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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 34 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: The currency of "Fame" in a competitive superhero game  (Read 1805 times)
anubis9
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Posts: 3


« on: May 23, 2007, 10:01:07 AM »

b]BASIS:<Martial Law stuff). Then I read the more recent X-Force and X-Statix <PREMISE:<RULES QUESTIONS:<Martial Law stuff). Then I read the more recent X-Force and X-Statix <PREMISE:<RULES QUESTIONS:<
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Mike Sugarbaker
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Posts: 108

|>


« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2007, 02:37:37 PM »

First, hello and welcome to the Forge; second, damn you for getting to this game before I did! :-) It's all about callow super-youth getting WWF on each other. Badass.

The notion of Spotlight as a spendable resource makes total sense. One (dangerous) idea it gives me is to actually express this as spotlight time for the players - that is, if you win fame in the game, you get more real-world attention (another "turn"). This sort of thing would have to be managed very, very carefully, because I think it'd tap into some very visceral stuff for the players. We all play for attention, it seems.

More to your point, it seems as if players should spend their fame for immediate benefit to themselves... at the cost of some sort of benefit to a rival PC. That's my instinct for how this kind of story would go, anyway.

Hell, you could even play the effects out in a sort of minigame where you roleplay the eventual news report about the PCs' actions...
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Narf the Mouse
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Posts: 96


« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 08:51:07 PM »

If the PC's fight rival teams, how do the coorperations sell the idea the're fighting for freedom?
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Ken
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Posts: 196


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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2007, 04:24:05 AM »

Hey-

The spotlight (or maybe call it STATUS, that sounds cool) as currency idea is just fine. I don't know how many points a character would normally have on tap at one time, or how fast they regenerate; and that would effect your rules. On the surface I think that if you spend points to mess up another PC's action , and if they do screw up, then the points are gone, and you should be happy that they didn't succeed. If the PC still succeeds then they could get the extra points for their pool. This could describe the "you get egg on your face, while the other character becomes the shining star" type situation. I would imagine that at some point multiple characters could spend points to counter one PC's action, making the chances of success slim to none. Like I said, I think how valuable the points are, how many you normally have, and how easy they are to come buy will defintely effect the rules dynamic.

While I don't know much about Wushu Open, having a tight story concept that plays so close to character abilities gives you the opportunity to create some really intersting stats. Like E (gene) the measure of how powerful you are, and how long you have to live. Instead of the normal rpg characterisitics you could make a very interesting game by creating stats that measure how flashy you are, how photogenic your character is, or how frequently they say something stupid in front of the camera. Also, in a game like this, I wouldn't think that your power rules would have to be too detailed, and be more geared for fast dynamic action/resolution. These are all possibilities, but maybe not in the direction you plan on going.

I don't know how detailed your character generation rules are, but if making characters is fast I would suggest a fun team builging dynamic. I was watching the auditions for WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO, season two (which I think has some fun similarities to your game) and thought, what if your players come to the table with five character concepts (maybe not fully generated characters) that they are willing to play and the other players vote on who they want to see make the team.

There is plenty more to discuss here, but I'm out of time. Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing more about your project; it sounds very fun. Good luck.

Ken
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Ken

10-Cent Heroes; check out my blog:
http://ten-centheroes.blogspot.com

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anubis9
Member

Posts: 3


« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2007, 02:10:49 PM »


The notion of Spotlight as a spendable resource makes total sense. One (dangerous) idea it gives me is to actually express this as spotlight time for the players - that is, if you win fame in the game, you get more real-world attention (another "turn"). This sort of thing would have to be managed very, very carefully, because I think it'd tap into some very visceral stuff for the players. We all play for attention, it seems.

More to your point, it seems as if players should spend their fame for immediate benefit to themselves... at the cost of some sort of benefit to a rival PC. That's my instinct for how this kind of story would go, anyway.

Hell, you could even play the effects out in a sort of minigame where you roleplay the eventual news report about the PCs' actions...

Thanks for the feedback and the ideas!
I absolutely love the idea of the news report as part of "post game" play. That's genius.
I never thought about the spotlight's effects on the players, but I really like the idea of it bleeding over.

