Time for Superhero Creation

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Hello all,
I'm wondering if the knowledgable ones can tell me about how long it
takes to create a character with all the different super hero rpg
systems out there.

Thanks

--
Aaron Deskins
Graduate Student
Chemical Engineering
Purdue University
42 answers Last reply
More about time superhero creation
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    "Aaron Deskins" <ndeskins@ecn.purdue.edu> wrote in message
    news:408D20D9.9010609@ecn.purdue.edu...
    > Hello all,
    > I'm wondering if the knowledgable ones can tell me about how long it
    > takes to create a character with all the different super hero rpg
    > systems out there.
    >
    > Thanks
    >

    Too difficult to gauge actually. Time varies with experience. Some take
    longer than others true, but no one persons experience will be identical to
    another's.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    I'm really looking for ball-park figures. Mostly the major systems-
    Hero, M&M, Marvel, SAS, etc. For example, does it take 5 hours with
    Hero, but 1/2 with Marvel? I'm just trying to get a feel for the
    complexity and time requirements of the different systems.

    Sidhain wrote:
    > "Aaron Deskins" <ndeskins@ecn.purdue.edu> wrote in message
    > news:408D20D9.9010609@ecn.purdue.edu...
    >
    >>Hello all,
    >> I'm wondering if the knowledgable ones can tell me about how long it
    >>takes to create a character with all the different super hero rpg
    >>systems out there.
    >>
    >>Thanks
    >>
    >
    >
    > Too difficult to gauge actually. Time varies with experience. Some take
    > longer than others true, but no one persons experience will be identical to
    > another's.
    >
    >


    --
    Aaron Deskins
    Graduate Student
    Chemical Engineering
    Purdue University
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 17:32:37 GMT, "Sidhain" <sidhain@earthlink.net>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Aaron Deskins" <ndeskins@ecn.purdue.edu> wrote in message
    >news:408D20D9.9010609@ecn.purdue.edu...
    >> Hello all,
    >> I'm wondering if the knowledgable ones can tell me about how long it
    >> takes to create a character with all the different super hero rpg
    >> systems out there.
    >>
    >> Thanks
    >>
    >
    >Too difficult to gauge actually. Time varies with experience. Some take
    >longer than others true, but no one persons experience will be identical to
    >another's.
    >

    And decisiveness on the character creator's part.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 12:46:08 -0500, Aaron Deskins
    <ndeskins@ecn.purdue.edu> wrote:

    >I'm really looking for ball-park figures. Mostly the major systems-
    >Hero, M&M, Marvel, SAS, etc. For example, does it take 5 hours with
    >Hero, but 1/2 with Marvel? I'm just trying to get a feel for the
    >complexity and time requirements of the different systems.

    The problem is, even a ballpark is useless unless you're assuming some
    specific level of familiarity with the rules. Worse, it depends in
    some cases on the complexity of the character. For example, Hero
    allows the most mechanical detail of the above listed most likely
    (someone can make an argument about SAS I suppose) but putting
    together a simple energy projector for an experienced player isn't
    particular long at all. Putting together a really complex concept
    with a lot of fussy power limitations and advantages is another story,
    though. Some other games this is less true for, either because more
    of the system is canned (i.e. predefined) in the first place, or just
    because it doesn't support that level of fussiness.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    "Aaron Deskins" <ndeskins@ecn.purdue.edu> wrote in message
    news:408D20D9.9010609@ecn.purdue.edu...
    > Hello all,
    > I'm wondering if the knowledgable ones can tell me about how long it
    > takes to create a character with all the different super hero rpg
    > systems out there.

    Thinking time can be minutes, hours, or days, and is independent of the
    system used. But I assume you mean number-crunching time. I do the stats for
    a Champions character in 10-20 minutes, I think. A Golden Heroes character
    used to take me 1-2 minutes (one of the many reasons why GH is the best
    superhero system). I can't remember how long a GURPS Supers character took
    me but I think it was longer than in Champions.


    --
    David Meadows
    Heroes: www.heroes.force9.co.uk/scripts/
    A comic book -- without the pictures
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Wayne Shaw wrote:

    >
    > The problem is, even a ballpark is useless unless you're assuming some
    > specific level of familiarity with the rules. Worse, it depends in
    > some cases on the complexity of the character. For example, Hero
    > allows the most mechanical detail of the above listed most likely
    > (someone can make an argument about SAS I suppose) but putting
    > together a simple energy projector for an experienced player isn't
    > particular long at all. Putting together a really complex concept
    > with a lot of fussy power limitations and advantages is another story,
    > though.

