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BASH! vs. M&M?

Talk about anything, but keep it civil
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Nestor
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Post by Nestor »

*shrug* So you would say that a villain based on the Punisher wouldn't be using guns (RKAs)? Or that the ninja minions of the devious mastermind would somehow be armed with wooden bokken instead of swords?

Killing attacks are part of the genre. When Spidey is bouncing around dodging as the Kingpin's goons shoot at him, those are not rubber bullets whizzing by. That sword the Taskmaster carries around isn't made of plastic.

Again, there is more to the superhero genre than the four-color Silver Age, without going all the way to the amoral nihilism of the Iron Age. The main challenge in making a superhero RPG (or in fact any RPG that addresses a genre) is being able to address the wide range of sub-genres that exist within it.

Sure, you can state categorically that Killing Attacks are not to be used in your game, just as I could decide that cyberspace is not going to be in my cyberpunk game because it's a pain to play. But I can't claim it's not part of the genre.
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Post by urbwar »

Nestor wrote:*shrug* So you would say that a villain based on the Punisher wouldn't be using guns (RKAs)? Or that the ninja minions of the devious mastermind would somehow be armed with wooden bokken instead of swords?
That isn't what I said at all. Besides. Fighting either of those would not be typical of most heroes. Iron Man or even Superman is not very likely to encounter either are they? Wolverine, Daredevil, yes. Superman, Iron Man, no..
Nestor wrote: Killing attacks are part of the genre. When Spidey is bouncing around dodging as the Kingpin's goons shoot at him, those are not rubber bullets whizzing by. That sword the Taskmaster carries around isn't made of plastic.
I never said they weren't; I said they weren't typical of it. I guess I wasn't clear enough on that part.
Nestor wrote: Again, there is more to the superhero genre than the four-color Silver Age, without going all the way to the amoral nihilism of the Iron Age. The main challenge in making a superhero RPG (or in fact any RPG that addresses a genre) is being able to address the wide range of sub-genres that exist within it.
I never said there wasn't. I was pointing out that it isn't a requirement, which you implied by stating all heroes need resistant defenses. How is that in genre, when there are scores of heroes who don't use such defense? Especially given you stated it seemed necessary for that specific game, when in fact, it did not.
Nestor wrote: Sure, you can state categorically that Killing Attacks are not to be used in your game, just as I could decide that cyberspace is not going to be in my cyberpunk game because it's a pain to play. But I can't claim it's not part of the genre.
Saying it isn't typical of the genre is not the same as not allowing it. You seem to be taking my comments way out of context here. I never disallowed such attacks. However, if it didn't fit the character concept, I'd disallow it.
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urbwar
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Post by urbwar »

Nestor wrote:
Again, there is more to the superhero genre than the four-color Silver Age, without going all the way to the amoral nihilism of the Iron Age. The main challenge in making a superhero RPG (or in fact any RPG that addresses a genre) is being able to address the wide range of sub-genres that exist within it.
To give BASH praise here over other supers games: This is one thing I feel BASH does that most (if not all) supers games fail at. The basic advice for running different sub-genres are very helpful, and something other games should do. Sure, M&M did various supplements for 2nd edition that covered these in detail (as did Hero for both Golden Age and Pulp), but BASH does provide you with enough to get started with just the core book.
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Post by BASHMAN »

urbwar wrote:
Nestor wrote:
Again, there is more to the superhero genre than the four-color Silver Age, without going all the way to the amoral nihilism of the Iron Age. The main challenge in making a superhero RPG (or in fact any RPG that addresses a genre) is being able to address the wide range of sub-genres that exist within it.
To give BASH praise here over other supers games: This is one thing I feel BASH does that most (if not all) supers games fail at. The basic advice for running different sub-genres are very helpful, and something other games should do. Sure, M&M did various supplements for 2nd edition that covered these in detail (as did Hero for both Golden Age and Pulp), but BASH does provide you with enough to get started with just the core book.
Thanks. Also, there are "Killing Attacks" in BASH! UE, the rules differentiation here is addressed in the Iron Age section, which also allows characters to make killing attacks with their bare hands.
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Post by Nestor »

These are the statements I'm reacting to.
urbwar wrote: As Dragonfly said, if you're encountering a lot of these, then you have/had a GM who isn't enforcing the genre well. Area affect attacks should not be the norm for ranged attacks; it isn't in the source material (comics, cartoons, etc), so if it is in a game, that GM isn't doing his job very well (imho, unless he's a Rob Liefeld fanatic :P ). Same with a killing attack. Even most villain attacks in the genre don't do much in the way of killing damage to other supers, even when being blasted by someone like the Silver Surfer.
The impression given, at least quite clearly to me, is that you consider Killing Attacks to be uncommon in the comic-book genre, and that using them, and I repeat the quote, "isn't enforcing the genre well."

