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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 194 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [Freak High] A spin on superpowers as social disadvantage  (Read 3405 times)
Daniel Solis
Member

Posts: 411


« on: November 16, 2003, 05:21:57 PM »

This was going to be posted on spooky's thread, but he seems to be going in a different direction with his game now. Still, the discussion of superpowers as uncontrollable social disadvantage seemed to have some promise. So here's my underdeveloped take on the concept.  All the forgies should feel free to cannibalize any elements that seem usable.

The gist of the system is that superpowers are a result of puberty and thus are usually only activated by accident. The task resolution is generally invisible. Here we go...

Quote
Freak High
For most kids, puberty means awkward growth spurts and unusual hair growth, for others it means four years of superpowered mutation! You're a mutant teen. This would normally be pretty friggin' sweet.... too bad you're a freshman.

Like, Character
You've got five base stats, ripped directly from the Breakfast Club:
Rebel is your ability to manipulate the school staff and to break the rules and get away with it.
Jock is your athleticism, raw physicality and ability to manipulate school athletes.
Nerd is your intellect, general education and ability to manipulate the faculty.
Princess is your physical beauty, social grace, and ability to manipulate other students.
Basketcase is your creativity, artistic expression, weirdness,your ability to not be manipulated.

You also have two more stats: puberty and superlative.

Freshman have puberty 5. Sophomores have puberty 4. Juniors have puberty 3. Seniors have puberty 2.

Your superlative is whatever you're most likely to be or do when you grow up. This can be anything from "most likely to be a car salesman" to "most likely to destroy the world in a hurricane of hellfire." Whatever.

Finally, pick a superpower and link it to two of your base stats. The superpower can be anything you want, so go crazy. The catch is that the power can do one thing and one thing only. Fortunately, the single-effect rule only applies if you're a freshman. Sophomores get two effects. Juniors get three. Seniors get four.

Doing stuff, and stuff...
Only roll dice if what you're doing might be cool. If it couldn't possibly be cool, don't bother rolling. Just assume you have a mediocre success. Are we clear on the concept? No cool = No roll.

Right. So you want to do something cool. Roll a number of regular six-sided dice equal however many stats are relevant to your action. (If you're using Jock and Princess, you get two dice.) If rolling multiple dice, take the highest result. If the result is higher than your puberty, you succeed. If it's equal to or lower than your puberty, your power goes off unexpectedly.

If your action matches up to your superlative, you can choose to take the highest or the lowest result.

Unexpected Discharge
If you were using none of the stats linked to your power, the GM chooses one of your power's effects and narrates how it goes off. If you were using one of the stats linked to your power, the GM chooses an effect, but you narrate how it goes off. If you were using both linked stats, you can choose your effect and you can narrate it.


So yeah, that's it. I don't really have any questions. Feedback would be nice, but really I just wanted to contribute some material to the community. :)
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Meatbot Massacre
Giant robot combat. No carbs.
LordSmerf
Member

Posts: 864


« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2003, 09:58:12 PM »

So, in one of those incredibly rare incidence of quick, substansive feedback we played and IRC game of this tonight...  I GMed with two players.  The Actual Play can be found here.  I thought it was pretty interesting, and even if the system didn't teach me anything in and of itself some interesting things did happen and i feel that i learned some good techniques for GMing.  I also have a log of the OOC discussion which has not been posted, it showed the system doing some interesting things.  One note, i did modify the system to allow a character to attempt a manifestation of power.  It was interesting, but i'm not sure if it really fit in with the spirit of the game...

Thomas
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Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible
Daniel Solis
Member

Posts: 411


« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2003, 10:38:30 PM »

It certainly looks like you guys had some fun. I'm happy to have facilitated in that experience in some way. Can you expound upon some of the "interesting things" you mentioned the system doing?
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Meatbot Massacre
Giant robot combat. No carbs.
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2003, 05:55:15 PM »

Dan-

Excellent example of making stats and rules fit genre, and more of what I was going for in my original game. IOW, curse you for figuring it out before I could!! ;-)

Reminds me of what I thought Super Hero High School was going to be, before I read it.
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Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!
Daniel Solis
Member

Posts: 411


« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2003, 09:55:18 PM »

Thanks for the praise! I dunno if I've "figured out" anything, to be honest. There are many different ways to mechanically spin a concept and each one will suit different standards of enjoyment with varying degrees of success. Like I said, this is a submission to the whole community, so feel free to cannibalize whatever you feel would best suit your game.

With some slight revisions, I may submit Freak High to the No Press Anthology.

I'm curious though... I've never heard of Super Hero High School, can you tell me more about how it handled the "superteens" concept?
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Meatbot Massacre
Giant robot combat. No carbs.
Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2003, 11:45:45 PM »

Edited: Cross-posted with Spooky.
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Andrew Martin
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2003, 11:54:07 PM »

My apologies: It's Super Human High School, and it's located right there.

Sorry, Scott! *embarassed*
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Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!
Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2003, 12:07:23 AM »

Quote from: gobi
Like, Character
You've got five base stats, ripped directly from the Breakfast Club:
Rebel is your ability to manipulate the school staff and to break the rules and get away with it.
Jock is your athleticism, raw physicality and ability to manipulate school athletes.
Nerd is your intellect, general education and ability to manipulate the faculty.
Princess is your physical beauty, social grace, and ability to manipulate other students.
Basketcase is your creativity, artistic expression, weirdness,your ability to not be manipulated.


Here's some more stats (just in case):

Freak
Geek
Stoner

I'm not familiar enough with high school culture to assign what they're about.
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Andrew Martin
Daniel Solis
Member

Posts: 411


« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2003, 05:06:46 AM »

Quote from: Andrew Martin
Freak
Geek
Stoner


I did consider adding more stats than the ones listed above, but I kept coming back to the Big Five. The Breakfast Club concepts pretty much cover everything, at least everythng I had thought characters would be doing in an average Freak High game.

"Freak" can either be rebel or basketcase, as can the "stoner." "Geek" would fall into nerd pretty easily. I also considered adding "goth" and "punk" but, again, they're pretty well covered by basketcase and rebel, respectively.
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Meatbot Massacre
Giant robot combat. No carbs.
LordSmerf
Member

Posts: 864


« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2003, 11:36:08 AM »

So after some thought on the matter i feel that we didn't really capture the spirit of the game.  Not that it wasn't dang fun.  The powers chosen just didn't really lend themselves (or i wasn't able to use them correctly) to embarrassing social situations.

The very concept has some promise, i'd love to see a version set up for the NPA.  Anyway, one thing that took a little getting used to is the way stats work.  They're not so much "stats" as they are "Traits" (traits in the Universalis or Burning Wheel sense) because you call on them to add dice and they are not rated...

One note, i think it would be nice to have some mechanic for voluntarily calling on your power...  I'm not sure though...

Thomas
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Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible
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