Jump to content
Christopher R Taylor

Basic Pregens

Recommended Posts

I've started working up a set of very, very simple, stripped down essential archetypes to work as pre-generated characters for GMs to easily use in a campaign.  I have a tendency to build really complicated characters with many "fill in the blank" sort of abilities, "she should be able to do this because she has this power" kind of things, so its been a struggle to keep things simple.  These are meant to be guys for a group that goes "hey, lets try this Champions game out, we've never played it before!"  So super simple, no-nonsense essential types of characters.

 

They're each 300 points with 75 points of disads, since they are meant to be pretty generic, and I'm trying to avoid personalizing them too much.  So far I have a


Superman Clone (very simple)

A Brick

A Speedster

An Energy Projector

A Mentalist

 

Some other archetypes like "armored" or "gadgeteer" get way too complicated for a basic character, so I don't know if I'll make those.  Thinking about a teleporter and a brawler/martial artist of some sort, but without the martial arts.

 

I want to bundle them with really simple easy to use character sheets and online costume designer images and upload them to the site so people can say "use these guys!" when someone is trying to GM for the first time, for example.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would still have a basic "Iron man Type".

 as well as a basic "Spiderman", type, as well.  

 

You want to fire imaginations as well as provide basic pre-gens. You may also want to think about  flyers, and ice barrier users.  Think not just the basic classes, but the main super hero archetypes, as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  This is a great idea for new players and for GM’s.  You may also want to include a Batman type.  Part Ghost, part Gadgeteer, part  Detective.
   I think the only basic archetype left is a shapeshifter and that’s a little complex to run for most newbies.

   Let’s see....
  Superman

  Batman

  Flash

  Green Lantern 
  Wonder Woman

  Hawkgirl  (On second thought, nobody wants to play Hawkgirl)

  Martian Manhunter is out

  Captain America

  Iron Man

  Hulk

 Thor

 Ant-Man & Wasp are probably out.

 Mr. Fantastic is out 
 Thing

 Human Torch

 Invisible Girl

 Spider-Man

   I think that’s all the iconic ones someone new might want to play and you covered most all of them.

A lot of these overlap.  WW, Hulk, Thor and Thing are basically the same write-up with different disads. The same goes for GL and the Torch. Ditto for Cap & Bats.

   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I've started working up a set of very, very simple, stripped down essential archetypes to work as pre-generated characters for GMs to easily use in a campaign

Stick with simple.  Ignore all the "but how about the other 236144 billion possible builds". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Christopher, depending on the amount of work/time you want to invest, you could also build (say) six really basic Pregen's, then build steadily more complex versions to illustrate other concepts.  Picking half a dozen well-known (say, JLA/Avengers/X-Men) characters to homage, you could start with really rough analogies as basic pre-gens and end up with complex, fully realized builds much more closely aligned to their screen/comic appearances, and demonstrating more complex aspects of the system.

 

For example, the Blaster starts out with a single attack, but a later version demonstrates the Multipower; the Brawler eventually gets used to demonstrate Martial Arts, but not right out of the gate; etc. 

 

Like building the first six pregen's isn't enough work :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tjack said:

  This is a great idea for new players and for GM’s.  You may also want to include a Batman type.  Part Ghost, part Gadgeteer, part  Detective.
   I think the only basic archetype left is a shapeshifter and that’s a little complex to run for most newbies.

   Let’s see....
  Superman

  Batman

  Flash

  Green Lantern 
  Wonder Woman

  Hawkgirl  (On second thought, nobody wants to play Hawkgirl)

  Martian Manhunter is out

  Captain America

  Iron Man

  Hulk

 Thor

 Ant-Man & Wasp are probably out.

 Mr. Fantastic is out 
 Thing

 Human Torch

 Invisible Girl

 Spider-Man

   I think that’s all the iconic ones someone new might want to play and you covered most all of them.

A lot of these overlap.  WW, Hulk, Thor and Thing are basically the same write-up with different disads. The same goes for GL and the Torch. Ditto for Cap & Bats.

   


  I’m watching the Incredibles right now and if you add them, with the Original X-men to this list you still only have 10 write-ups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The only real chore in building these guys is the complications.  The builds are fast and easy, other than "no, not that linked blast/flash attack, not for this guy"

 

Maybe the most basic versions should have placeholders rather than complications.  The goal is to use them as "systems demos", not for a campaign or scenario.  You could toss in some undefined Hunteds, personality quirks (Psychs), DNPCs, Secret IDs, etc. and leave things like Vulnerabilities out entirely, then add them in for later iterations as they get fleshed out.  I'd say complications are the most role-playing and least systems-illustration element of the characters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

  I'd say complications are the most role-playing and least systems-illustration element of the characters.

 

Yeah, that is a good point.  I mean they're good GM aids, but for a tutorial 'first couple sessions' kind of approach they really aren't necessary to learn how to play.

