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Author Topic: Kryptonite  (Read 10891 times)
phredd
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Posts: 19


« on: January 09, 2006, 09:22:18 AM »

I'm planning on running a one shot this coming Saturday and will be using pre-gen characters from an established canon.

I've got a few ideas about how to handle character weaknesses and limitations, and thought I'd lay them out here to see if I could get any other ideas that could work.

I'm going to have a certain couple of well known Kryptonians available for play, and Kryptonite is sure to follow.  I'm thinking of having Kryptonite be a character with an exemplar relationship, such as "Goal:  Kryptonian escapes fatal influence of Kryptonite and is no longer incapacitated."

That's begging the question, clearly, but does serve to make the introduction of Kryptonite something that can't be easily dismissed.

I've also given one character a style, "Uses Powers One At A Time".  How effective is it to list a character limitation as one of their abilities?

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Andrew Cooper
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2006, 09:45:54 AM »

Character Limitations as Abilities should work fine as long as you realize it is not REALLY going to limit a player's narration at all.  It should add flavor to the narration as long as the player isn't being a total butthead and simply refusing to acknowledge the limitation.  It'd work fine for me as a player as it would give me some indication of what the character was like.  Plus, narrating around things like that is kind of fun.

I like the idea of Kryptonite as a character and the free blocking Conflict is cool.  There are a few other threads on here about blocking with Conflicts.  You need to realize that just because the Goal blocks the narration of certain things, it can't actually block the player using the character's powers.  They can narrate an *attempt* to use the powers in order to get a roll on the Conflict.  So, keep that in mind.

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phredd
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Posts: 19


« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2006, 09:48:35 AM »

Yeah, I don't want to block powers, just make sure that the Kryptonite gets respect.
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Eric Sedlacek
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Posts: 135

TheCzech


« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2006, 10:51:37 AM »

I'd say this is a fine way to handle Kryptonite. 

You don't necessarily need the character since you can declare the preventive goal at any time independantly.  That said, having a special character sheet for it does give it some extra oomph.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2006, 12:08:16 PM »

I've also given one character a style, "Uses Powers One At A Time".  How effective is it to list a character limitation as one of their abilities?
Extremely.  But it takes a bit to wrap your mind around, which is why you don't see a lot of examples of it in the rule-book.  Every time I did it, people proof-reading the book gave me these "Whuh?" looks.

But, for instance, the Robot character was originally slated to have "Limited Battery Power" as a Style ... because I watched a lot of Ultraman in my youth.  Ultraman was this geeky scientist who transformed into a giant alien robot guy to fight other rubber-suited monsters.  He had a blinky light on his chest that started blinking when he was about to run out of power ... and if that happened he would DIE!  Dead!  Yikes!

So, of course, every fight started with a consciousness of that battery power (roll the die for narrating about it) and went on until the stupid blinky light started going (roll the die for narrating about it) then Ultraman dug deep into his dangerously depleted reserves (roll the die for narrating about it) and came up with the last shreds of power needed to defeat his foes (roll the die for narrating about it).  "Limited battery power" got much more screen time than his kung-fu fireballs.  It was the defining "power" of the character.

Iron Man (in many incarnations) does exactly the same thing ... he's got a host of disadvantages that drive the story his way.  Sometimes he defeats the bad-guy because he's running out of power.  Sometimes he defeats the bad-guy because alcoholism is clouding his judgment.  Sometimes he defeats the bad-guy because his armor is in his suitcase and he has trouble getting to it.  But, like I said, if I just say "So obviously, you use limited battery power to your story advantage ... like Ultraman!" people give me the "Whuh?" look.  Does that make any sense?
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phredd
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Posts: 19


« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2006, 12:22:52 PM »

Does that make any sense?

Perfect sense, especially since I'm a fan of Ultraman (and have the tapes and DVDs to prove it).

And it should work pretty well if I get players familiar with the canon I'm using.
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DainXB
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Posts: 36


« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2006, 11:22:41 AM »

This is tremendously illuminating!  The Superman/Kryptonite and Ultraman/limited power examples are perfect for explaining to primarily Simulationist players why a 'weakness' for a character is a narrative strength. 
In fact, a 'weakness' is worth more to a character in Capes than it would be in hardcore Sim rules system like HERO or Mutants & Masterminds.  In those games, you take a limitation for your character, and get extra points for powers at creatioin.  That's it.  In an in-between system like Truth & Justice, a limitation earns you hero points every time it comes up in play.  But in Capes, your 'weakness' can buy you a die roll practically every time you open your mouth to narrate, if you want it to.  Now that's power!
It gives me the notion to create a character who's abilities are primarily stated as limitations... (the three powered styles are  inspired by a sample character in FATE)

GANGBUSTER  -- a hard-bitten Nick Fury / Max Payne kind of guy.  He's seen the worst on the mean streets, and he's taking his fight to the very top of the underworld.  He knows there's no way a lone man can make a difference in this hard world -- but he's not going to let that stop him from trying!   

Powers:
  Low on ammo
  Improvise a weapon
  Luck counts

Styles:
  Outnumbered (P)
  Outgunned (P)
  Still Standing (P)
  Running out of time...
  "Not while I'm still breathin', your're not."

