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Author Topic: (split) super power categories  (Read 1649 times)
sean2099
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« on: October 26, 2006, 08:53:19 AM »

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=21789.0 is the thread I am splitting from at this point.  As you can probably tell, I am wanting to make some sort of 'supers' game.  I hope the thread will help other people as well.

Anyway, I just want to come with some broad categories of powers to serve as guidelines and then a few example of "strong" powers and "weak" powers.  Strong meaning does not occur in nature for most part while weak being occurs in nature even if one animal does it or upper limits of human ability  For example...(yes flight breaks the description above.:))

Movement Powers:

Strong:  Flight, Teleportation, Superspeed, sort of extreme jump power, Inter-planer travel
Weak:  Running (limits to that of world class athletes), sort of limited flight (maybe gliding), lesser jump?

Wish I had more time...

Sean
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Troy_Costisick
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2006, 11:24:15 AM »

Heya,

I just want to make sure I understand your request....Are you just asking for a list of ideas for super-powers?

Peace,

-Troy
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sean2099
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2006, 12:56:31 PM »

Hey Troy,

For right now...I am toying around with the idea of either having direct/specific powers or environment/broad.  Specifically, I was thinking of allowing the player to either state 2 or 3 things that are true about their power and always work to specification but never deviate from the specfications or allowing the player to pick a broader power but it would be subject to GM Fiat.  So, I was looking for a generic list rather than sifting through the pile of super stuff I have.  Then, I wanted to go through such a list, use it for examples, and go from there.

Sean
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TroyLovesRPG
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2006, 03:58:50 PM »

Hello Sean,

Based on the other thread, its important to evaluate the temptation of the ability to determine the power of it. Otherwise, its just another list of abilities and your game doesn't seem to lend itself to generic abilities. A good place to start is how the super-heroes gain their abilities. If it could be from any genetic or environmental possibility, then you have a lot of work to flesh out a complete list.

I suggest looking at the different groups that have a game-system effect. In that way you'll be able to gauge the level of the ability. So, there are movement, attack, defense, damage, knowledge, resilience, willpower, evasion, pursuit, environmental control, object manipulation, organic modification, mind alteration and energy burst groups...just as a start. Determine the relative value for each +1 or -1 that a power has. Are they linear, geometric or exponential? Is the temptation of a power directly related to its lack of downfall (no energy drain contrasted to a random secondary effect)? This could get very complicated and you must support it with some sound logic.

Just think about everything a person can do in real life down to the cellular level. Now just increase the effect or modify it. That would keep you grounded within the organic spectrum.

Troy
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dindenver
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006, 04:24:00 PM »

Hi!
  I think you have two really different choices:
1) Make a list of powers that fits the theme of your setting/mechanics. So, for instance, Calling Flight: Flight, Super Flight, Wingless Flight, Antigravity Projection or Wings of the Bird throws the players into a certain frame of mind when deciding whether or not to choose a power.
2) Help pump up the temptation to use the power by letting the players create the powers they want for their characters.
  Just a thought...
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sean2099
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2006, 05:42:36 PM »

So, it seems like I am looking at two very different options here.  Either precision with powers (i.e. ice blast does....long paragraph) or leaving up to the players.  I had originally thought of having each rating in a power allowing the player to write one short sentence to define.  i.e. a rating 2 power can have 2 short phrases to describe it while a rating five power has 5 short phrases....this would define the power by the player but would never (ok, rarely at most) deviate from their description of that power.  The advantage would be that the GM (once they approve the power) would not be able to limit the power as long as the description allows it.  Either that or being general...a player has control the weather 5...ok you can do different things (more than what a few short phrases can state) but you are more subject to GM Fiat.  In addition, they can describe the 'color' of the power without penalty....is the blast green or a ball of fire?  Do they fly because of wings, telekinesis or something else?

To be honest, that sounds like a better option (to me) than trying to come with detailed power lists.  Perhaps I can tweak the above a bit but I hope all of you get the general idea.  As for origins of power, I am thinking of just a listing a few common origins and then also having the option of whether or not the players know how they got their powers.

i.e.  The X-men knows their powers are from genetic mutation at least but the people in 'Heroes' do not know why they have their powers...at least not now.
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Ken
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2006, 05:28:01 AM »

Sounds like your powers have two aspects: Power Level & Descriptors (or something like this). This would allow you to have the ratings (that would go towards a characters' temptation and resolve) and allow for adding descriptors to augment a power's abilities. Pricing powers could be as simple as (base cost + descriptor cost x power level).

This way, you could write a brief summary of what the power does with a list of descriptors. The list of descriptors would imply what the power doesn't do, unless you buy the bonus. The more descriptors you buy, the more the power can do, the more it costs per level. Also, descriptors only effect price, not how much temptation and resolve they generate.

Using your examples:

Flight
The power to move through the air at normal ground speed. The character becomes airborne by use of wings (or by flapping arms with use of artificial wing apparatus, or as GM allows).

Descriptors: Wingless, Fast, Interstellar, Hover, Stealthy, Thrust Trail, Creates Wake/Draft, Creates Vortex, Share with Others

Weather Control
Allows character to generate one pre-determined weather condition in the local area (neighborhood).

Descriptors: Double # of weather conditions, Enhanced Area, Direct Attack, Weather Shield, Move Objects, Area Attack, Obscure Senses, Movement, Lethal Storms

I wrote this pretty quick, so I'm sure there is more that could be added. I get the impression your looking for rules light, which doesn't mean ideas light. Even a brief power table may help you channel players in the direction you want them to go when designing powers.

Ken
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sean2099
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2006, 07:42:09 PM »

Thanks for the help on this subject everyone...I will soon have a character creation chapter written and I will be needing some people to test it.  Of course, I will post in playtesting for this small assignment (if you choose to accept it).

Thanks,

Sean
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sean2099
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2006, 09:20:03 PM »

I decided to make a short PDF with my character creation and power list ideas so far, rather than having a super-long thread.  www.lulu.com/content/503186 is the place where you can download it if you are interested.  Hopefully, some of you will be interested to try a make a basic character...I didn't list questions or suggestion for biographies and items of that nature.  Just stats, more or less for right now.

Thanks,

Sean
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