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Supers Experiment: BCU (Bob's Comic Universe)

 
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robert4818
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:02 pm    Post subject: Supers Experiment: BCU (Bob's Comic Universe) Reply with quote

This is a cross post from RPG.net. If you have good city resources (does not need to be SW based) feel free to share them.

I haven't pitched this idea to my players yet, but its toiling around in my head, so I thought I'd let it Percolate out here first.

This is an experiment in Supers Gaming, and in player ownership. I've yet to settle on a specific System for the game, though it will either be Savage Worlds Super Powers Companion, or the DC Heroes/Blood of Heroes rule set.


Here's the idea. BC Universe (working title) is going to be its own Comics universe, inspired by the DC universe and its over-all classic Good vs Evil, 4-color-comic themes. Players, naturally, get to create their own Character. On top of that, I'm looking to get players to actually help build the world up themselves. I'm going to have 2-4 cities ready to go in the game. (I'm building a "metropolis", I'm going to also have [URL="http://www.silvergryphongames.com/games/aether/wellstone-city/"]Wellstone City[/URL], [URL="http://www.streetsofbedlam.com/"]Streets of Bedlam[/URL](Twin Cities), and if its actually a different product, [URL="http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/14/14132.phtml"]Bedlam City[/URL].)

Any player can choose one of the 4 cities to call home, or they are free to create their own city, and place it somewhere in the BCU (Probably in the USA, but I'm open to this). They won't have to fully detail the city, but they will need to give it its major "feel", divide it into major "buroughs", a few of the major NPC's, as well as some major land marks. As we play through the BCU, cities get fleshed out more as the needs of the game dictate. If a player wants to call one of the pre-mades, they can still choose to update portions of it to fit their character. Player HQ's can be included, but must be bought as the system demands.

Any player can choose to create their own Rogues Gallery of Characters. I'll encourage each player to at least create their own "Arch Nemesis". Though, if I find players are trying to "game the system" I'll instead ask for rogues gallery write ups, and mechanically create the bad guys myself.

Players are free to create their own supporting Cast (I.e. Lois Lane, Aunt May, Commissioner Gordon.) Though Sidekicks must meet GM approval.

Players in their own city can spend the system's Resource Points (Bennies for SW, Hero Points for DCH) to create a new Organization Landmark or Ally mid-game. The GM has Veto power (which if used, returns the resource points). If used, the player must create backstory for the new item between sessions.

Cities, rogues Galleries, and supporting cast may ALWAYS be added/modified freely between games, with the caveat that once submitted, it exists. So, if you say you have an aunt may and submit it, then Aunt May exists, and there's no way to take it back. (Though, feel free to work with the GM to get her removed.)

Players may also submit for GM approval, OTHER things for the BCU. If a player wants to create the Fuschia Lantern Corps or the fictional country of CarJackistan, they can submit it for approval. Whether it gets added or not is up to the GM, as opposed to nearly automatic for other things. Ideally creations such as these go into the character's backstory. They get better consideration if that's the case.

The BCU has no major pre-existing heroes. There is no Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, etc. That's what the players are for. The players will form their own version of the JLA, and the GM will use the various submitted information to form adventures. Since there are already fleshed out cities, even if all players opt to not create things, there will already be full campaign settings available to run in.

What do you guys think? Does this concept have good potential?
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Ringer
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds like some great stuff.

Couple ideas.

First, the Champions city sourcebooks are great for mining ideas and or cities out of. You can take all the fluff and maps, whatnot, and really drop it into any system.

Second, I would give some consideration to having another group of supers in the world. One of the biggest areas of drama in the supers campaign i play/GM in is another team of heroes, who just happen to be our team's biggest rivals. You can't just beat them up and lock them up, like you could villains. Our group enjoys one upping them just as much as they do stopping villains.
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peregry
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been running a DnD campaign based heavily on the idea of player feedback and worldbuilding (though not quite to the extent you're doing here). It can be a lot of fun and go in interesting directions.

