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BASH - Basic Action Super Heroes :: View topic - Power Trees vs Freeform Creation

 
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Power Trees vs Freeform Creation

 
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Dustland
Cosmic Hero
Cosmic Hero


Joined: May 16, 2010
Posts: 1158
Location: Austin, Tx

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Power Trees vs Freeform Creation Reply with quote

I'm working on converting the old Freedom Force game to a module I'll run as a pbp game in the near future. After reviewing how the game handles powers, and playing way too much Borderlands, it occurred to me that using a Power Tree system could have its merits.

1) As an introduction to new players, it is not as overwhelming as handing them a book of options, but not as limiting as a complete pregen.

2) It allows the Narrator to restrict access to problematic powers. For instance, I find the second paragraph of Danger Sense to be a pain in the rear because players expect to be given a head's up every time an encounter begins.

3) It allows the Narrator to edit powers so they aren't as broad or open to interpretation. Take Danger Sense again; I would allow it, but it would simply read as giving the +2 multiplier to defense and would drop the rest of the description.
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Dustland
Cosmic Hero
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Joined: May 16, 2010
Posts: 1158
Location: Austin, Tx

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4) It gives the "Leveling Up" feel that many players expect (ok, maybe just me, but I love leveling up!). In a modular game like the one I'm working on, it works well. At the end of each chapter, everyone gets to bump a power in one of their power trees.

5) I would have the Power Trees lined up before character creation so players will know what powers lead to what.

The way I figure it to work, each player will choose a character type (Paragon, Brick, etc). Each character type would have three or four Power branches to work with.

Example: The Paragon would have the following branches-
A) Flight (Starts at Super Jumping and works up to high speed flight, possibly with an fly-by attack options at its pinnacle)
B) Brawling (Starts as an improved unarmed attack and progresses to a devistating melee attack)
C) Unbreakable (Starts with bumps to Soak and number of hits, progressing to a limited Healing power)
D) Paragon (Starts with bonuses to influence people to his will "Stop evil doer!", progressing to Mental Def bonuses, ending with immunity to Mind Control/Fear effects)

So does something like this sound like fun for an introductory or pbp module? Or is it too much of a departure from what BASH (and most rpgs) are?
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Nestor
Paragon
Paragon


Joined: Jul 13, 2010
Posts: 627
Location: Baltimore, MD, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's certainly a valid approach, giving you something more flexible than handing out pre-gens without overwhelming the player.

It does put the burden on you to build what you feel are well-structured power trees with enough options to satisfy the players, but if that's not a problem for you, knock yourself out! Smile
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dugfromthearth
Costumed Crimefighter
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Joined: Aug 17, 2010
Posts: 165


PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for a module with pregen characters it sounds fine

it keeps the feel of the character while still allowing improvement
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Dustland
Cosmic Hero
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Joined: May 16, 2010
Posts: 1158
Location: Austin, Tx

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I've been working on this, anticipating the stunning conclusion of the Chimera campaign Smile Basically the game will be a series of encounters and challenges that will culminate in the heroes rescuing the world (of course).

When a player chooses their character, they will begin with 2 xp to spend on powers or bumping an attribute. At the conclusion of each chapter, they will each receive 1 xp to store or spend as they please. Here's an example of a pregen,

It should be noted that I will make heavy use of weaknesses and resistances to give the players something to think about! There is a defined list to choose from, ~10 total, from blunt and piercing attacks to mental, mystical, radiation, etc...

Powered-Armor Hero

PA Hero is a scientist that has turned in his lab coat for a homemade suit of powered armor!

B 3 A 1 M 2

Each starting player must choose one resistance and one weakness. They may choose more at a 1:1 ratio (or a wekness for +1 xp).

Starting Powers (free):
Armor (1) +2 DM to soak
Targeting Computer (1) +2 DM to attacks

Power Trees:

Armor:
(2) +4 DM to soak
(3) +6 DM to soak
(4) +8 DM to soak; if PAH rolls doubles on his soak, he gains resistance to the attack type for the rest of the encounter! (or negates the weakness if applicable)

Targeting Computer:
(2) +4 DM to attacks
(3) +6 DM to attacks
(4) +8 Dm to attacks; if PAH rolls doubles on his attack and hits, his opponent is Dazed until the start of the PAH's next page

Sensors:
(1) +4 DM to all sense rolls
(2) PAH can spend a move action scanning an opponent (Mind check); for every 10 pts the narrator reveals 1 weakness or resistance
(3) +6 DM to all sense rolls; if the PAH rolls doubles on his scan check, he gets a +6 DM to his next attack and damage roll against that opponent! (only once per scene/opponent)

Blast!
(1) Gains a blast attack: A to hit, M damage, 5 range, player chooses damage type
(2) Changes to A to hit, M+2 DM damage, 10 range, player can choose a second damage type (only apply 1 type per attack)
(3) Changes to A to hit, M+4 DM, 15 range, player chooses a third damage type (only apply 1 type per attack)

As you can see, I'm thinking about making rolling doubles a "special factor" in the highest Power Levels, just to keep things interesting.

Each of the pregens will be particulary good at two or three things, intenionally handicapped at others. For instance, the PHA is the best at resisting damage but will probably get hit alot unless he dumps XP into his Agility. He is also the only player that can potentially identify a target's weaknesses with a die roll, then switch his attack type to match it!

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