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Author Topic: What comics codes and house rules do you always use?  (Read 5097 times)
Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« on: March 06, 2006, 02:27:13 PM »

Do any of you have any standard house rules or comic codes that you use in the majority of the Capes games you play or run?  Ones that you would generally not like to run/play a Capes game without?
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-Sindyr
TonyLB
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2006, 03:09:42 PM »

The Spotlight character house rule, plus the "Spotlight characters will not die" comics code is very common.  I don't play it in every game I play, but it's like a nice fluffy security blanket when it's there.
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Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2006, 05:11:32 PM »

How about rules or codes that support karma (Bad guys can't ultimately win, Good guys can't ultimately lose) or  protect innocents from the mayhem caused by both the bad guys and the good guys fighting the bad guys? (Throw some trucks at bad guys an sooner or later, someone is gonna lsoe an eye! heh heh.)

-Sindyr
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-Sindyr
Sindyr
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2006, 05:15:42 PM »

Not being able to go back and edit out my spelling mistakes is frustrating.

And yes, I know there's a spell checker. ;)

I guess you will all know me for the terrible typist I am.

-Sindyr
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TonyLB
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2006, 08:51:48 PM »

I see "Nobody may die as a result of hero action or inaction," on occasion.  It makes for more of a gold- or silver-age motif. 

I've never seen karma rules of the type that the Bad Guys can't ultimately win.  I'm not really sure what "ultimately" means in a comic book context.  If the Bad Guy enslaves every mind on earth (including the heroes) to his evil whim, and sets them to building a space armada with which he will plunge earth into intergalactic war, that's not an ultimate victory ... that's still just the setup for the hero's dramatic comeback.  And then the comeback of the heroes is a setup for the villains terrible vengeance, and on and on.

Though if you had a sense that there was a pre-set story-arc, and that you were getting near the end of it, then you could jump on the idea of a comics code that protected the happy ending you wanted at that end.  I haven't seen it, myself, but I certainly see where it would make sense.
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drnuncheon
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Posts: 155

Some call me Jeff


« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006, 12:47:50 PM »

Our code is here, although we're actually using Capes to fuel an Angel/Hellblazer style supernatural investigations game.  (Starting soon.) 

As you can see, we don't forbid a whole lot, so I expect there will be a whole lot less gloating in our games and a whole lot more Bad Stuff.  Then again, that's kind of the genre we're aiming for.
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Tuxboy
Member

Posts: 125


« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2006, 02:48:46 AM »

Very nice work...especially like:

Quote
Any rule in the Code can be broken if everyone agrees.

Gives a very dark setting which I much prefer over the:

Quote
"Nobody may die as a result of hero action or inaction,"

Love the idea of actions and consequences. If a hero's actions cause the death of civilians they should face justice...image the court room drama of Captain Stupendous being sued for damages or charged with murder...
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Doug

"Besides the day I can't maim thirty radioactive teenagers is the day I hang up my coat for good!" ...Midnighter
Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2006, 05:34:24 AM »

I am a little confused...

Very nice work...especially like:

Quote
Any rule in the Code can be broken if everyone agrees.

Gives a very dark setting which I much prefer over the:

How does the above Code encourage a dark setting, or any at all?  All it says is that is everyone is in agreement (consensus) rules can be overridden  - which is pretty normal.  But there may very well be one or more players who don't enjoy dark settings - so this Code would not come into play.


Quote
"Nobody may die as a result of hero action or inaction,"

Love the idea of actions and consequences. If a hero's actions cause the death of civilians they should face justice...image the court room drama of Captain Stupendous being sued for damages or charged with murder...


I think (I may be wrong) that you got this exactly and completly wrong.  According to the above rule, no hero would ever face a charge of causing the death of anyone because according to the above rule, it simply cannot occur.  That rule makes it impossible for anyone to die as a result of hero action or inaction.  Therefor there would never be any homicide or manslaughter trials - reckless endargement maybe, or destruction of property, but that's all.

Everyone else agree, or do I have it wrong?
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-Sindyr
Hans
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Posts: 576


« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2006, 06:33:29 AM »

II think (I may be wrong) that you got this exactly and completly wrong.  According to the above rule, no hero would ever face a charge of causing the death of anyone because according to the above rule, it simply cannot occur.  That rule makes it impossible for anyone to die as a result of hero action or inaction.  Therefor there would never be any homicide or manslaughter trials - reckless endargement maybe, or destruction of property, but that's all.

Everyone else agree, or do I have it wrong?

