Monthly Archives: April 2012

House Rule: Campaign Assets and Complications

Hi all,

During games, heroes and villains can create assets, complications and resources that allow them to add dice to their action/reaction rolls.
While working on my Verge campaign, I began to think about how I would handle my group’s reputation. Their team is a band of intergalactic specialists-for-hire. They’re not quite heroes, but not quite villains, and they certainly do their job for the money.

In the FATE system, campaigns can have Aspects that the players can invoke at any time, as long as the theme of their actions match that of the Campaign Aspect. So, I thought, why can’t I use this idea?

For example, I decided to give my player’s group a persistent Reputation Asset die that they can roll in their dice pool, if their team’s reputation is at stake. This Reputation die can be rolled in addition to another asset (like Scene Distinctions can also be rolled with Personal Distinction, as suggested as another House Rule).

The die will step up or step down depending on their actions during the adventure. Did they complete their mission? Did they cause too much collateral damage? Did the exceed their mandate? If they consistently foul up, then the die moves from being an asset to a complication (and is thus rolled against them whenever their reputation is involved).

The progression would be d12 Asset -> d10 Asset -> d8 Asset -> d6 Asset -> d0 Neither -> d6 Complication -> d8 Complication -> d10 Complication -> d12 Complication.

Individual or group wealth can also be handled in this manner, when making Resource rolls involving purchases, for example.

Or perhaps you just want to keep track of the campaign’s progress, depending on the actions of the heroes. Suppose the campaign revolves around a theme of war and peace.

(used without permission)

The War/Peace die could be rolled whenever their respective themes are involved. The progression can look something like this d12 WAR! -> d10 Troop Build-Up -> d8 Weapon-Making -> d6 Harsh Words -> d0 Status Quo -> d6 Peace Talks -> d8 Disarmament -> d10 Demobilization -> d12 Peace Accord

What do you think?

Categories: FATE, GMing, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Original Content | 5 Comments

Fear the Porcupine!

With a preponderance of minor villains flooding the MHR web community, I submit my favorite one…

THE PORCUPINE (Alexander Gentry)

The Porcupine (used without permission)

Affiliations:

Solo      Buddy      Team

Distinctions: Greedy, Paranoid, Proud of his Technological Achievements

PORCUPINE ARMOR

Boot-Jets      Darkvision       Enhanced Durability      Sharp Spines

SFX: Spray of Spines. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.

SFX: Sealed Mask. Spend 1 PP to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from vacuum or gas attacks.

SFX: Knock-Out Gas. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting Gassed! complication on a target.

Limit: Gear. Shutdown PORCUPINE ARMOR and gain 1 PP. Spend a d6 from the doom pool to recover, or during a transition scene.

Specialties: Combat Rookie      Tech Expert      Crime Expert

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying | Leave a comment

Running on Ongoing Campaign with MHR

Hi all,

The Watcher (used without permission)

As I’ve been Watching my campaign for the new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game, I’ve noticed how Action Scenes and Transition scenes seem natural ways to break-up the flow of the Event, as designed by the good people at Margaret Weis Productions.

However, as an ongoing campaign, I’m not sure this is the best structure to hold the game to. My sessions tend to be much more organic, some heroes switching between battles and roleplaying scenes while another subgroup doing the reverse, instead of having the whole group move between them as the Event demands.
As a consequence is that I usually ditch the Scene-Act-Event sequence for Scene-Issue-Arc-Campaign:

  • Scenes are pretty much the same, but I do not wait for everyone to finish before moving to the next, whether it be Transition or Action. If someone wants to heal during breaks in the action, I judge whether they have enough time to do so.
  • Issues are simply gaming sessions, and can be any permutation of transitions and action.
  • Arcs are the equivalent of Events, and are two to three Issues. Unlockables and Milestones are geared towards Arcs, not individual Issues.
  • Campaign is the overarching, ongoing story, made up of Arcs and stand-alone Issues.

Given that XP is designed to be given out and cashed in during self-contained Events, I have modified them slightly, to produce a slower payoff:

  • 1XP can only be hit once a Scene.
  • 3XP can only be hit once an Issue.
  • 10XP can only be hit once an Arc.

What do you think?

Categories: GMing, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Original Content | Leave a comment

House Rule: Doom Pool Dice Equivalencies

Hi all! I had a thought this morning as I walked the dogs…

Doctor Doom (used without permission)

I was thinking about how, during my last Verge campaign game, I teleported two of the heroes in Buddy configuration away from the rest of the group. It was a natural progression of the story, and I gave the other two players a chance to interact before they disappeared, but I did not spend any doom dice to split them up. At this point they weren’t working as a team (the other two were separately and covertly watching from a distance), so I didn’t think I needed to spend any doom dice to split the group.

I started thinking about how, if I needed, to retroactively spend dice. And I wondered if I had the right dice in the doom pool (I wrote down what was in it before the game ended) to complete the split, namely the highest affiliation die of the heroes I teleported away. In this case, if they had been working as a team, it would have been a d8.

