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My Ideas for New Traits
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:14 pm    Post subject: My Ideas for New Traits Reply with quote

While rearranging the Official BASH trait lists, I came up with a few ideas of my own, that I thought other people might find useful. So I'm going to be posting them here. Any feedback is welcome!

NEW POWER: EXTRA HITS
Category: Biomanipulation
Cost: 1-5 points
This power permanently increases the Hits a character has by 10 for every level of the Power. This does not affect the character's defenses- it just takes longer to knock out (or kill) him. He also still heals at normal rate. Note that if the power is Nullified, the character's Hits will drop back to normal for the duration.
If The Narrator does not want to exceed the 100 Hits ceiling for Heroes, he could still allow this power with a Limitation such as "Situational" to create an "Instant Regeneration" effect such as "Recovers 20 Hits when submerged in sea water." Arch-Villains might also use it to create 'improved' minions (though the Minion combat rules would still apply to them.)

NEW DISADVANTAGES

Overespecialization
A character with this disadvantage can only learn Physical Skills, or only Mental skills, not both. This might be due to a disability, lack of talent, or just disinterest. This allows the creation of certain archetypes like the 'Nerd' or the 'Jock' without forcing the player to take a 0 in Agility or Mind or the Unskilled Disadvantage. Note that the character doesn't lose any skills slots- he can use them to buy his chosen type instead. For example, a Nerd with Agility 1 and Mind 2 still has 3 skill slots- but he must use all of them for mental skills. Also, this does not affect Skill Defaults- the Nerd above above can still try to perform physical labor at the usual penalty for example.

Phobia
A character with this disadvantage has an irrational fear of something- a type of animal, an object, or even a situation. Choose a subject; the character will, when confronted with it, react as if the Daze Power were being used on him (possibly even causing him to run away, as decided by the Narrator.) Note: certain phobias might be so strong that they could actually have serious mental or even physical effects on the character. For those, use some other trait, such as Susceptibility or Vulnerability instead.

OPTIONAL RULE: RESERVED SKILL SLOTS
Sometimes, a Player might not know which skills to choose for his or her character- after all, in the comics only a few are ever used, such as Technology or Investigation. The 'Unskilled' Disadvantage isn't for everyone, nor is spending extra slots in one skill. One option is to let the players save some of their Skill Slots for later; after making up his mind -for example after seeing other characters use their skills in ingenious ways- he can then assign the character the chosen skills, on two conditions- first, there must be an explanation of how he learned it (usually, by choosing another character as a teacher) and second, allowing enough time to learn it (as decided by the Narrator- usually an issue). Note that the character can still use Skill Defaults even if he has no chosen skills.
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fairytalejedi
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Extra hits is something I probably wouldn't use, personally, so as not to turn combat into a drawn-out atk roll/dmg affair that gets too repetitive. That's just a style of play issue, more than a critique of its merits. Smile

Overspecialization doesn't really seem like a disadvantage since it allows you to shift skill points around without losing anything. I'd characterize that more as a house rule rather than a disadvantage.

Reserved skill slots is a good idea. It seems like most characters either have too few skill slots or too many. Rarely does a character concept fit exactly the number of skills that the basic math gives you. Smile
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback! As you saw, I did make a note that Extra Hits could be used in some campaigns with a Limitation to avoid it being unbalancing. Remember that it doesn't allow the character to heal any faster; in the Seawater example, the character who dunks himself to recover Hits would get them back once per battle; then he must rest or be healed.

Originally, my version of Overspecialization didn't include shifting around Skill Slots, but I feared it might be too restrictive if it did. Of course a Narrator can use it that way if he prefers.

By the way, I'm not implying that most BASH skills are useless- just that many are not immediately of apparent use to the average player. How many would take say, Performance at start? But their opinion might change along the campaign, so I thought they should have the option to choose later.
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here's a couple more ideas!

