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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 86 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: The Code  (Read 6664 times)
Uncle Dark
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Posts: 215


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« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2001, 10:47:00 PM »

Epoch,

Angel is way cool. Lovely, lovely.

Everyone else:

So what about setting ideas?  Sure, it's "real" world in (name your favorite city), but what about the changes made by/allowing for the heroes?

Hero Zero, for instance.  Is there one?

Did the setting have a "golden age" crew of popular masks?  A "silver age" in the 1960's?

What about a Watchmenesque setting where there's a "Dr. Manhattan" type?  Are all the other masks imitating him/her?

Lon
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sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2001, 08:44:00 AM »

    Working off of the core game conceit, I don't know that we can have a golden age of heroism or anything like that. People aren't working off of the tradition of superheroism as much as they're using the superheroic myth to work for them. The implication is that this is something new...
    However, the system lends itself to a world of heroism. If I had a dedicated young Socialist adventurer in the 1930s whose objective was "Eliminate fascism (10)," he could kick stormtrooper ass without much problem by spending Motivation. So... there'd have to be someone floating around before modern day. They may just have not worn masks or publicized themselves. Something that could definitely be put to good use.
   I don't know that having one actual powered person in the Dr. Manhattan vein is needed, although it creates a nice True Man/Brat Pack dynamic. As an inspiration to motivated people, it would make more sense for Hero Zero to be some normal person who died with his mask on, rather than someone who can change the universe with a snap of the fingers. I'm just not sure if having a True Man takes the game a direction it needs to go. Low-level power, on the other hand, fits right in.
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sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2001, 09:26:00 AM »

I decided to whip someone up who's not an active, definite villain but who heroes might be forced to go toe-to-toe with. He's a force for chaos and disorder, but he means well.]


[ This Message was edited by: sdemory on 2001-08-07 17:09 ]
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sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2001, 01:57:00 PM »

    A thought on superpowers...
    As the game currently stands, one is not required to connect advantages and disadvantages. Would it make sense to anyone else to rule that a superpower must be directly connected to a major disadvantage?
    Using "Unbreakable" as the model, David Dunn had the Unbreakable advantage, making him superhumanly strong and tough. He also had the ability to sense wrongdoing. One could connect the disadvantages "Vunerable to water" and "Emotionally overwhelmed" to those two advantages, if one wished to stretch, or just link them both to "Vunerable to water," since it's a bit more intense than "nearsighted" or "afraid of violence."
    I think the game could benefit from superpower, but I don't know that they should outweigh the normal mask. I'd like to see actual, according-to-Hoyle superpowers look like forces of nature, while what players and most NPCs would use, at most, would eliminate one part of the standard hero's kit (weapon, armor, transport). Any thoughts?
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Jared A. Sorensen
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Darksided


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« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2001, 03:27:00 PM »

Actually, if I were going to insert superpowers, they'd become Super Advantages and would automatically beat everything below it on the Ability Sequence:

Character has a Super Advantage and both a relevant Profession and Advantage.
Character has a Super Advantage and a relevant Advantage
Character has a Super Advantage
Character has a relevant Profession and a relevant Advantage.
Character has a relevant Profession
Character has a relevant Advantage
Character has no relevant Profession and no relevant Advantage
Character has a Weakness

Super characters might need a Super Weakness, where the weakness makes them two steps lower on the Ability Sequence.

But really, all this is kinda counter to what the Code is all about. If I wanted to play super-powered characters, I'd use Marvel or Panels.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Uncle Dark
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Posts: 215


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« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2001, 07:38:00 PM »

Quote


But really, all this is kinda counter to what the Code is all about. If I wanted to play super-powered characters, I'd use Marvel or Panels.



And therein lies my conundrum.  I had a couple of ideas for a powers plug-in I was going to run by you, but when I thought about how to write it up, I realized that it would be 1/5 rules and 4/5 philosophising about what powers mean and whether or not to include them in a Code game (with short examples from different kinds of games I could imagine).

I don't know whether or not it's worth it at that point.

Lon

P.S. David Dunn wasn't "super-vulnerable" to water, he just had no special defense against drowning.  It wouldn't get written up as a weakness at all, although his hydrophobia might.
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sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2001, 05:30:00 AM »

    Thinking about the power thing, I'd tend to agree that they do change the focus of the game in ways I don't know if I can necessarily back.
    The closest I may actually come with powers is the blatant statement to my players that, conceptually, we've been playing very close to my Champions standard. Hence, if people wanted to shoot fire out of their faces (or wherever) and still address issues of public awareness and the role of the hero, we could shift gears.
    Thank you, Mr. Sorenson, for giving me a vehicle with which to pimp Champions to my non-superhero gaming party. Excellent...
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Uncle Dark
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Posts: 215


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« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2001, 09:53:00 AM »

Hurm...