    A major reason I no longer play Champions is that as I became
    more experienced with the rules I kept trying more and more
    complex characters. A "simple energy projector" loses some
    interest after a while. It was taking me more and more time to
    build characters the better I knew the system! Yeah, I could
    slap together a cliched brick in a few minutes but to stat
    an interesting (to me) character or NPC could take hours and that
    was just too much time to devote to each bad guys in a large
    villian organization that I'd get to use maybe every four games,
    playing a game every other weekend or so.

    I eventually hit a similar wall with Aberrant,
    but may go back to it.

    Marval Saga is still my current pick as it's easy to justify creating
    a new power as opposed to tweaking the rules to get something
    just right.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    "Sorcier" <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net> wrote in message
    news:nKkjc.88$8M3.30492@news.uswest.net...
    >
    >
    > A major reason I no longer play Champions is that as I became
    > more experienced with the rules I kept trying more and more
    > complex characters. A "simple energy projector" loses some
    > interest after a while. It was taking me more and more time to
    > build characters the better I knew the system! Yeah, I could
    > slap together a cliched brick in a few minutes but to stat
    > an interesting (to me) character or NPC could take hours and that
    > was just too much time to devote to each bad guys in a large
    > villian organization that I'd get to use maybe every four games,
    > playing a game every other weekend or so.

    So did I. So I stopped bothering to make that effort. Only stat-out an NPC
    if you really really need a fully rounded character. Otherwise you just
    need a name (for the big bads) or a number (for a faceless minion) with a
    short list of combat stats, attacks and defense.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    I hope Sidhain doesn't mind me posting his reply to me. My follow-up
    question would be - is the time of character creation proportional to
    the complexity of the game system? How do they compare?

    Thanks.


    His response:

    Ye e-mailed me rather than posting. My numbers are
    Hero 2 hours
    M&M 15 minutes
    SAS 45 minutes
    Marvel Saga 5 minutes
    MURPG (Stone marvel) no idea
    Godlike 1 hour


    --
    Aaron Deskins
    Graduate Student
    Chemical Engineering
    Purdue University
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Sidhain wrote:
    > Too difficult to gauge actually. Time varies with experience. Some take
    > longer than others true, but no one persons experience will be identical to
    > another's.

    One must also be mindful of the fact that the simpler the rules
    are, the longer one will be debating the contents of the
    character sheet with the GM. So as you simplify the rules, you
    tend to prolong the argument-with-the-GM over the permissibility
    of the chosen stats - convincing the GM to actually let you
    *play* the character you've just created.

    --
    Peter Knutsen
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    "Peter Knutsen" <peter@knutsen.dk> wrote in message
    news:c6ls0u$17n6$1@news.cybercity.dk...
    >
    > Sidhain wrote:
    > > Too difficult to gauge actually. Time varies with experience. Some take
    > > longer than others true, but no one persons experience will be identical
    to
    > > another's.
    >
    > One must also be mindful of the fact that the simpler the rules
    > are, the longer one will be debating the contents of the
    > character sheet with the GM. So as you simplify the rules, you
    > tend to prolong the argument-with-the-GM over the permissibility
    > of the chosen stats - convincing the GM to actually let you
    > *play* the character you've just created.
    >


    I know you think that's true.And it may be for you because you make rules so
    important.

    For me It's not--I've never had a player debate with me /ever/ and I've
    used Risus, and Marvel Saga and OTE and AMBER, among many other rules light
    games.

    I on the other hand actually talk to my players, I interact with them, I
    involve them in the process of the campaign creation rather than hand them a
    rulebook and say make something.

    ..
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Aaron Deskins wrote:
    > Hello all,
    > I'm wondering if the knowledgable ones can tell me about how long it
    > takes to create a character with all the different super hero rpg
    > systems out there.
    >
    > Thanks
    >

    Depending on system, it can range from about half an hour to a
    week. Mostly it depends on the players, their experience with the
    system, and the preferences of the GM and players in terms of detail.

    --
    Sea Wasp
    /^\
    ;;;
    Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 09:46:49 -0500, Aaron Deskins
    <ndeskins@ecn.purdue.edu> wrote:

    >Hello all,
    > I'm wondering if the knowledgable ones can tell me about how long it
    >takes to create a character with all the different super hero rpg
    >systems out there.
    >
    >Thanks

    That really depends on the player and the system. I can make a
    Champions character faster than I can make a character for any other
    system. I know how the rulebook is structured, I know all the powers,
    and I know what power levels are effective. 10 minutes, easy. I
    would need at least 30 minutes with pretty much any other game system,
    as I would have to walk through their character building process (most
    have a step by step character building checklist in them).