Mental Malfunction: Heroism
Yes, basic heroism is a valid 'malfunction'. After all, not everybody is willing to put themselves in danger for others. That doesn't mean people are bad, just that self-preservation (or preoccupation over their loved ones) usually takes precedence. Sure, there are more interesting Motivations (and btw, I believe that is a better name for this Trait) such as Vengeance or a Code of Honor, but the majority of heroes just do it because it is "the right thing to do." Note that this doesn't count as a Disadvantage because the character isn't limited in his choices, but he must live with their consequences.

New Equipment: Super Costume
In most superhero campaigns, it is just assumed that the character's costume is adapted to work with his powers- it doesn't rip when he grows, doesn't remain visible when he turns Invisible, etc. But this isn't the case in all campaigns- or in many comics. Sometimes for a degree of realism, a distinction between a regular and a super costume is required.

The Regular Costume costs no points or (usually) a specific Advantage to obtain- but all it does is conceal the character's identity. It will be affected by the user's powers (or an attacker's) normally, and will likely be damaged in battle (assume it has 10 Hits and no Soak.) Note however that it can be combined with several items of regular equipment, such as goggles, Kevlar and a multitool belt to make a practical costume.

On the other hand, the Super Costume CAN work with the user's powers, or any other used on it, except in special situations as decided by the Narrator. It costs one CP to buy. You may also get it via Advantages such as Gadgeteer, Resources, Membership, etc. Additionally, other traits can be bought for it as for any other piece of Super Equipment at the usual cost.

Note that nothing prevents a character from owning multiple, different costumes- he or she may pretend to be several different heroes if he likes! (with Narrator approval of course.)
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey great ideas, Sijo. You have a lot of items here, so I'll address each of them individually:

Extra Hits
Have you thought of moving your Extra Hits power into the Advantage category? There are Disadvantages which reduce Hits from the 100 pt base line to 80, so why not an Advantage for particularly hardy individuals with 120 Hits?

Overspecialization
This is an interesting idea: jocks that are better at Physical Skills than Mental ones (or nerds that are the opposite). This will be represented, somewhat, in their Stat levels (with jock types having low Mind and higher Brawn/Agility scores. Maybe divide this into Inept Physical Skills and Inept Mental Skills disadvantages. Whichever one the player picks, the maximum skill level for that field will be one level below the character’s appropriate Stat (i.e. Inept Physical Skills and Agility 2 equals maximum of level 1 in Physical skills). Level 0 skills only have one d6 to roll and only “explode” on a “6” result.

Phobia
This is an excellent idea for a disadvantage. I’ve often used Susceptibility to cover a particular phobia (like a -3 Dice penalty to Mind rolls for someone with Nyctophobia, or fear of the dark). Having a specific Phobia disadvantage makes this workaround solution more straight forward).

Reserved Skill Slots
I agree that this is an excellent way to quickly evolve your character into the clearer vision that you have of it two or three sessions in, explained with back story development from between Issues (“I’m getting to be quite good at repairing technology, thanks to all the mentoring that Captain Edison has been giving me down in the shop.”).

Mental Malfunction: Heroism
It’s good to have a title for the comic book trope of the basic ideal heroism that is almost assumed in most superhero universes. In a BASH article I wrote for BAM #4 (Basic Action Magazine) called BASHing Out an Origin, I had a section entitled Motivations (A.K.A. Mental Malfunctions) to which Chris reminded me that Mental Malfunctions are for any kind of interesting mental quirk that can make a character memorable. You could have an exceptionally moral/or repressively uptight, male hero that cannot bring himself to look directly at any female wearing the typically tight, form-fitting spandex super costume as a Mental Malfunction. That unique quirk makes that NPC hero unforgettable.

New Equipment: Super Costume
This is a welcoming idea for “realistic” type super settings, like EXTREME EARTH, where power-resistant super-cloth might be a rare commodity. Thanks to AWESOME POWERS 6, such special attire can now further embellished with Equipment Enhancements like Disguisable (able to look like ordinary clothes), and Booby-Trapped (damaging any unsanctioned wearer); or adding new Enhancements like Temperature Resistant (protecting the wearer from Heat and Cold), or Self-Repairing (allowing the Super Suit to mend itself).
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback, Mr. Jupiter! I want to make clear that I'm very much open to update my ideas especially with advice from pros such as you.

