Monthly Archives: March 2012

Thoughts on a House Rule

I’m not generally the type of GM that house-rules things. I feel that most game designers have given much thought to their rules, and have very good reasons for why they did the things they did.

I believe Marvel Heroic Roleplaying has earned its place in the pantheon of Superhero RPGs, but one rule keeps bothering me: If an attack action fails, the reactor may spend 1 PP (or a d6, if the reactor is the Watcher) to use their reaction effect die to apply stress or a complication to their attacker.

This is why I have a problem with it:
** The reactor has more information (the attacker’s total) and can modify their rolls accordingly, using PPs or doom dice. The attacker must decide first whether to add dice to their total.
** You might say that it costs the reactor 1 or more PPs to use this rule (1 PP to use the effect die, but possibly more if you need to spend PPs to beat the total of your attacker), but in this game PPs tend to flow pretty easily, so typically they have the PPs, plus some.

I have seen two “fixes” while perusing online message boards and twitter feeds:
1. The reactor can only use this rule by activating an opportunity. This essentially increases the cost to at least 2 PPs, since you now need to pay one more PP for the opportunity. I also like the narrative aspect of this if you interpret the opportunity as “an opening” or “mistake” made by your opponent, which can be the downside of rolling many dice.
2. If the reactor can spend PPs to modify their roll to beat the attacker, the attacker can then spend afterwards to, if they want, essentially causing a “bidding war” until the available dice run out or the PPs. I like this as a “bidding war” increases tension, plus encourages strategic play when deciding to spend PPs or not.

Of these two, I tend towards #1, as it is more narrative (and thus more in tune with what I believe MHR stands for).

However, from a different perspective, perhaps I don’t have a problem with this rule, but with the broader ability of a player to add to their dice pool total by spending PPs (or doom dice). Perhaps the total should stand with just two dice…? Maybe I’ll investigate the ramifications of this change in a later post…

Categories: GMing, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying | 3 Comments

Galactic Playboy: Starfox!

Starfox (Eros)

Starfox (used without permission)

Affiliations: Solo d6, Buddy d10, Team d8

Distinctions: Casanova, Honorable, Insatiable Wanderlust

TITANIAN ETERNAL
Flight d10, Superhuman Stamina d10, Enhanced Strength d8
SFX: Regeneration. Spend 1 PP to recover his Physical Stress or step back Physical Trauma by –1.
SFX: Immunity to Heat, Cold, Energy, Electricity, Radiation, Poison, Disease and Aging. Spend 1 PP to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from any of these effects.
Limit: Titan. Earn 1 PP when affected by Titan-specific Milestones and tech.

THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE
Positive Emotional Control d10, Psychic Resistance d8
SFX: Area Effect. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
Limit: Weakness for the Ladies. Get 1 PP and step up mental and emotional stress or complications from females.

Specialties: Psych Master d10, Tech Master d10, Cosmic Expert d8

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, My Verge Campaign | 2 Comments

The Ultimate GM: The Grandmaster!

The Grandmaster (En Dwi Gast)

The Grandmaster (used without permission)

Affiliations: Solo d10, Buddy d8, Team d6

Distinctions: Obsessed with Games, Old as the Universe, “You’re all just pawns!”

POWER PRIMORDIAL
Cosmic Energy Supremacy d12, Godlike Cosmic Senses d12, Psychic Resistance d10, Enhanced Stamina d8, Death Touch d12, Force Field d12, Teleport d12, Energy Blast d12, Bestow Powers (Transmutation) d12
SFX: Regeneration. Spend a d6 to recover his Physical Stress or step back Physical Trauma by –1.
SFX: Immunity to Heat, Cold, Energy, Electricity, Radiation, Poison, Disease and Aging. Spend d6 to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from any of these effects.
SFX: Healing. Add Cosmic Energy to your dice pool when helping others recover stress.
SFX: “I’m ten steps ahead!”. Spend d6 to borrow the highest die in the doom pool as an asset for your next action, then step back and return the doom die.
Limit: “I never met a contest I didn’t like…”. Step up or add d6 to the doom pool and step up mental and emotional stress or complications when playing on the Grandmaster’s love of games.