    YMMV, (never have I meant that so much)

    John Turner
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 23:47:16 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    wrote:

    >Wayne Shaw wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> The problem is, even a ballpark is useless unless you're assuming some
    >> specific level of familiarity with the rules. Worse, it depends in
    >> some cases on the complexity of the character. For example, Hero
    >> allows the most mechanical detail of the above listed most likely
    >> (someone can make an argument about SAS I suppose) but putting
    >> together a simple energy projector for an experienced player isn't
    >> particular long at all. Putting together a really complex concept
    >> with a lot of fussy power limitations and advantages is another story,
    >> though.
    >
    >A major reason I no longer play Champions is that as I became
    >more experienced with the rules I kept trying more and more
    >complex characters. A "simple energy projector" loses some

    I have that problem these days no matter what game system I'm using to
    play supers. It had already reached that point a few years back when
    I was MUSHing; barring the one feature character I played, all my
    characters were pretty baroque in design. And if the system doesn't
    support the distinctions I'm making at least to some degree it tends
    to just frustrate me (this was one of my issues with MEGS).

    >Marval Saga is still my current pick as it's easy to justify creating
    >a new power as opposed to tweaking the rules to get something
    >just right.

    Of course then you're just creating and (trying) to balance new powers
    instead. Not much net gain there.
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 16:52:16 +0200, Peter Knutsen <peter@knutsen.dk>
    wrote:

    >
    >Sidhain wrote:
    >> Too difficult to gauge actually. Time varies with experience. Some take
    >> longer than others true, but no one persons experience will be identical to
    >> another's.
    >
    >One must also be mindful of the fact that the simpler the rules
    >are, the longer one will be debating the contents of the
    >character sheet with the GM. So as you simplify the rules, you

    I realize this is your hotspot Peter, but it's not always true at all.
    It may be that the simpler rules simply don't permit things outside
    their range.
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 12:35:26 -0500, Aaron Deskins
    <ndeskins@ecn.purdue.edu> wrote:

    >His response:
    >
    >Ye e-mailed me rather than posting. My numbers are
    >Hero 2 hours
    >M&M 15 minutes

    These two seem a little long and a little short respectively to me,
    and I don't think it's entirely a consequence of familiarity.

    >SAS 45 minutes

    Probably about right, though maybe on the short side.

    >Marvel Saga 5 minutes

    Only if you're extremely decisive.
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    > >Hero 2 hours
    > >M&M 15 minutes
    >
    > These two seem a little long and a little short respectively to me,
    > and I don't think it's entirely a consequence of familiarity.
    >

    They would, I'm very familiar with M&M now, and can put together numbers
    quickly, I'm also very familiar with Hero but it takes significantly more
    time to worry about certian aspects--I want my pc to be attractive, I make
    it so in M&M, if I want to in ero I've got to evaluate just "how" attractive
    is attractive by degrees of consequence. (Sure M&M has Charisma but it also
    has the Feat "Beautiful" IIRC)

    It's also to do with defense balancing--I don't /have/ to build a defense
    for every M&M pc I make, the system is designed so that I don't need one all
    the time, depending on PL, Hero on the other hand suggests designs where
    /everyone/ has some form of defense-armor/damage reduction/deflection etc.


    > >Marvel Saga 5 minutes
    >
    > Only if you're extremely decisive.
    >
    >

    I am in all games I always approach them with "what I want to make" as a
    matter of time measuring cause if I count how long it takes me to think
    about what I want to make we might be counting time in years--I have a
    speedster in my head for a LONG while, but never statted him up, although
    I've got sketches of him, I finally statted him up for M&M, but the
    "deciding what I want him to do" was over by that point, it was just using
    the mechanics to get there.

    Which since characters can and do percolate, I don't think the "genesis"
    time should be recorded.
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 18:09:01 GMT, "Sidhain" <sidhain@earthlink.net>
    wrote:

    >
    >
    >> >Hero 2 hours
    >> >M&M 15 minutes
    >>
    >> These two seem a little long and a little short respectively to me,
    >> and I don't think it's entirely a consequence of familiarity.
    >>
    >
    >They would, I'm very familiar with M&M now, and can put together numbers
    >quickly, I'm also very familiar with Hero but it takes significantly more
    >time to worry about certian aspects--I want my pc to be attractive, I make
    >it so in M&M, if I want to in ero I've got to evaluate just "how" attractive
    >is attractive by degrees of consequence. (Sure M&M has Charisma but it also
    >has the Feat "Beautiful" IIRC)

    Ah. More opportunity for decision paralysis. I can see that.

    >
    >It's also to do with defense balancing--I don't /have/ to build a defense
    >for every M&M pc I make, the system is designed so that I don't need one all
    >the time, depending on PL, Hero on the other hand suggests designs where
    >/everyone/ has some form of defense-armor/damage reduction/deflection etc.

    I'm not sure I can agree unless you don't consider Amazing Save a
    defense, Sid. Someone without _something_ there is going to fold up
    early in a fight (and may do so even if hard to hit; it's not a
    coincidence they give even their Speedsters and Martial Artists
    Evasion).