The big thing to do is you need to have a strong villians with a long ranging scheme and lots of underlings to make it work out, I think. A super hero setting is perfect for this of course, since you get to control the Darksieds, Luthors and Dooms of the setting. You also need to make the world dynamic, with things happening behind the scenes even when the players aren't touching it. For instance if there's a gang war going on in Bedlam, but the PCs instead focus on foiling the machinations of the Savage Septumus in Wellstone, have the next time they go to Bedlam the gang war be settled with Waco's Wackos now controlling the street level crime having killed or driven out all the other gangs.

I'll be honest, I'd love to play in a game like this, sadly, my group isn't to big on super hero games, perfering more classical science fiction/fantasy rpgs.
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fanchergw
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like it could be a very fun game. Since you're using published cities, my personal favorite is Gold Rush Games' San Angelo (review http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/15265/roleplaying-games/rpgnet-review-san-angelo-city-of-heroes). It is one of the best published superhero city settings I have ever read, and I'm a huge superhero-gaming geek. Of course, it includes a full set of hero and villain inhabitants, but you can strip them out and just use the setting. The physical book can be acquired through Amazon or the PDF through RpgNow / DriveThru.

Gordon
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Drue
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As much as SW is my go-to answer, if you are looking for player involvement in city and setting creation as well as more open-ended story-focused characters, I would suggest checking out Dresden Files as well.
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robert4818
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drue wrote:
As much as SW is my go-to answer, if you are looking for player involvement in city and setting creation as well as more open-ended story-focused characters, I would suggest checking out Dresden Files as well.


Thanks for the pointer! I really like the concept of Dresden Files creation, but unfortunately, it doesn't fit for the supers campaign concept I have. If you think of this from a "Justice League" perspective, what I'm asking people to do is create their own stand-alone comic, one that fits in the BCU. Then, after its been done, then I, as GM, create the JLA.

So, while some parts are cool (The phases where people have connections with each other) would work well for some previous team-ups. I don't think I'll go the full kit and kaboodle. Though I do need to look at the PDF and see what I might be able to steal. Very Happy
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Drue
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

robert4818 wrote:
Drue wrote:
As much as SW is my go-to answer, if you are looking for player involvement in city and setting creation as well as more open-ended story-focused characters, I would suggest checking out Dresden Files as well.


Thanks for the pointer! I really like the concept of Dresden Files creation, but unfortunately, it doesn't fit for the supers campaign concept I have. If you think of this from a "Justice League" perspective, what I'm asking people to do is create their own stand-alone comic, one that fits in the BCU. Then, after its been done, then I, as GM, create the JLA.

So, while some parts are cool (The phases where people have connections with each other) would work well for some previous team-ups. I don't think I'll go the full kit and kaboodle. Though I do need to look at the PDF and see what I might be able to steal. Very Happy


The individual title vs. team title illustrates it perfectly -- thanks, I wasn't quite seeing it before.

Using bennies for organizations and allies still puzzles me. While my players use bennies for story manipulation, creating permanent fixtures seems beyond the scope of what a single beni could do. This seems more akin to either an edge (e.g Connections) or Triple Ace's Contacts (pulp rules available free on their site).

http://www.tripleacegames.com/Downloads/DaringTales/TAG31000A_PULP_RULES.pdf

Curious if you will use the SPC "Total Power" option or will the PC powers get stronger as the campaign progresses?
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robert4818
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drue wrote:
robert4818 wrote:
Drue wrote:
As much as SW is my go-to answer, if you are looking for player involvement in city and setting creation as well as more open-ended story-focused characters, I would suggest checking out Dresden Files as well.


Thanks for the pointer! I really like the concept of Dresden Files creation, but unfortunately, it doesn't fit for the supers campaign concept I have. If you think of this from a "Justice League" perspective, what I'm asking people to do is create their own stand-alone comic, one that fits in the BCU. Then, after its been done, then I, as GM, create the JLA.