One of the things that not having powers does for the Code is direct focus back onto motivation and interaction with the human level of the environment.  Putting powers in would distract from that, it would add a layer of alienation between the PCs and the rest of the society.  Powers would make the question of "why are you risking your neck to go play dress up on the street" less important, as the characters would be less likely to actually be risking their necks.

Given all that, is there a way to include powers in the Code in a way that doesn't detract from the premise?  I think maybe there is.

The key is limiting the scope and range of powers.  If an individual with powers is really no better off than a well trained, well equipped normal, then the powers become just another advantage (and not a super-advantage), with relatively narrow application.   Frex, "invulnerabiltiy" that isn't really more protective than riot gear (just less bulky), or "energy blasts" that are really no more effective than a 9mm pistol (but can't be taken away, and so on.

The PCs are still on a par with normals at this point.  But the players who want thier characters to have "powers" get theri fun, too.

Just a thought.

Lon
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Epoch
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Posts: 201


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« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2001, 09:59:00 AM »

Uncle Dark,

If you were going to go with powers, I'd actually make them less powerful than advantages.

Got an "energy burst"?  It's no more powerful than a 9mm pistol, has a range of 25 feet, and can be used once per day.

But, dammit, you're a guy who can kill someone without using a tool and without touching them.  Think about how effin' scary that is, once you divest yourself of all the usual RPG baggage about how "Magic Missile" is a first level spell or how nobody even remembers Superman's heat vision.  Besides, nobody but you necessarily knows your limitations.
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Uncle Dark
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Posts: 215


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« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2001, 09:47:00 PM »

Epoch,

I wouldn't want to nail powers down to specific ranges or uses per day.  First, nothing else in Code is limited that way.  Why should powers be so limited?

Second, my own feel is that comic book writers don't worry about how many feet of webbing Spidey can shoot before his spinners run dry, why should players and GMs?

One of the virtues of Code is that it is simple.  The simplicity of its character generation rules helps enforce the premise.  I feel that putting such specific limitations on powers would lead to something too Champions-like.

This is also why I like the fact that flaws are not required to be attatched to other aspects of the character.  I don't want another game where characer generation becomes an accounting of merits and flaws, or whatever.

Lon
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sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #40 on: August 10, 2001, 06:58:00 AM »

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Epoch
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Posts: 201


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« Reply #41 on: August 10, 2001, 09:26:00 AM »

Uncle Dark,

Well, nothing else in the Code is limited like that, but nothing else would be.  It doesn't make a lot of sense if you can use your profession only X numbers of times a day.

As to it not fitting in with comic-book conventions, you're right, it doesn't, but the Code isn't very comic-book conventional regardless.

I think that you may have gotten a bit too caught up in the particular limitation of the power being useable once per day.  My point was, even a very limited super power is incredible if nobody else is wandering around being Superman or Doc Manhatten.
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sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2001, 11:35:00 AM »

Second self-serving heel hero:

Code Name: The Protector
Secret Identity: Joe Jorgensen
Appearance: Joe's built like a running back, which he was. He's a white male in his early 30s with bleached-blond hair. His "supersuit" is a red, white and blue leather jacket, blue pants and sneakers, a white shirt (with light bulletproof vest) and a domino mask. His costume and name were a scheme concocted by his agent, who dropped Joe before he put it to use.
Objective: Fight crime, make the papers. (Cool
Motivation: Three words: Fat. Endorsement. Dollars. (4)
Profession: Arena football washout, professional athlete. Joe's been trying to get some quick fame for a while. He's currently working as a bouncer.
Advantage: Athletic prowess. The Protector's a well-tuned athletic machine, able to punch, kick and run with the best of them. He's expanded his training regimen to include martial arts and acrobatics.
Weakness: Low self-control. Joe's prone to 'roid rage, he binges often and can't say no to much at all.
Modus Operandi (MO): Cocky, low-thought "crimebusting" He's not much of a detective, but he has muscled a few informants into giving him tips on upcoming crime, which he's bashed through in a very high-profile manner
Exposure: 6 (Code name, appearance, objective, profession, advantage)
Popularity: 7- The Protector's a very public hero, willing to sign autographs and make sure his mask is in the public eye. He's a little too cocky to be "friendly," though
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sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2001, 09:08:00 AM »

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