Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

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Shadowchaser
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Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby Shadowchaser » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:46 am

Now, some of you may remember that a while back Green Ronin published a second "Mutants and Masterminds Annual", and one of my favorite articles was a character creation option called M&M Lite.

The basic approach was similar to True20: the GM would pick a power level, and then you would pick a certain number of abilities based on that power level, and trade off on numbers instead of buying numbers.

This made for pretty quick character creation, which was good, and led to some 'pick-up' game characters that players would then re-work as full-blown characters with 'Honest' (Advanced?) builds.

I'm thinking of fiddling with a DCA Lite ruleset based on that article, but I was wondering if anyone out there had comments on the original article, perhaps had already tried their hand at something like this, and could offer some insight before I go about reinventing the wheel.

Over to you, Sirs!
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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby saint_matthew » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:08 am

If you want DCA lite, you might as well just purchase Icons, its essentially the same thing.
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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby Shadowchaser » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:54 am

saint_matthew wrote:If you want DCA lite, you might as well just purchase Icons, its essentially the same thing.


No, the point is the characters can be made quickly and easily, and then used with the DCA rules. :)

I do own ICONS and BASH, just FYI.
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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby Dark Koala » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:37 am

Afraid I've never heard of M&M Lite, but as far as easy character goes, I always enjoyed the Instant Superheroes and the Archetype Archives. I found that you could create just about any character concept by taking one of those archetypes and tweaking them just a little (indeed, many players were happy with the archetypes as-is). I tried converting a few to DCA/3E, but it took a lot longer than I would have expected--powers were relatively easy to translate, but the abbreviated skill list, two extra Ability scores, and the difference between Base Attack/Base Defense and the newer, Fighitng/Dexterity-based attack and Dodge/Parry Defenses slowed me considerably, and there had to be some nerfing in general to get most of them within the 150pp limits.

So yeah, I'll be looking foward to new archetypes. Let someone else do the work... :wink:

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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby Shadowchaser » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:09 am

Dark Koala wrote:Afraid I've never heard of M&M Lite, but as far as easy character goes, I always enjoyed the Instant Superheroes and the Archetype Archives. I found that you could create just about any character concept by taking one of those archetypes and tweaking them just a little (indeed, many players were happy with the archetypes as-is). I tried converting a few to DCA/3E, but it took a lot longer than I would have expected--powers were relatively easy to translate, but the abbreviated skill list, two extra Ability scores, and the difference between Base Attack/Base Defense and the newer, Fighitng/Dexterity-based attack and Dodge/Parry Defenses slowed me considerably, and there had to be some nerfing in general to get most of them within the 150pp limits.

So yeah, I'll be looking foward to new archetypes. Let someone else do the work... :wink:


Well, from what I've heard, we may be getting a BUNCH of the Instant Superheroes archetypes in the next Hero Lab update for 3E, so that'll be nice (assuming it doesn't pose any legal/copyright issues). Thanks to a very industrious member of the forums here (not me).
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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby XeviatJAG » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:38 am

One thing you can do is automatically give each character an attack array worth 2 points per PL; this will trade off perfectly with raw Attack, so it will balance with trade offs.

You can take care of a large portion of character abilities by having them come with PL. Attack, Damage (through this attack array), Defense (Dodge/Parry), Fort, and Will all add up to 8 points. You can remove these parts of ability scores and reduce their cost to 1/rank; they are then just skills, as well as Toughness for Stam and Lifting for Str (Int is a little overcosted, but that should be fine).

Players then have 7 points per PL to buy their ability scores, skills, and advantages. You could further reduce this by giving them a pool to buy their ability scores with.

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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby Shadowchaser » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:47 am

XeviatJAG wrote:One thing you can do is automatically give each character an attack array worth 2 points per PL; this will trade off perfectly with raw Attack, so it will balance with trade offs.

You can take care of a large portion of character abilities by having them come with PL. Attack, Damage (through this attack array), Defense (Dodge/Parry), Fort, and Will all add up to 8 points. You can remove these parts of ability scores and reduce their cost to 1/rank; they are then just skills, as well as Toughness for Stam and Lifting for Str (Int is a little overcosted, but that should be fine).

Players then have 7 points per PL to buy their ability scores, skills, and advantages. You could further reduce this by giving them a pool to buy their ability scores with.


Well, I'm trying to eschew the 'points' system entirely. M&M Lite didn't use points, it just made certain assumptions based on the Power Level and let you just pick powers and get going. I was thinking it might help to try the three-class True 20 style of character design, and have three different 'templates'... but since nobody here seems to remember the article, I may not worry about going through the trouble. :)
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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby saint_matthew » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:59 am

Shadowchaser wrote:I do own ICONS and BASH, just FYI.
I dont own BASH, but i do own Icons & must admit its pretty fun, even if it is better at the JLU cartoon style then the JLA comic book style.
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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby RedBstrd » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:26 pm

RedBstrd's DC Adventures Lite:

Under Construction and subject to revision!

