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Smallville RPG Discussion

CapfalconCapfalcon Well, NOW it's beachfront propertyWeyland Consortium HQRegistered User regular
edited June 2011 in Critical Failures
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Here is a Superman.
allstarsupermani.jpg






Here is some Superdrama.
smallville.jpg

The above map is an essential part of character creation in the Smallville RPG.

If you haven't heard of Smallville before, it's essentially the story of a young Clark Kent from his teenage years, when his powers manifested and how he learned to reconcile his heritage and his current life, to him moving off to Metropolis and becoming an up an coming reporter for the Daily Planet.

But, honestly, none of that's very important.

Because the Smallville's system has been used for everything from Generic Fantasy Adventure to a cross between I, Robot and House M.D. I can't make this stuff up, people.

Right, so. One thing to get out of the way is that this game runs on the power of TV drama rather than attempting to emulate reality. There's a world of difference between punching out a random thug's lights and punching out your archenemy who is threatening to drop your one, true soul-mate off of a tall building.

In this game, there's six attributes that get used pretty much all the time. Rather than describing how fast or tough your character is, these describe how strongly your character feels about Duty, Glory, Justice, Love, Power, and Truth. In addition, you write a sentence describing how your character views the attribute. They're ranked from a d4 to a d12. For example, Clark Kent has a measly Power - d4 (Power Corrupts). On the other hand, Zod has a Power - d10 (KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!)

More situationally, there's the relationships between characters. These also have are ranked from d4 to d12 and have a short description. Most of the time, high relationships are mutual. For example, Clark's relationship with Zod is a d8 (Zod's methods are dangerous) and Zod has Clark - d8 (Clark will join or die). As this example shows, high relationships doesn't mean you're best buddies. It means that the other person is important to you. Romeo is really important to Juliet, and vice versa. However, around the middle of Star Wars IV, Darth Vader is a whole lot more important to Luke (d10 - He murdered Obi Wan) than Luke is to Darth Vader (d4 - Some rebel who rescued the Princess). So, there's no reason they have to be mutual. For example, Jeffery might have Toni - d12 (She's the Love of my Life) while Toni might have Jeffery - d4 (The guy's a creepy stalker.)

Values and Relationships form the core of the game, being the dice you'll roll the most. But, there's rules for Powers (everything from Heat Rays to Flight), Gear (all those wonderful toys), Locations (Batcaves and Daily Planets), Extras (armies of faceless goons with various skills), and Distinctions. Distinctions deserve a special mention, as they are positive and negative qualities that let you get and/or spend "Plot Points," a meta-resource that lets you bend (or break!) the rules for a little.

I'd like to go into the character generation, but, honestly, it's going to be a pain to try to explain it without just copy pasting. And I hear stuff like that is frowned upon in these parts. So, if anyone is interested in this, I'm going to show just how flexible it can be by making the Gaang (and Zuko) from Avatar: The Last Airbender from around mid-Season Two. So, spoiler warning, I guess.

Capfalcon on

Posts

  • MatevMatev Hugs? Hugs are for nerdsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Hrm, your ideas intrigue me Cap and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    I want to see where you're going with this....

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Spoiler:
  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I have an interest. Since I may use this for our other game, but the system interests me regardless.

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • The AnonymousThe Anonymous Uh, uh, uhhhhhh... Uh, uh.Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    This sounds like it could be either really awesome, or really bad (but in a good way).

    Colour me interested.

    camo_sig.png
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot P'burg, MTRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Well, this is certainly a new approach. Yeah, looks intriguing.

    Spoiler:
  • duraxdurax Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Hmm... I don't see any restrictions.

    Do players only get one of each die size (i.e. 1xd4, 1xd6, 1xd8 etc)?

    So if the d12 was assigned they would be forced to use the d10 as their next highest maximum?

  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I believe it starts at d4 durax and then increases in various areas during Character Creation, durax. Though this will probably be clarified .

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • CapfalconCapfalcon Well, NOW it's beachfront property Weyland Consortium HQRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Egos has it. Almost everything starts at a d4, and you get to boost the die size throughout character creation. Naturally, you have a limited number of such boosts, so you can't simply say that all of your Values are d12 because they're all really important to you.

  • CapfalconCapfalcon Well, NOW it's beachfront property Weyland Consortium HQRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Well, we've got some takers, so, let's get this party started!

    We have our 5 Leads. Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, and Zuko.