I thought, okay, well, specialties have shown us that it is possible to substitute d10 for 2d8 or 3d6, and d8 for 2d6. So, if I didn’t have the d8, I could just spend 2d6 from the doom pool! And this started me thinking that perhaps I could do use this at any time, even substituting 8d6 for 2d12, or 6d8, or 4d10, if I wanted to end a scene. After all, for each player opportunity (and giving them 1PP), I can step up the lowest die in the doom pool anyway.

In summary, whenever spending dice from the doom pool: d12 = 2d10 = 3d8 = 4d6.

What do you think?

Categories: GMing, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Original Content | 2 Comments

Annihilus of Anthros!

ANNIHILUS OF ANTHROS

Affiliations: 

Annihilus (used without permission)

Solo      Buddy      Team

Distinctions: Power-Hungry, Paranoid, Arrogant

INSECTOID PHYSIOLOGY

Flight      Superhuman Durability      Superhuman Strength          Superhuman Stamina      Resistance to Psychic Attacks 

SFX: Merciless. Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back highest die in pool by –1. Step up physical stress  inflicted by +1.

Limit: Prideful. Add d6 to doom when you step up stress or complications caused by emotional manipulation.

COSMIC CONTROL ROD

Blast     Inorganic Matter Supremacy      Energy Supremacy

SFX: Immune to Disease, Radiation and Heat/Cold. Spend 1 PP to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from these effects.

SFX: Area Attack. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.

SFX: Versatile. Split ENERGY SUPREMACY into 2d10  or 3d8.

SFX: Boost. Shutdown your highest rated COSMIC CONTROL ROD power to step up a INSECTOID PHYSIOLOGY power by +1. Recover power by activating an opportunity, spending d6 from the doom pool or during a Transition Scene.

Limit: Gear. Shutdown COSMIC CONTROL ROD and add a d6 or step up lowest in doom pool.  Spend d6 from the doom pool to recover. While without the Control Rod, Annihilus ages rapidly, taking d6 Physical trauma per week until it is returned. The trauma is recovered immediately upon return.

Specialties: Menace Expert      Combat Expert      Cosmic Expert      Tech Expert

BUG HORDE

Affiliations:

Bug Horde (used without permission)

Team

Distinctions: Insectoid Warriors, Savage

INSECTOID PHYSIOLOGY

Flight      Energy Pistols      Swarm

SFX: Claws. Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back highest die in pool by –1. Step up physical stress  inflicted by +1.

SFX: Area Attack. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.

Limit: Mob Cohesion. Defeat Team dice (with d8 stress) to reduce mob.

Specialties: Combat Expert

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

Star Wars: HACK!

I’m slowly convincing my husband to roleplay with me. I really like the Cortex+ system used by the Marvel Heroic system.

(used without permission)

Here are some thoughts on how I would move in that direction:

1. Affiliations will become: Mind, Body, Force. Body for combat and physical tasks. Mind for mental/emotional tasks. Force for will-based tasks and using the Force. I might possibly move the will-based task to Mental, making Force purely about using the Force.

2. Add a Dark Side stress track for Force-users. When trauma passes d12, they become NPCs.

3. When a player uses the Force in a dark way, first roll vs. the Doom Pool. Add that power trait’s die to the Doom Pool. If the action fails, the player receives Dark Side stress equal to the Doom Pool’s effect die. If they action opposes another character, the GM will roll both the Doom Pool (to determine Dark Side stress) and the reaction of the opponent.

4. The Dark Side stress can be rolled against the player in times of temptation. Like a limit, the player can choose to include the Dark Side stress die for +1 PP, or the GM can invoke it for free if the player does not.

5. The player can use the Dark Side stress/trauma die any time, but it will be stepped up afterwards.

Any comments?

Categories: GMing, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Star Wars | 3 Comments

The Warlord of Baluur!

BLASTAAR, WARLORD OF BALUUR

Blastaar (used without permission)

Affiliations:

Solo      Buddy      Team

Distinctions: Military Genius, Savage, Fancies Himself a Monarch

BALUURIAN PHYSIOLOGY

Flight      Enhanced Durability      Superhuman Strength     Blast      Godlike Stamina

SFX: Bomb-Burst. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.

SFX: Unleashed. Step up or double any BALUURIAN PHYSIOLOGY power for one action. If the action fails, add a die to doom pool equal to the normal rating of your power die.

SFX: Suspended Animation. By going into suspended animation during a transition scene, step back your own physical stress and/or trauma by –1. For an act, recover all stress and trauma.

Limit: Prone to Rage. Add d6 to doom when you step up stress or complications caused by emotional manipulation.

Specialties: Menace Master      Combat Expert      Cosmic Expert

BALUURIAN BATTLE-CADRE

Affiliations:

Baluurians (used without permission)

Team

Distinctions:  Warriors, Merciless

CADRE TRAITS

Energy Pistols      Pile-On

SFX: Area Attack. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.

