Thursday, July 22, 2010

Risus Supers

It's too early to be thinking about what system I might might use for my as-yet-unnamed future Supers game. But since this is a Risus blog, I figure I should think about system enough to post Risus versions of the various characters that will help define the setting. For the last couple days, I've been mulling over various rules options and conversion schemes. Here's what I settled on:

Funky Dice
I seriously considered using the "Rescaled Risus" suggestion from the Risus Companion. Ultimately, I discarded that approach in favor of using Funky Dice. I like Funky Dice for several reasons. First, I like being able to use my entire dice collection. More importantly, I like the wider range of power levels that you can get with Funky Dice. It's hard to model the entire range of super characters (from sidekicks to cosmic paragons) with only six levels (and only four levels for starting characters). I've also used Funky Dice successfully in past games and I am comfortable with how they function in play.

Benchmarks
I'll set starting point levels for player characters when I actually get around to running the game. In the meantime, a set of benchmarks would be useful for classifying where a given NPC fits in the continuum of superhero power. I'm going to roughly base things off the Power Levels (PL) of  Mutants & Masterminds. A character's peer group (i.e. team members, allies, common foes) roughly determines the total number of dice/points available. The type of Funky Dice that can be assigned to super cliches is unrestricted but it will generally match the Power Level. 

Power LevelPoint TotalTypical Funky Die
Pulp Hero (PL6)10 dice/60 points   d6
Street Level (PL8)80 pointsd8
Typical Supers (PL10)100 pointsd10
Powerful Supers (PL12)   120 pointsd12
Hooks & Tales
I'm not going to factor Tales into the point totals and I'm only going to use Hooks if they provide concrete disadvantages like weaknesses or vulnerabilities.If a Hook is included, it gives back 10% of the Point Total as per the standard Risus rules.

Lucky Shots & Questing Dice
I discussed the interaction between Funky Dice and Lucky Shots/Questing Dice in this post back in December. Questing Dice are an especially useful way to model stunts, special tactics,or gadgets. The cost of 3 Lucky Dice or 5 Questing Dice is equal to 10% of the starting total. They add dice with the same number of sides as the cliche being augmented.

Sidekicks & Shieldmates
Cliches for sidekicks are purchased at 1:3 cost as per the standard rules. Funky Dice can be used, though the Sidekick may not exceed 4 dice in any cliche is may not have any cliches that are more powerful than the base character's best cliche. 

Converting From ICONS
To convert the ICONS-generated Ebon Knight, I'll set his power level to be "Street Level (PL8)". As a normal human, he will be limited to six-sided dice. His ICONS ability scores are mostly appropriate to 4 dice cliches, though his Prowess would seem to imply a a higher level of ability. I could set one or more cliches at level 5, though that would preclude him from being used as a starting character. Instead, I gave him a bunch of Questing Dice that reflect the boost he gets from his special gear.
EBON KNIGHT (Risus Version)
Description:The Ebon Knight races through the rougher neighborhoods of Silverlode on a super-charged motorcycle clad in jet-black armor and wielding a similarly-colored broadsword. On the job as a machinist at Blue Horizons as "Black Angus" MacTavish, he appears as a powerfully-built African American man, usually covered in grease and sweat. 
Cliches: Armored Vigilante of the Night (4), Motorcycle Knight (4), Miracle Metalworker (4)

Questing Dice (Ebonite Armor & Sword): [] [] [] [] []
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Armored Vigilante of the Night: Defending the weak, helping the helpless, finding evil-doers to vanquish, slugging it out with bad-guys, bashing through doors/windows/scenery.
Motorcycle Knight: Riding a motorcycle;  fighting with sword and other medieval weaponry; motorcycle repair.
Miracle Metalworker: Forging weapons and armor; working with exotic metals and alloys; building simple machines.
Questing Dice: Ebon Knight is perfectly effective in his cliches with mundane medieval gear. He may employ his Questing Dice to represent the advantages granted to him by having nigh-invulnerable armor and an extra sharp sword.


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