Friday, February 25, 2011

Traits vs. Standard Systems

The Thing has Clobberin' Time, Wonder Man has.... well... a great jacket? She-Hulk isn't as strong as either, but is pretty formidable.
If you have the Classic Marvel RPG, take a look at them. They are all pretty similar, at least as far as combat might go.
However, in the comics, all three are very, very different, both in combat and outside of combat.
To merely say that Thing and Wondy are as strong as one another, thus are essentially the same in combat is doing justice to neither of them.
CC&VF is designed with individual characters in mind.
Traits should encompass not just a character's "stats" but also their special attacks, peculiarities in combat, fighting style, determination, etc.
In an action scene, they should all come across as different, without too much work from the GM or Players.

When I was first working on characters for my game, I was having a back and forth with one of my players, who wanted the Power-Girl amalgam. I threw out the idea that she have a Revealing Costume as a trait, as it does come up in the comics, not every issue, but frequently enough.

Last Issue, fighting 3 200 point villains, there were only two 150 point heroes (Classic Team-Up), and the Power-Girl amalgam character was nearly out of juice fighting, and the last hero standing, was able to distract the libido driven villain with the revealing costume just long enough to buy one more round of time.
It was pretty great.

Try making that revealing costume in another system....


  1. Hello Barak.

    Thanks for posting. Let's see... I think there are a few other systems that COULD handle the "revealing costume" trait, with some effort I guess, but I am not going to mention them here since I like CC&VF a little more. Don't worry about other systems, yours was the one that mentioned the trick first.

    I like that example, of course. It sounds like something that could have happened in one of my game sessions, and you know I am a big Power Girl fan.

    Since most of the other superhero systems are essentially effects systems, with effects in the rules being matched to whatever power the character is meant to have, a lot of PCs will come out with the same effects and the same numbers in their stats: same level of "strength," same level of "dexterity" and "fighting ability," same amount of damage thrown, you know what I'm talking about. As far as I know, your CC&VF does not bother much with fine-tuning or modifying powers. There are some modifiers, but the decisive factor is what you name the trait. If you call the trait something different, then yes, it will be something different (even if the PC has the same raw numbers as another character).

  2. And linking lets folks play to their characters.
    Traits are not just powers, but also personality traits, tactics, special attacks, etc...