Sunday, April 14, 2013

Creative Collaboration Causes Change

I'm alliterate.

Get it?

Okay shitty jokes aside, it's been one hell of a day so far.

As many if you know, I recently have teamed back-up with Alex Williamson for the art on HEROIC, my upcoming indie comic.

So this morning we had our regular creative conversation and as we discussed the script and the epilogue, we started to come to some interesting things.

I'll break them down by points.

1] The epilogue doesn't work, it would have worked better as the prologue for issue 2.

2] While Alex (or Jason, haven't finalized) is an interesting character, and his origin is interesting, he is not a strong character in my mind, which is why the plots for issues 2 - 6 tend to have things happening to him more so that him doing things.

3] A common feedback is that the prologue, the Lady America bit, is strong, engaging and going from that to Alex is jarring and leaves them hanging, wanting to know more about the first story and what "Activate number 23" means.

Now here's the thing.

I love Lady A.  I feel closer to that character than any I have ever created.  I know her like I know my own skin.  I know her heart, her mind and her soul.  I know why she is a bitch when she leads and I know why she never lets anyone see that part of her.

So Alex asked me, without preamble, why I wasn't writing a story about her?

Then I talked with my publishing partner Walt, and he said he found it odd that I hadn't focused on her either (also he wasn't a fan of the story until I added the prologue).

So this got me thinking.  How do I save what I have and make this about Lady A?  I mean, she dies in the prologue right?  Yeah, sure, you buy that don'cha?

There were always three characters that would eventually become the primary ones in this ongoing story.  I believe in the Star Trek holy trinity of characterization.  Body, Mind and Soul.

Kirk is the Body, he takes advice from the Mind and Soul, but he is the one who acts.

Spock is the Mind, he is the one who thinks things through without an over abundance of emotion.

McCoy is the Soul, he reacts from his guy and wears his heart on his sleeve.  He believes in right and wrong, and is the natural sparring partner of the Mind.

Originally Alex was to be the Body, a character named Isaiah the Mind and a third character called Molly the Soul.

Now without giving too much away, I ask this;

What if Alex becomes the Soul?  Isaiah remains the Mind and now, Molly, replaced by Lady A becomes the Body.

Complicated at a glance, I know.  That said, knowing what I know in my mind, it actually works and works well.

Plus I get to keep the Alex origin for a later issue when he tells his tale, so that saves me some pages of writing down the line.

The result of this was a brainstorming session between Alex and I that lead to expansion of the Zenith Universe, tightening of it as well and trimming some of the fat off.

All in all a very productive and creative process between an artist and a writer whose goals remain creating the best damn comics for your enjoyment.

Now I just have to write the damn thing.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

HEROIC: D6 Supers - Attributes Update 2

Hey all.

So I recently took a friend's advice and posted a thread about this project to rpg.net in an effort to get a bit more input.  I was hesitant at first, given my previous experiences with online forums and my projects/conversations in the past (I should blog about that someday), but I sucked up my hesitations and made the post and prepared myself for the onlsaught.

I was stunned at how positive the response has been.  Mind numbed actually, since my past adventures in the online rpger community have not been the most positive, but I am digressing and should REALLY do a post about this at some point.

Back on topic.

So while I do not share or agree a lot of the same ideas as others, and I am writing this for myself, it has been enlightening seeing how others perceive this little project of mine.

This has lead, through conversation there and here, to be cementing a decision that I was having trouble with earlier.

Instead of having individual Jump, Running, Climbing and Swimming skills, they get folded into one catch-all skill called Athletics and those previously mentioned skills become specializations for this skill.

Now you could continue this though process and start reducing all skills this way, but for me this is about as far as I go.  Yes I have reduced the world of sciences to Science skill, and all ranged attacks as Ranged Combat, etc...  But piloting and driving should remain separate skills to me.

As always your mileage may vary and you should totally do the way you think you would like to see it done.

Cheers!

Friday, April 5, 2013

HEROIC: D6 Supers - Part 5 - Powers

Hey I heard you missed me, I'm back!  Okay and with that I will officially stop paraphrasing  Van Halen.  But yes, here I am, back on track and back with colour and vibe!  And today I am tackling the question of what changes to make with SUPERS! to work with my D6 HEROIC.

First up you will need to buy a copy of SUPERS! which can be done easily through RPGNOW.  While there you might also want to check out the free Quick Start rules.  No pressure, just saying.

Okay here we go.

The thing you need to know is that there are no "tiers" or "level costs" for powers.  All powers cost the same, 1D for 1D.  Why?  Because they ALL have the same level of usefulness and the more creative you are, the more useful a power will be.  In the hands of a very creative thinker, Super Leaping would be more useful than say Gravity Control in the hands of a linear thinker who only flies and blasts people.

Essentially, aside from minor rules/caveats, what your power can do is up to you and your Narrator to decide... on the fly... in play.  No power stunt rules or limitations, only fast paced, exciting super-heroic comic book action!

