Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mike Lafferty supersleuths Supers20 power levels!

Since Mike basically guessed this one, it seems like a good thing to spill for today.

The Supers20 Power levels (which are guidelines not rules set in stone) are:

Gritty (Beginning Level 1, Beginning Max Power Level 1, Max Power Level 5)

Street Level (Beginning Level 5, Beginning Max Power Level 5, Max Power Level 10)

Four Color (Beginning Level 10, Beginning Max Power Level 10, Max Power Level 20)

Cosmic (Beginning Level 15, Beginning Max Power Level 15, Max Power Level 20)

I'm still wrestling with the idea of going beyond level 20 for Cosmic campaigns. It makes sense, which isn't to be confused with me wanting to deal with it.

Still, I probably will in the end, since I tend to think of Superman as being at least about level 25.


mikelaff said...

Heh. Sorry about that, Chuck. I was just thinking out loud.

That Power Level feat is a really nifty control knob on the power level/feel of a game.

Chuck said...

Dude, I needed to think of something to pimp today anyway ;)

And yeah, setting a max power level is a quick and easy way to say how super your supers will be.

If the max power level is 5, your characters will still have an edge on normals, but not nearly to the degree they will with a max power level of say, 10 or 20.

With a power level of 5 for Armor, for example, your Armor power isnt providing more protection than can be BOUGHT through equipment like full body armor.

So right there, you can see that a max power level of 5 means that thugs are going to be able to stand with supers on more even footing.

Walt said...

This is definitely something that makes a GM's life easy as well as cutting down the time it takes to create a character (you know ahead of time what the GM is going for)

In previous articles and podcasts, you had talked about the fact that the game's job is not to have to balance characters of different power levels (Wolverine would not be able to take on Superman even if he might survive). Does the way the system is built allow for different levels to play along side of each other (much like Batman and Superman in the same super club)?

Best Regards,

Chuck said...

That's much harder, which is why I recommend the decision be made by campaign.

For example, even though Superman and Batman are clearly different, they're both characters in a Cosmic campaign.

And if you look closely, the only difference between a cosmic campaign and four color campaign is the starting level.

One grows into the other. Or at least it can.

I would say that ALL marvel and DC characters, even "street level" ones like Daredevil, are participants in a Four Color campaign.

The only real exception to that imo would be Punisher, who really doesn't interact with the others on a regular basis.

And if you look at Punisher, that's an idea of the big difference between a 10th level street level character and a 10th level Four Color character.

With a max power level of 5, Punisher has to rely on equipment more.

He can BUY better body armor than he can get through powers. In fact, I'm not 100% sure what powers I'd give Punisher, if any.

Maybe Superhuman Con, since the bastard seems REALLY hard to kill.

So really, unless you're absolutely sure what type of campaign you want to run, using the Four Color rules is probably the safest bet to let the campaign grow organically.

mikelaff said...

I tend to like the Dini-verse (the recent various DC animated series produce by Paul Dini) versions of characters. I'd peg that superman at around a level 12 (in MM) - in this system - I think 15 or 20 - depending on how much of the equipment (fortress of solitude, phantom zone projecter, various robots, etc et al) you want to include in the stat block.

I'd put Darkseid or Thanos at level 25 or 30.

Chuck said...

Yeah, the level 20 version of superman that I did came out all right.

It wasn't exact, even from the DC animated supes. He didn't have some of the redundant movement powers superman has, for example.

He just had flight, whereas technically, superman should also have Super Running and Tunneling.

So it was kind of a "back to basics" superman that just had the important powers.

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