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Ascendant Kickstarter

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Ascendant is a new superhero RPG being Kickstarted by Autarch. I don't know about the mechanics since at first glance it appears to be a percentile system with very large numbers, both of which are turn-offs for me. But the art is fantastic and I've been impressed with ACKS, so there's that. Anyway nobody seems to be discussing it and I thought that the superhero fans here might find it interesting. There is a free preview if you are interested in the rules: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/autarch/ascendant/posts/2773764


From the preview, it uses a logarithmic point-buy method that I have long felt would be a improvement if it were adopted by Hero. That is each N points doubles the effect, and because of that you cannot just add point values; to increase an effect you convert from points to real world value, adjust he real world value, and then convert back to points. Overall that is not a problem... if the numbers are small! With large numbers you're gonna need a calculator which I don't like.


For example, in Hero, a 12d6 of Blast is 60 points. If +5 points were really a doubling, then 65 points should do twice as much damage, but it doesn't. If it were truly logarithmic we'd have 5 pts (1d6), 10 pts (2d6), 15 pts (4d6), 20 pts (8d6), etc. If Joe and Sally add together their 10 pt and 20 pt Blasts, how many points is it? You have to first convert to actual effect (2d6 + 8d6 = 10d6) and then convert back to a point value (10d6 = 21.6 points). Wanting to avoid decimal fractions may be behind Ascendant's use of large point values.


Anyway this is an interesting enough approach to be worth looking at, IMO.



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In the HERO System, the doubling of damage with each DC is based on the idea that each point of BODY doubles the "mass". Since the average BODY you do with each DC of normal damage goes up by one with each DC increase, you actually do see a logarithmic doubling effect in (BODY) damage per +5 points spent. Where this sorta breaks down is with the fact that you don't get double the STUN, on average, for each DC. You get an extra 3.5 STUN per DC on average, but as far as I know, each increment of 3.5 STUN does not represent a doubling of "real world STUN" (whatever that might be).

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I am curious about this. I saw this on another forum I browse. if the tiers are budget priced, I may back this, just so I can get a copy to look at. I probably won't play it, but it will be illuminating to see the quality of the printing and the art. Who knows? Maybe there are lots of ideas to retool for Hero?

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Just from reading the Kickstarter info, I can tell that this is one of those games that invents a whole new vocabulary for itself, which I find fatiguing to say the least. It's like having to unlearn decades of familiarity and muscle memory with the QWERTY keyboard layout in order to benefit from the ergonomic advantages of Dvorak or Colemak. At this point in my life it ain't worth it.


Similarly, I'm not about to learn a whole new set of "gaming physics" just for a universally applied logarithmic point scale. TORG tried this thirty years ago and it wasn't worth the brain torture then either. In the 40+ years I've been playing RPGs, there's been no system I've seen/read that is superior enough over the HERO System (even with all its quirks) to make me choose anything else for my toolkit RPG needs.

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