Attitudes:
  Determined
  Desperate
  Depressed
  Remorseful

Drives: Justice 3 Truth 2 Duty 1 Hope 1 Obsession 2

Might need some fine tuning, but I actually think this guy might be fun to play...

DainXB
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Andrew Cooper
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2006, 11:31:14 AM »

That guy would be an absolute blast to play.  In fact, I'm stealing him for my own game...   assuming you don't mind too much.

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TonyLB
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2006, 01:09:15 PM »

Wow ... that's beautiful.  That poor, poor, battered, beleaguerd ass-kicker.
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phredd
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Posts: 19


« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2006, 02:21:20 PM »

OK, here's what I've got for Kryptonite

Free Goal:  Kill all Kryptonians in scene*

Powers:
Paralyzing Green Radiation
Neutralize Kryptonian Powers
Absorbed into Kryptonian Cells
Induce Incredible Pain in Kryptonians

Styles
Catches Victim Unawares
Harmless to Non-Kryptonians
Radiation Blocked By Lead
Implacable


*Balanced by an entry in the comics code to prevent the big guy from getting killed.
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dunlaing
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Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2006, 08:50:39 AM »

What if, instead of writing Kryptonite up as an inanimate object with a Free Goal, you write it up as an Exemplar?

For a Kryptonian villain (or arguably for the current Superboy) it would be a Power Exemplar. For the big S himself, it could be a Duty Exemplar. Then let anyone playing a Kryptonian help writing up the Kryptonite.

PowersStylesAttitudes
Paralyzing Green RadiationCatches Victim UnawaresGreen
Neutralize Kryptonian PowersHarmless to Non-Kryptonians....Red
Absorbed into Kryptonian CellsRadiation Blocked By LeadGold
Induce Incredible Pain in Kryptonians....ImplacableBlue
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DainXB
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Posts: 36


« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2006, 08:57:41 AM »

I was wondering when someone would bring up the kryptonite rainbow. :)
dunlaing's idea of kryptonite as an Exemplar is interesting.  I had never thought of a non-person Exemplar before.  I need to think about that one for a while.
For kryptonite, though, I like the structure phredd created, with a Free Goal.  Kryptonite doesn't have motivations, as such.  When it appears, regardless of it's color, it's only Goal is 'Affect all Kryptonians in scene'.  Green K tries to kill them, Red K gives freedom to their baser drives (at least in the Smallville TV-version), etc.  Each kind does it's own thing, in it's own way.
---I just checked out Wikipedia's Kryptonite entry -- my mind is still reeling.  Pink Kryptonite... I never knew...---
My preference is that each color should have it's own set of powers and styles, reflecting it's differences.  Make 'em up as you need 'em just like the real comic book authors do. :) 
Side note: Gold K in particular would be very hard to work in, since it permanently removes a Kryptonian's powers.  When is anything ever 'permanent' in Capes?  (I know, I know; When it's just too cool to change.  But when is a character permanently losing his/her powers 'too cool to change'?)
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TonyLB
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2006, 09:30:58 AM »

But when is a character permanently losing his/her powers 'too cool to change'?
The question isn't "when?" it's "for how long?"

For how long is it cool for the character to have permanently lost their powers?  They've permanently lost their power for precisely that long and then ... surprise! ... something happens.  If it stays cool forever then they stay powerless forever.

For how long was it cool for Superman to be really, truly, no-coming-back dead?  About a year, if I recall correctly.

For how long is it cool for Jean Grey to be really, truly, no-coming-back dead?  Forever.  Don't even talk to me about any other HERESY that has been foisted on the public.  I will not be moved.  That's not Jean Grey.
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dunlaing
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Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2006, 11:51:12 AM »

dunlaing's idea of kryptonite as an Exemplar is interesting.  I had never thought of a non-person Exemplar before.  I need to think about that one for a while.
For kryptonite, though, I like the structure phredd created, with a Free Goal.

Exemplars get Free Events too (at least, whenever both they and the person whose Exemplar they are are in the same scene). You'd need to come up with 4 more abilities, and it becomes more closely tied to the Kryptonian protagonist by being linked to one of his/her drives are the only real differences.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2006, 03:15:28 PM »

GANGBUSTER  -- a hard-bitten Nick Fury / Max Payne kind of guy.  He's seen the worst on the mean streets, and he's taking his fight to the very top of the underworld.  He knows there's no way a lone man can make a difference in this hard world -- but he's not going to let that stop him from trying!
I'm including a version of this character in the pre-gens for Dreamation's upcoming Capes tournament.  He's fascinating.  Damn I hope somebody plays him.

In designing my own version of Gangbuster I thought very intently about Midnighter, from the Authority.  Everybody always goes on about how he's the "most dangerous man alive" ... and, looking at him objectively, what he mostly does is rough up some mooks, then get his ass handed to him.  It's just that, no matter how often people break him, snap his neck, rip his heart out ... he just keeps coming back for more.  That's scary.  That makes me think that the "most dangerous man alive" moniker is not just a courtesy.
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