    >
    >
    >> >Marvel Saga 5 minutes
    >>
    >> Only if you're extremely decisive.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >I am in all games I always approach them with "what I want to make" as a
    >matter of time measuring cause if I count how long it takes me to think

    I just observed that trading off card placement could get _very_ long
    if you couldn't quickly settle.

    >Which since characters can and do percolate, I don't think the "genesis"
    >time should be recorded.

    I just think the fact you can't do some of that before playing the
    cards out makes it more part of the process here; if I go into the
    game with a very specific character in mind, the card distribution may
    make them simply undoable; you really need to generate the character
    idea after seeing the available cards (though the cards don't exactly
    _mandate_ what character you play. But they do limit what's
    practical).
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 17:47:45 GMT, John Turner
    <averyk@ev1.REMOVETHISBITTOREPLY.net> wrote:

    >On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 09:46:49 -0500, Aaron Deskins
    ><ndeskins@ecn.purdue.edu> wrote:
    >
    >>Hello all,
    >> I'm wondering if the knowledgable ones can tell me about how long it
    >>takes to create a character with all the different super hero rpg
    >>systems out there.
    >>
    >>Thanks
    >
    >That really depends on the player and the system. I can make a
    >Champions character faster than I can make a character for any other
    >system. I know how the rulebook is structured, I know all the powers,
    >and I know what power levels are effective. 10 minutes, easy. I

    I've gotten so I know MnM almost as well; what I don't have yet is the
    intuitive feeling for what designs are too big for a given point range
    the way I do in Hero. When I was recently putting together the big
    opponent for my upcoming campaign, I had a specific PL range I wanted
    him in, and it turned out I was loading him down with way too many
    extras to fit him to it initially. So I had to strip out things.

    Someone inexperienced with Hero could easily find themselves doing the
    same thing.
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Tom Carman wrote:

    > "Sorcier" <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net> wrote in message
    > news:nKkjc.88$8M3.30492@news.uswest.net...
    >
    >>
    >>A major reason I no longer play Champions is that as I became
    >>more experienced with the rules I kept trying more and more
    >>complex characters. A "simple energy projector" loses some
    >>interest after a while. It was taking me more and more time to
    >>build characters the better I knew the system! Yeah, I could
    >>slap together a cliched brick in a few minutes but to stat
    >>an interesting (to me) character or NPC could take hours and that
    >>was just too much time to devote to each bad guys in a large
    >>villian organization that I'd get to use maybe every four games,
    >>playing a game every other weekend or so.
    >
    >
    > So did I. So I stopped bothering to make that effort. Only stat-out an NPC
    > if you really really need a fully rounded character.

    That's the prob. I usually do need that.


    > Otherwise you just
    > need a name (for the big bads)

    My players hate when I pull that. ;)
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Wayne Shaw wrote:

    >
    >>Marval Saga is still my current pick as it's easy to justify creating
    >>a new power as opposed to tweaking the rules to get something
    >>just right.
    >
    >
    > Of course then you're just creating and (trying) to balance new powers
    > instead. Not much net gain there.

    Actually, the system handles the balance issue pretty well there.
    With rare exceptions.
  21. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 17:31:24 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    wrote:

    >Wayne Shaw wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>>Marval Saga is still my current pick as it's easy to justify creating
    >>>a new power as opposed to tweaking the rules to get something
    >>>just right.
    >>
    >>
    >> Of course then you're just creating and (trying) to balance new powers
    >> instead. Not much net gain there.
    >
    >Actually, the system handles the balance issue pretty well there.
    >With rare exceptions.

    Not in my observation when we were using it. MSHAG did not seem
    particularly well mechanically balanced.
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Wayne Shaw wrote:

    > On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 17:31:24 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Wayne Shaw wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>>Marval Saga is still my current pick as it's easy to justify creating
    >>>>a new power as opposed to tweaking the rules to get something
    >>>>just right.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>Of course then you're just creating and (trying) to balance new powers
    >>>instead. Not much net gain there.
    >>
    >>Actually, the system handles the balance issue pretty well there.
    >>With rare exceptions.
    >
    >
    > Not in my observation when we were using it. MSHAG did not seem
    > particularly well mechanically balanced.

    It really only has one mechanic as far as powers go.
    All powers boil down to effect vs. resistance.
    (or vice versa)

    That said, the game really isn't aimed at the "a point of X must be
    of equal worth to a point of Y" crowd.
    Part of why I like it.
    Point based games try to maintain that illusion, but it's too easy
    to break.
  23. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    >
    > I just think the fact you can't do some of that before playing the
    > cards out makes it more part of the process here; if I go into the
    > game with a very specific character in mind, the card distribution may
    > make them simply undoable; you really need to generate the character
    > idea after seeing the available cards (though the cards don't exactly
    > _mandate_ what character you play. But they do limit what's
    > practical).


