Monday, October 4, 2010

Versatile Traits

Some Traits do exactly what they are supposed to do, an Atlantean has all the Traits Atlantean has, a Kryptonian has ice breath, heat vision, x-ray vision… But what about Traits that need to be made on the fly? Gadgets and interchangeable suits of armor are two of the best examples of a Versatile Trait. A Versatile Trait is one that has one or more qualities always assigned to it, for a suit of armor, it might be Ionic Blast or Damage Neutralizing Material, but also has one or more qualities that is determined each Issue. A character with a warehouse of power armors might have Aquatic Armor, Night Ops Armor, Outer-Space Armor, and so on. Each Issue, the character can define the undefined Traits. In scene one the character might define one aspect as Aquatic Adaptability for the underwater scene, the second scene might require some deep space exploration, thus defining HyperSpace Thrusters. Once the undefined quality (ies) is defined, it is defined for the rest of the Issue.

What about Magic? Magic is an example of a Trait that could be Versatile, or a Trait that could be understood by both player and Editor to be catchall. The same goes for Armor.

From a genre standpoint, Versatile Traits were designed to emulate those Traits that always do some things, and sometimes do other things. Even a Kryptonian physiology with all the associated various powers could be considered Versatile. Superman does not fly around with X-Ray vision each and every panel of each and every issue.

If a Trait is being used for drastically different tasks, it might just be Versatile.


  1. This is sounding better and better. I find the idea of the versatile trait to inspiring. Looking forward to hearing more, and seeing more sneak peeks. As an aside, if you're looking for play testers, I'd be happy to give it a run.


  2. Presumably this would cover Silver Surfers cosmic power, or batmans utility belt? Sounds great, and a lot easier to use, than more mathematical systems which this sort of power could be a real head ache

  3. As I was writing up the Versatile Trait, I realized it is very much something that can be used, but doesn't have to be used.
    Utility Belt- check. Power Cosmic- sure. As with the entire system, it is very much up to the players and Gm to decide what works and how.