Monday, March 03, 2008

Supers^20 first look: design philolsophy

There’s going to be a lot in this system that you recognize and a lot that will be new, but there’s a lot of things players of previous editions of Vigilance will be looking for and they aren’t here. We’ll take a moment to hit the highlights and tell you where they went, and maybe even why.

Origins: The origin of a character is now returned to where it probably always should have stayed: backstory. Instead of a set of free benefits based on where your powers come from, your origin is now strictly the background of your character.

Power Points: Power points have been replaced by the Power Level feat. This reduces book keeping and makes generating characters in Supers20 faster than ever before. It allows a “one trick pony” supervillian to be generated on the fly.

Power Stunts: Modern20 already has a version of this, called the perk and so the power stunt has been folded into the perk system as part of the new Power Control skill. See that skill for more information about how this skill will affect your powers.

What about skill characters? Since this will not be addressed elsewhere and is sure to be asked, let’s address it here. What about the cowl-wearing creature of the night skull t-shirt wearing type of hero/villain? You know, the guy who gets through on his wits and his skills.

Well, Modern20 was designed to handle that type of character right out of the box. A high-level Modern20 character is a superhero, whether you consider that character to be part of a four-color comics universe or the star of an over the top action slugfest.

So where is the balance between that character and someone who can punch through walls you ask? Since all characters in Supers20 are using the same resources (feats, skill points and perks), it’s all about choice. If you want to take a lot of Power Level feats, you’re going to be passing up on the feats available to a standard character and if you spend your skill points on Power Control and your perks on Power Stunts, well you’re passing up on other perks and skills.

Whether this makes the characters “even” is tough to say.

1 comment:

Walt said...

SUPERS! and to better informed... SUPERS20!

Waiting for this...

Walt