Specialties: Crime Master d10, Cosmic Master d10, Business Master d10, Psych Master d10, Tech Master d10, Mystic Master d10

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, My Verge Campaign | 1 Comment

Kismet (Her)

Kismet (Her)

Kismet (used without permission)

Affiliations: Solo d8, Buddy d6, Team d4

Distinctions: Naive, Looking for Purpose, Former Science Experiment

PERFECTED FORM
Superhuman Strength d10, Superhuman Stamina d10, Flight/Space Flight d10, Enhanced Reflexes d8, Kinetic Bolt d8
SFX: Energy Absorption. On a successful reaction against an energy attack action, convert your opponent’s effect die into a Perfected Form stunt or step up a Perfected Form power by +1 for your next action. Spend d6 to use this stunt if your opponent’s action succeeds.
SFX: Cocoon. Spend an Act to heal ALL forms of trauma and stress. While in this cocoon, add Superhuman Durability d10 to this power set, but lose Reflexes and Flight/Space Flight.
Limit: Weak-Willed. Add d6 to doom pool when you step up stress or complications caused by manipulation.

Specialties: Combat Expert d8, Cosmic Expert d8, Medicine Expert d8, Vehicle Expert d8

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, My Verge Campaign | 4 Comments

Nebula’s Furies

Lore

Affiliations: Solo d4, Buddy d6, Team d8

Distinctions: Works Better with Machines, Quiet, Non-combatant

MACHINE CONTROL
Machine Telepathy d10, Technokinesis d10, Enhanced Senses d8
SFX: Running the Data. Spend d6 to borrow the highest die in the doom pool as an asset for your next action, then step back and return the doom die.
SFX: Snare. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting Snared! complication on a target.
Limit: Too Much Information. Shutdown highest-rated power to gain d6 or step up lowest die in doom pool. Spend d6 to recover.

Specialties: Tech Master d10, Mystic Master d10, Psych Master d10, Science Master d10, Business Master d10, Cosmic Master d10

Pearl

Affiliations: Solo d4, Buddy d8, Team d6

Distinctions: Silence’s Partner, Man-Hater, Raised on the Streets

STAR PEARLS
Earth Control d8, Star Pearl Armor d8, Star Pearl Blades d8
SFX: Gem Affinity. Step up and double Earth Control when using gemstones. Step back Earth Control and spend d6 from the doom pool to use all other types of rock and/or stone.
SFX: Dazzle. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting Dazzled! complication on a target.
Limit: Conscious Activation. While stressed out, asleep, or unconscious, shutdown Star Pearls. Recover Star Pearls when you recover that stress or wake up. If you take emotional trauma, shutdown Star Pearls until you recover that trauma.

Specialties: Acrobatic Master d10, Crime Expert d8, Combat Expert d8

Point

Affiliations: Solo d8, Buddy d4, Team d6

Distinctions: Professional, Leader, Weight of the World

POWER BOW
Weapon d8
SFX: Explosive Arrow. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Paralysis Arrow. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting Paralyzed! complication on a target.
SFX: Versatile. Split POWER BOW into 2d6.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Power Bow and gain d6. Spend a d6 from the doom pool to recover.

ALIEN DNA
Enhanced Senses d8, Enhanced Durability d8, Enhanced Reflexes d8
SFX: Sniper. Use an effect die to create a Targeted! complication on a target during a Scene. You may target them anywhere until the complication is removed or Enhanced Senses is shutdown.
Limit: Sensitive to Bright Light. Step up or add d6 to the doom pool and step up complications inflicted by bright light by +1.

Specialties: Combat Master d10, Crime Expert d8, Business Expert d8, Covert Expert d8

Silence

Affiliations: Solo d6, Buddy d8, Team d4

Distinctions: Pearl’s Partner, Survivor, Mute

SOUND-EATER
Sonic Control d8
SFX: Deafen. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting Deaf! complication on a target.
Limit: Only Remove Sound. Silence’s control of sound is limited to only removing it.
Limit: Effectively Deaf. Make Sonic Control a complication when others are trying to interact with her or she tries to interact with them, unless they know sign language.

ALIEN DNA
Enhanced Senses d8, Enhanced Stamina d8, Enhanced Reflexes d8, Electric Touch d8, Blending d8
SFX: ZAP! Add a d6 to your dice pool for Electric Touch attack action and step back highest die in pool by –1. Step up Physical stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Cold Vulnerability. Add d6 to the doom pool and step up physical stress by +1 when attack is cold or ice-based. If stressed out from cold-induced physical stress, shutdown Alien DNA.

