Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Superheroics and CofD

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Superheroics and CofD

    Something inspired by the Mage Chronicler's Guide, how Deviant uses a bit of superhero media in its DNA, and having watched Captain Marvel (it's fairly average for an MCU film, about Thor 1 quality - I liked it, but I know they can do better).

    Is there a market for noble vigilantes and semi-mythical flashy powers in the CofD? Because I kind of like superheroes, and oddly, a lot of the mythology comes off as the kind of somewhat deliberate mess that the Marvel and DC universes come off as, especially when you decide to have fun trying to make a cohesive whole out of it.

    So, I'm wondering what you would do to make the CofD more supers-esque. I feel everyone who's anyone has a shadow name meant to serve as both identity-hiding alias and self-description. Also, I think we might want an "extras" rule for the people not important enough to be challenging fights or social obstacles.



  • #2
    [obligatory pointing at Storypath threads] Now that that's out of the way,

    It's a tone question. CofD's focus is generally introspective, which isn't great for conveying the flashy superheroics. That's not to say they don't or couldn't happen, but that's just not where the focus is. When someone does something awesome, the general default of CofD is to ask about collateral damage to the city rather than celebrate the grandiosity of the gesture.

    And that's kinda the thing about the supers genre these days. It's a little too wide a spectrum. Man of Steel slots in pretty easily to a CofD ambience, for instance, and so does Logan. Iron Man or First Avenger, on the other hand, don't work at all. I haven't seen Captain Marvel quite yet; that's next weekend for me. Fuck all if I could tell you where Deadpool fits into anything.

    So the first thing I'd do is nix the collateral damage. Because as much fun as it is to watch buildings collapse on the big screen, it doesn't really work at the table IME. If you're going to Gauru it up, think Power Rangers more than Godzilla: shit explodes but there are no real consequences for the big mecha fight: maybe the monster fight is the talk of the town for a day but then it's on to the next exciting rumor on the gossip channel. There's no Paradox, if you're running Mage, for instance, which takes it from "controversially overpowered" to "unquestionably overpowered"... but that's the point.

    Second thing I'd do is focus what you're aiming at. You probably want to avoid lone-hero types, so Spiderman isn't a great pick as a model, and instead probably pick a bunch of team-based super models to work from. Teen Titans, X-Men, hell, even Fantastic Four might be good starting places. This is mostly so you don't fall into "what this one hero means to the city/world" tropes (i.e., Snyder's vision). ... on the other hand, if you're building Mummy or Demon or Beast, those work much better. Superman as a Beast is basically what Batman v Superman was, dream sequence and all. The first... half... ish... anyways.

    As for an "extras" rule, there's already Down and Dirty. Down and Dirty works for everything.


    I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
    An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
    Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

    Comment


    • #3
      Point in Down and Dirty. And yeah, good points on the introspection and worrying about collateral damage; it's street-level Arrowverse stuff by default.

      Though, being the cosmic-level nerd I am, I'm also wondering what you'd find out in CofD Comics Outer Space.

      I suspect more Sunless Skies than Guardians of the Galaxy. Not that there's much of a difference beyond mood lighting...


      Comment


      • #4
        I think if you want more standard superheroing you'd have to find comics that really explore more than just the standard morality tales. As Errol216 points out, the introspective focus isn't really good for the flashy superheroics. Or you'd have to drastically change the atmosphere and setting of Chronicles.

        I love superheroes, and comics in general, but I don't think Chronicles is really the world for it. Like, in first edition you had the Uratha who were literally protecting the world from the depredations of the spirit, while also keeping humans from messing with said spirit world. Between that, the secret identity, the villainous Pure, you had about as much of a superhero setup as you can get and still no one really pushed that link, because it doesn't fit for the game.

        At most you'd get some vigilantism, which you do, in the form of things like the little organization groups, packs of werewolves that are vehemently against crime, or mages who want the area around their sanctum to be as ordered and peaceful as possible, or hunter cells out of Night Watch and the Union who do more to help their community than just kill monsters.
        Last edited by nofather; 03-11-2019, 07:25 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          In addition to tone, there are also questions of scope. CofD is already pretty well suited to handle darker street level vigilante stories; you'd have little problem running something close to Blade or The Crow or the Punisher. Systems wise there's not nearly as much support for Kaiju/Superman scale battles.

          Admittedly, I'm not well versed in Demon, Mummy, or Mage, which I hear are the most powerful splats. Super Heroes doesn't seem like an easy fit for the themes of the first two, but like I said I'm hardly an expert.

          Of the lines I do know somewhat well, Changelings, Vampires and Sin Eaters aren't incapable of reaching city scale power levels, but those would be high exp games for sure. One of the biggest problems is durability. There just aren't that many ways to add health boxes in this system. Even the most invested characters have maybe double an average person's. Armor helps a lot, but there aren't too many sources of it.