    Sometimes yes-- I've never been completely un-able to make a character I
    desired either--the only time came close was a spur of the moment game when
    I wanted to make a superstrong/tough character and got gypped on strength
    cards--hhowever I had no strong concept either since it was a spur of the
    moment game (actually one of the few times I didn't have my "next" character
    in my head already) and I ended up wit a smart brick who had a magic sword,
    shield and armor rather than Hulk like strength.


    By the same token, the randomness helps prevent any guaranteed optimization
    on a player's part because they don't know what exactly they'll get.
  24. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    "Wayne Shaw" <shaw@caprica.com> wrote in message
    news:10cfa7b6a93c5f243afb918e0f66f9cb@news.nntpserver.com...
    > On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 17:31:24 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Wayne Shaw wrote:
    > >
    > >>
    > >>>Marval Saga is still my current pick as it's easy to justify creating
    > >>>a new power as opposed to tweaking the rules to get something
    > >>>just right.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >> Of course then you're just creating and (trying) to balance new powers
    > >> instead. Not much net gain there.
    > >
    > >Actually, the system handles the balance issue pretty well there.
    > >With rare exceptions.
    >
    > Not in my observation when we were using it. MSHAG did not seem
    > particularly well mechanically balanced.


    I've used it for a significant time, it depends a great deal on what you
    mean "balanced" if you mean "all pc's built so they are exactly balanced by
    constructed comparable plan" no, but if you mean "makes all characters
    capable of succeeding and getting equal spotlight time" then yes it is
    balanced.
  25. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 12:48:23 GMT, "Sidhain" <sidhain@earthlink.net>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Wayne Shaw" <shaw@caprica.com> wrote in message
    >news:10cfa7b6a93c5f243afb918e0f66f9cb@news.nntpserver.com...
    >> On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 17:31:24 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Wayne Shaw wrote:
    >> >
    >> >>
    >> >>>Marval Saga is still my current pick as it's easy to justify creating
    >> >>>a new power as opposed to tweaking the rules to get something
    >> >>>just right.
    >> >>
    >> >>
    >> >> Of course then you're just creating and (trying) to balance new powers
    >> >> instead. Not much net gain there.
    >> >
    >> >Actually, the system handles the balance issue pretty well there.
    >> >With rare exceptions.
    >>
    >> Not in my observation when we were using it. MSHAG did not seem
    >> particularly well mechanically balanced.
    >
    >
    >I've used it for a significant time, it depends a great deal on what you
    >mean "balanced" if you mean "all pc's built so they are exactly balanced by
    >constructed comparable plan" no, but if you mean "makes all characters
    >capable of succeeding and getting equal spotlight time" then yes it is
    >balanced.

    I mean "Some powers are sufficiently more useful and powerful than
    others they aren't balanced". I'm not going to get into spotlight
    time because that's too easily preturbed by GMing style, and as such
    is hard to pin down to system.

    I'm also not going to bother to get into specifics with you on this
    subject as we went around about it when MSHAG was still a going
    concern and I doubt either of us has changed our position.
  26. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 12:46:21 GMT, "Sidhain" <sidhain@earthlink.net>
    wrote:

    >
    >
    >>
    >> I just think the fact you can't do some of that before playing the
    >> cards out makes it more part of the process here; if I go into the
    >> game with a very specific character in mind, the card distribution may
    >> make them simply undoable; you really need to generate the character
    >> idea after seeing the available cards (though the cards don't exactly
    >> _mandate_ what character you play. But they do limit what's
    >> practical).
    >
    >
    >Sometimes yes-- I've never been completely un-able to make a character I

    If your primary powers are all governed by suites you didn't get any
    of, I'd call that close enough to being completely undoable for my
    purpose.

    >cards--hhowever I had no strong concept either since it was a spur of the
    >moment game (actually one of the few times I didn't have my "next" character
    >in my head already) and I ended up wit a smart brick who had a magic sword,
    >shield and armor rather than Hulk like strength.

    Well, note I was only talking about problems with making a _specific_
    character; if you have several you'll be equally happy with, then it's
    not a problem (unless for some reason they're all dependent on the
    same suits).

    >
    >
    >By the same token, the randomness helps prevent any guaranteed optimization
    >on a player's part because they don't know what exactly they'll get.