Specialties: Combat Master d10, Crime Expert d8

Mallea

Affiliations: Solo d8, Buddy d4, Team d6

Distinctions: Manipulator, Adaptable, Good Singing Voice

GENETIC MIMIC
Mimic d10
SFX: Permanent Change. Add in another Power Set or replace an existing Power Set by stressing herself out and taking d10 Trauma. She must heal the trauma before using the new Power Set. None of the new Power Traits can exceed d10, nor can they be technological or mystic in nature.
Limit: Conscious Activation. If stressed out, asleep, or unconscious, shutdown Genetic Mimic. Recover Genetic Mimic when stress is recovered or you awake. If Physical Trauma is taken, shutdown Genetic Mimic until trauma is recovered.
Limit: No Tech or Mystic Mimic. She cannot mimic technology or mystical powers.

Specialties: Covert Expert d8, Psych Expert d8, Combat Expert d8

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, My Verge Campaign, Original Content | 1 Comment

The Emissary

The Emissary (John D. Manfrenjenson)

On the planet Earth, The Embassy is a shadow organization that makes deals and negotiates with alien races without the blessing or knowledge of established countries or organizations like SHIELD or SWORD.

The Emissary is their top agent.

Affiliations: Solo d10, Buddy d8, Team d6

Distinctions: Trained Diplomat, Sociopath, Words before Weapons

SPEAK SOFTLY
Superhuman Senses d10, Emotional Attack d10
SFX: Immunity to Emotional Attack. Spend d6 to ignore Emotional Stress/trauma.
SFX: Sharp Tongue. Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back highest die in pool by –1. Step up Emotional stress or Mental Stress inflicted by +1.
SFX: Work the Crowd. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
Limit: Conscious Activation. If stressed out, asleep, or unconscious, shutdown Speak Softly power set. Recover Speak Softly when stress is recovered or you awake. If Mental Trauma is taken, shutdown Speak Softly until trauma is recovered

CARRY A BIG STICK
Weapon d10
SFX: Energy Absorption. On a successful reaction against an Energy attack action, convert your opponent’s effect die into a Carry a Big Stick stunt or step up a Carry a Big Stick power by +1 for your next action. Spend d6 to use this stunt if your opponent’s action succeeds.
SFX: EMP. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Carry a Big Stick, and gain d6 or step up lowest in Doom Pool. Spend a d6 to recover.

Specialties: Psych Master d10, Cosmic Master d10, Combat Expert d8

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, My Verge Campaign, Original Content | 1 Comment

The Collector

The Collector (Taneleer Tivan)

The Collector (used without permission)

Affiliations: Solo d10, Buddy d8, Team d6

Distinctions: Obsessed with His Collection, Old as the Universe, Schemer

POWER PRIMORDIAL
Cosmic Energy Supremacy d12, Godlike Cosmic Senses d12, Psychic Resistance d10, Enhanced Stamina d8, Enhanced Strength d8, Enhanced Durability d8
SFX: Regeneration. Spend a d6 to recover his Physical Stress or step back Physical Trauma by –1.
SFX: Immunity to Aging. Spend d6 to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from aging effects.
SFX: Precognitive Flashes. Spend a d6 to borrow the highest die in the doom pool as an asset for his next action, then step back and return the doom die.
Limit: “My Pretties…!”. Step up lowest or add d6, and step up emotional stress caused by threats to his collection by +1.

THE COLLECTION
Godlike Teleport d12, Weapon d10, Gadgets d10, Etherion Armor d10, Flight d10
SFX: Containment Field. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting COLLECTED! complication on a target.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown THE COLLECTION, and step up lowest or add d6 to the doom pool. Spend d6 from the doom pool to recover.

Specialties: Crime Master d10, Cosmic Master d10, Business Master d10, Psych Master d10, Science Master d10, Tech Master d10, Mystic Master d10

NOTE:

In addition to tech gadgets, his collection can be interpreted as animals or other beings. These can be represented as assets or perhaps direct attacks via the Weapons power trait. The Gear limit can be interpreted as losing control of his minion.
Also, the Watcher can prepare more significant threats with separate datafiles.

