Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"Danger Rooms...Are Our Business"

Yeah, most danger rooms/doom rooms/wreck rooms/what-have-you are one-off creations, done by your insanely talented team members, but during the brief hiatus where that person is dead, who are you going to call when the training facility is down?

Yeah. You're going to call Wreckreation.

Not just because they're the only appropriate site with a web page and in the phone book (also approved by BBB), but because they're the only appropriate site.

After he retired from superheroing--reflexes were going--Doc Coney (formerly the Red Wasp) wanted something to keep his mind active. He had enough money, but he didn't have something to keep his mind active. And he loves puzzles. Debugging a danger room is a joy and a thrill to him, especially if it might kill him. "I do some of my best thinking under threat of death," he says.

Even though Doc Coney is brilliant (not as bright as your campaign world's brightest, but good), he can't do it all himself. So he has friends in the superhero and superhero-adjacent community that he calls on as need. Several of them are really the core of Wreckreation, but it's still just a part-time thing for them. (There are perhaps two dozen danger rooms in the world at a level that needs Doc Coney, and maybe less. They don't all malfunction at once.[1])

His regular crew:
  • BDO Initials pronounced as "Beedeeoh," for "big dumb object." BDO is strong, can grow a bit and get even stronger, and is as smart as your typical freshman college football player. (Your estimate of his intelligence varies with your school.) But he is generally easy-going, and he takes instructions very well. Sometimes a bit too literally...
  • Nan O'Bot He grows, she shrinks. It seems like a useful pairing, though they bicker. She would like to be romantically involved with BDO (she's kind of shallow: he makes great arm-candy) but he is not that way inclined. She helps Doc Coney in part to keep up with electrical engineering; her "regular" job lets her get away to do superhero-ing but it's not really demanding professionally.
  • Wisp He's a ghost. Really useful when you want to look into something, and frequently not harmed by the current danger room scenario, so he's useful as the emergency contact. He has a limited ability to affect the real world--a small amount of telekinesis, a little weather control--but he has some great stories about the old days. 

Other people can be called in as needed, such as if there's a specialty they need (extraterrestrial hard light technology, perhaps) or a bizarre power that needs to be tested.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Freedom Force - Bullet - Question

System: ICONS

What do you think? Super speed 7 (Mach 1)?

ICONS as you go

System: ICONS

Had a weird idea yesterday. What if you created your pseudo-random ICONS character as you played the game? Like, the first time you needed to punch someone, you rolled to see what your Prowess and Strength were for the rest of the game?

Here's how I imagine it would work. Until the character is created, you can't swap specific powers for generic ones.
  1. Pick your origin. You could roll it, too, but this is still going to have lots of randomness and less chance to fix it.
  2. As you need an ability, such as Strength or Coordination, you roll for it using the levels chart. (When you get hit, you have to roll Strength and Willpower if they don't exist yet, because those determine your Stamina.)
  3. When you need a power, you roll for it. You don't roll the type of power; that's decided by the situation. "I'm about to be hit; I need something defensive" or "Can I change form?"
  4. Instead of the Number of Powers table, you have a Number of Powers target number. When you roll over that in rolling for the type of power, then you have no more powers. The Number of Powers target number starts at 14, and drops by three every time you roll for a power. Your origin modifies the number, not the number of powers you have, so Birthright adds 3 to the target number. So the first power has a TN of 14, then 11, then 8, then 5, and then 2. So you're almost guaranteed two powers, but have to be lucky to get six.
  5. You get 2 Specialties  by choice, but you can trade a lower Target Number for 2 specialties.
  6. Qualities are created as-needed or at the end of character creation.
  7. You get to trade one power for a more generic power.
  8. You can trade a power for an extra when you roll the power.
How does that look?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

They must have done this in Batman comics

I was taking/reading one of those ScreenRant tests (yes, I was on Facebook), and I came across the notion that the Riddler actually has the highest IQ of any of Batman's villains. Which is fine, but the picture was some shot of multiple villains but the mastermind was in shadow.

Which made me wonder if they've ever done a bit where the mastermind is Eddie Nigma who isn't leaving clues...he's taken this up as part of his therapy for the clue-giving OCD. The therapist suggested he try small things, so he created a new identity--things that the Riddler wouldn't care about and that he doesn't care about so he has less of a need for the clue-giving. The identity of the new character probably contains a clue that it's the Riddler, but it's a small Mister Tree (because it's an Enigma wrapped in a puzzle wrapped in a mystery) or Kermit Bongo (alternate names for Conan and Drum, hence Conundrum).

This new identity is successful (Eddie's a smart guy), and when he slips up by leaving clues, the players might well assume that it's the Riddler being a copycat. Players get involved because, hey, it's a series of crimes. In fact, in a nod to one of the Dortmunder books, other criminals might want to get involved because the crimes are successful, so other foes of the PCs start showing up at the crimes. But the crimes only work because Nigma doesn't care about them, so he has less of a need to leave clues. Then the other criminals force him to take something he does care about, and suddenly it's much harder to control the OCD. (Heck, he might even want to be caught by this point because these guys are messing up his treatment! Except he can't leave the usual style of clues; instead he has to leave new subtle clues and hope the PCs are smart enough.)

If you have a Riddler-like villain (Conundrum from M&M, for example) that might be a running thing as part of the set of adventures, leading to the final confrontation, which is when the OCD is really reasserting itself, and the big crime is a combination of both the new style and the Riddler style. (If he makes it out of the session, then the real climax is saving the psychotherapist, who is at risk of being murdered because his treatment didn't work...even though he probably didn't tell Eddie to create a new persona.)

If you're doing something like riddles in an ICONS game, I'd give the willing players five minutes to solve the riddle without rolls, and then make it a pyramid test. The test wouldn't be modified in any way but one: Every roll doubles the amount of time spent. So if they get a massive success in one roll, that's an hour or five hours or a day, whatever you've decided the time increment is. (We'll assume five hours for demonstration.) If they take three rolls, then it's five-ten-twenty hours--basically a day. If they take five rolls, it's eighty hours--a bit more than three days. Once they start rolling, at any point they can spend a determination point for a success.

Here, have a half-assed Riddler...the Puzzler:

Prowess: 3 Coordination: 4 Strength: 3 Int: 7 Awareness: 3 Willpower: 5
Specialties: Puzzles (Expert) +2, Weapons (Guns)
Powers: Bashing (Question mark cane) 5, Gun or equipment as needed
Qualities: Three steps ahead of you; Has to leave clues; Has to be the smartest man in the room

If you wanted to give him a power, maybe he has Probability Control, but only to give his opponents bad luck when figuring out his clues. That makes the pyramid test more of a bartering system, where the players can figure it out faster if they spend points, but they get more points if they let him hinder them....which is kinda like the source material. Killer Gamemaster is somewhat like this, if I recall, though I haven't looked at his write up for a while.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cool site

I think there's only the one post, but a friend pointed me at this:

A cool way to run a Suicide Squad-style session in a certain proprietary universe.