This forum is for the discussion of the superhero role-playing game that is now in development.
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By voxday
#12
Some design notes from Magnate, the lead designer of the RPG.

The design for the Alt★Hero RPG is proceeding well. Unlike most superhero RPGs being designed today, it takes a simulative rather than narrative approach. It is a spiritual descendant of Mayfair Game's DC Heroes RPG and TSR's Marvel Heroes RPG. The game mechanics, which I am calling the "Supermetric system", are based on logarithmic mathematics. Each point on the Supermetric scale represents a doubling in real-world measurements. This approach will be familiar to anyone familiar with DC Heroes. Unlike Mayfair's system, however, the Supermetric system is fully logarithmic. For instance, in DC Heroes a character with a BODY 6 would be felled with six 1 point-hits, two 3-point hits, or one 6-point hits, even though one 6-point hit was worth eight 3-point hits or sixty-four 1 point-hits. Alt★Hero uses some very clever behind-the-scenes math that enables us to carry logarithmic design to its logical progression while keeping the game fast and fun. In playtesting so far, we've found the combat to be very flavorful with collateral damage, environmental interaction, and more.

At this point, the core mechanics are complete and playable so the next step is to begin to develop the character generation system and the full index of powers. One thing I am still assessing is whether to make the character generation randomized (like Marvel Heroes or Golden Heroes), point-based (like Champions or DC Heroes), or hybridized (like Heroes Unlimited). Because superhero combat tends to be so intransitive (that is, it's like scissors-paper-rock rather than high-roll-wins), I have always been skeptical of point-based systems' claims that they can achieve balance. How do you "balance" worldwide teleportation and the ability to lift a 747? On the other hand, for gamers who enjoy such things, building the uber-powerful character within the limits of points is a lot of fun.
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By The Observer
#65
I would prefer point-based myself, if only because of familiarity with Mutants and Masterminds. The complete randomness of Golden Heroes was quite a turn-off personally because people came to the table already with ideas of what they wanted to play, instead of letting the chips fall where they may and trying to work that result into a playable character.

It does mean that assigning point costs to the abilities might be tricky, but that's part of the RPG design work.
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By Acuman
#97
Here's my initial response:

What's the scope of the game design? Is this a supers only system or are you going to leave room for other genres. Specifically I'm interested if the system is going to have enough granularity to describe low powered teams. Have you thought about fractional exponents (like 2 to the level/4) for effect instead of 2 to the level of the power? Instead of each increment being double, 2^(level/4) is about 20% more per level with doubling occurring every four levels. Same basic math, just better distinction between characters. Doubling at every level means when non-supers fight it's just level 1 vs level 1, which results in completely random dice rolls determining the outcome.

If you make a fun game that's cool. If you're “designing” a game there are several design methodologies available that will allow you propose ideas and formally evaluate them. Look into Quality Function Deployment and House of Quality, and Axiomatic Design and the Design Structure Matrix.

The play balance comment concerns me. Game balance is math, mostly statistics and probability. If you don't want to do the math, lay it off on someone who does.

In regards to points vs. generated characters (or any major choice for that matter) give us both as optional rules. All games, especially role playing games, are performance art. Generated characters would be great for GMs.

When can we see the system? Will you at least post the current rules in a private area for those of us with the gaming website perk from the freestartr?

It's hard to talk about a product you haven't seen, so, please, give us some info.
User avatar
By dtungsten
#99
What if Supermetric units of measurement are all based upon the Royale with Cheese? Then I would be 30 SuperCM tall, and weigh 344 SuperG.

Maybe that wasn't terribly helpful, but it was fun.
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By RogueDash1
#152
I lean more towards a randomized character generation. It has a classic, old school feel to it. While it's nice to make exactly what you want, I've seen min-maxers abuse point buy systems far more often than the dice gods have prevented me from making a character concept.
User avatar
By dtungsten
#153
The only one I think I had experience with is Heroes Unlimited. I remember it being fun trying to create a character the way I wanted, and the limitations seemed reasonable to me at the time.
User avatar
By Acuman
#154
RogueDash1 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:57 pm
I lean more towards a randomized character generation. It has a classic, old school feel to it. While it's nice to make exactly what you want, I've seen min-maxers abuse point buy systems far more often than the dice gods have prevented me from making a character concept.
I have seen players use their intelligence and min/max strategies to build characters I wouldn't play, but I craft every character I design to be effective and competent. I've seen players use their charisma and social skills to run over GM and dominate a game. Sometimes it's entertaining, even just for the absurdity of the situation, and sometimes it can ruin a game. I would rather play in a game where I can express myself through my own talents and predilections, even if my characters are sometimes less effective than the other players, than play in game that requires me behave in an expected way. Role playing is my escape, not a set of obligations.
dtungsten wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:43 pm
The only one I think I had experience with is Heroes Unlimited. I remember it being fun trying to create a character the way I wanted, and the limitations seemed reasonable to me at the time.
Min/maxing characters...eh-hem...I mean character design is as much fun to me as playing. The coolest thing in a game is strategically setting up your tactics and succeeding in dramatic fashion. I love it when a GM is shocked enough to say “You can do what?” Even Vox has said he mostly read the Traveler books, instead of playing the game.

A good GM will adapt to your tactics to balance play. I have never really had a player object to me min/maxing a character, most players appreciate the artistry. I did have a player object to my actions once. We had been playing weekly for over year in a very high level game when the GM started an apocalypse scenario that killed everyone in the village around my personal fortress. I cast raise dead on every individual in village (over a hundred) without the normal expensive materials cost. Nobody objected to me avoiding the material cost, but one player objected to me playing god for not having respect for the cycle of life. That wasn't in game. It was a real life objection that made him angry, but not angry enough to quit the game. The GM said that not all of the souls wanted to come back. If there is a problem with min/maxing it's the responsibility of the GM to fix it.

In the end, if your talking about game system that lets you lift a battleship with your bare hands, you should expect some fantastical things occur when you let people with imagination use that system. That's actually part of the fun, and why the system needs to be play balanced.
long long title how many chars? lets see 123 ok more? yes 60

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