:arrow: Step 1: Determine the Power Level of the character. Select a character concept/archetype, as well as identifying the character's trade offs on the following categories:

• Parry/Dodge vs. Toughness
• Attack vs. Damage

Parry and Dodge automatically are the same value as each other. The hero gets these attack bonuses, damage, Parry, Dodge, and Toughness scores automatically.

:arrow: Step 2: Choose ability scores. Split the value of 10 + Power Level between ability scores for the hero. As always, the scores begin with a base of zero. Applying negative numbers to some scores to increase others is permissible.

Ignore the Fighting ability score. Players may opt to save points from their ability scores and add the remaining points to their resistances at a 2:1 Resistance:Ability ratio.

Ability scores are limited by the PL established in step 1. For instance, a hero with +12 attack/+8 damage may not select Strength 10.

:arrow: Step 3: Choose Skills and Advantages. By default, all skills that are usable untrained begin with the base score (determined by the appropriate ability score) plus one half of the PL (round down). Heroes may select a number of skills equal to half of their Power Level (round down). These skills are considered "trained" and receive a +2 bonus. By selecting the same skill a second time, the hero may be considered "professional" and increase their bonus to +5, instead of the +2 for "trained." Heroes also select a number of Advantages equal to half of their Power Level (again rounded down).

Players may trade a Skill selection for an extra Advantage and vice versa. The Language Advantage is free (to compensate for all of the lost fractions) and heroes are assumed to know all languages they encounter unless the GM offers a Hero Point as a complication.

Players may sacrifice a Skill or Advantage selection to choose an Alternate Effect for one of their powers in step 4.

:arrow: Step 4: Choose Powers. Choose the character's base defensive and offensive power (the ones that provide the character with its attack/damage and Toughness bonuses determined by step 1).

Select two support powers. Support powers are ranked at half of the PL for the campaign.

The following options also exist if the character would like to sacrifice one of their support powers for something else:

• Minor Abilities - Add half the hero's PL to the total points it can allocate among ability scores.
• Minor Advantages - Add half the hero's PL to the total number of Advantages the hero may choose.
• Minor Skills - Add half the hero's PL to the number of Skills the hero may choose.
• Extra - Adds an extra to one of the hero's powers. The extra is equal to half the rank of the original power.

Select an additional miscellaneous power for every 5 Power Levels (0 at PL 1-4, 1 at PL 5-9, 2 at PL 10-14, etc.).

The following options also exist if the character would like to sacrifice one of their miscellaneous powers for something else:

• Enhanced Abilities - Add the hero's PL to the total points it can allocate among ability scores.
• Enhanced Advantages - Add the hero's PL to the total number of Advantages the hero may choose.
• Enhanced Skills - Add the hero's PL to the number of Skills the hero may choose.
• Extra - Adds an extra to one of the hero's powers. The extra is equal in rank to the original power.

:arrow: Step 5: Determine Resistances. To determine the Fort and Will resistances, add one half of the PL to the base numbers provided by the hero's ability scores values. These scores are limited to an averaged score of the PL or less.

Changes from 2e MnM Lite
Step 1 - Parry and Dodge are new, so that changed.

Step 2 - In 2e, they gave 5+PL bonuses to abilities. With 6 ability scores, that averaged to 2.5 per point. The value of 10+PL for 8 ability scores is the same at PL 10. Removing Fighting throws off the chart but not much.

Step 3 - Skills have been consolidated to twice their former scope but had the cost doubled. Consequently, I kept the number of selections the same but effectively halved the bonuses. The +0, +2, +5 bonus progression maps nicely onto the circumstance bonus scheme. The Skill Focus feat from MnM 2e Lite does not exist (it would be worth double the previous value).

I also made languages free since so many fractional points will be lost. It also reflects the tendency of heroes like Batman and Wolverine to know the languages they need unless the author/GM says otherwise. Here, I defer to genre conventions.

Step 4 - Adding the option to select extras is my innovation. After testing it, I may decide to set it at a ratio of 1 power: 2 extras. I need to see how the points work out in some examples. I also added the idea of support powers, which should generally be movement or senses. They are there to avoid the problem of Superman being as fast as the Flash.

Step 5 - Reflex has been removed. The two average out to the PL or less rather than giving each an individual cap of PL +5.



Quick Reference Guide:

PL 6 - Abilities 16, Skills 3, Advantages 3, Powers: 2 support + 1 misc + Off./Def., Saves 3+Ability

PL 8 - Abilities 18, Skills 4, Advantages 4, Powers: 2 support + 1 misc + Off./Def., Saves 4+Ability

PL 10 - Abilities 20, Skills 5, Advantages 5, Powers: 2 support + 2 misc + Off./Def., Saves 5+Ability

PL 12 - Abilities 22, Skills 6, Advantages 6, Powers: 2 support + 2 misc + Off./Def., Saves 6+Ability
Last edited by RedBstrd on Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby Shadowchaser » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:44 pm

Sweet!