    Most of the balance issues in MSHAG didn't have much to do with
    optimization but simply specific powers or stunts being out of
    balance, so I don't see that really made much of a difference.
  27. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 23:45:34 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    wrote:

    >Wayne Shaw wrote:
    >
    >> On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 17:31:24 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Wayne Shaw wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>>Marval Saga is still my current pick as it's easy to justify creating
    >>>>>a new power as opposed to tweaking the rules to get something
    >>>>>just right.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>Of course then you're just creating and (trying) to balance new powers
    >>>>instead. Not much net gain there.
    >>>
    >>>Actually, the system handles the balance issue pretty well there.
    >>>With rare exceptions.
    >>
    >>
    >> Not in my observation when we were using it. MSHAG did not seem
    >> particularly well mechanically balanced.
    >
    >It really only has one mechanic as far as powers go.
    >All powers boil down to effect vs. resistance.
    >(or vice versa)

    That's both true and inaccurate, since some powers aren't direct
    attack, and some attacks have more profound effects than others.
    These are where the problem children tended to lay.

    >
    >That said, the game really isn't aimed at the "a point of X must be
    >of equal worth to a point of Y" crowd.
    >Part of why I like it.
    >Point based games try to maintain that illusion, but it's too easy
    >to break.

    On the other hand when some attacks are no brainers and some powers
    give you sufficiently much more than others, I can't call that any
    sort of real mechanical game balance.
  28. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Wayne Shaw wrote:
    > On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 23:45:34 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>That said, the game really isn't aimed at the "a point of X must be
    >>of equal worth to a point of Y" crowd.
    >>Part of why I like it.
    >>Point based games try to maintain that illusion, but it's too easy
    >>to break.
    >
    >
    > On the other hand when some attacks are no brainers and some powers
    > give you sufficiently much more than others, I can't call that any
    > sort of real mechanical game balance.

    I'm not aware of a game where that isn't the case.
  29. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 21:36:23 GMT, Wayne Shaw <shaw@caprica.com> wrote:


    >
    >I've gotten so I know MnM almost as well; what I don't have yet is the
    >intuitive feeling for what designs are too big for a given point range
    >the way I do in Hero. When I was recently putting together the big
    >opponent for my upcoming campaign, I had a specific PL range I wanted
    >him in, and it turned out I was loading him down with way too many
    >extras to fit him to it initially. So I had to strip out things.

    What I notice about it is that MnM is the only supers game where
    I can't look at a character and instantly know whether he's
    kickass or a putz.
  30. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    David Johnston wrote:

    > On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 21:36:23 GMT, Wayne Shaw <shaw@caprica.com> wrote:
    >
    > What I notice about it is that MnM is the only supers game where
    > I can't look at a character and instantly know whether he's
    > kickass or a putz.

    I actually had that problem with GURPS Supers.
    Mainly in determining where the Damage vs. Defense scales
    should fall.
  31. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 02:09:06 GMT, rgormannospam@telusplanet.net (David
    Johnston) wrote:

    >On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 21:36:23 GMT, Wayne Shaw <shaw@caprica.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>
    >>I've gotten so I know MnM almost as well; what I don't have yet is the
    >>intuitive feeling for what designs are too big for a given point range
    >>the way I do in Hero. When I was recently putting together the big
    >>opponent for my upcoming campaign, I had a specific PL range I wanted
    >>him in, and it turned out I was loading him down with way too many
    >>extras to fit him to it initially. So I had to strip out things.
    >
    >What I notice about it is that MnM is the only supers game where
    >I can't look at a character and instantly know whether he's
    >kickass or a putz.
    >

    Actually, it's not that hard; look at his offensive power ranks, his
    defensive power ranks, and his base attack and base defense values.
    It's not that hard to eyeball, once you know what's important in
    combat.
  32. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Wayne Shaw <shaw@caprica.com> wrote:
    > On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 02:09:06 GMT, rgormannospam@telusplanet.net (David
    > >
    > >What I notice about it is that MnM is the only supers game where
    > >I can't look at a character and instantly know whether he's
    > >kickass or a putz.
    > >

    > Actually, it's not that hard; look at his offensive power ranks, his
    > defensive power ranks, and his base attack and base defense values.
    > It's not that hard to eyeball, once you know what's important in
    > combat.

    Only for combat oriented characters. The thing I've noticed about
    MnM is that the difference between kickass and putz is highly
    dependent on the situation and opponent. The game is pretty
    well balanced, so in general, to excel at one thing (melee for
    example) usually leaves weakness in another (mental combat say)

    One of the features of the system is that a character will
    generally only be able to attack well on one or two of four
    vectors --melee, range, mental, special (drain, blind, paralyze,
    etc) and defend on two or three save types (damage, reflex, will,
    fortitude).

    The down side is that for highly optimized characters, this
    makes the game a little like a more complex version of rock,
    paper, scissors. A mentally protected power house (MnM for
    brick) is a draw against other power houses and kicks a mentalist's
    ass, but would get destroyed by invisible ninja guy or captain
    bow-and-arrow with a quiver full of trick arrow.