Limit: Mob Cohesion. Defeat Team dice (with d8 stress) to reduce mob.

Specialties: Combat Expert

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, My Verge Campaign | Leave a comment

Justice, Like Lightning… CITIZEN V

And, the mastermind behind the whole thing:

CITIZEN V (Helmut Zemo)

Citizen V (used without permission)

Affiliations:

Solo      Buddy      Team

Distinctions: Power-Hungry, Obsessed with Family Legacy, Adventurist

PARAPHERNALIA

V-Glider      Sword      Body Armor     Laser Blaster 

SFX: Focus.If pool includes PARAPHERNALIA power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.

SFX: Skilled Fencer. Step up or double a SWORD die against a single target. Remove the highest rolling die and add 3 dice for your total.

SFX: Careful Planning. Spend 1 PP to reroll when using PARAPHERNALIA power.

SFX: Mastermind. Spend 1 PP to borrow the highest die in the doom poll as an asset for your next action, then step back and return the doom die.

Limit: Gear. Shutdown PARAPHERNALIA and gain 1 PP. Take an action vs. doom pool to recover.

Specialties: Crime Master      Business Expert      Psych Expert      Menace Expert      Acrobatics Expert     Science Master      Combat Master

MILESTONES:

I’M THE LEADER

1 XP — when you issue orders and someone follows them.
3 XP — when you defeat a foe without any team member becoming stressed out.
10 XP — when you either convince a hero to join the team or convince someone to leave the team.

LINGERING HATE

1 XP — when you declare someone a long-time foe.
3 XP — when you deal trauma to your old foe, or they deal trauma to you.
10 XP — when you are defeated by that foe or you defeat them, in one-on-one combat.

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying | Leave a comment

Justice, Like Lightning… MACH-I

The former Beetle:

MACH-I (Abe Jenkins)

MACH-I (used without permission)

Affiliations:

Solo      Buddy      Team

Distinctions: History of Defeat, Criminal Ties, Tinkerer

M.A.C.H. ARMOR

Superhuman Strength      Enhanced Durability      Flight      Mercy Bullets      Missiles      Sensors      Protected Senses

SFX: Gas Grenades. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting Knock-Out Gas! complication on a target.

SFX: Explosion. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.

SFX: Boost. Shutdown your highest rated MACH ARMOR power to step up another MACH ARMOR power by +1. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.

SFX: Sealed System. Spend 1 PP to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from gas or vacuum effects.

Limit: Damaged. Shutdown MACH ARMOR and gain 1 PP. Take an action vs. the doom pool to recover, or during a transition scene.

Specialties: Crime Expert      Acrobatics Expert      Combat Expert      Tech Expert      Vehicle Expert

MILESTONES:

HOLDING IT TOGETHER WITH BUBBLEGUM AND PAPERCLIPS!

1 XP — when you express how worried you are that your armor “can’t take much more punishment!”
3 XP — when your DAMAGED limit shuts down your armor until a transition scene.
10 XP — when you defeat an opponent without your armor.

MURDERER

1 XP — when you use lethal force outside of combat (thus starting a fight), or prevent someone else from doing the same
3 XP — when you engage in a confrontation with another hero regarding use of lethal force, and your action or reaction total makes you the victor.
10 XP — when you leave the team and go to jail for your past crimes or stay on the team, discrediting their attempts at redemption.

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying | Leave a comment

Justice, Like Lightning… SONGBIRD

Songbird (Melissa Gold)

Songbird (used without permission)

Affiliations:

Solo      Buddy      Team

Distinctions: Former Female Wrestler, Unsure of Herself, Beautiful

SONIC HARNESS

Sonic Control      Enhanced Durability      Flight

SFX: Sonic Constructs. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when using SONIC HARNESS to create assets.

SFX: Sonic Bubble. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting Trapped in a Sonic Bubble! complication on a target.

SFX: Area Attack. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.

SFX: Unleashed. Step up or double any SONIC HARNESS power for one action. If the action fails, add a die to doom pool equal to the normal rating of
your power die.

Limit: Gear. Shutdown SONIC HARNESS and gain 1 PP. Take an action vs. doom pool to recover.

Limit: Weak-Willed. Gain 1 PP when you step up stress or complications caused by manipulation.

Specialties: Crime Expert      Acrobatics Expert      Combat Expert

MILESTONES:

ROMANCE!

1 XP — when you interact with an appropriate character specifically for the purpose of flirting with them.
3 XP — when you pursue your crush beyond your initial advances.
10 XP — when you say “I love you,” regardless of whether they reciprocate.

SCREAMING MIMI

1 XP — when you refer to yourself in the third person as Screaming Mimi during the heat of battle, as a way to overcome fear.
3 XP — when you use UNLEASHED in your Screaming Mimi persona, but the action fails.
10 XP — when decide to leave the team and resume your life as Screaming Mimi, or reject Screaming Mimi and embrace your teammates.

Categories: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying | Leave a comment

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