Btw, I did consider making Extra Hits an Advantage, but then it occurred to me that certain characters in the comics had to have superhuman amounts of hits -giants, for example-. Although I suppose an EH Advantage could, with Narrator permission, be taken multiple times and be cumulative.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sijo wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, Mr. Jupiter! I want to make clear that I'm very much open to update my ideas especially with advice from pros such as you.

Thanks for the compliment, but you wouldn't believe the number of times that BASHMAN would point out the flaws in many of my ADEL FILE ideas. Some ideas were scrapped altogether and others went through three or four revisions before they found a solid foundation. It really helps to have other eyes examine your work. They might not always be right, but their viewpoint can help you see your work from a fresh perspective.

Sijo wrote:
Btw, I did consider making Extra Hits an Advantage, but then it occurred to me that certain characters in the comics had to have superhuman amounts of hits -giants, for example-. Although I suppose an EH Advantage could, with Narrator permission, be taken multiple times and be cumulative.

Yes, in the grand scheme of BASH combat, 20 more Hits is a trivial benefit and higher Soak values is a somewhat overworked tool for making a durable character.

Having just started to re-watch the Daredevil series on Netflix, I'm reminded of how it seems like some heroes just seem to have 200-300 Hits, rather than x5 Soak ratings.
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And yet more ideas! (I guess doing all that research for the Rearranged Lists inspired me. Very Happy )

NEW ADVANTAGES

Gadget Source
This advantage allows a character to use a variety of gadgets even if he does not have the Gadgeteer Advantage or the Science or Technology skills. His devices are provided by someone else. This can be anyone with the right abilities or resources, for example a friendly inventor or a black market contact. The player can ask for anything (that the Narrator approves, of course) but must wait a reasonable amount of time for it to be produced- usually an Issue. Equipment with a CP cost must still be paid for. Note that the unlike Gadgeteer, this ability doesn't allow the player to reinvent the gadget's powers on the fly.

Trance
A character with this ability can enter a trance state at will. There are two kinds of trances, and both can be achieved with this advantage: a Light Trance or a Deep Trance. The difference is that during a light trance, the character is still aware of his or her surroundings; not so during the deep one (but taking any damage will wake him up immediately.)
A trance is considered the same as Rest for purposes of recovering Hits and Energy Points. Additionally, all Mind-based Rolls, including for Powers and Skills, receive a +1 bonus for a light trance, and a +2 bonus for a deep one. (Use common sense here- a meditating person could solve a Mathematical code, but not reprogram a computer, as this requires interfacing with it, for example.)
A person in a deep trance has very low vital signs and could be mistaken for dead. Note that the player can willingly snap out of either trance at any time.

NEW ARCHETYPE: GENERIC HERO

While studying what various types of hero had in common, I came up with this template. By itself, it represents a normal if heroic person, like say, Lois Lane (hey she starred in her own series for decades, OK?) But it's main purpose is to serve as an optional way to design BASH characters.

Start by filling in the blanks (Powers, Advantages etc.) Then make any change you wish or feel is needed (for example, a character with many Mental powers would benefit from a higher Mind Stat.) Finally, count the point total and compare it to the Campaign Base. If it's higher, you can either bring it down by removing some traits, or keep it that way and accept Setbacks equal to the difference. Similarly, if it's too weak for the campaign, you can boost it with more traits or take the difference as Hero Points.

Generic Hero
Brawn 1 Agility 1 Mind 1 (6 points)
Hits 100

Powers:

Weaknesses (optional):

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

Skills:
Athletics/Acrobatics
Investigation/Questioning

Mental Malfunction: Heroism

Equipment:
Costume (regular)
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fairytalejedi
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gadget Source is kind of like what I envisioned for the archer character Quick-Draw. He's a Hollywood stuntman and he has a friend who's a special effects designer and who makes trick arrows for Quick-Draw to use.