    Mark.
  33. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    >I'm really looking for ball-park figures. Mostly the major systems-
    >Hero, M&M, Marvel, SAS, etc.

    My first ever Hero superhero took most of an afternoon when I should have been
    studying, but considering no one (including the person helping me write Kiai)
    knew anything about the game ....

    Nowdays, I can do stats for a reasonably complex character in an hour or two.
    VPP users take longer, simple iconics less.

    Leah
  34. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On 01 May 2004 02:18:22 GMT, llwatts@aol.com.nospam (LLWatts) wrote:

    >>I'm really looking for ball-park figures. Mostly the major systems-
    >>Hero, M&M, Marvel, SAS, etc.
    >
    >My first ever Hero superhero took most of an afternoon when I should have been
    >studying, but considering no one (including the person helping me write Kiai)
    >knew anything about the game ....
    >
    >Nowdays, I can do stats for a reasonably complex character in an hour or two.
    >VPP users take longer, simple iconics less.

    Strange. I usually find VPP characters take _less_ up front time, as
    they aren't likely to have as many detailed powers, since the VPP
    covers several.
  35. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 18:51:34 -0000, Mark Haslam <mshaslam@drizzle.com>
    wrote:

    >Wayne Shaw <shaw@caprica.com> wrote:
    >> On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 02:09:06 GMT, rgormannospam@telusplanet.net (David
    >> >
    >> >What I notice about it is that MnM is the only supers game where
    >> >I can't look at a character and instantly know whether he's
    >> >kickass or a putz.
    >> >
    >
    >> Actually, it's not that hard; look at his offensive power ranks, his
    >> defensive power ranks, and his base attack and base defense values.
    >> It's not that hard to eyeball, once you know what's important in
    >> combat.
    >
    >Only for combat oriented characters. The thing I've noticed about

    When I see the word "kickass" strangely enough I tend to assume combat
    is what's being discussed. :P

    Past that, there's only a couple other issues, and most of those are
    primarily skill controlled and not much harder to determine.

    >One of the features of the system is that a character will
    >generally only be able to attack well on one or two of four
    >vectors --melee, range, mental, special (drain, blind, paralyze,
    >etc) and defend on two or three save types (damage, reflex, will,
    >fortitude).

    Actually, I see no reason it'll be hard to attack on three if you
    want. The only difference is on the basic attribute contribution, and
    those are cheap.

    >
    >The down side is that for highly optimized characters, this
    >makes the game a little like a more complex version of rock,
    >paper, scissors. A mentally protected power house (MnM for
    >brick) is a draw against other power houses and kicks a mentalist's
    >ass, but would get destroyed by invisible ninja guy or captain
    >bow-and-arrow with a quiver full of trick arrow.

    One of the things I did notice was that ignoring mental defenses is
    far more painful in MnM than in some games; it reminds me of MEGS in
    that respect.
  36. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Sat, 01 May 2004 17:58:11 GMT, Wayne Shaw <shaw@caprica.com> wrote:

    >On 01 May 2004 02:18:22 GMT, llwatts@aol.com.nospam (LLWatts) wrote:
    >
    >>>I'm really looking for ball-park figures. Mostly the major systems-
    >>>Hero, M&M, Marvel, SAS, etc.
    >>
    >>My first ever Hero superhero took most of an afternoon when I should have been
    >>studying, but considering no one (including the person helping me write Kiai)
    >>knew anything about the game ....
    >>
    >>Nowdays, I can do stats for a reasonably complex character in an hour or two.
    >>VPP users take longer, simple iconics less.
    >
    >Strange. I usually find VPP characters take _less_ up front time, as
    >they aren't likely to have as many detailed powers, since the VPP
    >covers several.

    If you don't do the work on the VPP in advance, you'll be doing it in
    play.
  37. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    David Johnston wrote:
    > On Sat, 01 May 2004 17:58:11 GMT, Wayne Shaw <shaw@caprica.com> wrote:

    >>Strange. I usually find VPP characters take _less_ up front time, as
    >>they aren't likely to have as many detailed powers, since the VPP
    >>covers several.
    >
    > If you don't do the work on the VPP in advance, you'll be doing it in
    > play.

    Not necessarily...

    1 - You can do it between sessions, or even in "dead time" during sessions.
    This is still "in advance" in some sense, but it's not "up front time" --
    doing a VPP can let you distribute creation of powers over a long time
    after character creation.

    2 - In some cases, when it's obvious that the PC should have the power to do
    X with their pool, and there's not a combat or similar thing going on, many
    groups will simply hand-wave it. E.g.:

    Player: "We can't read the inscription? I'll use my 20-point "minor
    magic" power pool to do a light spell."

    GM: "Okay, you do that. The inscription says ..."