 

Some build concepts are just not realistic for super stripped down archetypes.  Superman is easy because he's so basic and iconic: strong, tough, fly, eye blast.  Others, like a stretchy character are a bit complicated to build and demonstrate.  The more powers a character has, the more complicated they get.  But a shrinky character is actually super easy to build (in fact I had to kind of push to get them to 300 points with the concept, ended up making the shrinker a detective type too).

 

Others so easily lend themselves to crazy extra powers like teleporter or mentalist.  Some mentalist powers are kind of complicated, like mental illusions; do they belong in a basic character?

 

I'm also building them around 50 active points, to keep them somewhat vulnerable to normal people with guns so a street gang is a viable, if minor threat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I basically agree with everyone. Keep pregen characters simple and generic. In fact, this could be a product for DTRPG's Hero program. I would pay $3 for an incomplete bunch pf character sheets and a talk about "this is your basic whatever...these things are what most whatever has".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I've started working up a set of very, very simple, stripped down essential archetypes to work as pre-generated characters for GMs to easily use in a campaign.  I have a tendency to build really complicated characters with many "fill in the blank" sort of abilities, "she should be able to do this because she has this power" kind of things, so its been a struggle to keep things simple.  These are meant to be guys for a group that goes "hey, lets try this Champions game out, we've never played it before!"  So super simple, no-nonsense essential types of characters.

 

They're each 300 points with 75 points of disads, since they are meant to be pretty generic, and I'm trying to avoid personalizing them too much.  So far I have a


Superman Clone (very simple)

A Brick

A Speedster

An Energy Projector

A Mentalist

 

This sounds very much like the, "Superhero Gallery" section of the Champions genre book, only scaled down to 300 points. I've toyed around with this idea as well but never got far. The archetypes I selected were:

  • Blaster (Energy Projector)
  • Brick
  • Martial Artist
  • Mentalist
  • Powered Armor
  • Weaponmaster

I also wanted to add more detail to some of the skill and martial arts templates (no more, "30 points worth of..."). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd consider going with the standard Supers DCs, defenses, etc.  Starting them with 300 points allows you to scale them up with the extra points in a later incarnation or two, adding more complex elements.  In fact, you could even take the same basic archetype and add different abilities to show different character types.  Maybe the second incarnation takes our basic Brick and adds versions with:

 

(a)  a suite of Amphibian powers (to make a Namor/Aquaman homage);

(b)  a mystic hammer and some Thunder powers (so a Thor homage);

(c)  a magic lasso and Deflection to make a Wonder Woman homage.

 

Not necessarily those specific three, but three very different characters built from the same basic character.

 

That basic Blaster might take on three SFX, each with different abilities derived from that energy type.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the Hall of Heroes idea.  First thing a bunch of basic archetypal characters. $3 or $5, easy to layout cash.

 

For each archetype a separate document.  The basic brick (again) but then tricked up to be a more complex generic brick with a few examples of comic book styles, so Hulk, Thor, Colossus and Superman. 

 

It gives something for a beginning GM to pick up and hand out to friends.  If friend playing brick says "I wanted something a bit more like..." Then he can pick up the brick book and if really interested later on The Ultimate Brick book.

 

Would be a valuable resources for new players and GMs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mutants and Masterminds did an excellent job of this concept, with 10+ archetypes that cover many of the staple comic archetypes right at the front of the book. You might consider looking at it for the concepts to tick off. 

 

It's definitely something that HERO should have included...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

To be fair, something Champions Complete should have included, the big Hero System tomes would have had to include for EVERY genre and would then have needed a third volume! 🙂

The Ultimate Templates sounds like a good idea for a book. Want to be a Brick and a Reporter. Just look up the Brick template and the Reporter template. You want to be a Dwarf Private Investigator in an Urban Fantasy/Noir hybrid campaign? Look up the Dwarf and P.I. templates. A Space Marine in a Star Hero game? Solder and Astronaut template. Cowboy superhero? Look at the various super templates and add Cowboy or prehaps Native American Brave or Native American Shaman.

 

It would be a long book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want these guys at least to be up for a price, they'd just be a really useful tool for beginning GMs.  As for pregens that power up... that's part of the concept behind the Champions Begins project: a tutorial introductory adventure which has very simple characters at the beginning which get blocks of experience the player of that character can choose between that add new features and complexity to a character, until at the end they are a full 400 point superhero that has all the rules and abilities covered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, steriaca said:

The Ultimate Templates sounds like a good idea for a book.

 

"Ultimate" is the 5e version. For 6e it's Hero System Archetypes. :)

 

This book could provide a lot of value. You can fit a lot of templates and archetypes into 120 pages (for ~$20-25).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

"Ultimate" is the 5e version. For 6e it's Hero System Archetypes. :)

 

This book could provide a lot of value. You can fit a lot of templates and archetypes into 120 pages (for ~$20-25).

Exactly what I was thinking. Why haven't Hero done this yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Isn't that kind of what the cards do?  You build a character by taking elements and adding them together?

Yes. But...i would rather have a book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...