I responded by giving a number of examples in mainstream comics where killing attacks are quite evident. Heck, you even mentioned one, Wolverine, that I had overlooked.

As for AOEs, pretty much every blaster in the Marvel or DC books has at one point in their stories thrown out an area attack. It's part and parcel of most concepts.

The tone of your post, whether you intended it to be or not, came across very much as a "you're playing it wrong" and I reacted to that.

You may feel that having killing attacks be rare if nonexistent fulfills your expectation of the genre. My point is that this viewpoint is not the norm.

Simply put, if you, say, pit Wolverine against Spider-Man using Champions rules, you will eventually end up with Arachnid fillet, unless the GM goes out of his way to prevent it from happening via dice-fudging or deus ex machina. I've played enough Champions (all the way from 1st Edition) to know that's true.

You have your opinion on this, I have mine. That's fine. Obviously our experiences vary, and that's also fine. But inferring, if not out and out stating, that my experiences are somehow inferior because they don't fit your expectations, no, that will not stand.

And for the sake of the forums, that is all I will say on the matter. If you want make some sort of rebuttal, fine. But I will not continue this discussion.
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Post by urbwar »

Nestor,

I never inferred anything towards you. I'm sorry if you took it that way. That's all I will say in regards to that, rather than being foolish, and continue a conversation that seems to have gotten heated due to misunderstandings between us
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Post by kevperrine »

Nestor wrote: Simply put, if you, say, pit Wolverine against Spider-Man using Champions rules, you will eventually end up with Arachnid fillet, unless the GM goes out of his way to prevent it from happening via dice-fudging or deus ex machina. I've played enough Champions (all the way from 1st Edition) to know that's true..

Then I never ever want to play using that game system.
Simply put, it does NOT emulate the comic book hero genre.

Whereas the "default" of BASH! UE (and M&M) does emulate the genre with rules to allow for your Ultimates or Watchmen/Authority scenerio, that is STILL unlikely to happen as a part of the overall genre tropes...

Emulating D&D? Yes. That system or, say, V&V seem to default to well. Kill it, take it's stuff.

just my opinion
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Post by urbwar »

Kev,

Having played/run both V&V/Champions, they do not play that way all the time. They can, depending on how it's run. But so could BASH if you really wanted to.

Not really relevant to the conversation at hand, but just felt the need to point that out.
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Post by Sijo »

If I may join in:

I think this argument is a result of the old-age conflict: the writing of comics versus real-world logic. It is true that there's many- MANY- heroes who don't have enough protection against even basic things like guns and knives, yet they (for the most part) rarely ever get hurt, much less killed. This IS part of the genre: to have the hero win despite such odds. However it certainly does bother the more logic-minded of us.

RPGs are games, which means they are supposed to allow the players to have fun, by emulating a genre they like. So logically, there should be rulesets that allow for this incredible luck that heroes seem to have, but also, for more realistic styles of play. I myself would insist that any superhero characters created for a campaign of mine had to have defenses of some kind (thought they could vary from Armor to Deflect to even Luck Power). It appears to me that the Hero System (of Champions fame) was designed more with the later mentality, otherwise they would not have made Killing Attacks separate from Normal ones to begin with.

Of course, being *a game* if what the players REALLY want to do is jump into a room full of armed crooks with nothing more than their skintight suits for protection and win, then I'd just GM fiat that all shots just miss! :D But note this is something I'd have to agree with the players *from the start*, just like any other potentially controversial gaming topic should be.
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Post by Nestor »

There is a feature that BASH has that it shares with M&M and is very helpful in emulating that aspect of the genre: Hero Points (and with BASH, Hero Dice).

It's a great equalizer for having characters like Green Arrow or Black Widow work alongside heroes like Superman or Thor. It provides a way for the players to emulate the apparent immunity that spandex-wearing heroes have for avoiding certain death.

A number of recent RPGs have come out with the mechanic in place, while others have retroactively implemented it in their systems (including Hero/Champions, IIRC).

