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....

Saturday, February 19, 2011


So, thinking about Traits some more, and why they are neat. Many systems discuss powers with descriptions of what they do, don't do, and very much quantify these rules as exceptions. CC&VF puts the power in the hands of the players (and editor). A good example. A character with X-RAY SPECTACLES and MARTIAL ARTS may very well want to do the following:

"Okay, I need to take this guy down, I'm going to use my X-RAY SPECTACLES to do a quick body scan, looking for previous broken bones, and use that knowledge to direct my MARTIAL ARTS attack against him. (Translation, the character will be using MARTIAL ARTS as their Primary Trait Linking it with X-RAY SPECTACLES)."

Instead of the EDITOR saying "well, that isn't quite how that works" or having to read up on how X-Ray vision might work, instead the editor can say:

"Very cool, your scan shows that his right arm has been broken several times, and with just the right blow, might really hurt this guy if you hit it again in just the right spot."

Player "Awesome!"

Awesome indeed.