And here I didn't think anyone was interested, so I didn't bother. :)

Nicely done, RedB. Nicely done!
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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby RedBstrd » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:07 pm

Shadowchaser wrote:Sweet!

And here I didn't think anyone was interested, so I didn't bother. :)

Nicely done, RedB. Nicely done!


I'm still checking it out and tweaking it, so this is a very early draft.

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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby Shadowchaser » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:35 pm

RedBstrd wrote:
Shadowchaser wrote:Sweet!

And here I didn't think anyone was interested, so I didn't bother. :)

Nicely done, RedB. Nicely done!


I'm still checking it out and tweaking it, so this is a very early draft.


I'm thinking it'll do until the random character generator comes out. :)
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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby RedBstrd » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:53 pm

Shadowchaser wrote:
RedBstrd wrote:
Shadowchaser wrote:Sweet!

And here I didn't think anyone was interested, so I didn't bother. :)

Nicely done, RedB. Nicely done!


I'm still checking it out and tweaking it, so this is a very early draft.


I'm thinking it'll do until the random character generator comes out. :)


I was thinking of testing it out and posting some "quick picks" here with the results tomorrow and the next day. For instance, making "storm lord," "defender of mankind," and "perfect specimen" packages for the paragon archetype.

The system seems to have some problems dealing with equipment, battlesuits, and extras. I'll see how everything works as I continue tweaking it.

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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby RedBstrd » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:49 am

Paragon Archetypes:

Storm Lord quick pick - Offense: Ranged Damage (Electricity), Defense: Protection, Support power 1: Flight 5, Support Power 2: Immunity 5 (Electricity Damage), Miscellaneous 1: Environment 10, Miscellaneous 2: Enhanced Abilities

Storm Lord (PL 10) wrote:Abilities: Str 10, Sta 7, Agi 1, Dex 1, Int 0, Awe 3, Pre 3

Skills: Acrobatics +8, Expertise (Choose one) +7, Intimidation +10, Perception +10

Advantages: Fearless, Great Endurance, Interpose, Power Attack, Precise Attack (Ranged, Cover), Teamwork

Powers: Ranged Damage 10 (Electricity), Flight 5, Immunity 5 (Electricity Damage), Environment 10 (Impede Movement), Protection 3

Combat: Unarmed +10 (DC 25), Electricity Blast +10 (DC 25), Dodge 10, Parry 10, Toughness 10, Fortitude 12, Will 8


Defender of Mankind quick pick - Offense: Ranged Damage (Heat Vision), Defense: Protection, Support 1: Senses 5 (Extended Hearing, Extended Vision, Infravision, Microscopic Vision, Ultrahearing), Support 2: Flight 5, Miscellaneous1 : Immunity 10 (Life Support); Miscellaneous 2: Impervious Toughness

Defender of Mankind (PL 10) wrote:Abilities: Str 12, Sta 5, Agi 0, Dex 0, Int 0, Awe 1, Pre 2

Skills: Acrobatics +7, Insight +8, Intimidation +9, Perception +8, Persuasion +9

Advantages: Attractive, Extraordinary Effort, Interpose, Lucky, Power Attack

Powers: Ranged Damage 10 (Heat Vision), Flight 5, Immunity 10 (Life Support), Impervious Protection 12, Protection 3, Senses 5 (Extended Hearing, Extended Vision, Infravision, Microscopic Vision, Ultrahearing)

Combat: Unarmed +8 (DC 27), Electricity Blast +10 (DC 25), Dodge 8, Parry 8, Toughness 12, Fortitude 10, Will 6


Perfect Specimen quick pick - Offense: Strike, Defense: Protection, Support 1: Immunity 5 (Aging, Disease, Poison, Sleep, Starvation), Support 2: Senses 5 (Accurate Hearing, Extended Vision, Rapid Hearing, Rapid Vision), Miscellaneous: Enhanced Abilities, Miscellaneous 2: Enhanced Skills

Perfect Specimen (PL 10) wrote:Abilities: Str 4, Sta 5, Agi 4, Dex 4, Int 4, Awe 4, Pre 5

Skills: Acrobatics (x2) +14, Athletics (x2) +14, Deception +12, Expertise (Choose one) +11, Insight +11, Intimidation +12, Perception (x2) +14, Persuasion +12, Stealth +11, Technology (x2) +14, Vehicles +11

Advantages: Contacts, Equipment, Leadership, Takedown, Uncanny Dodge (Hearing)

Powers: Immunity 5 (Aging, Disease, Poison, Sleep, Starvation), Protection 5, Senses 5 (Accurate Hearing, Extended Vision, Rapid Hearing, Rapid Vision), Strike 6

Combat: Strike +10 (DC 25), Dodge 10, Parry 10, Toughness 10, Fort 10, Will 9
Last edited by RedBstrd on Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ideas for DC Adventures "Lite"

Postby RedBstrd » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:53 am

The first round of testing seems to have produced viable characters that are balanced with each other and standard PL 10 characters. I'll test it with some battlesuit users, device users (mages, ringbearers), living weapons, speedsters, and so on either tonight or tomorrow.


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