I've only had a chance to play in one or two games of BASH, so one thing I've wondered is what the usual rate of gaining and spending Hero Points is for other folks.
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Post by Dragonfly »

Hey folks,

I lean towards urbwar's observations here. For me, Champions is an EXCELLENT genre emulator. I played it for 20 years straight before turning my attention to M&M, then I went back to it when M&M ceased doing it for me.

I switched to BASH and SUPERS!, not because they were better genre emulators, but rather because they are just about equally good at emulating the genre while employing simpler systems and speeding up play.

Being newer games, BASH and SUPERS! implement a few modern innovations, like Hero Points, Hero Dice, and Competency Dice. Champions may have implemented such systems retroactively, but I think they get a pass on this, given that Champions pioneered much of what I look for in superhero gaming to date (effects based, point-buy system, for one).

One thing that did happen to Champions is that the system it introduced was ultimately marketed as the HERO System - a universal system. At that point, some of the superhero specific approaches got diluted by an approach that stressed more generic gaming. This meant that some non-superhero genre approaches sometimes got applied to superhero games by individual players and GMs. If your VIPER agents are running around with 2d6 Killing Attacks, they WILL cut down superheroes w/out damage resistance. If your VIPER agents are armed with 6d6 normal damage blasters, however, Silver and Bronze Age magic abounds. Like BASH UE, Champions has many options and emulates many different styles of play. It depends on what dials your GM wants to turn on and off.

Anyway, I hope this doesn't come off as a rant. I just don't like to see this grand old game disparaged, especially since it gave so much to superhero gaming (and to me personally). Champions Complete will be out soon. It's sort of a return to basics, after way too many years of a bloated rulesbook. I'll be getting it.

I can't, however, imagine going back to it as my goto system. It's simply too complex and slow compared to the sleeker, quicker, just-as-comprehensive options I have with BASH! and SUPERS!. Still, it deserves some respect!

Cheers!

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Post by Nestor »

Sir, you have eloquently stated your opinion and I could not agree more. If these forums had a reputation system, I would be sending some your way. :)

As I mentioned before, I've played Champions since 1st Edition and for more than a decade it was our go-to system for just about any game. A couple of our players are even contributors to the system, having published sourcebooks.

I jumped off the bandwagon with 6th Edition due to the blatant rules bloat and am also looking forward to Champions Complete for very much the same reasons.

These days I grab whatever RPG feels the best to emulate the genre of the game I will play. BASH is a good choice for superhero games (I would even narrow it down to Golden Age supers).
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Post by Sijo »

I'm only up to 5th edition Hero system, so how is the 6th "bloated"? (it was already loaded with stuff, in my opinion!) And how is Champions Complete resolving the issues?

(Also, even more important; any major changes on the setting?)
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Post by Dragonfly »

Thanks for the kind words, Nestor, and cool about your buddies being contributors. What supplements did they work on? It seems like my Superverse stuff will get the Champions treatment soon. I'm about to sign a 3rd party license to develop the Freedom Ring and the rest of that 'verse for Champions, although I'll continue to relesase the supplments for SUPERS! and BASH! first.

All the best!

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Post by Dragonfly »

Sijo wrote:I'm only up to 5th edition Hero system, so how is the 6th "bloated"? (it was already loaded with stuff, in my opinion!) And how is Champions Complete resolving the issues?

(Also, even more important; any major changes on the setting?)
Hi Sijo.

They are stripping out all of the unecessary examples that Steve Long added to the rules, leaving a great deal more room for GMs to call shots on their own. They are streamlining and simplifying the language, and reorganizing some of the presentation. The new author, Derek Heimforth, seems to have a breezy and pleasant style, as opposed to Steve Long's more technical lawyerish voice. According to the press releases, the new approach makes for a 200 page rulebook, with an additional 40 pages of superhero specific material. This is a pretty dramatic shift from the two volume, 1,000 page monstrosity that was the original 6th Edition.

The release is called Champions Complete, and is billed as a superhero specific game rather than a generic one, kind of like the 4th Edition "Big Blue Book." To me, this is a welcome return to basics. I didn't really enjoy 5th Edition, but LOVED 4th Edition quite a bit.

They are not, however, omitting many rules (just one or two), so it'll remain 99% the complete Sixth Edition rules. As such, play will remain what it's usually been, which is far more complex and time consuming than what you find in BASH!, SUPERS!, and other rules lite options.

Cheers!

Dragonfly
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