          Beasts, on the other hand, can pretty easily Hulk out. Anakim are capable of having stupid amounts of health relative to nearly everyone else, and being able to throw cars at character creation besides. If you've ever played the game Prototype, that's a pretty good example of the possible scale, though not exactly heroic in tone.

          Comment


          • #6
            Seconding Errol216, nofather and HelmsDerp.

            What could be a lot of fun though is to live through the subversion of the tropes: your Kindred try to fulfill their childhood dreams of being a ragtag team of superheroes. They got the powers, after all, so easily done, right? Okay, so you need to find an acceptable target (easier said than done), and deal with them - how much violence is acceptable? What if they accidentally die?
            Let's assume those things are out of the way, you manage to take apart the gang: guess what effects taking out a drug pushing gang has? Another moves in - and since they need to establish their rules and assume 'authority', they'll likely be worse than the old one. Rinse and repeat - tons of people dying to you playing superhero (kinda like Batman and his playma- I mean arch nemesis Joker). Nonetheless, there can and should be genuine heroic situations (Nemesis can go beyond their Feeding, Kindred can put their existence at risk for the sake of kine that aren't Touchstones or somehow important, a Pack neglects its spiritual duty to deal with a serious mortal problem because it is the right thing to do etc. Promethean Titans especially could qualify here to experience the awe of the masses as part of their journey for example, or to inspire others to do good within their possibilities etc.)
            Things are likely to turn sour at some point, but that doesn't necessarily have to take away from this achievement/Crowning Moment of Awesome. This is far from a new trope, but could be interesting to explore.

            Starting a game with a slightly-optimistic superhero-esque feel, only to throw in a healthy dose of 'realism' and ChroD-induced darkness to let it turn into more and more of an anti-hero thing for example could make for a fun experience, even if the characters are likely to end up somewhat jaded. Less Spiderman in tone, and more Watchmen, perhaps.

            Scalewise, most would play on the levels of Daredevil to Luke Cage, I guess, though with e.g. Beasts you could end up with city-wrecking levels. Demon and Mage can go above and beyond are somepoint between Iron Man, Superman and Dr. Strange, I guess? For Mage, Hellblazer/John Constantine might be a good comparison.

            Comment


            • #7
              You should consider reviewing material for More than Human (MtH) and Aberrant First Edition.

              Best regards



              Roleplaying not Rollplaying or Ruleplaying
              Current Focus
              Storypath & Storypath to Run CoD, VtR, WtF, MtA
              Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

              Comment


              • #8
                Hmm, so I've been out of touch with the more recent phases of the MCU, so its hard for me to judge how to best replicate the tone and scale will fit. As an alternate source - I'd suggest the web serials Worm and Ward, which definitely lean hard on superpowers as a curse or at least a mixed blessing. Ward in particular fits the introspective tone that's been mentioned for CoD games. One concept that might be worthwhile to port over (and I think has been discussed in relation to Mage) is that secret identities and shadow names are courtesy thing - many CoD splats have methods to gain information that mundane humans couldn't access, but even opposed supers have an unspoken code not to reveal identities.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kvedulf View Post
                  Hmm, so I've been out of touch with the more recent phases of the MCU, so its hard for me to judge how to best replicate the tone and scale will fit. As an alternate source - I'd suggest the web serials Worm and Ward, which definitely lean hard on superpowers as a curse or at least a mixed blessing. Ward in particular fits the introspective tone that's been mentioned for CoD games. One concept that might be worthwhile to port over (and I think has been discussed in relation to Mage) is that secret identities and shadow names are courtesy thing - many CoD splats have methods to gain information that mundane humans couldn't access, but even opposed supers have an unspoken code not to reveal identities.
                  Honestly, I'm actually a fan of Worm, though never actually opened Ward. What's it like?


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It takes place after Worm.

                    There's effectively an apocalypse on Worm's homeworld, so they made arrangements to go to the other world (recall there was the other world Worms was 'linked' to, where the Travelers came from). But once overpopulation got to be too big they started going to another world. And while settlements build up infrastructure and so forth there's villains going rampant and trying to take over things, so there's a lot of anti-parahuman sentiment. Victoria (Glory Girl) is the 'main' character, and she's helping the settlers keep order, at least at first.


                    While there is certainly more introspection in wildbow's universe, it's still the type of thing that's covered better in something like Aberrant (if you absolutely refuse to go standard Villains and Vigilantes or Mutants and Masterminds).
                    Last edited by nofather; 03-21-2019, 01:43 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Agreed Aberrant 1E or Aberrant 2e (StoryPath) not yet released

                      Alternatives

                      * Marvel Heroic Roleplaying
                      * More Than Human
                      * Mutants and Mastermind
                      * HERO
                      * Champions
                      * Four-Color to Fantasy (Revised)
                      * Venbture City (Fate)

                      Best regards



                      Roleplaying not Rollplaying or Ruleplaying
                      Current Focus
                      Storypath & Storypath to Run CoD, VtR, WtF, MtA
                      Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X