This forum is for the discussion of the superhero role-playing game that is now in development.
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By voxday
The Alt-Hero RPG had its second playtest. The core mechanics are working smoothly. The logarithmic system is as elegant as I'd hoped and it is working well when conjoined with mechanics that can take advantage of it, such as making multiple attacks, attacking in teams, and so on.

All sorts of wonderful emergent properties became evident in this playtest. For instance, combat against large groups of enemies can be easily resolved by using the logarithmic scaling. One attacker with Agility 3 and a pistol is not scary. 16 attackers with pistols (+4 multi-attacker modifier) is Agility 7 and suddenly a threat. We also learned that Teleport 15 is sufficient to move an enemy into near-orbit above the Earth; the quick use of the logarithmic math (Time = Distance - Speed) let us determine how many rounds the heroes had to finish off the rest of the combat before he fell to earth.

In this playtest we introduced a set of "legwork" mechanics that can be used for crime scene investigation, forensic study of evidence, interviewing crime victims, and other Detective Comics type game play. The legwork mechanics assign"clues" a logarithmic score based on their obscurity; investigators then find clues based on their Acuity stat added to the time (in logarithmic score) spent doing legwork. For instance, if "bullet casing made of strange alloy used only by Dr. Dread" has an Obscurity of 20, it will take The Brick (Acuity 4) a long time to find the clue - 20-4 = 16 units of time, or about two-and-a-half days. If Dr. Quantum (Acuity 12) is on the job, however, he will find the clue in (20 - 12) 8 units of time, or about 15 minutes.

To use the legwork mechanics in play, the Mastermind (GM) should structure multiple different locations with information, along with some sort of time pressure from either the villain's plans or natural events or both. In yesterday's session, for instance, the heroes knew that a powerful superhuman was about to manifest his powers for the first time, and it was a race against time to get the information needed to stop him.

It's still very much a work-in-progress but the framework of a great game is being put into place.

User avatar
By SilentDraco
Check my understanding for the logarithmic scale, please, as other readers may have similar but unwritten questions.

The scale is logarithmic on a power of two basis. Every full number change is a double or halving of the amount. Reading the example, I'm assuming a time basis of 0 = 1 hr, 1 = 2 hrs, etc.

From your example, The Brick requires 16 log units of time to decipher the clue. Dr. Quantum takes log 8 units, or about 15 minutes. With the value of 8 as a difference, the difference is 2^8 =256, so 1/4 hour (2^-2) scaled by 8 to 2^6 hours (-2 + 8 =6 for the exponent). When converted off the log scale, the difference in time is 1/4 * 256 = 64 hours; 15 minutes vs about 2.5 days.

The Agility example should work similarly. Multi-player attack with a +4 modifier includes the increased number of weapons, people firing them, and the spatial difficulty increase because bullets are traveling on different paths. Example: The Block, with Agility 5, has a big problem with that attacking Agility of 7 (advantage of 2 becomes disadvantage of -2). The Block may be armored or massive enough to not care, hopefully. Mercurist, with an Agility of 14, goes from hysterical laughter to highly annoyed (advantage of 11 reduced to advantage of 7).

I like it, but will need to think carefully about scaling relations of time, energy, and distance for characters and situations. I can see where and how a lot of surprises and unexpected twists emerge in test or play. Then again, these are H. Sequens super properties, and we should expect surprises.
User avatar
By Cetera
Any more news or further development on this? I know everyone is crazy busy with everything going on in the Castalia House/Arkhaven worlds.
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