[Superhero RPGs] Legacy System

Jive Professor

Trying to fly
Validated User
#1
Hey everyone! I have put together a short system for superhero RPGs that tries to focus the narrative more on the team than the individual characters.

Essentially, I had three objectives with this system:

-Emulate superhero comics and their rotating rosters of characters over time.
-Introduce a way to provide leveling/power increase that felt somewhat natural.
-Allow a superhero campaign to naturally increase variety of experience (by returning to character generation, ostensibly one of the most exciting aspects of many supers rpgs).

I wrote it with Icons in mind but truthfully I think it could be grafted on to any supers game with minimal editing because the core is divorced from mechanics and many of the other elements are purely fluff/narrative.

Note: the actual text of the rules is current less than half the document, the rest is an extended "play" example of how I envision the rules working in practice.

I'd love to hear any insights, questions, or thoughts you have on the system before I head into play-testing.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p07y7tFqb5clIB09yh1b6eeUKXR07r65W25lf1LTjiM/edit?usp=sharing
 

Octiron

Pariah
Validated User
#2
I did a brief read through and I think this is really a brilliant idea at it's core, especially with the idea that there is a tangible friction that builds up over time in a super hero team that leads to more drama. I think a lot of games ignore that, maybe because players already flake out of games often enough or create friction of their own.

I am a little put off by how they seem to be at the mercy of the dice for when that happens (again I may be wrong, it was a quick scan). Would it be better to reward them in some way for leaving or causing friction?

Perhaps by being able to "cash in" their time counters for advances, maybe getting double if they also cause friction when they leave? That way instead of being up to a roll, it would just become more and more tempting as time goes by.
 
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The Benj

Registered User
Validated User
#3
Agreed, I love everything about this apart from the arbitrary randomness. Making it more choice-based (whether that's by directly incentivising the behaviour or making it a choice to push your luck) would be a great move.
 

Jive Professor

Trying to fly
Validated User
#4
I did a brief read through and I think this is really a brilliant idea at it's core, especially with the idea that there is a tangible friction that builds up over time in a super hero team that leads to more drama. I think a lot of games ignore that, maybe because players already flake out of games often enough or create friction of their own.

I am a little put off by how they seem to be at the mercy of the dice for when that happens (again I may be wrong, it was a quick scan). Would it be better to reward them in some way for leaving or causing friction?

Perhaps by being able to "cash in" their time counters for advances, maybe getting double if they also cause friction when they leave? That way instead of being up to a roll, it would just become more and more tempting as time goes by.
Agreed, I love everything about this apart from the arbitrary randomness. Making it more choice-based (whether that's by directly incentivising the behaviour or making it a choice to push your luck) would be a great move.
Thanks to both of you for taking the time to read it, and I appreciate the feedback! It means a great deal.

I was considering adding a section on notes/suggestions/modifications (i.e. maybe rolling 3D6 instead of 2D6 to allow for longer average durations, certain actions in-game allowing for increasing or decreasing the counters on a character, etc.) but I was worried about typing up a huge pile of modifications if the core wasn't "sound" enough so to speak.

Another hope was that the Upgrade section would soften the blow a bit - the sooner a hero leaves, the sooner they come back (and with an Upgrade or two no less).

I am worried that offering too many "outs" for characters to stay could remove the core aim of the sub-system (rotating characters for variety), but I do like the idea of adding a player choice at the point of impact. What do you both think of this (spitballing for names and stuff):

When a player's 2D6 roll is < their hero's current Time Counters they must Leave the Team. However, they may choose to Stick It Out and avoid leaving the team. If they choose to Stick It Out, they immediately cause Team Friction (in addition to any Team Friction from doubles) and add an additional Time Counter to their total. A hero may not choose to Stick It Out if their current Time Counter total is 12 or greater.

Essentially a character can "block" the Leave the Team result, but cause more drama and bump their counter total up 1. Eventually they'll hit 12 or higher and be unable to hold off any longer, and have to leave in a hugely dramatic fashion.

Double edit: Regarding the "cashing in" of time counters for certain Upgrades. I considered that option, but realized I was going to have to dig into a whole can of worms trying to figure out what each upgrade was "worth" and I'm not sure how could I would be at that, especially when multiplied by the complexity of power interactions and game-states possible in a superhero game. That's not to say I shouldn't do it, but I do wonder how effective I would be at it. Maybe a suggested list of "costs"?
 
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tundra-desert

Registered User
Validated User
#7
I love this idea. Elegantly solves most of the issues I have had with supers gaming. In fact reading through it has made me want to start up a new supers campaign, which I haven't felt that way in quite a while. Have you had a chance to playtest at all yet? How did it go if so?
 

Jive Professor

Trying to fly
Validated User
#8
I love this idea. Elegantly solves most of the issues I have had with supers gaming. In fact reading through it has made me want to start up a new supers campaign, which I haven't felt that way in quite a while. Have you had a chance to playtest at all yet? How did it go if so?
That is incredibly high praise, thank you so much! I’ve yet to playtest it - the idea came to me and I liked it so much I rushed to type it up before I forgot - but I intend to run a pbp game here on the forums soon to playtest it. I was thinking I’d wait until the holidays were in the rearview first. If you’re interested in that, I can ping you when recruitment starts.
 
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