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, My Verge Campaign | 1 Comment

Kree Sentry

Kree Sentry

Kree Sentry (used without permission)

Affiliations: Solo 3d8, Buddy 2d6, Team d4

Distinctions: Giant Robot, Kree Designed, Single-Minded

CONSTRUCT
Godlike Stamina d12, Superhuman Strength d10, Superhuman Durability d10, Energy Blast d10, Enhanced Reflexes d8
SFX: Boost. Shutdown your highest rated Construct power to step up another Construct power by +1. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.
SFX: Immune to Psychic Effects, Poison and Disease. Spend d6 to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from Psychic Effects, Poisons or Disease.
SFX: Wide-Angle Blast. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
Limit: Huge. Can’t attack anyone smaller than a child, can’t fit between narrow rocks, and other problems. Turn a Construct power into a Complication and add d6 doom. Spend d6 doom to recover.

Specialties: Combat Expert d8

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, My Verge Campaign | 1 Comment

Nova (Richard Rider)

Nova (Richard Rider)

Nova (used without permission)

Affiliations: Solo d10, Buddy d6, Team d8

Distinctions: Youthful, Impulsive, Unsure of His Role

NOVA FORCE
Gravity Mastery d10, Gravimetric Blast d10, Superhuman Strength d10, Enhanced Stamina d8
SFX: Gravimetric Pulse. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Unleashed. Step up or double any Nova Force power for one action. If the action fails, add a die to doom pool equal to the normal rating of your power die.
Limit: Too Much, Too Soon. Shutdown any Nova Force power to gain 1 PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.

NOVA CORPS UNIFORM
Flight/Space Flight d10, Enhanced Durability d8, Enhanced Senses d8
SFX: Boost. Shutdown your highest rated Nova Corps Uniform power to step up another Nova Corps Uniform power by +1. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Nova Corp Uniform, and gain 1 PP. Take an action vs.the doom pool to recover.

Specialties: Acrobatic Expert d8, Combat Expert d8, Cosmic Expert d8

Nova Corps Members

Nova Corps Members (used without permission)

Affiliations: Solo d4, Buddy d8, Team d6

Distinctions: Space Police

NOVA FORCE
Gravity Mastery d10, Gravimetric Blast d10, Superhuman Strength d10, Enhanced Stamina d8
SFX: Gravimetric Pulse. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
Limit: Too Much, Too Soon. Shutdown any Nova Force power to gain 1 PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.

NOVA CORPS UNIFORM
Flight/Space Flight d10, Enhanced Durability d8, Enhanced Senses d8
SFX: Boost. Shutdown your highest rated Nova Corps Uniform power to step up another Nova Corps Uniform power by +1. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Nova Corp Uniform, and gain 1 PP. Take an action vs.the doom pool to recover.

Specialties: Acrobatic Expert d8, Combat Expert d8, Cosmic Expert d8

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, My Verge Campaign | 2 Comments

Air-Walker Robot

Air-Walker Robot

Air-Walker Robot (used without permission)

Affiliations: Solo d10, Buddy d8, Team d6

Distinctions: Xandarian Military Officer, Former Herald of Galactus, Cold and Unemotional

THE POWER COSMIC
Cosmic Energy Mastery d10, Energy Blast d10, Transmutation d10
SFX: Versatile. Split Cosmic Energy Mastery into 2d8 or 3d6.
Limit: Overloaded. Shutdown any Power Cosmic power to add d6 or step up lowest die in Doom Pool. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.

COSMIC CONSTRUCT
Godlike Cosmic Senses d12, Godlike Stamina d12, Flight/Space Flight d12, Superhuman Durability d10, Superhuman Strength d10, Superhuman Reflexes d10
SFX: Adapted to Space. Spend d6 to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from fire, cold, disease or aging effects.
SXF: Synthetic Brain. Spend d6 to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from psychic effects.
SFX: Ability Boost. Shutdown your highest rated Cosmic Construct ability power to step up another Cosmic Construct ability power by +1. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.
Limit: Only a Machine. Earn d6 or step up lowest die in doom pool when affected by robot Milestones and tech.

Specialties: Acrobatic Master d10, Combat Master d10, Cosmic Master d10, Vehicle Expert d8

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, My Verge Campaign | 1 Comment

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