So, while some parts are cool (The phases where people have connections with each other) would work well for some previous team-ups. I don't think I'll go the full kit and kaboodle. Though I do need to look at the PDF and see what I might be able to steal. Very Happy


The individual title vs. team title illustrates it perfectly -- thanks, I wasn't quite seeing it before.

Using bennies for organizations and allies still puzzles me. While my players use bennies for story manipulation, creating permanent fixtures seems beyond the scope of what a single beni could do. This seems more akin to either an edge (e.g Connections) or Triple Ace's Contacts (pulp rules available free on their site).

http://www.tripleacegames.com/Downloads/DaringTales/TAG31000A_PULP_RULES.pdf

Curious if you will use the SPC "Total Power" option or will the PC powers get stronger as the campaign progresses?


TBH, not even positive if this will end up being a SPC ran game. Its possible this game will be ran in a different Super's System (WEG's DC Universe, Blood of Heroes, M&M, etc.)

As for the Bennies for a person/org/landmark thing:

The reason they are cheap is because players can already make them, free of charge, between games. The benny concept is there to re-enforce that this is THEIR world (after-all, the game has to be taking place in their specific city). So Batman could use this rule while the game was in Gotham, but couldn't while in Metropolis; Superman, vice versa.

Keep in mind though that this has GM approval. If Superman lacks Connections (Daily Planet) the player couldn't "Make" Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen on the fly, but could possibly make Perry White. Perry White likes Superman, and might be willing to toss him a bone if he's in a bind. But he's not going to bend over backwards like Lois Lane to help him out of a Bind.
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Drue
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<super-subjective personal preference and all possible IMO disclaimers>
I guess that could work given sufficient guidance but it seems like it would set up too many "no" answers from the GM, which I try to avoid. Better to stick with "yes, and" or "roll it" I think.
</super-subjective personal preference and all possible IMO disclaimers>

In any case, this sounds like a great experiment and I hope you keep us updated. Seems like a player editable wiki would be handy as well.
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robert4818
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drue wrote:
<super-subjective personal preference and all possible IMO disclaimers>
I guess that could work given sufficient guidance but it seems like it would set up too many "no" answers from the GM, which I try to avoid. Better to stick with "yes, and" or "roll it" I think.
</super-subjective personal preference and all possible IMO disclaimers>

In any case, this sounds like a great experiment and I hope you keep us updated. Seems like a player editable wiki would be handy as well.


I took the idea for the Wiki and have it up.

As of right now, its content is my own postings. Its not picked up steam with my group yet. Sad

I've got two cities up. Not fully fleshed out yet, but getting there. The first is my own "Metropolis analog" called "Sentinel City". The other is Wellstone City. Information up has met approval from Silver Griphon Games (Including the rename).

http://bcu.wikispaces.com/
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Drue
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gratz on getting underway!

Sentinel City feel more like Gotham than Metropolis to me. I'm no expert on the DCU, but the extremes of rich & poor seems too dark for big blue's backyard.

From my own experience, I didn't get much buy-in from my players on building the setting until the campaign was well underway. So I wouldn't get discouraged at this point. Alternatively, reserve your first session for setting and character creation -- Dresden does this "formally" in starting up a new campaign.

Check out Nicky and Joe's podcast for more on the subject.
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robert4818
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drue wrote:
Gratz on getting underway!

Sentinel City feel more like Gotham than Metropolis to me. I'm no expert on the DCU, but the extremes of rich & poor seems too dark for big blue's backyard.

From my own experience, I didn't get much buy-in from my players on building the setting until the campaign was well underway. So I wouldn't get discouraged at this point. Alternatively, reserve your first session for setting and character creation -- Dresden does this "formally" in starting up a new campaign.

Check out Nicky and Joe's podcast for more on the subject.


Its not as bad as it seems. Look up Hell's Kitchen for Metropolis.
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