I think I mentioned something about this in another thread, but I will mention it again.  No person can REALLY (i.e an incontrovertible fact in the game world) die from the result of an action or inaction of a hero.  This is something the PLAYERS know.  It has absolutely as much or as little to do with what the characters know as the players want it to.  I could easily put down an "Event: Good Guy is 100% certain he has killed an innocent person", or "Goal: Bad Guy frames Good Guy for murder", or "Event: Little Susie appears to be dead from the bus thrown by Good Guy."  As long as no one vetos the above, they are all perfectly valid under that code.  To me, all of those sound like very fruitful conflicts in terms of interesting stories. 

Sure, the PLAYERS know no one has really died, or at Ieast that if someone has died, the heroes weren't at fault.  But the players can choose to let the heroes squirm all they want over the issue.  If it is interesting for the heroes to be accused of murder, make it happen.  In the film "The Fugitive", we, as the viewers, know Harrison Ford didn't kill anyone.  Part of the fun of the film is watching him struggle to clear his name.  I think what this code does require though is careful wording of events and goals, and also the understanding that the storyline of "hero accused of being a killer" is on the table only for as long as all the players find it interesting.  Eventually, someone will play "Goal: Hero clears name and is exonerated" and what the PLAYERS know to be true will now become part of the game.

It doesn't mean you couldn't play it the way you describe, thats perfectly fine.  It could be that the kind of stories I describe above are uninteresting to you, which is cool.  If that is the case, I would argue that a better way to phrase it would be:

"No person can actually or ever be perceived to die as a result of the action or inaction of a Hero, and a Hero can never be wrongly accused of causing a death."   
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Tuxboy
Member

Posts: 125


« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2006, 03:19:47 AM »

Quote
How does the above Code encourage a dark setting, or any at all?  All it says is that is everyone is in agreement (consensus) rules can be overridden  - which is pretty normal.  But there may very well be one or more players who don't enjoy dark settings - so this Code would not come into play.

This was a comment on the whole Code that drnuncheon is using rather than the quoted section, which was commented as I do like the idea. All the players I play with prefer a much darker setting, which is why we have been working on a dark and gritty Comics Code to reflect a darker setting.

Our group are looking to produce a CC that would make death a much more permanent and devastating thing, and as death would be permanent then the need for a safety net like
Quote
Any rule in the Code can be broken if everyone agrees
may well be required if a major character was about to buy the farm and the player/s had more plot the wanted to run with him/her, rather than resorting to the cliched ways of bringing someone back from the dead.

Quote
"Nobody may die as a result of hero action or inaction,"

Does indeed work exactly the way you said...I just don't like it!!! Which is why I quoted it and expressed my reasons for disagreeing with it.

It smacks of the whole "3 men for a quarter" aspects of the age old DnD resurrection issue which is fine for Golden or Silver age settings, but doesn't give the possibility of actions having real consequences.

"With great power comes great responsibility" suddenly becomes a lot less powerful a statement if  no-one needs to show any sense of responsibility when you know there are no consequences to your actions.

But it is a matter of taste, that's why sitting down with the group and coming up with a CC is one of the most important aspects.

If you are happy with the Golden/Silver Age setting then great...all I'm saying is that I and my group of player's aren't ;)
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Doug

"Besides the day I can't maim thirty radioactive teenagers is the day I hang up my coat for good!" ...Midnighter
TonyLB
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2006, 09:02:55 AM »

"With great power comes great responsibility" suddenly becomes a lot less powerful a statement if  no-one needs to show any sense of responsibility when you know there are no consequences to your actions.

Well, there's no stick.  There's a carrot, though.

To clarify:  You are not punished with dead civilians all over the place if you do not choose to address the moral issues of bystander safety.  You are, however, rewarded with power and resources if you do choose to address the moral issues of bystander safety.

It's not like the game robs you of the tools to make powerful statements about what your character will stand for.  It just comes at them from an angle that may be unfamiliar to you.  You would not be the first roleplayer I've met who is more accustomed to being punished for failure than being rewarded for success.
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Tuxboy
Member

Posts: 125


« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2006, 08:30:12 AM »

Quote
It's not like the game robs you of the tools to make powerful statements about what your character will stand for.  It just comes at them from an angle that may be unfamiliar to you.  You would not be the first roleplayer I've met who is more accustomed to being punished for failure than being rewarded for success.

*L* Good point...I prefer the option of reward and punishment, makes the rewards that much more sweet. Nothing tastes more bitter to me than an unearned victory.

Must admit I'm the one that normally does the punishing *VBG*

I love the game and the way it is structured, especially the way the CC gives you the ability to change setting elements to suit the players.

But having said all that I am planning a "Tickesque" romp of a less than serious nature for the next time so brutal realism will go out the window ;)
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Doug

"Besides the day I can't maim thirty radioactive teenagers is the day I hang up my coat for good!" ...Midnighter
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