Thanks again for your input.
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anubis9
Member

Posts: 3


« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2007, 02:17:39 PM »

If the PC's fight rival teams, how do the corperations sell the idea the're fighting for freedom?

Yeah, I see your point, thanks.
It may be a little hard to swallow that one corporation sets up another corporation as "terrorists."

I think the best thing to do is just drop this idea.
It's much more part of the landscape than the game mechanics anyway.

It could still work if I build a world in which people are loyal to TV networks and corporations like people are loyal to sports teams, states, or nations today. But I think that we are generally becoming less and less loyal as a people, fleeing to whatever source offers us the most bang for our buck/attention span. So, it's probably not as "realistic."

Thanks for the input!
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Narf the Mouse
Member

Posts: 96


« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2007, 02:33:29 PM »

Why not make it a sports game? Teams of superheroes against each other. Depending on how you want to go, goals could be sports-like or it could be bloody arena combat - Or both.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2007, 06:58:46 PM »

Hi, welcome to the forge!

Quote
Ken
Member

Posts: 196


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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2007, 04:23:18 AM »

It may be a little hard to swallow that one corporation sets up another corporation as "terrorists."

I think the best thing to do is just drop this idea.
It's much more part of the landscape than the game mechanics anyway.

It could still work if I build a world in which people are loyal to TV networks and corporations like people are loyal to sports teams, states, or nations today. But I think that we are generally becoming less and less loyal as a people, fleeing to whatever source offers us the most bang for our buck/attention span. So, it's probably not as "realistic."

The bad-corporation thing may still be do-able. Corporations could field thier primary sponsored team for public consumption, while secretly employing more shady freelancers and super-mercs to cause trouble for their rivals (this is where your terrorists and villains come in). So, essentially a company could have a public hero team and secret villain team, that they field according to their goals at the time; you could even have the heroes fight their company's villain squad.Corporations aside, there is some real potential for trouble if organized crime and terrorist factions decided to fund and field their own supers.

Had you given any more thought to the sources of super threats in your game? Do conventional super villains exist in your game?

Also, do villains get fame too, or is it only a hero thing?

If you haven't already come across these sources, I'd like to recommend some reading:

The Psycho, by Dan Brereton, DC comics. This is a great miniseries, and probably over a dozen years old now. Its set in an alternate present where a super serum was created during WWII before the atomic bomb. Now, countries are involved in an arms race where they stockpile super agents. The drug either kills you or gives you random super powers. The only common side effect is that super don't dream. Neat stuff.

Strikeforce Moritouri, from Marvel. I don't know a lot about this series (which is also pretty old) other  than they work for the government and the process that gives people super powers also gives them something like a one year lifespan. I've heard its really good, and a few years ago it was optioned for a tv series, but I guess nothing really happened with that.

Aberrant, rpg by White Wolf. Through its sourcebooks, does a pretty good job of examining the pop culture and politics (corporate, military, and international) that surrounds modern supers. Its pretty dark stuff overall, but an interesting read. Neat system-world.

Good Luck,

Ken
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Ken

10-Cent Heroes; check out my blog:
http://ten-centheroes.blogspot.com

Sync; my techno-horror 2-pager
http://members.cox.net/laberday/sync.pdf
boswok
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2007, 08:41:01 AM »

Quote
The notion of Spotlight as a spendable resource makes total sense. One (dangerous) idea it gives me is to actually express this as spotlight time for the players - that is, if you win fame in the game, you get more real-world attention (another "turn"). This sort of thing would have to be managed very, very carefully, because I think it'd tap into some very visceral stuff for the players. We all play for attention, it seems.
This is easily justifiable by the character grabbing the spotlight doing something that draws attention to himself by shocking the other characters into inaction for a few precious seconds.  I'd levy heavy penalties on these attempts, maybe requiring one spotlight token per PC to be taken aback in this manner.  That might be fair.  Optionally, the player can choose who gets slowed up, allowing for the unassuming underdog to make a dramatic entrance while everyone else is off guard because of our intrepid "hero".
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