    So, let's start at the beginning. The very beginning, for that matter.

    ORIGIN

    The origin stage starts with everyone drawing their Lead on the Relationships Map, and making one extra. An extra is a bunch of faceless goons/lawyers/crooks/reporters/scientists OR someone who really isn't that important. Each Extra has two specialties they can help leads with, decided when they . I think you get the picture). Since we have five people, everyone starts out with a free relationship step up to d6.

    So, Aang decides to add Monk Gyatso, his mentor and only friend once Aang found out he was the Avatar.
    His specialties are Airbending and Pranks.

    Katara chooses her mother, Kya, her mother who was untimely taken from her (stretching the rules a bit here, but it makes sense.)
    Her specialties are Waterbending and Comfort.

    Sokka's pick is his dad, Hakoda, his role model who he thinks he can never measure up to.
    His specialties are Planning and Leading.

    Toph picks her fabulously wealthy parents, who never seemed to understand her.
    Their specialties are Contacts and Resources

    Last up is Zuko. Now Zuko has a ton of interesting characters to pick from, what with almost everyone he has a close relationships being a friend or foe to the Gaang throughout the show. So we've got Fire Lord Ozai, Azula, Uncle [strike]Awesome[/strike] Iroh, Mai, and his mother, Ursa.

    Of course, that's all because we're kind of doing this backwards, what with making the game match the characters rather than using the game system to generate interesting characters. But that's beside the point.

    Just for a change of pace, we're going to go with Azula, his sister. All these parents are getting a little monotonous.
    Azula's specialties are Firebending and Liar (Azula ALWAYS lies.).

    Aang
    aangj.png
    Spoiler:

    Everyone else still has to choose their origin, but I figured I'd give all of you something for the night.

    That, and I'm having some problems with the relationship map in Paint. If anyone has a good recommendation for some software that does flowcharts well, it would go along way to making this move quicker.

    I guess one more tidbit for the road wouldn't hurt.

    Zuko is going to be Rich.
    Katara are going to be Gifted.
    Toph is going to be Strange.
    And poor ol' Sokka is going to be Ordinary.

  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I'd prefer Zuko or Sokka. Though I surmise a lot of people are thinking along those lines.

    If any of the others. Toph kicks the most ass.

    A pity I can't be this douche
    Spoiler:

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • MatevMatev Hugs? Hugs are for nerdsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Hrm, having only minimal knowledge about Avatar, Zuko, Aang, or Toph seem like the most compelling....

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Spoiler:
  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    hmm..if people aren't that crazy about Avatar. (Not sure if this is the case).

    Are you open to other suggestions, Falcon? Or did you have other scenarios you were playing around with?

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • CapfalconCapfalcon Well, NOW it's beachfront property Weyland Consortium HQRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I'm just using this as an extended example of character creation. I wasn't planning on having people be Aang, Katara, etc. After all, we already knows what happens to them, and they have a nice, happy ending. No reason to go messing with that.

    That, and character creation is half the fun!

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot P'burg, MTRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I've never seen Avatar, so that wasn't too terribly helpful, unfortunately. I have a very rough idea of what's going on, but would you mind terribly statting up Luke, Leia, and Han? They're very familiar to me.

    Spoiler:
  • duraxdurax Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    So we are making our own characters?

    What setting/genre encapsulates the story? (e.g. fantasy, sci-fi, western, steampunk etc.)?

  • The AnonymousThe Anonymous Uh, uh, uhhhhhh... Uh, uh.Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I've never seen Avatar, so that wasn't too terribly helpful, unfortunately. I have a very rough idea of what's going on, but would you mind terribly statting up Luke, Leia, and Han? They're very familiar to me.

    camo_sig.png
  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    If it helps any Luke would be Alien (Metahuman). Han Solo would likely be Ordinary while Leia would be Rich .

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • CapfalconCapfalcon Well, NOW it's beachfront property Weyland Consortium HQRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I haven't forgotten about this, but I'm trying to do the whole character creation. In addition to wrestling with a new program to do a digital relationship map, I've had a few night shifts for my job, which are playing merry havoc with my sleep. So, I should have a full example up in a few days.

  • descdesc the '87 stick up kids Registered User regular
    Gosh darn do I want to run a Legion of Superheroes teen dramedy with Smallville.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot P'burg, MTRegistered User regular
    Is stuff better now, Cap?

    Spoiler:
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