What we ended up doing was giving Quick-Draw the Gadgeteer advantage but not requiring Science/Technology rolls. When he pulled out a trick arrow he would just pay the cost in Hero Points or taking its cost in Setbacks. These were single-use arrows. He couldn't actually modify existing arrows because he's not a tech guy himself. Smile
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@fairytalejedi: You can also achieve that effect with the Trick Ammunition Power from Awesome Powers #6, especially if you buy the On The Fly special enhancement for it. My advantage is strictly meant for characters who use gadgets but have no skill to make them.
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BASHMAN
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Gadget Source could just be a result of a Contact or the Resources Advantage. Basically it is you KNOW somebody with the Gadgeteer Advantage. But I like this as a clarification. The drawback that it takes extra time means that Gadgeteer is still worth taking.
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly. I try to make Advantages that resemble those I have seen in the comics. There are different types of gadget-users; for example, Green Arrow makes his own arrows; he's a Gadgeteer. Batman uses devices invented by Wayne Enterprises; he uses Resources. Hawkeye uses modular arrows; he has the Trick Ammunition power. Rocket Racer gets his equipment from the Tinkerer; he has a Gadget Source.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sijo wrote:
Exactly. I try to make Advantages that resemble those I have seen in the comics. There are different types of gadget-users; for example, Green Arrow makes his own arrows; he's a Gadgeteer. Batman uses devices invented by Wayne Enterprises; he uses Resources. Hawkeye uses modular arrows; he has the Trick Ammunition power. Rocket Racer gets his equipment from the Tinkerer; he has a Gadget Source.

Nicely put. I really like this Gadget Source advantage. Trance is an intriguing idea, but I think that it needs a little more more refinement. Here are some questions:
1] How does Trance help healing. I might be missing something, but I cannot find rules that define how the BASH system handles the benefit of "rest" upon the healing rate. I'm assuming that Trance probably makes the process a bit faster.
2] Shouldn't Trance offer some greater benefit to Energy recovery over mere Rest (which still allows you to be fully aware of your surroundings AND the ability to move at half your normal rate?
3] How long does a character need to be in this Trance state in order to gain these Result bonuses?
4] In addition to the seeming appearance of death, would a character in Trance be able to more greatly endure longer periods without air or sustenance (or would you feel that this is better left to the Resistance power)?
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback, Mr. Jupiter!

Actually I considered all the points you mention before I wrote up the Trance Advantage, but wasn't sure about some. The main benefit of trancing is meditation, which is what adds the bonus to Mind rolls. These are added to the rolls as they happen, for example during Extended Checks, they would be added to each check. I threw in the Rest benefit because it is part of Meditation lore and besides, it makes sense that if the character isn't moving, he would be resting as well. However whether this is better than regular Rest is a matter of debate. Similarly healing Hits happens "off camera" which I interpret as being during rest. No special bonus is intended in either case, though if a Narrator thinks there should be, maybe a x2 bonus would be OK? Time required would be the same.

I also considered adding the "doesn't need air or food" benefit for Deep Trance (which is also part of Trance lore) but wasn't sure if this is too powerful for an Advantage or not. Ultimately I decided to leave it as an Immunity or Resistance. Still, as I mentioned above these are but ideas and I'm open to reworking them (as should any Narrator reading them.)
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in agreement with you about not including the Immunity/Resistance capabilities in the Trance advantage. As for the healing aspect, I was thinking that you could have Trance allowing you to heal your Brawn + Agility in Hits every half-hour, instead of the normal hourly rate (yes, it is semantics but the quicker time vs. higher hourly numbers just seems to fit better for me). As for Energy, perhaps a player could make a difficulty 20 roll to have all Energy points recharged if they use Trance during their Rest action.

What are your thoughts?
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