reading a bit too much into my post.

 

21 minutes ago, assault said:

That doesn't solve the issue. Why are there different rules for some characters compared to others? 

 

IMO, all of the characters follow the same rules. Nobody is forcing Batman to take NCM, it's just an option. If he had NCM, and he was modeled on what he's capable of even in his solo titles, then he'd have bought up several stats for double cost. I was merely pointing out that NCM = 20s in stats, 8PD/ED, 4 SPD, etc. is a fallacious application of the disadvantage's rule.

 

21 minutes ago, assault said:

But, of course, some of them have magic words in their character description. It's cheaper for, say, Cyclops to buy a 23 DEX than Batman because he is a "mutant".

 

It's up to the GM to set campaign limitations. Cyclops has nearly every physical stat at a much lower level than Batman, IMO. If I were presiding over a game which was modelling the two characters, I'd ask for that to be reflected on their character sheets. IMO, most comic book characters have "comic book normal" baseline physical abilities, within a certain power band. In other words, most comic book characters exist in a low-DEX/SPD environment. The old FASERIP Marvel game statted out its characters this way, and it was very consistent with Marvel's own ratings of relative power levels.* The old Mayfair DC game write ups (in the core game) followed the same standard. If you translated characters from either of those games to Hero, you'd end up with a whole bunch of lower-DEX characters than if you looked at the Champions Universe character write ups.

 

 

*Though the old Marvel write ups cheat a bit by bumping up Endurance to boost their Health scores, IMO.

 

Edit: I do think that NCM should only be used as a campaign rule rather than available as a Disadvantage (Complication in 6th?) in a supers game.

 

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1 hour ago, assault said:

 

 

That doesn't solve the issue. Why are there different rules for some characters compared to others?

 

There aren't.  If it fits the concept, any character can take a 20-point limitation in exchange for restrictions on the special effects available to his/her abilities, and an impediment to future stat increases.  It's like asking why Thor has to take OAF on his lightning powers and Storm doesn't.

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35 minutes ago, assault said:

We've hijacked the thread pretty thoroughly. (And I'm probably the biggest culprit.) Maybe we should either leave the topic alone or continue in the Champions area.

 

That's OK, it's more interesting than most DC movies. And we did mention Batman. :D

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Yeah. Obviously, to summarize, I don't see any point in differentiating between:

 

"Father… Mother!

… Dead! They’re d... dead

Days later a curious and strange scene takes place.

And I swear by the spirits of my parents to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals.

As the years pass, Bruce Wayne prepares himself for his career. He becomes a master scientist.

Trains his body to physical perfection until he is able to perform amazing athletic feats.

Dad’s estate left me wealthy. I am ready but first I must have a disguise.

Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot, so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible, a… a…

As if in answer, a huge bat flies in the open window!

A bat! That’s it! It’s an omen… I shall become a bat!

And thus is born this weird figure of the dark… This avenger of evil: The Batman."

 

and

 

"I'm a mutant. I'm strong, tough, fast and agile and can shoot fire out of my nose."

 

when it penalizes the former.

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