I am only going to list the powers that I have had to redefine or tweak for D6, the remaining powers function exactly as per SUPERS!

Now let's get down to brass tacks.

Armour: Use as a first step Soak roll (unless attack is Armour Piercing, see Power Boosts later) and any damage not soaked in this way then goes against normal Soak.

Duplicate Self: For every D in this power, the can double the number of duplicates.  So at 1D he can make 1, and 2D make 2, 3D gives 4, 4D gives 8, 5D gives 16, etc...  The trick is, for each duplicate past the first, they others gain a cumulative -1D to EVERYTHING.  So if only one Duplicate is made, they have full stats, but if more than one is made, ALL are reduced by the OVERALL total at -1 per D spent after the first.  So if you have 5D in Duplicate Self you can generate 16 duplicates, but they suffer a -4D to everything.  The more you spread yourself out, the less useful the copies are.  Think of it like a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy, etc...  The penalty can be bought off as a Boost, at the cost of the PENALTY, so if you want to remove up to -3D of penalty, it is a +3D boost.

Flight: As per SUPERS! but speed doubles with each +D added.  To fly in space requires a Boost called "Space Flight".

Healing: With this power the character can heal others with a touch.  the D in this power is rolled vs. a target number based on the wound level;

Stunned = Easy (1)
Wounded = Moderate (2)
Severe Wound = Very Difficult (3)
Incapacitated = Heroic (4)
Mortal Wound = Legendary (5)

Any successes beyond the target number reduce the wound an extra level.  For example, Devil Dog has taken a Severe Wound.  Faerie is going to use her healing of 5D on him.  She needs to get 3 successes to reduce his Severe Wound to just Wounded. She rolls and get a whopping 5 successes!   Devil Dog heals 3 wounds levels (1 for the TN, and 2 more for the extra successes).

Note this power cannot be used to resurrect the dead.

Mental Blast: This is resisted by a Mental Soak (average of Reason + Intutition + Psyche round down), but otherwise as per SUPERS!

Mental Shield: Functions not only as Armour for the mind, but can be used to resist ALL mental powers.  As per SUPERS! it gets weakened with each successive use per round.

Mind Control: Resisted with Psyche (Willpower).  For each success beyond the initial, add +1 round until the next attempt to break free.  Mind Control must be focused for the duration of the control and if the controller is attacked, the controlled gets an immediate attempt to break the control.

Power Drain:  Resisted by Body (Resistance), for every success 1D is drained from the target and added to ANY Attribute or Power of the attacker.  The bonus lasts until that power/attribute is used, or a number of rounds equal to the D in Power Drain, which ever comes first.  Targets recover drained powers at a rate of 1D per round after the attack.

Paralysis: Resisted by Body (Resistance), otherwise as per SUPERS!

Regeneration: As per healing but only localized to self.  Also to regrow limbs or missing body parts the target number is Unearthly (8).

Shape Change: There are 2 versions of this power, one is the ability to take on the appearance of anything and the other is to take on the appearance of specific people.

When changing shape into other forms animal or not, you may gain powers inherent to that form, based on a distribution of your Shape Change dice into said powers.  For each power the new form has, the difficulty of the Shape Change task is raised by +1.

In the second type of shape changing is being used, then each success creates the target number for others to detect that their is not the person it appears to be.

If a character wishes to have both types (very powerful) they raise the final cost by +1D.

Referees should be very careful of this power, as it can be abused by players.

Size Change: As per SUPERS! but with the bonus for Growing added to Body and removed from Agility and vice-versa for Shrinking.

Super Brain: Is added to all Reason tasks, including skills checks.  It is possible to go above 10D with this power.

Super Strength: For each 2D you have in Super Strength, add +1D to all Body related calculations regarding Damage (dealing and taking) and for any Skill that relates directly to raw physical power.

Rank    Benchmark
1          1 Ton
2          10 Tons
3          100 Tons
4          1000 Tons
5          5000 Tons
6          10,000 Tons
7          50,000 Tons
8          100,000 Tons
9          500,000 Tons
10        1,000,000 Tons

Vampiric Powers: Same as Power Drain but it targets physical Attributes (Fighting, Agility and Body).  If all these Attributes are reduced to 0D, the character is considered dead.

Webs: Do not cause damage and target Agility.

Wizardy: Functions as per SUPERS! but the Target Number is the amount of D in the final power/spell.  For example, if the Wiccan wanted to cast a flight spell of 4D, she would need 4 successes on her Wizardy roll.  Any extra successes beyond the target number are discarded, as this power is already very versatile.

That's it for the powers, but there are many powers not covered in SUPERS!, for those I highly recommend just winging it, unless you need a specific effect or result.  The beauty of SUPERS! is the openness of the powers (for the most part) and the flexibility they allow without forcing an arbitrary Power Stunt mechanic.

Up next; Power Complications and Power Boosts