    --
    ZZzz |\ _,,,---,,_ Travis S. Casey <efindel@earthlink.net>
    /,`.-'`' -. ;-;;,_ No one agrees with me. Not even me.
    |,4- ) )-,_..;\ ( `'-'
    '---''(_/--' `-'\_)
  38. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Sat, 01 May 2004 19:36:33 GMT, rgormannospam@telusplanet.net (David
    Johnston) wrote:

    >On Sat, 01 May 2004 17:58:11 GMT, Wayne Shaw <shaw@caprica.com> wrote:
    >
    >>On 01 May 2004 02:18:22 GMT, llwatts@aol.com.nospam (LLWatts) wrote:
    >>
    >>>>I'm really looking for ball-park figures. Mostly the major systems-
    >>>>Hero, M&M, Marvel, SAS, etc.
    >>>
    >>>My first ever Hero superhero took most of an afternoon when I should have been
    >>>studying, but considering no one (including the person helping me write Kiai)
    >>>knew anything about the game ....
    >>>
    >>>Nowdays, I can do stats for a reasonably complex character in an hour or two.
    >>>VPP users take longer, simple iconics less.
    >>
    >>Strange. I usually find VPP characters take _less_ up front time, as
    >>they aren't likely to have as many detailed powers, since the VPP
    >>covers several.
    >
    >If you don't do the work on the VPP in advance, you'll be doing it in
    >play.
    >

    I've found that to get the value out of a VPP that's mostly when I
    need to do it anyway.
  39. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 00:59:29 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    wrote:

    >Wayne Shaw wrote:
    >> On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 23:45:34 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>>That said, the game really isn't aimed at the "a point of X must be
    >>>of equal worth to a point of Y" crowd.
    >>>Part of why I like it.
    >>>Point based games try to maintain that illusion, but it's too easy
    >>>to break.
    >>
    >>
    >> On the other hand when some attacks are no brainers and some powers
    >> give you sufficiently much more than others, I can't call that any
    >> sort of real mechanical game balance.
    >
    >I'm not aware of a game where that isn't the case.

    Not to the degree of the two I'm thinking of.
  40. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Wayne Shaw wrote:

    > On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 00:59:29 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Wayne Shaw wrote:
    >>
    >>>On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 23:45:34 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    >>>wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>That said, the game really isn't aimed at the "a point of X must be
    >>>>of equal worth to a point of Y" crowd.
    >>>>Part of why I like it.
    >>>>Point based games try to maintain that illusion, but it's too easy
    >>>>to break.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>On the other hand when some attacks are no brainers and some powers
    >>>give you sufficiently much more than others, I can't call that any
    >>>sort of real mechanical game balance.
    >>
    >>I'm not aware of a game where that isn't the case.
    >
    >
    > Not to the degree of the two I'm thinking of.

    I'd say they're just less obvious in other games.

    But back to Marvel Saga:
    Sure Claws aren't as versatile as Fire Control, but you _know_ that
    when you pick it. You're buying to concept, not to some arbitrary
    and artificial 15 x = 15 y.
    Also notice that the versatile and/or "unbalanced" powers usually
    link to less physical stats.
    A character who is a bruiser without his powers doesn't gain as much
    as someone who'd be toast without them.
    There's some nice balance there.
  41. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    >>VPP users take longer, simple iconics less.
    >
    >Strange. I usually find VPP characters take _less_ up front time, as
    >they aren't likely to have as many detailed powers, since the VPP
    >covers several.

    I'd rather work out at least some of the VPP powers in advance. If nothing
    else, it's something to show the GM so we're on the same page on just what the
    VPP can do.

    Leah
  42. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Tue, 04 May 2004 00:45:17 -0400, Sorcier <sNoErMcOier@cavtel.net>
    wrote:

    >>>>On the other hand when some attacks are no brainers and some powers
    >>>>give you sufficiently much more than others, I can't call that any
    >>>>sort of real mechanical game balance.
    >>>
    >>>I'm not aware of a game where that isn't the case.
    >>
    >>
    >> Not to the degree of the two I'm thinking of.
    >
    >I'd say they're just less obvious in other games.
    >
    >But back to Marvel Saga:
    >Sure Claws aren't as versatile as Fire Control, but you _know_ that
    >when you pick it. You're buying to concept, not to some arbitrary
    >and artificial 15 x = 15 y.
    >Also notice that the versatile and/or "unbalanced" powers usually
    >link to less physical stats.
    >A character who is a bruiser without his powers doesn't gain as much
    >as someone who'd be toast without them.
    >There's some nice balance there.

    However when you have powers that yield the equivelent of two
    attributes for one card set, or stunts where a single, not difficult
    success will put someone out for the whole fight, I think they're in a
    far different class than the rest of the system, or even the exploits
    found in most other games.
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